Company News

TVF’s Ken Siecinski retires after 25 years

CARMEL, Ind., January 13, 2021 – Empowered Ventures (EV), an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) acquisition holding company, announced that Ken Siecinski, long-time employee, and executive at TVF, EV’s founding operating company, retired recently on his 25th anniversary. He is the third most tenured employee to retire since the ESOP was formed, and the first to have more than ten years in the ESOP.

Ken’s career in textiles began at Howe & Bainbridge a world leading sailcloth, marine, and outdoor textile distributor headquartered in Boston, MA. Ken worked in their Newport Beach CA location. It was in this role that Ken honed his skills within the apparel market, supplying fabrics to the surf and snowboard industry. Ken started with TVF in 1996 to lead their apparel program.  Over a span of 25 years Ken helped build one of TVF’s most successful programs to date. Through his experience, positive attitude, and guidance, TVF has become a leader in the in activewear industry.

“Not only was Ken a leader and mentor from a technical perspective, he was also a cultural leader at TVF,” says EV’s CEO Chris Fredericks. “We’re going to miss him immensely, we’re grateful for the 25 years he gave to TVF to help us grow, and we’re excited for him to enjoy the next chapter of his life,” adds Fredericks.

As an employee owner since 2010, Ken will be retiring with a major boost to his financial security. Overall, ESOPs make a substantial contribution to retirement security. ESOP employees on average retire with 2.2 times as much in their retirement than non-ESOP companies. ESOP plans are not without risk, but the percentage of participants who end up with their retirement at risk is a tiny fraction of those who end up with a greatly enhanced retirement package. In addition to the benefits of the ESOP, most ESOP companies are likely to have a 401k in addition the ESOP plan, which is the case with EV.

“I remember how excited I was once I heard we were going to be an employee-owned company.” says Siecinski. “I hadn’t ever heard of an ESOP and didn’t even know the term existed, but I know it all so well now. Little did I realize at the time just how meaningful this would become for myself and everyone at TVF. Having company shares and watching them grow year after year is great, but greater yet, is how employee ownership has impacted our culture and our business. Working as a team, with everyone being recognized and heard is one of the most impactful results of being an ESOP. After 42 years in the textile business and the last 25 years at TVF I can truly say it has been a great ride.   I cannot say enough of how proud I am to have worked with such a great group of people at TVF – I consider them my friends forever.“

We’re so grateful for Ken’s contributions to TVF and the EV ESOP and we’re excited for him to start spending more time enjoying the fruits of his labor. As an ESOP holding company we look forward to many more similar outcomes in the future. If you’re a business owner or employee of a business looking for the right buyer for the company, and if Ken’s story resonates with you, we’d love to chat.

About Empowered Ventures

We are operators on a mission to help great businesses continue to thrive. To do that, we support great leaders, and we empower workers as owners and beneficiaries of their efforts. Being 100% employee-owned through an ESOP underlies everything we do and enables fulfilling “next chapters” for sellers and their employees. Empowered Ventures is powered by employees. We buy closely held businesses with track records of success. We invest long term without any intention of selling. Employees join our ESOP ownership program at no cost, accruing value over time based on the combined performance of all our companies.

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