The ESOP Association Blog

Covering ESOPs and employee ownership

ESOP Chapters

Did you know…all members of The ESOP Association are automatically members of their local Chapter and every member is covered by a Chapter. Chapters provide a unique opportunity to network and learn from local area ESOP companies and ESOP service providers. The Chapters hold various ESOP related meetings throughout the year and if you’re interested in learning more about Chapter events, click here for a calendar listings.

Find your local ESOP Chapter!

Chapter map no title

Filed under: Chapter News, Member Services,

July 2015 ESOP Association Legislative Update

ESOP Association President, J. Michael Keeling, provides a legislative update to members regarding pro-ESOP bills introduced in the House of Representatives and the Senate, H.R. 2096 and S. 1212.

He also discusses the Advocacy Kit and its importance. The Advocacy Kits can be found on The ESOP Association’s website here.

Filed under: Government Affairs, Member Services,

Welcome New ESOP Association Professional Members

A few weeks ago, we officially welcomed new corporate members and now we want to take a moment to welcome new professional members to the Association.


Mr. Charles Lynch, Alliance Bernstein, Philadelphia, PA

Mr. Mark Shorthouse, Argent Trust Company, Atlanta, GA

Mr. David Hanson, Barclays, Chicago, IL

Mr. Mark Clark, Benefit Associates, Huntington Beach, CA

Mr. Jeff Zaremba, BKD, LLP, Oakbrook Terrace, IL

Ms. Kim Thompson, Blue Ridge ESOP Associates, Charlottesville, VA

Mr. Matthew Simon, BMO Harris Bank, Milwaukee, WI

Mr. Chad Rock, BMO Harris Bank, Kansas City, MO

Mr. Matt Mayer, BMO Harris Bank, Kansas City, MO

Ms. Jen Auner, BMO Harris Bank, Milwaukee, WI

Mr. Neil Riegelman, BMO Harris Bank, Milwaukee, WI

Mr. Brandt Brereton, Brereton, Hanley & Co., Inc., San Jose, CA

Mr. Robert Gagne, BTC ESOP Services, Des Moines, IA

Ms. Kayla Adams, Business Transition Advisors, Inc., Portland, OR

Mr. James M. Kazmier, CohnReznick LLP, Chicago, IL

Mr. Daniel M. Lynn, Deloitte Transactions and Business Analytics LLP, Chicago, IL

Ms. Mae Blommel, Eide Bailly LLP, Fargo, ND

Mr. Wesley Thompson, Expense Reduction Analysts, Inc., Franklin, MI

Mr. Fred W. Muhleman, Expense Reduction Analysts, Inc., Canandaigua, NY

Mr. Ralph W. Owens, Expense Reduction Analysts, Inc., Sumter, SC

Ms. Sonia C. Gamache, Expense Reduction Analysts, Inc., Lithia, FL

Mr. Martin Leiter, Expense Reduction Analysts, Inc., Chicago, IL

Mr. Rob Peterson, Expense Reduction Analysts, Inc., Waukee, IA

Mr. Dave Page, Expense Reduction Analysts, Inc., Saint Louis, MO

Mr. Kurt Rundle, Expense Reduction Analysts, Inc., Holly Springs, NC

Mr. Steven L. Severson, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, Minneapolis, MN

Ms. Debra L. Hinshaw, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, Indianapolis, IN

Mr. Dennis Floro, Floro & Associates, Montgomery, TX

Mr. John E. Ashbrook, FMV Opinions, Inc., Irvine, CA

Mr. Joel Farrar, Foster Swift Collins & Smith P.C., Lansing, MI

Ms. Jennifer A. Fortner, Goldman Sachs & Company, Chicago, IL

Ms. Hallie E. Goodman, Gray, Plant, Mooty, Mooty & Bennett, P.A., Minneapolis, MN

Mr. Robert Owca, GreatBanc Trust Company, Lisle, IL

Ms. Rebecca G. DiStefano, Greenberg Traurig, LLP, Boca Raton, FL

Mr. Michael W. Kozemchak, Institutional Investment Consulting, Bloomfield Hills, MI

