How This Iowa Business Executive Followed His Passion to Help Others Just Like Him

A successful business leader in Iowa followed his passion to open his own business that mentors other chief executives, improving their businesses and quality of life.


Des Moines, IA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 10/31/2007 -- Mike Retherford acquired lots of experience in the business world. As a former senior executive in the financial industry, he was filled to the brim with valuable skills as a successful business leader.

He left the corporate world, knowing he would one day open his own business in his home state of Iowa. But he didn’t know what business to start, or the best way to transfer his years of experience in the corporate world to a new business venture.

At the suggestion of a friend, Mike met with Joe Cooney, a FranNet franchise consultant in Des Moines. “[My friend] said I would really like Joe Cooney. He was right.”

After talking to Cooney and reviewing the exclusive FranNet coaching steps, Retherford realized that he needed some assistance to narrow down his options. “There were TOO MANY [franchise] choices, and working with an expert seemed like the right thing to do. Joe identified four potential businesses that I felt interested in learning more about. He was knowledgeable about each, and provided me a good understanding of the business model, my potential fit with the business, and the commitment it would take.” Retherford says.

As part of the FranNet process, Cooney is the liaison between the potential franchisees (in this case Retherford) and franchisors. This allowed Retherford to get feedback from an objective third party, and, most importantly, it slowed down the process to allow for proper research and decision making.

In September 2007 Mike Retherford made the official leap into business ownership by purchasing a Renaissance Executive Forum (REF) franchise covering the state of Iowa. REF focuses exclusively on members who are top executives in their industries, like Retherford himself. The company works through peer advisory groups to help members grow their business, improve organizational performance, attract top talent, and enhance their own quality of life.

“Personally, I have a passion for lifelong learning and enjoy helping others achieve the type of success they strive for,” states Retherford. “Being a Forum Leader [through Renaissance Executive Forum] will continue to expand my business knowledge and allow me the opportunity to work with successful business executives that want to take their business to the next level.”

With more than 20 years of executive level leadership and management experience under his belt, Retherford knew right away that he had the knowledge to be an REF owner and Forum Leader. Prior to purchasing his business, he was Vice President Operations for Harland Financial Solution in Des Moines, Iowa. Before that, he was Senior Vice President, COO/CFO of ARAG Insurance Company.

To celebrate his REF purchase decision, Retherford met with the franchisor, his attorney and CPA, and finally identified a site for the business. He made it official by signing papers in late September. Retherford began operating Renaissance Executive Forums in Des Moines on October 22, after completing his certified training program at the franchisor headquarters in La Jolla, CA.

Mike Retherford had a good experience in buying his franchise business. Working with a franchise consultant such as Joe Cooney for the professional guidance gave him and his wife a level of comfort that they made the right decision. He’s now ready to help business owners and executives, like him, go from where they are today to where they want to be.

Joe Cooney, of FranNet in Des Moines, has over 30 years experience in general management, sales and marketing management, direct sales, marketing and trading (energy commodities and futures.) Joe has spent the vast majority of his career in the energy sector, both natural gas and power. Joe mentors professionals who desire to own or have their own businesses. He offers free monthly informational seminars for those seeking a new direction in their professional lives by owning their own franchise business. Contact Joe at 402-330-7306 or for a free consultation or to attend a free seminar.