The ESOP Association Blog

Covering ESOPs and employee ownership

February 2015 Wrap-Up

Miss something? We’ve got you covered.

We shared a list of upcoming Chapter events for March.

Don’t forget — the Edmunson Scholarship deadline is March 6!

Find your ESOP Chapter.

ESOP Association President, J. Michael Keeling, talked about the importance of inviting your member of Congress to visit your ESOP company.

The ESOP Association submitted comments to the Senate Committee on Finance Tax Reform Working Group regarding tax reform.

Déjà Vu? Tax Reform in the Senate?

Download your copy of the February 2015 ESOP Report.

Edmunson Scholarships are open for applications.

We shared some ESOP company news.

Updated publication –> Your ESOP: It’s for all of us.

A thank you to Chapter leader, Gale Marett

The Employee Ownership Month Poster Contest opened for submissions.

The ESOP Association submitted comments to the House Ways and Means Committee regarding the state of the U.S. economy and policies that can promote job creation and economic growth.

We shared some tips for winning AACE.

The ESOP Association expressed disappointment once more over a provision in President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2016 budget that pertains to ESOPs.

Filed under: Chapter News, Employee Ownership Foundation, Employee Ownership Message, Employee Ownership Month (EOM), Government Affairs, Publication, TEA Members,

January 2015 Monthly Wrap-up

As it turns out, January was a busy month…

We noted some upcoming events for February

We reported that the Department of Labor will not mandate ESOP appraisers be ERISA fiduciaries

The ESOP Association filed an amicus in Supreme Court case Tibble V. Edison Int’l

ESOP Association members were named Great Places to Work!

The January 2015 ESOP Report was published

We shared a guest post from AACE Awards Volunteer Coordinator, Paul Horn – 2015 AACE Awards

We highlighted a new report from the Center for American Progress that discusses inclusive prosperity

2015 conference sponsorship were announced

We mentioned a few ways to keep up with Association updates

2015 AACE Awards category information was shared

The Two Day Professional ESOP Forum was announced

The ESOP Administration Handbook was highlighted

ESOP Experts 2015 – If you’re interested, more info here

2015 AACE Awards — we told you what you need to know to enter this year

Filed under: AACE - Annual Awards for Communications Excellence, Chapter News, Conference Information, DOL Proposed Fiduciary Regulation, Employee Ownership Message, Government Affairs, Member Services, Publication, Retirement Issues, TEA Members,

Employee Ownership Month 2014 Re-Cap (Part 2)

The ESOP Association and its members celebrated Employee Ownership Month (EOM), a tribute to the tremendous spirit of employee ownership, throughout the month of October. Following is a re-cap of events shared with the Association and events shared via social media. We’ll be posting additional stories and photos on The ESOP Association Blog this week. Have EOM info to share? Email:

Harpoon Brewery in Boston, Massachusetts, a new ESOP and new member of The ESOP Association, shared a custom-etched glass with employee owners — cheers to employee ownership! — and talked EOM on the company website.

What Employee Ownership Means to Harpoon Brewery

Harpoon Brewery EOM glasses

M. Griffith Investment Services, Inc. in New Hartford, New York might be a new ESOP but went all out this year. From COO Cathy Cucharale: As a fairly new ESOP company (formed June 2012), we held our very first, month-long national Employee Ownership Month! It was a huge success. Our ESOP Ambassadors put together a great program and we had one of our talented employees draw up all of the icons for each event. The employees enjoyed it so much they are already talking about next year!

M. Griffith Investments Employee Ownership Month 2014

Murray Securus in Lancaster, Pennsylvania invited 2014 Employee Owner of the Year, Steve Earle of MidSouth Building Supply in Springfield, Virginia, to speak to Murray employee owners. Steve also presented Matt Pfeiffenberger of the Pennsylvania/Delaware Chapter with the Chapter Employee Owner of the Year Award.

Murray Securus EOM

Newton Manufacturing Company in Newton, Iowa welcomed employee owners with an Appreciation Breakfast and each employee owner was given a mug in celebration of Employee Ownership Month.

Newton Manufacturing EOM 2014 Facebook Post

Recology of San Francisco, California, shared a blog post about their Employee Ownership Month events which include an annual raffle to build employee ownership pride and honoring outstanding employee owners with Employee of the Year Awards.

Recology EOM Blog post

Restek Corporation in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania invited a few local ESOP companies to share their ownership ideas and talk about their companies. Greg Myers and Andy Ferrari of C.S. Davidson Company in York, Pennsylvania shared their company history, history of the company’s ESOP, and how their ESOP Committees are structured. Restek also received a Certificate of Special Recognition from Senator Patrick Toomey (R-PA) commemorating October as ESOP Month.

