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How ESOPs Can Benefit Owners and Employees

Date: April 23 Time: 4:30 pm - 7:00 pm


Cost: This event is being offered as a free education session.

Location 300 TradeCenter, Suite 7600
Woburn, MA 01801

Whether you are planning for the future or looking to create ownership for your employees, or somewhere in between, you should be looking into an ESOP. An ESOP is an Employee Stock Ownership Plan that enables employees to own part or all of the company they work for, while providing liquidity for the business owner. Our expert panel will provide a broad overview of ESOPs, discussing topics such as: how transactions are structured and financed, how to best use ESOPs as a succession tool, how ESOPs generally operate, and their significant tax advantages.


John Bentas
Of Counsel, McLane Middleton

John is passionate about helping entrepreneurs and businesses succeed in today’s constantly changing and complex legal and regulatory environment. With over two decades of legal practice, coupled with a few years of business experience prior to law school, John brings his practical focus to advising clients in all aspects of business law, business succession planning, mergers and acquisitions, licensing and contracting, and general business risk mitigation and planning. He works with companies from their initial formation, through debt and equity financings as they grow, and to successful acquisitions and strategic partnerships. A significant portion of John’s practice includes implementing and administering Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOP). John has worked closely with clients in many different industries, including service providers (such as insurance agencies and professional practices), product manufacturing (including in the biotech and outdoor recreation fields), and software as a service (SaaS).

Jeannine Pendergast
Principal & ESOP Client Advisor, Spinnaker Trust

Jeannine Pendergast is a Principal Partner at Spinnaker Trust and serves as an ESOP Trustee for both on-going ESOPs and ESOP transactions. Jeannine is a certified public accountant who began her carrier auditing companies and developed a passion for ESOPs. When she entered the private sector, she worked for a large ESOP owned company as an internal auditor and served as an internal trustee for the ESOP. She has worked at Spinnaker Trust since 2015 and has grown their ESOP business substantially since joining. Spinnaker serves at ESOP trustee for companies located in the northeastern states of the US.

Laura Pfeiffenberger
Senior Vice President & Client Advisor, Spinnaker Trust

Laura is a Senior Vice President and Senior Client Advisor at Spinnaker Trust in Portland, Maine. Spinnaker offers independent trustee and fiduciary services to ESOPs. As a part of Spinnaker’s ESOP Trustee team, she provides employee-owned companies with unique insights into issues that may arise from annual valuations, as well as transaction-related analysis. Prior to joining Spinnaker in early 2020, Laura worked in the valuation industry for over 15 years.

Seth Webber
Principal | CFA, ASA, CEPA, BerryDunn

Since joining BerryDunn in 2007, Seth has brought his combination of valuation, consulting, and operations skills to bear for his clients, helping them navigate challenging issues related to business valuation. As head of the Valuation Services Practice Group, he leads a diverse team of valuation experts that draw on the deep resources of BerryDunn to help clients address their needs. Seth is heavily involved in working with clients to define and execute transition plans, including valuations relating to ESOPs, management buyouts, sales, and gifting.

Ken Sheldon
President, Bank of America New Hampshire

Ken is the president of bank of America New Hampshire. In this role, he is responsible for connecting clients, teammates, and communities to the full power of the franchise, driving integration across our eight lines of business. He also leads the effort to deploy Bank of America’s resources to help advance economic mobility and build strong communities.