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BOOKof EXPERTS

May 7, 2018 | Volume 11, No. 8


A letter from the Publisher

Associate Publisher - Licia Jackson ljackson@scbiznews.com • 803.726.7546 Associate Editor, Special Projects - Steve McDaniel smcdaniel@scbiznews.com • 843.849.3123 Senior Graphic Designer - Jane James jjames@scbiznews.com • 843.849.3118 Assistant Graphic Designer - Jessica Stout jstout@scbiznews.com • 843.849.3113 MIDLANDS ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Senior Account Executive - Alan James ajames@scbiznews.com • 803.726.7540 Account Executive - Lucia Smith lsmith@scbiznews.com • 803.726.7547

South Carolina’s Media Engine for Economic Growth President and Group Publisher - Grady Johnson gjohnson@scbiznews.com • 843.849.3103 Vice President of Sales - Steve Fields sfields@scbiznews.com • 843.849.3110 Creative Director - Ryan Wilcox rwilcox@scbiznews.com • 843.849.3117

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ear Reader, Just about every day, we are looking for expert information on some topic or other. Can we save on our taxes? How can our leaky glass door be repaired? Can we get help in hiring employees or upgrading their benefits? How do we safeguard our company’s financial transactions? The Columbia Regional Business Report’s newest publication, the Book of Experts, provides you with expertise on a variety of business topics. All the busiLicia Jackson nesses who present their information here have their operations in the Midlands and are ready to help meet your needs. You might say we are using our expertise – producing publications and helping companies connect with the community – to showcase the expertise of many business firms and organizations in the Columbia region. There are 18 businesses represented in the Book of Experts, from engineering to insurance to catering. Each topic is represented by one expert who fills you in on issues and services. Our thanks go to the sponsors of this publication, whose representatives are shown on our cover. They are Ameris Bank, Assured Partners, Bobbitt Design Build, CEC, The Hobbs Group, Palmetto State Glass, Splash Omnimedia and Sunbelt Business Brokers. We’re sure you will find some useful advice in these pages.

Events Director - Kathy Allen kallen@scbiznews.com • 864.720.1225 Audience Development & IT Manager Kim McManus kmcmanus@scbiznews.com • 843.849.3116 Accounting Manager - Vickie Deadmon vdeadmon@scbiznews.com • 803.726.7541 CUSTOM MEDIA DIVISION Director of Business Development - Mark Wright mwright@scbiznews.com • 843.849.3143 Business Development Executive Elizabeth Hodges lhodges@scbiznews.com • 843.849.3105

BOOKof EXPERTS

May 7, 2018 | Volume 11, No. 8

About the cover: These eight business executives represent the sponsors of Columbia Regional Business Report’s 2018 Book of Experts. Their photo was taken at the Columbia Museum of Art. Back row, L-R: Kyle Whetstone of Palmetto State Glass, Josh Rabon of CEC, Manning Kolb of Splash Omnimedia; middle row: David Yezbak of Sunbelt, Mark Hobbs of The Hobbs Group; front row: Ben Wilson of Bobbitt Design Build, Drew Mood of Assured Partner, Mze Wilkins of Ameris Bank. (Photo/Jeff Blake)

SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION Columbia Regional Business Report (USPS 8400) is published twice a month except monthly in January, June, July, and August, with special supplements in May and December, by SC Biz News. 1612 Marion Street, Suite 301 Columbia, SC 29201-2938 Periodicals postage paid at Columbia, SC. Mailing address: 1612 Marion Street, Suite 301 Columbia, SC 29201-2938 Postmaster: Please send address changes to: SC Business Publications, 1439 Stuart Engals Blvd, Suite 200, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464.

Annual subscribers receive 20 issues of the Business Report, including two special supplements: The Book of Lists and Profiles in Business One year (20 issues) for $52.95; Two years (40 issues) for $89.95; Three years (60 issues) for $125.95. Subscribe, renew, change your address or pay your invoice by credit card online at www.columbiabusinessreport.com or call 843-849-3116.

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Featured Experts 2

PALMETTO STATE GLASS

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SNELLING STAFFING SERVICES

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ASSURED PARTNERS

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COMPLETE EMPLOYEE SERVICES

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CIVIL ENGINEERING OF COLUMBIA

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CAPITAL CITY CLUB

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SPLASH OMNIMEDIA

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BLUE MARLIN

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AMERIS BANK

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SIMPLIFIED OFFICE SYSTEMS

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THE HOBBS GROUP

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MPA STRATEGIES

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BOBBITT DESIGN BUILD

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SEFA GROUP

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SUNBELT BUSINESS BROKERS

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DOUBLETREE

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SPIRIT COMMUNICATIONS

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COASTAL HYDRAULICS

Title Sponsors

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GLASS GLAZING

There’s More to Glass Walls and Doors Than Meets the Eyes Palmetto State Glass does it all from mom-and-pop shops to large buildings, adding energy savings and aesthetics. B Y K Y L E W H E T S T O N E • P R E S I D E N T • PA L M E T T O S TAT E G L A S S

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lass is still basically melted sand and we’re expanding our presence in and people have been putting Greenville and now in the Charleston it on buildings for centuries or areas. On the business services and repairs more, but there’s a lot more to it now. At Palmetto State Glass, we use the side, we repair commercial doors and latest glass coating, design and installation work with all types of specialty glass, technologies to provide the best available including fire and bullet resistant, X-ray entrance and natural lighting experiences and safety glass. We use glass, acrylic and available to owners and operators of metal panels, whatever works best for everything from corner gas stations to that individual customer. For larger projects, we work closely large office buildings and schools. with architects, owners, and Palmetto State Glass is general contractors in the a commercial glazing design-build process. contractor that focuses I feel our We’re experts in on storefront, curtain experience makes curtain wall systems, wall and entrance the industry term systems. We’ve been us the best company in for what you might in business since the area for that kind of call glass walls. 1991 and I bought work. They’re growing the company in in popularity both 2010 after 20 years -KYLE WHETSTONE for aesthetic reasons in manufacturing and because they’re a leadership, including great way to save energy by managing a Federal providing natural light. Mogul automotive parts plant in Along with Lexington Middle School, Orangeburg. Our business has grown to include 45 another good example of our curtain wall dedicated employees who provide quality expertise is the Columbia Water and workmanship and dedicated service Wastewater Administration Building whether simply realigning a leaking entry on West Beltline Boulevard. I feel our door at a small shop or installing curtain experience makes us the best company wall systems at the new Lexington Middle in the area for that kind of work. Our versatility and dedication to cost control, School. We already are well established in the continuous improvement and quality Midlands through our Columbia location workmanship simply sets us apart.

