- Nguoi Viet Daily News is the first Vietnamese-language daily newspaper in the United States. It is the only Vietnamese-language newspaper participating in Verified Audit Circulation.
- Providing fast and accurate news, Nguoi Viet covers important events from around Vietnam, the United Sates, the world, and the Vietnamese community, as well as practical information to Vietnamese anywhere.
- Trusted by the community and its readers, Nguoi Viet Daily News has the richest and most diverse Classified Ads section of all the Vietnamese language-newspapers in the world.
- Nguoi Viet Daily News also publishes four weekly editions: Nguoi Viet North-East, Nguoi Viet Houston, Nguoi Viet San Francisco, and Nguoi Viet Utah.
- Nguoi Viet Daily News’ website, www.nguoi-viet.com has more than 60,000 visits per day.
- Nguoi Viet Daily News’ Web TV programming, www.nguoiviettv.com attracts an online audience of about 70,000 daily.
Nguoi Viet Daily News serves the community and its readers through truthful and accurate reporting of events, delivery of useful information, and dissemination of new ideas, in accordance with accepted moral norms, the common good, and the journalistic standards of a democratic society.
The newspaper promotes the development of political and economic freedoms, and also contributes to the efforts to build a democratic regime and a free society in Vietnam. Nguoi Viet Daily News fights for openness and transparency in the actions and speech of governments, private organizations as well as influential people in society.
Nguoi Viet Daily News’ content reflects realistic living conditions of the Vietnamese community everywhere. It focuses on facts, events and ideas that affect our lives ― with information presented in a fair and unbiased manner.
Nguoi Viet Daily News places public interest before its own monetary profit, defends the independence of the media and journalists, and does not subject itself and its staff to political and economic influences or pressures of any kind.
The staff of Nguoi Viet Daily News collectively owns all of the company stocks through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).
Nguoi Viet Daily News does not aim to gain power for itself, nor does it use the media to seek profit or power for any individual, organization, company or party.
Believing that all citizens living in a democratic and free society have the duty to critically monitor governments and people of influence, Nguoi Viet Daily News actively contributes its critique in the spirit of objectivity, fairness and respect for traditional moral values.
ESOP – NGUOI VIET EMPLOYEE STOCK OWNERSHIP PLAN
Notes: On page A2 of every Nguoi Viet Daily News edition, there is a box in the upper-right corner. The contents of this box almost never change. It displays the organizational structure of the company and the newsroom. This box also contains a short note indicating that Nguoi Viet Inc. is owned by an “Employee Pension Plan” (Nguoi Viet Employees Stocks Ownership Plan – NV ESOP). On the occasion of the 35th anniversary of our first issue, readers are invited to read the article below which recounts the birth and growth of Nguoi Viet Daily News, how it has changed over time and the adoption of its current ESOP status.
Who are the owners of Nguoi Viet Inc.? The answer is quite simple: Nguoi Viet Inc.’s employees.
Công ty Nguoi Viet News, Inc. (NV News), established in 2003, owns and publishes Nguoi Viet Daily News, Nguoi Viet Online, Nguoi Viet Yearbook and a number of other products.
Nguoi Viet Inc., (NV), the original (parent) company, was founded in 1983 and currently owns 96.6 percent of the shares of NV News. Forty (40) persons, including employees, former employees and contributors of Nguoi Viet Daily News, own the remaining shares (3.4 percent). Originally there were 57 shareholders; 17 of them have sold their shares back to the company.
Nguoi Viet Employee Stock Ownership Plan (NV ESOP) has owned all (100 percent) of Nguoi Viet Inc. since September 2009, when NV ESOP acquired all of the shares from all 22 shareholders of Nguoi Viet Inc. at the time.*
What is ESOP?
ESOP is a form of employee pension funds used in private companies, in which the company contributes its stock (or money to buy its stock) to the plan for the benefit of the company’s employees. ESOP programs first appeared in the U.S. in 1956. After that, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) institutionalized this type of funds and closely monitors it.
