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Mushkin Enhanced
Mushkin Enhanced
Mushkin founder George Stathakis (left front) and marketing director Wade Shiflett (to his left) discuss the business of computer components with other worker-owners and employees.
When George Stathakis completed his purchase of Mushkin Enhanced in 2005, he converted the maker of computer components into a worker-owned company. "He wanted to incentivize involvement," said marketing director Wade Shiflett. "He wanted to make the workers feel that they had an investment in the company."

About half the company's 50 workers have ownership in the Englewood, Colo.-based maker of RAM modules. The owners are managers, salespeople and technical staffers, while the non-owners are hourly employees. Long-term staffers eventually get the option of becoming partial owners, said Shiflett, and they become "intricately" involved in company decisions and the bottom line.

The owners restructured and diversified Mushkin after the computer component market "took a dramatic turn south in 2005," he said. "Because of this, the company regrouped, reformulated and became much more efficient with overhead and parts sourcing."

As a result, the company's profits grew this year, despite the recession, and that bodes well for the owners, Shiflett said. "One of the advantages is our profit sharing," he said.

NEXT: Pelham Auto Parts

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