Charleston Regional Business Journal - November 29, 2021

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TAMI BOYCE Owner, Tami Boyce Design


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NOVEMBER 29 - DECEMBER 12, 2021 ■ $2.25


Gate change

Charleston airport considers adding new gates to handle growth. Page 14

The S.C. Aquarium bounces back with a new CFO and a new attitude toward future resilience. Page 7

Icon remembered Colleagues laud legacy of Sen. Hugh Leatherman. Page 10

Howlite is one of the many turtles at the Charleston aquarium. (Photo/Provided)

$648M portfolio

Two Lowcountry firms sell 15 multifamily properties. Page 7

Rural expansion

Aerial intelligence company lands on Johns Island. Page 15


Upfront................................. 2 SC Biz News Briefs................. 3 Small Business Spotlight........ 4 In Focus: Aerospace............ 13 List: Aviation & Aerospace Companies (Statewide)....... 16 Bonus List: Regional Airports................ 18 At Work............................... 21 Viewpoint............................23

Volvo readies for next stage in Ridgeville By Teri Errico Griffis


olvo Cars’ Ridgeville plant is ready to ramp up production with a major hiring push, but finding the right talent as the company expands has been an ongoing challenge. When Volvo established its Lowcountry operations in 2015, the company looked to South Carolina as a robust manufacturing economy with experienced laborers. However, with a 3% unemployment rate at the time, the majority of the experienced individuals were already employed, Berkeley County Economic Development Director Kristen Lanier said. Growing a new skilled workforce from the ground up has been a diligent process for the company, but both Volvo and South Carolina continue to prove their commitment to making it work. Volvo Car Charleston Plant Manager David Stenström spoke about the compa-

ny’s progress to a crowd of Berkeley County Chamber of Commerce members Nov. 19 at Trident Technical College. Stenström shared that he is optimistic that the labor challenges are short-term given South Carolina’s commitment to training solutions. When one teacher off-the-cuff asked if Stenström would be willing to collaborate with educators to find instructors for manufacturing classes, and also to help generate awareness in local K-12 schools, the plant manager didn’t hesitate to say yes, even if he doesn’t quite have the “how to” solution yet. “I’m not worried that we will not find the competence in the schools, especially with the universities,” he said. A strong talent pool will be needed for years to come as Volvo works toward its production capacity of 150,000 vehicles annually. Still ramping up to its goal, Ridgeville produced 26,500 vehicles from the S60 luxury sedan line in 2020, a year See VOLVO, Page 9

Small rural town becomes ‘logistics hub’ By Teri Errico Griffis


almart’s 3-million-square-foot Ridgeville distribution center is still a month away from completion, but the ripple effect is already pushing outward into rural Dorchester County — particularly into the St. George industrial market. Warehouse property at 160 Cocoa St. in St. George recently sold for $1.17 million to a company looking to expand operations in South Carolina. See ST. GEORGE, Page 8

A Salute to Manufacturing

Excellence awards honors manufacturers across S.C. Page 11



South Carolina knows how to deal with pirates


f you look at Charleston’s maritime history, you’ll inevitably come across the city’s relationship with pirates such as Edward Teach, also known as Blackbeard, and Stede Bonnet, who was hanged in White Point Garden for piracy in 1718. Yeah, South Carolina doesn’t really like pirates, so it wasn’t much of a surprise when the S.C. General Assembly began considering a so-called porch-piracy law to curb thefts of deliveries, which frequently spike this time of year. While some states just use existing larceny laws and other states have less direct names, South Carolina knows it’s better to go straight at the pirates and call them what they are. South Carolina’s “Defense Against Porch Pirates Act” is in the judiciary committee, but it came very close to passage this past legislative session after some dispute over the penalties for conviction. Some lawmakers thought a five-year mandatory sentence was a little too harsh for stealing packages. However, porch piracy continues to be a problem in South Carolina. The state ranks third in the U.S. with 2,116 crimes per 100,000 state residents, according to a data analysis by CCTV Camera World, a security products company.

Porch-piracy laws and theft rates

Porch piracy in the Southeast State

Theft per 100,000



South Carolina












North Carolina








Map indicates rates of theft per 100,000 people along with passage or consideration of so-called porch-piracy laws, including South Carolina, which has legislation in committee.

Top 5 States for Larceny-theft State/Area

Theft per 100,000

District of Columbia




South Carolina






Sources: FBI Uniform Crime Reporting, CCTV Camera World

2,400,000 Number of larceny-thefts reported in the U.S. in 2020, including porch piracy crimes.




Rank of larceny-thefts among crime in the U.S., ahead of burglary, assault and car theft.


Number of larceny crimes reported in South Carolina per 100,000 people, the third highest in the U.S.


Most larceny in the U.S. not over $200, according to data from the FBI. Among theft in the U.S., 31% are under $50 and 21% are between $50 and $200.

“Determining the reserve levels is really challenging, but the positive of this pandemic is really that we kind of have real data now to determine what our needs are for the aquarium during a distressed period.” — Jason Oddo, CFO of S.C. Aquarium





November 29 - December 12, 2021 3

SC Biz News Briefs UPSTATE

GSA Business Report

ER facility at Bon Secours St. Francis increases space in Greenville County Bon Secours St. Francis has relocated its emergency department to a renovated area five times the size of its previous space. The hospital celebrated the grand opening of the 45,000-square-foot unit following the completion of construction and renovation. Staff will begin seeing patients in the facility Nov. 30. “This investment is a reflection of our commitment to provide accessible, extraordinary care for the people living in our local communities,” Jenny Wehrs, COO at Bon Secours St. Francis Health System, said in a news release. “Our staff already does a phenomenal job providing care to every person Staff at the new emergency department will start seeing who walks through the doors. With the completion of this project, they are patients Nov. 30. (Rendering/Provided) now able to not only take care of more Greenville County residents, but take care of them more efficiently.” The new emergency department includes 42 private rooms with a “fast track” option for less acute cases, holding rooms for patients waiting on lab results, behavioral health rooms for mental health emergencies, and new lab and radiology equipment onsite. CRBJ

Everything you need to get your building vertical

Brick Cast-in-Place CMU Dewatering Foundations Helicals Slabs Stucco Tilt

Charleston’s Concrete Professionals 5581 Woodbine Road


N. Charleston, SC 29406



r e d b ay c o n s t r u c t o r s . c o m


Columbia Regional Business Report

Darla Moore Foundation partners with fund to help students pay for college The Meeting Street Scholarship Fund, aimed at helping high-achieving graduates pay for college, is now partnering with The Darla Moore Foundation. This new partnership enables the scholarship to expand beyond Charleston County to include eligible students in eight additional counties in the Pee Dee Region beginning with the 2021-2022 scholarship cycle. Scholarship recipients can receive up to $40,000 in college scholarships, with awards up to $10,000 annually for four years. “We are incredibly humbled and excited to partner with The Darla Moore Foundation. It is through generous philanthropic efforts like this that we can offer this scholarship resource to more students across South Carolina,” Ben Navarro, founder of the Meeting Street Scholarship Fund, said in a news release. The scholarship is designed to identify academically high-achieving students with limited ability to afford college tuition and enable them to attend college without accruing student loan debt. The first application cycle awarded scholarship funding to 94 Charleston County scholars this past year. With the addition of the Pee Dee Region, the Fund estimates that more than 200 students could earn a scholarship during the next application cycle. “A lot of our students think college is not attainable for them,” Laura Hickson, superintendent of Florence County School District Three, said in the release. “This opportunity will help students to actually visualize that pathway to college. Once students go to college, it’s going to change their entire trajectory. This will be a game-changer for a lot of children, which in turn will change our entire community.” CRBJ

With publications in Charleston, Columbia and the Upstate, as well as a statewide magazine, SC Biz News covers the pulse of business across South Carolina. Above are excerpts from our other publications.


