A retired businessman who resides in Northford, Richard Hart has a background in finance (including banking software, leasing, financial services, sales and credit management) and has been a SCORE volunteer and counselor since 2005. Hart explained to the North Haven Rotary Club recently that SCORE stands for Service Corps of Retired Executives. He added that it was founded in 1965 by the President of Dupont Chemical because he wanted to insure that the small businesses among his suppliers and customers were properly managed. Dick Hart is a graduate of Mount St. Mary's University and Wharton Graduate School, and once was a Peace Corps Volunteer who set up credit unions in Bolivia. In keeping with the mission of SCORE, his business card simply reads ‘Business Mentor’.
The nation-wide mentoring program includes 13,000 volunteers, with a tiny staff of paid employees. The New Haven SCORE Chapter is housed at the new Gateway Community College in New Haven. Active and retired business people from the area are encouraged to join the effort and donate a couple hours each month to help small and medium sized companies find success in today’s challenging economy. There is no cost for the private counseling and expertise that are shared with company management, both on line and in person. Initially, a seemingly simple goal is the development of a confidential business plan which may be reviewed annually where necessary. Also available at no charge are numerous pre-business workshops and seminars regarding areas such as finance, marketing, business loans, taxes, social media, software, etc.
In closing, Hart pointed out, “Whether you are a start-up company or an existing business, our mentors will help you and your business open new markets, reach new customers, and achieve new goals.” In regard to volunteers, he indicated that if time is an issue, but you’d like to support the cause, the SCORE Foundation is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization and can be reached at (203)865-7645, or www.score.org.