We’re here to help you succeed.
North Coast SCORE mentors have a variety of professional experience and skills to share — at no cost — with business owners like you.
SCORE has been mentoring new and existing businesses for over 40 years and has a network of over 13,000 volunteers who donate their time to help entrepreneurs. Our local mentors have a wide range of business knowledge and experience and are ready to help you start and grow your business through free and confidential business advice online and in person.
Meet Our Local Mentors
Richard Adler - Richard has been a member of Score since 2008 and has served in various roles including Workshop Presenter, Marketing Committee Chair, Membership Committee Chair and Chapter Chair. He has considerable entrepreneurial experience, having successfully started two commercial real estate companies as well as having been a franchisee of two National restaurant chains in St Louis, MO, Portland, OR and Los Angeles, CA. He currently mentors in food start-ups and various other area
Bruce Aidells - Chef Aidells left Berkeley’s Poulet Deli in 1983 to start the Aidells Sausage Co. that has become a national brand of gourmet sausages. Twenty years later he left the company to write cookbooks and consult with restaurants and food companies. While at the sausage company he created all the flavors, over-saw the profitability, developed marketing strategies and was instrumental in developing a local brand into a national one. Besides recipe development and marketing he is an expert in developing food and restaurant companies from very humble beginnings. He has a Ph.D. from UC Santa Cruz in Biology.
Larry Arnoff - Larry has over 35 years of consulting experience with small, medium and large businesses. He has a Background in diverse environments including professional services, software, retail, food manufacturers/distributors, start-ups, mid-market organizations, and Fortune 500 companies. Larry also grows grapes in Napa and sells his wine in California and select other states. He is currently the Vice President and Marketing Lead for the Calistoga Wine Growers Association and was the Marketing Chair for the North Coast Chapter of SCORE.
Spencer Bader - After a BA in Economics, an MBA, and MS in Industrial Engineering, Spencer spent 32 years with HP/Agilent, in operations and project management. Later affiliations included partner in a small consulting firm, and Admin/Finance Director for Sonoma County Water Agency. During his 8-year stay, the Water Agency's bond rating increased to AA+. Most recently Spencer has done angel investing and advising to tech startups, SCORE North Coast mentoring, and volunteering for local nonprofits.
Keith Benfield - Keith has over 35 years in the Telecommunications/I.T. Industry involved with sales, marketing, Exec leadership and owner. The last 18 years he owned an Exec Recruiting firm, placing over 300 Exec’s, Engineers, and Sales people in Corporations worldwide. Keith grew up all over the World from Japan to Africa, as his Father was Military and he was in the Navy. Keith believes his strengths in mentoring to be “focus”, sales and networking.
Steven Campbell - After working in hospital administration for 20 years, Steven Campbell acquired his Masters in Information Systems and went on to pursue his greatest love…teaching businesses how to change the way they think. He has also been a professor, author and speaker for more than 26 years, and served as an Educational Dean at Empire College in Northern California.
After writing his third book, Making Your Mind Magnificent, he now conducts seminars on how we can change what we say TO ourselves ABOUT ourselves…TODAY! He is now a regular speaker for the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco, as well as a member of the Adjunct Faculty at Sonoma State University where he teaches his Seminar, part of which you will be hearing today.
Diane Cox - Diane has 30 years’ experience co-founding, growing, and managing a Microchip equipment design & manufacturing company. As CEO of the growing company, she was instrumental in creating systems for various departments including Engineering, Sales (USA and International), Finance, Production, Procurement, Quality Assurance, Customer Service, HR and Admin. Since the company was relatively small, she was directly involved with both strategic and tactical issues gaining a broad range of experience. Diane has a B.S. in Business Administration from San Jose State University.
Bill Eaton - Bill has a BA (Comm) from the University of Strathclyde in Scotland and an MBA from the University of Cape Town (South Africa). His career has been spent in Marketing with a major emphasis on Marketing Research. He held positions with Unilever, Standard Chartered Group, J Walter Thompson and subsidiaries of General Electric and General Foods. He was also a director of New Products Laboratory and Creative Research Systems. Market assessment and development are his specialties.
