(785) 234-3235 | About | Facebook
WKSBDC – Small Business Assistance, Seminars, and Consulting
We help entrepreneurs start and grow.
Here's how »
Kansas Small Business Development Center


Washburn Small Business Development Center
120 SE 6th Ave # 100
Topeka, KS 66603-3515

(785) 234-3235 ‎

M-F 8am-5pm

Started in October 1983, the Washburn University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provides small business consulting services and training seminars to northeast Kansas entrepreneurs.

Our staff:

Karl Klein

As Regional Director, Karl Klein’s focus with the Washburn SBDC is to ensure that workshop and seminar training on a variety of topics is readily available for business owners at convenient times and locations.

Before joining the KSBDC, Karl was involved in the daily operations of businesses that sold and serviced appliances, home electronics, lawn and garden, and tools for over 32 years. The extent of his involvement spans from 20 years of ownership in Kansas at the store level, to district management overseeing multiple units throughout the state of Kansas. During that time, Karl has realized and experienced the challenges facing entrepreneurs, from capital acquisition to marketing, in an ever changing business environment.

Karl received his MLS in Organizational Leadership from Fort Hays State University, and his B.B.A in Marketing from Stephen F. Austin State University. In addition, Karl is currently an adjunct professor for Fort Hays State University. Karl and his wife live in Topeka; their two adult children, a daughter and son, live in Kansas City.

Karl can be reached at karl.klein@washburn.edu or 785-234-3235.

Mary Ann Riederer

Mary Ann Riederer is a Consultant with the Washburn University KSBDC in Glacial Hills. She serves clients in Atchison, Brown, Doniphan, Jackson, Jefferson and Nemaha counties.

Mary Ann is a graduate of Kansas State University and has earned degrees in Management and in Marketing. Prior to joining the KSBDC, Mary Ann worked in large and small business settings, was an independent contractor, and owned her own business.

Recognizing that each entrepreneur comes to their business with a unique skill set, Mary Ann enjoys working with each person toward a complete business balance that includes creative marketing plans, routine accounting and evaluation practices, and constructive management techniques.

Mary Ann can be reached by email at maryann.riederer@washburn.edu or 785-207-0267.

Cris Millard

Cris Millard is the Administrative Specialist for the Washburn University Small Business Development Center, where she answers questions and helps to direct entrepreneurs to the appropriate resources.

Cris and her husband started a business in 1983 and ran it for 29 years. Cris then worked with the SBDC to sell the business in 2012 which lead to her introduction to the company. Cris brings a great skill set to the WUKSBDC with her background in small business, and hands on understanding of what it entails to be successful.

It is very rewarding working with other entrepreneurs, helping them get started, grow, and become successful.

Cris is a great starting point as she can either answer your small business question or direct you to a consultant for help.

Cris may be reached at cris.millard@washburn.edu or 785-234-3235.

Les Streit

Les Streit is a part-time contract consultant with the Washburn Small Business Development Center and primarily serves entrepreneurs in Shawnee, Jackson, Brown and Nemaha counties. Streit served as the Washburn Center Director from 2000-2005 before going part-time.

Prior to joining the KSBDC Network, Streit has owned and operated several small businesses. He first came to Topeka as a specialist in writing training manuals and completed projects for Farmer’s Home Administration (now known as Farm Services Administration) and Payless ShoeSource in updating the Store Operations Manual. These publishing projects lead to business starts in the laser printer cartridge recycling and service industries. StreitLine Recharging started in a small garage in 1988 and grew to 6 full-time employees in 1996 when it was sold to Dynamic Computer Solutions of Kansas City. Several years later, Streit established Great Plains Cartridge Recycling and setup recycling routes to purchase OEM cartridge empties to be resold to cartridge remanufacturers around the country. Great Plains Recycling was sold in 2007.

Prior to small business ownership, Les Streit served as an adult educator and manager of media service centers at Kansas State University. Streit started his career teaching agricultural entrepreneurship to high school FFA students in Russell, Kansas. After completing graduate education at Kansas State, he taught six years at Oregon State University before returning to Kansas in 1986.

Les may be reached at les.streit@washburn.edu or 785-234-3235.

View Larger Map