I love to see entrepreneurs take their great ideas from seeds and fertilize them with creativity and hard work until they’re shooting up from the ground, growing and branching out. Two such talents were honored on May 3 as SCORE Clients of the Year. The Greater Rochester Chapter of SCORE is the sponsor, and I’m a volunteer.
Rochester Accessible Adventures
Anita O’Brien is the executive director of Rochester Accessible Adventures. I was fortunate to sit at her table at the SCORE luncheon. She told me she’s a certified therapeutic recreation specialist who has worked for 20 years with people with disabilities.
Before I met Anita, it never occurred to me that if one person in a family has a disability, it can mean that the entire family can’t enjoy recreation activities together. RAA, the non-profit that Anita founded, is working to change that. Her organization trains businesses and community rec programs to offer their services to everyone.
That means Erie Canal Boat Company now has adaptive kayaks and bikes, so an entire family can enjoy time on and along the canal. Read more here. RAA’s latest initiative is making pickleball inclusive, working with Bob Stokes of Pickled Power.
“We work so others can play,” Anita told the group of SCORE clients and volunteers at the luncheon at Oak Hill Country Club. Anita had high praise for SCORE, saying that the mentoring from volunteer Bob Zinnecker, along with workshops, webinars and helpful documents had a great impact on the success of RAA.
Global Urban Enterprise LLC
A military veteran also was named SCORE Client of the Year. Albert Urban is the president and CEO of the construction company Global Urban Enterprise. Al has an incredible background in construction, project management and leadership.
He’s a 26-year veteran with the Pennsylvania National Guard who’s done multiple deployments, including in Bosnia and Iraq, acting as a planning officer and executive officer among other duties. He’s overseen major projects for Rochester General Hospital and Newark Hospital. He also worked for two years in Australia on the $70 billion Gorgon Gas Project.
His new company provides general construction services to the federal government and New York State agencies. As a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business, Al’s company is eligible to compete for government contracts set aside for SDVOBs.
Al had high praise for the help he’s received from SCORE, including his mentor Dale Dewey. Everyone knows the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Al put his own twist on that: “It takes a village to build a business.”