The ESOP Association Blog

Covering ESOPs and employee ownership

September 2014 ESOP Company News

We thought we’d share a few member highlights from September.

Wisconsin Chapter Members Visit Congressman Paul Ryan

During The ESOP Association’s 2014 Annual Conference in Washington, DC, members of the Wisconsin Chapter visited Capitol Hill to meet with members of Congress and their staff. This was the Chapter’s sixth annual organized effort as a Chapter, and members made a total of six visits. At right is a photo of Wisconsin Chapter members with Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI).

 WI Chapter - 2014 Cong Ryan Visit

Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc.’s Lewiston Location Hosts Visit with Senator Mike Crapo

The employee owners of Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc. (SEL) shared their perspectives on employee ownership with Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, when he visited the company’s manufacturing facility in Lewiston, Idaho in August 2014. He toured the manufacturing floor, learned about SEL and the products and services it provides for power systems around the world, and spoke with some of the 230 employee owners about the company’s ESOP. Senior Operations Manager Dave Strerath praised the retirement benefits afforded by the ESOP. Senator Crapo indicated his strong support for ESOPs and suggested that more businesses should follow the model. SEL Lewiston recently doubled the size of the manufacturing facility to 245,000 square feet. The plant specializes in producing high-quality relays, data cables, voltage regulator controllers, and plastic parts. Thanks to SEL’s Larry Camm for sharing the news.

 crapovisit2014

Restek Corporation Visits with Congressman Glenn Thompson

On August 15, 2014, the employee owners of Restek Corporation in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania held a visit with Congressman Glenn Thompson (D-PA) to discuss the pro-ESOP bill, H.R. 4837. According to Restek employee owner, Mike Shuey, “Our meeting with Congressman Thompson was excellent. He co-sponsored the previous bill and is a co-sponsor of H.R. 2041 so he gave us his word he’ll get on this when he gets back to DC. Congressman Thompson is a true ESOP advocate and we greatly appreciate his support!” Thanks to Mike Shuey for sharing the news.

Restek Thompson Visit - 20140815_121214_resized

Filed under: Member Services, TEA Members

NewAge Industries Hosts Visit with Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick

ESOP COMPANY NEWS — To wrap-up August, we thought we’d highlight a few members. All this week, we’ll be sharing ESOP Association member stories and events. Enjoy.

NewAge Industries Hosts Visit with Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick

NewAge_Industries_Congressman_Fitzpatrick_visit-72Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA) recently met with the employee owners of NewAge Industries in Southampton, Pennsylvania to discuss the benefits of employee ownership. The Congressman took part in a town hall style meeting to discuss the benefits of an ESOP and their potential to help other Pennsylvania businesses.

NewAge team members from several departments and with various levels of seniority, job responsibilities and length of employment — from two to twenty-five years — took part. They discussed the mindset of being an owner and not just an employee. The group displayed a thorough understanding of how their day-to-day decisions affect the future of everyone in the company.

NewAge’s employee owners feel that ESOP retirement plans can be a good option for Pennsylvania businesses. When previously employed at other companies, some current NewAge team members experienced the sale and subsequent dissolution of those companies. Other current employee owners work with companies whose owners are aging, and there’s concern that the leadership teams of those companies simply haven’t considered an ESOP as a viable business transition.

Thanks to NewAge’s Ann Phy for sharing the news with the Association.

Have company news to share? Send us a note at media AT esopassociation.org.

 

 

Filed under: Member Services, TEA Members,

Mid South Building Supply Hosts MAC Breakfast

ESOP COMPANY NEWS — To wrap-up August, we thought we’d highlight a few members. All this week, we’ll be sharing ESOP Association member stories and events. Enjoy.

Mid South Building Supply Hosts MAC Breakfast

The Mid-Atlantic Chapter (MAC) recently hosted a breakfast at Mid South Building Supply, Inc. in Springfield, Virginia. Breakfast meetings are a time-efficient and inexpensive way to provide additional information and networking opportunities for Chapter members in between larger Chapter-wide and National conferences. Bottom photo at left: Ben Wells of Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP, and Greg Hogan of SC&H Capital, LLC, lead a presentation on ESOP Releveraging at the MAC ESOP Breakfast meeting on July 30.