Ms. Lara Hemingway, K&L Gates LLP, Spokane, WA

Ms. Kelly Reale, Key Equipment Finance, Albany, NY

Mr. Daniel Wintz, Koley Jessen P.C., L.L.O., Omaha, NE

Mr. Brian Sharkey, Kreischer Miller, Horsham, PA

Mr. John C. Dorsey, Manning, Fulton & Skinner, P.A., Raleigh, NC

Mr. Rob Metcalf, MarksNelson LLC, Kansas City, MO

Mr. Matt Barberich, MarksNelson LLC, Kansas City, MO

Ms. Erin Hollis, Marshall & Stevens, Inc., Chicago, IL

Ms. Ashley Kirchner, MB Financial Bank, N.A., Rosemont, IL

Mr. James Edwards, McCready and Keene, Inc., A OneAmerica Company, Indianapolis, IN

Mr. Joe Duncan, McCready and Keene, Inc., A OneAmerica Company, Indianapolis, IN

Ms. Michelle Buckley, Meaden & Moore, Ltd., Cleveland, OH

Mr. John A. Tardio, MBA, ASA, Meyers, Harrison & Pia, LLC, New Haven, CT

Mr. David Turner, Millennium Trust Company, Oak Brook, IL

Mr. Dabney Smith, Mosaic Capital Partners, Charlotte, NC

Mr. William Hayes, Mosaic Capital Partners, Charlotte, NC

Mr. David Jasmund, PCE Investment Bankers, Winter Park, FL

Ms. Lydia Jun, PenChecks, Inc., La Mesa, CA

Ms. Diane Feistel, Principal Financial Group, Appleton, WI

Mr. Jeff Prince, ProCourse Fiduciary Advisors, Carmel, IN

Mr. David N. Pardys, Esq., Reed Smith LLP, Philadelphia, PA

Mr. David A. Surbeck, Reed Smith LLP, Philadelphia, PA

Mr. John Martini, Reed Smith LLP, Philadelphia, PA

Ms. Cheri L. Jones, Rehmann, Vero Beach, FL

Mr. Richard E. Vendig, Richard E. Vendig, LLC, Pound Ridge, NY

Mr. Travis E.J. Dutton, Riggs, Counselman, Michaels & Downes Inc., Baltimore, MD

Ms. Heather Rooney McBride, Rooney McBride & Smith, LLC, Springfield, MO

Mr. Avery Chenin, Steiker, Greenapple & Croscut, P.C., Cleveland Heights, OH

Mr. Matthew Hricko, Stout Risius Ross, Inc., Chicago, IL

Ms. Lorene Pierre, Swerdlin & Company, Atlanta, GA

Ms. Emily S. Horn, Taylor English Duma LLP, Atlanta, GA

Mr. Michael Goldstein, The Gottlieb Organization, Chagrin Falls, OH

Mr. Garrett McDaniel, The Gottlieb Organization, Chagrin Falls, OH

Mr. Judd Kohn, The PrivateBank and Trust Company, Chicago, IL

Mr. Steven LeClair, UBS Financial Services, Dublin, OH

Ms. Renee Milyiori, UBS Financial Services, Dublin, OH

Ms. Cyndi Livermore, William E. Howell, LLC, Manchester, NH

Filed under: Member Services, TEA Members,

June 2015 Roundup

It’s the last day of June so a monthly wrap-up it is!

Upcoming 2015 July events

Support for ESOPs

The June 2015 Washington Report from the ESOP Report

Welcome to new corporate members

We shared a pic of the 2015 Employee Ownership Month Poster Contest winner

Show your ownership spirit

The June 2015 ESOP Report was published

Registration is now open for the 2015 Employee Owner Retreat

Jobs remained stable in the employee stock ownership sector

ESOP advocates list

Spring Advocacy Kits

Dates announced for the 2015 Employee Owner Retreat

We noted how to access Issue Briefs and the Membership Directory on the website

Carris Reels beats the drum for ESOPs

Filed under: Chapter News, Conference Information, Economic Performance, Employee Ownership Foundation, Employee Ownership Month (EOM), ESOP Report, Government Affairs, Issue Brief, Member Services, Publication, TEA Members,

Welcome New ESOP Association Members

We wanted to take a moment to officially welcome new corporate members to the Association.


