Cleveland, OH – The Exit Planning Institute is proud to announce that Michael Pappas of Barnes Wendling CPAs recently earned the Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA) designation after completing the Institute’s intensive 4-day executive MBA-style program in Chicago, Illinois.  Mike joins 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. He is 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.

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, Mike completed the rigorous 4-day program that involved approximately one hundred hours pf pre-course study, thirty hours of classroom instruction, and the successful completion of a 3-hour proctored exam.

Key Benefit to Businesses

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.

“We are always looking for strategies to enhance value and validate our client service objective, to build and maintain our clients’ net worth. This CEPA certification helps to accomplish just that and provides additional tools and resources” says Pappas regarding the value of this certification. “I completed this certification for my clients and to become the best business advisor possible to assist in their growth as a business owner,” he adds.

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 Mike Pappas at or call 216-566-9000.