Southeastern CT SCORE Provides US Coast Guard Academy Cadets with Business Management Expertise

New London, CT – SCORE members from Southeastern Conn.,, who are part of a national organization of small business volunteers and a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration, teamed up this spring with the U.S. Coast Guard Academy to provide business management coaching to junior and senior cadets enrolled in the Department of Management.

Lt. Nicholas Zieser and Capt. Kevin Lopes, working with other CGA instructors in the Management Department, invited SCORE to work with their students noting: “We reached out to SCORE’s volunteers who would bring a wealth of real world experience in business into our class rooms. Their contribution was felt by the cadets and faculty alike. We were very fortunate to have had them as a resource for business programs.”

The cadets, who were organized in teams, took on the roles of business consultants and were assigned a variety of real world projects including cyber security at Coast Guard port facilities, 3-D printing and manufacturing of specialized Coast Guard equipment, and the proposed Coast Guard museum planned for New London. They conducted extensive data collection, industry research, financial analysis, and market trend analysis, all underscored by the best practices in business and project management taught in the Academy’s AACSB International accredited business degree program. SCORE volunteers coached the teams as they worked towards their final client presentations, held in late April, to faculty and invited guests from the New London business community.

SCORE volunteer Buz Sawyer, who coordinated the program with the Academy, said: “Working with the cadets really kept all of us on our toes. We were very impressed with their intelligence and commitment to learning. All in all, this was a great experience” Sawyer said. “We also like being called ‘sir’ and ‘ma’am.”

SCORE chapter chair Bob Potter worked with the junior cadets as they created a sustainable business case for a national museum and noted: “Our SCORE volunteers have years of experience in marketing, manufacturing, IT, product development, financial planning and nonprofit management and many are veterans of the military. So this was a wonderful opportunity to share our business management skills with the instructors and cadets and we hope we can continue to be a resource in this regard for the Coast Guard Academy in the future.”

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About Southeast CT SCORE: SCORE is a national non-profit association and resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) made up of volunteers that offers free and confidential advice on starting or growing existing small business. Volunteers in Southeast Connecticut SCORE provide free mentoring in nine counseling locations including Guilford, Madison, Old Saybrook, Essex, Middletown, Norwich, Waterford, New London and Mystic. For more information on how to schedule a free small business mentoring session with a SCORE counselor, free workshops, or how to become a SCORE volunteer, visit

About the Coast Guard Academy: The Coast Guard Academy (CGA) is one of the five federal service academies. Located in New London, Conn., the CGA's mission is to produce leaders of character for service to the nation. Nearly 300 high school graduates enroll annually, leaving four years later with a Bachelor of Science degree and commission as an Ensign. The U.S. Coast Guard Academy has been recognized as one of the top institutions of higher learning by U.S. News & World Report, The Princeton Review, Forbes Magazine, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. Two-thirds of the majors offered are technical majors. The CGA is tuition-free and graduates are obligated to serve for five years