St. Louis Bi-State Region
OUR 2019 SCORE ST. LOUIS TRAUTMANNAWARD RECIPIENT CELEBRATING MAX SAUNDERS’ IMMENSE CONTRIBUTIONTO SMALL-BUSINESS MENTORSHIP
E ach year, theTrautmann Award is as a committee chairperson. Previously known as theVolunteer of theYear Award, it was renamed three years ago in honor of longtime SCORE member Carl Trautmann. Carl joined SCORE in 1988 and became national chairman of the board of directors in 2002. Carl passed away in March 2017. By the end of his tenure with SCORE, he had mentored over 3,000 clients. This year, it was our great honor to present the TrautmannAward to Max Saunders, a longtime SCORE mentor and someone who knew Carl Trautmann well. It seems fitting that Carl’s legacy can continue through folks like Max, who dedicate their time to sharing their business expertise. It’s been 7 1/2 years since he began volunteering with us, and he identifies it as one of the ways he’s found meaning in retirement while still calling on his business expertise.“SCORE helped me go from being a boss to being a helper,” Max explains.“I’ve been very happy being able to do this.” He enjoys meeting people and finds that folks are appreciative of his insight. presented to an active SCORE member who exemplifies our mission, has served on the executive board, and has served For 20 years, Max owned and operated a franchise quick-printing business in Kansas City.An engineer by training, Max found himself searching for more. Eventually, an opportunity to move to St. Louis and work as the general manager of a machine tool company came up,
and Max jumped at it. Over the course of his career with them, he got the company to $14 million in sales and got them to a place where they could pay off their long-term debt. At 73, Max reluctantly retired.At the Saunders’ annual Christmas party that year, someone asked the question he’d been dreading.“What are you going to do when you retire?” a friend’s wife asked.“I’ve been worrying about that,” Max admitted. Her next question surprised him.“Why don’t you look into SCORE?” she suggested. From there, Max looked into SCORE and, “The next thing I knew, I was going through the training,” he describes. He found himself going from retirement to helping on several committees with SCORE St. Louis, including working on the committee on education and putting together workshops and seminars. In his time with SCORE St. Louis, Max got to know Carl Trautmann well and speaks to the loss he feels with his passing.“I really miss him. He was like a dad to me as far as SCORE is concerned,” Max says. Max’s background in machinery manufacturing is pretty rare among SCORE mentors, and that makes his perspective invaluable.“I think differently,” he says.This has been helpful on numerous occasions for providing the type of diverse insight mentees need.“So many people don’t have any idea what you have to do to run a business.They might be good at selling
or good at engineering, but they don’t have a clue about the rest of the operations,” Max says.“That’s what we’re good at — helping people run a business.” Max clues folks in to the key components they’ll need to run a business, including cash flow, hiring the right team members, and making purchasing decisions. Now, after years of putting in countless hours to make companies successful, Max is using everything he learned to help small businesses get off on the right start.“SCORE has helped me convert from working many hours and being concerned with making money to helping people save money,” Max says of the fresh perspective he’s developed as a mentor. Congratulations, Max, and thank you for all you do for SCORE St. Louis and the many people whom you’ve provided mentorship and guidance to. With SCORE, you’re never alone! Schedule an appointment to meet with a mentor today. Call 1-866-726-7340 or visit StLSCORE.org right now!
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