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NOVEMBER 22-DECEMBER 5, 2021 ■ $2.25



European flair

Belgium aims to build on growing S.C. trade presence. Page 3

Richland County seeking ways to attract manufacturers

High water mark


Employees protest mandate Workers walk off job in displeasure over vaccine requirement. Page 6

By Molly Hulsey


he U.S. Commerce Department expected players from across the semiconductor supply chain to put in a word on data gaps and bottle necks by Nov. 8. The jury is still out on how responsive international suppliers were and what could be gleaned from the feed-

back, but it appears the chip chain is still on the fritz. “It’s time to get more aggressive,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said in a statement last month. “Fundamentally the solution is that we need to make more chips, and we need to make more chips in America, which is why the House See BMW, Page 12

Manufacturing showtime

The S.C. Manufacturing Conference and Expo was just getting underway as this edition of GSA Business Report went to press. For updated conference coverage, go our website,

Hartness Development’s Crescent Startup Community has been in the works since Furman’s Anthony Herrera broached the idea with site developer Sean Hartness in 2018. (Rendering/Provided)

Elected officials disagree on proper use of FILOT plans. Page 10

Innovative crescent

Next Hartness project to create place for entrepreneurs to gather. Page 31

Icon remembered Colleagues laud legacy of Sen. Hugh Leatherman. Page 6

Upstate Under Construction Illustration/File

Power List

SC Biz News ranks state’s most influential architects. Page 26


Upfront ................................ 2 SC Biz News Briefs ................ 3 In Focus: Manufacturing.... 36 List: Manufacturers ............39 Bonus List: Largest Employers 40 At Work ............................. 45 Viewpoint ...........................47

By Christina Lee Knauss


Contributing Writer

he sprawling new Mark Anthony Brewing facility off Shop Road in Columbia represents what area leaders would like to see more of in Richland County – an influx of major manufacturers that will help the area catch up with other regions in the state that have become major manufacturing hubs. The Mark Anthony project, located on 200 acres in the Pineview Industrial Park, is the second-largest development deal ever for

Richland County, bringing a $400 million investment to the area and 300 jobs. Chicago-based Mark Anthony’s new facility will help the company respond to an exploding national market for its hard seltzer products. The Shop Road location will brew White Claw, Mark’s Hard Lemonade and Cayman Jack cocktails. Mark Anthony came to the area as a result of aggressive promotion from both Richland County and the city of Columbia, as well as buy-in from local utilities such as Dominion Energy and the city’s water utility, which

offered bulk water and sewer rates that offer per-gallon discounts for large users. Mark Anthony, which will need 3 million gallons a day for its operations, will be the city’s largest water consumer. Area economic development leaders say more of the same will be needed to continue to attract large manufacturing projects to an area that in the past 30 years has seen other large manufacturers like Michelin, BMW, Boeing and Volvo look to the Upstate and the See MANUFACTURING, Page 37

Women of Influence

Meet the 22 leaders who are leaving their mark on the Midlands business scene and on their communities. Page 13

Builders, designers and developers submit some of their best. Page 25


Leading Off .......................... 2 SC Biz News Briefs ................ 3 C-Suite ................................ 4 In Focus: Architecture, Engineering & Construction.. 31 LIST: Heating & AC Firms ....33 At Work ............................. 36 Viewpoint ...........................39



urman University’s Anthony Herrera said he doesn’t want to be cliché, but he believes we’re headed into a new world order. “The pandemic accelerated what was happening, but what it’s done is in a way is it’s torn down all the walls, all the barriers, all the zoning lines globally for innovation and entrepreneurship,” he told SC Biz News. “Meaning, we

can recruit the headquarters for a company here in Greenville, yet never get any of the talent, because their talent could be all over the world. Or we could recruit all of the remote workers and never get the headquarters.” On one hand, it’s a catch-22 for economic development. But he also sees it as an opportunity to try something new to keep both startups and their employees in the state.

Planting Greenville’s Fertile Crescent

Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in 2018, he said the main focus had been on undergraduate ventures. “We didn’t have a platform or resources on campus, and we certainly were not contributing into this space off campus,” he said. Now, in 2021, 60% to 70% of high school students want to study or be exposed to innovation and entrepreneurship opportunities while in college, he said.

When Herrera arrived to head Furman’s


The Power of Architecture

GSA Business Report names the state’s most influential architects. Page 15

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BMW eliminates touch screens due to semi-conductor shortage

County derails Greer plans

Fiscal year 2022 off to record start for SC Ports Authority. Page 4

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LOWCOUNTRY NEWSROOM Executive Editor - Andy Owens • 843.849.3142 Editor, Custom Publishing Division Steve McDaniel • 843.849.3123 Staff Writer - Teri Errico Griffis • 843.849.3144 Research Specialist - Paige Wills • 843.849.3125 News Editor - Alexandria Ng • 843.849.3124 Digital Editor - Rob Lyle • 843.849.3119 MIDLANDS NEWSROOM Editor - Melinda Waldrop • 803.726.7542 UPSTATE NEWSROOM Editor - Ross Norton • 864.720.1222 Associate Editor, Custom Publishing Division Jim Tatum • 864.720.2269 Staff Writer - Molly Hulsey • 864.720.1223 LOWCOUNTRY ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES

November 29 - December 12, 2021


My company consists of three main aspects: Retail of my personal art, custom illustrations, and graphic design work. With the retail side of my business, I sell art prints, merchandise, and books featuring my art and writing. For custom illustration work, it can range anywhere from illustrating children’s books to personalized art commissions or logo character development. My specialized area of graphic design is the print realm. I design many book covers for independent authors as well as create logos and identity packages.


I keep my revenue streams diverse. Creating different sources of income helps me shift focus depending on changing demands of the industry. As a freelancer, I think it’s important to have the ability to pivot when necessary. For instance, during 2020 when retail slowed, I placed more emphasis on providing client services, which still had a strong market. The more experience I gain within my career, the more I am constantly learning and evolving current skills. I always want to improve upon the standards of my aesthetic while continuing to meet design functionality for my customer.


My customers have allowed me to be a full-time creative for over a decade. For this, I will forever be grateful. With my art, I pull inspiration from both my humor and my heart.

My intention is to bring some levity to the world around us and hopefully bring smiles to faces. My art consumers are typically quirky, clever and looking for something outside the norm. With my client work, I love working with writers. Being able to help visualize another creative’s thoughts is an honor, and I love that I am able to help people in that way.

Account Executive Amanda Alford • 843.849.3109

South Carolina’s Media Engine for Economic Growth

Group Publisher - Rick Jenkins • 864.720.1224 Director of Advertising - Robert Reilly • 843.849.3107



Events Account Executive - Melissa Tomberg • 864.720.1220 Events Manager - Kim McManus • 843.849.3116 Accounting - Linda Burnette • 704.247.2900 Subscription Services • 877.615.9536 CUSTOM MEDIA DIVISION Director of Business Development Mark Wright • 843.849.3143 Director of Research Operations - Ryan Wilcox • 843.849.3117

Year established:


Number of employees: 1 full time, 1 part-time office administrator

Mission: Tami Boyce Design creates original illustrations and designs for varied clients.


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November 29 - December 12, 2021

Manufacturing conference explores labor shortage solutions By Molly Hulsey


t the first in-person S.C. Manufacturing Conference and Expo since 2019, workforce concerns loomed large, but they were far from being an elephant in the exhibit hall. “The professionals that we’re churning are top-notch and great workers,” said Rick Jenkins, event director and group publisher of SC Biz News. “We just need more of them, and in order to get more of them, we need to get more people interested in manufacturing. And as I have said many times before, today’s manufacturing ain’t your daddy’s manufacturing.” Jenkins said the conference had a solid turnout, and its four main events were sold out. “The floor was buzzing. There was well over 1,500 people on that floor at any given time,” he said. “People just wanted to get out, see each other and shake each other’s hands, have conversations and just do some networking that they haven’t done in two years.” Networking is especially important when it can bolster the state’s talent pipeline or ease the need for labor during a time of near-record low levels of unemployment. Columbia Southern University and Anderson University booths were nestled between displays of industry leaders, while Greenville Technical College invited participants to try their hand at virtual welding. Staffing firms such as Hire Dynamics and MAU lured prospects with a putt-putt course and the dazzle of toddler-sized marquis letters. Manufacturers and software companies alike engaged visitors with tech solutions able to expedite the employee training process or skip the need for some

