Press releases

Project Equity co-founder Alison Lingane announces transition

Lingane’s next chapter will focus on expanding investment capital for employee ownership

OAKLAND, CA — April 15, 2024 — Project Equity announced today that—after more than ten years with the organization—its co-founder Alison Lingane is transitioning out of her role in the organization in the coming months. Lingane will continue as a Senior Advisor to Project Equity’s Employee Ownership Catalyst Fund into 2025. Evan Edwards, Project Equity’s CEO, expresses both gratitude and support for her as she transitions out of the organization in order to focus on expanding investment capital to support the entire employee ownership field.

Since its founding in 2014, Project Equity has become a national leader in the movement to harness employee ownership to maintain thriving local business communities, create quality jobs, and address income and wealth inequality. Alison Lingane and Hilary Abell founded Project Equity more than 10 years ago, and in October of 2022, they welcomed their long-time colleague Evan Edwards into the CEO role.

Edwards shares, “It is an axiom within Project Equity’s work with small businesses that succession planning is key to those entities thriving long term. So it is not without insight that Project Equity was nurtured to sustain and advance the initial success fostered by Alison and Hilary. Project Equity operates from a sound foundation and with a committed and talented team, drawn to execute the mission the founders charted ten years ago. We are grateful to Alison for her role in establishing Project Equity as a leader in the employee ownership field, and we look forward to seeing her advance capital for the field, and to benefitting from the success we’re sure she’ll achieve in her new role.”

Project Equity’s impact in its first ten years speaks for itself. Alongside many awareness and field-building initiatives, its team has created dozens of new employee-owned companies and provided hands-on technical assistance and guidance to over 100 businesses along the path to employee ownership that represent more than 2,000 workers. In addition, Project Equity has educated over 15,000 stakeholders about employee ownership and provided 1-on-1 counseling to more than 1,100 business owners.

“I am so proud of everything we have accomplished together at Project Equity,” shares Lingane. “Our team of more than thirty incredibly dedicated individuals all have a true desire to see employee ownership become normal and self-generating, so that workers—especially frontline workers and workers of color—can have access to what can be a life-changing job: one that incorporates ownership. Under Evan’s leadership as CEO, the impact of Project Equity’s work, and the reach of employee ownership has only continued and will continue to grow. I will be thrilled to watch its continued success as a field collaborator.”

“Project Equity is creating profound impact for workers in the companies we have the honor to support in transitioning to employee ownership,” says Hilary Abell, Lingane’s co-founder and Project Equity’s Chief Policy and Impact Officer. “Informed by this deep impact work, we are also pushing on what we call ‘levers of scale’: capital, public policy, and public and private sector partnerships. It’s wonderful to see Project Equity going strong as a co-founder leaves to deepen her contributions in one of these critical areas.”

Lingane continues, “The role of investment capital in employee ownership’s growth is paramount, and I will be excited to share more in the coming months about the ways that our space can collectively tap meaningfully more capital. I have tremendous gratitude to Hilary, my co-founder, to Evan, and to the entire Project Equity team, and our partners, supporters and investors, as we thoughtfully transition my role at Project Equity and I move into my next chapter. Working together, we can continue to tap the incredible momentum we have built to expand employee ownership’s impact.”

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