Key Takeaways from the 2020 NCEO Fall ESOP Forum
The 2020 National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO) Fall ESOP Forum, held September 14 to 16, was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There were more than 40 prerecorded and live sessions offered to the more than 600 attendees. Attendees received insight on employee stock ownership plans (ESOP), equity compensation plans, and ownership culture. Learning tracks included ESOP Basics; ESOPs: Beyond the Basics; Compensation & Benefits; Communications & Culture; and Leadership & Governance Issues.
The conference offered one-on-one “meet with an expert” sessions and roundtable discussions. These expert sessions allowed attendees to have private conversations with an experienced professional to ask detailed questions. Roundtable discussions included groups of people plus an experienced professional discussing specific topics in a collaborative format.
A keynote address was delivered by Joe Motz, CEO of The Motz Group, and Adam Coleman, vice president of marketing and innovation of The Motz Group. In the keynote, they spoke of the company’s journey to employee ownership and how their culture and people have allowed them to stay resilient during this financial downturn.
A highlight of the conference was the announcement of the winner of the Achievement Award. This annual award recognizes an employee-owned company that has reinvented a new business model during the COVID-19 crisis and adapted to working remotely. This year’s winner was Litehouse, which is the nation’s premier salad dressing, sauce, dip, herb, and cheese company. Litehouse provided virtual customer tastings, donated to local food banks, provided a temporary essential employee pay increase of $2 per hour for frontline employee-owners and offered reimbursement for materials and monetary compensation for each mask employees made.
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