The Ohio Employee Ownership Center

Category Archives: Cooperatives

2013 Ohio Employee Ownership Conference Highlights

We’d like to thank everyone who came out to our 2013 Ohio Employee Ownership Conference on April 19.

The pictures are in and the full gallery is available Facebook. Here are a few highlights from the conference:


Michael Keeling, ESOP Association
Addresses the audience during his morning keynote speech.

Congratulations to our Award Winners (left to right) Carbo Forge, Inc, 25 Years of Employee Ownership Equity Engineering, Getting Your ESOP Off to a Good Start Kramig Insulation, 25 Years of Employee Ownership

Congratulations to our Award Winners
(left to right)
Carbo Forge, Inc, 25 Years of Employee Ownership
Equity Engineering, Getting Your ESOP Off to a Good Start
Kramig Insulation, 25 Years of Employee Ownership


Corey Rosen, NCEO
Skyping in his Lunch Keynote after his flight was cancelled due to weather.
Rosen was also this year’s recipient of the John Logue Employee Ownership Excellence Award.


Bill McIntyre, Former Director of the OEOC, receives a surprise in honor of his retirement.


Thanks again to our sponsors!

There are more photos to check out on our Facebook Page!


Bob Cohen on the Potential of Cooperatives w/ A Shout-Out to Select Machine & Evergreen Cooperatives

Bob Cohen via Buckeye Farm News explains how cooperatives can help navigate the difficult economy.

The Cooperative Development Center at Kent State University has worked in the support, training, and development of many cooperatives, including Select Machine and the Evergreen Cooperatives, since the Center was established in 2009.

Crowdfunding 101 Seminar

My colleague Bob Cohen is presenting a Crowdfunding 101 seminar on March 5th at KSU in partnership with the Blackstone Launchpad. Its free and open to the public:

Announcing the OEOC’s 27th Annual Employee Ownership Conference-April 19, 2013

Employee Ownership: Building Jobs, Wealth, & Communities

The 27th Annual Ohio Employee Ownership Conference

April 19th, 2013, Akron Fairlawn Hilton

Featured speakers for the event will include:

Corey Rosen
Co-Founder and Senior Staff Member of The National Center for Employee Ownership

Rosen 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.


J. Michael Keeling, CAE
President of The ESOP Association

Since assuming his position in April 1991, the Association has experienced strong growth in membership and revenues, and is the largest organization in America dedicated to ensuring employee-owned companies are effective in operating their ESOP in an environment of ownership.

Studies have showed that Employee Ownership is an effective means to building more jobs, increasing local wealth, and creating stronger communities.

Topics at the conference will include:

  • Fundamentals of Ownership for Employee Owners
  • Building an Ownership Culture – Teams, Communication, and more
  • ESOP Technical Issues: Fiduciary Issues, Legal Update, Valuation, and more
  • Selling to Your Employees Through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) or a Cooperative
  • Community Development Strategies and Employee Ownership

And, don’t forget our Pre-Conference on Thursday, April 18 … A chance to share and learn!

More information and updates on the conference can be found on our 27th Annual Ohio Employee Ownership Conference page.

Contact us for additional info or to register at oeoc@kent.edu or 330–672-3028.
And, there’s still time to become a conference sponsor, contact Kelley Fitts at kfitts@kent.edu or 330-672-0336.

Cooperative Organic Farming Benefiting Ohio Family Farmers

Family farmers in Ohio are turning to organic cooperatives to stabalize finances and to grow more stable businesses. 

According to an article submitted to the Public News Service, “[t]he organic industry is expanding . . . with almost 20 percent growth every year.” The cooperative allows farmers to focus on day-to-day activities and appeal to consumers concerned about food quality. 

George Siemon, CEO of Organic Valley, the brand associated with the largest organic farming cooperative in North America will be speaking on the future of organic agriculture and the benefits of the co-op on February 16 at the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Associations’ conference in Granville, OH. 

More information is available at the OEFFA Conference website.

New Microloan Program from USDA to Help Minority, Socially Disadvantaged, and Beginning Farmers

According to The Dispatch, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced a new microloan program to “help small and family operations, beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers secure loans under $35,000.”

