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MKSK becomes an employee-owned company

Staff Report //October 17, 2019//

MKSK becomes an employee-owned company

Staff Report //October 17, 2019//

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MKSK Inc. has become an employee-owned company through the creation of a new employee stock ownership plan.

MKSK, a landscape architecture, urban design and planning firm, announced in a news release that it has created the employee stock ownership plan to provide long-term ownership and organizational stability. The move also seeks to “secure the company’s future for its employees and the local communities where it practices,” the release said.

The company has about 100 employees in seven studios across the country, including seven people at its Greenville location.

Through MKSK’s plan, employees earn shares in the business while working for the company. The plan benefit is funded entirely by company contributions and requires no out-of-pocket investment by employees, the release said, enabling all employees to share in the firm’s long-term growth and success.

Ownership of the company is held in a trust, and all employees participate, the release said.

“The move to an ESOP will only enhance the creative design and planning leadership of MKSK,” CEO Brian Kinzelman said in the release. “As we look to the future, our practice is increasingly in demand as we face the societal challenges of our time. We have been intentional in adding talent to our team, and the retention of these incredible professionals ensures our ability to continually address our communities’ needs.”

MKSK has doubled in size over the past decade. While the company has goals for more expansion, it plans to remain purely a landscape architecture firm, the release said.

Local projects by the firm include the Greenville Reedy River Redevelopment Area and Unity Park in Greenville. The firm prepared a district plan for parks and open space in the Reedy River floodplain as well as an affordable housing and equitable development plan for the neighborhoods surrounding the river and future park, according to the release.

MKSK was formed in 2011 from a merger of MSI Design and KKG, both founded in 1990. It is a collective of landscape architects, urban designers and planners.