Check out the downloadable spreadsheet for a detailed, summary description of our members' areas of expertise and capabilities. Summary bios are below:
SHELDON BARKER - Environmental engineer Sheldon Barker has been curious about how things work since childhood. His intellectual curiosity led him to Oregon State University where he earned a BS in Civil Engineering. After receiving his degree, he served as a commissioned officer in the USPHS and developed water and wastewater systems and facilities for Indian families in Oklahoma. Following his service, he acquired an MS in environmental engineering from Cornell University and then joined the engineering consulting firm CH2M Hill where he worked for the next 40 years. An extrovert, Sheldon enjoyed managing major campaigns to secure compelling contracts for his firm and spent 10 years as North American Sales Director. Adept at reading individual behavioral styles and the organizational dynamics, his efforts resulted in over $100 million in project wins annually. He spent his last decide prior to retirement as Manager of the Northwest geography where he managing water operations and was responsible for winning and then delivering $70 million in annual revenue. He is especially drawn to SCORE clients with engineering interests, and he enjoys co-mentoring so that clients can draw from the areas of expertise of more than one mentor. To achieve success, he feels entrepreneurs must be willing to work long and hard, must develop a strong understanding of the of the market, and must have a realistic grasp of the value of their product or service.
BOB BERCH - Bob is a graduate of the University of Michigan with a B.S. in General Studies and Marketing. He has recently retired from Roseburg Forest Products where he held the position of National Sales Manager for the Engineered Wood Products (EWP) start-up business unit for the last 12 years. Prior to that he had 19 years of experience with Weyerhaeuser Trus Joist in the EWP business and prior to that had management experience in the grocery, cabinet, building, remodeling and lumber industries. His responsibilities with both companies required thorough knowledge of the industry including the sales and marketing of value-added products, strategic planning, product development, promotion, negotiation, and financial management. SCORE clients benefit from Bob’s ability to logically and creatively consider business ideas and challenges. Common sense, business acumen, and a lively sense of the possible direct his thinking. He feels entrepreneurs must establish and articulate strong and positive visions, goals and objectives for the businesses they hope to create, then must passionately apply faith, focus and follow-through in order to succeed-- while factoring the "realities" of the manufacturing, distribution and marketing issues. In his free time he enjoys, exercising, gardening (landscaping), reading and spending time with his family. He is a certified “duffer” at the game of golf.
ELVIN BALLANCE – Elvin’s interest in flight began when, as a boy, he took a ride in a Piper Cub. Eventually he earned a commercial pilot’s license and became a flight instructor, but between the initial flight and the pilot’s license his feet were firmly planted on the ground as he measured weather conditions and maintained electronic communication and data collection systems for the United State Air Force, the Federal Aviation Authority, and the National Weather Service. Because electronic technology and monitoring systems continually evolve, Elvin needed to continually update his skills. He took opportunities to learn then train colleagues about the most current equipment and changes in weather monitoring systems. His field was technical, but he feels all entrepreneurs need to continually learn within their respective industries. When Elvin left his electronics career, he took on the challenge of learning all he could about taxation and the current tax system. He then put his understanding to work as a volunteer tax consultant for AARP. As a SCORE mentor, he can assist not only those contemplating a business related to electronics technology, but also those seeking assistance with business related taxation issues.
JIM BALIS - Jim, a New Yorker, made a business as children’s party magician when he was in high school. As a Duke University student, he replaced magic with a wide variety of extracurricular activities while directing his academic interests toward a business career in the movie industry. Those aspirations changed when a friend alerted him to the problems financial companies face when businesses they have financed begin to fail. Now Idaho’s only Certified Turnaround Professional, he owns his own firm and applies business acumen, assessment skills and leadership experience to turn distressed companies from loss to prosperity. His work requires that he assess a company’s business practices and policies from income and expenditures to sales drivers and labor efficiency. Often he assumes the role of interim CEO to improve the business model and reshape company procedures and policy. He’s worked with companies in various fields, but particularly enjoys working with restaurateurs and those in the food industry, and he owns his own Boise restaurant. As a SCORE mentor, he’s helped many local businesses owners realistically and effectively assess their existing businesses in order to improve profit margins.
