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Mini-cast 210: The NCEO's Holiday Gift Guide

The EsOp Mini-cast: The NCEO's Holiday Gift Guide

Bret Keisling discusses the importance of buying employee owned and celebrates The NCEO's 2022 Holiday Gift Guide featuring selected employee-owned businesses including King Arthur Baking Company, Bob's Red Mill, Paramount Coffee, Card Kingdom, Duckhorn Portfolio, Taylor Guitars, Moog Music, W. W. Norton, Yankee Publishing, and West Paw.


Mini-cast 210 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.

[00:00:16] As we drop this episode one week before Thanksgiving, 2022, I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving. If you listen to any of my podcasts, or know me in real life, you probably understand that I'm so grateful and thankful to work in the employee ownership space.

[00:00:33] When I got involved in my first ESOP, I immediately understood that employee ownership could be a great option for business owners. In two and a half years as the CEO of an employee-owned company, I saw how EO has the potential to transform the workplace and to build wealth for employee owners. During my time as an ESOP trustee and in the last three years as an advocate, I've come to understand that employee ownership impacts not just the selling shareholders and not just the employee owners themselves, but the communities that these businesses and owners reside in.

[00:01:05] We've come so far towards becoming a movement and I agree with many others that we seem to be in an inflection point that will lead to meaningful and significant growth in the coming years. We often talk both on the podcast and in the movement at large about the importance of educating business owners and lobbying for EO-friendly legislation.

[00:01:24] Another important aspect is where employee owners spend dollars. There are approximately 3 million employee owners of privately held ESOPs, worker co-ops, and employee ownership trusts. We can make a real impact as consumers when we spend our dollars at employee-owned businesses. As Jesse Tyler likes to say at the end of each episode of the Owner to Owner podcast "buy EO."

[00:01:47] With the holiday season approaching, I'd like to encourage you to allocate at least some of your gift budget to employee-owned companies. The NCEO [The National Center for Employee Ownership] has made it easy with a 2022 version of their holiday gift guide. It's a beautiful guide in PDF format that's available through, and we'll include a link to the gift guide in our show notes.

[00:02:07] The guide features ten employee-owned businesses. King Arthur Baking Company and Bob's Red Mill are included for the cooks or the eaters. Paramount Coffee is featured offering a selection of coffees as is Card Kingdom, which features cards for Magic: The Gathering, among other game sets. There are wine gift sets from the Duckhorn Portfolio. And for musicians, Taylor Guitars is featured as his Moog Music, makers of the famous Moog synthesizers. I want to pause for a moment and say, until I saw The NCEO gift guide, I didn't even realize Moog was an employee-owned company. It's really cool to me that both Taylor Guitars and Moog are employee owned.

[00:02:50] Books and textbooks are available from W. W. Norton. And Yankee Publishing, makers of The Old Farmer's Almanac, has a variety of books and calendars and other stocking stuffers. Special kudos to Yankee Publishing because when you check out, if you enter the discount code "ESOP" you'll save 25%. It's a great way to bring home the point that you're an ESOP, if the word "ESOP" serves as a discount code. I love it!

[00:03:15] For the pets in your life, West Paw is featured. They offer customizable puzzle and treat toys that are designed to be filled with your dog's favorite kibble or treats.

[00:03:24] Another great stocking stuffer featured is Corey Rosen's new book, Ownership: Reinventing Companies, Capitalism, and Who Owns What. Corey Rosen kicked off season six in September of our primary ESOP podcast, talking about the book on Episode 215, which you can find in our archives at

[00:03:44] For employee ownership to continue to grow, it'll take mindfulness on the part of everyone involved. As I said at the top, that includes education, it includes lobbying for legislation, and it includes supporting existing employee-owned businesses. There's no better way during the holiday season to help these businesses thrive than doing some or all of your holiday shopping at employee-owned companies. The NCEO Gift Guide will point you in the right direction.

[00:04:11] With that, we'll wrap up today's episode. I hope you enjoy the holidays coming up and I hope you'll take the opportunity to support employee ownership by buying EO.

[00:04:20] Thank you so much for listening. This is Bret Keisling. Be well.


[00:04:24] Bitsy McCann: We'd love to hear from you. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter at EO Podcast Network. 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 can not guarantee the accuracy of the transcription. Please refer to the original audio when citing sources.


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