In 1956, Peninsula Newspapers, Inc. ― a newspaper company in Palo Alto, Calif. ― for the first time applied ESOP to transfer ownership of the company from the founding members to the company’s current employees. Since then, other companies have followed this practice. Currently, there are about 11,300 ESOPs of all sizes in the United States. These ESOPs either wholly or partially own the companies.
In summary, an ESOP is a special pension fund with the following characteristics:
1. 1. Every year, the company contributes an amount of money to the ESOP, which then used it to buy shares of the company for the plan. (This is different from 401(k) plans, where donations typically are invested in shares of other companies). An ESOP can borrow money to buy shares of the company; under current law, the other types of fund cannot do this.
2. 2. ESOP members consist of all full-time, permanent employees of the company. (Part-time employees and contributors paid as contractors are not ESOP members). Each member has his/her own account in the ESOP fund. Each year, ESOP divides the shares acquired (and completely paid for) during the year to all of its members proportionate to their wages. ESOP will hold the shares in each employee’s account until the employee retires or quits. Upon termination of employment, ESOP will give the employee the shares in his/her account. The company then will buy back these shares at the current market value and will make cash payments to the departing employee on a predetermined schedule.
3. 3. The company, through its Board of Directors, appoints one or more persons to be the Trustees, who are legally responsible for managing ESOP’s assets for the benefit of the beneficiaries who are the company’s employees- members of the ESOP. ESOP’s assets include cash contributed by the Company which has not been used to buy shares and all company’s shares acquired by ESOP on the employees’ behalf. Trustees, representing ESOP, hold votes equal to the number of shares owned in the ESOP at the time of the company’s Shareholders meeting (including voting to select members of Board of Directors). Every year, Trustees file a report about the ESOP to the Department of Labor and file a tax return with the Internal Revenue Service, even though ESOP does not have to pay taxes. In reality, the Trustees normally hire professional pension fund management organizations to carry out these responsibilities.
NGUOI VIET INC.
The first issue of Nguoi Viet Cali Weekly Magazine was published on December 15, 1978, in San Diego, California, with Mr. Do Ngoc Yen as the Founding Editor. Mr. Yen was the magazine’s owner and manager, as well as editor, but many of Mr. Yen’s friends and supporters contributed to the existence and growth of the magazine, such as Mr. Nguyen Hoang Doan ― publisher of Hon Viet magazine ― journalist Du Mien, and many friends who later became shareholders of Nguoi Viet, Inc.. After a few issues of the magazine, Mr. Do Ngoc Yen moved it to Santa Ana, California, where the contributions of his friends and colleagues, either in work or money, grew stronger. The magazine was managed as an unofficial “partnership” for a period of time.
By the end of 1981, eight of the magazine’s key people ― Do Ngoc Yen, Phan Huy Dat, Nguyen Duc Quang, Tong Hoang, Nguyen Thien Co, Nguyen Kha Loc, Nguyen Phuoc Quan and Ly Van Chuong ― decided to establish a self-sustaining organization capable of achieving their ideals of building and strengthening the community through the media. From that date, the magazine, then the newspaper, operated as a company. The incorporation process dragged on for a long time, both due to a lack of cash and a lack of knowledge. As a result, Nguoi Viet Inc. was not established officially until August 1983. At that time, the company’s assets consisted of old furniture, typewriters, etc., worth eight thousand dollars ($8,000). The company issued 8,000 shares of common stocks, divided equally among the eight people.
A few years later, the company’s shares were divided into 11 equal portions to incorporate three more persons who had just arrived in the U.S. They were Hoang Ngoc Tue, Le Dinh Dieu and Pham Quoc Bao. The company also set aside a number of shares to be given later to friends who were not in the U.S. at that time, especially those who were still detained in prisons, called “reeducation camps”, in Vietnam. These shares later were distributed to 10 more people: Do Quy Toan, Tran Van Ngo, Nguyen Dong, Pham Phu Minh, Ngo Manh Thu, Ha Tuong Cat, Tran Dai Loc, Tran Dinh Quan, Do Viet Anh and Bui Huy Vinh.
