35th Annual Ohio Employee Ownership Conference update


A Message to Our Friends of the Center

Dear Friend of the Center,

I want to start off by thanking you for all your support over the years. It is because of individuals like you that we can continue our mission of serving the employee-ownership community in Ohio, and beyond.

Over the past 12 months the OEOC has worked hard to assist employee-owned companies through our year-round programming, as well as help create new ones through succession planning outreach program.  

Thanks to the generous support of individuals like you, in 2022 we:

  • Delivered 21 education and programs that reached 462 companies and more than 800 participants, including our Annual Conference, that attracted over 425 attendees.
  • Provided technical assistance to 15 business owners and/or managers considering a sale to their employees.
  • Grew our Employee-Owned Network to 78 members, now 1 in 4 employee-owned companies in Ohio are members.
  • Launched our Succession Planning Program for NE Ohio business owners.
  • Provided paid internships to 4 Kent State Students, introducing them to employee ownership and providing real work experience.
  • Created and taught a course on employee ownership, delivered in the Fall of 2022 at Kent State
  • Partnered with the NCEO to run the National Employee-Owner Summit, a 2-day training program for non-managerial employee-owners, which sold out and attracted 41 people from 13 companies.  
  • Secured a Proclamation from Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted, recognizing the economic impact of employee ownership on the state of Ohio
  • Published 8 episodes of Owners at Work, our podcast that covers everything employee ownership.  
  • Published Business Succession Planning: An Owner’s Manual, a new book on business succession planning for business owners (let us know if you’d like a free pdf copy of the book!)
But we have more work to do! Much of which is focused on investing the next generation of employee ownership leaders.

Creating the Next Generation of Employee-Owned Companies

54% of all business owners in Ohio are over the age of 65, yet few have a succession plan. Your donation will help us engage local economic development officials, chambers of commerce, and nonprofits to educate business owners about transitioning to employee ownership as they plan on exiting their business. Currently we have a grant to provide succession planning support to businesses owners in a 3-country area of Northeast Ohio. However, we are getting inquiries from businesses owners all over the state and the country. Your support will allow us to expand our reach and services across the state and beyond. This year we have:

  • Engaged, and are currently working with, 9 business owners in NE Ohio in various stages of succession planning and selling their business to employees.
  • Published a new book on business succession planning for business owners and distributed more than 500 copies to business owners.
  • Contacted over 135 chambers, economic development departments and other similar organizations to provide important succession planning support for local businesses.

Developing the Next Generation of Employee Ownership Leaders

Over the past year we have extended our commitment beyond employee-owners to include Kent State students – who will be the next generation of leaders. It is our firm belief that to truly grow the sector we must engage with younger generations and introduce them to the idea of employee before they move on into the labor force. Whether their future be as an employee-owner, service provider, public official, or nonprofit leader – we are committed to providing opportunities to learn about employee ownership. This year we have developed multiple ways for students to learn about employee ownership that include:


  • Provided a John Logue Scholarship of $2500 to an undergraduate student.  
  • Provided 4 paid internship opportunities to students who assisted with various projects including development of training modules, program materials, and our new book Business Succession Planning: An Owner’s Manual.
  • Developed and taught a full-semester course on employee ownership at Kent State which provides an overview of employee ownership models as well as public policies that can support their further development.
  • Developed a study abroad program to Bologna, Italy where student will be able to visit an area that has the highest concentration of worker-owned companies in the world, learn about how they operate, and how public policy assists their development.  
  • Began developing a formal internship program at Kent State that connects talented students to employee-owned companies, support organizations, nonprofits, and others.

As you can see, we have big plans, and we are looking forward to making them real. We can use your help. If you are interested in helping us advocate for employee ownership, send us an email at oeoc@kent.edu and we’ll engage in the fight together. If you would like to financially support the OEOC’s work, you can make a tax-deductible donation to the OEOC using the button below.

Donate Today

 

Sincerely,

Chris Cooper, Director

Ohio Employee Ownership Center at Kent State University

2024 Sponsors

Platinum Level Sponsor
Platinum Level Sponsor
Gold Level Sponsor
Gold Level Sponsor
Silver Level Sponsor
Silver Level Sponsor
Silver Level Sponsor
Silver Level Sponsor
Silver Level Sponsor
Bronze Level Sponsor
Bronze Level Sponsor
Bronze Level Sponsor
Bronze Level Sponsor
Bronze Level Sponsor
Bronze Level Sponsor
Bronze Level Sponsor
Bronze Level Sponsor
Bronze Level Sponsor
Bronze Level Sponsor
Bronze Level Sponsor
Bronze Level Sponsor
Bronze Level Sponsor
No items found.