Posted: 8:00 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013

LifeSpan acquires Cincinnati nonprofit


LifeSpan acquires Cincinnati nonprofit photo
LifeSpan CEO Bill Staler.

By Chelsey Levingston

Butler County nonprofit organization LifeSpan Inc. has acquired the Cincinnati nonprofit SmartMoney Community Services to expand financial education services and its reach into Hamilton County.

Even though LifeSpan and SmartMoney are financial counseling agencies, each have some services the other one doesn’t offer, according to LifeSpan Chief Executive Officer Bill Staler.

LifeSpan offers services such as debt management programs, credit counseling, bankruptcy counseling and financial education; home care for disabled adults ages 18-65; care management for older adults and the mentally disabled; intake and care management of older adults and school-based support services in Butler County; representative payee services; and behavioral health counseling and guardianship for Butler and Warren county residents.

SmartMoney, located in the CityLink Center in Cincinnati’s West End community at 800 Bank Street, specializes in financial education, as well as homeownership counseling services, tax preparation and entrepreneurship programs. It served between 1,200 and 1,300 people last year with six full-time employees, said Executive Director Lisa Roberts-Rosser. SmartMoney also runs the program Bank On Greater Cincinnati, a program to get unbanked and underbanked people back in the banking system.

“Our goal is we want to expand our service capabilities for our clients and this allows us to do that in a very effective manner with an agency that has a great history,” Staler said. Clients “have a much stronger organization that they’re dealing with, one that’s going to be here down the road because we have the two organizations and the strength of the two organizations combined.”

With the change, SmartMoney becomes a division of LifeSpan. The names don’t change, and financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The acquisition, however, gives LifeSpan a physical office in Hamilton County.

Nonprofits in today’s economic world are looking for ways to collaborate, and through the new ownership, LifeSpan and SmartMoney will be able to save and share some operating expenses, Staler said. No jobs were lost.

SmartMoney clients will have access to a more holistic menu of services, Roberts-Rosser said.

Its services benefit “anyone that wants to have a better relationship with money,” she said. “From our perspective it’s a win-win situation. We want to broaden and deepen our impact in the area.”

LifeSpan’s 88 employees served 13,000 people in 2012. Its primary service area is Butler and Warren counties, with its main office in Hamilton, 1900 Fairgrove Ave. LifeSpan also has satellite offices in Middletown and Mason.

LifeSpan locations:

  • 1900 Fairgrove Ave., Hamilton
  • 1002 University Blvd., Middletown
  • 7588 Central Parke Blvd., Suite 322, Mason
  • SmartMoney Community Services — 800 Bank St., Cincinnati, CityLink Center


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