If you asked 100 business owners to rank their most important resource, "employees" would finish number one almost every time. But while organizations may profess to value their workers above all else, not all of them know how to instill and maintain the values of dedication, teamwork, and mutual respect. That's where Dr. Devona E.G. Williams comes in. A former DuPont Company employee with a doctorate in urban affairs and public policy, Devona has spent the past 14 years providing management consulting and training services to corporations, government agencies and non-profit groups. She helps their leaders plan for the future, and she teaches their employees skills that help them do their jobs better through training on topics like attitude management, diversity, leadership, listening, personal style coping and stress.

My Successes: 

Thanks to SCORE Mentor Dave Milling's advice, Goeins-Williams Associates is poised to enhance its services to public- and private-sector organizations throughout the Delaware Valley region and beyond. The company also sells training materials and other organizational development resources to customers across the U.S via an e-commerce site, which includes a link to Goeins-Williams' own Web page. A recent article in the Wilmington News-Journal, Delaware's largest newspaper, spotlighted Devona and her role in assisting area corporations and agencies.

Having implemented the steps that will accommodate her company's growth, Devona is hard at work at Dave's other recommendations. They include becoming an 8(a)-certified business, settling some lingering financial issues, and forming an advisory council to help steer the company's future. Williams has already reserved a spot on that council for her SCORE mentor.

What's Great About My Mentor?: 

Devona had long known about SCORE and decided it was time to enlist their help. She met with Volunteer Mentor Dave Milling, the former CEO and owner of a major paper products company. Devona laid out her issues and ideas, then asked Dave for his reaction. "Dave agreed that I was making the right moves, but he also had some ideas for things I hadn't considered," Devona says. "It felt good having someone with his experience validate what I was doing. But more important, he provided a fresh, objective look at how I was implementing my plans."

“It always helps to talk to someone with experience who can help you set goals and find the best way to achieve them. Dave gave me confidence to do what was necessary to manage my business’ growth, not be overwhelmed by it.” says Devona.

How SCORE Helped: 

Although Williams wishes she had called on SCORE years earlier, she's making up for lost time by using the organization's Web site, seminars, and other small business resources. "I've always held the SCORE organization in high regard, and my Dave has more than validated my expectations," she says. "He's become more than a business mentor. I consider him a friend."