NORM BECKERT – Norm acquired engineering and business skills studying at Drexell University and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Management. His academic training propelled him into a successful career at Boise Cascade Company. He there developed expertise in numerous areas including energy systems, manufacturing and supply management and ultimately became the Director of Corporate Procurement. That position required the ability to work with people on all sides of a business equation and the capacity to deal with confrontation. For most, this would be sufficient responsibility, but not for Norm. Wanting others to benefit from his experience and training, he has written over 160 articles about small business issues and has served as an Adjunct Professor in Boise State’s College of Business and Economics. Flexibility, strong customer service orientation, and thorough understanding of ‘the numbers’ related to costs, resources and timing are competencies Norm feels an entrepreneur must possess. He also feels entrepreneurs benefit from meeting frequently with business mentors when working to establish a new business. At SCORE, he enjoys helping entrepreneurs develop strong business plans. He likes to continue the association by meeting regularly with business owners in an advisory capacity as their new enterprises move from initial stages toward profitability and lasting success.
MARK BLAKELY - Mark, an internationally recognized business executive, is a geologist by training. During his career in the mineral resources field he developed extensive expertise in business management, assessment and product development. Working initially as a mining engineer, he gained a wide range of experience as he worked both domestic and international assignments. As his career progressed, he was tasked with creating feasibility studies requiring through and extensive research and leading to the creation and implementation of effective business plans for major projects. His successes with companies of all sizes and structures, (including Morrison-Knudson), underscore his remarkable abilities. He believes businesses benefit from proactive rather than reactive practices. This involves the application of sound business practices beginning with careful analysis of ideas and potential processes and procedures. Using transferable business skills, he is adept at analyzing business plans, identifying both strengths and weaknesses. He particularly enjoys working with people who possess realistic enthusiasm regarding their business ideas and aspirations while recognizing that building a profitable business requires dedication, effort and a significant amount of time.
BILL BOYER - An entrepreneur, according to Bill Boyer, needs to have deep passion. Passion about his/her particular project or service, because business success requires deep commitment. Bill has bought--and sold-- a variety of businesses including an employment agency and a business catering to the safety needs of senior citizens. With considerable experience in human resources work, Bill recognizes that it’s critical to both understand and commit to one’s clients and to strategically place appropriate products in front of them. Innovation and adaptation, he feels, are ways to stay true to customers, after listening carefully as they define their wants and needs. When mentoring, Bill will be listening, and he will be asking questions that will help the entrepreneur to develop a realistic perspective, create reasonable projections, and be attentive to how the prospective business will function on a daily basis. He regards a business plan as a hypothesis that needs to be proven, and he can provide direction in acquiring appropriate data. Bill also can help those at the other end of the spectrum. He understands that the decision to close the doors or to sell a business requires careful consideration, and that the process of winding a business down demands particular finesse.
BRAD BRUGGERMAN - Brad centered his professional career in Ohio and studded it with multiple international assignments. After completing several military assignments, Brad developed business acumen at The Thunderbird School of Global Management. He then stepped into a career with Goodyear where he applied his skills and learned more through company training opportunities. Later, Brad trained others who now hold executive positions within the corporation in several countries. Brad rose to become Director of Facilities Planning charged with corporate facilities planning worldwide. He feels two principles are core to successful business practice. First, though you must always keep the company’s goals in mind, do what is right for the people who work for and with you; second, astute communication—with clients but also laterally with colleagues and vertically with leaders up and down the managerial ladder. Brad identifies himself as a numbers man with particular expertise in cost equations and projections used to predict the time needed to reach profitability. While he values working with clients who anticipate developing a new business, he particularly enjoys mentoring companies as they seek to expand, improve and grow established businesses.
JENNY BUCKALLEW - Jenny Buckallew combines fresh ideas, acquired skills and strong determination to reach her business goals. Pursuing her interest in business, she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics followed by an MBA and the acquisition of CPA credentials. Then she entered the professional world of managerial accounting, helping small businesses and commercial clients with their internal accounting needs. But Jenny wanted more from her professional career, so she began teaching collegiate courses and also developed and presented hands on workshops that focused on such topics as establishing a legitimate business and cash flow management. Recently Jenny has coupled her considerable professional skills with internet savvy and established her own online enterprise, an accounting business for clients who use QuickBooks to manage their financial affairs. Jenny is not only capable of effectively sharing her economic expertise, she is looking forward to assisting SCORE clients to develop their own cash management skills via mentoring sessions and also in workshops sponsored by SCORE. She advises entrepreneurs to develop an understanding of ‘the numbers’ prior to stepping into the business world where cash is truly the king. She advises those with existing businesses to implement sustainable growth strategies and properly leverage debt.
