Mary Boettcher, CFO of Realityworks, Inc. a Wisconsin-based ESOP, led the company's implementation and education efforts to instill an employee ownership culture. During her tenure she established ESOP structure, led ownership through ESOP goals, led the board through fiduciary responsibilities, completed several ESOP transactions, and defined employee roll-out and communication programs. Beyond Realityworks she is passionate about ESOPs and has educated owners and legislators by sharing Realityworks story and design. She serves on the Executive Committee for the Wisconsin ESOP Association, has been featured as a presenter at conferences, and recently completed an interview on CFO.com about ESOPs.
Immediate Past Chair
Judy Kornfeld, the founder and president of ESOP Economics, Inc., has been working with ESOP companies for more than 20 years on all aspects of repurchase obligation planning, focusing on developing strategies for managing and funding these obligations. She has authored many articles about ESOP repurchase obligations and is a frequent speaker at regional and national ESOP conferences. Judy received The ESOP Association's Life Service Award in 2008 and was elected to the Board of the NCEO in 2011. She holds a JD/MBA from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and The Wharton School.
Matt leads Chartwell's executive compensation consulting practice. For 24 years, he has worked with companies to obtain relevant pay data and achieve goals for compensation programs, with a special focus on ESOP companies and equity-based incentives. Matt has held various leadership positions within the ESOP Association and the NCEO, and participates in the National Association of Stock Plan Professionals. Matt is a frequent speaker and writer on the national level on topics relating to executive compensation, ownership transition, and qualified and nonqualified plan operational issues.
Alison Wright is a partner in the San Francisco office of Hanson Bridgett LLP. Alison's practice focuses on the tax, securities, and ERISA aspects of executive and equity compensation (including nonqualified deferred compensation plans, stock compensation plans and employee stock purchase plans) and of traditional employee benefit plans — including 401(k) and other retirement plans — health and welfare plans and cafeteria plans.
Corey Rosen, Ph.D., is the cofounder and senior staff member of the NCEO. He co-authored, along with John Case and Martin Staubus, Equity: Why Employee Ownership Is Good for Business (Harvard Business School Press, May 2005). Over the years, he has written, edited, or contributed to dozens of books, articles and research papers on employee ownership. He is generally regarded as the leading expert on employee ownership in the world. Rosen received his Ph.D. in political science from Cornell University in 1973, after which he taught politics at Ripon College in Wisconsin before being named an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow in 1975. He worked on Capital Hill for the next five years, where he helped initiate and draft legislation on ESOPs and employee ownership. In 1981, he formed the NCEO.
Rich has more than 25 years of experience in improving business performance and employee engagement through open-book management (OBM) and employee ownership, with service as a consultant and as a current executive at SRC Holdings Corporation, a 34-year employee-owned company. Rich has been instrumental in the ongoing development of SRC's OBM and employee ownership practices through practical, first-hand experience leading several of SRC's business units. This experience has enabled him to successfully apply the practices of OBM and employee ownership in both small- and large-scale company implementations around the world.
As founder and CEO of the largest network of exit planning professionals in the United States (Business Enterprise Institute), John Brown writes and speaks about how owners can construct business exits that meet their financial and personal goals. Included on the list of exit options are ESOPs, often the overlooked and misunderstood child in the exit planning family. In addition to two books on exit planning, John has written numerous articles including "Keeping Hometown Businesses at Home: Using an Employee Ownership Plan for Business Continuity" with Corey Rosen in the IEDC Economic Development Journal (Summer 2012).
John is a veteran observer and analyst of the business world and a nationally known writer on business and economics. He is author or coauthor of six books, including two on open-book management and one on employee ownership (Equity: Why Employee Ownership Is Good for Business, written with Corey Rosen and Martin Staubus). He has also written for a wide variety of periodicals, among them Inc., Harvard Business Review, and the Atlantic. He is editor of the online journal Employee-Owned America and serves as a consulting writer for several clients, including Bain & Company and Open-Book Coaching. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Barbara is a director at Newport Group (formerly Verisight) in the firm's national ESOP administration and consulting practice. Barbara is responsible for client relations, training, mentoring, and managing the ESOP team as well as oversight of the administration and compliance for their ESOP business. Barbara holds a BS from the University of Massachusetts. She is chairwoman of the ESOP Association Administrative Advisory Committee; a member of the ESOP Association, NCEO, and ASPPA; and a frequent speaker and author.
Amanda has more than 15 years of experience as a marketing professional and is responsible for driving strategic thinking, creative solutions, and innovation across the agency. As vice president of engagement, she is helping to set the course of Butler/Till (and its newly acquired agency Brand Cool). Butler/Till believes that success is based on talent; Amanda is charged with keeping a close eye on ensuring that the culture is preserved. She has helped companies such as Abbott Laboratories, Citrix Online, Rent-A-Center, and Winn-Dixie/BI-LO.
