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Mini-cast 173: More EO A-ha Moments from O2O

Bret Keisling shares an excerpt from the Owner to Owner podcast where host Jesse Tyler gets EO A-ha Moments from employee owners at Cirtronics and King Arthur Baking. Visit for more.


Mini-cast 173 Transcript

[00:00:00] Bret Keisling: 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.

[00:00:16] Once again, I'm going to turn over today's Mini-cast to my friend, Jessie, Tyler, who is host of the Owner to Owner podcast, which is part of the EO Podcast Network. This is the only platform we're aware of where employee owners talk to actual employee owners, unfiltered. Jesse's guests are the frontline essential workers who make, design, build, ship all of the great products that make our economy.

[00:00:40] In this excerpt from Episode 008 [Part 2] of the Owner to Owner podcast, Jesse is joined by Gary Boutillier of Cirtronics and John Durgin of King Arthur Baking who shared their A-ha Moments. I hope you'll check out this episode and all of Jesse's episodes of the Owner to Owner podcast at

[00:01:01] This excerpt will open with Jesse posing the question, and then Gary followed by John will answer.

[00:01:07] And as Jesse's guests often take a little bit of time off from their frontline positions to chat with Jesse, you're going to hear a lot of background noise, which I hope you'll agree rather than being distracting, adds authenticity to the conversation. You'll hear the same sounds that these employee owners hear as they do their jobs.

[00:01:25] Enjoy this excerpt with Jesse Tyler.


[00:01:28] Jesse Tyler: That's great. That's great. Want to ask you both, I'd love to hear from each of you, we'd like to ask about your EO A-ha Moment. That moment for you personally where you started to realize, or for the first time realized, this ownership thing could be a big deal for me.

[00:01:44] If you're game to share that we'd love to hear your EO A-ha Moment.

[00:01:48] Gary Boutillier: I have two, I actually have two when I thought about it when they talked, and I'm going to try and make them short. Our ESOP was three years old, and we would go regularly to the national ESOP in Washington. And we were asked to do, to be a presenter to new ESOPs, because people want to know how we got to where we were in three years. A lot of it was, we did three years’ worth of work before we became an ESOP!

[00:02:14] And I was one of the presenters. So, in the Omni Hotel in Washington, this palatial hotel, I'm in a room with 200 people. And we had an HR person who was one of the presenters and our Chief Financial Officer. So, there were three of us. And I'm sweating, I'm nervous as heck. And Alex is in the back of the room giving me the thumbs up.

[00:02:35] And when I started talking about what we were doing and who we were, it all just became very easy. I realize, you know, being an owner is just a wonderful thing. Okay.

[00:02:45] The second thing that happened to me was I went to my previous company who was one of our customers. So, it was myself, as a technician, and an engineer. And we were working under their technicians and one of their engineers. And we were learning a new system that they were going to bring into our company. Our company had just handed each of us a box of business cards. There were no titles on it. It said your name. It said "Cirtronics." And up in the top left-hand corner, it said "employee owner." Okay. So, we exchange cards. An hour later, I went to the bathroom and the tech from my previous company said to my engineer, you know, I remember Gary when he was just a technician. He owns his own company now? [Laughter.]

[00:03:25] The owner of my company was, she was, she couldn't stop laughing when she heard that.

[00:03:30] Jesse Tyler: That's a wonderful...

[00:03:31] Gary Boutillier: And that brought home to me, yeah. But yeah, well, I kind of do own my own company! Maybe not in whole, but in part.

[00:03:38] Jesse Tyler: That's great. Thank you for sharing both.

[00:03:40] John, can we hear your EO A-ha Moment, please?

[00:03:43] John Durgin: Yeah. You know, I remember like yesterday, honest to God. So, I started here as a seasonal working during the busy season as we call it. I was out in shipping, you know, shipping boxes and loading them into a UPS trailer, like a big game of Tetris. Really, that's what it was. Because we didn't throw them in there, we stacked every one in there perfectly.

[00:04:04] So then, when I came on full-time, I started in receiving. And during pre-holidays, we were just jammed up. You know, we have all this product coming in to support the catalog sales and everything else. And the floor was so full, you couldn't change your mind. I mean, there was just no room. And I had signed up for one of our core classes. And we were shorthanded.

[00:04:28] And I said to myself, you know, as a good employee owner, I'm not going to go to this class. I'm telling myself this, because look at this place, it's a mess, right? This needs to be done for the good of everybody, right? Pulling on the e in the same direction.

[00:04:42] And my team leader came over to me and he says, you know, you've got a class you need to go into here pretty quick.

[00:04:49] And I said, well, you know, Ken, I don't think I'm going to go. I said, look at this place. He goes, no, no, no. He says, let me tell you. These classes are set up. You need to go to this class. It's that important for you to become a good employee owner. This is part of the deal.

[00:05:03] So, I said, okay, I will. Well, then I looked up. You know what the class was? Baking 101. [Laughter.] It wasn't like how to make a pie crust. It wasn't like the financial literacy course or anything like that. It was Baking 101. So, down I went to the classroom and learned Baking 101, you know.

[00:05:18] But the point to me was made that, forget all this mess. It's going to get taken care of. This class is important because it's one of the many that you need to take, and you need to go to it.

[00:05:29] So, then that's when it was like, boy they take this stuff really seriously here, don't they? So...

[00:05:34] Jesse Tyler: That's great.

[00:05:35] John Durgin: In there, that was when the light bulb, that was my light bulb moment!

[00:05:37] Jesse Tyler: Excellent. Light bulb and pie crust! That's great.


[00:05:40] Bret Keisling: With that, we'll wrap up today's episode of the Mini-cast. I hope you'll check out all of the episodes of the Owner to Owner podcast at And I hope you'll visit where you'll find more than 350 episodes in our archives.

[00:05:57] Thank you so much for listening. This is Bret Keisling. Be well

[00:06:01] Bitsy McCann: We'd love to hear from you. You can find us on Facebook at EO Podcast Network and on Twitter @ESOPPodcast. This podcast has been produced by Bret Keisling for the EO Podcast Network, production assistance by Victoria Huerta, original music composed by Max Keisling, branding and marketing by BitsyPlus Design, 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 Descript, 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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