Strategic America, an integrated marketing agency based in West Des Moines, has changed its ownership structure and is now employee-owned, the agency announced. “At SA one of our core values is ‘put people first,'" said John Schreurs, president and CEO of Strategic America. “This move allows us to do just that and lays the foundation of SA’s future, with our associates and clients at the center of decision-making. Employee ownership offers the ability to remain independent, recognize and reward associates, thoughtfully transition ownership and strengthen the SA foundation — centered on our people,” Schreurs said. Established in 1980, the agency currently has a full-time staff of 123 people locally, according to the 2021 Book of Lists. The move to make Strategic America employee-owned, or officially part of an employee stock ownership plan, makes employees owners of the company at no cost, with equity in the company and retirement benefits, enabling them to share in the company’s success. The decision was shared with agency associates at a special event the evening of Oct. 7. The ESOP became effective on Aug. 1. Mike and John Schreurs will remain active in agency leadership and on the board, while retaining a percentage of the business.