Cylinder and bulk tank specialist Cyl-Tec has promoted Chris Kourcklas to the position of Senior Regional Sales Manager.
In his new role, Kourcklas will take on additional responsibilities at the Illinois-based firm and help with both national and key accounts.
Kourcklas has been part of the Cyl-Tec team for four and a half years.
Commenting on his new role, Kourcklas stated that he aims to continue building upon Cyl-Tec’s existing achievements and facilitate higher levels of growth.
He added, “I want to thank the company and employees. Our employees are the bread and butter of the organisation. Without them, we wouldn’t be where we are today. As far as the achievements go. I constantly want to keep winning out there for everyone.”
Last year, Cyl-Tec announced that it was a 100% employee-owned company through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).
How an ESOP works
ESOPs are becoming more widely explored by industrial gas independents. Establishing an ESOP will see companies set up a trust fund for employees and contribute either cash to buy company stock, contribute shares directly to the plan, or have the plan borrow money to buy shares.
Employees pay no tax on the contributions they receive as shareholders until they receive the stock when they leave the business or retire. At this point, they can sell their holding on the market, or more typically back to the company.
ESOPs are recognised as a good way to encourage employee retention. According to a 2020 study by the National Centre for Employee Ownership (NCEO), throughout the coronavirus pandemic, ESOP companies were three to four times more likely to retain staff, less likely to make pay cuts and more likely to take protective measures.
NCEO estimates that there are around 6,500 employee stock ownership plans running in the US today, covering almost 14 million participants.