Kessler brings more than 30 years of engineering and operations management to the LSBDC
University of Louisiana at Monroe President Dr. Nick J. Bruno, recently appointed Rande Kessler as the Louisiana Small Business Development Center State Director.
Kessler succeeds Mary Lynn Wilkerson who will serve in a transitioning capacity until she retires Sept. 30.
Kessler previously served as center director of the LSBDC at LSU Shreveport and has worked for the organization for more than a year.
Confident in Kessler’s appointment, Bruno said, “Rande Kessler will surely guide the Louisiana Small Business Development Center to future success. His experience as center director at LSU Shreveport as well as his business experiences prepared him for the rigors of this new position, providing him with all the knowledge required to maneuver through the various roles and levels of management necessary to maintain this network. He is the right person for the job.”
Kessler brings more than 30 years of experience in engineering and operations management to the LSBDC.
The search committee recommended Kessler’s appointment after reviewing and interviewing a strong pool of applicants from the region and throughout the country.
In his role, Kessler will oversee the statewide network comprised of university and community college supported entrepreneurial assistance centers.
He will also work closely with local, state and federal officials to assist with statewide and regional economic development efforts.
“I enjoyed my experience at LSU Shreveport and I’m looking forward to working with President Bruno, his administration, and the LSBDC staff at ULM,” said Kessler.
Kessler’s focus for the next year is to enhance counseling and training programs for emerging and growth-oriented small businesses and step up the outreach efforts in northeast Louisiana and throughout the state.
“My plan is to provide significant value to innovators and entrepreneurs across Louisiana by providing a broader scope of business services, drawing from my background and experience in corporate operations and small business management,” he said.
Combining the skills from 30 years’ experience in the public and private sector, Kessler brings the LSBDC a diverse background in business leadership and development
Prior to joining the LSBDC, Kessler, a U.S. Navy Veteran, worked for Michelin North America, a leading tire design and manufacturing company.
Starting as an industrial and process engineer, Kessler held multiple leadership positions in the areas of logistics, personnel and plant management.
Kessler was also part owner and Chief Executive Officer for Advanced Coastal Technologies, a small erosion control and storm protection company that specializes in the design, manufacture, and installation of sand-filled geotextile units and water-filled flood protection tubes.
Within six months of opening, he and his team turned the Alabama based company into a multi-million dollar operation with sales throughout the U.S. and abroad.
“Kessler has proven leadership skills and experience as reflected in his past successes in both his military and civilian career,” said Michael Ricks, district director for the U.S. Small Business Administration in Louisiana.
A graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Kessler received his Bachelor of Science in Ocean Engineering and a Master of Science in Personnel Management & Administration from Troy State University.