The national SCORE organization, whose mission is to assist small business owners, announced its Chapters of the Year on February 24, 2022, and the local Grand Strand Chapter was recognized for Outstanding Volunteer Growth.

“This is truly a testament to the hard work of our volunteer mentors,” said Chapter Chair Irina Agoulnik. “We have a breadth and depth of expertise in our chapter across numerous industries, and our mentors have assisted over a thousand businesses (both mentoring and workshops) in the past two years.

Our longtime members, notably Art Simpson and Marsha Wilmot have done an outstanding job identifying and bringing knowledgeable and enthusiastic volunteers into SCORE. Our new Pee Dee branch, led by Rich Spivey, is adding a valuable dimension to our chapter, which now provides coverage not only along the coast, but also westward toward Chesterfield, Darlington, and Florence counties.”

As strong as the volunteer team has become, there is always room for additional volunteers. A training program is provided before an individual reaches the level of “certified mentor,” which includes joining veteran mentors on several client assignments before they could be a lead mentor on an assignment.

“Our onboarding process is both thorough and supportive,” says Marsha Wilmot, Vice-Chair. On the Grand Strand, in particular, we have a wealth of retired individuals who desire to stay active in the local business community, and SCORE gives them the opportunity to get involved while bringing benefits to newer businesses or prospective business owners who are thinking of starting a new business.

Diverse business people laughing during a meeting around an office