Eaton Peabody and Husson University Launch the Smart Business Seminar Series

Husson University and the law firm of Eaton Peabody announced today that the two organizations are working together to offer the Smart Business Seminar Series to members of the Maine business community. The first seminar on employee stock ownership plans, (ESOPs), will be at the Richard E. Dyke Center for Family Business on the Bangor, Maine campus of Husson University on Wednesday, October 19, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

“Small business owners are often preoccupied with making their enterprises successful during their working years. Once it’s time to retire however, many haven’t given much thought to how they plan to exit their business or transition it to new owners,” says Husson University College of Business Dean Marie Hansen, JD., PhD. “Employee stock ownership plans are a great way to pass along a business to the employees who helped to make a business successful while providing the owner with financial security in retirement.”

Reflecting on the significance of the Smart Business Seminar Series, Gretchen Jones, chair of Eaton Peabody’s Business Practice Group said, “Eaton Peabody is pleased to partner with Husson University in offering a series of forums addressing common issues facing family-owned Maine businesses. These forums will provide valuable opportunities for family owned and other small business owners to better understand issues unique to them.”

“By sharing practical, direct experience reflective of the services we regularly provide to our clients to help them resolve important and often difficult decisions for their businesses, we hope that the forums will help these businesses to focus on the critical questions they face and that we can provide valuable and useful insight to them,” concluded Jones.

The seminar series has an impressive lineup of subjects and presenters over the course of 2016 and 2017:

Wednesday, October 19, 2016. Topic: Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs). Eaton Peabody presenters: Ed Feibel, Of Counsel, and Leslie Hallock, Senior Counsel

Wednesday, February 15, 2017. Topic: Management and Formalizing the Decision-Making Process. Eaton Peabody presenter: Eric Marshall, Of Counsel. Husson University faculty presenter: Lee Speronis, Director of the School of Hospitality, Sport, and Tourism Management.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017. Topic: Shareholder/Limited Liability Corporation Agreements and Member Agreements. Eaton Peabody presenters: David Austin, Managing Partner and Dan Pittman, Shareholder. Pittman’s presentation will focus on tax considerations associated with these agreements.

About the Eaton Peabody presenters:

Ed Feibel, Of Counsel. Feibel works primarily with employers in the establishment, operation, and maintenance of tax-qualified retirement plans, retirement plans for tax-exempt and governmental entities, Taft-Hartley plans, cafeteria plans, health care and other welfare and fringe benefit programs and executive compensation arrangements. He represents large and small businesses, nonprofit organizations, and governmental entities.

Leslie Hallock, Senior Counsel. Hallock’s practice includes all matters related to qualified retirement plans, 403(b) plans, 457(b) deferred compensation arrangements, nonqualified plans and executive compensation, health and welfare benefit plans, cafeteria plans, voluntary employees’ beneficiary associations (VEBAs) and fringe benefit plans. She has a particular interest in business succession and the design and implementation of employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs).

Eric Marshall, Of Counsel. Marshall’s practice focuses on new business formation, debt and equity financing, business acquisitions, cooperative ventures, and general commercial contracting. He works with start-up companies, family-owned businesses, and divisions of global corporations. He enjoys diving into the competitive dynamics of his clients’ industries, and collaborating with business managers and owners to guide and execute business strategies.

David Austin, Managing Partner. Austin represents a variety of business clients in connection with mergers and acquisitions, general corporate counsel, commercial contracts, debt and equity financings, and stockholder relations. He has also assisted clients with respect to business succession planning and provided counsel to shareholders and other business owners regarding a variety of business transition issues.

Dan Pittman, Shareholder. Pittman has extensive experience representing clients with respect to international, federal and state tax matters, and assists clients at every stage of development, from providing structuring advice and drafting organizational documents to advising on tax-efficient structures for acquisitions and dispositions of assets and businesses. He also provides day-to-day advice on a wide range of issues, including foreign tax credits and shelters from U.S. taxation, individual income tax planning and compliance, executive compensation and the tax consequences of real estate transactions.

About the Husson University Presenter:

Lee Speronis, JD, CHE, CHIA, Director of School of Hospitality, Sport, and Tourism Management. Speronis received his law degree from Stetson University and worked as an attorney in Florida in various capacities for over ten years. He was an area director for a major restaurant company in metropolitan New York before moving to Bangor with his family where he became an award winning managing/partner at one of the area’s premier restaurants. Speronis has served as the board chair of the Bangor Convention and Visitor’s Bureau since 2013 and was elected incoming chair of the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce in 2015. He is also a member of the Friends of the Maine Center, the group that led the effort for a new arena/convention center to be built in Bangor.

A continental breakfast will be available at each seminar. Individuals interested in registering for one, two or all three of these seminars should contact Nate Levesque via email at nlevesque(AT) The seminars are free and open to the public.

Founded in 1939, Eaton Peabody is a community-based law firm with over 50 attorneys serving New England and Atlantic Canada from offices in Augusta, Bangor, Brunswick, Ellsworth and Portland. The firm offers broad legal expertise through a variety of focused practice groups led by some of Maine’s leading attorneys. For more information, visit

For more than 100 years, Husson University has prepared future leaders to handle the challenges of tomorrow through innovative undergraduate and graduate degrees. With a commitment to delivering affordable classroom, online and experiential learning opportunities, Husson University has come to represent superior value in higher education. Our Bangor campus and off-campus satellite education centers in Southern Maine, Wells, and Northern Maine provide advanced knowledge in business; health and education; pharmacy studies; science and humanities; as well as communication. In addition, Husson University has a robust adult learning program. For more information about educational opportunities that can lead to personal and professional success, visit