We are all so proud of our employee owners and how engaged they can be. But sometimes, there are things that can only be handled at the top. Our new Chief Executive Series is designed for those in our most important leadership roles and creates a forum where you can build a network of peers to consult well into the future.

High Level Learning With Your Peers

With 11 sessions and round tables for Chief Executives only, you will have the chance to learn from national experts about major hot topics such as trade wars and tariffs, capturing enterprise value through external affairs, and corporate citizenship. 

Our general session Keynote Speakers have also all agreed to conduct a private, hour long sessionas part of this series where you can further discuss their areas of expertise directly and how their expertise can be applied to employee owned companies. 

And don’t forget about the new Executive Lounge and Business center, where you can network throughout the conference and have a safe harbor to get away from the distractions.

Best of all, this new experience is entirely flexible and customizable – come to one and then go to other sessions as you wish...or attend them all and skip the rest of the conference. You’re the boss. No additional fees and no reservations are needed - just your name badge will be all that is necessary to take your seat at the table.

Please Note: The Chief Executive Series is for CEOs and Presidents of ESOP Companies only and is included in the price of registration. If you are interested, please let us know by answering the question during registration. 

Nov. 14, 9:30 - 10:30 AM—StageMight: Become a More Confident, Compelling Communicator

Speaking directly with employee owners—at valuation meetings, during visits to different locations and workgroups—is a regular event for leaders at many employee owned companies. These interactions offer the opportunity to ignite employee owners’ passions, creating incredible engagement that translates into an unbeatable competitive advantage. And it all starts with your ability to convey your vision for employee ownership and for making employees partners in your businesses’ success. Sekou Andrews—one of the most innovative and sought after communicators in the world—excels at helping others become the most powerful, dynamic speakers they can be. Immediately following his opening address to the entire conference, Sekou will provide a second, private, executive level session to drill into some of the communications training systems and insights he has honed in a globally impressive career.

Facilitator: Sekou Andrews

Sekou Andrews is the world’s leading Poetic Voice—a presenter/performer who is disrupting the speaking industry in unprecedented ways. A schoolteacher turned actor, musician, two-time national poetry slam champion, entrepreneur, and award-winning poetic voice, any given day may now find Sekou keynoting at a leadership conference, helping a Fortune 500 company with brand messaging, or even performing pieces for Barack Obama in Oprah’s backyard. Sekou is the creator of Poetic Voice, a new, cutting-edge speaking category that seamlessly fuses inspirational speaking with spoken word poetry to make messages more moving and memorable. His dynamic blend of strategic storytelling, business insight, spoken word, theater and comedy turns events into experiences, and transforms audiences of informed receivers into enrolled responders. Sekou does more than inspire us with his story; he inspires us with our story.

Nov. 14, 11:00 - 12:00—Round Table: Managing Unsolicited Offers

Your organization has performed so well that others are taking notice—and making unsolicited offers to buy the business. Now you are left to ponder questions such as: Do I need a new valuation of the company stock? How should the sale be structured and what are the ramifications of those options? What are my legal and ethical obligations to my employee owners? Gain insights from your fellow ESOP company chief executives in this free-flowing discussion.

Facilitator: Alex Moss

A skilled facilitator and President of Praxis Consulting, Alex Moss brings more than 30 years of experience and insights gleaned as an organizational performance consultant to employee owned businesses. He currently serves as a board member for two ESOP companies. In 2011 he received The ESOP Association's LIfe Service Award for his contributions to employee ownership. 

Nov. 14, 11:00 - 12:00—Capturing Value for the Enterprise from a Modern External Affairs Organization

One of the leading and most sought-after experts on external affairs, Jay will layout the challenges experienced by companies today in the communities where they operate or plan to operate. Participants will see how a more interested and influential public is capable of impacting both social license to operate, as well as reputation and brand. Through that lens, Jay will lay out the best practices for navigating the public and communities in this more complex and connected world. Participants will leave the conference ready to improve the way they engage, track, and respond to the communities that intersect their organizations.

Facilitator: Jay Vincent

Jay Vincent is a management consultant who advises some of the nation’s largest organizations and companies on effectively engaging the public and their stakeholders in a world transformed from enhanced connectivity. His core expertise is developing and implementing stakeholder engagement programs for businesses and organizations that must convert key organizational and external stakeholders into meaningful and persuasive advocates. His work has spanned more than a dozen business sectors and has involved establishing major energy projects, “big box” stores, and massive and nationally impactful infrastructure projects.