The goal is to help producers through their first years with resources and increased equity so that these farmers can eventually qualify for commercial credit. Producers can apply for a maximum of $35,000 with an interest rate for the microloan currently at 1.25 percent charged monthly by contacting their local Farm Service Agency Office.

My Co-op Rocks: Video & Photo Contest Winners Announced

My Co-op Rocks! Video + Photo Contest is a competition hosted by the National Cooperative Grocers Association, and sponsored by Organic Valley, National Cooperative Business Association, National Association of Housing Cooperatives, and U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives. 

Contestants were asked to come up with a theme and show through a video or photo how their co-ops build a better world. 

Check out what these employee owners came up with, the winning entries can be found at mycooprocks.coop.

Other Co-op articles of interest:

Austin Cooperative Summit organized by NCBA and the Austin Cooperative Think Tank (Jan 2013)

The National Cooperative Business Association and the Austin Cooperative Think Tank have announced a Cooperative Summit at The University of Texas at Austin to “facilitate the exchange of best practices and cross-sector learning among cooperators and to strengthen the local cooperative community.”

Benefits of Attending

  • Share common best practices and innovative approaches on key issues
  • Identify challenges and opportunities that exist in the co-op community
  • Develop relationships and network with cooperative leaders across sectors

Who Should Attend

  • Cooperative leaders, board members, staff and supporters
  • Regional representatives from all co-op sectors
  • All those interested in learning about the cooperative business model

Friday, January 25
Reception/Exhibit Showcase & Introductory Panel
Vuka Co-op
7 – 10 pm

Saturday, January 26
Cooperative Summit
The University of Texas at Austin
8 am – 7 pm

Registration & More Information

2013 Up & Coming Up & Running (Food Co-op Conference) scheduled for March 1-2

Save the Date for Up and Coming, Up and Running 2013

Hosted by the Indiana Cooperative Development Center
March 1 & 2, with Optional In-Depth Workshops on February 28

Starting a new food co-op, or in your first years of operation Up and Coming, Up and Running 2013, held in Bloomington, Indiana, offers the resources and connections needed to move new co-ops from dream to reality, ensuring their success.

Learn from expert advisors, industry leaders, co-op resource developers, and your peers. Tour the three Bloomingfoods stores, its Commissary Kitchen, and learn about project management in relation to the newest Bloomingfoods project—a neighborhood store scheduled to open in Summer 2013.

The Up and Coming, Up and Running Food Co-op Startup Conference, now in its 4th year, brings people together who are shaping the future for new co-ops in communities all across the United States. Plan ahead to ensure the participation of steering committee, board, and staff members of your co-op project.

Scholarship Opportunities 

For more information, visit www.icdc.coop and contact Debbie Trocha of the Indiana Cooperative Development Center: 317-692-7707.  A limited number of scholarships are available from the Indiana Cooperative Development Center through a grant from the Howard Bowers Fund.

Food Co-op Initiative is also offering a limited number of registration and travel scholarships to early registrants. Contact Rosie at: rosie@fci.coop for information. Applications are due by Dec. 26.

Scholarships may be available through the Ralph K. Morris Foundation Cooperative Leadership Fund.  Please visit their website at www.ralphkmorrisfoundation.org for more information.

CUNY Mondragon Event this coming Monday, November 12th – NYC

Fire Your Boss: Worker Cooperatives, Community Development, and Social Change

A Panel Discussion presented by CUNY Law Review

Monday, November 12th, 5:30pm


Omar Freilla, founder of Green Worker Cooperatives, an organization dedicated to incubating green and worker-owned businesses in the South Bronx

Michael Peck, North American delegate of the Mondragon Cooperatives Corporation, the largest worker cooperative in the world

Brian Glick, Clinical Associate Professor of Law, Fordham Community Economic Development Clinic

Jessica Gordon Nembhard, Associate Professor of Community Justice and Social Economic Development, Dept. of African American Studies, CUNY John Jay College

Moderated by CUNY Law’s own Carmen Huertas-Noble, Founding Director of the Community & Economic Development Clinic (CEDC)

The event will be followed by a release reception celebrating CUNY Law Review’s latest publication — Vol. 15.1. Dinner will be served.

CUNY School of Law

2 Court Square 
Long Island City, Queens

Date: November 12, 2012
Time: 5:30 PM – 8:00 PMContact: cunylr@law.cuny.edu
Admission: Free