|Meet Our Volunteers
The volunteers of Santa Cruz SCORE have rich and varied business backgrounds. Counselors share their business expertise and knowledge in all aspects of small business. In addition, all counselors have specific areas of expertise, which are listed below:
|Sam Badawi||Sales, marketing, general management|
|Karen Calcagno||Planning, customer service, family issues|
|Al Carman||Sales, marketing, real estate, investments|
|Dick Clark||General management, finance, negotiations|
|Paul Cohen||General management, finance, negotiations|
|Karen Grellas||Management, marketing, and sales in restaurant and transportation logistics|
|David Harken||Financial and management experience in the advertising industry|
|Rich Hill||Experienced in public sector, executive management, and non-profits|
|Barbara Humphreys||Customer service oriented small business accounting, financial analysis and systems selection and implementation.|
|Kristina Kuprina||Entrepreneurship, portfolio management|
|Jim Martin||Marketing, proposals, publicity, systems|
|Michael Milligan||Retail, restaurant, food business, and business equipment experience|
|Alexandra Navarro||Workplace-Life Balance Trainer / Leadership Program Coordinator / Author & International Keynote Speaker.|
|Carol Puskar||Small business start up and operation, Management of employees and contractors, Customer Service, Marketing and Power Point Presentations|
|Pacho Rojas||Strategy Management & Technology Consultant / Business Coach & Trainer|
|Michael Sarka||Tourism/hospitality, events/trade shows, non-profit/for profit planning & management|
|Richard Scott||Leadership, coaching, Non-profits' revitalization|
|Kathie Sinor||Management, human resources, planning, growing a small business|
|Alan Smith||Data security, risk management, compliance issues|
|Steve Spence||Management; Construction/transportation industry; Customer Service|
|Joey Tuttle||Leadership, management, technology, communications|
|Peter Vokos||Retail start ups and existing businesses, management and finance|
|Rex Walters||Business broker and strategic business planning consultant|
|Jack Zahorsky||Business strategy, management, business plans, presentations, negotiations and licensing agreements|
|Robert Zimel||Product distribution, distributor relations, industrial sales, industrial inventory management|
|Sam Badawi is the Founder of MEB International, a firm specializing in providing management advice,
marketing assistance, and appropriate structure for companies doing or intending to be doing business internationally.
He has clients in the U.S., Europe, and Egypt, and thirty-five years of business experience in sales, marketing, finance,
and general management. Sam has negotiated major joint venture agreements, created profitable subsidiaries, and overseen
mergers and acquisitions. Sam also has been General Partner of Equity Venture Management, which created two $10 Million-plus
venture funds that paid very attractive returns to investors. Sam is currently Executive Director of Santa Cruz SCORE, and
enjoys providing sage advice to local businesses and entrepreneurs.
|Karen Calcagno is a dynamic, experienced entrepreneur who has bought,
operated, and profitably sold a number of businesses in diverse fields. These include automotive services,
gas and oil sales, a car wash, an auto dealership, an art gallery, commercial real estate, property management,
as well as family business coaching, facilitation, and training. She founded and served as Executive Director
of the Santa Cruz chapter of SCORE. Karen also served as a President of the Soroptimist organization,
a Board Member of Broadway on the Bay, a Board member of the 41st Avenue Association, and a Board consultant
at The Aptos Academy. Karen is an expert on business issues, with special interests in realistic
planning, in developing successful teams, and providing outstanding customer service.
|Al Carman gained much of his business experience in the real estate field, first
as an award-winning salesman, then in various managerial positions, and finally
as Northwest Regional Manager for Coldwell-Banker. Al has been generous in his
work for the Santa Cruz community, having served on the Boards of the Central
Coast Center for Independent Living, the Veteran’s Building, and as membership
Chairman for SCORE. He provides counseling in the areas of sales technique and
marketing development, taught economics to high school students, and is a
successful investor. He provides local mentoring to non-profits and
entrepreneurs on sales and marketing issues, and also does extensive
cyber-counseling for individuals all over the U.S.
