Management’s Role in an ESOP Company

Stellar Industries is fortunate to be a successful ESOP company. When I say successful, I mean successful in a number of ways. We are successful in being a profitable company that consistently brings positive returns to our shareholders. However this quality should be present in any well run company. At Stellar Industries, I feel the success we have achieved in educating every employee of the importance of being an owner is our real success.

When every employee understands the importance of working together to minimize mistakes and maximize quality all while working to maintain a safe environment, management of the enterprise takes on a different role. Management’s role at Stellar Industries is one of reinforcing the benefits of ownership through the ESOP and emphasizing the positive outcomes that come from a positive workforce.

We have a great crew here at Stellar. That’s what makes us the successful company that we have become and validates our advertising tagline of “Our People, Our Products”.


January 1, 2016 will be a big day in the history of Stellar Industries, Inc. On that day, we will officially christen the former Kiefer Manufacturing facility in Kanawha as Stellar Industries – Kanawha. Not only will we be adding a great factory to produce our Stellar-branded products, but we will be welcoming a large number of former Kiefer employees to join the Stellar Industries, Inc. team.

Stellar Industries, Inc. finalized our purchase of the assets of the former Kiefer Built, LLC in March of 2011. Over the nearly five years of Stellar ownership, many changes were implemented at the Kiefer facilities in both Kanawha and in Sneedville, TN. Unfortunately, the substantial investments in new production equipment, designs, and people could not save the legendary Kiefer line of trailers. In the last year, it became evident that success in the design and building of cranes, hooklifts, and service bodies does not automatically translate into success in the trailer industry. The decision was made to close the Sneedville facility and exit the horse and livestock trailer business.

But that is not the end of this story. In Sneedville, Kiefer is an important employer. With the help of the Hancock County Mayor, Thomas Harrison, and a successful local businessman, David Greene, a proposal was made to Stellar to purchase the assets of the discontinued horse and livestock trailer lines and assume the factory in Sneedville. We will close on the sale of these assets to the Greene family on 12/31/2015.

Kiefer Built was founded by an entrepreneur, Arden Kiefer, in the early 1970s. Under Arden’s daily presence and stewardship, his company grew quickly and flourished. His untimely death in the 1990s lead to the company changing ownership numerous times over the next 20 years. With the purchase of the horse and livestock lines by the Greene family, ownership is getting back into the hands of a true entrepreneur that will be able to devote full attention to rebuilding the storied Kiefer trailer name. All of us at Stellar Industries, Inc. wish our former co-workers in Sneedville and the Greene family many successes as they take control of the Kiefer line of trailers.

Independence. The Freedom of Choice.

Independence.  It’s a big word.  Not just by the number of letters that make it up, but by its definition.  Webster defines it as “the freedom from outside control or support: the state of being independent.”

Put it together with the word “day” and now we’re talking about a special day we celebrate in this country every year.  It is the day we celebrate our Declaration of Independence from Great Britain.  Amidst all the fireworks, parades, carnivals, picnics and bonfires this is a time to celebrate, and a time to reflect.   It is a time to be thankful for our freedoms, and be thankful to those who help uphold those freedoms.  It’s a time to take a step back and really take to heart these words taken from the United States Declaration of Independence:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

This is also a great time to think about your freedom of choice when in the market for a new service truck or hooklift.  We understand that there are many options out there when you are researching your next purchase.    We hope as you are doing so, that you will take the time to explore our website,, or call one of our knowledgeable staff to learn more about what sets our Stellar® products above the rest. We are an employee owned company whose employees are vested in the products we build and the service we provide.  We are proud to be an American manufacturer, and our finished goods reflect that.  We strive to offer innovative and industry leading technological products that will make the customer more efficient, productive and profitable.  And this helps ALL of us in our pursuit of happiness.

Happy Independence Day!  Celebrate Big. Celebrate Safe.  Celebrate your Independence!

Change of Pace

Summer break being here means an almost complete switch of what I will be doing with my time.  Instead of having a heavy workload in school and working few hours with Stellar during the week, I will now be able to work many hours and have just a light load of schoolwork.  I started at Stellar last Monday, but have a complete break from schooling until June when I will start my online course(s).  I am enrolled in a five-credit physics class through Iowa Western and may be taking a speech class, also online, through NIACC at some point this summer.  Although it will be different there are plenty of bonuses, such as the communication at Stellar being much better because I will actually be present and the fact that I won’t have to actually go anywhere to go to class.  However this summer works out, it will feel good to get back into a routine, which I haven’t been in since the week before finals. It is good to be home and I look forward to seeing everybody when I start coming in every day!


All gave some, but some gave all. Let’s take a moment to extend a heartfelt thank you to all military personnel, past and present, who have sacrificed so much to protect our freedoms.  We’re remembering all of you on this Memorial Weekend 2015.