At CK Business Consultants, Inc., we respect and value key business and professional relationships. Business owners looking to sell a business or to acquire are beneficiaries of our affiliations. We expand capabilities through well-established networks of contacts and resources, as we work in close cooperation with parties important to clients’ and customers’ best interests. We build and nurture affiliations to better serve.

Important professional affiliations come from decades of selling businesses or making acquisitions. They help our business owner clients today and are excellent places to give back to our communities. Affiliations provide links into business communities, corporate acquisitions professionals and trusted advisors. They help us maintain key contacts, create learning opportunities and provide valuable resources. Following is a sampling of affiliations, our current and previous roles and accomplishments:


CK Business Consultants, Inc. markets its companies nationally and internationally. We have developed strategic relationships with a select group of professional M&A Advisors who provide a presence in nearly every market in North America.

Jim Afinowich

Jim Afinowich, CBI, M&AMI
Founding Principal, Designated Broker
Fox & Fin Financial Group, L.C.
7333 E. Doubletree Ranch Road, Suite 200
Scottsdale, AZ 85258

With more than 25 years of successful experience in selling businesses, Jim adds further depth to the leadership team. A Certified Business Intermediary, he too has achieved the highest level of accreditation in the industry. Jim has owned more than 15 businesses, which gives him first-hand experience in the manufacturing, marketing, publishing and international trade sectors. Jim is a member of the M&A Source, and a fellow and past President of the International Business Brokers Association (IBBA), the profession’s largest trade association. Jim also has provided expert-witness service in a variety of court cases relating to business transfers.

Ronald V. Chernak

Ronald V. Chernak, CPA, CBI, M&AMI
The FBB Group, Ltd.
303 South Cascade Avenue
Suite 200
Colorado Springs, CO 80903

Prior to founding The FBB Group, Ltd. in 1982, Ron practiced law with a 175-member law firm in Chicago. He has a CPA Certificate (Illinois), is a licensed Colorado Real Estate Broker, is licensed to practice law in Colorado, and has a FINRA Series 79 license. Ron is also a Certified Business Intermediary (CBI) and a Merger & Acquisition Master Intermediary (M&AMI), the highest level of accreditation in the industry.

Ron has extensive experience in contract and lease negotiations, financial planning, and financing. He is very active in community activities, such as the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce (former Chairman of the Board), The Southern Colorado Economic Forum (Founding Sponsor), and the Rotary Club.

Ron has served as the Chairman and/or Director of the Board for numerous business brokerage committees and organizations, including Chairman of the International Business Brokerage Association (IBBA), a premier industry trade association and Chairman of the M&A Source, the country’s largest association of middle-market intermediaries.

John Johnson

John Johnson, MBA, CBI, M&AMI, Fellow of The M&A Source
Founder and Managing Partner
IBG Business, The Oil & Gas Advisor, & BluestemUSA
Corporate Place Building, Suite 125
Tulsa, OK 74135

John is a petroleum engineer, holds an MBA and the Mergers & Acquisition Master Intermediary certification. His early career included work at Fortune 100 companies where he was active in acquisitions, valuations, management, and strategy planning. He owned a start-up distribution business and grew it to nearly $15M in revenues before selling to a strategic acquirer.

John is a founder and managing partner of IBG Business, The Oil & Gas Advisor and BluestemUSA, complementary firms which work together to provide business owners with unsurpassed acquisition and divestiture services as M&A brokers and advisors. He has been a full-time M&A Broker & Advisor for three decades. John received numerous professional distinctions, such as the The M&A Source’s Darrell Fouts Award for visionary leadership and contributions, and the Tom West and Chairman’s Awards from IBBA. The US Small Business Administration awarded John as “Financial Services Advocate of the Year” for his state, and was finalist as Tulsa’s Small Business Person of the Year. John served as IBBA’s President and Chair of The M&A Source.

Ron Johnson

Ron C. Johnson, CBI, M&AMI, CBB, Fellow of the IBBA
Fellow of the M&A Source​​​​​​​​​​
Chairman, Principal
ABI Business Sales​, Mergers & Acquisitions
3160 Crow Canyon Place, Suite 145
San Ramon, CA 94583

Ron is the Chairman and Principal of ABI Business Sales, Mergers & Acquisitions, which was established in San Ramon, CA, in 1984.  He has been the intermediary in over 100 transactions since entering the profession in 1991, and has managed hundreds of additional transactions for his associates.  Graduating from Long Beach State University with a degree in mathematics, he was a founding principal of Onyx Associates (a “sister” M&A firm to ABI, now incorporated under the existing ABI banner).

