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Fall 2016

Unbridled impact Equine industry’s long run of success in S.C.

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County Spotlight: Newberry | Best Places to Work in S.C. | S.C. Delivers

Table of


Horses have long been a part of South Carolina, and they make their mark on the state’s economy. With training, racing and riding as well as tourism-related ventures, the revenue generated has been estimated at $2.9 billion in a recent year.

Left: Victoria Kelly works with a horse at Shadwell Stable at the Camden Training Center. (Photo/Jeff Blake) Cover photo: Riders at Carolina Cup. (Photo/Caroline French)




28 Aerospace by the numbers 30 New leader assumes helm of Boeing S.C.

32 Brexit’s long goodbye 34 Aerospace job demand

expected to grow through 2017


36 Seeking a place in aerospace



Meeting with top executive is key

Inspiring ideas for downtown growth

DEPARTMENTS 8 Grady Johnson’s Viewpoint

14 Spotlight: Newberry County

11 Upfront

56 S.C. Delivers

64 1,000 words

From the

Editor - Licia Jackson • 803.726.7546


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Dear Reader,

Horses and aerospace seem a strange combination of business features for the fall issue of SCBIZ. I can’t say that we planned it, but the theme does make sense. After all, both are modes of transportation and South Carolina is a leader in both. Just a few generations ago, horses were the main means of transport to and from our state. Now aircraft have become a major player. It illustrates how we can expect our state’s business leaders to continue to innovate to remain relevant. As I’ve learned in 20 years of living here, the answer to the question “why doesn’t South Carolina have (fill in blank)?” is this: Just wait. To that end, we take a look at several aspects of the aerospace industry. Changes are underway at Boeing South Carolina. Last year’s aerospace issue featured a new leader of Boeing operations in the state and again this year, we are writing about new leadership, as responsibilities have been reassigned. It’s fantastic that big aerospace companies are finding South Carolina a favorable location for their Licia Jackson business and encouraging that smaller companies are finding their Editor, own roles to play. This year, the state’s delegation to the internationSCBIZ Magazine al Farnborough Airshow included representatives from four South Carolina companies who found some intriguing opportunities. We also share some data that shows the state’s footprint in aerospace is expanding rapidly. SCAerospace, the industry cluster supported by the South Carolina Council on Competitiveness, reports that the average annual economic impact from the private sector aerospace cluster is nearly $9 billion. Be sure to savor the story and beautiful photos of the state’s horse industry. We all know that horse owners must spend money on land, vehicles, equipment, feed, training and other costs of keeping equine company – but have you heard of equitourism? Who knew that was a thing? Visitors come to South Carolina to watch horse races or to ride on the beach, and they spend a lot of dollars while they’re here. So, I’ve learned, it is a thing. We all know if you work at a place you love, you are a fortunate person. There are a lot of companies in our state going the extra mile to make their workplaces exceptional and you can read about 60 of the Best Places to Work in South Carolina in this issue, along with the lively Cities Mean Business issue from the Municipal Association of South Carolina.


Wishing you a pleasant fall,

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Grady Johnson’s

VIEWPOINT Keepers of the campaign for school funding reform


face the end of summer with bittersweet emotions. On one hand, I’m going to miss the long days and the lazy possibilities they conjure. On the other hand, summer is our most challenging season because interview sources and advertisers are on vacation, and we are working that much harder to keep the ink flowing. So I look forward to getting back to business as usual. This is also the time when most everyone starts thinking about school again. If you followed the happenings in the state Legislature prior to the break, you may recall the session ended with no school funding reform. The deadline was extended and no concrete actions taken to comply with the state Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of Abbeville County School District et al v. the State of South Carolina to address the inequity that exists in our rural schools and causes them not to meet the constitutional standard of minimum adequacy. It’s no secret that our state’s rural school districts are at a disadvantage when compared to the school districts in the wealthier metro areas. It’s also no revelation that the largely rural, largely AfricanAmerican school districts in our state take a back seat on the legislative agenda. So I shouldn’t be surprised, as shocking as it sounds, that this case had been argued in


It’s no secret that our state’s rural school districts are at a disadvantage when compared to the school districts in the wealthier metro areas. It’s also no revelation that the largely rural, largely African-American school districts in our state take a back seat on the legislative agenda. So I shouldn’t be surprised, as shocking as it sounds, that this case had been argued in court for 20 years. court for 20 years. However, I am astounded to find that the plaintiffs, Abbeville County School District and 33 other rural school districts, have been represented by the same attorney for 20 years, pro bono. Who works on a case for 20 years for free? Attorney Carl Epps, it turns out, along with a who’s who roster of other attorneys at the firm of Nelson, Mullins, Riley and Scarborough. Now it begins to make sense. The Riley on that shingle belongs to none other than our former governor and U.S. Secretary of Education Dick Riley. But it is intriguing, isn’t it? What would compel a firm to commit the time and treasure to engage an adversary as entrenched, intractable and well-funded as the State of South Carolina? I spent some time on the phone recently with both Gov.

Riley and Carl Epps to find out. Riley speaks eloquently and passionately with quiet confidence and strength of conviction. I’m in the presence of a man who has shaped politics, policy, and our state in ways most of us will likely fail to fully understand. I search for a label. Elder statesman? Institution? He would likely dismiss the tags. The stature of his years and his command of constitutional law, education reform and state governance make him an effective and compelling champion of education. By his estimation, this is one of the largest pro bono cases in the history of South Carolina. He reckons the firm has invested somewhere in the range of $9 million worth of legal services and hard costs. I can’t detect a single shred of regret. The historic nature of this trial is

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point out that the Legislature put together a highly qualified committee to research the problems, which came back with a very good study. I point out there is no action. No legislation. Riley speaks compassionately about the task ahead of the lawmakers and reminds me you can’t have night turn into day without a dawn. Epps reminds me the children in these school districts have no police force, no army to enforce the decision. Consider this, he says, these kids are in the same

impoverished condition as their parents and their parents’ parents and so on, back 200 years. For many, a legacy of enslavement and segregation. Ending this generational poverty can prove the good that people can do if they are brave enough to change the course of history. Riley and Epps make me hope the members of the House and Senate are having a nice summer.


Grady Johnson President and Group Publisher, SC Biz News

not lost on Riley, who points out that this case has been argued in the same Clarendon County Courthouse as Brown v. Board, the landmark case to desegregate public schools. His points are tempered by his years in public service and he communicates the urgent need for action with the knowledge that two more generations of our children have withered on the vine, yet fundamental change at the legislative level takes time. Gov. Riley was invited to address the Legislature not long after the state Supreme Court ruling. His advice was clear: • Think strategically. This is a significant, even generational opportunity to get this right. • Think expansively. Bring forth recommendations that get us past “minimal adequacy.” • Have a sense of urgency. We cannot lose another generation of children. Think comprehensively. Don’t be piecemeal. That’s how we got here in the first place. Think long term. If we invest in education we will reduce the long-term costs of unemployment, health care, social services and incarceration. Carl Epps has the easy manners and gracious accent spoken across the Midlands of South Carolina. He tells me he took on the case in 1993 and says, at the time, he figured it would take two to three years. He then ticks off the timeline of two long decades in litigation — the dismissal in ’96, the appeal in ’99, the motion to reconsider in 2006 — arguments and re-arguments. I imagine documents piled to the sky. Enough to fill a small Costco, he says. He has put most of his 46-year career behind him, yet after 23 years he remains on this one case. Has it consumed him? Limited his professional capabilities? Embittered him? Defined his career? He chuckles, talks about the team of attorneys surrounding him and tells me cases this intellectually stimulating and socially worthwhile come along rarely in an attorney’s career. He jumped at the chance. What happens if the Legislature continues to use procedural maneuvering to postpone, I ask. Both men are quick to



regional news | data

Total solar eclipse will cross S.C.


f you’re an astronomy buff, you already know it’s coming. If not, you need to start making plans! Just about a year from now — Aug. 21, 2017 — South Carolina will be one of the best places to view a total eclipse of the sun. Three of our largest cities, Greenville, Columbia and Charleston, will fall right

within the path of totality, meaning they’ll experience darkness in the middle of the afternoon. South Carolina will be a great destination for people who want to see the eclipse, as it will be the nearest spot within the path of totality for at least 100 million Americans on the East Coast, according to

So get ready for some visitors! The total solar eclipse will enter the state at 3:36 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, and will leave the coast at 3:49 p.m. Eclipse duration will be around 2½ minutes in most areas, with Charleston experiencing 1 minute, 40 seconds of darkness. The South Carolina State Museum, with its Boeing Observatory, has taken on the role of eclipse headquarters, and special events and parties are already planned. The Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau is set up to help visitors, encouraging them to make a weekend of it. Although it has been 38 years since the last total solar eclipse within the U.S., you won’t have to wait long for the next one; it will be less than seven years until the total solar eclipse of April 8, 2024.

FAST FACTS | Aerospace in S.C. 11.8%

Average annual employment growth in the S.C. aerospace cluster since 2010


Average annual employment growth rate for the state overall since 2010

Average total compensation, S.C. $70,000 – aerospace cluster jobs $53,350 – manufacturing jobs $41,338 – all jobs

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Source: S.C. Council on Competitiveness

For every 10 jobs created in the private sector of the aerospace cluster in South Carolina, an additional 13 jobs are created elsewhere in the state’s economy.



Emmett Davis

Patrick W. McKinney

James M. Smith Sr.

S.C. Business Hall of Fame names 2017 honorees


hree business leaders have been named laureates of the South Carolina Business Hall of Fame for 2017. Junior Achievement of Greater South Carolina announced the honorees, who will be honored in March at the 33rd annual event.


The award winners are: • Emmett Davis, chairman of Davis & Floyd Inc. of Greenwood. • Patrick W. McKinney, former partner of Kiawah Partners, Charleston • James M. Smith Sr., founder of JM Smith Corp. of Spartanburg (honored posthumously)

Davis leads Davis & Floyd Inc., an engineering firm in Greenwood recognized as a preeminent engineering and environmental firm in the Southeast. A leader in professional engineering societies as well as in civic and community organizations, Davis serves as an elder in his church and is former chairman of the board of Erskine

macies in the Carolinas and Georgia. He traveled to visit all the stores each week. In 1943, he founded Smith Drug Co. in Spartanburg as a distributor of wholesale drugs The company acquired an IBM mainframe computer and in 1959 began providing services to area businesses and government as Smith Data Processing. In 1977, the QS/1 Pharmacy System was launched, bringing automation to U.S. pharmacies. The company became JM Smith Corp. in 1979, operating multiple divisions in wholesale drugs and technology. The three were chosen as champions of free enterprise who serve as role models in business for South Carolina’s youth. They have made unique contributions to the state’s business landscape, according to Junior Achievement of Greater South Carolina. They are also honored for being agents of positive change, for their leadership and for being a source of inspiration to young people. A black-tie event honoring these laureates will be held March 16, 2017, at the Columbia Marriott.

Don’t Waste Food S.C. (Turns out mom was right)



College and a former director and president of The Citadel Development Foundation. McKinney joined the S.C. Ports Authority board of directors in 2011 and is the current board chairman. His 40-year career in real estate sales and development included the $105 million purchase of Kiawah Island in 1988 from the Kuwait Investment Co., the largest single real estate transaction in state history at the time. McKinney was a partner in Kiawah Partners, master developer of the island, until its sale in 2013 and serves as a consultant to Kiawah Island Real Estate, from which he retired as president in 2006. During his career, McKinney worked on development of nine golf courses in coastal South Carolina and Ireland. He has served in leadership positions in many golf associations and nonprofit boards. The corporation bearing the late James M. Smith’s name was born from a single pharmacy he opened in Asheville, N.C, in 1925. Smith prospered during the Great Depression and opened 15 more phar-

ood is too valuable to waste – one out of six people struggles with hunger in the U.S., yet food is the single largest component sent to landfills. In an attempt to keep food out of the trash, three S.C. government departments have organized Don’t Waste Food S.C., a collaborative campaign to reduce the waste. The Departments of Health and Environmental Control, Commerce and Agriculture are joining in the effort. As far as the size of the problem, South Carolina produced a whopping 607,000 tons of food waste in fiscal year 2015, the collaborative says. Don’t Waste Food S.C. is aimed at educating and empowering everyone to take action by prevention, donation and composting. The goal is to reduce food waste in the state by 50% by 2030. For more information and ideas, check out


county spotlight


Historic Keller Hall at Newberry College. (Photo/Newberry County Economic Development)


Small town moves toward modern manufacturing By Jenny Peterson, Staff Writer

W 14

ith quaint streets lined with antebellum homes and the famed Newberry Opera House, Newberry County has been recognized as one of the 100 Best Small Towns in America. Halfway between Columbia and Greenville, with a population of 37,521, Newberry offers a truly comfortable pace of life. Manufacturing has always played an important role in Newberry County as an economic driver, and the county boasts nearly 5,000 manufacturing jobs today. “More than 30 percent of our workforce is engaged in manufacturing – that’s more than double the state’s rate and triple the national rate,” said Rick Farmer, Newberry County Economic Development director.

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Newberry Coun by the numbers ty

Population............ ....................... 37,5 21 Average Income.... ................... $33,68 6 Leader in manuf acturing jobs Newberry has a mu ch higher percentag e of manufacturing job s than the rest of the state and the U. S. Percentage of employment in manu facturing:   United States ........ ........................... 9% South Carolina ........ .......................  12% Newberry County.... ........................ 33% Source: S.C. Depa

and Workforce

rtment of Employ



Above: Falcon Bass Boats employee Leonel Cardinas works on a boat in the factory in Newberry. Right: owners Stephen Waller and Tim DePriest stand in front of Falcon’s F215 bass boats. Boat building is making a comeback in Newberry County. (Photos/Jeff Blake)

Major long-time employers in the county include Kraft Foods, Caterpillar Inc. and Georgia-Pacific Corp. “This community has known for decades the value of a manufacturing-based economy,” Farmer said. “Major manufacturing companies have laid the groundwork for today.” Newberry County is adapting to new types of manufacturing, including automotive manufacturing, with increased workforce training in the growing field of advanced materials and industrial technology. The county also boasts one of the largest industrial mega sites in the state of South Carolina – nearly 2,000 acres, ready for large-scale industrial development. “We hope to land an automotive assembly-line plant that would anchor the Midlands and be like the BMW plant found in the Upstate,” Farmer said. With automotive markets already established in the Upstate and in Charleston, “that leaves the Columbia metro area,” Farmer said. “We hope we will be the next to strike gold.”


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Rooted in manufacturing history Newberry County is home to a varied and diverse manufacturing base, from food processing to lumber, with a number of long-time companies anchoring the community. One of the oldest manufacturers in Newberry County is Kraft Foods North America, where approximately 2,500 workers are engaged in food processing, including raw and cooked turkey products.  Caterpillar Inc. manufactures generators in Newberry County, employing 325 workers. Komatsu America Corp. began operations in 2001 and manufactures front-end loaders and a variety of forklifts.  “They are a global name and have facilities all over the world,” Farmer said. There are 150 employees at the Komatsu facility. Korean company Kiswire Inc., a manufacturer of steel cord and bead wire, has been operating in the county since 1999 and is currently on phase III of an expansion that will be worth more than $50 million. Upon completion, Kiswire Inc. will employ

more than 200 people in its two Newberry locations.   Another long-time Newberry County manufacturer, ISE America, has been producing eggs at a feed mill and shell egg processing plant since 2001. With 120 employees, ISE Newberry also serves as the company’s sales office in the Southeastern United States.   Other manufacturing employers include: • Trucast Inc., which produces wheels for diesel engine turbo chargers. • Georgia Pacific Corp., which produces Southern pine plywood, lumber and wood chips. • West Fraser, a Canadian company that manufactures lumber and wood byproducts. • Pioneer Frozen Food, which manufactures frozen-dough products, including the world-famous


Longtime Newberry County employer Komatsu America Corp. manufactures front-end loaders and a variety of forklifts. (Photo/Newberry County Economic Development)

McDonald’s McGriddle breakfast sandwich. A category of manufacturing coming back online in Newberry County is boat building. Sea Pro Boats, born in Newberry County in 1987 and shuttered in the Great Recession, announced last year that it would re-open in Newberry County with a new line of bay boats and center-console offshore fishing boats. The company is investing $5.5 million and generating 238 new jobs in Whitmire. Falcon Boats, a startup boat manufacturer, announced in March 2016 that it would manufacture a new line of sport fishing boats in Newberry County. “Falcon Boats was originally a boat repair company, but they wanted to get into the boat-building business, and they knew Newberry had a history of boat building,” Farmer said. “Marine manufacturing is definitely in our wheelhouse.”  

