Greater Phoenix SCORE, a national nonprofit dedicated to mentoring small business owners, selected Jay Gladney as the region’s new president.

Gladney took a very non-traditional route to lead the Phoenix-based business organization, spending more than four decades in the U.S. Intelligence Community. Gladney joined Score in April 2013, serving as the vice president for operations before being named to the organization’s top post.

Throughout his career, Gladney has maintained top secret military clearance, serving 23 years as an Air Force officer and non-commissioned officer focusing on intelligence collection and analysis.  He spent an additional 24 years with defense contractors supporting the U.S. military and National Intelligence Community. As an Associate Professor at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Gladney taught international relations and defense policy.  He has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a Master’s degree in International Relations.

“With a background rich in intelligence and military control and communications, I believe I bring new insight to an organization celebrating 50 years of service in Phoenix,” Gladney said.  “It may seem like my background is a perfect fit for an undercover or spy organization, but frankly it’s perfect for an organization like Score which is looking to spread our message and infiltrate a much greater audience.”

Gladney’s vision is to make the Greater Phoenix SCORE chapter better known, more relevant and more effective in promoting the establishment, growth and profitability of small businesses.  He also is working on creating a small business owners’ roundtable to share their business experiences, problems and solutions.

“It is our goal to become recognized by the community as the primary business advisory and coaching resource for Phoenix small business owners,” Gladney said.

SCORE provides free business mentoring to any small business owner or entrepreneur to provide support in all areas of business development, including the creation of a business plan, to marketing, social media, legal and financial.