SCBIO’s Erin Ford introduces James Chappell, David Stefanich, Cynthia Young and Austin Shirleyon, who spoke at a life science panel at the S.C. Manufacturing Conference and Expo. (Photos/Molly Hulsey)

positions altogether. Greenville’s Gemba Systems demonstrated how its digitization platform can use virtual reality to teach trainees how to repair a carburetor, while FANUC and other competitors flexed robotic arms at their booths. And no matter what topic speakers broached, business leaders didn’t shy away from queries about finding talent to fuel future plans. SCBIO CEO James Chappell spoke on breaking down silos between and within industry, economic development and higher education to open communication channels on the state’s talent pipeline during his panel discussion on the life science industry. “There’s a little bit of translation that goes on,” he said. During an interview with SC Biz TV, Upstate SC Alliance CEO John Lummus

Greenville’s ITAC offers custom machinery and employee protection, such as the lifeline harness.

covered two workforce initiatives his organization has led over the past few years: MoveUp and SkillUp. MoveUp, a marketing campaign launched in 2019, created to attract talent outside of the Upstate. The site featured a job board and information on the region’s quality of life. SkillUp was a later development — a very successful one Lummus

added — created in partnership with the state’s technical college system. “As the pandemic hit and unemployment rates went up to 13% region-wide, we really started looking at how can we help people who have been unemployed and underemployed in our region,” he said. “So we started a subset of MoveUp called SkillUp, and what it does is it connects people looking for jobs with the training that they would need to get those jobs.” Cynthia Davis, director at the S.C. Commerce Department, shared with SC Biz TV that her team often receives complaints from manufacturers about workers leaving after lunchtime or not showing up for their shift — and that’s with an already limited staff. “We know that we need more people to move into our state because we have a fantastic training program here with our technical colleges,” she said, adding that schools’ programs are already directly aligned with industry needs. “That’s not the issue. The issue is getting people into our state, into the programs.” Davis often advises existing industries to plot out a workforce development strategy if they haven’t already. “What are you doing specifically for those emerging workers?” she asked. “What are doing for your current workers to retain them and make your culture that employer of choice? And what are you doing to attract those transitioning workers that maybe are coming out of hospitality or a service industry that we can woo and recruit them on over to manufacturing.” She dubs these questions “the trifold” of workforce development. “And if companies aren’t doing that, they’re going to be at a loss,” she said. CRBJ

Reach Molly Hulsey at 864-720-1223.

Home goods provider invests $627K in Berkeley County facility By Teri Errico Griffis


home good provider has expanded into Summerville, making the company’s first foray into East Coast operations. The Wisconson-based DHI Corp., founded in 1872, is investing $672,000 with the hopes of creating 40 jobs. The new distribution center at 300 Trade Zone Blvd. is already fully operational. The facility will help the company increase capacity and meet growing demand for its home furniture, lighting, ceiling fans, bath furniture and accessories, kitchen cabinets and more. “As DHI Corp. looked to expand our distribution footprint to the eastern United States, we believe we made a great

choice in moving to Summerville, South Carolina,” said DHI Corp. Vice President of Global Operations Mike Oberlander, in a statement. “It has the perfect combination of proximity to many U.S. online consumers, a new facility and an expanded port – as well as very supportive local and state teams.” The company’s growth expounds on the trend of booming home goods and furniture sales around the country. Year-over year, the U.S. has experienced a 50% increase in furniture imports alone, with Charleston rising 55%, according to Port Import/Export Reporting Service data. Because of South Carolina’s available warehouse space, accessible ports and efficiency moving imports and exports, the Charleston region in particular has

become a destination to which home goods and furniture companies have expanded. In October, Summerville’s Charleston Trade Center, one of the largest speculative buildings ever built in the Lowcountry, leased out 100% of its space before construction completed to two furniture companies: Twin Star Home, an omni-channel designer and manufacturer of indoor and outdoor living products, and Sagebrook Home, a California-based home décor company. Twin Star Home will occupy a 1-million-square-foot building, while Sagebrook Home will establish its first East Coast distribution center in a neighboring 430,000-square-foot space. “These furniture distribution centers build on Charleston’s centrality to the fur-

niture and home goods segment,” said S.C. Ports Authority President and CEO Jim Newsome. “The Keith Corp. and Singerman Real Estate’s successful development of the Charleston Trade Center, combined with JLL swiftly filling the industrial park with tenants, is symbolic of the sustained growth in the Charleston market.” DHI’s latest expansion to South Carolina is another win for the state and Berkeley County, officials said. “We are pleased that Design House has chosen Berkeley County for their new East Coast distribution center,” said Berkeley County Supervisor Johnny Cribb. “By adding dozens of new jobs to our workforce, this expansion will yield a positive impact on our local economy and enhance our citizens’ overall quality of life.” CRBJ

November 29 - December 12, 2021 7

Aquarium secures future with investments, reserves and staff updates By Teri Errico Griffis


ason Oddo’s three-year-old daughter thinks her dad is a hero. His cape comes in the form of South Carolina Aquarium CFO — the guy who helps to finance the turtles and the fish. His job makes for a pretty amazing day when visiting Dad at his office overlooking the Cooper River. Throughout the last two years, the community has watched closely as the aquarium weathered a tumultuous time, shutting down to the public for three months and losing funding from events and diminished donations. Re-opening then came with added restrictions of limited attendance, required masks and general fears from visitors about being in a public indoor space. The fear that the Sea Turtle Care Center could shutter because of the pandemic hit too close to home for some community members — people who see the aquarium as a pillar of the state. In a month’s time, supporters came together and raised $1.6 million. The center stayed open without missing a beat, all while taking in 43 patients this year and 338 to date. “The community has really stuck behind us during this time, and their support has been huge,” Oddo said. “You know, we entered this pandemic and were really unsure of our financial future.” To survive the downturn, the aquarium tightened its budget, enacted loss mitigation measures and adjusted staffing levels and payroll with a new invoice processing system, budgeting system and customer relationship management system. Each of these improvements will help improve forecasting and budgeting in the future, Oddo said. The organization additionally deferred projects and other costs throughout the last two years, focusing only on critical costs. “We budgeted extremely conservative

Aquatic creatures swim together in the Great Ocean Tank. (Photo/Provided)

Lowcountry firms sell $648M portfolio By Ross Norton

T Charlie and Beau are two of the three otters cared for by the S.C. Aquarium. (Photo/Provided)

revenues,” Oddo said. “But then, fast forward to today as we’re starting to navigate out this pandemic, and we find ourselves in a healthier financial position due to those financial mitigation measures and to the support of the community.” Like the aquarium’s fan-favorite shark divers, Oddo had to plunge into the deep end when he took on the CFO role in July — replacing Juan-Pablo Mancia, who stepped down in the spring. Oddo has 20 years of financial experience, but Charleston and the aquarium, in a pandemic, were new territory. A Clemson University graduate and a Connecticut native, Oddo spent more than a decade in New York as the senior director of finance for BSE Global, where his career centered around the sports and entertainment industry — in particular working for the New Jersey Nets, which later moved to Brooklyn. He then transitioned to a role with the New York City Economic Development Corp. before moving to Charleston in July. “I thought my experience with nonprofits, governments, sports and the entertainment industry would be a good fit for the aquarium,” Oddo said. “Later on, I’d also discover that my values aligned with the aquarium’s mission.” In particular, Oddo liked how the aquarium is committed to conservation, education and resiliency — something he focused on immensely in the months after he started. As the nation tentatively comes out of the pandemic, Oddo intends to build the aquarium’s reserves to protect its financial future. The aquarium has always operated at a deficit, he added, and now is the time to right the ship and be good stewards of the money. He credits the community with helping build up those reserves, whether it was through fundraising or earned revenues and attendance. “Determining the reserve levels is really challenging, but the positive of this pandemic is really that we kind of have

real data now to determine what our needs are for the aquarium during a distressed period,” he said. Exploring new opportunities and revenue streams will be another challenge. Currently, Aquarium Aglow, a special ticketed event, is running through Jan. 2. The all-new holiday display will open the aquarium doors in the evening and will feature thousands of different light exhibits. Think coral chandeliers, a 30-foot holiday tree and a hall of lights. Another financial focus for Oddo will be maximizing the aquarium’s investment growth potential. The CFO is in the process of modifying the aquarium’s investment policy and developing a new investment strategy. “We’ve already identified some strategic initiatives that will increase our longterm sustainability and the establishment of a solid investment strategy will put us in position to really realize it,” Oddo said. Heading into 2022, the CFO remains optimistically cautious, hoping things go back to normal rather than surviving month-to-month, but also keenly aware that another threat could happen. “Our priorities in 2022 really are to take care of our staff, address the deferred projects and establish reserves in order to ensure protection against any unexpected events,” he said. The aquarium is open seven days a week, with educational and other programming. While field trips stopped in March 2020, interest is starting to pique again. Staff fatigue is real, and Oddo hopes to limit burn out with professional development, shifting schedules for extra time off and adjusting staffing levels. “My job is going in and helping my team, everyone keep a close eye on our spending and make sure that our budget is as neat as possible, which historically we’ve done a great job doing,” Oddo said. CRBJ

