SBA Appoints Two New Senior Executives

Release Date: 
Wednesday, June 5, 2019
Release Number: 
19-34
Contact: 
Cecelia.Taylor@sba.gov

WASHINGTON The U.S. Small Business Administration announces the appointment of two new senior executives. George Koklanaris is serving as the Associate Administrator for the Office of Small Business Development Centers and Stefanie Baker Wehagen as the National Ombudsman for the Office of the National Ombudsman.

“I am pleased to welcome George and Stefanie to the SBA team as our Agency advocates on behalf of entrepreneurs, assisting them with resources to help their businesses start, grow and expand,” said SBA Acting Administrator Chris Pilkerton. “They bring a wealth of knowledge, expertise and experience that will contribute greatly to the development of small businesses across the nation.”

George Koklanaris, Associate Administrator, Office of Small Business Development Centers

George Koklanaris oversees the SBA’s Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) across the United States and its territories. The SBDCs provide the nation’s small businesses with the support and resources necessary to help them succeed. Koklanaris previously served at the SBA as a Special Assistant and the Assistant Administrator of the Office of Field Operations and Director of the Office of Strategic Alliances.

Prior to his appointment, Koklanaris was a strategy and management consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton. A colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve, he has served for 28 years, including active deployments to the Middle East. His current reserve assignment is in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs under the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Koklanaris is a graduate of the U.S. Army War College, the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, the National Defense University’s National Security Course and the Joint Forces Staff College.

Stefanie Baker Wehagen, National Ombudsman and Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Enforcement Fairness, Office of the National Ombudsman

Stefanie Baker Wehagen is the National Ombudsman and Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Enforcement Fairness. As the National Ombudsman, Wehagen is responsible for assisting small businesses when they experience excessive or unfair federal regulatory enforcement actions, such as repetitive audits or investigations, excessive fines, penalties, threats, retaliation or other unfair enforcement action by a federal agency. Wehagen comes to the SBA with years of both private and federal-sector experience practicing as an attorney. Most recently, Wehagen served as Associate Counsel with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office where she practiced labor, employment and information law. As Associate Counsel, she represented clients before courts, mediators, arbitrators and administrative judges.

Wehagen also served in the Executive Office of the President, Office of Administration, serving as Associate General Counsel, where she focused on employment matters, harassment training, ethics and investigations. Prior to the USPTO, she served as an attorney-advisor in the General Counsel’s office at the U.S. Department of Commerce. Before she entered federal service, Wehagen practiced labor and employment law for several years with both a national and regional labor and employment law firm. A proud native of Ohio, Stefanie graduated with honors from both Miami University and Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.