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2012 40 Under 40 Honoree: Jason Graf

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As a business intermediary at Murphy Business & Financial Corp., Jason Graf works with business owners as they start – or finish – their entrepreneurial runs.

Not only does he lead buyers through the processes of business planning, financing and acquisition, he also confidentially helps business owners value their companies and develop exit strategies, and price, list and market them for sale.

Graf previously was the owner and CEO of Paragon Global LLC, a real estate and business investment firm. He joined Murphy in 2010, and it didn’t take long for him to hit his stride.

“After only 18 months in an industry where the average age is 52, I positioned myself as a leader by being a top performer in my region in 2011 and (have shared) my successes, tips and experiences with my colleagues,” says Graf, who was the company’s top-producing agent in the central region for 2011.

Murphy partner David Hamm says several of Graf’s peers use his ideas to improve their business practices.

Hamm also has taken note of Graf’s community endeavors with organizations such as Sertoma of Springfield, Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce and the Springfield Metro Rotary Club.

“He does these things because he is passionate about the individual causes rather than just participating in activities to build his résumé,” Hamm says.

Graf’s efforts with Rotary – which include serving on several committees – earned him the honor of being named the 2011 Rotarian of the Year, and he is currently a board member with the group.

Graf says he is most proud of his acceptance in 2011 as a volunteer mentor through Score, a U.S. Small Business Administration resource partner that provides free counseling and affordable workshops for small businesses.

“This is a huge responsibility to my community and carries with it a significant impact on the local economy,” Graff says.

“On two separate occasions, I was contacted by individuals looking for help with high-risk, nonconforming startups, needing capital, and in both cases, I was able to pair them up with the appropriate individuals to secure them the capital they needed via private investors.”

Click here for full coverage of the 2012 40 Under 40.

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