Chip Cargas is the Founder and Chairman of Cargas Systems, an award-winning, employee-owned business software and consulting company with 100 employees, based in Lancaster, PA. Chip is a forward-thinking boomer. Chip founded the company in 1988 and experienced rapid growth and success. In 1998, Chip started an employee ownership program, offering all employees the opportunity to purchase Cargas stock while incrementally decreasing his own shares to transition to broad-based employee ownership. Chip dropped below 50% ownership in 2015 and is currently at 40%. Cargas keeps the minimum purchase amount low, allows payroll deductions for stock purchases and syncs the timing of cash profit sharing and bonus payouts with the two opportunities per year to buy stock. Today, 70% of Cargas employees have purchased stock.
“Direct employee ownership helps us attract and engage talented and caring employees. That, in turn, helps us grow sustainably, add rewarding local jobs and share increasing success with our employees and our community.” says Chip Cargas.
Anthony Verrecchia, Project Manager at Cargas Systems, puts it this way, “Being an owner of Cargas empowers me to assist in charting our future and protecting our culture, and it enables me to make decisions that positively affect our local community.”
Preston Cuer, Software Engineer at Cargas Systems: “The employee-ownership mindset is vital to our everyday process. I use the word mindset because it’s not just about owning stock in a company, it’s about taking ownership of the business in every step of the process. It empowers employees to make the decisions they need to drive the success of our company and community.”
Chip believes the employee-owned culture and incremental leadership succession makes Cargas Systems viable for the long run for successive generations of employee owners.
Cargas Systems’ Awards include:
- The Samaritan Center’s 2016 Ethics in Business Award winner in the medium-large
- The Central Penn Business Journal’s 2016 Business of the Year Award winner in
the 51-100 employee category
- A 12-time winner of the Best Places to Work in PA designation
- One of the 2016 and 2017 Top 50 Fastest Growing Companies in Central PA