Muir Omni Graphics, a second-generation family owned-business and manufacturer of industrial graphics and markings, has begun transitioning business ownership to its employees.

In August 2012, the company announced the completion of its first Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) transaction, which involved selling a minority stake of the company to the ESOP trust. The establishment of the ESOP creates an ownership and succession plan without disrupting the culture, people or the company’s ability to provide customers with the level of service and workmanship to which they have become accustomed.

Explains Mary Sutton, Vice President and Owner, “We take pride in running the business and working with our customers like an extended family. As we move into the future, we wanted to retain the culture and the personal attention provided to our customers, suppliers and partners. The ESOP allows the perfect structure for retaining our service-first, caring culture and positions us for growth.”

Muir Omni Graphics was founded in 1963, by the late Don Muir, as Muir Molleck and Pelini. The company has been providing some of the world’s leading manufacturers, utility companies and service organizations with turn-key decal production and graphic management solutions. The company’s first customers included Caterpillar Tractor Co., Montgomery Ward, Standard Oil Co., and International Harvester.

In 1982, Don was joined by his son Andrew Muir, who took the reigns as President of the company, which was renamed to Muir Omni Graphics.

“Joining the company in 1982 presented many challenges with the country in a deep recession,” said Andrew Muir. “Despite those challenges, and due in a large part to our culture where we treated employees as family, we were able to build an organization that could provide high quality markings while efficiently and cost-effectively meeting a wide range of requirements. Our employees met the economic challenge as well as many others over the years and, for this reason, we saw fit to reward them with the ownership stakes they fully earned and deserve.”

Currently home to 42 full time employees, most whom have been with the company for over a decade and are largely considered family, the ESOP marks a shift into a symbolic 3rd generation of family ownership. Andrew Muir retains his position as President.

Muir continues, “A cornerstone of our success for nearly 50 years is the culture of our company. A culture that strives for employee enrichment and empowers employees to make business decisions, especially ones that increase our ability to meet the needs of our customers. Our culture has also allowed us to weather the economy’s ups and downs without mass long-term layoffs or downsizing. The ESOP is a transition and succession strategy to retain this culture and reinforce our position in the marketplace. One we fully expect to last another 50 years and into the next generation of employee owners.”

Adds Sutton, “Now, when a customer calls they know that they are speaking to an owner.”

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