H. DEAN BUNNELL - A self-described serial entrepreneur with over 40 years of business experience, Dean has done business with over 95 countries, applying his skills in multi-national companies and in the management and development of smaller businesses. Trained as an engineer, he entered the work force as a microwave telecom designer. He anticipated a career in scientific research and development, but when he found the business end of operations interested him more, he obtained an MBA and shifted his energy to management, operations, promotion, and sales. He has started and grown companies in the telecommunications industry and in diverse fields including Biotech, industrial chemicals, specialty cold weather clothing, and salon level hair care. He can help entrepreneurs and small businesses determine if a product or service will meet the needs and wants of their target market, assess market opportunities and position their businesses for success. As a SCORE mentor, Dean also can guide entrepreneurs as they work to organize and focus their thinking. He can assist them with the development and implementation of market validation measures and share proven management strategies. He can also help entrepreneurs produce effective business plans keyed to managing the company and acquiring financial support as needed.
ANDREW CHORLTON - Andrew Chorlton wasn’t anticipating a career within the semiconductor industry when he entered the University of London as chemistry major. Instead, his career took root when he followed his passion for beautiful music. He wanted to enhance musical production and recording so people could enjoy a richer musical experience, and he knew that there were ways to do so electronically. His interest in electronics eventually led him to a position with British Telecom and later, he was able to step into a whole new industry devoted to integrated circuitry (micro-chips). Convincing potential customers of the product value of semiconductors came easily for Andrew. He developed strong command of marketing strategy as the industry moved forward.
In moves to Motorola Corporation, and then to National Semiconductor, he acquired skill and experience in management, contract negotiation and pricing. His career took him from London, to France, Germany, Asia and the United States. He enjoyed the challenge of working with different societies were cultural norms and expectations differ. Within companies, he prefers a collaborative approach that includes members of the company understanding the value of the work others within the firm do, and how each person’ s efforts contribute to overall success. Andrew enjoys working with people who have specific business goals and a clear idea of what success would look like in their respective fields. He identifies effective communication skills, flexibility and financial literacy as attributes of successful businessmen and women.
DAVE CHURCHILL – Dave, a successful mechanical/electrical engineer, worked extensively for a Fortune 500 energy company. His career centered on providing project management, design services and construction expertise. In his most recent position, he managed the operation of all process-automation systems at a large overseas industrial complex. Dave especially enjoyed the construction aspects of the projects he helped manage. He identifies two competencies that were critical to his success and that would be critical for success in any business. The first is the ability to communicate effectively and work harmoniously with people within one’s own firm and also with partner companies and clients. Second, he notes the need to efficiently prioritize. He feels those just entering the business world must have a strong grasp of marketing principles and must understand financial processes and realties including the need for appropriate funding. As a SCORE mentor, David can help SCORE clients to recognize areas within the framework of their business plans and aspirations that require additional concentrated attention, and he can suggest areas where greater skill may need to be acquired if a business is to succeed. David is willing to work face- to- face or via email to provide mentoring. He also connects clients with other SCORE mentors if the client’s needs could be more effectively addressed by a mentor with different expertise.
LARRY CLUCAS – Larry, a man with a big heart, grew up on an Idaho dairy farm where business thrived because the farmers there helped each other. Years Later, after college and military service, he was still assisting others during a successful career in banking where he gained experience as a loan officer and branch manager. Larry also enjoyed a second career as city manager in Umatilla, Oregon, and oversaw the development of a city hall, sports fields and an historic riverside park. During his professional years, he listened to the ideas and plans of numerous aspiring business people, assisted many in acquiring needed capital, and watched as well-construed plans materialized and became reality. Consequently, Larry is well positioned to help SCORE clients to assess their market research, analyze their business plans, and identify roadblocks. Additionally, he is experienced with budget development, business turnarounds and government contracts. He feels entrepreneurs must realistically assess the value of their ideas, and that they must be resilient to weather the inevitable lean times along the road to success. Hallmarks of successful businesses, in Larry’s mind, include control of appropriate inventory, good management of personnel, and an understanding of when to close.
