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ISSUE 13

DECEMBER CONTENTS 8 Community Events Ice Skating | Florence Civic Center

10 Advocating Healthcare A Let to Stand On | HopeHealth

12 Agribusiness Cypress Tree Farm

14 Under the Dome Tax Reform | Willcox, Buyck, Williams, P.A.

16 Paying It Froward Raines Hospitality

18 Business Spotlight Retrofit Sip-n-Seat

20 Launch The Emerson

22 Finances Signature Wealth Strategies | Chip Munn

24 Business Spotlight Goosie Ganders

26 Developing Downtown Historic Marion Awakened

28 All Access Florence Carpet and Tile

30 Cover Story Pepsi of Florence

34 Paying It Forward

46 Serial Success Dawn & Trey Ghoens

48 Time to Toast 50 Positive Pursuit A Time for Celebration | Ben McLaughlin

52 Experience Hartsville Live 2 Lead

54 Happenings

Kiwanis Club

36 Florence Community Shop Small | Jay Lavrinc

42 Community Event

56 Professionals at Play The Man in the Suit | Fran Barcomb

58 Business Spotlight

Pee Dee Land and Trust

Taylor Garden & Gift Shop

44 Paying It Forward

60 Employee Spotlight

Better Education Demands Sleep

Aubrey Cantey | KJ’s IGA December 2016 | VIP Magazine

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Publisher and Co-Founder Tammy Clark tmclark225@gmail.com Editor Heather Page heather@vipmagsc.com Office Manager Tiffany Skipper jtskipp35@gmail.com Advertising Executives Rion McAllister rion@vipmagsc.com Mary Kevin Miller marykevinmiller@gmail.com Creative Design Candy Smith Tuesday Taylor

Contributing Photographers Bradley Lail Collin M. Smith Fred Salley Heather Byrd Ivana Reay-Jones Ron Wingard Contributing Writers Nick Hooker Jay Lavrinc Ella Lawson Lyles Cooper Lyles Ben McLaughlin Chip Munn Jack Muench Elizabeth Norton Dawn Rogers Emily Thigpen Donna Tracy

COVER CONCEPT

Pepsi Cola of Florence has a commitment to the community and their employees that is praiseworthy; it is evident in the dedication from their longstanding employees that stem for 45 years. Pepsi Cola of Florence is celebrating 80 years, we wanted the cover to embody a lasting vision of how the company has supported the community throughout the years and will continue that support for many years to come. Thanks to Ron Wingard for capturing the moment.

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VIP Magazine | December 2016


A LETTER FROM OUR TEAM

Staying On Track All year long we are busy…very busy. Busy with full schedules; busy with deadlines and goals; busy checking off to-do lists. In this time of technology that we live in, there is no shortage of ways to “improve” or “streamline” the process of accomplishing more and reaching higher. We are a people always looking to attack our work more viciously in hopes to gain an edge; in hopes to beat out the competition. But how often do we just stop. Seriously, just stop. Stop and reflect on why we push so hard. Stop and evaluate ourselves to ensure that our energy expenditures are actually in line with the acquisition of long term goals. Are our extra efforts fruitful, or is it wasted? Is working that twelve hour day really going to put us that much closer to our goals than if we had only worked ten? Not only do we need to reflect on the merit of our “busyness” but we also need to take stock and answer the question why? Why are we working so hard to attain a specific goal or reach a certain milestone? Goals and milestones change as our direction in life changes. We need to always be aware of where we are, where we are headed and what it will take to get there. Is that goal you’ve been chasing so hard over the last six months really still relevant? Did you change directions and continue to run after an old target that is no longer in line with where you want to be? By taking the time to stop and ask ourselves why, we are allowing for all important self evaluation. Self evaluation is the single most important tool we have to ensuring that we stay on a track personally and professionally. It allows us the opportunity to redirect our focus and energy so that our precious resources, time and energy, are not wasted. As we gather with family and friends at the end of this year, let’s take time to stop and, if necessary, refocus. By taking the time to reflect, refocus and redirect, we can make the most of this short, crazy-beautiful life! From our family to yours, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from your friends at VIP!

-TEAM VIP Serving Florence, Hartsville, Darlington, Marion, Mullins, Lake City and the surrounding areas December 2016 | ISSUE 13 2011-B Second Loop Rd, Florence, SC 29501 FIND US ON FACEBOOK

For advertising rates, call 843-687-4236. We welcome all contributions, but we assume no responsibility for unsolicited material. No portion of this publication can be reproduced in whole or in part without prior written permission.

December 2016 | VIP Magazine

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COMMUNITY EVENT

When ice skating had once again returned to the Florence Civic Center in 2015 after taking a 4-year hiatus, the venue wasn’t quite expecting the tremendous reaction it received. In less than two weeks after opening the ice to the public, staff members announced a slew of additional ice skate times to accommodate the hefty demand. After more than 35 ice skating sessions, all but 2 had sold out, completely maxing capacity for the rink. “We weren’t exactly sure how the community would respond since several years had passed from the last time ice skating was an option for us,” states Nick Hooker, Director of Marketing at the Florence Civic Center. “And then bam!...we had so much traffic, we had to double the amount of ice skating sessions. People really enjoyed themselves last year and we’re hoping for another great turnout for 2016.” 8

VIP Magazine | December 2016

The Florence Civic Center is excited to see a similar response this winter and has released its seasonal ice skating calendar. The ice rink will open to the public on December 3rd with sessions available throughout the month and up to January 2nd. Public ice skating sessions are each 2-hours long and cost $8.00 for adults or $6.00 for children 12 years and under. You may bring your own ice skates, or rent a pair for $3.00 from the venue. Private ice sessions are available for groups, churches, schools, organizations, and birthday parties on select dates. After such a remarkable response last year, the venue has made a few adjustments to better serve the community. “We’re taking steps to assist long lines and help get skaters on the ice quicker. We have also ordered several more child-sized ‘skate buddies’ (gliding frames which offer support on the ice) so we’ll

have a few more to offer,” states Paul Beard, Director of Operations. Ice skating can be the perfect family night, date night, or just friends twirling around for fun. Most shoe sizes for both adults and youth are available at the rink. Come hungry and stay awhile; the facility is offering concession foods such as pizza, popcorn, nachos, candies, snacks, Pepsi products, coffee and hot cocoa. Or try one of their “$5 Ice Skate Meal Deals” which includes a hot dog or chicken tenders with fries and a drink. Concession items are available for sale and separate from skate admission/rental.

For a complete list of ice skate session dates and times, visit florenceciviccenter.com. To learn more about private ice skate parties and availabilities, call 843-679-9417.


December 2016 | VIP Magazine

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ADVOCATING HEALTHCARE

A Leg to Stand On An unfortunate sports injury to his leg left Kenyan-born Brian Wasonga in dire need of medical attention for more than five years. Nine-year-old Brian Wasonga scraped his knee while playing soccer on his way home from school in Sanjwera, Kenya. The scrape became infected and, with little access to health care or even clean water to clean the wound, developed into a severe bone infection called osteomyelitis. When Touching Lives Ministry out of Pennsylvania met Brian (then 14) he had been living with pain from the infection for nearly five years. He was at risk of losing his leg and possibly his life. Brian had already endured two blood transfusions due to anemia, several rounds of antibiotic treatment and three surgeries. His Kenyan medical team had told his parents that they had exhausted the medical resources available in Kenya to save his leg. The ministry set out to help Brian by raising funds for him to come to the US for treatment and a Myrtle Beach family stepped up to support him during his surgeries and recovery. He first arrived in South Carolina on Nov. 12, 2015, and underwent surgery just eight days later. On New Years Eve, 2015, Brian first met one of the doctors responsible for helping the teen recover from the infection, Dr. Michael K. Foxworth II. Dr. Foxworth, a pediatric infectious diseases doctor at the HopeHealth Medical Plaza in Florence, is one of just a handful of such specialists in South Carolina. These specialists treat a wide range of complicated or atypical infectious and immunologic diseases such as those caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi, and

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parasites. They recognize the unique signs, symptoms, treatments, and outcomes associated with infectious diseases in children and adolescents, which can be very different from those of adults with the same infections.

Chronic bone infections must be treated for months to years depending on severity of the infection. Dr. Foxworth developed an antimicrobial plan of treatment based on the specific bacteria causing the infection, the resistance patterns of that bacteria, and the types of surgeries that Brian had undergone. This initially involved IV therapy, later switching to oral antibiotics, and monitoring response to treatment and potential toxicities of the treatment. He said that such chronic bone infections must be treated for months to years.. For Brian, now 18, the surgeries and ongoing treatment means he still has his leg and is hopeful that the antibiotics will continue to work. He returned to the US on Nov. 10, 2016, for follow up care with Dr. Foxworth in partnership with his orthopedic team of doctors in Myrtle Beach.

Photo Bradley Lail Story Donna Tracy

Brian Wasonga Shows off his soccer skills at the Carolina Forest Recreation center in Myrtle Beach, SC.

Michael Foxworth II, MD Dr. Foxworth is board-certified in Pediatrics and Pediatric Infectious Diseases. HopeHealth Pediatrics www.hope-health.org (843) 667-9414


December 2016 | VIP Magazine

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AGRIBUSINESS Grant Davidson and Mark Davidson

CYPRESS TREE FARM Mark Davidson Shares What It’s Like to Be a Tree Farmer

When was Cypress Tree Farm established? In 1985, Dr. Frank Bouknight started the farm in the Cypress area of Lee County. My wife, Shirley, and I have purchased Christmas trees from Frank for as long as we’ve been married. Frank often joked that my son, Grant, would one day make a good Christmas tree man. The joke became a reality; when Grant became a teenager he got a job with Frank. Grant was unable to drive at the time so I took him and would often hang around to help. Eventually, Frank decided that it would be better for him to turn the business over in the guise of trapping me into a hobby that I willingly submitted. Grant and I have been working Christmas trees for 11 years now and it is a wonderful way to enjoy small farming and sharing the holiday spirit with others.

What type of Christmas tree do you grow? We focus on Leyland Cypress trees at the farm because other varieties will not grow in our area. Firs and spruce trees need some altitude to grow, they do better in the mountains. White or Virginia pines shed a lot of needles, folks tend to prefer the 12

VIP Magazine | December 2016

relatively clean cypress varieties instead. In addition, I partner with the Ag teacher, Beth Tolson, at Lee Central Career and Technology Center to propagate additional tree stock. We have worked with developing and applying techniques to rooting nursery plants more efficiently with students. We are a seasonal choose and cut farm. You can’t get fresher than that. After each tree is cut, another tree will be planted to replace it that will serve for years removing carbons from the atmosphere. The used tree makes excellent mulch with the Grinding of the Greens to be recycled into the environment. A plastic tree can’t do that.

What can you tell us about your tree services? I don’t sell trees, I sell an experience. Coming to a tree farm is a wonderful experience. Families have made 30 years of memories on the farm, laughing and talking while picking the “perfect” tree. The biggest reason the farm brings me joy is that for a few moments, I get to provide an experience that enables happiness.

