A building materials company headed by Tom Wolf, the York County Democrat who is running for governor, has released financial information after The Associated Press asked his campaign to document one of its central themes: that the company shares profits with its employees.
The privately-held distribution company released the information in response to the AP's questions. Privately held companies are not legally required to disclose detailed financial and operating information in most cases.
Wolf said in two separate campaign ads on TV that his company, the York-based Wolf Organization Inc., shares 20 to 30 percent of its profits with employees under a five-year-old policy. According to the company, the profit-sharing of at least 20 percent the last two years includes Wolf, who holds the largest single ownership stake.
Wolf's family founded the company in 1843.
The ads seek to convince voters that Wolf is a smart and compassionate businessman. The profit-sharing concept is also part of his response to questions in the Democratic Party primary race about why employees of the Wolf Organization aren't unionized.
"I do that in part because it's right, but I also do it because it's really smart business," Wolf said in one of the campaign ads.
Wolf, who has never run for office, is one of seven Democrats seeking the party's nomination to challenge Republican Gov. Tom Corbett on Nov. 4. The primary election is May 20.
Wolf has been airing TV ads statewide since Jan. 30, thanks largely to the $10 million he gave of his own money to his campaign. The personal contribution left him with more campaign cash on hand than any other candidate as of Dec. 31.
And the ad exposure has made him the first candidate to break away from the primary pack in independent polls — a feat reaffirmed by pre-primary attacks from Corbett and the state Republican Party, as well as some of Wolf's Democratic Party primary rivals.
A Wolf Organization spreadsheet shown to the AP showed the company made slightly more than $6 million in profits in 2013 and set aside nearly $1.26 million in pre-tax profit sharing, or about 21 percent. The company in 2012 made slightly more than $2.1 million and distributed $427,412 — or 20 percent — in pre-tax profit sharing, according to the spreadsheet.
The Wolf Organization's chief financial officer, Michael Newsome, said in an interview that the figures are accurate and that the profit-sharing checks for 2013 are being distributed this month.
Breaking news and the stories that matter to your neighborhood.
The checks vary by wages earned and job classification — those who earn more get a bigger profit-sharing check — and every Wolf Organization employee who earned wages last year, including Wolf, will get a check, Newsome said. That comes to about 260 employees in 2013, Newsome said.
Newsome said the average profit-sharing check for someone at the company longer than a year is about $5,000.
Under the profit sharing plan that was put in place in 2009, profit sharing can rise to as high as 30 percent depending on the return the owners get on their investment of working capital, Newsome said. The formula is made available to each employee, he said.
Wolf stepped down as the company's chief executive officer Dec. 31. He currently serves as executive chairman and holds a 28 percent stake in the company, a campaign spokesman said. After May 31, Wolf will become non-executive chairman, an unpaid position.