DALLAS, TX. — The Southwest Chapter of the ESOP Association, comprised of companies who provide Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOP), presented its 18th Annual Awards Program to honor corporate members whose accomplishments exemplify a commitment to employee ownership. The Southwest Chapter represents companies in Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico.
Acadian was recognized with several awards. For the fourth year, Acadian was honored with ESOP Company of the Year and Best Communications Overall for communicating the values and benefits of employee ownership and ESOP. Sheila Hebert, a 33-year Acadian veteran, was honored with the Employee-Owner of the Year Award. Hebert is the business office manager of Safety Management Systems, Acadian’s health, safety, environmental, medical, security, and training division. Hebert is the third Acadian employee-owner to be honored with this award.
Hebert promotes employee ownership to her fellow employees, and served on Acadian’s first ESOP committee 23 years ago. The committee developed the ESOP mission statement, the ESOP bylaws and served as ambassadors who communicated to their fellow employees. “Our ESOP message is clear—it enables our working family to share in the wealth they help create,” Hebert said.
Accepting the awards, Acadian ESOP Chair Laura Logan said, “We are a better company because of a program that maximizes human potential by enhancing the self-worth, dignity, and well-being of our people. Not only does this award validate that we are moving in the right direction in communicating ESOP to our coworkers, but as repeat award recipients, we are setting a standard for other companies who strive to deliver their ESOP message.”
Acadian ranks among the top 100 employee-owned companies in the U.S., according to a list compiled by the National Center for Employee Ownership. The men and women of Acadian became employee-owners of the largest privately owned ambulance service in the U.S. in 1993, with the adoption of an ESOP. Under the plan, 80% of the company value in stock is available to employees. The plan involves placing the stock in trust, with those shares acquired by employees redeemable in cash at the time of retirement.
Since 1971, Acadian Ambulance has been committed to providing the highest level of emergency medical care and transportation possible. In the past decade the company has expanded to include a diverse suite of services designed to offer the very best support and education in health, safety, and transportation. Acadian’s six divisions are Acadian Ambulance Service, Acadian Total Security, Air Med, Executive Aircraft Charter Service, National EMS Academy and Safety Management Systems. Acadian Ambulance serves more than 71 counties in Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi.