As of January 2020, Bland became Nebraska’s first 100% employee-owned (ESOP) CPA firm!
We couldn’t be more excited! A few of our new owners speak up about this amazing accomplishment!
Look what some of our NEW owners had to say!
Ashley Postlewait, Marketing Manager
“I have always felt incredibly blessed to work for a company that shares everything with us, financials included. I have never worked anywhere that shares that ‘top secret’ information with the staff, nor have I ever heard of a company that does. So, when they shared this (ESOP) news with us, I was shocked again and felt very fortunate to have the opportunity to work for such an awesome company. Bland goes above and beyond for their employees. Bland recruits the best and cares what the employees have to say, whether it be about the snacks they want in the breakroom or ideas for a week-long Christmas break (which we do get now because someone had an idea, did the research and presented it to the partners).
The long-term investment that the ESOP will provide for me and Bland employees is something I never thought could happen. The partners put so much trust in us, though, that it does make sense. I am so proud to work for a company that treats everyone like a ‘shareholder,’ and now everyone can be!
“The first thing I did when they announced the ESOP was to text my significant other: ‘Woo-hoo, I’m a shareholder!”
Cassie Helming, Manager
“The moment I heard the ESOP announcement, I felt a mixture of happiness, excitement, and just a general thankfulness. It shows how much the prior shareholders care for not just the company as a whole, but also the employees. I am excited to see where this takes the firm because I believe while we all felt a special ‘protectiveness’ over the company before, this will only multiply that feeling as we are now all employee owners. The firm is made up of excellent individuals, and together I can see not only the bond with each other strengthening but also the bond with our clients.
This is such a fantastic step forward for Bland and Associates, and I think we all look forward to having a front row seat to the progress we make in the future!”
Danie Senske, CPA, Partner
“Throughout my entire career with Bland, the leadership has always recognized the importance of their employees. The implementation of the ESOP is a true testament to this statement. The leadership went to great lengths to make this happen. Not only did they go through the incredibly complex and time-consuming process to structure the ESOP, but they worked with state government officials to revamp legislation to make it all possible for a CPA firm.
I believe the ESOP will motivate employees to want to grow the business. It will preserve Bland’s legacy and allow for the up and coming leaders to continue to move the company forward.
This shows a true commitment by Bland to their workforce and how much they value their employees. It’s incredible.”
Megan Geissinger, PHR, SHRM-CP, HR Director
“I’m excited to see how this positively affects our already strong recruiting and retention for the firm. I believe the ESOP will only strengthen our culture and the ownership mindset.
Personally, being a newer staff member, I’m thankful and feel blessed to be part of an organization whose leadership has made this decision for their employees.
It shows that our partners believe in the employees they have and the value they bring to the firm.
Shane Peterson, Developer/Analyst
“From what I have read on the NCEO (National Center for Employee Ownership ) website, there are several statistics that I am most excited about:
- 25% more likely to stay in business
- 4x less likely to have been laid off during the last recession
- 2.5x greater retirement accounts
- higher wages earned/offered
Since I have been employed at Bland, they have been very transparent with financials, where the company is heading, and what they are involved in. The ESOP announcement is very exciting, and I cannot wait to learn more and see how it will benefit the firm and us as employees.
It is very refreshing to have a management team that truly looks out for the best interests of their staff. I specifically chose to work at Bland over a position that was offering more pay because of the management and the environment that they promote at Bland.”
DeVon Billups, Manager
“I also look at it from the lens of the shareholders. They all had their shares of ownership, and they made the decision to give up a portion of their control of the company and put it in the hands of the people that work for them. That is like giving someone access to your very expensive car, but as long as you can trust the people you hire and the current staff, there is nothing to worry about.
This is something that has never been done in the State of Nebraska. Bland has always been looking for ways to be ahead of the curve. How do we do this or do that better or more efficient? So with this ESOP change, that is just another way for Bland to be a step ahead. We don’t know what it is going to do for the future of the company, but I am sure that it will turn out to be a decision for the better.
I think the change will be good for me personally, because owning shares has been a long- term goal of mine for a long time. I have worked at Bland since I was 17 years old, and as a young African American man, Bland exposed me to a side of life that I had never seen before. Most of my life I grew up in a single-parent home with a mom who worked multiple jobs for most of my life. Also the neighborhood I was raised in was not the best and was filled with people who really didn’t know what they wanted from life. Obviously being a young kid you kind of associate that with ‘this is how life is supposed to be,’ but luckily as I got older I realized I wanted better. I wanted to be different. Then in high school I got the chance and scored an internship with Bland. Seeing all that I had seen at Bland ultimately drove me to accounting. I went to college as a first-generation college student and continued working at Bland. Now I am a full-time employee with responsibilities, client relationships, and many more things that I never would have imagined for myself at 17. All of that stemmed from meeting the shareholders at Bland and thinking: Yeah, I want to be like them. So the firm switching to an ESOP and making employees ‘shareholders’ has fulfilled a multiple-year goal for me and it feels great.
This is such a fantastic step forward for Bland and Associates, and I think we all look forward to having a front row seat to the progress we make in the future!
It shows the owner’s faith in their staff. For as long as I have been at Bland, traditionally people who come to Bland stay at Bland. There is plenty of room to grow and a culture that emphasizes teamwork and work/life balance. So now with this change to ESOP, it gives employees an added reason to stay with the company.”
Katie Brabec, CPA, Director
“I am excited for the ESOP and the employee ownership. I think now even more than before everyone’s goals are aligned.
Everyone will work together to make the company as successful as possible.”