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Mini-cast 126: Celebrating Davey Tree Expert Company

Bret Keisling celebrates Davey Tree Expert Company’s 42nd year of employee ownership. Formed in 1880, Davey transitioned to EO in 1979. With 10,000+ employee owners, it’s now the 9th largest EO company in the US and largest in Ohio.

You can listen to Davey Tree's own podcast, "Talking Trees with Davey Tree", here.


Mini-cast 126 Transcript

Bret Keisling: 00:08 Welcome to the ESOP Mini-cast. Thank you so much for listening. My name is Bret Keisling and as it says on my business cards, I'm a passionate advocate for employee ownership. This month Davey Tree Expert Company celebrates its 42nd anniversary as an employee owned company. So today I want to celebrate the more than 10,000 employee owners that make Davey the great company that it is.

Bret Keisling: 00:32 Davey was formed in 1880. It's transition to employee ownership began in 1979. For context, Louis Kelso formed the first ESOP in 1956, and Congress passed ERISA in 1974, which formalized ESOPs. So Davey was certainly in on the beginnings of employee ownership here in the United States.

Bret Keisling: 00:57 According to Davey's website, and we'll include a link in our show notes, Davey has an employee stock purchase plan which allows employees to buy stock through payroll deductions. Throughout the eighties and nineties, there were a number of stock splits that have dramatically increased the value for its employee owners.

Bret Keisling: 01:17 According to the NCEO 2020 Employee Ownership 100 list, Davey is ranked as the ninth largest employee owned company in the United States and the largest based in Ohio. In 2018, Davey exceeded $1 billion in revenue. They have 100 locations across North America and Canada.

Bret Keisling: 01:35 And I saw something really cool on their website that I don't think a lot of companies do. I was curious if they had any Davey offices in central Pennsylvania where I'm based. So I entered my zip code and a form on their website. A message came up saying, unfortunately they didn't have an office in my area, but they included a link to a trade association where I'd be able to find other tree experts that could help me. This just strikes me as a wonderful example of Davey's culture; they're experts, but if they can't help you they'll point you in the right direction. As I said, a lot of companies wouldn't bother to take that step, but it's a great way to make a good impression. In the event, they do open an office in any potential area.

Bret Keisling: 02:19 Davey Tree Experts have been active at employee ownership conferences. I've met a number of employee owners at the conferences and there are a bunch of really great people. They're passionate about what they do and they're also passionate about employee ownership. And I wasn't surprised to see on their website that they belong to Certified EO, which regular listeners will know. we've featured quite a bit in the last few weeks on our podcasts.

Bret Keisling: 02:46 Although its name Davey Tree Expert Company makes clear what they do, I will point out they have extensive experience with residential and commercial properties, and they also do a lot of work for utilities and for governments along and other public areas. From pictures on their website, you'll see some of the beautiful projects that they're involved in and how enthusiastic the team members appear to be.

Bret Keisling: 03:09 So congratulations to all of the employee owners at Davey Tree Expert Company, not just on your 42nd year in employee ownership, but the fact that you're a great employee owned company, day-in and day-out, providing excellent work for your customers. You're an inspiration for all of us and we celebrate your success with you.


Bret Keisling: 03:31 Before I go, I do want to remind you that the NCEO virtual annual conference will be held April 20th to 21st, 2021 with the virtual pre-conference on April 16th. Over a thousand people, including me, are registered and I hope you will too. And without the travel expenses involved with live conferences, companies can afford to send more folks to this amazing virtual event. So if you haven't registered to do so, when you do use the discount code EOPODCAST25 to save $25 off the cost of registration, exclusive to our podcast listeners.

Bret Keisling: 04:08 All of us are going through a lot together right now and that's how we'll get through it, together. And that's in the best spirit of employee ownership. Thank you so much for listening. My name is Bret Keisling; be well.

Bitsy McCann: 04:28 We'd love to hear from you! To contact us, find us on Facebook at KEISOP, LLC and on Twitter @ESOPPodcast. To reach Bret, with one "T", email, on LinkedIn at Bret Keisling, and most actively on Twitter at @EO_Bret. Again, that's one "T". This podcast has been produced by The KEISOP Group, technical assistance provided by Third Circle, Inc. and BitsyPlus Design. Original music composed by Max Keisling, archival podcast material edited and produced by Brian Keisling, and I'm Bitsy McCann.

Standard Disclaimer: The views expressed herein are my own and don't represent those of my own firms or the organizations to which I belong. Nothing in the podcast should be construed as guidance or advice of any kind in any field and the fact that I mentioned an organizational website or an advocate or a company on a podcast does not reflect an endorsement, but if you've heard your name or your group's name mentioned on this podcast, I'd love to have you come on and talk about it yourself.

A note on the transcript: This transcript was produced by Temi, an automated transcription service. While it has been reviewed by The ESOP Podcast, we can not guarantee the accuracy of the transcription. Please refer to the original audio when citing sources.


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