Children running around, fathers measuring, mothers looking for the “best” side of the tree, and the interaction of the family is the reason the farm exists. Another thing is that we sell Christmas trees, “holiday” trees are not available.

Once we have our tree home, how do we maintain it? Christmas trees have to be watered daily to remain fresh. At my own home, this simple chore reminds me each day to be thankful for the multitude of blessings, and of the gift of Jesus to provide hope for all in our world. Watering the tree is a service of remembrance for me, not a job. Modern LED lights have made natural trees safer, although daily checks prevent the drying out process. Leyland Cypress trees will last the entire season with proper care and placement in the home.

Cypress Tree Farm opens on Black Friday, 9am until dark. To get a list of available times to visit the farm, email Mark at cypressfarm@ yahoo.com. You can also find out more about the farm at www.cypresstreefarm.webs.com.


UNDER THE DOME

TAX REFORM The Winds of Change Are Blowing story by Jack Muench During his campaign, President-elect Donald Trump adduced several specific tax-related proposals. Generally, income tax rates for individuals and businesses would be decreased, standard deductions would increase, personal exemptions would be eliminated, itemized deductions would be capped, the alternative minimum tax would be repealed, the net investment income tax would be repealed, and federal estate tax would be repealed. The following recap, digested in part from Suzann Schier’s and Benjamin Lavin’s recent article in Wealth Management, outlines some of the existing proposals. INDIVIDUAL TAX • Three ordinary income tax brackets of 12 percent, 25 percent and 33 percent, maintaining the current capital gains tax rates of 0 percent, 15 percent and 20 percent. • Increase the standard deduction from $6,300 to $15,000 for single filers and from $12,600 to $30,000 for married couples filing jointly, eliminating personal exemptions. • Cap itemized deductions at $100,000 for single filers and $200,000 for married joint filers. • Repeal the AMT and the 3.8 percent NIIT. • Tax carried interest income at ordinary income tax rates. TRANSFER TAX • Repeal the gift, estate tax and the generation-skipping transfer taxes, establishing in their place a carryover basis

JACK MUENCH

Concentrating in Corporate Law, Tax Law and Estate Planning

for appreciated property, subjecting beneficiaries to income tax on the gains when they dispose of the property in the future, with an exemption amount of $5 million of gains per decedent ($10 million per married couple). • Disallow an income tax deduction for contributions of appreciated assets into a private charity established by a decedent or her relatives. BUSINESS & INTERNATIONAL TAX • Reduce the corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent, with the reduced tax rate “available to all businesses, both big and small, that want to retain the profits within the business.” It is unclear whether this means that the 15 percent tax rate would apply to all business income or to businesses that are organized as C corporations. However, it is clear that Mr. Trump favors a 15% rate on income generated by pass-through entities such as partnerships and S corporations. • Eliminate most corporate tax expenditures except the research and development credit. • Impose a one-time 10 percent deemed repatriation tax on corporate profits held offshore, ending the deferral of tax on profits held offshore, which under current law are not subject to U.S. tax until they are repatriated. Obviously, it is too soon to tell which, if any, of these proposals will see the light of day. However, tax reform seems likely to occur.

Serving Businesses and Individuals from Florence to Myrtle Beach: the Business Law, Litigation, Real Estate, and Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys of Willcox, Buyck & Williams, P.A. 248 West Evans Street | Florence, SC | 843.536.8050 2050 Corporate Centre’ Drive, Suite 230 | Myrtle Beach, SC | 843.461.3020

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December 2016 | VIP Magazine

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PAYING IT FORWARD

Grey Raines, Ron Glancy & David Raines

Competitive Drive to Inspire Employees story by Heather Page Mark Raines, founder of Raines Hospitality, was known for his competitive nature. Once a race car driver, he enjoyed winning. Perhaps that drive for competition helped encourage much of the success seen over the years with Raines Hospitality. Mark liked creating a rivalry amongst his hotels, having them compete against one another to reach business goals. He also appreciated the hard work provided by his employees and took pleasure in finding ways to entertain them. Apart from his busy life operating hotels, Mark was fond of watching contestants eat their way through mounds of hot-dogs to take home the winning prize. This amusement sparked the idea of Mr. Mark’s Annual Hot-dog Eating Contest for Raines’ staff. This past October, the contest celebrated its 15th year. Each hotel competed as teams to eat as many hot-dogs as they could within “22” minutes - Mark’s short track race car number. There is an overall individual champion that receives a cash prize along with a team winner. The team winning hotel is awarded with a party and gets to display the trophy at its front desk for the next year. The all-time record was 14 hot-dogs, tied this year by the overall champion Dan March. Courtyard by Marriott and SpringHill Suites by Marriott tied for first place with 60 hot-dogs eaten by each team. As a true supporter and believer in local business, Mark also saw an opportunity to support a foundation through the contest. In 1983, his niece was born with a heart defect and was treated at McLeod Children’s Hospital. The extraordinary care shown to his niece gained Mark’s support and became one of his favorite organizations. An easy decision was made to have proceeds benefit it. A dollar was donated for each hot-dog eaten and matched by Grey Raines, Mark’s son and President of Raines Hospitality.

Co-Champion Hotel Winners, Courtyard and SpringHill Suites

Individual Winners

The photos above are were taken during this year’s annual Hotdog Eating contest.

Sadly, Mark Raines passed in late 2015. His family and staff continue the annual hot-dog eating contest to not only honor him, but to continue showing support to McLeod Children’s Hospital. Mark’s passion for the growth and support of his community has long inspired Grey’s business ethics and creative drive. The solid foundation provided by a local entrepreneur continues to guide this business to success.

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BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT

anniversary celebration december 16 | 7p-2a Live Music by Noah Stanley Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest Drink Specials Available Free to Public

www.retrofitsipnseat.com

RETROFIT sip-n-seat

Infinity Images Photography story by Elizabeth Norton

Living in Lafayette, Louisianna, Brandy Stellingworth and her husband, Mark, were both in the medical field when the hospital they were employed by closed. A job opportunity offered to Mark at Palmetto Heart in Hartsville led them to relocating. Setting for a new adventure, they landed in the small quaint town, quickly identifying the large great hearts that occupied it. Brandy had her second child shortly before moving so she decided to take a break from her career in radiology to raise her family in the new surroundings. Between naps and feedings, she would tinker with furniture and accessories, sanding and painting a side table, replacing fabric on a chair, or sewing a decorative pillow. Her creativity would unfold while refurbishing furniture; Mark took notice and suggested she open a furniture store to sell her pieces. Owning a business was never in Brandy’s cards, but with determination and the support of a community, she gave it a try opening Retrofit Sip-N-Seat last December. Brandy has always had a passion for refurbishing furniture, bringing the dull and battered to light again; however, she didn’t want to just open a furniture store. She envisioned a place with a mixture of old and new pieces; an unconventional place to browse, sit, and stay a while, before making the decision to purchase. She also saw a place where women could come unwind after work without having to sit on the cold, metal stools surrounding most bar tops. Brandy knew well enough to go into this business openminded, she had her plans but knew that customer expectations would solidify the business. 18

VIP Magazine | December 2016

Retrofit was opened last December offering furniture and accessories, both old and new, for customers to try before they bought, as well as, a fine selection of selfserved wine with the Enomantic wine dispensing system. In a years time, Brandy has incorporated whiskys and hors d’oeuvres to the menu to better accommodate guests. She also entertains a variety of local performers such as Lizardmen, Noah Stanly and Tyler Cook, and has karaoke on Saturday nights. Most Saturday mornings you can find guest enjoying “Yomosa,” yoga merged with mimosas, out on the green, and the competitive minded battle to win trivia on the last Wednesday night of every month. On top of offering a space for patrons to relax and enjoy time with friends, Brandy is passionate about helping the community. In September, she helped host Defeat GBM where they raised $4,000 to help brain cancer research. Brandy is also the president of the Women’s League of Hartsville. This August they gave two local elementary teachers $500 grants to be used to improve their classrooms. With both indoor and outdoor spaces, Retrofit SipN-Seat offers an entertainment area for all groups. It’s the perfect location to treat employees or surprise that special birthday girl. The city of Hartsville is grateful Brandy was presented a path to join their tight knit community. Her stewardship and willingness to help see the city flourish has been a wonderful addition.


December 2016 | VIP Magazine

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LAUNCH

To schedule a tour, visit theemersonapartments.com

The Emerson

DOWNTOWN FLORENCE SUSTAINABLE LIVING story by Rion McAllister Imagine, you are in search of a new space; a place to call home. You come across a modern yet luxurious apartment offered in an active and growing downtown setting. You’ve seen many living spaces before, but not like this. Not here. This space is different; it’s something special; something enchanting. With its boutique style amenities in its urban community setting, this space offers more than just luxury living with first class facilities. It offers an entirely new life-style concept. A new way of life! Of course, it features lavish amenities such as stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops, nine foot ceilings, and USB charging cubbies fondly referred to as “niches.” While those things are appreciated niceties, they are certainly not the whole of what draws you in… Maybe it’s the fact that you can meet friends at a nearby café or wine bar without ever moving your car. Maybe it’s that you can listen to a jazz band play from your private balcony on a warm Friday evening. Maybe it’s that you can walk to your job at the hospital or your classes at the university all in about 15 minutes time. Add in access to a nearby museum, walking trail, library, and theater and all of this seems too good to be true. Now, imagine that this urban oasis exists in the heart of our very own downtown community. Dream no more, because that’s exactly what you will find when you visit The Emerson by My Niche Apartments! Reinventing the way that we view apartment living, My Niche Apartments boasts upscale, sustainable living 20

VIP Magazine | December 2016

communities. They find themselves anchored in cities that have developed a true walk-ablity to employment, shopping, restaurants and entertainment. My Niche Apartments, based out of Charlotte, was founded by its parent company Lat Purser & Associates, Inc. and currently has nineteen separate urban locations, called “niches” spanning three states. The urban community living idea was born of listening to the changing needs of the millennial generation. Millennials were looking for environment conscience spaces that would allow them to reduce their carbon footprint and enable them to retain their most precious commodity…time. Not wanting to be tied to one place by ownership, they were happy to rent and preserve their freedom. They were also not interested in the long, environment-taxing commutes of their parents. Instead, they continued to seek out more centrally located spaces close to work and play. Their voice was calling for a fundamental change in how we viewed apartment style living. Thus, to collectively answer the call of all of those needs and desires, My Niche Apartments was born. While this generation may be looking for more environment friendly options, they are not willing to sacrifice access to the latest technologies or forgo the comforts luxury affords. All My Niche Apartments offer upscale opulence with green living at their foundations. The Emerson is no exception. This 83 unit, four story property features one and two bedroom apartments with carefully laid out floor plans unique in their design.


