Cleveland, OH – The Exit Planning Institute is proud to announce that three directors of Barnes Wendling CPAs recently earned the Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA) designation after completing the Institute’s intensive five-day executive MBA-style program in Chicago, Illinois.  Janine Iacobelli, Michael Essenmacher, and Rosemary Rehner join Michael Pappas of Barnes Wendling CPAs and an elite group of business advisors who have received this designation and are a part of the Exit Planning Institute’s international community of CEPAs. They are amongst a limited group of CEPAs in Northeast Ohio. The CEPA program is the most widely accepted and endorsed professional exit planning program in the world.

Why is this Credential Valuable to Business Owners?

The goal of becoming a CEPA is to provide a unique service to clients that is essential for any business strategy. The CEPA is not another credential, it is a solution. This credential is built around providing value to the client and preparing them for their next transition. According to the Exit Planning Institute, exit planning combines the plan, concept, effort, and process into a clear, simple strategy to build a business that is transferable through strong human, structural, customer, and social capital. The exit planning service provides Barnes Wendling CPAs with additional knowledge and expertise. They now have a team dedicated to assisting clients in their exit planning strategy and plan to continue to grow the team in the coming years.

“Not only am I better equipped to help clients and potential clients exit their business, I am also better prepared to help them increase the value of their business before exiting,” says Janine Iacobelli, a director at Barnes Wendling CPAs.

“The CEPA service is such an excellent addition to our service line because it provides us with a methodology and process to follow in order to help our clients maximize both the operating results and the business value, regardless of whether the owner is thinking about exiting the business or not,” adds Rosemary Rehner, a director at Barnes Wendling CPAs alongside Iacobelli.

About the CEPA Program

The Certified Exit Planning Advisor program was specifically designed for business advisors who work closely with owners of privately held companies. The organizing principle of the program is Master Planning, the alignment of the three legs of the stool (business, personal, financial), which is executed through the implementation of a process called the Value Acceleration Methodology™. Using an executive MBA-style format, the program includes a combination of lectures, group discussions, case studies and individual exercises to introduce participants to these concepts and to reinforce skills. The program is taught by the Exit Planning Institute’s faculty of advisors, who are all sought after subject matter experts and authors.

To receive the CEPA designation, Iacobelli, Essenmacher, and Rehner completed the rigorous five-day program that involved approximately 100 hours of pre-course study, 30 hours of classroom instruction, and the successful completion of a three-hour proctored exam.

About the Exit Planning Institute

The Exit Planning Institute delivers interactive education and training, performance-enhancing resources, and strategic tools designed to enhance the exit planning profession. Formed in 2005 to serve the educational and resource needs of wealth managers, financial planners, accountants, management consultants, attorneys, M&A advisors, commercial lenders, and other business advisors, the Institute is considered the standard trendsetter in the field of exit planning. It is the only organization that offers the Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA) program which qualifies for continuing educational credits with twelve major professional associations, making it the most widely accepted and endorsed professional exit planning program in the world.

The Exit Planning Institute serves as a platform for creating awareness, advisor collaboration, innovative learning, continuing education, defining methodology, research, thought leadership, and practice development. Certified Exit Planning Advisors help to identify, protect, build, harvest and manage wealth to assist business owners and their families through an ownership transition.

To learn more about how to effectively implement an exit planning strategy, contact or call 216-566-9000.