The ESOP Association Blog

Covering ESOPs and employee ownership

December 2014 ESOP Report is Available

The December 2014 ESOP Report newsletter is now available for members. To access this month’s issue, you’ll need to sign into The ESOP Association’s website. The Member Sign In button is located at the top of the page. To get to the ESOP Report, click Meet & Learn. A link to the ESOP Report is located on the left side menu.


Filed under: Publication, ,

ESOP Association Board of Governors Looking for New Members

The elections for new members of The ESOP Association’s Board of Governors will take place first quarter 2015. The Nominating Committee will make the nominations for this year’s elections. All voting members of the Association are eligible for nomination.

Corporate and Professional members of the Association will vote on nominees for Board of Governors. There is a by-law process to be nominated by petition. See Association By-laws Article IX, Section 2, Subsection (b) (II); reprinted in the Membership Directory which is available on the Association’s website or contact the Association.

The Board of Directors emphasizes the role of the Board of Governors is to elect the Board of Directors, and to provide key points for the Board of Directors on the important issues facing the Association and the ESOP community in two meetings — the Annual Conference and the Las Vegas Conference & Trade Show.

To be considered for service on the Board of Governors, please write, fax, or email your message expressing your interest to ESOP Association President J. Michael Keeling, by February 1, 2015. A packet of information, including paperwork to be completed for presentation to the Nominating Committee, will be mailed to you. Email Michael AT, fax 202/293-7568, or mail requests to: 1726 M Street, NW, Suite 501, Washington, DC 20036.

Filed under: Member Services,

2015 Calendar of Events

Following is a list of ESOP Association events taking place in January 2015. Additional events can be found on the calendar.

January 12 – 15, 2015
Employee Ownership Foundation & University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy & Practice
Leading in an Ownership Setting: The Program for CEOs – Session II
Inn at Penn
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA
Contact Rosemary Clements (202) 293-2971 or

Registration, Tuition & Hotel Information


January 14, 2015
New South Chapter 
2015 ESOP CEO Roundtable – hosted by tvdesign – Atlanta
Thompson, Ventulett, Stainback & Associates Inc.
1230 Peachtree St. NE
2700 Promenade
Atlanta, GA 30309

2015 New South Chapter Sponsorship Form

For more information contact Donna Walseth at or 763.785.4122


January 22, 2015
Minnesota-Dakotas Chapter
2015 Winter Meeting – Minneapolis, MN
Ramada Plaza
1330 Industrial Blvd.
Minneapolis, MN 55413

CEO, CFO, and HR Roundtables will also be held at this conference.  There is a $25.00 registration fee for each Roundtable attendee.  Roundtables will be held on January 22nd from 7:30 am until 9:30 am.

Click to register


January 30, 2015
Southwest Chapter 
Board Governance Symposium 2015 – San Antonio
Hotel Contessa
306 West Market Street
San Antonio, TX

Attendance will be limited to 35 attendees consisting of ESOP company board members and ESOP company executives who frequently interact with the board on ESOP related matters.

Overnight Accommodations:  A limited number of rooms have been reserved at a rate of $169 per night plus tax. After January 9th rooms will be subject to availability and at regular hotel pricing. For room reservations contact the Hotel Contessa. Phone 866-435-0900. Mention the SW Chapter of The ESOP Association to get conference pricing.

For more information contact Jim Schranz at 903.575.7345 or via e-mail at


January 30, 2015
New England Chapter 
2015 NE Strategic Planning Retreat
Surry, NH
Please RSVP to

There is a block of hotel rooms at The Keene Courtyard Marriott in Keene, NH.  Our discounted room rate is $119/night.  Please call (603) 354 – 7900 to make your reservation.

Filed under: Chapter News, Conference Information, ,

Secretary of Labor, Thomas E. Perez, Mentions ESOPs in Remarks

On October 20, Secretary Perez spoke at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, the topic: Shared Prosperity: Building an Economy that Works for Everyone. While the majority of the speech focused on private-sector job growth, shared prosperity, and B Corps, near the end of remarks he noted:

“Employee Stock Ownership Plans are another example of business leadership. In 2012, there were roughly 6,800 such plans, with nearly 14 million total participants and assets just over $1 trillion. When used as they were intended, ESOPs can contribute to the growth of a company while helping employees save for retirement.

The challenge moving forward for B Corps and ESOPs is to take these successful models to further scale.”

The Secretary’s full remarks can be found here.

ESOP Association President, J. Michael Keeling said, “I was pleased to read these remarks. As you know, the ESOP community has many concerns regarding a proposed regulation by the DOL regarding the definition of a fiduciary. We have been working with individuals at the DOL and we’re hopeful that this statement represents a change for the good.”

Filed under: Government Affairs, ,

2015 Edmunson Scholarships


The Employee Ownership Foundation will be accepting applications for the 2015 Charles R. Edmunson Scholarships early next year. Deadline information will be announced on the Employee Ownership Foundation website in the coming weeks.

