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.
In this conversation, speakers discuss the barriers and solutions, 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. It features special remarks from the Honorable Chris Van Hollen (US Senator for the State of Maryland), the Honorable Dean Phillips (US Representative for the State of Minnesota), and the Honorable Blake Moore (US Representative for the State of Utah), followed by a panel discussion with 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), and moderator Jack Moriarty (Founder and Executive Director, Ownership America; Assistant Director for Policy Analysis, Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing, Rutgers University).
This discussion was held on June 14, 2023, as part of the Employee Ownership Ideas Forum, co-hosted by the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program and the Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing at Rutgers University. This two-day convening brought together leading policymakers, practitioners, experts, and the media for a robust discussion on how we can grow employee ownership for the shared benefit of American workers and businesses. Learn more: https://www.aspeninstitute.org/events/employee-ownership-ideas-forum/
Conversations from the Employee Ownership Ideas Forum
- Growing Economic Freedom and Prosperity: The Case for Employee Ownership
- Ownership on the March: Recent Progress in Supporting Employee Ownership
- Unleashing an Ownership Economy: The Role of Government Agencies
- Owning the Future: Creating the Next Generation of Employee Owners
- Rebuilding the Middle Class through Employee Ownership
- Ownership for Equity: Building an Inclusive Economy through Employee Ownership
- Employee Ownership and the Company of the Future
- American Values and the Competitive Advantage of Employee Ownership
The Honorable Chris Van Hollen
U.S. Senator for the state of Maryland
Elected to the United States Senate by the people of Maryland in November 2016, Chris Van Hollen is committed to fighting every day to ensure that our state and our country live up to their full promise of equal rights, equal justice, and equal opportunity. Sen. Van Hollen believes that every child deserves the opportunity to pursue their dreams and benefit from a quality education and that anyone willing to work hard should be able to find a good job. That’s why his top priorities include creating more and better jobs, strengthening small businesses, and increasing educational and job training opportunities for individuals of all ages and in every community.
Sen. Van Hollen started his time in public service as a member of the Maryland State Legislature, where he became known as a tenacious advocate for everyday Marylanders and someone who was unafraid to take on powerful special interests on behalf of working people. In 2002, he was elected to represent Maryland’s 8th Congressional District. In the House of Representatives, he served as a member of the Democratic leadership and was elected by his colleagues to be the Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee and protect vital interests like Social Security and Medicare.
A tireless fighter for the people of Maryland, Sen. Van Hollen has also become known for working hard to find commonsense solutions to difficult national issues. In January 2015, he released a comprehensive plan to address the problem of growing inequality in America and provide a blueprint for building an economy that works for everyone, a goal that he will continue to fight for in the U.S. Senate. Sen. Van Hollen is proud to have worked successfully with members of both parties to pass bipartisan legislation whenever possible on issues of common concern, including expanding medical research, protecting the Chesapeake Bay, fighting childhood cancer, and passing the ABLE Act to assist families with children with disabilities. Sen. Van Hollen is a graduate of Swarthmore College, the John F. Kennedy School of Public Policy at Harvard University, and Georgetown University Law Center, where he attended night school. He and his wife, Katherine Wilkens, are the proud parents of three children, Anna, Nicholas, and Alexander.
The Honorable Dean Phillips
US Congressman for the State of Minnesota
The Honorable Blake Moore
US Congressman for the State of Utah
A native of Ogden, Blake is a proactive problem solver committed to representing each and every constituent of Utah’s First District. He is dedicated to reflecting Utah’s values in Congress and finding solutions to the challenges facing the district and the state. Advocating for inclusive, pro-growth, and aspirational principles, Blake is amplifying Northern Utah’s voice on a national level to ensure Utahns receive the service and representation they deserve. Blake currently serves as the first-ever Utah Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee, where he sits on the Healthcare, Social Security, and Work and Welfare subcommittees. He also serves on the House Budget Committee to push for policies to reverse our national debt crisis and advocate for Utah’s defense community. His passion for helping organizations manage the change process drives his ambition to overcome partisan gridlock, improve federal agencies, and smartly streamline the nation’s bureaucracy. Blake continues to represent Hill Air Force Base as co-chair of the Armed Forces and Depot caucuses. Before being elected to Congress, Blake worked for small businesses and in the foreign service, experiences that now guide his work on domestic and foreign policy. Blake obtained a Master’s in Public Policy and Administration from Northwestern University. He is married to Jane Boyer, his amazing, humorous, and very candid wife, who encourages him to take risks and pursue big things. Blake and Jane have four awesome and active boys who keep them on their toes!
