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All-Star Companies Putting People First

  Putting employees first

Each of these companies; Cherry's Industrial, Cisco-Eagle, Clarke EyeCare Center, and CMS Outdoor Solutions are part of a growing community of Great Game™ companies who have reimagined capitalism as a transformational force for good. Each year, the Great Game Community recognizes companies like these who have the courage to do business differently. They are using the power of business to transform their associate's lives and the communities which they serve, for the better. They are part of a movement that's trying to 'Change the Game'.

We can't wait to introduce you to all our All-Star Team companies. Last week we introduced you to 1st Pet Vet, 417 Magazine, AMBAC International, and Argent Tape and Label. Now, read the next 4 case studies and watch for the remaining 21 to come your way!

Cherrys Logo

Organization Background

Cherry’s builds and sells specialized equipment used in warehouses to transfer product on and off pallets. The company, which sells primarily to Fortune 500 companies, also manufactures equipment used to clean and maintain pallets.


When CEO John Costello made the decision to buy out his business partner after an earlier buyout of the company’s founder, he needed to leverage everything he had to make it happen. That also put enormous pressure on the company to pay down its debt—ASAP. But Costello was concerned about what his associates would do once they learned the truth. “I was scared as hell,” he says, “but I knew that I had to share the numbers.”



Organization Background

Cisco-Eagle was born in 1970 when Warren Gandall, a material handling specialist for an industrial supply company, went into business for himself. Today, the company provides solutions for the movement, storage, retrieval, control, and protection of materials and products throughout their manufacture, distribution, consumption, and disposal. The company started with three employees in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but has grown to have to offices in nine states. Cisco-Eagle’s reach is nationwide—with many national accounts and internet business across the U.S. It also has substantial international business - filling orders to over 70 countries.


Even after becoming employee-owned in 2000, Cisco-Eagle wanted to further develop its employee-owners. “We want everyone to think and act like great owners,” said Darein Gandall, company president. “We were doing well, but we wanted to do more.”



Organization Background

Dr. Calvin Clarke opened Clarke EyeCare Center in Wichita Falls, Texas, back in 1973. His son, Danny, and his daughter-in-law, Elizabeth—who met each other at optometry school—then joined the practice in 1995. The younger Clarkes bought the business, which provides optometry services including eye exams, eyewear, and contact lenses, in 2010.


While the business was doing well operationally, Clarke knew that his profits were somewhat low relative to the industry and, more importantly, cash flow was not where it needed to be. “Bills would come in and checks would go out, but it was always borderline with how much money we had in the bank,” he says.


CMs Outdoor Solutions Group

Organization Background

Started in 1993, and formerly known as CM’s A Cut Above, CM’s Outdoor Solutions Group provides a range of lawn care and landscaping services.


After running the business for more than 20 years, founder Chuck Monico wanted to find a system that would help create a greater sense of purpose and opportunity for all team members, including H2B workers from Mexico, to make a difference and see results, with an ultimate goal of building a foundation to eventually transfer ownership to the employees.




Rookie of the Year  This award recognizes those companies that have been practicing open-book management and The Great Game of Business for less than two years and have already achieved some remarkable results.

Social Sector Award  This award honors a social sector organization -a not-for-profit, education, government entity - playing The Great Game of Business at a high level, proving that The Game can be effective and impactful in all types of organizations.

Hall of Fame Inductee – The Hall of Fame honors organizations that have operated using the principles of open-book management for more than a decade with lasting, proven results, and have demonstrated a willingness to spread the word on open-book management in order to help others succeed. 

All-Star Champions Award - The cornerstone of the All-Star Awards, the winners of the All-Star Champions Award are the best of the best. They have been playing GGOB at a high level for two or more years, and as a result have seen impressive results in their financial performance and their company culture.

International All-Star Champion (new for 2020!) To encourage the participation of our international practitioners and recognize the expansion of our global GGOB community,  our judges thought it was time to add this category to the awards. 

Click this banner to read all 29 All-Star Case Studies for 2020.

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Would you like to be on the All-Star Team next year?

Here is the criteria you will be judged against:

  • Great Game Methodology: How well the company has employed the core practices of The Great Game of Business®;
  • Financial Performance as compared to industry benchmarks;
  • Culture Change: How well the company has done in creating a stronger culture and a better place to work; 
  • Compelling Story: How compelling is the company’s story considering their accomplishments, including any events that they’ve overcome and uniqueness in applying the practices of GGOB; 
  • GGOB Scorecard survey results which represents the employees’ perspective on their practice of GGOB/OBM)  

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About The Great Game of Business

Our approach to running a company was developed to help close one of the biggest gaps in business: the gap between managers and employees. We call our open-book approach The Great Game of Business. What lies at the heart of The Game is a very simple proposition: The best, most efficient, most profitable way to operate a business is to give everybody in the company a voice in saying how the company is run and a stake in the outcome. Let us teach you how to develop a culture of ownership, where employees think, act and feel like owners.