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Owners at Work


Jun 11, 2024

Guest: Gina Schaefer

SUMMARY: For 38 years, the OEOC has gathered hundreds of people from across the employee ownership community at our Annual Conference and every year, we invite a keynote speaker to address those in attendance. This year, we invited Gina Schaefer, the founder, CEO, and selling owner of A Few Cool Hardware Stores, which became 100% employee-owned in 2021. Her story of how her company came to be, her approach to building culture within the business, and her tendency to build relationships outside of it speak to the power of building community and how employee-owned companies are uniquely poised to do this. Beyond that, Gina’s address and the story of A Few Cool Hardware Stores highlight other important themes whose power we often underestimate: faking it until you make it, doing the hard thing, being curious, and telling our own stories of employee ownership, to name a few. 

Further Material

Guest INFO : 

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WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU: We are always looking for new employee ownership stories to tell. Please contact us with your story at oeoc@kent.edu