Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update - Ohio Employee Ownership Center

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Conference Agenda

For the past 33 years the Ohio Employee Ownership Center has hosted an annual conference that provides a one of a kind, one-day educational experience for existing and prospective employee owned companies.

The conference sessions cover a wide range of issues relevant to employee owners and their companies -  whether you are an employee owner, manager, business owner interested in selling to your employees,  service provider, or an economic development practitioner the annual conference is a great opportunity to learn from your peers.

The 2020 conference will include 20-plus breakouts sessions on everything employee ownership, including:

In addition we will be celebrating employee ownership excellence with our Annual Ohio Employee Ownership Awards, including the John Logue Employee Ownership Award, ESOP Company Milestone Awards, and more.

IMPORTANT RESOURCES

Conference FAQ
Short Video on Navigating the Conference Platform
Conference Program Book PDF

Morning General Session & Keynote
8:30 - 9:30

Welcome Introductory Comments

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. years in finance/commercial banking, holding a wide variety of roles as a calling officer and manager in various financial institutions.

Roy Messing, Ohio Employee Ownership Center

ATHENS ROOM

Keynote

Jennifer Briggs brings over two decades of practice in human resources, organizational development, and executive leadership from a variety of industries. She served as VP of Human Resources with New Belgium Brewing for 12 years creating a winning ‘best of’ workplace and now serves as an educator and advisor to companies who want to redefine value in a more holistic manner.

Jennifer Briggs, Gritt Business Coaching

ATHENS ROOM

9:30 - 9:45 - BREAK

Concurrent Panels One
9:45 - 10:45

ABCs of ESOPs (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) for Participants

OWNER EDUCATION TRACK/CULTURE

As the title says, this is an introduction to ESOP basics for plan participants. The session will cover: how ESOPs are formed, how and when you enter and benefit from the plan, how companies are valued, who runs the company, and more.

Julie Brooks, Janotta & Herner

Ron Stansbury, Tucker Ellis LLP

CUYAHOGA ROOM

Strategic Alignment in Your Employee-Owned Company

GOVERNANCE/LEADERSHIP

Will your current action plans and initiatives get you to the future you want to achieve? Discover a successful process for aligning your strategic planning to ensure your current initiatives, action plans and annual operating plans are all working together to achieve your long-term goals and objectives. The session will outline a process that includes 4 key steps: Situational Assessment, Vision, Strategic Initiatives, and Execution Alignment.

Jeff Evans, former CEO/President, The Will-Burt Company; Founder, Strategic Executive Partners

SUMMIT ROOM

Fun, Games, and ESOP Challenges: What’s Up With These?

CULTURE

Games and interactive activities permeate our employee-ownership community both inside companies and at our conferences, yes even during tough times. What’s up with that? In this session, participants will be part of a group learning activity, learn about what makes a good learning game, and explore the drawbacks and business benefits of challenges and learning activities.

Cathy Ivancic, Workplace Development, Inc.

Suzi Klimek, Dienen, Inc.

FRANKLIN ROOM

ESOP Administration, Disclosure, and Reporting Toolkit

TECHNICAL

Plan Administrators have many responsibilities related to the ESOP as set by ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code. Our session will cover key responsibilities, including the tricky stuff, and how to remedy any mistakes discovered. We will also provide attendees with handouts including timelines and reporting guides.

Ann Caresani, Baker & Hostetler LLP

Lori Stuart, Crowe LLP

HAMILTON ROOM

Building Engagement and Collaboration with Open Book Management

CULTURE/COMMUNICATIONS

When Cleveland's Evergreen Cooperatives needed to help their employee-owners think, feel, and act like owners, they turned to open book management and the Great Game of Business. This session will provide a quick overview of GGOB, and a discussion on how sharing the numbers (and keeping score) has helped enhance engagement and collaboration at Evergreen's three business units.

Wynette Bryant, Evergreen Cooperative Corporation

Anne-Claire Broughton, Broughton Consulting/GGOB

PORTAGE ROOM

The ABCs of Selling Your Company to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP)

SELLING OWNER

This is the first of two sessions designed for business owners - and their advisors - considering a sale to their employees through an ESOP. The session will provide an overview of ESOPs and their advantages, including what they are and their basic structure; how they might fit with your overall succession plan; and determining if your company is a good fit for a transition to an ESOP

Brian Bornino, GBQ Consulting LLC

Brian Hector, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Eric Zaleski, PCE Investment Bankers

MONTGOMERY ROOM

10:45 - 11:00 BREAK

Concurrent Panels Two
11:00 - 12:00

Basics of Business Financials for Employee Owners – Understanding the Bottom Line

OWNER EDUCATION TRACK/CULTURE

The financial performance of employee-owned companies are often times tracked in terms of the organization’s financial performance, which is outlined in their financial statements. This session is designed to provide the participants with a better understanding of the financial statements and how you as an employee owner can benefit from improving the company’s “bottom line”.

