If your company is currently employee owned, or you are considering it; you're probably planning to attend the 2014 Employee Ownership Conference held April 8-10, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia which is presented by the National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO).
This conference is, without a doubt, the place to learn from experts and peers who know both the technical and cultural side of employee ownership. However, with over 1,000 participants, nearly 90 breakout sessions and a buzzing marketplace of sponsors to visit with, this conference has the potential to be overwhelming.
To optimize your experience and save you some time, we've scoured the presenter list and identified the ten people you need to meet if you're attending the 2014 Employee Ownership Conference.
1. Patrick Carpenter, The Great Game of Business, Inc.
Patrick is one of the few presenters at the NCEO conference who can boast the title "life-long expert." Patrick's mother, the late Jill Carpenter, was a pioneer in open-book management education and co-authored two books on the topic. Today, as a Vice President at The Great Game of Business, Patrick helps other companies who want to implement open-book management in their own organization.
Where to catch him: Patrick will be presenting "Opening the Books and Using the Numbers" during the "Building a Culture of Ownership in an Employee-Owned Company" preconference session. You can also catch up with him at The Great Game of Business' booth (23) in the exhibit hall.
What to talk about: If you want to know more about the ins-and-outs of having open lines of communications with your employees, Patrick is your guy. He's worked with companies of all types and is passionate about the financial and cultural results open-book management can create.
2. John Williams, Central States Manufacturing
John is the Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Central States Manufacturing in Lowell, Arkansas. But don't be fooled by his title, John is also a master at engaging and training frontline employees and has developed several programs to help engage the employee owners at Central States Manufacturing.
Where to catch him: John will be co-presenting "Building your Brand: What's Vision, Mission and Core Values Got to do With It?" during concurrent session 1 at the conference.
What to talk about: John is a great resource on sales & marketing topics as well as developing a strong mission and vision, but can also help you understand how to better communicate such topics with employees at all levels of the company.
3. Rich Armstrong, The Great Game of Business, Inc.
As the President of The Great Game of Business, Inc., Rich has a wealth of knowledge on educating, engaging and empowering employees. A coach & frequent speaker at business conferences, Rich is a whiz on business and financial literacy programs. Rich served on the NCEO board for several years and also co-authored The Great Game of Business 20th Anniversary Edition, which hit # 1 when it was published last summer.
Where to catch him: Rich will be presenting "Introduction to Business Literacy and Open-Book Management" during concurrent session 1 at the conference. You can also catch up with him at The Great Game of Business' booth (23) in the exhibit hall.
What to talk about: With over 25 years of experience leading at employee owned SRC Holdings, Rich can answer questions on anything from the technical to the philosophical aspects of employee ownership. Rich also knows the ins and outs of developing financial and operational plans that will drive your ownership culture and your overall company growth. Just for fun, you can also ask Rich about his love for music (especially guitars).
4. Loren Rodgers, National Center for Employee Ownership
Loren is the Executive Director of NCEO and an expert on communicating with and educating employees about various business issues, including ESOPs.
Where to catch him: Loren will be presenting "The State of Employee Ownership" during the Welcome Luncheon & Opening General Session and co-presenting "Employee Surveys: Measuring and Promoting Ownership Culture" during concurrent session 7 at the conference.
What to talk about: As Executive Director of NCEO (and a super-friendly guy), you can talk to Loren about just about anything. He’s a wealth of knowledge backed by incredible resources.
5. Corey Rosen, National Center for Employee Ownership
Corey is the cofounder of NCEO and a prolific writer on just about any employee ownership topic you can imagine.
Where to catch him: Corey will be presenting "Why we Make Irrational Decisions at Work (and Why that Can be OK)" during concurrent session 2 at the conference.
What to talk about: Just like Loren Rodgers, Corey is a go-to when it comes to employee ownership. He has a keen ability to simplify even the most complex employee ownership concepts; you don't really even have to talk to Corey, just act as a sponge and absorb any knowledge you can from him!
