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Mini-cast 52: From The ESOP Association’s PA/DE & NY/NJ Multi-State Conference

In Episode 52 of The ESOP Mini-cast, Bret Keisling touches upon The ESOP Association Multi-state Conference for the Pennsylvania/Delaware and the New York/New Jersey Chapters held this week, and he discusses the NCEO national Fall ESOP Forum conference that also took place this week.

Shoutouts to:


Mini-cast 52 Transcript

Announcer: 00:03 Welcome to The ESOP Mini-cast. A great way to wrap up the week.

Bret Keisling: 00:13 Hello, my friends. Thanks for visiting The ESOP Mini-cast. My name is Bret Keisling and as it says on my business card, I'm a passionate advocate for employee ownership. Today I am really happy to be broadcasting recording this from the Kalahari Resort in the Poconos, Pennsylvania where it is the home of The ESOP Association Pennsylvania/Delaware and New York/New Jersey Multi-State Conference. It's been an amazing conference. Meanwhile, as I've been at this regional, state chapter conference, and you'll hear a little bit of background noise, this same week NCEO has had an amazing national conference in Salt Lake City. I've tried really hard to be 'Switzerland', so to speak, between all of the major organizations. I am going chat about NCEO. Ironically, even though I'm at an ESOP Association Conference, nobody was available to provide an update here. And quite frankly, the regional conference, same quality as every year. You know what, you expect a lot of the same presentations, a lot of the same people. And in a week or so we're going to have [published] my presentation with Joe Marxs and Jason Yager from this conference. And Tuesday we'll have Jim Bonham.

Bret Keisling: 01:21 There's great excitement about NCEO this week in Salt Lake City. They again set record-breaking attendance. They had a great variety of programs and conferences and presentations available and I really love that NCEO is branching out -- and they have an advantage over The ESOP Association. The ESOP Association is ESOPs, whereas NCEO is able to focus on the broader employee ownership. And I just love the fact that there's kind of a broader breadth of samplings offered. And I love the fact that there's a lot of employee owners, I think that the ratio to employee owners versus advisors a little bit higher at NCEO but it's also employee owners from lots of different segments.

Bret Keisling: 02:01 So as I talk about ESOP Association conferences, NCEO also does a great job. We'll have an update from NCEO last ah, next week. I love the path that I've chosen over the last four months of just developing employee ownership and growing what I've been calling the EO sandbox. I'm able to get passionate about employee ownership on a daily basis because I am just so excited about the future. I'm very pleased with where employee ownership is right now, but I'm aware to meet our huge potential, we have a lot of work, a lot of opportunities, a lot of growth that the entire EO community is going to participate in. It is excellent and it's been a great experience as it is with all the conferences of all the organizations to be at the Multi-state Conference because first of all, I have had conversations literally with dozens of employee owners who are thrilled to be at the conference, who are motivated and who just, you can tell, they're love of ownership and their companies blossoms while they're here at the conference and they come with pretty good motivation.

Bret Keisling: 03:05 I'm also surrounded as I speak by some of the most talented professional advisors in ESOP and employee ownership world. We've got large providers, small providers covering all of the professional services anyone would need. So if you haven't been to an ESOP conference before, go ahead and find one. You're going to benefit and everyone else is going to benefit from your presence.

Bret Keisling: 03:27 Next week on The EO podcast, we have Jim Bonham, President and CEO of the national ESOP Association. Jim is also very fortunate to have himself surrounded by an amazing team and they're going to be my shout outs this morning.

Bitsy McCann: 03:39 Shoutouts, thanks, and congratulations!

Bret Keisling: 03:43 I've been spending a little bit of time in the last couple of days with Dan Marcue, who's the Chapter Development Officer of The ESOP Association. If we compiled a list of the five or six people working today in employee ownership who have created more actual employee ownership, I think Dan Marcue, who would be on the list. He's a great personality. He's a talented guy. He is passionate. He travels around to almost all of the conferences and I'm very lucky and very fortunate that at the New England conference, October 10th and 11th in Springfield, Massachusetts, I'll actually be presenting with Dan. So my first shoutout, thanks, and congratulations is to Dan Marcue.

