Monday, May 17, 2010
PITTSBURGH DISTRICT OFFICE
Release Date: May 11, 2010 Contact: Janet Heyl (412) 395-6560, ext. 103
Release Number: 10-13/PGH
Local commissioner SCORES win as Western Pennsylvania SBA Volunteer of the Year Award
GREENSBURG, PA – For almost 28 years Col. (Ret.) Charles Anderson served his country as a decorated officer in the Marine Corps, with tours of duty as a pilot in Japan, Korea, the Philippines, and holding executive positions at the Pentagon and Cherry Point, N.C. But for the past eight years, Anderson has stayed grounded lending his business expertise as a counselor and motivational speaker for the Westmoreland Chapter of SCORE – Counselor’s to America’s to Small Businesses.
Anderson, a Westmoreland County commissioner, will be honored by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as the 2010 Western Pennsylvania SCORE Volunteer of the Year.
Anderson and eight other local small business owners and advocates will be lauded at the Western Pennsylvania SBA May 28th Awards Luncheon which will be held at the Sheraton Station Square Hotel Pittsburgh. The luncheon is held in conjunction with the 47th annual celebration of National Small Business Week.
Carl Knoblock, Western Pennsylvania SBA district director, said that Anderson is an example of how one never stops serving their fellow countrymen. “Here is a decorated Marine Corps colonel, who is a commissioner of a large and growing county, and he still sets time aside to counsel prospective small business owners,” Knoblock said. “His SCORE clients are benefiting from his business and government experience, as well as his dedication.”
Anderson started his career at the tender age of four or five working at his grandfather’s store, Anderson’s Market. “I would sit on the floor with a big bag of potatoes and put those potatoes into small, five-pound bags,” he said. “It was work, but like a game to me.”
As he got older, Anderson’s duties increased and soon he was cutting meats, delivering food and learning the day-to-day operations of running a grocery store. Majoring in business at Waynesburg University, Anderson thought he would stay in the retail arena until he entered the Marine Corps as an officer.
“I was a supply officer because I thought it would enhance my business skills, but I really wanted to be a pilot,” he stated. After serving his three years, Anderson went back to the grocery business but never was able to let go of his dream of flying.
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‘I took flight classes at the (former) Latrobe Airport, and loved it,” he said. “I sent a letter to the Marines asking them if I could come back and enter flight school.” When he found out that at age 26 he was considered too old to fly, Anderson took to the hallways of the Washington, D.C. Marine Headquarters to tell his tale to anyone who would listen.
After three days, one officer granted Anderson the right to compete for Navy/Marine flight school where only the top three candidates were awarded the chance to fly jets. The spirited Anderson made sure he was prepared. “I hired myself a tutor to prepare and study vectors and trigonometry and got a flight physical,” he said. “During flight school, I carried around a model plane. Sure, everyone made fun of me, but guess what? I was the third jet pilot selected.”
Anderson relocated back to Westmoreland County in 2002 as a retiree and joined a host of organizations in order to give back and better the community – SCORE was one of those organizations. He said he uses his flight analogy to tell people never to take “no” for an answer, to set high goals and prepare for them.
“I tell my SCORE clients to write a business plan and set a goal,” he explained. “They (clients) need to go through the process of what they want to do, how to get there and become dedicated to achieving that goal.”
While Anderson is proud of his selection as the SCORE Volunteer of the Year, he said the award really is for the entire chapter.
“We have such great volunteers at Westmoreland SCORE all who had successful careers, giving up their time to make the community a better place – just like I wanted to do,” he stated. “They are so dedicated it makes my eyes want to water.”
Note: If you would like to speak with Commissioner Charles Anderson or Carl Knoblock, Western Pennsylvania SBA district director, please contact Janet Heyl at 412-395-6560, ext. 103
The U.S. Small Business Administration – helping small businesses start, grow and succeed.