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aBOUT us

“We’re on a mission to turn Missouri into a place where every working person can also be an employee owner.”

Leadership

Click on any board member's picture to learn more about them!

Keith Davenport, MOCEO

Executive Director

Keith Davenport has nearly 20 years of program management and executive leadership experience in the nonprofit and public sectors. Since moving to the Kansas City metro in 2008, he has worked in key regional organizations such as the International Headquarters for the Church of the Nazarene, Johnson County Community College, and Johnson County, Kansas Government. He is the author and editor of dozens of publications on topics ranging from innovation in criminal justice to the United States Census and was the producer and co-host of the It’s Okay if You’re not Okay Podcast. He has an earned bachelor's degree in pastoral ministry from Olivet Nazarene University, a Masters of Divinity from Nazarene Theological Seminary, and a Masters of Public Affairs from the University of Missouri’s Truman School of Government and Public Affairs.

Roy Messing, EOX

Board Chair

Roy currently serves as the Director of State Center Operations for the Employee Ownership Expansion Network (“EOX”). He supports the efforts of local groups that launch and seek to sustain Employee Ownership Centers in states where they previously did not exist. He is currently leading EOX’s employee ownership efforts in four states. He engages a wide range of businesses support groups in these states to build the business owner awareness of the option to transition the ownership to the employees as an exit or retirement strategy. For the past eight years he was the Director of the Kent State University’s Ohio Employee Ownership Center (“OEOC”), an outreach center that supports businesses in three primary areas, which include business exit/succession planning, assisting prospective and existing employee-owned companies and leading the development of employee-owned and other cooperatives. The center has a long history in supporting the development of Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOP) and more recently Employee/Worker-owned Cooperatives at a variety of levels through its business exit/succession planning activities.

Mr. Messing has served as CFO of a local manufacturing company, and before that spent over 20 years in a variety of commercial lending/finance roles, where he developed and maintained client relationships with a wide variety of small and middle market businesses. He has also served in various business consulting engagements to maximize the value for client companies, assist in financial matters, and provide other business planning guidance. He has a BS degree in Agricultural Economics from Michigan State University and an MBA (finance concentration) from the University of Dayton (Ohio). He has been designated a Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA) from the Exit Planning Institute and achieved the Certified Value Builder Designation from the Value Builder System.

Kjersti Cory, GreatBanc Trust

Vice President

Kjersti Cory currently serves as Senior Vice President in the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) Client Services group, focusing on managing client relationships and ESOP transactions.

Ms. Cory joined GreatBanc Trust Company in 2016. Prior to joining GreatBanc Trust, Ms. Cory opened the Illinois office of Bankers Trust Company ESOP Services. She has worked with employee-owned companies since the 1990s, providing trustee and ESOP transactional services to clients throughout the country. Ms. Cory’s experience includes the implementation of new ESOPs, second-stage ESOP transactions, redemption and sales transactions, mergers and acquisitions, as well as refinancing, restructuring, bankruptcy and liquidation transactions.

Ms. Cory earned a bachelor of science in business administration degree, with an emphasis on finance, from the University of Missouri, and a master of business administration from Quincy University. She is a member of the ESOP Association and its Administrative Advisory Committee. Ms. Cory is also a member of the National Center for Employee Ownership and the Ohio Employee Ownership Center at Kent State University.

Steve Ryan, GreatBanc Trust

Treasurer

Steve serves as a Senior Vice President in the Client Services group at Greatbanc, focusing on managing client relationships and ESOP transactions. Throughout his career, he has acted as a trusted advisor to many privately-held companies to assist them in growth initiatives, business transitions and liquidity events. Steve has helped business owners transition their business via either an internal transition (ESOP/MBO/Family) or external (Strategic/PE/ Family Office). He has over 25 years of new business and banking experience with clients throughout the country. Steve has led commercial banking teams that interact with business owners and C-level executives of private and public companies.

Steve frequently presents on a variety of topics including board governance, ownership transition alternatives, financing ESOPs and capital allocation in a wide variety of venues including the National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO), The ESOP Association and The Private Directors Association.

Sean Power, Polsinelli

Secretary

Sean is a business lawyer that helps executives and owners of private and public companies execute their strategies and achieve their goals.

As a member of Polsinelli's National ESOP Practice, Sean is regularly involved in assisting clients with ESOP transaction planning and design, formation, operation and regulation - representing corporate ESOP sponsors, their shareholders, lenders and trustees. He assists ESOP and other companies on a range of corporate matters, including corporate governance, commercial contracts and transactions in addition to serving as outside general counsel.

To develop practical legal and business solutions, Sean leverages his deep business and legal experience gained over a decade serving as General Counsel and a member of the executive team for the North American business units of a publicly-traded company, which included businesses such as steelmaking, construction, construction materials, manufacturing, metal coating & painting, and pre-engineered buildings. In addition to directing and managing all legal affairs for these companies (comprising over $2.5 billion in revenue), Sean was also responsible for tax, insurance, government relations and business strategy.

In his free time, Sean enjoys spending time with his wife and three kids, travelling, biking, kayaking, and hiking.

Mark Welker, Husch Blackwell

Board Member

When owners of privately held businesses decide it’s time to develop and pursue a plan to transition their involvement with the company, Mark helps develop a business succession plan. He strategizes with clients to identify succession goals, decide how best to achieve those goals and execute the transaction.

Although Mark does not practice accounting, his certified public accountant (CPA) skills enable Mark to understand what makes clients’ companies tick and to analyze the most financially beneficial plans for implementing client goals.

Mark is particularly passionate about the creation and operation of employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs). Mark believes ESOP transactions are a capitalistic, market-based, fair way of transferring wealth to rank and file employees while allowing the business owner to realize full fair market value for the business in a way that is subsidized by tax incentives. ESOPs provide an opportunity to create wealth for individuals who otherwise might not have access to it. These transactions are truly about doing well by doing good for others, and Mark enjoys witnessing the impact ESOPs have on sellers’ and employees’ lives.

READY TO GET STARTED?

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If you are a business owner and would like to learn more about employee ownership and how to get started on this path please reach out to us.

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