Over time, as Nguoi Viet Inc. grew, some shareholders put up additional capital, some were rewarded with more shares, some sold their shares, some left the company, and some passed away leaving shares to their children. Distribution of the company shares changed accordingly. In September 2009, there were a total of 22 shareholders. The person with the most shares owned 14.6 percent, and the person with the fewest shares owned 0.3 percent of the stock.
In 2003, Nguoi Viet Inc. set up a subsidiary, a “child”, company, called Nguoi Viet News, Inc., which directly operates the business. Some of the shares of Nguoi Viet News, Inc., were given to long-term employees, contributors, and those who had a close relationship and stuck it out with the company. Among these are well-known people such as Tran Thanh Hiep, Ngo Vuong Toai, Nguyen Dinh Toan, Phan Nhat Nam, Hoang Hai Thuy, Doan Thanh Liem, Nguyen Minh Can, Nguyen Chi Thien, Doan Viet Hoat, Nguyen Xuan Nghia, and a number of friends who were still living in Vietnam.
In summary, during the 30-year history of Nguoi Viet Inc., the company always has been the common property of a group of people who have contributed capital and efforts to build it. Nguoi Viet Inc. never has been owned by a single owner, or a “great master” who makes all of the decisions. The newspaper’s “leaders” are those who were entrusted by the majority to operate the company.
NGUOI VIET ESOP
Since 2005, Nguoi Viet, Inc. started to face a great challenge: age. After more than a quarter century, the group of friends, all of about the same age, who had gathered together to start then build the newspaper, now, together, has reached retirement age. Some have passed away. Shareholders in the age group 60-75 hold around 80% of the shares. The company needed to have a transfer plan to hand over the company to the next generation. Several ways have been contemplated. Finally, the ESOP solution was chosen by all.
NGUOI VIET ESOP was established in early 2009. The eight members of the Board of Directors, who, together, controlled 76% of the shares of the company at the time, assumed the trusteeship of NV ESOP. In September 2009, all the 22 shareholders of the company sold all their shares to NV ESOP in exchange for notes to be repaid in 15 years. The company contributes the annual profit to NV ESOP which uses it to make the payments to the former shareholders who are now creditors. Thus, gradually, ownership is being transferred to the younger generation of employees. The founding generation, now serving as trustees and members of the Board of Directors, continues to keep alive the traditional spirit of the Nguoi Viet: the spirit of service. The task of directly operating the company and the newspaper was transferred to the younger generation. With time, the founding members of the Board of Directors will be gradually replaced by younger members of the company.
In summary, NV ESOP is the way to keep forever the basic nature of the company: a newspaper owned by the people who work for it in the spirit of serving the community.
Note: Prior to 2009, the company already had a 401k plan for the employees. This 401k plan is still in existence but now is solely funded by voluntary contributions by employees. Since it is voluntary, not all employees are members of this 401k plan.
The first edition of Nguoi Viet Daily News was a four-page magazine, printed and distributed on December 15, 1978, in San Diego, California. After operating as a weekly magazine for some time, the publication became Nguoi Viet Daily News in 1985. The headquarters of Nguoi Viet Daily News now are located in the Little Saigon area of Westminster, in Orange County.
Nguoi Viet Daily News has an average daily circulation of 13,736 copies, as audited and certified by Verified Audit Circulation. Copies of Nguoi Viet Daily News can be found at newspaper vending machines, bookstores, and Vietnamese markets and stores in Orange County, Los Angeles County, and via home-delivery to residences in the central area of Orange County.
Nguoi Viet Houston Weekly
Nguoi Viet San Francisco Weekly
Nguoi Viet Toronto Weekly