LAWRENCE – A new program launched earlier this month by the University of Kansas School of Business designed to keep rural businesses open for business will be guided by industry leaders, entrepreneurs and KU professors.
The Redefining Retirement program – nicknamed RedTire – will match qualified alumni of Kansas Regents institutions with business owners who are looking to retire.
The program will be supervised by two separate boards – a Board of Advisors and a Board of Governors – which include a number of highly regarded Kansas entrepreneurs and business leaders. The Board of Advisors will provide business valuation expertise and help the replacement managers grow the business after acquisition. The Board of Governors will oversee the total RedTire operation.
Members of the Board of Advisors include:
• George Hansen, venture capitalist; former partner, TGP Investments; CEO, Corporate Lodging Consultants
• Pat Healy, founding partner, C3 Capital Partners
• Tony Rock, founding partner, Cimarron Infrastructure Group
• Wally Meyer, director, KU Center for Entrepreneurship
Members of the Board of Governors include:
• Bill Taylor, former partner, Ernst & Young; board member of Citizens for Higher Education and Tamarack Funds
• Jay Meschke, president, CBIZ Human Capital Services; former president, Kansas National Bank
• Mike Michaelis, president, Emprise Financial Corporation
• Kent Glasscock, president, National Institute for Strategic Technology Acquisition and Commercialization
• Bruce Davison, partner, SNR Denton; lead and tax counsel specializing in mergers and acquisitions, business structure and estates
• Linda Sadler, chief financial officer, KUCR; vice president, Flathead Valley Community College and Eastern Oklahoma State College
• Ron Ash, management and leadership area director, KU School of Business; doctorate in industrial and organizational psychology
Program staff will screen prospective replacement managers and candidate businesses, then identify good matches for purchase opportunities. From there, the program will help negotiate the purchase and transition of ownership terms, help establish a business purchase loan, and monitor and help the new owners successfully run and grow their new business.
The program aims to work with businesses with annual sales of at least $750,000 and will focus on the core Kansas industries of business, pharmacy, medicine and agriculture.
RedTire is an initiative of the KU Center for Entrepreneurship, housed at the KU School of Business. The program will be financed through existing business school funding streams.
The program is available to all graduates of Kansas Regents institutions and to current Kansas business owners. Services are free. For details, or to apply for services, visit the RedTire site.