Nov. 14, 1:45 - 2:45 PM—The War at Work: Navigating Unwritten Rules in a Half Changed World

We live in a half changed world, one in which old standards regarding issues such as communication, efficiencies of scale, and where work takes place, are being reformed by new notions. Many organizations are caught in the middle, stuck between old, proven habits and new ways of thinking and operating that offer tremendous potential rewards—and risks. Seth Mattison specializes in helping businesses navigate strategic challenges sparked by shifts in society, culture, and demographics. This session is vital for any business executives seeking talented employee owners and looking for ways to maximize how those new employees operates in an existing business.

Facilitator: Seth Mattison

Seth Mattison helps category leading brands and high performance leaders navigate the future of work through actionable insights. Mattison is an Internationally renowned expert and author on workforce trends, generational dynamics, and business strategy. As Co-Founder and CEO of Luminate Labs, Seth advises many of the world’s leading brand and organizations on the key shifts happening around talent management, change and innovation, leadership, and the future of work.

His ideas have been featured in such publications as The Wall St. Journal, Forbes, Entrepreneur, and The Globe and Mail and was recently named to the Editors’ Picks for Speakers to Watch.

For the past decade Seth has shared his insights with thousands of business leaders around the world and has received accolades from many of the world’s biggest brands including: MasterCard, Caterpillar, Microsoft, Kraft Foods, AT&T, PepsiCo, GE Energy, Cisco, Morgan Stanley, Berkshire Hathaway, Dow, and Disney.

Nov. 14, 3:15 - 4:15 PM—Round Table: Succession Planning and Executive Recruitment

You can’t plug just anyone into a leadership role at an employee owned company. Unlike conventionally owned businesses, leaders at ESOP companies need to understand the ESOP and how to manage an employee ownership culture—in addition to possessing the other skills required of executives. Hiring the wrong executive or chief executive can critically damage a healthy culture of engagement and ownership—the very things that provide your business with an advantage that competitors can’t readily duplicate. Come engage in an open discussion with your peers about making succession planning work for employee owned businesses.

Facilitator: Ginny Vanderslice

Ginny Vanderslice is the director of Leading in an Ownership Setting—an in-depth leadership development program for incoming CEOs of employee owned companies. She also is a Principal and Senior Consultant at Praxis Consulting Group, where she has worked for more than 30 years. In 2017, in recognition of her contributions to employee ownership, she received The ESOP Association’s Life Service Award.

Nov. 14, 3:15 - 4:15 PM—Corporate Citizenship in the Context of Employee Ownership

Businesses—like any individual citizens—have rights, responsibilities, and aspirations. The key question for businesses today is: What kind of corporate citizen are you? It’s a crucial question for employee-owned businesses, which have the power to turn incredible employee engagement into a competitive advantage in the marketplace. But will employee owners be inspired and motivated to perform their best for a company that engages in practices they find inappropriate or even distasteful? Are your practices consistent with an employee ownership culture? Are they consistent with the brand you share in the marketplace? For employee owned businesses, responsible corporate behavior isn’t a choice—it’s a business necessity.

Facilitator: Abby Maffei

Abby Maffei leads Corporate Citizenship's North America practice. She brings over 15 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies on sustainable and responsible business strategies, organizational change initiatives, and complex partnerships. Prior to Corporate Citizenship, she led CARE Consulting, the advisory services arm of CARE, which she designed and built from an idea into a growing practice serving Fortune 500 and public sector clients across four service lines. Previously, at the Ethics Resource Center, she consulted with global organizations to design, implement and evaluate ethics and compliance programs. Additionally, she is an experienced broker of alliances among business, government, and civil society to tackle global poverty and other complex social problems. Abby has worked in or with marginalized communities in 22 countries across Sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. She began her career on the staff of US Representative Sander Levin in his Washington, DC office.

Nov. 15, 9:30 - 10:30 AM—Get Big Things Done: Unleash Your Company’s Connectional Intelligence

We typically associate success and leadership with smarts, passion, and luck. But in today’s hypercompetitive world, even those gifts aren’t enough. The game changer in today’s business environment is Connectional Intelligence, which focuses on leveraging networks of all kinds to create fierce loyalty and contagious, positive results. Business leaders must develop this crucial ability in order to maximize their potential and achieve breakthrough performance. Erica Dhawan is an expert in Connectional Intelligence and will offer an exclusive executive level session following her keynote presentation.