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2018 Book of Experts | Special Advertising Supplement

Kyle Whetstone, President of Palmetto State Glass


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INSURANCE

Managing risk adds value to bottom line With offices throughout South Carolina, AssuredPartners serves the commercial real estate industry. B Y R I C H L O N N E M A N • R E A L E S TAT E P R A C T I C E L E A D E R • A S S U R E D PA R T N E R S

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For example, as an AssuredPartners ssuredPartners is one of the top providers of insurance and risk Real Estate client, you gain access to our management consulting services unique AP Risk Connection Program. This for the commercial real estate industry. program adds value directly to our client’s As the fourth-largest privately held bottom line. Our team works with property insurance brokerage in the United States, managers and owners to collect insurance AssuredPartners generates over $1 billion in information from tenants to make sure they annualized revenue and has a local presence are compliant with their leases. We employ in South Carolina with offices in Anderson, an automated system, which collects all Charleston, Columbia, Greenville, Hilton leases and needed insurance information from client’s tenants and vendors, in Head, Spartanburg and Sumter. addition to checking for proper Most of AssuredPartners’ compliance. We then place Real Estate clients originally all the collected client began as small entities. information within a However, as they cloud-for other uses. expanded, they We proactively As part of a quickly outgrew their manage the whole risk national brokerage, generalist insurance management process. we have the clout agency and required and expertise of a the expertise and - RICH LONNEMAN national enterprise, services of a total but still maintain the vertically integrated real personalized care of a estate practice group. community agency. Two years Having our pro-active ago, we expanded our National Real Risk Management Program in place is significant for our clients because it directly Estate Practice Group to our Columbia reduces their costs and increases their office and we are now working with real estate clients across South Carolina. bottom line profits. Our South Carolina Real Estate AssuredPartners rapidly becomes a key extension of our client’s team by fulfilling Practice focuses on commercial real estate the significant void as their risk management owners, managers and developers of retail, partner. We proactively manage the whole office, industrial, hospitality and multirisk management process. We identify family properties. Our real estate clientele all internal and external risks, provide ranges from a local owner/manager of 10 proactive risk reduction programs and hotels to a Real Estate Investment Trust claims management along with a complete (REIT) with 400+ shopping centers across the U.S. risk transfer and placement options.

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Rich Lonneman, Real Estate Practice Leader, AssuredPartners


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ENGINEERING

Taking a role in economic development CEC’s expertise extends beyond civil engineering, surveying and planning. BY J O S H R AB O N • P E , V IC E P R E S I D E N T • C I V I L E N G I N E E R I N G O F C O LU M BI A

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t CEC, our expertise in civil engineering is just one aspect of the work we do for our clients. When a developer comes to us, we can assess land options and advise on site suitability for development. With many site constraints to consider, our clients have peace of mind knowing they can rely on us to partner with them in assessing the construction costs, regulatory issues, and potential yield of the development. We are a consultant on many fronts, doing more than simply producing drawings and calculations. As the needs of our clients broaden, we have strategically positioned ourselves to further assist with their needs. We help our clients with their projects by having a deeper knowledge of their entire business, not just preparing construction drawings and getting projects permitted. As owners of CEC, we have the privilege of being involved in all our projects. This allows us to act as an internal advisor to our staff to offer unique perspectives in a variety of situations. With experience in both the public and private sector, we understand the permitting process from both sides.Through participation in the S.C. Economic Development Association (SCEDA) Institute and Leadership Lexington County, we get firsthand knowledge of some of the challenges that face the economic developers responsible for our growth, as well as the challenges that face the communities that are charged with maintaining that growth. An engineer who has a role in understanding that industries bringing jobs want to locate to areas that are business ready is paramount. These areas need an available workforce, which require solid technical school programs. To attract and retain workers, a strong K-12 education system must be in place for families. These families need housing, food, and entertainment. And obviously, infrastructure is an absolute must. The ability to understand how all these factors work in harmony to grow a community gives us the ability to be a sounding board for our clients beyond the formulas, calculations, and spreadsheets. Most in our industry understand that CEC has been an integral part of housing development in the Midlands for decades; however, what people may not know is how much more we do. Our staff has experience in major economic development projects, public relations, flood studies, roadway design, rural and urban infrastructure, single and multi-family residential developments, commercial developments, large scale mixed use developments, and community airports. Over the past three years, CEC has doubled its number of employees while diversifying its work portfolio. We are proud to be headquartered in the Midlands and are excited to be an integral part of the growth of our Midlands community.

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2018 Book of Experts | Special Advertising Supplement

From Left, Clay Walsh, right, Josh Rabon, front, Bill Flowers


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AD AGENCY

Making waves in marketing Splash Omnimedia created effective strategy tailored to your goals. B Y M AT T T H O M P S O N • S E N I O R PA R T N E R • S P L A S H O M N I M E D I A

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ith the name Splash Omnimedia, it should come as no surprise that this team of marketing professionals is making waves in their industry. Named as one of the fastest-growing companies in America by INC. Magazine, and recently having earned the Small Business of the Year Award by the Greater Lexington Chamber, Splash Omnimedia continues to be recognized as one of the most innovative firms in South Carolina. What makes Splash Omnimedia different? It’s all in their approach. With over 30 full-time team members, they create an effective, cohesive strategy that’s tailored to your goals. They begin by identifying your target market, then craft a message that resonates with that audience, and determine which advertising vehicles will have the greatest impact. Incorporating both online and offline marketing tactics has continued to prove results for their clients. The plethora of services include offline solutions such as media buying, TV advertising, radio advertising, print publications, outdoor advertising, direct mail and much more. When you combine these tactics with their online solutions such as web design, landing pages and microsites, digital display advertising, retargeting, search media, email campaigns, social media and much more, you get a very powerful and cohesive strategy. Splash Omnimedia connects you with your customers, where they are. But marketing, truly great marketing, is much more than that. While an organization’s primary marketing and advertising objective is to drive additional opportunities, marketing is actually interwoven into every aspect of your organization. For instance, how does your organization answer the phone? Is there a confirmation email with a video of your services and products prior to the appointment? What’s your follow-up plan? What messages are on the wall of your lobby or on your tradeshow display? How do you engage and retain your current customers? Do they feel valued? If you go to trade shows, what is your follow-up strategy? Would your customers say that you truly have a full customer experience? Every message, every point of contact, and every person within your organization is a representation of who you are and more importantly, who your prospective customers perceive you to be. As your marketing partner, Splash Omnimedia goes way beyond what other agencies define as “marketing.” How can you effectively communicate with your customer base if your internal communication falls short? Splash Omnimedia offers full business coaching, leadership training, and team growth plans. Splash Omnimedia has certified business coaches on staff and is currently serving business owners across the state and region.Whether in person or over the phone, Splash enables everyone in your organization to function at their highest level – empowering you and your organization to truly optimize all of your

