RETTEW Transitions to Fully ESOP Owned

A Lancaster-based engineering and environmental consulting company is now 100 percent employee owned, through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan. The transaction was effective Jan. 2.

The company will celebrate its 50-year anniversary in 2019. In the past seven years, it created and grew an ESOP as part of an ownership succession plan.

“As we discussed what makes RETTEW’s culture a competitive advantage, we knew that being focused on employees was top of our list,” said Mark Lauriello, president and CEO. “Becoming a company fully owned by our employees (via the ESOP) made sense from an ownership perspective, and an employee-centric culture will contribute to the company’s long-term success.”

George R. “Hank” Rettew, former CEO who retired from the firm at the end of 2015, and several other senior-level employees were bought out as part of the ESOP transaction. Previously, the firm had been 30 percent ESOP-owned, with the rest of the company shares held by the select employee shareholders.

“I think transitioning the ownership fully to employees speaks to the legacy of our firm,” said George Rettew, who is stepping down from his role on the company’s Board of Directors. “We have the best people, and now they will all benefit even more from the excellent work they do.”

As a part of the ESOP transaction, shares will now be distributed to employees annually, with oversight by a third-party trustee.

RETTEW, ranked on Engineering News-Record’s 2018 list of top design firms, began providing civil engineering and surveying services in 1969. Today RETTEW has more than 350 employees and 11 offices located in Allentown, Conshohocken, Lancaster, Mechanicsburg, Pittsburgh, State College and Williamsport, Pa.; St. Clairsville and Uniontown, Ohio; Bridgeport, W.V., and Golden, Colo. For more information on any of RETTEW’s 600+ services, please call 1-800-RETTEW-5 (1-800-738-8395) or visit