National CEO of Score Honors Youngstown Chapter

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio – The national CEO of Score, Ken Yancey, who came from its headquarters in Virginia to help the Youngstown chapter celebrate its 52nd anniversary Wednesday, wondered aloud what the organization that helps entrepreneurs succeed will look like in 10 years.

It will remain an organization of retired businesspeople who volunteer their time and talent, Yancey said, but the internet and emails have transformed how they advise and counsel startup ventures. And the speed of change is accelerating.

Those setting out in business still want to meet one-on-one with a Score counselor about marketing or keeping their books and how to deal with lenders, Yancey said. Score volunteers can handle some concerns more efficiently through the internet. The volunteers “must remain nimble to remain relevant,” he said. “They must remain accountable.”

The organization, created by the U.S. Small Business Administration in 1964 as the Service Corps of Retired Executives, is simply Score and has 364 chapters across the United States. It has an annual budget of $19 million, $10.5 million of which comes from the SBA – “change in the couch cushions” of the federal government, as Yancey described it.

The national president wouldn’t be surprised to see considerably less face-to-face contact between entrepreneurs and the next generation of volunteers, he said, for two reasons. He foresees more small-business startups and more entrepreneurs but the number of Score counselors holding steady.

“We must be more flexible,” he declared.

Yancey also foresees what he calls many more “serial entrepreneurs” or “pop-up businesses,” that is, men and women who start a business they intend to satisfy a temporary need before they close it to start another.

Case in point, the many wells in North Dakota drilled to extract oil and gas needed suppliers. With the price of energy dropping, most suppliers have closed their doors and left the state.

“The good news is we’re growing [at a 10% annual rate]. We’re successful,” he concluded. “And we’re seeing more volunteerism.”

Seventy percent of the businesses Score has helped “say they’re healthy and growing,” Yancey said, which he considers a success.

The outgoing president, Frank Bordonaro, recognized Betty Jo Licata, dean of the Williamson College of Business Administration at Youngstown State University, where the Youngstown chapter has its offices and volunteers meet aspiring entrepreneurs and the owners of fledgling businesses.

In gratitude, the Youngstown chapter gave two $1,000 scholarships for Williamson students.

Honored as “sustaining businesses” were:

  • The Butcher Block in Mineral Ridge and its owner, Steve Badurik, who has expanded from one employee to nine. Bordonaro was lead counselor.
  • Pancake Maples, owned by Rich Berg, who taps 500 maple trees on his family farm to flavor the maple syrup used in various edibles, including treats for diabetics. “He has grown from 100 bags of granola to thousands of bag of granola,” said lead counselor Terry Deiderick, retired chairman of the marketing department at YSU and a charter member of the Youngstown chapter. “And he’s still a one-man operation!”
  • The Bread Chef in Boardman, owned by Mike and Nancy Landgraff. Don Mathews, who taught marketing at YSU and later owned Shelton-Mathews Chocolates, was lead counselor and is helping Mike Landgraff become a chocolatier. Mathews saluted the Landgraffs for recognizing that business owners need to recharge. Twice a year the Bread Chef closes its doors for two weeks and gives its employees two weeks’ paid vacation in January and July.

Honored as an “emerging business” was Printing 3D Parts Inc., owned by Paul Palovich and Ted Webb, who related how Score and lead counselor Arthur Latanzi had their backs as they dealt navigating the maze of not infringing on others’ intellectual property.

“People are afraid of additive manufacturing because they don’t understand it,” Palovich said, but he and Webb downplayed how the products they created are made and simply delivered them to satisfied customers. “We just identified the benefits,” Webb said, which included lower costs.

Webb delivered the best line of the program as he noted Score had recognized “a butcher, a baker, and we make the candlesticks.”

Also recognized in the Farmers Market Grant were the Howland Farmers Market, Oak Hill Collaborative and Youngstown Farmers Market, the last for the free app it created that allows all who download it to learn where and when farmers markets in the region are open and products available.

Officers for the next two years were installed: Janet Moy, chairwoman; Tom Carney, vice chairman; Charles Folkwein, treasurer; and Stuart Gibbs, secretary.

Pictured: Outgoing Score chapter president  Frank Bordonaro, Betty Jo Licata, dean of the Williamson College of Business Administration at Youngstown State University, and Ken Yancey, the national president of Score.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.