by: Pete Carvell

On February 9, the SCORE Austin chapter held its annual social event at the Balcones Country Club to review progress over the past last year and recognize those volunteers who have made outstanding contributions to help small businesses, both aspiring entrepreneurs and those already in business.

The chapter mentored over 3,500 clients through face to face mentoring, workshops and cyber counseling. SCORE helped start 440 new businesses and create 544 new jobs in the area and increased the number of volunteers to more than 60, which is an all time high. This has allowed the chapter to provide additional services to areas such as Round Rock, Dripping Springs, Marble Falls, Georgetown, Leander and  other locations surrounding the City of Austin.

Volunteers honored:

Carleton Smith  received the Platinum Leadership Award. This is the highest award given by the SCORE Association. The mentor receiving this award must have demonstrated meritorious service and made a significant contribution to SCORE and have completed a minimum of 7 years of service. Carleton has served as Chapter President and Assistant District Director, chaired various committees during his tenure and has been honored by the Small Business Administration as Mentor of the Year.

Bob Cotter was awarded the Gold Member Award given to a member who has not held a leadership position but has made significant contributions to workshops, chapter administration, community service and outreach programs. Bob is a former Vice President of Finance for the chapter and is also a prior winner of the Mentor of the Year award.

SCORE Certificates of Appreciation were:

Victoire Van Der Pas – Victoire is the current Vice President of Finance a position in which she has served with distinction for the past several years. 

Craig Bentsen – Craig has been Vice President of Recruitment and currently handles the scheduling and appointments for clients which is so important to provide quality and timely service.

John Gurasich – John is responsible for running the veterans program at Fort Hood for members of the military who are leaving the service.

Bill Hawkins – Bill adds to his mentoring & coordinating duties by being the Chapter Photographer.


Non SCORE members were also recognized for their contribution with Distinguished Service Awards:

Amy Hajdu for social media and email marketing

Jeannine Wheeler for public relations

J. Chris Ornelas our webmaster and SEO marketing expert

Christen Hughes who is our exceptionally talented chapter Administrator, has helped the Chapter to get where it is today by being our Exceptional Administrator. 

Last, but certainly not least, Bill Grosskopf, Vice President of Education, has been selected as the 2016 Mentor of the year and will receive his award at the SBA Small Business Week Luncheon in May

A good time was had by all and the chapter looks forward to more successes in 2017 in supporting the small business community in the greater Austin area.

About the Author:

Pete Carvell – Commissioned Officer United States Navy – Tours of duty in Washington D.C. andGuantanamo Bay Cuba with the Naval Security Group.

Princeton University – B.A. degree

Thirty six years with General Motors International. Initial assignments in sales and marketing with gradual expansion to include management positions covering warehousing and distribution, strategic planning, finance and product development.

Assignments in Lima Peru (short term), Brazil – 8 years, Antwerp Belgium 4 years, Brussels Belgium – 3 years and Mexico 6 years with responsibility for GM activities in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.

Joined SCORE in 2002. Held positions as Chapter Chair, Assistant District Director and District Director.

Key Topics

Austin Chapter recognizes volunteer contributions