Move-in ready ‘mega site’

Newberry County has a number of available sites and buildings for relocation or expansion. The largest, the I-26 Mega Site, has more than 2,000 acres, just two miles off the interstate. Also served by rail, the location has gotten a lot of buzz as one of the state’s largest certified mega sites. Other sites include 425-acre MidCarolina Commerce Park, and the 119-acre Carlton Industrial Site. Available buildings and warehouses range from 15,000 to 50,000 square feet. Special Advertising Section


COUNTY SPOTLIGHT: NEWBERRY County leaders and business executives at the groundbreaking for Kiswire’s fine wire plant in Newberry County. The company is on Phase III of its expansion. (Photos/Newberry County Economic Development)

With an affordable tax base and abundant resources, including reliable and low-cost electricity, Farmer said the county is poised for new growth. “We are fixated on the future,” he said. “If a company needs ten acres or 1,000 acres, we’re going to make sure we compete for as many new jobs as we can.” Move-in-ready sites can save companies six months to a year of moving-in time in order to be up and running, Farmer said. Newberry County Councilman Les Hipp, chairman of Council’s Economic Development Committee, said the county has competitive incentive packages for relocation or expansion. “We compete with any other county on special source revenue credits and making land and facilities available at the most competitive price that we can offer,” he said. Farmer said the goal is to get a company—ideally automotive manufacturing—to move into the entire mega site. “We are looking for the kind of projects that can be game changers,” Farmer said. “A billion-dollar investment can reshape the economy of the entire region.”  

A logistically superior solution


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Newberry County is located halfway between the Greenville and Columbia metro areas off I-26, which makes it a prime location for moving goods to the port of Charleston and throughout the Upstate.

“Companies know they can get on the road and reach their markets quickly,” Farmer said. “Today, everything is about how quickly a company can get to its customers; logistically, we are a superior solution.” The location allows the county to be able to draw from a wide labor market in nearby Richland, Lexington, Laurens, Spartanburg and Greenville counties.

Adapting the workforce Newberry County has made a concentrated effort to increase workforce training in modern manufacturing, especially the emerging advanced materials industry. “Gone are the days with people shoulder to shoulder on assembly lines—now they have to run machines and know how to read blueprints and know how to troubleshoot,” Farmer said. The county has established a mechatronics program through the Newberry County School District Career Center and Piedmont Technical College, where students can receive a mechatronics technology associate degree. Hipp said the goal is to bring in new target industries that come with higherpaying jobs. “We are out to find jobs that pay higher to increase per capita incomes,” he said. “Manufacturing and automotive are higher tech manufacturing, and to that end we’ve added mechatronics classes and elevated

The campus of Newberry College, which educates students in a number of disciplines.

training that would benefit our younger citizens and keep them within our county.” Beverly Leslie, director of the Newberry County Career Center, said 650 students are enrolled at the career center each year from three local high schools. High school juniors and seniors generally attend classes at the career center for three hours each day in the morning or afternoon. Workforce training classes at the career center include biomedical sciences, forensics, agriculture, automotive technology, machine technology, welding, horticulture, carpentry, CAD design and business programs for accounting and basic finance. Many of the classes can be continued at Piedmont Technical College for dual credit. The career center has flexibility to add classes based on industry needs. “Right now, boat manufacturing is a new industry and we are meeting with company owners and asking how we can meet those needs with our students,” Leslie said. “We don’t currently have a program in marine technology, but it’s something we can add.” The center also coordinates internships, apprenticeships and work-based learning courses. The county uses Apprenticeship Carolina and ReadySC to help employers train the workforce on specific skills. “We will continue to move the goal


posts as more companies are demanding more out of workers with each passing year,” Farmer said. “We have to be flexible and willing to adapt the workforce to meet the needs of industry.”

Quality of life

Top: The annual community Christmas tree lighting takes place at the town’s Community Hall. Below: A quaint downtown and affordable quality of life welcome residents to Newberry County.

Places. Housing options cover a wide range of styles, from modern homes to lake houses to historic structures in downtown Newberry. A former textile mill built in 1912, Oakland Mill, has been transformed into a luxury apartment complex near Newberry College. Newberry County Memorial Hospital provides quality health care close to home.  Two 18-hole golf courses beckon both serious and leisure players. “These are things that catch the eye of workers and manufacturers,” Farmer said. “When you bring in management, and they employ a large number of people, you want them to be in a community in which they themselves want to live.”

Fireworks over the Newberry Opera House during a New Year’s Eve celebration. ( Photo/Rob SummerSummer Media)

With a population of 37,521 and average income $33,686, Newberry County offers a quaint, rural life, surrounded by nature. Large fresh water sites are a short drive away: Lake Murray, Lake Greenwood and the Saluda and Broad rivers, teeming with boating and fishing opportunities. The Sumter National Forest, the Palmetto Trail system and Dreher Island State Park offer a multitude of outdoor adventures between festivals and summer concerts on the weekends in the historic downtown. The Enoree River Winery in Newberry is a relaxing, intimate winery that serves local, hand-crafted wines. Carter and Holmes Orchids, established in Newberry County in 1947, is one of the largest orchid nurseries in the world. The iconic Newberry Opera House is the county’s most recognized attraction, drawing over 100,000 visitors annually with its impressive cultural offerings. The Opera House is the hub of downtown Newberry’s cultural life, and anchors a thriving small city that hosts numerous festivals and events throughout the year, such as Oktoberfest, free downtown concerts and movies, and the popular barbecue festival Pork in the Park. The county is also home to Newberry College, a thriving community of students and professors engaged in traditional liberal arts education. It was voted the 33rd Best College in the South for 2015 in U.S. News and World Report rankings.  The Newberry County School district, which enrolls 6,000 students, has received an excellent rating for the past two years. “We have a low-crime environment with great public schools. This is not only a great place to do business, it’s a great place to raise a family,” Farmer said.  Newberry County offers affordable cost of living with median home prices at $109,200, according to Sperling’s Best

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HOOFPRINTS By Melinda Waldrop, Staff Writer

The equine industry pumps money into the state in many ways


Horse and rider head to the stables at the Camden Training Center Tuesday morning. (Photo/Jeff Blake)



orses have been a part of South Carolina at least since the Marsh Tacky swam ashore in the 1500s. Their influence remains strong, though not easy to measure. Exact numbers are difficult to pin down in measuring the growing equine industry’s impact on the state’s economy, as horses aren’t categorized and tracked as commodities. The figures that are available hint at the scale. In 2014, the S.C. Department of Agriculture

estimated revenue generated by the industry at $2.9 billion. Along with the price of a horse, of course, owners also shell out money for land, vehicles, equipment, feed, training and other costs of keeping equine company.



The tentacles of the industry also extend into equitourism, a niche discussed in a special session hosted by the Agriculture Department at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism in 2013. This encompasses annual events such as the Carolina Cup, which brings an average of 60,000 fans to Springdale Race Course in Camden, and businesses such as Charleston’s Palmetto Carriage Co., a multimillion-dollar operation that employs as many as 100 people at the height of tourist season. “As far as diversity, South Carolina has everything you could imagine,” said Marsha Hewitt, agricultural marketing specialist at the S.C. Department of Agriculture and a long-time equine enthusiast.

On the trail to success The fastest-growing trend in the state, Hewitt said, is trail riding, spurred by private landowners who welcome riders to explore their property for a fee. Experiences range from gallivanting through thousands of acres of woods owned by a retired Lowcountry farmer to the camping extravaganza Wonderful Weekend in Ward, attended by thousands in the spring and fall. Attendees put money in the pockets of landowners and local businesses. People – and their money — also flock to the American Heart Association’s annual beach ride at Lakewood Camping Resort in Myrtle Beach, scheduled this year for Nov. 9-13. “They will have 2,000 people there, and 60% of them are from out of state,” Hewitt said. “It’s great fun. It’s a unique event that brings in a lot of tourism dollars. … the ride director down there says the hotels will call her for the dates, because they have people wanting to book stays at Myrtle Beach just so they can watch horses on the beach.” Top: Horses and riders work out at the Camden Training Center.

Bottom middle: A horse and rider head to the track at the Camden center. Bottom right: Victoria Kelly walks a horse at Shadwell Stable at the center in Camden. (Photos/Jeff Blake)

Bottom left: Adolfo Gallegos, left, and Marcus Ingram bathe a horse at the Camden Training Center .


THE EQUINE INDUSTRY IN S.C. Equitourism brings visitors to South Carolina, with riding on the beach high on the list of pastimes. (Photo/S.C. Department of Agriculture)

South Carolina’s oldest equine pursuit is horse racing. In 1734, the first horse race was held in Charleston. That same year, a group of S.C. planters organized the South Carolina Jockey Club – 16 years before the formation of the English Jockey Club. Most state residents are familiar with Camden’s pair of storied steeplechases: the hat-happy, party-hearty Carolina Cup, held each spring, and its toned-down cousin, the Colonial Cup, scheduled for Nov. 19 this year. South Carolina is also home to the Aiken Trials, along with the Elloree Trials and the King’s Tree Trials, which draw large crowds to off-the-beaten-path locations.

Top-notch training tradition


Camden also boasts a rich tradition of world-class horse training. Paul Anderson has worked at Camden Training Center for 30 years. The center has clients ranging from Dubai sheiks to local owners. It typically receives year-old horses – “babies,” as Anderson calls them – who have to learn how to be tacked and saddled. As their development progresses, the horses work with riders on the center’s mile dirt track and a 7/8-mile turf course. “It’s like people. When you go to school, you have some kids that advance quicker,” Anderson said. “The horses are the same way.” Horses training at the center have purchase prices ranging from $60,000 to $3 million, Anderson said. Though price

Riders compete in the Colonial Cup, held in Camden. (Photo/Caroline French)

does not always predict performance, “you can just about tell a horse that cost money and a horse that didn’t,” he said. “It’s just the structure of the horse. If you go to a horse sale and you see a horse that’s $60,000, you may think that’s a lot of money and he may look pretty good. But when you bring one out there that’s $200,000 – it’s just like looking at the new Volkswagen and the new Mercedes.” Anderson said the Camden center rents stalls for $13.50 a day. At peak capacity, he said, the facility can house up to 200 horses and employ that many people, from grooms and exercise walkers to veterinarians and blacksmiths. Horses trained at the Camden facility include 2006 Belmont Stakes entrant Jazil, 1996 National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame inductee Go for Wand, 1976 Hall of Fame filly Ruffian, and Battleship, who became the only North American Grand National winner in America and England in 1934 and 1938. Mohaymen, who finished fourth in the 2016 Kentucky Derby, also trained there, and Graham Motion, trainer of 2011 Derby winner Animal Kingdom, has stabled his horses at the center for the winter. “It does make you feel good,” Anderson said. “Just to be entered in some of the big races, like the Derby or the Belmont – it does make you feel good to know that that horse was at your facility.” Andrea King, a long-time trainer in horse hotbed Aiken, also takes pride in see-

ing her horses – and their riders – achieve success. A former rider at her 150-acre Hollow Tree Farm, Emanuel Andrade, qualified for an individual equestrian Olympic spot for Venezuela. “We try to produce the horses and the riders,” King said. “We try to get them to the top of the sport, and if they’re not that kind of horse, they usually get sold.” King also trains show horses, a facet of the industry she has seen grow exponentially in the area. “That’s brought a lot more people here,” King said, but aside from a few traffic snarls, she doesn’t mind. “The more horse people, the better.”

Promising future The equine industry does face challenges, from encroaching development that eats into the state’s supply of cheap land to a need to retain clients that has Anderson lobbying the Camden center’s owner to invest in TV advertising during Triple Crown races. The industry’s growth, though, shows no signs of abating. That’s clearly evident in the $100 million showplace Tryon International Equestrian Center just across the border in North Carolina, a contender to play host to the 2018 World Equestrian Games. “It’s like Disneyland for horses,” Hewitt said. South Carolina boasts three major show facilities – the T. Ed Garrison Arena


in Clemson, Camden’s Carolina Equine Park, and Mullet Hall Equestrian Center in Charleston. But smaller, local shows are popping up all over the place, Hewitt said, with as many as 10 shows some weekends. Owning a horse is not required for industry entrée, either. Hewitt said around 20 S.C. high schools lease horses as part of riding programs. The University of South Carolina has a top-ranked equestrian team, while other colleges, including Clemson and USC Aiken, also offer the sport. Lander University in Greenwood has a therapeutic riding program. “People love horses,” Hewitt said. “They love horse racing.” It’s a fever Hewitt, who once owned around 40 horses and now has 10, understands. “Everybody knows about the horse habit,” she said. “One is good; two are better.”


King’s Tree Trials

Nov. 5, 2016 McCutcheon Training Center 30 Ward Road, Kingstree, S.C. 843-355-6431

Colonial Cup Nov. 19, 2016 46th annual steeplechase Springdale Race Course 200 Knight Hills Road, Camden, S.C. 29020 803-432-6513 or 800-780-8117

Aiken Trials

March 18, 2017 Six-race card that marks the first leg of Aiken’s Triple Crown events 538 Two Notch Road, SE, Aiken, S.C. 29801 803-648-4631

Elloree Trials

Carolina Cup April 1, 2017 85th annual steeplechase Springdale Race Course 200 Knight Hills Road, Camden, S.C. 29020 803-432-6513 or 800-780-8117

March 2017 55th running of quarter horse and thor oughbred races at the Elloree Training Cent er 170 Wishbone Circle, Elloree, S.C. 2904 7 803-897-2616



Makayla Clegg competes on the University of South Carolina’s equestrian team. (Photo/USC)

Major has guided USC equestrian team to great heights in two decades as coach By Melinda Waldrop, Staff Writer

B 26

oo Major has seen plenty of changes in two decades. Major begins her 20th year as coach of the University of South Carolina’s women’s equestrian team this fall. The program, founded in 1996, has gone from no scholarships to 15. Its home base has moved from Columbia suburb Irmo to Blythewood, a more rural suburb. Hundreds of riders have been part of the team, and their expectations have grown. In the early days, “the girls would get excited if I gave them a T-shirt,” Major said. “It’s evolved from there.” Major’s teams have three National Collegiate Equestrian Association championships (2005, 2007, 2015) under their saddles, and its members no longer covet clothing. “We’ve gone from the girls having to supply their own outfits to compete in to us supplying their outfits, including boots

and helmets and chaps,” Major said. “The process has been to try to fully fund the program so that it is like the other sports here. You don’t expect a football player to bring his own stuff to play football.” Major’s first team had 20 members. Now she has 40 riders, including 20 Western and 20 hunt seat. She recruits from all across the country. “They come from all over everywhere – California, Nebraska, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Michigan,” said Major, the Southeastern Conference coach of the year in 2013 and 2014 and the NCEA’s coach of the year in 2014 and 2015. Some of those riders bring their horses with them, with the understanding that they become team horses. “The whole deal of collegiate equestrian is being able to get on an unfamiliar horse and figure it out in a brief period time,”

Major said. The riders occasionally donate their horses to the program when they leave. Horses are also donated or loaned from the outside community. Major said the team currently has 25 horses, with five on loan and the rest donated. “Usually it’s because the horse is a little bit older and they have difficulty selling them,” she said. “They’re still extremely useful. … We have everything from four-figure horses under $10,000 as well as six-figure horses that have been donated.” The horses don’t travel with the team, which will compete in California, Texas, Alabama and Georgia this year. Horses are drawn by lot at competitions. “There’s certainly a distinct home field advantage,” said Major, whose riders compete in four events: two Western hunt seat events, one Western saddle and one English


Amelia Vernon represents USC in an English saddle event. (Photo/USC)

saddle. “They’re given a pattern ahead of time. They have to memorize that pattern.” After a Sept. 16 exhibition against Alabama at One Wood Farm in Blythewood, the Gamecocks open the 2016-17 season at home against Baylor on Sept. 23. The fall schedule runs until Nov. 18, with spring competition beginning on Feb. 3. The SEC championships begin March 24 in Auburn, Ala, with the NCEA national championship set for April 13-15 in Waco, Texas. “We’re still an emerging sport in the NCAA. We’re still working nationally to get other schools to add (the sport) so that we can get championship status within the NCAA,” Major said. “It’s very interesting to see how it’s evolved through the last 20 years. It started as nothing, not just at South Carolina but in college. It was very small, and it’s just really blossomed into quite a big production.” Major, a Columbia native and 1981 USC graduate whose real name is Frances but who earned her nickname early in life because of her love of Yogi the Bear’s cartoon sidekick, caught the horse bug during childhood lessons at a Blythewood ranch. “It’s just always been in my blood,” she said. “I was three years old and they had this one particular horse that I could ride that wouldn’t kill me. I still remember, he would walk around the rodeo ring and then he’d just go back to the gate and there I’d sit until somebody would come and get me. “I have loved horses my entire life. It’s part of you.”


