Employees now have bigger stake in Fin Feather Fur

Submitted photo The employees — and also the owners — of Fin Feather Fur Outfitters.

ASHLAND — Mike Goschinski, owner and president of Fin Feather Fur Outfitters, has recently crossed a huge item off his “to do” list: He sold the company that he started 31 years ago to his employees.

“This is something I have been thinking about for a while,” Goschinski said in a news release. “Building Fin Feather Fur Outfitters has been very rewarding for me. Now I want to give back to those employees who have worked hard and participated in its success. Now, everyone can share in the joy and rewards of ownership, just as I have.

“Making the employees part owners is a big benefit to our customers, as well as the employees,” he said.

Tom Krebs, vice president and Goschinski’s very first employee, added, “I did not expect anything else from Mike. He is looking out for everyone that helped him through the years.”

The now employee-owned Fin Feather Fur Outfitters is called an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan). The program involves the selling of 100 percent of the company, via shares of stock, to its employees as part of their retirement benefits.

The ESOP became effective May 31, 2017.

Goschinski will remain the CEO, Rees Vail and Tom Krebs vice presidents of operations, and Lana Bell has been named secretary/treasurer. a board of directors has been appointed as well.

Fin Feather Fur Outfitters built its solid reputation by providing a high level of customer support and service, favorite brands and manufacturers of firearms, hunting accessories, fishing, knives, archery, apparel and footwear, camping and more.

The newly created ESOP lets employees expand upon that allowing them to take true ownership of their positions.

Goschinski said, “When a customer calls, they can speak with an owner. The employees’ jobs are part of an investment in their future that will be reflected in the communications with customers and with each other.

“With our strong customer base here in Northeast Ohio, the Fin is poised for continued growth and looks forward to expanding the number of retail locations.”

For employees, the ESOP represents an expansion of their current retirement program, which includes an optional 401(k) plan. Employees will now be rewarded with ESOP retirement benefits as a direct result of their own job performances.

Bell, the secretary/treasurer, said, “Employees are encouraged to think and act like an owner. Everyone can buy into this concept, creating a better place to work for all.”

Today, Fin Feather Fur Outfitters employs over 250 workers and maintains five retail locations and one distribution center throughout Northeast Ohio. The business will continue to focus on outdoor sports such as hunting, archery, fishing and kayaking.

The stores located in Ashland, Middleburg Heights, Canton, Boardman and Milan will continue to offer many of the top brand manufacturers in firearms, bows, ammo, fishing gear, footwear and clothing.

Visit www.finfeatherfur.com more information.


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