The open living concept includes inspirational city views, state of the art kitchens and large granite islands that really tie the space together as a functional modern style. All spaces come with wood style plank tiles, walk-in closets, and high efficiency washers and dryers. Also, The Emerson community features controlled access through-out the property, wellness center with the latest fitness equipment, storage units and parking on each floor, Electric Vehicle Charging Stations, and is Pet Friendly complete with a dog lawn for their furry tenants. This month, The Emerson will become another proud piece of the puzzle in the downtown revitalization effort as the project is seen to completion. It promises to bring with it another infusion or investment into our amazing city. With every comfort seen to and all of the latest technologies employed, this amazing property promises to be full of community minded tenants looking to enjoy upscale urban lifestyle. It will all be found right here in the beautiful, if not surprising, little city of Florence. December 2016 | VIP Magazine

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FINANCES

AFTER THE ELECTION

Three Steps to Consider Taking Now for 2017 story by Chip Munn Whether you were on board to “Make America Great Again!” or you were #WithHer during this year’s presidential race, there’s no question that Donald J. Trump’s victory over frontrunner, Hillary Clinton came as quite a shock to many people, myself included! In the weeks leading up to election day, the media had predicted a vastly different outcome and when it began to look like they were wrong, there was an immediate, negative response from an equity market perspective. The anticipated Clinton victory that so many had begun to prepare for was now just a pipedream.  In an instant, questions flooded the minds of many investors across the country. “What does this mean for my portfolio? What will this mean for the markets, tax rates and health care? Should I do something different or will my plan hold up?” No one likes the idea of uncertainty, particularly when it comes to their finances and it’s likely that people lost money in the overseas markets that night as a result of their emotionally driven decisions. Since my partner, Bob Mitchell (now retired) started our practice in 1970, the American people have elected eight different Presidents. Each time, there has

been apprehension about what might happen to our country and the markets depending on the outcome of the race. The speculation and uncertainty surrounding the 2016 election is by no means unique and, if you ask me, the keys to our country’s success won’t be any different today than they were before. One of the best things you can do now that the election has passed and we wait on Mr. Trump’s inauguration, is to simply do the right thing for you. Below are three easy steps you can follow to help you enter the New Year with confidence. • ASSESS YOUR SITUATION REALISTICALLY. Sometimes it’s difficult to sort out the difference between facts and feelings, but you have to do it. This reality check is the foundation and before you build on top of it, you want to make sure that it’s solid. • DEFINE YOUR GOALS IN DETAIL. You have to know what you want your life to look like (and what that will cost.) Take some time and nail it down - get clear and specific. It’s hard to hit a target if you don’t know where you’re aiming. • EXECUTE A PLAN TO “BRIDGE THE GAP. “If you know where you are and where you want to be, then it’s time to get to work!  George Patton once said, “A good plan violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.” I couldn’t agree more! 

If you haven’t formulated a clear plan in the past, you may have feelings of regret for not starting sooner or guilt because you feel like you haven’t done enough. It’s time to replace these negative emotions with confidence that you have a plan in place that is designed to help allow you more time with your family, increased financial freedom or a simpler life with less stress. We wish you all the best this holiday season on your journey to start living the life you’ve always dreamed!  

The advisors at Signature Wealth Strategies use these steps to help create a Signature Life Plan – a plan that’s tailored to your life and your goals. If you’d like a copy of our free infographic, “Five Benefits of a Signature Life Plan,” send me an email and I’ll be happy to share it with you!  CHIP MUNN

Chief Executive Officer, SWS Senior Wealth Advisor, RJ 135 South Dargan Street | Suite 200 Florence, SC | 843.519.1100 chip@signaturewealthstrategies.com www.signaturewealthstrategies.com

Facebook.com/signaturewealthstrategies Linkedin.com/company/signature-wealth-strategies Twitter.com/asignaturelife

Opinions expressed are those of Chip Munn and not necessarily those of Raymond James. Chip Munn, Chief Executive Officer, SWS/Senior Wealth Advisor, RJFS. Signature Wealth Strategies is an independent firm. Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. 135 South Dargan Street, Suite 200, Florence, SC, (843) 519-1100.

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VIP Magazine | December 2016


HOLIDAY ENTERTAINING

TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS CHEESE BALL 1 1/2 (8 ounce) packages IGA cream cheese, softened 1 (2.5 ounce) package thinly sliced smoked beef, chopped 1 (2.25 ounce) can pimento-stuffed green olives, chopped 1 small Vidalia or other sweet onion, minced 2 dashes IGA Worcestershire sauce, or to taste 1 cup chopped walnuts Mix the cream cheese, beef, olives, onion, and Worcestershire sauce together in a bowl until evenly blended. Keeping the mixture in the bowl, scrape it into a semi-ball shape. Cover, and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours. Place a large sheet of waxed paper on a flat surface. Sprinkle with walnuts. Roll the cheese ball in the walnuts until completely covered. Transfer the cheese ball to a serving plate, or rewrap with waxed paper and refrigerate until needed.

MARINATED SCALLOPS WRAPPED IN BACON 3/4 cup maple syrup 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 12 large sea scallops, halved 12 slices smoked bacon, halved 24 toothpicks 2 tablespoons brown sugar Stir together maple syrup, soy sauce, and Dijon mustard in a bowl until smooth. Add the scallops, and toss to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and marinate at least one hour. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with a sheet of aluminum foil. Arrange bacon pieces on baking sheet so they do not overlap. Bake in preheated oven until some of the grease has rendered out of the bacon; the bacon should still be very soft and pliable, about 8 minutes. Remove bacon from the baking sheet and pat with paper towels to remove excess grease. Drain or wipe grease from the baking sheet. Wrap each scallop piece with a piece of bacon, and secure with a toothpick. Place onto baking sheet. Sprinkle the scallops with brown sugar. Bake in preheated oven until the scallops are opaque and the bacon is crisp, 10 to 15 minutes, turning once.

PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE BALLS 2 cups IGA creamy peanut butter 1/2 cup IGA butter 4 cups confectioners’ sugar 2 cups IGA crisp rice cereal 2 cups IGA semisweet chocolate chips

FLORENCE 2300 PAMPLICO HWY 843-468-9803 QUINBY 407 QUINBY PLAZA 843-662-8721 FLORENCE 525 S EBENEZER RD 843-661-2462

Melt peanut butter and butter in saucepan, over low heat. In large bowl, mix crispy rice cereal and confectioners’ sugar well. Pour melted peanut butter and butter over cereal and sugar and blend together thoroughly. Form into 1 inch or smaller balls, spread on cookie sheets, chill till firm in refrigerator (over night is okay). Melt chocolate in double boiler and keep melted while working with balls. A teaspoon is best to use in dipping the balls in chocolate. Dip good and place on cookie sheet. As you dip them place them back on cookie sheet and keep chilled till firm. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2016 Allrecipes.com

December 2016 | VIP Magazine

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BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT

Goosie Ganders GIFTS AND INTERIORS

The Uniqueness of Christmas Design Tis the season to gather with family and friends, each encounter wrapped in the warm fuzzy feeling of Christmas. While that joyful feeling is derived from the birth of Jesus, the glow of tree lights and the smell of fresh garland are a delightful addition. Most often, when visiting loved ones, our first depiction of Christmas is the wreath hanging on the door as a symbol to a wonderful welcome. Shannon McGillivray, owner of Goosie Ganders, and her mother, Betty Hallman, have dedicated years to crafting wreaths with unique designs to compliment each customer individually, determined to provide the perfect warm welcome to guests.

story by Heather Page

Holiday decorating has always been a passion of Shannon’s, it was quite fitting that she chose this as a career. Along with decorating wreaths, she has a keen eye for purchasing an array of holiday accessories to fit every sense; brightly lit ornaments; decorative pillows; fragrant candles; delicious cider spices; and uplifting Christmas tunes. Shannon enjoys offering customers a unique shopping experience that sets trends for Christmas. Upon entering Goosie Ganders, shoppers are greeted with a beautifully decorated Christmas tree. “The tree is the centerpiece of your decor, adorned with lights, sparkling ribbon and beautiful sequined ornaments,” says Shannon. It’s important to have it reflect your Christmas style accurately. If your decorating style is more old fashioned with handmade ornaments, Goosie Ganders can provide just what you need. There is a plethora of traditional looks of sparkling reds and golds to pair with stars and angels. For those into teal and turquoise tones, Goosie Ganders has dazzling jeweled snowflakes and mercury glass ornaments, along with teal elves throughout the store, that you are sure to love. The aroma and scents you choose to fill your home with can be found in abundance at Goosie Ganders; whether you like Christmas Tradition, Winter Wonderland or Egg Nog scents from Tyler Candle Co. or the fabulous smell of Fresh Cut Frazier Fur candle by Thyme, there is an aroma fit to compliment every home. The candles offered by Goosie Ganders are a great way to enjoy the scent of Christmas without the mess of a live tree. Goosie Ganders is looking a lot like Christmas, filled with all the pieces to make your very own winter wonderland. If you are looking to entertain guests this Christmas, make your first visit Goosie Ganders. Shannon has the perfect setting to turn your holiday celebration into a fabulous evening. The only decoration that will be better is the smile that will adorn the faces of family and friends.

Shannon H. McGillivray 24

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Goosie Ganders is located at 2533 West Palmetto Street in Florence and can be reached at (843) 669-2231.


December 2016 | VIP Magazine

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DEVELOPING DOWNTOWN

HISTORIC MARION AWAKENED Group opens the Marion County Visitor Center downtown story by Heather Page Nathan Indergard, Al Blake, Cindy Rogers, Patricia Atkinson & Jamie Craig

Staying true to their mission, “Discovering, presenting and preserving Marion’s rich heritage for future generations,” Historic Marion County AWAKENED is providing new strategies to see continuous growth in the county. In 2015, a small group of local citizens began meeting to discuss their visions for Marion County’s future. Their goal being to present the counties discoveries and preserved settings to both locals and visitors within and outside the state.