Aerospace in South Carolina Growth in South Carolina’s aerospace industry has been phenomenal over the past 10 years. The state’s favorable location — within 1,000 miles of 67% of the U.S. population — as well as its business-friendly economic development team have attracted the attention of more than 200 aerospace and aviation companies.

$19 billion

Combined economic impact of S.C.’s four military aviation facilities plus the private sector aerospace cluster


Increase in export sales of aircraft by South Carolina in 2015

$9 billion

Annual economic impact of the private sector aerospace cluster


Number of jobs supported by military aviation plus private sector aerospace

$4 billion

Aircraft and spacecraft export sales from South Carolina in 2015

$619 million

South Carolina state tax revenue that would not exist without the aerospace cluster


Source: South Carolina Council on Competitiveness; S.C. Department of Commerce Infographic: Ryan Wilcox


South Carolina’s percentage of the U.S. market share of export sales of aircraft and spacecraft

TRENDING: AEROSPACE IN S.C. Joan Robinson-Berry will oversee all Boeing S.C. operations, while direct oversight of the 787 Dreamliner production will be managed out of Washington state. (Photo/Kim McManus)

New leader assumes helm of Boeing S.C.

Management of Dreamliner operations moves to Washington By Liz Segrist, Staff Writer



oan Robinson-Berry grew up one of nine children in a gang-ridden neighborhood in Los Angeles, and she attended a high school with high dropout rates. But while she was there, she became interested in learning math and science and developing technical skills, according to her profile in Boeing’s Frontiers magazine. She graduated high school and went on to college to become an aerospace engineer and earn two master’s degrees. She then co-founded a small engineering company in L.A. before joining the Boeing Co. in 1986. Over the past three decades, RobinsonBerry has been building her career at the aerospace manufacturer. Among her numerous roles, she ran the MD-80/-90 Twinjet Programs for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. She served as the director of a supplier management program and a small/diverse business alliance program, both of which are within Boeing’s Defense, Space and Security division. Most recently, Robinson-Berry was the

Joan Robin


vice president of the Shared Services Group Supplier Management organization, where she headed up supply chain strategy, contracting and development for the company. Now, the longtime Boeing executive has relocated from Sammamish, Wash., a city outside of Seattle, to run Boeing South Carolina’s 787 Dreamliner campus. Robinson-Berry replaces Beverly Wyse, the former vice president and general manager of the S.C. site, who served in that role for a little more than a year. “Joan has broad Boeing experience and is known as a strong advocate for employees, a results-oriented leader and a community builder,” Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner said in a news release. “The South Carolina team and community have a true partner that will continue to strengthen Boeing’s roots in the region.” When the Boeing S.C. site was still marshland near Charleston International Airport years ago, Robinson-Berry played a role in setting up much of the company’s supplier network, and she has since sup-

ported the site’s growth. As Boeing S.C.’s new vice president and general manager, Robinson-Berry said she wants to support research and development, strengthen company culture and improve 787 production and cost competitiveness. When asked about unions, RobinsonBerry said she does not have a direct problem with them because Boeing has unionized plants around the country, but she added she does want Boeing S.C. to remain nonunion. Beyond the company’s doors, RobinsonBerry said she plans to focus on expanding community relationships and attracting more students to science, technology, engineering and math fields. “I’m not saying we can put everyone in college or career paths that lead to becoming the CEO. I realize that we can only influence a few students,” Robinson-Berry said in the 2004 Frontiers profile. “But if I can affect a small percentage of students and change some of their core values to include academic success, then I feel my goals have been reached.”

Shifting roles TRENDING: AEROPSPACE IN S.C. The leadership changes at Boeing S.C. come at a busy time for the North Charleston campus. Amid rate increases and preparations for the 787-10, a new paint facility is expected to open this year. (Photo/Kim McManus)

Lowcountry campus and within the Dreamliner operations comes at a pivotal time for the 787 program — rates recently increased to 12 airplanes built per month, and a new jet, the 787-10 Dreamliner, will be integrated into North Charleston production and final assembly this year. The Lowcountry campus is building a paint facility that is set to open later this year, enabling Dreamliners to be painted on-site rather than by off-site, third-party suppliers. The North Charleston campus reached a milestone in February, delivering its 100th S.C.-made Dreamliner. Two months later, it announced a voluntary layoff offer for up to 200 S.C. engineers amid thousands of anticipated job cuts in the company’s commercial sector. Boeing representatives declined to say how many workers took the buyout.

Wyse’s departure Wyse relocated from Washington and took over for the retiring Jack Jones as the head of Boeing S.C. and its 787 operations in early 2015. When Wyse assumed the helm, she said her five-year vision was to make the North Charleston Dreamliner campus “Boeing’s benchmark for efficiency and productivity.” Wyse planned to use her five years’ experience managing a 737 plant in Renton Wash., — where she increased production rates to 42 planes per month — to ramp up rates and introduce a new jet to the S.C. production and final assembly operations. She also advocated for increasing diversity in the Boeing workforce and focusing on

lean manufacturing. Wyse now returns to Washington, remaining with Boeing as president of its Seattle-based Shared Services Group. Wyse said Rob Pasterick’s decision to retire from that post earlier this year spurred the changes. As president of the Shared Services Group, Wyse will manage a 7,000-employee unit that provides internal services — such as the sale and acquisition of property, supplier relationships and infrastructure for products — to each of Boeing’s airplane programs. Robinson-Berry and Wyse said they have worked together for years; Wyse often served as a mentor. “This is an iconic leader,” RobinsonBerry said of Wyse. “She has fundamentally changed the culture, the climate and the competitiveness of the North Charleston Boeing facility, and I just can’t begin to say how much I appreciate her.” Wyse said leaving the helm of Boeing S.C. is “bittersweet,” but she said “one of the things that makes it tolerable ... is if you know you are turning it over to a leader that will take the site to the next level.” “I’ve been here 18 months, but I can tell you that it has been one of the best learning experiences personally — working with the community, the local people here, the team here — it has been one of the most gratifying (experiences) of my entire career,” Wyse said. “I don’t think anyone can come down to South Carolina and not feel changed by the experience and the warmth that exists in this community. It’s going to remain near and dear to my heart.”

The change in leadership signifies a major shift in management and operations at the Boeing South Carolina site. Robinson-Berry’s attention will not be on building jets, unlike her predecessor. Wyse spent much of her Boeing career, including her time in South Carolina, running an airplane program and ramping up production rates. In this new role, Robinson-Berry will more so focus on Boeing’s overall Lowcountry footprint — a research and development lab that creates new technologies for Boeing programs; a propulsion center that produces parts for the 737 Max and 777X; an interiors facility that produces Dreamliner seats and luggage bins; and a new engineering, IT and design center — all of which are off-site from the main Dreamliner campus. Mark Jenks, the vice president and general manager of the 787 program, now runs the North Charleston 787 Dreamliner operations — effectively moving management of the program out of South Carolina and into Washington state. The 787 jets are produced in North Charleston and Everett, Wash. The North Charleston Dreamliner operations include production, assembly and installation of the aft- and midbody fuselage sections. Final assembly work and deliveries occur at both sites. Jenks, who is based in Everett, will travel between the Dreamliner sites. “We build three-fourths of the 787 here in Charleston,” Wyse said. “You’re going to see that focus here in Charleston by Mark (Jenks) as we continue to improve the competitiveness of the product, bring the dash-10 online, go to 14 a month — all of those big challenges. The focus is really going to be here in Charleston.” Boeing officials said the decision to transfer Boeing S.C.’s 787 management to Washington is an effort to further integrate the North Charleston and Everett sites. Robinson-Berry said having one management team for the 787 program will enable the sites to streamline best practices and improve efficiencies. “Two different sites, one leader,” Robinson-Berry said. This leadership transition at Boeing’s



Brexit’s long goodbye UK-based aerospace firms don’t expect major impact By Matthew Clark, Editor of GSA Business Report



s voters in the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, aerospace jumped onto the radar as one industry that stands to be affected. Aerospace is a major player in both the UK and South Carolina, with intersections between the two, but most experts are taking a wait-and-see approach. According to a report from the Aerospace Technology Institute, the aerospace industry accounted for nearly $39 billion in revenues for the United Kingdom in 2015. Meanwhile, in South Carolina, the aerospace industry had an economic impact of 100,000 jobs and $19 billion, according to SCAerospace., representing the state’s aerospace industry cluster. The British exodus from the European Union, better known as Brexit, means businesses that do business or have ties to the United Kingdom will have to keep a close eye on the developing situation, said Furman University economics professor Jason Jones. “We can certainly expect the U.S. dollar exchange rate with the British pound and the euro to appreciate,” Jones said. South Carolina firms that export goods and services to these regions will find it more difficult while state firms that import from these two

regions will have lower prices, he said. Great Britain is among the top five nations receiving exports from South Carolina (ranked No. 4 at $2.8 billion in S.C. goods in 2014). About 12,000 jobs in South Carolina are with UK-based firms, some of those aerospace companies. As it is early in the Brexit game — the process of leaving the European Union will take two years — industry experts are suggesting a watchful approach when it comes to potential impacts on the state’s aerospace industry. “It is the crystal ball right now,” said Mike Mullis, president and CEO of J.M. Mullis Inc., a Memphis, Tenn.-based site selection firm. “We have worked with GKN, Boeing and Airbus and it is still very early to tell. “We are looking at things from an operational and financial standpoint and there is going to be an elongated period of time before we really know what might happen.” Mullis helped GKN Aerospace with its decision to build a 126,000-square-foot facility for its inlet lip skin production for the Boeing 737 MAX and 777X in Orangeburg in 2015. He said his company has been eyeing the situation since the vote in June. GKN Aerospace, based in Redditch,

Worcestershire, just north of the UK port of Birmingham, was one of many companies that opposed the move out of the European Union. A company spokesman said there are no plans to change any of its U.S. operations – including the new facility in Orangeburg – in the future. “As we said, we believed that it would be better in the long term for UK business if Britain remained a member of the EU. However, GKN is a global company with less than 15% of activity in UK,” the company said in an email. “We do not anticipate negative impact to the overall group and we will work hard to try to ensure UK operations do not lose out over the long term. The EU referendum decision in the UK will have no material impact whatsoever on GKN’s U.S.-based activity.” Jones, the Furman economist, said it is possible that “U.S exports will suffer as a result of this appreciation (in the exchange rate) in terms of final sales.” Also, he said input costs for manufacturing could fall because of depreciation, but the effect of the exchange rate difference will hinge on See BREXIT, Page 34

Cities Mean


Creative ideas for downtowns Innovative plans for growth





6 Sparking creative ideas for downtown growth

By Reba Hull Campbell Cover Photo: Hartsville has launched a StartUp Hartsville program to help businesses open downtown.

BUSINESS A publication of Municipal Association of South Carolina 1411 Gervais St., P.O. Box 12109 Columbia, SC 29211 803.799.9574 @muniassnsc

10 Great places start with people coming together

8 Trails boost local economies

By Megan Sexton

By Amy Edgar

Miriam Hair Executive Director, Municipal Association of SC

14 Parks make their mark

Reba Campbell Deputy Executive Director, Municipal Association of SC Contributing writers Amy Geier Edgar, Megan Sexton

Published by


Cities Mean

By Amy Edgar


Letter from the Editor

By Reba Hull Campbell A publication for the Municipal Association of South Carolina


Building a business-friendly South Carolina can start with our cities

By Ted Pitts | Cities Mean BUSINESS 3

Letter from the


It’s always exciting to celebrate what’s going on in our state’s cities and towns, and new approaches to economic development give us great reason to celebrate. This issue of Cities Mean Business highlights several creative approaches to economic development that cities are using to attract new businesses, residents and tourists. Economic development can no longer be about the old “if we build it, they will come” philosophy. Read about how city leaders in Hartsville, Anderson and Greenwood are proving that innovative ideas can spur economic growth. Reba Hull Campbell

Editor and Deputy Executive Director, Municipal Association of SC

Ample and diverse recreational opportunities in cities and towns help increase residents’ quality of life. But it’s not just the playgrounds and ballfields that fill this need. Learn about how Greenville, Walterboro and Charleston have invested in passive parks that offer residents and visitors green space and access to natural resources right in their own back yard. Trails are another outdoor amenity that make good business sense as well as support healthy lifestyles. Find out about how cities and towns of all sizes around the state are connecting to each other by strategically using trails that foster economic growth and help create community. Placemaking is a term we hear more and more in economic development circles. It means bringing people together around a community’s unique spaces that enhance the human experience. Get insight from state and national experts about the importance of placemaking as a way to engage people and encourage economic growth. In each issue, we feature a guest columnist who brings a business perspective to our pages. Ted Pitts, president and CEO of the S.C. Chamber of Commerce, spotlights the business community’s focus on building great places for South Carolinians to live and work.

Reba Hull Campbell


4 Cities Mean BUSINESS |

A publication for the Municipal Association of South Carolina


Building a business-friendly South Carolina can start with our cities By Ted Pitts

Local government leaders often ask me what they can

business licenses and complete 28 sets of paperwork

do to get more businesses to locate in their municipal-

to operate in the Charleston area alone.

ity. The answer is simple: provide services efficiently

Ted Pitts

President and CEO, South Carolina Chamber of Commerce

This kind of policy discourages business growth in-

and let the market do its work. In South Carolina, we

stead of encouraging it. This is why the State Chamber

are fortunate to have many great local leaders who

has been committed to working with municipalities to

have been committed to creating an environment of

streamline the application process and standardize the

limited government interference so our businesses can

tax structures. Businesses and local governments must

grow and create jobs.

continue to work together to standardize a system that

Our cities, in many cases, are a big part of the reason why South Carolina continues to see industry and job growth. As a state overall, however, we have work to be done in three areas in particular. Infrastructure: Having the right infrastructure is

makes it easier for local governments to administer and for businesses to comply with. Workforce: As I travel around the state and talk with business leaders, I ask CEOs what worries them the most about the future of their company. No matter

a key component to growth and that is why it is one of

what industry, they all say the same thing: workforce.

the State Chamber’s most important Competitiveness

They are concerned about having enough trained,

Agenda items. Proper planning for infrastructure is a

capable and dependable workers to do the job.

critical role we see local leaders helping with when it comes to economic development. Our businesses need reliable roads, bridges, water,

I would encourage cities and counties to work together to become a Certified Work Ready Community. This program demonstrates to businesses a

sewer and telecommunications infrastructure to oper-

commitment from community leaders on workforce.

ate efficiently.

Cities and the quality of life they help provide are a

We see action now being taken at the state level

key part of keeping and recruiting the workforce of

and want to work with our local leaders to continue

tomorrow. While education and training are key, don’t

the calls to improve our state’s infrastructure.

underestimate how important the quality of life a

Taxes: Businesses don’t mind paying taxes, but in order to grow, they require a fair tax system that is easy to comply with and understand. That is why the

community provides for workers and their families is to recruiting and retaining skilled workers. Building a South Carolina that is the best place in

work being done on standardizing the business licens-

the world to work and live starts with our cities. By

ing process in South Carolina is so important.

supporting and enacting business-friendly initiatives,

Right now, nearly 230 municipalities and eight

cities can bolster local economies and foster an envi-

counties impose a business license tax. That means a

ronment that drives job creation and contributes to

company could be required to pay for 28 municipal

the prosperity of our state.

A publication for the Municipal Association of South Carolina | Cities Mean BUSINESS 5


Anderson advertises its competition tor entrepreneurs who want to locate downtown.

