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

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

2019Celso DoriaClass of 1992
2018Lt. Col. Justin SecrestClass of 1993
2017Dr. Kristee LorenzClass of 1986
2016Jorge R. GuevaraClasses of 2005, 2006, 2009
2015Dr. Jennifer HargraveClass of 1998
2014Roger C. AustinClass of 1986
2013Dr. Dean DohrmanClass of 1987
2012Tom GerkeClass of 1976
2011James Trujillo, Jr.Class of 2004
2010Saundra OvertonClasses of 1984, 1989
2009Debbie NolandClass of 1972
2008Nellie K. Owen, DVMClass of 1991
2007Marlin G. HammondClass of 1972
2006David C. FurnellClass of 1981
2005Peggy RichardsonClass of 1977
2004Susan HortonClasses of 1979, 1980, 1994
2003Elaine PaxtonClass of 1971
2002Dennis ShullClass of 1980
2001Eric YazellClass of 1987
2000Brad SchnackenbergClass of 1989
1999Brad DittmerClass of 1979
1998James RennisonClass of 1974
1997Jane LuperClass of 1975
1996Patricia GillmanClass of 1988
1995Evelyn JorgensonClass of 1972
1994Tony ClaxtonClass of 1980
1993Barry GuierClass of 1977
1992Leonard DixonClass of 1977
1991Ruth ElmoreClass of 1982
1990Cam JenningsClass of 1974
1989Thomas DeuschleClass of 1978
1988Josephine DeyClass of 1979
1987Debbie BiermannClass of 1973

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