The ESOP Association Blog

Covering ESOPs and employee ownership

ESOP Advocates

On Monday, we shared information and links for the newly updated Advocacy Kit and Congressional Visit Kit. Today, we want to share a list of Congressional ESOP Advocates. This list is available on The ESOP Association’s website and is updated frequently.

The following members of Congress were ESOP champions in recent Congresses as sponsors and co-sponsors of pro-employee ownership legislation, and will serve in the current 114th Congress.

House of Representatives

Congressman Mark E. Amodei (R-NV)
Congressman Brad Ashford (D-NE)
Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY)
Congressman Rob Bishop (R-UT)
Congressman Timothy H. Bishop (D-NY)
Congresswoman Diane Black (R-TN)
Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)
Congressman John Boehner (R-OH)
Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR)
Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo (D-GU)
Congressman Charles Boustany, Jr. (R-LA)
Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX)
Congressman Vern Buchanan (R-FL)
Congressman Larry Bucshon (R-IN)
Congressman Ken Calvert (R-CA)
Congressman John C. Carney (D-DE)
Congressman Andre Carson (D-IN)
Congressman Steve Chabot (R-OH)
Congresswoman Donna M. Christensen (D-VI)
Congressman Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO)
Congressman James Clyburn (D-SC)
Congressman Michael K. Conaway (R-TX)
Congressman Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA)
Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI)
Congressman Joe Courtney (D-CT)
Congressman Kevin Cramer (R-ND)
Congressman Eric A. “Rick” Crawford (R-AR)
Congressman John Culberson (R-TX)
Congressman Danny Davis (D-IL)
Congressman Rodney Davis (R-IL)
Congressman Robert J. Dold (R-IL)
Congressman John Duncan, Jr. (R-TN)
Congressman Michael G. Fitzpatrick (R-PA)
Congressman Randy Forbes (R-VA)
Congressman Rodney P. Frelinghuysen (R-NJ)
Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA)
Congressman Sam Graves (R-MO)
Congressman Gene Green (D-TX)
Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ)
Congressman Brett Guthrie (R-KY)
Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R-MO)
Congressman Joseph Heck (R-NV)
Congressman Michael Honda (D-CA)
Congressman Randy Hultgren (R-IL)
Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins (R-KS)
Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)
Congressman Sam Johnson (R-TX)
Congressman Walter Jones, Jr. (R-NC)
Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH)
Congressman Ron Kind (D-WI)
Congressman Steve King (R-IA)
Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL)
Congresswoman Ann M. Kuster (D-NH)
Congressman John Larson (D-CT)
Congressman Robert E. Latta (R-OH)
Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA)
Congressman Sander Levin (D-MI)
Congressman John Lewis (D-GA)
Congressman David Loebsack (D-IA)
Congressman Billy Long (R-MO)
Congressman Frank Lucas (R-OK)
Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO)
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)
Congressman Kenny Marchant (R-TX)
Congressman Tom Marino (R-PA)
Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN)
Congressman James McGovern (D-MA)
Congressman David McKinley (R-WV)
Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA)
Congressman Jeff Miller (R-FL)
Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-WI)
Congressman Patrick Murphy (D-FL)
Congressman Tim Murphy (R-PA)
Congressman Richard Neal (D-MA)
Congresswoman Kristi Noem (R-SD)
Congressman Alan Nunnelee (R-MS)
Congressman Pete Olson (R-TX)
Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ)
Congressman Erik Paulsen (R-MN)
Congressman Collin Peterson (D-MN)
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME)
Congressman Joseph Pitts (R-PA)
Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX)
Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO)
Congressman Bill Posey (R-FL)
Congressman Mike Quigley (D-IL)
Congressman Charles Rangel (D-NY)
Congressman Tom Reed (R-NY)
Congressman David Reichert (R-WA)
Congressman James B. Renacci (R-OH)
Congressman Reid Ribble (R-WI)
Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA)
Congressman Todd Rokita (R-IN)
Congressman Peter Roskam (R-IL)
Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)
Congressman Edward Royce (R-CA)
Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD)
Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI)
Congresswoman Janice Schakowsky (D-IL)
Congressman Bradley Schneider (D-IL)
Congressman Austin Scott (R-GA)
Congressman James Sensenbrenner (R-WI)
Congressman Jose Serrano (D-NY)
Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX)
Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA)
Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE)
Congressman Jason T. Smith (R-MO)
Congressman Steve Stivers (R-OH)
Congressman Glenn Thompson (R-PA)
Congressman Mike Thompson (D-CA)
Congressman William Thornberry (R-TX)
Congressman Patrick Tiberi (R-OH)
Congressman Michael Turner (R-OH)
Congressman Juan Vargas (D-CA)
Congressman Tim Walberg (R-MI)
Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR)
Congressman Timothy Walz (D -MN)
Congressman Peter Welch (D-VT)
Congressman Steve Womack (R-AR)
Congressman Kevin Yoder (R-KS)
Congressman Todd Young (R-IN)


Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)
Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO)
Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
Senator Richard Burr (R-NC)
Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)
Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD)
Senator William Cassidy (R-LA)
Senator Susan M. Collins (R-ME)
Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR)
Senator Michael Crapo (R-ID)
Senator Michael B. Enzi (R-WY)
Senator Al Franken (D-MN)
Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA)
Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)
Senator John Hoeven (R-ND)
Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA)
Senator Angus S. King, Jr. (I-ME)
Senator Mark Steven Kirk (R-IL)
Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
Senator John McCain (R-AZ)
Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ)
Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS)
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)
Senator Gary C. Peters (D-MI)
Senator Rob Portman (R-OH)
Senator James E. Risch (R-ID)
Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS)
Senator Bernard Sanders (I-VT)
Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
Senator Jon Tester (D-MT)
Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA)
Senator John Thune (R-SD)
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR)

Filed under: Government Affairs, ,

Spring 2015 Advocacy Kits Available

With the introduction of new pro-ESOP legislation — H.R. 2096 and S. 1212 — we’ve updated the Advocacy Kits with new information and tactics for talking to your members of Congress about ESOPs and employee ownership.

If you would like to download a copy of the new Spring Advocacy Kit and the Congressional Visit Kit, click here.

Also, ESOP Association President, J. Michael Keeling, walks Association members through the 2015 Spring Advocacy Kit in this new video.

Filed under: Government Affairs, ,

Dates Announced for the 2015 Employee Owner Retreat


The Employee Owner Retreat is a course in capitalism for average pay employees that enhances each participant’s understanding of, and contribution to, her or his ESOP company. Faculty is from the Ohio Employee Ownership Center, which is affiliated with Kent State University. The Employee Owner Retreat is an educational program sponsored by the Employee Ownership Foundation.

August 13-15, 2015
Double Tree Suites-Downers Grove
2111 Butterfield Road
Downers Grove, Illinois  60515

Registration information will be available on the website soon.

Questions: Contact Maya Van Buren 202/293-2971, meetings AT or Chris Cooper at the Ohio Employee Ownership Center 330/672-0338, ccooper1 AT

Filed under: Employee Ownership Foundation,

How to Access Issue Briefs and the 2015 Membership Directory

As a member, did you know that you can access all ESOP Association Issue Briefs and the current 2015 Membership Directory online? Start at For Issue Briefs, click Explore; from there go to the Issue Briefs link in the navigation. Or use this link. All Issue Briefs are downloadable and free to members.

Issue Brief

For the 2015 Directory, click Network and then Membership Directory in the navigation. Or use this handy link.


Please note that to access the Issue Briefs and the Membership Directory, you need to be logged in as a member.

Log in information for members:

Corporate, affiliate, and educational members – enter membership ID, email address, and the password will be your membership ID.

Professional members – enter membership ID, email address and the password is your last name.

If you have questions or problems with login, please send an email to

Filed under: Publication, ,

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

Carris Reels event 9

Carris Reels event 6

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,

June Calendar of Events

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

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


Mid Atlantic Chapter 2015 HR Round Table

June 23, 2015 – 9:00 am – 2:30 pm
Mid Atlantic Chapter
2015 MAC HR Roundtable
HOSTED BY: Miklos Systems
10300 Eaton Place – Suite 300
Fairfax, VA 22030
Click to register
2015 MAC HR Rountable printable registration form
For more information contact Shelly Dennis at – 603.667.3837


Iowa/Nebraska Chapter – Eggs & ESOP Event (Cedar Rapids, IA)

June 25, 2015
Iowa/Nebraska Chapter
Eggs & ESOP Event – Cedar Rapids, IA
ESP International
5920 Dry Creek Lane NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402

For more information contact Donna Walseth at or 763.785.4122


New South Chapter – Let’s Talk ESOPs (Huntsville, AL)

June 25, 2015
New South Chapter
Let’s Talk ESOPs (Huntsville, AL)

Avion Solutions, Inc.
4905 Research Drive NW
Huntsville, AL  35805

For more information contact Donna Walseth at or 763.785.4122


Filed under: Chapter News,

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,

Leading in an Ownership Setting: The Program for CEOs


The Employee Ownership Foundation in partnership with the School of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania again this year is offering:

Leading in an Ownership Setting: The Program for CEO’s.

Dates: Part 1: July 26th – July 31st

Part 2: December 6th – 9th

(participants attend both parts)

This program has been designed for incoming and current leaders of ESOP companies to provide them with understanding, skills, and frameworks that will be useful to them in successfully addressing the challenges of leading a company where the employees are owners as well as effectively leveraging the opportunities that exist when a company is employee owned.

In addition, the program creates an opportunity for leaders of ESOP companies to build a strong network with other leaders who understand and share similar situations.

To register, or to learn more about the program, click here, or call Ginny Vanderslice, Academic Director, 215.292.4865.

