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Rebuilding with resiliency and equity through employee ownership

The evidence is clear and the time is now

In this short intro, Project Equity and other leaders in the national movement talked about how we harness employee ownership to address income and wealth inequality and the racial wealth gap. We discussed the ample evidence of the job quality and local business retention benefits of employee ownership and how the movement is growing around the country.

Watch the webinar: Rebuilding with resiliency and equity through employee ownership

Hosted by Project Equity / Recorded on August 20, 2020

Now is the time to reimagine what is necessary and possible in this country. We can and must emerge from the economic crisis brought on by COVID-19 with greater resiliency and equity for workers, businesses and communities.

In this webinar, Project Equity and other leaders in the national movement talked about how we harness employee ownership to address income and wealth inequality and the racial wealth gap. We discussed the ample evidence of the job quality and local business retention benefits of employee ownership and how the movement is growing around the country. 

The webinar included findings from Project Equity’s recent report, “The Case for Employee Ownership: Why philanthropy and government should invest in this powerful business model,” which provides the latest data from dozens of studies of employee ownership across various business types and industries.

An employee-owner provided a personal perspective, and speakers from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Citi Community Investing and Development, The Kendeda Fund and the City of Berkeley shared how these institutions are advancing employee ownership.

The case is clear: employee ownership works, and diverse stakeholders are embracing it as a powerful strategy to build an economy that works for everyone.

This is not the time for trickle-down solutions. This conversation engaged leaders in philanthropy and local, state and national government in considering why and how to embed employee ownership into their recovery efforts.


Hilary Abell

Hilary Abell

Project Equity

Hilary co-founded Project Equity in 2014 with the goal of scaling worker ownership to reduce income and wealth inequality across the US.

Her prior experience includes twenty years of work with employee-owned businesses, as well as international efforts to advance fair trade and other models that help low-income communities enhance their wellbeing and self-determination.

Hilary has her B.A. from Princeton University and an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School.

Jeanne Wardford

Jeanne Wardford

Program Officer,
W.K. Kellogg Foundation 

Jeanne Wardford is a program officer for Family Economic Security at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, Michigan.

In this role as a member of the Family Economic Security team, Wardford is responsible for advancing employment equity business enterprise development focused policies, practices, strategies and opportunities for affecting positive systemic change within communities aimed at creating conditions in which children can develop, learn and grow. She works closely with staff to ensure integration and coordination of efforts.

Jeanne has dedicated her life to working for the betterment of individuals both in the public and private sector. Over the last two decades, she has held several positions of progressive leadership in both the public and private sector. Her interest has always been working to develop young people and the communities in which they live. Throughout her career, she has been recognized for her ability to get to the root of the problem and recommend fair, equitable, and often times innovative solutions to age old problems. She is known for her vigorous policy work and advocacy for children and families.

Prior to joining the foundation in 2015, Jeanne was director for National Partnerships at NeighborWorks America in Washington, D.C. In this role, she built strategic collaborations with public and private investors and secured resources for the implementation of a national asset development program, which included financial education, literacy, coaching and community development strategy. She has also worked in community development, fund development and evaluation consulting for TaylarMade Consulting, Inc., where she worked with public, private and academic sectors and their funding partners.

Jeanne’s leadership in support of education, racial equity, and economic development is reflected not only in her day to day activities, but also in her membership on a variety of boards, including Detroit Public Library Foundation, Center for Community Progress, Warrior Women, A project of the Michigan Women’s Foundation, National Women’s Business Council, Bowie State University Dean’s Advisory Council and FAMU School of Allied Health Advisory Board.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.

The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti.

Jordan Klein

Jordan Klein

Interim Director of Department of Planning & Development,
City of Berkeley 

Jordan Klein is a community development planner with nearly two decades of experience in support of communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. Currently he serves as the Interim Director of the City of Berkeley’s Department of Planning & Development.

Previously, as Berkeley’s Economic Development Manager, he oversaw Berkeley’s programs and activities related to small business development, commercial district revitalization, facilitating catalytic real estate projects, civic arts, and economic research and analysis.

Prior to that, at the City of San Francisco’s Office of Economic & Workforce Development, Jordan led the design and implementation of a variety of community development programs, and was the lead author of the City’s economic development plan for the Mid-Market neighborhood. Jordan also worked as a Program Officer at United Way of the Bay Area, where he managed a portfolio of grants to human services agencies around the region.

Jordan has a BA in History from Northwestern University and Master of City Planning degree from the University of California, Berkeley. He lives in Oakland with his wife and daughter and enjoys music, travel, reading, cooking, and gardening.

Diane Ives

Diane Ives

Fund Advisor,
The Kendeda Fund

Diane works at the intersection of issues related to economics, equity, and the environment. She led the creation of, and continues to manage the Environment Program at the Kendeda Fund with a focus on addressing climate change, building community wealth, advancing sustainable design, and expanding equitable innovation in cities. All of Kendeda’s environment-related grantmaking is prioritized to expand prosperity for all within the means of the planet.

Diane previously served as Executive Director at the Beldon Fund, as Program Officer at the Tides Foundation, and consulted with the Putnam Foundation.

A Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Mali 1983-1985), Diane is a graduate of Yale University.

Tina Corea

Tina Corea

Vice President,

Citi Community Investing and Development

Tina Corea is Vice President at Citi Community Investing and Development, where she leads a number of national partnerships and initiatives that focus on building inclusive economies.

Prior to Citi, she held a variety of roles at the City of Newark, New Jersey’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC) during then-Mayor Cory Booker’s administration. Most recently as EDC’s Vice President of Strategy and Policy, she co-managed City asset building & financial inclusion efforts with the Mayor’s Office and led projects to catalyze economic growth within workforce development, small business, affordable housing and real estate.

Additionally, Tina served as Special Assistant for the Deputy Commissioner of New York City’s (NYC) Department of Homeless Services and assisted the offices of two former United States Senators as well as the NYC Center for Economic Opportunity.

She holds a J.D. from Rutgers Law, an M.P.A. from Columbia University and a B.A. from Boston College. Tina served as an Adjunct Professor of Public Service at New York University and is a member of the Asset Funders Network national and regional steering committees and an advisor to the Robin Hood Foundation on workplace financial solutions.

Rendell (Ren) Boguiren

Rendell (Ren) Boguiren


 A Slice of New York Pizza (ASONY)

Ren has worked at ASONY for 10 years.

At ASONY, he feels like an entrepreneur. “The owners trusted me to work with clientele, do the right things at the right time. I have a sense of ownership. If someone asked me, can I speak with the manager – I can raise my hand and say, I can help you right here.”

Ren treats every single day as if it were his own business. “I come into work and now I’m more determined to make sure that we’re successful. I’ve always given 110% but now I’m at like 120%.”

He wants to empower others to become leaders and find that trait within others. “I want to help each other grow and develop to be the best we can be together since it’s not a one-person show, it’s a group effort.”

Read more about Ren’s Story

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