Our Chapter's Mentors
Below is a listing of SCORE Michiana Chapter's Mentors, along with their major Areas of Expertise:
Jim Bolinger: Business Plans & Strategies, General Management, Merchandising, Valuations
Jim was most recently Director, Office of Hospital Facilities, Federal Housing Administration, U.S. Dept. of Housing & Urban Development. He worked with the banking industry to provide credit enhancement to hospitals for financing major capital projects. His office managed a $9 billion portfolio of mortgage loans. Prior the that assignment, Jim's career spanned 35 years working in, or serving, the hospital industry. Jim began his career in 1973 with Coopers & Lybrand. He has also served as Vice President and CFO of a 500-bed hospital and as a Corporate Controller in a multi--hospital system. In 1987, Jim began doing organizational strategy consulting for hospitals. In 1992, Jim co-founded the national healthcare consulting firm Arista Associates and was their Managing Partner. In 2000, he purchased a boutique retail store for turnaround and long-term investment. Jim received a BS in Business from Indiana University and an MBA from the University of Notre Dame. Jim is accredited in a number of healthcare-related professional associations, and has served on the Adjunct Faculty of two nationally-recognized universities.
Tom Celie: Budgeting, Business Plans, Financial Analysis, Inventory Control
Tom retired from the commercial refrigeration industry with over 25 years of experience. He held positions in finance, including Controller of Manufacturing Businesses and Corporate Manager of Budgeting and Financial Planning. Other positions in management for the multi-plant business unit included Sales and Operations Planning, Sales Forecasting, Manaer of Internal Sales (which included dealer and national account sales), Shipping & Traffic departments, Warranty Administration and the Replacement Parts busin ess unit.
Timothy Corbett: Retail Operations, Financial Planning, Business Turnarounds, Valuations
Tim is a graduate of Albion College with a degree in Economics and Management. He worked for Meijer for 20 years, serving as a store manager for 16 of those years. In addition, Tim spent two years with Frito Lay as a sales manager. He is currently a Business Consultant with the Northern Indiana Workforce Board. Tim has expertise in retail operations, sales management in grocery products, non-profit management and grant expenditure, Profit and Loss management, human resources, and hardgoods and fashion retail.
Laura Elliott: Advertising, Market Research, Strategic Plans, Human Resources
Laura worked 17 years as Marketing Director for a family-owned industrial electrical services and manufacturing company with over $50 million in sales. She worked with executives, management and sales force to create strategic plans, facilitated business growth through advertising, research and customer relationships. She held the position of Corporate Secretary and was a member of the Board of Directors for 14 years.
Walter Johnson: Exporting and Importing, Marketing, Advertising, Retail & Wholesale Trade
Walter owned and operated his successful Export Management Company for 30 years prior to his retirement in 2006. His company specialized in three basicd fields: Fire Fighting Equipment, Industrial machine Tools and Light Construction Equipment. The company represented several well known manufacturers and had established distribution in over 30 countries in all areas of the world. Walter's interests include Sales and Marketing, Small Business Finance and Management.
Bob Kasprzak: Business Plans & Strategies, Industrial Marketing, Non-Profit Associations, Administration
A South Bend native, Bob has a diverse background in the industrial sector, as well as in Not-for-profit association management. With a BS degree in Mathematics and Physics from the University of Dayton, and PhD level course work in Mathematics at the University of Notre Dame, Bob started his industrial career in the engineering department of a manufacturer of industrial equipment. Subsequent assignments included Market Research, Product Sales & Marketing, and general management. Bob served as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for an industry leading manufacturing of conveyor equipment. In 1997, Bob founded a consulting company to serve the needs of the conveying industry. His assignments included acquisitions evaluation, strategic planning, sales training and market research. In 2003, Bob switched careers and became CEO of the Gaylord Michigan Chamber of Commerce. After his reitrement, Bob returned to the Michiana area.
David Kiely: Non-Profit Associations, Strategic Plans, Administration, Human Resources
David, an executive with over 35 years experience, is currently CEO of Silver Fox Advising. He specializes in board governance, values-based budgeting, financial sustainability, countinuous quality improvements and innovative strategic growth for nonprofit organizations. Mr. Kiely has a Master's of Divinity from New York Theological and a Bachelor's of Sociology from SUNY Buffalo.
