ESOP Builders Inc. December 2015 Newsletter
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All of us at ESOP Builders Inc. wish you and yours happy holidays and success and prosperity in the brand new year 2016. We’ll be back with more ESOP news in March. 

A Reason to Focus by Loren Rodgers, NCEO Executive Director
Lots of factors determine whether a business succeeds or fails.  The power of employee ownership comes from its effect on internal factors, and those internal factors all come down to this: each person needs to focus on doing the right thing. If that sounds too simple, let’s look at what happens in most companies. ... [More...]

2016 Canadian Employee Ownership Conference 
The second annual Canadian Employee Ownership Conference - Where Success is Owned - is being held June 7 - 9, 2016 in Kelowna, BC.  Whether you’re an employee-owned company or interested learning about the model, this conference will create new connections, share best practices, and highlight the strength and diversity of employee ownership in Canada. This is an opportunity for Canadian business owners to learn how employee ownership can be used as a tool for business growth or as an exit strategy.  Information on speakers, sponsorship opportunities, and registration is being updated daily at

ESOP Plans in Agriculture Too
Employee Share Ownership Plans in Canada are often thought to work best in industries such as engineering, construction, high-tech, and famous little airline companies like the one based out of Calgary, AB.  Any guesses?  As our economy changes and international border rules tighten, employee ownership is also becoming more popular in agriculture. [More on the EBI blog...]

ESOP Builders Welcomes ... 
Employee Ownership Specialists Dan Ohler and Jennifer Williams.
Dan is a proud husband, father, life-long entrepreneur, and community-builder.  For over 15 years he has been supporting corporate and community leaders across Canada to grow positive, productive teams through speaking, communication training, and coaching.  Dan is also on the Advisory Board of the ESOP Association Canada.

Jennifer is a leading social entrepreneur in Canada.  Recipient of the Excellence in Corporate Responsibility Awards for her work with small-scale producers in Fair Trade, Jennifer has consistently demonstrated success in combining business with social purpose.  

We would also like to welcome Elon Jensen, born on Friday, October 16 (7 lbs, 12 ounces).  Congratulations to Camille Jensen and her husband Robert.

Existing Stock Options Will Be Grandfathered Says Canada’s Finance Minister 
Finance Minister Bill Morneau said any tax changes the Canadian government makes on stock options will only take effect once the changes are made, effectively grandfathering existing options. ... [More...]

Using Employee Surveys: Five Tips
Research shows that employee ownership alone does not create the competitive advantages associated with ESOPs.  The ownership advantage comes from ownership culture, and, like any improvement process at your company, measuring your performance helps ensure success. Most companies would not make a large investment without understanding the full picture, and making decisions on how to improve your culture is no different. ... [More...]

Sipping for ESOPS!
Odell Brewing Company has adopted an ESOP. The Fort Collins, Colorado–based brewer, which was formed in 1989, is now 19% owned by the new plan, with all 115 employees taking part in the new ownership structure.

Founder Doug Odell explained the family’s decision to sell to employees, saying, “The craft beer industry is changing dramatically, and we have seen several of our friends and neighbors selling their companies, in whole or part, to major brewers and private equity firms.... While these options are more lucrative than the one we chose, we believe that the people who built OBC are the best ones to lead us successfully into the future.”
Another Colorado brewery, Left Hand Brewing, the state’s fourth-largest brewery, has sold to its employees through an ESOP. Employee eligibility for the plan will occur after 1,000 work hours, making 100 of the brewery’s 106 employees currently eligible. Left Hand was founded in 1993, and its employees now own 54  per cent of the company. Cofounder Eric Wallace explained the motivation behind the ESOP, saying, “The idea is to have everyone have a stake in the game, to create long-term employees...We have been working on ownership culture for a long time — half of our employees already own stock — so this is just another step. It’s a big step, though.  -  from the 
NCEO Newsletter

Notable Quotables
"For the Season of Giving: To your enemy, forgiveness. To your opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all,  charity. To every child,  a good example. To yourself, respect." -- Oren Arnold 

Upcoming ESOP Events
See ESOP Builders events page for details on upcoming events. ... [More...]

Canadian ESOP and Ownership Thinking Books
The $10 Trillion Opportunity: Designing Successful Exit Strategies for Middle Market Business Owners: A Guide for Professional Advisors - Canadian Edition (2007) by Perry Phillips and Richard E. Jackim.  Buy this book on Amazon.  

Perry Phillips' book, EMPLOYEE SHARE OWNERSHIP PLANS: How to Design and Implement an ESOP in Canada is currently being revised for publication by the end of 2015.  Order directly from or 1-866-601-3081.  
Dr. Carol Beatty's book, Employee Ownership: The New Source of Competitive Advantage (published by Wiley and Sons 2001 - ISBN 0-471-64641-5).  Buy this book on Amazon.
Brad Hams' book, Ownership Thinking: How to End Entitlement and Create a Culture of Accountability, Purpose, and Profit (published by McGraw-Hill 2011- ISBN-10: 0071772456 - ISBN-13: 978-0071772457).  Buy this book on Amazon.

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