6 Cities Mean BUSINESS |

A publication for the Municipal Association of South Carolina



he state’s economy is bouncing back,

businesses that were already planning

Challenge awarded incentives to two busi-

and cities are getting creative in how

to open downtown. The program also

nesses: a chocolate shop and a theater. The

they attract and support local busi-

provides legal, marketing and accounting

chocolate shop relocated from another part

support to the winning businesses.

of town, and the theater opened in the An-

nesses. It’s no longer about just the old adage of “if we build it, they will come.”

The owners presented their business

derson County Arts Center.

Anderson, Hartsville and Greenwood

plans to a panel of business leaders and eco-

The success of Greenwood’s growing

have taken imaginative approaches to reach

nomic development professionals. Selection

creative economy stems in large part from

the same goal of getting entrepreneurs

was based on economic viability, solid busi-

the 2003 Greenwood City Center Master

interested in bringing unique businesses

ness plans and the ability to open quickly.

Plan focused on developing the Emerald

downtown. Leaders in all three of these

An entrepreneur opening a boutique featur-

Triangle in Greenwood’s City Center. The

cities agree that the city’s role in economic

ing handmade accessories and another who

Emerald Triangle is a nine-acre block that

development is defining and creating a

owns a furniture boutique and wine/bour-

creates an arts district and helps establish a

business-friendly environment that will be

bon bar were the first winners of the contest.

“sense of place” for downtown, according to

a catalyst for economic growth both downtown and citywide. Hartsville and Anderson have launched

Leaders in Anderson took a similar approach launching the Accelerate Anderson Downtown Business Challenge in 2015.

City Manager Charlie Barrineau. Using the 2003 master plan as its guide, the city and its partners have focused

programs that give local entrepreneurs the

“The contest helps local entrepreneurs

largely on building the “destination” and

chance at incentive reimbursements to help

bring their business downtown,” said Assis-

letting the businesses follow, according

them get a business up and running.

tant City Manager David McCuen.

to Barrineau. The Uptown Greenwood

“We want to make it easy for businesses

The Challenge awards winning recipi-

Development Corporation started a for-

to want to locate in downtown,” said Harts-

ents $12,000 in incentive reimbursements

malized marketing effort three years ago

ville’s Main Street Manager Suzy Moyd.

that can be spent on lease or rent payments,

with targeted ads in regional quality of

up-fit, design and signage.

life magazines and a focused approach to

Hartsville launched its StartUp Hartsville program that features a “Shark

Using creative signage in vacant store-

social media.

Tank”-type competition to help entrepre-

front windows, the city promoted the contest

The city has widely used a number of

neurs open a downtown business. Last

with banners that said “Win This Space” and

videos for social media targeted to sell the

May, the program kicked off by awarding

“Picture This … Winning $12,000 to help

Uptown as a destination where new busi-

$10,000 in rental assistance to two

get your business going.” In its first year, the

ness can grow.

A publication for the Municipal Association of South Carolina | Cities Mean BUSINESS 7



iking and biking trails do more than

Doodle Line because it ran back and forth

source of civic pride for residents, the trail

promote healthy lifestyles, improve

between the two towns during the height

has brought some new commercial ven-

quality of life and share the beauty

of the area’s industrial period, similar to

tures. Two stores catering to walkers and

and history of South Carolina’s cities. They

the movement of a doodle bug. Now, it’s a

bicyclists opened on each end of the trail

make good business sense, too.

multipurpose trail, uniting the two cities by

in Easley and Pickens. In addition, the trail

foot or bicycle.

transformed some rundown areas, raising

Trails run through many of the state’s cities and towns, often transforming the

The cities of Easley and Pickens, along

property values and spurring development,

paths of abandoned railroad lines into op-

with the Rails to Trails program, worked

portunities to offer residents and visitors a

together to create the trail. “In our plan for

chance to exercise, enjoy the outdoors and

the city, we are looking for the highest qual-

studies indicate that property values for

help the local economy.

ity of life possible,” explained Lindsay Cun-

homes and businesses near trails are great-

“Cities and communities that embrace

she said. That’s not unusual. Britt said multiple

ningham, public information officer and

er—with increases ranging from 4 percent

trails are considered places with a high

marketing coordinator with the City of Ea-

to 20 percent when compared to properties

quality of life,” said Natalie Cappuccio Britt,

sley. “We had a strong recreation program,

not along trails.

executive director of the Palmetto Conser-

but we wanted something all ages could use

vation Foundation. “Well-designed trail

and that was accessible. It’s been everything

of a recent survey by the National Asso-

systems attract tourists, new businesses and

we hoped it would be.”

ciation of Realtors that cited walking and

revitalize small towns.” A good example is the Doodle Trail

Community development, more than money-making, was the overarching plan

“That is not surprising given the results

biking trails as the top amenity desired by homebuyers,” she said.

that runs between Pickens and Easley in

for the Doodle Trail, Cunningham said. But

Upstate South Carolina. It follows the route

along with being an example of a strong

Swamp Rabbit Trail in Greenville County

of the Pickens Railroad, nicknamed the

partnership between the two cities and a

to learn best practices for organizing and

8 Cities Mean BUSINESS |

Cunningham said Easley looked to the

A publication for the Municipal Association of South Carolina

regulating trails. The Swamp Rabbit, a 13.5mile walking and bike trail that stretches from Travelers Rest to Greenville, has become one of the region’s most popular attractions. It’s also been credited with fostering economic development along its path, including a bike-friendly inn in Greenville and new restaurants and shops catering to cyclists and walkers in Travelers Rest. In fact, a Furman University study of the economic impact of the Swamp Rabbit Trail showcased one business in Travelers Rest reporting that 75 percent of Saturday business is directly related to the trail, Britt said.

Saluda Mountains Pa ssage is part of the statewide Palm etto Trail.

The largest trail in South Carolina, the Palmetto Trail, extends from the coast near Charleston to the mountains in the Upstate.

“We just can’t wait to get started with the

the city and many of its neighborhoods,

When completed, it will cover more than 500

trail. You go to places like Bryson City, Bre-

miles for hikers and bicyclists. Last summer,

vard and now Travelers Rest and see what’s

the City of Walhalla celebrated a new partner-

happening, and think, ‘Wow, we can do this.’

numbers as high as 60,000 people use the

ship with the Palmetto Conservation Founda-

Everyone is very excited about our future,”

Greeneway each month,” City Administra-

tion to extend the trail into its downtown.

Edwards said.

tor Todd Glover said. “People are coming

Mayor Danny Edwards believes the ad-

The Palmetto Trail also runs through the

with public access at three locations. “We have counters out there that show

to our city from all over. And when they

dition of the Palmetto Trail will offer an

historic city of Eutawville in Orangeburg

leave the Greeneway, they stop at restau-

economic boost to Walhalla. He said down-

County, passing through areas that hold

rants and eat, they fill up with gas, they go

town businesses, including a group of inves-

much history from the Revolutionary War,

to the grocery store.”

tors planning a new boutique hotel, are very

including the Battle of Eutawville Springs

supportive of the trail coming to the city.

and downtown Eutawville.

“It will bring a new group to our city that

Right now, no businesses are located adjacent to the Greeneway, but that may

Eutawville Councilmember Brandon

be changing. Glover said the city is work-

normally goes to northeast Georgia, western

Weatherford said plans now being dis-

ing on a Greeneway connector, an urban

North Carolina or other biking and hiking

cussed to beautify the trail’s path through

spur that will turn the existing alleyway

communities in the Southeast,” Edwards said. the town will offer a strong opportunity “We know the Swamp Rabbit Trail has

to show off its history and boost tourism.

system downtown into an extension of the Greeneway walking trail. The portion will

brought over a half million riders to Travelers “When the trail receives this much needed

connect churches, schools and business in

Rest in the last couple of years. We may never face-lift, people will want to visit our village

the downtown district.

have those numbers, but what if we did? “Our restaurants and other businesses would be overflowing with customers.”

and see the history. This will help our businesses in town,” Weatherford said

North Augusta has applied for grant funding to get the first three phases of the

The North Augusta Greeneway (spelled

spur started. Because the alleyways are al-

that way as a nod to former Mayor Thomas

ready set up for pedestrian traffic, Glover

dation started with a casual conversation

Greene, credited with helping develop the

anticipates an easy conversion to the trail.

between Foundation board members and

city’s trail) is a more than seven-mile paved

He explained that potential new busi-

the president of Walhalla Partners for Prog-

recreational trail that also follows the route

nesses looking to move to downtown al-

ress. The city, the Walhalla Chamber of

of an abandoned railroad right-of-way the

ways ask about traffic counts. “If I can tell

Commerce and other leaders supported the

city purchased in 1988. The trail has grown

them there will be 60,000 people a month

idea from the beginning.

over the years and now meanders through

on foot? That will get their attention.”

He said the partnership with the Foun-

A publication for the Municipal Association of South Carolina | Cities Mean BUSINESS 9






or two months last winter, residents gathered at Charleston’s St. Julian Devine Community Center on Mon-

day nights and knitted colorful squares that would eventually be pieced together into a giant, 40-foot flag. In February, the group hung their work on the old brick Cigar Factory behind the community center as a way to draw attention to the center and its programs. The “Love Bomb” is part of an effort by local nonprofit Enough Pie to catalyze community engagement through creativity, according to Executive Director Cathryn

St. Julian Devine Community Center officially “love bombed” (with knitted yarn) in Charleston.

Zommer. Enough Pie uses partnerships,

effective placemaking process centers on

walkable areas, lively neighborhoods and

artistic collaborations and placemaking to

community-based participation, and then

inviting public spaces.

inspire inclusivity and community involve-

focuses on that community’s assets, inspira-

ment in Charleston’s Upper Peninsula.

tion and potential to create quality public

to be a magnet for talented young profes-

spaces that contribute to people’s health,

sionals. It’s not because of their taxes or

making,” Zommer said. “It’s a great way to

happiness and well-being, according to the

regulations but, very simply, because of

revitalize underutilized places.”

Project for Public Spaces.

their “place,” according to Dan Gilmartin,

“You can ignite a Main Street with place-

Placemaking is the concept of helping

Too often, cities have been designed

Certain cities around the country seem

executive director and CEO of the Michigan

people to create and sustain public spaces

around cars. Placemaking focuses on the

Municipal League, and a national leader in

that build stronger communities. An

importance of the human experience—

the field of placemaking. These cities are the

10 Cities Mean BUSINESS |

A publication for the Municipal Association of South Carolina

FEATURE STORY kinds of places that attract a young, welleducated, talented workforce. Gilmartin said these young professionals are looking for 21st century communities that put a focus on 1) physical design and walkability, 2) green initiatives, 3) cultural economic development, 4) entrepreneurship, 5) multiculturalism, 6) technology, 7) transit and 8) education. “If I’m a city leader, I need to understand what people are looking for,” Gilmartin said. “You’ve got to provide it or go forward at your own peril.” Placemaking starts with an inclusive, bottom-up approach, often driven by individuals who want to make a change or impact on their community. The city then needs to create the platform for that change to occur, Gilmartin said. Historic districts, for example, are often created

Sumter ‘parklet’ brings outdoor dining downtown. (Photo/The Sumter Item)

when one entrepreneur or a group decides

munity cannot simply import something

to come in and make changes. The city

done by another town. Rather, city leaders

ed by regular programming, Wilson said.

would need to facilitate those changes to

should look at what other towns do and con-

It’s not enough to create a place, there

spur economic growth.

sider how to shape those ideas to meet their

also needs to be a plan in place about

community’s own unique needs and features.

what will go in it, he said. Variety also is

Civic engagement is an important piece of placemaking. Elected officials need to

Not everything has to be expensive;

Effective placemaking is complement-

important. Some public space might find

realize that they need to engage people in

sometimes a simple approach is better.

use as a dog park, another as a gather-

different ways. Gilmartin said there are

Wilson said he worked with the city of

ing spot for festivals. Public input is key

many people who want to be involved in

Pascagoula, Miss. The city was struggling

in determining the needs and desires of

civic life, but they’re not going to meetings

to address its issues with a small urban

the community. Through the collabora-

at city hall.

core consisting of a Main Street only two

tive process city leaders can shape public

to three blocks long. Overpriced buildings

spaces to maximize shared value.

“You’ve got to meet people where they are, get out of your comfort zone,” Gilmar-

made it hard for business owners to buy or

tin said. “There are so many ways to get

rent property.

hold of folks and get them engaged in the

The city of Sumter allows a local restaurant access to two parking places

The town repurposed Mississippi

on Main Street through a signed license

community, but you cannot go through the

cottages — emergency housing put in

agreement. The restaurant built a

same old channels.”

place after Hurricane Katrina — into a

“parklet” to allow outdoor dining.

Placemaking should be the result of a

small business incubator section down-

“It has been wildly successful for

holistic approach to community design,

town. The addition of the cottages ex-

them, and it’s also great to have folks eat-

according to Randy Wilson, president of

tended the Main Street area and provided

ing and hanging out on the outside. This

Community Design Solutions and frequent

affordable rentals for small startup busi-

is an option that we have extended to all

resource team member for Main Street

nesses, Wilson said. The cottages were

restaurants located on a city-owned street

South Carolina.

arranged around a boardwalk and town

with guidelines approved by city council,”

green. The area has evolved into a festival

said Howie Owens, downtown manager

and event location, he added.

in Sumter.

Placemaking efforts should be authentic to a place, Wilson said. For instance, a com-

A publication for the Municipal Association of South Carolina | Cities Mean BUSINESS 11

Falls Park/Photo: City of Greeville

12 Cities Mean BUSINESS |

A publication for the Municipal Association of South Carolina



arks serve numerous purposes in a

“Falls Park has set the standard for fu-

community, including connecting

ture public space by providing a seamless

including residential, office, retail, hotels,

people with nature, providing social

alignment between architecture, art and

restaurants and mixed-use development.

economic development— with projects

gathering spots, helping the environment and

nature,” said Dale Westermeier, deputy di-

This has revitalized Greenville’s West

offering health benefits from physical activity.

rector of Parks and Recreation for the City

End, Westermeier said. The park’s develop-

While active parks such as playgrounds and

of Greenville. “Additionally, it has served

ment transformed a once desolate and ne-

ball fields may offer the most obvious physical

as a model for future park development by

glected space into an urban oasis complete

benefits, passive parks, with their benches,

providing a guiding principal for public

with gardens and visually stunning water-

trails or greenspace, also play an important

and private partnerships. The Carolina

falls and vistas, he said.

role in the community’s well-being.

Foothills Garden Club, Furman University,

In Greenville, Falls Park is the pic-

Greenville realized the beauty of its

corporations and individuals all played a

natural resources—the Reedy River and

turesque epicenter of the downtown and

role by providing an endowment, property,

falls—had the potential to draw visitors and

provides an oasis for a variety of users. The

sponsorships and other enhancements.”

play a role in economic development, said

park plays a prominent role in Greenville’s

Falls Park hosts a wide array of activi-

Jim Headley, executive director of the S.C.

quality of life by providing a welcoming

ties and events, including Shakespeare in

space where downtown employees, visitors

the Park, Artisphere, the Reedy River Duck

and local residents gather to work, play,

Derby, the Chautauqua festival and nu-

state has its own Falls Park,” Headley said.

picnic, read a book or just sit quietly to en-

merous concerts and gatherings. The park

“They all have something unique in their

joy the natural beauty in one of its gardens.

has generated more than $100 million in

own back yard.”

A publication for the Municipal Association of South Carolina

Recreation and Parks Association. “Every single community across the | Cities Mean BUSINESS 13

Walterboro Wildlife Sanctuary/Photo: Jeff Kramer

Charleston’s Park Angels/Photo: Charleston Parks Conservancy

For the residents of Walterboro, their

Work began in Charleston in 2007 to

toric district provide visitors with an activity

back yard contains a 600-acre unspoiled

increase the quality, awareness and us-

to pass the time between tours or before

preserve containing four miles of board-

age of the city’s parks and greenspaces

dinner. The city’s waterfront parks offer visi-

walks, and hiking, biking and nature

with the founding of the Charleston Parks

tors and residents a place to take in the view,

trails. This habitat for more than 80 spe-

Conservancy. Businesswoman and phi-

catch a cool breeze or go fishing.

cies of birds and other abundant wildlife

lanthropist Darla Moore founded the

is protected by the Walterboro Wildlife

group, which works closely with the City

immeasurable based on the enjoyment pro-

Sanctuary. It hosts nature tours, fundrais-

of Charleston Parks Department and an

vided for the people and the benefits to the

ers and 5K runs, among other activities. Its

active group of volunteers.

environment,” Kronsberg concluded.

strategic location near I-95 also makes it an

“The impact has been incredible by

“The value of parks and open space is

Those environmental benefits are

inviting destination for vacationers look-

bringing citizens back to their parks,” said

plentiful. Parks provide a habitat for birds

ing for family-friendly entertainment, said

Jason Kronsberg, deputy director of parks

and animals. They can filter stormwater

Walterboro City Manager Jeff Molinari.

for the City of Charleston. “This re-engage-

before it enters the drainage system. A

ment has resulted in elevated level of park

mature tree canopy provided by parks

to the area each year, the Sanctuary serves

beautification and park maintenance by

can cool the hot surfaces of rooftops,

as a major economic force for Walterboro,

giving people a renewed sense of pride and

concrete roads and parking lots in a city,

creating a demand for expanded tourism

ownership in their parks.”

reducing the urban heat island effect.

