Coming in April: The Festival of Engaged Stakeholders
By Anthony Mathews
It is once again that wondrous time of the year when the employee ownership elves are hard at work preparing for the annual "festival of engaged stakeholders," or as most people call it, the NCEO/Beyster Institute Employee Ownership conference.
This year's meeting is being held at the Westin Seattle Hotel from April 24-26, with special pre-conference sessions on equity compensation and fiduciary concerns on April 23. The early signs are that this year's conference again will set records for both attendance and content, so if you are planning to attend, it would be wise to register sooner than later, as hotel space is filling fast.
Over the three-plus decades that this conference has been held, the National Center for Employee Ownership (with our help in recent years) has set the bar very high. This year is no exception. We are all approaching this year's effort with an absolute commitment to outdo the people we were a year ago and make the conference even better than it has ever been before.
Innovations for 2013 include a new track of sessions set at 45 minutes that allow important topics to be treated thoroughly and efficiently on their own rather than being buried in a larger topic or (heaven help us) expanded artificially to fill an hour and 15 minutes. This year's conference also includes an expanded awards program that honors both innovation and excellence in execution. The innovations are myriad and can be expected to add a lot to the experience.
The reliable core of the conference is the most thorough menu of general and break-out sessions offered in any conference in the country with multiple opportunities to see the most timely presentations and with all presentations delivered by the most respected professionals and company representatives in the nation.
By far, though, the most valuable opportunity presented by the conference will, as always, be the opportunity to engage with other employee ownership companies to learn from their experience, to share yours and among all of you to improve the practice for us all. It is possible that our broad-based capital structure is an answer to many of the ills that plague us and our economy as it struggles to return to good health. We hope to see you there!