Who, What, Where, Why, How
We are Outdoor Rec folks who have seen companies be born, grow, struggle, thrive.
Stephen Barnes – Global Product and Brand innovator at companies like Montrail, Osprey, The North Face and Sierra Designs/Kelty
Bryan Wachs – Serial entrepreneur with a bent toward employee empowered models, currently CEO/Co-founder of QuikrStuff and co-founder of MySalesButler.com
We are founders, executives, leaders and workers. We have worked for family owned companies, public companies and investor owned companies, running the full gambit of types of companies and this diversity of experience has given us perspective on the industry and life.
We are a Colorado company, headquartered in Grand Junction, an outdoor recreation epicenter on the Western Slope. We live where we play and we play where we live! We are fortunate in that way, and we recognize that not everyone can make these same choices. Employees have to go where the work is, however, if they are a true stakeholder in the company, they can weigh in such choices. The central idea behind our co-op is to put the power in the hands of the employees – engaged and incentivized to grow the company for their own futures, and not just for the few.
We believe the employees who help grow these companies deserve not only a seat at the table, but a piece of the company.
Over the years, we have seen companies grow and become successful only to be sold and the people who help make these companies thrown by the wayside for “efficiencies” and 5% gains in profitability so the company can be resold 5 years later, at a massive profit to that ownership group.
We fully embrace entrepreneurship and capitalism, but we think there needs to be a tweak. Employee-owned companies are on average 7x more profitable than non-employee owned. Doesn’t it make sense that for all concerned; founders, investors, communities and employees that they all have skin in the game and reap the rewards too?
You are a founder of a company and you have grown it with your team to a point where you are ready for the next chapter of your life and you want to sell. You want a full market value payout to reward your efforts and the personal risks you took to hatch this thing in the first place, but you also want to see your co-workers and friends not get left behind in any transaction. This is where our co-op concept moves to the forefront of the myriad options.
Now, 3 years later, you are having a cup of coffee with a beautiful mountain view. Or sitting on a beach, enjoying a tasty beverage. You are smiling ear to ear. Why are you so happy? You got your rewards and your employees have real skin in the game. They are making the company decisions and benefitting from those decisions, and building their own wealth!
What got you to this day? What got you to that smile?
We want to reward founders/owners for the vision, risk and success they have experienced, but pass that on to the teams that stood by them in that vision.
We will invest in, and/or buy companies and all the employees can be part of a bigger co-op ownership group that distributes profits to all. For you, the founder, we would like you to help us lead the transition as it was your vision that got us all to this point and we don’t want to lose that culture and soul, and especially we want to see these cool companies survive and the employees, their families and communities benefit!
Then we want to meet you for that cup of coffee and see that smile in person!!!!!
(Stephen added the extra exclamation points because that is what he does 🙂 )