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From Left: Michael White, Matt Thompson

marketing and advertising efforts. Whether you’re a small business, nonprofit or a large corporation, the expert team at Splash Omnimedia is extremely versed in helping any organization at any size maximize their success.

2018 Book of Experts | Special Advertising Supplement


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BANKING

Is Your Bank Protecting Your Operating Cash? Specialized services add extra layers of security to protect your accounts from fraud and unauthorized transactions. BY M Z E W I L K I N S • R E G IO NAL P R E S I D E N T • A M E R I S BA N K

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n these ever-changing times, it is imperative for your business to be diligent and keep a watchful eye on your operating cash to ensure your deposits are continuously being safeguarded. Your bank needs to develop and maintain close relationships with you as a customer, sharing the various services the bank offers to help reduce your exposure to financial risk. Here are some services you should consider utilizing at your bank to best protect your operating cash and financial security. Online Banking. Online banking allows access to account history and transactions from anywhere utilizing encrypted, password protected, multi-layered security. Email and text alerts can be established for real time notification. Utilizing online banking is a quick way to confirm if a transaction has cleared an account, and to discover unauthorized transactions. Faster resolution of unauthorized transactions can occur by contacting the bank. The sooner the bank is notified of unauthorized transactions, the sooner the issue can be resolved. Positive Pay Services. Positive Pay is a check fraud detection service that provides additional control over your issued checks. Your business transmits a file outlining issued checks to your bank. The bank uses this file to compare the issued checks to checks presented for payment. Checks processed for payment are monitored and matched against your account, which provides an opportunity to reject unauthorized payments before incurring a loss. Lockbox. This is a processing service that offers your business the option to outsource the collection and processing of payments, accepting both electronic and paper remittances. Using image-based technology, payments are converted to electronic images, and the funds are deposited directly into your business’s account. Automated Clearing House (ACH) Payments. ACH payments are electronic transfers from one bank account to another, performed under multiple security layers, which can consist of password authentication and secure tokens. By using electronic payments instead of paper checks, your business can transmit payments more securely. ACH transactions create an electronic record, use fewer resources than traditional paper checks, which is good for the environment, and can be automated, which makes it easier to keep track of income and expenses. Cash Vault Services. Cash Vault Services are designed for businesses that make frequent deposits of cash and require a continuous inventory of currency for their business. This service offers an in-business cash vault, so that your business can process cash securely, reliably and promptly – all helping to protect your onsite cash. Business Purchasing One Card. A Purchasing One Card allows you

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Mze Wilkins, Regional President

to consolidate your spending with a single card. This card combines purchasing and corporate card programs into a single, streamlined payment solution. The One Card integrates transactions with one process, one staff, one card issuer and one invoice. The One Card helps your business stay in control by managing purchasing and business expenses with built-in levels of security. These services offer a few approaches for how banks can help reduce your exposure to financial risk and help safeguard your operating deposits. At Ameris Bank, our main objective is to bring your business financial peace of mind. We work towards earning your trust, while providing value and financial security that we believe will develop into a meaningful, longlasting relationship.

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ACCOUNTING

The Hobbs Group, P.A.: Meeting Client Needs is OUR Primary Goal Established firm recently merged with another Columbia firm to create a combined 35-member professional service firm. BY M A R K H O B B S • C PA , C F F, C G M A M A N A G I N G S H A R E H O L D E R • T H E H O B B S G R O U P

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hen a prospective client reaches out to The Hobbs Group, P.A., our first duty is to determine if the prospective client is a “good fit” for our Firm and more importantly can we meet their needs in a cost effective, efficient manner. Our assessments are very important as we must identify the prospective client’s “pain”; why they are dissatisfied with their current situation and what is keeping them awake at night? What is the systemic cause of why they are worried about their business or their personal finances? We realize that each client’s needs are unique and we are committed to finding a way to help, whether it’s providing an internal control assessment for a small business, evaluating the options for a special needs child or developing a plan to assist in funding the cost of an elderly parent or solving a problem with their business. We believe that a high percentage of small businesses, nonprofit entities as well as other entities benefit tremendously from an attestation engagement tailored to their specific needs and risks. These attestation services (whether audit, review or agreed-upon procedures) assist owners, management and Boards of Governance to determine the adequacy and sufficiency of internal controls. Internal controls are critical

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Top Row from left: Mark T. Hobbs, Thomas Hobbs, Evan M. Hobbs, Banks Fair, Arnold Schraibman, Jay Lindsay, Will Stevens, Jeff Nates, John L. Hobbs, Peter Pigeon, Garet Strange,Thomas Manly, Chris Hord, Chris Mallon Second Row from left: Jessica Johnson, Ally Rivers, Phyllis Langley, Allyson T. DeHart, Monica Mills, Allison B. Pena, Christina R. Kelly, Franky Hartman, Alexa Smith, Gracie Hollingsworth, Jean Barton, Jessica Arnold, Kayla Wilson, Erika Graham, Emily May, Anna Maria Hobbs, Carlita Mendez, Barbara Summers

tools to safeguard assets and minimize the risk of loss due to accounting irregularities or misappropriation. The attestation engagement is much like a checkup of financial health and is as important as the annual checkup with your doctor to assess your personal health.

