The ESOP Association Blog

Covering ESOPs and employee ownership

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 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,

Carris Reels Beats the Drum for ESOPs and Employee Ownership

April 16, 2015, in Proctor, Vermont, Carris Reels hosted an employee-ownership celebration, conversation, and film festival — three events baked into one!

The evening started with a happy hour featuring beer crafted by employee-owned Harpoon Brewery and several employee owners from Harpoon were able to attend the event as well. Carris Reels is also proud to have had friends from employee-owned King Arthur Flour from Norwich, Vermont and Hypertherm of Lebanon, New Hampshire in attendance.

The program featured nationally renowned speakers, including Alex Moss from Praxis Consulting of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mr. Moss’s speech focused on the power of owning your work. Michael Keeling, President of The ESOP Association from Washington, DC, talked about the appeal of the ESOP model to champions in both parties, such as Congressman Paul Ryan and Senator Bernie Sanders. Mr. Keeling also amplified Senator Sanders’ message that employee ownership should be important national policy. Daphne Berry, a Kelso Fellow and Assistant Professor from the University of Hartford, Barney School of Business spoke about her research. Interestingly, the statistics she cited from her research showed greater engagement in ESOP-owned companies than in traditionally-owned companies and also greater than in non-profit organizations. Susan Reid, Editorial Director of Sift Magazine and employee owner of King Arthur Flour talked about her experiences working at an employee-owned company and many of the things King Arthur Flour’s employee owners have in common with other employee-owned companies.

The evening began with a warm welcome by David Ferraro, President of Carris Reels and concluded with Chairman of the Board Bill Carris’ reflections on Carris Reels’ 20 years as an employee-owned company. Dave Fitz-Gerald, Carris Reels’ Vice President, who also serves as Secretary/Treasurer of The ESOP Association and a trustee for the Employee Ownership Foundation, served as master of ceremonies and during the course of his various statements during the evening advocated for ESOP owned companies to “adopt a Kelso Fellow” so that researchers could have access to information about privately-held ESOP owned companies.

The heart of the evening was a series of video presentations, the foundation of which was a lively four minute video made especially for the occasion by Senator Sanders followed by a mash-up video of various other members of Congress representing both political parties. Next on the program were short company videos from King Arthur Flour, Harpoon Brewery and Carris Reels. The feature presentation was “We the Owners,” an award-winning documentary film that captures the inspiring stories of three employee-owned companies.

Volunteers from Carris Reels staffed a 50/50 raffle for benefit of The Paramount Theater. The winner of the raffle was Carris Reels’ 50 year employee-owner Jake Jakubowski who went home $245 richer. In addition to the $245 raised for the Paramount the Carris Foundation made a triple match donation to the Paramount in the amount of $1,470 and also made a $1,470 matching donation to the Employee Ownership Foundation to support its work on research and educating the general public about employee ownership.

Carris Reels event 17

Carris Reels event 12

Carris Reels event 10

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Carris Reels event 5

Carris Reels event 4

Carris Reels event 3

Carris Reels event 2

Thanks to Dave Fitz-Gerald of Carris Reels for sharing the photos and story with the ESOP Report.

Have ESOP news to share? We’d love to hear about it! Send an email to the ESOP Report at media AT with a write-up of your event and photos.

Filed under: TEA Members,

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.

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

NEWS: Cindy Turcot Elected Chair of The ESOP Association – Mark R. Lomele to Become Chair of the Employee Ownership Foundation

The ESOP Association and the Employee Ownership Foundation sent out the following releases today.

esop-logo-large1.jpgFor Immediate Release: May 1, 2015

Cindy Turcot Elected Chair of The ESOP Association

Members Installed to Board Positions

May 1, 2015 (Washington, DC) – Cindy Turcot, Chief Operating Officer of Gardener’s Supply Company located in Burlington, Vermont, has been elected to serve as Chair of The ESOP Association. 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.

Ms. Turcot is an active member of The ESOP Association and the Association’s New England Chapter. She has served on The ESOP Association’s Board as Vice Chair for the last two years. Her term as Chair begins May 1, 2015 and will continue until April 30, 2017.

“Cindy has been active in the ESOP community and with the Association for many years,” said ESOP Association President, J. Michael Keeling. “Her contributions have increased the effectiveness of Association services and we are excited Cindy will be the Chief Elected Officer of the Association and the primary driver of the Association’s mission to advocate and educate for employee ownership for the next two years.”

