July 29, 2021

Increasing Access to the Fall ESOP Forum

NCEO Board Secretary

Every year, my colleagues and I at Chartwell look forward to the NCEO's events, and this year's Fall ESOP Forum is no different. We couldn't be more excited to finally reconnect with all of our ESOP friends at this year's Forum.

As board secretary for the NCEO, I've been proud to watch the NCEO grow, all the while expanding its vision of what employee ownership is, not just by accommodating nascent forms of employee ownership or putting a greater focus on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion, but by expanding who has access to the quality education that one finds at NCEO events. For this reason, we are proud to support this year's Friends of the Fall Forum program.

The Friends of the Fall Forum program allows individuals or organizations to donate money that interested but economically impacted community members can use to mitigate the cost of registration. This program builds on other recent efforts by the NCEO to make its content more accessible to those who may be unable to afford it. It goes without saying at this point, but 2020 was a year of great hardship for many people, and that hardship was just as often economic as it was health-related. Instead of shutting out a company or community member because they're down on their luck and can't afford the price of registration, the NCEO wanted to create chances for prospective attendees in their time of need.

For this program to be as successful as possible, it requires the fortunate among us to give what they can, and also for those who are interested and who qualify to then apply for available funds. The process on both sides is simple and unobtrusive—you can submit a standalone donation or donate when you complete your registration for the Forum. Those who are interested in using the funds should email the NCEO's Megan Bonwell for more information.

As I said before, my colleagues and I are greatly looking forward to reuniting with the community at this year's Forum and, with a little bit of luck and effort on the part of everybody, there will be new faces to welcome into the fold.