An employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) is an employee benefit plan that gives employees ownership interest in the company in the form of shares of stock. ESOPs give the sponsoring company – the selling shareholder – and participants various tax benefits, making them qualified plans, and are often used by employers as a corporate finance strategy to align the interests of their employees with those of their shareholders.
Our panel of Huntsville company founders, moderated by Jeff Gronberg, will discuss how they came to the decision to transition their company to an ESOP, the steps they took to get there and where the decision has landed them today.
Doug Scalf's entire professional career has been in the technical services industry where he has held positions from systems analyst to senior VP. Prior to founding PeopleTec in 2005, he was the vice president of operations for Modeling, Simulation & Training at SAIC. From 1997 to 2003, he served in various roles including vice president and senior vice president for Quality Research's Modeling, Simulation & Training Group. In this capacity, he was responsible for over 250 employees in eight states and annual revenues of over $25M.
From 1982 until 1997, Scalf worked at Computer Sciences Corporation in various technical and management positions. He received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Alabama in Huntsville and has over 40 years of experience in the area of modeling, simulation and technical program management.
Anna Catherine Osteen
Chief Financial Officer
Anna Catherine Osteen brings over 19 years of financial experience to PeopleTec and provides accounting and finance support for both the commercial and Government sectors. She joined PeopleTec in 2006 as accounting manager and served as the director of finance since 2012. Prior to joining PeopleTec, Osteen served as a public accountant with White Fleming & Co., P.C. She received her CPA in 2006 and is an active volunteer supporting a number of community organizations. Osteen earned a B.S. in Business Administration and a M.S. in Accounting from the University of Tennessee.
President & CEO
Sameer Singhal is the current president & CEO and joined CFD Research in June 2008; he served in roles of increasing responsibility before taking over as president & CEO in September 2016. His current focus is on further leveraging CFD Research’s rich R&D core and getting technologies out of the lab and into the hands of end users. Prior to CFD Research, he spent seven years at a VC-funded semiconductor startup: Nitronex Corporation in Raleigh NC, where he helped develop an early stage technology through to product sales. Singhal has over 30 publications in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings. Additionally, he has eight issued patents and eight patents pending. He received his B.S. from Georgia Tech and M.S. from Stanford University both in Materials Science and Engineering.
Bill Roark is the founder and CEO of Starfish Holdings, Inc. the parent company of Torch Technologies, the co-founder of Torch Technologies, Inc., and the founder of Freedom Real Estate & Capital, LLC. He has over 30 years of Department of Defense-related experience. As CEO of Torch, Roark guided the organization to national recognition as one of Forbes’ Small Giants in the America’s Best Small Companies list and Entrepreneur Magazine’s Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies in America. Among countless other awards, Torch has been recognized for 15 consecutive years on the Inc. 5000 list. Locally, Torch has received the BBB Torch Award for business ethics four times. Roark works to expand employee ownership to other organizations and will share the experiences of Torch’s transition to 100% employee-owned S Corporation. He earned an M.S. from the University of Kentucky and a B.S. from Cumberland College.
Jeff Gronberg has over 20 years experience in the defense and intelligence industries, and is currently the CEO of deciBel Research. Prior to joining deciBel, he was VP, Aerospace Engineering at ASI and director, Engineering Analysis at Teledyne Brown. He spent the first part of his career in commercial consulting working with a variety of companies such as E*Trade, The North Face, J. Crew, and Federal Express.
As a past chair of the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber, Gronberg gained an appreciation of our local and state needs for workforce and economic development. He also serves on the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees, Huntsville Hospital Foundation Board, Huntsville Committee of 100 Board of Directors, and Redstone Regional Alliance. He is past president of the Tennessee Valley Chapter of the National Defense Industrial Association.
Gronberg is a strong believer in giving back to the community and is active with the ALS Association, MS Society, and American Heart Association. He is the former board chair of the Heart of the Valley YMCA. Gronberg has been recognized with several awards and accolades in his professional life including the 2016 NDIA Kathleen P. Shridhar National Small Business Executive of the Year and the 2015 Huntsville/Madison County Chamber Russell G. Brown Executive Leadership Award.
He received his Bachelor of Science and additional graduate studies in aerospace engineering from the University of Alabama. He also completed the executive development program at the University of Tennessee.