Butler University today announced a $5 million financial commitment from Old National Bank to create the Old National Bank Center for Closely Held Business, which will provide privately owned businesses throughout Indiana with training, education, mentoring, and networking opportunities to help them succeed.

The Center, to be located in Butler’s Andre B. Lacy School of Business, will place special emphasis on serving the unique needs of this core segment of the Indiana economy, which employs more than 2.5 million people in Indiana.

The Center will advance the Lacy School of Business’s commitment to experiential education by serving as a conduit between closely held businesses, faculty, and students. It will facilitate activities such as student internships, faculty externships, case-writing, live “feature companies” for classes, guest lecturers for classes and clubs/organizations, and collaborations between closely held businesses and faculty for both applied and basic research.

Dennis Wimer, currently the Associate Chief Operating Officer, Field Operations for the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, will be the Center’s first director.

“We are grateful not only for the tremendous financial contribution, but for the partnership with Old National Bank,” said Stephen Standifird, Dean of the Lacy School of Business. “ONB has been and continues to be a strong advocate for supporting Indiana’s closely held businesses.”

The Old National Bank Center for Closely Held Business will initially concentrate on two core areas: helping organizations understand how to manage transition strategies, a challenge that is unique to closely held businesses; and identifying stage-appropriate advisors who can help businesses grow in areas such as accounting, legal, risk, and insurance.

Standifird noted that closely held businesses are the economic engine of Indiana. Creating the Center will complement Old National Bank’s desire to serve the entire state of Indiana.

“Old National is thrilled to partner with Butler University to help advance the success of privately owned businesses throughout our great state,” Old National Chairman and CEO Bob Jones said. “As the largest bank headquartered in Indiana, Old National is deeply committed to ensuring that Hoosier businesses get the training, education, and other resources they need to grow and thrive.”

Initial programming will be designed by the Center’s leadership team, which will consist of Academic Director and longtime Butler Business Professor Dick Fetter, Dean Standifird, Director Wimer, and Butler President James Danko. However, much of the ongoing programming of the Center will be determined by client feedback and consultation with appropriate experts.

ONB Chief Credit Officer Steve McGlothlin will chair the Center’s Advisory Board, which also will include Lacy School of Business Senior Advisor Andre Lacy; Franchon Smithson, Butler alumnus and former Partner of the New York-based private equity firm General Atlantic; Elaine Bedel, Butler alumna and President of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation; Bill Neale, Senior Partner at Krieg Devault; and Butler Business Professor Dick Fetter.


Media contact:
Marc Allan