Three Brunswick Forest Business Mentors Make a Difference

February 1, 2024

Brunswick Forest truly stands out as a community. With its convenient location, vast amenity offering and excellent selection of thoughtfully designed homes, this beautiful master-planned community has won numerous awards and recognitions. However, those who live here know that’s just the beginning of what makes this community shine. What’s truly special about Brunswick Forest is the residents who call our community “home.”

Three Brunswick Forest residents – Alan Armstrong, Dan Charna and Rick Leeds – have vastly different backgrounds, business experiences and expertise. Together they are part of a team of SCORE Volunteers that puts their experience to work helping small business startups and continued operations. SCORE, “Mentors to America’s Small Business,” is a national nonprofit organization with over 10,000 volunteers and chapters in all 50 states that provides free advice and training to America’s small-business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs. SCORE clients get assistance to transform their lives, build financial wealth, and enhance their communities.

Brunswick Forest SCORE Mentors

All SCORE mentors have a story. Many are retired from a successful career and will tell you how good it feels to help others achieve their goals. Here is what three Brunswick Forest SCORE Mentors say:

Alan Armstrong, a longtime Brunswick Forest resident and former Chapter Chair of the local Cape Fear SCORE Chapter, spent most of his career in management consulting both here in the U.S. and abroad.  Alan says, “There are thousands of folks with successful careers living in Brunswick Forest. To them, I say, your story still has another great chapter waiting to be written. Join us and make a difference.”  The local chapter has about 30 mentors but has a need for more, especially women and minorities.

Dan Charna started his career in food scooping ice cream when he was 14.  He eventually was a founder of Glory Foods, a producer of a variety of southern vegetables where he held positions including CFO, COO and with the acquirer, CMO.  His encore career was teaching Entrepreneurship, Marketing and Finance at Ohio Wesleyan University where he received tenure prior to moving to Brunswick Forest in 2020. Dan says “it’s been a great experience. I cannot believe the level of expertise that is available from our local SCORE chapter. We help small businesses, and it feels great when we do. I’ve been in many civic organizations, but SCORE is by far the most rewarding.”

Rick Leeds spent his 40+ year property development and management career in the Washington, D.C. area until he relocated to Brunswick Forest in 2011. Prior to his retirement in 2011, he ran an affordable multifamily housing management company in Arlington, VA. In addition to his mentoring and leadership roles at SCORE Cape Fear Region, Rick is a mentor in the Cameron Executive Network at the Cameron School of Business at UNCW.

Rick shared that “since becoming a SCORE volunteer in 2017, I have found the opportunity to work with a diverse range of men and women to be both fulfilling and rewarding. A significant benefit of my mentoring has been learning from our mentees and co-mentors, who bring varied backgrounds and experience from a wide variety of businesses and geographical areas.”

Our local Cape Fear Region Chapter – one of 9 in North Carolina and 230 nationally – meets monthly, has social events throughout the year and consists of a diverse group of mentors from Wilmington to Southport and beyond.

Coffee and Conversations – February 14th – 9:30am-11:30am

If you are a Brunswick Forest resident interested in becoming a SCORE Mentor, we invite you to join the local Cape Fear Region Chapter for Coffee and Conversations at the Cutlar Community Center on Wednesday, February 14th from 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM or call or email: Larry Grossmann 573-864-0740 for more information.