ESOPs= Good for Texas

Paving the path for a better way of doing business through Employee Owned (ESOP) Companies 

Texas ESOP Initiative Mission

We are dedicated to the idea that majority-owned Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) 

companies in Texas should be recognized as a better way of doing business.


Our 2019 Initiative:

Texas State Senator Beverly Powell filed a bill with our support.

Texas House Representative Hugh Shine filed a bill with our support.

We are looking for Texas ESOP company partners to help 

fund this project and serve as authorities to state legislators who are evaluating the benefit of ESOPs.

Find out more

Partner with Texas ESOP Initiative

Sign up to stay informed on our mission and progress.

Reasons to Support

Benefits Everyone

ESOPs (employee owned companies) have women, minority, and veterans in leadership and should receive elevated status when bidding on projects. Giving employee owned businesses elevated status benefits employees, women, minorities, disabled vets -- young and old. 

Offers Legacy Plan

The new ESOP status would allow HUB companies a natural ownership transition path. Existing HUBs headed by women, minorities, and vets now can sell their business to their employees as an option for their own retirement and still maintain contracting preference and a stable workplace.

Grows the Texas Economy

With access to additional bidding opportunities, it's good for employees and great for the Texas economy!  

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Background

Legislative Update

In 2017, a mammoth effort was undertaken at the State Capitol to promote ESOPs via H.B. 4171. While the effort was strong, it failed due to the highly contentious legislative environment hallmarked by issues such as immigration, transgender bathrooms and many others. 


Today is a new day and the 86th Texas Legislature appears to more interested in working together than wrangling over highly partisan issues. We have a new Speaker of the House in Rep. Dennis Bonnen R- Angleton. We have a new Business and Industry Chairman Rep. Trey Martinez-Fisher D-San Antonio. 

And most importantly we have new legislation H.B. 1198 authored by our good friend Rep. Hugh Shine R- Temple and S.B.1650 authored by State Senator Beverly Powell. This bill is different from the bill we advanced last session. We think it’s much better!


Passing H.B. 1198 and S.B. 1650 will take everyone’s best effort. There are 450-plus Texas companies with an ESOP with more than 100,000 participants  (excluding things like large public companies).  The Texas Association of Business and the National Federation of Independent Business of Texas supports the passage of HB1198 / SB 1650. We can do this!


What S.B. 1650 & H.B. 1198 Does

*The bill allows a professional corporation to organize as ESOPS as long as ALL of the voting trustees are licensed.


*The bill establishes the Employee Ownership Assistance Office in the Office of the Governor / Texas Economic Development and Tourism Office


*The bill allows certified HUBs to transition to an ESOP structure without forfeiting HUB status.


*The bill creates contracting preferences for ESOPs for the state, cities, counties, and special districts.

Learn How you can help

Download and read our bills in the Texas Legislature

Both political sides embrace ESOPs

Democrat President Barack Obama

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"The idea behind these ESOPs is that if employees have a piece of the action—they’re essentially shareholders in these companies—then you are aligning the interests of workers with the interests of the company as a whole. It’s something that can help grow companies, because the workers feel like they’re working for themselves, and they’re putting more of themselves into their job each and every day. I think that it’s something that can be encouraged." 

Republican President Ronald Reagan

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"I can’t help but believe that in the future we will see in the United States and throughout the western world an increasing trend toward the next logical step, employee ownership. It is a path that benefits a free people." 

Testimonals

Corey Rosen

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Founder, National Center for Employee Ownership

"The next step to grow employee ownership in the U.S. needs to be at the state level. This initiative is a good first step for Texas to become a leader in that effort." 

Anne Davison

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President,  RFD & Associates, Inc. 

"RFD has been a successful woman-owned IT Sales & Services business in Austin for over 30 years. Our primary client is The State of Texas.  Recently, RFD converted part of the business to an ESOP benefiting our employees, many of whom have been with RFD for decades.  We will eventually transition to being fully employee owned (full ESOP).  Retaining our HUB status will allow RFD to continue to serve our Texas clients as we have always done." 