|Dick Clark‘s career has been marked by notable success in the
general management of high tech businesses, where his financial acumen, negotiating savvy, and
strong inter-personal relationships served him well in competitive arenas. His earlier background
was in electrical engineering (BEE and MS from Cornell). SCORE has been fortunate in having Dick
translate his start-up and operational experience to the needs of small and medium-sized clients.
provides counseling in the areas of financial planning and budgeting, sales and marketing, customer
presentations, and contract negotiations. In addition to volunteering with SCORE, he serves on the
Board of Hospice of Santa Cruz County. He also served on the Board of the Scotts Valley Fire
Protection District for 14 years, and is a past member of the Board of the local Goodwill
|Paul Cohen knew he was an "entrepreneur" when the "Pet Rock"
first hit the market. Throughout the 80's tech jump, internet bubble, bust and beyond,
Paul worked with top experts and artists in the ever-emerging computer graphic, web
application and internet marketing fields. Later on, Paul taught university courses
in Japan for 5 years, coached Sony executives and assisted in the international promotion
of Virtual Reality technologies. He now regularly visits and does business with mainland
China. As a seasoned executive and sales pro with direct involvement in Asian manufacturing,
promotional advertising and website development; Paul enjoys helping clients succeed in
their web sales and marketing efforts.
|Karen Grellas has extensive experience in sales and sales management for transportation
warehousing, packaging, and supply chain management organizations. In addition, she was the proprietor of a successful restaurant
and was heavily involved in its management, marketing and financial operations.
|David Harken has spent 34 years in various financial and managerial positions in the
advertising industry. David earned a bachelor of arts from the University of Iowa and was an Army Intelligence
Specialist in Vietnam. He was instrumental in building an advertising network that was the 10th largest in the world.
His areas of expertise include: financial analysis, budget planning, corporate 401k and corporate welfare programs.
David was project leader on conversion of two legacy payroll systems covering 100 U. S. companies and project manager
in conversion of payroll and benefit systems for over 30 acquisitions of advertising and public relations companies.
He was project lead on Six Sigma process improvement initiatives.
|Rich Hill has worked 36 years in the public sector with success in executive
management positions. He retired as the City Manager of Capitola, CA. In
addition, Rich has spent two decades serving on a variety of nonprofit Boards
and Committees. In these capacities he worked to sell over $150 million in
bonded debt, in both public and private markets; reviewed and prepared business
pro formas/business plans; written successful grants; prepared, managed and
administered budgets in excess of $10 million. He has also gained experience
and knowledge in: human resources, principals of accounting and financial
management, principals and practices of organizational development, management
|Barbara Humphreys is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with experience in public accounting and managerial accounting.
She has served as Controller in several small service businesses where her responsibilities included all areas of accounting,
financial reporting including support for certified audits, human resources, and IT systems selection, implementation and
maintenance. In these roles, she provided excellent customer service to her fellow employees, vendors and external customers.
She has taught Accounting Principals at Foothill Junior College and earned an MS of Education in Guidance Counseling.
Volunteer activities included serving as Treasurer of various non-profit Boards of Directors and serving as a lay pastoral counselor.
|Kristina Kuprina is a woman with an entrepreneurial spirit. She formed her
first business right after graduating from San Francisco State’s International business program. She has
built and sold successful businesses in the fields of logistics, medical practice, import/export, and others.
During this time she discovered a passion for the world’s financial markets, which led her into the
securities industry. Today, she is an extremely successful Financial Advisor and Portfolio Manager.
Kristina takes pleasure in finding the unique solution for each of her many clients. She is a valuable
volunteer counselor at SCORE, solving people’s business problems, and also is a member of the community
service-oriented Exchange Club of Santa Cruz County.
|Jim Martin is a skillful writer and publicist whose background was in the semi-conductor
and aerospace industries. He worked in both market development and strategic account marketing, and along the way produced
materials for product role-outs, brochures, technical manuals, and press releases. Jim also served as editor of a technical
magazine in the electronics field. For the past ten years, he has been a consultant and free-lance writer.
