Employee Ownership Foundation

Charting Your Own Future

"We understand that a well managed employee-owned company is not a destination, it is a journey..."

- J. Michael Keeling,
President of The ESOP Association


Academic Projects/Research - 2014

The following projects were approved for 2014:

Kelso Fellowships:
The success of this program, including case studies, employee ownership research and dissertations, etc. is due to the fact that this Rutgers University program penetrates academic institutions throughout the nation. Case studies, bios, and interviews with Kelso Fellows are available through links on the Foundation’s website to the Foundation for Enterprise Development (“FED”), Rutgers University and the Aspen Institute Center for Business Education’s (“Aspen”) CasePlace.org. Five (5) new Kelso Fellowships were approved, for 2014. By mid-year 2014 the following Fellows were chosen:

Karla Walter: University of Illinois at Chicago

Richard Van Doel, PhD Candidate: Indiana Wesleyan University

Vernon Woodley: Eastern Illinois University

Frank Mullins: North Carolina A&T University

An additional $11K had been budgeted for former Kelso Fellows to allow them funding to continue their research on employee ownership focusing on the ideas and impact of Dr. Kelso’s work for a more equitable and just society.

2014 General Social Survey (“GSS”): President Keeling learned from Dr. Joseph Blasi that the GSS has approved the questions addressing ESOPs as well as an additional new question. Tentative approvals, however, by the GSS are always subject to change. Dr. Blasi also reported that the fee needed for participation in the GSS had been increased to $154K to be split into three equal payments, the last payment being due in January 2015. Based upon the GSS payment schedule, $51K has been paid in 2013, $51K in year 2014 with $51K budgeted in 2015 to cover the remaining GSS balance of $51K.

The issue was formally decided by the Executive Committee (“EC”) of EOF to continue to fund the GSS at this increased amount. It should be noted that originally the funding for the GSS was payable to the Rutgers University School of Labor & Management and then passed-through to the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. With the EC deciding to move forward with the GSS, a contract between the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago and EOF was negotiated by President Keeling.

Edmunson Scholarships: Twelve (12) scholarships, one being granted to the Employee Owner of the Year, were approved in the budgeted amount of $15K. Trustee Janet Edmunson has headed the panel of judges to evaluate the scholarship submissions and to select the recipients. Eight scholarships were granted and to date three scholarships have been awarded.

January 12 – 14, 2014 Mid-Year Kelso Fellows Workshop: This Workshop is underwritten by a $25K contribution to EOF that is a pass-through to Rutgers. Based upon Dr. Joseph Blasi’s projections the cost for each attending Fellow is $1350. The Mid-Year Kelso Fellows Workshop was conducted January 12th – 14th. Twelve (12) Kelso Fellows were in attendance.

Promotion/printing of materials for Kelso Fellows Program: The Kelso Fellows Program requires the printing of application forms, materials, etc. in order to promote and market the program to prospective individuals. In year 2013 Dr. Joseph Blasi made a request of $5K to underwrite this portion of the Kelso Fellows Program. It can be assumed that this request will be made again in the latter part of 2014 for promotion of the 2015 Kelso Fellows Program.

Academy of Management Employee Participation & Ownership Emerging Scholar Research Award Program: This is an award program initiated by Mary Ann Beyster, President of the Foundation for Enterprise Development (“FED”) in 2012. The goal of the award is to attract young scholars for promising research in the field of employee ownership. The year 2012 was the inaugural year for this new award. In year 2013 $3K was budgeted. A deposit towards this award program was made in the amount of $765.

Beyster Symposium scheduled for June 2014: The Beyster Symposium was held June 22 – 24, 2014 in LaJolla, CA, primarily sponsored by the Foundation for Enterprise Development (“FED”), and honoring FED’s founder Robert Beyster. Last year $19K was budgeted for this Symposium. EOF also was asked to help underwrite a separate dinner being held in order that the Kelso Fellows would have the opportunity for some fellowship and socializing solely among themselves. Based upon EOF previously having underwritten such a dinner, this cost would approximately be $1,500.

