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Is an ESOP Right for You? An In-Depth Look at Employee Stock Ownership Plans

A seminar specifically designed for companies considering an ESOP Early registration rates have been extended until January 31, 2019. See below for details.

February 13–14, 2019 :: Scottsdale, AZ

About This Meeting

Learn how you can enhance your company's legacy and benefits plan with an ESOP—the most tax-efficient method of exit planning. The seminar will cover valuation, financing, legal issues and plan design, issues for selling shareholders, and communication and ownership culture.

This seminar is also an excellent way for new employees at an ESOP company to gain an understanding of how ESOPs work. To maintain the integrity of this meeting, registration is restricted to companies that either have an ESOP or are considering one (see below under "Registration").

This event has already taken place. Please see our upcoming in-person meetings and Webinars.


February 13, 2019
12:30 PM
Check-in and Refreshments
Sponsored by Prairie Capital Advisors, Inc.
1:00 PM
Welcome and Introduction
Loren Rodgers, NCEO
1:30 PM
An ESOP Company Perspective
Jeremy Anshell, RC Lurie Co, Inc.
2:00 PM
ESOP Transaction Structures
Robert F. Schatz, ESOP Plus: Schatz Brown Glassman LLP
2:45 PM
3:00 PM
Assessing ESOP Feasibility
Kenneth E. Serwinski and Tom DeSimone, Prairie Capital Advisors, Inc.
3:45 PM
Table Talks: Roundtable Discussion Groups
4:15 PM
Plan Design and Operation
Tabitha Croscut, Devine, Millimet & Branch, PA
5:00 PM
Wine and Cheese
Join your co-attendees and presenters for wine and cheese and get those last-minute questions answered
February 14, 2019
8:30 AM
Check-in and Continental Breakfast
Sponsored by Global Investment Strategies
9:00 AM
Welcome and Recap
Loren Rodgers, NCEO
9:15 AM
Determining Stock Value
Tim Knust-Graichen, Chartwell
10:00 AM
Financing an ESOP
Rose Newport, Butcher Joseph & Co.
10:45 AM
11:00 AM
Fiduciary Issues
Merri Ash, First Bankers Trust Services
11:45 AM
Lunch with the Experts
12:45 PM
Incentive Compensation for ESOP Companies
Jamie Kwiatek, Polsinelli
1:30 PM
Alternatives to an ESOP
Christopher Michael, Christopher Michael P.C.
2:15 PM
2:30 PM
Investing the 1042 Rollover
Michael McCarthy, Wells Fargo Advisors
3:15 PM
Ownership Communications and Culture, Recent Research
Loren Rodgers, NCEO
4:00 PM


Merri E. Ash

presenter photologo

First Bankers Trust Services

Merri is senior vice president of the employee benefits group at First Bankers Trust Services, Inc. Merri has 40 years' experience in employee benefits. Her past work experience includes work as a senior trust officer with SunTrust Bank; EB consultant with Wyatt Company; benefits manager with Jonathan Corporation, an ESOP company; and team leader and senior benefits consultant with the National Automobile Dealers Association. She is a past chairperson for the administrative advisory committee of the ESOP Association, former board of governors member for the ESOP Association and board of trustees member for the Employee Ownership Foundation. Merri has been with First Bankers since 2002.

Tabitha Croscut

presenter photologo

Devine, Millimet & Branch, PA

Tabitha Croscut is a shareholder and chair of the ESOP team at Devine, Millimet & Branch, P.A. with a legal practice focused primarily on employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) as succession and employee compensation strategies. In addition to counseling clients regarding transactional, compliance, and fiduciary issues with respect to their ESOPs, she has represented companies, sellers, and internal and external trustees in ESOP transactions ranging from under $1 million to over $400 million.

Tom DeSimone

presenter photologo

Prairie Capital Advisors, Inc.

Tom advises middle market companies on mergers and acquisitions (M&A), ESOP advisory, corporate valuation, financial opinions, and other investment banking advisory services. As vice president, Tom is responsible for providing project management services, corporate valuations and related transaction analyses in support of capital structuring engagements, including ESOP implementation, leveraged recapitalizations, management buyouts (MBO), mergers and acquisitions, fairness opinions, and other related corporate finance purposes. In addition, Tom is a frequent speaker in various forums on topics covering ownership transition planning.

Tim Knust-Graichen

presenter photologo


Tim, a senior associate at Chartwell's Orange County location, has nine years of experience providing financial advisory and valuation services to both large public companies and privately-held middle market companies, including companies with employee stock ownership plans. He performs financial advisory engagements for a variety of purposes including corporate planning, financial reporting (ASC 805, ASC 350, ASC 718), gift and estate planning, and tax planning under IRC 409a, as well as complex securities and derivatives. Tim has worked with and understands the varying needs of clients across a range of sizes and industries.