Reach Teri Errico Griffis at 843-849-3144.

he InterTech Group Inc. and Middle Street Partners are taking the win on 15 multifamily properties around the Southeast and selling them for $648 million. The companies recently announced the sale of the 4,102-unit portfolio, saying in a news release that the transaction is part of its strategy to take gains and reallocate capital into other investments in the multifamily housing industry. The portfolio includes properties in the metro areas of Greenville; Columbia; Atlanta; Charlotte; Jacksonville, Fla.; and Fayetteville, N.C. The InterTech Group Inc. and Middle Street Partners also announced new investments: $333 million in planned acquisitions of 2,263 apartment units in Houston and two development projects in Nashville and Chattanooga, Tenn. “The sale of our Southeastern portfolio is the culmination of a long-term strategy to acquire quality assets in excellent markets and to operate them to the highest standards,” said Robert Johnston, The InterTech Group’s chief strategy officer, in the news release. “We now look forward to acquiring and building our newest portfolio in three exciting new markets.” According to Middle Street co-founders Ryan Knapp and Adam Monroe, this transaction not only marks the conclusion of a strategy to add to its existing portfolio, but it also signals the beginning of new growth in Houston, Nashville and Chattanooga. “Over the course of the past nine years, TIG and MSP assembled a quality portfolio of multifamily communities, targeting specific types of assets and markets at different points of the investment cycle, while adding value through capital improvements and rigorous operational asset management,” Knapp and Monroe said in the release. The InterTech Group is a private holding company based in North Charleston, with operations in industries ranging from aerospace and specialty chemicals to sports, entertainment and consumer products. Middle Street Partners is a Charleston-based real estate investment and development company focused on multifamily investments in the Southeast and Midwest. The company has regional offices in Atlanta, Nashville and Orlando, Fla. CRBJ


November 29 - December 12, 2021

Mercedes-Benz Vans on road to more growth in S.C. after 15 years By Barry Waldman


Contributing Writer

n the blink of an eye, Mercedes-Benz Vans in the Lowcountry has weathered a Great Recession, a pandemic, a booming Charleston region and a march of industry – including its own suppliers – into the area over the last 15 years. The company’s half-billion-dollar investment in the Ladson facility for Sprinter and Metric vans produced 1,600 jobs and 200,000 vans. In fact, Daimler AG, the German-based parent company, traces its Lowcountry history to 1999. For six years prior to the company manufacturing its own commercial vans here, American LaFrance used the facility to upfit Sprinter vans into ambulances. Daimler announced in 2015 the decision to expand the existing re-assembly operation into a full-scale production plant with a new body shop, paint shop and extended assembly building. It launched the new Sprinter model here in 2018. Charleston serves as an important production point for Mercedes-Benz Vans, for whom the U.S. market is its second largest, after Germany’s. Port and rail provide efficient access to the U.S. and Canadian markets. Global commercial van sales are expected to grow 15% over the next five years, according to TechSciResearch, a global research and consulting firm. Powering the robust market for vans is

ST. GEORGE, from Page 1

NAI Broker Jack Owens and Sarah Shelley of NAI Charleston represented the seller, Exchange Real Estate Holdings LLC, in the sale of 88,750 square feet on 15 acres of industrial space to TMR Holdings LLC. “St. George is being discovered as a logistics hub and continues to add jobs due to their proximity to Interstates 95 and 26,” Owens said in a statement. Charleston’s market is experiencing a “bowling alley effect” on the I-26 corridor, Shelley said, with interest booming in the more rural areas. West is one of only directions Charleston can grow, with the coast on one side and protected land to the north and south. “That’s where the land is,” she said. And companies know it. With industrial real estate demand expected to reach an extra 1 billion square feet by 2025, according to a report by JLL, companies are looking to South Carolina for its pro-business environment, incentives and space — most of which is needed as a result of the pandemic, Shelley said. Because of such a high demand for space, industrial vacancy rate remains favorably low at 3.7% throughout the Charleston as of the third quarter, accord-

growth in the logistics sector and deliveries for e-retail, which primarily employ economical light, commercial vans. Commercial vans are optimized for home deliveries because they maximize space and route flexibility for transporting cargo and people, said Daron Gifford, automotive leader at Plante Moran accounting and consulting in Detroit. In the compact commercial van segment, Mercedes-Benz is a smaller player, with just 1.7% market share. To position itself for future growth, Mercedes-Benz Vans has announced plans to invest $60 million in the local plant to produce electric, no-emission vehicles starting in 2023. The company has pledged to achieve CO2-neutral production by 2022, in part by powering the plant with 100% green energy. “The requirements were defined in close cooperation with customers during the development process: with three battery and numerous body variants from the panel van to the chassis for box bodies,” the company said, in a written response to questions. That positions Mercedes-Benz well in the electric vehicle and green energy space. Commercial vans are perfectly positioned to go electric, Gifford said, because they run scheduled routes and can return to charging stations at the end of their run. But in a nation where 59% of electricity is produced by natural gas and coal, switching to electric vehicles simply shifts the location of emissions.

Even U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who identifies electric vehicles as part of the global climate change solution, acknowledges that they won’t immediately make much impact on emissions. “First, you have to produce enough clean energy, then you can power the public charging infrastructure, and then everyone can hop in their new electric cars,” he said. Retrofitting the plant in Ladson’s Palmetto Commerce Park to produce the eSprinter alongside the gas-powered model will cost $60 million. The company has committed to continuing updating the gas-powered Sprinter, “keeping it up to date in terms of safety, connectivity, infotainment, and comfort etc.,” according to the company. Mercedes-Benz vans command a

ing to NAI. For big bulk warehouse and distribution space 100-square feet and above, vacancy is around 2.5%, which Shelley said is an all-time low. “Some of this has to do with the effects of COVID,” she said. “The global supply chain issue are forcing companies to hold more long-term inventory that’s creating the need for more space.” Most of the new projects that Shelley is seeing are coming online in Ridgeville, and the draw is because of Walmart. “Companies like Walmart, Volvo, Boeing are really bringing in more people and putting Charleston on the map as the place to do business in the Southeast,” Shelley said. John Truluck, director of Dorchester Economic Development, jokes the situation is like the “McDonald’s effect.” When the company builds on one corner, fast food companies flock to the other three. Down the road, the more than 450acres of Winding Woods Commerce Park on U.S. Highway 78 in St. George is set to be developed next year with a focus on logistics companies. Dorchester County’s also been working more than 15 years to create a 1,300acre industrial park on the highway corridors, Truluck said, widening roads and providing wastewater infrastructure.

While all growth isn’t positive for some aspects of living, the region’s growth is strategic to minimize impacts. For example, Walmart was placed on a specific side of Interstate 26 where only one mile of roadway needed to be widened for trucks. Commercial attraction to Ridgeville also is shifting what is considered the Charleston metro area farther out, marching it from the peninsula years ago to northern Dorchester County, Truluck said. “I think what used to be too far out is no longer going to be too far out,” he said. “Where Jedburg used to be on the fringe, it’s now kind of the epicenter of industrial growth.” Businesses are realizing that if Ridgeville is good enough for Walmart, it’s good enough for them, Shelley said. And the 40-minute drive to the port becomes less of an issue because of Walmart’s proximity. People from the North and West especially are flocking to the Southeast, with the growing Port of Charleston, low operational costs and still comparatively low rent, Shelley said. She expects to see the next development wave coming in mid-2022. Today, existing inventory in the Charleston MSA is around 88.879 million square feet. That includes all real estate in the industrial sector that is existing or completed, as well as available for lease or for sale.

