Economic Recovery and Employee Ownership Conference
9:00am-2:45pm (Eastern time)
This is a virtual conference. There is no charge to attend, but registration is required.
Click HERE to register.
What is employee ownership? It can take many forms, but the two most common forms of employee ownership in the US are the worker co-op model and the employee stock ownership plan (ESOP).
As our cities continue to recover from the economic impact of the pandemic, supporting the transition of companies to employee-owned businesses can help save small businesses and support economic resiliency.
9:00 AM – Welcome
9:00-9:30 AM – Keynote Presentation – Chris Cooper, Ohio Employee Ownership Center (OEOC)
Chris Cooper is the Director of the Ohio Employee Ownership Center (OEOC) at Kent State University. In his 20-plus years at the OEOC, he has done almost everything at one point or another, but now focuses primarily on ownership culture education and coordinating Ohio’s Employee-Owned Network; working with business owners on succession planning and sales to employees; and business development and employee-owned start-ups. 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 was a substitute teacher with the Kent City Schools; worked at SEIU Local 47 in Cleveland, OH; and is a graduate of Kent State’s Political Science program.
9:30-10:00 AM – SBA Conversion Resources – Eric Armacost, U.S. Small Business Administration
Since joining the SBA as a Lender Relations Specialist in October 2012, Eric Armacost, Lead Lender Relations Specialist and District International Trade Officer, has enjoyed building and growing relationships with lending institutions and providing technical assistance and training to borrowers, lenders, and resource partners. Eric brings more than twenty years of banking and financial services experience and expertise to the SBA and calls on the skills he gained at Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan and the US Navy to provide an outstanding client experience.
10:00-10:45 AM – Legal Considerations – Fenton Strickland, Kreig DeVault; Robyn Zoccola, ParrRichey
The Conversion Process
Fenton Strickland is a Senior Attorney in Krieg DeVault’s Employee Benefits Group. He focuses his practice on employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) and ESOP transactions and advises clients on all matters of retirement plans, incentive plans, and executive compensation. Mr. Strickland represents ESOP trustees, companies, boards of directors, banks, and selling shareholders across the country in ESOP transactions, ESOP plan design and implementation, and ESOP administration and governance. He has represented companies and trustees in purchases and sales of business in dozens of transactions and is a frequent speaker on a wide range of topics regarding ESOPs.
Robyn Zoccola joined Parr Richey Frandsen Patterson Kruse, LLP as an Associate Attorney in 2022. She concentrates her practice in utility and business law. Robyn has been involved in a variety of projects for the firm’s cooperative clients and has enjoyed learning about the cooperative model throughout her time at the firm.
10:45-11:00 AM – Break
11:00 AM-12:00 PM – Business Valuation – Brad Minor, Blue & Co; Shawwn Storms, Blue & Co.
What is My Business Worth?
Brad Minor started with Blue in 1989 with a degree in business (accounting major) from Indiana University. Brad began performing business valuations in 1990. He is a Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA) and an Accredited Senior Appraiser (ASA) – Business Valuation member of the American Society of Appraisers. Additionally, he is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and has earned the AICPA’s specialty designations for business valuators (ABV) and forensic accountants (CFF). He is also a Certified Machinery and Equipment Appraiser (CMEA) member of the National Equipment and Business Brokers Association. Brad was elected to Director in 2008 and has overseen the firm’s Valuation and Financial Forensics Group since 1999. He performs business valuations, assists with real estate and machinery & equipment appraisals, and has supported attorneys and clients in various areas of litigation.
Shawwn Storms is a 1991 graduate of Indiana University in Bloomington where he majored in Accounting. He received his CPA license in 1995. Shawwn holds memberships in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Indiana CPA Society and Institute of Internal Auditors. Shawwn’s introduction to ESOPs came in 2014 when he began working with Tom Potts in an advisor and support role. Since then, he has been involved in numerous ESOP transactions and ongoing ESOP engagements. He has assisted with the design, implementation and monitoring of ESOP transactions and ongoing Trustee services.
12:00-12:30 PM Lunch
12:30-1:30 PM – Governance – Chris Cooper, Ohio Center for Employee Ownership
Who Does What in an Employee Owned Company?
1:30-2:30 PM – Panel Discussion – Adam Rupp (Midwest Mole); Chris Fredericks (Empowered Ventures); Ole Olson (Isthmus Engineering & Mfg)
2:30-2:45 PM – Wrap up
Hosted by the Indiana Cooperative Development Center and the Indiana Center for Employee Ownership.