Cedar Rapids, IA –– Every October is significant to the employee-owners of Apache, but this year holds even stronger meaning, because it’s their 50th anniversary. As they continue celebrating this milestone, employees are reflecting on the rich company history with an even greater pride of ownership during Employee Ownership Month.
Founded in 1963, Apache began with the vision of Bob South, who saw an opportunity for a Midwestern company that aspired to be more than a distributor of industrial hose and belting. He saw a thriving operation that could supply vital parts to both industry and agriculture.
Apache began its Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) in 1985 when its founder decided to retire. “With our ESOP, we can share in the pride of ownership and I firmly believe that being an ESOP company has benefited both our employees and customers alike,” says President & CEO Tom Pientok. “Our employees are directly invested in our success, which translates into better service for our customers.”
Over the years the vision that started with Bob South has expanded, and today Apache is a global organization with locations throughout the United States, serving customers throughout North America, South America, and Europe.
Throughout the year several 50th anniversary events were held, including a summer celebration co-hosted with the Cedar Rapids Chamber of Commerce. During October, national Employee Ownership Month, celebratory activities have been held at all locations throughout the month. Employees at the Cedar Rapids headquarters closed out ESOP month celebrations with a luncheon including the Mayor, Ron Corbett as a guest speaker.