Amid, Inc. Aka American Medical Identifications, Houston, TX

BLM Technologies Inc., Plymouth, MN

Bruske Products, Tinley Park, IL

Carney, Sandoe & Associates, Boston, MA

Clark Insurance, Portland, ME

Clim-A-Tech Industries, Inc., Hopkins, MN

Controlled Blasting, Inc., Winder, GA

Davies Office Refurbishing, Inc., Albany, NY

De Maximis, Inc., Knoxville, TN

Diablo Country Magazine, Inc., Walnut Creek, CA

Digicon Corp., Rockville, MD

Dividend Assets Capital, Ridgeland, SC

Electro-Matic Ventures, Inc., Farmington, MI

Employee Benefits Corporation, Madison, WI

First State Bancorp of Monticello Inc., Monticello, IL

Foley Material Handling Co., Inc., Ashland, VA

Goettle Construction, Cincinnati, OH

Hamill Manufacturing Company, Trafford, PA

Henny Penny Corporation, Eaton, OH

Hoffman & Hoffman, Inc., Greensboro, NC

Homeland Security Solutions, Inc., Hampton, VA

ICM, Inc., Jacksonville, AR

Carlson Services, Inc., Shevlin, MN

Jasper Rubber Products, Inc., Jasper, IN

JLG Architects, Grand Forks, ND

KeHE Distributors, Inc., Naperville, IL

Kenneth’s Hair Salons & Day Spas Inc., Columbus, OH

McCownGordon Construction, Kansas City, MO

Mead Lumber, Columbus, NE

Millenium Medical Education Resources, LTD., Doylestown, PA

National Technologies Associates, Inc., Arlington, VA

Network Center Inc., Fargo, ND

New England Controls, Mansfield, MA

Normandeau Associates, Inc., Bedford, NH

P.W. Grosser Consulting, Inc., Bohemia, NY

Parman Energy, Nashville, TN

Patton Hospitality Management, Asheville, NC

PCG Equity, San Francisco, CA

Printing Technologies, Inc., Indianapolis, IN

Public Affairs Support Services, Inc., Reston, VA

Raulli & Sons Inc., Syracuse, NY

Sain Engineering Associates, Inc., Birmingham, AL

Steel-Pro, Inc., Rockland, ME

Strem Chemicals, Inc., Newburyport, MA

Tecnico Corporation, Chesapeake, VA

Texas Scenic Company, Inc., San Antonio, TX

The Auto Park, Inc., Plymouth, IN

Virginia Systems and Technology, Inc., Warrenton, VA

Filed under: Member Services, TEA Members,

Show your ownership spirit!

ESOP flag

Fly it proudly under, or next to, Old Glory. The ESOP flag with ESOP logo and “Employee Owned” on royal blue nylon, 3’ x 5’. The ESOP flag meets all industry standards for outdoor display. Durability subject to weather conditions.

Members $68.00   Non-Members $500.00

Visit our website or call 202-293-2971 to purchase the ESOP flag!

Filed under: Member Services, Publication,

May 2015 Link Round Up

It’s June 1 it is which means this is your May news re-cap.

Leading in an Ownership Setting: The Program for CEOs

New Spring Advocacy Kit is available

We talked pro-ESOP legislation

We provided a legislative update on H.R. 2096 and S. 1212

May 2015 ESOP Report was published

We shared some talk about ESOPs

We talked ESOP company news

Dates were announced for the 2015 Employee Owner Retreat

S. 1212 was introduced in the Senate

Congrats to the 2015 ESOP Award & AACE Award winners

The 2015 Annual Conference App was announced

We connected at the Annual Conference with members

We announced new Chairs!

Filed under: AACE - Annual Awards for Communications Excellence, Conference Information, Employee Ownership Foundation, Employee Ownership Message, ESOP Report, Government Affairs, Member Services, Publication, Silver ESOP Awards, TEA Members,

ESOP Company News Edition

The following news from ESOP Association members ran in the April 2015 ESOP Report and we wanted to share with readers here. If you have ESOP company news to share, please send an email to media AT

Gibson Named Best Places to Work in Indiana for Third Consecutive Year

Gibson-Insurance-Logo-300x116Gibson, an ESOP Association member, was recently named as one of the 2015 Best Places to Work in Indiana.  The statewide survey and awards program is designed to identify, recognize, and honor the best places of employment in Indiana, benefiting the state’s economy, its workforce, and businesses.  The 2015 Best Places to Work in Indiana list of 100 companies is made up of four different size categories.

Companies from across the state entered the two-part process first by evaluating each company’s workplace policies, practices, and demographics.  This part of the process was 25% of the total evaluation.  The other 75% consisted of an employee survey to measure the employee experience.  The combined scores determined the top companies and the final ranking.  An independent firm, Best Companies Group, managed the process, analyzed the data, and used their expertise to determine the final rankings.