“Drawing an estimated 150,000 visitors

amenities such as high-quality hotels, restaurants and shops,” he said. The city’s park system helps promote a

Individuals dubbed “park angels”

Trees in parks also can help improve air

and “aqua angels” volunteer in the

quality by reducing pollutants caused by

parks, working with and learning from

traffic and other sources.

healthy environment for residents and visi-

the conservancy’s horticulturalist. This

tors alike, Molinari said.

learning also takes place in one of the

values are higher—as much as 20 per-

Studies have shown that the property

“Parks greatly enhance the quality of

three existing community gardens that

cent—for homes located near passive

life in Walterboro by providing opportuni-

the Conservancy operates in city parks,

parks. Many people are willing to pay

ties for exercise and social interaction, and

Kronsberg said.

more for a house located near a park.

helping to revitalize neighborhoods,” he

Charleston has more than 120 parks and

With the many benefits—environmen-

said. “City parks also play an important

athletic complexes spanning the peninsula

tal, economic and health—“cities really

role in beautification, which creates a wel-

to the neighborhoods of West Ashley, Johns

have a responsibility to invest in parks,”

coming environment for visitors.”

Island and Daniel Island. Parks in the his-

Headley said.

14 Cities Mean BUSINESS |

A publication for the Municipal Association of South Carolina



Photo/Reba Hull Campbell

d reenville an nnecting G co il ra T it and Rabb and biking The Swamp for hiking r la u p o p est is g the way. Travelers R pment alon o el ev d ic to econom e taken has also led arolina hav ss South C ro ce. ac s ie it e experien Commun replicate th to g in rk o are w notice and




BREXIT, from page 32 how dependent each firm is on imports or exports from the United Kingdom. For regions such as the Upstate, Jones said the depreciation of the pound against the U.S. dollar could be a good thing for economic development. “With the Upstate of South Carolina already a known destination for European firms and dependence on foreign firms for employment, it would be an attractive place to expand and could be a benefit for the Upstate,” Jones said. Another UK-based firm with operations in South Carolina is BAE Systems Inc. According to spokesman Brian Roehrkasse, BAE Systems is, technically, a U.S. company with a U.S.-based board of directors based in Arlington, Va. The company has two locations in South Carolina – Aiken and Charleston. Its parent is BAE Systems Plc., headquartered in Farnborough, United Kingdom. In Aiken, BAE Systems Inc. employs approximately 95 employees and supports combat vehicle production. The operation in Charleston works on technology and communication for the U.S. Navy, Coast Guard, Army and Marine Corps. The company is the third-largest defense company in the world according to 2013 revenues, and operates in Australia, India, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and the United States. They, like GKN Aerospace, said in a

“As we said, we believed that it would be better in the long term for UK business if Britain remained a member of the EU. However, GKN is a global company with less than 15% of activity in UK.” Excerpt from GKN Aerospace email

statement they expect no negative impact on operations as a result of the Brexit vote. “We respect the decision by the British people to leave the EU,” the BAE Systems statement said. “While we await the outcome of the UK’s negotiations with the EU, we do not anticipate any immediate or material direct impact on our business. Our priority continues to be performing for our customers in delivering world-class capabilities at a competitive cost.” While aerospace companies in South Carolina with UK ownership may not expect an impact on business operations here, Jones said the bigger picture is how Brexit will impact the rest of continental Europe. Following the vote, equity prices dropped across the globe, but Jones said the fall was more pronounced in Europe.

“With the strain on Europe as a result of Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy and other EU countries’ debt problems and slow economic growth, which was already casting doubt on the potential for a break-up of the EMU, concerns have now been heightened,” Jones said. “Those that oppose the EU and EMU (Economic and Monetary Union) — in France and the Netherlands in particular — have used Brexit as an example of how they too could exit the grand European experiment.” Because of the common currency, the euro, and integration among EU nations, Jones said a falling of dominos across the continent could have greater repercussions for businesses that have direct foreign ties to Europe. Mullis added that other countries, such as Ireland with its favorable taxation structure and workforce, could stand to benefit if some UK companies decide to uproot and move headquarters to another EU-based country to be able to take advantage of more beneficial trade agreements. “It is still very early in the overall evaluation but we think Germany and France could be adversely impacted by this,” Mullis said. “Ireland has a very strategic plan for going after aerospace and they have several billion dollars in money to do that.” It is those advantageous trade agreements that are the root benefit for companies to maintain strong ties to the EU, according to Mullis.

Aerospace job demand expected to grow through 2017

S 34

.C. aerospace manufacturers who took part in a 2016 workforce study said they plan to increase their workforce by 31% by the end of 2017. The 2016 Southeast Manufacturing Study by Aviation Week was conducted in May and June, covering the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia and both Carolinas. The purpose of the study was to better gauge the need for manufacturing workers in the Southeast. South Carolina’s largest employers did not provide detailed responses to this study. The sample of companies, all with fewer than 500 employees, provided insight into

hiring trends for the coming 18 months. The six most in-demand job categories in the state’s aerospace manufacturing sector, starting from the top, are engineering technician, aircraft painter, production technician, machinist, inspector and A&P (airframe and/or powerplant) mechanic. Among the S.C. respondents, 91% said they would consider hiring an individual with no previous aerospace experience after they completed 120 hours of aerospacespecific manufacturing training through a technical institute resulting in certification. The state’s employers indicate that they rely heavily on high schools to prepare

workers, but they stress that post-secondary education is desirable for the high-demand categories. As an example, 18% of employers said they would look for someone with a bachelor’s degree when hiring A&P mechanics. The employers said they supplement full-time employees with contract workers, primarily in the role of coatings application and operators. The source for this data, provided by the S.C. Council on Competitiveness, is “Aviation Week Special Report: South Carolina Manufacturing Highlighted by Steadying in Demand, Requirement for More Advanced Skills.”





Seeking a place in aerospace S.C. companies visit air show to learn what’s required By Licia Jackson, Editor


s South Carolina works to attract more big aerospace companies, there’s also a push to get smaller companies already in the state more involved in the industry, says Deborah Cameron, director of aerospace initiatives for SCAerospace. With that in mind, for the first time representatives from four existing companies accompanied South Carolina’s delegation to the international Farnborough Airshow in the United Kingdom in July. Some of the companies are already making parts for aerospace companies; others are just beginning to move in that direction. “The companies got some exposure on a global scale,” Cameron said. The Farnborough trade show brings together aerospace corporations from all over the world, as well economic development delegations and defense representatives. Suppliers have the opportunity to meet with aerospace manufacturers to find out about their needs. The South Carolina companies had their own kiosk in South Carolina’s booth at the trade show. “Their presence drove traffic to the

South Carolina booth, as companies were coming to meet with them,” Cameron said. “This was exposing them to the global industry, hoping to increase exports.” The trip was eye-opening for Adam Brumfield, director of business development for Roy Metal Finishing Co. of Greenville. “Farnborough is a sleepy little town 45 minutes southwest of London,” he said. The show is held at an airfield and drew 100,000 people. Brumfield’s company, which does castings, forgings and stampings mostly for the automotive industry, would like to get into the business of providing fasteners for aerospace manufacturers. He discovered that the plant would have to earn specific certifications, such as AS9100, to get in the game. Most also require Nadcap, a standard set by the industry for suppliers. As well as the learning experience, the air show was good for making business contacts. “We spent time talking to companies similar to us that are already in the business,” Brumfield said. Roy Metal Finishing, a 55-year-old company with 240 employees at three facilities, was built to serve any industry that needs its

products. Brumfield learned that aerospace requirements are much more specialized. “On an airplane you want things to be done right. That’s why they hold suppliers to a very high level.” Another company attending the international air show was UEC Electronics from the Charleston region, which has been supplying aerospace systems since 2008. “Farnborough is phenomenal,” said Rebecca Ufkes, the company’s president. “The international aerospace market, meeting all the players . . . seeing the whole picture and how the state is presenting itself and where we fit.” UEC Electronics took what it had been doing in defense and migrated over to aerospace, Ufkes said. In addition to the certifications, offset requirements can add to complexity of working with aerospace companies now that business is global, she said. Offset requirements are part of trade negotiations. If an OEM wants to sell to the U.S., for example, part of the negotiations may require that so much of the product has been manufactured in our country or that a percentage of the





work has to be done in the U.S. Other companies with the S.C. delegation to the Farnborough show were TIGHITCO of Charleston and Phoenix Specialty in Bamberg. The successful partnership means that existing companies will be included when the economic development group attends the International Paris Air Show in June 2017, Cameron said. SCAerospace, which was holding its annual conference and expo in Columbia in August, is working closely with Aviation Week as it surveys the manufacturing workforce in the South. The survey aims to identify what the talent needs of aerospace companies are going to be, Cameron said. SCAerospace, an industry cluster supported by the S.C. Council on Competitiveness, helped develop a five-module aerospace training program with the state’s technical college system. Based on the needs of the aerospace companies, the program offers classes that a company can choose from to train its workers. “When we piloted the program, companies could send their employees for free,” Cameron said. “It was a huge success.” She pointed out that major companies like Boeing can provide their own training, but smaller companies need assistance to train workers. SCAerospace is also working with existing companies that would like to become aerospace suppliers, to help them pursue certifications and other requirements. The number of companies with AS9100 certification has grown from 60 to almost 100 over the past few years, according to Cameron. “Radical collaboration” is the focus of SCAerospace, Cameron explained. The organization is not a trade association, but a council that can bring together various interests. “We can convene the different parties. No one group can do it all. We need to combine resources and leverage.” As for South Carolina’s aerospace industry, it has come a long way. “When I came here 25 years ago, there was nothing,” Ufkes of UEC Electronics said. “You had to drive four hours to find aerospace. And now, look at what’s going on here. How did this happen? We’re a new hub of aerospace.”



est Places to Work in South Carolina is a multiyear initiative to encourage the state’s companies to focus, measure and move their workplaces toward excellence in the hope that they will attract and keep talented employees. Recognizing the Best Places to Work in South Carolina is an initiative between SC Biz News – publisher of the Charleston Regional Business Journal, the Columbia Regional Business Report, GSA Business Report and SCBIZ magazine – and the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce. The companies who choose to participate are surveyed by Best Companies Group, an independent research company. The research is a two-part process.

In part one, the employer completes a questionnaire about employee policies and procedures, among other information. In part two, employees answer an employee survey. The collected information from both sets of questions is used to determine the strengths and opportunities of each participating company. The workplaces are then ranked based on this data. All participating companies receive an individual Assessment Findings Report that not only summarizes and sorts employee feedback, but includes South Carolina benchmarking data for comparison. Each participating company pays a fee that covers the cost of research, the survey

and report. The cost an individual company would have to pay if the analysis were done independently would be considerably more. Economies of scale apply when Best Places Group conducts a survey with a large number of companies from the same state. We are convinced that the real value of participating in the program is not whether a company wins an award but in the employee survey feedback it receives. The report will enable a company to develop and implement the strategic steps necessary to create a great workplace and continue to improve the performance of its business. On the following pages, we present the Best Places to Work in South Carolina for 2016.

Sponsored by

Photos from the event Event photography by Jeff Blake




Four ways a good boss-employee relationship can improve business By Jenny Peterson, Staff Writer


one are the days of isolated CEOs working in walled-in offices, playing the role of an unapproachable, stuffy company president. At least, that’s the takeaway from this year’s Best Places to Work winners. Of the 60 companies that were recognized as Best Places to Work statewide, the overwhelming majority report that the boss is engaged and accessible, and regular meetings with employees are the norm. These employee meetings are not just with managers or direct supervisors; they are with the company’s top executive. SCBIZ asked the Best Places to Work winners to comment on how this leadership style factors into employee satisfaction and fulfillment. Overwhelmingly, the response was that regular interaction between the boss and employees – as well as providing an encouraging environment to ask questions or voice concerns – results in happy, confident employees who want to show up for work every day. Here are some insights into the benefits of an open line of communication.

1. More loyal employees


When employees are clued in as to how the company is doing and where the company is going, they are more likely to stay for the long run. Palmetto Technology Group CEO Reed Wilson said he covers specific company financials with employees at monthly meetings in Greenville. “I find that if people know where the company is going and how the company is doing, they are more vested,” Wilson said. “If you share during the good times and the bad times, your team is more likely to stay with you when times get bad.” Will Trehel, CEO of Trehel Corporation in Greenville, said allowing employees to ask tough questions gives them peace of mind when coming to work each day.

Above: An impromptu team happy hour at Ceterus accounting in Charleston includes founder/CEO, Levi Morehouse, middle left. Right: It takes teamwork to navigate the rapids for Bauknight Pietras & Stormer at the National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, NC, during the firm’s recent outing. (Photos/Provided)

“We give employees an opportunity to ask what we are doing about issues in our industry,” Trehel said. “Employees tell me it’s comforting that we are not just thinking about next July and August; we’re thinking about 2018.” Allowing for questions and ideas gives employees a personal stake in the company’s success. Wendell Jones, a regional leader and financial adviser based in Florence with Edward Jones, says he feels empowered and takes ownership from being able to come up with suggestions for improvement. Edward Jones is this year’s No. 1 Best Places to Work winner. At PhishLabs in Charleston, founder and CEO John LaCour encourages employees to not just ask questions, but work together to find solutions. “Participation is high because employees see their feedback is being heard and taken seriously,” said Suzie Rybicki, director of Talent Management and Organizational Development with PhishLabs.

That confidence can trickle down to the customer experience. “The strong support from leadership helps our team stay positive and motivated on the job,” said Caroline Cope, marketing assistant with Recruiting Solutions, a staffing firm in Columbia. South Carolina Education Lottery Executive Director Paula Harper Bethea adds,    “I do not view myself as the boss. I am a partner with each of the men and women who help make us successful.”  

2. Making the work environment more fun Without an encouraging environment for employee suggestions, workplace perks that improve work culture wouldn’t exist. At Hubbell Lighting in Greenville, the office’s on-site Starbucks was created following an impromptu elevator discussion between employees and leadership. The “Hubb,” has grown to include common areas

3. Saving your business money

Left: Employees at JEAR Logistics in a friendly office competition. Above: The office team and president/ CEO at Find Great People take a break for pedicures. (Photos/Provided)

recognizes one or more employees as a CEO Innovation Award Winner at the company’s annual meeting. At First Reliance Bank in Florence, CEO Rick Saunders hosts a President’s Club Event each year for associates who merited a President’s Club award for performance. “He uses this opportunity to ask these top associates what they like best about the bank, and if there is anything that we could do better to fulfill our purpose,” said Pamela V. Rhoads, vice president of customer experience. At JEAR Logistics, a freight brokerage service in Mount Pleasant, a “Futures” breakfast or lunch meeting is held between President Mark Neumeyer and employees who have been at the company for six months or less in order to get feedback from the new employees. At Terminix, headquartered in Columbia, ideas have come from informal company outings such as cookouts. “We hear what’s going on in the company and ideas including technical ideas about our machines and materials, and how we structure our routes,” said Rion Cobb, vice president of human services. “Employees tell us what works and what doesn’t work. It gets a buy-in for them, because when we respond to their ideas, they tend to give more,” Cobb said.  

