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It’s never too early to plan for business succession

Saturday, October 14th, 2017 7:10:26 PM

The following excerpt of an article in the Wichita Business Journal was published on line Oct 6, 2017

By Bryan Horwath
 –  Reporter, Wichita Business Journal

Doug Stark has no immediate plans to step down from his role as CEO of ComfortCare Homes, a company that was started by his parents in 1993.

Having a succession strategy in place, however, is something that the 61-year-old has started to think about.

“Nobody wants to talk about something like that,” Stark said. “I’m actually in the process of putting together a plan right now. It’s never too early to start thinking about it.”

The Wichita-based business provides long-term care services for seniors, particularly those with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

The company — started in 1993 by Charley and Mary Lou Stark — has about 75 employees. Doug Stark also owns a Comfort Keepers franchise in Wichita, which, he said, functions as a sister company of ComfortCare.

Stark said his plan, while it is subject to change, is to hand the reins to one of his four children, daughter Kacey (Kasey) Breidenthal, sometime within the next several years.

He said the process of taking over from his late father was mostly seamless.

“I joined the company in 1995 and took over as CEO and president in 1999,” Stark said. “My dad retired in 2000 and, I would say, officially let go of all his duties in 2002. Any differences we had during that overlap, I think, were due mostly to his remoteness.”

“He would call sometimes and want to give advice on something, but he hadn’t been in on everything that led up to a decision.”

John Meetz, a Wichita businessman and president of The Alternative Board, works through a Texas-based company called The ExitMap to help customers craft business succession plans.

See the full article online at https://www.bizjournals.com/wichita/news/2017/10/06/its-never-too-early-to-plan-for-business.html

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