Midwest Cooling Towers, Inc., one of the leaders in cooling tower design and manufacturing, this year celebrates three years of successful 100% employee ownership.
Midwest Cooling Towers became 100% employee-owned October 26, 2007, when the majority stockholders sold their shares to the company’s Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP.) The landmark stock transfer capped a summer-long celebration of the 20th Anniversary of Midwest Cooling Towers, which included a family picnic and fun day in June and a company-wide conference in August.
Midwest Cooling Towers is currently one of approximately 11,000 ESOP’s in the U.S. employing over 10 million employees in businesses ranging from as little as four employees to those with thousands of employees.
Extensive academic research has shown that ESOP companies outperform non-ESOP companies. And, their employees accumulate two to three times the retirement assts of comparable employees in non-ESOP companies.
While this milestone represents a change in ownership, it does not mean a change in management or leadership. Larry Brown remains president and Terry Ogburn continues as vice president and sales manager. Other members of the management team also continue in their respective positions.
The road to employee ownership began in 1997 when 30% of the ownership of the company was transferred to an ESOP, continuing in 2001 when the ESOP ownership was increased to 44%.
Midwest Cooling Towers has its headquarters and over 200,000 sq. ft. of lumber and fiberglass manufacturing facilities in Chickasha, just southwest of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Midwest Cooling Towers also has regional sales offices and various construction sites around the country. Midwest employs approximately 450 people in Chickasha and Ardmore, Oklahoma, home of a subsidiary, Beetle Plastics, LLC, as well as regional offices, construction sites and other locations around the country and the world.
Midwest Cooling Towers is a complete cooling tower engineering, manufacturing and construction company. They provide new cooling towers, reconstruction, emergency repair, upgrade, maintenance services and replacement parts for all makes and models of cooling towers serving industrial and power applications throughout the United States. Midwest Cooling Towers is well respected as a leading manufacturer of fiberglass fan stacks and pressure treated cooling tower lumber for many cooling tower contractors and original equipment manufacturers (OEM’s) around the world.
Midwest Cooling Towers was founded in 1987 by Larry Brown, who still serves as president, and Dave Smith. In 1988 Midwest Cooling Towers purchased five acres at the current location in Chickasha. Operations now occupy approximately 20 acres.
In 2001, Midwest merged with Pacific Cooling Services in Windsor, California, expanding Midwest Cooling Towers’ reach into the West.
On June 23, 2003, Midwest Cooling Towers finalized the acquisition of Beetle Plastics, a widely known manufacturer of reinforced fiberglass composite piping and tanks, headquartered in Ardmore, OK. The new company, Beetle Plastics, LLC, operates as a Midwest Cooling Towers subsidiary. They are the premier FRP composite pipe supplier to the cooling tower industry.
In 2004, Pacific Cooling Services was folded under the Midwest Cooling Towers name completing the merger into one company.
Through the years Midwest Cooling Towers has been able to offer customers the best value in cooling towers, cooling tower repair, parts and components, fiberglass pipe and tanks, while achieving profitable growth for its employee-owners. Larry Brown, president, offered these thoughts about the future, “100% employee ownership is a challenge that we can accomplish with the same passion that carried us through the first 20 years. It gives everyone a ‘stake in the outcome’ and we will continue to grow individually and as a company; a company of employee owners.”