Freeman Joins HREDC as Entrepreneurship Specialist

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Sean Freeman — Photo by Megan Duncan

HANNIBAL, Mo. — After a comprehensive search, the Hannibal Regional Economic Development Council (HREDC) announced on Wednesday the hiring of Sean Freeman as Entrepreneurship Specialist. 

Freeman will assume the position on Oct. 16.

The Wednesday press release said, “Sean brings a wealth of knowledge in varying sectors to the SBDC position. Previously Sean has held positions at CitiMortgage, Hannibal LaGrange University, and Haul-a-Way,” 

“We had an impressive applicant pool. Throughout the screening process, Sean distinguished himself as a quality applicant,” said Maria Kuhns, Executive Director of HREDC. “Sean brings a positivity and energy level that will suit him well assisting our region’s businesses and startups as well as growing and expanding our center and the Ignite program.”

Kuhns said since January 2020 when they began offering SBDC services, the demand for services has been high in their seven-county service territory. 

Since October of 2022, SBDC has assisted over 120 businesses. 

The position is partially funded from a 50/50 grant from the University of Missouri Extension, funded in part through the U.S. Small Business Administration, to support Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) in Missouri. 

HREDC provides SBDC services to a seven-county region. Freeman will direct HREDC’s Ignite Program and lead the organization’s outreach to early and second stage companies.

Freeman shared HREDC’s enthusiasm for the position. “I love Hannibal and Northeast Missouri, and I look forward to being part of an organization that will allow me the opportunity to use my experience and talents to support businesses in the area.”

Freeman will hit the ground running onboarding with the Missouri SBDC network, meeting with stakeholders in the seven-county SBDC service territory and learning more about the HREDC region. 

The HREDC Board of Directors and staff thanked the SBDC State Director Ted Guitierrez for his assistance throughout the hiring process.

HREDC works to promote financial investment in Hannibal, Palmyra and Marion and Ralls Counties. For more information on the organization, please visit their website at https://hredc.com/

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