Baker Motor Company’s Summerville dealership has sold to buyers around the country who are eager for a MercedesBenz Van. (Photo/Teri Errico Griffis)

premium price in the market and not because they provide greater luxury than competitors, Gifford said. “It has a lot of German engineering, so it is considered high end – sturdy, heavy and durable. It will run for a half million miles, so it has a good reputation.” Gifford says the automotive industry is taking notice of South Carolina, which now serves as home for Volvo Cars, BMW and Michelin in addition to Mercedes-Benz. Business-friendly government, access to transportation for imports and exports, and an existing automotive industry structure are attractive to other companies. “The ongoing challenge is going to be workers. There is a high level of automation, but you need more skilled people,” he said. CRBJ

Truluck said he knows not all growth is positive under every circumstance, but the main upside to the progress is the tax base it offers the region and the jobs — both in quantity and quality. “Quality has a bigger impact now,” he said of jobs. “Walmart has already moved their scaled pay for unskilled workers to $18 an hour. That’s pretty good for someone with no higher education, no certifications, no skills.” For the tax base, about 70% of the area’s taxes go to fund schools, as well as law enforcement and fire departments, Truluck said, something that the low residential taxes just can’t keep up with, especially as more people move into the area. “If you don’t have a commercial and Industrial tax base you can’t pay for those things so you can’t have those things,” Truluck said. “So that’s part of it too to make sure we have the tax base to support the services that the city expects and wants.” In time, the growth of the area will lead to redevelopment and potentially more entrepreneurs looking to call St. George their home. “The little towns along the I-26 corridor are now in the path of progress,” he said. CRBJ

Reach Teri Errico Griffis at 843-849-3144.

November 29 - December 12, 2021

VOLVO, from Page 1

plagued with pandemic-related and supply chain challenges. Moving forward, Volvo’s ambitions are to electrify 50% of the company’s fleet, with the remainder coming from hybrid models. That means, on top of manufacturing the gas and hybrid versions of the S60, Volvo Cars Ridgeville facility will produce two additional electric vehicle lines: the still unnamed next generation XC90 and the Polestar 3, an SUV. The vehicles produced in South Carolina will primarily be sold in the U.S. and European markets. As a global company, the Swedish automotive manufacturer has two plant concepts: produce 30 jobs an hour or 60 jobs an hour. Sweden and Belgium manufacture 60 cars an hour, which accumulates to 300,000 cars a year. The goal for the still up-and-coming U.S. and China plants is to reach 30 a day as soon as possible, Stenström said. “For me as a plant manager, my job is to be in that category by being competitive and getting to the top,” Stenström said. Joining Volvo in 1995, Stenström relocated to the U.S. from China to helm the South Carolina plant starting in January 2021. But he’s still getting used to the cultural changes, particularly in the workforce — especially since there is no other Volvo plant in the U.S. In China, employees worked 11-hour shifts, six days a week and commonly sought overtime. Here in the U.S., especially in the Lowcountry, quality of life is sometimes prioritized over work, Stenström thinks. Volvo’s Ridgeville facility also appeared to have high turnover rates in comparison to China’s, but Lanier said turnover is a loosely defined term when comparing plants in two different countries and cultures. Turnover rates in Ridgeville are normal for the industry in the U.S. South Carolina organizations are doing their best to bridge the labor gap and train workers, whether through technical colleges, trade schools, certification programs or planting the seed for manufacturing careers in K-12. The hope is for Volvo to hire talent in Berkeley County, or at least within South Carolina, Lanier said. The efforts to hire in-state are what sparked ManuFirst, a manufacturing training program Volvo helped create curriculum for. Completing the program equals one year of manufacturing experience. To-date, Berkeley County has paid more than $400,000 in scholarships to county residents to provide ManuFirst training, Lanier said. The Charleston Regional Development Alliance is another organization that works to support Volvo, particularly bringing suppliers closer. David Ginn, CRDA president and CEO, said it’s a dance of timing where production vol- 9

umes and investment level have to meet. “We collectively work with the suppliers and have for years, but until the volumes are such that they can justify investment, they won’t come,” Ginn said. “And these OEMs, they don’t want to ask the companies to come, because if they fail then they’re liable to them potentially.” Under Stenström’s lead, Volvo has seen an increase in localization of suppliers, but ideally he’d like to see 90% of all materials used at the plant be produced in North America. “For me, you need to produce where you sell, but you also need to source where you produce,” Stenström said. Gunn likened the supplier situation to the Mercedes-Benz Vans plant in Ladson, where the company originally invested $40 million in Sprinter Van assembly. Vehicles were manufactured in Dusseldorf, disassembled and shipped to the U.S., and then re-assembled in South Carolina to reduce costs for importing completed vehicles. Once the local plant reached volume, Mercedes-Benz promised to invest another $500 million into an original equipment manufacturing facility and true to its word, the company upped its commitment a decade later. “The same with Volvo,” Gunn said. “As sales grow, suppliers will feel comfortable coming.” Once there, the next step will be identifying key players that need to come to South Carolina. Battery producers for the electric vehicles is at the top of Stenström’s list. Currently, batteries are shipped from China to the U.S., which given the hazardous materials, premium prices and shipping issues costs upward of hundreds of millions of dollars “for no reason,” he said. Manufacturing batteries nearby would not only be significantly cheaper, but would be less of a transport risk and could see delivery shrink down to a day or two. “You will see a lot of conversations in the future, talking localization from a headquarters point of view,” he said. To round out preparation on a county level, Lanier said Berkeley County needs to repopulate its warehouse product with sites and buildings that are ready for those suppliers. “The coronavirus actually expedited a lot of the real estate absorption that we saw last year,” she said of Berkeley County’s 3 million square feet of industrial space. “A lot of our premium spots along I-26, those speculative buildings were queuing up for Volvo suppliers that were taken down for distribution warehouses, and now we find ourselves trying to replenish and identify new spots for when Volvo suppliers do start coming.” Stenström thinks they will. Like a Volvo car, he just needs to drive with a smooth and steady hand until Ridgeville gets there. CRBJ

Reach Teri Errico Griffis at 843-849-3144.


November 29 - December 12, 2021

Condolences pour in after Sen. Hugh Leatherman dies at age 90 By Teri Errico Griffis


en. Hugh Leatherman, a business owner and South Carolina’s oldest-serving lawmaker, passed away Nov. 12 at the age of 90. For decades, Leatherman has been a forceful proponent for the state’s economy, playing key roles in the advancement of the aerospace and logistics industries. The Republican, who lived in Florence and served both Florence and Darlington counties, was considered to be one of the most influential financial, political leaders in the state, credited with facilitating large economic development deals such as Boeing Co. coming to South Carolina. His name was synonymous with business, Commerce Department Secretary Harry M. Lightsey III said in a statement. “In working with him over 20 years, his leadership and commitment to improving the quality of life for all South Carolinians never faltered,” Lightsey said. “While we are saddened to lose such a strong economic development proponent, businessman and statesman, the impact of his vision will carry forward.” Leatherman was one of the longest-serving members of the South Carolina Senate, serving since his election on Jan. 4, 1981, until the day he died. Leatherman was first elected as a Democrat in

the 1980s, changing party affiliations in the 1990s. He also ran unsuccessfully for governor. Shane Massey, majority leader for the S.C. Senate Republican Caucus, shared his condolences with Jean, Leatherman’s wife of 43 years, and the rest of his family. “With four decades of service in the South Carolina Senate, Sen. Leatherman — better known to many as Mr. Chairman — will have a long legacy marked in every corner of the state and mirrored through the Senate chambers for decades to come,” Massey said in a statement. “His warm smile, commitment to the community, never-stop work ethic and resolute focus will forever be remembered.” Gov. Henry McMaster said Leatherman was a “powerful force” for the people. “For over 50 years, Hugh Leatherman poured his life into our state and we are the better for it,” McMaster said in a statement. “He loved his work and kept his word. He never quit. We will miss him.” As part of Leatherman’s role controlling the state budget, one of his biggest accomplishments was securing $300 million in state funding for the Charleston Harbor Deepening Project. Another key achievement was negotiating the deal that brought Boeing to North Charleston in 2009, which then-Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt called the senator’s “crowning achievement.”