4. Making more friends Creating connections with employees not only enhances the workplace environment, but can create personal relationships with

the employees and their families and encourage important networking. Many of the employees and CEOs of the Best Places to Work bond outside work. Regular company outings and happy hours are the norm at many of this year’s Best Places to Work, including some employees playing on company softball and kickball teams with their boss. At IHG Charleston, employees have formed a band composed of several musically talented upper-level staff members and employees; it perform at company events.  Kevin DeLoach, human resources generalist with the South Carolina Education Lottery, said that Executive Director Paula Harper Bethea is often engaged in meaningful conversation with employees about their professional and personal lives. “This interaction builds rapport, strengthens professional relationships and creates a culture of communication among employees and managers,” DeLoach said. Bosses can also relieve stress through fun games and friendly office competitions. At the South Carolina Federal Credit Union in North Charleston, employees are encouraged to “Beat the Chief” who has a goal to walk over 10,000 steps per day. “We interact professionally and socially with each other and get to know each other’s families,” said Kristen Jerome, manager at Bauknight Pietras & Stormer. “In the workplace, this translates into a really open culture of familiarity and trust, so that there’s no need to feel intimidated by ‘the boss.’”

The goal of any company is to save both time and money. A work environment that encourages communication between employees and the CEO can save resources on employee turnover, and it can frequently uncover the next big idea to save the company money and streamline operations. At Bauknight Pietras & Stormer accounting firm in Columbia, young staff members have successfully implemented ways to streamline operations using technology, said manager Kristen Jerome. These ideas include adding specific software that streamlined tedious audit procedures and using QR codes on business cards. The firm holds monthly meetings with all 50-plus employees, and everyone contributes to the discussion on how to improve operations. At Spirit Communications, employees have pitched reorganizational ideas, new positions and more, said Roddy Broadnax, director of marketing. At the Bank of North Carolina, with locations throughout South Carolina, there is a program called the CEO Innovation Award, which specifically awards the employee who submits an idea to reduce costs or generate revenue. CEO Rick Callicutt personally


that encourage mingling of all employees in a relaxed environment. At Greenville’s Human Technologies, Inc., the entire corporate office can take advantage of a bike-rental program, thanks to an idea from an employee.  “The employee was a big biker, and she mentioned having bikes at the office that employees could ‘rent’ and our CEO said, ‘let’s make it happen,’” said Anna Rowe Messick, manager of marketing and public relations. “Now employees can bike the Swamp Rabbit Trail; it was all based off of an informal conversation.” At the Midlands Authority for Conventions, Sports and Tourism, employees were responsible for creating a wellness committee that includes workplace activities that everyone can enjoy. Crystal Saunders, human resources manager at CPI Security Systems, said employee ideas and input to the CEO have ranged from adding team-building activities to incorporating different food options to the campus.   




The companies are listed by ranking. Large companies have 250 or more employees. The numbers given below are for their employees in South Carolina.

1. Edward Jones City: Florence Employees in SC: 577 Industry: Financial Services Edward Jones is the nation’s largest financial services firm in terms of branch offices, with nearly 12,000 U.S. locations. Every aspect of its business, from investment types to branch locations, is designed to cater to the firm’s nearly 7 million clients in communities where they live and work. Financial advisers work with clients to understand personal goals – from college savings to retirement – and create long-term investment solutions that emphasize a well-balanced portfolio and a buy-and-hold strategy. Edward Jones advisers embrace the importance of building long-term, face-to-face relationships with clients, helping them to understand and make sense of the investment options available today.

firm provides comprehensive assurance, tax and consulting solutions to diverse businesses, organizations and individuals.

5. South Carolina Federal Credit Union


2. Total Quality Logistics

3. Hubbell Lighting Inc.

City: Daniel Island Employees in SC: 94 Industry: Transportation Total Quality Logistics is a fast-paced, energetic sales organization within the transportation industry. The company arranges truckload delivery and pick-up for businessto-business freight movements across North America. Using industry expertise along with cutting-edge, proprietary technology, TQL negotiates truck loads, rates and destinations between companies needing products hauled and truck carriers delivering goods. The company arranged the movement of more than 1 million loads of freight last year. Founded in 1997, TQL is now the second largest freight brokerage firm in the nation with more than 40 offices in 20 states employing more than 3,800 people.

City: Greenville Employees in SC: 563 Industry: Manufacturing Hubbell Lighting, headquartered in Greenville, is a core business platform of Hubbell Inc. It supplies a comprehensive range of indoor and outdoor lighting products to industrial, commercial and institutional applications and is the largest manufacturer of residential lighting fixtures in North America.

4. Elliott Davis Decosimo City: Greenville Employees in SC: 294 Industry: Accounting With more than 800 professionals across six states, Elliott Davis Decosimo ranks among the top 30 accounting firms in the U.S. The

City: North Charleston Employees in SC: 414 Industry: Banking South Carolina Federal Credit Union is headquartered in North Charleston. More than 140,000 members own and belong to the not-for-profit financial cooperative, which has over $1.3 billion in assets. South Carolina Federal is a community-chartered credit union. Anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Berkeley, Charleston, Dorchester, Calhoun, Orangeburg or Georgetown counties, and most of the Columbia area, is eligible to join. South Carolina Federal has 17 branches, and ATMs throughout Charleston, Columbia and Georgetown. The credit union offers interest-bearing accounts, share draft accounts, share certificates, loan products, credit cards, investment products and counseling and insurance products.

6. TidePointe, a Vi Community City: Hilton Head Employees in SC: 149 Industry: Senior Living


TidePointe, a Vi Community, is a continuing care retirement community in Hilton Head. Blurring the line between resort living and a retirement community, Vi residents live in comfortable, stylish and maintenance-free homes, have weekly housekeeping services and enjoy fine dining prepared by chefs trained by the Culinary Institute of America. Served by Vi’s talented and engaged employees, Vi residents have a wealth of opportunities to stay active and engaged in the community. Vi communities also offer services such as assisted living, Alzheimer’s/memory support care and skilled nursing care so that residents may remain in the community even as their care needs change. Vi residents benefit from the nationally recognized training and development programs delivered to Vi employees that result in extraordinary service.

7. Shealy Electrical Wholesalers Inc. City: West Columbia Employees in SC: 187 Industry: Distribution Since 1945, Shealy Electrical has provided excellent service while distributing electrical supplies throughout South Carolina.



The company’s business has evolved over the years into finding the best solutions for customers in construction, industrial, utility, lighting, energy, national accounts and international markets. Shealy has locations in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. The company is a regional distributor.

8. T-Mobile USA City: Charleston Employees in SC: 1,096 Industry: Telecommunications As America’s Un-carrier, T-Mobile US Inc. (NYSE: TMUS) is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The company’s advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to approximately 63 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on quality and value. Based in Bellevue, Wash., T-Mobile US provides services through its subsidiaries and operates its flagship brands, T-Mobile and MetroPCS.

9. Palmetto Citizens Federal Credit Union City: Columbia Employees in SC: 253 Industry: Banking Palmetto Citizens Federal Credit Union’s goal is to be the best place for its member-owners, and a great place to work. Palmetto Citizens provides essential financial products and services to its members — such as checking accounts, mortgage loans, car loans, IRAs, VISA, savings and investment type services. These core products are essential, but the credit union especially works to improve the financial well-being of its members. Palmetto Citizens’ member-owned, not-for profit status gives it the ability to provide valuable products and services that are in the best interest of its members—both saving them money and offering financial options that are intended to truly benefit them as consumers.

10. Denny’s


City: Spartanburg Employees in SC: 323 Industry: Restaurant Denny’s, headquartered in Spartanburg, is America’s favorite diner. The first Denny’s was opened over 60 years ago in 1953 by founder Harold Butler, who promised “To

11. Cherry Bekaert LLP City: Greenville Employees in SC: 63 Industry: Accounting As a nationally recognized, growth-oriented CPA firm, Cherry Bekaert LLP provides guidance and support that helps its clients move forward to reach their organizational goals. The firm’s industry specialists understand the marketplace, so they can help customers make the most of emerging opportunities while minimizing compliance headaches. Ranked among the largest accounting and consulting firms in the country, Cherry

Bekaert specializes in offering solutions that impact its clients’ ability to grow. For more than 65 years, global corporations, private businesses, government entities, nonprofits, emerging firms, startups and successful individuals have relied on Cherry Bekaert to guide them forward to their growth destination.

12. Terminix Service Inc. City: Columbia Employees in SC: 743 Industry: Pest Control For more than six decades, Terminix Service Inc. has been protecting the health, property and environment of the residents of South Carolina, western North Carolina and the CSRA Georgia. Locally owned and operated, Terminix. provides quality pest control you can trust. Through professional training, state-of-the art equipment and the most advanced treating technology, Terminix also provides precision pest control with its residential ProSTAR Pest Control Service. Terminix also specializes in fumigation, repairs, new building pre-treats, fire ant control, mosquito management, wildlife control, crawl space dehumidification and moisture sealing.

13. Life Cycle Engineering City: Charleston Employees in SC: 143 Industry: Consulting Life Cycle Engineering (LCE) provides consulting, engineering, applied technology and education solutions that deliver lasting results for private industry, the Department of Defense and other government organizations. The quality, expertise and dedication of its employees enable Life Cycle Engineering to serve as a trusted resource that helps people and organizations achieve their full potential. Founded in 1976, LCE is headquartered in Charleston, with offices across North America and experience around the globe.


serve the best cup of coffee, make the best donuts, give the best service, offer the best value and stay open 24 hours a day.” His promise has been the inspiration for Denny’s. Today that donut stand is a restaurant chain with over 1,700 locations and a proven reputation for keeping Mr. Butler’s original promise. From breakfast anytime to satisfying lunches and dinners, if you’re in the mood for it, chances are Denny’s is serving it. Denny’s is always open, always welcoming and always serving up hearty classic American food along with a mug of fresh hot coffee.

14. Fred Anderson Toyota of Charleston City: Charleston Employees in SC: 98 Industry: Retail Fred Anderson Toyota of Charleston is an automotive dealership selling and servicing motor vehicles. Company employees provide the utmost professional customer service assisting customers in selecting and securing




a vehicle that meets or exceeds their needs. Fred Anderson Toyota’s service teams ensure that customers are confident that the vehicle they are driving is safe, reliable and able to perform. The dealership’s employees believe in respect for others, delivering the best product every time for every customer with integrity. Each employee has the opportunity and expectation of being a leader giving them the opportunity to lead others to success.

15. Select Health of South Carolina City: Charleston Employees in SC: 495 Industry: Health Care - Insurance/Services Select Health of South Carolina, part of the AmeriHealth Caritas Family of Companies, contracts with South Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services to offer First Choice, the state’s oldest and largest Medicaid managed care health plan to more than 330,000 members across all 46 counties statewide. First Choice by Select Health is the toprated Medicaid health plan in South Carolina, according to the National Committee for Quality Assurance’s Medicaid Health Insurance Plan Ratings 2015-2016 and has been

since 2010. Select Health also offers the First Choice VIP Care Plus Medicare-Medicaid Plan in 39 South Carolina counties.

16. ScanSource Inc. City: Greenville Employees in SC: 664 Industry: Technology and Services Provider ScanSource, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCSC) is a leading global provider of technology products and solutions, focusing on point-of-sale, barcode, physical security, video, voice, data networking and emerging technologies. ScanSource’s teams operate from two segments: Worldwide Barcode and Security and Worldwide Communications and Services. Founded in 1992, ScanSource provides value-added solutions from over 300 vendors and sells to approximately 33,000 reseller customers. ScanSource is committed to helping its reseller customers choose, configure and deliver the industry’s best solutions across almost every vertical market in the U.S., Canada, Latin America and Europe.

17. CPI Security City: Columbia Employees in SC: 60 Industry: Home Automation and Security Systems CPI Security Systems Inc., founded in 1991, designs, installs, monitors, and services security systems for homes and businesses. It is one of the largest security firms in the U.S. with approximately 515 employees and 125,000-plus customers. With seven locations, CPI serves customers in the North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia markets and is passionate about protecting its customers. It is one of the only security companies to design, install, monitor and service its own security systems and has invested millions to create one of the most advanced central monitoring stations in the country.

18. BNC Bank City: Myrtle Beach Employees in SC: 159 Industry: Financial Services At BNC Bank, the mission is to provide the best banking experience possible by anticipating customer needs and exceeding expectations




while assisting in achieving short-term and long-term financial goals. The bank is committed to providing a challenging and rewarding work environment for its employees while maintaining solid financial strength to ensure superior returns for its shareholders. Bank of North Carolina offers a wide variety of banking services and products including personal services, business services, mortgage services and wealth services.

19. IHG City: North Charleston Employees in SC: 600 Industry: Hospitality As one of the world’s leading hotel companies, IHG has some of the best known and most popular brands in the world. All of these brands are unique and work together towards achieving the company’s purpose – to create Great Hotels Guests Love®. IHG’s office has over 10 million contacts annually with guests who need assistance with their travel plans.

20. Charleston Water System

City: Charleston Employees in SC: 417 Industry: Water and Wastewater Utility Charleston Water System is a public water and wastewater utility, providing clean water services to the Greater Charleston Community. Formally known as the Commissioners of Public Works of the City of Charleston, SC, it is an independent utility governed by an elected board of commissioners. The utility’s associates protect public health and the environment by providing high quality, reliable water and sewer services. The Hanahan Water Treatment Plant produces high quality drinking water that’s delivered to customers through 1,800 miles of water mains.


The utility also provides sewer service—not stormwater—through 700 miles of collection mains, 187 pump stations, and eight miles of deep tunnels that carry wastewater to the treatment plant. The Plum Island Wastewater Treatment Plant treats an average of 19 million gallons a day and releases clean water into the Charleston Harbor.

and business process outsourcing. Focused product categories include IT systems, peripherals, system components, software, networking equipment, consumer electronics and complementary products. The company also offers data center server and storage solutions.

21. McAngus Goudelock & Courie LLC

City: Fort Mill Employees in SC: 1,286 Industry: Health Care - Insurance/Services Lash Group, a part of AmerisourceBergen, is a patient support services company. At Lash Group, associates work with purpose and put patients at the center of everything they do. To support patients, Lash Group strategically designs and delivers patient support programs that improve access, affordability and adherence to vital therapies. Whether program needs are highly complex or require a more streamlined, automated approach, the flexible solutions are consistently executed with the exceptional quality and efficiency built from over 20 years of experience. Headquartered in Fort Mill, Lash Group employs more than 3,500 associates across five offices located throughout the country.

City: Columbia Employees in SC: 262 Industry: Legal McAngus Goudelock & Courie is a metricsdriven law firm built specifically to meet the needs of insurance companies and their customers. From 13 regional offices, it serves clients across the Southeast. The firm includes practitioners with varying levels of experience, ranging from senior litigating partners to associates, as well as paralegals and professional support staff. It strives to understand the insurance defense industry, and works with clients to help achieve their goals in the most cost-effective way possible. At MGC, the staff has the experience and resources to provide clients with the best possible representation and to deliver smart, strategic, forward-thinking legal counsel for the insurance defense industry.

22. SYNNEX Corp. City: Greenville Employees in SC: 669 Industry: Distribution SYNNEX Corp. is a distributor of technology products and services, servicing resellers, retailers and original equipment manufacturers such as HP, Lenovo, Intel, Seagate and Microsoft throughout the world. SYNNEX provides outsourcing services in IT distribution, contract assembly, logistics management

23. Lash Group

24. Sage Automotive Interiors Inc. City: Greenville Employees in SC: 879 Industry: Manufacturing Sage Automotive Interiors develops and manufactures innovative automotive bodycloth and headliners preferred by automotive manufacturers around the world. The company has established a reputation for being on the cutting edge of design and engineering, with technical capabilities supported by world-class manufacturing.

The companies are listed by ranking. Small to medium companies have fewer than 250 employees. The numbers given below are for their employees in South Carolina.

1. Hire Dynamics



City: Greenville Employees in SC: 16 Industry: Staffing Hire Dynamics is an industry leading staffing provider for manufacturing facilities, supply chain, e-commerce, logistics, contact/call centers and corporate offices.

4. Recruiting Solutions

3. Palmetto Technology Group

City: Columbia Employees in SC: 21 Industry: Accounting Scott and Co. LLC is a full-service firm of certified public accountants, with offices in Columbia and Greenville, that provides a comprehensive range of auditing, tax, small business and specialized consulting services to clients in various industries. These include real estate, medical, manufacturing, hospitality, government, nonprofit, banking and insurance, among others. Scott and Co. has been recognized as a premier accounting firm for over 20 years.

