ACG MN Women's Leadership Series - Employee Ownership Panel

Womens Leadership 2021

Event Details


September 22, 2022 7:30 AM - 9:30 AM CDT

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REGISTRATION OPEN! JOIN US Thursday, September 22, 2022 the Women's Leadership Series presents Employee Ownership Panel

Employee Ownership Panel: Is an ESOP right for your business? 

Whether you own a business, or work with business owners, this panel discussion is for you! Join us to learn about Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), what it means to be employee-owned, and whether an ESOP may be right fit for your business or your client.

This informative panel discussion will feature local business owners who have implemented ESOPs in their companies, along with the professionals that help guide them through the process. Walk away with a better idea of whether this form of employee-ownership is for you, and if so, the next best steps to take. 

What does it mean to a business to become employee owned?

Employee owned doesn’t mean that the employees are in charge, it simply means that the employees have the opportunity to share in the success of the company and build wealth equity for the future. There are many forms of employee ownership but in this session we will focus on ESOPs (Employee Stock Ownership Plan).  Kyla Hansen will explain what an ESOP is and how they work. Nina Hale, former owner of Collective Measures will share her story of what it meant to her to sell the business she created and built up to her employees.  Michelle Mongeon-Allen, CEO at JLG Architects will talk about what it is like to be the leader of an employee owned company.  Sue Crockett, executive director of the Minnesota Center for Employee Ownership, will talk about other forms of employee ownership and the free resource that MNCEO can be to a business owner. Nicole Behm-Koep at Quazar Capital will serve as the moderator.

Thank you to Lanthrop GPM for providing the meeting space. 



Click here for information on ACG Minnesota membership. 


Michelle ESOP Panel

Michelle Mongeon Allen

JLG Architects

CEO of JLG Architects, Michelle Mongeon Allen is an award-winning designer, 2022 Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA), and Past President of AIA Minnesota. Michelle charted JLG’s growth from a 15-person, one-office partnership to a nationally recognized ESOP company of over 170 employee-owners across 10 offices, including her Minneapolis office within the 1874 Historic Washburn A Mill. Her firm has been recognized as MSN Money’s 50 Most Admired Companies in the US, Inc. Magazine’s 50 Best Places to Work in America, Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal’s Top 25 Architecture Firms, and the 2019 ENR Mountain States Design Firm of the Year. 

Michelle is an industry trailblazer known for her commitment to elevating the next generation of architects through a firm-developed and nationally recognized mentorship program, leadership positions in countless professional organizations, serving as chair for the North Dakota State University Department of Architecture and Landscape Architecture Alumni Advisory Board, and her present role on the Dunwoody Architecture Program Professional Advisory Council.


Sue Crockett

Minnesota Center for Employee Ownership
Executive Director

For more than three decades, Sue Crockett has used her collaborative and visionary nonprofit management skills in strategic planning, membership recruitment, meeting planning, and fundraising to build and transform some of the largest business associations in the Upper Midwest. Her passion for employee ownership and the wealth equity it creates for all workers has also helped to establish her as one of the most sought after thought leaders and go-to resources for news media in the five-state region as well.

As the founding executive director of the Minnesota Center for Employee Ownership, a free and unbiased hub for education and resources on all forms of employee ownership, Sue has successfully introduced the growing nonprofit organization to more than 500 business owners and their advisors throughout Minnesota. Prior to joining MNCEO, Sue served as the executive director of the Minnesota/Dakotas Chapter of The ESOP Association for 30 years. Under her financial stewardship and decisive leadership, the organization was named Chapter of the Year an unprecedented three times.

Nina ESOP  Panel

Nina Hale

Collective Measures
Former Owner

Recognized as an early visionary in digital strategy, advertising and monetization, Nina Hale is a successful CEO, board member, and predictor of technology trends. Hale brings a solid business foundation with a passion for innovation and cultural trends. Balancing profits, loyalty, and employee wellbeing, Hale excels in the role of innovator, advisor, and champion. In 2005 Hale founded Collective Measures, now the largest Performance Marketing agency in Minnesota. Hale and her agency have worked with some of world’s leading brands to develop and execute successful digital sales strategies. In 2014, Hale converted her agency to a 100% Employee Stock Ownership Plan, and later oversaw the transition to a new CEO. She completed her exit in 2020. Hale serves on numerous non-profit boards, lending expertise in strategy, marketing, and workplace culture.

Kyla ESOP Panel

Kyla Hansen

John A. Knutson & Co., PLLP (JAK)

Kyla Hansen is a partner and heads the Audit and Assurance services department at John A. Knutson & Co., PLLP (JAK). She helps her clients navigate their financial statements by providing audit, review, and compilation services and assisting with GAAP compliance and implementation. In addition to being a CPA, Kyla is also a Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA). She uses her experience with value calculations and ESOP’s to help guide her clients through ownership transitions and tax related matters, using the additional expertise of the tax
partners at the firm when needed. Kyla prides herself in being a trusted advisor for her clients.

speaker headshot

Nicole Behm-Koep, Moderator

Quazar M&A Professionals
Managing Partner and Co-Owner

Nicole Behm-Koep is Managing Partner and co-owner at Quazar M&A Professionals. Nicole’s primary focus is on business development, managing client and prospect relationships, guiding clients through the acquisition process to a successful closing, and overseeing operations. 

She serves on multiple association and nonprofit boards, including: Association of Corporate Growth (ACG) Minnesota, where she is currently the Board President, the Minnesota-Dakotas Chapter of The ESOP Association, the Minneapolis Club, Northwest Suburban Chapter of Pheasants Forever, and the James Sewell Ballet. Additionally, Nicole volunteers with WomenVenture and the Printing Industry Midwest Education Foundation committee. 

Prior to joining Quazar in a full time capacity, Nicole worked as the HR Business Partner to New Ventures for Ecumen, a non-profit provider of Senior Housing and Services, where she managed HR responsibilities for in-house and third-party senior housing start-ups in multiple states, from proforma through building open. In her 6+ years at Ecumen, Nicole provided HR consulting to senior management, field leadership, and employees. Earlier in her career, Nicole held HR leadership positions at Next Day Gourmet, a division of US Foodservice, and Target Corporation. Nicole has her Bachelor’s Degree in Global Business Management from Arizona State University.

Event Secondary Body


  • 7:30-8:00 am - Registration, Breakfast and Networking
  • 8:00-9:00 am - Employee Ownership Panel/Workshop
  • 9:00-9:30 am - Networking

Hosted by: ACG

Event Materials

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  • Cancellation and Refund Policy: There is a $5.00 processing fee for all cancellation requests received up to ten days prior to the event. NO REFUNDS will be given after this time.