“Henderson has always focused on providing a people-first culture where our employees could thrive and do their best work,” said Kevin Lewis, CEO & President of Henderson Companies. “Moving to an ESOP company was a natural next step in our firm’s evolution. Our employees are what sets us apart, so we want to empower them all to think and act like owners. As an ESOP, employees on all levels are more engaged and focused on client service because they have a stake in the success of Henderson.”
Henderson, which was founded in 1970 in Kansas City, Missouri, began as a small family business with three employees. Since then, it has evolved into a $197-million design and construction powerhouse that works for brands across five different market sectors. Last year, the firm’s previous ownership group of 58 voted to create an ESOP, enabling all eligible employees, regardless of rank, to own beneficial shares of Henderson Companies.
The announcement comes as Henderson simultaneously celebrates 52 years in business and reaches 1,000 employees nationwide. The move to an employee-owned company was part of a long-term leadership transition and company restructure that Henderson announced earlier this year.
“It’s fitting to be sharing this exciting news right as we hit two major milestones in our history in terms of our longevity and the size of our personnel,” said Rich Smith, Henderson’s President-Emeritus who advocated for Henderson’s move to an ESOP during his tenure as CEO. “This has been something we’ve been working on for a number of years to protect the legacy and culture of Henderson for years to come. We consulted with several employee-owned firms within the AEC industry, and they all had nothing but positive things to say. We’re confident becoming an ESOP will mean continued success for Henderson employees and our clients.”
As part of the transition to an ESOP in January 2022, Henderson Companies named a new Board of Directors. The Henderson Companies Board is led by Robin Broder, Henderson’s Chief Marketing Officer, as the newly elected Chairman of the Board. Other board members include new CEO Kevin Lewis along with Dave Haake, Shane Lutz, Drew Rimmer, Vince Masilionis, and Andrew Bennett. The Henderson Companies Board also will include two external members, still to be announced, that will be non-employees.