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Press Releases

The ESOP Association Expanding, Modernizing Public Policy and Advocacy Programs

“Silver Tsunami” of Retiring Baby Boomer Business Owners Creates Decade of Urgency for Local Job Retention

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Seeking to ride a wave of retiring business owners and the rising attention being given to employee ownership as a solution for wealth and income disparities, The ESOP Association is making a multi-year, multi-million dollar investment into government relations and public awareness. As part of this investment, TEA has hired or promoted several new professional staff members, moved to new offices on Capitol Hill, built a new professional video and audio studio, and launched new grassroots and grasstops programs.

“Employee-owned businesses have proven time and again that they are resilient, stable, job-producing engines but there are far too many obstacles to their formation and growth. That needs to be fixed,” said James Bonham, TEA President and CEO. “The wave of baby boomers who own a business but are facing retirement is massive and is a significant threat to local economies. More often than not these businesses will close their doors and the jobs will be lost forever when the owner retires.”

“Selling a business to employees through an ESOP should be the first option any retiring business owner should consider when thinking about succession,” Bonham continued. “But a lack of awareness, fear of regulatory second-guessing, and inequities among business types when forming an ESOP creates unnecessary hurdles. This is why we are investing heavily and re-organizing our public policy programs. We will bring more focus on the barriers to ESOP formation and work with lawmakers to resolve issues that have been allowed to linger for decades.”

Greg Facchiano, VP of Government Relations and Public Affairs

Greg Facchiano, VP of Government Relations and Public Affairs


As part of this expansion, TEA today announced the hiring of Greg Facchiano as Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs, a new position. Facchiano joins TEA after a 25-year career on Capitol Hill, having served in seven offices across six delegations at all levels. He most recently served as a Senior Policy Advisor on the Senate HELP Committee and prior to that was chief of staff to Reps. Lloyd Smucker and Joe Heck and held several legislative positions in the House and Senate.

“I am thrilled Greg has Joined TEA to lead this new division,” Bonham continued. “Greg has a well-deserved reputation for being a thoughtful, forward-leaning leader who can work with both sides of the aisle. He is an innovative communicator and recognizes the role technology and the power of organizing can have on an agenda. Our focus is to ensure ESOPs are part of the discussion whenever the topic is job security, economic stability, retirement savings, and addressing wealth and income inequality in America.”

“I’m excited to join the great and growing team at The ESOP Association, working to promote employee ownership. I was immediately interested in this opportunity because of the dynamic changes and growth occurring at TEA. TEA is the leading voice of the bipartisan effort to expand and promote employee ownership, and I’m pleased to be part of its planned expansion,” Facchiano said. 

As part of its expanding government relations function, TEA has promoted Paul Pflieger to Senior Director of Public Policy and Communications, and Nicole Reppert to Senior Director for Membership Engagement and Advocacy. Paul has been with TEA since 2018, primarily in a communications role, and Nicole has directed the PAC and grassroots development since March 2020.  

TEA is working to develop its grassroots and grasstops network and launching several initiatives aimed at growing its presence, including both a Corporate Council and a Public Policy Council that will leverage its diverse and growing membership. TEA is the only ESOP advocacy organization supported by grassroots membership through a nationwide network of chapters.  

For more information, contact:

Patrick Mirza
Communications Director
The ESOP Association