EV Celebrates Employee Ownership with Generosity and Competition

Empowered Ventures and its operating companies, Firstar Precision Corp., Paramount Plastics, and TVF Inc., celebrated National Employee Ownership Month in October with a “competition-for-good.” In the third year of the contest, the venerable EV Cup has a new home. Congratulations to Paramount Plastics, whose employee owners earned possession of the silver trophy with a late surge in points driven by five pallets – more than 30,000 pounds – of food donated to those in need. Paramount Plastics unseated TVF, winners of the first two years of the EV Cup competition.

“I give credit to the team,” Paramount Plastics Vice President Ben Haviland said in an interview with WNDU-TV at the company’s Elkhart, Indiana facility. “Our team is very competitive, [and] they have huge hearts. Everybody here gave – we had 100% participation this year, as well as last year – and so, it’s really a team effort.” Ben added that next year’s goal is to collect 45,000 pounds of food.

The EV Cup is a friendly contest among the three companies in the Empowered Ventures family of businesses that features a point system for participation in the food drive at each location and an employee ownership-focused meme competition.

(Click on a meme below to take a closer look.)

The meme competition winners were decided by a third-party group of judges from Certified EO (CEO and Co-founder Thomas Dudley, Chief Technology Officer and Co-founder Kramer Sharp, and Senior Director of Program Adrienne Gehan). Points were awarded to each company for participation in EV Cup components: first, second, and third-place meme entries, and food items or dollars donated to local food banks. The memes will again be printed and displayed throughout the halls of the 2024 National Center for Employee Ownership Annual Employee Ownership Conference in Tampa.

Collectively, Paramount, TVF, and Firstar collected 17,464 items for local food pantries in Indiana, Ohio, and California.

“The EV Cup represents some of my favorite attributes of our family of companies and employee owners: generosity, fun, and collaboration,” says EV President & CEO Chris Fredericks. “When we come together for good-natured competition, our culture wins and our communities win. Congratulations to Paramount Plastics and to all employee owners at Firstar and TVF. The food drive and funds raised are a big boost to local families in need and the memes are fun reminders of what ownership culture is all about.”

Meme Award Roundup

Most Creative

Winner: Brenda Berlanga, TVF
2nd Place: Blake Theademan, TVF
3rd Place: Luke Orszag, Firstar

Most Educational

Winner: Diana Hargenrader, TVF
2nd Place: Luke Orszag, Firstar
3rd Place: Brian Trent, TVF


Winner: Luke Orszag, Firstar
2nd Place: Kris Beals, TVF
3rd Place: Mike Vergonet, Paramount

From left-to-right during transfer of EV Cup from TVF to Paramount Plastics: TVF President Tad Calahan, Paramount Plastic President Curtis Elliott, Paramount Plastic Vice President Ben Haviland.

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