2018 Book of Experts | Special Advertising Supplement

We provide attestation services to businesses including employee benefits plans, state and local governments, nonprofit organizations, construction companies, manufacturing companies, real estate and hospitality businesses. The Hobbs Group, in business since


ACCOUNTING 1986, recently merged with the DuRant, new 2018 tax law, to see whether they will Schraibman and Lindsay LLC CPA Firm, pay more next year. In most cases, we find forming a combined firm with 35 staff that they will pay less tax in 2018. In the late 1990s, we were involved providing attestation, tax and consulting services. The firm’s main office is the in a forensic accounting case evaluating existing office of the Hobbs Group, 1704 the damages arising from inappropriate Laurel St. in Columbia, with an office in and unauthorized transactions related to an investment account. Shortly thereafter Greenville at 414D Pettigru St. In working with all our clients, and at the request of the client, we started cultivating relationships is a major goal. our affiliate Hobbs Group Advisors, LLC, After working with you for a period of which provides comprehensive financial time, we know your needs and habits. planning, risk assessment and wealth If you tell us that you never get your tax management. We provide assistance to return done on time, we can help you stay clients who need help with budgeting as on schedule and make sure you do that. well as retirement planning. We value the professionals on our We get to know our clients so well that staff and treat them like they’re we can actually predict what part of our family too. date they will come in with Each staff member is their tax information. We value the encouraged to work Some come early in professionals on our with a nonprofit that the year, but others staff and treat them like fits their interest. We will come on April have people involved 5 or April 8. We will they’re part of with schools, arts be there, ready to our family too. groups, animal rescue help. organizations and We help - MARK HOBBS children’s shelters. We businesses with tax allow them to take time off planning to minimize their for volunteer service and host tax liabilities. This assistance can consist of reviewing prior year returns board meetings here in our office. Why should a client come to us for to determine if any amendments could be filed to benefit the client, review of the their accounting needs? We are a firm that Firm’s structure to assure the structure puts the client first and looks out for their is still the most advantageous for the needs. We have a real desire to protect the business or assist the business owner assets and businesses of our clients and to on questions of valuation and business assist them in achieving financial goals. We believe our services should add more value succession strategies. Our firm offers small businesses the to the client than the cost of our fees. At The Hobbs Group, P.A., we know same kind of financial and tax planning advice that is available to larger companies. from experience that If we put our clients’ We have offered our clients a chance to objectives, goals and needs first, the rest compare their 2017 tax return with the will take care of itself.

From Left: Thomas Manly, Peter Pigeon, front: Garet Strange

From Left: Alexa Smith, Gracie Hollingsworth, Jessica Arnold Right: Carlita Mendez, Mark T. Hobbs

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CONSTRUCTION

The Future of Commercial Construction Integrated design build solves many of the challenges companies face when building new facilities. BY BE N W I L S O N • P R E S I D E N T • B O BBI T T D E S IG N BU I L D

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n recent years, we have seen three emerging challenges facing the commercial construction industry in our region. First, the time it takes from a pre-submittal meeting with a municipality to obtaining project approval and actually turning dirt has now doubled. Second, construction prices are beginning to trend upward due to material price increases and the cost of skilled labor among all trades. And third, the disparity between architectural designs and construction realities is causing project delays, change orders and frustration for building owners. The design-build method of construction helps overcome these issues. Design build is an integrated process in which the building owner works with a single entity that is contractually responsible for delivering on all aspects of the project’s architectural design, engineering and construction. The turn-key design-build approach compares favorably to traditional bid contracting, in which an owner commissions an architect or engineer to prepare design specifications and separately selects a construction contractor by competitive bid. With the architects, permitting coordinator and construction team working together seamlessly, the building owner benefits from a streamlined process and lower overall costs. In fact, studies show that design-build results in up to 33% faster project delivery and 6% lower cost for commercial facilities. Throughout history, master builders embraced integrated design and construction roles to build some of the world’s greatest structures. As a modern-day master builder, Bobbitt Design Build has successfully delivered office buildings, schools, medical facilities, dental offices, veterinary facilities, churches, transportation centers and other infrastructure projects with superior results. Having completed nearly 4,000 commercial buildings and renovation projects throughout the Southeast, Bobbitt is the Carolinas’ largest and most experienced Design Builder specializing in commercial and industrial design build. By all indications, the future of project delivery is design build. Bobbitt is the firm that has the experience of the past and will continue to deliver using this building solution for the Midlands’ fast-arriving future.

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2018 Book of Experts | Special Advertising Supplement

From Left: John Griffin, Ben Wilson, Matt Culler S.C. Department of Natural Resources facility designed and built by Bobbitt


BUSINESS BROKERS

7 reasons why you should use a Broker to sell your company Selling your business is likely the biggest transaction of your life and you only get one opportunity to do it right B Y D AV I D Y E Z B A K • C E O • S U N B E LT B U S I N E S S B R O K E R S

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elling your business can be a long and complicated process, with significant tax and legal implications post-closing. It is likely the biggest transaction of your life and you only get one opportunity to do it right. For this reason, it behooves business owners to hire an experienced business broker to help them through the process. Below is a list of 7 tangible benefits of using an experienced broker to represent you in the sale of your business: 1. Confidentiality A broker can help maintain confidentiality. Typically, business owners do not want their employees, customers, or suppliers to know they are considering selling. This creates uncertainty and could potentially damage the business. The broker will create and market the company using a blind profile – a document describing the company without revealing its identity. 2. Valuing Your Business Putting a value on a business is complex. Every business is different, with hundreds of variables that have an impact on the value. Business brokers have access to business transaction databases that can be used as guidelines or reference points. The broker can also help you decide if you need to obtain an independent third-party business David Yezbak, CEO of Sunbelt Brokers

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2018 Book of Experts | Special Advertising Supplement


BUSINESS BROKERS appraisal and provide resources where this is appropriate. 3. Marketing to a Buyer Universe Business brokers have the tools and resources to reach the largest possible base of buyers. The broker will work closely with you to understand your business and the industry sector in which you operate. If appropriate they will research the leading strategic acquirers and private equity groups that have investments, or have invested in your space, to develop a strong buyer list.

6. Due Diligence Once terms have been agreed upon and agreements are signed, the due diligence process will kick off. During this phase, you can rely heavily on your business broker to help provide the needed information.