209 E Bobby Gerald Pkwy, Downtown Marion M-F: 10a-4p | Sat: 10a-2p

During the beginning stages, Alfred Pinckney of Charleston was very helpful in establishing an approach for the group and the CEO of the Marion County Healthcare Foundation led in developing a preliminary vision plan. Plans developed by the City of Marion and the Historic Marion Revitalization Association (HMRA) were studied to help guide the blueprint for Historic Marion County AWAKENED. By the fall of 2015, the team presented their plan to the mayor, administrator and police chief of Marion and later shared with the city council. A year later, the grass roots initiative of local citizens has built a network of concerned, gifted, dedicated residents who endorse the vision and are willing to participate in bringing the vision to fruition. “HMRA, The Marion County Museum and the Marion Chamber of Commerce are entities of the community that have been involved since inception,” says Patricia Atkinson. “Now we are a growing group of citizens armed with passion and driven by a plan to see Marion County become a new

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destination site for those interested in the county’s significant heritage.” Since inception, Historic Marion County AWAKENED has established the Marion County Visitor’s Center based out of the Marion Chamber of Commerce Office. The center provides information to residents and visitors about historic sites, natural resources, events, and general information. Visitors can also purchase locally made products and t-shirts to support the county. Group member Denley Caughman contributes historical markers throughout the county that will lead the adventurous on a historical scavenger hunt. The Confederate Navy Yard on the Big Pee Dee is one of seven inland navy yards of the confederacy during the War Between the States. “A city of several thousand people sprang up around the yard but the site was abandoned after the war,” says Caughman. Another site, Bowling Green is north of Marion where Francis Marion and Micajah Gainey signed a truce, bringing the American Revolution to a halt. Dozens of other compelling Marion County historical facts are displayed throughout the visitor’s center. Drop in next time your in the area to view the life-size model of Col. Hugh Giles, Commander of the Brittons Neck Regiment of Militia. With untiring enthusiasm, the AWAKENED group will continue to guide all to discovering Marion County’s significant history. If you are interested in contributing to the work of this group, contact Jamie Wiggins Craig at jamie.d.wiggins@gmail.com.


315 E. Main St, Dillon, SC | 843.774.8255 Mon-Fri 9am-5pm | Sat. 9am-1pm FREE DELIVERY FREE SET UP within 60 miles

Family Owned & Operated since 1950 Interior Decorator on Site | 90 Days Same As Cash | In-store Financing | Layaway Available

December 2016 | VIP Magazine

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ALL ACCESS

(843) 669-1851 | 1706 Pamplico Hwy, Florence Showroom Hours: Monday - Friday 8-6 | Saturday 9-1

FLORENCE CARPET & TILE

Celebrating Success story by Rion McAllister

In pursuit of the all American Dream, Florence Carpet & Tile started out from humble beginnings with little more than loose pocket change, a telephone, and a desk in the back bedroom of a small home in the year 1964. This successful business would grow with the original owners until 2007, when Florence Carpet & Tile was purchased by Walt and Allison Parker and John Curl. The store would flourish and expand it’s horizons under new leadership. With the infusion of their fresh vision, Florence Carpet & Tile would go on to add a granite operation as well as increase their product offerings to levels that would rival any competitor in the Carolina’s. Under their direction, Florence Carpet & Tile would continue to grow strong and develop to remain the leading choice for residential and commercial flooring in the Pee Dee region. Florence Carpet & Tile prides itself on having over 50 years of expertise in the flooring industry and a combined service record of their staff to include over 75 years of service. Due to their longevity in the industry, they have had the unique privilege to 28

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build generational relationships with their clientele, who they refer to as their neighbors and friends. Florence Carpet and Tile has done this through consultation and installation on a wide range of flooring products to include tile, luxury vinyl, hardwood, bamboo, cork, epoxy and area rugs. They also offer kitchen and bath renovation and design services complete with countertops, granite slabs and cabinet products available for selection and installation. They are the area’s exclusive dealer for the industry premier line of carpeting, Karastan. Additionally they carry Abbey lines of floor coverings which allows them to offer industry leading warranties and gives them access to a unique selection of products not available anywhere else in our area.

and offering a vast timeless selection, they believe that at the heart of their success is their truly amazing staff. One such associate is Van Waddell who is considered a leading expert in all things flooring here in the Pee Dee. He has single handedly been involved in more flooring projects, both residential and commercial, than anyone around! It is because of Van, and so many more like him, that Florence Carpet & Tile has been able to enjoy such amazing success!

Gone are the days of having to travel to Charlotte or Atlanta to hunt down unique flooring products. Boasting one of the largest selections of floor coverings in the Carolinas, Florence Carpet & Tile takes great care to stay up to date on the latest styles, colors, textures and installation technology. In addition to staying apprised to the latest technology

With a history of achievement and built on the relationships of those in our community, Florence Carpet & Tile grew to be a leading supplier and installer of choice floor coverings in the Carolinas. A company that has stood the test of time to inspire us to dream and know that even from humble beginnings, great achievement is possible!


December 2016 | VIP Magazine

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COVER STORY

Making Spirits Bright for 80 Years story by Ella Lawson

We Southerners have quite a lot to be proud of when it comes to the endless list of beloved establishments in the Northern and Southern Carolinas. There’s Southern hospitality, ginger ale, tobacco, and cotton, to name a few. Of course, we couldn’t forget to mention the beloved soda of Americans across the country, Pepsi Cola.

Florence. This plant had most of the modern equipment available at the time, running 72 bottles per minute. By 1939, they increased their route trucks to 10, and in 1941, a second bottling plant was built and opened in Marion. The company also celebrated a 76% increase in sales, with 15 route trucks serving the area by 1942.

While most of the original Pepsi franchises had gone out of business during the 1920s and other parts of the country were undergoing re-franchising, A.R. Avent had plans to bring the plant to the Southeast. Previously, A.R. was a manager of a Coca Cola Plant in Wadesboro, North Carolina. Once Avent was granted the original franchise - covering Florence, Darlington, Dillon, Williamsburg, Georgetown, Marlboro, Chesterfield, Horry, and Marion – in 1936 with partners Bill Carpenter and T.G. Bagwell, the Southeastern Pepsi plant opened on North Dargan Street in Florence.

From 1942 to 1946, sugar was rationed due to the effects of World War II. Those with sugar rations could use it for soft drinks, so multiple bottling companies appeared in Florence, including Coca Cola, Royal Crown, Double Cola, 7Up, Dr. Pepper, Suncrest, Canada Dry, and Whistle Orange. Once WWII ended, business returned to normal for Pepsi Cola. However, two very significant events were to occur for the business in 1947 and 1948.

Bottling machinery consisted of a used 4-wide Red Diamond Washer and a used Dixie Filler, which ran 18 to 24 bottles per minute. It was rumored that employees would work on the equipment half the night to get it to run properly the next day. There were only two route trucks back then, one that carried 49 cases and the other 72. Each work day was counted as a success if the load had been sold. As the years passed, the business grew. In late 1938, Pepsi Cola moved to its new location at 612 South Irby Street in

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In 1947, the Conway territory was split with the heirs of Bill Carpenter, Mrs. Bill Carpenter and Mrs. Bill Blackwell, as they took that specific area for their share of the partnership. This territory is now the location of the Pepsi Cola plant in Conway and also included Marion, Horry, and parts of Georgetown and Dillon counties. In 1948, a plant was built in Bennettsville and T.G. Bagwell, took this territory. A.R. Avent’s brother, J.J., operated the Bennettsville Pepsi warehouse from 1936 until 1956, when his son Bobby bought the plant from T.G. Bagwell. This left the Florence territory, also consisting of Darlington, Williamsburg, Dillon, most of Georgetown, and a portion of Marlboro County.


“We have a philosophy at Florence Pepsi and Pee Dee Foodservice that the majority of our leaders should be promoted from within.”

Ron Wingard Photography Business was steady improving, and by 1953, a plant was established in Kingstree that produced 100-120 bottles per minute. Dillon also had its own plant in 1955, which ran 72 bottles per minute. Routes were being added almost every year. By 1958, machinery in the Florence and Kingstree plants were replaced with equipment that produced 200 bottles per minute. Dillon’s machinery was replaced in 1959, which increased their output to 160 bottles per minute. From 1958 to 1960, there were ten routes in Florence (including three in Hartsville), four in Dillon, and eight in Kingstree (including two in Georgetown). The only product that had been sold up until 1959 was 12oz. Pepsi. However, that changed in 1961 when Teem was added. Following not long after in 1963, Patio Orange and Grape were added and by 1964, Diet Pepsi was offered. Cans were introduced in 1967 and later on returnable quart bottles. In 1968, Carolina Canners was formed to supply Pepsi bottlers in North and South Carolina. In January 1974, a new plant opened in Florence, located on I-20 Spur. This plant produced 600 bottles per minute of 10 and 12oz. products as well as various other sizes. Production lines in Dillon and Kingstree were closed, as it was now possible to bottle in one location and transport to other plants. Pepsi bought out the Dr. Pepper-Mountain Dew Company in 1979 and shortly after, the popular orange soda Sunkist was introduced.

Business continued to grow over the years and has little plans to settle down anytime soon. In June 2005, the company was purchased by Carolina Canners, INC., then later became known as Pepsi Cola of Florence, LLC. Pepsi of Florence is still owned locally, as it is currently ran by Mark Avent (cousin of Frank Avent who retired in July 2014 after 51 years of dedicated service as Pepsi of Florence’s General Manager), who is one of five owners and the current Carolina Canners Board President. In February 2006, bottling ceased in Florence and all products continue to be received from Carolina Canners in Cheraw. By May 2008, construction of the facility at 2499 Florence Harlee Boulevard (in the Pee Dee Electric Cooperative Industrial Park) was completed. Today, Pepsi of Florence is a sales distributor for Pepsi and Dr. Pepper products. The majority of products are produced on site at the plant in Cheraw. The plant recently introduced its addition of a pasteurized, hot fill line, which will commence operation in June 2017 to be used for production of Lipton Pure Leaf Tea. Frank Avent started another operation in 1995, known as Pee Dee Foods, which includes: a full line vending company, office coffee solutions for every business size, fresh food prepared in a commissary every day, and business/ special events catering. Pepsi Cola of Florence and Pee Dee Foods has a combing total of 221 full-time employees in the Florence market and an annual operating budget of $14 million (this includes salaries, taxes, and community December 2016 | VIP Magazine

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COVER STORY

PEPSI

Making Spirits Bright for 80 Years

Les Ward, Mark Avent & Jeff Stevens support). Talk about an economic impact! The success is due, in large part, to the example Frank Avent set for his employees. CEO of Carolina Canners, INC., Jeff Stevens shares, “The vast majority of our leaders have learned the business from the ground up. We have a philosophy at Florence Pepsi and Pee Dee Foodservice that the majority of our leaders should be promoted from within. It is challenging for a leader to communicate effectively if they have never walked in their employees’ shoes. Having said that, it is also a good idea to get fresh perspectives from those with experiences outside of our company. Frank gave us a great blueprint to follow with how leaders should treat their employees by following the Golden Rule, and my challenge to our leaders is to emulate that principle every day.”

