Youngstown Score Chapter Celebrates 50th Birthday

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — In 1965, Martin Luther King Jr. led a group of 25,000 protesters to Montgomery, Ala. The Beatles, still sporting mop tops, released “Yesterday.” The New York Jets signed a self-assured young quarterback named Joe Namath. And Sandy Koufax won the National League Cy Young Award –unanimously.

In the Mahoning Valley, the Youngstown Chapter of the Service Corps of Retired Executives — acronym Score — was just getting off the ground.

“Bob Miller got a group of us together,” recalls Terry Deiderick, then a professor at Youngstown University and one of the founding members of the 112th chapter in the United States.

Deiderick, former chairman of the marketing department in the Williamson College of Business Administration, was among the half dozen original members recruited by Dean Robert Miller.

“We had a meeting and I don’t remember the date, but I remember the day of the week. It was a Thursday. And the reason I know it was a Thursday is I know where we went to lunch,” he recalled Dec. 9.

The six piled into a car and headed west on Rayen Avenue, bound for the former Ambrosia’s on Belmont Avenue.

“And the reason we were going to Ambrosia’s is the assistant dean liked the veal and peppers that were served on Thursdays,” he says.

But before they arrived, a Cadillac sideswiped their car in what Deiderick called a “minor fender-bender.”

“I like to say the whole organization started with an accident,” he said.

The crash was one of many stories recalled by members past and present at the Youngstown chapter’s 50th birthday celebration Wednesday at the Saxon Club in Austintown. About 35 members were on hand to recall fond memories and to hear how the organization has changed over the last half-century.

Flora Pamer, chairman of the chapter in the 1990s and 2000s, was the first woman to hold the position. One of her fondest memories is the effort the group made to gain publicity. It came in the form of a golf tournament suggested by John Hudok.

It was such a success, she recalls, “I found it only fitting that I would name him the General.”

At the first tournament one of the players hit a hole-in-one, earning him the $25,000 payout.

“After that John said, ‘Let’s take it to $1 million.’ ”

Pamer laughs as she remembers Hudok taking out the insurance the following year and then bringing a “shiny new “Brink’s” truck” and parking it on the golf course.

“It brought invaluable publicity to Score and so I just want to say, ‘Thank you again, General John Hudok.’ ”

Over the years, the Youngstown Chapter distinguished itself in many ways, becoming the first chapter to publish a newsletter and the first to own a computer. It was Pamer’s successor who got stuck figuring out how to use it.

“You know the dog that chases the car? Did he ever think what he was going to do with that car when he caught it?” asked Janet Sanders-Ganchar. “That’s how I was with the computer age when I got behind that desk.”

When the computer arrived, Sanders-Ganchar admits she had no idea what to do with it, and her fellow members were of little help. “I just sat there and stared at it. I thought it was supposed to do something,” she explains. “Boy, have we come a long way, baby.”

Today the Youngstown Chapter has 39 members and is housed in the Williamson College at Youngstown State University.

“The Score members were some of the first people that I had the pleasure of meeting when I came to YSU” 21 years ago, recalls Dean Betty Jo Licata.

One of Score’s newest programs is its partnership with the city of Youngstown Economic Development Department and the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County.

“Many of the individuals who are applying for these grants [from the city] are in need of mentorships,” says chapter Chairman Frank Bordonaro. “We agreed to provide those mentorships.”

Score’s relationship with the library dates to the 1980s.

“We had all these books on business and finance and they were just collecting dust,” recalls Janet Moy-LaMonica, who then worked for the library.

One day a man from Score entered and ask to use one of the library’s business directories.

“I told him he could send his clients to us and we would be happy to help them with all the information they need for their business plan,” Moy-LaMonica said.

Score also formed a partnership with Junior Achievement of Mahoning Valley to provide programming in schools. Pamer fondly remembers an idiosyncrasy of the man who ran it, Bill Doliber.

“You should know that the students loved Bill,” Pamer said. “You may also want to know that he had a most unusual way of introducing himself to the students, by telling them that he was a warlock. Yes, a warlock,” she repeated to her delighted audience.

To prove it, Doliber would explain that he was a real eight-times removed grandson of one of the 18 women accused of witchcraft in Salem, Mass., in the 1690s.

But not all of Score’s programs stood the test of time. Pamer was especially fond of a partnership Score had with the Juvenile Justice Center and was saddened when “it was discontinued due to lack of funding.”

Still, Bodonaro insists that while hard to quantify, the impact of the Youngstown chapter of Score on the community has been tremendous.

“We have touched many lives,” Bordinaro said. “And that’s something we all should be very proud of. What we’re doing today could have an impact on this community for many years to come.”

At the luncheon, Score recognized those members in attendance with five or more years of service: Arthur Lattanzi, Donald Matthews, William Brennan, Charles Creager, Charles Whitman, Janet Sanders-Ganchar, Pamer, Moy-LaMonica, Deiderick and Hudok.

Pictured: Youngstown Score members post for group picture following Wednesday’s event.

 

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.