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.

Iowa Economic Development Authority’s ESOP Initiative Program

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) has a new ESOP initiative program. According to the IEDA website:

“In addition to the general economic benefits, the IEDA believes that ESOPs are a promising tool for retaining businesses in Iowa communities. Across the state, there are businesses that have been operated in local communities for many years by owners committed to the welfare of the community. But when those owners wish to retire or to start a new business, they often need to sell the business. It can be a great thing for the community if the business is sold to the employees, through an ESOP, rather than to an out-of-state buyer that may shift jobs and profits out of the community. For these reasons, the State of Iowa recently passed two pieces of ESOP-related legislation.”

The ESOP Association’s Iowa/Nebraska Chapter recently hosted an ESOP Professional Roundtable where this initiative was a topic of discussion. Additional information can be found on the IEDA website including information about the ESOP formation assistance program which will help Iowa companies interested in ESOPs to defray the costs of the feasibility study.

“This is very positive evidence of a cost effective state program to promote ESOPs,” said ESOP Association President, J. Michael Keeling. “It’s very encouraging to see states considering programs to facilitate ESOP creation; clearly more state officers are seeing the benefits that employee-owned companies bring to the local economy. Iowa is certainly a leader on the local ESOP front — kudos to our Iowa Chapter leaders.”

Member News

We thought we’d take a moment and share some Chapter and member news. Enjoy.


Northwest Chapter COLOR logoNorthwest Chapter: Chapter Members Get Local

Over 70 members of the Northwest Chapter gathered at two separate events to learn, network, and exchange ESOP experiences in March.  A leadership conference was held in Portland, OR for senior management of ESOP companies including CEOs, CFOs, and Human Resources personnel.  Eight Alaskan ESOP companies met for the second year in a row in Anchorage to discuss communication strategies, corporate governance, and current legal and legislative issues.  These local events offer a great opportunity to meet other employee owners in the local community and share ideas.

The Northwest Chapter plans to conduct events in Idaho, Montana, and Washington over the next several months.

Carolina Chapter and the Mid-Atlantic Chapter: ESOP Invitational Conference a Success

Chapter News - JMK on golf course - DSCN1488J. Michael Keeling, ESOP Association President, braved chilly 40 degree temps to participate in a putting contest at the 2013 ESOP Invitational Conference in Pinehurst, NC (at left). For the fourth year in a row, members from the Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic Chapters gathered at Pinehurst for this regional event.  Attendees bid on everything from a “Red Neck Couch Potato” Basket to a Round of Golf for four on infamous Pinehurst Course #2 during silent and live auctions which raised over $2,700 for the Employee Ownership Foundation.

Iowa/Nebraska Chapter: Chapter Talks Government Relations

???????????????????????????????Chapter President Elect and Government Relations Chair, Terry McGonegle (at left), Wright Tree Service, shared the importance of advocacy with attendees at the Chapter’s Annual Conference.  A total of 130 members attended the “Make The Association Yours” Conference in Coralville, IA at the end of February.  Terry, along with Ryan Ball, VGM Group, and Chapter President Rod Reinertson, Van Meter Inc., led members in visits to Senators and Representatives during the 36th Annual Conference in May.

Thanks to Chapter Administrator, Donna Walseth for sharing all of the above information with the ESOP Report.


Gibson Named Among Best Places to Work in Indiana

Gibson, an ESOP Association member located in South Bend, IN, was recently named as one of the 2013 Best Places to Work in Indiana. The statewide survey and awards program is designed to identify, recognize, and honor the best places of employment in Indiana, benefiting the state’s economy, its workforce, and businesses.

Gibson will be recognized at the Best Places to Work Awards Dinner in May.

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.

Congratulations to the employee owners of Gibson on being named among the Best Places to Work in Indiana.

Thanks to Keith Stone, Principal and Chief Financial Officer of Gibson for sharing this news with The ESOP Association.

ESOP Association Member, Your Building Centers, Named 2013 Entrepreneur of the Year

LBM Journal has named Your Building Centers, located in Altoona, PA, 2013 Entrepreneur of the Year. According to the Journal, the “Entrepreneur of the Year awards recognize companies of different sizes who epitomize the entrepreneurial spirit.”

Your Building Centers employee owner, and a member of the company’s ESOP Committee, Rick Ackerman, shared the article with the ESOP Report Editor and included this short note: “Tooting our own horn! We continue to grow in value as a company and work to nurture an ownership culture.”

Your Building Centers will be celebrating 25 years as an ESOP in 2014.

Congratulation to all the employee owners, and we should say, entrepreneurs, at Your Building Centers.