7. Closing a Deal Since the business broker’s sole function is to sell the business, there’s a much better chance that a deal will be closed in less time. The faster the sale, the lower the risk of employee problems, customer defection and predatory competition. 4. Positioning Your Sunbelt Brokers of the Business Every business Carolinas is one of the A business broker is different, with region’s most active can help present your hundreds of variables business brokerage company in the best that have an impact on firms. We have light to maximize the the value. provided business sale price. He or she brokerage and M&A has an understanding - DAVID YEZBAK advisory services to of the key values that companies across a variety buyers are looking for of sectors including: and can assist in identifying • Manufacturing changes that can lead to a better • Distribution selling price. • Retail • Financial services 5. Deal making Experience • Technology Most corporate buyers have acquired • Business services multiple businesses while sellers usually • Industrial services have only one sale. An experienced • Construction business broker can level the playing field • Health care for a business owner. The broker will work We are happy to confidentially discuss with the seller and their CPA, attorney and other advisers to structure the transactions your unique situation and help you provide to ensure favorable tax treatment and the best outcome for your business exit plan, either now or in the future. mitigation of ongoing legal liability.

Time is money. Close your deal faster and save money when you use a business broker. You will receive a more optimal asking price and maximize your net proceeds when you work with a business broker.

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TELECOMMUNICATIONS

A Culture of Innovation At Spirit Communications, we’ve built our culture around Innovation. B Y G R E G G U E R R A • C H I E F O P E R AT I O N S O F F I C E R • S P I R I T C O M M U N I C AT I O N S 803-726-700 0 • SPIRITCOM.COM

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s a business-to-business voice, data, we have developed products and services that Internet, and managed services help our customers minimize these threats. Our security solutions offer industry provider, our mission is to provide a comprehensive suite of services that allow leading DDoS mitigation, email security, and our customers to focus on their core business firewall services, all on our dedicated private while leaving the burden of keeping pace MPLS network. Products like our DDoS with technology to us. Setting an aggressive Protect effectively defend against the most product road map each year, including at least damaging types of DDoS attacks. Our Spirit one major product launch per quarter, keeps firewall service provides an industry leading comprehensive, multi-layered, approach to us internally focused on rapid innovation. As the cost and complexity of technology security that works to eliminate or reduce the risks associated with blended continues to climb, businesses are attacks while coordinating faced with decisions regarding security alerting, logging, major technology Cybersecurity reporting, compliance investments that are often attacks happen and response. Through daunting, cumbersome, frequently and can have our Spirit Domains and expensive. Email service, we Additionally, most a devastating impact have a product businesses today rely if not prevented or suite, designed with on multiple providers contained. businesses in mind, for their voice, data, that is reliable, wellInternet, Cloud, and - GREG GUERRA established, and extensive. IT services. Spirit’s robust Our email security package portfolio of services helps offers anti-virus, antispam filtering, customers reduce their total cost of ownership and provides them with a single quarantine message centers, and multiple source to help alleviate the strain of vendor levels of email encryption and archiving. With more than 9,000 fiber route miles management. Technology solutions need to be fast, and 35,000 on-net or near-net buildings, flexible, and mobile. With Spirit’s high speed Spirit Communications provides voice, data, fiber optic network, robust SD-WAN Internet and fiber-optic solutions, along with offering, cloud based services, and complete a full suite of Cloud and managed services, unified communications platform, Spirit to commercial businesses and government ensures that our customers are seamlessly agencies across the Southeast. The company’s connected in the office, on the road, or at mission is to enable customers to transform their operations through fast, stable and secure home. Security is of great concern for most offerings that flex with business demand. businesses. Cybersecurity attacks happen Ranked among the top 30 privately held firms frequently and can have a devastating impact in South Carolina, Spirit serves thousands if not prevented or contained. We understand of customers in over 17 markets throughout how important security is to our customers so South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia.

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2018 Book of Experts | Special Advertising Supplement

Greg Guerra, COO, Spirit Communications


STAFFING

Taking the headache out of recruiting How Snelling Staffing Services can save you time and money by finding the right job candidate the first time. B Y E L I Z A B E T H T R E N B E AT H • F R A N C H I S E P R E S I D E N T • S N E L L I N G S TA F F I N G

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hen you are looking to find just the right person for that critical job opening, using a staffing agency can help take the headache out of recruiting. An agency such as Snelling Staffing Services of the Midlands can find the best candidates for you, at no cost until you hire. Our prescreening saves an average of eight days of a company’s time. We can be your sole source for your search, as our extensive experience and large database of jobseekers can quickly lead to finding the right fit. We obtain a full job description and do a search of our current database of more than 36,000 people in the region. These are people who have come to us looking for work. We present candidates who qualify and prescreen as requested. When your company hires a candidate, we bill for our services. We can also help fill temporary or seasonal openings. Our field employees are on the Snelling payroll to complete a project or employment need for client companies. While working on the Snelling payroll, these employees receive benefits including health insurance, 401K, one week’s vacation and four paid holidays. In addition, our workers compensation and unemployment coverage includes these workers. As an example of this work, we provide staffing nine months out of the year for the Richland School District 1 kitchens. The central kitchen and school

Bryce England, Operations Manager and Elizabeth Trenbeath, Franchisee President

cafeterias must be staffed daily to provide meals to the students, and Snelling has been working with them since 2015 to fill this need. Snelling has about 120 field employees assigned on any given day, mainly for office or manufacturing jobs, as well as hospitality, medical, engineering and light industrial. Snelling is long on experience in the Midlands. My mother, Gina McCuen, opened Snelling’s Lexington office in 1982 and bought the Columbia

franchise in 2004. I joined the company in 1996 and operations manager Bryce England also has long tenure. Our plan for the future is to continue putting South Carolina back to work and to always be here for client companies and the generations to come in helping them be successful in their career choices. We also focus on counseling those that come through our door to be successful, whether we place them or not.

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HUMAN RESOURCES

Bringing your business the benefits of corporate HR Complete Employee Services takes care of details so you can take care of your business. B Y K A R E N TAY L O R • C E O • C O M P L E T E E M P L O Y E E S E RV I C E S

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hen you operate your business, the non-revenue generating details can be overwhelming. Hiring employees, bidding annual benefits and renewals, handle payroll and its headaches, follow complex regulations and file compliance reports, all before you have the time to be the Visionary and Leader. No matter what kind of business you’re in, let a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) take care of these HR and payroll functions for you. That way, you can focus on the essentials — the business of your business — while we take care of your human assets. Complete Employee Services has been partnering with businesses large and small since 2006. We’ll help you reduce insurance costs and overhead, eliminate payroll errors and record keeping while you focus on growing your business. Here are some of the many ways we can help: • Want to be able to recruit and retain employees by offering great benefits to yourfor your small staff? We offer the power of numbers, providing excellent affordable health insurance and a Fortune 500 401k plan. • Have a disciplinary problem with an employee? We can take that on, sending in one of our staff to have the hard discussion and make sure rules are followed. • Wouldn’t it be nice to have a secure 24/7 portal to access your data? Our online portal gives you this and more, with high security level SOC 1 Type II systems certification protecting your reports, employee information, benefits and more. • Need a remote access time clock or scheduling tools? We can set it up specialized for your needs. A recent study by noted economists Laurie Bassi and Dan McMurrer found that businesses that use PEOs: • Grow 7% to 9% faster • Have lower employee turnover 23% to 32% • Are 50% less likely to go out of business than companies that do not use PEOs. Our comprehensive suite of services is always customized to meet each client’s needs. In addition to our health insurance at large-group rates, we can provide competitive workers compensation insurance and safety training. Our multistate compliance services keep you up to date with the Affordable Care Act, payroll tax and OSHA, among many other regulations.