RAYMOND DAVIS - Raymond has been a SCORE volunteer for 12 years and likes helping people succeed. As a young man he was involved in the restaurant business enjoying the opportunity to serve others. He continued that theme by becoming a forensic scientist assisting law enforcement in the pursuit of justice. He has worked in the public and private sectors of his profession operating his investigative laboratory in Seattle, WA for over 13 years. His work included examining physical evidence and evaluating crime scenes --often in dangerous circumstances --and reporting on his conclusions in court. Often called on to speak publically and to testify, he was keenly aware of the anxiety many colleagues felt when providing evidence in court. He wanted to help. Consequently, he established an analogous business designed to hone the ability of medical and forensics professionals to calmly and coherently represent themselves and their work in tense courtroom situations. As his experiences mounted, experience that included over ten thousand hours of courtroom testimony, he pursued another avenue for expression and became a published novelist. With numerous transferable business skills from which to draw, Raymond is at ease helping entrepreneurs in assessing their business -related ideas and establishing priorities.
CLAUS EGGERS - As a young man, Claus Eggers paired training in hospitality & hotel management with an interest in travel as he discovered the world while working on cruise ships and in hotels. The experience and business sense he acquired there paid benefits when he entered the institutional food service industry, receiving some of that industry’s highest awards. Thoughtful and innovative, he was able to successfully apply his business acumen to new challenges and became the Director of Ancillary Services at Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas. Later he became CEO of Las Vegas’s Valley Hospital, and ultimately he worked as a consultant in the health care industry. Claus feels all employees are worthy of respect regardless of their position in the company hierarchy and advises managers to engage directly with employees. To reduce workplace stress, he advises working smart rather than long. Financial metrics are a part of every business enterprise and Claus maintains that business owners & managers must maintain the economic health of the business. Able to quickly identify both strengths and weaknesses in business plans and operating processes, Clause can help both aspiring entrepreneurs and those currently operating a small business.
DR. MAUREEN GERMANO - Dr Maureen Germano is fascinated by why people behave as they do. Why, for example, do customers select one business or product over another or choose to use a product in a particular way? Such questions led Germano to pair an education in marketing communications and research with on the job adoption of human factors engineering methodologies. Her resulting approach to user experience design was invaluable while working with new product and service development efforts or transforming operations at a wide range of companies including Hewlett-Packard, Ameritech Library Services, Covia (airline partnership), and Upjohn Pharmaceuticals. These efforts led to increased customer, channel, and employee satisfaction and loyalty plus, in some cases, significant business savings. Germano says what she most enjoys about SCORE mentoring is “…seeing each client’s business vision, seeking to understand it from many angles, and then helping guide execution towards what’s most important for both customers and the business.” Germano will also advise clients interested in applying iterative design and evaluation to refine and validate new business, product, or service concepts, MVP (minimum viable product)/prototypes, or more complete offerings.
TOM HALBACH - Tom cares about the success of new businesses; he feels that he has a vested interest because a small business success enhances the area economy. He appreciates the ideas of entrepreneurs as they share their dreams and aspirations with SCORE mentors. However, he knows that not every business idea will work and that many small businesses fail due to ineffective planning, unrealistic expectations and poor market analysis. When Tom works with entrepreneurs, he draws from an extended and multifaceted career with the Hewlett Packard Corporation where his work included positions as a senior buyer, a cost analyst, a procurement specialist, a product planner and a program manager. Flexibility and adaptability were required as his professional life changed and he moved upward from position to position. He found it necessary to climb steep learning curves to become fully competent in various aspects of the business world. His flexibility and willingness to learn is also apparent in his pre-corporate career which involved work in the environmental science industry. Tom is happy to share his expertise, in cost accounting, manufacturing, agricultural concerns. He can help entrepreneurs evaluate their ideas, identify risk factors, make valid cost assumptions and do effective market analysis.
RANDY HARRISON - Randy Harrison began his business career by forming a heavy construction company with his father, a retired civil engineer. The company, Harrison Corporation focused on public works projects. After several years, Randy went into business for himself, creating Harrison Wood Products, a custom wood business catering to clients with widely varying needs from upscale corporate boardroom furniture to specialty props for theatrical companies. He’s learned success entails keeping a close eye on trends, remaining flexible, and being responsive to new ideas. With time, his firm diversified, adding products created with steel, glass and more. Clients included many artists for whom Randy went the extra mile, helping them succeed by creating requested products, but also by mentoring them as they worked to connect within the artistic community. When Randy sits across from a SCORE client, he sees a version of his former self. He remembers the excitement, anxiety and exhilaration of developing business ideas into reality, and he’s pleased to help others do the same. He’s able to help entrepreneurs to apply sound business practices to their developing ideas via thoughtfully developed business plan(s). He’s also comfortable helping those currently in business to assess and resolve businesses challenges and reset procedures for a more profitable outcome.
