The ESOP Association Blog

Covering ESOPs and employee ownership

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, ,

ESOP Companies in Minnesota and The Dakotas Celebrate 25th Anniversary of Chapter

Minnesota Dakotas Chapter COLOR logo copyThroughout the month of October, ESOP Association members in the Minnesota/Dakotas Chapter celebrated several milestones. In addition to celebrating Employee Ownership Month, the Chapter also celebrated its 25th anniversary.

The Minnesota/Dakota Chapter includes 114 corporate members and 78 professional members in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota, and has been serving the employee ownership community in the region for 25 years. The Chapter hosted an event on October 9th to honor those Chapter members whose work has helped the Chapter grow tremendously.

“I’m pleased to note the Minnesota/Dakotas Chapter’s 25th anniversary and the benefits the Chapter has brought to members,” said ESOP Association President, J. Michael Keeling. “This is an incredibly active Chapter, with members making personal visits to members of Congress to share the value of employee ownership with their legislators, and this year Chapter members have secured Employee Ownership Month proclamations from the Governors of Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. What a great way to celebrate Employee Ownership Month.”

“Minnesota and The Dakotas have a strong legacy in successful ESOPs. Employee ownership not only changes the way we do business, it changes lives. We celebrate our 25 years as a Chapter in The ESOP Association with those who have been with the Chapter from the very beginning and those who are just beginning their ESOP journey. We look forward to many more years of advocacy, friendship, and growth in the ESOP community,” said President of The ESOP Association’s Minnesota/Dakotas Chapter, Missy McManigle.

The Chapter’s celebration was also noted in a blog post by a past Chapter President and ESOP Association member, Steve Sheppard. On his personal blog, Winds of Peace Foundation, Mr. Sheppard noted that the party felt like a homecoming for him and the sense of ownership that people in the room felt for the cause of employee ownership. You can read his post here.

MN Dakotas Chapter Celebration 1 MN Dakotas Chapter Celebration 2

Congratulations to the Minnesota/Dakotas Chapter on 25 years!

Filed under: Chapter News, ,

September 2014 Chapter Events

ESOP events in your neighborhood! Take a look at a few Chapter events we have going on this September.

(Current as of August 14, 2014. Check out the calendar for new events.)

September 4, 2014
Heart of America Chapter
15th Annual Fall ESOP Conference
DoubleTree by Hilton
Overland Park, KS  66210
Contact:  Karrie Imbrogno at 440.989.1552 or karrie AT

September 11 – 12, 2014
Illinois, Iowa / Nebraska, Minnesota / Dakotas & Wisconsin Chapters
Midwest ESOP Regional Conference-ESOPs Move Us Forward
Chicago Oak Brook Hills Resort
Oak Brook, IL
Contact Donna Walseth @ dwalseth AT or (763) 785-4122 or Sue Crockett @ scrockett AT or (612) 872-4375

September 12, 2014
Northwest Chapter
Let’s Talk ESOPs Brochure – Billings
Pacific Steel & Recycling
3385 Coulson Road
Billings, MT 59101
Contact Donna Walseth at 763-785-4122 or e-mail dwalseth AT

September 17 – 18, 2014
New South Chapter
“In Tune With ESOPs”
Nashville, TN
Contact Donna Walseth @ dwalseth AT or (763) 785-4122

September 17-18, 2014
PA/DE & NY/NJ Chapters
2014 Multi-State ESOP Conference
Hilton Scranton Conference Center
Scranton, PA
Contact Sue Crockett at scrockett AT or (612) 872-4375

September 18th & 19th, 2014
Southwest Chapter 2014 Fall Conference
Omni Houston Galleria Hotel
4 Riverway
Houston, Texas 77056
Contact:  Jim Schranz at 903.575.7345 or jschranz7 AT

September 25, 2014
Michigan Chapter
2014 Annual Fall Conference
Lansing Center
Lansing, MI 48933
Contact: Karrie Imbrogno at 440.989.1552 or karrie AT

September 26, 2014
Northwest Chapter
Let’s Talk ESOP’s – Portland
Chartwell Capital Solutions

Filed under: Chapter News, Member Services,

August 2014 Chapter Events

ESOP events in your area! Take a look at a few Chapter events we have going on this August.

August 7, 2014
Michigan Chapter
4th Annual CEO / CFO Roundtable
Cascade Hills Country Club
Grand Rapids, MI  49546
Contact: Karrie Imbrogno at 440.989.1552 or

August 14 – 15, 2014
Carolinas Chapter
2014 7th Annual ESOP U Agenda Carolinas
Pinehurst Resort
Pinehurst, NC
Contact: Donna Walseth @ or (763) 785-4122

August 27, 2014
Ohio/Kentucky and Indiana Chapters
13th Annual Tri-State ESOP Conference
Crowne Plaza Louisville Airport Hotel
Louisville, KY  40209
Contact: Karrie Imbrogno at 440.989.1552 or

August 28, 2014
Minnesota/Dakotas Chapter
Eggs and ESOP Meeting
Hosted by Hisco
13000 Wilfred Lane
Rogers, MN  55374
Contact: Sue Crockett at or (612) 872-4375

Filed under: Chapter News,

Iowa Economic Development Authority’s ESOP Initiative Program

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) has a new ESOP initiative program. According to the IEDA website:

“In addition to the general economic benefits, the IEDA believes that ESOPs are a promising tool for retaining businesses in Iowa communities. Across the state, there are businesses that have been operated in local communities for many years by owners committed to the welfare of the community. But when those owners wish to retire or to start a new business, they often need to sell the business. It can be a great thing for the community if the business is sold to the employees, through an ESOP, rather than to an out-of-state buyer that may shift jobs and profits out of the community. For these reasons, the State of Iowa recently passed two pieces of ESOP-related legislation.”

