SCORE is a non-profit organization funded by the Small Business Administration (SBA). SCORE provides FREE business advice and mentoring to entrepreneurs and would-be business owners. It claims its mentor volunteers are “selfless” and dedicated only to client success. However, in the video “Can SCORE Advisors be Trusted,”franchisees of a California sub chain claim a prominent volunteer from Central Valley SCORE is destroying their successful businesses for his own enrichment. Does SCORE have a volunteer Code of Ethics and rules against this? If so, who is in charge of enforcing them? by Sean Kelly
(UnhappyFranchisee.com) SCORE originally stood of Service Corp. of Retired Executives.
Retired executives seems like a trustworthy bunch. They made their marks. They made their money. They have time and knowledge they can afford to donate.
At some point, they started referring to the organization simply as SCORE. The reason? More than 30% of the volunteers are actively employed.
They are still in the game. They are still actively seeking income. Unlike “retired executives,” many still may have active profit motives.
Unless strictly screened and monitored, it would seem likely that volunteers who also have active for-profit consulting companies might see SCORE as an opportunity to generate leads, clients and opportunities for their own enrichment.
The video “Can SCORE Advisors be Trusted?” presents the story of a successful California franchise chain, Deli Delicious, that went from “Rising Star” to “Falling Star” in the course of a year.
Franchisees, former franchisees, former employees and at least one major vendor for the chain say the blame lies clearly on the destructive influence of a SCORE advisor, EECU board member and owner of the Colorado Grill burger chain, Ali Nekumanesh.
Please watch and let us know your thoughts:
Watch “Can SCORE Advisors be Trusted?” and Let us Know What You Think.
If you are willing to be interviewed for a follow-up post on the subjects raised, please email your contact information.
Everyone discussed here is invited to provide corrections, clarifications and/or rebuttals for us to act on and share.
We Have Questions Too… Which We’ll Address in a Follow-up Video and/or Post
SCORE / SBA RELATED QUESTIONS:
- Are SCORE mentors like Ali Nekumanesh allowed to use SCORE to build credibility for their private consulting business?
- Did Ali Nekumanesh initially engage Deli Delicious as a free SCORE mentor?
- At what point did Deli Delicious become a paying client?
- Are there SCORE rules governing charging for services or accepting employment with a client?
- Would Ali Nekumanesh’s relationship violate SCORE’s rules?
- Who at SCORE (and Central Valley SCORE) monitors and supervises adherence to its Volunteer Code of Conduct and/or Ethics?
- SBA: Was the guarantee of DD’s Bakery $2M+ in funding based on the creation of 11 jobs? Did the SBA consider that DD’s likely created no new jobs,
- as it simply displaced production from another Fresno-based bakery?
COMMERCIAL BAKING QUESTIONS RE: DD’s BAKERY
- Was the need to freeze the fresh bread a matter of not having the volume/demand to bake daily?
- At what point did Nekumanesh and Hobab make the decision to freeze the bread? Why?
- Consultant Kevin O’Connell states that they “flash freeze” the bread. Al Lewis and others state that they don’t “flash freeze” the bread which is a more complicated and costly (though superior) process.
- Did Ali Nekumanesh contact or research other sandwich chains? Did he find any that make and freeze fully baked bread?
QUESTIONS FOR ALI NEKUMANESH:
- Ali has years of experience in the franchise industry. Did he not tell Hobab the importance of involving franchisees in major decisions that affect them?
- Did Ali not tell Mohammad Hobab that franchise chains conduct extensive testing prior to making a major product change?
- Did Ali Nekumanesh consider the negative backlash of giving up the ability to claim its sandwiches are made with fresh ingredients, which he himself stated was the key to its success?
- Did Ali Nekumanesh once state that fresh ingredients are so important that his Colorado Grill only uses two frozen products (chicken and turkey burgers) and everything else is fresh?
- Why is Deli Delicious no longer registered to sell franchises in California? Why are they still actively soliciting franchisees?
- Is Ali Nekumanesh getting any form of compensation, directly or indirectly, for all the revenue he’s creating for law firm Fennimore Dowling Aaron?
- Why did Ali agree to facilitate the defamation lawsuits against Hadi Hobab and ex-employee Tim Campbell, knowing that there was little likelihood of collecting even if awarded?
- Is DDFI on the hook if DD’s Bakery defaults on its $2M+ in funding?
- Was any portion of the franchisee’s marketing fund used for the development or promotion of DD’s Bakery?
- Is any portion of the franchisee’s marketing fund being used for lawsuits against franchisees?
WHAT DELI DELICIOUS FROZEN BREAD PROMOTION WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE THEM RUN? SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.
WHAT DO YOU THINK? SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.
TAGS: SCORE, SCORE volunteers, SCORE mentors, Service Corp of Retired Executives, SBA, Small Business Administration, Central Valley SCORE, Fresno SBA, Ali Nekumanesh, EECU, Hesam Hobab, Mohammad Hobab, DDs Bakery, DDFI, Deli Delicious, Deli Delicious franchise, Deli Delicious frozen bread, deli delicious bread, frozen bread lawsuit, Ty Kharazi, David Schneider, Dowling Aaron, Mohammed Hobab, Ali Nekumanesh, Deli Delicious, Deli Delicious Franchise Inc., deli delicious lawsuit, deli delicious false advertising, deli delicious bread, DD’s Bakery, DDFI, Deli Delicious Franchising inc., fresh bread lawsuit, frozen bread lawsuit, Unhappy Franchisee