August 2023 Employee Spotlight

Meet our August 2023 Employee Spotlight, Nicole Urzendowski! Nicole has only been with our EOH company for a few short months but has fully embraced our company culture. Let’s get to know her better:

What is your role? Briefly describe what you do.

“I’m in Inside Sales at the Hydraquip Houston office. I started in June this year and have learned so much already! My responsibilities include answering sales inquiries to assist customers in finding what they are looking for, communicating with our vendors, producing quotes, and processing orders.”

Who/what inspires you?

“My mom will always be my number one role model. She grew up in Venezuela and studied electrical engineering then came to the United States to work in the oil field. At the time you didn’t see a lot of women in that industry, so that always impressed me. She is who inspired me to study engineering in college and has been there for me the whole way.”

If you had to pick one strength you bring the to team, what would it be?

“The strength I bring to the team is my attitude and positivity. I always strive to be a positive person and bring good energy into the office every day I walk through the doors. You will rarely see me in a bad mood or being negative, because life is too short for that!”

What do you like to do in your free time?

“In my free time I enjoy being active and outdoors (When it’s not 100 degrees outside). I like going to the gym, hiking, fishing, surfing, and always being on the beach!”

If I could learn how to do one thing, what would it be?

“I have always wanted to learn how to fly a plane. It seems like such an incredible feeling to just go fly around on your own and explore the world from up high.”

Where were you born?

“I was born in Katy Texas. Then I moved up to Seattle for a couple years and spent the rest of my time growing up in San Antonio.”

What’s the best thing about your job?

“My favorite part about my job is working with the people around me. Since I came here everyone has been incredibly helpful and so welcoming. I can ask any single person a question and they would drop what they are doing to help me.”

What’s been one of your proudest moments at EOHI?

“I’ve only been working for almost 3 months now, but my proudest moment here has to be right after Dylan Butler trained me and trusted me to start doing quotes and orders on my own. Thats when it really hit me that I graduated college, and I made it in the real world. I was trusted to set prices, sell these parts and be able to make an impact on this company’s profit. I can’t wait to see what I accomplish here in the future.”

How do you define success?

“For my first internship, I walked into that company feeling underqualified. All the other interns had experience before me and walked in so confidently ready to start. I even spent my whole first week trying to figure out what my project scope was while everyone else seemed to have theirs down. I wanted to quit so badly, but then it hit me that I must have something going for me if I was the only one hired with zero experience. I knew just sitting there complaining wouldn’t do anything. I may not be the smartest person in the room, but I will always be the hardest working. I walked into the office that second week with a new mindset and a desire for success. With determination, a goal, and a good work ethic I successfully finished my project that summer. Success can’t be accomplished without determination!”

Where is your favorite place that you’ve traveled to?

“My favorite place I’ve traveled to would have to be the Bahamas. They have the clearest water I’ve ever seen and the snorkeling there was unreal.”

ESOP Awareness Month

For almost 20 years, The ESOP Association and its member companies have been celebrating Employee Ownership Month every October. It is a celebration of the incredible spirit of employee ownership and an opportunity to educate employee owners about the tremendous benefits of employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs)

What exactly does it mean to be an ESOP?

  • ESOP = Employee Stock Ownership Plan
  • Tax qualified employee benefit plan governed by the same federal regulations (ERISA) as any other qualifying retirement plan (Ex. 401(k), IRA)
  • The ESOP only acquires shares of the company’s stock
  • These retirement accounts grow through the employee’s sweat equity (at no extra cost to employees)

What is the purpose of an ESOP?

  • Retirement benefit for employees
  • Participants share in the rewards & responsibilities of ownership
  • Tax savings for the company

During ESOP awareness month in October, we are taking time to recognize outstanding work from our employee owners for the following:

  • Becoming 100% vested in their ESOP after successfully working with the company for 6 years.
  • Achieving top Sales.
  • EOH Values award winners. Employees went above and beyond in these five (5) areas to make a positive impact at the company and were nominated by their peers.
    • Acts with Integrity – making decisions in the best interest of the company, taking time to consider the “right thing to do” and treating others with respect.
    • Laser Customer Focus – proactively assessing customers’ needs, under-promising & over-delivering on commitments and going above & beyond to provide both internal & external customers with the highest level of service.
    • Work Smart – assessing every situation to ensure the safety of employee owners, confirming highest quality product is delivered to the customer in the most efficient manner.
    • Always Seeking Improvement – bias for action, using company resources to grow return on investment, with backbone to identify the right course for the business.
    • Produce Results – focusing on key outputs for department/business by critically considering right priorities, fighting through setbacks and rising to the occasion to provide a successful outcome.

As an ESOP company, we, the employees, “own” the business. Each person has a stake in the outcome of “our” company. We move together as a team, so we all have a vested interest in the growth and continued success of our customers and our company. Congratulations to all our award winners!

Let’s Celebrate! ESOP Awareness Month Is in Full Swing

The month of October is identified as a time to celebrate the incredible spirit of employee ownership, recognize those who have gone above and beyond in the contributions to this company, and educate our fantastic employees about the future of our employee owned company.

At EOHI we strive to live by our company values – Acts with Integrity, Laser Customer Focus, Work Smart, Always Seeking Improvement, and Produce Results. This month, we honored several different employee owners who exhibit these values throughout our business.  We use these values to focus on how we work together as employee owners for our company’s growth and sustainability.

For example, Amy Vick, Accounting Associate at EOHI, was recognized at EOHI for her  laser customer focus. We asked Amy why she loves working at an ESOP company where she responded, “I appreciate working for such a great company where my input is valued and respected. I have vested interest in the success of our company and work hard to ensure I am doing my part to help the company prosper.”

It all begins with our Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). It is a unique retirement program where the employees receive stock in the company over time. As the company grows, so does the retirement accounts of our great employees.

Our employees take pride in the ESOP program for many reasons. Here are just a few benefits for being an ESOP company:

  • ESOP companies pay wages that are 5-12% higher than non-ESOP companies in the same industry.
  • Retirement account balances are 2.5 times higher.
  • ESOP companies grow 2.5 times faster than those companies without employee ownership.
  • Employee-owned companies are superior in performance, employee benefits and employee motivation.

As an ESOP company, the employees “own” the business. Each person has a stake in the outcome of “our” company. We move together as a team, so we all have a vested interest in the growth and success of our customers and our company.