When Ken Misiewicz took over as CEO of Pleune Service Co. in 2000 he wanted to mold the company in a way that reflected his personal and professional views. “My favorite part of this job is influencing outcomes, making a difference,” Misiewicz said. “When I was in the field, I worked for some really lousy bosses. It was just wrong. It’s not illegal, you can be a bad boss, but I decided you can either cry about it or do something about it, so when I had the opportunity, I made the switch and worked very, very hard. I fired every slacker and liar I could. I hated working with people who didn’t have integrity. For me, it’s about making things better. To do that, you have to take the bad stuff out so the good people can prosper. And that’s really been the foundation of my style since 2000.”
Now, 13 years later, Pleune, located in Grand Rapids, Mich., is rolling with a highly motivated 125-employee workforce, due in part to the company being 100 percent employee-owned under an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).