January 3, 2022
Leanin’ Tree sells business to its employees

Leanin’ Tree, Inc, a greeting card company based in Boulder, Colorado, transitioned from a family-owned business to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) effective Dec. 26, 2021. Leanin’ Tree was co-founded in 1949 by Edward Trumble and Bob Lorenz.

Ed Trumble purchased full ownership of the company in 1965. Ownership remained with the Trumble family after Mr. Trumble passed away in 2018. The Trumble family, led by eldest son Tom Trumble, has now sold 100% of the company to the new ESOP.

As part of the transition, Tom Trumble, president and chairman, and Jane Trumble, senior vice president of product development, will officially have their last day as employees on Dec. 26. Under the new ESOP the company will be led by a board of directors with Tom Trumble and CEO Rob Carr as board members. Rob Carr will serve as board Chairman.

“It has always been a goal of the Trumble family for Leanin’ Tree to continue forever. To best ensure that happens, we have formed the Leanin’ Tree ESOP. The company’s employees are now the new owners of Leanin’ Tree,” according to Tom Trumble.

Mr. Trumble shared some of his thoughts with company employees on Dec. 17: “We never had even a moment of doubt that this was the best possible transition for employees, the Trumbles, and also for customers, representatives, artists and suppliers. It is a win-win for all. It’s a good feeling when something feels so right.”

Rob Carr emphasized that the transition will be seamless for retail customers, sales representatives, independent artists, suppliers, and consumer-direct customers of Trumble Greetings. “We have a very experienced senior management team,” said Carr. “That team is fully engaged and motivated to provide the excellent products and service that our customers and partners expect from Leanin’ Tree.”

According to data compiled by the National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO), Leanin’ Tree joins over 6,000 unique companies with ESOPs, representing over 10 million active participants and over $1.6 trillion in assets.

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