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Blaze Contracting: ESOP Transition Empowers its Employees

Founded in 2000, Michigan-based Blaze Contracting Inc. has grown to become a nationally recognized heavy civil prime contractor.

Founded in 2000, Michigan-based Blaze Contracting Inc. has grown to become a nationally recognized heavy civil prime contractor. The Company has worked with some of the nation’s largest general contractors and projects include the Detroit MGM Casino, Beaumont Hospital, Little Ceasars Arena, casinos along the Las Vegas strip, and others. Former owner and current Executive Chairman Kerlin Blaise and former owner and current Chief Executive Officer Christopher Kuzak recently worked with the experts at Lazear Capital Partners to implement an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). An ESOP is an employee benefit plan that transitions ownership of the company to its employees while providing financial flexibility and tax advantages for the company and the sellers.

“Selling the company to an ESOP was a perfect solution,” says Kerlin. “This option not only provides a proven succession plan for Chris and myself, but empowers the employees to continue to do great work. These employees are the reason we are so successful. Turning the Company over to them via an ESOP and providing them a direct reward for how the company performs was desirable for us. We cannot wait to see the opportunity transform into a significant retirement benefit. We could not have asked for more knowledgeable and professional partners than the team at Lazear Capital Partners.”