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ESOP Nuts and Bolts: What You Need to Know About Employee Stock Ownership Plans

Hosted by employed owned BL Companies

June 27, 2019 :: Meriden, CT

From Our Meeting Series ESOP Nuts and Bolts

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").

About This Meeting

This meeting covers the essentials of how an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) works. Held at a leading ESOP company, it also provides an opportunity to learn about employee ownership from employee-owned companies. The session is aimed at people thinking about an ESOP, but may also be useful as a review for people in ESOP companies who want to know more about how the plans work.


8:30 AM
Check-in and Refreshments
9:00 AM
Welcome and Introduction
Timothy Garbinsky, National Center for Employee Ownership
9:25 AM
An ESOP Company Perspective
Carolyn N. Stanworth, BL Companies
9:45 AM
What Is An ESOP and What Can You Use It For?
Chuck Coyne, Empire Valuation Consultants
Tabitha Croscut, Devine, Millimet & Branch, P.A.
10:30 AM
10:45 AM
What's Your Company Worth? ESOP Valuation
George Raftopoulos, ROI-Cubed LLC
11:30 AM
ESOP Feasibility
Chuck Coyne, Empire Valuation Consultants
12:15 PM
Lunch - Provided by BL Companies
1:15 PM
ESOP Plan Designs That Work
Tabitha Croscut, Devine, Millimet & Branch, P.A.
2:00 PM
How to Finance an ESOP
Steve Ryan, Prairie Capital Advisors, Inc.
2:45 PM
Who Runs This Thing? ESOP Fiduciary Issues
Susan Halevi, SES ESOP Strategies, a Stevens & Lee/Griffin Company
3:30 PM
3:45 PM
Small Group Discussions
4:30 PM


Chuck Coyne

presenter photologo

Empire Valuation Consultants, LLC

Chuck is an accredited senior appraiser (ASA) of the American Society of Appraisers, and managing director of Empire Valuation Consultants, LLC. He has more than 25 years of experience in the valuation of privately held business and specializes in providing valuations for ESOP purposes. He provides sell-side services including ESOP feasibility studies and assists clients with the structuring of ESOP transactions, including the rendering of ESOP fairness opinions. Chuck received his MBA with concentration in accounting from the University of Hartford. He is a frequent author and speaker on business valuation and employee stock ownership plan topics.

Tabitha Croscut

presenter photologo

Devine, Millimet & Branch, PA

Tabitha 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.

Nicholas J. Francia

presenter photologo

The Capital ESOP Group-UBS Financial Services

Nick joined UBS in 2011. As a member of The Capital ESOP Group, Nick focuses on educating business owners on different tax-efficient monetization strategies, empowering them to make informed decisions. Nick also creates tailored cash flow models comparing the taxable sale of privately held businesses and a Section 1042 tax-deferred sale to an ESOP. In 2018 Nick was recognized by Forbes as one of America's Top Next-Generation Wealth Advisors. Nick graduated from the University of Mary Washington, where he earned a bachelor's degree in economics.

Timothy Garbinsky

presenter photologo


Tim is the outreach coordinator at the NCEO, a nonprofit membership and research organization dedicated to providing the most objective and reliable information possible on employee ownership. As outreach coordinator, Tim is responsible for managing the marketing and outreach efforts of the NCEO, from the recruitment of volunteers to working with allied organizations, to creative project design and press communication. Tim has worked as a marketer and educator on three continents over the past eight years. He earned his BA from Duke University in 2009.

Susan Halevi

presenter photologo

SES ESOP Strategies, a Stevens & Lee/Griffin company

Susan is an attorney with SES ESOP Strategies, and represents companies and trustees in employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) acquisitions, transactions, and administration, and provides advice to cooperative businesses. Susan clerked for the Honorable Collins J. Seitz, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and has previous experience in both commercial law (including middle market lending) and real estate law. While at Duke University Law School, Susan was an articles editor of the Duke Law Journal and a member of the Moot Court Board.

George Raftopoulos

presenter photologo

ROI-Cubed, LLC

George and ROI Cubed consult firms through various transactions ranging from ESOPs to internal transitions to mergers and acquisitions. ROI Cubed works with owners and their management teams to strategically plan for maximum enterprise value. Having created, grown, and sold several companies, himself, George's personal niche is ESOP implementation and integration. He is a certified value growth advisor, a certified mergers and acquisition advisor, and a CFP(R) practitioner, and works with business owners through all facets of deciding to exit and transition.

Steve Ryan

presenter photologo

Prairie Capital Advisors, Inc.

Steve is a director at Prairie Capital Advisors. He joined Prairie to assist in new business development initiatives. He has more than 30 years of new business and banking experience throughout the country. Steve has led commercial banking teams that interact with business owners and c-level executives of private and public companies. He has acted as trusted advisor to many privately held companies to assist them in growth initiatives, business transitions and liquidity events over the years.

Carolyn N. Stanworth

presenter photologo

BL Companies

Carolyn is president and CEO at BL Companies, a multi-disciplined architectural, engineering, environmental, and land surveying professional services firm. She was one of the primary drivers responsible for planning and instituting the ESOP at BL Companies, which she saw as an opportunity to inspire ownership and accountability among staff at all levels. Carolyn champions the firm's multi-year leadership development initiative and succession planning efforts. She works closely with senior leaders, managers, and external consultants in the implementation and enhancement of the shared ownership culture at BL Companies.

Meeting Site

The meeting will be held at BL Companies, located at 355 Research Parkway, Meriden, CT 06450. BL Companies has generously provided the facility, food and beverage, as well as their experience as an ESOP company in support of this meeting. The NCEO does not have a room block for this event. If you need a hotel reservation, the Hilton Garden Inn at 1181 Barnes Road, Wallingford, CT is about 5 miles from BL Companies. Complimentary onsite parking is provided. To make a reservation please call the hotel at 203-284-0000.


All meeting registrations must be prepaid.

NCEO members: $75.00 per person. (Not a member yet? Join during checkout for only $90. Membership is a great way to learn more about employee ownership.)

Nonmembers: $75.00 per person.

Number of Attendees:

General Registration Information

To maintain the integrity of this meeting, registration is restricted to companies that either have an ESOP or are considering one.

Cancellation Policy

A full refund will be issued, less a $20.00 administrative fee, if the request is received by the close of business on May 31, 2019. Cancellations made after that date and before our guarantee date of June 13, 2019, will be eligible for credit toward another program, minus a $20.00 administrative fee. Those canceling on or after the guarantee date will not receive a paper credit or a refund.