Paul Kelly, S&T Bank

Diana Selzer, S&T Bank

CUYAHOGA ROOM

Interaction Between Your Trustee and Your Valuation Firm

TECHNICAL

Given the complexities of ESOP valuations and DOL’s focus on valuation in particular, conducting a good valuation processes is important. In this session we will explore the obligations and responsibilities of the trustee and go over a good valuation process. Specifically, we will go into detail on the roles and responsibilities of a trustee from a legal prospective. We will also cover the valuation process including selecting an appraiser, interaction during the valuation process, approving the value and what is left to do after the valuation is approved.

Eric Flickinger, Apple Growth Partners

Mark Mills, Mills Potoczak & Company

HAMILTON ROOM

Employee-Owner Resilience

CULTURE/TECHNICAL

During these challenging times, how do you cultivate resilience within yourself and your organization? Attend this practical session to gain real-world tips on how to become a more resilient employee-owned company and to learn successful strategies for utilizing remote communication tools to capitalize on your company’s greatest strength: employee ownership.

Jim Bado, Workplace Development, Inc.

Tom Roback, Blue Ridge ESOP Associates

FRANKLIN ROOM

Demystifying ESOP Sustainability

TECHNICAL

As ESOP companies mature, they are confronted with a variety of complex challenges related to long-term sustainability, including mitigating ownership disparity among employees (“haves vs. have-nots”), funding repurchase obligation, and providing an appropriate level of ESOP benefit. During this technical session, we will discuss common sustainability concerns, take a deep dive into the impact on sustainability of choices about plan design and repurchase methods, and, using real-life examples that will challenge the notion that a high benefit level makes an ESOP unsustainable.

Kjersti Cory, GreatBanc Trust Company

Tina DiCroce, Chartwell Financial Advisory, Inc.

PORTAGE ROOM

Executive Compensation Trends for ESOP Companies

GOVERNANCE/LEADERSHIP

There is more to sustaining your ESOP than doing repurchase studies. Today’s successful ESOP companies are doing holistic planning to ensure alignment between their strategic plan, ownership philosophy and compensation philosophy, as each of these items impact the other. We will discuss overall industry trends in executive compensation, how executive compensation ties to sustainability, and gain insights from employee-owned (and OEOC member company) Robin Industries.

Matt Keene, Chartwell Financial Advisory, Inc

SUMMIT ROOM

Selling Your Company to an Employee-Owned Cooperative

SELLING OWNER / COOPERATIVES

How does a business owner proceed when they want to sell their company to their employees when the enterprise is too small or just does not otherwise qualify for an ESOP? They can sell their business to an Employee-owned Cooperative. Professional cooperative developers will share their experience and examples of businesses being successfully sold to the Employee Owned Cooperative entities

Brian See, Brian See CPA

Roy Messing, Ohio Employee Ownership Center

MONTGOMERY ROOM

LUNCH BREAK
12:00 - 12:30

John Logue Awards for Employee Ownership Excellence

Employee Ownership Awards

Ron Kelsay, Mid American Cooperative Council, OEOC Advisory Board Member

ATHENS ROOM

Employee Ownership Milestone Awards

Every year we honor employee-owned companies that reach longevity milestones. This year is no different, and perhaps its more important that we do so as we all navigate these unusual times. Join us in celebrating these great companies.

ATHENS ROOM

Getting Your ESOP Off to a Good Start:

Intrust IT

ATHENS ROOM

LUNCH TIME ROUNDTABLES
12:00 - 1:00

We’ve added some lunch time roundtables to the schedule, open-ended (no presentation) small group meetings with experts in important subject areas. Note: these roundtables are being offered outside of the conference platform by the listed hosts. Click on the relevant Roundtable link and your browser will direct you to the discussion.

Managing Repurchase Obligation

Roundtable 1

Have questions on managing your repurchase obligation? Valuation/repurchase specialist Nick Adamy from Adamy Valuation will be available to discuss and answer them at this Roundtable.

Nick Adamy, Adamy Valuation, Inc.

