Ayers Saint Gross, the 102-year-old Baltimore-based architecture firm, announced that it is creating an employee stock ownership plan to assure its continued existence as it transitions to new leadership next year.
The firm said its leadership will transfer from a team including Adam Gross, a principal; Jim Wheeler, its president; and Glenn Birx, a principal and vice president, to Luanne Greene, who will become president of Ayers Saint Gross on Jan. 1. Greene, currently director of the firm's campus planning studio, will be the first woman to lead the firm in its history.
The creation of the ESOP will allow the firm's current owners to cash out even as the firm transitions between generation while rewarding the employees and assuring the firm's continuity, Ayers Saint Gross said.
"We passed the baton of leadership and ownership to our employees instead of the all-too-usual path of getting swallowed up, shutting the doors or just fading away," Gross said in a statement.