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Craig Wheaton, Katherine Young Biegler and Kim Korando Present at ESOP Association Conference

August 31, 2011

Raleigh, N.C. (August 18-20, 2011) – Craig Wheaton and Katherine Young Biegler, members of Smith Anderson’s Employee Benefits and Compensation practice group, and Kim Korando, head of Smith Anderson’s Employment, Labor and Human Resources practice group, presented at the Carolinas Chapter of the ESOP Association’s 4th Annual Conference, August 18-20 at the Pinehurst Resort.

Mr. Wheaton and Ms. Biegler presented a program on “Finding and Fixing Common Plan Errors.” This program examined the most common compliance mistakes made by qualified retirement plans and ways to fix them using IRS and DOL correction programs. Ms. Korando presented a program titled “HR War stories: From Hiring to Firing, Reflections from an Employment Lawyer on Mistakes Clients Wish They Never Made.” Drawing on her 25 years of experience, Ms. Korando shared a number of employment-law related mistakes she has seen employers make and suggested ways that the ESOP organizations in attendance could avoid them.

ESOPs, or “employee stock ownership plans,” are a special type of qualified retirement plan. Although ESOPs can be used in a number of settings, they are most commonly used by shareholders of privately-held companies to diversify out of their holdings on a tax-advantaged basis. Used this way, they serve as one answer to a dilemma common to a growing number of baby-boomer entrepreneurs pondering the future of companies they have built from scratch – how to cash out of their closely-held company and diversify their holdings.

Mr. Wheaton, Ms. Biegler and the other attorneys in Smith Anderson’s ESOP Practice Group have more than 50 years combined experience working with ESOPs and are active in the national ESOP community. Caryn McNeill, a Smith Anderson partner who served as a course planner for the August conference, is a Vice President of the Carolinas Chapter of The ESOP Association and a member of its Executive Committee.

Ms. Korando is recognized as one of North Carolina’s leading employment lawyers by Chambers USA, Law and Politics North Carolina Super Lawyers, The Best Lawyers in America and Business North Carolina Legal Elite. She leads Smith Anderson’s Employment, Labor and Human Resources practice group. Her advice and representation are sought in matters of financial, reputational and operational significance to leading employers.

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