Senator Klobuchar highlights ESOP in visit to Diversified Plastics

Klobuchar at Diversified Plastics
U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar with Mike Bartell, Diversified Plastics tooling manager

Minneapolis, MN — September 20, 2013 — U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn) visited Diversified Plastics, Inc. to highlight Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) companies and learn more about Diversified Plastics’ transition to employee ownership. Joining Klobuchar during her visit were members of the Minnesota/Dakota chapter of the ESOP Association, two Brooklyn Park city council members and city manager.

Klobuchar is a cosponsor of the Promotion and Expansion of Private Employee Ownership Act of 2013, which would eliminate barriers faced by businesses and their owners when setting up a new S corporation ESOP. Klobuchar said they are trying to make sure rules are fair to allow an even playing field with other types of entrepreneurial businesses.

Diversified Plastics employees took ownership of the company on September 30, 2011. Five years earlier, Jim Dow, president, CEO and founder of the company, began planning his retirement. Working with the company chief financial officer, Roger Vang, they started exploring the possibilities of an ESOP strategy. After a few more years of substantial growth, Dow was ready to move ahead in making Diversified Plastics an employee owned company.

Recently, Vang learned that Klobuchar was visiting ESOP companies in Minnesota and he invited the senator to visit Diversified Plastics, meet with employees and learn more about their transition.

Annette Lund, vice president of Diversified Plastics, led Klobuchar and others on a tour of the company’s facilities where they had an opportunity to speak with employees and learn more about the effects of employee ownership. “Even though it’s been two short years, we’ve already seen the benefits,” said Lund. “The employees are more empowered, morale has risen and productivity has increased. It has proven to have been a sound investment.”

“We, the senators involved in this effort, think we can up the ante and start having people within government understand the value of the this kind of business ownership where employees actually get some skin in the game,” added Klobuchar. “This is a company that has proved that employee ownership is a successful business model that leads to more jobs, higher wages, increased productivity and higher retirement security.”

About Diversified Plastics, Inc.

Employee-owned Diversified Plastics is a custom injection molder of high-precision, close tolerance, small- to medium-sized injection molded components for medical device, filtration, aerospace and a variety of other industrial markets. The 36-year-old company is a full-service injection molder, from design assistance and mold construction, to intricate molding and clean room assembly. Diversified Plastics is ISO 9001:2008 and 13485:2003 certified, ITAR certified, and UL registered.