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Kent State Presents Ohio Employee Ownership Conference

Posted Apr, 15, 2010

Kent State University presents the 24th Ohio Employee Ownership Conference on Friday, April 30, at the Hilton West in Fairlawn, Ohio. This year’s conference theme is “Going Forward With a Vision,” inspired by the untimely death last winter of the Ohio Employee Ownership Center’s founder and director, John Logue.

“Ohio along with the rest of the United States, is beginning to see signs of a recovery from the most severe economic crisis of the last seven decades,” said Steve Clem, senior program coordinator of Kent State’s Ohio Employee Ownership Center (OEOC). “Employee-owned companies are certainly not immune to the vagaries of the economy and do not represent a panacea. However, employee ownership and cooperative enterprises often do save jobs and companies, anchor capital locally, benefit local economies and create new wealth for employee owners. Employee-owned companies tend to improve job security while increasing productivity and enhancing employee motivation.”

Participants at the conference will hear from the following speakers:

U.S. Representative Betty Sutton represents the 13th District of Ohio. Now serving her second term, Sutton has dedicated herself to helping to revitalize Northeast Ohio’s economy. The congresswoman sits on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and is co-chair of the Congressional Task Force on Job Creation.

Jack Dover is the senior advisor to Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown. Dover, a native Ohioan, leads Brown’s economic development efforts in Ohio and advises on economic policy issues. He will be speaking on two bills that the senator has co-sponsored that would promote employee ownership and establish a United States Employee Ownership Bank.

Kyle Seymour is the CEO of Xtek, Inc. in Cincinnati. Xtek, with about 300 employees, is a 100 percent employee-owned manufacturer of large rollers, gears, pinions and track wheels that serves steel mills, aluminum mills, shipyards, utility plants and other industries throughout the world.

Over the course of the day-long conference, 19 panels (some featuring CEOs from several of Ohio’s employee-owned companies) will provide participants with the opportunity to learn more about topics ranging from the basics of employee ownership to more technical issues, such as fiduciary responsibility, repurchase obligation and valuation to visions for the next decade of employee ownership.

“Last year’s conference attracted more than 400 people,” Clem said. “Widely regarded as the best one-day conference on employee ownership in the country, this annual event brings together employee owners, both management and shop floor workers to learn how to improve the performances of their companies. The conference also attracts community and economic development professionals, government officials, nonprofit organizations, students and professional service providers.”

The conference will be held Friday, April 30, from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. at the Hilton West in Fairlawn, Ohio. A reception will follow.  Registration begins at 8 a.m. The cost is $100 in advance and $150 at the door. For more information, call 330-672-3028 or visit

The OEOC at Kent State is a non-profit program established in 1987 to provide outreach, information and preliminary technical assistance to Ohio employees and business owners interested in exploring employee ownership. Since its inception, the program has helped about 14,600 Ohio employees become owners.

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Media Contacts:
Steve Clem,, 330-672-0335
Chris Cooper,, 330-672-3028
Bob Burford,, 330-672-8516