KENT, OHIO – The Davey Tree Expert Company is the 18th largest employee-owned company in the U.S., according to data from the National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO).

The list is compiled annually by the non-profit NCEO and requires a company have a majority of its stock owned by an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) or another qualified employee ownership plan in which at least 50 percent of full-time employees are eligible to participate.

Companies on the list now employ more than 610,000 people. The smallest company on the list has 1,200 employees; the largest has 146,000 employees. Davey has 7,000 employees.

“Employee ownership at Davey has been a tradition since 1979, and an essential part of our company’s success,” says Karl Warnke, Davey’s chairman, president and CEO. “Even more importantly, employee ownership and commitment serves as a catalyst for Davey’s future endeavors and growth.”

Currently, there are approximately 11,300 ESOPs in the U.S., an estimated 40 percent of which own a majority of their companies’ stock. ESOP companies employ 13.6 million people and have $900 billion in assets.

Statistics from the National Bureau of Economic Research, Rutgers University researchers Joseph Blasi and Douglas Kruse and others show employee-owned companies grow significantly faster, have much lower turnover and are much more financially stable than comparable conventional companies. Moreover, employees at these companies accumulate about three times what the typical employee in non-employee ownership companies accumulate over time in their retirement plans. Details on this research, as well as the full Employee Ownership 100 list, can be found at NCEO’s website at

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