Gibson will be recognized at the Best Places to Work Awards Dinner in May. Gibson is a 100% employee-owned (38% ESOP), regional insurance broker and risk management services firm with offices in South Bend, Plymouth, Indianapolis, and Fort Wayne, Indiana.


Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories and National Association of Manufacturers Honor Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers

On March 10, 2015 the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) awarded Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) the NAM Award for Manufacturing Legislative Excellence at an event hosted by NAM member Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories in Pullman, Washington.

“American manufacturing is critical to the strength of our nation’s economy,” said Edmund O. Schweitzer, III, president of Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories. “We applaud Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers’ efforts in support of a free, flat, and fair environment that enables manufacturers to grow, create jobs, and keep ahead of global competition.”

“Contributing almost 290,000 jobs to Washington state, manufacturers help grow our local economy from the bottom up,” said Congresswoman McMorris Rogers. “As a representative of the most trade-dependent state in the nation, I am proud to support this innovative, expanding industry that strengthens our opportunity economy. Our exports are critical to men and women across the state, and manufacturers understand that better than anyone.”

You can see more on the company’s Facebook page.

SEL - IMG_7404

SEL - IMG_7570

SEL - IMG_7630

Filed under: Government Affairs, Member Services, TEA Members, ,

May & June Calendar of Events

Following is a list of ESOP Association Chapter and national ESOP events taking place in May and June 2015. Additional events can be found on the calendar.

May 2015

38th Annual ESOP Conference & 24th Awards Ceremony

May 7 & 8, 2015
(Awards Ceremony May 6th)
38th Annual ESOP Conference & 24th Annual Awards Ceremony
“ESOPs: Creating Our Destiny”
Renaissance Washington Hotel Washington, DC

Contact Rosemary Clements or Maya Van Buren at (202) 293-2971 or

Preliminary Agenda (4/16/2015)
Sponsorships Available (3/19/2015)
Registration Form (print pdf) 
The Monument Tour on May 7 is SOLD OUT

Click to register



Northwest Chapter – Retreat for Senior Managers (Bend, OR)

May 19, 2015
Northwest Chapter
2015 Retreat for Senior Managers
This program is designed for Senior Managers (i.e. President, CEO, CFO).
Hosted at Deschutes Brewery
901 SW Simpson Ave
Bend, OR 97702
Click to register
For more information Northwest Chapter Administrative Office at 916-634-4201 for assistance.


June 2015

Wisconsin Chapter – “The Year of the All Star ESOP” WIESOP Summer Roundtables and Timber Rattlers Ball Game (Appleton, WI)

June 1, 2015
Wisconsin Chapter
“The Year of the All Star ESOP” WIESOP Summer Roundtables & Ball Game
2015 WIESOP Roundtables and Ball Game Agenda

Wingate by Wyndham Appleton
1565 N Federated Drive
Appleton, WI   54913

Ball Game:
Timber Rattlers
Fox Cities Stadium
2400 N. Casaloma Drive,
Appleton, WI
Click to register
Wisconsin Chapter 2015 Summer Roundtables Printable Registration Form
For more information contact Donna Walseth at or 763.785.4122
2015 Wisconsin Chapter Sponsorship Form
Mid Atlantic Chapter 2015 CEO & CFO Roundtable (Springfield, VA)

June 3, 2015
Mid Atlantic Chapter
2015 Mid Atlantic Chapter – CEO & CFO Roundtable
MidSouth Building Supply, Inc.
7940 Woodruff Court
Springfield, VA  22151
Click to register
Print Registration Form (pdf)
For more information contact Shelly Dennis at or (603) 756-3441


Illinois Chapter – 10th Annual EOF Golf Outing (Bloomingdale, IL)

June 4, 2015
Illinois Chapter
10th Annual Illinois Chapter EOF Golf Outing Brochure – Bloomingdale, IL
Bloomingdale Golf Club
181 Glen Ellyn Road
Bloomingdale, IL  60108
For more information contact Donna Walseth at or 763.785.4122


2015 Super Regional Board of Directors & Trustee Conference – New England, NY/NJ, and PA/DE Chapters (Rochester, NY)

June 9-10, 2015
New England, NY/NJ, & PA/DE Chapters
2015 Super Regional Board of Directors & Trustee Conference
Rochester Airport Marriott
1890 Ridge Road West
Rochester, NY 14615
Click to register
2015 Super Regional Printable Registration Form

