Past SCORE Association Annual Reports
FY21 continued to challenge small business owners as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic lingered in the American small business community and an employment crisis loomed. Business owners continued to reach out to SCORE for help navigating these significant challenges. Throughout the year, SCORE volunteers provided nearly 4.6 million hours of critical and timely mentoring and education, supporting clients in navigating funding options, finding customers, responding to employee challenges and adapting daily operations. Read more >>
Each year, SCORE, with the support of the SCORE Foundation and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), conducts research to measure SCORE’s engagement and economic impact on the U.S. economy. Results from the 2021 study show SCORE’s client satisfaction remained high for the thirteenth year in a row. Read more >>
SCORE Volunteer Hours
the Federal Treasury
Chelsea Kidd admits, “It’s a beast to take an idea I’ve always thought about and create a fully formed business.” But that’s exactly what she did. In line with her success, Chelsea says, “Now I’m a SCORE evangelist!”
Chelsea, a certified personal trainer with a background in exercise science, resigned from her corporate wellness job and moved to Montana in early 2021. Once there, she launched SiteWell Solutions, which offers customized health, wellness, and safety services for organizations. SiteWell provides in-person or virtual health and nutrition coaching, fitness classes, 5k events, targeted injury prevention clinics and more to fit the needs of employees for the nature of work performed. Her strategies are based on worksite wellness models that bolster productivity and morale through stress management, strength and resilience training.
“I love the opportunity to influence employee wellness policies in a workplace, to create a culture of wellness – on a bigger scale – to ultimately reduce health insurance costs, prevent on-the-job injuries and create healthier, happier workers,” she explains.
Chelsea first connected with her SCORE mentors, Frank Tidikis, Brian Cassell and Rick Sanders in 2019. Back then, she was still working for her employer, but she wanted to gain skills to set the foundation for her future business goals. Her mentors helped her establish a business plan, marketing strategy, scalable scope, etc. They also helped with prospecting and public speaking.
Chelsea has now gained the confidence she needs to “step out from behind my logo and put my face out there to knock on doors. I now feel excited to tell people about myself and my business.” Her mentors helped her overcome her previous fears of failure and find a rich sense of happiness in her work.
If Chelsea could offer advice to someone who’d also like to start a business, she would immediately tell them to reach out to SCORE: “No matter where you are in your journey, call them. Don’t wait for the stars to align. Just take baby steps and go for it!”
“[My SCORE mentors have] been wonderful. They take things at my pace.”
Patricia Wynn is a Lifestyle Manager and Assistant. She comes to your home and assists you with anything you don’t have time for such as cooking, cleaning, running errands, laundry. She’ll help with anything that keeps your house in order, to make your life better.
“I focus on your errands so you can focus on your career and enjoy your life,” she explains.
As a former general manager for McDonald’s in Atlanta and then store manager at Wendy’s in North Carolina, Patricia spent more than 30 years rising through the ranks of the fast food industry. The discovery that she had coronary artery disease, along with growing concerns over COVID, led her to pivot her career and take control of her livelihood. That’s when she reached out to SCORE to find a mentor who could help her start a business.
Patricia had admired her mother’s work in homecare and thought of ways she could adapt this kind of work based on her own skills. She explains, “I thought I’d try care.com to see what type of help people needed. There are a lot of people who need help with things like cooking, laundry, cleaning… so I signed up and met with my first clients.”
After a while, Patricia knew she could do this work without a middleman and could make more money if she started her own business in “Lifestyle Management.” She explains, “That’s when I connected with Maxine Stern, my SCORE mentor, who gave me good advice about how to get an LLC, create a website, join LinkedIn, and make business cards. Things like that. She was never negative, only positive. She held me accountable to keep moving forward with my dream to start a business.” By April of 2021, Patricia felt she was ready to launch Patricia Services, LLC.
Now Patricia has 10 active clients and hopes to have 20 by the end of the year if she can hire a responsible employee to help her keep up with demand. She especially hopes to tap into into the “millennial” population of clients.
Thanks to encouragement from her SCORE mentor, Patricia is thrilled to be an independent smallbusiness owner. She’s thriving in her feelings of empowerment.
