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ESOP Association Blog

A Conversation With: Aaron Moberger, New Vice Chair, Massachusetts Center for Employee Ownership Advisory Board

The ESOP Association
Aaron Moberger

Aaron Moberger, an employee owner and Project Manager at Avid Products, was recently named as the inaugural Vice Chair of the Massachusetts Center for Employee Ownership’s advisory board. Aaron is the immediate past President of The ESOP Association’s New England Chapter, and for years has been a key volunteer leader in TEA’s chapter network. We asked Aaron to share his thoughts about his new leadership role with MassCEO, and how the organization can help grow employee ownership in the state.

How did you get involved with the effort to create the Massachusetts Center for Employee Ownership and what role do you have now?

Like many ownership communities, the one in Massachusetts is very tight-knit, so I began to hear about efforts to revive the Massachusetts Center around 2018. Since then, it has been a pleasure to work with volunteers from the ESOP community, including many from our New England Chapter, the Co-op community, and state legislators and officials to structure and expand the office and secure its ongoing funding. This month, we reached a milestone when we swore in the Center’s first advisory board. As Vice Chair of the advisory board, I look forward to working with all our members to take these important next steps toward expanding employee ownership possibilities in Massachusetts.

How was the Massachusetts Center for Employee Ownership created and funded?

The Center was created in the late 1980s by law and funded by a state grant, which was executed through a contract until 2008. At that time, the Center was struck by the budget crisis and defunded, and remained mostly dormant until a revival effort began in the late 2010s. 

That effort paid off in 2019 when the legislature began to fund the Center through a contract again. At the same time, we learned a lesson from the budget crisis that institutionalizing a state office was one important way to ensure its stability. Having passed a law that did so in late 2022, we have been working to fulfill the law’s provisions, like assembling an advisory board, and putting it in a position to augment its activities and funding.

What are the major issues the board is currently working on?

By law, the board is comprised of nineteen members to represent a multitude of stakeholders, so a lot of work actually went into putting the board together, like speaking with members of our community to recommend ESOP representatives, and sharing with members of the worker cooperative community so that we had a uniform process to work with the officials who oversee state boards and commissions.

With a large board, we can derive quite a lot of capacity by forming subcommittees to focus on specific topics like policy, funding, and strategic planning. At the same time, I think a big part of our onboarding and ramping up stages will just be getting to know how we all like to work with one another and establishing some basic rules and expectations, like how often we should meet, what topics we should discuss, how we will do most of our work. 

What are you most excited about in your new role on the advisory board?   

What excites me most about going forward is that the sky is really the limit for employee ownership possibilities in Massachusetts. Over half of the state’s small businesses are owned by people aged 55 and older, which is about 68,000 firms employing more than 775,000 people.  If we can reach most of those owners within the next five to ten years and help make them aware of employee ownership and how it can fit with their business and succession plan, it could make a difference in literally thousands of people’s lives. So, we really are at an inflection point for employee ownership in the Commonwealth. 

Another exciting possibility is working to bring The ESOP Association’s impressive national and regional advocacy toolkits to the state level. It has been a pleasure to contribute alongside so many others to our national efforts, and we can really use these tools to make a difference in our home states, as well.  



Know an interesting story about someone’s involvement promoting ESOPs and employee ownership that should be highlighted? Contact us at with any tips on potential profiles of people going above and beyond to support employee ownership.