October was Employee Ownership Month, and Hydro-Chem Systems is proud to be a 100% employee-owned company (ESOP). We spent this month celebrating!

What is Employee Ownership Month?

October is designated as Employee Ownership Month, a nationwide celebration recognizing the invaluable contributions of employee-owned companies (ESOPs) and the positive impact they have on employees, communities, and the economy. Employee Ownership Month is an opportunity for ESOP companies like Hydro-Chem Systems to showcase some of the unique benefits and empowering culture that come with employee ownership.


Kickstarting the Festivities with an ESOP Breakfast and Full Vesting Celebration

We kicked off the month with an ESOP breakfast, where we honored a group of employee-owners who have reached the significant milestone of full vesting in our ESOP. This achievement marked their transition into becoming fully vested owners of their shares in the company, a testament to their dedication and contributions to Hydro-Chem Systems' success.


Chili Cookoff: An Annual Showdown

Next up was the Chili Cookoff, an event that is now a highly anticipated event at Hydro-Chem Systems. This year, the cookoff followed our company quarterly update meeting, adding an extra touch of excitement to the day. Anonymous participants from all departments showed off their culinary skills, competing for the titles of Best Red Chili, Best White Chili, and Best Cornbread. Everyone was given a chance to vote, ultimately crowning three champions who received well-deserved recognition from their peers.

Soapy Chip Raffle: A Celebration of Above-and-Beyond Excellence

This month also brought the annual Soapy Chip Raffle, a unique event that recognizes and rewards employee-owners who have consistently gone above and beyond in their roles, embodying the company's core values. Throughout the year, employees have the opportunity to award ‘Soapy Chips’ to their colleagues, acknowledging their contributions and exceptional representation of our Core Values. 

In October, these Soapy Chips are transformed into raffle tickets, giving employee-owners a chance to win a variety of exciting prizes, including tickets to football games, mystery boxes curated by the leadership team, and much more. The raffle culminated in an atmosphere of anticipation and excitement as winning tickets were drawn, and everyone walked away with a prize!


Michigan vs Michigan State Spirit Week and Food Drive: Competition and Community Giving

The company hosted a spirited Michigan vs Michigan State rivalry week, complete with a tailgate cookout that brought everyone together. Amidst the playful rivalry, Hydro-Chem Systems also embraced the spirit of giving by kicking off its annual food drive. In partnership with a local organization, the company collected non-perishable food items to support families in need during the upcoming Thanksgiving season.


Horror Movie Night: A Spooktacular Conclusion to a Memorable Month

To cap off a memorable Employee Ownership Month, Hydro-Chem Systems hosted a spine-tingling Horror Movie Night for its employees. We kept everyone on the edge of their seats, providing a thrilling end to a month filled with celebration, recognition, and community spirit.


Employee-Owned Companies Are Special

Hydro-Chem Systems' Employee Ownership Month served as a powerful reminder of the unique and empowering culture that thrives within an ESOP company. Employee ownership fosters a sense of shared purpose, where every individual contributes to the collective success of the organization. It is a culture that values dedication, innovation, and a shared commitment to achieving excellence.

This commitment to excellence and ethical values was further recognized in October when Hydro-Chem Systems was named a finalist for the Western Michigan BBB 2023 Torch Awards for Ethics. This prestigious award recognizes businesses that demonstrate outstanding commitment to integrity in all that they do.

As we reflect on the month's events, we are filled with gratitude for our employee-owners and their unwavering commitment to Hydro-Chem Systems. Their contributions are the driving force behind our company's success, and we are proud to be part of an organization where ownership extends beyond titles and positions to encompass a shared sense of responsibility and pride.

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