We are a community of business people who have seen the transformative power of employee ownership – for businesses, communities and individuals – first hand. The members of our Board jointly have over 160 years of business experience, including over 100 years leading employee-owned firms. Those companies have a combined total of nearly 1,200 employee-owners with holdings over $100 million.

Staff

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Steve Storkan • Executive Director of the EOeX

Steve Storkan has been involved with employee stock ownership plans for over 25 years, most recently as the Director of ESOP Administration for Alerus Retirement and Benefits where he worked closely with businesses in the creation of an ESOP and the technical administration and compliance required in subsequent years. Steve spent 11 years as a member of the Board of Directors of the Minnesota-Dakotas Chapter of the ESOP Association where also served as Chapter President and VP of Government Relations. Steve holds a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) designation from the University of Minnesota State Mankato.

Board of Directors

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Victor Aspengren • Director, Prairie Capital Advisors

Victor Aspengren has been heavily involved in ownership transition work for over fifteen years. As part of Prairie Capital Advisors, Mr. Aspengren provides national business owner clients transition planning and implementation needs. As former CEO at ESOP-owned companies, he has lived the ownership transition experience. Mr. Aspengren is a past chair of the board of directors of the National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO), and has served on the board of The ESOP Association. Mr. Aspengren is also a member of the Cooperative Charitable Trust employee ownership forum. He holds a Master of Public Administration from Drake University and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Iowa State University.

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Ken Baker • CEO, NewAge Industries

Ken Baker is the CEO of NewAge Industries, a plastic and rubber tubing and hose manufacturer and RFID tag solutions provider located in Southampton, Pennsylvania. In 2006, Ken established the company’s Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), and its employees now own 49% of the company. He is a founding member and Chairman of Pennsylvania Center for Employee Ownership (PaCEO), and spends time speaking about ESOPs to other CEOs at local and national events. He is a Member of the Foundation board of Montgomery County Community College. Ken is also a generous contributor to local and national charities.

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James Steiker • Chairman and CEO, SES ESOP Strategies

James G. Steiker is a corporate, pension and tax attorney and financial advisor with more than 30 years of experience in Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) and other employee ownership matters, focusing primarily on ESOP design, transactions and compliance in entrepreneurial companies. Jim is the past Chair of the ESOP Association’s Advisory Committee on Finance and currently serves on the ESOP Association Board of Governors. He is also a past trustee of the Employee Ownership Foundation and a past member of the Board of Directors of the National Center for Employee Ownership. He is a frequent speaker and author on ESOP matters and serves as a director of nine ESOP companies. Jim is a graduate of New York University School of Law, where he was a Root-Tilden-Snow Scholar, and of Wesleyan University.

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Cindy Turcot • President, Gardener's Supply Company

Cindy is the President of Gardener's Supply Company in Burlington, VT, the nation’s leading retail, online and catalog distributer of garden equipment and supplies. Cindy’s company is 100% employee owned. She was the Founding Chair of the Vermont Employee Ownership Center, is a Trustee of the Employee Ownership Foundation and is Past Chair of The ESOP Association.  Gardener’s Supply is nationally recognized for their employee participation and communication and was Company of the Year for the ESOP Association in 2018.  Cindy is a driving force and leading expert on why State Employee Ownership Centers are crucial for the increase of employee ownership in this country.

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Cecil Ursprung (EOeX Chair) • CEO Emeritus, Reflexite Corporation

Cecil Ursprung recently retired as CEO of Reflexite Corporation after 25 years. Reflexite's ESOP was established in 1984. In addition to serving as the Chair of the State Center Task Force, Cecil formerly served as the NCEO board's co-chair and VP, Government Relations, New England Chapter of The ESOP Association. He has worked on helping to grow more active relationships with the other organizations serving the ESOP community. One example is the ROOF steering committee, which has members from throughout the ownership community. Cecil currently serves on the boards of two ESOP companies.