“Capitalism collapsed in the fall of 2008. Its collapse was also the direct result of a flaw in the system. Capitalism promised universal opportunity and a rising tide for everyone. It failed to place any real purchasing power into the hands of the workers. Over the past 20 years, the economic purchasing power of U.S. workers has decreased by an alarming percentage, despite the overall growth of the U.S. economy. We need to figure out how to achieve a balance between the ability to produce goods and services and the purchasing power that is needed to purchase these goods and services. Employee stock ownership can play a very important role in rebuilding the middle class. Through this gift to the School of Management and Labor Relations, I am supporting the largest collection of scholars in the world studying employee stock ownership and related ideas of economic democracy and hope to make it possible for them to do intensive research, to meet, to dialogue, and to expand inquiry on these issues in an academic setting.”

– John D. Menke

Photo of John D. Menke

John D. Menke has made a very generous gift to the School of Management and Labor Relations in order to support a major part of the entire fellowship program. The Menke gift created the Louis O. Kelso Traveling Fellowships that make it possible for all of the fellows in the fellowship program to meet annually in the Mid-year Fellows Workshop on the campus of Rutgers University. The workshop is held in honor of Louis O. Kelso. The workshop provides a setting for the fellows to present their work-in-progress research, to receive feedback from an interdisciplinary group of colleagues and to develop research teams and projects with each other. Mr. Menke is President of Menke & Associates, Inc. one of the oldest and most active firms specializing in Employee Stock Ownership Plans or ESOPs. During his career, Mr. Menke has supervised or participated in over 2,500 ESOP transactions. Prior to founding Menke & Associates, Inc. in 1974, Mr. Menke was associated with the law firm of Kelso, Cotton, Seligman & Ray, where he practiced in the fields of corporate finance, tax planning, and mergers and acquisitions. Mr. Menke received his B.A. degree from the University of Texas, and his LL.B. degree from the Yale Law School.