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Thom and Karen Taylor

Best of all, when you call our office, you talk with a staff member you know — never voice mail or a general call center. We are continuously improving our systems, security and certifications. We proudly work with businesses from 5 to 2,000 employees in nearly every state across the U.S. It’s our privilege to be the best HR partner for your company, always providing updated, easily accessible services. Call us today to take care of details; you’ll find you have more time for your business tomorrow.

2018 Book of Experts | Special Advertising Supplement


Special Advertising Supplement | 2018 Book of Experts

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PRIVATE CLUBS

Columbia’s perfect place to meet and dine The Capital City Club customizes its members’ social and business events with personalized service. B Y A D A M W I L L I A M S • G E N E R A L M A N A G E R • C A P I TA L C I T Y C L U B

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deally situated in the heart of the Club Table Buffet for lunch, or Columbia, the Capital City Club happy hour at Geiger’s Lounge. They has been bringing its members the can dine on a gourmet four-course meal best in dining and event experiences in the softly lighted Gallery overlooking since 1988. Located atop South the city lights. For a productive day away Carolina’s tallest building, the club has panoramic views of the Statehouse, the from the office, the club provides University of South Carolina campus personalized service and professional accommodations for formal meetings, and the historic Vista district. dinners, team-building The Capital City Club is the perfect business place to celebrate family occasions, sessions, client appreciation receptions, awards events or holiday build business relationships parties. In the near future, and stage events from look for a full-size golf a board meeting to simulator that will a wedding. The Every experience is allow members to club has elegantly customized to match enjoy golf high appointed rooms the member’s needs and above the city. to accommodate When it’s time any size event, desires. to plan a wedding, from 10 to 300. - ADAM WILLIAMS anniversary or Every experience retirement party, the is customized to Capital City Club is match the member’s your one-stop shop. We needs and desires. The club pride ourselves on personalized is currently undergoing a fullscale renovation of its ballroom and service and sophisticated Southern charm. We provide a beautiful space enhancing audiovisual technology. Designed to meet the high culinary with a great view, as well as catering, bar expectations of our members, the service, staffing and equipment. There’s Capital City Club’s innovative menu no need to rent tables, chairs, linens, draws on experience and talent. china or glassware. We can furnish Our executive chef, Angaza Mosely, every detail down to the mirror tile and places great emphasis on imaginative votive candle centerpieces. Downtown Columbia has menus and eclectic cuisine. Mosely is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu in transformed itself since the Capital Atlanta and has more than 10 years City Club opened, but the club is still of experience in the culinary arts, the same welcoming place to dine, including several years at the St. Regis meet or celebrate. When you join us, Hotel in Atlanta. Members can enjoy we become the place where everybody lobster night in the main dining room, knows your name.

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2018 Book of Experts | Special Advertising Supplement

Adam Williams, General Manager, Capital City Club


Special Advertising Supplement | 2018 Book of Experts

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CATERING

Blue Marlin Signature Catering Makes Your Dreams Come True An experienced team takes pride in providing tiny, noticeable differences. BY W I L L I A M D U K E S • OW N E R • BLU E M AR L I N

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hether it’s the knowing ensure an incredible event. And no event is twinkle in the eye of Sales too small or too large. From drop-off service Director Dorothy Team or for a simple lunch to an event hosting 2,500, the watchful thoughtfulness of Executive the Signature Catering teams knows venues Chef John Chiles, one thing is for certain, and knows how to make each one adaptable magic happens when these two, with their and functional for your particular need. Flavor, freshness, and a flawless combined 70 years of catering experience, focus on a client’s event. No one understands execution all begin with one simple thing: a the tug-of-war between a budget and a conversation. We love all our clients, but more dream, or the pressure to create a memorable importantly we love meeting new customers, getting to know them, and forging lasting event, better. relationships. From selecting the Is it a family gathering? A perfect theme to planning corporate event? Wedding? out the number of plates, Holiday affair? Or a From custom glasses, and silverware VIP luncheon on a you will need, it all private jet? Take ease menus to begins with that in knowing that the collaborative ideas initial conversation. entire Blue Marlin based on the client’s And it’s never a dull Signature Catering vision moment! Because team has been we are constantly there, done that, all - WILLIAM DUKES testing, compressing, meticulously, but even dehydrating, evaporating better, deliciously. From and sometimes sphering at Blue the very first meeting our Marlin Signature Catering. For us, it’s planners and chefs bring the kind of taste, creativity and experience together for about being playful with the classics and which they are known far and wide. And continuously creating new and adventurous we are not bound by geography, traveling menus for each and every client each and regularly across the state and Southeast with every time. But in the end, reputation or not, it’s all our mobile kitchen to bring our signature expertise and taste to discerning clients who about the customer and it’s all about the tiny know our reputation. From custom menus noticeable differences our team brings to an to collaborative ideas based on the client’s event. Perhaps it’s homemade ice-cream, a vision, we encourage and explore, create and scratch savory butter, or little sea salt shakers invent, design and plan until no detail is left on the table; we know it’s the smallest things that have the biggest impact on your guests’ untouched. Have a favorite venue in mind? From the overall experience. That’s the twinkle in the unconventional to the most popular around, eye of Dorothy Team and the thoughtfulness odds are we’ll know it and we’ll know what in the mind of Executive Chef John Chiles works best there. We can guide you through and it’s all found at only one place, Blue your search and share our insider tips to Marlin Signature Catering. Call us today!