“If you have a dream, go for it … do not let fear be a factor. Fear kept me in the food industry for too long. Now, I love my work. I feel satisfied, I’m not stressed, I set my hours, I feel loved.”
As a passionate mechanical engineer with a degree in business and love for the arts, Chris Rourk, founder of VOLTA ion in Miami, has tremendous vision. For decades he worked for corporations in the automotive service industry, but in late 2019, he was ready to launch his own business to push the industry into the future.
Then COVID brought chaos. His investors backed out and everything stalled. Fortunately, Mark Aledda, a banking expert, served as Chris’s SCORE mentor. Mark spent time working with Chris via Zoom to figure out next steps, business plans and projections. Mark was open and direct, helping Chris understand basic bank underwriting and lending principles while Chris continued to perfect the engineering of the final product. As a result, VOLTA ion’s first ever wireless/cordless heavy-duty jack became a masterpiece, with an innovative, sleek design and engineering that is truly groundbreaking.
Thanks to Mark’s consistent support and friendship during this period, Chris was also able to secure working capital from Miami Bayside Foundation. VOLTA ion launched in 2021 with a buzz of excitement as clients learned about their products. Chris enthusiastically explains, “Now we can work on a line of new equipment – with robotics that enhance human motion – totally changing the way vehicles are repaired: no noise, so easy, ergonomic, safer, better for the human body. Our jacks are just the start.”
As Chris looks back at the long path he’s taken, he encourages future small business owners to learn from their setbacks and always move forward. He says, “I’ve felt many times that people give up at the last minute – but I think they should never stop following their dreams. They should make their talents grow and never set limits.”
As a Latino business owner, Chris proudly considers the tenacity he’s needed to start his new business. He recognizes the importance of his valued employees on one hand and his SCORE mentor on the other. Chris is most excited when he can nurture his employees’ ideas and see them smile after each hardearned success: “I love to see vast potential in human capability!”
“I want to build machines that help humans, making service-sector jobs easier with fewer injuries. I’ve watched the automobile industry evolve and go green, but not the equipment used to service those machines. Our work will change the norm in the market for the better.”
Danielle Neal is a 25-year-old Baltimore-based entrepreneur who started her business, Digital with Danielle, in 2020. At first this work was essentially a side hustle, where she offered advice on how to use social media and its new features through Instagram Live. Her fun conversations there taught her that women, especially, face unnecessary barriers and a lack of confidence when using social media platforms for business growth. She instinctively knew she could be an empowering force in this arena and excel at addressing people’s social medial pain points.
Before taking the leap to start a business, Danielle was a full-time schoolteacher. With no prior business experience, Danielle tapped into SCORE. Her SCORE mentor, Rich Rubinstein, helped her answer questions, think strategically, raise funds and even change her messaging to match her expertise. After bi-weekly Zoom meetings with Rich throughout the pandemic, Danielle decided to quit her teaching job in 2021 and launch Digital with Danielle.
In just one year since starting her business, Danielle is busy with clients and filled with confidence and excitement. “I don’t think of myself as ‘small’ because of the small business title. I am really creating a global brand,” she explains.
Danielle loves what she’s doing, and her bubbly excitement can be felt immediately. She believes her SCORE mentor helped map revenue for growth but, more importantly, “map her legacy.” As a first generation entrepreneur, she is glad to tap her newly gained skills to help her community grow, too.
Danielle would tell future business owners: “Believe in the vision you have. Know that you can be seen and valued for what you bring to the table.” In addition, she encourages entrepreneurs to reach out to SCORE for support: “You can do so much more when you get help.”
“My SCORE coach taught me that I can have premium clients. I have to offer premium services and price premium deals. I learned to ignore my initial feelings of “imposter syndrome” because I have more experience in this than others. I have a lot to offer.”
The path to business ownership is an exciting journey but also a challenging one. SCORE’s Startup Roadmap, sponsored by FedEx, offers entrepreneurs a step by step guide to navigate a successful business launch. Read more >>
Clients agree the content helps demystify the startup process:
“This has really allowed me to start putting things down on paper. I like the pre-generated documents that were nice tools and easy to use. I can use them for other ventures as well!”
guide since 2020
At SCORE, we know that disasters, economic downturns and catastrophic events can present unprecedented challenges for small business owners. That is why we developed the Small Business Resilience Hub to provide disaster preparation, recovery and resilience resources to help small businesses thrive despite unexpected interruptions.
