CoBPA News

Learn more about how the UND Nistler College of Business & Public Administration (CoBPA) impacts North Dakota, the region, the country, and the globe as we accomplish our mission.

Keith Olson Earns Certified Business Exit Consultant® Designation

Keith Olson Earns Certified Business Exit Consultant® Designation

WILLISTON, ND – The North Dakota Small Business Development Centers along with Williston State College is pleased to announce that Keith Olson recently earned the Certified Business Exit Consultant® Designation (CBEC) from the International Exit Planning Association (IEPA). The designation is a significant achievement and further establishes Keith as one of the elite exit planners in the national marketplace today.

Olson joined the ND SBDC in 2003 after working in economic development. In addition to a degree from the University of North Dakota, Keith holds many additional certifications and designations, including Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP), Advanced Business Intermediary (ABI), Certified Business Advisor (CBA), and Certified Value Growth Advisor (CVGA).

To receive the CBEC® Designation, Keith completed the high-level nine week training program requiring 30+ hours of pre-course study, 32 hours of extensive, leading edge curriculum taught by expert instructors, as well as the successful completion of the final exam. The final requirement had Olson delivering an exit plan to an owner and submitting that plan to the IEPA’s Certification committee for review. The IEPA’s CBEC® designation requires a rigorous process, holding graduates to a very high standard.

“Keith earning the CBEC® designation highlights his strong dedication and expertise in the field of exit planning. This achievement adds to his skills, allowing him to better assist clients in achieving long-term success with their strategies,” said Tiffany Ford, ND SBDC State Director. “This designation is a significant asset to both Keith and our state as the certification is held by a select group of experts in the field. His knowledge further strengthens the services offered by the ND SBDC to the state.”

About the ND SBDC

The ND SBDC is a statewide outreach program of the Center for Business Engagement & Development within the Nistler College of Business & Public Administration at the University of North Dakota. Since its inception in 1986, the ND SBDC network has helped business owners and entrepreneurs start, manage, and grow their small businesses through confidential, individualized, professional business advising and training workshops. Services are provided at no-cost to clients thanks to funding from U.S. Small Business Administration, Bank of North Dakota, and local supporters across the state.

About the International Exit Planning Association’s CBEC Designation Program

The emerging field of exit planning requires that our Certified Business Exit Consultant® graduates not only learn the material, but are also well-equipped to go out into the marketplace and deliver the exit planning services to exiting owners. In order to have a comprehensive approach to an owner’s needs, an advisor or consultant must have a solid plan to message this unique service to an exiting owner as well as sell and service the exit planning engagement. The CBEC® Designation is designed to deliver this combination of training and skills through our rigorous curriculum, live practice management training and ongoing support.

Press Contacts: Tiffany Ford, 701.777.8700, & Marnie Schuschke, 701.777.3700,