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Press Releases

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

SU's Shipper Presents at Academy of Management Meeting

Dr. Frank ShipperSALISBURY, MD---Democracy is “the most effective way and the most powerful way to run a business,” according to Paul Centenari, co-owner and CEO of the Atlas Container Company.

Dr. Frank Shipper of Salisbury University’s Management and Marketing Department in the Franklin P. Perdue School of Business agrees. The long-time advocate for 360-degree management and employee-owned companies recently presented a case study on Atlas at the Academy of Management’s 76th annual meeting, “Making Organizations Meaningful,” in Anaheim, CA.

The study, “Atlas Container Corporation: A Corporate Democracy,” was co-authored by Dr. Thomas Calo and Shipper, both of SU’s Management and Marketing Department. They documented the history of the company since its purchase for $3 million by Centenari and his brother, Peter, in 1988, and the successes the business has seen with shared governance. Today, the company’s average annual net sales top $40 million.

“It responds to customers in as little as 24 hours, operating like a well-orchestrated dance company with improvisation when needed fewer than half the supervisors of its competitors,” said Shipper. “Due to its fast response time, it has earned the reputation as the FedEx of the box business in the Washington-Baltimore-Philadelphia corridor.”  

Shipper has extensively researched the shared governance management model and its role in many top companies. His research has been referenced by national media, including MSNBC and The Wall Street Journal, and featured on the Aspen Institute’s CasePlace website. Also, he was an invited speaker for the last two summers at Oxford University on how such companies can help rebuild the middle class.

He has received several grants and awards to continue his work, including Rutgers University’s prestigious Kevin E. Ruble Fellowship. He also was the lead author of the 2014 book Shared Entrepreneurship: A Path to Engaged Employee Ownership.

For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU website at

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