Westborough – In 2003, a semi-retired Pete Allen took his tennis partner’s advice and joined the Senior Core of Retired Executives (SCORE). Allen didn’t know what to expect and worried if he could really be helpful to a small business owner or manager. He soon discovered that his long career as a marketing executive enabled him to help almost every SCORE client who sought his advice.
Allen began his career at the Dennison Manufacturing plant in Framingham. He discovered marketing to be “more interesting than I had expected.” Sensing Allen’s talent, a marketing manager brought him onboard. Years later, still working together, Allen asked the manger, “What did you see in me?” The manager replied, “Ideas are one thing, execution is another. If I ask you to do something, it not only gets done, but gets done well.”
Eventually, Allen was promoted to vice president of marketing with responsibility for all products nationwide.
In 1993 a pharmaceutical company knocked at Allen’s door. Allen wondered how he would transfer his skills, but soon mastered the challenge.
“Marketing knowledge,” he said, “is needed in every business and the same skills are applicable under many different circumstances.
As a SCORE mentor, Allen has had ample opportunity to use his business expertise to help people with business-related decisions. And this is clearly something he is eager to do. Barb Smith’s Companion Pet Sitting and K-9 Hydrotherapy is one of Allen’s favorite success stories. Allen mentored Smith in the start-up phase of her now successful business and she still calls Allen for advice from time to time.
SCORE mentors can prevent business disasters. When two airplane pilots who loved to cook approached Allen with their plans to open a restaurant, he asked them two questions: “Will you follow an example of a successful restaurant?” and “Do you have a business plan?” When the duo said they did not have a plan, Allen walked them through potential challenges, testing their level of preparedness. Without directly advising them against opening the restaurant, he saved them from the dire consequences of going forward with this idea.
As marketing chair for SCORE-Worcester Allen matches a person who clicks on the SCORE website “request a meeting” button with a SCORE volunteer who has the relevant skillset and is available to help. Meetings can be in-person. However, Zoom meetings are increasingly popular and of special interest during the pandemic lockdown.
At SCORE service and advice are free.
“People sometimes ask, ‘What’s the catch?’ There is none,” Allen remarked. “It is rare that a SCORE client cannot benefit from consultation with a SCORE mentor.”
Allen is married to his childhood sweetheart, Kris, who is locally known for her book, “On the Beaten Path: Westborough, Massachusetts,” which was published by the historical society in 1984.
“In Westborough,” said Allen with a big grin, “I am known as the husband of Kris Allen.”
Allen noted he plans to compete in this summer’s New England Senior Tennis Foundation’s over 75 doubles tournament.
For more information about SCORE, visit https://worcester.score.org.