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Jeff Chronister – ESOP Interview Spotlight

Jeff Chronister - ESOP Interview Spotlight

What does being in an ESOP mean to you?

For me, the ESOP has always been a gamechanger. It is the reason I left a successful career in the banking industry. If we continue to keep pace with our last few years of growth, my espouse will be at least half of my overall retirement! So, you might say, it brought me here and it keeps me here!

Since you have been in the ESOP for a while, what would you tell new ESOP employees?

For all of the new employee owners just getting into the ESOP or are 2-5 years in, your ESOP statement may seem insignificant. You may think it will never grow to be worth anything. Consider the fact that this is strictly money that has been given to you based on the fact you have perseverance and have stayed on the job for a year or two. You don’t have to contribute a penny of your salary. Now consider the fact that our stock price has averaged around 17% appreciation per year! And your account grows tax free because all taxes are deferred! Yes, you still have to pay taxes, but, by that time, your tax bracket should be lower. Keep doing your job to the very best of your ability. You make a difference; you are the reason we are at 17% growth and higher than that next year!

How does being in an ESOP affect your work?

I probably answered that in #2, but the more efficient and effective we are at our job means we drive more money to the bottom line. That money on the bottom-line is essentially our money to split. The more that’s left, the more we split and the more our stock price grows.

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