Air Tractor Is Employee Owned
On July 1, 2008 Air Tractor, Inc. became an employee-owned company with the establishment of an Employee Stock Ownership (ESOP) Plan. The ESOP is a tax-deferred retirement plan, similar to a 401(k) plan, except that it is funded solely by the company, not the employees.
Leland Snow, wife Nancy and daughters Kristin and Kara had the interests of the company and its employees in mind when they signed the papers to establish an ESOP for Air Tractor. The Snow family wanted to assure the long-term success of the company that Leland Snow founded. And they wanted to reward Air Tractor employees for their service to the company. Leland felt that Air Tractor employees helped make the company what it is, and the benefit of ownership would drive them to continue to build the business that he loved.
Employee-owners have additional incentive to be productive and efficient in their work to help make Air Tractor more competitive and profitable every year, Snow believed. As the value of the company increases, so does the value of the company stock – and the employees' retirement nest egg. Employee-owners work smarter and harder because of their commitment and investment in the business.
In fact, a Georgetown University study shows that during the recent recession, ESOP firms' revenue grew an average of 15.1%, compared to a decline of 3.4% for all private-industry revenue. ESOP firms also showed employment growth, faster wage growth and higher average wages, compared to drop-offs in all of those metrics at other firms.
Air Tractor is a member of the National and Southwest Chapter of the ESOP Association and National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO). We have an ESOP Communications Committee that's dedicated to educating employees and promoting an ownership culture in the company.
The Employee Stock Ownership Plan positions Air Tractor for continued success while helping to provide long-term Air Tractor employees the opportunity to retire with some measure of financial security. It's the means by which our founder could pass along his vision and legacy to a new generation.
For Air Tractor customers around the world, the ESOP helps promote continuity of the company's mission, of product quality and a reliable, committed aviation partner that they can count on far into the future.