Our Chapter Volunteers

The volunteers of Topeka SCORE have rich and varied business backgrounds. Counselors share their business expertise and knowledge in all aspects of small business.

The volunteers of Topeka SCORE are ready to share their business expertise and help you with any aspect of running or starting your business. All counselors have specific areas of expertise, which are listed below:

Mike Welch

B.S. Degree in Civil Engineering. A successful career in heavy construction with experience in estimating, project management, and executive management over a period of 40 years. 

As CEO Mike supervised managers, including division managers, accounting manager, human resources manager, and heavy equipment manager. 

Mike has served on several volunteer boards. Mike is the current Chapter Chair for SCORE Topeka.


Russ Connor

11 yrs: Director of IT for management consulting firm in the Chicago area. Responsibilities included corporate database development, field application development, telemarketing call center programming, website management, Cisco phones systems, corporate computer networks and help desk. 

2 yrs: Management Consultant / Project Director. Russ traveled extensively throughout the US working with small business owners to improve their profitability, understand their financial reporting, and teach them how to manage their employees with performance improvement and accountability. 

Topeka Business Owner in retail & construction. Distribution Manager for Frito-Lay


Bill Bunten

30 years as senior commercial bank manager. 

Broad lending experience with nearly every type and size of business. 
Management, marketing, financial, credit experience. 
Extensive experience in commercial, consumer, and real estate lending. 
Director, officer, and/or trustee in nearly fifty corporations, both for-profit and not for profit. 
Business planning and presentation experience. 
Experience in investment analysis and allocation decisions. 
Management responsibilities as chief operating officer included all phases of business. 
Familiarity with sources of financing and capital. 

Bill is a past Chapter Chair for Topeka SCORE.

Forrest Thurber

Past Owner of Adventure Promotions, Inc.
A full-service advertising agency providing radio, TV, print and marketing in Topeka, Kansas. 
Adventure Promotions was awarded ADDY'S from the Topeka Advertising Federation for the following categories: 
1985 Radio commercial over 30 seconds 
1988 TV commercial 
1988 Local coordinated campaigns 
1990 TV commercial 
1990 Sales promotion and package design.

Mark Wolfson

Emporia State University, Bachelor of Science – Sales Management.

ISSA Certified Personal Trainer, 
Certified Life/business Coach; 
President of Newpathways.; 
Consultant to Total Fitness Athletic Club in Lawrence Ks, designed their business strategy
Consultant to Body Power Health Club, San Bruno, CA, (advised owner on product service, marketing, and advertising); Negotiated distribution contract with U.S. equipment manufacturer (approximately 900,000 units per year in sales). 
Adviser to the equipment manufacturer for marketing and sales strategies for national distribution programs, incorporating Home Fitness Club memberships. This , also included designing ads, P.O.P.S., etc. 
Consultant to Chairman of the Board, Atlas Industries (300 million per year electronics manufacturing Hong Kong public company; Hang Seng Exchange). Recruited and hired the entire staff of executives and engineers (over 100) to manage and operate a 1,000,000 square foot, vertically integrated electronics manufacturing plant in Penang, Malaysia. 
President of Tax Shelter Specialists, Inc. 
Stockbroker/Office Manager for New York Stock Exchange Company. 
Life Insurance Salesman, The Equitable Assurance Company, Met Life 
President, Home Fitness Club, Inc. Belmont, California, designed customized, interactive, exercise and nutritional programs for people exercising in their home, supervised the development of customized computer software that interacts with individuals exercising at home.

Bob Wood

Controller/CFO for Pet Food Manufacturer: Managed Accounting, Personnel, IT, Budgeting, and Benefits Administration
Director of Finance for a German manufacturing company and also for a Non-profit company
Owned and operated a hardware store in Kansas.


Image result for pam billups topekaPam Billups

Industry Experience:  Consulting, Research and Business Services, Marketing, Advertising and Creative Services, Personal Services and Wellness, Real Estate, Rental Services and Leasing, Technology and Web-Based Services

Professional Experience:  20 Years of professional working experience as an Engineer, consultant, and small business owner.  8 years army reserve,  lived in 3 states with entrepreneurial work in each.


Karl Watson

Karl's experiences include:

ownership, founder/co-founder, 

contact negotiation, scope management and conflict resolution.