“Going forward with the co-op, we’re creating a new family, and it will allow this business to continue perpetually into the future. This gives us an avenue to keep it going.”  ~ Ward Lumber worker-owner Kevin Kennedy

Ward Lumber of Jay and Malone, N.Y. has been serving local communities for over 130 years. Following a two-year process spearheaded by fourth-generation owner Jay Ward, the business is now owned by a team of employees, including Jay. By adopting an ownership model that creates stability and resilience for the business, its employees and the local community, Ward Lumber is leading the way for other North Country businesses considering converting to worker ownership.

Watch the video to learn more about this historic transaction, the benefits of employee ownership and the team that helped make this dream a reality.



Thank you to the partners who supported the Ward Lumber team throughout their transition to worker ownership:

  • ANCA
  • Capital Impact Partners
  • Cooperative Development Institute
  • Cooperative Fund of New England
  • Empire State Development
  • North Country Center for Businesses in Transition
  • New York Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
  • SUNY Canton Small Business Development Center at Clinton Community College

Business owners interested in transitioning their companies to a worker ownership model are invited to contact the Center for Businesses in Transition at transitions@adirondack.org, the Cooperative Development Institute at rbrown@cdi.coop or SUNY Canton SBDC at smithangela@canton.edu.