SCORE Mid-Shore Mentors

SCORE Mid-Shore is a volunteer team of experienced mentors dedicated to providing insights and knowledge to small business owners and those wishing to start a business.

SCORE Mid-Shore is a volunteer team of experienced mentors dedicated to providing insights and knowledge to small business owners and those wishing to start a business. Our mentors represent a multitude of industries and business expertise. They have all enjoyed success in their careers and are committed to giving you the support, encouragement, and tools needed to build and sustain your business.


Patrick C. Beard has extensive experience with franchising. He is the current owner and operator of five SweetFrog locations. In addition Patrick presently owns and operates Skipjack’s in St. Michaels, Maryland. In these positions he has honed experience with lease negotiations, build-out construction, managing teams, marketing, financial management, legal and regulatory issues plus supply chain logistics. Prior to franchising, Patrick had a twelve year financial career with both Legg Mason and Stifel Financial Capital Markets. His skills include budgeting, business strategy and planning, cash flow and financial management, operations, franchising, marketing, retail operations and social media. Patrick holds a B.S. in Business Management with Finance and Marketing minors from Mount St. Mary’s University; he completed an MBA with Finance Concentration at Loyola University. Patrick can be reached at:


Jesse Boyd joined SCORE Mid-Shore in 2020 after many successful years in the corporate business world, most recently as a Senior Vice President for Merrill Lynch. Over the past 27 years, he helped small business owners attain their personal financial goals in parallel to their business goals. Jesse’s strength is assisting small business owners with matching their corporate and personal goals. He has developed an “optimal business model” that can be used across various different work spaces that creates an environment for owners, managers and employees to be happy and productive every day. Jesse Boyd can be reached at:


Richard (Bud) Cass is the former President and Chairman of Advanced Cerametrics (ACI). He grew ACI from eight employees to 131 (domestically) with locations in New Jersey and Ohio. He also established spin off operations in India, Thailand and China. Since 2008, he has been the Managing Member of Bud Cass Consulting LLC, providing mentoring in both management and technical areas to senior corporate managers and owners. Mr. Cass holds 22 advanced materials patents, including the flexible ceramic invention that is the basis for ACI’s current business. He received the 2003 and 2007 R&D 100 Award for ACI, and led ACI to receive the 2007 Corporate Technical Achievement Award à the highest technical award in the ceramics industry. Among his many accomplishments, Mr. Cass co-invented smart, self-powered tennis rackets, skis and snow boards that became Head Sport’s flagship ‘Intelligence’ line of products. He currently serves as an officer and director of several companies, where he provides technical and management support. Bud can be reached at:


Ken has served a number of management roles in sales, marketing and business development for the past 35 years. Prior to consulting with a number of small engineering firms he was the Director of Operations for L-3 Unmanned Systems. His responsibilities included all aspects of business development as well as running flight services and production. In addition to supporting U.S. troops overseas, Ken has also provided products and services to most of the Federal government. Ken has a BS degree in Industrial Arts; he has completed numerous certifications in teaching, sales, program management, safety and federal contracting. Contact Ken Call directly at:

Ellen B. ClarkELLEN B. CLARK

Ellen B. Clark is a marketing professional with specialized administrative, writing, editing and communications skills. She is the marketing administrator for National Restorations, a Richmond, Virginia based company that manages a network of wood restoration and repair experts specializing in furniture and cabinets. Concurrently, she volunteers as Mid-Shore’s administrative lead, responsible for chapter administrative functions. Ellen is also a client mentor. In her career Ms. Clark has done social media marketing, inbound and outbound marketing projects, sales and marketing research, consulting, project management, writing and editing. Ellen can be reached at


David J. EngelhardtDAVID J. ENGELHARDT

David J. Engelhardt has been a member of SCORE since 2012, and represents Mid-Shore on the lower shore region. He has 17 years’ experience in the financial services industry. Dave currently manages the M&T Bank in Laurel, Delaware. He has worked in various communities on Maryland's Eastern Shore, and understands the importance of helping people turn their business dreams into reality. Dave can be reached directly at:


John C. FrankeJOHN C. FRANKE

John C. Franke is the Chairman of SCORE Mid-Shore. He assumed this position in mid-2013 when he retired from 37 years of senior corporate management; his last position was Managing Vice President for IBM Global Business Services in Washington, D.C. Mr. Franke’s executive career has been extensively broad-based, focused on domestic, international, public and private sector marketplaces. His nationally recognized capabilities and expertise encompass the key consulting arenas of: overall management; technology and market characterization; budget and financial management; strategic and market planning; program-project development and management; policy, regulatory and legislative analyses; human capital management; organizational realignment; performance planning; communications strategy; and continuous process improvement. John Franke can be contacted at


O. Edwin (Ed) French is retired President and CEO of publicly-traded MedCath Corporation from Charlotte, NC. His career experience includes senior executive in national organizations whether public, private, not-for-profit, foundation or investor-owned. Mr. French managed companies from start-up to multi-billion-dollar. His strengths include operations, business development and marketing. He was President and COO of a company that merged to create the nation’s largest oncology management company; plus, Mr. French was involved in three other major merger and acquisition transactions in health care in Denver, Charlotte, and Dallas. He has regularly lectured in the MBA program at the University of Colorado, and was the John Buessler Distinguished Lecturer in the Texas Tech University MBA/MD/PhD program. Mr. French has authored two books and presented at conferences including the CXO Leadership Conference, Las Vegas. He has consulted nationally and internationally with clients in London, Dubai, Hong Kong and Australia. Contact Ed French at


