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Paragus Founder Delcie Bean Turns Over 40% of Stock to Employees

HADLEY — After more than two years of strategic planning, in a deal valued at approximately $1.6 million, Paragus IT announced that its employee stock-ownership plan (ESOP), which distributes ownership of 40% of the company to its 40-plus employees, is officially a go.

“There has been a lot of celebration around here,” said Paragus CEO Delcie Bean. “While this is an announcement we have all been anticipating for over two years, the time seems to have only contributed to the excitement.”

While there have been a few recent high-profile ESOPs, including Harpoon Brewery and Chobani Yogurt, they are still fairly uncommon. What makes the Paragus ESOP especially unique are the reasons behind it. ESOPs are traditionally formed after the company has fully matured and when a major shareholder is looking to exit. For Paragus, it’s about fueling future growth by giving everyone a direct stake and a personal investment in the future of the company.

“I knew this was the right decision for myself and for Paragus because Paragus is a company that owes 100% of its success to the hard work of its incredible employees, or partners, as I like to call them,” Bean said. “As the only shareholder, I knew that anything I could do to further that spirit and attract new talent would be a sound investment. That’s why it made sense to give everybody some skin in the game. Now they aren’t just growing a company, they’re growing their company. Which means Paragus is here to stay, and we’re only getting bigger.”

Added Dennis Schilling, quality assurance officer, “it’s always been about us at Paragus. It’s never been one person pointing and the rest following. With the ESOP, Delcie has made official what has always been true. It’s a beautiful thing that he has taken his company, his dream, and carved off such a sizable piece of it for all of us.”

While Bean has no plans to step down, he has shaken up the management structure a bit. Just before the ESOP became a reality, he appointed former Paragus Operations Manager Jim Young to be president of the company. In his new role, Young is responsible for overseeing all day-to-day operations and making sure everyone on the leadership team and across the company is working together to realize Paragus’ vision. This allows Bean to focus exclusively on growth, acquisitions, and moving into new markets.

“It’s a brand-new set of responsibilities and challenges for me,” Young said. “But these changes will enable each of us to contribute to the greatest extent possible while ensuring decisions are being made quickly by the people best positioned to do so.”

Added Bean, “we don’t believe in growth for growth’s sake. Our growth is fueled by one singular objective that is bordering on an obsession — we are all completely committed to being the absolute best at what we do while simultaneously being the best place to work. Ask anyone here, and they will all tell you that nothing is going to stand in our way when it comes to our relentless pursuit of being the best.”

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