ALAN HEAD - Alan reads several newspapers daily, but his interest in the world goes beyond the news. Alan fully engages with life. A successful businessman, he’s also a skilled chef and an Advanced Master Gardener-- adept in both the kitchen and the garden. He worked for several years as a school psychologist in Boise, and later joined his grandfather in Alabama in an office furniture enterprise. Utilizing Alan’s understanding of human nature along with marketing and sales expertise, they successfully identified and capitalized on business opportunities. Upon returning to Idaho, Alan started an office furniture manufacturing business. Then, linking his interest in good food with his business acumen, he founded Goldy’s Breakfast Bistro, then Saffron, and in company with Richard Langston, started Richards Restaurant, Richard Bakery and Richard’s Coffee Shop. Alan purposefully built loyalty and relieved stress among his employees by removing obstacles in their paths and occasionally stepping in and doing the very work they were hired to perform. Recognizing the value of contributing to the greater community in business and individually, he’s found creative ways to connect including serving with SCORE, and at one time, via Goldy’s sponsorship of a professional women’s cyclist team whose members taught bike safety in local schools.
DR. LAURA JENSKI - As a researcher and professor of biology, Dr. Laura Jenski engaged directly in cancer research. Her career also included numerous leadership positions in higher education administration. Highly regarded, her career included appointments at several respected academic institutions including Children's Hospital Research Foundation in Cincinnati, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, Marshall University and the University of South Dakota. As part of her work, she often was asked to represent and “sell” the university, its various colleges and its research efforts. Not only competent in her scientific field, she successfully sought and acquired grant funding through public and private resources to support the research efforts and enhance the profile of the institutions she represented. Capitalizing on her experience, she also established her own grant consulting business to help individuals with grant program development and writing and reviewing grant proposals. Dr. Jenski garnered strong and highly transferable business-related skills during her professional career. She is experienced in building and evaluating effective business plans, strategic assessment of the potential market, and researching and acquiring funding. Fortunately, she believes in skills-based volunteering and economic empowerment. Consequently, she has put her experience to work, mentoring business entrepreneurs and creating and facilitating a top-notch business fundamentals workshop for SCORE. She most enjoys brainstorming with those she mentors so that together and they can creatively find and develop solutions to specific business challenges.
THERESE LOMBARDO - Therese is equal parts intelligence and resilience. She and her husband started and developed Lombardo Construction, a highly successful construction firm in Salinas, California. She became the CFO of the business which, in the company’s flushest years employed up to 75 individuals. The company dealt effectively with the regulations of numerous unions along with the ups and downs of the general economy, but after 15 years in business the recession hit, took its toll, and the business collapsed. Unwilling to let that experience defeat her, she moved forward and applied her acquired skills as a senior accountant at Fresh Express. Eventually they left California and settled in the Treasure Valley. Therese enrolled at Boise State University, and in June of 2016, she received her Baccalaureate in Business with a major in accounting. Now as Senior Financial Specialist in Idaho Power’s Property Accounting Department, she analyses complex spreadsheets and adeptly identifies errors in accounting data. She feels experience was among her greatest teachers, and speaks with authority when advising entrepreneurs to protect their personal futures by carefully studying, thoroughly understanding, and thoughtfully weighing monetary risks prior to engaging in business start-ups.
ALAN MALONE - Alan loves water; oceans and lakes always fascinated him, but so has business. He’s been involved in the food business since age 14. He stepped into the corporate world in 1978 with the Winco Corporation. As decades passed, he contributed to the company as it grew from a smaller concern to a very large, highly successful corporation. Alan also invested in himself by enrolling in the EMBA program of the University of Washington and later, certifying as a Federal Food Safety Inspector. While Alan understood his firm could not be everything to everyone, he knew if he regarded the world through the eyes of prospective clients, he’d be able to determine how his firm could meet client needs and solve their problems more effectively than could the competition. There’s always competition. He feels business success requires a realistic view of the business world and an understanding of basic business practices. Entrepreneurs, he feels, must have “fire in their bellies” –that confidence in themselves and their service or product that will drive them to success. As a mentor he believes he isn’t there to prevent SCORE clients from making mistakes-- mistakes teach, but rather he is there to keep entrepreneurs from making fatal mistakes.
