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Evergreen Cooperatives Becomes a member of Certified Employee-Owned

Evergreen Cooperatives, a network of employee-owned cooperatives in Cleveland, OH, announced that it has become a member of Certified Employee-Owned (Certified EO), the leading certification program for employee-owned companies in America.

Evergreen Cooperatives and its family of worker-owned cooperatives is thrilled to partner with Certified EO,” said John McMicken, Chief Executive Officer of Evergreen Cooperatives. “We have been diligently developing
employee-owned companies for over 10 years, so we’re excited to work with Certified EO and their members to help bring more attention to alternative wealth-building and wealth-sharing models of business.”

To become a member of Certified EO, companies must pass a rigorous certification process to demonstrate that their employees own at least 30% of the business (exclusive of company founders), access to ownership is open to every employee, and the concentration of ownership is limited. Fewer than 1 in 200 American companies are eligible to join Certified EO.

“We’re excited to have Evergreen Cooperatives as our newest member,” said Thomas Dudley, CEO and Cofounder of Certified EO. “We’re very aligned on values and recognize that employee ownership is good for
workers, good for business, and good for communities. As an employee-owned network of companies, Evergreen Cooperatives is a pillar of their communities and at the forefront of creating an economy that works
for everyone.”

About Evergreen Cooperatives:
Launched in 2008 by a working group of Cleveland-based institutions (including the Cleveland Foundation, the Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, Case Western Reserve University, and the municipal government), Evergreen Cooperatives is a network of employee-owned cooperatives with the goal of providing jobs for people with high barriers to employment as a means to revitalize Cleveland’s low-income neighborhoods. The Evergreen strategy calls for catalyzing new businesses or converting existing businesses, all owned by their

The Evergreen network of companies includes two industrial laundry facilities, Evergreen Cooperative Laundry, in the Glenville and Collinwood neighborhoods and a hydroponic greenhouse, Green City Growers, in
the city’s Central neighborhood. These businesses were Evergreen startups which now employ over 250 fulltime staff and are 80% employee owned. In 2020, Evergreen welcomed Berry Insulation to the family, as the first acquisition of The Fund for Employee Ownership, the investment division of Evergreen Cooperatives.

The Evergreen model was created with the goal of providing quality jobs for people with high barriers to employment. We empower employees to earn an ownership stake as they create thriving businesses, while
playing a transformational role in building more vibrant neighborhoods.

About Certified Employee-Owned (Certified EO):
Certified EO exists to create an employee-owned economy. Their certification program is combining the reach of employee-owned companies to create national recognition for this new approach to business. Certified EO works directly with members to help them make their employee ownership more visible to their workers, their clients, and their communities. Certified EO was founded in 2017 by Thomas Dudley and Kramer Sharp. The current membership includes over 175 companies and more than 120,000 employee-owners. To learn more about Certified EO, please visit

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Evergreen Cooperatives