My grandfather, Lambert Berger, was a businessman in Johnstown, CO. He believed that businesses should support their communities, and communities should support their businesses. His belief that “we’re all in this together” helped create a thriving local economy in my hometown.
Today, I work to elevate and perpetuate his legacy by helping employee-owners who are supporting their own communities through their businesses. Among the many organizations I give my time to, I’m proud to serve on the RMEOC board, as it was the first not-for-profit in Colorado to develop a grassroots, cohesive effort to highlight the importance of employee ownership.
At the time I joined RMEOC, I was living an employee ownership experience at New Belgium Brewing and saw the power of EO and how it plays a vital role in the performance of a company and the local economy. It was clear to me that I wanted to be part of the employee ownership movement and the founders of RMEOC paint a compelling picture, filled with heart and passion, of what we could do to make our economy work for more people right in our backyards and on our main streets.
Employee ownership is one of those rare things that is both bipartisan and multifaceted. It can be a tool for corporate finance, a long-term wealth-building opportunity for employees, and a channel to build a more participative and accountable workplace. It helps to build local economies when we experience so much business consolidation. And, most personally, it is my way of paying homage to my grandfather and the leadership role he played in helping build community and entrepreneurship in our hometown. The various forms of employee ownership need to be a consideration for more ownership succession transitions.