SCORE Southwest Florida Honors Area Businesses, Volunteers in Awards Ceremony
SCORE SWFL hosted its 2022 Annual Awards Luncheon at The Club at Gateway on May 3, 2022. At the first in-person awards in two years, SCORE Southwest Florida gave accolades to three area businesses that have achieved strong successes after working closely with volunteer SCORE mentors. The event also recognized four outstanding SCORE volunteers.
Keynoting the event was Steve O'Hara, Chairman, New World Angels. Althea Harris, Deputy District Director of South Florida SBA also gave an update on the state of businesses in South Florida.
The winners and honorees from the 2022 celebration are:
Business of the Year – My Dental Tek, LLC
Kenneth Pike received his award from Chris Bergman SCORE SWFL Mentor. My Dental Tek provides prompt, local service to dentists throughout Southwest Florida. No longer would a dental chair or essential piece of equipment be out of commission for days — when a treatment station is down, that’s patient revenue that may never be recovered. My Dental Tek can have that station back up and running in hours, not days. Shortening downtime improves the dentists’ revenue and patient satisfaction.
After only two years, and most of that time during a pandemic that closed dental offices all over, My Dental Tek is serving more than 100 offices from Naples to Sarasota. They are opening a showroom in Fort Myers to sell chairs and equipment, which will continue to provide a solid revenue stream and allow them to continue to grow the business.
Entrepreneur of the Year – ElderBerry Elixir, LLC
Leny Fralicker received the award from Ben Simmons SCORE SWFL Chapter Chair as her mentor, Mila Mukelova, was unable to attend. Leny’s success story can be found at https://southwestflorida.score.org/success-story/inspiration-motivation
Growth Small Business of the Year– TenderCare Dog Grooming Inc.
Maria Conneway received her award from her mentor, Ben Simmons SCORE SWFL Chapter Chair. You can read more about her success story at https://southwestflorida.score.org/success-story/mediocre-booming
Mentor of the Year: Corinne Wyard
In the first six months of 2022, this year’s Mentor of the Year award winner, Corinne Wyard, has served 32 discrete clients, in 122 sessions with 114 mentoring hours. 11 of those clients are long-term with 83% of her sessions as follow-ons. Her 2022 net promoter score – that’s the evaluation received independently from surveys of SCORE clients – is a perfect 100 across all 32 clients.
She receives this kind of feedback because she helps these companies make better informed business decisions and marketing that deepens their connection with their audience. Her specializations include business planning, strategic planning, change management, digital and traditional marketing. She is also a certified executive coach, who empathizes with her clients and helps them through emotionally demanding situations.
Corinne is a true team player who has recently agreed to be the SCORE SWFL representative to the Horizon Council; and point person for a rather extensive American Rescue Plan Act project where SCORE partnering with the Lee County Economic Development office and four other technical partners in an effort to assist disproportionately affected communities and provide Covid 19 relief and improve business resiliency.
She has a Bachelor of Arts from Tufts University. And she is working full time, when not at SCORE, building her own consulting business.
Volunteer of the Year: Paul Nichols
Coincidentally, Paul Nichols, the 2022 Volunteer of the Year award recipient was the coach of the Mentor of the Year and has coached a number SCORE SWFL volunteers in their process to become certified mentors.
Paul’s education includes a BS in Economics with Honors from Brunel University in London, but he also has additional training as a consultant on national culture and is certified as an executive coach. Paul’s professional experience includes large and small private and public technology companies. This includes being the CEO of the North American division of a large global systems integrator. He moved from that position to take the CEO role of a publicly traded software company, where he rebuilt the company, including acquiring 10 different companies around the world. Then he retired, coming back 2 years later when asked to be the CEO of a software company for the insurance business based in Connecticut, which was then sold to private equity and Paul retired again and moved to Florida.
Because of his particular skills and background, many of his SCORE SWFL mentoring clients are from across the country. In 2021, he met with 34 discrete clients, in 92 sessions for 96 hours of mentoring. He did this with a 66% follow on rate. And a Net promoter Score of 100. And he has followed that up with 30 mentor hours in the six months this year with a net promoter score of 100 as well.
