The ESOP Association Blog

Covering ESOPs and employee ownership

August ESOP Report Available

The August 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: ESOP Report, Publication,

ESOP Company News Part 5: Restek Meets with Congressman Glenn Thompson

Restek Meets with Congressman Thompson

In July, the employee owners of Restek Corporation, located in Bellafonte, Pennsylvania, met with Congressman Glenn Thompson (PA-5) to review H.R. 2096. According to Restek employee owner, Mike Shuey, the Congressman expressed support for the bill. And we are happy to report that Congressman Thompson became a co-sponsor of H.R. 2096 on July 28.

Restek Thompson meeting

Filed under: Employee Ownership Message, Government Affairs, TEA Members,

August 2015 Outside Board Registry Available

Because more and more ESOP plan sponsors are adding “outside” board members to their Boards, often on advice of counsel, leaders of ESOP companies need to be sure an outside Board member understands ESOPs, both the practical, legal, and operational aspects of ESOPs, and, very important, the unique cultural style that often exists in an ESOP company.

In the Outside Board Registry are names and contact information for men and women who meet these criteria: they know ESOPs, and they know ESOP cultural style, and how it can vary. Those who are listed under “Corporate” members have served on the Board of an ESOP company and/or as a senior executive of an ESOP company. Those listed under “Professional” members primarily proved services to ESOP companies and/or have served, or are serving, on the Board of an ESOP company.

All requested that they be listed on this one-of-a-kind Outside Board Registry sponsored by The ESOP Association.

If you’re interested, you can find the registry on The ESOP Association’s website here. The link to the Outside Board Registry is located on the left side menu. NOTE: You will need to login with your membership information to access the Registry.

Filed under: Member Services,

ESOP Company News Part 4: PPI Meets with Senator Joni Ernst

ESOP Association members have been busy advocating for ESOPs. Iowa ESOP Association member, PPI (Precision Pulley & Idler) in Pella, IA, recently met with Senator Joni Ernst to talk ESOPs.

PPI visit Ernst 1

PPI visit Ernst 2

Filed under: TEA Members,

ESOP Company news Part 3: Travel and Transport Meets with Congressman Ashford

Congressman Brad Ashford (D) from the 2nd district in Nebraska visited Travel and Transport in early June to meet with employee owners and talk ESOPs. Travel and Transport shared the following photos with us.

2015-06-05 09.24.35

2015-06-05 09.53.05

2015-06-05 09.53.54

2015-06-05 09.56.59

2015-06-05 10.07.09



Filed under: TEA Members,

ESOP Company News Part 2: Representative Grothman Visits Priority Sign

On June 19, 2015, Wisconsin Congressman Glenn Grothman (R-6) spent over an hour and a half touring the Priority Sign headquarters in Sheboygan, WI and talking with the company’s employee-owners.  Rep. Grothman engaged in an informative Q&A session and the company’s owners were great advocates for the use of ESOPs, explaining what the opportunity has meant to them.  Before leaving, Rep. Grothman stated that he would sign on as a cosponsor to H.R. 2096 (the Promotion and Expansion of Private Employee Ownership Act of 2015), which he did on the same day.

Priority Sign is a 100% ESOP-owned company that specializes in national sign programs and rebranding campaigns.  It is headquartered in Sheboygan, WI, and has seven offices throughout the U.S.  They have created thousands of signs for a number of industries nationwide and globally.  Their clients include such well-known brands as AIG, T-Mobile, AT&T, Panda Express, BMO, Wells Fargo, Hertz, and Microsoft.

H.R. 2096 cites a number of studies that show how ESOPs outperform non-ESOP companies, particularly highlighting  the  exceptional contribution  to  employee retirement assets.    Also noted is the fact that currently, companies that qualify for SBA status lose that qualification once they become 50% ESOP-owned.  The bill aims to create incentives for S-corporations to form ESOPs and stop the automatic loss of SBA status for small businesses.  Specifically, S-corp ESOPs will be given the same tax deferral for sales of employer stock to the plan as C-corps get, they will get deductions for interest on loans that finance purchase of stock by the ESOP, the Department of Treasury will form an office that will specifically serve S-corp ESOP companies, and SBA eligibility will be determined by considering each ESOP participant as “directly owning his or her proportionate share of the stock in the ESOP business concern owned by the ESOP.”

