Ashleigh Walters is the President of Onex, an employee-owned business operating for over 54 years in Erie, PA. Onex designs, services, and manufactures high-temperature industrial furnaces. When Ashleigh assumed the General Manager role in 2013, the company had lost sight of its mission and family-centric core values. Today, Onex’s mission is to Make Things Better: Empowered Employees, Happy Clients, Thriving Communities. Ashleigh holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Auburn University. She is Chairman of the Board of Directions for Northwest Industrial Resource Center (a Manufacturing Extension Partnership) as well as Vice President/Director of Aspire Casualty, a reinsurance company. Ashleigh is the author of Leading with Grit and Grace: A Journey of Organizational Culture Change. Ashleigh regularly shares her story with other leaders, encouraging them to “make things better” by improving processes and creating a people-centric organizational culture.
Loren Rodgers joined the NCEO in 2005 as its research director and became its executive director in 2010. He writes extensively on employee ownership in professional and academic publications and has spoken at events around the world. Since he entered the field in 1995 as a consultant, he has worked with hundreds of companies and presented to thousands of people. His expertise includes ESOPs, equity compensation, best practices for employee ownership companies, research, effective communications, employee motivation, corporate governance, ESOP transactions and operations, and business literacy.