Director of Illinois Small Business Development Center
Chettha Saetia is excited to join CMAA as director of the Small Business Development Center which is the only Asian American-led SBDC in the state of Illinois. Born and raised in Thailand, Chettha moved to northern Illinois as a teen to study at Lake Forest Academy. He then earned his business degree at Syracuse University, and after graduating, began his journey as an entrepreneur.
Chettha founded McKlein Company LLC, an international luggage and leather goods company which now became a woman and minority-owned business based in the Chicagoland area, in 1998. During his tenure he led several aspects of business operations, including sales, marketing, finance, product design, and project management. While at McKlein, Chettha obtained multiple domestic and international patents in the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan; developed 2500+ products distributed worldwide; received the CES International Innovation Award (2009) and PPAI Award (2006 and 2008). The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce recognized Chettha as a Chicago Emerging Leader in 2018.
FUN FACT | Chettha lives in Oak Park with his wife and kids; volunteers with the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust and the Park District of Oak Park; and loves playing soccer, the outdoors, camping and photography.