Paper Machinery in Milwaukee to Become 100% Employee Owned

Paper Machinery Corporation is making the Milwaukee-based company 100 percent employee owned.

Donald Baumgartner announced on Tuesday in a press release, said the company has initiated an Employee Stock Ownership Plan.

When the company-wide meeting was called some employees had concerns.

"Probably a little anxiety that the company was going to be sold and we didn't know what was going to happen to our jobs. And, I mean - when we heard the news we were just happy and elated,” said Andrew Kent, an employee.

"Gosh, it means better retirement when it comes down to it. You know if I retire early in another ten years - I should be sitting pretty good so,” said Ken Karsten, an employee.

Paper Machinery Corporation has 250 employees in Milwaukee and more than 3,000 installations worldwide.

Its machines form paperboard cups and containers for brands like McDonald’s, KFC, Starbucks and Tim Hortons.

“This is great news for our employees and great news for Milwaukee,” said Donald Baumgartner, Founder of Paper Machinery Corporation. “The transition to employee ownership will ensure that Paper Machinery Corporation’s legacy will continue right here in Milwaukee for generations to come.”

The company has been manufacturing machinery in Milwaukee since 1935.

“We are deeply committed to Milwaukee and to our employees,” said Donald Baumgartner. “When the time came to transition ownership – the choice was clear. Who better to carry on our legacy and tradition than the people who made the business successful in the first place – our managers and employees.

The ownership announcement is accompanied by a leadership transition. While both Donald Baumgartner, and longtime company president, John Baumgartner, will continue to be invested in Paper Machinery Corporation for many years to come, operational control is being transitioned to longtime managers Luca Dellomodarme, Scott Koehler and Michael Kazmierski.

Additionally, Donald Baumgartner will continue to serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors, along with John Baumgartner and others, to ensure a successful future for Paper Machinery Corporation, its employees, customers and the broader Milwaukee community.

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