Congratulations to 42 Advisors who earned CEPA in the Valley of the Sun


The 42 New Advisors Earn the Certified Exit Planning Advisor Designation

CEPA Phoenix | Class of 2019

Please join us in congratulating and welcoming the newest Certified Exit Planning Advisors to join the growing exit planning community!

  • Melvin Ashley, CEPA, Prescott Washington Financial LLC, Rockville, Maryland [read more]
  • Scott Bartholmey, CEPA, Next Transition LLC, Clearwater, Florida [read more]
  • Ethan Bays, CEPA, UBS Financial Services, Inc., Portland, Oregon [read more]
  • Michael Berlin, CEPA, Brecksville, Ohio [read more]
  • Bart Brown, CEPA, Stock Yards Bank & Trust, Louisville, Kentucky [read more]
  • Brian Cates, CEPA, UBS Financial Services, Inc., Lone Tree, Colorado [read more]
  • John Chionchio, CEPA, WealthPoint, Phoenix, Arizona [read more]
  • Matthew Cook, CEPA, UBS Financial Services, Inc., Weehawken, New Jersey [read more]
  • Stephen DeMaio, CEPA, Family & Business Success LLC, Cleveland, Ohio [read more]
  • Anna Diaz, CEPA, Dowling & Yahnke, San Diego, California [read more]
  • Robert Dow, CEPA, Merrill Lynch, Rockledge, Florida [read more]
  • John Fencil, CEPA, Golden, Colorado [read more]
  • John Frakes, CEPA, UBS Financial Services, Inc., San Antonio, Texas [read more]
  • Del Fujinaka, CEPA, Pacific Legacy Group LLC dba Pacific Legacy Partner, Honolulu, Hawaii [read more]
  • Jorge Garcia, CEPA, UBS Financial Services, Inc., Austin, Texas [read more]
  • Russell Gentner, CEPA, UBS Financial Services, Inc., Williamsville, New York [read more]
  • Jim Griffin, CEPA, Rojas and Associates, CPAs, Los Angeles, California [read more]
  • Ben Hamilton, CEPA, RBC WM, Las Vegas, Nevada [read more]
  • Erez Hevroni, CEPA, Bank Leumi USA, Palo Alto, California [read more]
  • Greg Hirsch, CEPA, Greg Hirsch (private firm), Prosper, Texas [read more]
  • Todd Jackson, CEPA, Beacon Exit Advisors, Franklin, Tennessee [read more]
  • David Killion, CEPA, Brown Smith Wallace, St. Louis, Missouri [read more]
  • Jason Klein, CEPA, UBS Financial Services, Inc., Williamsville, New York [read more]
  • Peggy Kragh, CEPA, Murphy Business & Financial NW MT LLC, Whitefish, Montana [read more]
  • Edwin Lape, CEPA, Lazear Capital Partners, Columbus, Ohio [read more]
  • Shelley Lightfoot, CEPA, The Founders Group, San Diego, California [read more]
  • Carol Mani Johnston, CEPA, UBS Financial Services, Inc., San Antonio, Texas [read more]
  • Mike Mumford, CEPA, UBS Financial Services, Inc., Spokane, Washington [read more]
  • David Oetken, CEPA, Louisville Small Business Development Center, Louisville, Kentucky [read more]
  • Erik Owen, CEPA, Oak Hill Business Partners, Brookfield, Wisconsin [read more]
  • Steven Sartor, CEPA, UBS Financial Services, Inc., Los Angeles, California [read more]
  • Valerie Schmitz, CEPA, Kelly Day Financial, Columbia Station, Ohio [read more]
  • Jerrey Thurston, CEPA, UBS Financial Services, Inc., Orlando, Florida [read more]
  • Bobbi Thury, CEPA, Legacy Law Firm, P.C., Sioux Falls, South Dakota [read more]
  • Christopher Van Atta, CEPA, UBS Financial Services, Inc., Boulder, Colorado [read more]
  • Jon Vigi, CEPA, UBS Financial Services, Inc., Detroit, Michigan [read more]
  • Jayna Voss, CEPA, Legacy Law Firm, P.C., Sioux Falls, South Dakota [read more]
  • Jennifer Wappaus, CEPA, PagnatoKarp, Reston, Virginia [read more]
  • Christine Weiner, CEPA, Professional Law Firm, Newport Beach, California [read more]
  • Jim Wisdom, CEPA, JLW Financial & Insurance Services, Westlake Village, California [read more]
  • Christopher Zias, CEPA, U.S. Trust, Princeton, New Jersey [read more]
  • Michael Zimmerman, CEPA, Sequinox, Lancaster, Pennsylvania [read more]

We look forward to supporting all of you, alongside the entire CEPA network, as you change outcomes for the middle market!

The Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA) designation is awarded to those professionals who meet the experience and education requirements, attend the credentialing program, and pass the proctored exam.  The CEPA designation is accepted by more than 18 major designations and organizations, making it the most widely endorsed and accepted exit planning designation in the marketplace today. To learn more, visit

More than a credentialing company.

“This Methodology is Going to Supercharge My Practice!” -Justin Goodbread, CEPA, CFP®

Official ‘Exit Planning’ Definition: 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 future of the business owner, his/her family, and the business itself are addressed by exit planning through creating value today.

Exit planning is not just a plan (or a keyed-in report to print out for an owner). It is a strategy rooted in execution that grows value while expanding options so that an owner can transition the business on his/her terms when they are ready. It aligns the business, personal, and financial needs of the owner. Good exit planning utilizes the Value Acceleration Methodology™ to move clients through discovery, prepare, and decide gates. Certified Exit Planning Advisors (CEPA) educate the owner on all of the exit options and enters an engagement with an exit-option-agnostic perspective as to truly serve the business owner’s diverse needs. CEPAs collaborate with a seasoned, multi-disciplinary team of professionals to support the success of the business owner and use each other’s specialties and expertise to the benefit of the project. [view the award-winning methodology]

“Why did I earn CEPA when I already had an exit planning designation? Simple, the network. The quality of the EPI advisor network is unmatched.” -Paul Meyer, CEPA, CBEC

Do you consider your COIs or your referral network as the #1 source for new business? Look no further for your next membership affiliation. Formed in 2005 to serve educational and resource needs of financial planners and wealth managers, CPA/accountants, attorneys, commercial lenders, M&A advisors and business brokers, management consultants and other business advisors, the Exit Planning Institute is considered the standard trendsetter in the field of exit planning across the globe. It is the only organization that offers the Certified Exit Planning Advisor Program (CEPA) and qualifies for continuing education credits with twelve major professional associations, making it the most widely accepted and endorsed professional exit planning program in the world. [find a CEPA in your area]

“As a CPA, nothing is more important than exit planning.” -Bill Kenedy, CPA/ABV, CFF, CEPA

Our founders paved the way for the organization we are today. In the past three years alone, EPI has grown by more than ten times. We support and enable thousands of professional advisors who are leading the way in their local marketplaces across the globe. We invite you to join the community and experience the EPI difference.

We are powered by a dedicated staff, industry experts, and market leaders, that are passionate about providing top professional advisors the best industry content, ongoing practice support, and owner education resources. From humble beginnings, EPI has grown to become the exit planning market leader while staying focused and true to our mission. We are an education company that certifies and supports more than 900 CEPAs (and counting) as well as thousands of advisors worldwide through national, regional, chapter, and virtual education. Explore our history and make plans to play a part in our future. [explore the EPI history timeline snapshot]

“You want to have the best credential in the industry. So my advice is that you have to go with Exit Planning Institute.” -Vincent Mastrovito, CEPA, CBEC

Do you want help in an increasingly commoditized or oversaturated marketplace? Do you want just another designation for your business card or do you want the credentialing education that helps you adapt and thrive in a rapidly changing industry? You’ve come to the right place.

The Exit Planning Institute creates an exit planning “ecosystem,” and due to the diverse nature of exit planning, EPI has fostered a hyper-engaged exit planning community. This community includes CEPAs, other collaborative advisors, strategic alliance partners, academicians, the media, and business owners from across the globe made up of 15 countries, 44 U.S. States and representing over a dozen different professional disciplines. To serve this elite and cross-functional community on one major platform, EPI produces the best content as it relates to exit planning, succession planning, and value acceleration, provides ongoing advisor support and practice development, and creates connectivity to transitioning business owners. [connect with us today]

Explore the unmatched professional development experience and gain your next competitive edge in 2019.

The Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA) Program is the most widely endorsed and accepted exit planning designation in the marketplace today. Experience the EPI difference and determine if earning the CEPA designation is the next strategic move for you to reinvent yourself in a changing marketplace. Visit today.