Ownership is the American dream and some employees of Dallas-based Integrity Marketing Group are now living that dream after the company made them part owners.
"My regret is that we hadn't done it before," Integrity co-founder and CEO Bryan W. Adams said. "We wouldn't have a business without people, and so just recognizing that people want the pride of ownership."
The change impacts Integrity's 750 employees at 30 locations across the United States, 80 of whom work in the DFW area.
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"It's a tremendous gift," Executive Assistant Kendall Spence said. "Every time I think about it, it's emotional."
Adams went around the country to deliver the news personally to employees.
"It's changed me," Adams said. "It's one thing for owners to make money and to reap the rewards. It's way more powerful when you give them back."
The company ownership is retroactive, so employees got checks based on their position and years of service. Adams said the smallest check was for $7,500.
"It means, for us, being completely clear of debt," Spence said. "That my husband and I could invest more heavily into our retirement, set up a wonderful future for my daughter, who's 4 years old, and it was incredibly life changing."
The money is not a one-time bonus, but a change in the way the company is structured. Adams said it's not about profit and loss, but a commitment to core values.
"I hope other leaders see this as an opportunity," Adams said. "Long-term, I think it will be the best investment we could ever make."