Restek CS Davidson EOM Event 2014 - 2 Restek CS Davidson EOM Event 2014 Restek Toomey Certificate for EOM

Rex-Cut Abrasives in Fall River, Massachusetts, hosted the company’s annual TEAM Day on October 7th to celebrate Employee Ownership Month. James Lamond, the New England Chapter’s Employee Owner of the Year, also received his Chapter Award at the celebration.


TEAM Software in Omaha, Nebraska talked about employee ownership on the company blog.

Team Software EOM 2014

Transitions Group in Wichita, Kansas celebrated Employee Ownership Month with Tailgate Parties in all 10 of the company’s locations. They also held an ESOP 101 course for 30 employee owners at the company’s Wichita location which was videotaped and shared with the other locations.

 Transistions Group EOM

Wiley|Wilson in Lynchburg, Virginia sent out a release announcing the company’s celebration of employee ownership and talked about planned activities.

Wiley Wilson EOM

This is only a glimpse of the celebrations held by members over the last few weeks, and by all accounts, it was a successful EOM 2014! If you have a story to share, we’d love to hear it. Email us:

Filed under: Employee Ownership Message,

Employee Ownership Foundation Lunch Video

We wanted to share with our readers a video that debuted at The ESOP Association’s Las Vegas Conference & Trade Show last week. The following video aired at the Employee Ownership Foundation Luncheon held on Thursday, November 13, 2014 and highlights a few of the Foundation’s projects in 2014 as well as media coverage of the book, The Citizen’s Share by Dr. Joseph Blasi, Dr. Richard Freeman, and Dr. Douglas Kruse.


Filed under: Employee Ownership Foundation, Employee Ownership Message, , ,

ESOPs on YouTube

On The ESOP Association’s website, there are links to some great videos by ESOP Association members. These videos provide a laugh, some thoughtful introspection on being part of an ESOP company, and the benefits of being employee owned.  There are also a few policy based videos as well that bring a different perspective to the conversation.  In the spirit of sharing the ESOP message during Employee Ownership Month, we thought we’d share the link to let you see for yourself what a creative bunch ESOP people are.  Keep in mind, this is just a sample, there are MANY more out there.

You can find the list here.

Social Networking ESOPs and YouTube TEA page 2

NOTE: If you’re a member of The ESOP Association and would like us to highlight your video on The ESOP Association’s website and on the Employee Ownership Blog, please send an email to media AT with a link to the video and we’ll include a link.

Filed under: Employee Ownership Message, Employee Ownership Month (EOM),

More on Employee Ownership Month Proclamations

Yesterday, we posted some of the 2014 Employee Ownership Month (EOM) proclamations that have been shared with the Association. Today, we thought we’d offer a few tips on securing a proclamation.

Ask Your Elected Officials to Issue a Proclamation

A proclamation is an easy way to alert your elected officials to ESOPs in their community, district, or state. A proclamation is issued by a legislative body designating an official observance of EOM. You can ask your mayor, state representative, or governor to issue a proclamation.

Begin by sending a letter explaining what EOM is and requesting that your representative declare an observance of the month. Attach a sample proclamation for your representative to use. Below is an example:

WHEREAS, employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) have been established in approximately 10,000 companies in the United States, employing 10.3 million working men and women; and

WHEREAS, employee ownership is becoming a practice that is instrumental in helping Americans share in our nation’s growth and prosperity by enabling our citizens to accumulate significant amounts of capital stock in the business at which they are employed; and

WHEREAS, employee ownership has become a powerful incentive for Americans to make the best of their talents and energies in their places of work, thus strengthening the competitive potential of our state’s businesses; and

WHEREAS, employee ownership aids in creating and retaining jobs in our state; and

WHEREAS, the successful record of employee-owned firms in benefiting both companies and employees merits recognition.

THEREFORE, I proclaim October as Employee Ownership Month.


Tips for Securing Proclamations

Most states have specific guidelines regarding proclamations and the best place to start is to call your Governor’s office and ask to speak with the person who handles proclamations. Ask about the preferred method for receiving requests, either by mail, fax, or email. Some states may have an online form that can be filled out and submitted through the state website. Always follow-up with a call to make sure the person responsible for processing requests received your information. You may want to inquire at that time about how long it will take for the request to be approved.

Not only is a proclamation a great way to show your state’s support for employee ownership and ESOPs in America, but is also a wonderful way to draw attention to your company and employee ownership in your state through the media. A few examples are below.

If you would like a text version of the proclamation language, please send a note to Media AT

Filed under: Employee Ownership Message,

Ideas to jump start Employee Ownership Month

EPEOM2014emailsmallEmployee Ownership Month presents an excellent opportunity to tell your company’s ESOP story to anyone who will listen. Employee owners, elected officials, and members of the media are all potential audiences.

