...who risked everything fleeing Iraq, Syria and Africa in hopes of finding a better life. It represents peace. Thankfully, he’s grasping the value of employee ownership. Chobani is an American food company specializing in strained yogurt. Today, he is a billionaire who has changed American tastes with his Chobani yogurt, resurrected the economy in two communities, and drawn praise and some hostile fire for the way he’s done it. It is something that belongs to them that I recognize. Because employee-owned companies – even those with workers holding only a minority stake – tend to out-perform the competition. Hamdi Ulukaya built the best-selling yogurt brand in the U.S. after coming here 23 years ago. Many people first heard about the Twin Falls refugee resettlement program when a five-year-old girl was raped at the hands of three refugee boys. A list of the biggest is here. Seeing that yogurt wasn’t as natural and nutritious as it was at home, Ulukaya created his own recipe and has since made a fortune from the nation’s Greek yogurt craze. Though both loans appear to have been paid back, Berkshire Hathaway had a four percent ownership interest in Lee Enterprises in 2012, an equity interest which has diminished to less than one percent in 2016. Hamdi Ulukaya, founder of Chobani, describes at the Inc. 5000 Conference how he put everything on the line to land his first big deal. Verit, through its expertise in ESOP tax treatment and its financial expertise, helps founder/owners structure liquidity transactions and exit strategies that preserve and enhance their business legacy. In short, it’s the best of capitalism, played as a team sport.

Take a major source of revenue for Chobani: the federal school lunch program.

“I’ve built something I never thought would be such a success, but I cannot think of Chobani being built without all these people,” Mr. Ulukaya told The And transportation.” I said, “OK, let’s try some.

According to the website Open Secrets, Chobani has spent over $700,000 on their lobbying efforts since 2012.

Hamdi Ulukaya: It’s not a gift. Being an invited guest of the Clinton Global Initiative to push a refugee agenda wasn’t Ulukaya’s only globalist gig. We traveled with Ulukaya to Europe, where he has made the international refugee crisis the focal point of his personal philanthropy. It pumps more than $2 billion-a-year into the regional economy, which is now running at close to full employment. Hamdi Ulukaya: It said, “Fully equipped yogurt plant for sale.” And it has a picture in front. Before Hamdi showed up in this town, I was the king. It’s allowed Hamdi to hire fellow immigrants and refugees, not instead of American workers but alongside them.

Don’t tell me what you’re putting in there.” At that moment, I knew this was-- like, three months in, this was not going to be about if I could sell it. In May 2015, Chobani’s owner joined forces with the Giving Pledge: Now a billionaire, Ulukaya pledges the majority of his personal wealth “to help refugees and help bring an end to this humanitarian crisis.” He does this through the Giving Pledge, an organization started by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. Hamdi Ulukaya: Yeah, It was an emotional time. He was hauled in for questioning and decided it might be a good idea to leave. New York Times

Mary Josephs, founder and CEO of Verit Advisors, led ESOP advisory at The situation has cooled somewhat and Hamdi enjoys the full support of Idaho’s very popular and very conservative Governor Butch Otter. The founder of Chobani, the upstart Greek yogurt maker recently valued at as much as $5 billion, just committed one of the most selfless corporate acts of the year: he’s giving 10% of the company to its 2,000 or so employees.

as well as Idaho’s Republican Governor “Butch” Otter. Hamdi Ulukaya: Of course, I do. let’s put it to you this way: I kind of felt sorry because I don’t think he know what was get into it. Chobani founder Hamdi Ulukaya samples yogurt CBS News His family raised goats and sheep and made cheese and yogurt in a small Kurdish village in Eastern Turkey.

Buy at least $10 worth of Chobani® Complete products, and get a 1-month free trial (a $27 value) for first-time users to obé fitness*—your source for the best live and on-demand workouts anywhere. It was going to be about can I make enough. By 2012, the capacity of the plant in New Berlin had maxed out. More recently, a Muslim refugee molested a mentally retarded woman. It’s now the best-selling brand in America. I doubted myself too.

Today, 70% of Chobani employees are American born, 30% are immigrants and refugees.

He started by buying a Kraft Foods yogurt plant in central New York state with a loan from the Small Business Administration in 2005. It’s a very beautiful word. Hamdi Ulukaya: This is the only place in my, you know, in my early days of coming here, this is the only place you can come and connect to life again and society and go back to whatever you do. He came to the U.S. at 22, a passionate, idealistic student who had gotten in trouble with Turkish authorities for writing articles sympathetic to the Kurdish rights movement. Mar 24, 2016 Sponsored Business Content

I mean, what can you do about that? And here they are. In January 2016, the, Years of stroking the establishment paid off once again though for Ulukaya earlier this year when Presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton released an official statement. Copyright © 2020 CBS Interactive Inc.All rights reserved. Hamdi Ulukaya: I remember like yesterday. He’s also enlisted the support of major U.S. corporations in the cause and pledged to give most of his fortune to charity. He says he was born on one of those trips but he doesn’t know the date or the year. Hamdi Ulukaya has used local, state and federal resources of the United States government at every stage of his business growth. Motivating employees in the slow-growth consumer products industry over time can be difficult.