Irene Flack - Irene has over 20 years experience in commercial and small business lending, including SBA lending. As a result, Irene has expertise in business operations and management, working with lenders, and related issues. In addition to advising established business owners, Irene is a SCORE workshop presenter on setting up a new business, and can provide practical step-by-step guidance for start-ups..Irene has a BA in BusinessAdministration and a JD
Les Goldner - Les hopes to be able to assist you with technical stuff such as project management, start-up issues, and logistics. His background includes several start-ups both for himself and as an officer working for large companies. He is computer literate, has engineering degrees and a lot of product development experience. While not his forte, he does have some knowledge regarding finances, accounting, and marketing. If you have a passion to succeed, you can count on Les to work closely with you to solve your pressing business problems.
Ian Jones - is an accomplished international business leader with 38 years experience of working at the highest level in the International Media industry. During his career Ian has specialized in the Creative Industries, overseeing multiple disciplines including Marketing, International Sales, TV production and Community engagement and has mentored executives and business owners at all levels of seniority, experience and businesses of all sizes. Ian has worked in the U.K and U.S as President of National Geographic TV International, Managing Director of A&E Television Networks and more recently CEO of UK broadcaster S4C. Ian has a Bsc. In Economics and in 2018, in recognition of his contribution to Media, Ian was awarded a Honorary Doctor of Letters DLL by Swansea University (UK). He is also an Honorary Fellow of the University of Wales, in the UK.
Jim Kane - Jim has 47 years of business experience, focusing on facility design engineering, procurement and new product development. He developed the supply chain for a miniature spectrometer, sourced precision optical components, and managed international procurements. He managed all aspects of design and procurement of packaging for optical products. He sourced power distribution equipment. His notable inventions include a temperature compensating support system for a direct reduction process and a string interleaving machine for large glass panels.
Anita Kratka - Director of Sales and Business Development with skills in revenue attainment, relationship-building and program development. Technology Industry, with 20 years sales experience. Entrepreneurial, building new and growing existing businesses. Producer of successful marketing, recruitment and communication programs. Excellent track record of hiring, managing a team of people. BA Degree in Economics from UCLA. Specialties: account management, business development, business strategy, marketing, mentoring, strategic alliances.
Chuck Levine - Chuck retired in 2002 as the CEO of Sprint PCS, having helped grow the business from nothing to over $13 Billion in less than 6 years. Chuck began his career in Marketing with Procter & Gamble progressing to positions in leadership with General Electric, AT&T and two new ventures. Since retirement. Mr. Levine has served on numerous corporate and not for profit Boards, including 10 years as Chairman of Sierra Wireless, an “Internet of Things” leader. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Trinity College and at the top of his class at Northwestern Graduate School of Management. His specialties include marketing, strategy and not for profits.
David Mendelshon - David’s career at B of A progressed from Mktg Mgr of BankAmericard to VP in the Bank’s National Division, responsible for the overall credit and deposit relationships with some of the Bank’s largest corporate clients. He also was VP-Sen. Finance Ofc., Deputy to the Chairman, and a Director of World Airways. David founded TeleCheck Golden Gate, designed to protect retailers from bad checks. Later David became Managing Dir. and Exec.V.P. of BASS Tickets, growing profitability ten-fold before David assisted in negotiating the sale of the company to Advantix in 1997 and he retired to Napa, Ca.
Chris Nelle - With over 41 yrs. in commercial/corporate banking, Chris was the Senior Vice President & Regional Manager at a large global bank where his clients’ sales ranged from $3M-$1.0Bil. Chris’s years of experience with a wide variety of management transactions is so valuable in mentoring he does with SCORE. He has a BS from UC Berkeley, MBA in Finance from Golden Gate Univ., and Credit/Finance certificate from Stanford Univ.’s School of Business. Chris has experience with agricultural processors and producers, large integrated healthcare, distributors and waste management. Chris is Chair of North Coast Score chapter.