JOHN MATHEWS - John Mathews, a senior operations executive and an electrical engineer, has garnered extensive international experience with multinational companies in the computer and semi-conductor industry. He has worked for several companies including KLA-Tencor, designers and manufacturers of metrology equipment, with Hewlett Packard of computer development fame, and with Silicon Valley Group Inc. manufacturers of automated wafer processing equipment. Multi-faceted, he’s worked with finance, customer relations, production processes, logistics and more. He likes big challenges like developing, manufacturing, marketing and launching new product lines. He has also applied his business acumen in start-up companies who boot-strapped themselves into existence and then needed effective management and organizational process review. Each professional experience expanded his base and informed his work with successive companies; now retired, he is willing to share his accumulated experience by mentoring clients who have a great ideas, clearly articulated visions and who are willing to give due diligence to researching the market to determine the level of demand for their respective service or product. He notes that that professional competency must be coupled with an investment of capitol, energy and patience if a business is to thrive. He feels that true success often requires working with and acknowledging the contributions of other competent people.
STEVE McINTYRE - Steve McIntyre has a deep passion for the world of Information Systems and Technology. He stepped into this field as it was emerging and found it fascinating. He soon acquired the ability to match the needs of clients with the capacity of technology to improve and enhance productivity. Steve’s communication skills served him well as he deciphered technology for prospective clients so that they could understand how information systems work and how technology could become integral to success of scientific, engineering and commercial enterprises. In his 40-year career he has been CIO and Information Systems and Technology Project Director on large technically complex, international projects for some of the world’s leading engineering companies including Bechtel and Morrison Knudson. Steve also started two successful businesses from scratch with other partners. As a mentor, Steve assists those with good ideas to effectively evaluate the market for their product or service, to weigh the merits of the idea to determine if the proposed product or service has sufficient market potential to attract necessary funding, and to define necessary business parameters for the business proposed. He sees passion, commitment, effective communication and the willingness to work hard and long as keys to success in business.
MICHAEL McKINNISS - Michael McKinniss easily establishes positive rapport with people, and he knows how to listen with an analytical ear. These are among the characteristics that helped him establish a successful banking career spanning more than 30 years. Drawn toward economics and business, he amplified his innate skills by acquiring a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and a Master’s degree in Business Administration. An effective communicator with strong networking skills, he was able to identify potential new clients while maintaining existing commercial relationships for the banks who employed him. He’s found entrepreneurs often underestimate capital requirements of their proposed businesses and that many aspiring business people fail because they try to do everything themselves. Since business success cannot be absolutely guaranteed, Mike knows entrepreneurs must be able to tolerate a degree of uncertainty, but he also knows ways to help SCORE clients realistically assess their plans. By assisting them in creating pro-formas, Mike can help them determine the accuracy of their business assumptions. He can help them determine what it will take financially to get started, to forecast more clearly the point at which profit can be realized, and to consider the outlay of funds required to keep their respective businesses operating successfully.
ELLIE McKINNON - Ellie McKinnon’s curiosity drives her desire to learn and that, coupled with the challenge of creating something new, made her position as the developer and Director of Boise State University’s Osher Lifelong Institute, a particularly good professional fit. She incubated the idea of an institute into a leading educational organization which now has a membership of over 1400 and a healthy endowment which will perpetuate its existence. During her tenure at Boise State she also developed a training program for a cadre of tutors that she helped recruit as the coordinator of the university’s tutorial program. She facilitated student achievement with her highly regarded work in the University’s Freshmen Success program and as coordinator of the Concurrent Enrollment Program. A freelance writer, she contributes articles to numerous publications including the Idaho Statesman. Ellie is responsive to innovative ideas designed to meet consumer needs within the marketplace as well as the field of education. She likes to see others succeed and understands the value of careful planning, marketplace evaluation, hard work, and networking to link expertise with ideas.
