The ESOP Association Blog

Covering ESOPs and employee ownership

2015 Edmunson Scholarships

Foundation

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, ,

Employee Ownership Foundation Lunch Video

We wanted to share with our readers a video that debuted at The ESOP Association’s Las Vegas Conference & Trade Show last week. The following video aired at the Employee Ownership Foundation Luncheon held on Thursday, November 13, 2014 and highlights a few of the Foundation’s projects in 2014 as well as media coverage of the book, The Citizen’s Share by Dr. Joseph Blasi, Dr. Richard Freeman, and Dr. Douglas Kruse.

 

Filed under: Employee Ownership Foundation, Employee Ownership Message, , ,

2014 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.

2014 Employee Owner Retreat

August 14 – 16, 2014

Doubletree Suites

2111 Butterfield Rd

Downers Grove, IL 60515

Questions? Contact: Maya Van Buren 202-293-2971, meetings AT esopassociation.org or Chris Cooper at the Ohio Employee Ownership Center 330-672-0338, ccooper1 AT kent.edu.

More information about the Employee Owner Retreat.

Filed under: Conference Information, Employee Ownership Foundation, ,

Employee Ownership Foundation to Hold Live Auction at the 37th Annual Conference in Washington, DC in May

A few more updates about the upcoming Annual Conference next week…

On Friday, May 9, 2014, the Employee Ownership Foundation will hold a live auction during the Friday luncheon to benefit the Foundation and to support programs that will increase the level of awareness and appreciation of the benefits of employee ownership in America.

Come prepared to bid on a favorite prize and support the Foundation and employee ownership in America!

(click the photos to enlarge)

EOF_PubAuction_4.21.14_(2)In addition to the live auction at the Friday lunch, a silent auction will also take place. Some great prizes are available.

EOF_SilentAuction_Pg1EOF_SilentAuction_Pg2The Employee Ownership Foundation Booth will also have copies of The Citizen’s Share: Putting Ownership Back into Democracy by Joseph R. Blasi, Richard B. Freeman, and Douglas L. Kruse. A $20 minimum contribution to the Employee Ownership Foundation is suggested per copy. A review is here.

Filed under: Conference Information, Employee Ownership Foundation, , , ,

Thoughts on a New Book, The Citizen’s Share

Review of the new book, The Citizen’s Share: Putting Ownership Back Into Democracy

As reviewed by: Joseph Cabral, Immediate Past Chair of the Employee Ownership Foundation, Thousand Oaks, CA

Editor’s Note: Book reviews are not a regular feature of ESOP Association publications or social media.This article originally ran in the January 2014 issue of the ESOP Report, the newsletter of The ESOP Association. We are sharing the following information as a service to members of the ESOP community.

IMG_1201As Chair of The ESOP Association at the turn of the millennium, I called for The Great National Debate on Employee Ownership. The second year of my term, the debate talk disappeared as we defended employee ownership in the wake of Enron, Worldcom, and United Airlines. Although the problems with these companies were not the result of broad-based employee ownership, the inclusion of employee ownership made it difficult to overcome the argument that employee ownership was somehow involved in the failure.

The opportunity to advance employee ownership was given another chance when in 2002 President George W. Bush proclaimed his belief in an Ownership Society. The ESOP community was excited at the prospect of the President endorsing the idea of an Ownership Society and just as quickly disappointed when he restricted the definition to home ownership.

A new book, The Citizen’s Share, opens up yet another opportunity to debate the ownership issue. Authors, Professors Joseph R. Blasi, Richard B. Freeman, and Douglas L. Kruse, provide readers with the foundation to have the Great National Debate on Employee Ownership. The authors themselves seem to desire such a debate as they write, “Following American thinking about broad-based ownership and having a citizen’s share in society from the 18th to the current Century can, we believe, help us develop a road map to increase the citizen’s share of our economy. That is the purpose of this book.”

The authors take us on a journey through American history starting with the Founding Fathers, through the Industrial Revolution, to today’s information age. The authors provide documents, speeches, and quotes from our Founding Fathers warning readers of the consequences if wealth producing property is not distributed fairly. The country was founded by people escaping their homeland’s aristocracy that choked opportunity for upward mobility and the accumulation of wealth. Inherited wealth and power was the societal norm. What they sought was a land where freedom and liberty could be the principles for the founding of the country.

The authors follow the agricultural roots where most people could create wealth by farming their land and the beginnings of the industrial age, when cod fishermen participated in profit sharing associated with their catch, to the Louisiana Purchase, which added sufficient land for the new citizens to own, to companies that provided profit sharing and share ownership to employees in the industrial, and now, information age.

Today, we are concerned about the unsustainability of the current system. The public generally take exception to the current outcome but seem to have accepted, “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer,” as inherent to the capitalistic system.

