deborah groban olson

Attorney at Law Specializing in employee ownership and cooperatives

deborah groban olson

Attorney at Law
Specializing in employee ownership and cooperatives



News & Events

New video of webinar “How a Co-op ESOP Hybrid Works”

How a Co-op ESOP Hybrid Works – If you missed this Feb. 21 webinar, you can now watch the recording here:

You can also get the session materials, slides, and more here.

Democratic ESOPs or ESOPs with co-op features has been a specialty of Deb Olson’s law practice for 38 years. Once Again Nut Butter Collective (OANB) is the featured example company in this webinar. OANB’s CEO, Bob Gelser, a worker board member, Scott Owens, and Deb, who is board chair of OANB will present on the two and ½ years of work that has led to the OANB participatory decision making system, and the history leading to it. Deb spoke about legal mechanisms and issues. Bob and Scott talked about the practical issues of making a participatory workplace of 80 people function efficiently. Chris Cooper of the Ohio Employee Ownership Center (OEOC) moderated.

This event was cosponsored by the Groban Olson Law Firm, the Center for Community Based Enterprise (C2BE), the Ohio Employee Ownership Center at Kent State University (with support from the USDA's Rural Cooperative Development Program); Horizon Trust & Investment Management; and Once Again Nut Butter Collective, Inc.

Cooperative Development for Communities and Unions – presentation at New Work New Culture Conference 10-19-14 in Detroit


Deb Olson facilitated a Worker Co-op Development workshop at the New Work New Culture conference in Detroit on 10-19-14. Deb provided an overview on all types of co-ops and worker ownership, and an update on the projects of the Center for Community Based Enterprise in the power point "Strategies for Community Wealth Building through Cooperation" as background for a focus on union worker co-ops. The other panelists were Kristen Barker and Phil Amadon, who spoke about the Cincinnati Union Co-op Initiative, and Chris Michalakis from UFCW Local 876 who explained the Local’s participation in Community Growth Partners, a non—profit which is developing a worker owned grocery store chain in metro Detroit through conversion of existing independent groceries. Their goal is creation of a unionized, worker owned grocery chain in Detroit providing the best locally-sourced food.

Olson speaks at Open Cities Detroit on Alternate Ownership Models on 1/20/ 2014

 Monday, January 20 at 6:00pm
Have you ever wanted to start a business? Are you a current owner? Panelists will discuss alternative models of business ownership, including co-ops and employee stock ownership plans.
Panelists will include: 

Atty. Deborah Groban Olson-Executive Director of Center for Community Based Enterprise, Inc.

Bekah Galang Colors - Detroit Co-op Academy Coordinator

Tera Holcomb founding Partner Sidecar Detroit

And will be moderated by @Chanell Scott, Co-op consultant at 456 Consulting

Open City Detroit is a free networking event that facilitates exchange about starting, operating and growing a small business in Detroit. By providing an informal space for entrepreneurs to share stories, information and resources, Open City aims to strengthen the local business community.

“Preserving the Social Mission Beyond the Founder” – Deb Olson moderates panel with Bill Carris, Paul Saginaw & Ron Maurer at NCEO conference April 9, 2014

Atty. Deb Olson  developed and will moderated a panel at  which founders and leaders of two very different social enterprises discuss what they have done and are doing to ensure that the successful social enterprises they built, Carris Reels and Zingerman's, will remain both successful businesses and social enterprises when their successors run the business. The panel will be April 9, 2014, at t the upcoming National Center for Employee Ownership annual conference in Atlanta, GA.

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Community-building thru ministry and community-based businesses – Church of the Messiah, C2BE and Zingerman’s

Last Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013, the Center for Community Based Enterprise (C2BE) provided 30 members of Zingerman's Diversity and Inclusion Committee with a tour of the community wealth building programs at Church of the Messiah and initiated an ongoing dialogue with youth and adult church members and leaders of the C2BE- which is located at the church) about what needs to be done to  restore community and rebuild  neighborhoods like the Island View neighborhood on Detroit's east side. The church, Zingerman's and C2BE share a strong belief in the ability to make change by supporting and enlisting the talents of every individual to build community well-being and wealth. Following is a recent interview of Pastor Randolph.

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