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.

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Congrats to a few of our members

We wanted to congratulate a few ESOP Association members on recent celebrations.

Gibson Named a Best Practices Agency

Gibson, an ESOP Association corporate member, has been named a 2013 Best Practices Agency. Gibson is part of an elite group of independent insurance agencies around the U.S. participating in the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (the “Big I”) Best Practices Study group. Each year since 1993, the Big I and Reagan Consulting, an Atlanta-based management consulting firm, join forces to study the country’s leading agencies. This year’s achievement marks the 20th consecutive year Gibson has received this recognition, having been named a Best Practices Agency each year since the study’s inception.

Gibson is a 100% employee-owned (30% ESOP), regional insurance broker and risk management services firm with offices in South Bend, Plymouth, Indianapolis, and Ft. Wayne, Indiana.


Watkins Ross Celebrates 65 Years

In 2013, ESOP Association corporate member, Watkins Ross, will commemorate 65 years of providing expert, personalized service to their clients. The company will celebrate with an open house for employees, clients, colleagues, and friends.

Watkins Ross is an actuarial consulting and retirement plan administration firm known for their attentive service and highly experienced staff, working beside clients to maximize the benefits of their 401(k), profit sharing, and pension plans. In addition, they have recently reached 25 years of being employee-owned, a milestone that highlights the company’s commitment to its employees and the employees’ commitment to their clients.  While they maintain clients across the country, they have been based in Grand Rapids, MI for the entire 65 years of business.


C.S. Davidson Celebrates 90 Years

C.S. Davidson, Inc., a corporate member of the Association located in York, PA, recently celebrated the company’s 90th anniversary with a breakfast reception. Left to right: William Sauers, Linda Davidson, John Klinedinst, Susan Davidson, Kerry Fulton, David Davidson Jr., Jeffrey Shue, Jody Appell.

CS Davidson

Pigs? Make that Capitalist Pigs!

A few years back, ESOP Association President, J. Michael Keeling, stopped by the Cummins-Wagner Company, an Association member located in Annapolis Junction, MD. Now, skip forward to May 2013, and another visit to Cummins-Wagner. Shortly after his visit, Mr. Keeling received an email from Cummins-Wagner’s Joe Ford who shared the following photos. Yes, that’s Mr. Keeling, and some employee owners of Cummins-Wagner, with Capitalist Pigs! We thought we’d share the photos. Thanks to Mr. Ford for sharing this time capsule with The ESOP Association.

Keeling, pig pile

Keeling Displays T-shirt

Pigs piled up  pig logo

cap pig logo closeup

capitalist pig bunch raised fists

cap pigs from rear

Employee Ownership Foundation Chair, Frieda S. Takaki, Receives the 2013 Small Business Administration Award

Frieda Takaki Business Award - 03-13 CHART Rehab 1-2h HBEach year, the Hawaii region of the federal Small Business Administration (SBA) awards the state’s best small businesses and small business advocates. On February 28, 2013, at the Hawaii Small Business Luncheon, the SBA awarded Frieda S. Takaki, CEO/President of CHART Rehabilitation of Hawaii, and Chair of the Employee Ownership Foundation, the coveted Financial Services Champion of the Year for the City and County of Honolulu. Ms. Takaki received this award for her long standing commitment and dedication to ensure that island businesses are aware of ESOPs and how employee ownership can have such a positive impact culturally and financially in employee-owned companies. This award also recognized Ms. Takaki for being the main driving force in having CHART’s ESOP loan completely paid off in 2012. Ms. Takaki credits her workers for the company’s success — and her talk isn’t cheap. All 34 employees are beneficial owners of the 100% employee-owned company and share in the company’s profits. She was quoted in the March 2013 issue of Hawaii Business Magazine, “Our staff is very committed and loyal and takes care of the company as their own.”

ESOP Company Congressional Visits – Part 2

Part 2 of the Congressional visits story. Remember, if you’d like information on how to schedule a Congressional visit at your company, download a copy of The ESOP Association’s Congressional Company Visit Kit.