Historically, money has been budgeted for this Symposium on the premise that EOF was granting a minor percentage in the overall overhead of this program supporting primarily the Kelso Fellows, plus perhaps some funds for food overhead. Considering the expenses in year 2013, $35K was budgeted for this line item for year 2014. The budgeted amount includes a $25K contribution from John Menke. To date $15K has been spent on this Symposium.

Aspen Institute’s Center for Business Education: The Center, or “CBE” is a section of the famed Aspen Institute, and EOF helps fund through the FED, Aspen’s website, CasePlace.org, which houses the Curriculum Library of Employee Ownership (“CLEO”), the single greatest repository of materials, research, etc. in the world on employee ownership. $10K was granted from EOF in 2013, but $5K was budgeted for year 2014. $2,500 has been spent to date.

National Center for Employee Ownership (“NCEO”) / EOF Data Set Project: The purpose of this project is to develop account balance data on thousands of individual ESOP account balances. The EC had granted approval of $150K spread over three years (or $50K per year) for this project. The project was begun, but not undertaken as NCEO’s leadership ran into a lack of cooperation from third party administrators and firms that administer ESOPs.

S Corp Research: The purpose of this project suggested by Trustee Coates was to develop data on the impact of taxes paid by employees on their distributions for an S ESOP. The research has been dropped due to the fact that the major ESOP tax reform (the Camp proposal) did not diminish ESOP laws. The EC had budgeted $65K for this project.

Contingency Fund: This fund covers costs that unexpectedly arise such as additional research, UPenn expense, etc. At the EC meeting in December 2013 the EC determined that $30K would be appropriate for this line item.

An example of use of these funds is that for the 2013 Las Vegas Two Day Conference and Trade Show, Dr. Joseph Blasi was signing his recent publication, The Citizen’s Share. Purchase of those books to be available for this book signing was made in the amount of $7,300.

Additional EOF projects that do not require funding to date are as follows:

ESOP Economic Performance Survey: This annual survey, first conducted 22 years ago by The ESOP Association, but now a Foundation Survey, the most recent released in September 2012, once again confirming overwhelmingly that ESOP company members of The ESOP Association having established an ESOP was viewed by approximately 93% of the ESOP company leaders as a “good” business decision. This survey consistently generates more positive media mentions than other TEA press releases.

UPENN/CEO Project: The first session of the UPenn/CEO Project commenced June 1 through 20th in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The UPenn/CEO Project was conducted through the University of Pennsylvania Social Policy & Practice division; not the Center for Organizational Dynamics. There were 8 attendees at the UPenn program. Part II of the program will be conducted January 13th – 15th, 2015.

It should be noted that the UPenn/CEO Project was underwritten in its initial year by The ESOP Association (“TEA”) in the approximate amount of $28K. In recent years the only financial support to the UPenn/CEO Project was by EOF to pay for minor expenses such as printing costs. Based upon a budget submitted by Dr. Vanderslice $125K is the estimated figure for both revenue and expense for this program.

Employee Owners’ Retreat (“EOR”): One retreat was held August 2013 in Chicago, Illinois, at a suburban location. Marketing was done by both the Foundation “staff” – i.e. Association staff – and the Ohio Employee Ownership Center, Kent State University, which also provides the faculty for the retreat. The EOR allows for 50 persons maximum. In 2013, 22 average pay employees attended from 10 companies. Registration fees cover the cost, and any net is shared with the Ohio Employee Ownership Center. Due to declining attendance over the past 5 or so years, as there is a perception, incorrect, that average pay employees cannot benefit just as much in becoming “owners” in style and practice from attending the successful Association Chapter meetings. It was again decided that only one EOR would be conducted in 2014. The one retreat will be held again August 14 – 18, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. Marketing will be done from the EOF DC office and by co-sponsor, the Ohio Employee Ownership Center, Kent State University.


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