Ken Leeth: Quality Assurance
Ken has been in the Quality profession for over 30 years, as a Director of Quality and Quality Manager. He is a Senior Member of ASQ, Certified Quality Auditor and a Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence. Ken has served as an examiner for the Malcom Baldrige National Quality Award for four years. He has been a judge and lead judge for the International Team Excellence Award for the past eight years. He has also been a judge and lead judge for the Educational Team Excellence Recognition Award for two years. Ken has been teaching Lean Concepts for 14 years, with a focus on Value Stream mapping, Balance Chart Analysis and TPM. He has also taought classes on all subjects Quality related. Ken is retired from manufacturing, and now owns an Internet-based company "Wine Rack Labels". He is married and has two children and four grandchildren.
Ken Lindsay: Consulting, Strategic Plans, General Marketing, Information Systems
Ken worked at IBM as a Management Consultant specializing in Customer Relationship Management (CRM). His technical and sales experience includes voice and data networking technologies. He has worked as a Business Consultant, leader and project owner with extensive experience addressing business and technical issues related to customer strategy and customer relationship management. Ken is a Subject Matter Expert with a track record of hands-on projects in CRM strategy, improving customer-facing processes and systems, applying call center and internet capabbilities, conducting CRM education and visioning workshops, measuring customer satisfaction, conducting qualitative and quantitive voice-of-the-customer research, and implementing transformation and outsourcing initatives. He has worked with senior executives and their teams, including leading workshops. He is an author, consultant, methodology developer and workshop facilitator regarding CRM.
Edward J. Lockman: Business Plans
Ed has lead 21 separate companies in the capacity of president, director or owner over the past 41 years. Half of these companies were started and ultimately sold by Ed. The other half were companies that were in a state of financial distress; Ed turned them around into profitable entities before selling them.
Ed immersed himself into each company's operation, automation and marketing before creating a strategic plan that would re-launch each business and position it as an industry leader. He believes in the creation of and the daily attention to the "all important" business plan. Each of these successful businesses started with a single idea, which was then built upon by Ed's mentors, who guided him through the maze of managing and building a successful business. His passion for successful businesses is his motivation for "passing on" those gems of wisdom to future entrepreneurs through SCORE Michiana.
Gerald Marchetti: Retail, Employee Relations, Administration, Marketing & Sales
Jerry spent 30 years with Sears in retail management and marketing before retiring in 1994. During his career with Sears, he was a group merchandise manager for both Chicago and Milwaukee, and managed three Sears' stores (in Elkhart, IN , Ann Arbor, MI and Lincoln Park, MI). Jery has been a SCORE counselor for over 17 years, and has served as our marketing direcdtor, vice-chair and chapter chair. Jerry is involved in his community, currently serving as an elected official in Ontwa Township (Cass County, MI). His consulting expertise includes small retail business and marketing.
Norm Riley: Sales Management, General Marketing, Industrial Marketing, Business Plans
When Norm Riley volunteered to become a business mentor with SCORE, he brought with him almost 40 years of experience in industrial sales and marketing.
In the early years of his career, Norm gained experience in field sales, sales management and marketing management with nationally known producers and marketers of industrial paper, elastomers, and foamed plastic products sold both direct and through distribution channels to manufacturers in a variety of industries. Later, Norm established his own small business as an independent sales agent representing a number of manufacturers of engineered materials and components sold to original equipment manufacturers in midwest states.
Since joing SCORE in 2004, Norm has been busy assisting small businesses through a variety of business stages, including start-up, survival, turnaround and growth. His areas of mentoring competency include Marketing, Marketing Plans, Selling, Sales Management, Customer Service, Small Business Start-up and Business Plans. Norm has extensive experience in the area of outsourcing of field sales activities. Many small manufacturers and service firms find it effective and economical to grow their sales volume by contracting with independent sales agents to provide field sales representation. As a former manufacturer's sales rep, Norm can provide guidance on organizing and managing a sales program utilizing independent sales representatives.
Jack Ruhe: Education/Training, Business Ethics, Business Plans & Strategies, International Trade
Jack has 30 years of consulting experience with small businesses, during his tenure as a professor in an Executive MBA program in Charlotte, NC. Since moving to South Bend to teach at Notre Dame and St. Mary's College in 1976, Jack has continued his counsulting with both profit and not-for-profit organizations. After returning from teaching assignments in Europe, he assisted two of his daughters with the start-up of an Italian import business at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago. Prior to earning his PhD in Management, he spent 12 years with the Procter & Gamble Company as a manufacturing and human resources manager. His teaching focus has been in the areas of business Ethics, Strategy, and International Management.
