2014 Annual Conference

The 12th annual Vermont Employee Ownership Conference will be held on Tuesday, June 3, 2014 at Saint Michael's College in Colchester, Vermont. 

The beautiful new Dion Family Student Center -- built by PC Construction (100% employee-owned) -- will be the site of  registration, lunch and plenary sessions. 

Regular attendees can register here.  Presenters and sponsors will be sent special instructions.

This year's keynoter will be Joseph Blasi, Professor at Rutgers University's School of Management and Labor Relations, speaking on themes from his new book, The Citizen's Share: Puttiing Ownership Back into Democracy.  Joseph has written more than 14 books on worker ownership over a career spanning 40 years of research and teaching in the area.  His new book, The Citizen's Share (Yale University Press, 2013), co-authored with Richard Freeman of Harvard and Douglas Kruse of Rutgers, was described by one reviewer as “a model of sober scholarly analysis and impassioned political advocacy… a book on economic policy that might make the Founding Fathers smile.”

About the Event

The full-day conference is designed for those who want to investigate employee ownership for their business, as well as those who work in established employee-owned companies.  Nationally-known presenters join forces with representatives of Vermont's employee-owned companies to offer a comprehensive look at the ideals and the real world of employee ownership.

Who will benefit from attending:

  • Business owners, managers, and employees of companies interested in learning more about employee ownership;
  • Those who work in established employee-owned companies;
  • Entrepreneurs considering starting up a company with broadly shared ownership;
  • Business advisors, including bankers, accountants, attorneys, and financial planners;
  • Government officials and staff members;
  • Economic development professionals;
  • Anyone interested in employee participation, sustainable business models or business ownership succession.

Why you should attend:

We've made some exciting changes this year, which will make the event even more valuable to both first-time and returning attendees. Here are some highlights:

  • 15 workshops, with tracks for newcomers and those from established employee-owned companies.
  • An afternoon plenary featuring a panel discussion about the difference employee ownership makes in the day-to-day experience of employees.
  • The opportunity to learn from some of the most sought-after experts in the field.
  • Information sharing and networking. Each year the conference draws dozens of representatives from Vermont's employee-owned companies. You will learn how they made the transition to employee ownership and navigated the challenges along the way. There's no better place to network!

 

THE 2014 CONFERENCE AGENDA

**Note: Workshop descriptions are coming soon.**

 

7:30 to 8:30 -- REGISTRATION AND CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST

 

8:30 to 9:30 -- MORNING PLENARY

Keynote address -- The Citizen's Share: Putting Ownership Back Into Democracy

Joseph Blasi, Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations

 

Workshop Interest Area Legend

NEWCOMERS Anyone new to employee ownership
ESOP EE Those who work in companies with an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan)
ESOP L ESOP company leaders
CO-OP Those who work in worker co-ops or are interested in this form of employee ownership
ALL Everyone!

 

9:45 to 11:00 -- WORKSHOPS, SESSION A

 

1. Introduction to Employee Ownership

Don Jamison, Vermont Employee Ownership Center; with other presenters TBA

NEWCOMERS

 

2. Worker Co-op Successes and Challenges: A Roundtable for Established Co-ops

Adam Trott, Valley Alliance of Worker Cooperatives, facilitator

CO-OP

 

3. More Fertile Fields: A Conversation on Ways of Creating More Employee Ownership in Vermont

Joseph Blasi, Rutgers University; Steve Magowan, Sunrise Management Services; Paul Millman, Chroma Technology, facilitators

ALL

 

4. The Employee Experience: Making Sense of the Clues of Culture

Linshuang Lu, Praxis Consulting Group

ESOP EE, ESOP L

 

5. Hot Topics for Established ESOP Companies

Barbara Clough, Blue Ridge ESOP Associates; Kjersti Cory, Bankers Trust Company; Rob Edwards, Steiker, Fischer, Edwards & Greenapple; John Murphy, Atlantic Management Company

ESOP L

 

11:15 to 12:30 -- WORKSHOPS, SESSION B

 

6. A 100% ESOP Transaction from Soup to Nuts

Merri Ash, First Bankers Trust Services; Chuck Coyne, Empire Valuation Consultants; Tabitha Croscut, Steiker, Fischer, Edwards & Greenapple

NEWCOMERS, ESOP EE, ESOP L

 

7. Sharing Entrepenurship: Converting an Established Business into a Worker Cooperative

Rob Brown, Cooperative Development Institute; Joe Rinehart, US Federation of Worker Cooperatives; Adam Trott, Valley Alliance of Worker Cooperatives

NEWCOMERS, CO-OP

 

8. Deep Participation: Cultivating a Culture of Collaboration

Cecile Green, Round Sky Solutions; Cecile Betit, independent researcher; Dave Fitz-Gerald, Carris Reels

ALL

 

9. The ESOP Education Bucket List – Recruitment through Retirement

Victor Aspengren, Prairie Capital Advisors; Missy McManigle, Walman Optical

ESOP EE, ESOP L

 

10. Management Incentive Plans for ESOP Companies

John Bentas and Beth Fowler, McLane, Graf, Raulerson & Middleton; Joe Marx, Principal Financial Group

ESOP L

 

12:30 to 1:30 -- LUNCH

 

1:30 to 2:45 -- WORKSHOPS, SESSION C

 

11. Basics of Valuation and Financing for Ownership Succession

John Murphy, Atlantic Management Company; other presenters TBA

NEWCOMERS

 

12. Laying Strong Foundations: Stories from New and Established Worker Co-ops

Joe Rinehart, U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives, moderator; panelists TBA

CO-OP

 

13. Employee Engagement and the Ownership Mindset

Tom Bouwer, ProfitWorks LLC; Carey Chen, Hypertherm

ALL

 

14. Meetings Matter: Designing and Facilitating an Effective Meeting

Linshuang Lu, Praxis Consulting Group

ALL

 

15. How Does the Board of Directors of an Employee-Owned Company Create Value?

Peter Paquette, Tarndale LLC

ALL

 

3:00 to 4:00 AFTERNOON PLENARY

Our closing plenary will feature a panel discussion on "Employee Ownership in the Workplace: What Difference Does It Make, Really?"

 

4:00 to 5:00 CLOSING RECEPTION

 

Regular attendees can register here.  Presenters and sponsors will be sent special instructions.