LAWRENCE — Ryan Swenson had been looking for opportunities to move back to his hometown of Concordia when he came across the RedTire website.
After finding a listing for an agricultural business in the region, he reached out to Denton Zeeman, program manager of RedTire, a University of Kansas program that matches rural business owners with successors.
A month later, in October 2014, he was in contact with Kieth “Toby” Duis, owner of Duis Meat Processing Inc., with locations in Concordia and Salina, and began the process of becoming the business’ new owner.
“RedTire allowed me to come home,” Swenson said.
Duis had enlisted the help of RedTire after receiving a mailing about the program. He had been thinking about selling the business after his late brother Ron Duis, co-owner of the business, became ill. He was worried about the possibility of closing.
“We probably would have been looking at having an auction and then closing, which would have been a shame because we’re dealing with two businesses in two communities,” he said.
In March, Duis transitioned ownership to Swenson. They had a ribbon-cutting ceremony May 29.
Both Duis and Swenson said the process leading up to the purchase was smooth because of the RedTire team’s guidance and work on the valuation and loan process.
“Having RedTire’s help meant that I didn’t have to make mistakes that new business owners often do,” Swenson said.
Duis, who is a few years away from retiring, will continue to work for the business. He said he’s glad he started planning ahead for his retirement and will be able to help Swenson grow the business.
“I’m very thankful we found RedTire,” he said. “I’m not sure I could even put a value on what they’ve done for us.”
Earlier this year, RedTire made its third match with a Yates Center dental practice and recently completed its fifth match with Hoisington Veterinary Hospital and sixth match with Atchison Animal Clinic.