Jan Koenig speaks to business owners at a seminar hosted by the East Montgomery County Improvement District in September 2016.

A major cornerstone of economic development in East Montgomery County is losing its business adviser of six years. Jan Koenig recently announced he will retire Dec. 19 from the Lone Star College Small Business Development Center (SBDC), located in the East Montgomery County Improvement District Complex.

“The SBDC is an integral part of economic development in East Montgomery County and Jan has been great to work with,” said Frank McCrady, EMCID President/CEO.

Often the first step in the business start-up or expansion process, owners and entrepreneurs saw Koenig for one-on-one consulting regarding business and marketing plans before heading to EMCID down the hall to inquire about financial assistance.

Jan Koenig at the SBDC office.

“The entrepreneurs I have had the chance to work with are fantastic people who are extraordinarily talented and energetic to start their own business,” said Koenig. “I have enjoyed learning about them personally and what motivates them to open a business. I have also learned a tremendous amount about the business they are starting, which has been the most enjoyable part of this business. I relish the moment a potential business owner walks through the door with their new business idea, learning about that idea, and figuring out a way to make their business successful.”

Koenig received his Bachelor of Industrial Engineering degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology and his master’s degree in business administration from Harvard University, moving to Houston soon afterward. Prior to becoming a business owner, Koenig held senior management positions with Nations Bank (now Bank of America) and with Compass Bank (now BBVA Compass.) From 2003 to 2011, he owned and operated a multi-location franchise business operation, Sylvan Learning Center, during which time he successfully developed two new territories and acquired two other existing operations.

The SBDC is funded by federal and state tax dollars and by local public educational institutions, like Lone Star College, therefore services to the public are free. The office is open on Wednesdays at the EMCID building, room 201. The Lone Star College SBDC has not yet named a replacement for Koenig but is currently recruiting candidates and hopes to have someone in the office as soon as possible. Koenig will be honored for his hard work during the monthly EMCID board meeting Dec. 19.