The Wisconsin Center for Employee Ownership (WICEO) serves as the central hub for information on employee-ownership in Wisconsin.
The Wisconsin Employee Ownership Center (WICEO), a member of the Employee Ownership Expansion Network of state centers, serves the entire state of Wisconsin 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. WICEO 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 WICEO was the third state center EOX assisted in opening when it was formed in early 2020. The mission of the WICEO is to be the local unbiased “boots on the ground” hub to help guide WI business owners and their advisors on their options when starting their ownership transition process.
“We’re on a mission to turn the state of Wisconsin into a place where every working person can also be an employee-owner.”
Courtney Berner joined the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives in 2011 and served as a cooperative development specialist until assuming the role of executive director in January 2018. Courtney develops research, outreach, and education programs on cooperatives and provides support to new and established cooperatives in a wide range of industries. Her areas of expertise include cooperative education, business development, cooperative finance and governance, and innovative uses of the cooperative model. Courtney also teaches a course on cooperatives at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and loves challenging students to think critically about why co-ops emerge, how they differ from other forms of enterprise, and how the model can be used to address current social and economic issues.
Renee M. Stadtmueller, CPA, QPA
Ms. Stadtmueller has over 18 years of experience providing administration and consulting advice to ESOP clients. She is a CPA and holds the QPA designation from ASPPA. Ms. Stadtmueller is a speaker on ESOP administration topics for both The ESOP Association and the NCEO. She works closely with Plan Sponsors, accountants, advisors and legal counsel to provide guidance on plan design, compliance and operation. She is a member of: The ESOP Association; ASPPA; and the NCEO. She has served as a chairperson for ASPPA’s Education and Examination ESOP Certificate Subcommittee and as the Vice President of Programming for the Wisconsin Chapter of The ESOP Association and current Executive Subcommittee member. Ms. Stadtmueller received her Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and Finance from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.
David W. Eckhardt
David Eckhardt is a lawyer with Husch Blackwell, and has extensive experience in executive compensation issues, including compliance of deferred compensation agreements under Internal Revenue Code section 409A and the structuring and tax treatment of equity arrangements. He also implements equity compensation plans in partnerships and limited liability companies.
David focuses on other employee benefit issues as well, including implementation and operation of qualified retirement plans (including ESOPs), compliance with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and employment taxes. He further specializes in health and welfare plans and has given numerous presentations on the Affordable Care Act.