Although we are recognizing Frank Farmer for his many years of dedicated service to SCORE and its small business clients, turns out we have his beautiful wife of 42 years to thank! If Sally had not encouraged Frank to “socialize” by volunteering, Frank’s influence on future entrepreneurs may have been less impactful. Although the records may be incomplete, Frank has hosted “How to Start and Operate a Business” every month from September through June for at least 20 years to an average audience of 25. If you do the math, you get the feeling Frank was able to guide a lot of people toward their dream of business ownership. It is also why he was selected as SCORE Chester and Delaware Counties first Volunteer Spotlight recipient, as someone who goes over and above for the small business community.
As an entrepreneur working out of his home office for over 40 years, Frank P. Farmer, Jr. Attorney, understands what it means to be a small business owner and can relate to every individual who desires being their own boss. Frank did briefly work for the Department of Defense as a civilian employee at Fort Monmouth, but quickly learned, after three days, that the security of a government paycheck was not enough to make him stay. In the early days of building his practice, he used resources provided by the SBA and SCORE, and true to his mantra, it all started with a sound business plan!
As a solopreneur, Frank understood what he needed to do to establish himself as an attorney and that was to differentiate his practice from others in the legal community. To get in front of potential clients and demonstrate his credibility to the business community, Frank began his educational workshops in 1983. Over the years it has evolved from a six-week program hosted by local colleges and universities with a series of guest speakers, to a three-hour presentation, condensed to a two and a half-hour talk, and now an hour and 30-minute webinar. He also recognized the need to build professional relationships and to that end partnered with local organizations to co-sponsor his workshops, including West Chester University, Widener University, Delaware County Community College, the SBA, SBDC of Kutztown University, the Exton library, Southern Chester County Chamber of Commerce, and SCORE.
When Frank first joined SCORE, it was in the role of a mentor. Within six-months’ time it was apparent that this role was not realistic as many clients would want to hire Frank as their business attorney. He opted to stop mentoring and instead, Frank volunteered to present his workshop under the SCORE seminar umbrella. It was a true match made in heaven and why we are celebrating his contributions today!
Frank has seen SCORE evolve from a small local group of retired executives (which he was hesitant to join as a 40-year old who was working full-time) to a sophisticated and well-structured organization. He is most impressed with the chapter’s ability to retain an amazing and dedicated group of volunteers. Besides Frank’s passion for giving back, it is the workshop attendees that motivate him the most. Speaking before a crowd of individuals from all walks of life and every socio-economic background, after they worked all day and are willing to listen to him for a two and half hour talk, and appear interested till the end is inspiring. Add to that the feedback received from the workshop evaluations, and he is reenergized for the next month.