Editorial: 10.25.2023

Partner Perspectives: Viewpoints from an Employee-Owned Company

group photo of castle employees

There’s a popular phrase that Castle folks use, whether they work in the field, in an office, or at the warehouse and yard.  

“We own the place.” 

Much more than just a clever tagline, these words reinforce the fact that each Castle employee has a personal ownership stake in the company.  

As participants in the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), we’re all partners…and that partnership extends beyond any single job or individual assignment. Everything we do contributes to the company’s overall performance, which in turn impacts our own bottom line. 

Research by the National Center for Employee Ownership concludes that individuals who work at employee-owned companies experience higher productivity, greater job satisfaction and lower turnover. 

In recognition that October is Employee Ownership Month, we asked several Castle partners to share their perspectives on the benefits of working at a 100 percent employee-owned company. 

A strong focus on clients 

“Because employee ownership is so ingrained in our culture, we’re mindful that all of our actions make a difference. When everybody's an owner, there's a stronger client focus because we all realize that delivering quality work and earning the next sale is part of everyone’s responsibility.” 

– Dan O’Neal, Project Director, Central Region 

castle people having lunch

Investing in ourselves 

“The ESOP was an important consideration in deciding to make the move to Castle. Looking at the value of compensation potential at retirement and in the annual bonus was a huge advantage over other companies and their competitive offers. 

“We truly do have a mindset of investing in ourselves, both now and for the future. This includes performance rewards, training, seeing projects through to completion, and building relationships in and out of the workplace.”  

- Doug Thurman, Director of Fleet Operations, Central Region 

An incentive to grow your career 

“From my perspective, the ESOP rewards us for our hard work and commitment each year. It’s definitely a huge incentive for me to work hard, grow in my career, and to have a sense of greater contribution to the company and from the company.  

“I love collaborating with partners who are passionate about where they work, which in turn makes for better relationships.” 

- Norma Zepeda, Project Engineer, Southern Pacific Region 

castle employees having fun

Peace of mind 

“When I think of the tangible benefits of being a partner, I think about the peace of mind it offers from a financial perspective. In the past, I’ve worked for organizations that also had employee stock programs, but this program is vastly different and much more rewarding.” 

- Ericka Taylor, Project Senior Coordinator, Central Region 

Acting like an owner 

“Rather than feeling like a number working for a large organization, you feel and act like an owner. You have a voice and are part of the decision-making process. It creates a great work culture.  

 “I assume it also gives clients a sense of security, as the company has performed at a high level for a long period of time.” 

- Steve Chavez, Project Safety Manager, Southern Pacific Region 

Pride of ownership 

“There's a pride of ownership here. If a project is struggling, we all have a personal interest in figuring out how to get it back on the right track as quickly as possible.” 

- Zachary Kelly, Project Manager, Central Region 

Built-in accountability 

“We’ve always have had a really great culture here and everybody works super hard, but I think that the ESOP makes us all a little bit more accountable to each other. We're all working toward a common goal, so we’re all invested in making ourselves better and making the company as a whole better. And I think it has made a huge difference.” 

- Sherri Cavaletti, Director of Project Accounting, Central Region 

Learn more about employee ownership at Castle. 

Explore career opportunities at Castle. 


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