Woodward Communications, Inc. (WCI) began as the first newspaper in Iowa (1836) and has continued to invest in providing solutions to our communities and customers. We have furthered our diversification strategy by continuing to invest in community media (newspapers, radio, niche publications, digital publishing, custom publishing, events and entertainment), acquiring niche business-to-business publications, and creating our own commercial printing facility.


Recognized as one of the best ESOP Companies, we share in the risks and rewards of ownership and are deeply engaged in our work, communities and personal success.


As a growing employee-owned company of diversified and innovative businesses, we deliver customer value through our people, portfolio, pace and planning.


How we work with each other directly impacts how we serve our customers. Watch this video to hear what our employee owners say about WCI's Core Values.


Value the perspective, time and space of others.


Embrace a healthy work/life balance.


Enjoy our time together.


Grow professionally and personally.


Provide value and exceed expectations.


Win together.


Think and act like owners.

Employee Stock Ownership Program (ESOP)

At its roots, an ESOP is an employee benefit program that gives employees ownership in the company, at no cost to the employee. This is often why employees of an ESOP company are referred to as “employee owners”. Since inception, our Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) has paid former employee owners more than $36 million dollars.

At its heart, the ESOP creates so much more than a benefit program. Our culture is grounded in the premise that WCI employee owners understand that if every day we work together as a team and think and act like owners, we will all share in the risks and rewards of ownership. In order to do so, employee owners are given access to the financials and other important company data, which allows each person to make decisions that create success for both our clients and each other.

I'm an owner! So, I always remind myself to look at the whole picture. Communication and teamwork are keys to our success.
Corporate Financial Services
Employee Owner Since 1975
I feel a sense of purpose being in an ESOP. Knowing what our numbers are helps me see the difference we can truly make.
Andrew Puyleart
Woodward Radio Group
Employee Owner Since 2003

Want to learn more about Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs)?

ESOP Association
National Center for Employee Ownership