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How can you unlock the power of this “best kept secret” for business transactions, strong local economies and equitable economic development?

Find out by joining Project Equity, peers from your region and across the nation in a two-and-a-half-day action-packed, practical meeting of the minds. Let us inspire you, give you real examples to help advance your work locally and provide an opportunity for connection with others in your community who share your goals.

Tuesday, February 7

3:00 – 6:00 pm: Summit check-in and registration | Chart room

6:00 pm: Summit kick-off | The impact of employee ownership

Enjoy dinner off-site at the worker-led, award-winning restaurant Understory and hear from Carolyn Berke, selling owner of Niles Pie Company, and Tom Adams, one of two original owners of Adams & Chittenden Scientific Glass, about the impact of employee ownership.

Wednesday, February 8

7:00 am: Morning walk (optional) | Chart room

Meet up with the Project Equity team and invigorate yourself with an optional morning stroll around the beautiful San Francisco Bay.

7:30 am: Breakfast buffet and registration | Spinnaker room

8:45 – 10:30 am: Why employee ownership now? | Spinnaker room

Sponsored by the Prudential Foundation

Prepared remarks from
Evan Edwards, CEO, Project Equity
James Alva, CEO, Adelante Partners
Melvin Carter, Mayor of St. Paul, Minnesota
Alison Lingane, Co-founder, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer, Project Equity

Followed by an ecosystem panel discussion on how different sectors working together can scale employee ownership.

Ben Hecht (moderator), Senior Advisor, McKnight Foundation
Sam Brownell, Founder and Financial Advisor, Stratus Wealth Advisors
Melvin Carter, Mayor of St. Paul, Minnesota
Paula D’Ambrosa, Director of Work & Wealth, Prudential Financial
Tara Lynn Gray, Director, California Office of the Small Business Advocate (CAOSBA)

10:30 – 10:45 am: Break / transition

10:45 – 11:30 am: Building an employee ownership ecosystem | Spinnaker room

11:30 am – 12:45 pm: Lunch | Lungamore dining room

12:45 – 1:45 pm: Break-out groups

Breakout 1A
Inclusive economic development | Regatta II

Santiago Carrillo, Assistant Director, Business Starts and Growth, Living Cities
Havell Rodrigues, Founding Partner, New Majority Capita
Jess Valand, Director of Economic and Workforce Development, Results for America

Breakout 1B
Nuts & bolts: diving deeper into the employee ownership process | Chart room

Breakout 1C
How to pay for this work locally | Compass room

1:45 – 2:00 pm: Break / transition

2:00 – 3:00 pm: Break-out groups

Breakout 2A
Boosting your local economy with employee ownership | Regatta II
A session for economic developers and government.

Kieron Slaughter, Chief Strategist, Economic Innovation, City of Berkeley

Breakout 2B
Succession planning and employee ownership | Chart room
A session for business advisors and support systems.

Sam Brownell, Founder and Financial Advisor, Stratus Wealth Advisors
Brett Heeger, Founding Partner, Gundzik Gundzik Heeger, LLP
Leila Roberts, Director, North Coast Small Business Development Center

Breakout 2C
Learn about putting your capital to work to advance employee ownership | Compass room
A session for funders and investors.

Smitha Das, Impact Investor, World Education Services
Thaddeus Fair, Assistant Director, Fund Manager, Living Cities

3:00 – 3:15 pm: Break / transition

3:15 – 3:50 pm: Day 1 wrap-up | Regatta I / II

Join us as we share reflections from the day.

Dallas Shelby, Director of Communications and Marketing, Project Equity

4:00 – 5:30 pm: Employee ownership showcase happy hour | Spinnaker room

Swing by our employee-owner meet and greet. Sample local food from the best regional employee-owned restaurants and gain a deeper understanding of how ownership impacts workers’ lives.

5:30 – 6:00 pm: Break

6:00 – 8:00 pm: Dinner | Lungamore dining room

Thursday, February 9

7:00 am: Morning walk (optional) | Chart room

Meet up with the Project Equity team and invigorate yourself with an optional morning stroll around the beautiful San Francisco Bay.

7:30 am: Breakfast buffet | Spinnaker room

8:45 – 9:30 am: Current momentum for employee ownership | Spinnaker room

Sponsored by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

Mayor Jesse Arreguín, City of Berkeley, California
Elmy Bermejo, Regional Administrator, Pacific Region, Small Business Administration
Evan Edwards, Chief Executive Officer, Project Equity
Alison Lingane, Co-founder, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer, Project Equity
Hilary Abell, Co-founder, Chief Policy and Impact Officer, Project Equity

9:30 – 10:15 am: The impact of employee ownership: first hand stories and conversation | Spinnaker room

Na Young Ma, selling owner of Proof Bakery
Christian Garcia, employee-owner at Proof Bakery

10:15 – 10:30 am: Break / transition

10:30 – 12:00 pm: Regional frameworks to advance employee ownership | Spinnaker room

12:00 – 1:15 pm: Lunch | Lungamore dining room

1:15 – 2:45 pm: Regional action plans 

2:45 – 3:00 pm: Break / transition

3:00-4:30 pm: Where do we go from here? | Spinnaker room

5:00 – 7:00 pm: Dinner and festivities | nearby at Plank Restaurant

Join us afterwards for a celebratory dinner (and optional bowling) at Plank, a beloved Oakland restaurant on the marina, a few steps from our hotel.

Friday, February 10

Stick around Friday for breakfast on your own and book one of these special activities and Bay Area excursions we’ve curated for you:

Napa Food and Wine Tour (river-side)
Mention Project Equity during on-line booking for a discount

Tour begins at: Ox & Fox Restaurant, 1st Street & Franklin, Napa, CA
Discover downtown tucked into Napa’s riverfront on one of these two carefully curated Napa Valley tours, beginning with two newer restaurants, one of which is already Michelin recognized.

Oakland Art Tour
Cost of this tour is $40 per person. To book, contact Lucy at 510-334-6315 and mention Project Equity.

Experience the forefront of art and culture in Uptown Oakland. Enjoy a private walking tour of 3-4 galleries in uptown Oakland and a cocktail hour hosted by a local gallerist. With a free drink at a local bar at the end of the tour. Galleries will vary per tour.

This experience can be booked for groups between 10 – 30 people on Fridays from 12:00 PM – 7:00 PM.

Taco / Fruitvale Walking Tour
To book, call 510-629-1439, mention Project Equity and get a 5% discount.

This tour starts at the Fruitvale BART Station and we’ll peruse a 6-block radius in the heart of the Fruitvale neighborhood, you’ll have the opportunity to appreciate locals and businesses and the food, art, sights and relationships they have built over decades in partnership with community members, local government and developers. Along the way we’ll visit the best taquerias in the Fruitvale neighborhood – arguably the best tacos in the Bay Area.

If you’re a taco lover then this is a local mecca with over 17 taquerias in one square mile- it’s taco heaven!

Employee Ownership Equity Summit
Oakland, CA | February 7-9, 2023


The Waterfront Hotel in Oakland, a Joie de Vivre hotel, lets you experience the wonders of Jack London Square – the best entertainment district in Oakland – and the amazing views from the Oakland waterfront.


We recommend flying into Oakland (OAK – closest) or San Francisco (SFO) on Tuesday, February 7.


We are committed to keeping everyone safe and healthy in order to fully enjoy each other and get the most from our convening. To this end, we ask all attendees to either provide proof of booster vaccination or a negative COVID test upon arrival. We will have tests available onsite. 


about financing options


types of employee ownership


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