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      Workers buy up company before it sells

      A northern Michigan company is purchased by its employees to keep it from being sold. Seven workers from Fick & Sons in Grayling each bought a part of the oil and propane company.

      ??The fear was if the business was sold to another company a lot of local employees would lose their jobs here,?? Fick & Sons Co-Owner Rich Jaskowski said.

      A thought that lingered in every employees mind when they heard Charlie Fick planned to sell his business. But the owner had something else in mind.

      ??We were approached by the Fick family and Charlie Fick himself to come up with a plan to purchase the company and keep it in the community and a family owned business,?? Fick & Sons Co-Owner Mike Creps said.

      Seven managers from different branches of the company met for eight months to hash out the final details of a plan. A plan that allowed 90 employees to keep their jobs and a travel center, hotel, and propane delivery service continuing business under the family name.

      ??I was looking forward to retirement and this opportunity was afforded to me and out of appreciation for Charlie Fick and the Fick family I decided to move forward and work,?? Creps said.

      Each of the seven has their own reasons for hopping on this opportunity and they all wanted to keep the family tradition alive.

      ??As all of us have been with the company for a while we hope to maintain a good level of customer service and improve upon that and really have to carry on the family tradition when the Fick family owned the business,?? Jaskowski said.