“My SCORE mentor was an excellent listener, coach and mentor throughout the COVID pandemic. He was calm, professional and worked with us to find appropriate resources to stay abreast of changing protocol and manage staff during a mandatory shut down.”
Shannon Woods, Owner, Woods Orthodontics about mentor Ed Weiser
The SCORE Small Business
Resilience Program is presented by:
To serve the needs of business owners seeking critical and immediate guidance during the pandemic, SCORE developed LiveChat. This new feature on SCORE.org connects entrepreneurs with expert mentors 24x7 to chat live online or get answers to urgent questions. Read more >>
“Tom was very helpful in getting me started and leading to great SCORE resources.”
“Spencer was super helpful and was a calm reassurance that I still have time to essentially save my business. He is truly an amazing person!”
Three groups of entrepreneurs consistently outperform others as engines for the small business economy. They start businesses at higher rates and operate more small businesses than others, yet they are consistently overlooked and often climb steeper hills to achieve their goals.
The Megaphone of Main Street is a biannual data report that showcases survey responses from SCORE’s large, diverse population of clients to cultivate a more accurate understanding of the true state of today’s Main Street, USA. This data fills a gap in the existing small business research by diving deep into the motivations and experiences of American small business owners as they navigate challenges and embrace entrepreneurial opportunities.
SCORE is committed to cultivating a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) among our volunteers, staff and Board to better serve our clients and engage our volunteers.
Ensure consistent and easy-to-understand messaging on SCORE materials related to DEI.
Support DEI education program to achieve culture of inclusion.
Oversee program implementation
Measure and evaluate the progress of DEI efforts.
Provide insights to leadership through open two-way communication with diverse volunteers.
At SCORE, we believe anyone can start a small business with the right support. We also know that the road is harder for some than others. Recognizing that diverse backgrounds, different voices and unique needs may call for specialized resources or a personalized approach to mentoring, SCORE for All was developed. Read more >>
In FY21, SCORE developed specific hubs within SCORE for All focused on the needs of women entrepreneurs, Black entrepreneurs, Hispanic entrepreneurs and veteran entrepreneurs, with additional hubs planned. This wholly-inclusive online platform, together with culturally-sensitive mentoring, provides resources and training tailored to meet the needs of these diverse communities.
In FY21, SCORE developed a targeted media relations campaign to support minority-owned businesses and promote volunteer recruitment of Black and Hispanic business owners as mentors. The media campaign raised significant awareness for SCORE, resulting in nearly 13,000 clips, 96 million impressions and an ad value equivalency of $894,250. Read more >>
“ There’s not enough ink in my pen to write about everything that’s great about my mentor, Mr. Mark Maguire. What makes him an exceptional mentor are the qualities he possesses naturally: his willingness to share his genius, skills, knowledge, and expertise - at a level that’s not condescending or confusing - in a concise manner that makes it easy to understand. “
Ursula Augustine — Ursula’s About Phace Rittenhouse Studio
Volunteer Engagement Survery Results Remain Strong
"This is the highest engagement rating SCORE volunteers have had in the past 10 years - they showed up for small businesses during the pandemic, more than ever!" - SCORE Vice President of Field Operations Doug Nohe
The Washington D.C. chapter was selected from among 241 SCORE chapters nationwide based on its quick and effective response in supporting small business owners during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more >>
“I am so proud of our team and the work we’ve been able to do to help small business owners thrive, despite this pandemic.”
-Chapter Chair Mariann Zylstra
Increase in total services in 2020
New CRM Will Improve User Engagement
Over the past two years, SCORE designed, built, tested and rolled out a new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system: SCORE Engage. Designed to facilitate and improve the quality of user engagement through the organization’s three major user journeys – client mentoring, volunteering and training -- Engage implementation was completed in FY21. Read more about SCORE Engage.
