An ardent spokesman for the ESOP model retired at the end of last month, and will start reaping the rewards of many years of employee ownership.
That man, Rob Zicaro, has done a great deal to advance the cause of ESOPs. Perhaps his most impressive achievement came in 1993, when President Bill Clinton held a panel discussion on the Future of the American Workplace. The panelists included distinguished, well-dressed figures, such as Secretary of Labor Robert Reich. And one rank-and-file worker—Rob—who wore a t-shirt emblazoned with “employee owner” across the front.
To many in the ESOP community, Rob won the day. He offered a ground-level and impassioned view of what it is like to be an employee owner. He spoke about how his organization helped workers develop and learn the business. When others spoke of having a “sense” of ownership, he said: “I have ownership. Not just a sense of ownership. There is a difference.”
Rob’s friend and mentor was Charles Edmunson, for whom the Edmunson Scholarship is named. With Edmunson, Rob became very involved in ESOPs. The two even traveled together to Hungary to visit companies and met with government officials regarding ESOP companies.
Over the course of his career, Rob advanced at Web Industries, while also working his way through school. He earned a bachelor degree in psychology from Cambridge College, and an MBA in Human Resources & Development from Lesley University.
Zicaro, a drummer, plans to devote his time to writing and performing music.