Among his strengths are the development of business marketing plans, writing proposals, and the establishment of
systems to measure progress and success in the implementation of those plans. Jim does writing and marketing for SCORE,
and is the editor of the periodic SCORE newsletter.
|Michael Milligan has experience working with over 1,700 small
businesses. Restaurants, table service and counter service; all sized grocery & convenient stores,
liquor stores and all types of general retail. Michael has been a restaurant owner/chef and
consultant for retail and food related businesses. Owner and innovator in retail business systems
point of sales, telemarketing, all credit card services, security matters and DVR camera systems,
all aspects of back office, and sales/inventory systems. Michael has expertise in practical
solutions to operational issues in retail businesses.
|Alexandra Navarro has 5+ years' experience as a Work-Life Balance Trainer/Coach delivering training for professionals &
executive leaders in companies/corporations around the globe in addition to 4 years' experience as a keynote
speaker presenting at global engagements and delivering e-learning modules and monthly webinars. Alexandra is
motivated to help professionals achieve integral balance and transformational change and to support workplace leaders
in inspiring balance and change; she is an articulate, compassionate individual.
|Carol Puskar has owned her own company for over 10 years and has been active
in broad based company management for 15 years. She started and grew HeartShare Training Services, Inc.,
which became the largest Resuscitation Training Center in Northern California. As President, she was
responsible for all aspects of the company ‘s operations including accounts payable, accounts receivable,
insurance, marketing, human resources, customer service and cash management. In addition, she negotiated
the sale of the company. Prior to owning her own company, Carol acted as a Subscriber Services Coordinator
for an HMO facility.
|Francisco (Pacho) Rojas|
|Francisco (Pacho) Rojas is a Strategy Management & Technology Consultant / Business Coach &
Trainer with 15+ years of experience delivering Technology & Business solutions to clients in the USA/Latin America,
primarily in the finance/insurance, consultancy/coaching and online retail sectors. He has experience assisting clients
to bridge multicultural teams/alliances and to explore new markets in the USA/Latin America, with view to extend their market share.
Focus on driving revenue generation, building online communities and reaching new/larger audiences, while automating work flow
procedures, resource management and QA. Pahcho holds a Degree in Mechanical Engineering and is a certified Specialist in
Strategic Management - passionate about Web 2.0 technologies, emerging technologies, disruptive innovation and entrepreneurship, and
is fluent in English and Spanish.
|Michael Sarka began his counseling career in the Middle East by working in small
communities to grow their micro businesses. Closer to home he has served as an officer, CEO and/or director of several
not for profit organizations with an emphasis on increasing income, strategic planning as well as Board and staff
development. His background also includes both for profit and non-profit business start-up, management, event and trade
show development, research, marketing, public relations and publications.
|Richard Scott is a founding partner of the Paragon Consulting Group and Paragon Coaching LLC.
Paragon specializes in leadership development, team development, executive coaching, change management, and experiential training
for managers and executives. Previously, he founded and managed two successful consulting firms. He has designed and delivered
programs for diverse Fortune 500 companies, including high tech firms, such as Apple Computer, AT&T, and Sun Microsystems,
as well as for many smaller non-profit and for-profit organizations. Richard holds an M.A. in organizational psychology.
He has special interests in group dynamics, experiential learning, and the development of customized programs for the successful
development of organizational strategy and the management of organizational change.
|Kathie Sinor has a blend of 15 years as an entrepreneur and 12 years in a corporate HR background.
