SCORE Southwest Florida (219) Eileen Buchanan Surprise Platinum Leadership Award Presentation by Lou Davenport
The Platinum Leadership Award which we are about to bestow is the highest volunteer initiated award that can be given by SCORE. The volunteer receiving it must have demonstrated meritorious service and made a significant contribution to SCORE. The award is initiated by a resolution of the chapter’s Executive Committee, the District Director, OR the Regional Vice President and must be Authorized by the Vice President of Field Operations or CEO and issued by the National SCORE office.
I remember very clearly when Devin Jopp, our SCORE COO, called me to ask the question “What do you think about the idea of me appointing a person to be a District Director when she has never even been a Chapter Chair?” I said “It’s no problem if he or she has demonstrated leadership ability in their professional life. If the person has been active in a SCORE chapter for a while, he has already seen what the CC job is all about and should be able to provide support and leadership to those chapter managers in a DD position.”
Devin said, “I’m glad you think that way because I want you to be a coach and mentor for this person I want to appoint as a new DD. She is Eileen Buchannan of the Baltimore chapter and she resides only an hour or so south if where you live.”
Thus, I was introduced to Eileen, arguably one of the most thoughtful, empathetic, charismatic, intelligent and tireless leaders we have ever had among the ranks of our nationwide SCORE leaders. She also became one of my favorite people and best friend I have had the pleasure of knowing in my 25 years as a volunteer with SCORE. I love her and I am not alone in feeling that way about Eileen. To know her is to love her.
Eileen didn’t need a lot of coaching from me to become an excellent SCORE DD in Maryland. She was the right person, in the right place at the right time and Devin was smart enough to recognize it and take the leap to put Eileen in that position.
We later served together for maybe 8-10 years on the National Advisory Council. Eileen enthusiastically involved herself in every important strategic and tactical initiative we took to advance SCORE in those important years. Whenever an important idea or initiative was floated in this group, we would always look to Eileen for her thoughts, approval and support.
Eileen is the living essence of continuous process improvement. She examines every issue with an eye to figuring out how we can improve the work process to deliver total quality results every time, all of the time. She is analytical, incisive and results oriented. SCORE is an immeasurably better organization because Eileen has delivered on so many process improvements over the years.
Eileen has an entrepreneurial spirit that shines bright from her previous successful professional career and she is laser focused on the goal and mission. She is s lifelong learner and has probably listened to more webinars in the past six months than many mentors do in their entire career, just to be better at what she does so well. Eileen is generous in recognizing the contributions of each member of the team and mobilizes each team mate’s strengths to accomplish a common goal. She helps us all celebrate success together. And she has a passion for the mission of SCORE.
What goes around, comes around. After serving as the DD in Maryland and all of those years on the National Advisory Council, she moved to Ft. Meyers F, took on many volunteer leadership roles and eventually became the Chapter Chair. When she finally figured out what that job was all about, I guess she thought she really should offer to do it. In that role, she instituted a mentor boot camp which she planned (to the tiniest detail – thank you Eileen), directed and executed. Now not only did she offer to become chapter chair, a role she excelled in, but she was …….. count them……. “interim” chair, chapter chair, co-chair, and chair once again. On four separate occasions she stepped up to provide leadership to the chapter. And she continues to provide leadership even when not in the chapter chair seat, currently serving as both Treasurer and Committee Chair for Volunteer Education and Appreciation. Oh, and did we mention she is an outstanding Mentor and Coach.
It is my distinct pleasure to join with all of you in recognizing Eileen for being the very special person that she is and for all of her wonderful leadership accomplishments in her many years as a SCORE volunteer.