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Wednesday, December 11, 2019
BusinessCareer & Workplace

KKW Trucking Becomes 100% Employee-Owned Through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP)

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After 57 years of significant expansion and growth, KKW Trucking opens its next chapter

POMONA, CA:  KKW Trucking, Inc. and its affiliates have completed a transaction to become 100% employee-owned through its newly-created Employee Stock Ownership Plan (or “ESOP”).  The Company was founded in 1962 in Los Angeles, CA and today it operates out of its 91,000 square foot facility on 9 acres in Pomona, CA to provide transportation services, including irregular route truckload services for world-class manufacturers, retailers, and consumer packaged goods companies throughout 12 western states.  The Company operates 120 local, 265 sleeper tractors and more than 1,300 trailers. 

According to Dennis Firestone, CEO, “Building this Company from 9 trucks that worked out of a 6,000 sq. ft. cross-dock into what we have become over the last 52 years has been a very gratifying experience indeed.  The reality is that KKW Trucking was built by a team of hard-working committed men and women, and if I was to get any credit for our successful journey then it would only be that I was able to recruit and train most of these amazing individuals.  The time has come for me to step aside, and the thought of turning our Company over to the very people that helped me build it is a dream come true.  I truly believe that when the notion sinks in that each of our team members is truly owners and they realize that they will directly benefit from their extra efforts, then the sky becomes our only limit.  I couldn’t come up with a better way to say ‘thank you’.”

Dennis Firestone has held the title of President for 52 years and will now become Chairman of the Board with Steve Benninghoff replacing him as CEO and Lynnette Brown continuing on with her role as CFO.  Steve and Lynnette have groomed a successful management team and Dennis admits “It’s time to let this young yet well-seasoned team take the reins and transport this new company to a whole new level” 

After fifty-seven years of significant expansion and growth, all of the ownership of KKW Trucking has transferred to a qualified retirement plan, specifically an ESOP.  All eligible employees will be credited with shares of Company stock within the ESOP trust each year at no cost, allowing them to earn ownership and accumulate tax-deferred retirement wealth through their service.  KKW Trucking joins a group of elite employee-owned transportation companies such as the Paladin Capital companies, TMC Transportation, Big G Express, J&R Schugel, and Wheaton, to name a few.

KKW Trucking, Inc. was advised by Ambrose Advisors, a national investment banking firm specialized in employee-ownership transitions.  Michael Harden, Senior Managing Director with Ambrose Advisors, stated, “Dennis’s goal was to secure a sustainable future for KKW Trucking in a way that would be highly beneficial to the employees, customers, vendors, and the community in addition to himself.  Employee ownership, done right, benefits all stakeholders and should be celebrated.  It is a true win/win transaction for all parties involved and we were pleased to be a part.  We heartily congratulate the KKW Trucking team and thank them for trusting Ambrose Advisors to manage this ownership transition process.”

 

About: KKW Trucking, Inc. operates a trucking transportation business serving customers in 12 western states.  http://www.kkwtrucks.com

About: Ambrose Advisors is a national middle-market investment bank and financial advisory firm focused on guiding and assisting business owners with ownership succession planning, primarily through employee ownership.  http://www.AmbroseAdvisors.com

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Inland Empire Business Journal
The Inland Empire Business Journal (IEBJ) is the official business news publication of Southern California’s Inland Empire region - covering Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.