2018 Mid-Term Elections Update

A quick glance at the results of the mid-term elections might leave one feeling that the ESOP community will face challenging days ahead. Certainly the retirement and defeat of key ESOP advocates in Congress—primarily in the House, where tax laws originate—pose a challenge. But there is good news too.

The “Bad” News

First, let’s look at the more challenging news.

We will lose some crucial, long-time ESOP Advocates next year.

In particular, three key friends of the ESOP community—and influential members of the House tax committee—won’t be returning to Congress in 2019: Representatives Erik Paulsen (R-MN) and Peter Roskam of (R-IL) were defeated in their re-election bids. Rep. Dave Reichert of (R-WA) retired.

Another major loss: Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC)—the Chair the House Committee with jurisdiction over the Department of Labor and a longtime supporter of ESOPs—will lose her influential post when the Democrats take control of the House in January.

On the key Senate tax committee that will be involved with ERISA law changes, three ESOP champions will not return: Senators Dean Heller (R-NV) and Claire McCaskill of (D-MI) were not re-elected; Sen. Orin Hatch (R-UT) will retire.

Sen. Hatch’s departure also will be felt on the Senate Committee that has jurisdiction over the Department of Labor.

On the more positive side, turnover in other key Senate committees was less pronounced than in the House.

Support Continues to Grow

While we will be bidding farewell to many elected officials who have supported ESOPs so well, we also are greeting a host of new supporters.

In 2018, 39 new ESOP supporters emerged: 30 in the House and 9 in the Senate. Of these new supporters, the vast majority (33) will return to Congress in 2019.

This year our ESOP advocates in Congress took several actions that provided a strong show of support for ESOPs.

In October, at the start of Employee Ownership Month, 27 influential members of the House of Representatives wrote a letter urging President Trump to rein in the DOL’s overzealous and unfair enforcement of regulations that apply to ESOP companies.


In August, the Main Street Employee Ownership Act was signed into law. The measure is designed to makes it easier for small companies to make use of the Small Business Administration’s 7(a) program to finance their transition to become employee-owned businesses, such as ESOPs.

Moving Forward

The number of ESOP advocates gained in 2018 is a testament to you, our members. By visiting elected officials in Washington, and—more importantly–inviting them to visit you in their home districts, you provide an indelible, first-hand view into the world of employee ownership. That kind of experience turns doubters into believers, and believers into staunch supporters.

If we continue to show members of Congress what employee ownership looks like, our supporters on Capitol Hill will continue to grow—and they will continue to take on prominent positions in the key House and Senate committees.

The net result: Positive ESOPs laws will remain—and perhaps even expand—into 2019 and beyond but only with your continued efforts and outreach.

Maintaining Momentum on HR 2096

Two more Congressional representatives recently joined the list of co-sponsors for pro-ESOP bill HR 2096: Joyce Beatty of Ohio and Todd Rokita or Indiana.

This is excellent progress toward our goal of 100 co-sponsors for this important piece of legislation!

To see the latest legislative update video from Michael Keeling, President of The ESOP Association, click here.


Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts proclaims October to be Employee Stock Ownership Plan Month

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts officially proclaims October to be Employee Stock Ownership Plan Month in the State of Nebraska during a ceremony held in Lincoln, Nebraska on October 14, 2105.  The Communications Team from Travel and Transport, Inc. met with the Governor to accept the Proclamation.

ESOP Proclamation Proclamation

Senator Ron Johnson visits Sentry Equipment Corporation

Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) visited Sentry Equipment Corporation, Oconomowoc, WI, on October 12, 2015.  During his visit Senator Johnson met with the Sentry Equipment Corporation management team, had a quick shop tour, and then addressed well over 100 employee owners.

Pictured left to right:  Brian Baker, President & CEO, Sentry Equipment Corporation and Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson.
Pictured left to right: Brian Baker, President & CEO of Sentry Equipment Corporation and United States Senator for Wisconsin Ron Johnson.



Pennsylvania State Representative Kerry Benninghoff issues a resolution declaring October employee ownership month in the state of Pennsylvania

Penn Rep Kerry Benninghoff - Restek IIPenn 2015 Proclamation

On October 1, 2015, Pennsylvania State Representative Kerry Benninghoff presents the employee owners of RESTEK Corporation, Bellefonte, PA., with a Resolution declaring October employee ownership month in the state of Pennsylvania.

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad proclaims October to be Employee Ownership Month

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad officially proclaims October to be Employee Ownership Month in the State of Iowa during an official signing ceremony held at the Governor’s office on September 29, 2015. The signing was witnessed by several Iowa/Nebraska Chapter members.

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad officially proclaims October to be Employee Ownership Month in the State of Iowa
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad officially proclaims October to be Employee Ownership Month in the State of Iowa.

2015 Iowa October ESOP Month Proclamtion

A proclamation is an easy way to alert your elected officials to ESOPs in their community, district, or state. A proclamation is issued by a legislative body designating an official observance of Employee Ownership Month. You can ask your mayor, state representative, or governor to issue a proclamation.

New Jersey State Bill on ESOPs Moves Forward

The New Jersey Assembly is moving forward with a state bill on ESOPs. The bill, A4021, would “Provide gross income tax exclusion for capital gains from sale of certain employer securities by qualified business that result in net positive benefit to the State.”

ESOP Association President, J. Michael Keeling, said, “This is a positive for the ESOP community and the state of New Jersey.”

August 2015 Link List

2015 Employee Ownership Month Poster Available

2015 Employee Ownership Month Kit Available!

ESOP Association President Visits Omni Cable

ESOP Company News Part 7: Congressman Reid Ribble Visits Hatco Corporation

Moving to the Offense. Touchdown for ESOPs on the Horizon?

ESOP Company News Part 6: ComSonics Meets with Congressman Goodlatte

August 2015  ESOP Report Published

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

August 2015 Outside Board Registry Available

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

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

ESOP Company News Part 2: Representative Grothman Visits Priority Sign

ESOP Company News: Omni Cable Celebrates Vesting Day

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


ESOP Company News Part 7: Congressman Reid Ribble Visits Hatco Corporation

Congressman Reid Ribble (R-8) visited the Hatco Corporation manufacturing facility in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, on August 11.  Congressman Ribble toured the facility and held a very constructive meeting with employee owners discussing what employee ownership has done for the company and for them personally.   Congressman Ribble stated his support for employee ownership and committed to reviewing H.R. 2096 (The Promotion and Expansion of Private Employee Ownership Act of 2015) after the visit and that he would consider signing on to the bill after that review.

Hatco is a worldwide designer and manufacturer of commercial foodservice equipment that offers innovative solutions to the foodservice industry.  The company has grown steadily through the years by product line expansion and great customer service. Hatco began in 1950 and first became employee owned in 2004.  Today Hatco is a 100% S Corp ESOP.

Hatco Ribble Visit 1

Hatco Ribble Visit 2

Hatco Ribble Visit 3