CUYAHOGA ROOM

Link to Lunch Time Roundtable

ESOPs, COVID and Board Considerations

Roundtable 2

During this time of continual change, it’s more important than ever to strengthen and optimize the interactions between ESOP parties. Join ESOP attorney Avery Chenin of SES ESOP Strategies for a virtual interactive discussion at this Roundtable.

Avery Chenin, SES ESOP Strategies

PORTAGE ROOM

Link to Lunch Time Roundtable

ESOP Sustainability

Roundtable 3

Get your questions answered, and engage in a conversation, on everything sustainability for your ESOP at this virtual roundtable with specialists Tim Jamison and Tom DeSimone of Prairie Capital Advisors.

Tim Jamison, Prairie Capital Advisors

Tom DeSimone, Prairie Capital Advisors

MONTGOMERY ROOM

Link to Lunch Time Roundtable

The 1042 Rollover for Selling Owners

Roundtable 4

Join 2020 Barron's and Forbes Top 100 female advisor, Leslie Lauer from UBS, and get your questions answered about Section 1042 deferrals for selling shareholders.

Leslie Lauer, UBS

SUMMIT ROOM

Link to Lunch Time Roundtable

ESOP Distributions

Roundtable 5

Join administrative specialist Pete Shuler from Crowe and get your questions answered about distribution policies, best practices, and more. Use the password: 471842.

Pete Shuler, Crowe LLP

FRANKLIN ROOM

Link to Lunch Time Roundtable

The Power of the ESOP in Acquisitions

Roundtable 6

Efficiency of cash flow makes ESOP-owned companies superior acquirers in any market, but especially in today’s environment. Join Eric Zaleski of PCE to discuss the why and the how of making acquisitions (along with best practices), and get an opportunity to network - and get your questions answered.

Eric Zaleski, PCE Investment Bankers

HAMILTON ROOM

Link to Lunch Time Roundtable

1:00 - 1:15 BREAK

Concurrent Panels Three
1:15 - 2:15

Basics of Retirement Planning for Employee Owners

OWNER EDUCATION TRACK/CULTURE

Do you know if you can afford to retire? Do you know what to do with the ESOP and other retirement accounts you have to provide funding for your retirement? How do these benefits coordinate with social security benefits, and when should you take social security? What about health insurance and health care costs, including long term care costs, in retirement? Through examples and discussion, the panel will answer these questions.

Mary Giganti, Waldheger Coyne LPA

Jordan Howd, David Minich, and Wayne Minich, Applied Financial Concepts

CUYAHOGA ROOM

ESOP Legal and Regulatory Update

TECHNICAL

Attend this session to get the latest info on the legal and regulatory framework under which all ESOPs operate. Covered will be the latest rulings, court cases, and other sound advice on how to avoid issues, and stay on the right side of the law.

Peter Jones, Horizon Trust and Investment Management

Chelsea Mikula, Tucker Ellis LLP

Dale Vlasek, McDonald Hopkins LLP

HAMILTON ROOM

Can Employee Ownership Cure What Ails Us At Work?

CULTURE/TECHNICAL

Many Americans, perhaps the majority, work in unhealthy jobs that lead to burnout, poor health outcomes and lost productivity. Research shows that when demanding jobs are redesigned so that employees have more autonomy and more support, those unhealthy jobs become opportunities for growth, learning and satisfaction and lead to greater productivity. This workshop will explore how ESOPowned companies that develop strong ownership cultures can help make work more healthy and high performing. We’ll explore concrete strategies for engaging employee-owners in redesigning their work to improve the employee experience and enhance company performance.

Matt Hancock & Jon Sweigert, Praxis Consulting Group

FRANKLIN ROOM

Caring for Your Newborn or Infant ESOP

TECHNICAL

The ESOP transaction has just closed. Long days of meeting with your advisors and providing mountains of information have finally come to a close. After a few days of relative relaxation, the first thought that hits the new ESOP company’s management team is “Now what?!” What needs to be done this week, this month, this year? There were many firms involved in the ESOP’s formation. Who is now responsible for what? Who do you even ask when you have questions? How do you ask questions when you aren’t even sure what to ask? This session will answer all of these questions by walking through the first five years of a new ESOP’s life.

Joe Borowski, GBQ Consulting LLC

Pete Shuler, Crowe LLP

PORTAGE ROOM

Women Leadership in Employee-Owned Companies

LEADERSHIP/GOVERNANCE

Join our keynote speaker as for a talk on the importance of women in leadership, and the business imperative to examine the leadership experience in employee-owned companies as they look to make the most of the value that will emerge from inclusive, participative cultures.

