Key Takeaways from the 2020 NCEO Annual Conference

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The 2020 National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO) Annual Conference, held in April, transitioned to a virtual event due to COVID-19. There were more than 100 hours of content recorded for conference participants that provided information on various employee stock ownership plans (ESOP) topics such as sustainability, U.S. Department of Labor investigations, best practices in communications, and culture and responses to the COVID-19 crisis.

A highlight of the conference was the announcement of the Innovations in Employee Ownership Award winner. This annual award recognizes employee-owned companies that have exhibited a dedication to promoting employee ownership and innovation in the workplace. The award is determined by a committee that considers such factors as the innovation’s positive effect on company culture, financial performance, employees, and the employee-ownership community as a whole. This year’s winner was Life Cycle Engineering (LCE) in Charleston, South Carolina. LCE is a well-established company that provides engineering solutions for the private industry, public entities, government organizations, and the military.

A keynote address was delivered by Victor Aspengren, president at KELTEK, Inc., and Michelle Mongeon Allen, chief executive officer of JLG Architects. In addition, there were more than 100 individual breakout sessions. Learning tracks included ESOP Basics, ESOPs: Beyond the Basics, Compensation & Benefits, Communications & Culture, and Leadership & Governance Issues. 

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