2013 Las Vegas Conference and Trade Show — ESOP Association Lunch, Friday, November 8th

ESOP Association President, J. Michael Keeling, for his annual Washington Update delivered at the Las Vegas Conference & Trade Show, will be discussing Tax Reform & ESOPs this afternoon. The theme — Saving ESOPs, Saving Our ESOPs, Saving YOUR ESOP.


Friday, November 8, 2013

12:15 AM – 1:45 PM

Palace Ballroom

For additional information, please visit The ESOP Association’s YouTube Channel for government relations commentary and background.

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


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.


Thursday, November 7, 2013

11:40 AM – 1:10 PM

Palace Ballroom

Joining us at the Las Vegas Conference & Trade Show? Stop by the Membership Services Booth and say hello!

esop-logo-small1.jpgIf you’re joining us at the 2013 Las Vegas Conference & Trade Show, November 7 – 8 at Caesars Palace, stop by booth #107 and say hello to the ESOP staff.

The Trade Show preview will be open from 5:00 – 8:00 the evening on November 6th and will officially open 6:30 AM on Thursday, November 7th.

  • We’ll have the latest ESOP publications, products, advocacy work, and press releases from The ESOP Association available.
  • You can pick-up a copy of the recent ESOP white paper — “Valuing Synthetic Equity.”
  • Learn more about gaining access to the “ABCs of ESOPs” interactive learning module for ESOP participants and get a tutorial on resources available to members through the Association’s website.
  • Don’t forget to drop off your business card for a chance to win an iPad mini and pick-up some great ESOP give-a-ways!
  • Learn more about ordering ESOP technical publications published by the Association such as the “ESOP Administration Handbook,” “ESOP Fiduciary Handbook,” “Valuing ESOP Shares,” “ESOP Accounting Standards,” and much more.

Something new this year — a trivia contest for Conference attendees! Trivia information will be available in the attendee packet. Completed questions can be returned to the Membership Services Booth, #107, in the Trade Show area. The winner receives one complimentary transferrable registration to a future ESOP Association conference. (Limited to 2014 conferences)

LinkedIn Link Up at the Las Vegas Conference & Trade Show

Are you a member of The ESOP Association’s LinkedIn group? Are you attending the 2013 Las Vegas Conference and Trade Show at Caesars Palace on November 7 & 8?

If the answer is yes to both questions, you’re in luck!

On the evening of November 6th, the Association will host a LinkedIn Link Up between 5:30 and 7:00 pm. Stop by for early registration and spend a few minutes networking with group members.

A win-win!

The Link Up will be held in the Trade Show area in the Palace Ballroom. Stop by the registration desk for your materials then visit the Trade Show and the Link Up.

Friends shaking hands, bonding, Canon 1Ds mark III

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.


And One More Employee Ownership Month Post

Today’s Employee Ownership Month (EOM) ideas come from ESOP Association members, Carl Warren & Company and ComSonics, Inc.

Carl Warren & Company Reaches Out to Members of Congress

While not specifically related to Employee Ownership Month, it’s a great year round project by the employee owners of Carl Warren & Company to raise the company profile and get the most out of their ESOP Company of the Year title in 2013. The employee owners are reaching out to their members of Congress and telling them about being named the 2013 ESOP Company of the Year.

Earlier in the year, the company received letters of congratulations from Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) and Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) congratulating the employee owners in the Georgia location; a certificate of recognition from Placentia Mayor, Scott Nelson; and a letter of congratulations from Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) to the employee owners in the Kansas location. See this post for the letters. Additionally, former Congressman Joe Baca (D-CA) stopped by the company’s office.

Thanks to Caryn Siebert and Mark Bernstein for sharing the letters.

 Carl Warren – Letter from Congressman Scott Peters

Carl Warren – Letter from Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren

Carl Warren - Joe Baca with CWC team

ComSonics Inc. Pinks Out

From ComSonics, Inc.:

This year, our company has been directly impacted by breast cancer as we learned several months ago that one of our owners was diagnosed with this disease. As her treatment continues, we wanted to do something to show our support so we turned our day “Pink” on October 22nd and challenged owners to wear pink in honor of not just our fellow owner, but in honor of any loved ones who have faced this or any other health challenge in the last year. We served healthy snacks on this day also in keeping with our wellness incentives.

We were amazed by the number of guys who were proud to break out in pink and we were touched by the stories of survival and loss that were openly shared with our committee. And rather than giving the most “pink” person of the day a prize, we are preparing a special package that will be delivered to our recovering owner at home this week complete with a scrapbook from the day and special t-shirt from all of us who continue to keep her in our thoughts and prayers!

P.S. Even owners who had traveled to ATL for our national trade show on this date wore pink!

Thanks to Markita Madden for sharing the information and photos.

ComSonics 2ndshift_hbg

ComSonics christy_atl

ComSonics EOM 2

ComSonics EOM 3

ComSonics EOM

Two More EOM Celebration Ideas to Share

Today’s Employee Ownership Month (EOM) ideas come from ESOP Association members, Carris Reels and Entertainment Partners.

Carris Reels Raises a Flag and Cash

From Carris Reels:

To start off Employee Ownership Month, Carris Reels raised the ESOP flag over the company’s headquarters in Proctor, VT and employee owners in the company’s Virginia site donated an ESOP money tree to the Employee Ownership Foundation at the Mid-Atlantic Chapter conference held in early October. Employee owner, Kevin Hedrick, suggested a logo during Virginia’s October Planning Committee meeting and it was used on picnic t-shirts and throughout the month.

