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Executive Bios


James J. Bonham

President and CEO, The ESOP Association

From The ESOP Association’s national headquarters in Washington, DC, James Bonham serves as President and CEO, leading The Association and its 18 state and regional chapters throughout the nation. Bonham also serves as President of the Employee Ownership Foundation, whose mission is to educate and expand employee ownership throughout the United States.

Bonham is a recognized expert in public policy, government advocacy, and executive leadership. He brings more than 25 years of experience as a high level government official, advisor, and business leader with expertise in the fields of taxes, labor, financial services, manufacturing, healthcare, and government contracting.

Before joining The Association, Bonham was Chairman for nearly eight years of the highly regarded Public Policy and Government Relations practice at Manatt, Phelps, & Phillips, LLP, a nationally recognized law and business consulting firm. In this role, Bonham led teams of lawyers, policy experts, and advocates representing clients as diverse as New York Life, The Recording Academy (Grammy’s), StarKist, and the American Land Title Association.

During a decade of public service, Bonham held multiple senior staff positions, including Chief of Staff in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, where he was frequently cited in the media as one of the 50 most influential aides of either political party.

His passion for shared capitalism springs from a family commitment to employee ownership: His grandfather had a personal and professional relationship with James Cash (J.C.) Penney, based partly on a shared business philosophy. One of their beliefs was granting a form of ownership to employees in the small mercantile businesses they ran. Bonham is proud to carry on today his family tradition of expanding employee ownership.

David Fitz-Gerald

Chair, The ESOP Association
CFO of Carris Reels
Dave Fitz-Gerald Photo with JacketDavid Fitz-Gerald is the Vice President, Treasurer and CFO of Carris Reels in Rutland, VT, where he has worked since 1992. Carris Reels is a closely-held, 100 percent employee owned manufacturing company producing packaging for the wire and cable industry. In 2008 Carris Reels was named Employee Owned Company of the Year.

Dave has served multiple roles in The ESOP Association—as President of the New England Chapter, on the Board of Governors, on the Executive Committee of the State & Regional Chapter Council on the Interdisciplinary Advisory Committee for Fiduciary issues and on the Ownership Culture Advisory Committee. While serving on the Fiduciary Committee, Dave served two years as Co-Chair for the Internal Trustees track at the Las Vegas Technical Conference. He has served on The Association’s Board since 2012, and during his term as Vice Chair, he spearheaded a multi-year taskforce focused on evaluating and improving The Association’s National programming. Dave is a frequent speaker on governance and culture issues, and was recognized by the ESOP Association in 2011 with the Outstanding Chapter Officer Award. 

David actively Tweets about ESOP issues and can be found on Twitter under the handle @ESOPDave.