Lethell “Mr Lee” Morris, Remembered


SCORE Chicago
pays tribute to the memory of Lethell “Mr. Lee” Morris, who passed away on April 12, 2009.  Lee counseled at the  Chicago State branch for over 15 years.
Lee Morris

South vice chair Jack Donohue remembers:  “I counseled with Lee for three years.  At the time he was the only African American counselor in the Chicago District.  His experience on the corporate side, his having owned and operated a retail businesses in the community, and his skills relating to clients — all this was a perfect combination for SCORE.”

Isabelle Conda, director of the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Chicago State says:  “We were privileged to have Lee Morris at our Center — first, because he was the only African-American SCORE counselor we knew and second, because as the quintessential entrepreneur, he made a difference in the community.”

Ex chair Don Crossett recalls: “Lee was a leader and the first unofficial Chapter Vice Chair of the Southside. Without being asked, he took it upon himself to encourage otherwise detached south area branches to work together on behalf of the Chapter and its clients. For the first time in my SCORE experience, he brought together counselors from each branch to discuss and resolve common issues and help each other where needed.  He strongly believed in the mission of SCORE and ‘walked the walk’.”

SCORE Chicago and Chicago’s small business community will miss him.

Elywn Winston, Remembered

Elwyn Winston

Elwyn Winston

Elywn Winston, a SCORE counselor for 20 years, passed away last month.  Elwyn was an active counselor at SCORE’s free counseling locations at Governors State University and Prairie State University.

One of his clients, Shelia Edwards, sent us this email:

“…my SCORE Counselor was Elwyn Winston. He counseled me out of the Matteson, Illinois location. I just wanted to take the time to express my gratitude for his expertise and genuine appreciation for my business idea. Mr. Winston really went beyond the call of duty on my behalf and I will be forever grateful to him for doing so. SCORE is such a valuable asset to those looking to start a new business or expand an existing one.”

South vice chair Jack Donohue speaks for all of the volunteers and staff at SCORE Chicago when he says:

“Elwyn was instrumental in establishing the SCORE counseling site at Governors State. He recruited the counselors, was always there for SCORE…and did it with a smile…while playing piano and writing songs on the side. He will be missed.”

SCORE Counselor Reaches Out to Hispanic Community at Erie House

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While manning a booth at the Navy Pier Business Fair a few months ago, Carlos Bastidas, a volunteer counselor at SCORE Chicago, met Aurora Dawn Reinke, a consultant to Erie House, and was asked to come to brief its clients on business plan preparation.

Erie House, located on west of downtown Chicago, was founded approximately 135 ago. Today, it provides educational opportunities to the Hispanic community.

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On October 21, 2008, Carlos gave a two hour presentation on business plans. Since the students were Hispanic, he spoke in Spanish.  Because the students were grouped in four teams creating plans for four different businesses, Carlos focused on planning for those specific businesses.

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Even thought their plans had to be written in English, the students appreciated the Spanish language presentation.  They had the chance to hear explanations of difficult points in their native language.

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Carlos returned on October 24, 2008 to share with the same students his personal experiences in the US as an immigrant.

“This was very gratifying,” said Carlos, “since I had the opportunity to convey to all of them that, with hard work and dedication, many of the barriers that we Hispanic immigrants face, due to language and culture differences, can be broken.  One day, we all can be successful beyond our imaginations.”

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Because Erie House clients were so receiptive and appreciative, Carlos intends to stay connected with this organization.  He also plans to involve other SCORE counselors in future events.

“I am convinced SCORE can provide a great contribution to the people that go to the Erie House.  They have a tremendous thirst for knowledge and a desire to improve their lives,” he says.

If you would like counseling in Spanish to start or grow your business, please fill out this form and Carlos will contact you.

- Peg Corwin

Related Posts:

10 Reasons Why Small Businesses Fail: In Spanish and English

New Counseling Location at Morton College in Cicero

SCORE Chicago is pleased to announce a new branch counseling location at Morton College to serve the Cicero/Berwyn areas.

Counseling times:  2nd and 4th Monday afternoons

Start Date: November 24th.

Counseling Location: Morton College, Building C, 3801 S. Central Ave. (5600 West), Cicero IL 60804

Phone: (708) 656-8000 x382

Branch manager: SCORE Counselor Bill Broderick

The Chicago Chapter of SCORE provides business counseling, workshops and other resources (like templates for a business plan) to entrepreneurs and small business through locations in the Chicago area.