Her experience owning 8 retail stores, called Down Home Arts and Crafts produced entrepreneurial skills in sales, marketing,
product development, HR and strategic planning. She then went to work for large fortune 500 companies in HR, with an emphasis
in team training, leadership development and strategic planning. Kathie also started a consulting business doing strategic
planning for school districts. She can mentor others in a broad spectrum of subject areas and especially likes to work with
artists or creative types in moving from a hobby to a real business.
|Alan Smith is an expert in the field of data security, identity theft, risk management,
compliance, and protection of a company’s assets, including the efficient access to legal services. Additionally,
he has an in-depth background assisting companies in staging trade shows effectively, including involvement with the
marketing concepts and logistics of the presentation. His experience with trade shows led to his consulting practice in
corporate protection and his formation of a marketing research and marketing communications professional group to share
best practice information. Currently, Alan is Chairman of the Scotts Valley Fire Protection District. For SCORE he
provides clients with consultation on sales and marketing issues, as well as recruiting new volunteers.
|Steve Spence started and grew his heavy equipment rental and trucking business to become a
dominant player in the industry. He started his first company in southern California in 1970 and was the founder of
King Crane Service in Scotts Valley, which became the largest crane rental company in the Silicon Valley and Monterey
Bay area. As Founder & CEO, Steve was responsible for all aspects of company operations including sales, accounting,
insurance, marketing, human resources and cash flow management; in addition he negotiated the sale of the company.
Active in the regional business community he has counseled and advised colleagues and is a past president of the
Northern California Crane Owners Association.
|Joey Tuttle is a research and development executive with superb ability to find innovative
solutions to complex information technology problems. Over the course of his career, he has specified the architecture
and managed both small and large-scale projects for a broad range of client companies. His skills include insight into
clients’ business objectives, and finding appropriate and durable technology solutions. Currently, he works on
generating simplified but powerful man/machine interfaces. Joey enjoys the opportunity with SCORE, on a voluntary basis,
to partner with clients in defining technology problems, explore solutions, and work together in specifying the most
practical means to solve the problem.
|Peter Vokos gained diverse experience with Standard Oil Co. He Started his career
working in company operated service stations. Served as assistant to the regional wholesale manager and assistant
to the regional retail manager. He owned and operated two service stations and garages in California. Peter opened
a men's retail clothing store, expanded into woman's wear and had 4 retail locations at one time. After 20 successful years,
he went to work for Wells Fargo in the mortgage division, specializing in construction lending.
SCORE is fortunate to have someone with such a varied operational experience. Among his areas of expertise are,
retail start ups and existing businesses. Peter has an analytical mind that produces creative solutions for his clients.
|Rex Walters is currently a business broker helping both small business buyers and sellers
in the Santa Cruz, CA area. Rex is also the Managing Partner with Bay Area Strategic Group, a Santa Cruz, CA based
management consulting firm specializing in the areas of strategic business planning and consultation for small to
medium-sized businesses, non-profit agencies, and entrepreneurial start-ups. Rex graduated from the University of
California Santa Cruz with a BA degree in philosophy in 1971, received his MA in Psychology from San Jose State
University in 1981, and an MS and PhD in Organizational Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology
in 1992 and 1996 respectively.
He has started and run seven businesses in the Santa Cruz area.
Jack Zahorsky is an engineering graduate who, after holding various engineering positions and obtaining an MBA,
migrated to the marketing and business development field. After working for Logitech for 6 years, ending up as
Director of Business Development, he started his own consulting business, which he has run for the past 6 years.
Jack uses his extensive expertise in business stragegy, management, business plans, presentations, negotiations and licensing
agreements to help his client companies fulfill their marketing requirements. Additionally, Jack is a lecturer and
judge at Santa Clara University’s Executive MBA Program in the area of evaluation of International business plans.
|Robert (Bob) Zimel
|Robert (Bob) Zimel has over 45 years experience in design, sales, service and distribution
management of equipment for the plastics industry. Starting as a service technician he developed a full service
distributorship located in Southern California for 38 years. His company’s performance was consistently in the
industries top 5 worldwide distributors for many years. After successfully selling his business, he finished his
career working for the top manufacturer of this specialized equipment developing, managing and training distributors
in North America and the Far East. For SCORE Bob chairs the Workshop Committee which develops and hosts the Santa Cruz
SCORE Workshops and presentations to other community groups.
|Nationwide 10,500 men and women donate their time and expertise to assist America’s entrepreneurs. Call our chapter office at Phone to request a volunteer application.|
Become a Volunteer