Meet Our Team

SCORE Lehigh Valley volunteers have rich and varied business backgrounds. Mentors/Counselors share their expertise and knowledge in all aspects of small business. The background and specific business expertise of each of the volunteers is listed below: 

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 Lou Allegra has held senior executive positions in businesses, both public and private, ranging from $30 million to $5 billion in sales. He has had P&L responsibility for three different manufacturers of  automotive components and materials. He has been successful in both American and Japanese business environments, and has traveled extensively in North America, Europe and Asia. Throughout his career, Lou has demonstrated innovative leadership in a variety of disciplines including sales, marketing, new product development, manufacturing, purchasing, materials management, information services, accounting, human resources, safety, environment and health. He has published papers, chaired conferences and given invited speeches. He holds several international patents. Lou has challenged and inspired managers and teams to achieve seemingly unachievable goals. Lou has been recognized for his professional and community service. He’s served on the Boards of Directors of the United Ways of Franklin County and Northern Ozaukee, Frankfort Habilitation and the Japan/America Society of Kentucky. His professional memberships have included the Society of Automotive Engineers, ASM International, Commerce Lexington and the Frankfort Area Chamber of Commerce. He authored the CEO Perspectives column for Business Lexington. Lou recently served on the Board of Advisors for Tenmast Software, an ESOP company. As a Vistage Chair Lou worked with CEOs and Senior Executives to help them become more inspiring leaders, achieve breakthrough results and lead more fulfilling lives. As a SCORE Mentor, Lou volunteers his time to help entrepreneurs plan, launch and grow their businesses and realize their dreams.


Bill Evans has been involved in many aspects of supporting SCORE since he joined in 2000 including being chairperson and mentor for two chapters.  As our local “Go To” person, he provides knowledge and advice in fields ranging from marketing, business plans, patents, customer support, product quality, starting and sustaining a nonprofit.  Bill’s professional experience included software and hardware product development, technology transfer from R&D to manufacturing, marketing technology-based products, customer support and IT systems management.  He has assisted countless businesses and reviewed many business plans and models. Bill’s advice, “Talking to a SCORE mentor can help you avoid a few serious mistakes.”

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  Jim Freund: Jim's background in human resources includes 18 years as a practicing HR generalist at a major corporation.  His experience includes working with both employees and managers to create and manage productive organizations.  He can assist you with nearly any kind of issue in the human resources area including policies and practices, hiring, termination, employee legal and regulatory issues, pay and benefits, performance management and appraisal, and employee manuals. 

He has participated as both a volunteer and board member in a number of local nonprofit organizations, including Meals on Wheels.  Using the first hand experience gained there, he mentored other nonprofit, public and professional organizations.  In addition to human resources, he has developed expertise in board structure and policy, and organization operation. Jim has a BA From Gettysburg College, Biology; MS Gergetown University, International Relations; MBA Boston University.

 

 

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 Hugh Kelly has held a variety of Senior Executive positions for publicly held and privately owned companies in Financial Services, Direct Marketing and the Not for Profit Consulting fields. Formerly a CPA, Hugh has a deep financial and data analytical background to support his extensive operations and marketing management experience. 

 


 J. Michael Knuff   is one of our busiest mentors and enjoys the challenge of  developing businesses. He joined SCORE because he saw the incredible support it offered the entrepreneurial and small business community, and he wanted to use his experience as a VP Sales Manager for Motive Eyewear NYC, General Manager of Delta Health Systems Malvern, and Channel Leader of Scott Paper Co Philadelphia to give back to clients. By using the tools provided by SCORE and his skills in transitioning businesses and improving their viability, he assists clients in realizing their dreams. “Most clients I meet are passionate about their ideas or what they do: which energizes me, as I tend to be the same.” Mike has been a SCORE member since 2012.

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 Julian Lewis has been a SCORE counselor since 1996. Educational background Bachelor of Chemical Engineering and Masters Degree in Marketing. Professional experience includes marketing, strategic planning and senior management for F.L. Smidth. Extensive involvement with area non-profit groupds. Mentoring expertise in starting non profit corporations, business planning and marketing.

 

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Ed Overtree is an attorney who specializes in helping new businesses organize, protect the owners from risk, preserve intellectual property options and negotiate contracts with customers, suppliers, contractors and employees.  He has served as the first and only attorney for fifteen new businesses, and has mentored more than fifty others for Lehigh Valley SCORE. Currently serving as chapter co-chair.

 

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 Julian Philips has been a proud member of SCORE for 4 years. He is a retired business owner from the print and finishing industry with his MBA from Strayer University and BA.hons from University of London Guild Hall (in the UK). Although retired Julian fills his days with advocating for the chronic pain community, guiding teens within the Impact Program and spending time with his wife of 38 years, 4 children and their families.

 

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Jay Plotnick was Distribution Manager with Wacker Chemie from 2008 to 2009, a German diversified Chemical Co.  Jay worked in all aspects of Distribution from 1976 to 2008 for Air Products & Chemicals. Co, a Fortune 500 Gas & Chemical concern. Jay worked directly with suppliers on negotiations, purchasing, leasing, contracts, strategy, quality, cost studies and operations. Jay also assisted Business Area Managers, Marketing   sales, on many customer calls and new product and services. Prior experience in franchising, retail & small business. Jay received a BS in Marketing, MBA and received certification in Transportation & Logistics.        

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 Carlton R. Raines has a BS in Ceramic Engineering, an MBA in Management, Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Management and a Graduate Certificate in Supply Chain Management. Also, Carlton has an active PA  in Professional Engineering Licenses, 40 years experience in Engineering, Production, Construction, and Plant Management, 14 years teaching college level business and management courses.

