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Local SCORE group is top state chapter
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Bob Brown (left), chairman of the Martinsville SCORE Chapter, speaks after receiving the state Chapter of the Year award from Robert Zweig, district score director, Tuesday at the Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce office. (Bulletin photo)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

By BEN R. WILLIAMS - Bulletin Staff Writer

The Martinsville chapter of SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) was presented with the state Chapter of the Year award on Tuesday by SCORE District Director Robert Zweig.

According to a release from the organization, SCORE is a non-profit organization that provides free, confidential small business advice for entrepreneurs. It offers mentoring, training, workshops and other services to aid small business owners or those hoping to create their own businesses.

Following the chapter’s meeting Tuesday at the Martinsville Henry County Chamber of Commerce, chapter leader Bob Brown accepted the award from Zweig, who is based in Charlottesville.

Zweig said the award is based on both quantitative and qualitative factors. SCORE has 10 chapters in Virginia, he said, and while the Martinsville chapter is not the largest, its numbers are comparatively strong.

“You had growth” in number of clients served in 2013, Zweig told the chapter. “Every other chapter in the state had a decrease, and the nation had a decrease. You guys did better than the national average.”

SCORE hosted seven workshops which served a total of 230 people in 2013, Zweig said, versus 168 served in 2012, a growth rate of 26 percent.

“Workshops are an important part of SCORE,” he said, “and having them and growing them is really outstanding.”

Zweig also cited Brown’s leadership, along with the leadership of other core members of the chapter, as being a major contributing factor to the award.

“They’ve taken on the responsibility,” Zweig said. “It wasn’t dumped on them; they wanted to do this. That’s a big difference. They’re willing and able to do the job. Bob has got a lot of experience; he’s got a lot of talent. He’s just a good leader.”

“I would like to take credit for this,” Brown said, accepting the award, “but I’ve been preceded as chair by some very notable and capable people ... and we have done things as a team. It hasn’t been an individual project. This award belongs to this chapter. It doesn’t belong to me.”

Brown said the chapter has seen membership growth recently, adding not only new members from the Martinsville/Henry County area but also several from Danville and Pittsylvania County.

“SCORE has started looking very seriously at not creating new chapters, but trying to make sure the chapters they have are functioning,” Brown said. “It’s vital to us to continue to have a presence not only here, but (in the larger area).”

SCORE’s Martinsville chapter meets at the Chamber of Commerce building on Broad Street in Martinsville. Chamber President Amanda Witt said SCORE is “definitely a resource for our small business community. I think it’s great that ... everyone’s coming together to help small businesses and the entrepreneurial spirit of our community.”


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