Karen Bussone

Karen Bussone, MBA

Director

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, financial management, and risk management. Bussone has incorporated business plan and marketing plan writing as semester-long projects and has developed problem-solving experiential learning project opportunities for students with SBDC small business client partnerships in McLean County for-profit 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 January 2017, Bussone accepted the Director position as she launched the Illinois Small Business Development Center of McLean County at Illinois Wesleyan University. As a native to West-Central Illinois, and raised on her family’s 5th generation crop and livestock farming operation, Bussone’s passion to help people grow small businesses has come to fruition. In her spare time, Bussone enjoys photography, creating photobook memories,  playing the oboe, and traveling to 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.