Picture of Perry Phillips of ESOP Builders. Inc.

Perry Phillips

ESOP Builders President

Building an Ownership Mentality through an ESOP

From helping Canada’s fastest growing companies implement engagement strategies to supporting business owners exiting on their terms, Perry Phillips is recognized as one of Canada’s leading experts on employee share ownership plans (ESOPs).

Perry is the Founder and President of ESOP Builders Inc. (the largest designer of ESOP plans in Canada for small and medium sized Canadian private companies) and also the Founder of the ESOP Association Canada (Canada’s only national not for profit organization promoting the ESOP concept in Canada) and primary author of ESOPs in Canada: How to Implement an Employee Share Ownership Plan to Grow and Exit Your Business with Your Legacy Intact (2015).

Jonathan Lok of Strategic Natural Resource Consultants Inc.

Jonathan Lok

Strategic Natural Resource Consultants Inc. Managing Director

Cultivating a Stewardship Ethos

Jon began his forestry career on Northern Vancouver Island with companies like Canfor, TimberWest, Weyerhaeuser and Canadian Air Crane and was inspired to co-found Strategic Natural Resource Consultants, one of the larger resource management consultancies in BC. In his role as Managing Director, he is responsible for setting strategy, growing culture and building a world-class team. The firm was recently named as one of the Top 100 Employers in Canada.

Jon studied at SFU, BCIT and UBC Sauder School of Business and has been recognized as the ABCFP’s Forest Technologist of the Year, received the CIF’s James Kitz Award and was named by Canadian Forest Industries Magazine as one of Canada’s Top 20 Under 40 in the forest sector.

Jon has served as President of the Consulting Foresters of BC, the Association of BC Forest Professionals, the Canadian Institute of Forestry and the North Island Community Forest. Outside of work, he enjoys racing rally cars, riding motorcycles and exploring the waters and backcountry of Vancouver Island and the Central Coast.

Picture of Joanna Phillips of ESOP Builders Inc.

Joanna Phillips

ESOP Builders Vice President

Building an Ownership Mentality through an ESOP

Joanna is a Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL) and Certified Value Builder (CVB). She holds an Honours Degree in Business Management Specializing in Human Resources from Western University.

Since graduating, Joanna has worked with various companies in a wide range of industries such as healthcare, insurance, supply chain/ logistics, and marketing. She has excelled in all her roles within Human Resources and has been a trusted guide and advisor to business leaders to ensure continued success of the company. Joanna’s main areas of focus have been talent management and strategy, including succession planning, employee relations, health and safety, and disability management. However she has also gained experience within labour relations and compensation strategy.

Passionate about creating ownership and wealth on a broader level, Joanna brings a creative, modern, and focused view to EBI and their clients.

Joanna is currently a Director of the ESOP Association Canada.

Picture of Dean Ell of iQmetrix

Dean Ell

iQmetrix Corporate Controller & ESOP Administrator

iQmetrix – The Evolution of an ESOP Agreement

Dean Ell is the Controller and ESOP Administrator at iQmetrix, a software company specializing in end-to-end retail solutions. iQmetrix started in Regina and now has 3 locations in Canada and 2 in the USA and over 400 employees. The company has been on the Profit 500 list of Canada’s Fastest Growing Companies several times. Maintaining a fun and rewarding work culture is very important at iQmetrix.

Some ESOP models support a set it and forget it approach but that has not been the case at iQmetrix where our ESOP has evolved significantly since 2007. The most recent iteration of our ESOP hit in 2019 and is related to a pivot that started a couple of years ago. With a very solid core business, iQmetrix always invests heavily in our future. However, we decided that rather than fund new business lines 100% internally we would become an incubator and spin-off these new business lines when the timing is right. That meant several changes within our ESOP were required. We needed a structure to create a new preferred share for each division we spin off, allowing employees to hold these new preferred shares post-employment with iQmetrix had to be addressed. There were also some concerns related to valuations and share sales of these incubated divisions, as well as the impact on our ESOP Administration. Updating an ESOP agreement involves legal, shareholder voting, and in our case consultants.

Dean will share this interesting and complicated story that illustrates how an ESOP can evolve if there is a need.

Dean is also currently the Chair of the ESOP Association of Canada. He has performed several roles within the Association over the past 5 years including sitting on the conference planning committee, advisor to the Board, and Board Member.

Picture of Dan Ohler of ESOP Builders Inc.

Dan Ohler

ESOP Builders Employee Ownership Specialist

ESOPs 101: The Why’s and How’s

Why all the hullaballuh about ESOPs?

Because they work. They are the ideal business model to humanize and revolutionize our economy.

At ESOP Builders Inc., our mission statement is to make employee ownership one of the most rewarding decisions a business owner makes – benefiting the owner, employees, the business, and the community. That’s why we are Canada’s premier firm for designing, training and implementing Employee Share Ownership, and Stock Option Plans for small- and medium-sized privately held companies.

As an Employee Ownership Specialist with ESOP Builders Inc., Dan excels at meeting clients’ needs by designing custom-tailored ESOP transition plans. Beyond the technical components, he brings expertise in the human, or cultural component that makes an ESOP thrive. He is a certified coach with the International Coach Federation, a skilled communicator and facilitator, and is known for building high-trust relationships with business owners and employees.

Dan also provides post-ESOP coaching programs to ensure long-term sustainability, success, and happiness.

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