Carris EOM FLAG - 072


Carris EOM PaulTreeSteve

Thanks to Carris Reels for sharing photos.

Entertainment Partners Goes Old School and Sends out Employee Ownership Month Cards

The ESOP Association received this card from the employee owners of Entertainment Partners wishing everyone a happy Employee Ownership Month! Needless to say, we love it.

Entertainment Partners EOM Card 2

Entertainment Partners EOM Card

Restek Celebrates EOM with Life Long Learning

Today’s Employee Ownership Month (EOM) story comes from ESOP Association member, Restek Corporation.

On October 1st, Restek had two L3 (Life Long Learning) ESOP presentations from Jeff Gelburd of Murray Securus and Loren Rodgers of the National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO) to kick-off ESOP month. Jeff’s presentation outlined his ESOP history, what Murray Securus has achieved as an ESOP and what it means to be a successful ESOP. Loren’s presentation outlined the varieties of ESOPs around the world, the state of ESOPs and data on effective ESOPs. We also had a Roundtable event with our ESOP Trustees and EOCT (Employee Owners Communication Team) where we received great suggestions, ideas and feedback from Loren. We also started our ESOP trivia game the same day. I attached our agenda for ESOP month as well. Our first day of events was very informative for our employees.

Restek’s October ESOP Month Activities

  • October 1st
    • Jeff Gelburd from Murray Securus will talk to us about how the ESOP at Murray Securus functions
    • Loren Rodgers from the National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO) will present on the current state of ESOPs and will share some motivational words about being an ESOP company
  • October 10th
    • The EOCT will be re-showing the “We the Owners” DVD – A documentary about 3 different ESOPs are set up
    • We’ll be giving out a limited number of Restek’s ESOP poster magnets!
  • October 24th
    • Another screening of “What the Heck is an ESOP,” narrated by your favorite mad scientist, Scott Grossman, explaining how Restek’s ESOP works
    • Attendees will be entered into a raffle to win full sized Restek ESOP posters!
  • October 30th
    • Rebecca DeHainuat from our 401(k) provider will be coming to explain:
      • Accessing & Using the John Hancock Participant Website, including
      • Retirement Goal Setting
      • Retirement Fitness Quiz and Calculators

Restek EOM - JeffGelburd2013  Restek EOM - LorenRodgers2013

Restek EOM - LorenRodgersRoundtableThanks to Mike Shuey of Restek for sharing the company’s 2013 EOM events.

Got a story? Tell us all about it – media AT esopassociation.org.

Employee Ownership Month – Rodeo!

Today’s Employee Ownership Month (EOM) story comes from ESOP Association member, First National Bank of Bemidji.

Howdy! Since 2006, First National Bank of Bemidji has chosen a week in October to celebrate employee ownership. The ESOP Communications Committee began planning this year’s events in mid-August to ensure a fun-filled week for all employee owners. Celebrating our 28th year being employee-owned, this year’s theme encompassed everything “Rodeo!”

The events began on Thursday, October 3rd, with a kick-off meeting to share all of the fun events planned for the following week. The bank’s President, Tom Welle, gave our quarterly business update, and then the Rodeo commenced! With the ESOP Communications Committee dressed as rodeo clowns, rodeo queens, and a rodeo announcer, members of our Executive Management team competed in tricycle barrel racing, lassoing, and a cowboy boot putting contest. Many laughs were had, and ultimately, Tom “Leader of the Pack” Welle, won the competition, riding his horse, “Nice Guy!”

The events planned for ESOP Week included: Lassoing, Cowboy Boot Ball, a Cow-Tipping Contest, Horseshoes, and of course the return of our favorite game from last year, Sling-Shotting. The goal of Sling-Shotting this year was to knock over cans of Pork ‘n Beans! All games were played in our bank’s courtyard. Throughout our ESOP Week, there was also a Western-Themed Baking Contest, an “ESOP-Themed” Belt Buckle Contest, and “ESOP-Themed” Stick Horse Competition, and an ESOP’m Poker Tournament where cards for each employee’s poker hand were earned by answering ESOP quiz questions correctly. Employee owners wore nametags throughout the week stating, “I’m and owner,” and local media outlets covered the events throughout the week, helping to promote Employee Ownership Month. With employees dressing in casual Western-Wear throughout the week, many questions arose from customers, and many opportunities were taken to share the benefits of employee ownership!

Bemidji ESOP 3-Legged Race

Bemidji ESOP Belt Buckle Winner

Bemidji ESOP Communications Committee 2013

Bemidji ESOP Lasso

Bemidji ESOP Rodeo Clowns

Bemidji ESOP S'Mores

Bemidji ESOP Tricycle

Thanks to Nikki Brink of First National Bank of Bemidji for sharing the company’s EOM story with the Association.

Got a story? Tell us all about it – media AT esopassociation.org.

Celebrating Employee Owners – Another Employee Ownership Month Story to Share

Today’s Employee Ownership Month (EOM) story comes from ESOP Association member, Wenck Associates Inc.

Since Wenck’s founding, we have celebrated our successes together at our annual retreat. At each year’s retreat we reflect on the past year together and focus on the strengths and talents of our people as we plan for the next year. In 2006, Wenck became a 100% ESOP owned company. Our ESOP culture is driven by our members, who each act as an owner of this firm. We’re now 200+ people strong and excited about where we’re going.

Thanks to Lisa Willing of Wenck Associates Inc. for sharing this info with the Association.

Got a story? Tell us all about it – media AT esopassociation.org.