It has been noted that moments of crisis are a test for the character of an individual and of a community. They can bring out our darkest impulses, but often, our better angels prevail. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a global rise in volunteer efforts of all kinds. SCORE Lancaster-Lebanon benefited from this outpouring of solidarity with a record number of inquiries about volunteer openings for Chapter 16. 

One of our most useful categories of SCORE volunteers is the Subject Matter Expert. They assist clients with their specific skillset and expertise. In this role, subject matter experts can co-mentor alongside one of SCORE's certified mentors or provide business advice and education in their area of experience to clients who want to start, grow, or exit their business.

The Flow of Communication and Information is Key

Meet New SCORE Subject Matter Expert Michael Heiner. In an era where keeping communication and information flowing is vital, having an IT Specialist among the Chapter volunteers is exceptionally beneficial to mentors and clients alike. Michael began his IT career at a young age by running a small computer repair and IT service. He eventually discovered a job working for a company that specializes in remote support and managed services. While in college, Michael also worked for Millersville University's IT help desk and desktop support team.

Michael received his bachelor's degree in Business Administration with a focus in Management from Millersville University. He is currently in his final year of the Information Systems Engineering and Management master's program at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology and is considering pursuing a Ph.D. At the end of his college career, Michael interned at Lancaster-Lebanon IU13 in their human resources department. Shortly after that internship ended, he was hired as a Human Resources Information Systems Analyst. Michael brings almost ten years of IT and analytics experience to his role as subject matter expert for SCORE Lancaster Lebanon.

Benefits of Volunteering on a Community

Lancaster is known as a  community that is rich in active volunteer opportunities. That spirit helps connect neighbors and organizations in meaningful ways and produces a more vibrant place to live, work, and visit.

"I didn't volunteer much before I moved to Lancaster. After I saw how close the community is, I realized how important it was to do my part for the people around me, and how it would benefit me personally. The most significant benefit of volunteering for me is knowing that the impact I made might have a lasting effect. In other words, because I helped one person, they might be able to help someone they wouldn't have been able to help before.

Volunteering early in my career has also given me professional experience that I might not otherwise have gotten. I've been able to polish my own skills and also have the opportunity to meet a lot of wonderful people."
    - Michael Heiner, SCORE volunteer

Taking Action In The Crisis

Between March and May of this year, many local nonprofits saw a significant rise in their volunteer outreach efforts. SCORE Lancaster-Lebanon was no exception. A number of individuals with business, or professional backgrounds stepped forward to offer their services as SCORE volunteers, either as certified mentors, or subject matter experts. So many were looking for ways to take action during an event that was having such a devastating impact.

"While on a walk with my wife in Downtown Lancaster, I was distraught by the number of businesses that had to close their doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I knew I had a set of skills that could benefit local businesses, so I reached out to SCORE Lancaster-Lebanon to see how I could help."
    - Michael Heiner, SCORE volunteer

Since completing his onboarding, Michael has assisted the Chapter with advice on technical issues and is working on a mentor education project to raise awareness of our communications efforts.

"When I joined SCORE, every member that I interacted with immediately made me feel valued and were genuinely interested in what I had to say. While I have not yet had the pleasure of working directly with SCORE clients, I know that by assisting the mentors with their technological needs and questions, they will be even better equipped to help the local business community."
    - Michael Heiner, SCORE volunteer

Michael is eager to serve with co-mentoring opportunities. He is familiar with the following:

Areas of Expertise

• IT Date & Information Integration

• Computer Systems

• Communications & Reporting

SCORE subject matter expert Michael Heiner