Jeff is also grateful for his current team. “Les Ward came to us with 20-plus years of experience from PepsiCo and has been a great addition to lead our team.” In addition to Les, the rest of our Florence leadership team includes: Tim Geddings - Chief Information Officer, Laurin Burch - Controller, Earl Weatherford - Location Sales Manager, David Cicirello - Senior Key Account Manager for Small Format, Brock Graham – Key Account Manager for Large Format, Wayne McQuade – Senior Manager Pee Dee Foodservice, Marilyn Tanner – HR Manager, Al Shortall – Operations/Safety Manager, Mike Klim - DOT Safety Manager, Jimmy Sandifer – Marketing Equipment Service Manager, David Dill – Fleet Manager, Annette Ross – New Business Representative and Andy Youmans – Warehouse Manager.” Establishing a great team and believing in your employees weren’t the only admirable qualities of Frank Avent. He also believed in giving back to the community. After all, they are a crucial component to a company’s success. “Our company

Ron Wingard Photography

is locally owned and operated. We are actively involved in Florence and the surrounding towns in which our employees live. Frank was a very charitable person and Les Ward and I feel it is important to carry on his legacy as a good corporate citizen of Florence and surrounding counties.” Personal connections are also of the upmost importance. “We also pride ourselves in giving excellent customer service and feel this is one of our competitive advantages. In a world of consolidations and social media, I truly believe that relationships still matter. We attempt to exceed our customers’ and consumers’ expectations every day.” With such a strong history and endless list of dedicated owners and employees, it’s no wonder Pepsi of Florence steadily grows year after year. Currently, Pepsi Cola of Florence has 24 delivery routes and Pee Dee Foodservice has 26 routes… Numbers that will surely grow as time passes on.

1939

1936

Founded by A.R. Event (52%), William “Bill” Carpenter (31%), and T.G. Bagwell (17%)

Approximately 10 trucks worked the 9 counties: Florence, Darlington, Dillon, Williamsburg, Georgetown, Marlboro, Chesterfield, Horry, and Marion

1939

1942

15 trucks worked the 9 counties

Carpenter passed away

1941

1938

Pepsi Cola moved to 612 S. Irby Street

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1948

VIP Magazine | December 2016

A second bottling plant was built and opened in Marion as the company enjoyed a 76% increase in sales

1955

T.G. Bagwell split off taking the Bennettsville territory which was Chesterfield county and most of Marlboro county

1947

The Conway territory was split off with heirs of Carpenter, taking that area for their share of the partnership; the territory consisted of Marion, Horry and parts of Georgetown and Dillon counties

Dillon plant was built with machinery capable of running 72 bottles per minute

1953

The Kingstree plant was built with machinery that would run 100-120 bottles per minute

1959

1964

Only 12 oz. Pepsi was sold

Diet Pepsi was added

1961

Teem was added

1958

Machinery was replaced in Florence and Kingstree that could run 200 bottles per minute

1963

Patio Orange and Grape were added

C

P N

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Cans w introdu


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epsi dded

Valued Community Partnerships “The Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce and Pepsi Cola of Florence have a terrific working relationship. We partner with them on a number of area programs and projects. The key is their continued commitment to the communities they service and the wonderful individuals we get to work with. It is fair to say they set a very high standard in community service.”

“Pepsi’s involvement with Boys & Girls Clubs started with their support of the very first Carolina Classic High School Basketball Tournament in 1986. Through Pepsi’s support and Frank Avent’s leadership, the “Classic” has become one of the premier high school holiday tournaments in SC, raising over $275,000 for local Boys & Girls Clubs. Mr. Avent served in a variety of leadership roles on the club’s Board of Directors for 26 years; Jeff Stevens, the CEO, and Les Ward, the GM, has followed in his footsteps continuing Mr. Avent’s legacy of active support of all things Boys & Girls Club. Through financial contributions, support with manpower and product, and providing leadership for the Classic and the club, Pepsi has been a vital member of the Boys & Girls Club family for more than a quarter century.”

- Mike Miller, President, Greater Florence Chamber of commerce

- Susan Goldstein, Development Director, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Area

“Pepsi of Florence has been instrumental in serving our patrons, guests, and clients here at the venue. We negotiated a partnership with Pepsi to have exclusive non-alcohol pouring rights over two decades ago and our relationship has continued to strengthen ever since. Working with Les, David, Brock, Earl, Linda, and the entire crew at Pepsi has been an absolute pleasure; they have all offered tremendous support. Lately we have had a blast redecorating our concourse and concession stands with all-new Pepsi branding and décor. We can’t thank them enough for being such an incredible partner of ours.” - Nick Hooker, Senior Marketing Manager, Florence Civic Center

1968

Carolina Canners was formed to supply the Pepsi bottlers in North and South Carolina

1967

Cans were introduced

1970

32 oz. returnable, 16 oz. NR, 48 oz. NR, 64 oz. NR, and 2 litter NR were introduced

“I have been with the Florence YMCA since 1988 and can honestly say that the relationship between Pepsi and the YMCA has been great. Through the years, Pepsi has always been very supportive of the Florence YMCA in everything that we do with special events and programs. Pepsi was one of the first companies to step forward financially when we had capital projects going on. Without Pepsi and their friendly staff, we would not be able to do some of the community events like the Father/Daughter Dance. As a non-profit, we depend on companies like Pepsi.” - Brian New, CEO,Florence YMCA

- Murray Hartzler, Director of Athletics, Francis Marion University

1974

A new plant located on I-20 was opened in Florence and could run up to 600 bottles per minute; production lines in Dillon and Kingstree were closed because bottling could now be done in one location

“Pepsi of Florence has been a long and valued partner with Francis Marion University athletics. In addition to serving their product, the marketing and promotion for athletic events Pepsi has provided us have been invaluable in many areas. This partnership had aided us in formulating and holding several community engagement projects. Pepsi’s involvement with the university has also enhanced the experiences for our studentsathletes, who later graduate and become leaders in the community.”

2006

1979

The company bought out the Dr. Pepper - Mountain Dew Company

1979

Sunkist was introduced

1978

Glass 2 liter bottles were replaced by plastic

1992

Frank Avent started Pee Dee Foods

2014

Bottling was discontinued at the Florence location, all products came from Carolina Canners in Cheraw

2005

The company was bought by Carolina Canners and became Pepsi Cola of Florence, LLC

GM, Frank Avent, retired after 51 years of service

2014

Les Ward was hired as General Manager

2008

Construction of the new facility on Florence Harlee Blvd in Florence was completed

2016

Pepsi has 24 delivery routes, Pee Dee Food Service has 26 routes

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PAYING IT FORWARD

FLORENCE

KIWANIS CLUB “Kids Need Kiwanis” story by Rion McAllister Living by their slogan “Kids Need Kiwanis” and built on serving communities by serving kids, Kiwanis International spans an impressive 80 nations and raises over 100 million dollars annually. Through community involvement, Kiwanians strive to mold the young minds of tomorrow through one-on-one interaction today. The club operates by the belief that every community is different therefore service should be different based on the needs of that area. This very idea makes each Kiwanis club unique in it’s own right, with it’s own set of community minded service goals. By tuning into the philanthropic needs of our community, our very own Kiwanis Club of Florence works tirelessly to be the embodiment of these core beliefs and values. Established in 1920, the Florence Kiwanis Club enjoys a long history of service, specifically helping children to grow and develop into the leaders of tomorrow. Boasting a membership of approximately 75 people, they believe that more children can be reached together than if they were to operate alone. They strive to impress on young minds the importance of their role in the community. The Kiwanis Club of Florence looks for opportunities to build each child up through one-on-one interactions that allow them to identify and foster each child’s natural strengths and talents. By doing this, they believe that they can help each child grow up with values and a sense of obligation to community that will make a lasting impact for the future.  They accomplish their goals by organizing and hosting several fundraisers throughout the year to fund these interaction opportunities and service projects. This past year the Florence Kiwanis Club was able to award $7,500 to four local non-profit organizations that help kids in our community such as; Help4Kids, CUMC Beds Ministry, Lighthouse Ministries, and All4Autism. In addition to their numerous club activities, fundraisers, and special events, the service projects that they put on are of immeasurable value to our community.  34

VIP Magazine | December 2016

Some of those include: • • • • • •

Terrific Kids Program Best of Terrific Kids Field Trip Lonnie Lester Memorial Annual Terrific Kids Christmas Shopping Trip Department of Disabilities and Special Needs Adopt-A-Dorm Christmas Party Kiwanis Reading Day at the Library Francis Marion University Scholarship

Most recognizable from their signature bumper stickers, The Terrific Kids Program is one of the best known service project put on by The Kiwanis Club. Five of Florence School District One’s elementary schools currently participate. The Terrific Kids Program identifies and honors students who have adopted the characteristics of a “Terrific Kid” (Thoughtful, Enthusiastic, Respectful, Responsible, Inclusive, Friendly, Inquisitive, and Capable). Students receive their certificates from members of the Florence Kiwanis Club in front of their parents, student body, school faculty, and staff. They also host a “Best of Terrific Kids Field Trip” at the end of the year to Wonder Works at Myrtle Beach, as well as, a Terrific Kid Christmas Shopping Trip funded directly by the club members. The Terrific Kid Christmas Shopping Trip allows Kiwanis members to take children shopping for new clothes, toys and items for their individual homes that are very much needed. These are just a few examples of the numerous interactions The Kiwanis Club of Florence gives back by investing in our youth. The Kiwanis Club of Florence is dedicated to seeking out the needs of youth in our area and addressing them, one by one. Kiwanians do this by tirelessly giving of their time and resources. They do this freely without hesitation because they realize that the ultimate investment is into the life of a child. It is this vision and mindset that enables The Kiwanis Club of Florence to make a positive difference in our community, one kid at a time.


December 2016 | VIP Magazine

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FLORENCE COMMUNITY

For more info on the nationwide event, visit smallbusinesssaturday.com and to get more details on the Florence Chamber’s efforts in particular, visit facebook.com/florencechamber and look under “events.”

Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce and Area Businesses Celebrate Small Business Saturday story by Jay Lavrinc, Director of Customer Relations, Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce

When we think of the holidays, that are fast approaching, we think of all the great gift ideas we have in mind for our families and friends. In that spirit, the retail community and social media have come up with Black Friday, and then Cyber Monday, but the one thing that we all seem to forget in the hustle bustle of the holidays is our local community businesses. It is the local community businesses that make up the majority of the Greater Florence Chamber members and it is those members that are the backbone of the Florence and Pee Dee community. So on November 26th, 2016 the Chamber along with American Express declared this day as the kick off to Shop Small; Shop Local! This is a national program put on by American Express and the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce to concentrate on our local businesses. The first Small Business Saturday occurred on November 27, 2010. In that tradition, on November 26th and throughout the month of December, we ask you to join in on this fantastic effort to keep local money in the local community businesses. 36

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Small Business Saturday is the day we celebrate the Shop Small, Shop Local movement to drive shoppers to local merchants across the U.S. This effort will continue all the way through the holiday season. So give your local business merchants a chance, go visit them during the season for your holiday needs. More than 200 organizations have already joined American Express OPEN, the company’s small business unit, in declaring the Saturday after Thanksgiving as Small Business Saturday. If you would like to become involved, it is very simple for members. The Florence Chamber will continue passing out promotional items to our Chamber members to help spread the message about the importance of shopping locally during the holiday season and to encourage your customers to do the same. If you would like to be included in the Shop Small, Shop Local event and would like these promotional materials, give Jay Lavrinc a call at the Florence Chamber 843-6650515.

