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Honoring A One-Of-A-Kind Mentor

Score Honors the Late Carl Trautmann at Its Annual Awards Luncheon

No one epitomizes the work of the nonprofit group SCORE more than the late Carl Trautmann. As a mentor, Trautmann helped hundreds of St. Louis area businesses grow their enterprises. A former Project Business Manager for McDonnell Douglas, Trautmann had been active in SCORE from his retirement in 1988 through his death in March of this year.

SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship. Thanks to its network of volunteers, the organization is able to deliver its services at no charge or at very low cost.

In Trautmann’s honor, the first Annual Trautmann Award was presented to Dana Connon. The award will be presented each year to the SCORE volunteer who epitomizes the passion and dedication to helping others as Trautmann did for many years.

SCORE provides free small business mentoring to entrepreneurs and small business owners. SCORE is a non-profit, volunteer organization, whose mission is to promote the success of small business in the St. Louis area.
Trautmann worked as a Project Business Manager at Douglas from 1958-1987. Before his position at Douglas, Trautmann was a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy from 1955-1958. He earned an engineering degree from Penn State University and an MBA from Saint Louis University.

“The contribution he made to this chapter is immeasurable,” Gary Deeken, Chapter Chair of SCORE. “He is an example for all of us on what we can be and how we can succeed.”

Fellow SCORE mentor Pete Von Minden said he was most impressed with Trautmann’s passion for life. “He was a very unique and special individual. He took anyone into his house that needed a place to stay. He got involved in all kinds of business organizations and made many, many friends.

“He was very involved with his SCORE clients, and he always followed up with them. He was passionate about helping them succeed. If any organization wanted entrepreneurial assistance, Carl was there. His commitment to SCORE was invaluable. He epitomizes what a SCORE member is and what he or she could be. He was a great guy and we miss him.”

Connon is an ideal first honoree of the award. She began working with SCORE in 2013. She was searching for a way to give back to the community and utilize her business experience at the same time. For many years, Connon worked at the family-owned Welsh Baby Carriage. The company, with facilities throughout the U.S. and across the country, manufactured baby cribs and strollers.

Connon said the things she enjoys most about her time with SCORE is interacting with area business owners. “Being able to help them think through the process as to what they want to do next has been very rewarding,” she said.

While the help Connon and the other SCORE mentors provide varies depending on the needs of individual clients, she said areas such as marketing and sales, financing and company vision are all areas where mentors can help clients.

“Marketing and sales drive the business,” she said. “Other parts are usually manageable. It is important to know how businesses are marketing their products and services and getting sales. Capital is important because without it business owners won’t be able to implement the plan for the next step.”

Connon said she was honored to be awarded the first Annual Trautmann Award. She said she and her fellow SCORE members would continue Trautmann’s legacy of helping area small-business owners grow their dreams.

“I had lots of interactions with Carl,” she said. “He would go above and beyond to help companies and business owners. He will be missed.”

To learn more about how SCORE can help your business, contact Gary Deeken (garydeeken@gmail.com)



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