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Lancaster engineering firm converts to full employee ownership

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A Lancaster County engineering firm has transitioned to a fully employee-owned company following the retirement of the company's senior leaders.

As of Jan. 2, Rettew, an engineering and environmental consulting firm headquartered in Manor Township, is completely owned by its 350 employees. 

For the past seven years, Rettew's employees have owned a portion of the business through an employee stock ownership plan. In 2015, Rettew CEO and founder George R. Rettew retired, prompting a purchase of his shares and an increase of the employee-owned stake to 30 percent.

Rettew has operated for 50 years and has offices in Lehigh, Montgomery, Allegheny, Lancaster, Cumberland, Lycoming and Centre counties as well as Ohio, West Virginia and Colorado.

Holly White, communications manager for Rettew, said the company's board of directors decided it would transition to 100 percent ownership after Rettew began to leave the board, prompting a purchase of all of his shares.

The company increased that ownership to 100 percent at the beginning of 2019, buying the remainder of Rettew's shares as well as the shares of a number of senior-level employees.

 “As we discussed what makes Rettew’s culture a competitive advantage, we knew that being focused on employees was top of our list,” Mark Lauriello, Rettew's current president and CEO, said in a press release. “Becoming a company fully owned by our employees made sense from an ownership perspective, and an employee-centric culture will contribute to the company’s long-term success.”

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Ioannis Pashakis

Ioannis Pashakis

Ioannis Pashakis covers health care and Lancaster County. Email him at ipashakis@cpbj.com.

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