The ESOP Association’s Iowa/Nebraska Chapter recently hosted an ESOP Professional Roundtable where this initiative was a topic of discussion. Additional information can be found on the IEDA website including information about the ESOP formation assistance program which will help Iowa companies interested in ESOPs to defray the costs of the feasibility study.

“This is very positive evidence of a cost effective state program to promote ESOPs,” said ESOP Association President, J. Michael Keeling. “It’s very encouraging to see states considering programs to facilitate ESOP creation; clearly more state officers are seeing the benefits that employee-owned companies bring to the local economy. Iowa is certainly a leader on the local ESOP front — kudos to our Iowa Chapter leaders.”

Filed under: Chapter News, Economic Performance, Employee Ownership Message, , , ,

2014 New England ESOP Company of the Year — Moody’s Collision Centers, Inc. — Sets a High Bar

The following article originally ran as the May 2014 Washington Report column in the ESOP Report. The ESOP Report is the newsletter of The ESOP Association. The full issue can be found on the Association’s website under Meet & Learn.

Sen Collins Moodys Event 5

Senator Susan Collins (R-ME).

One thing that inside the beltway lobbyist types brag about is how they keep the grass roots, the voters, in a member of Congress’ district informed, and armed with tactics to make the case for the law[s] important to their jobs. Common is intelligence provided to an association’s reader about a piece of legislation of interest, talking points boiled down to one page or less, and when appropriate, some background on the member’s prior record on issues of interest. For example, at the recent 37th Annual Conference, the Association’s Washington staff provided attendees with a booklet, with perforated tear out pages to leave off when visiting a member of Congress, plus listings of members who were sponsoring pro-ESOP legislation, and a reminder to be gracious when acknowledging that Chair of Ways and Means Committee Dave Camp’s [R-MI], massive tax reform proposal did not reduce current law benefiting ESOPs and ESOP participants.

But, on April 11, 2014, Shawn Moody, President of Moody’s Collision Centers, Inc. in Gorham, ME, and his fellow employee owners, put on an event for Maine’s senior Senator Susan Collins that embodied a very, very powerful message of what employee ownership means to the men and women working in Maine ESOP companies.

What did Moody’s Collision do? Beginning in late February, Moody’s notified all the ESOP companies in Maine that are members of The ESOP Association about a “fund raiser” for Senator Collins. In this day and age, it seems that everyone running for Congress will not darken the doors of a fund raiser on their behalf unless tickets are $500 per person, and some of the New York City and Hollywood events run $5,000 per ticket; but not Moody’s — for $25 a person, their conference room event was open to the employee owners of Maine ESOP Association members. Repeat — $25 a person. A true grass roots fund raiser.

Sen Collins Moodys Event 3

Shawn Moody, President of Moody’s Collision Centers, Inc., located in Gorham, MA.

When she arrived, Senator Collins saw a room packed with women and men from nine different Maine ESOP companies. Some were dressed for office jobs, even some men in suits and ties. Some were dressed for their jobs on a manufacturing floor — work books, work shirts, khakis. Some had grey hair, or no hair — others were in their twenties.

The positive vibe of ESOPs was in the air.

While Senator Collins has been a consistent, and longtime advocate for ESOPs in the U.S. Senate, when she walked out the door, she knew that ESOPs in Maine represented the people of those ESOP companies — different income levels yes; but all part of the capitalistic system — owners.

A big tip of the hat to the leaders of Moody’s Collision — the New England Chapter’s 2014 ESOP Company of the Year — an example to follow.

Senator Collins, front row center, with individuals at the April 11th event in Gorham, ME.

Senator Collins, front row center, with individuals at the April 11th event in Gorham, ME.

Sen Collins Moodys Event 2

Senator Collins and Shawn Moody — introductions with other ESOP companies and employee owners at the event.

Filed under: Chapter News, Employee Ownership Message, Government Affairs, TEA Members, ,

Big G Express Hosts Visit with Congresswoman Diane Black

ESOP Association member, Big G Express, Inc., located in Shelbyville, Tennessee, hosted a visit with Congresswoman Diane Black. Take a look at the video of her visit.

Filed under: Chapter News, Government Affairs, TEA Members, ,

April 2014 Wrap-Up

It’s been a while, so we thought, why not share some links. Here’s a look back at some April 2014 info.

The 2014 AACE Award winners were announced.

ESOPs were debated at the Supreme Court.

The 2014 Silver ESOP Award Recipients were announced.

We updated the Association’s Outside Board Registry.

