The 2016 National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO) Employee Ownership Conference, held in April in Minneapolis, Minnesota, was attended by 1,683 participants. This was record-breaking attendance for this annual conference, which provides attendees information on employee stock ownership plans (ESOP), equity compensation plans and ownership culture.
A highlight of the conference was the announcement of the winners of the Innovations in Employee Ownership Award, which recognizes companies with innovative practices that result from having engaged employee-owners. The award is determined by a committee that considers such factors as the innovation’s positive impact on company culture, financial performance, employees and the employee-ownership community as a whole. This year’s winners were Harpoon Brewery in Windsor, Vermont; Mission Bell in Morgan Hill, California; and WATG in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Keynote addresses were delivered by Bo Burlingham, author and editor-at-large of Inc. magazine, and Timothy Hauser with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Hauser hosted a breakout session where he entertained questions regarding DOL initiatives and their impact on ESOP companies. In addition, there were over 120 individual breakout sessions. Learning tracks included ESOP Basics, ESOPs: Beyond the Basics, Compensation and Benefits, Communications and Culture and Leadership and Governance.
To learn more about issues affecting ESOPs, contact your BKD advisor.