The success story of custom furniture manufacturer Whitewood Industries has been the transfer of its ownership to its more than 300 employees. The Thomasville company said Monday it was sold in December to its employees through an employee stock ownership plan program, known as ESOP. It was founded in 1982 by Jorge Mata and Ron Feibel. They will remain in their management positions.
Mata, the company’s president, said the plan “ensures the company’s long-term financial stability, as it helps align employee goals with company goals and improve organizational performance.” As a result, Mata said, employees “become a financial participant in the success of Whitewood and to help grow the company both in profitability and in efficiency of operations and customer service.” Employees must have been with the company for one year and be at least age 21 to be eligible to be part of the program. The company said 172 employees are participating.
The company has four divisions: Whitewood Ready-To-Finish (unfinished furniture); John Thomas Furniture (casual dining and custom finish programs); International Concepts (a supplier to specialty retailers); and Custom Contract Furnishings (designer/manufacturer contract upholstery).
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