History

Blue Ridge ESOP Associates was founded in 1988 to provide high quality, technically proficient, independent administration and recordkeeping services for employee benefit plans.

As we grew, we developed a specialized expertise in serving the unique needs of companies that sponsor Employee Stock Ownership Plans. We will always provide ESOP administration and related services, but our flexible 401(k) administration services help us deliver a complete solution. We service clients nationwide with care and personal attention.

Blue Ridge ESOP Associates is one of the top three ESOP Administration Firms in the country, measured in terms of number of clients served. Of these top five, we are the ONLY firm that provides ESOP Administration Services as the primary focus of our business.

​I couldn’t be more satisfied with the 'above and beyond' services we get from BREA. Not only do they handle all my distribution processing--right down to cutting checks to participants--;they’re also accurate, cost effective and streamline the entire administrative process for me. Our  administrator  is very professional, responsive, knowledgeable, and patient!

Gladys Hyman, Retirement Benefits Administrator, Harkins Builders, Inc.

About Us

Blue Ridge ESOP Associates employs the finest professionals in the business and has over 25 years of experience providing quality third party administration services. ESOPs and 401(k) plans require extensive technical training to understand the rules and regulations that govern them.  All of our administrators participate in continuing professional education to stay current with changes in the Internal Revenue Code and Department of Labor and Treasury Regulations. Our senior professional staff members are actively involved in the industry and are dedicated to maintaining their professional qualifications through the American Society of Pension Professionals &  Actuaries(ASPPA), the recognized professional society for employee benefits professionals.  In addition to ASPPA qualifications, our administrators pursue their ESOP specialty through membership in The ESOP Association and the National Center for Employee Ownership and often attend professional conferences dealing specifically with ESOPs. Several of our senior staff members are frequently asked to share their expertise with the ESOP community by speaking at these conferences and writing articles for professional journals.

In addition to our administrators, Blue Ridge ESOP Associates also employs experienced finance professionals, CPAs and an attorney to handle Internal Revenue Service, Department of Labor and Department of Treasury issues, ESOP trust accounting, and any questions or concerns from your accountants, auditors, bankers and attorneys.

Principals

Marie S. Minton, CFA

Ms. Minton has over 30 years of experience in accounting, auditing and corporate finance and was a Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer of a private ESOP company, where she was responsible for the design, implementation and financing of the company's ESOP, served as the ESOP Trustee and oversaw the ESOP administration and trust accounting functions.  She is a member of:  the CFA Institute and the CFA Society of Washington, DC.  She served on the Education Committee and Chaired the Scholarship Program of the CFA Society of Washington, DC, where she also served as a faculty member for the CFA Study Program.  She served on the Board of Directors, Audit Committee and Chaired the Executive Compensation Committee of Essex Corporation, (NASDAQ: KEYW).  Ms. Minton served on the ESOP Audit Committee of Swales Aerospace.  Ms. Minton received her Bachelor of Science in Commerce from the University of Virginia.

Gregory S. Washburn, Esq.

Mr. Washburn is an attorney with over 27 years of experience in interpreting and implementing U.S. Treasury Department (IRS) and U.S. Department of Labor regulations.  He was Vice President of Corporate Finance for an international investment bank.  In his twenty years of practice in the legal and finance fields, Mr. Washburn has structured and closed such complex financial transactions as management buyouts, mergers and acquisitions, going-private transactions, and public offerings. Greg has broad industry experience in financial services, communications and technology, with particular expertise in the business services industry.  He is a member of several state bar associations. Mr. Washburn received his Bachelor of Art in Economics from the University of Connecticut, his Juris Doctor from the University of Connecticut School of Law, and his Master of Business Administration in Accounting and Finance from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Managing Directors

Dolores P. Lawrence, CPA, QKA

Dolores P. Lawrence, CPA, QKA

Ms. Lawrence has over 27 years of experience in employee benefits, with a focus on plan design, implementation, administration and consulting services for ESOPs and 401(k) plans.  She also has a tax and accounting background, is a CPA and holds the QKA designation from ASPPA.  She is a member of: The ESOP Association; ASPPA; and the NCEO. She is currently a member of The ESOP Association’s Administrative Advisory Committee and is a frequent speaker at The ESOP Association and NCEO conferences.  Ms. Lawrence received her Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from the University of Texas.

Thomas Roback, Jr., CEP, QKA

Thomas Roback, Jr., CEP, QKA

Mr. Roback has worked in the accounting, investment and ESOP industry for over 26 years.  He is an expert in ESOP, 401(k) and equity compensation administration.  He is a Qualified 401(k) Administrator (QKA), Certified Equity Professional (CEP) and was the Chair on the Board of Directors for the National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO). Mr. Roback is also the Vice President-Membership for the ESOP Association’s Mid-Atlantic Chapter and on the board for the Central Virginia Employee Benefits Council (CVEBC). He is a member of: The ESOP Association; ASPPA; Employee-Owned S Corporations of America; Exit Planning Exchange; and the NCEO. Mr. Roback received his Master of Business Administration from the University of Baltimore and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the College of William and Mary.

