A Surreal Experience

Anthony Book Long Haul Trucking

A Surreal Experience
How Employee Ownership Paid off Big for Long Haul Trucking’s Linda Knoertzer.

When Linda Knoertzer started working at Long Haul Trucking in March of 1993, the idea of employee ownership was foreign. For 20 years, she did outstanding work for a company that she enjoyed working at because of her love for the people, drivers, and the fact that she was always paid and treated well. In 2013, Linda was informed that the Long Haul’s owner and founder, John Daniels, was planning on retirement, and that rather than sell the company to the highest bidder, he elected to sell it to the employees.
“Will I still have a job?” was the first thought that instantly came to Linda’s mind, as she explained with a wince during the company’s most recent stock announcement in May of 2023. Linda was concerned about how the company would change. “With new management taking over, there is uncertainty with such big changes taking place.” Although Long Haul’s succession came from within, with the company’s current VP Jason Michels being promoted to CEO, it is only natural for a long-term employee to hold a sense of caution with a change in leadership.
In 2013, Long Haul held its first ever ESOP statement party. “It was really hyped up” stated Knoertzer, “In 2013 the first ESOP statement I looked at was $6,000, and I’ll be honest, after all the hype, I was a little disappointed.” For the next decade Linda continued her employment at Long Haul and watched the balance of her ESOP grow. As the years rolled on, Long Haul’s stock shot up, and Linda started to realize the value of employee ownership and how her hard work was paying off for her in more ways than just the fulfillment of doing a good job.
In 2022, after 29 years of dedicated service, Linda announced her retirement from Long Haul Trucking. It was a bittersweet moment for the company, as Linda had been nothing short of an elite employee during the time she spent at Long Haul, but everyone was happy to see her be able to enjoy a healthy, happy retirement. During Long Haul’s ESOP statement party in May of 2023, Linda received her final ESOP statement, which had now grown from what she described as a disappointing $6,000, to a number that she defines as nothing short of surreal.
“In 2013, the first ESOP statement I looked at was $6,000, now I am looking at my final in 2023, and it is worth more than $300,000” expressed Knoertzer with a smile on her face. “It’s money I wasn’t counting on. You try to plan your retirement without the money, and now that I know what I have, it certainly makes retirement better. It’s almost surreal.” Since Linda enrolled in Long Haul’s ESOP in 2013, she was able to earn this beautiful nest egg with no money contributed from her, but instead simply her hard work and dedication to the company! When you break it down, Linda earned an additional $14.42 cents per hour, for every working hour of the year over the last decade of her career, all in the name of employee ownership! Linda is a shining example of how hard work and dedication pays in employee ownership! Losing good employees, like Linda, is never fun, but we are proud to see her retire as a long term employee! Although Linda’s absence will be felt, the Long Haul ESOP is strong, and will continue to be prosperous for all our Employee Owners for years to come!

Featured in the picture above from Left to Right is LH Dispatcher Beth, Retiree Linda, CEO Jason and LH Dispatcher Dave!