6. Steve Baker, The Great Game of Business, Inc.
You might have a hard time catching up with Steve Baker at the NCEO conference, as an NCEO board member and conference presenter in multiple sessions, he'll be a busy guy. However, you'll be sure to see him in one of his many "public appearances" at the conference. With his energetic presentation style and a knack for unpredictable humor, you're sure to be engaged during any of his sessions. Steve also co-authored The Great Game of Business 20th Anniversary Edition.
Where to catch him: Steve will be presenting "Engaging Employees with Open-Book Management and MiniGames" during concurrent session 4 and "An Expert Panel Answers your Tough Culture and Communication Questions" during concurrent session 7. You'll also find him hosting an "Expert Roundtable Discussion" during lunch on day 2 and at The Great Game of Business' booth (23) in the exhibit hall.
What to talk about: Steve is a great resource for anyone wanting to learn innovative techniques for engaging employees. If you need a creative approach to get your people in The Game, Steve is always bursting with ideas.
7. Martin Staubus, The Beyster Institute
A frequent speaker on employee ownership and organizational development, Martin has over 25 years of experience in educating others about ESOPs. He is a former member of the NCEO board of directors and also a frequent speaker at Great Game's Annual Gathering of Games Conference.
Where to catch him: Martin is co-presenting "Introduction: Corporate Governance at ESOP Companies" during the preconference sessions, "Communicating Retirement Value to Employees" during concurrent session 5 and co-presenting "Employee Participation in the Board of Directors Election" during concurrent session 7 at the conference.
What to talk about: Martin really knows his stuff when it comes to educating people on the ins and outs of employee ownership. As Executive Director of the Beyster Institute at the Rady School of Management University of California, San Diego, he's always able to direct others to the best resources on a variety of business topics. Martin has a packed agenda at this year's NCEO conference, so be sure to steal a quick word any time you get a chance.
8./9. Paul Saginaw & Ron Mauer, Zingerman's Community of Business
Ok, Paul & Ron are obviously not one person…but they'll be presenting together and are both from Zingerman's Community of Business. Our good friends at Zingerman's are known for their engaging approach to teaching the company financials and their servant leadership approach.
Where to catch them: Paul & Ron will be co-presenting "Preserving the Social Mission Beyond the Founder" during concurrent session 7 at the conference.
What to talk about: Zingerman’s Community of Businesses is revered for using innovative techniques to engage and educate in the service industry; an industry known for high-turnover and a young workforce. If you’re looking for unique ways to communicate with your employees, be sure to say “hello” to Paul and Ron.
10. Victor Aspengren, Prairie Capital Advisors, Inc.
Victor is a longtime friend of The Great Game of Business and an expert at ownership transition planning. He is a member of the National ESOP Association, a former NCEO board of directors chair and (most importantly) a member of Great Game's practitioner advisory council. We can't say enough nice things about Victor, don't pass up an opportunity to chat with him at the conference.
Where to catch him: Victor will be co-presenting "Creating a Values Statement your Employees Can Relate to" during concurrent session 8 at the conference.
What to talk about: Victor not only has a well-rounded knowledge on ownership, education and engagement, but he’s just a fun guy to talk to. If you have the opportunity to chat it up with him, take it!
11. Bonus: Rob Kelsey, The Great Game of Business, Inc.
Rob is an Account Associate at The Great Game of Business, Inc.. Rob knows the power of employee empowerment first-hand - once a temporary employee at Springfield Remanufacturing Corporation, Rob used the business and financial literacy training offered to him to work his way up to full-time employee and to his position today at Great Game. He'll be holding down the fort at booth 23 in the exhibit hall and would love to chat with you about how The Great Game of Business and open-book management can drive your ownership culture…and your stock value.
If you're attending NCEO's Employee Ownership Conference, swing by Great Game's booth in the exhibit hall; we'll be at booth 23. Or contact Patrick, Rich, Steve or Rob, if you'd like to meet up.