The authors point us to a series of questions on the General Social Survey that are specific to broad-based ownership (the series of questions was supported by funding from the Employee Ownership Foundation) for a counterpoint to the conventional wisdom that shared ownership is insignificant in our society. The authors note the study discloses that “about 47% of private-sector full-time wage and salary workers have some form of shared ownership in small amounts, except for ESOPs, in the firms where they work.” Such ownership takes the form of profit sharing, gain sharing, as well as ESOPs. Thus, shared ownership is indeed a significant part of our society and there is a need to expand shares and expand the level of wealth they represent.

Our ESOP community knows the outcome of our capitalistic society does not have to result in greater concentration of wealth. In fact, ESOPs stand as testimony that broad-based ownership of wealth creates greater wealth in our nation and shares that wealth more fairly among those who helped create the wealth, making us all capitalists.

The authors cite a late 19th Century congregational pastor, William Gladden, who addressing rising tensions over wealth inequality and horrible working conditions suggested the solution was what he called cooperation, “by making the laborer his own capitalist.” Those of us in the ESOP community understand the impact of employee ownership through ESOPs and The Citizen’s Share provides us with the evidence, arguments, and historical material to rebut our naysayers. Now is the time to make our ESOP voices heard by not just our fellow ESOPers but by the public-at-large.

The Citizens Share is a must read for all in the employee ownership community and the rest of the American public. Read it and pass it on to all you know. If we all make sharing our ESOP story a priority, we can make a difference and make our nation a more just and economically fair society.

For information on where to purchase a copy of The Citizen’s Share, click here.

The Citizen’s Share: Putting Ownership Back Into Democracy, authored by Joseph R. Blasi, Richard B. Freeman, and Douglas L. Kruse, published by Yale University Press, ISBN: 978-0-300-19225-4.

Filed under: Employee Ownership Foundation, Member Services, , , ,

Employee Ownership Foundation Ends 2013 on a High Note

FoundationAt the 2013 Las Vegas Conference & Trade Show held in November, the Employee Ownership Foundation raised approximately $100,000 ensuring that employee ownership research and Foundation programs will not only continue but thrive in 2014.

“Once more, we are impressed by the incredible generosity of the ESOP community,” stated Employee Ownership Foundation President, J. Michael Keeling. “Thank you to everyone who donated both time and effort to the Employee Ownership Foundation in 2013.”

To add to the excitement, the Employee Ownership Foundation held a book signing at the Conference. (More info in the November 2013 ESOP Report issue, page 1.) On November 7, 2013, Professor Joseph R. Blasi, a preeminent scholar in the field of employee ownership, J. Robert Beyster Professor, and sociologist at the School of Management and Labor Relations at Rutgers University, spoke to Conference attendees about the roots of employee ownership in America’s history. Following his presentation, he met with attendees at the Foundation booth to sign copies of his newly released book: The Citizen’s Share: Putting Ownership Back into Democracy. He co-authored the new book with Richard B. Freeman (Herbert Ascherman Professor of Economics at Harvard University) and Douglas L. Kruse (Professor of Industrial Relations and Human Resources and an economist at the School of Management and Labor Relations, Rutgers University). The Citizen’s Share was released on November 26, 2013. Additional information about the book can be found on the book’s website.

IMG_1201Individuals who donated over $100 to the Employee Ownership Foundation in 2013 are eligible to receive a copy of the book. For more information, please contact Gwenn Rosenthal at gwenn AT esopassociation.org.

Don’t forget, donations to the Employee Ownership Foundation are tax deductible; contributions must be received by the Foundation before year-end 2013 to qualify. For additional information about the Foundation, or to donate, please visit the website.

Filed under: Conference Information, Employee Ownership Foundation, Employee Ownership Message, , ,

FOUNDATION NEWS Passionate Speech by Preeminent Scholar of Employee Ownership Ignites Crowd at 2013 Las Vegas Conference

Blasi Vegas Book Signing 2On Thursday, November 7, 2013, Professor Joseph R. Blasi, a preeminent scholar in the field of employee ownership, J. Robert Beyster Professor, and sociologist at the School of Management and Labor Relations at Rutgers University, spoke to Conference attendees about the roots of employee ownership in America’s history.

Dr. Blasi spent two years researching his new book, The Citizen’s Share: Putting Ownership Back into Democracy, which he co-authored with Richard B. Freeman (Herbert Ascherman Professor of Economics at Harvard University) and Douglas L. Kruse (Professor of Industrial Relations and Human Resources and an economist at the School of Management and Labor Relations, Rutgers University). During his presentation, he shared his thoughts and discoveries that went into the new book. Starting with the American Revolution, continuing through America’s first Presidential term with George Washington, the cod fishing industry — which was a pioneer in the advancement of average paid employees having a share of their efforts as a condition of a Federal government bailout — and covered the first major piece of legislation regarding stock ownership in America. He also talked about the involvement of several more US Presidents and notable historical figures, including John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln. Dr. Blasi left a room of 1,000 plus listeners, and employee ownership enthusiasts, entranced.

