By David Shaffer, Star Tribune
Like any chief executive, Tammy Miller’s job is to earn profits for stockholders.
What makes Miller smile is that some of the resulting millionaires work in her company’s warehouses, not on Wall Street.
Miller is CEO of Fargo-based Border States Electric, the nation’s eighth-largest electric wholesaler. It mainly sells electrical products and manages the logistics of getting them to contractors, factories, oil fields and utilities.
Since Miller became CEO in 2006, Border States’ annual revenue has more than doubled to $1.2 billion, and its stock has soared. The company is expanding, and now operates in 13 states, after acquiring several competitors, including one in Minnesota.
It’s all been to the benefit of Border States’ 1,500 employees, who own 100 percent of the company. Over the past decade, shares held by the employee stock ownership plan, or ESOP, have increased in value by an average of 25 percent per year.
“We were a well-kept secret for many years,” Miller said recently on a visit to the company’s warehouse in Albertville, Minn., which is an example of the company’s recent expansion.
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