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Parallel Technologies Reflects on Transition to Employee Ownership

Taijuan Moorman Taijuan Moorman Parallel Technologies Reflects on Transition to Employee OwnershipParallel Technologies' Dublin headquarters. Photo courtesy of Parallel Technologies.
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Dublin-based voice communications company Parallel Tech has recently moved into a new era.

Founded in 1983 by Executive Vice President Marty Jacobs and Chairman of the Board Joe Redman, the company has 45 employees with an average tenure of 18 years, says Vice President of Major Accounts Jamie Baird.

“[It’s] pretty crazy in our industry, especially with the technology, how it changes,” he said. “We’ve maintained the family-type environment, even though we’ve grown exponentially.”

In July 2018, Jacobs and Redman transitioned ownership to four Parallel Technologies executives — Don Poling, Rob Schmittauer, Baird, and Brad Lotz. And in late 2019, the new owners began exploring an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) structure.

Baird says pursuing an employee-owned model was about promoting Parallel Technologies’ legacy.

“We could have explored selling it to an outside organization. Well, we all know what happens when that happens. Jobs get cut. We’re looking to actually grow the business,” he said. “We have key employees that we want to be here, and we want to reward them for all the hard work that they’ve done. The younger generation is going to take over this and make a go at it.”

Business Transition Advisors served as an advisor to Parallel Technologies and their move to an ESOP model. At the time, leadership there spoke highly of the plan Parallel Technologies went with.

“In all the exit transactions we’ve done, Parallel stands out for putting a remarkable emphasis on benefitting employees, customers, vendor partners, and the broader community,” said Rick Jaye, senior vice president of Business Transition Advisors, as quoted in a press release announcing Parallel’s transition. “These owners truly believe in the concept of doing well by doing good.”

Baird says after the announcement, the energy within the company changed.

“You’ve been here for 15 years. If you’re here for another 10 years, you may retire a millionaire. I mean, that does amazing things to people,” he said. “We don’t lose employees very often, and this is just another way that people are going to stay here forever. And that’s awesome in our industry.”

Taking care of employees has always been the premise, he says, even for the previous owners. And that same support and concern Parallel Technologies has for its employees continues to trickle down to its customers.

During the pandemic, Parallel Technologies has been able to provide a variety of business communications solutions needed while companies work from home, including the implementation of video conferencing and cloud communications infrastructure, without additional charge.

Now post-announcement, that level of care has brought on more of a desire to assist clients quickly and with genuine care.

“In this day and age, there’s a lot of competition that’s gone by the wayside because they don’t have the same level of support that we do for our customers,” he said.

“We’re proud,” Baird continues. “It was a family before, but now it just added that extra layer of, ‘We’re all in this together.'”

For more information on Parallel Technologies, visit paralleltech.com.

Our technology series is presented by our partners in the City of Dublin.

Dublin is a city of more than 47,000 residents located just northwest of Columbus, Ohio. The City of Dublin Economic Development team has a vision to make Dublin a Midwest IT Magnet through business leadership and sustainable workforce development. This commitment goes beyond short-term skills training to include long-term strategic and cultural support for the entire Dublin business community. Dublin is one of America’s Top 20 Creative Class Cities and is home to more than 20 corporate headquarters, an entrepreneurial center, 3,000+ businesses, world-class events and the urban, walkable Bridge Street District.

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