“If you missed Dr. Blasi’s speech, you missed an education,” said ESOP Association President, J. Michael Keeling. “The information he shared was invaluable to our employee Blasi Vegas Book Signing 3ownership cause. The history of the employee ownership movement is something all of us in this community should be aware of.”

Dr. Blasi’s new book, which covers the history of the employee stock ownership movement, will be available from Yale University Press on November 26, 2013; Kindle editions are now available as well as sample chapters on audio and other devices. The Employee Ownership Foundation will provide a copy of the book to anyone making a $100 contribution to the Foundation, with a limit of five books. Many of the Las Vegas Conference attendees did make contributions and received books. Many said they would give the book to their Representative and Senators.

Additional information about the book can be found on the Yale University Press website.

According to the Yale University Press: “The idea of workers owning the businesses where they work is not new. In America’s early years, Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and Madison believed that the best economic plan for the Republic was for citizens to have some ownership stake in the land, which was the main form of productive capital. This book traces the development of that share idea in American history and brings its message to today’s economy, where business capital has replaced land as the source of wealth creation. Based on a ten-year study of profit sharing and employee ownership at small and large corporations, this important and insightful work makes the case that the Founders’ original vision of sharing ownership and profits offers a viable path toward restoring the middle class. Blasi, Freeman, and Kruse show that an ownership stake in a corporation inspires and increases worker loyalty, productivity, and innovation. Their book offers history-, economics-, and evidence-based policy ideas at their best.”

Blasi Vegas Book Signing 1The December 2013 issue of the ESOP Report will feature additional information about the book, including a review.

“While many of us think we know the history of employee ownership, what we all need is a larger education, larger view, and larger historical perspective on how it all began to understand where it’s going,” said J. Michael Keeling. “Dr. Blasi takes the issue of employee ownership, and from reading his work, one knows just how passionately he feels about it, and makes it very accessible.”

Filed under: Employee Ownership Foundation, Employee Ownership Message, , , , , , , ,

2013 Las Vegas Conference and Trade Show — Employee Ownership Foundation Lunch, Thursday, November 7th

Foundation

At this year’s Las Vegas Conference & Trade Show, the Employee Ownership Foundation Lunch will feature guest speaker Dr. Joseph Blasi, a well-known and respected researcher in the employee ownership field. Dr. Blasi is the J. Robert Beyster Professor of Employee Ownership and a sociologist at the School of Management and Labor Relations at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. He is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and his work includes economic sociology, the social and economic history of the corporation, and public policy, particularly, broad-based employee stock ownership, profit sharing, gain sharing, and stock options in corporations, in countries, and in industries. For a complete bio, please visit the Rutgers University website here.

Dr. Blasi will be discussing his new book, The Citizen’s Share. According to the Yale University Press website, the book publisher: Based on a ten-year study of profit sharing and employee ownership at small and large corporations, this important and insightful work makes the case that the Founders’ original vision of sharing ownership and profits offers a viable path toward restoring the middle class. Additional information about the book can be found here.

Dr. Blasi will be available for a book signing following the luncheon presentation. Each $100 donation will entitle a donor to 1 signed copy of The Citizen’s Share (limit 5 copies per donor). This fundraising event at The ESOP Association’s Las Vegas Conference & Trade Show is the Employee Ownership Foundation’s largest annual fundraising event.

Information:

Thursday, November 7, 2013

11:40 AM – 1:10 PM

Palace Ballroom

Filed under: Conference Information, Employee Ownership Foundation, , , ,

Visit the Employee Ownership Foundation at the Las Vegas Conference & Trade Show

If you’re attending this year’s Las Vegas Conference & Trade Show, stop by and visit the Employee Ownership Foundation booth. The Foundation will be located outside the Palace Ballroom in the Palace Tower near The ESOP Association main registration area. Come find out how you can help share the employee ownership message.

Foundation

Filed under: Conference Information, Employee Ownership Foundation, , ,

Visit the Employee Ownership Foundation in Vegas

FoundationIf you’re attending this year’s Las Vegas Conference & Trade Show on November 7 & 8, stop by and visit the Employee Ownership Foundation booth. The Foundation will be located outside the Palace Ballroom in the Palace Tower near The ESOP Association main registration area. Come find out how you can help spread the employee ownership message.

Filed under: Conference Information, Employee Ownership Foundation, , ,

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