A new chapter of SCORE (formerly Service Corps of Retired Executives) is being launched in the Twin Ports. The former chapter folded more than a decade ago.

SCORE is a free business mentoring organization offering support to new and established business owners.

Dr. Patrick Woock, an assistant professor at UMD, is heading up the effort to relaunch SCORE, with the assistance of Dick Jordan from the Central Minnesota SCORE, Brainerd Branch.

“Before moving to Duluth from Florida I was involved in SCORE and felt a need to see it established here,” Woock said. “When I was in Florida over a two-year period I had six mentees and already I have 12 here.”

He chalked the resurgence up to “an astonishing amount of new business” coming to the Twin Ports and a very progressive Small Business Development Center and Entrepreneur Fund contingent.

“You don’t see this level of dedication everywhere,” Woock said. “A lot of people just do their jobs. The people in the Twin Ports go above and beyond to build community and the business climate.”

While the original SCORE program drew on retired professionals for expertise, Woock noted the Twin Ports branch was also looking for younger professionals to act as mentors.

“We embrace people who have had long, successful careers, but we also want to involve people who are still working and have had around 10 years of experience or more,” he said.

Woock brings his own area of expertise to the table, having experience in international negotiations, global business planning, startup coaching and sales. He has also received numerous awards for leadership, including Citizen of The Year and the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of Year (runner up). Additionally, he helped build seven enterprises in the field of sports management, water recycling, seafood, property management, logistics and transportation. 

He said he is excited about the possibility of helping other business leaders support others who have an entrepreneurial spirit.

“Duluth is a thriving entrepreneurial city,” Woock said. “We have advocates who are willing to go out of their way to help the business community. We have a need for SCORE here more than ever.” 

The nonprofit will offer small business mentoring, free counsel to small business clients, tips on best practices related to starting and growing a business, including writing business plans, developing products, developing marketing strategies and hiring staff. 

SCORE has 300 chapters throughout the U.S., and more than 10,000 volunteers. 

For more information, email patrick.woock@gmail.com.