Meeting Archive:
The ESOP-Employee-Owned Cooperative Hybrid

Meeting Description:
Is there a way to combine the democratic governance of a worker cooperative and the financial performance of an ESOP? This webinar, the first in a short series, will provide the necessary background and legal specifics, as well as a case study of a company, that will outline the issues and solutions around creating an “ESOP-erative”.
This session will assume at least a basic understanding of both ESOPs and Worker Cooperatives. Prior to the webinar, you can review both models at the bottom of this page. The next session will be a discussion around how the ESOP Trustee, the Board of Director’s, and the employee owners work together to create the culture and company that works.
This webinar is sponsored by the Ohio Employee Ownership Center at Kent State University (with support from the USDA's Rural Cooperative Development Program);  Once Again Nut Butter; The Center for Community Based Enterprise (C2BE); the Law Firm of Deborah Groban Olson; and Horizon Trust & Investment Management.
Date: Thu, Feb 21, 2019
Time: 02:00 PM EST
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Host(s): Chris Cooper
 Presenter Information
Moderator: Chris Cooper, Ohio Employee Ownership Center
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Chris Cooper is a Program Coordinator at the Ohio Employee Ownership Center (OEOC). The Ohio Employee Ownership Center (OEOC) is a non-profit, university-based program established at Kent State University in 1987 to provide outreach, information, and preliminary technical assistance to Ohio employees and business owners interested in exploring employee ownership. In the 20-plus years Chris has worked at the OEOC, he has focused on: assisting business owners with their succession plan (and hopefully facilitating a sale to the employees); providing training and education programs to the 75-member companies of Ohio’s Employee Owned Network, and companies across the country; and assisting employee-owned companies with all areas of business planning and training. He is also the primary trainer for the ESOP Association’s Employee Owner Retreat (which the OEOC staffs), and has spoken or presented at all of the major employee ownership events, both regionally and nationally.

Deborah Groban Olson, Attorney At Law, and Founder of The Center for Community Based Enterprise
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 Since 1981,  Deborah Groban Olson, Attorney at Law, PLLC, has specialized in creating and advising employee-owned companies and cooperatives ( representing sellers, buyers, companies, unions, employees and trusts. Olson is Founder of  the Center for Community Based Enterprise (C2BE), which provides legal and business assistance to  start-up worker owned companies, unions and family business owners considering selling their business to their employees. Olson is Board Chair of the employee owned Once Again Nut Butter Collective; and is a former chair of the National Center for Employee Ownership. A 1976 Order of the Coif graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School, she has an AV peer rating from Martindale Hubbell as a preeminent attorney in her field.

Bob Gelser, Once Again Nut Butter Collective, Inc.
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 Robert (Bob) Gelser has 20 years experience as a Board of Director member, President – General Manager and Engineer at (2) E.S.O.P companies. His career with Once Again Nut Butter started as a member of the Board of Directors, beginning in August 2002. Bob accepted the position of President – General Manager in June 2007 and remains in that role. His experiences have been at market driven manufacturing E.S.O.P companies which have included rapid business growth, strategic planning, Governance determinations, and managing E.S.O.P. Retirement Planning.

Scott Owens, Once Again Nut Butter Collective, Inc.
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Scott Owens started at Once Again Nut Butter in March 2006, and currently works in shipping and receiving. He is a member of Once Again's Safety Committee, Retirement Committee, and the newly started Mentor Committee.He is also sitting on his third term as an Internal Board Member.