Michael Keeling

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Former President, The ESOP Association

"While many states have enacted laws providing incentives for ESOP creation and operation, [if this bill] became the law of Texas, it would set a precedent for similar preference in other state laws, and perhaps the Federal 8(a) program. Since Texas' Constitution provides that the Legislature meet regularly only once every two years, with each session ending in the May timeframe, the possibility of having the law changed is two years in the future unless the Legislature takes action this session. Mike Hart, Founder & Chairman of EEA Consulting Engineers is leading a grassroots Texas effort to have the Texas law amended." 

How you can help

Sign the belief statement

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Join other Texas ESOPs in supporting H.B. 1198 by signing the Belief Statement below in the "Join our Cause" section. We'd like to increase our coalition of ESOPs.

Invest in the cause

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To ensure victory in the legislature, support our efforts. Contact Mike Hart at MikeHart@texasesop.org or 512-744-4400 for details on how to send funds and be a part of this great cause.

Contact your legislators

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Call, email, and meet your state senator and house representative to express your support for H.B. 1198 and to ask for their support in co-sponsoring it and in voting for it. Find out who represents you here.

Share with others

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We need your help to spread awareness of this initiative to your fellow employees and other Texas ESOP companies. Check out what the National Center for Employee Ownership recently wrote here about our efforts.

Volunteer to testify at hearing

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We're looking for volunteers to testify at the House hearing about how ESOPs work and why this bill is good for business. If interested contact MikeHart@texasesop.org

Invest In Our Cause

All sponsor contributions (100%) raised will go to pay Potomac Strategy Group and Texas Solutions Group, the political arm of Texas ESOP Initiative. 


Certified Employee Owned is collecting and dispersing funds as a courtesy service for the purposes of advancing Texas ESOP state legislation. Make your check out to "Ownership Alliance, PBC" with "Texas ESOP Initiative" in the memo line and send to 

Certified Employee Owned  

 345 California St. Suite 600, San Francisco, CA 94104 


Or you may donate online below now.


Pay with PayPal or a debit/credit card

Sponsorship Levels in 2017 & 2019

For FULL transparency, we will send an accounting to all donors at the end of the Texas Session. Also, If we raise more money than we spend and are successful in getting our bill passed this session, we will donate the balance of funds to the ESOP Association Foundation. If we fail to get the bill passed this session, we will spend any excess funds to work toward a plan for next session.

Written Testimony: Business & Industry House Committee Hearing

These letters of support for H.B. 4171 were submitted as part of our written testimony to the Business and Industry House Committee in conjunction with verbal testimony given April 17, 2017. 


If you would like to submit written testimony as a part of our 86th Legislature effort for SB 1650 and HB 1198 or 

show up to testify in the committee hearing, please contact us. 

Leadership

Mike Hart

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 Founder, Texas ESOP Initiative 


As president at EEA Consulting Engineers, Mike has been with the company since he founded it in 1977. EEA has been an ESOP since 2015 specializing in traditional facility design and remodeling, to commissioning, and energy conservation projects worldwide with licenses in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. 

Thomas Dudley

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  Advisor, Texas ESOP Initiative  


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

Team

Jeff Heckler

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Primary Lobbyist, Texas ESOP Initiative 


As founder of Texas Solutions Group in 1993, Jeff brings his prior experience as Chief of Staff to a Texas Senator and leverages relationships to accomplish goals. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Texas Association of Business and The Austin Club as well as serves on the City of Austin's Solid Waste Advisory Committee.

Lauren Day

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Marketing Director, Texas ESOP Initiative

President at GoodBuzz Solutions, Lauren harnesses the best of marketing, communications, and events to empower the brands of entrepreneurs, public figures, and organizational leaders to become more visible so they can achieve their goals and be the best. 

Matt Mackowiak

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Political Director, Texas ESOP Initiative


As president of Potomac Strategy Group, Matt provides political consulting to campaigns and media relations/crisis communications assistance to companies, groups and individuals. He's served two U.S. Senators and a Governor, in the Bush administration, and in winning campaigns. 

Join the Cause

I believe majority owned ESOPs are good for Texas

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Texas ESOP Initiative

6615 Vaught Ranch Rd, Suite 100, Austin, TX 78730, US

MikeHart@texasesop.org --or-- (512) 744-4400