Since 1987 SFCC has recognized an outstanding alumnus at spring commencement. Read about the latest award winner and nominate a graduate for the next year’s award.
Lenny Freund, owner of Freund Family Foods, a traveling food concessions company based in Newnan, Georgia, has been selected as the State Fair Community College 2020 Distinguished Alumni.
Freund was born in Sedalia, the youngest of four siblings. He graduated from Sacred Heart High School and later earned an Associate of Arts degree in 1980 from SFCC. He transferred to Central Missouri State University, now named University of Central Missouri, and while there he accepted an offer to be a food service operations manager at the 1982 World’s Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee. That decision set the course for Freund to become a successful and respected entrepreneur with 40 years of experience in the food and beverage industry.
Freund spent 10 years with Six Flags Theme Parks holding various positions including, director of revenue, vice president and general manager at different locations. For several years, Freund worked at Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and Schlitterbahn Water Park in New Braunfels, Texas.
In 2007, he and his wife, Susan, founded Freund Family Foods, a successful traveling food concession business that operates at numerous fairs, festivals, airshows, concerts, and amusement parks across the country. In 2008, Freund started the consulting firm North Star Food & Beverage Associates with colleague, Ken Whiting. They provide services, aligned with their mission to “build relationships,” that have helped dozens of food and beverage clients improve operations at various venues.
For the past 15 years, Freund has been invited to speak at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions convention. More than 40,000 people from around the world attend this annual event. Also, he is a frequent speaker at the annual Theme Park Food Directors Conference.
Distinguished Alumni Recipients
|2019||Celso Doria||Class of 1992|
|2018||Lt. Col. Justin Secrest||Class of 1993|
|2017||Dr. Kristee Lorenz||Class of 1986|
|2016||Jorge R. Guevara||Classes of 2005, 2006, 2009|
|2015||Dr. Jennifer Hargrave||Class of 1998|
|2014||Roger C. Austin||Class of 1986|
|2013||Dr. Dean Dohrman||Class of 1987|
|2012||Tom Gerke||Class of 1976|
|2011||James Trujillo, Jr.||Class of 2004|
|2010||Saundra Overton||Classes of 1984, 1989|
|2009||Debbie Noland||Class of 1972|
|2008||Nellie K. Owen, DVM||Class of 1991|
|2007||Marlin G. Hammond||Class of 1972|
|2006||David C. Furnell||Class of 1981|
|2005||Peggy Richardson||Class of 1977|
|2004||Susan Horton||Classes of 1979, 1980, 1994|
|2003||Elaine Paxton||Class of 1971|
|2002||Dennis Shull||Class of 1980|
|2001||Eric Yazell||Class of 1987|
|2000||Brad Schnackenberg||Class of 1989|
|1999||Brad Dittmer||Class of 1979|
|1998||James Rennison||Class of 1974|
|1997||Jane Luper||Class of 1975|
|1996||Patricia Gillman||Class of 1988|
|1995||Evelyn Jorgenson||Class of 1972|
|1994||Tony Claxton||Class of 1980|
|1993||Barry Guier||Class of 1977|
|1992||Leonard Dixon||Class of 1977|
|1991||Ruth Elmore||Class of 1982|
|1990||Cam Jennings||Class of 1974|
|1989||Thomas Deuschle||Class of 1978|
|1988||Josephine Dey||Class of 1979|
|1987||Debbie Biermann||Class of 1973|