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A New Chapter for Equinox: Equinox announces ownership change!

By David West
November 9, 2015

If you’ve been a part of the Equinox “family” for any time at all, you know what an unexpected statement that is. While a number of suitors have come calling over the years—looking to enhance their portfolios by acquiring Equinox—each was turned away.

“Wayne and I realize that Equinox’s success in the market is directly tied to customer satisfaction, which is, of course, fueled by happy, well-tended employees. In thinking about how to further take care of our employees, instituting an ESOP just felt like the next natural step.”

Byron Middendorf

As attractive as these offers were financially, Byron Middendorf and Wayne Lowe knew that none of them were consistent with their original intent in starting Equinox—to create a great place to work. This year, to mark our 29th anniversary, Byron and Wayne made a startling announcement. For the first time, there would be a significant change in the ownership of the company. However instead of selling to a competitor, investor, or other software vendor, they announced a program to give a portion of the company to the employees, allocating stock annually based on tenure and other factors.

“It was very rewarding to present the new ownership structure and initial stock distribution earlier this year. Transitioning them to stakeholders is a tangible way to thank employees for their years of dedicated work, and it also has exciting implications for our customers! Shared ownership is a catalyst for innovation and collaborative company expense management. In fact, data from national studies shows that employee-owned companies demonstrate improved performance over non-ESOPs.”

Wayne Lowe

In their leadership, Byron and Wayne embody the principle that if you take good care of your employees, they will take good care of your customers. Employees who are able to enjoy their families and have rewarding lives outside of work are happy and focused while at work. Based on our success in every sector of the telecom industry around the globe, including cable telephony, wireline, wireless, rural independent, CLEC, and wholesale providers, there’s no doubt that this model is working, benefitting employees and customers alike!

Early next year, I’ll celebrate my 20th anniversary at Equinox. While I’m very proud of that, what’s notable is that I’m in the middle of the pack in terms of tenure as nearly half of our staff has been here longer than I. Byron and Wayne succeeded in creating a great place to work, earning them the loyalty of their employees and their customers. As the next chapter in our corporate story begins, all of us “owners” are incredibly grateful for their leadership and their generosity. Standing firm on a solid foundation where family still comes first, we are excited for what the future holds for Equinox and our many customers!

About the Author: David West is Executive Vice President of Equinox Information Systems. David oversees the company’s sales and marketing team, develops the company’s long-term strategic plan, and works directly with the company’s hundreds of customers across the United States, Europe, Australia, and Asia. When he is not helping Equinox achieve record growth, he enjoys spending time with his family, playing basketball, and serving his community through his efforts at Salvation Army of Middle Tennessee and St. Bartholomew's Church. To learn more, visit www.equinoxis.com or call (615) 612-1200.