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SCORE inherits cash from former exec

When John Titley passed away on Nov. 15, 2000, at the age of 81, not much was reported other than his death.

But the former aerospace industry executive left a $2.73 million estate and no heir.

Titley, who bought a 40-acre parcel off Dead Indian Memorial Road in 1975, invested much of his retirement years into aiding business people - both here and across the nation.

From 1986 to 1988, Titley was president of SCORE, the Service Corps of Retired Executives. He later wrote the introduction for a book detailing the organization's first 25 years.

In his will, Titley left 10 percent of his estate, or $273,000, to SCORE and on Wednesday Ken Yancey, the organization's CEO presented a $41,000 check to the Southern Oregon chapter at a meeting at the Red Lion Inn.

Don Foster of Central Point is a past-president of the Southern Oregon chapter and once oversaw 285 Western Auto stores in the Northwest. He said the gift will cover purchase of new computers and equipment enabling the 25 member counselors to keep in better contact with local business people.

Yancey, 41, said the majority of Titley's gift has been used to launch the SCORE Foundation.

"Clearly, he believed in our mission of service to communities and to improve local, regional and national economies by providing counseling, training and resources to small business owners and those who would like to start small businesses across the country," Yancey said. "The gift will allows us to continue to foster the mission of SCORE and allow us to sustain SCORE beyond our federal funding."

SCORE's 10,500 volunteers - who have an average of about 40 years of experience - serve 390,000 businesses and individuals each year. SCORE receives $5 million annually from the Small Business Administration, which spawned the organization in 1964, and raised $900,000 independently to support its efforts.

"Clearly, it's much easier to start a chapter and sustain a chapter where there are a lot of retirees. But that's not the sole factor makes us successful," Yancey said. "Good quality leadership and somebody that believes in mission of our organization makes a big deal of difference."

There is a wide mix of private and public organizations that aid small business development. But Yancey said there is plenty of room for everyone trying to help.

"Any person starting a business should take advantage of all the information that's there. Not all our counselors were in small business, there's nothing like talking to someone that made a payroll on Friday and went through the trials and tribulations of a small business."

Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 776-4463 or e-mail .