Welcome Banner - Priority Sign

Welcome Building - Priority Sign

Talking With Employees 2 - Priority Sign

Conference Room - Priority Sign

Filed under: TEA Members,

ESOP Company News: Omni Cable Celebrates Vesting Day

Omni Cable Vesting DayWe thought we’d share some ESOP company news this week. First up, Omni Cable.

Omni Cable, headquartered in West Chester, PA, held its first annual ESOP Vesting Day in late June.

Omni Cable’s Vesting Day celebrates and honors employee-owners who have invested in the company and who Think, Feel and Act like an owner. “We wanted to recognize the importance of becoming 100 percent vested with Omni Cable’s ESOP and celebrate that moment throughout our company’s 11 locations,” said Jeanine Bilotta, Omni Cable’s IT Director and ESOP Trustee.

Omni Cable has been an ESOP company since 1998 and designated its Vesting Day as June 25. “Becoming vested is a huge deal! Being an owner means being part of something bigger… and that’s a great feeling,” said Chris Sorah, Omni Cable Account Manager and ESOP Delegate.

During the week of June 22nd, each Omni Cable branch celebrated ESOP Vesting Day in their own special way. “It was incredible to see how each branch created their own way of celebrating the 100 percent ESOP vested employee-owners. They showed the unity of the celebration, yet the uniqueness of each region,” said Vicki Allin, Omni Cable District Sales Manager and ESOP Committee Chair.

Omni Cable also presented fully vested employee-owners with a custom Omni Cable copper bar. “We wanted something tangible and unique to Omni Cable that would serve as a celebratory tribute for employee-owners who are 100 percent vested,” said Bilotta. “Since copper is an extremely important factor in our business and industry, we knew instantly that an engraved copper bar would be the perfect way to recognize them,” she added.

Omni Cable will be celebrating Vesting Day every year around June 25.

Filed under: TEA Members,

ABCs of ESOPs — Are You an ESOP Guru? Be One!

ABCs of ESOPs Flyer Updated 2014

The ABCs of ESOPs is available exclusively to members of The ESOP Association as an interactive learning tool for ESOP participants. It includes lessons, quizzes, a glossary of ESOP terms, frequently asked questions, and games.

To access the ABCs of ESOPs, visit the Association’s website and click the Member Sign In button at the top of the page. Once logged in, click Meet & Learn, then Online Learning.

ABCs of ESOPs page

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 about the ABCs of ESOPs, please send an email to membership AT

Filed under: Member Services,

August 2015 ESOP Calendar of Events

Looking for an ESOP educational event this month? We’ve got you covered.

Michigan Chapter – 5th Annual CEO / CFO Roundtable Event (Grand Rapids, MI)

August 5, 2015
Michigan Chapter
2015 Michigan CEO-CFO Rountable Brochure/Registration – Grand Rapids
This is an Affiliate and Corporate Members only event hosted by:
Pleune Service Company
750 Himes Street, S.E.
Grand Rapids, MI  49548
For more information contact:  Karrie Imbrogno at or 440.989.1552


Wisconsin Chapter – ESOPs On-Site (Lake Mills, WI)

August 6, 2015
Wisconsin Chapter
2015 ESOPs On-Site Agenda (Lake Mills)
Hosted by Aztalan Engineering, Inc.
100 South Industrial Drive
Lake Mills, WI 53551
Click to register

For more information contact Donna Walseth at or 763.785.4122


Minnesota/Dakota Chapter – 2015 Eggs and ESOP (Oakdale, MN)

August 6, 2015
Minnesota/Dakotas Chapter
2015 Eggs and ESOP
Hosted by Engineering America
647 Hale Avenue North
Oakdale, MN 55128
For more information contact Sue Crockett at or via phone at 612.872.4375


Minnesota/Dakotas Chapter – 2015 Fall Chapter Meeting (Sioux Falls, SD)