City: Greenville Employees in SC: 18 Industry: Technology Palmetto Technology Group is an information technology provider. The firm serves as outsourced IT or supplemental support for small to mid-sized businesses throughout the Southeast, with a focus on managed services, business continuity and virtualization solutions to support a company’s line of business and communication applications. In addition to providing IT management services, the company is a Microsoft Partner organization, specializing in Office 365, helping hundreds of companies all over the world move their business to the cloud with Office 365.

5. Southern Diversified Distributors Location: Charleston Employees in SC: 37 Industry: Services – Other Southern Diversified Distributors is a privately-held investment and service company comprised of four subsidiaries: William M.

2. Scott and Co. LLC

City: Columbia Employees in SC: 36 Industry: Staffing Recruiting Solutions was established in 1992 as a local, independent and woman-owned staffing company. The key to its success has been building quality, long-term partnerships for both client companies and field associates. The company’s focus is on providing customized workforce and employment solutions. With over 20 years’ experience in the Greenville, Columbia and Florence markets, Recruiting Solutions has connections with top companies and talented job seekers throughout South Carolina. The company offers a full range of employer services, including human resources management and contingent workforce management.



Bird, TranSouth Logistics, Southern Tile Distributors and Schooner Financial Services. On behalf of its subsidiaries, Southern Diversified Distributors supports and advises investment decisions, seeks solutions and provides support including financial management, human resources and information technology. William M. Bird is a leading floor covering distributor serving the Southeast. TranSouth Logistics specializes in trucking, deliveries and warehousing. Southern Tile Distributors provides floor covering products and services throughout Virginia and parts of Maryland and North Carolina. Schooner Financial Services helps businesses by providing financial solutions to fit their capital needs.

6. Accelera Solutions

City: North Charleston Employees in SC: 39 Industry: Technology Accelera is the leader on the path to the cloud. The company believes that every person should have the freedom to work however, whenever, and wherever they choose. Accelera believes that by providing this freedom, it enables people to achieve greater success and improve their quality of life. The


company uses its expertise in technology to support global and local community organizations who share these values and its commitment to the world.

7. Thomas & Hutton City: Mount Pleasant Employees in SC: 110 Industry: Engineering Founded in 1946, Thomas & Hutton firmly believes that it’s the firm’s responsibility to design infrastructure for public health and safety, as well as provide for a high quality environment. The staff designs facilities that ultimately form the essential framework of healthy and thriving communities — whether it’s the roads people drive, the parks in which children play, or the clean drinking water residents and visitors consume daily. Continuing a 75-year history, Thomas & Hutton provides a myriad of civil engineering and civil related services such as civil site design, environmental and water resources design, land planning, land surveying, landscape architecture and geographic information systems to public and private clients in South Carolina, Georgia and throughout the Southeast.

8. VantagePoint Marketing City: Greenville Employees in SC: 20 Industry: Advertising/Public Relations/Marketing VantagePoint Marketing is a B2B marketing and advertising agency that specializes in food service marketing, serving a select group of regional, national and global clients. The company is known for insights and ideas that bring measurable impact to its clients’ businesses. Vantage Point Marketing has significant depth of experience in marketing, advertising, branding, digital and public relations. It also has experience in the industries of transportation, packaging, technology, health care, advanced materials and building products.

9: Bauknight Pietras & Stormer PA City: Columbia Employees in SC: 52 Industry: Accounting Bauknight Pietras & Stormer PA is one of the Southeast’s largest and most trusted accounting and consulting firms. The firm puts its extensive experience in public accounting and with the IRS to work in serving a wide range of corporations, privately held companies,

10. Midlands Authority for Conventions, Sports and Tourism City: Columbia Employees in SC: 46 Industry: Hospitality The Midlands Authority for Conventions, Sports & Tourism’s mission is to strengthen the area’s economy by promoting tourism in the region through active recruitment of new meetings, conventions, leisure travel and sporting events and by enhancing existing tourism through exceptional customer service.

providing cybersecurity technology and services to commercial and federal customers.

13. Rhythmlink International LLC City: Columbia Employees in SC: 47 Industry: Manufacturing Rhythmlink International LLC designs, manufactures and distributes medical devices and provides custom packaging, private labeling, custom products and contract manufacturing to its customers. Rhythmlink is recognized as a leader within its field at providing the important physical connection between patients and the diagnostic equipment to

record or elicit neurophysiologic biopotentials. Originally founded by neurodiagnostic technicians and engineers in 2002, Rhythmlink strives to provide continuous innovation and superior quality in all of its products.

14. First Reliance Bank City: Florence Employees in SC: 115 Industry: Banking First Reliance Bank, founded in 1999, has assets of approximately $376 million, and employs over 120 highly talented associates. The bank serves the Columbia, Lexington, Charleston, Mount Pleasant and Florence


health care providers, emerging or startup firms, nonprofits and successful individuals. The firm focuses on providing business and financial solutions to leading companies, primarily in the captive insurance, commercial insurance carrier, telecommunications and other regulated entities, real estate, manufacturing, distribution, medical and professional services, construction and technology industries.

11. The Brandon Agency City: Myrtle Beach Employees in SC: 58 Industry: Advertising/Public Relations/Marketing The Brandon Agency is a full-service, fully integrated advertising agency, providing strategic marketing and planning services to its clients. These services are — but not limited to — creative design, media planning and buying, public relations, social media, research, brand planning and strategy, video production, content development and interactive.

12. Sentar

City: Charleston Employees in SC: 34 Industry: Defense Sentar, a women-owned small business founded in 1990, is a proven leader in solving cyber security and information assurance (CS/IA) challenges as shown on multiple contracts/task orders and cyber technology development projects totaling over $24 million in 2015 (with the majority as a prime contractor). The company knows how to manage business in this dynamic environment, assigning and managing staff at 16 locations worldwide. Sentar currently has over 135 professional technical staff members



markets. First Reliance Bank offers several unique customer programs which include a Hometown Heroes package of benefits to serve those who are serving our communities; Check ‘N Save, a community outreach program for the unbanked or under-banked; a Moms First program; and an iMatter program targeted to young people. Its commitment to making customers’ lives better has earned the bank a customer satisfaction rating of 95% (2013 results from an outside survey firm.)

15: Kleinschmidt Associates City: Lexington Employees in SC: 18 Industry: Engineering Kleinschmidt is a premier provider of engineering, regulatory and ecological services to the hydroelectric renewable power and water resources markets in the U.S. and Canada. The company’s services have expanded over the years in response to the changing environment. In the 1980s, it expanded into environmental and licensing services and is now nationally known for this expertise, in addition to the engineering skills that have always been a hallmark. In the 1990s, Kleinschmidt developed an Ecological Services Group to branch out into new areas. This group has become nationally known for ecosystem assessments, individual habitat and river restoration projects, watershed management, water supply reservoir management, dam removal, fish passage, and impact studies for wetlands.

16. PhishLabs


City: Charleston, SC Employees in SC: 82 Industry: Technology PhishLabs is the leading provider of cybercrime protection and intelligence services that fight back against online threats and reduce the risk posed by phishing, malware, distributed denial of service (DDoS) and other cyber attacks. PhishLabs fights back against cyber threats. Its mission is to prevent cybercrime, and in doing so, protect businesses from losses due to online fraud and external cyber threats. PhishLabs prevents cybercrime by increasing the cost of targeting its clients and their customers. It detects, analyzes and proactively dismantles the systems and illicit services cybercriminals depend on to attack

businesses. Taking down these systems inflicts real losses, forcing attackers to rebuild before launching new attack campaigns.

17. O’Neal Inc. City: Greenville Employees in SC: 223 Industry: Engineering and Construction Founded in 1975, O’Neal is wholly owned by its employees. Their futures are tied to how well they serve their clients each day. O’Neal is focused on the Business of Project Delivery – integrating overall project planning and delivery to create cost-effective capital solutions. O’Neal does capital program and project planning, appropriation level design and cost development, full-service design and construction management. It meets the needs of various clients across North America in these industries: aerospace, automotive, biotech, chemical, distribution, films, food, ingredients and beverages, manufacturing, packaging, pharmaceutical, plastics and polymers, energy, pulp and paper and specialty fibers.

18. CF Evans Construction City: Orangeburg Employees in SC: 63 Industry: Construction C.F. Evans & Co. Inc. is a general contractor firm specializing in multifamily construction. It provides a full range of services including concept analysis, preconstruction and construction management. At CF Evans, the staff builds it like it’s theirs, and always does what’s right. This approach ensures that every project the company undertakes will create value for its clients.

19. KeyMark City: Liberty Employees in SC: 63 Industry: Technology Since 1996, KeyMark Inc. has been a leading enterprise content management systems integrator focusing on data capture, document management and workflow software. KeyMark has helped clients leverage technology to increase efficiencies and decrease operating costs in industries such as financial services, government, health care, insurance, logistics, manufacturing and pharmaceuticals. KeyMark is one of a select few organizations worldwide to hold both the OnBase by Hyland Diamond Support award and the

Kofax Diamond Partner award. Additionally, KeyMark is the creator of Forms InMotion, an innovative software solution for forms management.

20. Turner Agency Insurance City: Greenville Employees in SC: 18 Industry: Insurance (non-health care) Since 1962, Turner Agency Insurance has provided the highest quality insurance services, including but not limited to commercial lines, personal lines, life and health insurance and employee benefits. Based in Greenville, Turner Agency serves clients throughout the state of South Carolina and beyond. Turner Agency is a proud Trusted Choice® agency and a member of the Independent Insurance Agents and Associates of South Carolina.

21. Quality Business Solutions, Inc. City: Travelers Rest Employees in SC: 25 Industry: Services – Other A 100% woman-owned business, QBS is a cost effective outsource solution for noncore business functions. Its integrated PEO/ ASO services include payroll administration, unemployment management, insurance, benefit administration, human resources, workers’ compensation, tax reporting and more. QBS currently processes payroll in 48 states. QBS works directly with benefit providers to ensure that additions, changes and terminations to clients’ plans are handled promptly. Tax reporting includes quarterly federal and state reports, as well as unemployment management services including claims processing/reviews, hearings representation, and quarterly/ annual reports.

22. Infinity Marketing City: Greenville Employees in SC: 69 Industry: Advertising/Public Relations/Marketing Founded in 1993, Infinity Marketing is a fullservice advertising agency offering integrated marketing services including brand strategy, digital and traditional media planning and buying, DJ endorsements, social media management, search marketing including SEO, as well as creative services encompassing video production and website development.


23. JEAR Logistics LLC City: Mount Pleasant Employees in SC: 68 Industry: Transportation JEAR Logistics is a third-party, non-asset based logistics company. It focuses on providing customers with transportation services and partners with carriers that move freight throughout the continental United States and Canada. Its customers rely on JEAR Logistics to pick up and deliver their products on time, transporting them safely with integrity. JEAR’s carriers depend on it to offer quality loads in their desired locations at a competitive price. With training and continuous development, JEAR stays ahead of ever-changing truck market trends and serves customers well by investments made in technology.

24. Mount Pleasant Waterworks City: Mount Pleasant Employees in SC: 117 Industry: Water and Wastewater Mount Pleasant Waterworks is a public water and wastewater utility serving 34,000 customers in Mount Pleasant and the surround-

ing communities. MPW maintains 547 miles of water lines and supplies 2.65 billion gallons of water each year to residents. It currently operates four reverse osmosis treatment facilities that supply clean drinking water and fire suppression support. In addition, MPW maintains 482 miles of sewer lines, 162 pump stations and two wastewater treatment facilities that clean and treat 2.8 billion gallons of raw sewage per year. Mount Pleasant Waterworks is regulated by DHEC and EPA and is committed to preserving the regional water supply and the environment.

25. South Carolina Education Lottery City: Columbia Employees in SC: 119 Industry: Government S.C. Education Lottery’s mission is to enhance educational funding in South Carolina through the fun, entertaining and socially acceptable games and products it offers to adults. To accomplish this, the organization offers a variety of games, at various price points, to players. Revenue is transferred over to the Education Lottery Account for the state of South Carolina, so that the Legislature may appropriate and distribute the proceeds to various educational programs.

The games the players participate in are both on a national and local scale. Although players enjoy the national games (Powerball, MegaMillions and Lucky for Life), the biggest market comes from local games, which consist of Pick 3, Pick 4, Palmetto Cash 5 and instant (scratch-off) tickets.

26. SCRA City: Summerville Employees in SC: 185 Industry: Technology SCRA Divisions Applied R&D delivers technology-based solutions to complex challenges — primarily for federal agencies and corporations. SCRA combines expertise in its target markets, a robust network of trusted partners and access to state-of-the-art research laboratories to develop technologies to improve capability and lower costs. Technology Ventures fulfills its knowledge-based economic development mission through SC Launch and other investment programs. SC Launch supports startup companies and assists in commercializing new and innovative products. R&D Facilities and Innovation Centers are state-of-the-art laboratories, scale-up manufacturing facilities and secure rooms where research discoveries are rapidly commercialized.

27. Ceterus Inc. City: Charleston Employees in SC: 26 Industry: Accounting Ceterus provides automated accounting and financial reporting for small business niches. Its proprietary reporting software for small businesses provides financial reports, meaningful peer benchmarks, non-financial metrics, as well as alerts and notifications. Ceterus automates complex accounting work through innovative cloud-based technology paired with industry-focused accountants.

28. Human Technologies Inc.


City: Greenville Employees in SC: 110 Industry: Staffing Human Technologies Inc. began in 1999 as a multifaceted human resource advisory firm. Over the last 17 years, it has worked to maintain the personal, relational nature of its business while growing into a $90 million company. HTI is headquartered in Greenville and

29. Molina Healthcare of SC City: North Charleston Employees in SC: 213 Industry: Health Care - Insurance/Services Molina Healthcare of SC contracts with the S.C. Department of Health Human Services and serves as a health plan providing a wide range of quality health care services to families and individuals who qualify for government sponsored programs including Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.

30. Rosenfeld Einstein, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC Company City: Greenville Employees in SC: 65 Industry: Insurance (non-health care) Rosenfeld Einstein, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC, continues to reflect the values William Rosenfeld established in 1933. Integrity continues to permeate the everyday activities of the firm and all its associates. Led by the third generation of Rosenfeld Einstein families and a talented management team, Rosenfeld Einstein focuses on establishing long-term relationships with clients who seek thoughtful advice in employee benefits, flexible spending account administration, property and casualty (personal and business), and workplace wellness consulting. As the agency has grown, so have its clients, which range from entrepreneurial local business to large national firms.

31. Hawkes Learning

City: Greenville Employees in SC: 63 Industry: Staffing Find Great People is one company with many solutions. If a company needs employees on a temporary or temp-to-hire basis, FGP’s Professional Staffing team can help. With a focus on office support, HR, legal, marketing, accounting and finance, the staffing team helps companies find the right candidate. FGP Technology can staff IT departments from the CIO level to deskside support/helpdesk roles on both a project or permanent basis. For high-level positions, FGP’s Executive Search consultants bring years of expertise in specialized industries like manufacturing, accounting, health care and nonprofit to help find the best people. The HR Consulting division provides a wide variety of services, including outplacement and complete outsourced HR services.

33. McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture City: Greenville Employees in SC: 181 Industry: Architecture McMillan Pazdan Smith is a regional, studiobased architecture, interior design and planning firm whose mission is to help clients create environments that embody their personalities, enrich their lives and enhance the quality of their communities. The firm represents a collaborative group of dedicated and enthusiastic design professionals who believe function, beauty, constructability and cost effectiveness are integral attributes of excellent design. Practicing since 1955, McMillan Pazdan Smith has offices throughout the Southeast.

complete. The company has completed more than 1,200 projects utilizing its innovative Better Building Process®.

35. Spirit Communications City: Columbia Employees in SC: 205 Industry: Telecommunications Born and raised in South Carolina and formed by 11 telephone companies throughout the state, Spirit Communications is a unique model as the only private telecommunications provider focused exclusively on the Carolinas. As a leading provider of voice, data and internet services to enterprise, carrier and government customers, Spirit maintains a culture of continuous innovation. With the most advanced technologies, Spirit provides voice, data, internet and fiber optic solutions along with a full suite of cloud services. With over 6,000 miles of fiber, Spirit owns and operates its own fiber network throughout the Carolinas and surrounding Georgia markets.