In addition to Ms. Turcot’s election to Chair: David Fitz-Gerald, Vice President & CFO, Carris Reels, Inc., Proctor, Vermont will become Vice Chair; Raman Venkat, Office of the CEO/CFO, LeFiell Manufacturing Company, Santa Fe Springs, California will become Secretary/Treasurer; David L. Kelly, Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, Acadian Ambulance Service, Inc., Lafayette, Louisiana will become Immediate Past Chair. Mark R. Lomele, Senior VP & CFO, Recology, San Francisco, California will become Chair of the Employee Ownership Foundation. Joining the Association’s Board as At-Large Board Members representing corporate members: Cindy Lewis, President/CEO, AirBorn, Inc., Georgetown, Texas and Michael Willard, CEO, Salem Distributing Company, Inc., Winston Salem, North Carolina. Joining the Board as an At-Large Board Member representing a professional member: Linshuang Lu, Consultant, Praxis Consulting Group, Inc., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Returning Board Members: Tony Lessmeister, Manager/Integration & Configuration Center, Forsythe Technology, Inc., Skokie, Illinois, Chair of the State and Chapter Regional Council; Peter J. Shuler, Manager, Crowe Horwath LLP, Columbus, Ohio, Chair of the Advisory Committees Chairs Council.

The Board of Directors is the premier governing body of The ESOP Association. Seven members of its ten person Board of Directors are elected by the Association’s Board of Governors who are elected by Association members.


FoundationFor Immediate Release: May 1, 2015

Mark R. Lomele Elected Chair of the Employee Ownership Foundation

May 1, 2015 (Washington, DC) – The Employee Ownership Foundation announced today that Mark R. Lomele, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Recology located in San Francisco, California, will take over as the new Chair of the Foundation. The Employee Ownership Foundation is a 501(c)(3) Foundation dedicated to promoting employee ownership and is an affiliate of The ESOP Association, a national trade association for employee owned companies.

Effective May 1, 2015, Mr. Lomele will take the wheel from outgoing Chair Frieda S. Takaki, President and Chief Executive Officer of CHART Rehabilitation of Hawaii, Inc. located in Honolulu, Hawaii who served as Chair of the Employee Ownership Foundation for the past four years. Ms. Takaki will become the Immediate Past Chair of the Employee Ownership Foundation.

Mr. Lomele is active in the California/Western States Chapter of The ESOP Association and has served in several leadership positions as a member of The ESOP Association. He has been very active as a Foundation Trustee and from 2011– 2013, Mr. Lomele served as Chair of The ESOP Association.

“We are excited Mark will be taking over as Chair of the Employee Ownership Foundation,” said J. Michael Keeling, President of the Employee Ownership Foundation. “He is a dynamic leader with new ideas to lead the Foundation forward.”


The Employee Ownership Foundation supports research, education, and public awareness of programs that will increase the level of understanding and appreciation of the benefits of employee ownership and increase the number of employees who have access to this benefit. For more information: The Employee Ownership Foundation is The ESOP Association’s affiliated 501 (c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting employee ownership.

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 –

More Information:

Amy Gwiazdowski



Filed under: Employee Ownership Foundation, TEA Members,

RELEASE: The ESOP Association Announces 2015 Silver ESOP Award Recipients

The following release was sent out by The ESOP Association today. Congratulations to all 2015 Silver ESOP Award Recipients.

For Immediate Release: April 15, 2015

The ESOP Association Announces 2015 Silver ESOP Award Recipients

April 15, 2015 (Washington, DC) – The ESOP Association has presented 48 corporate members of the Association with a Silver ESOP Award to recognize their work in sustaining their ESOP (employee stock ownership plan) for 25 years or more. This year, the Silver ESOP Awards are being presented to companies that will be celebrating 25 years or more as an ESOP company in 2015.

This is the eighth year the Silver ESOP Awards have been presented by the Association. In 2008, 117 corporate members were presented with the first annual Silver ESOP Awards; 2009, 12 members; 2010, 22 members; 2011, 41 members; 2012, 49 members; 2013, 26 members; and in 2014, 45 members were honored. To be named a Silver ESOP Award recipient, a company must be a member of The ESOP Association and have an ESOP in place for 25 years or more.

“It is my pleasure to present the following 48 ESOP companies with the 2015 Silver ESOP Award for excellence in sustaining their ESOP for 25 years,” said ESOP Association President, J. Michael Keeling. “Research proves that employee owned companies provide more sustainable employment and preserve locally-controlled jobs in today’s global economy. The 300 plus Silver ESOP companies who are members of the Association prove that employee stock ownership through the ESOP is not a short-term corporate model.”

