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IIRA, Carthage Community Development to Host Business Succession, Transition Planning Workshop April 24

April 10, 2014

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MACOMB, IL – The Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA) at Western Illinois University will host a workshop that will focus on the information and services needed to successfully transition family and other closely held businesses in Carthage (IL) Thursday, April 24.

"Business Succession and Transition Planning," which IIRA is hosting in partnership with Carthage Community Development, will begin at 5:30 p.m. and will be held in Carthage's City Council Chambers located at 538 Wabash St. The workshop is open free to businesses statewide, as well as to businesses in neighboring states.

According to Fred Iutzi, program manager for IIRA's Illinois Cooperative Development Center, the workshop will be conducted by Steve Barnhart, a technical specialist from the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC). His presentation will address succession and transition-planning issues encountered by all types of family and closely held businesses, regardless of whether they are in the manufacturing sector. Barnhart, who has more than 25 years of organizational development and operations leadership experience, provides training and business improvement services to Illinois companies, drawing upon IMEC's state and national resources to help companies increase productivity and remain competitive.

Iutzi will also be on hand to address questions about one particular option for business succession.

"We will highlight the option of forming a cooperative as a business succession strategy," he noted. "In some situations, a cooperative is an effective way of mobilizing community members to support a transitional business' future."

Business owners are encouraged to attend and learn more about the components of a company transition as it relates to business planning for the future, Iutzi added.

Although the workshop is open free to business owners, space is limited and interested individuals are asked to RSVP to reserve seating. To make a reservation, contact Amy Graham on or before Thursday, April 17 at (217) 357-3800 or via at email

This workshop is sponsored by the Illinois Cooperative Development Center, a USDA-funded program of the IIRA, and is also supported by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

Learn more about the IIRA at

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