2015 Super Regional Conference Sponsorship Form – Rochester, NY

For more information contact Shelly Dennis at or 603.756.3441


New England Chapter – 2015 Annual Planning Day (Framingham, MA)

June 16, 2015
New England Chapter – 2015 Annual Planning Day
Sheraton Framingham
1657 Worcester RD
Framingham, MA 01701

For more information contact Shelly Dennis at – 603.756.3441


Ohio / Kentucky & Indiana Chapters – 14th Annual Tri-State ESOP Conference (Louisville, KY)

June 18, 2015
Ohio / Kentucky & Indiana Chapters
Crowne Plaza Louisville Airport Hotel
830 Phillips Lane
Louisville, KY  40209

For more information contact Karrie Imbrogno at or 440.989.1552


Minnesota/Dakotas Chapter – Summer Chapter Meeting (Fargo, ND)

June 18, 2015
Minnesota/Dakotas Chapter
2015 Summer Chapter Meeting – Fargo
Hilton Garden
Fargo, ND
CEO, CFO, and HR Roundtables will also be held at this conference.
For more information contact Sue Crockett at or 612.872.4375

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

Been There; Done That. Does It Have to Be?

The following article originally ran as the President’s Page column in the February 2015 issue of the ESOP Report, the newsletter of The ESOP Association.

Human nature is often an enemy of enthusiasm. By this statement I mean it is normal for a mature ESOP company to react with a ‘been there, done that,’ attitude when pondering how to keep the enthusiasm for employee ownership vibrant among the company employees.

In recent years, when I visit ESOP companies, I often find myself talking to company executives, ESOP committee members, or HR professionals of a company that has had an ESOP for 10, 15, 20, 25, or even more years.

Often, here is the story I hear:

“Well, when we finally put the ESOP in place, needless to say, we were somewhat focused on the details of being sure we met the law and regulations. We were somewhat surprised how creating the ESOP tapped our resources, both money and time wise.

We had our ESOP advisors, and felt that they could keep us posted on all we needed to know.

We told the employees we had an ESOP, but most just scratched their heads, wondering what kind of scheme had been cooked up, as no one was seeing any extra money in her or his pocket.

In sum, we were what one might say a “sleepy” ESOP, assuming that employees would be excited about being owners, and would want to do more and be better.

After some employees left vested, and others saw that the person did get real value, interest seemed to perk up, and we could sense the employees wanted to be more attuned to what this ESOP and their role in being a beneficial owner meant.

So in about year five or so, we began to have employees exposed to other men and women like them at Association Chapter meetings, the national Annual Conference, and the Foundation’s Employee Owner Retreat, for example.

Top level executives, and average pay employees saw the AACE entries, heard about winners of AACE, ESOP Company of the Year, Employee Owner of the Year, attended the Annual Awards Banquet. Some employees became the ‘champions’ for making sure others in the company knew we were special, and everyone would benefit the better if we maximized the human side of ESOPs as a company.

So we entered AACE. We put in applications for awards with our Chapter and thus nationally. We created an ESOP communications committee; we made sure average pay employees were at meetings, networking with others in ESOP companies, and going to break out sessions about ownership culture and the human side of ESOPs.

But after five years or more of going, going, entering, entering, it sort of became old hat all of this intangible ‘love’ of being ESOP.

We need a revival so to speak. We are a good company, don’t get me wrong; but we just wonder if all of this ‘going, participating, entering’ stuff is worth it as we have been down that road, and we do not regret it; but the enthusiasm is gone.”

Well, after hearing this story, I do not jump up and down preaching that persistence is the key to an ESOP company maximizing their ownership structure; persistence is in keeping the enthusiasm alive. But the truth is each company, for many different reasons — growth, or new employees, or new business initiatives — needs to be engaged with the ESOP community year in and year out.

Accepting that the ‘old’ stuff has no more intrinsic value can diminish the subjective impact that being employee-owned has on a better performing company, with a more dedicated, and a more experienced work force, that builds wealth for all.

So, exposing ESOP people to the various tactics used to build a good company, learning about new tactics not used before, is a major way to end ennui that can arise in a mature ESOP company.

Filed under: Employee Ownership Message, Member Services, Publication, , , ,

Welcome to the employee ownership blog of The ESOP Association.
The place where you'll find the latest information on ESOPs and employee ownership news.
Serving the entire ESOP community.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 142 other followers




Iowa/Nebraska Chapter

More Photos

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 142 other followers