VBSR honors Turcot with Terry Ehrich Award for Lifetime Achievement

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Thu, 10/14/2021 - 1:22pm -- Denise Sortor

Cindy Turcot, CEO and President of Gardener’s Supply Company, has received the 2021 Terry Ehrich Award for Lifetime Achievement at the Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR) 20th Annual VBSR Awards Ceremony on Tuesday evening. Turcot received the award in recognition of her dedication to the company’s innovative management style and her commitment and furtherance of employee ownership.

“I always had this passion for employee ownership,” Turcot said. “And I believe in the model because I really do believe that we need to push wealth down. As our world becomes wealthier at the top, how do we push a model that can help all of us have more wealth? Employee ownership does that.”

The Terry Ehrich Award for Lifetime Achievement honors individuals who demonstrate an extraordinary commitment to Vermont’s communities, environment, progressive policies, and workplaces. The award is named for Terry Ehrich, late owner of Hemmings Motor News and a founding member of VBSR’s Board of Directors. Ehrich was the first to receive the award in 2002.

Turcot started her career doing data entry for Gardener’s in 1983. She has since served the company as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer, and today she serves as CEO and President. In 1987, she took a leading role in transitioning Gardener’s supply into an employee-owned company through the adoption of an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). Today, the company is 100% employee-owned.

“As I saw the power of employee ownership expand at Gardener’s Supply, I became passionate about what it meant for wealth equality and the everyday worker,” Turcot said.

Turcot is known nationally for her commitment to employee ownership and wealth equality. She is a former Chair of the national ESOP Association and the current Chairwoman of the Employee Ownership Foundation.

“The Vermont Employee Ownership Center (VEOC) was the kickoff to my leadership for employee owners,” said Turcot, who served as founding chair of VEOC’s board of directors in 2001.

“Cindy’s decades of volunteer service to the VEOC has been instrumental in our success in becoming a leading employee ownership center in the country, and for spreading employee ownership to many Vermont companies,” said Matt Cropp, executive director of VEOC.