Bret Keisling: 04:20 Giving the next shout out to the Chapter Administrators who are running the conference here. Gary Dennis is the Chapter Administrator for the Pennsylvania/Delaware Chapter and Shelly Dennis is the Chapter Administrator for New York/New Jersey, the Mid-Atlantic, the New South and the New England chapters.

Bret Keisling: 04:38 Now I need to say I happened to mention Gary's name first because of the PA/DE. Shelly I've known longer, Shelly is the administrator for numerous chapters. Shelly and Gary are just wonderful, wonderful people. Let me say something that might get missed a little bit. The Chapter Administrators in all the chapters in The ESOP Association, are qualified, talented professionals and sometimes I think the role might be a little misunderstood, if you will. As you come to a conference at this conference that happens to be Gary and Shelley. You're going to notice that as people register, they pretty much know most of the people in attendance. They know the companies they're with if their employee owners. They know what's important about employee ownership to a lot of the membership, the professional advisors, they're able to steer them in the right direction as far as presentation, that sort of thing. Give you a sense. The professional advisors come here and certainly they get referrals and leads and, and whatnot, but they present, they coordinate the content for it. They've got booths and all that sort of thing. And Shelly and Gary both just do a wonderful job. So if you're adding to the conversation, by the way, I've also noticed as we're on the final day of the conferences, people are checking out the number of who have stopped by Shelly and Gary to say goodbye to them, and what has caught my year is how many of them said it is so nice meeting you. And then they've chatted. So as people come to their first conferences, Gary, Shelly and all their counterparts on all the chapters, just do a great job of making everybody feel welcome. So Gary Dennis, Shelly Dennis and Shelly Dennis and Gary Dennis, thank you all for everything you do for the various chapters and thanks for making this conference so successful.

Bret Keisling: 06:27 Want to give another shout out to an old friend of mine. There's an advantage of coming to these conferences. You get to connect with the professionals as I've said. And one in particular stuck out. When I saw that was really, really cool. Mark Kossow is a extremely talented ESOP lawyer. He's with Clark Hill with a national ESOP practice. Mark actually was the attorney who handled our first transaction, my first transaction, 11, 12 years ago. He was the he was with a different law firm, but he did the drafting of the documents. Mark is as talented a technical attorney as I know. He's a very good guy. I consider him a friend and I was really glad to see Mark at the conference as his practice is national, we haven't seen each other for a little bit. But if you go to conferences, you're going to build those relationships as well. So we give a shoutout to Mark Kossow.

Bret Keisling: 07:21 Want to give a shout out to Jennifer Krieger who is a valuation advisor with Weaver out of Texas. I suspect that all of us in employee ownership will hear more of Jennifer in the coming year and years as she develops her practice and builds her career. I think that she's an emerging ESOP professional who's going to do a lot of great good in this space. Weaver is a firm down in Texas. We'll hear a little bit more about them next week. Meanwhile, here's how you can help us grow employee ownership.

Bitsy McCann: 07:53 Are you a passionate employee owner or advocate? Would you like to share your passion on The EO Podcast and ESOP Mini-cast? We're looking for correspondents to help us tell the great stories of employee owners and their companies. We're looking for one to four minute long segments that can be recorded remotely over the internet or telephone. If you're interested, drop us a line. You'll hear contact information at the end of the episode.

Bret Keisling: 08:18 The standard disclaimers apply to this podcast. 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 mention 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.

Bitsy McCann: 08:46 We'd love to hear from you! To contact us, find us on Facebook at KEISOP, LLC and on Twitter @ESOPPodcast. To reach Bret, with one "T", email, on LinkedIn at Bret Keisling, and most actively on Twitter at @EO_Bret. Again, that's one "T". This podcast has been produced by The KEISOP Group, technical assistance provided by Third Circle, Inc. and BitsyPlus Design. Original music composed by Max Keisling, archival podcast material edited and produced by Brian Keisling, and I'm Bitsy McCann.

Bret Keisling: 09:21 Okay, my friends. That's it for today's episode of the ESOP Mini-cast. I hope you'll join me next week on Tuesday for The EO Podcast, and again on Friday for The ESOP mini cast. Thank you very much for tuning in today. I hope you have a great day. I'm Bret Keisling.


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