Owners of T&T Tinting Specialists Turning Company Over to Employees

October 12th, 2021 by Chris Collier

Hawaii’s T&T Tinting Specialists, Inc. has completed a transaction to become 100% employee-owned through its newly-created Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). The company was founded in Honolulu in 1982 and provides the installation of window films, paint protection films (PPF) for vehicles, solar, security and graffiti protection films, and custom glass graphics for residential and commercial buildings in the state.

T&T Tinting’s team is ready for the next chapter.

Heading into its 40th year, T&T Tinting’s CEO Tommy Silva has transitioned 100% of the company’s total ownership to all company employees through a qualified retirement plan known as an ESOP. All eligible employees will be granted shares of company stock each year at no cost, allowing them to earn ownership over time and accumulate additional tax-deferred retirement wealth on top of their current 401k program.

“Each employee of T&T Tinting is a highly valued and trusted team member,” Silva says. “We want our employees to feel that they ‘own and operate’ their own business which fosters tremendous pride and aloha resulting from owning actual stakes in the company. We also want our employees to benefit far beyond their wages and 401k plan as they continue to help build and grow T&T Tinting. Together we strive to be more innovative, creative and responsive to our customers’ needs.”

Silva implemented this plan because he felt it was the most sustainable path forward for the employees of T&T while protecting the legacy he has built with them. The company is on WINDOW FILM magazine’s 2021 Top Dealer list and is expected to hit nearly $5 million in sales by year’s end.

“Legacy was a critical factor in selecting this ESOP transaction, but equally as important was ensuring that anything we did as owners would directly motivate and help the employees continue to succeed,” Silva adds.

T&T Tinting installs window films supplied by Eastman Performance Films. Darrell Reed, commercial director of Eastman Performance Films, applauded the move.

“On behalf of Eastman, we would like to congratulate Tommy, Teri and their team on 40 years of business excellence,” Reed says. “The success of the T&T is based on their relentless focus on providing an outstanding customer experience, disciplined business practices while still being able to cultivate a family culture with their employees. The decision by Tommy and Teri to move forward with an ESOP for their employees embodies the family culture they have created. We are very proud to be T&T’s supplier for the last 40 years and excited to continue working with the T&T team going forward as they continue the amazing legacy they all helped build.”

Investment banking firm Ambrose Advisors advised Silva with the transition.

“Tommy Silva’s goal was to secure a sustainable future for T&T Tinting Specialists in a manner that would be highly beneficial to its employees, customers, supplier partners, vendors, and the local community,” says Michael Harden of Ambrose Advisors.

T&T Tinting’s ownership shift comes during October, which is Employee Stock Ownership (ESOP) month. If your company is employee-owned, please contact ccollier@glass.com for potential story coverage.

This article is from Focus on Film, the weekly e-newsletter that covers the latest news regarding window film and related products, including paint protection film. Click HERE to sign up—there is no charge. Interested in a deeper dive? Free subscriptions to Window Film magazine in print or digital format are available. Subscribe at no charge HERE.

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  1. Great job Tommy & Teri,

    That will be an amazing future for you and your teams growth I look forward to seeing you soon. Jim Brown

  2. Congratulations to Mr. Silva Who rah great move, this is a Chuck Griffin from Sun Shade Window Tinting in Warren Michigan. Started my business in 1979 been wondering how I might continue the legacy, you’ve given me a great idea to think about.

  3. Well done Silva

  4. Mahalo Chuck & Jim!

    Appreciate the support! We all look forward to seeing what the kids can do! Lol…

    Aloha, Tommy & the T&T team

  5. I’m not surprised one bit by this move by Tommy and Teri Silva. I worked at TNT in the early 90’s while still in high school. Tommy and Teri always treated all of us like we were family over employees and wanted the bet for everyone. I left TNT to serve 22 successful years in the USAF to which I attribute much of my success to the work ethic learned when working at TNT. Although my time at TNT last only a few short years, I’ve remained friends with Tommy and Teri for the past 29 years. I’m ecstatic for Tommy, Teri and the entire new ownership of TNT, and still hope to rejoin the team one day when I return to the islands. Congratulations

  6. Mahalo Eric…. Really appreciate your sentiments — and there have literally been thousands of employees that have passed through our doors over the past 40 years…. When you announced that you were leaving, you were one of the ones that the management team cringed when they heard the news…. You were always great… and we knew that you’d do very well working to protect us so we could do what we do in business… thank you for your service to our country— and YES- we will always have room for your return one day!
    God bless – stay well – see you soon.

  7. Great ideas, and a very smart leader. More companies should take a leaf out of this story. Wishing you only good things. Leon Levy CEO Klingshield South Africa

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