Don’t forget to share your stories with us, media AT

Senator Amy Klobuchar Visits Douglas Machine, Inc.

On February 22, 2013, Douglas Machine had the honor of hosting Senator Amy Klobuchar for the purpose of ESOP awareness and education.

After a short meet and greet, CFO, Tom Wosepka, gave a presentation on Douglas’s history, products, and ESOP. The presentation led into a discussion on some of the regulatory hurdles Douglas and other ESOPs have been encountering in recent years. The Senator acknowledged these challenges and understood how they impact Douglas’s business. There was also discussion of S. 273, which would keep the DOL from redefining the term fiduciary as it relates to ESOPs. Senator Klobuchar’s staff indicated that they would work with her to consider co-sponsorship of the bill and the Senator co-sponsored the bill on March 6, 2013.

The Senator took a tour of a portion of the Douglas manufacturing facility and was able to discuss what it means to work at an ESOP company with employee owners, Julie Rubner and Andrew Freyholtz. Along the way she had brief discussions with numerous employee owners and saw some of Douglas’s equipment being tested prior to shipment. During this time the MN/Dakotas Chapter’s Government Relations Committee Co-Chair, Steve Storkan, gave the Senator’s aides a more in-depth understanding of the legislative activity surrounding ESOPs.

As the tour came to a close, the Senator was provided with detailed information on ESOPs and exchanged contact information for future dialogue with high hopes that the Senator will use her influence on Capitol Hill to advocate on behalf of ESOPs.

Senator Klobuchar meets with the employee owners of Douglas Machine, Inc.
Senator Klobuchar meets with the employee owners of Douglas Machine, Inc.

Thanks to MN/Dakotas Chapter Administrator Sue Crockett for sharing information with the Association.

Congressman Raul Labrador Visits Pacific Steel & Recycling

The following was forwarded to the Association by Dana Friede, Director of Marketing for Pacific Steel & Recycling in Great Falls, MT: “I wanted to let you know that Pacific Steel & Recycling hosted Congressman Raul Labrador as a visitor to its new steel sales and steel processing facility in Nampa, Idaho yesterday. Congressman Labrador toured our office and steel warehouse, observing our employee owners at work and asking them questions. He was interested in the concept of an ESOP and was familiar with the way it works. From what I’ve been told, he seemed very pro-business.”

An article about the visit appeared in the Idaho Press-Tribune.

Congressman Raul Labrador meets with the employee owners of Pacific Steel & Recycling.
Congressman Raul Labrador meets with the employee owners of Pacific Steel & Recycling.

Thanks to Northwest Chapter Administrator Donna Walseth for sharing information with the Association.

ESOP Company Congressional Visits – Part 1

The best way to show your member of Congress what your ESOP means to employee owners and the company is to have your member of Congress visit your company. Several ESOP Association members have done just that and we’re going to be sharing their stories over the next two days.

If you’d like information on how to schedule a Congressional visit at your company, download a copy of The ESOP Association’s Congressional Company Visit Kit.

If your member of Congress met with employee owners at your company, or if a meeting was scheduled with a member of Congress in the Washington or District office, please share it with us at media AT

Senator Amy Klobuchar Visits WASP Inc.

Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) visited WASP Inc., located in Glenwood, MN, on February 19, 2013.

During her tour with WASP employees, President and CEO, Dane Anderson, stressed to the Senator that statistics show that a large percentage of all workers and Americans nearing retirement age have less than $30,000 saved for retirement. An employee at WASP, with 15 years of participation, already has approximately $300,000 in their ESOP account.

Senator Klobuchar was asked to reintroduce the Promotion and Expansion of Private Employee Ownership Act, which she co-sponsored in the 112th Congress. She was also urged to consider support for Senator Ayotte’s bill (S. 273) to block the DOL’s ill-advised efforts to treat ESOP appraisers as fiduciaries and, most importantly, to protect ESOPs from becoming a victim of tax reform. As this posting, Senator Klobuchar has co-sponsored S. 273.