There will be specific instructions included for several of the items you receive. We ask that you please use the power of social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc…) to take pictures of the logos, your businesses, and the promotional items included. Please make sure to check in and/or tag the Florence Chamber Facebook page. We would love to see just how much of an impact the Shop Local movement can make!


AROUND TOWN

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2 Kiwanis Club of Florence Fundraiser 1 Brandon Hylton, Ed Love & Jason Newton 2 Lee Carter, Miranda Vinson, Jackson Elmore & Camryn Harris 3 Pete Hoogendonk & Doug Summerford 4 Faith Rogers 5-7 WebsterRogers Day of Service at the Manna House of Florence 8-10 Around Town Community Meet & Greet

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Sheriff Kenney Boone Re-Election Party

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1 Wayne Howard, Jackie McGee, Kathleen Streett, Mike Nunn, Hood Temple, Joelle Forgeng 2 Donna Q. McDaniel and Scotty Dangerfield 3 Mona Lisa M. Andrews, Lynne Huggins and Valeria B. Watson 4 Leslie Renfroe, Carly Reid, Jackie Reid and Kirby Boyce 5 Courtney Turner, Buddy Rainwater and Farrah Turner 6 Priscilla Zimmerman, Kelly Zimmerman and Chaun Isaiah 7 Commodore Charles, Kenney Boone and Felicia Smith Charle 8 Priscilla Zimmerman and Billy Barnes 9 Joyce Brunson 10 Stephen and Glenda Skipper 11 Darrin Yarborough


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MERRY MARKETPLACE 1 Michelle Ellerbe, Jill Wilkes, Sheri Lowe, Lauren Vause, Emily Jordan, Junior League of Florence 2 Shannon Brown and Whitney McGee, Paisley Pearl

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3 Andrea Butler and Courtney Alban

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4 Marianne Gregg and Jay Gregg, Ben-no-mo 5 Danny Chandler, Sherry Hughes and Britton Moseley, Galloway & Moseley 6 Diamond and Mark Palmer, Sweetleigh’s 7 Francise Swink, Hayley Childress and Katy McCoy, Naturally Outdoors 8 Brian Fisher and Heather Solomon, Fisher Road Oils 9 Caroline Fowler, Caro Designs

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25th

Gala anniversary

1991-2016

SiMT Conference Center November 18

December 2016 | VIP Magazine

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AROUND TOWN

6TH ANNUAL BOUNTIFUL BRUNCH story by Lyles Cooper Lyles 250 conservation-minded supporters were welcomed to the 6th Annual Bountiful Brunch benefiting Pee Dee Land Trust (PDLT) on a glorious fall afternoon in November. This year’s experience was held at Boxwood Plantation, located just off Hoffmeyer Road where Florence and Darlington Counties meet. Our hosts, Beth and Jack Marchette along with their family, shared their historic circa 1870 home and gorgeous surrounding property by inviting guests to tour throughout the afternoon. Boxwood Plantation’s 311 acres were placed under conservation easement with PDLT in 2012. Over the past six years, the Bountiful Brunch has become the fall’s most anticipated event in our region. Folks of all ages from across the Pee Dee gathered to celebrate the connection between people and land through a unique, elegant farm-to-table outdoor experience. The event is particularly special because guests were treated to a fabulous five course meal and exquisite wines, all in a beautiful, private setting on a lovely fall afternoon. The afternoon began with a Gathering in the garden at noon which included appetizers and cocktails. The seated five course meal began at 1:00pm on the Grand Avenue which looked out over the fields of soybeans and cotton, rows of oak trees, the perennial gardens, and the magnificent front exterior of the original home at Boxwood Plantation. The carefully planned menu included locally sourced ingredients from South Carolina farmers and purveyors, and paired with the perfect wines generously donated by Micky Finn’s. During the 3rd course, Seth Cook, PDLT Director of Land Conservation, presented Billy Hinson with a handmade blue bird box in honor of his commitment to forever protect his farm, Hagin’s Prong, by placing a conservation easement on this 1,722 acres of prime farmland in Marlboro County. Cook shared that with the Pettigrew Tract in Darlington being placed under conservation easement last month as the latest addition, Pee Dee Land Trust has now protected over 42

VIP Magazine | December 2016

24,800 acres in the Pee Dee Region. While remaining in private ownership, the lands protected through conservation easements held by PDLT ensure that special places will be available for farming, forestry, and recreation for future generations. Throughout the afternoon guests enjoyed meeting new friends and catching up with family and longtime friends while being serenaded by the musicians of Borrowed Time. The silent auction featured 18 items and services that had been donated from individuals from all 9 counties in which PDLT concentrates its conservation efforts. Dr. Alva Whitehead recognized the attendees present who have already pledged their leadership support by becoming a Steward of Pee Dee Land Trust’s Our Places endowment campaign. This campaign has a goal to raise $1 million by the end of 2017 and currently has 100% Board support. At this time we have reached 70% of the goal and Dr. Whitehead urged attendees to pledge their support to ensure PDLT will have the ability to steward all current and future conservation easements in perpetuity. He highlighted a recent gift made by Snoots and Richard Howard as a Family Legacy Gift to honor the memory of Bill and Jolly Howard who gave much and sacrificed much to hold their land together through hard times. Dr. Whitehead shared a quote by G.K. Chesterton, “People did not love Rome because it was great. Rome was great because the People loved it.” He closed the evening by asking all in attendance “to help keep the Pee Dee great!” PDLT now protects just over 24,800 acres in the Pee Dee region. While most remain in private ownership, the lands protected by PDLT are along the rivers and streams we swim in, farms and forests we manage, hunting and fishing areas we recreate on, and make a lasting contribution to our community. Visit PDLT website to learn more and see how you can join our conservation community today: peedeelandtrust.org.


photos 1-7 courtesy Ivana Reay-Jones Photography

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6 PEE DEE LAND TRUST

BOUNTIFUL BRUNCH

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1 Billy Hinson accepting Easement Donor bluebird box from Seth Cook, PDLT’s Director of Land Conservation 2 Dr. Alva Whitehead, PDLT Our Places Endowment Chairman 3 Evans and Helen Holland admiring the Meeker Winemaker’s Handprint Merlot donated by Micky Finn’s 4 Emily and Weave Whitehead, Host Sponsors 5 Eric Belk, Jack Marchette (Wells Fargo / Host), Cindy Belk 6 Boxwood Plantation, home of the Marchette family 7 Wendell Jones, an Edward Jones financial advisor/ Presenting Sponsor and Lyles Cooper Lyles, PDLT Director of Education & Outreach 8 Brian Sang, Wesley Bloomfield, Jeff Murrie, Allison & Neil Grantham 9 Mindy & Bill Taylor, Danny & Debbie Hyler 10 Verida Marchette, Matriarch of the Machette Family and our Host at Boxwood Plantation November 2016 | VIP Magazine

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PAYING IT FORWARD

Better Education Demands Sleep story by Heather Page Children are the constant influencer of a greater tomorrow. Soon enough, they will be the ones nurturing us from sickness, educating us on finances, and providing us with a secure environment. Each child has something uniquely great to offer our future, and when they are provided the best opportunity, it may encourage them to reach their full potential. However, many children in our community plea for adequate clothing and a warm meal, while some would simply like a good night’s rest. While reading Final Words: From the Cross by Adam Hamilton, Art Justice learned of children who weren’t getting sufficient sleep because they were sharing a bed with multiple siblings or parents; some did not have a bed at all and were forced to make pallets on hard wooden floors. Little did he know that God was planting the seed which would lead him to discover BEDS - Better Education Demands Sleep, a ministry providing beds to Florence School District 1 (FSD1) students. In 2013, when the idea was first laid on Art’s heart, he did research in the area on the need for beds for children. He spoke to various agencies around town who agreed that there was a need in Florence. His father, a career educator, confirmed a good night’s sleep was as important to a child’s performance in school as a good breakfast. Even when Art attempted to release the idea of creating a ministry to help this need, God had other plans and consistently provided opportunities for him to continue on this path. Art spoke to the pastors at Central United 44

VIP Magazine | December 2016

Methodist Church, and they immediately supported him on the project. He then spoke to Trisha Caulder, a FSD1 Board member, who backed his vision and arranged a meeting with Dr. Bridges, FSD1 Superintendent. “Dr. Bridges fully embraced the concept and committed the District to helping us get it started,” says Art. After obtaining the support from Central and FSD1, Art began gathering the details of the ministry. “If we bought the frames and mattresses, we end up just fund-raising. We (Central) wanted this to be a true ministry, where our members and community citizens could get involved to work and fellowship around this worthy cause.” Burke Parrott, owner of Parrott Furniture, introduced Art to a friend in Pineville, NC, who had also read Hamilton’s book and began a bed ministry with his church. He showed Art a wooden frame that was designed to hold up better than a metal frame and was easily assembled. “Using a wooden design allowed our church’s children and youth to leave scripture and messages to the recipients, written on the bottom of the sides and slats.” It also allowed for it to be a true ministry, as approximately 60 volunteers work together to sand and attach the legs to the wooden frames. During the development of the BEDS ministry, Art has experienced great support from the community. Families and individuals from Central, as well as students from All Saints’ Episcopal School, have adopted a child who receives a comforter, sheets, pajamas, and a stuffed toy


which are put in a big neon-yellow laundry bag. The bag is donated by White Swan Cleaners, and the BEDS logo is imprinted in bright red by Champion Embroidery. A waterproof mattress pad - donated by Knight Furniture; a pillow - donated by Raines Hospitality Group; and a book about Jesus donated by Katri and Gilliam Skinner are also included in each yellow bag. Donations from church members, along with grants from the Golden K Kiwanis Club and the Kiwanis Club of Florence, have provided TemperPedic mattresses for each child. Last fall, the BEDS ministry had its first outreach and provided 27 beds to students at FSD1. Since then, they have delivered 35 more beds with plans to deliver an additional 35 this December. Art celebrates the entire process that goes along with the BEDS ministry, from gathering donations and volunteers to assembling the beds, but perhaps his favorite part is when the students visit Central to claim their bedding. Upon being “adopted,” each child discloses their favorite colors and characters, so that the adopting family can contribute something they love. A little boy went with his mother to schedule delivery and to pick up his brand new Paw Patrol comforter and stuffed toy. “He wouldn’t let the stuffed toy go! He was so proud of it! His happiness put a smile on everyone’s face.” Later that day, one of the pastors from Central was working at a local shelter. He was ringing the bell at the front door collecting financial gifts, when that same mother and son pulled up. They didn’t recognize the pastor, but he could never forget the boy’s face that brought so much joy to those working at Central earlier in the day. Suddenly the boy tugged on his mother’s jacket and asked for change. He ran to the pastor and dropped his coin in the bucket. That moment solidified the mission of BEDS. A six-yearold boy, who hasn’t had a bed to sleep on, was paying it forward.

