Employees buy P. Graham Dunn

Employees buy P. Graham Dunn

The Dunn family, longtime owners of P. Graham Dunn Inc., announced the sale of P. Graham Dunn to its employees.


The Dunn family, longtime owners of P. Graham Dunn Inc., announced the sale of P. Graham Dunn to its employees in the form of an employee stock ownership program. All 300 employees will be retained in the transition, and eligible employees will become owners.

“An ESOP is our best tool for transitioning P. Graham Dunn from one generation of leadership to the next,” said Peter Dunn, founder and longtime CEO. “The first two employees LeAnna and I hired, Carol Curie and Robert Shetler, are still with us after 42 years. An outright sale of the company to a competitor would highly jeopardize fellow workers that have been with us for decades. An ESOP assures a secure future and a continuation of our values for those that have shown dedication and loyalty to us. Our ongoing management team, representing 133 years of employee experience, will be augmented with outside skilled leadership on our board of directors.”

The company will retain the familiar P. Graham Dunn name and will be directed by an experienced team of leaders. Patrick Helmuth will become the newly appointed CEO. Joe Knutson will continue serving as company president. Additional management will be composed of Robert Shetler, longtime VP of manufacturing; Franklin Geiser, VP of technology; Andy Yost, VP of sales; and Anthony Burdette, VP of marketing and product development, all continuing in their current roles.

“On behalf of the employees, I want to thank the Dunn family for giving us this opportunity to keep the business locally owned,” Helmuth said. “Our people are what make P. Graham Dunn a leader in the industry. They will be the key drivers behind our future success. In addition we are pleased that Peter Dunn will continue to contribute to product development and operations, lending his genius and expertise as an advisor to the new employee-owned company.”

Several local professionals have provided guidance for the company as it considered this transition over the past year. “It has been a pleasure working with Christopher Pycraft of Critchfield, Critchfield & Johnston Attorneys, who quarterbacked the transition, as well as Brian Kempf of Rea & Associates and longtime family attorney Ralph Lehman of Logee, Hostetler, Stutzman & Lehman through this process,” Knutson said.

P. Graham Dunn is nestled in the heart of Amish Country and manufactures art, gift and home décor. What started over 40 years ago as a mission assignment on the streets of New York City has blossomed into an international business, serving thousands of accounts throughout the country and around the world. Rooted in humble beginnings, the business remains nimble and continues to adapt to an ever-changing gift industry.

The company manages and operates wholesale showrooms across the country including Atlanta, Las Vegas and Dallas, in addition to its factory, warehouse and retail presence in Dalton. Continued growth for the company has been a result of newly developed sales channels and product categories beyond inspirational décor including dedicated lines of coastal, Christmas and craft products.

Learn more about P. Graham Dunn at www.pgrahamdunn.com.

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