CEPA Spotlight: Dyanne Ross-Hanson

CEPA Spotlight: Dyanne Ross-Hanson


The Exit Planning Industry encompasses business advisors and consultants from a wide spectrum of disciplines. We spoke with Dyanne Ross-Hanson, Founding Principal of Exit Planning Strategies, LLC., about her extensive career in exit planning, how the CEPA credential has impacted her business, and founding one of the strongest EPI Chapters.

Why Did You Become a CEPA?

Dyanne began her business, Exit Planning Strategies, in 2005 “well before exit planning was center stage” in the marketplace. She had worked previously in the full-service financial planning industry with a focus on business owner risk mitigation. Dyanne started her business because she realized that “transitioning ownership was a major financial event that most owners had no idea of how to do”.

In 2015, Dyanne attended a CEPA Executive Experience Program because she “felt it important to obtain any ‘industry specific’ credentials”, being Founding Principal of an Exit Planning Firm. Dyanne said that the “credentials indicated an expertise and level of professionalism” in serving her clientele.  

Her company helps owners of closely held businesses plan for and execute successful exits. Exit Planning Strategies LLC’s mission is to allow owners to achieve financial freedom, create a sustainable legacy, and exit on their own terms. Dyanne states, “I remind owners that transitioning ownership in their business is likely the single greatest financial event of their lives”.

Positive Client Relationships

With a career spanning over 40 years, Dyanne has worked with clients within a wide range of industries. One of her most memorable was a construction subcontractor, located in a small town outside of the Twin Cities. Her client was the majority owner with two minority partners. What impressed her most was the owner’s recognition that he needed help and was willing to pay for that resource.

Dyanne helped develop an incentive-based compensation plan that allowed the minority owners and another key employee to gradually buy her client out of the company. She said she experienced firsthand the collaborative nature of the Exit Planning Team. During this process she worked with the owner’s Attorney, CPA, and Banker. Dyanne’s client was able to successfully depart the business on his timetable for a fair price, to the parties he wanted.

At the end of the engagement, her client turned to her and said, ‘Dyanne, thank you! I would have never been able to pull this off without your guidance’. “Isn’t that what we all strive for in serving our clients”, Dyanne said.

EPI Chapter Network – Founding the Twin Cities Metro Area Chapter

Shortly after gaining her CEPA credential, Dyanne Ross-Hanson, along with Shaun Simma and Julie Keyes, launched the Twin Cities Metro Area Chapter. Since its launch, the TCMA Chapter has grown to one of the most successful chapters in the EPI Network. Dyanne is the Secretary of the Chapter and serves on the Steering Committee.

In 2019, when the TCMA Chapter Co-Sponsored an Owner’s Forum with ACG Minnesota and Club Entrepreneur, Dyanne served as the Sponsorship Chairperson and managed meeting logistics. Involvement with the TCMA Chapter has provided Dyanne an opportunity to “cement existing relationships and forge new ones”. Partnering with EPI Global and its market awareness initiatives has also been a great benefit, she added.

Even though Chapter events have transitioned to virtual meetings, networking opportunities remain strong. “Chapter events allow local advisors to expand their network in serving clientele. And increase visibility in the Exit Planning space”, Dyanne added.

Why Should Advisors Become a CEPA?

The Certified Exit Planning Advisor credential is one of the most recognized credentials in the f exit planning field today. “It helps identify a market niche for CPAs, Attorneys, Financial Advisors, and Wealth Managers, etc. who work in the exit planning space”, Dyanne said.  “The CEPA credential provides foundational knowledge, along with a growing community of advisors bringing awareness to the need for experienced exit planning resource”.

The CEPA credential provides professional advisors with the tools to effectively engage business owners and therefore, help them build more valuable companies. Earning CEPA does not change your expertise, it enhances your ability to engage business owners and have value-added conversations around growth and exit.

Are you interested in becoming a CEPA? Register for an upcoming CEPA Masterclass here.