Written by The Business Journal Staff
Central Valley Score
What We Do: SCORE provides counseling and mentoring services to individuals and organizations with all their business needs
Education: B.A. Political Science/Economics, Metropolitan State University
Family: Wife Debbie, three sons, two grandsons.
What was your path to becoming a restaurateur, Ali?
My restaurant career began as a bus boy at the Tiffin Inn Hotels in Denver when I was 16 years old. Through the years, I was able to grow positions to positions from waiting tables to the ranks of management, multi-unit supervision through executive level responsibilities.
Founded the Colorado Grill restaurant concept in Fresno in 1995.
Currently, principal at Eagles Management Consulting. The firm specializes in franchising, business start ups, operations and financial management.
Tell us a little about SCORE and your role in the group, Ali.
Score is a national volunteer organization, with over 13000 volunteers, partnering with the SBA (Small Business Administration) serving every needs of the business community. Specifically, Score provides educational, counseling and mentoring services to both aspiring entrepreneurs as well as clients that are and have been in business for some time who may be in need of “specific” guidance in managing certain aspect of their business. Regular and focused workshops are scheduled by SCORE, taught by experienced current and past executives of organizations, to address the needs of our clients and the members of our community. These workshops are followed by one on one mentoring sessions where we help the clients successfully navigate through whatever challenge they have in their business.
My role at the organization is to provide strategic and planning support to our counseling staff.
Is there a certain type of person who is interested in owning his or her own business these days, Ali?
The displaced individuals who have the have had that entrepreneurship spirit. Folks who have lost their jobs and decide it’s no longer their game plan to be an “employee” somewhere.
Is there one area most budding entrepreneurs are usually most unprepared for in starting their own enterprises, Ali?
The challenges faced by the business owners to a. Plan, secure funding, and create the infrastructure of their business, and b. successfully navigate through ever growing challenges of meeting the demands of the market place as well as the demands on the businesses by the government entities.
Do most people have an understanding of the challenges of running a restaurant?
Is running a franchise eatery easier, Ali?
It could be depending on the entrepreneur. We have franchise workshop that cover this subject thoroughly!
You have served as a member of the Federal Grand Jury. Anything you can tell us about that experience?
It’s an awesome responsibility placed on you, limits of which is unimaginable.
Resources wise, its quite taxing!!
What do you like most about your job, Ali?
At SCORE, to have the opportunity to give to the community from my heart and soul, where the ONLY goal is the client’s success!
At Eagles Management, seeing folks in businesses become better business managers and as the result become more profitable. At SCORE, to have the opportunity to give to the community from my heart and soul, where the ONLY goal is the client’s success!
What three words best describe you, Ali?
Effective, team player, caring
What was your first job and what did you learn from it, Ali?
Busboy at a hotel. Learned I had to follow orders, be customer oriented and that the guest is the real boss!
What are your roots in the San Joaquin Valley, Ali?
Moved here with my family in 1994.
What do you do in your spare time, Ali?
I spend lots of time with my wife Debbie and the three boys, with the grandkids, as well as our daughter in law.