Jamie Zveitel Kwiatek

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Jamie is a shareholder with Polsinelli. Jamie helps employers who maintain ESOPs and other benefit and executive compensation plans navigate the quagmire of laws and regulations governing employee benefits and executive compensation. With more than 35 years of experience, she assists companies in the development and maintenance of creative employee benefit plans and executive compensation arrangements. She is also an advocate for clients when regulatory compliance issues arise. Jamie understands how important a productive workforce is to a client's business.

Michael McCarthy

presenter photologo

Wells Fargo Advisors

Michael McCarthy, CFP®, is a Managing Director at Wells Fargo Advisors, with 20 years of experience specializing in leveraged ESOP transactions. Mike is the director of the financial education center for DePaul University. He is a member of the NCEO and the ESOP Association. He educates and advises clients for Wells Fargo Advisors and their affiliates, and helps to structure QRP portfolios for clients utilizing Section 1042 as a part of their ESOP transaction. Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, Member SIPC, a registered broker-dealer and non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company.

Christopher Michael

presenter photo

Christopher Michael, P.C.

Christopher is responsible for developing the employee ownership trust (EOT) as a new legal mechanism for employee ownership in the United States and has published articles introducing the concept in leading peer-reviewed law journals, including Tax Notes and Probate & Property. In addition to working with businesses to introduce an EOT, Chris also consults with existing ESOP companies on transitioning to an EOT.

Rose Newport

presenter photologo

ButcherJoseph & Co.

Rose is a director with ButcherJoseph & Co. which comprises ButcherJoseph & Co. Investment Bankers, ButcherJoseph & Co. Valuation Advisory, and ButcherJoseph Asset Management. With more than 15+ years' experience, Rose oversees business development and client relationships on behalf of ButcherJoseph and is very involved in the M&A and ESOP communities. Rose serves on the board of directors for the St. Louis chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) while being an active member within the National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO), the ESOP Association, and Vistage.

Loren Rodgers

presenter photologo

National Center for Employee Ownership

Loren joined the NCEO in 2005 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. 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.

Robert F. Schatz

presenter photo

Schatz Brown Glassman LLP

Robert is a partner with ESOP Plus: Schatz Brown Glassman LLP, a nationally known boutique ESOP and exit planning law firm. Recipient of the 2015 M&A Awards in 2015 and 2016 for, "Best Boutique U.S. ESOP Law Firm" and "Excellence in ESOP Transaction Planning - USA," we help owners dispassionately compare the benefits of selling to an ESOP vs. outright sales, private equity and management buyouts. He advises ESOP companies, trustees, and lenders about ERISA, tax, and general legal issues. Rob is a fellow in the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel and Association of Commercial Finance Attorneys.

Kenneth E. Serwinski

presenter photologo

Prairie Capital Advisors, Inc.

Kenneth co-founded Prairie Capital Advisors with Robert Gross in 1996 after the pair of industry veterans recognized a universally underserved need for objective financial advisory consultation for closely held businesses. Since then, he has dedicated his vast experience to providing closely held companies with the guidance and expertise needed for some of their most critical business decisions. As chairman, he continues to grow Prairie's reputation as a widely respected firm of its kind, designing, structuring, and implementing customized ownership transition strategies, including private sales, management buyouts, ESOPs, and more for businesses nationwide.

Meeting Site

The meeting will be held at the Embassy Suites Scottsdale (formerly Chaparral Suites), located at 5001 North Scottsdale Road. Sleeping rooms are available for our group at the special rate of $231. Rate includes complimentary breakfast and evening reception. Sleeping room rate cutoff date has been extended until January 15, 2019. Please call 800-362-2779 to make a reservation. Please mention the National Center for Employee Ownership to receive the group rate

Continuing Education Credit

CPE Credit

The National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO) is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website:

This program is a "group-live" offering and provides 11.00 hours of CPE credit for accountants in the area of "specialized knowledge and applications." The material is basic level. No prerequisites or advanced preparation is needed. For more information regarding administrative policies such as complaint and refund, please contact the NCEO at 510-208-1300.

IRS Credit

The National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO) is registered with the IRS as an approved provider of continuing education credit. This program provides 3.00 hours of IRS credit for Enrolled Retirement Plan Agents. Programs listed in other areas of our Web site are not approved for continuing education credit for Enrolled Retirement Plan Agents. Attendees must provide a PTIN with their registration in order to obtain IRS CE credit. Continuting education credit is not mandatory for tax return preparers.

SHRM Credit

This program is valid for 8.25 PDCs for the SHRM-CPSM or SHRM-SCPSM.