New executive director announced by Owatonna Area Business Development Center

Published 5:26 pm Tuesday, September 12, 2023

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New director has Austin connections

The Owatonna Area Business Development Center (OABDC) has hired Sean E. Williams as its new Executive Director. Bill Owens, the current Executive Director, is retiring in October.

“We want to thank Bill for eight dedicated years. Without his leadership and commitment, we would not be able to take the executive director role to a full-time position. Bill’s steadfast stewardship will echo for many years to come in Owatonna as the OABDC looks to expand upon the work he has done,” said Joe Effertz, Chair of the Board of OABDC.

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“What Bill and the OABDC have built, with the support of the City of Owatonna, Steele County, and their other partners, is impressive. We have a solid foundation to grow something truly special here in Southeast Minnesota” Williams added.

The OABDC has been supporting area businesses for over 30 years, providing office, conference, and manufacturing space to entrepreneurs. It also provides free, confidential one-on-one consulting services to people creating new or existing businesses as an SBDC satellite center. Under Williams, OABDC will also be offering pitch coaching, accelerated project development, classes and workshops on how to start a business, and more.

Williams was hired after a competitive search. “We’re excited by the work Sean did in Rochester, and are energized by the potential his leadership brings to the organization,” Effertz said.

Williams has lived and worked for over a decade in southeast Minnesota, first as an entrepreneur publishing comic books and developing several high tech startups, then helping entrepreneurs in Austin and Rochester through entrepreneurial support organizations. Most recently, Williams led initiatives to create the RAEDI Economic Development Center, secure a new host organization for the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in Southeast Minnesota, as well as a revamp of the Mayo Clinic Business Accelerator, among others.

“Helping others achieve success has been the through-line in all my careers. I am thrilled to be able to help local Owatonna area businesses and entrepreneurs achieve their goals,” Williams said.

To learn more or to request assistance from the OABDC, visit its website at