We noted a few resources on the Association’s website.

The April 2014 ESOP Report was published.

The 37th Annual Conference App was released.

If you’re joining us at the 37th Annual Conference, here are a few bits of useful info.

The Employee Ownership Foundation announced prizes for the Auction being held at the Annual Conference.

Congratulations to this year’s Chapter award winners.

Filed under: AACE - Annual Awards for Communications Excellence, Chapter News, Conference Information, Employee Ownership Foundation, Government Affairs, Silver ESOP Awards, TEA Members, , , ,

Congratulations to the 2014 Chapter Award Winners

With the Association’s 37th Annual Conference (and the 23rd Annual Awards Ceremony on the evening of May 7th!) quickly approaching, we want to take a moment to congratulate the 2014 Chapter award winners. Following are the Employee Owner of the Year Chapter winners and the ESOP Company of the Year Chapter winners.

Congratulations to this year’s Chapter award winners!

2014 Employee Owner of the Year Chapter Winners

California/Western States Chapter – Brian Koski, The Sleep Train, Inc., Rocklin, CA

Heart of America Chapter – Matt Tuxhorn, Crop Quest, Inc., Dodge City, KS

Iowa/Nebraska Chapter – Kalese Sheldahl, Van Meter Inc., Cedar Rapids, IA

Indiana Chapter – Elizabeth Pech, Worm’s Way, Inc., Bloomington, IN

Illinois Chapter – Brett Moe, Holden Industries, Deerfield, IL

Michigan Chapter – Dan Salow, Thomson-Shore, Inc., Dexter, MI

Mid-Atlantic Chapter – Steve Earle, Mid South Building Supply, Inc., Springfield, VA

Minnesota/Dakotas Chapter – Alicia Schwartz, Oxygen Service Company, Saint Paul, MN

New England Chapter – Mark Ruskin, Carris Reels, Inc., Proctor, VT

Ohio/Kentucky Chapter – Janice Bridger, Allied Mineral Products, Inc., Columbus, OH

Pennsylvania/Delaware Chapter – Andrew J. Ferrari, P.E., C.S. Davidson, Inc., York, PA

Southwest Chapter – Joel Pason, Cisco-Eagle, Inc., Dallas, TX

Wisconsin Chapter – Tim Kramer, Priority Sign, Sheboygan, WI

ESOP Company of the Year Chapter Winners

California/Western States Chapter – Recology, San Francisco, CA

Carolinas Chapter – GBS Building Supply, Inc., Maudlin, SC

Heart of America Chapter – MMC Corp., Overland Park, KS

Iowa/Nebraska Chapter – VGM Group, Inc., Waterloo, IA

Illinois Chapter – KI Industries, Berkeley, IL

Indiana Chapter – Worm’s Way, Inc., Bloomington, IN

Michigan Chapter – The ASU Group, Okemos, MI

Mid-Atlantic Chapter – Wiley|Wilson, Lynchburg, VA

Minnesota/Dakotas Chapter – Dakota Supply Group, Fargo, ND

New England Chapter – Moody’s Collision Centers, Inc., Gorham, ME

New South Chapter – Big G Express, Shelbyville, TN

Ohio/Kentucky Chapter – Janotta & Herner, Monroeville, OH

Pennsylvania/Delaware Chapter – Murray Securus, Lancaster, PA

Southwest Chapter – Acadian Ambulance Service, Inc., Lafayette, LA

Wisconsin Chapter – CC&N, Pewaukee, WI

Filed under: Chapter News, Conference Information, Member Services, TEA Members, ,

October 2013 Re-Cap

There was a lot going on in the ESOP community in October. Now’s your chance to catch up!

Employee Ownership Month Began October 1st with a message from ESOP Association President, J. Michael Keeling

We shared a few Employee Ownership Month ideas

We announced changes to the 2014 AACE Program

ESOP Association members shared their Congressional visits

Congrats to a few of our members

The Carolinas Chapter Hosted an ESOP U Summer Conference

Don’t forget to visit The ESOP Association’s booth, #107, at the Las Vegas Conference & Trade Show on November 7 & 8

LinkedIn Link Up in Vegas – Hint, you should stop by if you’re joining us at the Las Vegas Conference & Trade Show

Stringing the pieces together for the future of ESOPs

We highlighted a couple more Employee Ownership Month celebrations

And more Employee Ownership Month celebration ideas

The Employee Ownership Foundation will be in Vegas on November 7 & 8

Membership, Advocacy, and Education – what you need to know

Carrying on the Employee Ownership Month theme

Celebrating employee owners – another Employee Ownership Month story to share

Employee Ownership Month – rodeo!

Download the 2013 Las Vegas Conference and Trade Show App!

Restek Celebrates EOM with Life Long Learning

Two more EOM celebration ideas to share

And one more Employee Ownership Month post

Stay Focused – why Employee Ownership Month isn’t the end of spreading the word about employee ownership

Filed under: AACE - Annual Awards for Communications Excellence, Chapter News, Conference Information, Employee Ownership Foundation, Employee Ownership Message, Employee Ownership Month (EOM), Government Affairs, Member Services, TEA Members, ,

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