Private Directors Association
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Webinar | ESOPs: What Every Private Company Board Member Should Know
Thursday, October 28, 2021, 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM CST
Category: Southern California

12:00 PM - 01:15 PM (Pacific)
01:00 AM - 02:15 PM (Mountain)
02:00 PM - 03:15 PM (Central)
03:00 PM - 04:15 PM (Eastern)

Zoom invitation will be shared the day before the event.


ESOPs have become a fixture of the private company business world, growing steadily more common. Indeed, thousands of companies in the US now sponsor ESOPs, covering more than two million employees.

But what exactly is an ESOP? What can it offer to a privately held company? To the company’s current owners? To the employees? What are the potential costs and disadvantages?

In this PDA webinar, seasoned experts in the field will cover this subject from the perspective of the boardroom. Every private company will at some point face the challenge of liquidating the ownership interest of an existing owner. In that situation, an ESOP will be one of the options on the table. Be prepared to deal with that situation by attending this webinar.

Thank you to our National and Gold Chapter Sponsors!



Jennifer Briggs
Senior Strategy Consultant
Rady School of Managemen  

Jennifer Briggs serves as a Senior Strategy Consultant at the Rady School of Management, UCSD, in the Beyster Institute proving that business can be done different – purpose centered, mission driven, and values powered using tenants of inclusive capitalism to attain success. She serves as an outside independent director for PFSbrands, Engineering Economics, and Modern Times Beer and is a founding partner of GRITT Business Coaching. She is a Rutgers University Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing Executive Fellow focused on corporate governance and performance, a Commissioner and Vice Chair for Colorado of the Office of Employee Ownership, and a volunteer board member for the Rocky Mountain Center for Employee Ownership. She has contributed to the Democracy at Work Institute, and the reinventing work initiative with the Boston FED. She holds a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership, graduate studies in Enterprise Project Management, and a Bachelor of Science in Community Health. She was a member of the New Belgium Brewing executive leadership team for over a decade as VP of Human Resources and Organizational Development and was the Chairperson of the Board for GISinc. headquartered in Birmingham, AL.


Jeff Lopez
Founder & CEO
Dekra-Lite Industries, Inc.

Jeffrey Lopez is founder and current CEO and Board Member of Dekra-Lite Industries, Inc.

Founded in 1987, and located in Santa Ana, California, Dekra-Lite is a full-service design firm specializing in commercial Christmas decorations for malls, retailers, shopping and lifestyle centers, cities, entertainment venues, and theme parks. The Company’s staff assists clients in every aspect of holiday décor, from design to installation. In addition to carrying a wide array of products, Dekra-Lite also fabricates custom décor pieces. The Company offers a range of services, including an in-house design team, year-round installation services, and an in-house printing department. The Company services clients in all 50 states. Further, the Company contracts with service providers in Canada under the Dekra-Lite Canada name in order to service the Canadian Christmas decoration market.

Jeffrey Lopez sold his company to his employees as an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) in 2014, completing the transaction in 2019 for 100% ownership to a core group of 55 employees



Martin Staubus

Martin Staubus retired in June 2020 from a career as a business advisor specializing in ESOPs and related employee ownership matters. He currently serves in the following director capacities:

  • Chairman of the Board, Environmental Science Associates, Inc., San Francisco, CA
    • ESA is a leading environmental consulting firm with operations throughout the west coast and Florida. The firm is 100% ESOP-owned. 2020 revenues were approximately $100M; employee count is approximately 500.
    •  Martin served for 10 years as chair of the governance and nominating committee
  •  Member of the Board of Directors of R&B Reinforcing Steel, Inc, Chino, CA
    • R&B is a specialist subcontractor in the Southern California construction industry, producing steel structures for concrete reinforcement. The firm is 100% ESOP-owned. 2020 revenues were approximately $20M.

From 2001 until his 2020 retirement, Martin served as a senior consultant with the Beyster Institute, a center of expertise in employee ownership based at the Rady School of Management at the University of California San Diego. In that capacity he advised hundreds of companies on the design, implementation, and operation of ESOPs – including a score of engineering firms. From 2015 through 2020, he was the Executive Director. Prior to joining the Beyster Institute, Martin variously served as VP of human resources for a Silicon Valley-base company; an attorney in private practice with a focus on ESOPs; and a policy analyst with the US Department of Labor in Washington DC.

Trained as an attorney and MBA, Martin continues to teach courses on ESOP company corporate governance and high-performance business practices at UC San Diego. He is nationally recognized as a leading expert in the field of ESOP company corporate governance.