NJ/NY Center for Employee Ownership

About Employee Ownership

What is Employee Ownership?

At thousands of businesses in the United States, employees own a majority of their company's stock. These "employee-owned" companies employ millions of people who each have the ability to say "I am an owner of this company." To read more about employee ownership, please visit the NJ/NY Center for Employee Ownership website

Why Should New Jersey and New York Businesses Care?

For current business owners looking to retire or sell part of their equity stake, employee ownership is an attractive alternative to selling to a private equity firm or other outside buyer.  To read more about why businesses should care, please visit the NJ/NY Center for Employee Ownership website

Why Should New Jersey and New York Communities Care?

Employee ownership keeps businesses and jobs in-state and builds community wealth.  To read more about why communities should care, please visit the NJ/NY Center for Employee Ownership website

Additional Information and Research on Employee Ownership

SMLR is building an online library of articles and research on employee ownership. A beta version is currently available, which you can visit at cleo.rutgers.edu.

What does it mean to have employee share ownership? In the documentary film We the Owners: Employees Expanding the American Dream, employee owners from New Belgium Brewing, Namaste Solar and DPR Construction answer this important question. SMLR makes the film and related teaching materials available to assist educators with educational resources for students. 

SMLR Professors Joseph Blasi and Douglas Kruse's research shows that the concept of employees owning a share of their company, has a long and robust tradition in American history...read more

Learn more about Equity Compensation in our recent white paper: Thinking Strategically About Your Equity Compensation Program written by SMLR Professors Joseph Blasi, Doug Kruse, and Bill Castellano


    For information about the NJ/NY Center for Employee Ownership, please contact the Executive Director, Professor Bill Castellano, at castellano@smlr.rutgers.edu or the Associate Director, Jim Terez, at jim.terez@rutgers.edu.


    The 2019 Employee Stock Ownership Plans & Equity Compensation Conference was held on Tuesday, October 29, 2019 in New Brunswick, NJ.

    Click here to view conference agenda

    Conference topics:

    • How to sell your company to your employees
    • Ownership succession and ESOP value
    • Current trends in equity compensation
    • Analyzing your Equity Compensation Plan's return on investment
    • ESOP legal and fiduciary responsibilities
    • Employee financial wellness

    Participatory Management Certificate Program

    This five-day comprehensive certificate program is designed for managers and business owners seeking to help grow their business and successfully implement innovative workplace practices that engage and motivate employees to achieve strategic objectives through enhanced productivity, innovation, and improved customer satisfaction necessary to ensure financial success. 

    Click here to learn more

    Program Dates and Location
    ***Please check back soon for more information on our next offering.


    In the News

    01/01/2021 (The New Republic) A Pandemic Dividend for Every American

    6/19/20 (SMLR) Press Release: New Rutgers Program Helps Minority and Women-Owned Businesses

    05/08/2018 The U.S. House of Representatives approved H.R. 5236, the "Main Street Employee Ownership Act of 2018" on May 8th.  S.2786 - the "Main Street Employee Ownership Act of 2018" was introduced into the Senate on April 26, and has been referred to the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. The Main Street Employee Ownership Act improves access to capital and technical assistance to transition small businesses to employee ownership.  Here is additional information:

    03/07/2018 (Business Wire) SMLR Launches World’s First Academic Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing

    01/08/2018 (Times Union) Employee ownership can boost NY economy, families

    12/18/2017 Rutgers Center for Employee Ownership Advisory Board member John Vitucci, on the benefits of employee ownership...read more.

    11/09/2017 (NJTV News) Why businesses should consider employee ownership

    10/15/2017 (My Central Jersey) New Rutgers center aims to save jobs through employee ownership

    10/12/2017 (New Jersey 101.5) N.J. Effort To Get Owners selling their companies...to their employees?

    10/11/2017 (New Jersey Business Magazine) New Rutgers Center Aims to Save Jobs Through Employee Ownership

    10/11/2017 (SMLR) Press Release: New SMLR Center Aims to Save Jobs Through Employee Ownership

    10/09/2017 (Return on Information New Jersey) ESOPs may be smartest (and safest) succession strategy for boomers


    Advisory Board Members

    Gregory Cygan

    Vice President - Client Service Director/Group Manager

    Phil DeDominicis
    Managing Director – Investment
    The Menke Group
    Aziz El-Tahch
    Managing Director
    Stout Risius Ross – SRR
    Steven Greenapple

