Birkey’s CFO Unveils ESOP Journey at 2024 Dealership Summit

In a transformative move that has reshaped the landscape of agricultural equipment retail, Birkey’s Farm Store, a 19-store Case IH dealership with locations across Illinois and Indiana, became fully employee-owned in 2022. Ben Mast, the company’s CFO and Treasurer, played a pivotal role in this transition. At the upcoming 2024 Dealership Minds Summit, Mast will share the intricate details behind Birkey’s journey to becoming an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) entity.

With his extensive background in corporate financial administration, including treasury management, financial reporting, internal controls, compliance, and business strategy, Mast was instrumental in guiding Birkey’s through the ESOP process. His insights will be invaluable for other dealerships considering a similar path. During the open-book session, attendees will learn how to evaluate whether an ESOP is the right solution for their business’s future. Mast will discuss the pros and cons of different levels of employee ownership, providing a nuanced understanding of the financial and cultural impacts of such a transition.

Moreover, Mast will outline the necessary steps for a smooth transition to an ESOP, emphasizing the importance of clear communication and meticulous reporting requirements. These elements are crucial for meeting timelines and ensuring that all stakeholders are aligned throughout the process. The session will also cover what other dealers have discovered following mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and strategies for exiting an ESOP, offering a comprehensive view of the lifecycle of employee ownership.

The Dealership Minds Summit, scheduled for August 6-7, 2024, in Madison, Wisconsin, promises to be an event rich with collaborative, dealer-to-dealer learning. Over the course of two days, participants will gain authoritative strategies from some of the most progressive minds in farm equipment dealerships. The summit will feature a knowledge-packed agenda designed to provide attendees with practical, actionable insights.

This dealer-only event is a unique opportunity for top farm equipment dealerships from around North America to engage in unrivaled learning and networking. With limited seats available, early registration is encouraged. Attendees can register and download the program at

The 2024 Dealership Minds Summit is supported by an impressive roster of title sponsors, including AgDirect, Machinery Scope, IronSolutions by Fusable, AXON, Dealer Information Systems Corporation (DIS), TractorHouse, VitalEdge Technologies, Basic Software Systems, Associated Equipment Distributors (AED), AgGuard, Geringhoff, PTx Trimble, Agri Spray Drones, and LST Group. These sponsors underscore the event’s significance and its role in shaping the future of farm equipment dealerships.

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