Klobucher at WASP
Senator Klobuchar with employee owners of WASP Inc.

Thanks to MN/Dakotas Chapter Administrator Sue Crockett for sharing photos and information with the Association.

Congressman Danny K. Davis Visits Burwood Group, Inc.

Rachel Gibson, Director of Finance and Operations at Burwood Group, Inc., located in Chicago, IL, reported that Congressman Danny Davis (D-IL) visited the company on February 21, 2013. Ms. Gibson said of the visit: “The meeting was very positive. Congressman Davis provided an overview of his roll leading one of the most diverse districts in the U.S., along with comments on the general concerns that our nation is facing related to the Sequester. Congressman Davis is a strong supporter of ESOPs and has been for many years. We were honored to share our passion for ESOPs with him and are encouraged to have a strong supporter of our cause on the Ways and Means Committee.”

Employee owners of Burwood Group, Inc. and Congressman Danny Davis.
Employee owners of Burwood Group, Inc. and Congressman Danny Davis.
Burwood Group CEO Mark Theoharous, Congressman Danny Davis, and Burwood Group President, Jim Hart.
Burwood Group CEO Mark Theoharous, Congressman Danny Davis, and Burwood Group President, Jim Hart.
David Solomon, Congressman Danny Davis,  and Rachel Gibson.
David Solomon, Congressman Danny Davis, and Rachel Gibson.

Thanks to Illinois Chapter Administrator Donna Walseth for sharing photos with the Association.

Iowa Chapter Members Step Up in Des Moines, IA for ESOP Day at the State Capitol

A group of 10 Iowa ESOP Association members participated in an ESOP Day at the state capitol in Des Moines on February 27, 2013. The purpose of the visit was to share their support of the Iowa Partners for Economic Progress proposed budget that includes a request for $1 million to establish a program to encourage the formation of ESOPs in Iowa.

Chapter members met with five House members and five Senators presenting a background statement and ownership census flyer (link below photo) asking for their support.  Members felt bipartisan support of the proposal was favorable. Another day at the Capitol may be scheduled prior to a vote on the legislation.

Left to right: Wayne Hansen, CI3; Debbie Williams and Scot Storjohann, BTC ESOP Services; Al Ryerson and Greg Weber, BCC Advisers; Terry McGonegle, Wright Tree Service; Don Brown, Van Meter Inc.
Left to right: Wayne Hansen, CI3; Debbie Williams and Scot Storjohann, BTC ESOP Services; Al Ryerson and Greg Weber, BCC Advisers; Terry McGonegle, Wright Tree Service; Don Brown, Van Meter Inc.

Background statement and ESOP census information leave behindIowa Nebraska Chapter – Day at the Capital – ESOP Census

Thanks to Iowa/Nebraska Chapter Administrator Donna Walseth for sharing information with the Association.

Employee Ownership Researchers Submit Comments to Ways and Means Tax Reform Working Group

Drs. Joseph Blasi (Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations), Richard Freeman (Harvard University Department of Economics), and Douglas Kruse (Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations) submitted comments to the House Ways and Means Committee’s Tax Reform Working Group on Pensions/Retirement. You can view the comments here.  The submissions are listed alphabetically.

The comments are an excerpt of the researchers’ new book titled, The Citizen’s Share, which will be released by Yale University Press in August 2013. The new book focuses on policies and shared capitalism in the United States and Europe and the impact globally.

The ESOP Association submitted comments the House Ways and Means Committee’s Tax Reform Working Group on Pensions/Retirement on March 21, 2013. You can find additional information here.

News: Center for American Progress Report Cites Need for More Inclusive Capitalism

ESOP Association News

The ESOP Association sent out the following press release today. We’re sharing with our blog readers.