ROBERT MILLER - Robert’s roots are in rural California, but his quick mind led him to the University of Oregon and the study of accounting and law. Ultimately, he came to Idaho where he could practice law and enjoy his outdoor sporting interests. He became Chief Counsel for the State Tax Commission, then Deputy Counsel for the Attorney General. He stepped into the corporate world as Legal Counsel for Albertson’s Corporation and finally established his own law firm. But he never forgot the pleasure of rural living and chose to settle his family in a small town where he could try his hand at farming and raising cattle. Robert feels that satisfaction in employment is best achieved when one’s work is something he/she understands and loves doing. He finds successful entrepreneurs are those who possess an indomitable drive to succeed knowing they are taking a calculated risk, yet having the courage and stamina to proceed. He also notes that there is a much stronger potential for success when the entrepreneur has spent some time working in the field prior to embarking on establishing a business in the same arena. Keen understanding of the economics of a specific business is also a critical element.
ANDREW OWCZAREK - Andrew feels that feels luck, genetics, and serendipity have played significant roles in his successes in business. Undoubtedly such things played a role in his success, but Andy, a physicist, learned early how to capitalize on his natural curiosity and intellect to discover how things work, how they might work better, and how to effectively put all the pieces together. The United States Airforce and Federated Department Stores were among the beneficiaries. Eventually, as a result of numerous requests for assistance and he created his own international business consulting firm. It’s curiosity that leads him to study and analyze all the pieces of a business operation. He feels that by analyzing and engaging in all aspects of a business endeavor, an individual gains the understanding necessary to effectively operate a business. His experience covers all aspects of business from planning to production, management to marketing and more. He also knows the value of studying s related businesses and capitalizing on their best practices. He is adept at identifying both effective practices and areas of weakness in business operations. While success seems to follow him, he says he also values lessons learned from his failures. He understands the challenges small business owners face and respects those just stepping into the world of business and those who are struggling to solve problems in existing businesses. He can provide a calm, measured review of business plans and suggest well-grounded professional solutions business problems.
DOUG POTTENGER - Doug Pottenger worked 38 years for a multi-national energy company at locations around the globe with assignments ranging from engineering to business operations. He stepped into managerial positions improving the corporation’s supply chain management, compliance efforts, technical capabilities and leadership development. One of the locations Doug worked was on the Gulf Coast, which can be hit by hurricanes. When Hurricane Georges severely damaged a refinery, he led an effort to build a dike surrounding the facility, which subsequently protected the refinery a few years later when Hurricane Katrina struck. Because of his ability to work effectively with colleagues and manage crisis situations, Doug was asked to support the Katrina recovery efforts so that people in the company who suffered storm- related personal losses could restart their lives. Among the things Doug enjoyed most during his career was developing people’s skills and building strong teams. When asked to identify determinants of success among business people, he named commitment and self-confidence. He looks forward to connecting with SCORE clients and helping them explore options and trouble shoot business problems. He feels his experiences can provide a different perspective that can be useful breaking down business problems into manageable chunks.
DWAYNE RIFE - Dwayne Rife knows how to keep a company from stagnating. He knows that to move forward, businesses, just like individuals, must adapt. As demands and technology change, businesses must be responsive if they are to remain viable. He knows how to apply that wisdom as well. Applying modern information processing and lean manufacturing methodology, he raised the operating performance of a Westinghouse division where he served as Operations Manager, from a sixty million dollar annual loss to over a twenty million dollar profit. Additionally, production volume was increased by 30% while reducing physical space by 40%. Rife served on the Westinghouse Engineering/Manufacturing Advisory Council, a high-level management group charged with advising the corporation on matters of engineering and manufacturing strategy. When Eaton Corp acquired the Distribution and Control Business from Westinghouse, Rife stayed on for five more years continuing operations improvement. A capable leader and communicator, he has worked from a strong foundation in both business and engineering. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Utah and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Bowling Green State University. He cites flexibility and agility as key strategies for business success.
SHERMAN SCHMALL - Sherm can make you laugh—really! As a comedy duo, he and a friend once landed a regular spot on a local television program. But Sherm takes work seriously. After military service, he settled in Montana working as assistant manager for a local grocery store while attending college. Tapped to manage a warehouse store in a nearby town, he left academia and pursued opportunity. The warehouse market concept caught on; Sherm’s store thrived, and the owner asked Sherm to move to Boise, a bigger market. There he established a store first named Warehouse Market, then Warehouse Food, then Waremart and finally WINCO. Sherm accepted assignments throughout the west, dealt with all aspects of the grocery business, participated in well over a hundred grand openings, then later guided remodels, expansions and re-openings. He also worked for other grocery companies who sought his expertise and eventually became a business and marketing consultant. Sherm enjoys helping people including entrepreneurs. He looks for the light of determination in the eyes of SCORE clients, recognizing that start-up success requires risk and immense effort. He teaches business owners to combine their passion with an understanding of key metrics and careful tracking of cash flow through their companies.
