Folience named ESOP of the year

This article was originally published by The Gazette on May 5, 2022.

Cedar Rapids-based Folience, The Gazette’s parent company, received the ESOP Association’s National 2022 Employee-Owned Company of the Year award Thursday in Washington, D.C.

Folience was awarded the Iowa-Nebraska chapter award earlier this year.

Folience’s employee stock ownership plan was started in 1986 and the ESOP became 100 percent owner of the company in 2012.

“The company went through a radical transformation in 2016 with a change of structure, focus, mission and brand to emerge on Jan. 1, 2017, under the name Folience,” the company said in a news release Thursday.

With an ESOP, employees can own shares in the company.

“Over 90 percent of our employees contribute to their 401(k) with an average contribution of over 7 percent and it is matched by company stock,” Folience President and CEO Daniel Goldstein said in the release.

“On top of that, employee owners earn an annual allocation of ESOP stock, which is why the majority of our employee owners are on track to accumulate the wealth needed to fund their retirement. That is not happening across the country in companies that are not employee owned.”

Along with The Gazette, the Folience holding company includes the Southeast Iowa Union Newspapers — The Fairfield Ledger, The

Washington Evening Journal and the Mount Pleasant News — Life Line Emergency Vehicles in Sumner, Iowa, and Cimarron Trailers, which has operations in Chickasha, Okla., and Manhattan, Kan.

Folience has approximately 500 employees.

The ESOP Association has 18 state and regional chapters nationwide.