 

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 Girish Sud is a Project Management professional with over 42 years of experience in engineering and construction of plants in the cement and mineral processing industries. Was VP of Projects for a multinational company, with P&L responsibility for the engineering, procurement and construction of projects on a worldwide basis.  Girish has managed a team of project managers on large capital intensive portfolio of projects in excess of $500m. Expertise in project management, strategic planning, risk management, estimating, cost control, project scheduling, negotiating technical and commercial contracts, manufacturing, procurement and supply chain, logistics, establishing project metrics, conduct project reviews/audits, operations management, change management, team building, project finance, and international business. BS, Chemical Engineering and MBA, attended several executive management courses and training at various times in career. Extensive international travel. Currently serving as chapter chair since 2016.

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Gene Murtha has over 40 years in general management, marketing, sales and product development within the toy, games and gift industries. Gene’s corporate background includes 16 years at Mattel in various executive roles, both in the US and abroad.  He served as General Manager of Mattel UK and Ireland, ran the Toys-r-Us Customer Business Team for Mattel, opened markets in China, Japan, India and Eastern Europe. Gene also has experience as an entrepreneur, having started and run Main Street Toy company the 1990’s. There he developed and marketed many successful products including Slap Wraps, one of the hottest fads of the ‘90’s. In one capacity or another, Gene estimates he has brought over 7,000 concepts to market, managing many mega-hit properties such as Star Wars, Cabbage Patch Kids, Trivial Pursuit and Tickle Me Elmo, 

He joined  SCORE in 2011 has served as a volunteer mentor and as a Regional Vice President for the Mid-Atlantic States.  As a mentor for small businesses, Gene has served hundreds of aspiring start-ups, and counseled existing business owners on sales growth in a variety of industries. Gene holds various patents, is fluent in Spanish and currently resides with his wife in Easton, PA, 60 miles outside of New York City.

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Rolf Bruggmann held several senior management positions in Europe and the US with Fortune 500 Companies. He also started his own IT Company in the 90’s and sold the business successfully after running the corporation for five years. 
Rolf’s expertise are in Organization Development, Operations Management, Process Improvements, Change Management, Sales Management, Team Building and Out-Sourcing Projects.

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Catherine Bailey is the former President/Chief Operating Officer at Rea.deeming Beauty, Inc., the “home” of the original beautyblender® and most recently, Bounce foundation, their initial entrance into the  color cosmetics world!  She has held this position since 2010; most recently transitioned to an Advisory capacity, the first step to retirement,  Catherine’s role was to manage and lead the day to day functioning of all departments. Her 30+ years of experience in the cosmetic industry, has been instrumental in leading Rea.deeming Beauty to the industry position as a category creator. The company continues its innovations supporting the category leadership it developed around the world from their location in Bethlehem.  Prior to coming to RBI,  Catherine led product development and marketing efforts at another Cosmetic applicator company located in the area.

Community Involvement: member of  the Penn State Launchbox Ladies Council as well as mentoring several up and coming entrepreneurs in the Valley.  She recently joined the SCORE organization, became a member of the Northampton Community College Foundation Board as well as the Workforce Investment Board.  She is an avid supporter of local charities including “A Perfect Fit’, Via Foundation, Go Red for Women, Pediatric Cancer Foundation and Girl Scouts of America and the BAEF to name a few.  She was honored by Ben Franklin with the Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2016 as well as Executive of the Year by Lehigh Valley Business.                  

Born and raised in New Jersey, she moved to the Lehigh Valley in 1968 making it her home since. She currently lives in Bethlehem and is the proud mother of 3, stepmom to 4 and “Mimi” to 9 wonderful grandchildren.

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Carl France  has been a SCORE Mentor for the past three years. Prior to joining SCORE, he worked in marketing and advertising for nine years with small businesses. He has a twenty year military career with our nation's Air Force. Through the Air Force he attended leadership school at Regis Uniiversity. He studied business administration at Western New England College. Enhancing his knowledge and abilities further, Carl has learned from family members that have owned and operated small businesses - a family member currently owns and manages a supermarket on the Jersey Shore.  This independent supermarket competes with success against a chain store supermarket.  While supermarkets run with thin profit margins, at the shore you only have three months in the summer to make a profit.  A manufacturing plant with nearly 200 employees had been co-owned and operated by a family member who served as the CEO. Carl also serves on the council, finance, call, stewardship and outreach committees of his church.   

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George Ferrio has 27 years of experience in running his own small business.  Micro Photonics is an importer of scientific instrumentation used for materials research.  The company deals with vendors in Europe and the Pacific Rim.  We sell, install and service the equipment and also supply contract testing services in our applications lab.  My experience would be useful to start up and early stage businesses who have to set up the infrastructure of their business, including accounting, finance, HR, sales and marketing. George also has 10 years of experience in residential real estate investing making this experience useful to those clients who are interested in the purchase, rehab and rental side of the business rather than flipping.

George has a B.S. in Finance and Management and an M.B.A., both from Lehigh University, has lived in the Lehigh Valley since graduating from Lehigh University in 1975. He was a 9-year member of Vistage, a CEO Peer Advisory Group.  This gave me a great perspective on problems encountered in small and medium sized businesses.

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 Robert Lewis has a commercial career background focused in marketing and sales, and has developed and launched products to meet customer needs in diverse industries in all regions of the world.  I believe that selected markets and customers should drive business offerings based on a compelling value proposition, strong brand, and execution of a robust and sustainable strategy.  My areas of expertise are Business Strategy & Planning, Manufacturing & Product Development, Business Operations, and Sales, Marketing & Public Relations.  My experience has been in the Manufacturing & Industrial sectors. 

I can help you create your business plan and its execution.  Taking an enterprise view, I work with you to define key aspects of your plan.    

I have a business and MBA degree, both from the University of Maryland.