According to Tom Roback of Blue Ridge ESOP Associates, it was a very active session.

Thanks to Tom Roback and Paul Horn of WorkPlace Consultants for sending photos.

Have company news to share? Send us a note at media AT esopassociation.org.

MAC Mid South Meeting

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Filed under: Member Services, TEA Members,

Flippo Construction Company, Inc.’s Employee Owners Show Off

ESOP COMPANY NEWS — To wrap-up August, we thought we’d highlight a few members. All this week, we’ll be sharing ESOP Association member stories and events. Enjoy.

Flippo Construction Company, Inc.’s Employee Owners Show Off

Flippo shareholders meetingThe employee owners of Flippo Construction Company, Inc. recently showed off their money tree shirts at the company’s annual shareholders day held on July 10, 2014 in Forestville, Maryland.

Thanks to Paul Horn of WorkPlace Consultants for sharing the photo.

Have company news to share? Send us a note at media AT esopassociation.org.

Filed under: Member Services, TEA Members,

ESOP Company News: Entertainment Partners Highlighted in the Los Angeles Times

To wrap-up August, we thought we’d highlight a few members. All this week, we’ll be sharing ESOP Association member stories and events. Enjoy.

 Entertainment Partners Highlighted in the Los Angeles Times

Entertainment Partners LA Times ClipMark Goldstein, the CEO of Entertainment Partners of Burbank, California, was recently highlighted in the Los Angeles Times. Take a look.  Even the ESOP got a mention!

Thanks to Entertainment Partners’ Ron Cogan for sharing the link.

Have company news to share? Send us a note at media AT esopassociation.org.

Filed under: Member Services, TEA Members,

Congressional Visits

While in DC for the Annual Conference, May 8 & 9, many Association members made visits to their Congressional offices to discuss the value of employee ownership. Some even met up with members of Congress at the airport. Lesson: never pass up the chance to talk ESOP! We’ll be sharing photos below. If you have photos of a Congressional visit, please send it to media AT esopassociation.org. We’ll try to include the information in an upcoming issue of the ESOP Report and on the Association’s Blog.

Thanks to our members for their work to promote ESOPs and employee ownership in America.

Members of the California/Western States Chapter visiting Capitol Hill during the Annual Conference.

Members of the California/Western States Chapter visiting Capitol Hill during the Annual Conference.

Members of the California/Western States Chapter visiting Capitol Hill during the Annual Conference.

Members of the California/Western States Chapter visiting Capitol Hill during the Annual Conference.

New South Chapter members visited the offices of Alabama Senators Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Richard Shelby (R-AL) during the Annual Conference in Washington, DC. New South Chapter Government Relations Chair, Karan Christopher of McCord Communications, scheduled the appointments with the Senators’ staff members and other Chapter members joined her to share their ESOP story. The visits were successful and opened up the door for future Congressional visits to ESOP companies in the state of Alabama.   Left to right: Ed Ilano (Swerdlin & Company), Jodi Lamb (Big G Express), Andy Dickerson (McCord Communications), Karan Christopher (McCord Communications), Teresa Crosslin (Big G Express).

New South Chapter members visited the offices of Alabama Senators Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Richard Shelby (R-AL) during the Annual Conference in Washington, DC. New South Chapter Government Relations Chair, Karan Christopher of McCord Communications, scheduled the appointments with the Senators’ staff members and other Chapter members joined her to share their ESOP story. The visits were successful and opened up the door for future Congressional visits to ESOP companies in the state of Alabama.
Left to right: Ed Ilano (Swerdlin & Company), Jodi Lamb (Big G Express), Andy Dickerson (McCord Communications), Karan Christopher (McCord Communications), Teresa Crosslin (Big G Express).

From left to right: Congressman Joe Courtney (D-CT), Congressman John B. Larson (D-CT), Steve Sabourin, GM of Carris Reels in Enfield, CT, and Congressman Richard E. Neal (D-MA). In an email from Steve Sabourin of Carris Reels:  “This was a great chance meeting at the airport after visiting Congressman Neal the day before.  Congressman Neal said he loved the way we do things.  I asked him what he meant.  Basically, he loved that employee owners were making visits.  I am guessing he sees this as better than a top exec or a lobbyist.”

