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Main Street Monday – SBA Appoints Two New Senior Executives, Deputy District Director

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June 24, 2019

By Bob Coleman
Editor, Main Street Monday

Main Street Monday – SBA Appoints Two New Senior Executives, Deputy District Director

The SBA recently announced new appointments:

George Koklanaris has been appointed as the Associate Administrator for the Office of Small Business Development Centers. Koklanaris will oversee the SBA’s Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) across the country. SBDCs provide the support and resources necessary for the success of small businesses across the United States and its territories.

Koklanaris previously served at the Small Business Administration as Special Assistant and Assistant Administrator of the Office of Field Operations and Director of the Office of Strategic Alliances. Among his other accomplishments, Koklanaris graduated from the U.S. Army War College, the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, the National Defense University’s National Security Course and the Joint Forces Staff College.

Koklanaris is a colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve, where he has served for 28 years. Currently, his active reserve assignment is in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs under the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Stefanie Baker Wehagen will serve as the National Ombudsman for the Office of the National Ombudsman. In this role, Wehagen is responsible for assisting small businesses should they encounter unfair or excessive federal regulatory enforcement actions. This includes excessive or repetitive audits, investigations, fines penalties, threats, retaliation or unfair enforcement actions by a federal agency.

Wehagen joins the SBA with many years of both private and federal-sector experience as an actively practicing attorney. She has most recently served as Associate Counsel with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, practicing labor, employment and information law. Wehagen, hailing from Ohio, graduated with honors from Miami University and the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.

“I am pleased to welcome George and Stefanie to the SBA team as our Agency advocates on behalf of entrepreneurs, assisting them with resources to help their businesses start, grow and expand,” says SBA Acting Administrator Chris Pilkerton. “They bring a wealth of knowledge, expertise and experience that will contribute greatly to the development of small businesses across the nation.”

Daniel Rickman, has been appointed Deputy District Director for the SBA district office in Syracuse. Rickman joined the SBA in 2013 as an economic development specialist. He most recently served as branch manager, supervising both the Albany and Elmira offices.

Rickman was enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in combat operations during the Iraq War.

He has also volunteered as a mentor/trainer with the Lubbock, Texas SCORE chapter.

A Rochester-area native, he now resides in Cayuga County.

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