December 2016 | VIP Magazine

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SERIAL SUCCESS

DAWN & TREY

GHOENS

A Family of Entrepreneurs Dawn and Trey Ghoens know first hand the many advantages to owning your own business; being your own boss, getting to help people and having a more flexible lifestyle to name a few. Both coming from families of entrepreneurs, it was natural they chose the same career paths. Dawn has operated Klick & Flair in Hartsville, recently transitioning into The Mint Julep, and Trey continues his family business, Johnny Ghoens’ Roofing. They were taught at an early age the dedication involved in running your own business and learned the most important facet to growing a business is your customers. Recently established, The Mint Julep carries home and seasonal decor, along with an extensive, and still growing, gourmet food line. For years Dawn worked under the name Klick & Flair, providing a unique clothing boutique to consumers. With an influx of clothing stores and a shortage of home decor shops, Dawn felt like it was time for a change. Dawn has discovered a new passion with the turn of the store, “Shopping to supply the store has been so much fun and we get to sample the most amazing foods.”

story by Dawn Rogers

When not managing The Mint Julep, Dawn spends much of her time helping Trey with his roofing business. She is responsible for payroll, permits, bookwork, and taxes, while Trey oversees each individual project. Trey is a third generation roofer and as all of his customers can disclose, “he doesn’t cut a corner.” They have been married for 13 years and together, they make a great team. Always assuring each customer is provided outstanding service. Dawn admits, “the hardest part of owning your own business is that you are never truly closed.” Most business owners will agree that the “closed” sign on the door has little to do with the constant thoughts intruding your mind on how your business can be better. To Dawn and Trey, being better is consistently offering exceptional customer service. With both The Mint Julep and Johnny’s Roofing, “We are selling customer service. There are an abundance of places for customers to shop, it’s providing excellent customer service that keeps them shopping with us!”

The Mint Julep | 104 E. College Ave., Hartsville | 843.383.2232 Johnny Ghoens Roofing | 843.332.7786 46

VIP Magazine | December 2016


December 2016 | VIP Magazine

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Local Salute

Lake City Native Wins FDTC Grill Master Challenge

Carolinas Hospital System’s Respiratory Care Services Receives Recognition from the South Carolina Society for Respiratory Care Carolinas Hospital System’s Respiratory Care Services received the 2016 South Carolina Society for Respiratory Care (SCSRC) Award for promoting excellence in South Carolina’s respiratory care community. The SCSRC recognizes one department of the year statewide, which strives to elevate the respiratory care profession. The SCSRC department of the year award criteria and guidelines are based on education, professional growth & development, leadership collaboration, promoting public awareness, society participation and student activities & leadership. We are proud of our respiratory care services staff for their dedication to providing quality care to our patients and their commitment to the respiratory care profession.

A Lake City native impressed the judges at the first ever Grill Master Challenge in downtown Lake City on November 11, winning Florence-Darlington Technical College’s inaugural Grill Master Challenge. The competition was hosted by the College’s Lake City Site and was held at the National Bean Market. Proceeds from the event went to the FDTC Educational Foundation to help with student scholarships. Lake City High School alumni, Cadejah Stukes won the event, and took home the $1,500 cash prize. Stukes is currently a Cook II HMS Host at 1897 Market in the Charlotte’s Douglas International Airport. The Grill Master Challenge featured four competitors. In the three rounds, the competitors received a “mystery basket,” and they had to quickly come up with a recipe that would appeal to the trio of judges’ taste buds. The other three competitors included Bo Whitlock of The Railway Restaurant in Lake City, Mitchell Sims of Piggybacks BBQ in Lake City, and Frank Halasz, Chef at the Inn at the Crossroads in Lake City. Lake City native Chef Latasha McCutcheon was the celebrity judge of the night. She was the winner of FOX TV’s Hell’s Kitchen Season 13. McCutcheon was joined by Lake City High School Culinary Instructor Coco Floyd and Baker’s Sweets Owner Jennifer Baker.

New book by FMU’s Mitchell Chronicles Legendary Coach D.C. “Peahead” Walker, a larger-than-life figure on the mid-20th Century American coaching landscape, is the subject of a new biography written by Tucker Mitchell, the executive director of public affairs at Francis Marion University. The book, Peahead! Life and Times of a Southern-Fried Coach, is out this month from Wake Forest University Digital Publishing and its partner, Library Partners Press. Peahead Walker played and coached baseball, football and basketball at an assortment of schools from World War I until the late 1950s, but is best known as a football coach at (then) Wake Forest College from 1937-50. He also coached at (then) Elon College, at Atlantic Christian College (now Barton) and with the Montreal franchise in the Canadian Football League. At all his stops, Walker directed underdog teams to new heights and was revered for his coaching prowess. But he was far better known for his extraordinary personality and unusual antics, which were conveyed to thousands through newspaper stories and post-banquet anecdotes. Mitchell brings that legend back to life in his richly detailed account based on exhaustive research and interviews with more than 60 individuals who played for, or knew Walker, during his prime. Peahead! is the first book-length treatment of Walker. Mitchell says Walker’s is a story that should have been told long ago. For more information on the book, check out www.peaheadwalker.com.

Mitchell has directed FMU’s marketing and public relations efforts since 2013. Prior to that he was editor of the Florence Morning News and several affiliated weekly papers in the area. He’s enjoyed a long and successful career in journalism.


In the Spotlight Carolinas Hospital System Names New CEO Gary Malaer has been named the new chief executive officer of Carolinas Hospital System effective January 1, 2017. This is a promotion for Malaer who comes to Florence from 298-bed Wuesthoff Medical Center-Rockledge in Rockledge, Fla. He first joined Wuesthoff as COO in April 2015 and was promoted to CEO in October 2015. “Carolinas Hospital System has a strong tradition of providing compassionate, quality care for patients and I look forward to supporting the physicians, nurses and other caregivers who make a difference each day,” said Malaer. Malaer brings nearly 20 years of healthcare leadership experience working at hospitals in Texas and Florida. During his tenure at Wuesthoff, the hospital saw continual improvement in patient experience and quality metrics which led to growth in their ER, robotics surgeries, urology, neurosurgery, electrophysiology/atrial fibrillation and cath lab. He is deeply committed to working together with the medical staff, hospital employees, volunteers and board of trustees to build quality care and service. “Clearly, Gary brings tremendous skills and experience to this role,” said Edward C. Floyd, Chairman, Board of Trustees for Carolinas Hospital System. “We are confident he will build upon our strengths as we continue providing quality healthcare services for our community.” Malaer has been active in the communities where he has lived by fund raising for charities and serving on boards including Cocoa Beach Chamber, Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund and American Heart Association. A native Texan, he earned his bachelor’s degree from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacagdoches, Texas and MBA in health services management from the University of Dallas.

FMU Speech Pathology Program Receives Final Clearance from State Francis Marion University’s growing School of Health Sciences is adding yet another new specialty. FMU will launch a graduate-level Speech Pathology degree program in the Fall of 2018. Speech Pathology will be the fifth masters-level program in FMU’s School of Health Science. It will be just the third speech pathology program in the state of South Carolina.

THE Pharmacy Opens Pharmacists Jarrod B. Tippins, PharmD and Kelly W. Jones, PharmD, BCPS proudly open THE Pharmacy on November 29th at 2500 Hoffmeyer Road in Florence. The locally owned pharmacy offers many services including Medication Therapy Management, self-care consultations, immunization and vaccinations without appointments, online and mobile app for refills, blood pressure monitoring, and a private consultation room. The pharmacists at THE Pharmacy help prescriber’s help you by ensuring that you are taking the right mediations at the right dose, direction, and time.

The program will feature a partnership with McLeod Health, Carolinas Hospital System, and the Pee Dee Area Health Education Center, which will assist in the placement of students into clinical positions. For more information, contact Matt McColl at Francis Marion University. 843.661.1227.

English Awarded Best of Show Local artist Lynda English won Best of Show for her painting, “The Hands of a Fisherman,” at the South Carolina Watermedia Society’s 39th Annual Exhibition. Lynda was awarded the $1,000 GCWS Sponsors Best in Show Memorial Award honoring Doris Athey during a reception on Nov. 18 at the museum. Lynda is a partner with artist Jackie Wukela at Lynda English Studio and Gallery at 403 Second Loop Road in Florence.

Carter Named to Executive Committee of SCRA Board Francis Marion University President Dr. Fred Carter was recently named to the South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA) board’s executive committee. The SCRA, an applied research corporation based in Columbia, aims to enhance the development of the state’s innovative capabilities to further economic growth, and facilitate university research commercialization. The addition of Carter to the board accentuates FMU’s rise among the ranks of research institutions in the state and region.


POSITIVE PURSUIT

Christmas A TIME OF CELEBRATION story by Ben McLaughlin, Pastor Lake Swamp Baptist Church I guess one of my earliest Christmas memories is watching “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” I can remember so vividly, lying on the floor in front of our console television, being entertained and having several thoughts running through my mind. First, it was a tradition for us to watch this program each year. We felt it to be almost our duty to watch programs such as these each season. Second, even before I could read a calendar, I knew that when this program aired it was really close to Christmas morning and I would get a ton of presents. Third, even as a child in the eighties, I can remember finding it unusual that the Bible would be mentioned on public television. Even though I wasn’t nearly as familiar with this story as I am now, it always made me think of the Lord and His birth. I suppose these various thoughts I had as a child are some that many have each year during the Christmas season. There are many traditions that we think about and observe this time of year. There are

the gatherings, parties, decorations, and even special clothes that fill this season. We also get excited about the whole gift-giving process. As we age, we seem to be more excited about the giving than the receiving, but it’s still somewhat reciprocal. While the traditions and the gifts are good and even healthy for families; the focal point must always be the One in Whom the first Christmas story revolved around – Christ, the Lord! It is my hope that when our lives get busy with all of the traditions, shopping, cooking, and giving, we would remember that it is because God loved us enough in our lost and sinful state to send forth His Son for us so that we may have life in Him. If you don’t have a personal relationship with God through His Son, Jesus, I pray that this Christmas season you will accept the greatest gift that has ever been offered to you – the forgiveness of sin and the promise of heaven. Surely, Christmas is a time to celebrate!

To hear more from Pastor Ben, visit him on Sundays at Lake Swamp Baptist Church, 6558 Oates Hwy, Timmonsville.