In Memorium: Art Davis

Art Davis

The counselors and staff of SCORE Chicago are all deeply saddened by the death of fellow counselor Art Davis, who passed away unexpectedly on October 15.

Fellow counselor Bob Paul says “Art was a good and caring friend. He was always looking for ways to help others. I will remember our time together and will miss him at SCORE.” Read the rest of this entry »

Avoid These 8 Mistakes in Your Business Plan


What are the most common mistakes in a business plan? I rounded up counselors from SCORE Chicago and took an informal survey.  Here are mistakes that they see again and again …

1.  Length.“Writing way too much.  No one will every read a 70 page document,” says Mitch Morris. “Narrative sections are always much too long and not appropriately focused,” comments Marge Schneider.  “Too long (and repetitive)” emails Al Grossman.

Read the rest of this entry »

SCORE Client Gets Unexpected Extras from SCORE Counseling

What won’t a SCORE counselor do for a client? Sometimes an entrepreneur who comes to SCORE Chicago hits the jackpot. Take Twanda Mobley, who has patented and wanted to market an outside garbage can receptacle. She never expected her counselor Al Grossman would get so involved with her business launch.

Al Grossman, Chuck Cordivan, Twanda Mobley and Ron Kirshbaum

Al Grossman, Charles S. Cordovano,, Twanda Mobley and Ron Kirshbaum

Hosted Focus Group

Mobley never imagined that Grossman would host her focus group. While Mobley paid for the focus group to be conducted, and for participants to attend, Grossman both sat in and coordinated the venue, using the SCORE office, running the video camera to record the event and offering coffee.

Big Box Rep Connection

And what was the likelihood that Mobley’s counselor would get her a meeting with a rep to explain how she could approach “big box” retailers? Grossman did just that. He invited  Charles S. Cordovano, President, National Distribution Sytems of West Columbia, SC to meet Mobley.  Cordovano sells to Lowes and other major retailers. The meeting lasted two hours, and Mobley got invaluable advice on how volume selling to large stores works, how they view new products and how to pitch such retailers.

So when you see Mobleys Garden Gate Garbage Can for sale at a “big box” store, you’ll know that she has a secret weapon in a SCORE counselor.

Get your own secret weapon to help your business succeed.  Set up an appointment with a SCORE counselor today.


SCORE Chicago To Offer Free Business Counseling In Skokie

Larry Lakin, Chair of SCORE Chicago

Larry Lakin, Chair of SCORE Chicago

Starting September 16, get private, free business counseling in Skokie from volunteer experts at SCORE Chicago. Larry Lakin, Chair of SCORE Chicago, just announced the opening of a new counseling site at Oakton Community College.

Counseling appointments are available on the second and fourth Tuesdays at 5:00, 6:00 and 7:00 p.m.  Oakton Community College will book appointments at first, but later the site will add online scheduling.   Counselor Irv Ellis will manage the branch location for SCORE Chicago.

SCORE Chicago Business Counseling at
Oakton Community College
7701 N. Lincoln Avenue
Skokie, IL

CALL (847) 982-9888 x 3 to register for a free private business counseling session.

Or log on to find counseling at 15 other locations around Chicago.

Grossman Teaches Chinese MBA Students on Visit to Chicago

SCORE Chicago mentor

SCORE Counselor Al Grossman gave a workshop entitled International Trade with China on May 6 to a class of 30 Chinese MBA students at the IIT downtown campus. Afterwards, he and his wife hosted a luncheon at Lao Beijing Restaurant.

Most of the students were young adults, many of whom return to government positions. Others were professionals, one an MD, and another a college professor. The Chinese government sponsored the trip and their stay in Chicago.

Earlier this year, Grossman was inducted into Chicago Area Entrepreneurial Hall of Fame by UIC’s Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies. He is recognized “for entrepreneurial achievements and for making a lasting impact on Chicago’s business landscape.”

This entrepreneurl spent 46 years in the electrical/lighting industry. In the last 14 years of his business career he was Co-founder, President and CEO of a business manufacturing and importing commercial lighting products, sold through wholesalers throughout North America.

As a SCORE counselor, Grossman teaches semi-annual workshops on importing (CLICK for INFO)and exporting (CLICK for INFO), and counsels out of the Citibank Center location. (CLICK TO BOOK AN APPOINTMENT.)

See also related post: Free Counselors Want to Help YOU Start or Grow Your Business.

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