New Year’s Eve, 1981. In a small closet in the Schien Body and Equipment building, a legacy was born. Computer systems were becoming more commonplace and necessary in businesses, providing a more efficient approach to nearly every aspect of an operation. Technology was moving faster than a lot of businesses and Founders, Richard and Linda Schien saw the opportunity to help heavy duty truck dealerships and warehouse distribution companies enter a new era in business. Forty years later, Karmak is the second largest dealer management system in the country, providing crucial support to help keep trucks moving across North America. And while we’ve outgrown that closet, we’ve remained in Carlinville. Throughout our existence, a top priority for the Schien family has been to keep the business in Carlinville and provide stable employment and growth for the local community. After 40 years, the Schiens are stepping away to enjoy retirement, secure in the knowledge that the Karmak legacy will continue.
Passing the torch.
The retirement of our founders is bittersweet, as we say goodbye to the driving force behind a strong legacy. But with their well-earned retirement arises new, exciting opportunities to grow and elevate our business and services, while maintaining the sense of family and dedication for which we’re known.
In 2003, when Richard and Linda began to plan for their retirement and the company’s long-term future, an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) was put into place. The Schiens believed that there was no better owner to entrust the company to than the employees that helped build it. That’s why, with their departure, the ESOP has now purchased the company, and under CEO Jim Allen, Karmak is 100% employee owned.
A heartfelt thanks.
A celebration was held to express our gratitude to the Schiens for their leadership, vision and the example they set, day in and day out. We shared food and drink as well as many stories, taking the opportunity to reminisce, laugh and share memories through videos and photographs.
As we usher in a new era for Karmak, we want to give our heartfelt thanks to Richard and Linda. A true hallmark of Karmak’s culture started with Richard’s collaborative style, care for his employees and their families, and the high bar for trust and integrity that has helped shape our culture. Here’s to the next 40 years.
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