Terra Engineering and Construction Corp., of Madison, says it will transfer 25% ownership of the company to its non-union employees through an employee stock ownership plan.
Terra specializes in earth retention systems, energy pipelines, utilities, landfill gas systems and watercourse projects, among other contracting services.
President and CEO Scott Zimmerman said the company will transition from family ownership to employee ownership to reward employees for their hard work in building the 45-year-old business.
The 90-employee company, with offices in Madison and Milwaukee, has grown from a small operation started by Gary Zimmerman, Sr., in 1972, to a $40 million enterprise run by his sons Scott and Gary Zimmerman.
“This is the legacy Gary and I want to give to our community, our employees and our industry,” Scott Zimmerman said.
Union employees are not included in the ownership change but have a pension that will not change.
The Zimmermans, who are planning for their retirement, also announced a succession plan that will include the promotion of two executives, Tony Arts and Donna Kopp. Both will have an ownership stake in the company.
Arts, an engineer, takes the new position of executive vice president. He will oversee engineering, estimating, and will be responsible for the vision and direction of the company.
Gary Zimmerman, a 38-year veteran of the company, will move from vice president to chief operations officer. Kopp will begin a new role as chief financial officer.
Two other changes also are taking place. Chris Steinke will be operations manager, while Mark Rippe moves from safety director to a new position of director of risk management.
By: Rick Barrett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel