Mark Christian has been named director of the Southeast Missouri State University Small Business & Technology Development Center (SBTDC) in Cape Girardeau.

As director, Christian will be responsible for the day to day operations of the SBTDC program, including the development of professional business analysis, small business consultations, access to technology resources and educational training programs on a variety of small business topics.

Christian was previously communications manager for Noranda Aluminum, New Madrid, responsible for all internal and external communications. He has also been a public information coordinator for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services; and an editor, photographer and writer with the Sporting News, The Tennessean and the Associated Press, among other outlets.

“Mark is that very rare individual whose experience encompasses multiple media, multiple industries and multiple disciplines,” said Greg Tucker, interim director of the statewide MO SBTDC. “He has repeatedly shown the ability to transcend assignments and build bridges, and I am sure he will help fuel the already robust culture of entrepreneurship currently thriving in southeast Missouri.”

Christian also serves as president/chairman of the board of the Sikeston/Bootheel United Way, which provides assistance to non-profit organizations in Dunklin, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Scott, Stoddard and Bollinger counties

The MO SBTDC is a lead program of the University of Missouri Extension Business Development Program (BDP), a statewide network which helps businesses succeed in every stage from concept to startup, growth to renewal, maturity to succession through a variety of programs. MO SBTDC counselors are located statewide providing education and individualized assistance on a variety of issues.

From 2013 through 2015, the BDP assisted thousands of Missouri firms create or retain 24,180 jobs, increase sales by $439 million, acquire new investments of $419.6 million and win government contracts of $1.4 billion. The BDP is a solid return on investment, creating $119 of economic impact for every $1 invested and creating one job for every $930 in total funding.

For more on the BDP, please visit www.missouribusiness.net or contact: Mark Christian, director, SEMO Small Business and Technology Development Center, at machristian@semo.edu  or (573) 651-2304 or visit www.innovationmic.org.

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