Managing Director, ESOP Advisory Group Head,
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Regina Carls is Managing Director of the ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) Advisory Group. She is dedicated to helping bankers and their privately held clients evaluate the benefits of selling stock to an ESOP and therefore creating liquidity for the owners in the transaction. Regina was responsible for the initial development of the ESOP Advisory Group. She quickly became a liaison with all areas of the firm assisting in the analysis and structuring of complex ESOP financings. Regina has been with J.P. Morgan for 30 years. Prior to spearheading the ESOP Advisory Group, she was a division manager within Middle Market Banking. She has gained broad experience during her career within the firm. Regina received a Bachelor of Business degree in Finance from the University of Iowa and holds a Master of Business Administration from DePaul University. She is licensed by FINRA with a Series 24, Series 63 and Series 79. Regina is a recognized expert and frequent speaker in the ESOP Community. In 2014, Regina was appointed to the Advisory Committee of ESCA (Employee-Owned S Corporations of America). She is a member of the ESOP Association headquartered in Washington, D.C and serves on their Banking and Finance Committee. Additionally, Regina is an active member of the National Center for Employee Ownership and Ohio Employee Ownership Center.
Senior Manager of Policy and Programs, US Impact Investing Alliance
John is Senior Manager, Policy & Programs, at the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance. The Alliance is a non-profit organization dedicated to building the impact investing ecosystem by bridging market gaps and addressing shared challenges. At the Alliance, John helps to lead a range of program areas, including public policy advocacy, investor engagement and education, and the work of the Global Steering Group on Impact Investing. Prior to joining the Alliance in 2017, John was Associate Director for Social Innovation at the Council on Foundations, where he created impact investing programs to educate and train community, corporate and private. He has also worked with the Inter-American Development Bank, White House Business Council, U.S. State Department, and Morgan Stanley.
Founder, Partner at Mosaic Capital
Bill currently sits on the Board of Directors of Express Medical Transporters, ETAK Systems, and Linxx Global Solutions.
Prior to founding Mosaic Capital, Bill was Head of Corporate Credit for Deerfield Capital Management and Managing Director with Babson Capital Management. Bill is a graduate of The Citadel where he was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army. Mosaic Capital provides mezzanine debt and equity to middle market companies with greater than $10 million in revenues for change of control transactions. We recognize that a family-owned business is more than a means of wealth creation. It’s the manifestation of optimism, determination and a willingness to take risks – key values worthy of passing on to the next generation of family, management and employees.
Co-Founder, Apis & Heritage Capital Partners
Todd is Co-Founder of Apis & Heritage Capital Partners, an impact-focused private equity firm that looks to address the nation’s racial wealth gap by using the power of employee ownership. Prior to co-founding Apis & Heritage, Todd was the Program Manager of Legacy Business Initiatives at the Democracy At Work Institute, a national nonprofit that leverages employee ownership models as tools for racial and social equity. Todd is also a former Wall Streeter, start-up co-founder, and independent business consultant who has dedicated his life and career to leveraging the tools and best practices of big business to empower communities of color. He received his JD/MBA from Columbia University and is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Morehouse College.
Jack Moriarty (Moderator)
Founder and Executive Director of Ownership America,
Assistant Director for Policy Analysis, Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing, Rutgers University
Jack Moriarty is the Assistant Director for Policy Analysis, Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing, Rutgers University. He is also the Founder and Executive Director of Ownership America, a think tank building the next generation ownership society. Ownership America is creating a movement for broad participation in ownership through policy development and organizing coalitions of grassroots advocates and across the country. Prior to Ownership America, Jack held a number of strategy and operations roles at early-stage healthcare delivery and technology companies. Jack received his MBA from the Cornell Johnson Graduate School of Management where he was a Roy H. Park Leadership Fellow and named a 2020 “MBA to Watch” by Poets & Quants. Jack is the Policy Institute Analysis Fellow at the Rutgers Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing and was named to the Massachusetts Baby Bonds Task Force by Treasurer Deb Goldberg in 2022. He holds a BA and MA in Political Science from Boston University and is an AmeriCorps alumnus.