Fred Schmiedeler: Business Planning, Non-Profit Associations, R & D, Manufacturing Management
Fred's experience covers 38 years of engineering development and management in the aerospace industry. His first 24 years were spent developing guided missle technologies for the Bendix Corporation in Mishawaka. He then worked on aircraft landing systems for the Bendix/Allied Signal Wheels and Brakes Division, where he served as Director of Engineering, responsible for 200 team members and a $25M budget for research and development of new products. After retirement, Fred joined the SCORE Michiana chapter, where he has held a number of leadership roles, including Chapter Chair. Fred has worked with a number of our clients on the development of business plans and strategies. During his 19 years with SCORE, Fred has counseled more than 16 not-for-profit organizations in strategic planning and business planning. He graduated from Kansas State University with a BSEE and received his MBA in Marketing from Michigan State University.
Bob Sones: Retail Business Operations, Sales & Marketing, Public Relations, Finance & Accounting
Bob has extensive experience with customer contact businesses. He worked for a number of years in the wholesale magazine and book distribution business, including twenty years as the president of the company. Bob was responsible for managing a chain of 26 greeting card, book and gift store, as company president. Prior to his retirement in 2011, Bob was Chairman/Owner of chain of 11 greeting card, book and gift stores.
George Stump: CPA, Accounting, Budgeting & Taxes, Buy or Sell Business
George is a CPA and a retired partner of a CPA and Consulting firm that served the middle market. He consulted with clients on Financial, Tax and management matters in the Home Building industry, Plastics Manufacturing Industry, Machining & Machinery industry and Wholesalers, Distributors and Equipment Dealers. George has extensive experience with the purchase and sale of businesses. George has both a BS degree in Accounting and an MBA degree.
James Summers: Strategic Plans, Creative Marketing, Multi-Cultural Marketing, General Management
James is the owner of The Summers Group, LLC (TSG), which designs business solutions that improve profitability through deversity and inclusion. The company's primary focus is on small and very small businesses, assisting them to develop the effective business processes to build capacity and grow. James has over 30 years of business leadership experience launching new and innovative products and services for Fortune 500 companies and leading and directing profitable multi-million dollar business operations. James leads and facilitates workshops for various major Diversity and Inclusion firms throughout the US. For the Center for Inclusion at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, TSG markets, manages and develops business for the Midwest region. For the Chicago Urban League he developed and led Diversity & Inclusion Programming. For the Whirlpool Corporation, James was director of Global E-Business and a Diversity & Inclusion Committee Chair. For Spiegel, Inc., he directed Electronic Publishing. James is a SCORE volunteer mentor specializing in connecting the organization to communities of color. He serves on several boards, committees and commissions, including the Youth Service Bureau of South Bend, Community Forum for Economic Development, The South Bend Career Academy, The Community Education Impact Committee and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Entrepreneurship Advisory Board. He is the current Economic Development Committee Chair for the 100 Black Men of Greater South Bend and the past Diversity & Inclusion Advisor for the Society for Human Resource Management Michiana and Oakbrook, IL chapters.
Mel Waks: Machine Shops, Office Administration & Management, Purchasing, Warehouse & Distribution
A 28 year member of SCORE, Mel currently serves our Michiana Chapter via administrative services and periodic desk duty.
Jim Ward: Insurance, Distribution, Franchising, Marketing
Jim is a native of South Bend, and currently resides in Cassopolis, MI. He graduated from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids with a degree in Business Administration and Marketing. He spent 35 years in the Life Insurance industry. The last 25 years of that career were with CNA Insurance Companies in various capacities and locations, including Michigan Sales Manager, Midwest Regional Vice President, Vice President of the Great Lakes Region, and Vice President of Life Insurance Operations. Jim has built marketing organizations from the ground up and managed regional and national sales efforts. Throughout his insurance career he has assisted independent insurance agents in starting their own businesses, managing and maintaining the businesses with diversified growth. Following his retirement from CNA, Jim purchased a franchise business in the service industry.
Luis Zapata: Banking, Consulting
Born in Mexico City, Luis obtained his bachelor's Degree in Marketing from Monterrey Tech in Queretaro, Mexico, and a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame. Luis is currently Assistant Vice President with 1st Source Bank, responsible for five banking centers in South Bend and Niles. He is Treasurer for Bridges Out of Poverty, Coordinator of the Financial Literacy Program at 1st Source Bank, and is a recipient of the Ernestine M. Raclin Community Leadership Award.