ESOP Association Blog

TEA Membership Elects New Board

The ESOP Association
Karen Ellis_EO22 Conference

Every spring, a portion of the TEA Board of Directors turns over as terms expire and a new slate of nominees are put before the Association’s membership for election. This spring will also bring forward a biennial change in officers alongside those new faces joining the Board for the first time. Terms will begin on May 1 and last for two years. 

Of course, with volunteer leaders joining the Board, it comes time to say farewell to those leaders whose terms have ended. Departing the Board of Directors this year will be three volunteer leaders whose contributions cannot be overstated. Cindy Turcot, President and CEO of Gardener’s Supply Company will depart the Board of Directors for the last time as she transitions out of her role as Chair of the Employee Ownership Foundation. Gary Shorman, Chairman of the Schmidt Foundation and former President and CEO of Eagle Communications, will complete his service as Immediate Past Chair. Finally, Brian Ippensen, President & CEO of TI Trust will end his service as the At-Large Professional representative on the Board. 

The ESOP Association’s newest officers of the Executive Committee, each serving two-year terms are:

Karen Ellis, EVP of Human Resources at Superior Farms/Transhumance Holding Company, has been elected as TEA’s new Board Chair.  Karen has served on the Board for many years, most recently as Vice-Chair of the Association for the past two years and Secretary-Treasurer prior to that. Ellis has also served on the SRCC and as Chapter President of the California and Western States Chapter. She also serves as a Trustee to the Employee Ownership Foundation and a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees.

Derrick Vick, President and CEO of Freedom Industries, has been elected Vice Chair. Vick has served on the Board for several years as well, most recently as Secretary-Treasurer. Prior to that he served two years as the At-Large Corporate Representative on the Board and as Chapter President of the Carolinas Chapter.

Steve Earle, VP of Kitchen Operations at Mid South Building Supply, who is currently serving as Chair of the State and Regional Chapter Council, has been elected Secretary/Treasurer. Earle’s election to this new role on the Board’s Executive Committee will create a vacancy as Chair of the SRCC. The Board expects to appoint Becky Streff of Holden Industries on May 1 to complete Earle’s remaining term as SRCC Chair, making her a new member of the Board as well due to that position.

Rounding out the Executive Committee will be Ali Jamshidi who will complete his current term as Chair and automatically becomes the Immediate Past Chair for the next two years on the Board.

We are also pleased to announce that Cara Benningfield, Partner at FORVIS, has been elected as the At-Large Professional Representative on the Board of Directors for a two-year term. 

In addition, Daniel Goldstein, President & CEO at Folience, has been reelected to the Board as the At-Large Representative from the Public Policy Council.

In 2021, the Board of Directors adopted a series of changes to the Association bylaws that had been recommended by a governance review committee. One of those changes was the direct election of the Board of Directors by the full membership of the Association. Each spring a portion of The ESOP Association’s Board of Directors is elected to serve a two-year term, beginning on May 1 of that year. These terms are staggered in alternating years so that Board continuity is maintained.

TEA would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to Ali Jamshidi for his leadership of the Association as Board Chair over the past two years, and to outgoing Immediate Past Chair Gary Shorman for his long and distinguished service to TEA’s Board.

Thank you to all TEA members who voted in this year’s election. Please join us in congratulating our new officers and Board Members!

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