For Immediate Release: April 8, 2013

For More Information: Amy Gwiazdowski, 202/293-2971, amy AT

Center for American Progress Report Cites Need for More Inclusive Capitalism

April 8, 2013 (Washington, DC) – In a new report, the Center for American Progress discusses the idea of inclusive capitalism and how its proven track record has helped companies and employees grow wealth in the U.S. It also notes the necessity for greater dialogue among policy makers and ways to promote inclusive capitalism.

The Center for American Progress defines inclusive capitalism as “…granting workers ownership stakes in the company or a share of its profits based on workers’ collective performance…” The report names employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) as one of the effective financial incentives used to reward employees and generate wealth.

“When employees have stakes in the companies they work for, studies show that productivity and profitability increase, the companies experience less employee turnover, and jobs stay in the community,” said ESOP Association President, J. Michael Keeling. “We agree. Policy makers need to step up and encourage broad-based inclusive capitalism and increased employee ownership to ensure sustainable employment for U.S. workers.”

This new Center for American Progress report, Growing the Wealth: How Government Encourages Broad-Based Inclusive Capitalism, was authored by David Madland and Karla Walter. It was released on April 2, 2013. The report, and additional information, is available on the Center for American Progress’s website here .


The ESOP Association is the national trade association for companies with employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) and the leading voice in America for employee ownership. The core cause of The ESOP Association is the belief that employee ownership will improve American competitiveness, increase productivity through greater employee participation, and strengthen our free enterprise economy. More information: website – and blog –

Foundation News: Rutgers Mid-Year Fellows Symposium Honors Louis O. Kelso

On January 13 – 15, 2013, nearly 50 leading scholars gathered in New Brunswick, NJ at Rutgers University to pursue and discuss research on shared capitalism, which includes the ESOP model of employee ownership. The purpose of the event, Mid-Year Fellows Workshop in Honor of Louis O. Kelso, is to encourage collaboration between researchers in this field and gather feedback on ongoing research.

Between 2010 – 2013, the Employee Ownership Foundation provided funding for 20 Kelso Fellowships, one of numerous fellowships in this area of study that are administered by the School and Management and Labor Relations at Rutgers University to further research in the employee ownership and shared capitalism arena. For a list of Kelso Fellows funded by the Employee Ownership Foundation for 2012 – 2013, please click here. Additional information, click here.

Over the past four years, there has been a larger focus on the theories of the originator of the ESOP model, Louis O. Kelso. At this year’s Symposium, 12 current and past Kelso Fellows discussed research on ESOPs and employee ownership including these two topics: Legal Barriers to the Growth of ESOPs by Kyle Farmbry and Senator Leland Stanford’s Legislative Support of Employee Stock Ownership by Richard Simpson. Both Farmbry and Simpson are current Kelso Fellows.

One additional highlight was a presentation by New Jersey Assemblyman and New Jersey State Legislature Deputy Speaker, Upendra J. Chivukula (D), who discussed his proposed legislation to facilitate the creation of ESOPs in New Jersey.

Long-time ESOP advocate and ESOP Association member, John Menke and his firm, Menke & Associates, have underwritten the Mid-Year Fellows Symposium each year.

For additional information about the Kelso Fellows, click here.

The Emerging Scholar Awards in Employee Participation and Ownership

With the deadline approaching, we wanted to once again share information about the Emerging Scholar Awards with readers. The deadline for applications is February 1, 2013.

The Foundation for Enterprise Development and collaborators are pleased to announce the launch of a new, annual award ($1,500 per award, up to 3 awards) for promising research by an emerging scholar in the domain of broad-based employee participation and ownership.  The purpose of the award program is to identify innovative research in management or management-related disciplines that considers high-impact ideas in the context of business and society’s needs for employee empowerment, participative workforces, and wealth creation through broad-based equity and profit-sharing mechanisms, work practices, organizational structures, and innovation and entrepreneurial models. Research that has broad implications for practice and/or policy, and that addresses pressing economic and/or social problems are especially appropriate for this award.

