Saturday, April 13, 2002
Retiree aids novice businesses
By Janet C. Wetzel
MORROW When a Cincinnati resident needed guidance to get an elevator consulting business started, Lee Short stepped up with the expertise and a willing pair of hands to help get the job done.
Mr. Short, 64, of Morrow, has answered the call to help hundreds of times over the past five years, including working through the Cincinnati chapter of Service Corps of Retired Executives, SCORE, which is supported by the Small Business Administration.
Mr. Short is one of about 60 volunteers with SCORE, recruited to provide leadership, direction and ideas to people who are trying to start a small business, or trying to keep one in operation.
It's a good service, Mr. Short said. But we're almost a secret. Often by the time people come to us, it's too late.
He's been assigned to about 300 clients over the years, offering anything from telephone consultations which could result in the client being told to stick to your day job, to extensive, detailed help for 50 to 75 clients to get new businesses up and running or to save existing ones.
When Curtis E. Forney discovered in 1997 that his pension from the University of Cincinnati, where he had worked 32 years, didn't stretch far enough, he called SCORE. The result: a successful new business, Forney Elevator Consultants and Drafting Services on Pogue Avenue, Cincinnati.
Mr. Forney, who had been an electrical foreman and is now a qualified elevator inspector, said Mr. Short helped him start a profitable business and take control of his personal finances.
And he plays a very mean golf game, Mr. Forney said.
Mr. Short was a volunteer on the Morrow Life Squad for 20 years and has been on the Salem Township board of zoning commissioners three years. After retiring from Sherwood Medical Division of American Home Products in 1996, he said, he wanted to do more to help others.
I came from a coal mining camp in West Virginia, but the life I've lived since I've left has been a dream, Mr. Short said.
Do you know a Hometown Hero someone in your community dedicated to making it a better place to live and helping others? E-mail Janet Wetzel at firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to 513-755-4150.
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