We try to keep Fridays free for fun, but this is important and seating is limited.

Louisville-based financial firm Hilliard Lyons is presenting Spenser Coates, president of Houchins Industries, arguably Kentucky’s largest privately owned business, to talk about employee stock ownership plans, or ESOPs.

The Bowling Green, Ky.-based conglomerate is the parent company of Hilliard Lyons, not to mention a lot of other businesses including supermarket chains and consumer goods. The private company had total 2011 revenues of about $3 billion, roughly the size of Brown-Forman.

The event is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 10 in the Spirit Room of the KFC Yum! Arena.

Metro Mayor Greg Fischer will open the event with remarks about the Louisville business community and job creation, according to a news release.

From a news release:

Spenser Coates, President of Houchens Industries, will tell the Houchens story – from its early beginnings in 1917 to becoming one of the largest 100% employee-owned ESOP companies in the United States. Since adopting its ESOP, Houchens has grown its annual sales from approximately $200 million in 1988 to $2.85 billion in 2011. The 35 businesses owned by Houchens now employ more than 16,000 employees. Mr. Coates will share lessons learned along the way and his insights into the many advantages of ESOPS. The use of Employee Stock Ownership Plans is an increasingly popular topic given the current tax uncertainty, as proceeds from an ESOP sale can be exempt from taxation.

The event is scheduled for 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The target audience is owners of businesses with 20-plus employees.

To register, click here.