North American Arms (NAA) became an employee-owned company on April 26 after Sandy Chisholm, who served as president and owner for the past 30-years, stepped down. The company—known for manufacturing “Convenient, Reliable, Effective” mini-revolvers and small semiautomatic pistols—will distribute equity ownership annually to employees at no cost.
The approach provides a retirement vehicle for the loyal team there, as well as incentivizing them as owners who directly benefit from any quality and productivity improvements they deliver. “While bittersweet in some respects, I couldn’t be more pleased with the promise of this transition, both for my appreciated and valued employees, as well as for our customers,” Chisholm said.
Another priority in the transition was maintaining NAA’s independence and the jobs it provides in Provo, UT. “I’ve had several unsolicited ‘expressions of interest’ from other manufacturers in the firearms industry,” he added. “NAA dominates its small niche for concealed-carry firearms and enjoys an over-sized brand and reputation for quality and customer service that would burnish any other manufacturer’s reputation. Unfortunately, that would almost certainly lead to a relocation of this business and the loss of jobs for all those who I want to protect and reward. This route assures that stability.”
“As many people know, I’ve been a very remote owner since I purchased the business in 1992,” Chisholm said. “I have lived in both suburban Philadelphia and now Naples, Florida, which is some distance from the factory’s location in Provo, Utah. While I’ve made literally hundreds of trips over the years to visit the facility and my employees, I’ve always depended heavily on those at the factory to operate the business. Apart from financial support and enthusiastic encouragement, my contributions have been very modest.”
Mike Griffin takes over as NAA president and CEO, but Chisholm said he will remain active on the company’s board of directors and continue to man its trade show booths. He will also continue his participation with the NSSF and SAAMI.