It was a beautiful Hawaiian day. The weather was humid but the cool breeze coming off the ocean was a welcome respite from the heat. Frieda Takaki took a deep breath, filling her senses. She was about to make a very difficult decision. She took off her shoes, placed them next to her desk and started pacing her office barefoot as she was thinking aloud. ‘I can’t let this business close down,’ she whispered. ‘I have to do something about it.’
The answer was now abundantly clear: why wouldn’t the employees buy the business from the owners?
In 2000, the founding owners of CHART Rehabilitation of Hawaii, Dr. Rowlin Lichter and Harry Flagg, agreed to sell the company to the employees through an ESOP on the condition that Frieda would match the price that they requested. CHART Rehabilitation of Hawaii is the living, real-world example of how one can institute the ownership culture and utilize it towards the success of the company. CHART employees take pride in what they do as employee-owners.