"Though I'm still technically an employee, I can't participate in the company's stock options," [Tom Stockton] said. "But if we hit certain numbers, I will share a management incentive piece with my management team. In addition, I will get warrants on the back end, so financially I will likely come out as well or better than I would have if I had sold the company to an outsider. I took a note for my stock and a backseat to the bank that financed everything. For me, the ESOP was the best solution.""Once you give up control, no matter how much people say, 'We love your company and we'll let you run it,' that's just not what happens," Stockton said. "It becomes all about the numbers. There are other things that are more important to me.""I explained that they don't have to pay anything, they are vested, and once you have the stock, it's yours until you want to sell it back to the ESOP," he said. "A lot of my staff is young, and they're not thinking about retirement. Still, the reaction was very positive."