Services for Leatherman were held Nov. 19 at the Francis Marion Performing Arts Center in Florence. (Photo/Kim McManus)

Hitt said that South Carolina lost an economic champion with Leatherman’s death. “Sen. Leatherman’s leadership, passion for progress and business acumen will leave a lasting legacy across the state,” Hitt said in a statement. “South Carolina is a better place because of Senator Leatherman, and we thank him for his many years of public service.” Leatherman’s economic development legacy also will be remembered by the SCPA terminal named in his honor. Leatherman was a powerful proponent for building a new terminal at the Port of Charleston and a driving force to securing support and funding. On April 12, the day the Hugh K. Leatherman Terminal opened, SCPA President and CEO Jim Newsome said the project could not have

been more aptly named. “We wouldn’t be here today, we wouldn’t be doing this today if it wasn’t for you. It’s as simple as that,” Newsome said as Leatherman christened the terminal. The event was one of the last public appearances Leatherman made at the port, with Jean, Amy, his daughter, and Lula, his granddaughter, standing by his side. Condolences have since poured in for Leatherman’s family. S.C. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bob Morgan expressed his gratitude for Leatherman’s service. “From bolstering the port, to bringing major companies to our state and the thousands of jobs that came with them, Sen. Leatherman understood what it would take to help our state grow and thrive, and he dedicated his life to making it happen,” Morgan said in a statement. Sending further sympathies to Leatherman’s family, S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce Dan Ellzey said the state has suffered a significant loss. “Sen. Leatherman was a giant among men and a leader for not only the Pee Dee, but the entire state of South Carolina,” Ellzey said. “The impact of his commitment to making our state a better place will be felt for generations to come.” CRBJ

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November 29 - December 12, 2021 11

Hitt honored for lifetime service to manufacturing By Ross Norton


obby Hitt was presented the Human Technologies Inc. Lifetime Achievement Award on Nov. 12 at the annual SCMEP Salute to Manufacturing Awards luncheon that caps off the S.C. Manufacturing Conference and Expo. The award winners were announced during a special luncheon following the two-day conference and a keynote address by Gov. Henry McMaster. The governor helped present the awards along with Rick Jenkins, group publisher of SC Biz News. Hitt served as secretary of the S.C. Department of Commerce from the time he was appointed by former governor Nikki Haley until his retirement earlier this year. A former journalist, his work in economic development began when he went to work for Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, where he played a role in recruiting BMW Manufacturing to Spartanburg County and subsequently became one of the first BMW employees. He served as manager of public affairs for the plant until his appointment to the Commerce Department. Much of the department’s focus during his tenure was on recruiting manufacturers to the Palmetto State and growing those companies already here.

Jenkins announced that, starting with next year’s Salute to Manufacturing luncheon, the award for lifetime achievement will be named for Chuck Spangler, the late executive director of the S.C. Manufacturing Extension Partnership. Spangler and SCMEP annually played a significant role in the overall conference and the awards ceremony. “It’s appropriate to name the lifetime achievement award in Chuck’s memory because he dedicated so much of his life to the service of manufacturing — to raising the industry to higher standards and bringing the rest of the state up with it,” Jenkins said. “It didn’t feel the same hosting this year’s conference without him, but the impression he and his colleagues at SCMEP made for this industry will not soon be forgotten.” SCMEP plays a key role in the conference, offering training courses to help make manufacturers better. “Every year from the stage I said manufacturers in this state have no better friend than Chuck and SCMEP, and I meant it,” Jenkins said. Other awards presented during the conference’s capstone luncheon included: Emerging Manufacturer of the Year Awards went to Samsung Electronics Home Appliances America LLC for large

Bobby Hitt, former S.C. Commerce Department Secretary, is the recipient of the Human Technologies Inc. Lifetime Achievement Award, presented Nov. 12 at the S.C. Manufacturing Conference and Expo. (Photo/File)

businesses and Advanced Metalworks LLC for small businesses. Alimex Precision in Aluminum was a finalist in the category. Humimic Medical was named Innovator of the Year. Finalists for the honor were Stanley Black & Decker and Nucor Steel. The Outreach Award was taken home by South Atlantic Canners while Komatsu America Corp. and Savannah River Nuclear Solutions LLC were recognized as finalists. Smart Move New Plant Awards were given to Leisure Pools and Spas, Mark Anthony Brewing and Niagara Bottling. The honor recognizes those companies

that chose South Carolina over other locations to invest in new facilities. Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corp., Santa Cruz Nutritionals and Techtronic Industries received the Smart Move SC Expansion Award. The award recognizes companies already in South Carolina that chose to spend their growth resources in the state by expanding locally. Pleasurecraft Engine Group won the Transformation and Operational Excellence Award. Intertape Polymer Group and Savannah River Nuclear Solutions LLC were finalists in the category. CRBJ

Reach Ross Norton at 864-720-1222.

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Nothing But Net: Scoring Big in Business ULYSSES ‘JUNIOR’ BRIDGEMAN

His business acumen has made him one of the world’s wealthiest former athletes. The owner and CEO of Heartland Coca-Cola bottling and former owner of more than 450 franchise restaurants in 20 states shares insights on navigating the rise to success.



November 29 - December 12, 2021

By Teri Errico Griffis

EventWorks’ footprint growth also provided a wider selection of both product and experienced staff that clients wanted, allowing the company to become a full-service operation — while also remaining localized, Schmidt said. Every location has a sales operations team in the area, helping to support nearly 20,000 total events each year. Though EventWorks acquired the six companies over a span of several years, most businesses still operated under their separate names and websites, making branding confusing for the market place and even employees, Schmidt said. As events slowly return, the need is now more imperative than ever to bring all the companies under one name and website, which Schmidt has spent months completing. “My goal was to work on the back end and really align us as one company,” Schmidt said. “That means software systems to service level to selection, so that when we moved to one brand, the alignment and experience the client had was very much the same everywhere.” With that huge task completed, the owner can now look to what’s ahead. The past year and a half have been challenging for the EventWorks, but the company remained afloat because it had previously diversified its products. The assets allowed Schmidt to accept opportunities with universities and health care that other companies didn’t have the bandwidth to support during the pandemic. “We were able to come back, but it is a tough business to be in when there’s very little people who want to work, and you need a lot of product in a messed up supply chain,” he said. “Those are problems we face.”

EventWorks adds 3 companies amid labor shortages


n-person events are cautiously popping back up on our social calendars, and with them, the event companies that host and organize these gatherings. EventWorks is preparing for the inundation of events to come, be it postponed occasions during the pandemic or new reasons to celebrate, by adding three new event rental companies under its umbrella. The move makes the company one of the largest event retail providers in the region. Founded in 2010, the once small-business now operates in five states across the Southeast after acquiring businesses in Atlanta; Birmingham, Ala.; and Nashville, Tenn. The three locations come in addition to EventWorks’ previous offices in Myrtle Beach, Savannah and Jacksonville, Fla. EventWorks owner Mike Schmidt said the expansion started four years ago when the company capitalized and merged with PeachTree Tents & Events LLC. “We saw that our industry was evolving quickly,” Schmidt said. “Instagram and all these things start to really influence the consumer and what they’re looking for.” Fifteen years ago, the event industry was a little more static: white tents, white linens, white chairs and white China. Now occasions are more dynamic than ever, he said, and keeping up and getting a return on investment is challenging with only one market. While demand was a catalyst for expansion, Schmidt said growth was necessary to retain his staff that has now grown to 275 team members. They wanted up Certain markets have seen better staffing situations, but Schmidt said the faster-growing markets like Charleston and

EventWorks, which opened in Charleston in 2010, now employs 275 people and operates in five states following its recent acquisition of companies in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee. (Photo/Provided)

Nashville, Tenn. have been the most challenging. Piling on top of lack of labor is the backlog of postponed events on top of regularly scheduled programming, Schmidt said. In 2020, half of all weddings were postponed, according to Add those weddings that still need to happen to the number of people engaged in 2021, and wedding event demand alone is through the roof. Wedding planners Schmidt works with

are already booked for 2022 and looking into 2023. “There’s no lack of business – for us, it’s just the lack of skilled people that are able to work and willing to work,” he said. “But we’ve made progress. We saw the first half of the year be very difficult because of the obvious things that were happening with the government and so on. The second half we’ve made more progress, and we’re hoping that a trend continues where it maybe gets a little easier with each passing month.”


