The Georgia Center for Employee Ownership (GACEO) serves as the central hub for information on employee-ownership in Georgia.
The Georgia Employee Ownership Center (GACEO), a member of the Employee Ownership Expansion Network of state centers, serves the entire state of Georgia as the central hub for free, unbiased information on employee-ownership. Its primary mission is to educate business owners and their advisors on the benefits of employee ownership. GACEO provides resources, case studies, articles, and a list of service providers who can assist with employee ownership transitions.
In 2019 The Employee Ownership Expansion Network (EOX) began to create a network of State Centers for Employee Ownership across the country. The purpose of this grass roots effort is to provide education and outreach on the benefits of all forms of employee ownership to workers, businesses, and the communities in which they reside as well as being a hub for resources to business owners and their advisors.
The GACEO was the third state center EOX assisted in opening when it was formed in early 2020. The mission of the GACEO is to be the local unbiased “boots on the ground” hub to help guide GA business owners and their advisors on their options when starting their ownership transition process.
“We’re on a mission to turn the state of Georgia into a place where every working person can also be an employee-owner.”
Mike has been working at Essential Ingredients, Inc. for more than 16 years leading the technical support group. Essential Ingredients is a nationwide chemical distributor headquartered in Lawrenceville, Georgia primarily dealing with the personal care and household, Industrial & Institutional markets. In 2011 Essential Ingredients became a 100% employee-owned through an ESOP. Mike was asked to be part of the charter Employee Benefits Committee (EBC). Through this committee Mike came in contact with the employee
Tom Strong is an independent workforce development consultant, as well as a contract coach with the Great Game of Business®, one of the leading companies teaching the practice of open-book management. Tom previously worked for nearly a decade at The Hitachi Foundation, a DC-based philanthropy dedicated to the idea that businesses can create better jobs for low-income people without sacrificing performance.
Steve Storkan is the Executive Director of the Employee Ownership Expansion Network (EOX). Steve has been involved with employee stock ownership plans for over 25 years, most recently as the Director of ESOP Administration for Alerus Retirement and Benefits where he worked closely with businesses in the creation of an ESOP and the technical administration and compliance required in subsequent years. Steve spent 11 years as a member of the Board of Directors of the Minnesota-Dakotas Chapter of the ESOP Association where also served as Chapter President and VP of Government Relations. Steve holds a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) designation from the University of Minnesota State Mankato.
Christina is a solution-driven leader and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience across multiple professional sectors. Her professional experience includes extensive work with the City of Atlanta and more recently the City of South Fulton. She is well versed in federal programs, fiscal policy, economic development, strategic planning, community organizing, and coalition building.
Board Director Launch Manager
In her role as the Launch Manager for the Georgia Center for Employee Ownership (GACEO), Marie Davis is responsible for establishing the network of partners and delivery of programming necessary for the GACEO to carry out its mission of the creation of new employee-owned companies throughout all of Georgia by providing unbiased education, outreach, and technical assistance on all forms of employee ownership. In addition to her passion for employee ownership, Marie is also passionate about providing opportunities for all children through mentoring programs. Using her degree in Social Work from the University of Georgia, Marie has spent many years in different roles in the mentoring filed including the Director of Mentoring for Center Point, a non-profit in Hall County Georgia and a Technical Assistant for mentoring.org, the National MENTOR program. Marie is a lifelong Georgia native – Go Dawgs!