Pallesen Named Southeast SBTDC Director


Jakob Pallesen has been named director of the Small Business & Technology Development Center (SBTDC) program at Southeast Missouri State University’s Economic and Business Engagement Center.

“Jakob’s commitment to small business development is evident through his work in communities across the region we serve,” said Crystal Jones, director of the Engagement Center. “He is the right person to continue the growth and momentum of the SBTDC program, and I am excited to work with him in this new role.”

As director, Pallesen will be responsible for the day to day operations of the SBTDC program offered throughout a 19-county service area. This includes leading a team of counselors in providing business assistance through one-on-one counseling, educational programs, and technology resources that deliver outcomes to meet programming goals.

Pallesen has been employed at Southeast since June 2013, having served as a SBTDC counselor and research project coordinator, both at the Engagement Center. He previously served as a graduate assistant for Southeast’s Department of Management and Marketing and as a marketing intern for BOLD Marketing in Cape Girardeau.

Pallesen is a native of Denmark, having moved to Cape Girardeau in 2007 to attend Southeast. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in integrated marketing communications and a Master of Business Administration. He also serves as a member of the North American Small Business International Trade Educators (NASBITE) association, National Economic Gardening team, Work Ready Coalition and Sikeston’s Work City program, and volunteers for the annual FIRST LEGO League (FLL) robotics competition.

In addition, Kayla Ray has been hired as business development associate at the SBTDC and will serve in Pallesen’s previous role.

As a business development associate, Kayla Ray will provide assistance to small businesses in the region with start-up, growth, expansion and innovation activities. Ray previously served as the SBTDC’s graduate assistant and student employee. She has also served as a student accountant for Southeast’s Facilities Management and completed an internship with Southeast’s Accounts Payable while earning her undergraduate degree.

Ray is from Arnold, Missouri, and moved to Cape Girardeau in 2012 to attend Southeast. She earned a Bachelor of Science and Business Administration with a major in accounting and expects graduate with a Master of Business Administration with emphasis in accounting and entrepreneurship this May. She is also currently certified as a QuickBooks Online ProAdvisor and LivePlan Expert Advisor.

About the Small Business & Technology Development Center (SBTDC):

The Missouri (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 2014 through 2016, the BDP assisted thousands of Missouri firms in creating or retaining 23,927 jobs, increasing sales by $900 million, acquiring new investments of $436 million and winning government contracts of $1.1 billion. The BDP is a solid return on investment, creating $120 of economic impact for every $1 invested and creating one job for every $844 in total funding.

For more on the BDP, please visit or contact Jakob Pallesen at or (573) 651-5156.