36. VC3 City: Columbia Employees in SC: 60 Industry: Technology VC3 offers managed IT services, private cloud services, hosted VOIP, custom web applications, sharepoint consulting, and website design and hosting. VC3 has more than 20 years of experience providing a full range of information technology solutions and services to hundreds of organizations. VC3’s focus has always stayed the same: marry the best technologies with the company’s experienced and talented engineers, programmers, web designers and support specialists to deliver solutions that take customers to the next level of productivity and results.

34. Trehel Corp. City: Greenville Employees in SC: 60 Industry: Construction Trehel Corp. is an unlimited, licensed general contractor providing full-service commercial construction services throughout South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia. Since its inception in 1982, Trehel has established a proven track record of providing preconstruction and construction services to its clients with the assurance of continued interest in the project long after construction is

City: Mount Pleasant Employees in SC: 75 Industry: Technology Hawkes Learning specializes in educational technology and publishing. The company has created an innovative, educational courseware platform providing instructional content and mastery-based learning to enhance student success in mathematics, statistics and English college courses.

32. Find Great People


currently owns 13 offices in eight states. HTI is known for providing exceptional service in professional recruiting, industrial staffing, human resource consulting, outplacement services and manufacturing solutions. HTI’s core competency is the design and administration of exceptional workforce management services.



Ports, Logistics & Distribution

Two 155-foot-high cranes arrived at the Port of Charleston from China. Two additional cranes will be delivered in December 2017, and four existing cranes will be raised by cutting the crane legs and adding 40-foot sections. (Photo/Liz Segrist)


By Liz Segrist, Staff Writer



he Port of Charleston has made a step forward in preparing for the era of bigger ships with the arrival of two 155-foot tall cranes at Charleston Harbor. The new cranes extend 40 feet higher than the existing cranes at the port,

enabling workers to handle ships capable of carrying 14,000 twenty-foot-equivalent containers. See CRANES, Page 59


By Liz Segrist, Staff Writer

Port volumes flat at end of fiscal year


he Port of Charleston handled 1.097 million pier containers in fiscal year 2016 — from July 2015 through June — up a mere 0.2% from the year prior. In the past 15 years, the highest levels were in 2005 when 1.134 million pier containers came through the port. Pier container volumes account for every box that comes through the port, regardless of size. Port volumes were flat during the second quarter and down in the third and fourth quarters of the fiscal year as the world economy slowed, S.C. State Ports Authority President and CEO Jim Newsome said during a recent board meeting. “As compared to last fiscal year when ports were growing 14-15%, that’s just not there right now. ... We’re not in a hypertensive growth environment anymore,” Newsome said. Pier container volumes in June were nearly 89,000, compared to about 97,000 during the same time last year. June volumes were partially impacted by temporary, planned plant shutdowns at Mercedes-Benz and BMW plants. Companies sometimes close down for a short period of time for vacations, maintenance or other reasons. Along with slowing world trade in China and Europe, port volumes were affected by a major deficit in imported, empty containers. Empty imports were down nearly 50% in fiscal year 2016, meaning around 29,000 fewer empty containers were imported this year compared to last year. Newsome said he is seeing empty import containers decline at ports across the Southeast. He expects companies might be reusing the same containers for imports and exports rather than bringing empty containers in. The port makes money for each container that comes through its terminals, empty or full. “That’s the major deficit in our volume

Historical pier container volumes though FY2016 The 1.134 million pier containers that came through in 2005 make up the highest total in the last 15 years.

The port handled 1.097 million pier containers in fiscal year 2016 — from July 2015 to June — up 0.2% from the year prior.


Pier Containers (in thousands)







2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010



2013 2014 2015


Source: South Carolina State Ports Authority

that we see,” Newsome said. Loaded import containers were up 5% year-over-year, which Newsome called a bright spot. The growth was largely from the automotive and retail sectors. Other FY16 highlights: Fewer ships are expected to call on the port in the next fiscal year following the completion of the Panama Canal expansion. Bigger ships carrying more cargo will result in fewer port calls, Newsome said. Currently, 16 of the 26 shipping companies have vessels that were too large to fit through the Panama Canal prior to the expansion. The S.C. Inland Port in Greer is on

track to reach 100,000 rail lifts by the end of the calendar year, which is the third year since operations began there. Newsome has not expected the inland port to reach this record before five years. The ports authority continues to study creating another inland port in Dillon County. Newsome said he expects to make a presentation to the board sometime soon on whether to proceed and how much the project would cost. The Port of Georgetown’s pier container volumes were down about 55% in fiscal year 2016. Newsome said the decline is due to depth limitations. He said the port does not plan to invest there going forward.

CRANES, from page 56

Photo/Liz Segrist

construction and provide feedback on design, said Barbara Melvin, the port’s senior vice president of operations and terminals. The cranes were transported from China to Charleston on the ZHEN HUA 14 vessel, along with three cranes destined for the port in Jacksonville, Fla. The Charleston cranes arrived at the Columbus Street Terminal partially disassembled, which was required so that they could fit under the Arthur Ravenel Jr.


Port officials say bigger cranes are needed now to prepare for the anticipated ship calls following the recent expansion of the Panama Canal. Larger vessels enable containers to be stacked higher than before, requiring taller cranes to reach the cargo boxes. “The last cranes we bought were in 2007, so this is a big deal for us. ... We need them really urgently to handle the big containerships,” S.C. State Ports Authority President and CEO Jim Newsome said. “We’re in a situation right now where 16 out of our 26 containership calls are 8,000-TEU ships.” Port officials expect those ship sizes to continue growing. Taller, faster cranes are crucial for handling such vessels, said Michael Stresemann, the port’s director of crane and equipment maintenance.  The ports authority bought the cranes from Chinese manufacturer Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industry Co. Ltd., known as ZPMC, for $27 million. Port management and crane operators visited Shanghai several times to oversee

Bridge, Stresemann said. The cranes were taken apart further after arrival. The ship moved the cranes across the harbor to the Wando Welch Terminal in Mount Pleasant to be fully unloaded. Over the next few months, the cranes will be reassembled at Wando. They are expected to be functional by Nov. 3. Through October, Charleston-area third- through fifth-grade students can submit entries to name the cranes. The two new post-Panamax cranes will make a total of 10 cranes at the Wando terminal. The ports authority also has invested $44 million to strength the Wando Welch Terminal’s wharf to handle the wear and tear of bigger ships bumping into it. This work should be completed in January 2018, Newsome said. The Wando terminal will eventually have eight cranes with 155-foot lift off the ground. Two additional cranes from Zhenhua will be delivered in December 2017 for use at the Wando terminal, and four existing cranes will be raised by cutting the crane legs and adding 40-foot sections, Newsome said.


S.C. DELIVERS This T-50A makes its initial test flight in Sacheon, South Korea. The T-50A is a fighter test aircraft produced by Lockheed Martin and Korea Aerospace Industries. Lockheed Martin’s Greenville Operations site has been chosen as the aircraft’s final checkout and assembly site as the aircraft enters the U.S. Air Force Advanced Pilot Training competition, a competition worth between $10 billion and $11 billion. (Photo/Provided)


By Matthew Clark, Editor of GSA Business Report

Lockheed Martin completes test flight of second T-50A



uring a test in Sacheon, South Korea, Lockheed Martin Corp. and Korea Aerospace Industries completed the first test flight of the second T-50A aircraft. The aircraft will be Lockheed Martin’s entry into the U.S. Air Force’s Advanced Pilot Training competition. The company’s Greenville location was selected to be the T-50A final checkout and assembly location in February. “We now have two aircraft in flight test proving our upgrade, and we’re nearing completion of our assembly and training operations center in Greenville, South Carolina,” said Doug Batista, Lockheed Martin T-50A program manager, in a statement from Lockheed Martin. “We’re on track to provide the U.S. Air Force with a production line and training capability on day one of contract award.” The company’s Greenville operations site is located at the S.C. Technology and Aviation Center and includes 13 hangars and 1.2 million square feet of covered space and an 8,000-foot runway. Lockheed Martin has begun the conversion of Hangar 11, a former military hanger built in 1958, to

house the production of the T-50A. The conversion includes a new interior roof, construction of office space and a fresh coat of paint on the floor. The intent, contract award pending, is to be able to produce four T-50As per month in Greenville. The competition to replace the T-38 as the Air Force’s new training aircraft is valued at between $10 billion and $11 billion. The T-38 is in its fifth decade of use. The T-50A is a modified version of the T-50 which was originally produced for Korea Aerospace Industries. The unmodified version has nearly 100,000 flight hours spread among the 100 models in operation. “We expect to have flight operations complete by November at the Greenville facility,” Farmer said. “Everything we are doing for preparation is to show the Air Force that we are ready and that this is a capable program. “This is just a continuation of the T-50 aircraft with several modifications. It is a proven aircraft with a proven performance.” The initial contract for the U.S. Air Force will be for an estimated 350 of the new trainers. However, factoring in the po-

tential for international sales of the jet, that number could climb to between 500 and 1,000. The focus, if awarded the contract, will be on the initial order from the Air Force and, after that, the government can determine the direction with any international sales. If Lockheed Martin is awarded the contract, officials said the Greenville Operations facility will expand its workforce from the 600 already employed to nearly 800 between 2019 and 2022. The venture between Lockheed Martin and Korea Aerospace is one of four expected to submit a bid for the project. The others are Boeing Co. and Saab; Northrup Grumman, the manufacturer of the T-38, and BAE Systems; and the Textron AirLand Scorpion, a jet similar to Lockheed Martin’s that’s already in production. Farmer said the timeline for the project is the Air Force to issue its request for proposal in December with those due back to the military in February 2017 and the Department of Defense making a decision by the end of 2017 or early 2018. Lockheed Martin said it completed the initial test flight of its first T50A on June 2.

By Matthew Clark, Editor of GSA Business Report

Inland Port


he South Carolina Inland Port at Greer is the second-fastest growing inland port in the country according to a report from CBRE, a commercial real estate firm with offices in Greenville, Charleston and Columbia. The report found that the S.C. Inland Port at Greer expanded its base of industrial properties by 4.2% in the first quarter of 2016. Only the inland port serving the Inland Empire of Southern California experienced a faster rate at 4.3%. Inland ports in Atlanta and DallasFort Worth both grew at a rate of 3.6%, according to a press release from CBRE. The 12 inland ports studied by CBRE expanded their industrial base by an average of 2.7% during the first quarter. The report suggested that the boom of e-commerce has grown the demand for warehouses and distribution centers located near inland ports. Seaports handle e-commerce cargo by routing them to inland ports where the cargo is broken down for distribution.

“Inland ports account for more than half of the fastest growing industrial markets in the U.S. because they are key way stations in the national e-commerce distribution network,” said David Egan, head of industrial and logistics research in the Americas for CBRE. “As online commerce continues to expand, more shippers, retailers and logistics firms will seek top-quality, big-box warehouses in the leading inland port markets to serve as critical links in their supply chain.” According to the report, the S.C. Inland Port at Greer has grown its cargo volumes by triple digits since it opened in 2013. It reached a monthly volume record of 9,000 container lifts in March 2016, according to the report. The S.C. Ports Authority recently reported the Greer facility achieved a record in terms of volume with over 91,000 rail moves during fiscal 2016. The customer base of the inland port grew by 57%, according to the Ports Authority. As a whole, the Ports Authority reported

it handled 1.9 million TEUs, or twenty-foot equivalent units, in fiscal 2016, an increase of 1.4% over the previous year, according to a press release from the Ports Authority. The SCPA said it moved around 1.1 million boxes around its docks during the fiscal year. “The steady growth of industrial users, along with our proximity to other major Southeast markets and the Port of Charleston, has enabled the Greenville-Spartanburg market to boast strong absorption numbers and record low vacancies for the past several quarters,” said Marcus Cornelius, vice president for industrial and logistics for CBRE, in the press release. “Additionally, with the expansion of the Panama Canal and more than 5.7 million square feet of space under construction, development is not slowing down and is expected to continue on its robust growth track.” The S.C. Ports Authority recently announced plans to construct a second inland port in Dillon.


Growth of inland ports outsized by e-commerce, report says




Staff Report

Workers reach milestone in nuclear project at V.C. Summer plant


orkers have achieved two construction milestones by placing the final two super modules in the containment vessel of a reactor unit under construction at V.C. Summer Nuclear Station in Fairfield County, company officials announced. The CA03 super module was placed in the nuclear island July 20 and the CA02 super module was placed on Aug. 5, according to South Carolina Electric & Gas, an investor-owned utility that’s building the units along with its state-owned partner, Santee Cooper. The modules are part of the safety systems of AP1000 Unit 2, which is one of two reactor units under construction at the Summer plant, said Westinghouse Electric Co., designer of the new units. The safety systems are designed to use gravity, natural circulation and condensation to automatically shut down the reactor without human intervention for up to 72 hours, Westinghouse said in a release. The safety systems are known in the industry as “passive” because they do not require operator actions, mechanical equip-


A 560-foot tall heavy lift derrick places the CA03 module into the containment vessel of a reactor unit under construction at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station in Fairfield County. (Photo/Provided)

ment or AC power and provide operators with the time necessary to achieve and maintain safe shutdown of the plant in the event of an accident, Westinghouse added. The structural steel modules are walls that are key components of the In-Containment Refueling Water Storage Tank, Westinghouse added. The stainless steel-lined tank is filled with water to absorb heat within containment and provide back-up cooling for the reactor vessel when the unit goes into operation. “Our passive safety system design is the fundamental innovation that sets

the AP1000 plant apart from other plant designs, providing an unmatched level of safety and security,” said Jeff Benjamin, a Westinghouse senior vice president. The modules, which weigh approximately 250 tons and 60 tons each, were assembled at the construction site and placed into the containment vessel by a 560-foot tall heavy lift derrick, which officials said is one of the largest cranes in the world. SCE&G, principal subsidiary of Caycebased energy provider SCANA, and Santee Cooper presently operate one nuclear power unit at the Jenkinsville plant, which went into commercial operation in 1984. Westinghouse is the contractor, and Fluor is the construction manager of the project. Approximately 3,700 Westinghouse personnel and subcontractor workers are working daily at the construction site. Additionally, SCE&G is expected to employ about 800 fulltime personnel when the new units are operational. The first of the two new units is expected to be completed by Aug. 31, 2019, and the other by Aug. 31, 2020.

Staff Report

New wood processing facility coming to Orangeburg County

A 62

$32 million Carolina Chips Inc. facility being built in Orangeburg County will create 15 jobs processing wood chips and processed bark for the KapStone paper mill in North Charleston. Carolina Chips is a subsidiary of The Price Companies Inc., which operates 25 wood processing operations in 11 states providing a variety of services, including chipping, wood storage and trucking. The Price Companies, based in Monticello, Ark., has more than 50 years of forestry-related operations experience. 

Carolina Chips will design, build, own and operate the new chip mill and wood storage yard in Holly Hill, scheduled for completion and operation in the first half of 2007.   “We are very happy about becoming a member of the Holly Hill and Orangeburg County community,” Dick Carmical, The Price Companies Inc. president and CEO, said in a release. “We are also very proud and excited to be developing a long-term relationship with a solid, progressive and customer-driven company like KapStone.”

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development awarded Orangeburg County a $100,000 grant to assist with the costs of road improvements. “We are grateful that Carolina Chips has chosen to locate their newest facility here,” Orangeburg County Council Chairman Jonnie Wright said. “It’s always exciting when new companies confirm Orangeburg County as an excellent location to do business. We appreciate Carolina Chips for their investment, new job opportunities and for their confidence in our community.”

1,000 WORDS


Annette, a California sea lion, shows off her expert catching ability at feeding time at Sea Lion Landing, the newly opened habitat at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden in Columbia. The sea lions and a harbor seal can be viewed from a window in the 250,000-gallon tank or from The Wharf, as seen here. The habitat is a re-creation of San Francisco’s Pier 39, where many sea lions live and play. Riverbanks last had sea lions on display in 2009. (Photo/Jeff Blake)

Profile for SC Biz News

2016 SCBIZ 3  

SCBIZ is the quarterly magazine serving senior level decision-makers across the entire state of South Carolina. In addition to the print pub...

2016 SCBIZ 3  

SCBIZ is the quarterly magazine serving senior level decision-makers across the entire state of South Carolina. In addition to the print pub...

Profile for scbiz

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