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2018 Book of Experts | Special Advertising Supplement

Executive Chef John Chiles At Signature Catering, flavor, freshness, and a flawless execution all begin with one simple thing: a conversation.


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OFFICE EQUIPMENT

SOS - Do you know how long your document will live? We need to give attention to how we print, taking our document’s life span and destination into consideration. BY K EV I N H U N T E R • P R E S I D E N T • S I M P L I F I E D O F F IC E SYS T E M S

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OS is usually a call for help from a stranded person or vessel. We have all seen the movies, with SOS drawn in the sand or a creative fire burning with these letters. Well, it may not be an emergency when it comes to your printing technology, but we do offer help to those in need - SOS is here to help….it is as simple as that! When an idea for a document is formed, the plan is to email it, print it or simply share it across social media. The content could be a bulletin for upcoming events, a church newsletter, a policy manual or even a promotional poster. Regardless of content and form the document will have a life span and a place. This may sound a little crazy, but all documents are born and then pass away. Some last a few days while others last many years. Have you ever asked yourself how long your document will last and where it will end up? Our documents exist to communicate our message. The printed word is still the most effective way to get our message into the hands of our audience. Now, let’s look at where our documents end up. How many times have you looked in the recycle bin to see a ton of bulletins? How many of your fliers did you see in the trash after the big event? How many presentation packs got canned after the meeting? We need to think about the life span and destination of documents to make the best decision on how to produce them. In the office technology market today, we have many options for output. We can print in color, monochrome,

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Kevin Hunter, President

gloss finish, matte finish, spot color or even not print at all. SOS challenges our employees and customers to think about life span and purpose before you print. Depending on these factors, there is a technology to make your documents look as good as the Mona Lisa or simply get your point across without breaking the budget. My point is this -our company and our team is

2018 Book of Experts | Special Advertising Supplement

committed to finding the right technology to meet our customers’ needs. From inkjet to toner and desktop convenience to print shop production, office technology from SOS will make you more​ p​roductive, expand your ​v​ersatility and control your c​​ osts - PVC! Think about your where your documents end their life before you decide how to print.


EVENT PLANNER

Providing full-service solutions MPA Strategies helps clients find success by improving the way they are perceived. B Y A S H L E Y H U N T E R • C E O • M PA S T R AT E G I E S

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e at MPA Strategies like to be the one source a client can rely on for full-service solutions, including public affairs, event planning and management, lobbying and project procurement. Our clients know to expect big results. Here are just a couple of ways we have assisted: We helped two state associations make their annual conventions incredibly profitable. One of them raised more than $60,000. A local town had a serious asbestos problem in its water supply. We helped them get a grant for $498,000 to replace all of the town waterlines. When we start out working with a client, we ask them their top five needs to determine how we can meet these needs and add to their successes. All of us at MPA have our own unique skills that overlap and work well together to create a bigger picture that successfully impacts the perceptions of our clients. We are a unique firm with solid working relationships across the state. We understand that knowing how you and your organization are perceived by citizens, local business leaders, policymakers and the media plays an enormous role in your overall success. That perception can be completely overhauled or simply tweaked by your ability to implement a public affairs strategy. Our team combines years of experience

From Left: Sarah Moore Isbell, Adrienne Patrick, Molly Miller, Ashley Hunter, Brooke Rowan, Ed Schafer, Cayci Banks

building relationships on the state and local levels with extensive knowledge of the state and local legislative process. We provide customized packages for your legislative needs. With a proven track record of getting bills or ordinances passed or defeated at state and local levels, we provide legislative schedules, monitoring and actively working with state agencies to influence policies. If you need help planning your next big event, turn to MPA, with years of experience in the field. We planned the Soiree on State, the

NAIFA-SC Convention (National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors), the Cayce Creative Guild and Get Fit Mauldin. Other events we have planned include the Florence Brand Launch, the NAIFA Roadshow and the SCSHA (S.C. Speech Language Hearing Association) Convention and 5K. Attending to every detail, we provide brand guides, crisis management, procurement digest, brand launch press conferences, marketing materials, social media and digital advertising.

Special Advertising Supplement | 2018 Book of Experts

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RECYCLING

Removing Coal Ash From The Environment Like many of SEFA’s innovations, new technologies were developed to solve complex issues in recycling one of the largest types of industrial waste. B Y J I M C L AY T O N • C H I E F O P E R AT I N G O F F I C E R • T H E S E F A G R O U P, I N C .

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The SEFA Group’s Winyah STAR Plant in Georgetown, SC. (www.sefagroup.com) SEFA Transportation loads recycled material for the Ready-Mixed Concrete Industry

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2018 Book of Experts | Special Advertising Supplement

nnovation and sustainability are not always connected in describing a company’s positive impact; however, both words describe The SEFA Group’s legacy. In 2015, this little-known company developed the only technology in the world to process coal ash from ponds for use in concrete and has been continually advancing the technology. It’s an impressive story of innovation right here in South Carolina. SEFA has been making a positive environmental impact for 40 years, recycling over 20 million tons of fly ash that would have otherwise gone into landfills or ponds. While “fly ash” is not a household word, the material has tremendous benefit to taxpayers, as fly ash is recycled to make roads, bridges, buildings and dams stronger and more durable. SEFA has supplied fly ash for projects like the Ravenel Bridge, Bank of America Stadium, Lexington Medical Center expansion, and many of the commercial buildings in South and North Carolina. The company’s patented STAR® Technology makes SEFA the country’s leader in thermal beneficiation of fly ash. The technology is one of the most advanced and environmentally friendly options available for cleaning up coal ash from ponds, producing a high-quality, consistent mineral product for construction. SEFA leverages technology in every aspect of its business, including utilizing the latest technology for safety and reliability for transportation fleet services. SEFA Transportation delivers recycled fly ash to customers across the Southeast. Regional trucking services have expanded to haul more types of bulk materials for customers, including cement, sand, gypsum, and other dry bulk commodities. SEFA’s safety record, over 11 million miles traveled last year, won them a first-place safety award at this year’s South Carolina Trucking Association (SCTA) annual safety awards banquet. What’s next? SEFA is designing three new STAR plants in North Carolina, once again expanding its operations and transportation services while providing reliable and unmatched service to customers.


INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING & CONSTRUCTION

An Owner’s Mentality Generates Attention To Details In addition to providing engineering and construction expertise, SEFA Industrial Solutions approaches projects with insights that come from operating its own facilities. B Y W I L L I A M R O B I N S O N , P. E . • E X E C U T I V E D I R E C T O R , B U S I N E S S D E V E L O P M E N T S E FA I N D U S T R I A L S O L U T I O N S

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fter decades in design, construction, operations, and maintenance of SEFA’s own facilities, SEFA Industrial Solutions has developed strong expertise in process design, integration, and maintenance. SEFA knows every square foot of successful operations and has developed the world’s only patented process to transform coal ash to a sustainable construction material. SEFA Industrial Solutions (SIS) provides customized solutions for production and process improvements to industrial, manufacturing, and utility clients. Safety is the highest priority for the experienced team, ensuring safe work practices at all customer facilities. The key to its success is an ownership mentality: evaluating costeffective processes for the life of equipment, planning for responsiveness and flexibility during development, and committing time and attention to details. Just as important, the team recognizes the value of comparing multiple ideas and co-creating solutions with customers. The team works on projects of any size, from existing equipment retrofits to installation of new equipment for capital projects. SIS has the ability to partner with customers on all phases of a project—the conceptual design, engineering, procurement, installation, and startup and check-out. The company offers a wide range of services, such as process engineering, capital project upgrades/modifications, electrical and mechanical field installation, material handling/conveying, control system design and installation, and turnkey project management. What makes SEFA Industrial Solutions unique? The heartbeat of all SEFA businesses is an ongoing commitment to innovation. In that innovative culture, SEFA Industrial Solutions has acquired skills in transferring ideas from one environment to another, resulting in outstanding customer service and long-term partnerships.

William Robinson, P.E., Executive Director, Business Development, SEFA Industrial Solutions

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HOTELS

Our people are our greatest asset Newly renovated DoubleTree by Hilton Columbia, SC, welcomes you with commitment to best in hospitality. BY E R I N BAR BARO • DI R E C TO R O F S AL E S • D O U BL E T R E E C O LU M BI A

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oubleTree by Hilton Columbia, SC, has a beautiful, brand-new modern look after renovations of its public spaces and guest rooms. But that’s not the best part of the experience for our guests. We believe people are our most valuable asset; we are collaborative, innovative, and actively engaged with our customers, communities, and each other — from the greeting with a warm cookie when they arrive to the Sweet Dreams bedding when they retire at night. They realize it’s not just a room guests are after; it’s the care that is taken of you and your family or business trip. This can mean helping you find attractions to visit or providing a ride to the airport, complete with a bottle of water on a hot day. The details matter, and our staff members are trained to make it right. Many of them have more than 10 years’ service with the hotel, but we also have new faces who challenge us to become even better. We have completed the new look for the restaurant, lobby and lounge. They have cozy spaces where people can hold a meeting or visit while watching the big-screen TV and enjoying a beverage. From the drive up, through the lobby and into their rooms, guests are gravitating to hotels that are representative of their geographic location and cultural identity, which is often expressed through a property’s architecture, decor, and food and drink offerings. Our new décor showcases the Congaree forest and rivers surrounding it, making it serene and relaxing to any traveler. Renovations are expected to conclude in July and by year-end our event space will also be updated. For events, the DoubleTree is a go-to venue in the Midlands, offering ample space and expert event managers. We find out the purpose of your event and apply those key points to what will make it successful for you. We have made upgrades to our food and beverage service, working alongside our new executive chef. Our success is evident in the many repeat clients, but we never rest. We are always trying new things and working to bring in new clients and guests. We want our guests to feel welcomed, just like they’re a part of our family.

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2018 Book of Experts | Special Advertising Supplement

GM Vladimir Pipa and Director of Sales Erin Barbaro


Special Advertising Supplement | 2018 Book of Experts

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INDUSTRIAL REPAIR

Industrial Coating 21st Century-Style with Coastal Hydraulics, Inc. The growing company brings environmentally friendly, technologically superior hydraulic repair to industrial and heavy equipment operators in the Midlands. B Y A D A M M O R E L A N D • A E A N D P R O J E C T M A N A G E R • C O A S TA L H Y D R A U L I C S

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t Coastal Hydraulics we offer a superior alternative to the 150-year-old hard chrome plating process through advanced technology that’s simultaneously more health riskaverse and environmentally friendly. Supersonic! That’s how fast super-heated tungsten carbide is sprayed on hydraulic cylinder rods we refurbish in our state-of-the-art facility in Charleston. We’ve expanded into the Midlands, growing a client list that already includes Nucor Steel, the S.C. Ports Authority, Dayco, Tupperware and other SC companies. Our business was established nearly 40 years ago and has grown to a team of two dozen staff members, most of whom are technicians and machinists with years of experience and relevant certifications. Ours is a relatively small enterprise that provides specialty hydraulic, pneumatic and industrial coating services to manufacturers and companies dependent on heavy equipment such as the cranes on construction sites. Electrolytic plating has been around since the 1850s but it’s a process that produces toxic gases and other waste. As an alternative, we recommend High Velocity Oxygen Fuel Coating (HVOF), a technique that injects powdered tungsten carbide into a flame of supersonic gas driven from a specially designed spray gun, at four to five times the speed of sound and a temperature of 4,500 to 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The rod to be resurfaced is placed into a soundproof booth and grit blasted to ensure a proper

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Adam Moreland with an HVOF machine at Coastal Hydraulics in Charleston, SC.

base. Then tungsten carbide coating is applied via HVOF at 300 surface feet a minute, depositing layers at a strength exceeding 10,000 PSI (pounds per square inch). The surface is then completed by polishing with diamond belts, wheels or grinders. Besides yielding a final product superior to traditional hard chroming, the process is much faster. For instance, traditional hard chrome plating for coating the hydraulic shafts of a 240-ton Komatsu 830E mining truck requires approximately seven hours. HVOF coating for the same assembly would be completed in about an hour.

2018 Book of Experts | Special Advertising Supplement

That’s an improvement of 700%, not to mention better for the environment and longer lasting. More importantly, controlled research has found that wear life of HVOF coated assemblies is extended by four to seven times the same associated with hard chrome – a huge plus to operations where down time is disruptive and expensive. On a personal note, I’m a former Navy Seabee and submariner with 20 years in our industry and certification from the Internal Fluid Power Society (IFPS). I moved to the Midlands to help our company grow here, and because I fell in love with the region.


2018 Columbia Book of Experts  
2018 Columbia Book of Experts