    SES ESOP Strategies

    Jim Higgins
    Managing Director
    Pilot Hill Advisors
    Christopher Mackin
    Founder and President
    Ownership Associates
    Debbi Marcus
    Global Equity Design Professional
    Joseph Marx
    Vice President, Consulting
    Principal Financial Group
    Richard May
    Managing Partner
    American Working Capital
    Christopher Michael
    Director of Employee Ownership
    Newark Community Economic Development Corporation
    John Miscione
    Senior Advisor
    Duff & Phelps
    Thomas Roback
    Managing Director
    Blue Ridge ESOP Associates
    Maria Robins
    Vice President, Business Development
    Morgan Stanley
    Joseph Sholler
    Sales Director, Equity Plan Advisory Services
    James Steiker
    President and CEO
    SES ESOP Strategies
    John Vitucci
    PKF O’Connor Davies
    Stephen White
    Owner and Valuation Analyst
    Onyx Partners Group
    Rutgers Advisors
    Professor Joseph Blasi
    Director, Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing
    Professor Doug Kruse
    Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
    Associate Director, Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing



    The NJ/NY Center for Employee Ownership frequently hosts webinars which are recorded and available here for you to view at your convenience.  Please follow the links below to watch the recorded webinar of your choice.

    Employee Ownership for Business Succession - 11/5/19

    Is an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) right for you? In this 30-minute webinar, Corey Rosen, Ph.D., Founder of the National Center for Employee Ownership, talked about how ESOPs are a flexible way for business owners to provide for ownership transition and can also preserve business legacy.

    Individual Freedom in the Workplace - Freedom-based Management Models - 9/27/19

    Since the Industrial Revolution, management has created hierarchy in organization structures to control assets and employees. The potential negative impacts of hierarchical control on employee performance and engagement have been recognized for a long time. View our webinar recording to gain a better understanding of how an organization can create and adopt a management approach that emphasizes liberating servant leadership.

    Top 10 Recommendations to Increase Equity Participation and Ownership - 8/15/19

    In this webinar we discussed equity share plan strategies that can increase equity participation and employee share ownership and the key policies and practices that create an engaging ownership culture. Based on a large body of research mostly conducted by the Rutgers Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing, these practices can positively impact employee engagement and organizational strategic and financial outcomes.

    Employee Ownership Trusts - 5/7/19

    Selling to an employee ownership trust (EOT) should be considered as a strong alternative to an ESOP where the cost of an ESOP is a major consideration, as well as where perpetuity of the employee ownership structure is a major goal. View our webinar recording to learn "why" to use an EOT instead of an ESOP, "how" to transition to an EOT, and "where" to look for further guidance.

    Creating an Ownership Culture to Enhance Returns on Equity Share Programs - 4/16/19

    The Rutgers Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing has a long tradition researching the impact of equity share plan designs and organizational culture on individual, strategic, and financial outcomes. View our webinar recording and learn how organizations can design effective share plan strategies and create an ownership culture to increase the returns on their equity program investments.

    How ESOPs Can Increase Employee and Sales Productivity -1/17/19

    Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) are not just a vehicle designed to enhance the value of a business or to transfer ownership.  View our webinar recording and explore how employee and sales productivity can increase in companies after they establish their ESOPs.

    Creating a Culture of Ownership - 12/18/18                                                      

    What do most companies on the Fortune lists of best workplaces have in common? A culture of ownership - they share ownership widely with employees and many are majority owned. View our webinar recording and learn what makes these ownership cultures tick.

    Understanding the Research for Enhancing the Return on Your Equity Compensation Program - 9/13/18

    How can a company measure the ROI of their equity compensation program? Dr. Bill Castellano discusses this topic and provides effective strategies that can enhance the impact of your equity compensation program. Plus, learn how to apply research findings into practice and communicate the value of your company’s equity compensation program.

    ESOPs as a Succession Planning and Wealth Creation Tool for Business Owners - 7/18/18

    Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) can offer significant succession planning and wealth creation benefits. They are also prized as the ultimate in employee motivation, as they make the employee into a vested owner of the company. In this webinar, we examined the key features and considerations, as well as instances where ESOPs make sense.  View this recording and learn what factors about the business, owners, and business timeline make it attractive to use an ESOP. Also, determine whether an ESOP is appropriate to accomplish a business owner’s succession planning and wealth creation goals, understand the succession and tax planning opportunity, and outline considerations and steps to implement an ESOP.

    Equity Compensation - 5/7/18

    Many closely held firms want to provide employees with a stake in the company's outcome through some form of equity compensation. But who should get how much? With what rules? And what forms of actual equity or synthetic equity make sense? View our webinar recording and gain an understanding of the way closely held companies can provide equity compensation to employees. Topics such as stock, options, restricted stock, stock appreciation rights, and phantom stock were discussed, as well as their counterparts in limited liability corporations.

