South Bend Company Goes Employee-Owned

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Bernie and Pam Veldman made the announcement to their employees Wednesday. Bernie and Pam Veldman made the announcement to their employees Wednesday.

The owners of South Bend-based Midwest Orthotic Services and Surestep have given ownership of their company to their employees. Founder Bernie Veldman told employees the company has transitioned to a 100 percent Employee Stock Ownership Plan.

An ESOP is a qualified retirement benefit that holds company stock. Veldman says all members of the company's leadership team will remain in their roles and the day-to-day operations of the company will not change.

"This is a long-term strategy to assure that our company’s tradition of service and quality care will continue in the communities we serve," said Veldman. "This is a perfect addition to our already strong company culture. Our mission to enrich and transform lives through compassionate service and innovation will be enhanced with employee ownership."

Employees were informed of the news during what they thought was a celebration for Veldman's 50th birthday. Veldman then told the employees, "Congratulations, you're now owners. You now own your future."

Midwest Orthotic Services is headquartered in South Bend and its subsidiary, Midwest Orthotic & Technology Center, has offices throughout Indiana and clinical practices in Illinois, Michigan, Kentucky, Missouri and Texas.

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