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Salem was founded in 1934 as the Siewer’s Sales Agency, and began under its current name in 1972 following a change in ownership. Today, this 100% employee-owned company is comprised of four distinct business units: Salem Flat Glass, Salem Vision, Salem Advanced Surfacing Materials and Salem Stone. It has successfully managed this complex relationship of industries, equipment and materials to build a wealth of product and process knowledge unique to a single company.
Only into the third year of 100% employee ownership, Salem has made great strides in a corporate restructuring initiative, which included reinventing its corporate culture to focus on empowering, inspiring and challenging its employee-owners. The bottom lines of this initiative were to better serve and grow its customer base. The results yielded an impressive 15% growth in the first half of 2006 that yielded Salem’s recognition as one of the Triad area’s “FAST 50,” a business growth competition.
Michael Keeling, President of the ESOP Association stated at the presentation, “Salem [Distributing Co.], based in the furniture capital of the world, has been able to diversify in a way to combat the negative effects of off-shore imports,” he said. “It is the ESOP spirit that has enabled them to grow and succeed despite market adversities. Salem is clearly a vibrant company that is poised for continued growth in the global economy in which they participate.”