The ESOP Association Blog

Covering ESOPs and employee ownership

July 2015 ESOP Company News

We thought we’d share some news from ESOP Association members today.

Congressman Meehan Visits SEL in King of Prussia

On May 11, 2015, ESOP Association member, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories’ (SEL) King of Prussia team discussed the benefits of being a 100 percent employee-owned company with Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA) during his visit to their Pennsylvania office.

The Congressman toured the company’s business and engineering services facility and learned about the American manufacturer’s role in protecting power grids around the world. SEL employees also provided updates on recent projects related to power grid protection, control and cybersecurity.

“One in four private sector workers is employed by S-corporations like SEL,” said Congressman Meehan. “Employee stock ownership plans give workers a greater stake in a business’ success and enable more employees to benefit directly from a firm’s performance. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to visit SEL today, meet its talented team and learn more about the work they do.”

Meehan represents Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District and is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee which oversees a number of issues, including taxes and retirement. During his visit, Meehan provided a status update on tax reform efforts and learned about the SEL ESOP, which is helping more than 2,000 SEL employees build robust retirement accounts.

“As employee-owners, we are motivated to create quality products that help our customers and, in turn, help SEL and our ESOP continue to grow,” said Angelo D’Aversa, manager of Research & Development in the SEL King of Prussia office.

SEL Meehan

ComSonics Meets with Congressman Goodlatte

CEMSI, ComSonics Electronic Manufacturing Services Incorporated, located in Harrisonburg, Virginia recently hosted Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R) of Virginia’s 6th District for a tour of the ComSonics manufacturing facility. ComSonics reported that Congressman Goodlatte has always been a strong supporter of employee ownership and he is always willing to take time from his busy schedule to visit with our employee-owners when he is available.

During his visit, there was time to answer questions and the Congressman shared his views about employee ownership and his ongoing belief that it works. ComSonics employee owners also took the time to discuss H.R. 2096 and asked for his support on the Promotion and Expansion of Private Employee Ownership Act.

ComSonics also provided a letter asking for his backing upon his departure. Within a few weeks the company received a letter from the Congressman noting that he was pleased to inform ComSonics that he had become a cosponsor of the legislation.

ConSonics Goodlatte

CSI Goodlatte Letter5-15_Page_1

CSI Goodlatte Letter5-15_Page_2ComSonics Goodlatte 1

ComSonics Goodlatte 2

ComSonics Goodlatte 3

 Employee-Owned Adworkshop Wins Two National Awards for Excellence in Healthcare Advertising

The Aster Awards Honored Adworkshop, an integrated marketing agency with headquarters in Lake Placid, New York and offices in Albany and Manhattan, and ESOP Association member, with two Aster Awards for its work on behalf of Canton-Potsdam Hospital (CPH) for excellence in healthcare advertising and marketing.

The Aster Awards, a nationally ranked competition recognizing the “most talented healthcare marketing professionals for excellence in advertising,” are sponsored by Marketing Healthcare Today Magazine. Winners were announced the first week of May.

Adworkshop won a Gold Aster in the Poster/Display-Single Category for its CPH “Unusual Beats” poster showcasing Cardiologist Dr. Znojkiewicz’s specialization in irregular heart rhythms. In addition, Adworkshop was awarded a Bronze Aster in the Service Line – Women’s category for its “Dense Breast Campaign” highlighting CPH’s Automated Breast Volume Scanning (ABVS) as a preventative breast cancer tool.

“We are honored by the national recognition the Aster Awards bring to Adworkshop’s creative work on behalf of Canton-Potsdam Hospital,” said Wendy Knight, Adworkshop’s Senior Managing Director. “We serve as partners for our clients and are excited that these awards recognize CPH’s innovative offerings, and bring greater awareness to the outstanding care offered at the hospital.”

Filed under: TEA Members

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,

The July 2015 ESOP Report is Available

The July 2015 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,

Publications Highlight: ESOP Association Administration Handbook

Publications Highlight:

ESOP Association Administration Handbook (Book & Flash Drive)
Designed as an overview and checklist of the entire administration process, this Handbook, produced by the Association’s ESOP Administration Committee, is invaluable to in-house administrators, administrative committee members, and officers and management personnel responsible for administration of their company’s ESOP. Chapters include: disclosure requirements, contributions and dividends, ESOPs sponsored by S corporations, 401(k) arrangements and ESOPs, compliance testing, diversification requirements and other critical issues.  Includes book and flash drive.
Members $150 / Non-members $400

Filed under: Publication,

Mid-Atlantic Chapter Roundtable Re-Cap

Recently, the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of The ESOP Association held an HR Roundtable meeting on June 23, 2015 which was hosted by Association member, Miklos Systems in Fairfax, VA. According to Chapter members, it was a great event with lots of ideas shared.

The Mid-Atlantic Chapter is one of 18 chapters of the Association that provides educational services and resources to member companies in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.Mid Atlantic HR Roundtable Meeting at Miklos Systems

If you’re looking for an event in your local area, take a look at our calendar of events. We have some great events in the works.

