Chris Whillock, NEC Executive Director

Chris, a life-long entrepreneur, began his business career running the Freezee stand during his family backyard penny carnivals. Sitting over that foam ice chest and selling those, mom provided, icy treats for 2 cents to neighborhood children must have ignited that desire for a lifetime in business.

Today Chris runs several successful operations: a mail-order woodworking tool/supply business ( and an annual woodcarving festival ( he was also editor for the Nationally-distributed Carving Magazine for 7 years. He is currently the co-director of the Tommy Allen Scholarship volleyball tournament and is part of the Minnesota Inventor’s Congress show committee. He also holds several leadership roles for local clubs and organizations. Chris graduated from Winona State with a degree in advertising and has spent over 25 years working with Southern Minnesota businesses in the areas of sales, marketing, graphic design and strategic planning.

As Executive Director of the Northfield Enterprise Center (NEC) Chris helps new and current small businesses take that next step in their journey. The NEC hosts a huge variety of FREE resources for business owners: information on loan and grant programs, business planning services, sales and marketing expertise, strategic planning, relocation help, local networking and resources that will be helpful in their development. Chris is also excited about the two programs offered by the NEC: the local business Lunch & Learns and the Hired Hands internship program where local businesses are paired with college students to help on special projects.

Contact Chris at:                                                                                             or call 507-786-9065 for more information.