ITA Group, CMB, and Hartmann Studios Receive A 2021 ESOP Association Annual Award

About a 2 min. read

Originally published by the ESOP Association

The ESOP Association Announces AACE Awards Winners

Annual Awards Honor Excellence in Communications Across the ESOP Community

November 11, 2021, Las Vegas, Nevada – The ESOP Association today announced the winners of the Annual Awards for Communications Excellence (AACE) at a special event held during the Employee Owned 2021 conference at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The AACE Awards are among the most coveted in the ESOP community, and honor excellence in communicating the value of employee-owned companies as well as ESOPs in general to employees, communities, the media and all other stakeholders.

To recognize the importance of communications during the unprecedented circumstances created during the COVID-19 pandemic, the ESOP Association moved this year’s awards to their annual Employee Owned conference. The conference is one of the world’s largest gatherings of ESOP companies and their employee owners, and a showcase for the latest trends and innovations in the ESOP world.

In 2021, the ESOP Association added several new categories to the AACE Awards, including for Excellence in COVID Communications, Community Engagement, and ESOP Events.

“During these unprecedented times, effectively communicating about ESOPs and employee ownership is more important than ever,” said Jim Bonham, President and CEO of the ESOP Association. “This year’s AACE winners demonstrated outstanding creativity and innovation in communicating the value and benefits of ESOPs, and set a great example for our entire community. Congratulations to all of the AACE recipients, and thanks for all your work in helping tell our story and expanding employee ownership in America.”

AACE Award winners and runners-up were announced today in the following categories:

Total Communications (Highest Award for Multiplatform Excellence)

Large Company (More than 250 Employees)

  • Winner:              USA Mortgage
  • Runner Up:        Holden Industries

Small Company (Less than 250 Employees)

  • Winner:              DVL Group
  • Runner Up:        Chambers Group

COVID Communications (For Excellence During the COVID-19 Pandemic)

Large Company

  • Winner:              VGM Group
  • Runner Up:        Burns & McDonnell

Small Company

  • Winner:              Kreg Tool
  • Runner Up:        TSP Inc.

Community Engagement

Large Company

  • Winner:              ITA Group
  • Runner Up:        Avian Technologies

Small Company

  • Winner:              The Williams Company
  • Runner Up:        DVL Group


Large Company

  • Winner:              ProAct
  • Runner Up:        MyPath

Small Company

  • Winner:              Mountain Hardware and Sports
  • Runner Up:        Sebago Technics

Virtual and In-Person Events

Large Company

  • Winner:              Morton Buildings
  • Runner Up:        Avian Technologies

Small Company

  • Winner:              Chambers Group
  • Runner Up:        Commonwealth Electric Company of the Midwest


Large Company

  • Winner:              USA Mortgage
  • Runner Up:        Acadian Ambulance

Small Company

  • Winner:              Sentry Equipment Corporation
  • Runner Up:        Avail Technologies

Printed Communications Materials

Large Company

  • Winner:              Holden Industries
  • Runner Up:        Woodward Communications

Small Company

  • Winner:              Commonwealth Electric Company of the Midwest
  • Runner Up:        DVL Group

About the ESOP Association

The ESOP Association is the largest organization in the world supporting employee-owned companies, the more than 10 million U.S. employees who participate in an ESOP, and the professionals who provide services to them. Headquartered at the International Employee Ownership Center in Washington, DC and operating as a 501(c)6 organization with the affiliated Employee Ownership Foundation, The ESOP Association conducts and funds academic research, provides more than 160 annual conferences and events attended by nearly 15,000 individuals, and advocates on behalf of employee owners and their businesses to federal and state lawmakers.