Reach Teri Errico Griffis at 843-849-3144.

Stonemont breaks ground on 3 buildings in Summerville By Ross Norton


ork is underway on three new industrial buildings at a 100acre parcel of land at Omni Industrial Campus in Summerville. Developer Stonemont Financial Group says it was drawn to the market because of its access to ports. Stonemont Financial is a private real estate investment firm specializing in industrial development and net lease assets, according to a news release. Through a partnership with Clarius Partners, Stonemont is developing a build-tosuit manufacturing facility and two more speculative buildings on the land. The buildings, with 1.3 million square feet of

industrial warehouse space, are expected to be substantially complete next fall. Omni Industrial Campus is a 221-acre business park located along Omni Industrial Boulevard within Charleston’s Interstate 26 distribution corridor, less than 25 miles from the Port of Charleston. Stonemont acquired the land in June, the news release said. Stonemont then signed a lease with Thorne HealthTech Inc. to develop a 360,320-square-foot build-to-suit facility. The additional two speculative industrial facilities, at 364,700 square feet and 606,880 square feet, are designed for e-commerce or logistics users, according to the release. The project is the first venture for Stonemont in the Charleston metro area as the firm prioritizes markets with direct

access to ports and a heavy infrastructure base, the release said. Stonemont projects are also underway at the Georgia International Trade Center, a 1,150-acre industrial park near the Port of Savannah, and Southwest International Gateway Business Park, a rail-served industrial park in El Campo, Texas, close to the Port of Houston. “Our projects in Savannah and El Campo provide a playbook for success in Charleston, which is a market that will continue to strengthen its reach and influence in the decade ahead,” said Zack Markwell, managing principal and CEO at Stonemont Financial Group, in the release. “We are already fielding interest on both speculative buildings and look forward to maintaining this posi-

tive momentum as Stonemont continues to leverage its investment and planning expertise for developing world-class facilities that are equipped to handle the fast-changing needs of today’s e-commerce and logistics users.” The Port of Charleston is the fourth largest port on the East Coast, handling 4% of all U.S. container volume, according to the release. The port is seeing its most active year yet in 2021, a result of an ongoing surge in e-commerce demand, with Charleston’s low cost of business, strong labor pool and direct access to a major port positioning it as a top player in the national industrial development scene, the release said. CRBJ

Reach Ross Norton at 864-720-1222.

In Focus

AEROSPACE LISTS: Aviation & Aerospace Companies (Statewide), Page 16 | Regional Airports, Page 18

Taking flight South Carolina’s aerospace sector took off long before The Boeing Co. landed with a permanent facility in North Charleston in 2009, but the aircraft manufacturer brought a lot of suppliers to the state and raised the profile of the sector as an economic driver.

Aerospace engineers

Aerospace engineers are among the highestpaid aircraft workers engaged in testing, design and construction of commercial, military and space-related manufacturing. State Alabama Florida Georgia North Carolina Tennessee South Carolina Mississippi

Boeing, Clemson collaborate to build aerospace workforce


Staff Report

wo land-grant universities in states where Boeing has a large footprint have kicked off a partnership designed to spur shared knowledge and collaboration among the aerospace giant’s future workforce. Clemson University and Washington State University Everett have formed CATTs — Cougars and Tigers Together — as a joint initiative to better prepare college students for careers at Boeing. The CATTs program kicked off in Everett, Wash., in mid-October with the arrival of students from Clemson. They toured Boeing and other advanced manufacturing companies in Snohomish County and worked with WSU Everett students designing autonomous cabin disinfection systems for airplanes, according to a news release. Given the recent COVID-19 pandemic, and the potential for future pandemics, rapid and thorough disinfection of airplane cabins is a high priority both for public safety and to manage airline operating costs, according to the news release. The CATTs team will develop a solution that can be deployed during postflight cleaning that eliminates viral and bacterial contamination and reduces aircraft turnaround time. The project

culminates in spring 2022 when WSU Everett students will travel to South Carolina and, along with their Clemson teammates, present their final report to Boeing leaders. “We are proud to support students in the states where many of our employees live and work,” said Craig Bomben, vice president of Boeing Flight Operations and Test and Evaluation Design Build, in the release. “This unique partnership helps facilitate a robust talent pipeline while helping students fulfill their career ambitions.” Clemson and WSU share strengths in engineering education, global reputation and land-grant history, and are well-positioned for collaboration due to their close geographic proximity to Boeing’s factories in North Charleston and Everett. Boeing, which is providing financial support to each school to fund student travel and project expenses, is a large employer of Clemson and WSU graduates, the release said. “Providing students with opportunities to address real-world challenges through experiential learning is at the core of a Clemson education,” Provost Bob Jones said in the release. “The knowledge and experience these students will gain from the ability to directly interface with Boeing highlight

Number 3,610 3,510 2,390 580 400 360 90

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2020

$28 billion

Aerospace sector’s economic impact on South Carolina’s economy.

“We are proud to support students in the states where many of our employees live and work.” Craig Bomben Vice president, Boeing Flight Operations and Test and Evaluation Design Build

the benefits of industry partnerships in higher education.” In addition to developing a technical solution, the multidisciplinary teams are charged with developing a business plan and marketing strategy to support product development. Student teams also will engage with younger students (K-12 and college) in their respective communities through various portals to promote science, technology, engineering and math, as well as the value of education. “At WSU Everett, collaboration is in our DNA,” Chancellor Paul Pitre said in the release. “As we prepare the next generation of aerospace thinkers and leaders — many of whom will work at Boeing — it makes sense to partner and model the kind of creative collaboration our industry partners want.” CRBJ


Aerospace and aviation companies operating in the private sector component of the South Carolina aerospace cluster.


Number of workers employed by the aerospace sector in South Carolina.


Average annual salary for aerospace workers employed in South Carolina.


In South Carolina, more than 5,000 new jobs have been announced over the last 10 years in the aerospace sector.


Aerospace related products represent the fifth-largest export in the state of South Carolina, totaling $4.1 billion in 2020. Source: S.C. Chamber of Commerce 2021


Architecture, Engineering and Construction



November 29 - December 12, 2021

Charleston airport reveals ‘quick win’ growth opportunities By Teri Errico Griffis


he pandemic may have halted the region’s economy for a few months, but some industries are bouncing back harder than ever. The port has seen a record eight months of cargo volume, furniture is up 55% as a commodity, and the Charleston International Airport is predicting its best year ever after five months into the fiscal year. The bar was set higher for the airport in 2019 when more than 5 million passengers came and went from Charleston’s airport. “With 2019, everybody talks about it like it’s Christmas morning… but the thing about bars is you want to get over them,” Charleston County Aviation Authority Executive Director and CEO Elliott Summey said at the Nov. 18 board meeting. Recently returned from the Airports Council International Conference, Summey said Charleston is outperforming medium-sized hubs around the country. “There were a lot of people still crying the blues. They’re 20 to 25 or 30% down,” he said. “We’re exceeding our best years. We’re exceeding our best weeks, our best months.” Within the past few weeks, the airport has filled 29 of 40 vacancies, a significant amount considering the airport is a team of 190, Summey said. In mid-November, the airport also returned to an A+ credit rating from Standard & Poor’s after Charleston, along with every U.S. airport, was downgraded during the pandemic. “We were one of the first airports in the country to get upgraded. That says a lot,” Summey said. “Again, we’re small but mighty.” That rating will help the airport borrow money on the bond market, Summey said. The airport’s numbers are trending with higher revenue and lower expenses for fiscal year 2022. Increased revenue comes from a 287% parking increase year-over-year, and a 24% increase over 2019, thanks to completion of the new parking garage. Concessions also are up 2% since 2019, with companies like Cinnabon coming in and more changes slated for January. “We’re beating our best year ever,” Summey said. Enplanements are up when compared to summer 2019 versus summer 2021, and show a trend that post-summer travel isn’t dropping off like it has in the past. August 2019 saw 208,992 passengers, following by a nearly 25% month-tomonth dip to 157,210 in September. In 2022, August recorded 218,988 passengers with 181,504 the following month, a less than 18% month-to-month difference.