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VIP Magazine | December 2016


EXPERIENCE HARTSVILLE

CHAMBER CONNECTIONS Inspiring Better Business Relationships

story by Dawn Rogers

Prepare yourself, this next sentence may be hard to read. Business leaders must be vulnerable. This was one of many lessons taught at the inaugural Live 2 Lead event hosted by Leadership Strategy & Consulting, LLC and Greater Hartsville Chamber of Commerce. Understandably, it’s hard to imagine the CEO of a toprated company appearing to be sensitive in front of employees. However, showing even a small amount of vulnerability allows employees to become relatable with their leader and comfortable when faced with an obstacle they are unfamiliar with. It’s the fear of being unable to ask for help when given an unknown responsibility that leads us to failure. When we have the courage to ask questions, we gain more knowledge in the business and are able to excel. “It is not the genius at the top giving directions that makes people great. It is great people that make the guy at the top look like a genius,” says Simon Sinek, one of four world-class speakers during the morning. The event was attended by local business leaders, owners, employees, and Coker College students to introduce new perspectives and practical tools to assist with professional success, business growth, and personal expansion. The powerful presentations given by Sinek, optimist and author in leadership authority; John C. Maxwell, bestselling author and founder of The John Maxwell Company; Dan Cathy, chairman, president, and CEO of Chick-fil-A; and Liz Wiseman, researcher, executive advisor, speaker, and president of the Wiseman Group, inspired members to improve business relationships and become better leaders and employees, which inevitably leads companies to success. It would take pages to note the key points communicated by speakers at the event. Here are a few that may provide an idea of how events hosted by your local Chamber of Commerce could inspire you and your employees to exceed: v Commit yourself to personal development and growth everyday. “Growth is the only guarantee tomorrow will be better,” says Maxwell. The older we get, the fewer questions we ask. In order to learn and continue to grow in life, not only in age, we must continue to ask questions. v Growth means change. We must learn, un-learn, and re-learn our way through life. v We’re misrepresenting our youth by labeling them “entitled.” The generation just entering the business world has grown accustomed to getting things “instantly.” When considering the behavior of young workers, keep in mind that their manner of learning was introduced by the speed of technology. v They [youth] are our future leaders; however, we are the leaders now. It is our responsibility to educate our future leaders, what better way to do so then by demonstrating what a great leader is? v As we grow older, we are no longer certain about as many things as we were when we were younger. However, the certainties we keep become stronger. v The only reason we do something a first time is so that we are more prepared the second time. Join your local chamber; take advantage of the development opportunities they offer to help grow a successful business. Not only are you able to be educated by industry leaders, you also have an opportunity to build relationships with other equally-minded individuals that can potentially grow into extraordinary partnerships. 52

VIP Magazine | December 2016

Live 2 Lead event was held on November 4th at the Hartsville Center Theatre.


THANK YOU PEPSI OF FLORENCE FOR HELPING SUPPORT

December 2016 | VIP Magazine

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HARTSVILLE 1..............................................................................................................................................................

Revelry Brewing Tap Takeover | Bottle & Tap 5-8p

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Bands of Hartsville Winter Concert | Hartsville High 7p

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2016 State Legislative Breakfast | Butler Heritage Auditorium 7:30a-9a

10...........................................................................................................................................................

Christmas Parade | Downtown 10:30a Farmers Market | East Carolina Avenue 9a-1p 15........................................................................................................................................................... Connections After Hours | Hospice Care of SC 5:30p 16........................................................................................................................................................... The Nutcracker Ballet | Center Theater 7:30p

WEEKLY EVENTS Thursdays..........................................................................................................................................

Christmas on Carolina | Downtown 6-8p Centennial Farmer’s Market | Downtown 4-7p

DARLINGTON 3..............................................................................................................................................................

Southeastern Bluegrass Association of SC Concert | Darlington Music Hall 4p

4..............................................................................................................................................................

Christmas Parade | 4p Carol Lighting Service | Public Square 5:30p 6.............................................................................................................................................................. A Light for Someone you Love | McLeod Darlington 5:45p 17........................................................................................................................................................... Good Samaritans Christmas Giveaway | Old Football Field on Main St. 8a-noon 18........................................................................................................................................................... Economic Development Partnership Meeting | SiMT 8a

LAKE CITY 2..............................................................................................................................................................

Lake City Christmas Parade | 6p-8p The American Heritage Festival | 6p-10p 3.............................................................................................................................................................. The American Heritage Festival | 9:30a – 10p 4.............................................................................................................................................................. The American Heritage Festival | 10a – 10p Candlelight Tour of Historic Lake City | 2p-7p 6.............................................................................................................................................................. History Fields: Blossoming of the Crossroads | Whitehead Infirmary 7-8p 15 & 17................................................................................................................................................ Holiday Wreaths | Moore Farms Botanical Garden 10a-2p December 2016 | VIP Magazine

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HARTSVILLE 1..............................................................................................................................................................

Revelry Brewing Tap Takeover | Bottle & Tap 5-8p

8..............................................................................................................................................................

Bands of Hartsville Winter Concert | Hartsville High 7p

9..............................................................................................................................................................

2016 State Legislative Breakfast | Butler Heritage Auditorium 7:30a-9a

10...........................................................................................................................................................

Christmas Parade | Downtown 10:30a Farmers Market | East Carolina Avenue 9a-1p 15........................................................................................................................................................... Connections After Hours | Hospice Care of SC 5:30p 16........................................................................................................................................................... The Nutcracker Ballet | Center Theater 7:30p

WEEKLY EVENTS Thursdays..........................................................................................................................................

Christmas on Carolina | Downtown 6-8p Centennial Farmer’s Market | Downtown 4-7p

DARLINGTON 3..............................................................................................................................................................

Southeastern Bluegrass Association of SC Concert | Darlington Music Hall 4p

4..............................................................................................................................................................

Christmas Parade | 4p Carol Lighting Service | Public Square 5:30p 6.............................................................................................................................................................. A Light for Someone you Love | McLeod Darlington 5:45p 17........................................................................................................................................................... Good Samaritans Christmas Giveaway | Old Football Field on Main St. 8a-noon 18........................................................................................................................................................... Economic Development Partnership Meeting | SiMT 8a

LAKE CITY 2..............................................................................................................................................................

Lake City Christmas Parade | 6p-8p The American Heritage Festival | 6p-10p 3.............................................................................................................................................................. The American Heritage Festival | 9:30a – 10p 4.............................................................................................................................................................. The American Heritage Festival | 10a – 10p Candlelight Tour of Historic Lake City | 2p-7p 6.............................................................................................................................................................. History Fields: Blossoming of the Crossroads | Whitehead Infirmary 7-8p 15 & 17................................................................................................................................................ Holiday Wreaths | Moore Farms Botanical Garden 10a-2p December 2016 | VIP Magazine

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PROFESSIONAL AT PLAY

The Man in the Suit Collin M. Smith Photography

Fran Barcomb Brings Joy Throughout the City story by Dawn Rogers Fran Barcomb, a former Math Teacher from Hudson Falls, New York, has spent countless hours obtaining the wish-lists of little boys and girls. His father was a bilingual Santa at Santa’s Workshop in North Pole, New York. Fran worked as an elf for his father, along with his youngest brother, to learn all the tricks of the trade, while his mother served as Mrs. Claus. Leaving his pointy shoes behind, Fran began his teaching career. He taught junior high and high school level math for 33 years before retiring and moving to Florence. Unlike the real Santa, Fran desired a warmer climate. After moving to Florence, Fran took a part-time position with Florence Darlington Technical College (FDTC) teaching basic Math and Algebra I and II. It was there that his colleagues recognized the similarities between him and the Jolly Old St. Nick.

Collin M. Smith Photography

To inquire about Santa, email Fran at fbarcomb@sc.rr.com.

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VIP Magazine | December 2016

Fran Began doing small appearances at FDTC, his church, and the homes of friends. Word spread and he was soon contacted by area photographers. First Reliance Bank was the first to offer him several consecutive days of work as Santa. Along with these appearances, he visits schools, nursing homes and many other groups. During the Christmas season, Fran stays quite busy bringing joy throughout the city. Last year, Fran attended a workshop in Michigan for St. Nicholas to polish his skills. He now appears as St. Nicholas around December 6th, his feast day. Fran, also known as Franta, is delighted to bring smiles to all the little boys and girls. He reads stories, talks to the children, takes photos, and most anything else the families ask him to do. Fran is honored to have been offered a second chance to make lasting impressions in the lives of children.


December 2016 | VIP Magazine

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BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT

Amy Taylor Wells

520 3rd Loop Rd., Florence Open M-F: 9-5:30 | Sat: 9-5

TAYLOR GARDEN & GIFT SHOP story by Emily Thigpen

For decades, those living in and around Florence County have visited Taylor Garden & Gift Shop during the Christmas season to explore new decorations doused in glitter and to smell the sweetness of warm cider. Pauline Taylor, owner of Taylor Garden & Gift Shop along with her husband Tommy, purchased the business from Tommy’s parents in 1972. In an effort to get year-round business, they began offering Christmas trees in the early 80s and soon after began selling ornaments. After graduating from Francis Marion University, their daughter, Amy Taylor Wells, joined in the family business.

decorate the shop for 15 years. Together they bring the magic of Christmas to fit the desires of each individual customer.

At an early age, Amy enjoyed helping her mother decorate trees throughout the shop. They would give each tree a theme, Amy’s favorite has always been the Elf Tree. Along with Amy, Taylor’s has many elves working diligently to provide smiles to customers. Emma Robinson has spent nearly 40 years with the Taylor’s as the Nursery Manager, and Decorator Janice Parnell has helped the family

Whether you’re looking for a single addition to your Christmas collection or an entirely new theme, Taylor’s has what you need. Many customers hire the shop to fully decorate their trees - from lights to garlands to toppers. The shop also delivers custom trees as tall as nine feet to homes in the area. For over 30 years, the Taylor family has enjoyed helping the community get in the Christmas spirit!

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VIP Magazine | December 2016

Today, Taylor’s offers an assortment of decorations displayed on 15 styled trees and over 35 themed garlands. They have hundreds of ribbon patterns and colors so that every decoration can be wrapped with uniqueness. They pride themselves in making bows and garland of all shapes and sizes that customers can use in a variety of ways. With 5,000 square feet of retail space, Taylor’s has something for every decorator.

If you’re in need of advice on how to decorate a tree, the elves at Taylor’s Garden & Gift Shop offers these easy steps! • Begin with the lights. Faceted glass bulbs will refract light and appear brighter. • Place the topper. Use wire to secure your topper. If you use bows, place them under the topper before you put it on. • Add the garland and/or ribbon. Start at the top, stringing less garland, and work your way down, increasing the amount of garland. • Place the ornaments. Start with the most important ones and then hang the largest ornaments, spacing them evenly apart. Finish with specialty shapes, such as bird clip-ons. • Finish with fillers. Fillers can be flowers, sprays of greenery or beads. Include fillers around the topper as well, it keeps the tree from looking too compact.


SHOP•LOCAL

EAT•LOCAL

December 2016 | VIP Magazine

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EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT

Aubrey Cantey is an Assisant Manager at KJ’s IGA/Ebenenzer.

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“IGA is a great company to work for, our management staff and employers are professional and encouraging. I learn something new from them everyday. Being able to interact with customers is one of my favorite parts of this job, I get to meet a lot of great people. Many of our customers visit daily so we get to know them well. I also enjoy the challenges. We are constantly looking to improve. By working together, we can meet the demands of our customers while getting sells where they need to be.”

AUBREY CANTEY


December 2016  

Pepsi of Florence

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