Kent State University’s Ohio Employee Ownership Center Hosts 31st Annual Ohio Employee Ownership Conference

Kent State University’s Ohio Employee Ownership Center (OEOC) will host the 31st Annual Ohio Employee Ownership Conference on Friday, April 28, 2017, at the Hilton West in Fairlawn, Ohio.

This year’s keynote speaker is Cindy Turcot, Chief Operating Officer of Gardener’s Supply Co. in Burlington, Vermont, the nation’s largest catalog and web marketer of gardening products. Turcot is a nationally recognized speaker on ownership culture, open book and participatory management structures. During her term as COO, she has been instrumental in growing the company to more than 275 employee owners, and guided the company to 100% employee ownership in 2009. She recently served as the chair of The ESOP Association, a national association of companies with Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs).

In addition, we will be honoring two very special companies with our annual employee ownership awards: 2017 John Logue Employee Ownership Excellence Award: The Ruhlin Company in Akron, Ohio and the 2017 OEOC ESOP Impact Award: Robin Industries, Inc. in Independence, Ohio.

Also, the following companies will be celebrating milestones of employee ownership:

  • 5 Years: The Brewer Company, Duramax Marine, The Equity Engineering Group, Robin Industries
  • 10 years: Palmer-Donavin, Herbert Rowland & Grubic, Hy-Tek Material Handling, Mills James Productions, PLAN-E-TECH, Universal Oil
  • 15 Years: Aero-Mark, Inc.;
  • 20 Years: Bardons & Oliver, The Paquin Company, Hammontree & Associates, Falcon Foundry
  • 25 Years: Ever-Roll Specialties Co, Joy Cone;
  • 30 Years: GBS Corporation, Webster Industries, SJE Rhombus, Joseph Industries
  • 35 Years: Nyhart
  • 40 Years: The Ruhlin Company

Widely regarded as one of the best one-day conferences 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. Over the course of the day, 16 panels will explore the cutting edge of issues for existing employee owned companies (whether new or “mature”), as well as a series of panels for small business owners exploring whether employee ownership can be the right tool in their ownership succession plan.

The conference will be held from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. on Friday, April 28, at the Hilton in Fairlawn, Ohio, followed by a reception until 6 p.m. Registration begins at 8 a.m. The cost is $195 in advance and $225 at the door. For more information, call 330-672-3028 or visit

Kent State’s OEOC 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 OEOC has helped more than 15,000 Ohio employees become owners.

For more information, visit

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Media Contacts:
Chris Cooper,, 330-672-3028
Kristin Anderson,, 330-672-7907

POSTED: Friday, April 7, 2017 01:43 PM
Updated: Thursday, December 8, 2022 09:31 PM