- About VEOC
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We also offer free workshops on employee ownership throughout Vermont.
Since 2003, the VEOC has presented annual full-day conferences on employee ownership, which attract between 150 and 200 attendees per year. These are aimed at employee-owners in established employee-owned companies, business owners considering employee ownership, and people interested in the potential of employee ownership to preserve jobs and stabilize communities.
What’s New at VEOC
The staff and Board of Directors of VEOC would like to welcome our new board members Tommy Harmon, Geoffrey Hesslink, and Mary Steiger.
Tommy Harmon is the President and CEO of Sonnax Industries, based in Bellows Falls, VT. Tommy joined Sonnax in 1996 as CFO. In 1999, he became the COO and led Sonnax through multiple years of double-digit growth. In 2005, he and a former VP of Sales acquired the company. Tommy and Rick Fritz acquired the first partner’s shares in 2006, resulting in Tommy becoming the majority shareholder. On January 3, 2011 Tommy and Rick sold 100% of Sonnax to an ESOP.
Geoffrey Hesslink has served as Senior Vice President and Senior Lending Officer of Merchants Bank since January 2006. Prior to that time, Mr. Hesslink served as Vice President and Corporate Banking Officer of Merchants Bank, a position he held since 1996.
Mary Steiger earned her graduate degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Medicine and Dentistry and her undergraduate degree from St. Michael’s College. She has served on the Advisory board of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at UVM for 5 years. She owned a private physical therapy practice in New Jersey for 12 years prior to moving to Vermont. She has held several managerial positions for successful PT practices in Chittenden County and is now very excited to join her friends and colleagues at PT360°.
We would also like to gratefully acknowledge the contributions of departing board members Jack Davidson and Stephen Magowan. We will miss both Jack’s and Steve’s many fine contributions to our discussions, their senses of humor and their great enthusiasm for employee ownership. We are very appreciative of Steve’s help in forming the VEOC, and his willingness to share his deep knowledge of ESOPs with us.
We are pleased to announce that our new website is up and running. We invite you to visit us at www.veoc.org to learn more about our upcoming events regarding employee ownership and worker cooperatives. We welcome all questions and requests for information and assistance at our new phone number, 802-321-8362.
VEOC hires new staff member. VEOC has hired Deborah Nedde to assist Jon Crystal, Executive Director of VEOC, and Don Jamison, Program Director, in the day-to-day operations of VEOC. Prior to joining VEOC, Nedde was a business owner and entrepreneur in Chittenden County for 25 years. She holds a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Marlboro College, as well as a BA from Burlington College and an MA from Vermont College.
“I’m very much looking forward to helping VEOC reach increasing numbers of Vermont business owners and employees with our educational and consulting offerings. I am committed to assisting business owners and employees of Vermont by providing them with access to the information they need to make informed decisions regarding employee ownership, worker cooperatives, and owner succession, and how these choices can help retain good jobs and increase employee quality of life in Vermont.”
Nedde will be responsible for PR and marketing efforts, conference planning and promotion, and newsletter production.