Karen Bussone

Karen Bussone, MBA


Since 2008, Karen Bussone has been an Assistant Professor for Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, where she developed team-based collaborative classrooms while teaching courses including services marketing, principles of marketing, consumer behavior, organization and management, entrepreneurship, human resource management, and financial management. Bussone has incorporated business plan and marketing plan writing as semester-long projects and has developed problem-solving project models for student and service provider project opportunities in the Bloomington-Normal small business and not-for-profit sectors.

Bussone has a broad knowledge of business experiences having served on teams within marketing, strategic leadership, manufacturing operations, and distribution for 21 years with Kellogg’s, Kraft Foods, and Dot Foods. With Kellogg’s, Bussone launched many new products in various manufacturing facilities across the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Europe. During her years with Kraft Foods, Bussone led the Parkay business divestiture project and initiated significant change across operations. She holds a B.S. in Food Science and an M.B.A. from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, and Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois.

In February 2017, Bussone accepted the Director position of the Illinois Small Business Development Center of McLean County at Illinois Wesleyan University. As a native to Ipava, Illinois, and raised on her family’s 4th generation crop and livestock farming operation, Bussone’s passion to help people grow small businesses will come to fruition. In her spare time, Bussone enjoys traveling and attending Illinois State University football games with her husband, Albert, as their son, Peter, is a Redbird offensive lineman. She has also donated many hours as a parent volunteer for the Twin City Tigers youth football program and Normal Community’s high school football program. 

She holds a B.S. in Food Science and an M.B.A. from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, and Western Illinois.