SCORE Volunteer of the Year Featured

9:57am EDT July 22, 2002

Like many older corporate executives in Pittsburgh, John Mole received his baptism by fire at giant Westinghouse Electric Corp., where he served in the research lab for almost 30 years. But as he says in the understated accent of his British homeland, “I retired in 1990 because I got thrown at age 65.”

But if to retire means to stop working, rest and relax through the golden years, Mole hasn’t exactly retired.

Instead, he went straight to the green pastures of the Service Corps of Retired Executives, where he could relax with high-strung, high-energy, tenacious entrepreneurs who are dealing with day-to-day startup and growth issues. And he couldn’t be happier.

“I had a choice of doing full-time consulting, but I decided I had had enough of government and corporate politics,” says Mole, now 73 years old. “I find it very good working for small businesses in western Pennsylvania.”

Mole spends much of his time with one of SCORE’s new programs, in which entrepreneurs can ask questions and deal with issues via Internet correspondence. Since many have to do with computer software and technology-oriented problems, which he used to address at Westinghouse, Mole often answers. To date, he has answered roughly 150 requests, some leading to ongoing Internet correspondence.

“When I recognize that I have helped save three to four companies from going bankrupt, it’s worthwhile,” he says of his nine years of volunteer efforts at SCORE.

Asked when he plans to call it quits at SCORE, he casually mentions his garden and other responsibilities at home, but offers only this: “It depends on when I conk out.”