2015 Silver ESOP Award Recipients:

Acme Rigging & Supply Co., Inc., Ukiah, CA

Alpine Lumber Company, Westminster, CO

Ankrom Moisan Architects, Inc., Portland, OR

Aubrey Silvey Enterprises, Inc., Carrollton, GA

AVI Systems, Inc., Lenexa, KS

Barkley, Kansas City, MO

Cactus Feeders, Inc., Amarillo, TX

Carbo Forge, Inc., Fremont, OH

Cellusuede Products, Inc., Rockford, IL

Central Bag Company, Leavenworth, KS

Consulting Engineers Group, Inc., Mount Prospect, IL

CSR, Incorporated, Arlington, VA

Dealers Electrical Supply Co., Waco, TX

Dental Health Services, Inc., Long Beach, CA

Diamond Saw Works, Inc., Chaffee, NY

Dynetics, Inc., Huntsville, AL

ESOP of People’s Bank and Trust Co., Byrdstown, TN

First State Bancorp of Monticello Inc., Monticello, IL

Hainje’s, Inc., Brewton, AL

Hanson Group, Inc., Springfield, IL

Hoffman & Hoffman, Inc., Greensboro, NC

Hyspeco, Inc., Springfield, MO

ICM, Inc., Jacksonville, AR

Kapco Global, Brea, CA

Keenan Energy Company, Columbia, SC

Kleinfelder, Inc., Oakland, CA

Lesman Instrument Company, Bensenville, IL

Los Alamos National Bank, Los Alamos, NM

Lumbermen’s, Inc., Grand Rapids, MI

Marco, Saint Cloud, MN

Market Contractors, LTD., Portland, OR

McCreary Bancshares, Inc., Whitley City, KY

McLean Contracting Company, Glen Burnie, MD

Moss Engineering Corp., Fort Wayne, IN

Olum’s of Binghamton, Inc., Vestal, NY

Parksite Inc., Batavia, IL

Plastic Products Company, Inc., Lindstrom, MN

Rapid Line Inc., Grand Rapids, MI

Saginaw Bay Underwriters, Saginaw, MI

Spirol International Holding Company, Danielson, CT

TDIndustries, Inc., Dallas, TX

Tecolote Research, Inc., Goleta, CA

The Feingold Companies, Worcester, MA

The Plastic Forming Company, Inc., Woodbridge, CT

TriMark Corporation, New Hampton, IA

United States Sugar Corporation, Clewiston, FL

Watkins Ross & Company, Grand Rapids, MI

Your Building Centers, Inc., Altoona, PA

Over 300 Silver ESOP Award recipients will be honored at The ESOP Association’s Annual Conference in May (May 7 – 8, 2015) and highlighted at the 24th Annual Awards Ceremony held on the evening of May 6th.


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 –


More Information:

Amy Gwiazdowski



Filed under: Silver ESOP Awards, TEA Members,

An Inspired Visit with Congressman Tom Reed (R-NY)

The following was shared with The ESOP Association by Lewis Tree employee owner, Rita Tucker; pictured at left with Congressman Reed:

Lewis Tree Service and Reed 2015“On February 24, 2015, Congressman Tom Reed visited the offices of Lewis Tree Service in West Henrietta, New York and was all smiles as he walked, talked and was led from the Palm executive conference room to the eagerly-awaiting employee owners in the company’s dining facility at the Lewis headquarters in Western New York. He had just concluded a very ESOP-spirited discussion among a small group of ESOP enthusiasts and owners. The corporate office houses just under 100 employee owners who listened intently as Congressman Reed addressed them on the importance of shared values of working hard, and creating job opportunities, in order to promote a healthy economy for our diverse generations to come.

Congressman Reed was genuinely interested in learning about the individual employee’s stories of how the Lewis ownership culture has helped employees plan and save for retirement and how ESOPs can further encourage growth and development in our economy. The originally-scheduled, one hour visit turned into a two-hour visit that left many employee owners feeling proud and positive about the future of ESOPs. Great questions and ideas were shared regarding ways to promote the presence and success of ESOP companies and in educating both our legislative officials and business communities about the ‘American Dream at Work’ — it is working!”

Filed under: TEA Members, ,

March 2015 Wrap-Up

Miss something in March? We have it all here in this month’s link round up.

An ESOP question answered

ESOP transactions survey

2015 AACE Award winners announced

March 2015 ESOP Report newsletter was published

Issue Brief #23 was updated

The 2015 Annual Conference preliminary agenda was released

The Outside Board Registry was updated for March

Four ESOP Association members were named among the top 100 places to work

The Department of Labor seeks comments on Proposed Regulation on the Definition of Adequate Consideration

Proposed topics were announced for the Annual Conference

We talked about the Employee Ownership Foundation’s impact on the national debate

Annual Conference sponsorships are available

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

ESOP Association Members Make Fortune’s 2015 100 Best Companies to Work For List

We noted this news on Twitter recently but wanted to once more congratulate four members of The ESOP Association that have been named to Fortune’s list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For. Way to go ESOP companies!

Burns & McDonnell Engineers-Architects, Kansas City, MO

W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc., Newark, DE

Publix Super Markets, Inc., Lakeland, FL

TDIndustries, Inc., Dallas, TX

To view the complete list, click here.

Filed under: TEA Members

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