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2016 Clients of the Year

SCORE Selects Three Entrepreneurs 2016 Clients of the Year

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Contact: Melinda Zemper                                                                                                              Sept. 26, 2016

Email: mzemper@fuse.net

Phone: (513) 706-3737


SCORE Selects Three Entrepreneurs 2016 Clients of the Year

Three regional businesses—a catering company, an at-home care firm and a massage service took top entrepreneur honors Sept. 16 at SCORE’s annual Client of the Year awards luncheon.

SCORE is the volunteer arm of the Small Business Administration. Its 100-plus mentors provide no-cost mentoring and low-cost small business workshops for entrepreneurs who are high on passion, but need the practical business guidance and support that only seasoned business owners and managers can provide.

The Delish Dish catering firm and Made by Mavis jellies and jams of Covington; NANI Massage of Mason; and Helping Hands of NKY in Florence, Ky., were selected top regional entrepreneurs.

The Delish Dish and Made by Mavis of Covington are owned by Mavis Linneman-Clark. The catering company was formed in 2012 to bring globally-inspired dishes and artisan jams to greater Cincinnati and northern Kentucky. Carlin Stamm of Mt. Lookout is Linneman-Clark’s SCORE mentor.

“I consider Mavis the ideal SCORE client,” said Stamm. “She’s smart, prepared for business meetings and passionate, as well as continually cheerful. She has gone in three years from zero income to about $500,000 projected for this year.”

Linneman-Clark had been working with Stamm on her business when she was selected a Bad Girls Venture finalist in the spring of 2013. She joined the Northern Kentucky Incubator Kitchen to expand her catering business and launched an artisan jam line called Made by Mavis.

Rebecca Volpe, director of the Small Business Development Center at Northern Kentucky University, helped Linneman-Clark develop cost information and financial projections in her search for a suitable building to purchase, said Stamm.

In 2015, Linneman-Clark was one of the faces of the Kroger Buys Local campaign through the Kentucky Proud program.

NANI Massage of Mason is owned by Nancy Blanchard of Loveland, Matt Roth and Ashley McCarty. Their SCORE mentors are Gilbert Minson of Symmes Township; Dick Wendel of Cincinnati; and Jane Vanderhorst of Cincinnati.

“When I began to help NANI, they were small, but going like gangbusters,” said Minson. “I’ve seen a beautiful transformation in their business that takes massage from a luxury to a necessity.”

Blanchard said she and her partners worked on their business plan for two years and knew they had something special, but needed to hear it from a business professional. They planned to combine the holistic powers of therapeutic massage with various healing ingredients to deliver a transformational client experience that would rejuvenate the body, quiet the mind and refresh the soul, according to their website.

“If it wasn’t for SCORE, we wouldn’t be where we are right now,” said Blanchard. “From that first meeting, Gilbert gave us confidence and suggestions in meetings that caused ideas to explode out of us.”

NANI has purchased a dedicated phone system and grew from 13 to 20 massage therapists since it began working with SCORE. The owners plan to add another location in West Chester or Liberty Township sometime next year.

Helping Hands of NKY in Florence, Ky., is owned by David Sarker of Walton, Ky. Steve Bradley of Fort Mitchell and Mary Willenborg of Edgewood are his SCORE mentors.

After a career as a commercial airline pilot, Sarker decided he wanted to spend more time with his two children. He wanted to start a business that would allow him to stay close to home.

He formed Helping Hands of NKY in 2010 to provide in-home care for clients who range from ages five to 100-plus years old. The company offers a safe, reliable and caring option for people who need assistance, but prefer to stay in their own homes. It offers grooming and hygiene care; meal planning and preparation; light housekeeping and companionship.

“I met Mary at a chamber of commerce meeting and we clicked right away,” said Sarker. “She told me about SCORE and I jumped at the chance to have help with the business. Originally it was tough, because she and Steve made me do things I didn’t want to do—like look at numbers and setting price points. I also had to make some hard choices about letting go an employee who was costly, but not producing.”

“We had a bit of tweaking to do,” said Willenborg. “We helped David with goal setting and gave him confidence that if he raised his rates, people would not care because he had such high-quality customer service.”

Sarker said revenues are on track to reach $500,000 this year. Since his experience with SCORE has been positive and he likes the idea of helping other entrepreneurs, he intends to become a SCORE mentor, he said.

Annual service awards were also announced at the luncheon. SCORE mentors who have volunteered for 10 years include:

Claudia Aviles of West Chester; Bill Haman of Indian Hill; Tom Moon of Cincinnati; and Dick Wendel of Cincinnati;

SCORE mentors who have volunteered for five years include: Brian Hanley of Cincinnati; Dan Herche of Cincinnati; Mary Hurlburt of Cincinnati; Bill Schlueter of Cincinnati; Greg Spontak of Loveland; Carlin Stamm of Cincinnati; and Jane Vanderhorst of Cincinnati.

For information about SCORE workshops or mentoring, call (513) 684-2812 or visit www.scoreworks.org.

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