The ESOP Association Blog

Covering ESOPs and employee ownership

ESOP News Highlights

We’d thought we’d share an article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune that highlighted two ESOP Association members: Christensen Group Insurance and Windings Inc.

St. Anthony: Employee ownership can be a winning formula

Also, Dr. Joseph Blasi’s op-ed in the Los Angeles Times is also worth a read.

If Democrats really want to address inequality, they need new ideas

Enjoy this Wednesday reading.

Got an interesting article to share, drop us an email, media AT

Filed under: Employee Ownership Message, , ,

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, , , ,

ESOP Article Round-Up

We thought we’d share a few articles on ESOPs and employee ownership that ran over the past week.

We recently highlighted this article by Professor Joseph Blasi which appeared on Salon on July 4, 2014: The Founding Fathers backed Thomas Piketty – and feared a powerful 1 percent.

On July 10th, Professor Blasi was a guest on The Hays Advantage Podcast, Kathleen Hays with co-host Vonnie Quinn covers business stories with top-tier guests. The podcast: Blasi Has Inequality Solution in ‘The Citizen’s Share’ (Audio). You can listen here. You will need to scroll down the page for the podcast link.

On July 12, 2014, Professor Blasi was featured on The Daily Beast: A Founding Father Profit Sharing Fix for Inequality.

On July 10, 2014, The Huffington Post Small Business section featured an article on ESOPs: Should You Think About an ESOP?

The Brookings Institute featured an article by Richard V. Reeves on July 8, 2014: Employee Ownership: The Case for Metro Action.

Filed under: Employee Ownership Message, ,

The Founding Fathers Feared a Powerful One Percent

Dr. Joseph Blasi, a preeminent researcher of employee ownership, published an interesting article on the founding fathers and how they feared a powerful one percent. We thought we’d share a link to the article with our readers today.

The Founding Fathers backed Thomas Piketty – and feared a powerful 1 percent

This 4th of July, remember the truth about founding fathers, and their prescient warnings about income inequality

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

New Pro-ESOP Bill, H.R. 4837

ESOP Association President, J. Michael Keeling, provides a legislative update to members regarding a new pro-ESOP bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, bill number H.R. 4837.


Filed under: Employee Ownership Message, Government Affairs, Member Services, ,

Pro-ESOP Bill Introduced in House

The ESOP Association sent out the following release today. We are also sharing the information with readers here.

For Immediate Release: June 12, 2014

Pro-ESOP Bill Introduced in House

June 12, 2014 (Washington, DC) – The ESOP Association expresses strong support for H.R. 4837, the Promotion and Expansion of Private Employee Ownership Act, introduced June 11, 2014 by Congressmen David G. Reichert (R-WA), Ron Kind (D-WI), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Charles W. Boustany, Jr. (R-LA), Richard E. Neal (D-MA), Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ), Erik Paulsen (R-MN), and Pat Tiberi (R-OH).

H.R. 4837 is similar to S. 742, which was introduced in early 2013 by a bi-partisan group of Senators led by Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD). H.R. 4837 would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and the Small Business Act to expand the availability of employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) in S corporations.

“Research proves that ESOPs are more profitable, more productive, and provide sustainable jobs. We need policies to encourage employee stock ownership, and the proposed policies in H.R. 4837, modest in approach, should address core social issues such as adequate retirement security and making sure working Americans have an ownership stake in our capitalistic system,” stated ESOP Association President, J. Michael Keeling.

Keeling continued, “It is extremely pleasing to see these House members, all members of the House Ways and Means Committee, four Republicans and four Democrats, stand up for employee stock ownership through ESOPs. The ESOP Association notes its appreciation for the leadership role of its ally in the employee ownership community, the Employee-Owned S Corporations of America, in championing this new pro-ESOP legislation.”


The ESOP Association is the national trade association for companies with employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) and the leading voice in America for employee ownership. The core cause of The ESOP Association is the belief that employee ownership will improve American competitiveness, increase productivity through greater employee participation, and strengthen our free enterprise economy. More information: website – and blog –

Filed under: Employee Ownership Message, Government Affairs, , ,

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, ,

Annual Awards Ceremony to Honor AACE Award Winners

Will you be joining us for the 37th Annual Conference in Washington, DC on May 8th and 9th this year? If so, don’t forget about the Awards Ceremony on the evening of May 7th. Each registrant for the 37th Annual Conference is entitled to one ticket to the Awards Ceremony; the ticket price is included in the registration fee.  In advance of the 2014 Awards Ceremony, we thought we’d take a look back at the 2013 AACE Award winners.

During the last week of March, the AACE Awards judging will take place and the 2014 winners will be announced in April on the Association’s website and in the ESOP Report, the newsletter of The ESOP Association.

Filed under: AACE - Annual Awards for Communications Excellence, Conference Information, Employee Ownership Message, TEA Members, , ,

Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc. Named 2014 Better Workplace Award Winner

Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc. (SEL) located in Pullman, WA, received a 2014 Better Workplace Award from the Association of Washington Business (AWB). Pictured: Stacey Doty, SEL Director of Human Resources and Luis D’Acosta, SEL Chief Operating Officer accept the 2014 AWB Better Workplace Award.

SEL Accepts AWB Award

AWB’s Annual Better Workplace Awards recognize member companies that provide a family-friendly work environment, promote safety, and enable employees to achieve their best. Awards are presented to companies that demonstrate innovation in workplace safety, job training and advancement, and benefit and compensation programs.

SEL received the award in the Innovative Benefits/Compensation category and was selected based on the company’s imaginative employee benefits, including the decision to locate a new manufacturing facility closer to where the employees live and the soon-to-open employee child-care center. In addition to SEL’s ESOP, the company also offers an on-site health center staffed with an advanced nurse practitioner, and a wellness program complete with a workout facility and trained staff. The company also offers monthly education benefits and adoption assistance, in addition to more traditional benefits, such as healthcare insurance, paid personal leave, a 401(k) retirement savings plan, and others.

“It’s exciting to be recognized for the Innovative Benefits/Compensation award,” said Stacey Doty, director of Human Resources. “We strive to provide exceptional benefits, and this award acknowledges that others see value in what we are doing, and that makes us proud.”

SEL was among five companies to receive an award from AWB, which is recognized as Washington’s state chamber of commerce, manufacturing, and technology association, and represents 8,100 private employers from across the state.

Filed under: Employee Ownership Message, Member Services, TEA Members, ,

Carl Warren & Company Celebrates 70 Years

Carl Warren & Company, located in Placentia, CA, recently celebrated its 70th anniversary. To help kickoff the celebration, former Congressman, Joe Baca, stopped by the company’s office to join the employee owners in celebrating. Pictured: Caryn Siebert, President/CEO, Carl Warren & Company and former Congressman Joe Baca.

Carl Warren - Caryn and Joe Baca1And in More Carl Warren News…

On March 7, 2014 the Claims & Litigation Management Alliance (CLM) announced finalists for the 2014 CLM Professionals of the Year Award. Caryn Siebert, President and CEO of Carl Warren & Company was named as a finalist in the category of Claims Management. Finalists were chosen based on their commitment to the profession, leadership in the industry and contribution to the success of their company or clients. Ms. Siebert is a long-time ESOP Association member and Carl Warren & Company was named the ESOP Company of the Year in 2013.  CLM Award winners will be announced in April at the CLM Annual Conference in Florida.

Filed under: Employee Ownership Message, Member Services, TEA Members, ,

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