Chapters currently live in Engage:
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Chairman of the Board
Scott leads the Global portfolio Marketing for FedEx Services and oversees: global digital; global products, solutions and business agility and global marketing foundations talent development program.
Mary has more than 35 years with the government, including service on the White House National Security Council as a special assistant to the president and senior director for resilience policy, and active duty in the U.S Coast Guard.
John has volunteered with SCORE for 10 years serving as Chapter Chair and District Director for North Carolina. For 17 years, John was a member of the management boards of publicly-traded German Corporations FAG Bearings and Schaeffler AG.
Bob is a SCORE certified mentor and serves as a volunteer leadership member with Foundation Communities, an Austin Charity. Bob holds a bachlor's degree in business administration from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the University of Detroit Mercy.
Mukesh is currently Director of IT at Salesforce and has a verifiable record of achievement in managing large and dynamic global IT operations. Mukesh holds an MS in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts and is certified in CIO Leadership from MIT Sloan School of Management.
Mariana D. Bravo
Mariana is a Partner at the Law Firm of Carr, Maloney PC. She serves as a Board Member on the Hispanic National Bar Association's Executive Committee Vice President of External Affairs. She also co-chairs the Diversity and Pro Bono Committees at her firm
James is the executive vice president, head of deposits + payments for Live Oak Bank and a leader in bank innovation. He joined Live Oak after spending nearly 20 years in various senior leadership roles at large financial institutions, including most recently TD Bank.
Jim has been a SCORE volunteer for 6+ years and has served in numerous roles, including mentor, president of SCORE Austin and as a member of the National Advisory Board. Prior to joining SCORE, Jim held leadership roles at Amoco, CSC Index and as apartner at Accenture.
Cherylyn Harley LeBon
Cherylyn is a lawyer, corporate advisor and board director with more than 20 years of experience in Washington, D.C. and abroad. She is a partner with Dunlap, Bennett & Ludwig law firm and works with small to large businesses and government contractors across the country.
Dr. Ulrica Jones
Dr. Ulrica Jones was the Founding Chair of SCORE Middle Georgia and presently serves as a certified SCORE mentor. She also serves as a Diversity and Inclusion Ambassador and is one of the founding members of the SCORE National Women’s Committee.
Patricia's corporate expertise includes strategy, strategic alliances, business development, product management and innovation, independent oversight, and federal regulatory affairs and compliance. Pat also serves in advisory roles for early-stage companies.
Julie is a speaker, author and “7 Attributes of Agile Growth” Certified Coach. Since 1990, she has provided process and structure for business leaders to transform their organizations and achieve improved results and sustainable growth.
Perri is vice president of external communications at Trane Technologies and the director of the Trane Technologies Foundation. She is a certified executive coach, change leadership professional and reputation crisis manager.
Michael served as senior vice president of Fuld & Company and has over 25 years of experience as a senior operations manager with a focus on the use of technology in operations. He has an extensive background in technology transfer to licensees and joint venture partners.
Tracy serves as head of content and client engagement strategy for Equitable. She serves as vice chair of the Immune Deficiency Foundation. Tracy earned an MBA from Western Connecticut State University and is currently a doctoral candidate through Adler University.
Larry has been a SCORE volunteer for more than ten years, and served as Chairman of the Board of Directors in 2019-20. He also served as Chairman of the SCORE Orange County chapter and their CEO Forum program. Larry is a board member of the Executive Coaches of Orange County, previously serving as its CEO from 2010 to 2012.
Ian is an innovative business leader who is recognized for leading organizational transformation and growth, having led P&Ls from $10M to $3.2B across numerous business sectors including technology, software, data storage, data security, SaaS/IaaS, Fintech, payments and business services and solutions.
David Zechman is a seasoned healthcare executive with 20 plus years of experience at the executive level at large, integrated healthcare systems where he aligned goals, behaviors and processes to drive the vision to provide kind and compassionate care.
SCORE is headquartered in Herndon, Va. with a staff of 41 and 10,000+ volunteers in 240+ chapters across the nation. Office space is generously donated by SBA district offices, Chambers of Commerce and other community supporters.
The SCORE Association thanks the generous individuals and organizations that have helped small business entrepreneurs across the country with their support.