Facilitator: Erica Dhawan

Erica Dhawan is one of today’s most provocative business thinkers. She helps organizations achieve unprecedented impact and meaning by harnessing the power of relationships and networks. The co-author of the book, Get Big Things Done: The Power of Connectional Intelligence, she shows audiences how to maximize their potential and achieve breakthrough performance by developing this crucial ability.

Dhawan revolutionizes how individuals and companies can combine knowledge, ambition, and human capital to forge connections on a global scale. 

She has spoken on global stages ranging from the World Economic Forum at Davos and SXSW to companies like Fedex, Deloitte, Facebook, Pepsico, KPMG, McGraw Hill Financial, A.T. Kearney, Blakes LLP, and Working Mother Media.

Dhawan is a member of the Young Entrepreneur Council, Aspen Institute Socrates Society, TEDx fellows, and World Economic Forum Global Shapers. Previously, she worked at Lehman Brothers and Barclays Capital. She taught leadership at Harvard and MIT while earning her MBA at MIT Sloan and her MPA at Harvard Kennedy School.

Nov. 15, 11:00 - 12:00—Navigating a Turbulent Global Trade Landscape

The U.S. is engaged in a multi-front trade war with no end in sight. The ongoing standoff with China, tensions with Europe, and questions about the renewal of the North American Free Trade Agreement are creating roiling markets and tremendous business uncertainty. What are the drivers of the Trump Administration’s approach to trade, what has been the impact, and where may all of this be heading? Hear from a leading voice in international trade and come away from this session with a new insights and perspectives on one of the most pressing business issues today.

Facilitator: Leslie Griffin

Leslie Griffin is principal of Boston-based Allinea LLC, which provides strategic trade policy and global government relations support to companies and business organizations.

Leslie was previously Senior Vice President for International Public Policy for UPS, Vice President for International Governmental Affairs for New York Life Insurance Company and Managing Director for Asia at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. She also served as Chief of Staff to the Chairman and CEO of New York Life International.

Leslie taught and studied in Nanjing, China and is a member of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations. She serves on the boards of WorldBoston and Bunker Hill Community College and was the 2017-2018 president of Women in International Trade, the Washington, DC-based association representing over 700 trade professionals.

Nov. 15, 11:00 - 12:00—Round Table: Real World Repurchase Obligations

You have run your business well, your ESOP culture is established and successful, and you have excelled at engaging and retaining your employee owners. Now you face a challenge born of your success: As long-term employee owners leave the company and retire, you need to make resources available to buy back their shares. Gain insights and share ideas with your peers on how different ESOP companies respond to this challenge.

Facilitator: Victor Aspengren

A former ESOP company CEO and longtime consultant to ESOP companies, Victor Aspengren brings a unique combination of personal and client-based experiences to any conversation dealing with employee ownership and managing ESOPs.

Nov. 15, 1:30 - 2:30 PM—#MeToo: Why We Fail at Hearing Survivors—and How Not To

The #MeToo movement spurred millions of survivors to share their stories of trauma and abuse. What it didn’t do, unfortunately, was teach us as a society to hear those stories in a respectful, healing way. We are often called to interact with those in trauma: an employee who is a victim of revenge porn, a co-worker who has a terminal illness, a client whose data has been stolen. Without the skills or preparation to handle that discussion effectively, we can botch the interaction, doing further harm to those in trauma and possibly putting our organizations at risk. This session teaches business leaders five things to do that will avoid making things worse, hopefully make them better, and keep organization out of trouble. This helps us all—survivors and listeners alike.

Facilitator: Katharine Manning

For 15 years, Katharine Manning advised the U.S. Department of Justice on its most challenging victim issues in cases ranging from terrorism to large-scale financial fraud to child exploitation. Now, Kate uses her expertise to help government, educational, and corporate institutions prepare for and respond to the challenges they face involving employees and members of the public who may be in trauma, from claims of sexual harassment or assault to large-scale impacts like data theft and workplace violence.

A member of the California bar, Kate also served as an attorney with the law firm Pillsbury Winthrop in San Francisco, where she represented Fortune 500 companies in class actions, insurance, and media cases. She is a graduate of Smith College and the University of Virginia School of Law.