As of December 30, 2014, Babcock Laboratories, Inc. — one of Riverside’s oldest businesses — is employee-owned. The 2015 transition to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) marks the company’s 109th year of providing analytical testing services to the Inland Empire.
“It is with great pride that we announce Babcock Laboratories, Inc. will become an employee-owned company through the purchase of the laboratory by the Babcock Laboratories Employee Stock Ownership Trust,” said CEO Allison Mackenzie to a room full of Babcock Labs staff during the company’s annual December strategic planning meeting.
“We have always said that our employees share in the success of the company,” said Mackenzie. “I cannot think of a better way to show our employees that when we succeed, we succeed together.”
Mackenzie noted that the transition only signifies a change in company ownership. “For the foreseeable future, Larry Chrystal will still serve as Laboratory Technical Director and I will still serve as CEO,” she explained. However, it is the hope of Mackenzie, Chrystal, and third partner Marianna Etcheverria that the transition to an ESOP will help facilitate leadership succession.
“This decision will enhance the long-term sustainability of our company,” said Mackenzie. “Employee-ownership provides Babcock Laboratories the opportunity to grow and prosper for the next 100 years.”
Babcock Labs is one of the last independently-owned and operated commercial laboratories in California, as many other small to midsized California labs have been bought up and consolidated by larger testing networks with headquarters either out of state or abroad.
“This organization has been handed down from generation to generation, yet Larry and I were offered ownership despite our lack of namesake,” said Mackenzie. “It is only right that we carry on the Babcock tradition of providing employees with the opportunity to own stock in the company.”
Numerous studies show the performance benefits of ESOP organizations, which include greater employee retirement security and, overall, better company performance. Successful companies that are 100 percent employee-owned include the prominent photography company, Lifetouch, and the global steel manufacturing company, Amsted Industries.
This transition marks a new era for Babcock staff. As a 100 percent employee-owned company, Babcock Team members are more motivated than ever to provide clients with the exceptional analytical testing services that so many have come to associate with the Babcock name.
“The move to employee-ownership can only change our performance for the better,” said Babcock Labs employee Kristine Santos. “I have a real stake in the game now, as do my fellow employees, and we intend to outperform ourselves and work cohesively so that our clients consistently receive the best testing services and highest-quality data available.”
For questions regarding Babcock Labs’ transition to an ESOP, please contact Tiffany Hudson at 951-653-3351 ext. 253.