After retiring and settling in Savannah 22 years ago, Al Torpie knew he wanted to remain active in the business community and, during the last two decades, he’s been doing just that by helping the area’s small businesses build plans for success through his time with Savannah SCORE.
“The camaraderie we have, it’s a good group. That’s kind of the reason I’ve stayed around,” Torpie said of Savannah SCORE.
Throughout his two decades of working with SCORE, Torpie — who advises entrepreneurs in business plan preparation, marketing, organizational development and budgeting — said building lasting relationships with Savannah’s small business leaders is what he’s enjoyed the most.
“The thing that has really stood out from my perspective is the opportunity to develop long-term relationships with clients,” Torpie said.
“I had one that went on for 12 years. They’ve sold the business now, but I was with them from the very first day and with them through the ups and downs.”
On Monday, Savannah SCORE honored Torpie, who has served not only as a mentor, but as past chairman and district director for Georgia, for his 20-year commitment and service to the organization and the dozens of Savannah small businesses he’s helped along the way.
“Drawing on his 32 years of business experience, Al has been an invaluable resource not only to Savannah’s small business community, but to his fellow SCORE mentors as well,” said Bill Izzard, mentor and immediate past chapter chair, Savannah SCORE.
Michael Siegel, mentor and current chapter chair, said Torpie exemplifies what it means to be a volunteer.
“For over two decades, he has unselfishly given of his time, knowledge, and leadership for the benefit of others, saying simply that he just wants to stay busy and make a contribution,” Siegel said.
“During Al’s 20 years as a SCORE mentor, he has certainly done both.”
From nonprofits, including the Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia and the Historic Savannah Foundation to the city of Savannah, Torpie said he’s also enjoyed the wide variety of projects he’s been involved with over the last two decades.
Torpie said in his retirement he’s gained a different perspective on the business world, and he’s happy to be able to share his knowledge with the local business community and he doesn’t have any plans to slow down.
“I really believe in the mission. I believe in what we’ve got going. We’re all volunteers, and I think we make a difference.
“We work on two levels. We’re the bridge between dreams. All entrepreneurs have dreams. They want to start their business, and then there’s reality and we try to provide the bridge between that.”
SCORE, part of the Federal government’s Small Business Administration, is the leading provider of free small business mentoring and educational services in the United States. There are 320 SCORE chapters across the country with over 11,000 volunteers donating over 2 million hours of their time each year. In 2016, Savannah SCORE helped create 135 new local businesses and 239 new non-owner jobs. As a result of its contributions to the Savannah business community, Savannah SCORE has been nominated as SCORE’s Chapter of the Year.
For more information about Savannah SCORE, got to www.savannah.score.org or call 912-652-4335.