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March 19, 2024

I.T. firm with offices in Worcester becomes 100% employee-owned

A man with glasses wearing a suit sits in front of a green logo. Delcie Bean is CEO at Paragus Strategic IT with offices in Worcester and Hadley.

Paragus I.T., a company with locations in Hadley and Worcester, has transitioned to 100% employee ownership.

Founded in 1999 by CEO Delcie Bean when he was 14 years old, Paragus implemented an employee stock ownership plan in 2016 resulting in 40% of the company being turned over to employees. Now, the company has transitioned to 100% employee ownership, with Paragus citing the ESOP model’s effectiveness in recruiting talent and improving retention, according to a March 4 press release from Paragus.

“As the value of Paragus increased over the years, it felt inequitable to me that I was the sole beneficiary,” Bean said in the press release. “So it made sense to explore an employee ownership model. Beyond feeling like this was the right thing to do, it was also a bet on our future. A bet that we’d grow even faster as an employee-owned company.”

Paragus has paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars to employees since 2016 and has increased its headcount to more than 65 employees.

The benefits of employee ownership outweighed other options to continue the company’s growth, including bringing in outside capital, Bean said.

“Private equity capital is a nice way to make some rich people a little richer,” Bean said. “But this move allows us to fuel our growth while potentially having a life-changing impact on the people who are doing all the hard work.”

Paragus’ transition to employee ownership was completed on Feb. 29, according to a LinkedIn post from Bean.

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