Schier Products Co., a Kansas-based grease interceptor manufacturer, announced a transfer of all stock into an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), making the company 100% employee-owned. The company’s prior owners, Luke Ismert and Charlie Ismert, finalized the sale on Sept. 27.
Founded by Ed Schier in 1950, Schier began by selling plumbing drains and brass cleanouts outside of Milwaukee. It wasn’t until 1993 that the company transitioned into the business of manufacturing grease interceptors, which keep greasy restaurant wastewater from causing sewer system damage. Thirty years later, Schier has become a nationwide leader in the space, developing products, services and software for the commercial kitchen market (restaurants, hotels, schools, churches, stadiums, etc.).
The company moved from Wisconsin to the Kansas City metropolitan area in 2010, along with 16 employees. Schier’s purpose statement, “We make the world better by serving and providing for our employees,” informs strategy in all areas of the company, especially with regard to its “resilience first, growth second” mantra.
“Designing a growth strategy for two or five years is one thing, but we want to be anchoring our corner of Kansas City, serving our customers and providing great jobs 100 years from now,” says Luke Ismert, Schier CEO. He continues, “When you want to be a 100-year-old company, you prioritize resilience. The decision to become an ESOP was the perfect fit for us culturally because our 68 employees already act like owners, and it fit strategically because it removed the usually fatal event of a future ownership change. As an ESOP, Schier ownership, its purpose, and its culture now have a great chance of remaining intact across generations.”
Schier’s management team, including both Ismerts, will remain in place. Charlie Ismert, Schier’s president and sales director, adds, “building Schier into what it is today has been one of the great joys of our life and we still feel like we’re just getting started. Our hope in making it 100% employee-owned is to share both the wealth and the responsibility with our employees.”
To learn more about Schier, visit www.schierproducts.com