Bloomfield Happily Keeps Busy

June 5, 2002
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NORTON SHORES — As he approached his retirement, David Bloomfield’s main concern was keeping busy.

After nearly 40 years of working, keeping busy to Bloomfield meant keeping his mind sharp and putting his experience and knowledge to work for others.

“I just can’t let my mind rest,” said Bloomfield, who retired as head of Brunswick Corp’s. Muskegon operations 18 months ago and now counsels small business owners and would-be entrepreneurs.

Bloomfield, 65, volunteers as a business counselor for the Muskegon chapter of SCORE, short for the Service Corps Of Retired Executives, a national organization that provides assistance and advice to small businesses.

After retiring, Bloomfield offered his services to the local SCORE chapter both as a way to keep busy and because of a desire to spend his retirement doing community-service work. Financially secure, Bloomfield sees community service as an obligation.

“One of the things I decided in retiring was that I was going to be strictly giving back. I pretty well decided I was going to be strictly giving back,” Bloomfield said. “If you’ve got something to offer, you’re obliged to share it.”

Bloomfield today shares his professional experience with far more than the people who seek advice from SCORE.

Bloomfield also does private business consulting on a pro-bono basis, serves on Mercy General Health Partners’ Finance Committee, facilitates the Muskegon Area Chamber of Commerce’s China User’s Group that promotes international trade with China, is involved in the local Child Abuse Council and recently helped establish a no-kill animal shelter. He also has gone back to school, taking courses in philosophy, anthropology and the humanities at Muskegon Community College.

“I just can’t stand the thought of waking up in the morning and not knowing what I’m going to do,” he said. “It’s just a matter of keeping busy.”

An Ohio native, Bloomfield ended a 30-year career at Brunswick when he retired in December 1999 as president of the Capital Equipment Division, the Muskegon-based unit of the company that makes bowling equipment. He came to Muskegon in 1984 as Brunswick’s vice president of operations and was appointed president in 1996.

Bloomfield, who holds a degree in industrial management from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, joined Brunswick in 1969 and, prior to moving to Muskegon, served as vice president of manufacturing for the company’s Mercury Marine division in Fond du Lac, Wisc.

Bloomfield connected with SCORE after a former colleague suggested the group to him.

As a counselor for SCORE, Bloomfield works to help steer people who are forming or running a small business toward success. His initial advice to clients with an idea and a dream centers around developing a detailed business plan, helping them understand the amount of capital it takes to go into business, and helping them identify their markets.

He also is not shy about providing a “reality check” to people who simply don’t seem up to the rigors of running their own business. While his role is to help people succeed is business, Bloomfield also counts as successes the instances where a counseling session resulted in discouraging a person from going forward.

“The reality check we provide these people, in my opinion, saves them untold heartbreak,” he said.

Bloomfield, however, largely sees people who are convinced they have a great idea for a product or service, but they lack the business skills or savvy to bring it to market and look to SCORE for assistance.

“There is no greater satisfaction than being able to offer some idea to people; they go ‘holy smokes,’ go out and apply it, and then come back and say ‘thank you,’” Bloomfield said. “It’s almost like being a teacher.”

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