CHRISSY SMITH - Chrissy Smith, a multifaceted business woman with 25 years of entrepreneurial experience, has owned and operated several small businesses. As an esthetician she both created and marketed her own products; as a business consultant, she was adept at identifying production inefficiencies and teaching organizational strategies. Working with her husband, she led their pool and spa business , from a start up to a multimillion dollar enterprise. Thoroughly engaged, she dealt with all aspects of operation from business and financial management to inventory controls, from process management to sales and marketing. She has applied her business acumen to additional endeavors as well. An active learner, she applies what she has learned in one enterprise to the operation of the next. Currently she’s a commercial real estate agent at Cushman and Wakefield Pacific in Boise leasing and selling property, and advising Investors and businesses on their real estate portfolios. Chrissy feels one hallmark of a successful business person is the capacity to respond to client demands with agility which requires staying on top of current technology from equipment to social marketing. However she also warns entrepreneurs against getting so caught up in the business of running a business that the business itself comes to control them.
BRUCE STRATTON - Bruce has worked as a certified Public accountant in public practice since his honorable discharge from the military in 1976. His clients--individuals, business, estates and trusts have benefited from his many professional specialties including income and estate taxation, general accounting, and business valuation. Along the way Bruce has made a splash in community and beyond as a Board member of USA Swimming where he served as treasurer and also as president. In addition he has served as a board member and treasurer of the Ore-Ida Council of Boy Scouts of America and was a board member and treasurer of the Treasure Valley YMCA. Whether at his desk or working in committee, Bruce knows the value of paying attention to detail and carefully investigating options before making decisions. He knows that an entrepreneur must have a certain degree of risk tolerance and also understands that working with others carries a particular sort of risk. To that end he advises that potential business partners enter into partnership agreements that are appropriately defined prior engaging in their enterprise. He looks forward to helping SCORE clients with the financial aspects of their businesses including identifying and using appropriate accounting systems and helping with financial projections and tax implications.
DOUG TOWNSEND - Doug, an active man, schusses down mountains when the skiing is good and wades in trout streams when temperatures moderate. He’s intellectually active as well. A high school chemistry teacher triggered an interest in chemistry that eventually led him to a 42- year career in chemical process industries. But his responsibilities extended far beyond observing and producing chemical reactions. He worked as process engineer, project engineer, senior project manager and Director of Engineering for companies producing synthetic polymer, pulp & paper products, renewable fuels, explosives, and ice cream, and for municipal wastewater treatment plants and for oil terminals. Working on projects, some multimillion dollar ventures, with multi-disciplinary teams provided both variety and challenge. Doug met the challenge by adapting his management skills and applying them as he moved from project to project. He often found it useful to start by helping clients clearly define the product they wanted. Only then could he effectively strategize and move ahead applying his expertise in planning, creating cost estimates, competing for grant funding, managing supply chain development, and conducting contract negotiations. Extrapolating from his own experience, he notes that entrepreneurs similarly need to focus on completing foundational steps rather than trying to vault prematurely to success.
JEFFERY WRIGHT - Jeffery earned the respect of his numerous clients by allaying their fears, demonstrating sincere interest in their needs and concerns and then advising them honestly. For example, as a financial advisor, he made it a policy to advise clients to invest only in companies or products in which he, himself, had invested, since he knew those entities were profitable. It was a successful strategy. In Jeff’s mind, other-oriented service and diplomacy are hallmarks of successful business people. Additionally, he feels a good business leader does not need to know everything, but instead, should surround him or herself with people experienced in those areas where the leader feels less competent. He would also advise business owners to implement effective employee satisfaction measures to ensure loyalty and productivity. For SCORE clients, Jeff can draw from a wealth of effective management strategies that will help clients wanting to expand existing businesses, those who want to establish or enhance and maintain strong customer client relationships, and those interested in strengthening employee satisfaction. He can also serve as an effective sounding board, helping bounce and balance ideas and realities as the client considers the benefits and pitfalls of starting a new enterprise.