PITTSBURGH DISTRICT OFFICE
May 23, 2011
Contact: Janet Heyl
(412) 395-6560, ext. 103
Release Number: PGH11-17 Janet.Heyl@sba.gov
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PITTSBURGH – When Art Green, a retired engineer and quality improvement consultant at Westinghouse, opened the doors to his own consulting firm years ago, he admitted he could have used the assistance of SCORE – America’s Counselor’s to Small Business.
At that time, Green hadn’t yet heard about the volunteer corps of retired and working professionals who lend their expertise counseling area entrepreneurs and small business owners. Ironically, Green, was recently selected as the 2011 Western Pennsylvania District SBA SCORE Volunteer of the Year.
Green and eight other local small business owners and advocates will be lauded at the Western Pennsylvania SBA May 27th Awards Luncheon which will be held at the Sheraton Station Square Hotel Pittsburgh. The luncheon is held in conjunction with the 48th annual celebration of National Small Business Week.
A native of Ambridge, Pa., Green earned a degree in mathematics from Saint Vincent College and a degree in electrical engineering from [now] Carnegie Mellon University. He went to work at Westinghouse, serving in the process control computer systems engineering division.
“We built control systems to automate steel mills and power plants,” Green said. “The systems controlled the settings, speeds and power to generate optimum output.” But Green did more than build the control systems; he also installed the systems throughout the country and often took his family with him.
“One time I helped install a control system at a steel mill near Chicago and I moved my family out there for about six months; another time we rented a furnished apartment in Phoenix while I did installation work for a power plant,” he said. “The funny thing is those computer control systems were housed in a cabinet that was about seven feet high and today it would fit in a laptop computer.”
Green obtained his master’s degree in business administration from the University of Pittsburgh, transferred out of engineering to finance and accounting and then spent the last third of his Westinghouse career as a quality improvement consultant. He focused on productivity and quality techniques to improve profitability.
“I travelled around the world and the U.S. and when I retired after 34 years, I started my own consulting business and spent time with many U.S. companies and made frequent trips to Saudi Arabia,” he said. “When I became the sole owner of my business, I was the consultant and the marketer and the accountant and I probably did a lot of things wrong.”
While Green was unaware of SCORE and how the organization assists small business owners, a chance golf game introduced him to a local member. In 2005, a now-retired Green joined the Pittsburgh Chapter of SCORE.
“It’s been a great experience and I even have an office – which is the Panera Bread restaurant in Monroeville,” he added chuckling. “I love one-on-one counseling and right now I have about 30 active clients.” Green said he not only helps entrepreneurs determine if they are prepared to start a business, but recently assisted a specialty cleaning operation with their inventory management system.
“I went to their site for a few hours each week for six months to look at their inventory needs,” he said. “I suggested they employ the “Just in Time Management System” that enabled them to never run out of a product or over order… it involves labeling items used and determining the lot size of that item.”
According to Western Pennsylvania SBA District Director Carl Knoblock, Green is prime example of how SCORE volunteers continue to give back to their community. “Here you have a retired executive who for many months lent his productivity and inventory expertise to a small business,” Knoblock said. “It’s a win-win situation for the counselor, the business and the community.”
In addition to counseling, Green serves as the co-chair for Pittsburgh SCORE’s monthly Small Business Basics workshops, in which guest speakers teach topics such as business planning, recordkeeping/taxes, marketing, finance and legal issues.
“Those workshops are my baby, I attend each session to make sure it runs correctly,” he said. “I coordinate the speakers, venue, and catering and have been doing that for five years. In that time we’ve had almost 1,000 attendees.”
Green, who never thought his career would span volunteering and coordinating workshops, said that he was floored to be nominated and even prouder to win. “I spend a great deal of time with SCORE and I enjoy it,” he said. “It’s fun and there are about 20 of us who do part-time counseling. It’s a great experience.”
Note: If you would like to speak with Art Green or Carl Knoblock, Western Pennsylvania SBA district director, please contact Janet Heyl at 412-395-6560, ext. 103.
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