VEOC 2018 Conference

June 8, 2018

Burlington, VT

The Vermont Employee Ownership’s Conference is the largest annual gathering of Vermont’s employee-ownership community, and this year’s conference will feature a keynote address by Carris Reels CFO and ESOP Association Chair Dave Fitz-Gerald.

Effective ESOP Committees

Laurie Calvert, Meridian Associates; Ben Myer and Tim Shea, Heritage Aviation; Colin Wilcox, Once Again Nut Butter; moderated by Jon Sweigart, Praxis Consulting Group

ESOP committees are a vital tool for engaging a broad range of staff while building a culture of ownership. This panel discussion moderated by Jon Sweigert of Praxis Consulting Group brings together representatives from Heritage Aviation, Meridian Associates, and Once Again Nut Butter to share examples and insights from their experiences in beginning, sustaining and refreshing ESOP committees.

Defining What Leaders Need to Know in EO Companies

Jon Sweigart and Ginny Vanderslice, Praxis Consulting Group

In this session, we will look at the research identifying factors that link employee ownership and performance, and then work together to identify what this means about the competencies and character that leaders of employee-owned companies should have if they want employee ownership to result in improved company performance.

Addressing Class Dynamics in Participatory Workplaces

Kendra Colburn and Shela Linton, Equity Solutions; Molly Mead, Praxis Consulting Group

In this workshop we will provide contextual information about the causes of economic inequality and its impact on participatory workplaces. We will then share our own class experiences in workplaces and hear from participants about their experiences. Based on the issues that participants want to work on, we will form small groups and use creative problem solving to address class bias where it is showing up. Our goal is to practice shifting our unexamined, socio-economic class-based assumptions into more accurate and strengths-based stories. We will do this on four levels: personal, interpersonal, company practices & policies, and larger economic system. We will provide tools and resources for increasing knowledge, effective cross-class communication, and collaboration.

ESOP Corporate Governance: Who’s Gonna Be in Charge?

Martin Staubus, Beyster Institute, University of California, San Diego; Ginny Vanderslice, Praxis Consulting Group

At most privately held companies, governance and leadership is simple: all final authority rests with the founder/CEO who may or may not have invested in developing either his or her successor or members of the leadership team.  So what happens when the founder sells to an ESOP?  Who’s going to be in charge?  How and why does the need for developing internal leaders change? This session will offer guidance and insight on how to create a successful new structure for governance and leadership, based on the experience of hundreds of employee-owned companies.

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