From left to right: Congressman Joe Courtney (D-CT), Congressman John B. Larson (D-CT), Steve Sabourin, GM of Carris Reels in Enfield, CT, and Congressman Richard E. Neal (D-MA).
In an email from Steve Sabourin of Carris Reels:
“This was a great chance meeting at the airport after visiting Congressman Neal the day before. Congressman Neal said he loved the way we do things. I asked him what he meant. Basically, he loved that employee owners were making visits. I am guessing he sees this as better than a top exec or a lobbyist.”

Northwest Chapter President, Judy Lippel, Sletten, Inc., with Montana members of Congress on Capitol Hill:  Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), Congressman Steve Daines (R-MT) and Senator John E. Walsh (D-MT).

Northwest Chapter President, Judy Lippel, Sletten, Inc., with Montana members of Congress on Capitol Hill: Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), Congressman Steve Daines (R-MT) and Senator John E. Walsh (D-MT).

New England Chapter members visit with Congressman Richard E. Neal (D-MA).

New England Chapter members visit with Congressman Richard E. Neal (D-MA).

Illinois Chapter members visit with Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-IL).

Illinois Chapter members visit with Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-IL).

Illinois Chapter members visit with Congressman Brad Schneider (D-IL).

Illinois Chapter members visit with Congressman Brad Schneider (D-IL).

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

SEL Employee Owners Share Experiences with Illinois Congressman

On June 5, 2014, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc. (SEL) employee owners shared their perspectives on company ownership with Congressman Peter Roskam (R-IL) when he visited the company’s Fault Indicator and Sensor Division in Lake Zurich, Illinois.

This is Congressman Roskam’s second visit to SEL’s Lake Zurich facility. Last year, the Congressman toured the manufacturing floor and learned about SEL and the products and services it provides for power systems around the world. This time he watched a distribution automation smart grid demonstration and spoke with some of the 95 employee owners about the company’s ESOP.

Senior Manufacturing Supervisor Jose Perez, who has been with the company for nearly 25 years, said when SEL became employee-owned he went from just having a job to being an owner. Human Resources Generalist Linda Coleman, an employee for more than 29 years, noted she works with happier people in an employee-owned company, calling the retirement security “a blessing.”

Congressman Roskam indicated his strong support for ESOPs, which can help employees save for retirement, and Roskam encouraged those in attendance to continue talking about the benefits of ESOPs with their coworkers.

Thanks to SEL for sharing this news with the Association.

SEl Roskam visit

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

May 2014 Wrap-Up

It’s June and that means it’s time for a May link round up.

Moody’s Collision Centers, Inc. hosted an event with Senator Susan Collins in Gorham, ME

We shared a photo of the 2014 Employee Ownership Month Poster Contest Winner

The May 2014 ESOP Report was released

We highlighted the ABCs of ESOPs

The Employee Owner Retreat is open for registration

Big G Express hosted at event with Congresswoman Diane Black in Shelbyville, TN

We shared some photos from the 2014 Annual Conference in Washington, DC

The Leading in an Ownership Setting Program is open for registration

We featured items from the Employee Ownership Foundation Auction that took place at the Annual Conference

We announced the 2014 ESOP Award Winners

We shared video highlights from the Awards Ceremony

We shared a link to the Annual Conference Lobbying Kit

We extended an invitation to Conference attendees to visit the AACE Awards display

The Annual Conference App was announced

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

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, ,

2014 Employee Ownership Month Poster Contest Winner

The Winner of the 2014 Employee Ownership Month Poster Contest…Entertainment Partners!

Entertainment Partners, located in Burbank, California, has been selected as the 2014 Employee Ownership Month Poster Contest Winner. The winning poster design was unveiled at the Association’s 37th Annual Conference in Washington, DC.

Entertainment Partners’s poster was chosen because of the idea it expressed: We Own Our Future. This is the second time Entertainment Partners has won this award; the first win was in 2010.

Congratulations to the employee owners of Entertainment Partners. More information on Employee Ownership Month.

EOM Poster Contest Winner

Copyright 2014 Marty LaVor

Filed under: Employee Ownership Month (EOM), TEA Members,

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