Episode 10: Existing ESOPs in the Current Economy

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Summary

It is well known within the employee ownership community that employee-owned companies do better in times of crisis compared to conventionally owned companies. However, this not a law of gravity, it is the result of countless actions taken by and processes created within employee-owned firms. In this episode we speak with five experts in the field of employee ownership and look at what actions ESOPs can take in this current economic environment to ensure that they make it to the other end of this crisis. The discussions, which are adapted from our Short Take videos, are wide ranging and focus on legal issues for distressed companies, employee engagement and communication, trustee relationships, managing your capital position, forming good relationships with banks and other financial partners, and current trends among existing employee-owned companies.

Guest Bios

Chelsea Mikula - "Legal Issues for Stressed and Distressed ESOPS"

Tucker Ellis LLP

Chelsea Mikula is a partner at Tucker Ellis LLP and is an experienced trial lawyer who represents clients nationwide in all aspects of commercial litigation, with a particular focus on shareholder disputes and ESOP litigation. At the start of her career, Chelsea spent a number of years focused on consumer product safety issues. Today she uses that knowledge to advise clients on compliance, reporting obligations, and recall effectiveness and in advertising disputes before the National Advertising Division of the Better Business Bureau and the National Advertising Review Board.

Dale Vlasek - "Amending Your ESOP Plan in Good Times and Bad"

McDonald Hopkins

Dale Vlasek is Senior of Counsel at McDonald Hopkins where he is chair of the Employee Benefits Practice Group. He focuses his practice on all employee benefit matters including pension, profit sharing and 401(k) planning design, operation and compliance matters, ESOPs, welfare benefit plans (e.g., group health, life, dependent care programs) design, operation and compliance matters, ERISA litigation, and multi-employer pension plans. He serves as benefits counsel to a number of middle-market and larger companies. Dale is licensed to practice in Ohio, Iowa and Wisconsin.

Eric Zaleski - "Managing Your ESOP's Capital Positions"

PCE Investment Bankers

Eric Zaleski works at PCE Investment Bankers were he serves on thier ESOP Advisory Group. He has over 15 years experience advising middle market clients with liquidity and growth financing initiatives, often involving ESOPs. Over the years, Eric has established a proven track record of providing business owners with strategic advice for the implementation and financing of ESOPs to meet their objectives. Prior to joining PCE, Eric served as Senior Vice President – ESOP Division Manager of a Chicago based bank. Throughout his career, Eric has managed nearly half a billion in commitments on middle market senior loans. Additionally, over the past 15+ years, Eric was responsible for sourcing nearly $1 billion in ESOP and leveraged financed opportunities.

Cathy Ivancic - "Maintaining Your Culture in Difficult Times"

Workplace Development

Cathy Ivancic, founder and co-owner of Workplace Development has more than 20 years practical experience enhancing communication about business performance. Her work includes working with multiple locations and multi-cultural work environments. She works with ESOPs and other companies with shared rewards to build mid-level leaders’ skills and enhance the quality of the communication about business-performance. Cathy has experience developing incentives and improving performance with a step-by-step communication plans. She is a frequent speaker at national programs, served on the Board of Directors of the National Center for Employee Ownership for 10 years and has helped dozens of companies create an ownership culture.

Corey Rosen - "The Outlook for Employee Ownership"

National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO)

Corey Rosen, Ph.D., is the founder and senior staff member of the National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO). He co-authored, along with John Case and Martin Staubus, Equity: Why Employee Ownership Is Good for Business (Harvard Business School Press, May 2005). Over the years, he has written, edited, or contributed to dozens of books, articles and research papers on employee ownership. He is generally regarded as the leading expert on employee ownership in the world and has appeared on numerous national radio and television news programs. He serves on a number of ESOP company boards in addition to his duties at the Center. ‍

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About the Podcast

The Owners at Work Podcast is a continuation of the biannual Owners at Work Newsletter which ran for 19 years (1990-2019). We are hoping to continue the same conversations and focus on providing updates on everything employee ownership. We plan to interview practitioners with expertise in different facets of employee ownership, academics doing new and interesting research, and most importantly, individuals who have a personal experience with employee ownership, including current and former employee-owners, mid-level to C suite management, and selling owners.

We Want to talk to YOU!

We want to produce a show that engages with relevant questions and provides practical lessons and information. We want this podcast to include the voices of those who practice employee-ownership each and every day. To that end we want to hear from you! We want to highlight what you are doing, whether you are an employee-owned company, a practitioner, or researcher.

***Please reach out via email: oeoc@kent.edu

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