Alpine Snowguards: Vermont's Newest ESOP

After a relatively quiet 2020, 2021 is shaping up to be a banner year for employee ownership in Vermont, with the second transition of the year of a company to ownership by an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) having taken place in early April! 

Alpine Snowguards of Morrisville, VT specializes in rooftop snow retention devices and recently announced that they are now officially 100% employee owned. 

Founder and President Brian Stearns on his decision to sell to his employees: “When I turned 60, I started to realize that Alpine had no transition plan in place. One obvious option would have been to sell the business to the highest bidder and walk away. But the likelihood was that an outside buyer would have moved the business either out of Vermont or offshore. This could have left a very dedicated, loyal and knowledgeable staff unemployed. That just wasn’t the right answer for Alpine. Instead, my wife Sandy and I exercised the ESOP approach giving our employees the opportunity to participate in ownership, shape the direction of the business, and share in the profits.”

ESOPs allow for founders to remain connected and involved with their business, even after selling, which will be key during Alpine Snowguards transitional period, and with the launching of new product lines and key new hires.

VEOC is excited to welcome another Vermont business into our state’s vibrant employee ownership community, and looks forward to seeing how Alpine Snowguards and its more than twenty new employee-owners will flourish under their new ownership model! 





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