Butler University is launching the Old National Bank Center for Closely Held Business. The center, supported with $5 million from Evansville-based Old National Bancorp (Nasdaq: ONB), will serve as a resource to an economic segment that Butler says employs more than 2.5 million throughout the state. Assistance for the small, private business community will include opportunities for training, education, mentoring and networking.

Butler says the center's initial focus will be on helping businesses understand transition strategy management and also assist with identifying advisors to help businesses with accounting, legal, risk and insurance growth. Andre B. Lacy School of Business Dean Stephen Standifird says "we are grateful not only for the tremendous financial contribution, but for the partnership with Old National Bank. ONB has been and continues to be a strong advocate for supporting Indiana’s closely held businesses."

The leadership team will start with Dennis Wilmer, who will be the first director. He currently serves as associate chief operating officer of field operations for the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. It will also include Butler Academic Director and business professor Dick Fetter, Dean Standifird and President James Danko. Old National Bank Chief Credit Officer Steve McGlothlin will chair the advisory board. Additional board members are: Lacy School of Business Senior Advisor Andre Lacy, former New York-based private equity firm General Atlantic Partner Franchon Smithson, Indiana Economic Development Corp. President Elaine Bedel, Krieg Devault Senior Partner Bill Neale and professor Fetter.

You can connect to more about the program, which will be housed at the Lacy School of Business by clicking here.