The 12th Employee Ownership Association (EOA) Annual Conference was held in Birmingham on the 27th and 28th November 2017. Among the 680 participants, representing 200,000 employee owners across the UK, were Claire Watson, Kate Thatcher, Rebecca Newson, James Kite and David Hodgkinson from Quintessa.
Keynote speakers included Mark Constantine, the founder of Lush, Hisham Mahmoud, the Global President and CEO of Golder Associates, and Loren Rogers, the Executive Director of the National Centre for Employee Ownership in the US. In addition, there were 29 breakout, networking and update sessions over the two days (Day 1 & Day 2) on a wide range of employee ownership topics, and presentations of the 2017 UK Employee Ownership Awards at a gala dinner.
David Hodgkinson, Quintessa’s Honorary Chairman, gave an invited talk ‘Elegant Exits!’ on the rationale, process and emotional journey of founders passing on their businesses to employees. The talk was very well received and will hopefully inspire other founders on similar journeys.
All of the Quintessa attendees found the conference to be extremely informative. It gave our employee owners numerous opportunities to discuss ideas and thoughts concerned with employee ownership, a few of which are now being discussed as potential enhancements to our own model.