Staff Directory

Tom CassellSmall Business Development Director
Tom Cassell

As Director of Small Business Development at CCV, Tom Cassell advises start ups and existing companies on financing, marketing, and business development, and provides individual business counseling. Tom specializes in helping entrepreneurs fine tune ideas and test assumptions.

Tom will help you find answers to all of the questions that pop up when you start a new business: is my idea viable? Where can I get financing? How much money do I really need? What is my break even point? As a business coach, Tom will look at your business and use his knowledge and experience to help guide you to solutions that will work best for you.

Before his current post, Tom served as Director for two Small Business Development Centers (SBDCís) and was responsible for helping local Chicago businesses receive over $10 million in financing. He has provided one-on-one business coaching to over 300 businesses across many different industries.

Tom has owned several businesses including Route 101 Guitars, a company that manufactured custom electric guitars and JB Music, a guitar factory in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. Tomís previous posts include promotion manager at Penguin Publishing (New York) and product/brand manager at Dana B. Goods (Los Angeles).

Tom has lectured on Entrepreneurship for the Chicago City Colleges, Associated Colleges of the Midwest, Loyola University and DePaul University. He is also a certified FastTrac instructor for the Kauffman foundation.

Business Analyst
Christyn Freemon

Christyn joined CCV as an Americpors VISTA in September 2008. Since her time with CCV, she has worked on multiple placed based initiatives to offer technical assistance in low to moderate income (LMI) communities. These initiatives allow in depth, concentrated consulting for a given area. Over the last 2 years, she has been working with clients mainly in LMIs on the South and West Side of Chicago.

She is a Certified Inbound Marketing Professional and leverages her knowledge of social media to assist her clients in their overall management strategies. Christyn works with pre- ventures, start ups and established companies.

Christyn has experience in writing business plans, social media strategy, and marketing and sales strategies. She is an out of the box thinker and utilizes that skill to develop strategies that assist her clients in growth.

Prior to joining CCV, Christyn worked as a consultant for WDB Marketing, marketing, graphics and print company serving small businesses primarily in the south Chicagoland area. She also has 5 years of technical recruitment experience, offering staffing and recruitment solutions for Fortune 500 companies mainly headquartered in the Chicagoland area. She uses her background and experiences to create implementable solutions for her clients.

Christyn received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and African American Studies from Northwestern University in Evanston. In addition to her Inbound Marketing Certification, she is also a Certified Internet Recruiter.


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