DALTON — The family-owned P. Graham Dunn Inc., a manufacturer of inspirational art, gift and home decor products, is being sold to its employees as an employee stock ownership program (ESOP), the company announced Tuesday.

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,” founder and longtime CEO Peter Dunn said in a prepared statement. “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 Wayne County company will retain the P. Graham Dunn name. Patrick Helmuth will become the newly appointed CEO. Joe Knutson will continue serving as company president. Robert Shetler, longtime vice president of manufacturing, Franklin Geiser, vice president of technology, Andy Yost, vice president of sales, and Anthony Burdette, vice president of marketing and product development, also will continue 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 in a prepared statement. “Our people are what make P. Graham Dunn a leader in the industry. They will be the key drivers behind our future success.”

The company was founded in 1974, an outgrowth of Dunn's interest in woodworking. P. Graham Dunn manages and operates wholesale showrooms across the country, including in Atlanta, Las Vegas and Dallas, along with its factory, warehouse and outlet in Dalton.