Kevin Long is a California State Bar Association Certified Taxation Law Specialist. Kevin and his firm Employee Benefits Law Group PC have been practicing exclusively employee benefits law since 1989. He has been an active supporter and contributing author, and speaker for NCEO since then. Kevin is a co-author of the course book on ESOP plan administration for the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA) ESOP-A Certification Exam. He is an admitted Fellow of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel (ACEBC) of the American Bar Association. He holds an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale Hubbell, and is listed in Best Lawyers in America. Kevin began his tax career in 1984 in the tax division of Arthur Andersen & Co. Kevin has served on boards of directors of ESOP companies and has formed, organized and served on boards of 501(c)(3) organizations in other fields of public benefit. (And he's a real nice guy.)
Suzanne McDowell is co-CEO and CHRO for King Arthur Flour, a 227-year-old baking company, employee-owned since 1996 and a founding B-Corporation in 2007. For 17 years, Suzanne has helped lead KAF's mission of maintaining responsible company practices and a high-performing ownership culture. Under her leadership, KAF has been named a Best Place to Work in Vermont each year since its inception in 2006, ESOP Company of the Year in 2016, and received NCEO's Innovation Award in 2017. Suzanne shares her passion for ESOP culture and responsible business by serving on the board of Johnny's Select Seeds and as a Delta Dental Plan of Vermont Trustee.
Sandra Reid is the vice president of corporate communications and strategic planning at The Davey Tree Expert Company. Since joining Davey in 1986, Reid has worked in numerous corporate communications and marketing capacities. She has served as editor of the company magazine, The Bulletin,; company spokesperson; manager of public relations; and manager of corporate communications. Reid holds a master's degree in organizational management from The University of Phoenix and a bachelor's degree in business administration, with a dual major in marketing and public relations, from Ohio Northern University. She is affiliated with numerous local, national, and international organizations.
Bill Roark is co-founder and CEO of Torch Technologies, Inc. Roark has worked diligently to ensure top benefits and working conditions, guiding Torch to national recognition as one of Entrepreneur Magazine's Fastest Growing Companies in America, Forbes' Best Small Companies in America, Principal Financial Group's The Principal 10 Best Companies, 10 consecutive years on the Inc. 5000 list, and recognition by Fortune and Great Place to Work. Locally, Torch has received the Better Business Bureau Torch Award for outstanding business ethics three times. Roark earned a M.S. from University of Kentucky and a B.S. from Cumberland College.
As the NCEO's director of publishing and information technology, Scott is in charge of all publications except the Employee Ownership Report. He designed and created the NCEO's present line of books and is the author or coauthor of several books himself, including the best-selling An Introduction to ESOPs, Understanding ESOPs, and The Decision-Maker's Guide to Equity Compensation. He is an attorney and served at the U.S. Department of Labor as an attorney-advisor from 1991 to 1993 before coming to the NCEO. Before law school, he earned an MA in music from UCLA, where he served as a teaching associate. Scott is also a Web developer; he created the NCEO's first website in 1994 and has been involved with the NCEO's Internet presence since then.
David is a partner with Levenfeld Pearlstein, LLC in Chicago, Illinois. David founded and serves as the chair of the firm's ESOP practice which serves clients who engage in ESOP transactions as well as represents many middle-market companies in a "general counsel" capacity by handling various business law issues. David also serves as the Executive Vice President of the Illinois Chapter of the ESOP Association and has lectured frequently and published articles in several publications on various ESOP-related topics.
Brian is a partner and board member at Redpath and Company, a 100% ESOP-owned CPA firm. He leads the commercial audit service area specializing in financial statement audits, business and systems consulting, advisory services and mergers and acquisitions. Brian also serves as the ESOP Industry Team Leader focusing on client services to employee-owned companies. Brian is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants, National Center for Employee Ownership, The ESOP Association, and Employee-Owned S Corporations of America.
Joanne cofounded Swerdlin & Company with her husband Dorn over three decades ago. Swerdlin & Company provides actuarial and retirement plan administration. Involved in new business development and client relations, Joanne has over 35 years of experience in the retirement plan industry, with a focus on ESOPs. Joanne received a BS degree from Georgia State University. She was instrumental in the establishment of the New South Chapter of the ESOP Association and served on the board for several years. She was recently selected to be a trustee for the Employee Ownership Foundation (EOF).
Cecil Ursprung recently retired as CEO of Reflexite Corporation after 25 years. Reflexite's ESOP was established in 1984. Based on NCEO information services, Reflexite not only made the ESOP its largest shareholder, but also established other equity vehicles including a stock options plan, an ESPP, and an internal market for the stock. Cecil formerly served as the NCEO board's co-chair and is VP, Government Relations, New England Chapter of The ESOP Association. He has worked on the leadership transition at NCEO, as well as helping to grow more active relationships with the other organizations serving the ESOP community. One example is the ROOF steering committee, which has members from throughout the ownership community. Cecil also currently serves on the boards of two ESOP companies.