In addition to mentoring, Paul undertook the role of SCORE SWFL volunteer intake coordinator. As volunteer intake coordinator, he arranged the interviews for all new volunteers and participated in most of those interviews and then often became a coach for the new provisional. He presented training material for new provisionals, which was taped and is still being used today. Additionally, he was the SCORE representative to the Horizon Council.
And that is just the volunteer work he did for SCORE. But Paul is volunteering in many areas in the southwest Florida community. Paul is currently mentoring at FGCU in connection with their School Of Entrepreneurship. When he is not mentoring, he keeps himself busy with the planning commission for the City of Sanibel and is the chair of the Land Development Committee for the City of Sanibel, and on the Board for his local golf club.
Administrative Excellence Award: Susan Jojo
At the SCORE SWFL annual awards luncheons, the chapter historically recognizes excellence in both clients and volunteers. 2022 is the first time that an administrative professional has been recognized, and the first-ever Administrative Excellence Award was presented to Susan Jojo.
Sue has many gifts and many talents. She seems to honestly care about every volunteer and every client. She listens well and then asks, “How can I help?” “What do you want me to do?”
And then she does it, faster and better than anyone else probably would have. She is dependable, she is knowledgeable. When a volunteer doesn’t know how to do something, or something doesn’t seem to work, the best response is often “Ask Sue”. If she doesn’t know, she’ll find out. And she usually knows.
When SCORE SWFL presented a series of workshops, working with the SBA and every chapter in the district, Sue was critical to the success of every event, organizing, interfacing with all the presenters, managing all the presentation material, running the zoom sessions from dry runs to multiple presentations.
And she must be on a first name basis with every person at the SCORE help desk.
Sue stays on top of every client who asks for help from the chapter, and every volunteer who is challenged by “the digital world of SCORE.”
Sue succeeds every day in her simply worded resume objective: “a position where I can be an asset to my employer and assist clients”. She sure is.
Platinum Leadership Award: Eileen Buchanan
The Platinum Leadership Award was presented to Eileen Buchanan, SCORE SWFL Mentor. Eileen has been with SCORE for 16 years, serving as a mentor, Chapter Chair, District Director and on the National Advisory Council. This is the highest volunteer-initiated award that can be given by the SCORE Association. The volunteer receiving it must have demonstrated meritorious service and made a significant contribution to SCORE. To be eligible for this award, a volunteer must have provided a minimum of 7 years of meritorious service and have served in a position of leadership during that period. The award is initiated by a resolution of the Chapter’s Executive Committee, the District Director, or the Regional Vice President.
Eileen was presented her award from Lou Davenport who has been with SCORE for 23 years, serving as a mentor, Chapter Chair, District Director, and member of the National Advisory Council. When SCORE created a Volunteer of the Year Award in 2017, Lou was the first recipient from among 10,000 volunteers. Lou and Eileen have worked together for over 10 years at district and national levels.
Eileen is the living essence of continuous process improvement. She examines every issue with an eye to figuring out how to improve the work process to deliver total quality results every time, all of the time. She is analytical, incisive and results oriented. SCORE is an immeasurably better organization because Eileen has delivered on so many process improvements over the years.
Eileen has an entrepreneurial spirit that shines bright from her previous successful professional career, and she is laser focused on the goal and mission. She is a lifelong learner and has probably listened to more webinars in the past six months than many mentors do in their entire career, just to be better at what she does so well. Eileen is generous in recognizing the contributions of each member of the team and mobilizes each teammate’s strengths to accomplish a common goal. She helps the SCORE SWFL community celebrate success together. And she has a passion for the mission of SCORE.
Since COVID prevented us from honoring our 2020 Award Winners in person we brought them back this year to say Congratulations.
Family- Owned Small Business of the Year 2020- Exceptional Aluminum Sales and Service
Scarlett and Dennis Britton received their award from their mentor, Eileen Buchanan, SCORE SWFL Mentor. You can read more about her success story at: https://southwestflorida.score.org/success-story/exceptional-aluminum.
Business of the Year 2020 -Burma Spice, Inc
Edward Brakus, Jr. Ed’ s received his award from his mentor, Len Hendrickson, SCORE SWFL Mentor. Ed’s other mentors Dave Hamblett & Ray O'Brien were not available to attend. You can read more about his success story at: https://southwestflorida.score.org/success-story/burma-spice