Filed under: Conference Information, Employee Ownership Foundation,

2015 Spring Advocacy Kit Available

With the introduction of new pro-ESOP legislation — H.R. 2096 and S. 1212 — we’ve updated the Advocacy Kit with new information and tactics for talking to your members of Congress about ESOPs and employee ownership.

If you would like to download a copy of the new 2015 Spring Advocacy Kit, use this link: Spring 2015 Advocacy Kit.

It is also available on the Association’s website here if you would like to share a link with others in your company.

Additionally, if you would like to know if your member of Congress has publicly stated support for ESOPs, you can check the ESOP Advocates list on the Association’s website. This list is updated regularly.

Filed under: Government Affairs,

Pro-ESOP Legislation

With the introduction of H.R. 2096 and S. 1212, we’ve shared a lot legislative information in the past few weeks. Following up on those efforts, we thought we would share the Washington Report column from the May 2015 ESOP Report, the newsletter of The ESOP Association, that provides additional information. More information about the ESOP Report is here.

As in past Congresses since 1990, key ESOP champions have introduced bills that would encourage the creation and operation of private company ESOPs.

First, on April 29, 2015, Congressman David Reichert (R-WA, 8th District), introduced H.R. 2096, Promotion and Expansion of Private Employee Ownership Act of 2015, joined by seven other members of the House tax committee, so that the eight original sponsor and co-sponsors were four Republicans and four Democrats — a sign of the continued bi-partisan support for employee stock ownership through the ESOP model. His three Republican colleagues were Representatives Charles Boustany (R-LA, 3rd District), Erik Paulsen (R-MN, 3rd District), and Pat Tiberi (R-OH, 12th District). The four Democrats joining their tax committee colleagues were Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR, 3rd District), Bill Pascrell (D-NJ, 9th District), Ron Kind (D-WI, 3rd District), and Richard Neal (D-MA, 1st District). (When the Democrats were the majority in the House, Representative Kind was the so-called “lead” sponsor.)

Similar legislation was introduced eight years ago.

It has four provisions: 1. To permit sellers of S stock to an ESOP to utilize Internal Revenue Code Section 1042, as sellers of C stock to an ESOP can do, if the stock is not publicly traded; 2. Provide that a lender to an ESOP may exclude 50% of its interest income from the loan if the loan is to an S corporation, and the ESOP holds 50% or more of the shares at the close of the transaction; 3. Establishes an office in the Department of Treasury to assist S corporations establish and maintain its ESOP in accordance with the sometimes difficult laws governing allocations of ESOP stock in an S corporation; and 4. Ensure that a small business that qualifies for a Small Business Administration preference — so-called 8A preference does not lose that preference if it becomes 50% or more owned by an ESOP.

Since introduction on April 29th, the following members of Congress have joined these eight: Representatives Brad Ashford (D-NE, 2nd District), Robert Dold (R-IL, 10th District), and Gwen Moore (D-WI, 4th District).

The Senate legislation was introduced on May 6th, S. 1212, and the primary sponsor, Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), was joined on May 6 by 12 other Senate colleagues: Senators Pat Roberts (R-KS), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Mike Crapo (R-ID), John Thune (R-SD), Al Franken (D-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Roy Blunt (R-MO), James Risch (R-ID), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). On May 11th, Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) joined the group of bi-partisan Senators. On May 14th, Bernie Sanders (I-VT) joined as a co-sponsor. On May 18th, Senators Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Angus King, Jr. (I-ME) joined as co-sponsors.

Senator Cardin has led the introduction of this pro-ESOP bill for the past eight years.

WHY CARE?: Some ESOP advocate may wonder why they should care, as it seems one, the Congress is doing nothing, and two, these pro-ESOP provisions have never been given a hearing or serious consideration in any prior tax bill in the past eight years.

Two big reasons: Congress will sooner or later, maybe this year, maybe three to four years from now, send a massive tax reform bill to the President, whoever he or she may be. To protect ESOPs, to win in the tax reform effort, the best defense is a good offense. Having these men and women sponsor a pro-ESOP position, many on the tax committees that will write a tax bill repealing or reducing many special tax rules, stand up for ESOPs, and for having more ESOPs, means that they are much more likely to be “for” good ESOP laws when they are challenged in the tax reform review.

Secondly, the major pro-ESOP provision adopted in the last 20 years was first introduced in a bill like H.R. 2096 and S. 1212 eight years before Congress adopted legislation permitting S corporations to have an ESOP. In other words, it took over eight years for the 1990 S ESOP proposal to finally be adopted by the Congress and sent to the President. It is not farfetched as more and more women and men in Congress endorse something like having S corporations eligible for 1042 treatment to make its way into a big tax bill as the support grows.

To Do List: Consider contacting your Senators and Representatives if they are not listed above, and respectfully ask that they get on the bandwagon for ESOPs.

Filed under: Government Affairs, , ,

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