Our Team

Karl Klein

Karl Klein - Regional Director

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…


Les Streit

Les Streit - Contract Consultant

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…


Cris Millard

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 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…


Mary Ann Riederer

Mary Ann Riederer - Advisor

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…


Laurie Pieper


Laurie Pieper is the Washburn University KSBDC Advisor for the MACC Outreach Office which serves clients in Riley, Pottawatomie, Geary, Clay, Dickinson, Washington and Marshall Counties. Laurie brings 20 years of business ownership experience crossing hospitality, food, retail and service industries to her consulting position. She enjoys working with entrepreneurs at any stage of business ownership. She offers advising on a diverse range of issues including business planning, human resource management and cybersecurity for small businesses…