Filed under: Chapter News, TEA Members, ,

2015 Las Vegas Conference & Trade Show Preliminary Agenda Released

esop-slide-template - 2015 Vegas Conference

The initial planning for the 2015 Las Vegas Conference & Trade Show is well underway, below is a sample list of topics that will be presented at the meeting.

Evaluating Offers and Selling an ESOP-Owned Company

Duties and Responsibilities of Trustees

Advanced ESOP Administration Issues

Glossary, Annual Cycle of ESOP Administration and Trustee Recordkeeping

Mature ESOP Administration Issues

Interdisciplinary Panel on Current ESOP Events

Selection of and Relationships with Service Providers

ESOP Distributions:  Part 1

Designing Executive Benefits in ESOP Companies

What’s Culture Got To Do With It

Corporate Due Diligence Prior to a Sale to an ESOP or Third Party

Accounting Issues for ESOP-Owned Companies

Aligning Cultural Goals and Fiduciary Duties

Boards of Directors’ and Trustees’ Roles in ESOP Companies – Advanced – II

Complex Transaction Structuring Alternatives

Company Stock Valuation – Part 1: Fundamentals

Surviving a DOL Investigation

CLICK HERE for additional program information, on-line conference registration and to make hotel reservations. The website will be updated regularly with additional Vegas Conference information.

For questions you may contact The ESOP Association at 202-293-2971 and ask for Maya Van Buren or Rosemary Clements.

Filed under: Conference Information,

RELEASE: Expansion of S ESOPs Recommended by Senate Finance Committee’s Tax Reform Working Group on Savings & Investment

The ESOP Association sent out the following release today.

For Immediate Release: July 8, 2015

Expansion of S ESOPs Recommended by Senate Finance Committee

Senate Finance Committee Tax Reform Working Group on Savings & Investment Releases Report on Findings

July 8, 2015 (Washington, DC) – The Senate Committee on Finance’s Tax Reform Working Group on Savings & Investment released a report on their findings for reforming the tax system. Recommendations include the expansion of gain-deferral provisions of Code section 1042 for S ESOPs (employee stock ownership plans) and guaranteeing that small businesses with SBA certification do not lose their status when they become majority employee-owned companies.

“The ESOP Association and employee ownership community express strong support and appreciation that the major provisions in S. 1212, the Promotion and Expansion of Private Employee Ownership Act of 2015, are recommended for inclusion in reforms that will be considered by the Senate Finance Committee,” said ESOP Association President, J. Michael Keeling. “Including these provisions would open the door for the creation of more S corporations sponsoring employee ownership for average pay Americans.”

S. 1212 would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and the Small Business Act to expand the availability of ESOPs in S corporations in America.

Page 13 of the memo from the Savings & Investment Working Group, which is co-chaired by Senator Michael Crapo (R-ID) and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), states: “S Corporation Employee Stock Ownership Plans, or S-ESOPs, have a track record of providing retirement security for employee-owners of both small and large businesses. S. 1212, introduced by Senators Cardin and Roberts, contains several provisions to further encourage employee-ownership in S corporations, including extending the gain-deferral provisions of Code section 1042 to sales of employer stock to S-ESOPs, providing resources to small businesses contemplating making the transition to an ESOP, and ensuring that SBA-certified small businesses do not lose their status by becoming employee owned. The working group supports consideration of these bipartisan proposals; S. 1212 currently has 18 bipartisan cosponsors in addition to Senators Cardin and Roberts, including 9 Republicans, 7 Democrats, and two Independents.”

Keeling concluded, “It’s very encouraging to see continuous, bi-partisan support for expanding our capitalistic economic system. Our country’s founding fathers noted that broad-based ownership of productive assets is essential to a working democracy.”

In March 2015, The ESOP Association submitted comments on comprehensive tax reform to three of the Senate Committee on Finance’s Tax Reform Working Group on Savings & Investment. The Association specifically stated how ESOPs are in accord with the seven principles outlined by Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch (R-UT) for comprehensive tax reform — Economic Growth, Fairness, Simplicity, Permanence, Competitiveness, Promoting Savings and Investments, and Revenue Neutrality. Read the full statement on The ESOP Association’s website:


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


amy AT


Filed under: Government Affairs,

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,

Northwest Chapter News

Northwest Chapter COLOR logo

The ESOP Association’s Northwest Chapter held an Employee Communication/Culture Discussion in Coeur d’ Alene, ID on June 24, 2015. We thought we’d share a few photos from the event.

Thanks to Northwest Chapter Administrator Jenifer McDonald and Dan Marcue, the Association’s Chapter Development Officer, for sharing photos.

NW Chapter event 1

NW Chapter event 2

NW Chapter event 3

NW Chapter event 6

NW Chapter event 7

Filed under: Chapter News,

2015 Las Vegas ESOP Conference & Trade Show

esop-slide-template - 2015 Vegas Conference

Las Vegas ESOP Conference & Trade Show

Las Vegas ESOP Conference & Trade Show
November 12 & 13, 2015
Caesars Palace
Las Vegas, NV

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

Don’t Miss the Largest ESOP Conference in the World!
Online Hotel Reservations (Room cutoff October 8, 2015 or until all room are sold)

Click to register

Filed under: Conference Information,

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