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Chris Fredericks, CEO of Empowered Ventures
Episode 942nd October 2023 • Startups for Good • Miles Lasater
00:00:00 00:45:21

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Chris Fredericks founded Empowered Ventures, serves as president & CEO, and is a member of the board of directors. Chris has a diverse background in management, accounting and finance, business valuations, mergers and acquisitions, operations, people development, and strategy.

In 2010, he proposed and led the acquisition of TVF ( on behalf of the employees using an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), which enabled a successful ownership transition for the founder. After overseeing a decade of success as an employee-owned company, Chris and TVF launched Empowered Ventures ( in 2020 to grow and diversify the ESOP through acquisition. Inspired by TVF’s transformative employee ownership experience, Chris led Empowered Ventures to define its purpose which is to perpetually create life-changing financial and personal wellbeing outcomes for its employee owners.

Chris resides near Burlington, Vermont, having relocated from his home state of Indiana in 2022. He is a graduate of Indiana University Bloomington’s Kelley School of Business with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. A former CPA, Chris started his career in public accounting in the nonprofit sector before joining TVF in 2005, where he served in various positions including chief financial officer, before serving as president from April 2010 through March 2021.

He's a graduate of Indiana University Bloomington Kelley School of Business with a bachelor's degree in accounting. As a former CPA, Chris started his career in public accounting in the nonprofit sector, before joining the company in 2005, where he served in various positions, including chief financial officer and President from April 2010 through March 2021.

We talked about the differences between a stock option plan and a worker ownership plan. Chris shared the differences between a company being worker owned and being worker managed. In addition,  we discussed the differences between that and a co-op. Also, we talked about how he leads with open book management and creates alignment among different leaders and the team in general. And, we talk about what it means for an owner to sell to a worker owned company and what it means for the workers of the company that's purchased.

“We're in a fortunate position that when good opportunities arise that the fit our profile, …, both from a returns perspective, but and also all the other critically important…, orientations or requirements we're looking for in a business, that we're able to pull the trigger.” - Chris Fredericks

Connect with Chris on Twitter @esopchris and on LinkedIn

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