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Mini-cast 204: Heinz Awards Honors Hilary Abell and Alison Lingane

The EsOp Podcast: Heinz Awards Honors EO's Hilary Abell & Alison Lingane

Bret Keisling celebrates Alison Lingane and Hilary Abell, recently announced recipients of the prestigious Heinz Awards which recognizes outstanding individuals in the economy, arts, and environment. Co-founders of Project Equity, they were honored for “their leadership in the movement to create better jobs and a fairer economy by advancing employee ownership."

The Heinz Awards were created in 1993 to honor the memory of Senator John Heinz (R. PA). The prestigious award includes a beautiful medallion and $250,000 monetary award. It is not a lifetime achievement award, but rather an honor for those who continue to make a difference in their fields.


Mini-cast 204 Transcript

[00:00:00] Bret Keisling: Welcome to the ESOP Mini-cast. Thank you so much for listening. My name is Bret Keisling, and as it says on my business cards, I'm a passionate advocate for employee ownership. Happy Employee Ownership Month to each and every one of you. This really has become one of my favorite times of year when the EO community comes together to celebrate ESOPs and worker co-ops and especially the employee owners themselves.

[00:00:33] The EO community has something extra to celebrate this year. In late September, the Heinz Family Foundation announced the recipients of the 27th Heinz Awards and among them were Hilary Abell and Alison Lingane, the co-founders of Project Equity.

[00:00:50] The Heinz Awards was established by Theresa Heinz in 1993 to honor the memory of her late husband, US Senator John Heinz, who was in his third term as a Senator from Pennsylvania when he died in a plane crash in 1991.

[00:01:06] Currently, recipients are selected in each of three categories, the arts, the environment, and the economy. Recipients receive a beautiful medallion as well as a $250,000 unrestricted monetary award.

[00:01:21] Project Equity's Alison Lingane and Hilary Abell were jointly named in the economy category for their leadership in the movement to create better jobs and a fairer economy by advancing employee ownership.

[00:01:34] From the Heinz Awards website, which we'll include a link in our show notes, "Project Equity works to harness employee ownership to maintain thriving local economies, honor business owners' legacies, and reduce income and wealth inequality."

[00:01:49] The website explains that Hilary and Alison "work with partners around the country to raise awareness about the benefits of employee ownership for business owners, workers, and communities and to build programs and policies to make it a preferred way of doing business." The Heinz Awards website further explains that "to date, Project Equity's team of more than 20 change-makers has educated 10,000 stakeholders about employee ownership, advised nearly 800 business owners and provided in-depth technical assistance to more than 85 companies on the path to employee ownership."

[00:02:24] Alison Lingane and Hilary Abell have each appeared on the EO/ESOP Podcast, beginning with Episodes 112 and 113 which aired in May 2020. Alison returned to the podcast in October 2021, along with Diane Ives of The Kendeda Fund where they announced the launch of EO Equals. Hilary returned this past June on Episode 188 of the EsOp Mini-cast to discuss California's Expanding Employee Ownership Act, which I'm happy to say was recently signed into law. You can find these great episodes and all of our archives at

[00:03:02] Project Equity also comes up regularly with other guests for they've done an amazing job of creating data that's used by lots of other EO organizations and communities to assist in the efforts to grow employee ownership.

[00:03:15] The 2022 Heinz Award is certainly a tremendous honor for Alison Lingane and Hilary Abell personally, and we congratulate them wholeheartedly for this honor. But it's also important for employee ownership as a movement because it represents yet another example of how employee ownership is gaining awareness and acceptance in the broader society.

[00:03:36] I appreciate the support Hilary and Alison have given us on the various podcasts and I'm thrilled for this recent honor. You can find some links to the Heinz Awards in our podcast show notes. I hope you'll check them out.

[00:03:48] With that, we'll wrap up today's episode of the Mini-cast. Congrats again to Alison and Hilary and thank you so much for listening. This is Bret Keisling. Be well.

[00:03:57] Bitsy McCann: We'd love to hear from you. You can find us on Facebook at EO Podcast Network and on Twitter @ESOPPodcast. This podcast has been produced by Bret Keisling for the EO Podcast Network, original music composed by Max Keisling, branding and marketing by BitsyPlus Design, and I'm Bitsy McCann.

Standard Disclaimer: The views expressed herein are my own and don't represent those of my own firms or the organizations to which I belong. Nothing in the podcast should be construed as guidance or advice of any kind in any field and the fact that I mentioned an organizational website or an advocate or a company on a podcast does not reflect an endorsement, but if you've heard your name or your group's name mentioned on this podcast, I'd love to have you come on and talk about it yourself.

A note on the transcript: This transcript was produced by Descript, an automated transcription service. While it has been reviewed by The EsOp Podcast, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the transcription. Please refer to the original audio when citing sources.


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