The ESOP Association Blog

Covering ESOPs and employee ownership

ESOP Experts 2015 – Deadline Friday, January 9th!

Are you an ESOP expert? Market your ESOP specialty. Sign up now! The deadline for 2015 ESOP Experts is Friday, January 9, 2015.

To be listed among the 2015 ESOP Experts, use this form: ESOP Experts 2015.
Have questions? Contact Yvonette Brown at (202) 293-2971 or by email at yvonette AT
ESOP Experts Brochure 2015 COVER

Filed under: Member Services,

2015 AACE Awards — What You Need to Know

Information and entry forms for 2015 are available on the Association’s website. Below is all you need to know about the 2015 awards and how to enter. Want to share the information with others in your company such as the ESOP Communication Committees, use this link. The following video is also a great way to share info with colleagues.

What are the AACE Awards?

esopaacedarkerThe AACE Awards — Annual Awards for Communications Excellence — are sponsored each year by the Association to recognize the outstanding communications and educational programs of its members. The awards are presented at the Association’s Annual Conference in Washington, DC to companies who have excelled in communicating the ESOP and its meaning to employee owners.

AACE Award winners are chosen by a panel of five judges made up of both management and non-management employee owners, each of whom has demonstrated active experience and interest in the field of ESOPs and employee ownership communications. Awards are based on: overall quality and quantity of employee owner education, contributions of employee owners, integration of the ESOP into company culture, frequency of ownership communications, involvement and/or response of employee owners, encouragement of ownership attitudes, clear explanations, creative ideas, graphic design, and technical quality.

Some interesting statistics about the AACE program:

  • Since 1992, 214 companies have entered AACE.
  • The majority of companies that enter AACE have less than 250 employees.
  • Of the Association’s 18 Chapters, there has been at least one entry from every Chapter since the start of the program. The New England Chapter tops the list with 27 entries, followed by the Mid-Atlantic Chapter with 22 entries, and the California/Western States Chapter rounds out the top three with 21 entries.


Who is eligible? What does it cost to enter? Deadline for 2015?

Any current corporate member of the Association is eligible to enter. There is no entry fee for the AACE Awards beyond the initial cost of shipping; all other shipping costs are covered by the Association. The deadline for 2015 entries is February 17, 2015.


Where do I find AACE information?

On the Association’s website. Go to About the Association. Click ESOP Awards and then AACE Awards.


Save the date!

The ESOP Association’s 24th Annual Awards Ceremony to honor AACE Award winners will take place Wednesday, May 6, 2015, the night before the opening of the Annual Conference in Washington, DC. The Annual Conference will take place May 7 & 8, 2015 and will feature a display of all 2015 AACE Awards entries. Plan to stop by the display, connect with other employee owners, and take the opportunity to view the creativity on display.

2015 Annual Conference and Awards Ceremony info.

Filed under: AACE - Annual Awards for Communications Excellence,

Happy holidays from The ESOP Association!

We’re taking a short break but we’ll be back in 2015 with more ESOP news to share. Best wishes for a happy holiday season from The ESOP Association.

happy holidays from TEA

Filed under: Uncategorized

ESOP Company News – December 2014

ASU Group Celebrates Employee Ownership Month

The ASU Group in Okemos, Michigan joined the ESOP community in celebrating Employee Ownership Month this year. From ASU employee owner, Theresa Cooper: “The ASU Group held weekly events to celebrate ESOP month and honor employee owners this past October. Events included a photo caption contest (winning caption below) and an ESOP themed crossword puzzle on our intranet. Also, every employee owner received a large Hershey’s chocolate bar with a special ESOP candy-wrapper.”

Thanks to Theresa Cooper for sharing information on ASU’s Employee Ownership Month celebration.

ASU Group ESOP Photo caption winner 2014 d

C.S. Davidson Holds an ESOP Appreciation Lunch and Meets with Congressman Scott Perry

C.S. Davidson of York, Pennsylvania held an ESOP Appreciation Lunch. From employee owner, Greg Myers: “Attached is a photo from our ESOP Appreciation Lunch held at C.S. Davidson on 10/31/14. In the photo from left to right are: Greg Myers, Congressman Scott Perry, and John A. Klinedinst, CEO of CSD. Congressman Scott Perry (R-PA) delivered a letter of congratulations and spoke to our employee group after joining us for lunch. Mike Shuey from Restek also did a presentation about his company and their ESOP culture.”

Thanks for Greg Myers for sharing the photo with the Association.

CS Davidson

Have ESOP company news to share? Send email to media AT

Filed under: Member Services, TEA Members, ,

AACE Awards 2015

ESOP Association President, J. Michael Keeling, talks about the 2015 AACE Awards (Annual Awards for Communications Excellence) program, why all Association members should enter, and the importance of the program for the employee ownership culture community.

2015 Entry Deadline: February 17, 2015

More info on the AACE Awards.

Photos of AACE Award entries.


Filed under: AACE - Annual Awards for Communications Excellence, Member Services, TEA Members,

December 2014 ESOP Report is Available

The December 2014 ESOP Report newsletter is now available for members. To access this month’s issue, you’ll need to sign into The ESOP Association’s website. The Member Sign In button is located at the top of the page. To get to the ESOP Report, click Meet & Learn. A link to the ESOP Report is located on the left side menu.


