About the Association

Executive Bios


J. Michael Keeling, CAE 
President 
The ESOP Association

J. Michael Keeling, CAE, is the President and Chief Staff Officer of The ESOP Association, a national trade association promoting the growth of employee ownership in America through Employee Stock Ownership Plans, or ESOPs.

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.

He is also President of the Association’s affiliated 501(c)(3) educational and research foundation, the Employee Ownership Foundation.

Prior to becoming President, Michael was General Counsel from 1984. Prior to 1984, he represented the Association on several legislative initiatives before Congress. While General Counsel, he maintained a private practice of law focused on legislative and administrative issues related to tax and retirement income policies.

During the 1970's, he was Chief of Staff for former Congressman J. J. Pickle of Austin, Texas. Prior to that, he worked as an aide in several statewide campaigns in Texas, as a private consultant to labor and farm groups, and as an employee of the Texas State Legislature.

He is a graduate of Yale University and the University of Texas Law School.

The American Society of Association Executives has certified Michael as a Certified Association Executive. He is listed in Who’s Who in American Politics and Who’s Who in America.

He is married and has two children.



David Fitz-GeraldDave Fitz-Gerald Photo with Jacket for website
Chair, The ESOP Association
CFO of Carris Reels 

David Fitz-Gerald is the Vice President, Treasurer and CFO of Carris Reels in Rutland, VT, where he has worked since 1992. Carris Reels is a closely-held, 100 percent employee owned manufacturing company producing packaging for the wire and cable industry. In 2008 Carris Reels was named Employee Owned Company of the Year.

Dave has served multiple roles in The ESOP Association—as President of the New England Chapter, on the Board of Governors, on the Executive Committee of the State & Regional Chapter Council on the Interdisciplinary Advisory Committee for Fiduciary issues and on the Ownership Culture Advisory Committee. While serving on the Fiduciary Committee, Dave served two years as Co-Chair for the Internal Trustees track at the Las Vegas Technical Conference. He has served on The Association’s Board since 2012, and during his term as Vice Chair, he spearheaded a multi-year taskforce focused on evaluating and improving The Association’s National programming. Dave is a frequent speaker on governance and culture issues, and was recognized by the ESOP Association in 2011 with the Outstanding Chapter Officer Award. 

David actively Tweets about ESOP issues and can be found on Twitter under the handle @ESOPDave.