Reading SCORE Chapter 8 President Barbara Coffin has served as an officer for one year and is in her fifth year of volunteering. Much of her experience is derived from her years of service at SCORE, since 1980, and as director of the Berks County Area Agency on Aging since 1980. (She began on the staff in 1975.) She retired from that position in 2010. At one time, SCORE stood for Service Corps of Retired Executives Association. Over time, the organization moved away from that definition. Funded nationally by the Small Business Administration and locally by allocations from memberships and industries, the 2014 budget for the Reading and Schuylkill County chapter is $17,000 per year. Recently Coffin spoke about SCORE's efforts to help lead successful transition plans for a variety of businesses in the greater Berks region. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the national SCORE organization, www.score.org.

Business Weekly: In a nutshell, what is the purpose of SCORE?

Barbara Coffin: We have an ongoing desire to share knowledge of our own experiences with new businesses. About 60 percent of members are startups, and about 40 percent are existing companies. Many existing businesses are not aware they can call SCORE and network for business advice.

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