Worker-owned cooperative conversions are the wave of the future. It’s no surprise then that tech companies are riding that wave straight to employee ownership. We are excited to showcase two new worker ownership conversions led by Cutting Edge!
As of January 1, our client Ministry of Velocity, a San Francisco-based software solutions company, welcomed a majority of its employees to ownership. Co-founder Doc Ritezel remains an owner, but wanted to share ownership, so all of the full-time employees were offered the opportunity to become a member, and the company switched to cooperative internal operations.
We are also proud to highlight our client Bread & Roses Digital LCA, a digital agency offering email and social media campaigns for advertising and organizing. Founder Aidan King had always intended his company to be a cooperative, but started off simply as an LLC. In 2022, Bread & Roses Digital invested in transitioning to a cooperative legal entity and officially added Priya Desai, Audrey Whitehurst, and Lance Tran as owners.
We also applaud Patricia Bennett for selling her company to an employee ownership trust. Last month, Ms. Bennett sold 100% of the stock of RDA Consulting back to the corporation, which placed all of the outstanding shares in a trust. As Ms. Bennett wrote in a blog post, “This perpetual trust will exist to fulfill the mission, vision, and values of RDA in serving our clients while providing equity for our employees and ensuring that RDA remains rooted in our community. “ Ms. Bennett may have had simpler and/or more lucrative options, but she chose the more complex employee ownership transaction. In our view, this will likely have the best long-term outcomes for the workers. Employee Ownership Trusts can hold companies long-term for the purpose of worker ownership.
As a law firm focused on social enterprises and a democratic economy, we are prioritizing worker ownership conversions. We have been building a practice of flexibly leading groups through the transaction, providing advice, understanding, and documentation. We have also seen multiple transactions from the seller’s side (such as with Ms. Bennett), giving us a well-rounded perspective. (We also promote worker ownership by forming start-up worker cooperatives!)
Contact us to learn how to convert your business to worker ownership or how to establish an employee ownership trust.