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About Us

Our Mission

Certified Employee-Owned exists to build an employee-owned economy. Through our certification, we are creating national recognition for EO and publicizing the benefits that employee-owned companies offer to working people, customers, and local communities.

Our Vision

We are building a future where employee-owned companies are a large portion of the economy - where the benefits of employee ownership are widely recognized, and EO is seen as one of the defining aspects of a great business. In this future, employee-owned companies will be the employer of choice for millions of job seekers, and being employee-owned will be a major differentiator with clients and consumers. Employee-owned will be synonymous with high quality, great customer service, and well-paying, stable jobs. State and local governments will understand that employee-owned companies are tied to local communities in ways that strengthen local economies. Employee-owners and employee-owned companies will identify as being part of a common movement and will work together to build the employee-owned economy.

Team

Isabel Ajuria

Isabel Ajuria

Director of Membership

Isabel helps employee-owned companies utilize Certified EO and take full advantage of their membership. She is a lawyer that previously worked with emerging companies, and channels her client services experience with start-ups directly into helping employee-owned companies.

Isabel graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in Art History and a Minor in Psychology, and has a J.D. from New York University School of Law.

Kramer Sharp

Kramer Sharp

CTO

Kramer uses his software engineering background to lead technical and operational projects for Certified EO. He co-founded Certified EO after Thomas introduced him to the concept of employee ownership and realized finding and supporting EO companies was too difficult.

Kramer graduated from the University of Virginia with an M.S. in Management of Information Technology, a B.A. in Computer Science, and a B.A. in Economics.

Thomas Dudley

Thomas Dudley

CEO

Thomas is a passionate advocate for employee-owned companies. He leads recruitment for Certified EO and works closely with members. Thomas co-founded Certified EO while working on a PhD in Organizational Behavior at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Thomas graduated from Stanford University with an M.S. in Statistics and the University of Virginia with a B.S. in Physics and a B.A. in Mathematics.

Advisors

Camille Kerr

Camille Kerr

Camille is the Associate Director of the ICA Group, and serves on the board of Prospera. She is a lawyer, business consultant, speaker, writer, and advocate for all forms of employee ownership.

Christopher Michael, Esq.

Christopher Michael, Esq.

Chris is Director of Employee Ownership at the Newark Community Economic Development Corporation, the primary economic development agency for the city of Newark, NJ. He is also a Ph.D. candidate at the City of University of New York, where he is completing a dissertation on the history of employee ownership in the United States.

Corey Rosen

Corey Rosen

Corey is the senior staff member and founder of the National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO). He is the author of more than 100 articles and numerous books on employee ownership.

Halisi Vinson

Halisi Vinson

Halisi is the Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Employee Ownership Center. She does business development, marketing, and consulting for businesses, nonprofits, and faith-based organizations.

Martin Staubus

Martin Staubus

Martin is the Executive Director of the Beyster Institute at UC San Diego's Rady School of Management. He has advised hundreds of companies on the creation of employee ownership programs.

Melissa Hoover

Melissa Hoover

Melissa Hoover is the founding Executive Director of the Democracy at Work Institute. She helped start and grow the United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives.

Richard Freeman

Richard Freeman

Richard holds the Herbert Ascherman Chair in Economics at Harvard University. He has made major contributions the field of labor economics, including a multitude of studies on employee ownership.

Partnerships

50 by 50

50 by 50

The 50 by 50 initiative is a movement to reach 50 million employee ownerships by 2050. The goal is to make a quarter of American workers employee-owners ― an "audacious but attainable goal." The 50 by 50 initiative was launched in 2016 and Certified EO is a member of the design team.

American Sustainable Business Council

American Sustainable Business Council

American Sustainable Business Council believes support for worker-owned companies can play a powerful role in building a sustainable economy and restoring the American Dream to the millions who continue to struggle. ASBC is a network of businesses committed to People, Planet, and Profit.

Pennsylvania Center for Employee Ownership

Pennsylvania Center for Employee Ownership

The Pennsylvania Center for Employee Ownership (PCEO) promotes better understanding of the values of employee ownership among business leaders, public officials, employees, members of the media, students, teachers, nonprofit leaders, consumers, and other persons and organizations in Pennsylvania.

RM2 Partnership

RM2 Partnership

The RM2 Partnership designs, implements and administers employee ownership programs for private companies in the UK. Their dedicated team of advisors has decades of experience with employee ownership and has implemented over 1,000 programs.

Rocky Mountain Employee Ownership Center

Rocky Mountain Employee Ownership Center

Rocky Mountain Employee Ownership Center takes an active leadership role in advancing employee-ownership in the Rocky Mountain region as a means of preserving & building strong local economies, and alleviating wealth & income inequities.

Vermont Employee Ownership Center

Vermont Employee Ownership Center

The Vermont Employee Ownership Center is a statewide non-profit whose mission is to promote and foster employee ownership in order to broaden capital ownership, deepen employee participation, retain jobs, increase living standards for working families, and stabilize communities.

Ownership Alliance

Ownership Alliance is a public benefit corporation that exists to promote fair and just forms of ownership of economic organizations.

We are focused on using Certified EO to build a voice for employee ownership in America. When employees own a piece of the company they work for, they share in the value they create at work. By closing the loop between ownership and value creation, employee-owned companies open new frontiers of participation in capitalism. In a world where wealth inequality is at historic levels, economic growth is slowing down, and good jobs are scarce, employee ownership offers a modern vision for the American dream.

At Ownership Alliance we take a big tent stance and support all forms of employee ownership. Our simple definition of employee-owned abstracts away from the specific employee ownership models and gets at the core of the issue – creating wealth for working people. Members of Certified EO include companies owned through employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), as worker cooperatives, by perpetual trusts, and even through direct share ownership. Our definition could be applied to companies implementing employee ownership through stock options, as public companies, or even through legal vehicles that have not yet been imagined. So long as a company meets our standards, they can become a Certified EO company.