Press Release: 10.28.2016

McCarthy Holdings, Inc. Celebrates 20 Years of Employee Ownership During National Employee Ownership Month

McCarthy Construction Worker

October is National Employee Ownership Month, and 2016 marks 20 years of employee ownership for McCarthy Holdings, Inc., one of America’s oldest and largest privately-held construction companies. Established as a family-owned business in 1864, McCarthy is now 100 percent employee owned and ranks among the largest commercial construction firms in the country, with 2015 revenues exceeding $2.8 Billion.

Founded by Irish immigrant Timothy McCarthy, the company began as a lumber business focusing on constructing farmhouses and barns in Ann Arbor, Mich. Three of the founder’s children went into the family business and, in 1907, incorporated the firm in Missouri. Over the next 89 years, the business thrived by building upon its family values of hard work, passion and integrity, enabling the company to successfully navigate historic events, technological breakthroughs, economic fluctuations and industry advancements.

In 1996, the McCarthy Employee Stock Ownership Plan was created, and on April 12, 2002, Michael M. McCarthy sold his majority ownership interest in the company to its employees. He was the final family member to have an ownership interest in the firm. Today, McCarthy is structured as an S corporation employee stock ownership plan (S ESOP), positioning the company as one of the largest employee-owned businesses with this structure in America.

“Two decades ago, Mike McCarthy had the vision to see that the best way for our firm to continue growing was by turning ownership over to the employees, thus forming a partnership where everyone has a stake in the company and shares in its success,” explained Michael Bolen, McCarthy chairman and chief executive officer. “While we still hold on to the values that have brought us where we are today, this transition enabled us to exponentially improve our craft and allows us to bring even more value to the clients we serve.”

A few notable McCarthy highlights over the past 20 years include:

  • Developing and implementing the best-in-class McCarthy Build U® employee-owner training and development program, earning recognition from Training Magazine as the first and only construction company to date inducted into the publication’s Hall of Fame in 2016;
  • Developing and implementing a multitude of technology innovations to enhance efficiencies from the design phase, during construction and through operation. McCarthy has become an industry leader in the use of Virtual Reality to enhance team collaboration and improve client results;
  • Founding MC Industrial, Inc., a McCarthy Holdings company dedicated to meeting the highly specialized construction needs of the industrial marketplace;
  • Acquiring Castle Contracting LLC, allowing McCarthy to grow in the civil and infrastructure markets, and increasing the firm’s self-perform capabilities;
  • Launching the innovative McCarthy Quality Without Question program, focusing on proactive planning for quality and tracking of quality incidents to improve company-wide performance;
  • Implementing the award-winning McCarthy Build for Life wellness program, increasing the health and well-being of McCarthy’s employee-owners and families;
  • Giving back to our communities through the McCarthy Heart Hats outreach program, donating more than $1.5 million in 2015 to make a difference.

“Two decades ago, we had no idea how powerful the notion of employee ownership would be at the end of the day,” said Bolen. “Now, with everybody in the game as a company owner, our team has become even stronger for our partners, our clients and our communities, driving us closer to our ultimate goal of becoming the best builder in America.”

About McCarthy
McCarthy Holdings, Inc. is the oldest privately held national construction company in the country, with more than 150 years spent collaborating with partners to solve complex building challenges on behalf of its clients. McCarthy Holdings, Inc. is comprised on McCarthy Building Companies, Inc., MC Industrial, Inc. and Castle Contracting, LLC. With an unrelenting focus on safety and a comprehensive quality program that spans all phases of every project, McCarthy utilizes industry-leading design phase and construction techniques combined with value-adding technology to maximize outcomes. Repeatedly honored as a Best Place to Work and Healthiest Employer, McCarthy is ranked the 16th largest domestic general builder (Engineering News-Record, May 2016).  With approximately 1,850 salaried employees, the firm has offices in St. Louis, Atlanta; Collinsville, Ill.; Portage, Ind.; Kansas City, Kan.; Phoenix; Las Vegas; Denver; Dallas; Houston; Albuquerque; and San Diego, Newport Beach, San Francisco, San Jose and Sacramento, Calif. McCarthy is 100 percent employee owned. More information about the company is available online at or by following the company on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Google+.

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