Research topics may include (but are not limited to):

* The incidence of firms and workers with broad-based financial participation (e.g., employee equity ownership, profit sharing, stock options, employee stock ownership plans (ESOP) and other forms of equity and profit participation) and decision-making participation (autonomous work teams, flat organizations, non-managers on boards of directors, succession planning, and other employee involvement processes)

* The effects on firm performance (e.g., productivity, profitability, investment, and employment) and individual performance of various forms of financial and decision-making participation, and the individual and group behaviors that link participation to performance

* The effects on worker outcomes (e.g., pay, job security, training, turnover, stress, satisfaction, loyalty, relations with management) of various forms of financial and decision-making participation

* The creation, growth, survival, and stability of firms with financial and/or decision-making participation

* The relation of financial and decision-making participation to corporate social responsibility, corporate governance, and sustainability

* Worker-management relations and human resource practices in firms with financial and/or decision-making participation

* The implications of research in this area for practical decisions on work organization, human resource practices, investment, and other issues

In 2013, several individual awards will be available and named as “The Emerging Scholar Award in Employee Participation and Ownership” with sponsorship by one of the following organizations:

  • The Foundation for Enterprise Development
  • Employee Ownership Foundation
  • Equity Administration, Inc.

The recipient(s) of the award each receive a plaque, $1500 award from the Foundation for Enterprise Development, and recognition at the Academy of Management’s annual meeting during the Human Resource (HR) division’s breakfast ceremony.

Deadline: Applications must be received on or before February 1, 2013


1. Relevance and importance, in relation to the purpose of the award

2. Scholarly contribution

3. Clarity of application materials.

Eligibility Requirements:

1. Applicants must be doctoral students in good standing with their educational institution, untenured Assistant or untenured Associate Professors or post-docs within 5 years of receiving a doctoral degree.

2. Their institution must be a regionally accredited college or university in a doctoral program in human resource management or a closely related field.

3. Applicants must be members of the HR Division of the Academy of Management.

4. Students worldwide are welcome to apply, but all materials must be submitted in English.

5. Doctoral student applicants must be enrolled full-time or working on their dissertation research for an equivalent of full-time enrollment. They must have had their dissertation proposals approved by their dissertation committee or supervisor(s) prior to application; applicants must have not yet formally defended their dissertation. Assistant professors must submit an unpublished paper.

6. Applicants must have no current existing financial relationship with the Foundation for Enterprise Development or its collaborators (EOF, EAI, as noted earlier).

7. Eligible research may be within the management disciplines, or in any management-related discipline (including, but not limited to, industrial relations or human resource management).

Post-Award Commitment:

  • Award is to be distributed in a single payment. No budgetary restrictions will be placed on the use of these funds. The award recipient will be liable for any tax liabilities associated with the award.
  • One year after the award, recipients will submit a one-page report summarizing the status of their research to the committee chair.

Application Instructions: The 2013 application form is here: Application for Employee Participation and Ownership.

Please merge the following items into one document and submit them via email as a single attachment:

1) Application form

2) 2-3 page abbreviated Curriculum Vitae

3) 1-2 page cover letter discussing your research interests and experience, and career plans

4) A 100 word abstract of the proposed research.

5) 8-10 page summary of proposed dissertation research, dissertation research in progress, or other proposed research. If the candidate has completed their doctorate, please submit an unpublished paper instead of the summary.  A reference should be made to the relevance of your unpublished research to the purpose of this award as outlined above.

6) One letter of recommendation from a professor familiar with your research plans.  [At the recommender’s discretion, this element of the application may be submitted separately from the application email, either via postal mail or email.]

Contact: All questions and application materials should be submitted, via email, to the HR Division award committee chair Murray Barric k( Please refer to “2013 Emerging Scholar Award: Employee Ownership” in the subject line of your email. Application materials should be submitted to Murray Barrick (