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ESOP Basics | Timely Topics Webinar

June 25, 2024 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM (CDT)


In order to stay viable, sometimes families decide to switch to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). This employee benefit plan enables employees to own part or all of the company they work for. Learn more about ESOPs from experts throughout the state. At the conclusion of this webinar, attendees will have the chance to answer questions in real-time.


Nick Viner, Prairie Capital Advisors

Nick Viner rejoined Prairie Capital Advisors in 2020. He advises middle-market companies on employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), corporate valuation, financial opinions and other investment banking advisory services. Nick is responsible for providing project management services, corporate valuations and transaction analyses in support of capital structuring engagements including the following: ESOP implementation, leveraged recapitalizations, management buyouts (MBO), mergers and acquisitions ("M&A"), fairness opinions and other corporate finance-related topics. Nick also regularly presents webinars on the topic of valuation. Additionally, Nick was recognized as a Top 40 Under Forty Honoree in 2021 by the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA).

Robert Cramer, Cramer and Associates

Robert Cramer is a bridge builder.  After graduating from Iowa State in Construction Engineering, Robert went to work at Cramer and Associates, Inc. where he eventually served as Co-President of the family owned/employee owned bridge construction company.  He now serves as VP of Land Development and Co-chair of the Board. Robert also tries to build bridges with people in many diverse capacities.  He has served on industry boards, the local school board, Blessman International, the Family Leader board, Starts Right Here advisory board, and church board among others.  He was appointed to the Board of Regents in May of 2023.  Currently, Robert and his wife, Lori are building a Church/Event Center called Northbridge on the northeast side of Des Moines. Robert has two adult children and he’s taking applications for son-in-law.

Drew Larson, BrownWinick

In 2008, I received a J.D., with distinction, from the University of Iowa and was admitted to the Iowa bar in 2009. I graduated, magna cum laude, in 2006 from Iowa State University with a B.S. in Accounting and Political Science. I have been selected as a Rising Star by SuperLawyers® since 2015 and an “Up and Coming” practitioner by Chambers and Partners. I am also involved in a number of industry organizations, being an active member of the Association of Business and Industry (including two terms on the board of directors), the Technology Association of Iowa, Leading Age Iowa, and the Iowa Healthcare Association. I have also served in a number of roles in the community. I currently serve as a board member of Trivium Life Services, a community services and behavioral health provider based in Council Bluffs. Previously, I served as President of the Board of Directors for Bethany Life Communities, a non-profit long-term care community in Story City, Iowa, and as President of the Board of Directors for Good Neighbor Emergency Assistance of Story County, a non-profit providing emergency food, housing, and utility assistance to our neighbors in need.

Deborah Giarusso, Advance Iowa & IA-CEO, Moderator

Deb Giarusso serves as senior program manager for UNI Advance Iowa and the recently established Iowa Center for Employee Ownership (IA-CEO). Advance Iowa facilitates through education the knowledge and benefits of sustainable business structures to all stakeholders. IA-CEO’s objective is to mitigate the potential economic loss from the transition of local businesses by educating all interested parties in the viability of employee/shared ownership.

Deb spent 35 years building her expertise in both corporate and investment finance. Her professional experiences include corporate financial analysis for Oscar Mayer Foods in the early 1990s, managing a multi-million-dollar family investment portfolio for over 30 years, and a founding principal of an RIA firm during the financial crisis of 2008. Additionally, Deb taught both graduate and undergraduate finance courses at the University of Northern Iowa for twenty years. Deb holds the designation of CFA® charter holder, CFA Institute, earned her MBA from the University of Iowa in 1986 and recently earned the Certified Exit Planner (CExP) designation. Deb also donates her finance expertise by serving on multiple non-profit boards as a financial expert.

Contact Information

Name: Katie Kreis-Voigt