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Caryn Coppedge McNeill and Craig Wheaton Present at Eighth Annual ESOP U Conference

September 16, 2015

Raleigh, N.C. – Partners Caryn Coppedge McNeill and Craig Wheaton presented “Benefits Implications of Contingent Workforces” together with Dolores Lawrence of Blue Ridge ESOP Associates at the Eighth Annual ESOP U Conference.

The presentation focused on the issues that independent contractors, leased workers and part-time employees create for employers who maintain benefit plans and how employers can minimize related risks. 

The ESOP U conference was hosted by the Carolinas Chapter of The ESOP Association and took place August 13-14, 2015 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C.

The ESOP Association is the largest employer sponsored advocacy and education association focused on retirement savings in America and serves approximately 2,800 employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) companies, professionals with a commitment to ESOPs, and companies considering the implementation of an ESOP. The Association’s focus is on preserving and promoting employee stock ownership through the ESOP structure. For more information, visit


About Caryn Coppedge McNeill

Caryn McNeill leads Smith Anderson’s Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Practice Group. She regularly advises public and private companies on all aspects of the design, implementation and administration of employee benefit plans and executive compensation arrangements, including stock option plans and other types of equity-based compensation arrangements. A significant part of her practice is devoted to counseling and negotiating on behalf of clients in connection with mergers and acquisitions. She also regularly assists employers, lenders and institutional fiduciaries with the structure and implementation of leveraged ESOP transactions. For more information, please visit Caryn’s bio.

About Craig Wheaton

Craig Wheaton’s practice focuses on employee benefits, including retirement and welfare plans, executive compensation and fiduciary compliance. Craig has provided representation to many public and private entities, including some of the largest employers in North Carolina, the Southeast and the United States.  He also regularly represents bank trust departments, insurers, financial advisers, accounting and law firms, and other service providers in the benefits industry. Craig has assisted many entities in resolving employee benefits compliance matters and controversies.

Craig is a Fellow of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel. Fellows have at least twenty years of employee benefit experience and are selected on the basis of having made significant contributions to the field of employee benefits. He has also been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® in the area of Employee Benefits Law for fifteen years. For more information, please visit Craig’s bio.

About Smith Anderson’s Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Group

With a record of successes for large entities in North Carolina and the United States, our lawyers also take pride in being able to efficiently and effectively resolve complex compliance challenges and adversarial matters involving benefit plans. As a result of the strengths noted by our clients and peers, “Best Law Firms” has awarded our Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation practice a “metropolitan first tier” ranking every year since 2010, when U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers first began this joint effort to identify the highest performing firms and practices in the country. 

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