Keith Teeter, QKA

Keith Teeter, QKA

Mr. Teeter has over 36 years of experience in the employee benefits industry and has been focused on ESOPs for the past 26 years. He also has extensive experience with 401(k) and defined benefit plans.  He holds the QKA designation from ASPPA. He is a member of: The ESOP Association; ASPPA; and the NCEO. Mr. Teeter received his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Westminster College.

E. Ashley Waters, CPA,CITP

E. Ashley Waters, CPA,CITP

Ms. Waters is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and has over 28 years of experience in accounting, tax, corporate finance and human resources. Before joining Blue Ridge over 10 years ago, she worked in public accounting and as Vice President of Finance and Administration for two privately-held companies, where she served as Trustee for the companies’ 401(k) plans and managed the companies’ trust accounting functions. She is a member of: the Colorado and Virginia Societies of CPA’s; the American Institute of CPA’s; The Society for Human Resource Management; The ESOP Association; ASPPA; and the NCEO. She also holds certifications as a Chartered Global Management Accountant and a Certified Information Technology Professional from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AIPCA). Ms. Waters received her Bachelor of Science in Commerce with Distinction from the University of Virginia.

Directors

Scott J. Freund, QPA

Scott J. Freund, QPA

Mr. Freund has over 21 years of experience providing administration and consulting advice to ESOP clients. Mr. Freund is a member of The ESOP Association’s Administration Advisory Committee and is a frequent speaker on ESOP administration topics for both The ESOP Association and the NCEO. He has extensive experience with ERISA law, Department of Labor Regulations and IRS code compliance. He has worked closely with Plan Sponsors, accountants, advisors and legal counsel to provide guidance on plan design and to resolve plan issues such as compliance matters and audit discrepancies.  He is a Qualified Plan Administrator (QPA). He is a member of: The ESOP Association; NCEO; ASPPA; and is a former Officer of the Wisconsin Chapter of the ESOP Association. He has served as the Subject Matter Expert on ESOPs for ASPPA’s Education and Examination Committee. Mr. Freund received his Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

Duane M. Gran

Duane M. Gran

Mr. Gran has over 18 years of experience designing and launching enterprise software systems.  He was a lead developer for the Department of Labor’s web-based human resources system and has managed Information Technology solutions in private and public sector organizations.  Mr. Gran is an Oracle certified Java Programmer and holds the Series 65 professional certification.  He serves on the Board of Directors for Rotary in Charlottesville, VA.  Mr. Gran received his Bachelor of Science from Ball State University.

Kevin T. Rusch, CPA, QPA

Kevin T. Rusch, CPA, QPA

Mr. Rusch has over 20 years of experience providing administration and consulting advice to ESOP clients. He is a CPA, as well as a QPA. Mr. Rusch is a member of The ESOP Association’s Administration Advisory Committee and is a frequent speaker on ESOP administration topics for both The ESOP Association and the NCEO. He works with plan sponsors, accountants, advisors, and legal counsel to provide guidance on plan design, repurchase obligation studies, compliance, and operation. He is a member of: The ESOP Association; ASPPA; and the NCEO.  He has served as the Subject Matter Expert on ESOPs for ASPPA’s Education and Examination Committee. Mr. Rusch received his Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Randy Shrake, QKA

Randy Shrake, QKA

Mr. Shrake has over 21 years of experience in the employee benefits industry and has been focused on ESOPs for the past 17 years.  He also has extensive experience with 401(k) and defined benefit plans. Mr. Shrake is a speaker on ESOP administration topics for both The ESOP Association and the NCEO. He is on the executive committee for the Northwest Chapter of The ESOP Association. Mr. Shrake holds the QKA designation from ASPPA. He is a member of: The ESOP Association; ASPPA; and the NCEO. Mr. Shrake received his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Economics from Oregon State University.

Renee M. Stadtmueller, CPA, QPA

Renee M. Stadtmueller, CPA, QPA

​Ms. Stadtmueller has over 18 years of experience providing administration and consulting advice to ESOP clients. She is a CPA and holds the QPA designation from ASPPA. Ms. Stadtmueller is a speaker on ESOP administration topics for both The ESOP Association and the NCEO. She works closely with Plan Sponsors, accountants, advisors and legal counsel to provide guidance on plan design, compliance and operation. She is a member of: The ESOP Association; ASPPA; and the NCEO.  She has served as a chairperson for ASPPA’s Education and Examination ESOP Certificate Subcommittee and as the Vice President of Programming for the Wisconsin Chapter of The ESOP Association and current Executive Subcommittee member. Ms. Stadtmueller received her Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and Finance from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.