West Virginia District Office | Leadership Biographies

Karen Friel, District Director

Karen Friel

Karen Friel is the district director for the U. S. Small Business Administration’s West Virginia District Office. In her position she is responsible for the delivery and leadership of SBA’s financial and business development programs throughout the state of West Virginia. Born and raised in West Virginia, Friel is passionate about enhancing the small business community that makes up nearly 96% of the employers in the state.

Friel has been employed by the agency for the past nine years. During her tenure she has held multiple positions including Administrative Officer, Business Development Specialist, Lead Business Development Specialist, Deputy District Director, Acting District Director, and currently District Director.

Friel is a West Virginia native, growing up on the slopes at Snowshoe Mountain Resort. She attended Fairmont State University and holds degrees in marketing, management, and business administration. Prior to joining the SBA, Friel was a commercial loan processor for ten years with multiple banking institutions in West Virginia.