NEW HAVEN >> When Theresa DelGreco Cipriani went to launch her Serenity Salon and Day Spa in 2007 at the age of 24, none of the banks she talked with would take her seriously.

But then Cipriani found the Greater New Haven chapter of the Service Corps of Retired Executives. And thanks to the advice give to her by counselors at the organization, Cipriani’s Wallingford-based business has 12 employees.

“They worked with us on honing in on our so that it reflected what made us different from other types of salons and spas,” she said Friday. “And they set us up with bankers.”

SCORE did such a good job matching Cipriani with a banker that she is still doing business with Christopher Earle, vice president of First Niagara Bank, which gave her a loan backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration and SCORE. SBA uses SCORE as a resource partner.

Cipriani was honored in 2010 by the Connecticut Small Business Administration’s Young Entrepreneur of the year. And on Friday, her success story was one of several highlighted at a luncheon at Gateway Community College to celebrate the 50th anniversary of SCORE as a national organization.

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