Jeff Norby - Jeff is a seasoned professional with a successful track record of building and guiding business growth and demonstrated success with companies facing market and technological change. He has a solid background in management, strategic and tactical planning, operations, finance and accounting, supported by strong leadership and a focus on building a culture that sustains and supports success. He has a BS in Accounting (SFSU) and an MBA (U of Illinois). The majority of his experience has been with small and mid-size organizations with revenues from $15mm to $100mm. Most recently, Jeff capped his career with a 16+ year track-record of guiding the transformation of a $25 million legacy commercial print operation into a highly successful, PE-sponsored, specialty printer/manufacturer with $70 million in sales, 220 + employees and multiple plants.
Lynn Reiter - Lynn has over 25 years in high tech marketing and sales with electrooptical companies, and was the VP of Marketing for a firm that grew from 5 employees to over 400 with rapid sales increases that allowed the company to go public. He did due diligence for successful acquisitions and helped them integrate into the company. With nine years of SCORE experience and ten years with small businesses Lynn is experienced in Marketing and Sales, Accounting, Engineering, and General Management. He has MBA and a BSET degrees from University of Toledo.
Mike Silvas - Silvas has been a licensed Realtor since 1972 and through the years, served as salesperson, manager, Vice President and ultimately as President and CEO of a large real estate brokerage company. He has lent his expertise to various committees with organized real estate at the local state and national level and he has been actively involved in community organizations both in Southern California and in the North Bay.
Curt Smith - Curt has over 27 years of experience as an institutional investor and consultant for high net worth, state and local public pension plans, and defined benefit plans. He has an MBA from University of San Francisco in Finance and Marketing Management. In addition, he has significant experience in all manner of illiquid assets, including private companies, venture capital, credit-related strategies, as well as knowledge of the US tax code. He currently is a member of the North Bay Angels, a forum for learning about early stage investment in the North Bay.
Tom Tjerandsen - Tom spent virtually all of his career in food marketing, first in advertising and later on the client side. He was most recently the Managing Director for North America for the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association. He has a BA in Economics from Hobart College and an MBA from San Francisco State. He has taught Marketing and Advertising at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. He has special expertise in developing business plans.
Ruth Tucker Bogart - Ruth has over 50 years of experience in software development and education. She served as the Director of Information Systems for Admissions and Financial Aid at Dartmouth College and Vice President for Educational Software for True BASIC, Inc. She later formed her own sole proprietorship, Zeta Data, for software development and database consulting. She found her real calling in teaching computer programming online. Ruth holds a B.S. in mathematics and an M.S. in Computer Information Systems. Ruth has been active as a volunteer and board member in several non-profit organizations, including domestic violence agencies, California state parks, her homeowners’ association, and a local food pantry.
Sharyn Weiss - Sharyn is an accomplished learning and development professional with over 20 years of experience in training, coaching and consulting. For 17 years she worked with dentists in developing all aspects of their businesses. She has published two books on training and holds a BA in English and an MA in Training and Development.
Jeff Young - Jeff has 30 years’ experience in engineering, construction working for Bechtel Corporation. His responsibilities included business development, managing power plant EPC groups and strategic planning. He subsequently obtained his real estate Brokers license and started his own company. He has volunteered for numerous non-profit organizations and established a 501c3 for emergency preparedness. He has a BS in Engineering from Oregon State University and a MBA from Golden Gate University.
Consultant's Skills, Industries and Companies
- Application Software
- Business Planning and Strategy
- Change management
- Information Technology
- Employee engagement
- Event planning
- Food Product Development
- Instructional design
- Leadership development
- Management Consulting
- Market research
- Mergers and Acquisitions
- Project management
- Technical Marketing/Sales
All counseling is Free and Confidential under a strict Ethics Code.