Filed under: Publication, ,

ESOP Association Board of Governors Looking for New Members

The elections for new members of The ESOP Association’s Board of Governors will take place first quarter 2015. The Nominating Committee will make the nominations for this year’s elections. All voting members of the Association are eligible for nomination.

Corporate and Professional members of the Association will vote on nominees for Board of Governors. There is a by-law process to be nominated by petition. See Association By-laws Article IX, Section 2, Subsection (b) (II); reprinted in the Membership Directory which is available on the Association’s website or contact the Association.

The Board of Directors emphasizes the role of the Board of Governors is to elect the Board of Directors, and to provide key points for the Board of Directors on the important issues facing the Association and the ESOP community in two meetings — the Annual Conference and the Las Vegas Conference & Trade Show.

To be considered for service on the Board of Governors, please write, fax, or email your message expressing your interest to ESOP Association President J. Michael Keeling, by February 1, 2015. A packet of information, including paperwork to be completed for presentation to the Nominating Committee, will be mailed to you. Email Michael AT, fax 202/293-7568, or mail requests to: 1726 M Street, NW, Suite 501, Washington, DC 20036.

Filed under: Member Services,

2015 Calendar of Events

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

January 12 – 15, 2015
Employee Ownership Foundation & University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy & Practice
Leading in an Ownership Setting: The Program for CEOs – Session II
Inn at Penn
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA
Contact Rosemary Clements (202) 293-2971 or

Registration, Tuition & Hotel Information


January 14, 2015
New South Chapter 
2015 ESOP CEO Roundtable – hosted by tvdesign – Atlanta
Thompson, Ventulett, Stainback & Associates Inc.
1230 Peachtree St. NE
2700 Promenade
Atlanta, GA 30309

2015 New South Chapter Sponsorship Form

For more information contact Donna Walseth at or 763.785.4122


January 22, 2015
Minnesota-Dakotas Chapter
2015 Winter Meeting – Minneapolis, MN
Ramada Plaza
1330 Industrial Blvd.
Minneapolis, MN 55413

CEO, CFO, and HR Roundtables will also be held at this conference.  There is a $25.00 registration fee for each Roundtable attendee.  Roundtables will be held on January 22nd from 7:30 am until 9:30 am.

Click to register


January 30, 2015
Southwest Chapter 
Board Governance Symposium 2015 – San Antonio
Hotel Contessa
306 West Market Street
San Antonio, TX

Attendance will be limited to 35 attendees consisting of ESOP company board members and ESOP company executives who frequently interact with the board on ESOP related matters.

Overnight Accommodations:  A limited number of rooms have been reserved at a rate of $169 per night plus tax. After January 9th rooms will be subject to availability and at regular hotel pricing. For room reservations contact the Hotel Contessa. Phone 866-435-0900. Mention the SW Chapter of The ESOP Association to get conference pricing.

For more information contact Jim Schranz at 903.575.7345 or via e-mail at


January 30, 2015
New England Chapter 
2015 NE Strategic Planning Retreat
Surry, NH
Please RSVP to

There is a block of hotel rooms at The Keene Courtyard Marriott in Keene, NH.  Our discounted room rate is $119/night.  Please call (603) 354 – 7900 to make your reservation.

Filed under: Chapter News, Conference Information, ,

Secretary of Labor, Thomas E. Perez, Mentions ESOPs in Remarks

On October 20, Secretary Perez spoke at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, the topic: Shared Prosperity: Building an Economy that Works for Everyone. While the majority of the speech focused on private-sector job growth, shared prosperity, and B Corps, near the end of remarks he noted:

“Employee Stock Ownership Plans are another example of business leadership. In 2012, there were roughly 6,800 such plans, with nearly 14 million total participants and assets just over $1 trillion. When used as they were intended, ESOPs can contribute to the growth of a company while helping employees save for retirement.

The challenge moving forward for B Corps and ESOPs is to take these successful models to further scale.”

The Secretary’s full remarks can be found here.

ESOP Association President, J. Michael Keeling said, “I was pleased to read these remarks. As you know, the ESOP community has many concerns regarding a proposed regulation by the DOL regarding the definition of a fiduciary. We have been working with individuals at the DOL and we’re hopeful that this statement represents a change for the good.”

Filed under: Government Affairs, ,

2015 Edmunson Scholarships


The Employee Ownership Foundation will be accepting applications for the 2015 Charles R. Edmunson Scholarships early next year. Deadline information will be announced on the Employee Ownership Foundation website in the coming weeks.

This Scholarship program honors employee ownership leader and advocate Charles R. Edmunson who dedicated a significant part of his life to educating employee owners of the benefits of widespread ownership in a free enterprise system. Mr. Edmunson was also instrumental in the creation of the Employee Ownership Foundation.

An Edmunson Scholarship awards an ESOP employer up to $1,250 to defray the expense of sending employee owners to employee ownership training programs such as the Employee Ownership Foundation’s Employee Owner Retreat or the Association Annual Conference in Washington, DC. The Scholarship may also be used for Association Chapter and Regional Conferences. The Scholarship is for non-managerial employee owners.

Filed under: Employee Ownership Foundation, ,

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