This Scholarship program honors employee ownership leader and advocate Charles R. Edmunson who dedicated a significant part of his life to educating employee owners of the benefits of widespread ownership in a free enterprise system. Mr. Edmunson was also instrumental in the creation of the Employee Ownership Foundation.

An Edmunson Scholarship awards an ESOP employer up to $1,250 to defray the expense of sending employee owners to employee ownership training programs such as the Employee Ownership Foundation’s Employee Owner Retreat or the Association Annual Conference in Washington, DC. The Scholarship may also be used for Association Chapter and Regional Conferences. The Scholarship is for non-managerial employee owners.

Filed under: Employee Ownership Foundation, ,

Two Day Professional ESOP Forum

esop-slide-template - 2014 Professional ESOP Forum

Mark your calendar: February 26 – 27, 2015 at The Ritz-Carlton in New Orleans, Louisiana

The ESOP Association is holding a two day open discussion forum for Professional Members of The ESOP Association. [Professional Members of The Association are sellers of services to ESOP plan sponsors and to parties considering creating an ESOP. Examples of the services are legal, third party administration, valuation, finance, management consulting, financial advice, trustee, and similar services.]

Led by the Chairs of the highly respected Association Advisory Committees on Valuation, Finance, Legislative and Regulatory Affairs, Administration, Ownership Culture and Fiduciary Issues, this two day program will lay bare the tough issues facing ESOP professionals, and present the pros and cons of different views.  The goal is not only to air different view-points, but to move towards consensus as to “best practices” by the ESOP service provider community.

Questions: contact Rosemary Clements or Maya Van Buren (866) 366-3832 or

Registration information will be available on the Association’s website in the coming weeks.

Filed under: Conference Information,

The ESOP Association, Congressional Elections Update, November 2014

ESOP Association President, J. Michael Keeling, summarizes his presentation from the 2014 Las Vegas Conference & Trade Show on the Congressional elections and how ESOP champions fared.

Filed under: Conference Information, Government Affairs, Member Services, ,

Employee Ownership Foundation, 2014 Las Vegas Conference Discussion

Employee Ownership Foundation President, J. Michael Keeling, discusses the Foundation’s work which was on display at the Foundation lunch held during The ESOP Association’s 2014 Las Vegas Conference and Trade Show in November 2014.

Filed under: Employee Ownership Foundation,

ESOP COMPANY NEWS – November 2014 Wrap-Up

AFCO Industries Meets with Congressman Cassidy

Dr. Bill Cassidy, the Republican Congressman from the 6th District of Louisiana, recently visited AFCO Industries in Alexandria, Louisiana. Dr. Cassidy was interested in learning more about employee-owned companies. After a plant tour, Dr. Cassidy met with the management staff and fielded questions regarding “S” Corporation status and the effect of potential tax reform. Dr. Cassidy stated that he saw a strong entrepreneurial spirt among the employees and particularly liked the term “employee owners.”

 Afco - Bill Cassidy event

Vance Metal Fabricators Meets with Congressman Reed

Vance Metal Fabricators, located in Geneva, New York, recently welcomed Congressman Tom Reed (R-NY), only the second politician the company has welcomed, the first being Teddy Roosevelt in 1900, noted Joe Hennessy, the President of Vance. Congressman Aaron Schock (R) of Illinois joined Congressman Reed at the visit. Both Reed and Schock are members of the House Ways and Means Committee and stated their interest in helping businesses.

Mr. Hennessy shared an article that ran in the Finger Lakes Times about the Congressmen’s visit with the Association and noted: “We had a valuable discussion about the merits of employee-owned businesses and I believe they are on our side.”

Vance Metal - Reed Visit

If you have ESOP company news to share with The ESOP Association, please send an email to

Filed under: Member Services, TEA Members

Employee Ownership Foundation Meets Goal…and Goes Even Higher!

FoundationThe trustees of the Employee Ownership Foundation set of goal of raising $125,000 at the 2014 Las Vegas Conference & Trade Show. This year, the Employee Ownership Foundation raised $133,000 to support the ongoing programs of the Foundation — going above and beyond the goal!

“A sincere thank you to all those who supported, and continue to support, the Foundation. You are helping to further the cause of employee ownership in America,” J. Michael Keeling, president of the Employee Ownership Foundation.

The Employee Ownership Foundation is a qualified 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Contributions to the Foundation are tax-deductible. There is still time to donate in 2014 and make a difference in the employee ownership community. For more information:

Gwenn and Duff - ref goal 1

Employee Ownership Foundation Lunch Video

The video that was shown at the Employee Ownership Foundation Lunch at the Las Vegas Conference & Trade Show that highlighted the work of the Foundation and media coverage of the book, The Citizen’s Share, is below.

Filed under: Employee Ownership Foundation

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