Willmar's TPI Hospitality becomes employee stock ownership plan company
WILLMAR -- TPI Hospitality, a hotel and restaurant development and ownership and management company headquartered in Willmar, has become an employee stock ownership plan company.
WILLMAR - TPI Hospitality, a hotel and restaurant development and ownership and management company headquartered in Willmar, has become an employee stock ownership plan company.
Tom Torgerson, CEO and chairman of the board of TPI Hospitality, made the announcement during a companywide meeting Sept. 15 that caught the TPI team by surprise.
Torgerson said he was transitioning ownership of TPI Hospitality to the employees on Jan. 1 through the formation of an employee stock ownership plan.
“I chose an ESOP to reward employees for their past, current and future diligent service to TPI, to preserve the legacy of our work, and position TPI for the next 50 years and beyond,’’ he said in a news release.
“The transition to 100 percent employee ownership not only helps to secure the future of TPI Hospitality as a locally owned and operated company but it also allows us to reward our almost 1,800 employees, many of whom have been with the company for over 20 years, with a superior retirement benefit,’’ he said.
TPI Hospitality owns and operates 31 hotel properties and nine restaurants, and has an additional six hotels in construction. Many TPI locations have been recognized nationally with awards for service, quality, and financial results.
“We credit our success to encouraging an entrepreneurial spirit and the ability to engineer and embrace organizational change and growth,” said Mitch Peterson, chief operating officer. “Becoming an ESOP will require a change in perspective by everyone. I envision an environment where every employee acts as an owner without regard for their specific role within the company.’’
The magnitude of the change is further highlighted by the fact that TPI Hospitality will be in the top 1 percent of all ESOPs in the country in terms of size, the company said in the release. In addition, TPI is poised to become the largest 100 percent employee-owned hospitality-company in the nation.
According to the National Center for Employee Ownership, companies with ESOPs and other broad-based employee ownership plans account for well over half of Fortune Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work for in America” list year after year.
“The hospitality industry relies on motivated employees who consistently deliver outstanding service,’’ said Pete Bromelkamp, senior vice president of human resources.
“Understanding that when employees leave, valuable knowledge and sometimes customers are lost. TPI has always been focused on employee retention. With development already in the pipeline, the ESOP will also provide us a tool to motivate, retain, and attract talented employee-owners.”
TPI has grown significantly during its three generations of Torgerson ownership,the company said in the release. Building strong relationships and systems have helped to make TPI one of the most organized and sophisticated hospitality companies in the industry.
When Ray Torgerson opened his first clothing store in 1930, his vision was to build strong community relationships and to help those in need. Nearly 90 years later, the nature of the business has evolved from retail to hotels and restaurants, but the collective vision of TPI Hospitality is still aligned with the core values he demonstrated on a daily basis, according to the company.
With value, service, and quality as guiding principles, TPI Hospitality has grown from a small family business in west central Minnesota to the largest hospitality company in Minnesota.