APT AL.com Article

A-P-T Research employees give $680,000 to charity through Community Foundation of Huntsville/Madison County -- AL.com

Officers at A-P-T Research (APT) gathered Monday with members of the Community Foundation of Huntsville/Madison County to celebrate the launch of the engineering services company’s Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) transaction.

The event at APT’s headquarters in Huntsville also recognized the company’s new Corporate Giving Fund to support local charities and donation of more than $680,000 to the Foundation. The ESOP transaction, giving fund and donation marked a new milestone for APT, which was incorporated in 1990 and is now 100-percent employee owned.

APT Corporate President Tom Pfitzer said a transition was imminent over the last two decades as the original APT founders moved toward retirement. The ESOP transaction, which began last spring and was finalized Nov. 19, allowed APT employees to buy out the original owners, dispersing ownership across the company.

“I have believed in employee ownership from the origin,” he said. “And the reason is because all of the employees act like owners. They show a greater level of responsibility to our customers.”

The complex ESOP process was originally slated to end in August but was delayed until last month, Pfitzer said.

During the ESOP process, APT employees were given the opportunity to donate appreciated shares with low-cost basis to the Foundation. Eleven of APT’s employee shareholders committed more than $680,000 to various charities through the Foundation, Pfitzer said.

Community Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer Stuart Obermann and Madison Mayor Troy Trulock were among local leaders at the press event Monday. Obermann said APT’s decision to partner with the Foundation will reduce their tax burden from the ESOP transaction.

“Many of the participants have created and funded new Donor Advised Funds, which operate much like a private family foundation but without the legal or accounting expenses a foundation normally incurs,” he said. “In addition, APT also created a new Corporate Giving Fund, which will allow the company and their employees to contribute tax-deductible dollars into a charitable fund, which can later be used for making grants to local agencies in the community.”

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