Helen Semus/Edward Jones

Accomplished is only one word to describe Helen J. Semus of Edward Jones Investments. Others would include professional, caring, community-spirited, and successful. Semus, who was born and raised in a small village in China, earned a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, an M.S. in Biostatistics from Virginia Commonwealth University, and an M.S. in Molecular Biology from the University of Rochester. Today, after changing careers several years ago, she is a Financial Advisor and operates the Edward Jones branch office located in Ludwig's Corner, Glenmore, Pa.

Edward Jones is a private financial services firm that serves nearly seven million investors nationwide. Their branches are located in local, community-based locales where are they are easily accessible and approachable for clients. After 14 years of business experience in science, technology, consulting, and sales with various corporations, Semus joined Edward Jones in March of 2009 and opened the Ludwig's Corner branch office in August of 2009. During the early stages of launching her business, with the help of SCORE counselors Charlie Espenlaub and Jim Friedman, she developed a business and marketing plan and opened her doors to the first of many clients.

Semus works with clients to simplify their financial life by helping them with financial goals that include advice and guidance on retirement planning, wealth transfer strategies, long and short-term investments, paying for education, preparing for the unexpected, and guiding them through estate and inheritance planning issues. In addition to leveraging her team of experts with multi-discipline expertise at Edwards Jones, she also works closely with a network of local legal and accounting professionals to provide comprehensive retirement and wealth management strategies for her clients. Semus credits Espenlaub and Friedman with defining her business model early on to determine her ideal clients. "They helped me a lot, " says Semus, "and showed me where to focus my energies to provide the most value for my clients and for the community."

Semus had been executing successfully the 10-year business plan that Charles Espenlaub and Jim Friedman helped her create. She is now considering adding more staff to her business. It is obvious from speaking with Semus that her commitment to her family, her clients and to her community is her number one priority. Besides her role at Edward Jones, Semus serves as the Vice President of Development and Advancement in the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors for Safe Harbor of Chester County, which provides shelter for the homeless. She is also an active Rotarian currently serving as a board member of the Greater West Chester Sunrise Rotary Club.

It is easy to see why Helen Semus is such a success story. Chester County SCORE has been honored to be a part of that success and hopes to continue to encourage and foster community-minded entrepreneurs like Semus. Besides working with Semus, Espenlaub and Friedman have counseled Semus's 14-year-old son, Noah and his business partner, Rob Bolz. These young entrepreneurs have started their own video production company called "A7 Studios" and have looked to Chester County SCORE for guidance in growing their business and obtaining clients who might not necessarily think of hiring teenagers. So far, Noah's and Rob's clients include the Marsh Creek Eagle Youth Sports Organization and the West Chester Sunrise Rotary Club.

For Espenlaub and Friedman, advising and mentoring entrepreneurs like Semus underscores the  importance and value of Chester County SCORE's commitment to helping entrepreneurs and small  businesses prosper and grow.