Van G. Miller, Jim Walsh, and John Deery, Jr. are the founding fathers of VGM. They started this company back in 1986, and they nurtured it with determination, passion, and courage. In 2008, they made the monumental decision to sell their company to its employees, and this choice has resulted in over a decade of boundless opportunity, prosperity, and meaning for everyone fortunate enough to be a part of the VGM family. Ownership is more than shares and dollars. It’s a mindset, a point-of-view, and an attitude that drives us to serve our customers and engage with our colleagues at a much higher level so that we can achieve things that would otherwise be unimaginable.
I’m proud to be an employee-owner at VGM, and a champion for broad-based employee ownership in general. I sincerely believe that it’s the most desirable and fair way to run a business. At its core, employee ownership is about people embracing the responsibilities that come with owning a business so that they can partake in the rewards. Ownership allows people to accumulate wealth over time, sure, but it also gives their work a whole new level of dignity, meaning, and permanence. Everyone who comes to work for us gains access to a dependable paycheck, great benefits, and an amazing workplace culture, but they also have the opportunity to share in the ownership of the company. They don’t just work here. They own the place.
Our first Power of One Principal is, perhaps, the foundation for all of the others. It invites every person who comes to work for us to recognize the opportunity that they’ve been offered and behave like an owner. On our best day, when we do this successfully, it changes the entire workplace dynamic. We aren’t just co-workers who happen to work for the same company. We’re colleagues and business partners. We treat one another with respect and trust, and we’re trusted in return. Our customers aren’t just voices on the phone or tasks on a checklist, but valued clients and members of a broader community that our organization exists to serve. There’s nothing we won’t do for them, they know it, and that’s what keeps them coming back.