What exactly are state employee ownership centers, what do they do, and why do we need more of them? This episode is a re-broadcast of an interview originally aired by Owner to Owner – another podcast that focuses on employee ownership. Jesse Tyler, the host of Owner to Owner, sits down with Matt Cropp of the Vermont Center for Employee Ownership, Steve Storkan of the Employee Ownership Expansion Network, and Michael Palmieri of the Ohio Employee Ownership Center to discuss how state centers approach the tasks of outreach, education, advocacy as well as what drives each of them personally to work to grow employee ownership.
Steve Storkan is the Executive Director of the Employee Ownership Expansion Network (EOX), a grassroots organization whose mission is to significantly expand employee ownership in the United States by establishing and supporting a network of independent nonprofit State Centers for Employee Ownership. Since its founding in 2018 EOX has helped launch 8 new state centers. It has the goal of having state centers covering 70% of the country by 2025. Steve Storkan has been involved with employee stock ownership plans for over 25 years, most recently as the Director of ESOP Administration for Alerus Retirement and Benefits where he worked closely with businesses in the creation of an ESOP and the technical administration and compliance required in subsequent years. Steve spent 11 years as a member of the Board of Directors of the Minnesota-Dakotas Chapter of the ESOP Association where also served as Chapter President and VP of Government Relations. Steve holds a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) designation from the University of Minnesota State Mankato.
Matt has been with the organization since 2014, where he has developed deep expertise in employee ownership models. In addition to his leadership role, he is responsible for managing social media, event planning and promotion, coordinating with a national network of employee ownership practitioners and a variety of other activities advancing the VEOC's mission. Matt received his MA in History from UVM in 2011, where he studied economic history and the origins of cooperative finance, and he's involved on a volunteer basis with a number of co-op projects both locally and nationally. He lives in the New North End of Burlington with his partner and a pair of very friendly rabbits.
After relocating from New Jersey to Ohio, Michael started working at the OEOC in 2019. Currently, he is a PhD candidate at Kent State's Political Science Department where he studies American Politics and Public Policy and is currently working on his dissertation tentatively titled, "The Politics of Employee Ownership: Organizational & Individual level dynamics". At the OEOC he helps conduct research that overlaps with his graduate work which focuses on the ways employee-ownership can be used as a local economic development strategy to create individual and community wealth and lessen economic and political inequality. He also helps manage and develop the OEOC's year-round education and training programs and oversees the technical operations of the center.
Owner to Owner Podcast is a podcast hosted by Jesse Tyler of Hypertherm, itself an employee-owned company. The goal of the podcast is to have owner to owner discussions about a wide range of ownership experiences and culture topics and to bring more insight into the individual ownership experience.
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 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.
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