Remember, one size does not fit all. What may work for one company may not be the best idea for your company. To help get you started, we’ve included a list below to help brainstorm ideas for this year’s Employee Ownership Month celebrations.

  • Parties
  • Company picnics
  • Brown-bag lunches
  • Ribbon cutting ceremonies
  • Mock game shows
  • Theme days
  • Roundtable discussions with your local Chamber of Commerce or other local membership organizations such as the Rotary Club
  • Award ceremonies
  • Treating employees to a special event
  • Auctions/silent auctions
  • Q & A session with the CEO, plan trustee, or ESOP administrator
  • Team building activities
  • Create a display of Employee Ownership Month posters for your facility
  • Hold an in-house Employee Ownership Month poster contest
  • Charity/donation program to build employee ownership spirit such as a food drive
  • Open house event(s) featuring ESOP/employee ownership theme
  • Vesting ceremonies
  • Special guest speakers such as a member of Congress
  • Secure a proclamation from your local elected officials

Don’t forget to share your stories with the Association, We just might feature your company’s event here on the blog!

Filed under: Employee Ownership Message,

October is Employee Ownership Month — Download Your Press & Event Planning Kit

Employee Ownership Month (2)October will be here before you know it. Star planning TODAY! Download your copy of the 2014 Press & Event Planning Kit. A link to the Kit can be found on the Employee Ownership Month page.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing stories from members to help inspire your company celebrations this October. Now is the time to celebrate the incredible spirit of employee ownership and an opportunity to educate employee owners about the tremendous benefits of ESOPs. It’s also an opportunity to educate the public, elected officials, and the media as to why employee ownership through ESOPs is good public policy.

If you have questions or would like to submit stories and photos about your Employee Ownership Month events, please send an email to media AT

All corporate members of the Association will receive a complimentary copy of this year’s winning poster designed by Entertainments Partners (Burbank, California). Additional copies of the poster can be ordered online.

Filed under: Employee Ownership Message, ,

ESOP News Link

We thought we’d share another link today. Dr. Joseph Blasi, a preeminent researcher of employee ownership, has an opinion piece in Time. A good read. Go take a look.

The Wealthy and Powerful Discover Inequality

Filed under: Employee Ownership Message,

ESOP Champion, Senator Mary Landrieu, Makes Senate Floor Statement on Value of ESOPs

On July 31, 2014, Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu (D) took to the Senate floor to make a statement on ESOPs. Below is an excerpt of her statement; you can read the statement in its entirety here.

An excerpt of Senator Landrieu’s statement follows:

“Ms. LANDRIEU. Madam President, I wish to reiterate my longstanding support for employee stock ownership plans or ESOPs. During my time in the Senate, I have been dedicated to building on the lasting contributions of my Louisiana predecessors, including Senator Russell B. Long, who, as Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, championed tax provisions to encourage corporations to adopt ESOPs. Senator Long advocated for employee stock ownership as an “issue that cuts across party lines in an attempt to bring out the best in our free enterprise system.’’ He believed that “it is only fair and right that those who work to make this economy succeed should have an opportunity to share in that success . . . [i]t is a matter of simple common sense and basic equity.’’ I couldn’t agree more.

“Last year, as chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, I convened a roundtable to provide small business owners, policy experts and other stakeholders an opportunity to express their views and to solicit their ideas on making tax reform work for small businesses. Participants argued in favor of a Tax Code that rewards employer and employee ownership as a means of providing continuity of business ownership and opportunities for employees of businesses to build wealth. Specifically, participants favored retaining the current Tax Code’s ESOP provisions, noting that during the most recent economic downturn, ESOPs, which are predominately small businesses, were able to retain more employees as they weathered the crisis than conventionally owned companies.

“Earlier this year, the New York Times published an article describing the research of three labor economists who have focused their work on promoting ESOPs as a “new perspective on how to resolve the disparities in wealth and income.’’ I ask unanimous consent to have printed in the Record the New York Times article, dated February 11, 2014, and titled, “Whatever Happened to ‘Every Man a King’?’’. These experts, Dr. Joseph Blasi and Dr. Richard Kruse of Rutgers University, and Dr. Douglas Freeman of Harvard University, argue in their book, “The Citizen’s Share’’, that policies promoting employee ownership date back to the era of the Founding Fathers and have garnered support from politicians and stakeholders across the political spectrum–from Ronald Reagan to Senator Bernie Sanders.

“Quite simply, policies that promote ESOPs are policies that merit this Chamber’s bipartisan support and I will continue the work of my Louisiana predecessors to ensure retirement security for working Americans.”

The New York Times article by Thomas B. Edsall can be found here.

Filed under: Employee Ownership Message, Government Affairs,

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