    Employee Ownership for Business Succession - 3/13/18

    Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) are a highly-tax favored, flexible way for business owners to provide for ownership transition. An ESOP allows a company to use its future pre-tax earnings to buy out some or all of an owner's shares, and allow the owner to defer taxation on the gain.  An ESOP can preserve business legacy, help to get the seller a fair price, and allows owners to play whatever ongoing role they choose in the company.ESOPs have been highly successful, but they are not for every company. View our webinar recording to learn how ESOPs work and if they are right for you.


    Past Events

    Employee Stock Ownership Plans and Equity Compensation Conference - October 26, 2018

    Our Second Annual Conference, Employee Stock Ownership Plans and Equity Compensation took place on October 26, 2018. View the conference agenda.
    Thank you to our speakers for sharing their expertise and to our sponsors for making this event possible!

    View the conference presentations below.

    Conference Welcome and General Session
    Thinking Strategically about Your Equity Compensation Program
    William Castellano, Ph.D., Department Chair/Professor, Executive Director, NJ/NY Center for Employee Ownership, Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations

    ESOP Track
    Business Succession, the ESOP Value Proposition, and Alternatives
    John Vitucci, Principal, Employee Benefit Services, PKF O'Connor Davies

    Valuation and Financial Fairness Considerations in ESOP Transactions
    Aziz El-Tahch, Managing Director, Valuation Advisory, Stout Risius Ross, LLC

    Legal and Fiduciary Responsibilities
    James G. Steiker, President and CEO, SES ESOP Strategies

    Company Panel
    Phil DeDominicis, Managing Director, Menke & Associates, Inc.
    Chris Rausch, Chief Financial Officer, Turtle & Hughes, Inc.
    Paul Theodore, President and CEO, Visual Graphic Systems Inc.

    Equity Compensation Track
    Trends in Equity Compensation Programs
    Sharmon Priaulx, Managing Director, PricewaterhouseCoopers, People and Organization
    Maria Robins, Vice President, Morgan Stanley

    Offering and Employee Stock Purchase Plan Your Participants will Value
    Charles Russo, Vice President, Regional Manager, Computershare


    Eagle Rock, A Greenberg & Rapp Company
    National Center for Employee Ownership
    Menke & Associates, Inc.
    Morgan Stanley
    PKF O'Connor Davies
    SES ESOP Strategies

    ESPP Day - February 8, 2018

    The NJ/NY Center for Employee Ownership co-sponsored with Computershare an Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP) conference on February 8, 2018 in New York.  The ESPP Day conference provided a comprehensive introduction to the important aspects of employee stock purchase plans. Please click here to view the conference presentations.

    Keynote speaker was Dr. Joseph Blasi, Distinguished Professor and Sociologist at Rutgers. One of the leading academic experts on employee share ownership in the world, Dr. Blasi has written several books, including The Citizen’s Share, which traces the history of employee share ownership in the U.S. from its earliest days to today. He also regularly speaks at industry conferences and has written for numerous publications, including Fortune Magazine, where he is a regular commentator.

    The conference included presentations from stock plan professionals at Computershare, AON Hewitt, Baker & McKenzie, ISP Advisors, HighTower Advisors, myStockOptions.com, and the National Association of Stock Plan Professionals.

    Employee Ownership Strategies Conference - July 31, 2017

    The NJ/NY Center for Employee Ownership’s first Employee Ownership Strategies Conference took place on July 31, 2017.

    Thank you to our speakers, sponsors, partners, and participants for making the conference a success!

    View the conference presentations and learn more about our speakers below.

    Doug Kruse, Distinguished Professor, Rutgers University, School of Management and Labor Relations 
    Jim Steiker, Esq., Chairman and CEO, SES Advisors
    Loren Rodgers, Executive Director, The National Center for Employee Ownership
    Terence "Terry" Griswold, Managing Director and founder, Empire Valuation
    Rich Telesmanich, Sr. Vice President and CAO
    Matt Hancock, Consultant, Praxis Consulting Group
    Debbi Marcus, Manager, Global Equity, Unilever



    Employee Ownership Foundation
    National Center for Employee Ownership
    SES Advisors
    Menke & Associates, Inc.
    Morgan Stanley
    American Working Capital



    The New Jersey/New York Center for Employee Ownership (NJ/NYCEO) promotes better understanding of the values of employee ownership among business leaders, public officials, employees, members of the media, students, teachers, nonprofit leaders, consumers, and other persons and organizations in New Jersey and New York. The NJ/NYCEO is a center at Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations.


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