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Owners at Work

Business & Economics Podcasts

Interviews leading experts on issues pertaining to employee ownership including building an ownership culture, management practices, succession planning, economic development, and so much more.

Interviews leading experts on issues pertaining to employee ownership including building an ownership culture, management practices, succession planning, economic development, and so much more.


United States


Interviews leading experts on issues pertaining to employee ownership including building an ownership culture, management practices, succession planning, economic development, and so much more.




Employee Ownership: Reducing Inequality and Building Assets

We hear a lot about the the rising level of economic inequality in our society, the increasingly precarious nature of employment, and the difficulties of saving for retirement. What we hear about much less is the how employee owned firms, in particular companies with Employee Stock Ownership Plans, can help address these an many other issues by helping workers build wealth - broadly defined. In this episode we sit down with two senior researchers, Janet Boguslaw and Lisa Schur, and talk...


The Employee Ownership Trust

If there is one thing to know about the field of employee ownership it's that it includes a wide variety of models. In the US, Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) and worker cooperatives are the two most well known, but there are many others. In this episode we sit down with Chris Michael, an attorney and professor, to discuss a less known model - the employee ownership trust. We dig into the history of the model, talk about its similarities and differences to ESOPs and worker...


Year End Considerations: Valuations and Repurchase Obligations

We’re getting to the end of year, and a general theme of our upcoming programming, as well as many of our conversations with companies and advisors alike, focuses on taking stock of what’s happened, and is still happening, and how we are looking at, and planning for, the future. In this episode of the Owners At Work podcast we’re highlighting a couple of recent conversations on this theme. First up we have Tina DiCroce and Collin Mayer of Chartwell talking about the impacts of Covid on...


Beyond COVID: Keeping Your ESOP On Track

In this episode we speak with six experts in the field of employee ownership about how to approach 'regular' operations that all ESOPs must undertake while at the same time keeping an eye on planning for the long term. The discussions, which are adapted from our Annual Conference Short Take videos, focus on ESOP processes and procedures, sustainability, and more. We talk about valuations and preparation strategies, the role of third party administrators, how to best approach repurchase...


Existing ESOPs in the Current Economy

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...


Selling Your Business to an ESOP

In this episode we speak with five experts in the field of employee ownership about the process of selling a business to employees via an Employee Stock Ownership Plan. Each interview focuses on a particular aspect of the process. Taken together, the interviews provide a general primer for anyone interested how the process works as well as what key issues should be considered at different points within the process. CONTACT US! Email: oeoc@kent.edu Phone: (330)672-3028 MORE...


Measuring the Employee Ownership Difference

There is a large body of research demonstrating that employee owned companies outperform their conventional counterparts. However, much of this research focuses on company level characteristics. In this episode we sit down with Nancy Wiefek, Research Director at the National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO) to talk about the groundbreaking research she conducted that looks at how employee ownership improves the economic well-being of individual employee owners. OUR 34TH ANNUAL...


Can Networks of Worker Cooperatives Reduce Economic Inequality?

he world of employee ownership is made up of a vast array of stories, experiences, and journeys. Within this diversity, there are certainly differences, but also, in our view, an overriding commonality - broadened ownership of productive assets is good for employees, the businesses they work for, and the economy at large. In this episode we sit down with Kristen Barker of Coop-Cincy and Michael Peck of One Worker One Vote, to talk about how they are working to create a network of worker...


POP-UP EPISODE: Managing the Present; Planning for the Future

Based on a recent webinar this episode includes a conversation with two financial experts, Eric Zaleski and Sean Kelleher, who talk about where we are now, and how to successfully get to the other side. We cover general market conditions; the lending and finance markets for privately held companies; managing cash flow and debt load (and staying solvent); managing your SBA loan to ensure compliance; and how to position your employee-owned company to not only survive but thrive moving...


Selling Your Company to an ESOP: What You Need to Know

The sale of a private business to an ESOP can seem like a very different beast than a typical business transaction. There are, of course, components of a sale to an ESOP that you won’t find in a third-party sale or a family transfer, but there also similarities. For this episode we talk with attorney Avery Chenin of SES ESOP Strategies on outlining, and demystifying, a sale to an ESOP. We discuss the process of selling a business to employees using an ESOP; what steps need to be taken; what...


Building Employee Ownership

For this episode we , we talk to IntrustIT CEO (and selling owner) Tim Rettig, a new ESOP company in the Cincinnati area. Tim talks about why he chose to sell his business to the employees, and the impact the decision has had on the company; the benefits of open-book management; how the company is faring in the current crisis; and his plans to be a one-man employee ownership venture capitalist. ***If you have story you want to share please contact us!!!*** OEOC: oeoc@kent.edu Chris...


Employee Ownership in the Crisis and Beyond

For this episode we head out to California and check in with Corey Rosen, Founder of the National Center of Employee Ownership (NCEO) located in the Bay Area; and Kim Blaugher, who recently became the Executive Director of the Beyster Institute at UC San Diego. Our conversation with Corey Rosen begins with the impact of the current crisis on the operations of the NCEO, how the crisis is effecting the employee-owned companies he is talking to regularly, and his thoughts on the state of the...


Communication, Culture, and COVID-19

With the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic, good strategies for building culture and facilitating communication are more important than ever. Whether it is social distancing, remote workplaces, or the stress and uncertainty that comes with an unknown future. In this episode we connect with Jim Bado and Cathy Ivancic of Workplace Development. First up, Jim Bado in a postscript to a free webinar on maintaining your ownership culture in tough times (see link below), discusses strategies for...



In this episode we discuss two aspects of leadership. First, we talk with Tim Jamison and Tom DeSimone of Prairie Capital Advisors on planning for leadership succession in your employee owned company, we discuss processes, procedures, and best practices. In the second half we talk with Jeff Evans former CEO of The Will-Burt Company, an employee-owned company in Orrville, OH. Jeff discusses hist perspective on what makes for effective leadership in an employee-owned company. The Will-Burt...


Values and Value

There are a lot of things that create value in an employee-owned company. Some of those things are bottom line related: sales, customer satisfaction, repurchase obligations, or external market pressures within or across industries. But, when we begin to talk about what motivates employees to think, act and feel like owners we move to the area of values. As you might expect, the two are closely related. In this episode we take on both ideas and try to show that while each is important in its...


Introducing Owners at Work

In this episode we introduce the Ohio Employee Ownership Center's new podcast Owners at Work, which aims to talk about everything and anything dealing with employee-ownership. We hope to make the podcast about the issues important to you, your company, or organization. ***If you have a topic you would like to hear about, or a story or experience you would like to share please contact us at oeoc@kent.edu***