We continue to be successful because of the contributions of our talented employee-owners. We have a culture that encourages them to behave as the owners they are. Our decentralized approach to managing our many subsidiaries only further encourages this behavior. It is this approach that also leads to the development of strong, independent leaders. The importance of someone taking true ownership of their area of responsibility cannot be overstated.
The impact of our success has been felt in every community we have ever done business. The Houchens ESOP has paid out nearly two billion dollars to our participants since the ESOP’s inception in 1988. This money has been life-changing for our employees, their families, and the communities in which they live. In addition, we are very proud of the millions of dollars and countless hours we have donated to local charities and worthy causes.
Because of the ESOP and the culture it encourages, our future is extremely bright. We are truly blessed to be a financially sound and stable company with the capacity and appetite for growth.