Michael D. Healy is a USMA West Point, plus Trinity College Dublin, Ireland graduate. He is the owner of Celtic RnR Tours, a veteran-owned small business based on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The company offers group tours of Ireland and Scotland. Mike is a Tourism Ireland Certified Specialist. He is also the author and photographer for several eBooks including: Irish Genealogy Tips, Techniques and Tales; Ireland Mosaic: A Photo Journey; and, Pubs of Ireland. Prior to founding Celtic RnR, Mike worked for 30 years in various technical, financial and management jobs specializing in IT service delivery, project management and new business development. He has worked in both the federal government and private sectors. Mike’s business skills include proposal development, service delivery, quantitative analysis, process modeling, business plans, operations, social media marketing, YouTube, email marketing campaigns, community outreach, networking and hospitality customer service. Mike can be reached at:


George S. Howie is a past Chairman of the SCORE Mid-shore Chapter. He is retired from IBM with 28 years of service and held numerous executive positions in product development, systems engineering, international marketing, business policies and practices and human resources. Mr. Howie was also President and CEO of Concert Corporation, a successful Small Technology Business doing business nationwide. In that position he was responsible for every aspect of the business including product development, sales and marketing, manufacturing, inventory control, capital acquisition, human resources and the overall financial health of the organization. Contact George Howie at


Amanda Kidd is the sole owner and operator of a small business enterprise called Beat the Rush Delivery. Her service area on Maryland’s eastern shore covers several very under-served areas. Beat the Rush provides personal shopping and food delivery options from local farms, local eateries and grocery stores through their website and mobile app. Amanda has years of experience in the areas of food distribution, logistics management and product-service delivery. Ms. Kidd’s operations’ career has focused on business planning, communications and outreach, business structuring, advertising, branding, market assessments, strategy and management.  Amanda can be reached at


Michael J. Klein spent 40 years in the insurance industry as a broker, manager and investor. His last positions were President, Earl A. Klein Agency; and Chairman of the Board, U.S. Surety Company. Mr. Klein retired in 2008 and is active in a number of Talbot County based non-profit organizations. His expertise includes insurance, marketing, planning and accounting. Contact Mike Klein at



Haim Loran is a retired President of a high-tech aerospace equipment manufacturing corporation. He is experienced in manufacturing, engineering, sales and marketing. Mr. Loran’s skills also include business development. Contact Haim Loran at



Cornelius L. Mhley is a Certified Public Accountant with 44 years of experience as employee, business owner and, through practice merger, principal in the mid-size accounting firm Santos Postal and Company, Rockville, Maryland. He currently resides in Easton, Maryland, where he has a part-time tax consulting practice. Cornel’s primary responsibilities on behalf of small business clients have included the satisfactory completion of accounting and tax compliance and planning, and the handling of inquiries from federal and state regulatory agencies. From association with SCORE since 2013, he is skilled in all phases of client business operations, including non-financial areas (especially sales and marketing). Cornel can be reached at


Amber Rose is a program manager and coordinator at Benedictine Programs and Services (non-profit) located in Ridgely, Maryland. She supervises and builds effective teams to provide quality support to adults with developmental disabilities. Through her employment and volunteer opportunities, Amber has years of experience in the areas of program and project management, instructional design for training programs, customer relations, policy and procedure development, budget analysis and talent development. Her strengths include aligning abstract ideas with concrete workable solutions that help individuals reach their business objectives and goals. Amber can be reached at:


Neil H. Ross spent 33 years with large multinational corporations, most recently as Strategic Marketing Programs Manager with Unisys Corporation. His primary job roles included marketing program development and go-to-market planning and execution. Other responsibilities were comprised of relationship management, business development and product management.  Skill sets are: identifying target markets and creating value propositions; competitive analysis and differentiation strategies; defining and validating marketing messages; and creating lead generation campaigns. Neil can be reached at:



Mike Thielke has 20 years’ experience in International Business, Distribution, Logistics and Transportation as well as 20 years in the non-profit sector. He is currently the executive director of the Eastern Shore Entrepreneurship Center (ESEC) which serves the startup and entrepreneurial communities needs of eight counties on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. In his role, Thielke provides entrepreneurial to commercialization leadership, and helps ensure that the Eastern Shore is part of Maryland’s startup ecosystem. ESEC initiatives include: ShoreVenture, a 10-week entrepreneurship training program; hotDesks, a network of co-working spaces; DT2i, a 30-hour tech transfer/commercialization course offered at four regional community colleges; and a $25,000 Eastern Shore Business Competition. Mike Thielke can be reached at


Gail R. Steckler was treasurere of Infrastructur Management Group, Inc, from 1996 until 2017. She handled the purchase of the firm from a larger entity, and established operating systems, internal controls, and all accounting and finance functions. She was responsible for all banking and accounting relationships including lease negotiations, insurance issues and corporate tax and certification matters. In 2004 Ms. Steckler helped found Washington First Bank, a DC area community bank. She served on their executive loan committee, reviewing loan structures and assessing business and credit risk. Prior to this, Ms. Steckler headed up tenant construction for Virginia Properties Associates, a commercial development firm. Gail has an MBA in Finance from The American University, and a BS in Landscape Architecture from the University of Wisconsin. She can be reached at:


Charles Zvirman co-founded New Perspective, one of the Pittsburgh region’s leading media production and marketing communications companies. Serving as President, he built the firm from a two-man operation into an award-winning market leader with 30 employees and dozens of freelance professionals. Throughout his 27 years in business, Mr. Zvirman has been through much, and can relate to other individuals in the early stages of building their business. This includes assistance with developing a business plan, budgets, meetings with financial institutions and overall management and operations. Additionally, with his experience in marketing, working with clients across an array of industries, Chuck can assist clients with developing their brand and/or brand message, advertising, public relations and communications strategies. Chuck Zvirman can be reached at: