past event
Employment and Jobs

Day One Agenda – Wednesday, June 14


9:00 am – 10:00 am ET
Light Refreshments and Networking

10:00 am – 10:15 am ET
Welcome from Maureen Conway, a Vice President at the Aspen Institute and Executive Director of the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program, and Joseph Blasi, J. Robert Beyster Distinguished Professor, Rutgers University and Director of the Rutgers Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing.

Opening remarks from Elliot Gerson, Executive Vice President of the Aspen Institute and Adrienne Eaton, Dean at the School of Management and Labor Relations, Rutgers University.

10:15 am – 11:30 am ET
I – Growing Economic Freedom and Prosperity: The Case for Employee Ownership

Employee ownership empowers workers to have greater freedom over their economic future and provides them with a greater return on their hard work. By giving workers a stake in the business, workers in employee-owned firms become more invested in the business’s success, which in turn helps drive productivity, innovation, and profitability. Speakers will highlight the benefits of employee ownership and the experiences and important contributions of employee-owned businesses to workers and the US economy.

– The Honorable Ben Cardin, US Senator for the State of Maryland
– The Honorable Chrissy Houlahan, US Congresswoman for the State of Pennsylvania
– Joseph Blasi, J. Robert Beyster Distinguished Professor, Director, Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing, Rutgers University
– Heather Braimbridge-Cox, President and CEO, Windings, Inc.
– Jen Briggs, Founding Partner of GRITT Business Coaching, Member of the Colorado Employee Ownership Commision
– Alex Brill, Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute

– Moderator – Zach Warmbrodt, Financial Services Editor, Politico

Watch Panel

11:45 am – 1:00 pm ET
II – Ownership on the March: Recent Progress in Supporting Employee Ownership

Congress has taken important steps in the last couple of years to support the growth of employee ownership in the US. Bipartisan legislation such as the Main Street Employee Ownership Act and the WORK Act have recently passed and hold great potential for helping more businesses to become employee-owned through ESOPs and worker-owned cooperatives. Speakers will discuss the implications of recent legislation and what more needs to be done to help more workers become owners.

– James Bonham, President, The ESOP Association
– Ken Baker, CEO, NewAge Industries
– Ike Brannon, President, Capitol Policy Analytics and Senior Fellow at the Jack Kemp Foundation
Haydee Caldero, Senior Vice President / Finance & Strategy, Crêpes à Latte

– Moderator – Eleanor Mueller, Economics Reporter, Politico


1:00 pm – 1:45 pm ET
Lunch Break

1:45 pm – 3:15 pm ET
III – Unleashing an Ownership Economy: The Role of Government Agencies

Government has played a critical role throughout the history of the US in launching and supporting employee ownership. Today, the Departments of Treasury, Commerce, Agriculture, Labor, and the Small Business Administration support employee ownership through financing and lending, regulatory reform, technical assistance, market development, and more as they help business owners, workers, and local governments across red and blue states to grow worker ownership. Come learn and discuss what the Executive Branch is currently doing to support employee ownership and how those efforts can be improved to offer more workers a shot at the American Dream through ownership.

Rajesh Nayak, Assistant Secretary for Policy, US Department of Labor
– Dr. Karama Neal, Administrator, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, US Department of Agriculture
Melissa Hoover, Senior Fellow at the Rutgers Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing, and Founder and Co-Executive Director, Democracy at Work Institute
– David Hincapie, Economic Development Specialist, Veteran Business Development Officer, Washington Metropolitan Area District Office, U.S. Small Business Administration

Moderator – Maureen Conway, The Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program


3:30 pm – 4:45 pm ET
IV – Owning the Future: Creating the Next Generation of Employee Owners

US businesses and workers are currently at a critical crossroads. Millions of baby boomers will soon retire and sell their businesses, transitioning trillions of dollars of wealth in the process. This transition, along with the continued strength and profit growth of large corporations in the US, has created a once in a generation opportunity for millions of workers to share in the profits of their labor and become business owners. Many barriers, however, stand in the way of the US realizing this opportunity and new policy innovations are needed to address these obstacles. Speaker will discuss the barriers and solutions to, including proposed legislation, to capitalize on the growing number of business owners selling their businesses to build a future where American workers’ path to prosperity is self-determined.

– The Honorable Chris Van Hollen, US Senator for the State of Maryland
– The Honorable Dean Phillips, US Congressman for the State of Minnesota
– The Honorable Blake Moore, US Congressman for the State of Utah
– Regina Carls, Managing Director, ESOP Advisory Group Head, JPMorgan & Chase Co
John Cochrane, Senior Manager of Policy and Programs, US Impact Investing Alliance
Bill Hayes, Founder and Managing Partner, Mosaic Capital Partners
– Todd Leverette, Partner, Apis and Heritage

Moderator – Jack Moriarty, Founder and Executive Director, Ownership America and
Assistant Director for Policy Analysis, Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing, Rutgers University


4:45 pm – 5:00 pm ET
Closing Remarks from Sarah Keh, Vice President of Inclusive Solutions, Prudential Financial

Event information
Wed Jun 14, 2023
9:00am - 5:00pm EDT
U.S. Capitol Visitors Center (by invitation) & via Zoom