Ron has served 12 years on the Board of Directors of the California Association of Business Brokers (CABB), and spent two terms as CABB’s President as well as Chairman of CABB’s Education Committee, Governmental Relations Committee and Nominating Committee.  He has garnered professional recognition nationwide, and is a two-time recipient of the “CABB President’s Award”.  Ron served as the 2007 Chairman of the International Business Brokers Association (IBBA), the world’s largest professional association of business brokers and M&A intermediaries, and has chaired the IBBA’s Affiliates Committee, Conference Planning Committee, Finance Committee and Nominating Committee; he is now serving his eighth year on the IBBA Board of Directors.

Ron teaches IBBA course 301 – Introduction to Mergers & Acquisitions, and is a frequent contributor to business brokerage professional journals, publications and websites.  His leadership roles in the IBBA and the CABB have added extensively to his network of highly skilled dealmakers and private equity groups, continuously enhancing the array of new ideas for marketing and selling businesses.

Gary Papay

Gary Papay, CBI, M&AMI, CMEA
Founder & Managing Partner
IBG Business, The Oil & Gas Advisor, & CK Business Consultants, Inc.
114 S. Railroad Street
Hughesville, PA 17737

Gary is a Professional Intermediary and Business Appraiser specializing in the sale and transfer of oil and gas related mid-market companies since 1976. Gary has attained the professional designations of Certified Business Intermediary (CBI), and Merger and Acquisition Master Intermediary (M&AMI) with the International Business Brokers Association (IBBA) and the M&A Source, the world’s largest international organization of experienced, dedicated Merger and Acquisition Intermediaries representing the middle market. Gary is also a Certified Machinery and Equipment Appraiser/Broker (CMEA) with the National Equipment & Business Brokers Institute (NEBB).

Gary is the recipient of several prestigious awards including Fellow of the IBBA and M&A Source, the IBBA Chairman’s Award, and the Tom West Award presented by the International Business Brokers Association in recognition of years of communicating and promoting the goals and ethics of the IBBA and the business brokering profession.

Gary is a published contributor for industry publications and has been a guest speaker at industry conferences throughout the country.  Gary has been designated an Industry Expert in the oil & gas field by Business Brokerage Press.

A graduate of Albright College, Gary is an active member of the M&A Source serving as secretary of the Board and as Chair of the Credentialing Committee. Gary has served and/or is currently serving in leadership positions on a number of boards and organizations including the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA), IBBA, the Church of the Resurrection Planning and Finance Committees and the Wolf Twp. Planning Commission. Gary is married with 3 daughters and is an active Rotarian.

Rocco J. Pezza

Rocco J. Pezza, CBI, Fellow of the IBBA​​​​​​​​​​
New England Brokerage Corporation
50 Exchange Terrace
Providence, RI 02903

There is a common thread among people who have had the opportunity to work with Rocco: that they want him to stick around even after the deal is done.  Some say it is his uncanny ability to see around the corner and warn of a potential pitfall.  Others say it is the tenacity he brings to everything he does, especially for his clients.  And yet others claim it is the calm, sensible and reassuring way he will walk a buyer and seller through even the most difficult negotiations.  For over 22 years, Rocco has led NEBC’s clients through the fulfilling, challenging and sometimes intensely personal acquisition and divestiture process.  He is a credit to his profession, having received the highly coveted CBI designation and named a fellow of the International Business Brokers Association (IBBA).  Rocco also sits on many industry boards and presents regularly to trade groups of all kinds.  In addition, and perhaps key affirmation of his worth to the companies he has guided, he serves on the Board of Directors of several of those same companies.  Rocco Pezza will bring intellectual integrity and a proven process approach to each opportunity-and will be successful in helping buyers and sellers realize their personal and professional objectives.

Edward C. Telling

Edward C. Telling, Jr., MBA, CBC, CBI​​​​​​​​​​
Telling Group, Ltd. ​
3938 Highland Road
Cortland, NY 13045

Ed Telling specializes in providing professional merger and acquisition expertise to privately held businesses, possesses experience from hundreds of successful business transfers, and is a regular speaker and writer in the brokerage industry.

