Roy Messing
OEOC Interim Director

Roy Messing joined the OEOC in 2008 and stepped up to the role of Interim Director on July 1, 2012. While at the OEOC he has been responsible for the development of worker-owned cooperatives and been involved in the Business Succession Planning Program. Roy came to the Center with a background as a community-based lender, having provided financial services to the cooperative member/owners of Farm Credit Services of West Michigan. He served as CFO for Montville Plastics and Rubber Company, and before that spent 23 years in finance/commercial banking, holding a wide variety of roles as a calling officer and manager in various financial institutions. He has a BS in Agricultural Economics from Michigan State University and an MBA (finance concentration) from the University of Dayton (Ohio).

In 2010, Roy received his Certified Exit Planning Advisor designation, to better serve the center’s clients who are planning the transition of their business. Roy travels widely across Ohio, speaking on the topics of ownership succession and business planning. In addition, he has delivered presentations on unique private business to worker cooperative model that was developed and deployed by the center.

Chris Cooper
OEOC Program Coordinator

Chris is a Program Coordinator at the OEOC and is primarily involved with the Center’s Business Succession Planning Program at Kent State University. He is a regular speaker and trainer on the topic to business owners, chambers of commerce, trade associations, and other professional organizations, and has been interviewed numerous times by various media entities. He is a regular contributor on the COSE Mindspring website (an online resource for small business in NE Ohio), the Small Business Advocacy Blog of the Small Business Advocacy Council in Chicago, and formerly to’s BizBox small business blog. In 2010, Chris was designated a Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA) from the Exit Planning Institute (EPI).

Chris is also active in various Center training programs on employee ownership, including annual Employee Owner Retreats and the annual Ohio Employee Ownership Conference. He is spearheading the OEOC’s forays into new media and technology, including video, podcasting, and social media, and also coordinates the OEOC’s own blog. Chris is also responsible for the design and layout of the OEOC’s publications, flyers, newsletter, and other printed materials, and is the webmaster for this site as well as the Capital Ownership Group (COG) site. Prior to joining the Center, he spent over 15 years working in various capacities in small, family-owned, and closely-held businesses in the hospitality and foodservice industries; he is a graduate of Kent State’s Political Science program, and worked at SEIU Local 47 in Cleveland, OH.

Kelley Fitts

Office Manager

Kelley is the Office Manager at the OEOC and has been with the Center since January 2002.  She oversees the daily financial operation and human resource functions of the Center and is the lead day-to-day contact between the OEOC and Kent State University.  She provides administrative support to achieve department goals through liaison activities, coordination of daily business functions, and implementation of program/projects.

Kelley coordinates and manages the OEOC Annual Conference, administers professional membership renewals and sponsorships and Network membership renewals.


John Logue (1947-2009)
OEOC Founder; Director 1987-2009; Professor of Political Science, Kent State University, 1977-2009

Read the OEOC Tribute to John Logue…

BA University of Texas (1970); MA Princeton (1973); Ph.D. Princeton (1976). Shortly after joining the Kent State faculty in 1977, Logue became involved in the effort to avert the Youngstown steel mill shutdowns. Logue began research concerning the use of employee ownership as a strategy for job creation and retention in Ohio in 1984. He founded the OEOC in 1987 with grants from the Cleveland and Gund Foundations and the Ohio Department of Development to provide information and preliminary technical assistance for Ohioans exploring employee ownership, and directed the expansion of its programs to include Ohio’s Employee Owned Network, a multi-company training program in 1989, and developing single-company ownership training programs in 1990.

Logue served on the boards of directors of Reuther Mold and Manufacturing, Cuyahoga Falls, OH, and Sharpsville Quality Products, Sharpsville, PA, as an outside director for the ESOP. He wrote widely on employee ownership and workplace democracy in the United States and Scandinavia including, most recently, co-editing Transitions to Capitalism and Democracy in Russia and Central Europe: Achievements, Problems, Prospects (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2000); and co-authoring Participatory Employee Ownership: How It Works (Pittsburgh: Worker Ownership Institute, 1998); The Real World of Employee Ownership (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2001); Modern Welfare States: Scandinavian Politics and Policy in the Global Age, 2nd edition (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2003); and Productivity in cooperatives and worker-owned enterprises: Ownership and participation make a difference! (Geneva, Switzerland: International Labour Organization, 2005). Logue was the Ohio Council of Cooperatives’ “Ohio Cooperative Educator of the Year” in 2003; won the Ford Foundation’s “Leadership for a Changing World” award in 2003; and received a Doctor of Humane Letters honoris causa, from Alvernia College in 2005 for his work with employee ownership.