August 6, 2015
Minnesota/Dakotas Chapter
2015 Fall Chapter Meeting (Sioux Falls, SD)
Sioux Falls, SD
2015 Minn-Dak Printable Registration Form (Sioux Falls)
For more information contact Sue Crockett at or via phone at 612.872.4375


New England Chapter – ESOP HR Conference (Proctor, VT)

August 6th &7th, 2015
New England Chapter
2015 ESOP HR Conference Agenda (Proctor, VT)
Hosted by Carris Reels
49 Main Street
Proctor, VT 05765
Click to register
Seating is limited so register early!
For more information contact Shelly Dennis at – 603.756.3441


2015 Employee Owner Retreat

2015 Employee Owner Retreat

August 13-15, 2015
Double Tree Suites-Downers Grove
2111 Butterfield Road
Downers Grove, IL  60515
Questions Contact Maya Van Buren 202-293-2971, or Chris Cooper at the Ohio Employee Ownership Center 330-672-0338,
About the 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.


Carolinas Chapter – 8th Annual ESOP U Summer Conference (Charlotte, NC)

August 13th-14th, 2015
Carolinas Chapter
2015 Carolinas Chapter 8th Annual ESOP U Summer Conference
NASCAR Hall of Fame
400 East Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Charlotte, NC  28202
Click to register
Click here to Register for the CEO/CFO Roundtable Forum held on the afternoon of August 13th.
Hotel information –  Hilton Garden Inn Charlotte Uptown
Click to download the printable registration form: 2015 Carolinas Chapter 8th Annual ESOP U Summer Conference Registration Form
For more information contact Donna Walseth at or 763.785.4122


Illinois Chapter – 2015 Champaign Event (Champaign, IL)

August 13, 2015
Illinois Chapter
2015 ESOP Downstate Meeting Brochure
Champaign Country Club
1211 South Prospect Avenue
Champaign, IL
For more information contact Donna Walseth at or 763.785.4122


Southwest Chapter – 2015 Oklahoma Event (El Reno, OK)

August 19, 2015
Southwest Chapter
2015 Oklahoma Event
Hosted by Gemini Industries, Inc.
421 SE 27th Street
El Reno, OK 73036
For planning purposes, please RSVP by emailing Rick McGee at  Please indicate if you will be staying for lunch and the plant tour. For questions call Rick at 405-345-2017
For out of town guests, a block of rooms has been set aside at the Hampton Inn in Yukon
(15 minutes east of El Reno). To reserve a room please call 405-345-6400


Heart of America Chapter – 16th Annual Fall ESOP Conference – (Overland Park, KS)

August 25, 2015
Heart of America Chapter
2015 Heart of America Fall Conference Brochure & Registration Form
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel
10100 College Boulevard
Overland Park, KS   66210
Click to register

For more information contact Karrie Imbrogno at or 440.989.1552


New South Chapter – ESOP Florida Workshop: Fiduciary Responsibilities and Employee Engagement (Altamonte Springs, FL)

August 27, 2015
New South Chapter
2015 ESOP Florida Workshop:  Fiduciary Responsibilities and Employee Engagement
Forum Architecture & Interior Design
745 Orienta Ave., Suite 1121
Altamonte Springs, FL 32701
Click to register
For more information contact Donna Walseth at or 763.785.4122

Filed under: Chapter News, Conference Information,

July 2015 Link Round Up

It’s that time again…see what you might have missed this month.


Booth Sales Open for 2015 Las Vegas Conference & Trade Show


ESOP Association President Comments on the Passing of Carolyn B. Long


Raise the Bar: More Pro-ESOP Bill Sponsors Needed


ESOP Chapter Membership


2015 Summer Advocacy Kits Available


New Center for American Progress Report Touts Capitalism for Everyone


Discussions of Capitalism

ESOP Company News for July

July 2015 Legislative Update

The July 2015 ESOP Report was published

Publications Highlight: Administration Handbook

Mid-Atlantic Chapter Round Table Re-Cap

2015 Las Vegas Conference and Trade Show Preliminary Agenda released

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

Welcome New ESOP Association Professional Members

Northwest Chapter News

Information on the Las Vegas Conference and Trade Show

Filed under: ESOP Report, Government Affairs, News Links, Publication, TEA Members,

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