The Telling Group, Ltd. is a full service company with primary focus on the following areas: Apple Program ($3 -$10 million in business value), Gold Apple Program ($10 – $75 million in business value), and business appraisal.

John Zayac

John Zayac, CBI, M&AMI
IBG Business Services, Inc.
10th Floor
6455 South Yosemite Street
Greenwood Village CO 80111

John R. Zayac founded IBG Business Services, Inc. in 1982 to provide the mid-market business seller with the same level of resources and sophisticated services traditionally reserved for firms valued over $100 million. Over the last fifteen years, Zayac has built IBG into the industry’s most comprehensive provider of valuation analysis, strategic planning, marketing, and transaction structuring services for mid-market business sellers. In addition to his responsibilities as founder and CEO of IBG, Zayac has owned and operated a variety of businesses, including a printing company, an automobile importing agency, and a chain of car washes. Zayac’s success as a business intermediary includes hundreds of completed transactions with a combined value exceeding $300 million.

Scot Bushkie

Scott M. Bushkie, CBI, M&AMI
Cornerstone Business Services, Inc.
200 South Washington, Suite 205
Green Bay, WI 54301

Scott founded Cornerstone Business Services, Inc. in the economic tumult of 2001 and celebrated its 15-year anniversary in 2016.  He didn’t survive some of the industry’s most trying years by chance.  He did it by adhering to one simple philosophy: Honest conversations, superior results.

Today Cornerstone is one of the largest lower middle market firms in Wisconsin.  Operating from offices in Wisconsin and Iowa, its associates have completed several hundred million in sales.  The company fields worldwide interest in client opportunities and has led transactions with buyers and sellers based in Europe, Asia and Russia.

A thought-leader in the industry, Scott developed the Cornerstone process to offer investment banking M&A level services to the lower middle market.  The result is a closing rate that’s more than double the national average.

Scott has authored numerous articles on M&A best practices, and his work is syndicated in regional publications.  He is a sought-after expert on the Midwest M&A market and has been quoted in some of the nation’s most respected newspapers including the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and the Los Angeles Times.  As a speaker, he has engaged audiences from national organizations to local trade groups and international delegations.

Scott’s diverse background includes entrepreneurial endeavors, management, finance, and marketing.  He has operated small start-ups and worked with international corporations.  He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater.  Scott and his wife Cassie live in Green Bay with their three children, Emily, Drew and Aubrey.

Professional Designations and Affiliations

  • Certified Business Intermediary (CBI)
  • Mergers & Acquisitions Master Intermediary (M&AMI)
  • Founder and Past Chair of MBBI Wisconsin Chapter
  • Member of the UW-Whitewater Entrepreneurship Advisory Board
  • M&A Source Board of Directors
  • Chairman of the Board of Directors for International Business Brokers Association (IBBA)


  • Chairman’s Award for International Business Brokers Association (IBBA)
  • MBBI Outstanding Leadership Award & Member of the Year
  • Green Bay Young Professionals Network, Young Entrepreneur of the Year
  • WI Small Business Administration, Emerging Small Business Person

Community Contributions

  • American Cancer Society, annual golf outing, past-chair
  • United Way of Brown County, Emerging Leaders Society,
  • Co-founder, past-chair Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, Small Business Council, past-chair

Bryce DeGroot

Bryce DeGroot, M&AMI, CBI, CMEA
Compass Advisors
2020 Charlotte Street, Suite 1
Bozeman, MT 59718

Bryce DeGroot has been President of Compass Advisors since 2004 where he leads the M&A process for privately held companies across the country.

Bryce served on the Board of Directors (2013-2015 term) of the M&A Source, an international association of more than 300 M&A professionals. He is a Merger & Acquisition Master Intermediary (M&AMI) as granted by the M&A Source. He also holds a Certified Business Intermediary (CBI) designation as granted by the IBBA. He is a Certified Machinery and Equipment Appraiser (CMEA) and he has held an active real estate license in Montana since 2005.

Bryce graduated with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Heriot-Watt University. He has guest lectured at Montana State University and his writings have been published by numerous publications, including the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts (NACVA).  Bryce is a third-generation merger and acquisition advisor.