Blake Jones Confirmed as Keynote for 2020 Annual Conference!

The VEOC is pleased to announce that the keynote speaker for this year's Vermont Employee Ownership Conference on will be Blake Jones!

Blake Jones PhotoBlake is Co-Founder of Namaste Solar, an employee-owned cooperative and solar electric company based in Colorado. Founded in 2004, Namaste Solar is democratically owned and governed by its 200+ employees and is a certified B-Corp. Among its business practices are a 6:1 cap for highest-to-lowest pay, donating 10% of after-tax profits to the community, and being 100% transparent with all company information (including salaries). Due to its unique business model, Namaste Solar has earned widespread recognition including a “Best Place to Work” award from Outside Magazine (2013-2018), a “Best for the World” designation from B Lab (2012-2014), a “Most Democratic Workplace” award from Worldblu (2010-2014), and a #56 ranking on the “Inc. 500” (2009).  Blake is a cooperative enthusiast and is a co-founder of three other cooperatives:  (1) Clean Energy Credit Union, a new federally chartered credit union that provides loans exclusively for clean energy (and energy saving) projects throughout the USA; (2) Amicus Solar Cooperative, a purchasing cooperative and certified B-Corp that is democratically owned by 55+ solar installation companies throughout North America; and (3) Kachuwa Impact Fund, an investment cooperative and impact investing fund with multiple impact themes including renewable energy, cooperatives, certified B-Corps, and companies that are majority-owned by women, people of color, and/or employees. Blake is a 2010 Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” award recipient and has a BE in Civil Engineering from Vanderbilt University.

In addition to his keynote talk, Blake plans to participate in one, or possibly two, of the conference's break-out sessions. Stay tuned for more updates on conference details in the coming weeks!