As Chobani’s owner began spending cash on lobbying and hobnobbing with the globalist smart set, he garnered effusive praise from the former President: “It’s an astonishing story … it’s an amazing story … it’s breathtaking,” gushed former President Bill Clinton during a 2013 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) panel discussion featuring Ulukaya.

The Chobani Café® aims to create community around enjoying delicious food that’s real.

Steve Kroft: What is the word, “Chobani,” mean? Agriculture experts on the staffs of Gillibrand and Schumer pitched in as well. People, you know, hate you for doing something right. But one of Ulukaya’s biggest fans appears to be Bill Clinton.

Ulukaya has turned down offers to acquire all or a controlling stake in the company. Frank Baio: And I want to say something, ‘Scuse me if I interrupt you. I believe ESOPs are powerful engines in helping entrepreneurs realize value for their companies and in protecting and expanding the American workforce, while also creating retirement assets for workers. A year ago, he gave 10 percent of all of his equity in Chobani to his employees. They wanted to get into the, Ulukaya and Chobani took the lead, enlisting a lobbying firm, Cornerstone Government, and the, an announcement that brought out local politicians from the Twin Falls city Council, like then-Mayor Greg Lanting – who.

Steve Kroft: One publication had a headline that said, “American yogurt tycoon vows to choke U.S. with Muslims.”. But the history of employee ownership in the U.S. suggests the founder, Hamdi Ulukaya, could be the biggest winner of all in the transaction. Federal regulations spell out a lengthy bureaucratic process for gaining admission. . He’s donated millions to help survivors like these in Italy. The first order of Chobani yogurt –150 cases-- was delivered to a kosher grocery store on Long Island in October of 2007…no one knew if there would be another.

With unemployment low, attracting and retaining quality employees is growing more difficult. For those who think you can’t buy that kind of advertising, it seems that perhaps you can, after all. Ulukaya’s slightly smaller stake could potentially be worth much more, as Chobani’s workers adopt the habits of business owners: being highly productive; engaging in less friction between front-line workers and management; self-policing each other to reduce waste and errors; and offering up many helpful ideas. There were some initial growing pains: a shipment had to be recalled because of mold contamination and early production delays necessitated an emergency loan. That’s how I see it.

The following is a script from “Chief of Chobani,” which aired on April 9, 2017. I prefer really not to talk about it because it is really painful--. Sensing an opportunity Hamdi set off to the small village of New Berlin, New York, to have a look. I was not sitting here alive if I was not leaving. It would require more machines, bigger facilities, more milk from the surrounding dairy farms, and a lot more people. Anybody, we were hiring. Betsy Baio: He said, “Here’s to wishing we could ever make 100,000 cases of yogurt in a week and not worry about the light bill.” I said to my husband, “I’m gonna feel so bad when he loses his shirt ‘cause he’s never gonna sell 100,000 cases in a week.”. Rich Lake: Your whole livelihood’s gone. I cannot keep it on shelf. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

The Chobani billionaire’s many speeches and soliloquies on the issue of refugees combined with his extensive political connections may explain why establishment politicians, both Republican and Democrat, have swooned over Ulukaya, positively giddy to form “business / government partnerships” with him and to support his position on refugees. They are either going to be a part of society or they are going to lose it again. Just kidding aside. Steve Kroft: Would you have survived if you had stayed there? Hamdi Ulukaya insists he’s not an activist just a businessman. Learn more This external link will open in a new tab. And roughly a year ago some growing pains began to surface at Chobani. Kroft delivered his first report for 60 Minutes in 1989. Bank of America Some long-term workers could receive stock valued at $1 million or more, with stock amounts based on each employee’s seniority. Hamdi Ulukaya: Oh, perfectly. speaks at the Creativity For Change Forum, part of Tallinn Music Week in Estonia, on April 1, 2016. Credit: RAIGO PAJULA/AFP/Getty Images, EY & Citi On The Importance Of Resilience And Innovation, Impact 50: Investors Seeking Profit — And Pushing For Change, out-performing other types of retirement plans. So I didn’t ask the second time because I didn’t want him to think that I--. Hamdi Ulukaya, the Turkish founder of America’s most popular Greek yogurt, Chobani, came to the U.S in 1994 to study business. But in a right way. All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience.

Hamdi Ulukaya: Back to France. Chobani quickly surpassed $1 billion in sales. But access to those programs is more than just a matter of a senator making a phone call to the secretary of agriculture. Few journalists have achieved the impact and recognition that Steve Kroft's 60 Minutes work has generated for over two decades.

Longtime Clinton associate John Podesta is currently one of the key leaders of Hillary Clinton’s campaign for President. You may opt-out by. In January 2016, the BBC reported that Ulukaya made an appearance at the World Economic Forum in Davos, where he called on more businesses to begin taking in refugees as workers, stating that it is “mind-blowing” how little firms are doing to economically integrate refugees. . In 2005, Hamdi took a loan from the Small Business Administration, bought an old yogurt plant, and brought a small group of passionate individuals together to make the real, wholesome yogurt that he remembered from his childhood. Hamdi Ulukaya: They said, “Well, the language is a barrier.

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