Urgent care clinics nationwide rely on Practice Velocity, LLC software and services to improve patient care and clinic management. From a 2002 startup company with servers in a closet, the company has grown to 240 Rockford-area employees, leading us to invest in expanded space so we can keep our roots planted in the Rock River Valley.

Last month, we took a big step to invest in our greatest asset — our amazing team of employees. This ownership plan allows the employees that created the growth of the company to benefit from that growth.

Practice Velocity was founded in 2002 and has grown from the basement of an urgent care clinic to the top-rated national provider of urgent care software and services. As we have grown, we continue to foster four core values for each of our team members: team player, positive energy, continuous improvement and clients win.

When we needed space for our expanding company leaders in the Rockford Area Economic Development Council, the State of Illinois, Winnebago County and Machesney Park rallied to help us find and help fund a perfect location behind the Machesney Park Mall. In 2014, we renovated space that used to house a Kohl’s department store and gave it an open-concept design with collaborative meeting spaces that foster teamwork.

Investing in our community and our employees is a top priority for Practice Velocity. This ownership change solidifies what we have known all along, that our team members are leaders and deserve to be recognized as such. Our company’s success can be credited to their dedicated work to serve our clients well, every day.

Employees were notified by surprise of their ownership but we told them that this was not a gift — it is something they have earned.

Practice Velocity is also proud to join other companies across the country that have taken similar steps to strengthen their organizations. As of 2014, the most recent year for which data is available, there were more than 6,700 employee stock ownership plans in the U.S. holding assets of more than $1.3 trillion, according to the National Center for Employee Ownership.

Read more: My View: Employee stock plan latest community investment by Practice Velocity – Opinion – Rockford Register Star – Rockford, IL