Client Name: Chris Kohn
Business Name: Woodard Associates
Business Website:
Industry: Property Management
Location: Hanover, NH
SBDC Advisor's Name: Casey Trio

woodard associates client story

Woodard Associates of Hanover, NH is more than a property management company. It’s a living testament to what can be done through the beautiful bond of friendship. When Michael Woodard, Founder of Woodard Associates passed away unexpectedly in 2021, it was his friends who stepped up to make sure his legacy lived on.

Woodard Associates is the go-to property management company for condo and homeowners associations and individual rental properties.

When Michael passed, his heartbroken friends Mark Williams and Chris Kohn wanted to see his business continue. In 2021 Mark purchased the business and Chris came on board to handle the day-to-day operations with the intention that Mark would eventually transition the business over to Chris.

Over the course of 2022, Mark, Chris, and Woodard bookkeeper John Ilves, who was new at the time, worked together on planning how Chris could take over and Mark could transition out of the business. The process wasn’t without its challenges. These were new waters to navigate for all three of them, and Chris needed to find a way to finance the purchase of the business. John shares, “Nobody was sure exactly how this was going to come together. How are we doing to get a loan? How are we going to make this happen?”

So, John got to work doing some research on the financial aspects and got in touch with SBDC Business Advisor Casey Trio. Meetings with Casey began that summer, and they talked through the options. John says about Casey, “I could bounce ideas off of him. I can ask questions. He had more experience with banks and loans and things like this than me. I could get some insight and get some clarity on what's possible, and what's not possible.”

The purchase of the business wasn’t the only consideration. The team also needed to look at how they could better ensure the financial stability of the business. It had been a little over a year since Michael’s passing and while the business was still well intact, some adjustments were needed to ensure its long-term success. 

woodard logo

“We all put our heads together to figure out how we can further stabilize the business, how we can make sure it lasts long term, and how we can make sure that Mark and Chris were able to have a smooth handoff of ownership,” explains John. “And over the course of 2022, we did all that successfully.”

Chris was approved for the loan he needed, allowing him to purchase the business from Mark, and become the new owner of Woodard Associates. Chris states, “Together we were completely successful. The closing occurred just before the end of 2022 and now in 2023 we are enjoying a profitable first full year under new management.”

Reflecting on his association with the SBDC, Chris advises, “You should work with the SBDC because they take the time to listen, have expertise across a wide range of business skills, and can custom tailor a solution to meet your unique business needs.”

John says it all seems so simple in retrospect. Chris got a loan, bought the business and “we lived happily ever after.” Rather, John describes:

“We sort of zigzagged. We didn’t go in a straight line. But we experimented, we brainstormed, we talked, we researched, and Casey was part of all that. He became part of the team.”

John is quick to note that this was a true team effort with a lot of people involved in making this transition a success, including Mascoma Bank which provided the loan. With the various skills and expertise that all involved brought to the table, they persevered through the twists and turns of transitioning a business to new ownership. He shares, “I want to emphasize how much I appreciate Casey and the SBDC, because they were our partner in all of this.”  SBDC was there for the Woodard team with valuable advice, perspective, and encouragement.

Today, Woodard Associates is still stable, has seen modest growth, and Chris is doing exactly what he envisioned, carrying on the legacy of his dear friend, Michael.  Woodard continues to provide exceptional property management services with the same level of care and dedication that Michael did. “The future is bright,” says Chris. “We are growing all the time as word gets out about how happy our clients are and new ones call us wanting to get on board. We look forward to continued growth even as we remain true to our past and those that have been with us all along.”