Employee Owned Businesses Find Homes Northern Colorado -- The Coloradoan

Every year in late summer, New Belgium Brewing Co. hosts an annual retreat for its 540 employees, 476 of whom own the business.

At the retreat, Co-founder and CEO Kim Jordan stands before the incoming group of employee-owners. She presents a hand-twisted “mojo” to them, a sort of fob made from different elements, each representing a part of the bigger picture (copper for “water,” a single bead for “individual”).

The ceremony is a sacred one for New Belgium; the inductees walk through a procession, and they respond to Jordan’s speech individually at the podium.

After it’s over, they start receiving statements with the value of their individual shares in the company.

New Belgium is one of a handful of employee-owned businesses in Northern Colorado — others include Hensel Phelps Construction in Greeley, the Fort Collins Food Co-operative, civil engineering firm Lamp Rynearson & Associates and, as of December, C.B. & Potts restaurants and breweries, the latter two based in Omaha, Nebraska, and Lakewood, Washington, respectively.

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