Jennifer Briggs, Gritt Business Coaching

SUMMIT ROOM

Next Steps in Selling Your Company to an ESOP

SELLING OWNER

In this second of two sessions for business owners interested in selling your company to an ESOP, attendees will explore the next steps of this kind of ownership transition. Included will be a discussion on the necessary financial analysis of such a transaction; understanding the legal processes involved in the sale; the new relationship the selling owner (and the company) will have with the Trustee; and more.

Avery Chenin, SES ESOP Strategies

Stephen James, SCJ Consulting

Tim Jamison, Prairie Capital Advisors, Inc.

MONTGOMERY ROOM

2:15 - 2:30 BREAK

Concurrent Panels Four
2:30 - 3:30

Comparing ESOP and Non-ESOP Valuations

TECHNICAL

ESOP valuations are prepared on a “fair market value” standard. However, there are a variety of issues addressed in valuations of ESOP-owned companies that are not present or are treated differently than for non-ESOP owned companies, such as: control value, taxes, repurchase obligation, marketability, and others. This session will discuss the various ways these issues are handled in ESOP valuations and how these treatments reconcile with the fair market value standard.

Davin Gustafson, Apple Growth Partners

Nick Sypniewski, ComStock Advisors, Inc.

HAMILTON ROOM

ABCs of Worker Cooperatives for Worker Owners

COOPERATIVES / OWNER EDUCATION / CULTURE

As the title says, this is an introduction to Worker Cooperative basics for new worker owners, or “veterans” needing a refresher. The session will cover: what is a worker cooperative; what does being a member owner mean to you; how decisions are made in a cooperative structure, and much more.

Kristen Barker and Ellen Vera, Coop Cincy

CUYAHOGA ROOM

Market Update and Trends in Financing, M&A Markets and Private Company Valuations

TECHNICAL

This session will lead leaders of ESOP companies through a discussion of current market trends for companies exploring M&A targets; the banking environment for lower middle market companies; and an update on general financing conditions.

Peter DeLong, J.P. Morgan

Shawn Ely, Lazear Capital Partners

PORTAGE ROOM

Bulletproofing A Deal: Post Transaction Considerations

TECHNICAL/SELLING OWNER

An ESOP transaction brings on change, particularly to the financial statements of the company. This session will discuss ways to protect the company and selling shareholder from adverse market conditions such as an economic recession. Feel free to bring your ideas and experiences to this open format discussion.

Tom DeSimone, Prairie Capital Advisors, Inc.

Fenton D. Strickland, Krieg DeVault LLP

MONTGOMERY ROOM

Berry Insulation Conversion - A New Transition Model

COOPERATIVES / SELLING OWNER

In this second of two sessions for business owners interested in selling your company to an Worker Cooperative, attendees will learn about a new and interesting transaction model for cooperative conversions. The Fund For Employee Ownership (FFEO) recently guided the transition of Berry Insulation to a Worker Cooperative. In addition to the technical assistance that supported the transition, FFEO provided funding through a loan and taking an equity stake in Berry. This funding combination overcame the "financing hurdle" that is often a main reason for worker cooperative conversions to not take place. Learn more about this transaction at this session.

Brett Jones & Jeanette Webster, Evergreen Business Services

FRANKLIN ROOM

New Employee Ownership Research

TECHNICAL/CULTURE

Decades of research on employee ownership finds that employee-owned companies are dynamic members of our economy. In this session we will review findings from recent research on ESOP companies - discussing what they are doing in response to covid-19; How and to what extent they improve economic well-being for employee owners; and how companies with ESOPs are communicating their commitment to employee ownership on the web. Attendees will come away with a deeper understanding of the positive contributions ESOP companies provide employees and be challenged to consider creative ways in which those contributions can be shared with the wider public.

Nancy Wiefek & Nathan Nicholson, National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO)

Michael Palmieri, Kent State University, Ohio Employee Ownership Center

SUMMIT ROOM

Values

CULTURE/COMMUNICATIONS

We talk a lot about value in the world of employee ownership, and in a number of different contexts. The annual value of our company; the value of my account; value/mission statements; and more. But is there a deeper sense to the idea of value? A deeper meaning that might help us make it to the other side of the pandemic?

Chris Cooper

LUCAS ROOM

Closing Remarks - Roy Messing
3:30 - 3:45