Travelers arrive at Charleston International Airport ahead of Thanksgiving. With an uptick in holiday traffic, Charleston Aviation Authority expects the 2022 fiscal year to be the airport’s best. (Photo/Teri Errico Griffis)

Bookings are holding just as steady through the holidays. “You’re seeing a stabilization in our enplanements into the fall,” Summey said. “I think you’ll see it in the Charleston market as well, in hotels and business travel and in the economy.… There isn’t an off-season in Charleston anymore.” With the new parking garage built and in use, the airport’s next major project will be a new concourse C that could be completed in 2026 at the earliest. But in the meantime, the Aviation Authority needs to figure out how to handle the passenger growth with the infrastructure already in place — and without downgrading the customer experience, Summey said. “We can grow all we want, but if we don’t do it properly, we don’t do it in a Charleston-type fashion, then it’s all for nothing,” he said. To provide solutions, the agency has called on aviation planner and consultant Mark Ahasic, president of Ahasic Aviation Advisors, who presented at the meeting. The Connecticut-native previously helped JetBlue build its John F. Kennedy Airport terminal and has spent the last two months working with the Charleston operations team to find ways to change the paradigm of growth. Ahasic said he’s looking for “quick wins,” for capacity enhancements that can be completed in the next five years because airlines continue to knock on Charleston’s door, wanting to begin providing service to the region. At the airport’s advantage is its common-use computer technologies that allow any airline to use any gate. Charleston also owns all 15 gates, unlike other U.S. airports that offer gates to carriers on long-term leases. In Charleston, however, airlines have come to operate over time as if the gates are their own; passengers flying JetBlue,

“The worst thing you can do in business is not capture opportunities, right? And if we have to wait until 2026, we’re gonna lose opportunity. The opportunity is here, and it’s now.” Elliott Summey Executive Director and CEO, Charleston County Aviation Authority

know they’re going to gate B6 or B8 or for Southwest to B2 or B4. But technically, those airports don’t have a right to claim those gates. If an airline has two early morning flights and then a 6 p.m. flight, a gate is sitting empty for hours and could be up for grabs. To make the most of gate capacity, Ahaski suggested the airport adopt a more common-use model. The Authority could then attract new carriers, new flights and bigger aircraft with the space, and at the end of the day, provide better customer services. If Charleston were to take on the common-use model, which currently only two of the 15 gates operate under, the airport could potentially see 49 more departures in a single day. “What this does is for the first time, this gives sales folks who are actually out talking to the airlines saying what we do, it gives them opportunity to show how big we can blow the balloon,” Summey said. The volume could translate into an additional 3.3 million annual passengers.

The airport has the capacity and the legal ability to pull the trigger, Ahaski said. “But what needs to be done in order to flip that switch is to sit down and develop operational protocols and a program, a concept of operations to basically have the authority to take over the allocation of the gates so that you would be managing the gates, you would be assigning the airlines to the gates and obviously maximizing utilization and getting the most capacity that you can,” Ahaski said. Right now, the airport is leaving capacity on the table because gate usage is all over the place, he added. Space, however, is limited at the airport with peak time passengers already elbow to elbow, Summey said. If more flights are brought in, another opportunity Ahaski explored is whether there’s potential to add more gates to the airport with bigger waiting spaces, or even rooftop gathering spots, using existing space until concourse C is constructed. The CHS layout has two concourses, A and B, with five and 10 jet bridge gates at each, respectively. There’s also parking positions to the east and west of the airport that are not used for airline passenger operations. Ahaski looked at adding fixed links, or connection tunnels linking a terminal with a gate house, that could safely lead passengers to more gates temporarily added to the parking positions. A permanent gate extension could cost upward of $10 million, but modular extensions are inexpensive comparatively and also are temporary. With more space, enplanement costs would go down, airline revenue would go up and more carriers would come, Summey said. Breeze Airway’s success after launching in the Lowcountry in May is proof that an airline can start a business in Charleston and thrive, Summey said. Despite a slight scale back in August, the airline has added new connections, sold out flights and seen 100% employee growth. If the proposed plans are implemented, Ahaski suggested phasing them in incrementally and flexibly, with the common-use model first, then possibly adding a bridge with three gates off concourse A and one off concourse B to start. While studies have to be performed and technology plans have to be placed, among other details, Summey is optimistic about the potential. “The worst thing you can do in business is not capture opportunities, right? And if we have to wait until 2026, we’re gonna lose opportunity,” Summey said. “The opportunity is here, and it’s now.” CRBJ

Reach Teri Errico Griffis at 843-849-3144.

November 29 - December 12, 2021


Aerial intelligence company invests $14.7 million in Johns Island facility By Teri Errico Griffis


n aerial intelligence, surveillance and renaissance systems company is bringing its operations to Johns Island. Barzan Aeronautical LLC, a Qatariowned, U.S.-based company, is investing $14.7 million, bringing an expected 34 jobs to the area, the S.C. Department of Commerce said in a news release.

The independent commercial company focuses on the application and use of aerial ISR systems that support the defense and security requirements of Qatar, the United States and NATO allies. “Barzan’s investment at the Johns Island Airport is the first in the United States, and we couldn’t be more proud of them for choosing the Lowcountry of Charleston,” Charleston County Aviation Authority Executive Director and CEO Elliott Summey said in a statement.

“Charleston is home to one of the largest hubs in aviation, engineering and advanced manufacturing in the United States and today’s announcement is a giant step in our mission to attract high end aeronautical businesses and jobs to the state of South Carolina.” The new facility at 2744 Fort Trenholm Road will be dedicated to engineering and manufacturing of unmanned aircrafts, the company said. Operations are expected to be online later next year.

“The talented workforce, strategic location and welcoming pro-growth business climate make Charleston County the ideal place to grow our company,” Barzan Aeronautical LLC CEO John Hardwick said in a statement. “We are excited to partner with local entities to be successful, and we are looking forward to being a valuable part of the community.” CRBJ

Reach Teri Errico Griffis at 843-849-3144.

Lockheed Martin to hire 300 more workers in Greenville Molly Hulsey


ockheed Martin is hiring 300 mechanics, technicians, engineers and other positions for F-16 production and sustainment by the end of 2022. Select roles are eligible for new hire incentives, including up to $2,000 signon bonuses and up to $5,000 relocation lump-sum payments, according to a news release. On-the-job training is available as needed, and employees will have an opportunity to learn new automation and digital engineering technologies as Lock-

heed Martin continues to invest in the F-16 program. “These new roles represent Lockheed Martin’s long-standing commitment to meet our customers’ current and future needs, and to bring more jobs to the Greenville area,” Danya Trent, vice president of the company’s F-16 program, said in the release. “Many of these positions are on the leading edge of our digital engineering efforts on our F-16 production line. This is an incredibly rewarding opportunity to join the team that sustains and produces the F-16 for armed forces around the world.” To fill these positions, Lockheed Mar-

tin is working closely with the state and local government, as well as community partners such as Greenville Technical College. The company also is participating in several virtual and local career events, including some events that are exclusive to transitioning military service members and veterans. “Lockheed Martin continues to be committed to military hiring,” Walt Lindsley, new Greenville site director for the company, said in the release. “Currently at the site, approximately 35% of our employees are veterans, and we aim to keep growing that number.” Lockheed Martin has approximate-

ly 700 workers at its Greenville site and has an average annual economic impact of $100 million to the area, the company says. Lockheed Martin moved F-16 production to Greenville in 2019 with contracts currently under way for at least 112 jets for Bulgaria, Slovakia and two other nations expected by international aerospace media to be Taiwan and Morocco. In December, the facility also became the only corporate F-16 sustainment and support depot in the country. CRBJ

Reach Molly Hulsey at 864-720-1223.



The S.C. Aeronautical Training Center houses: • Degree and certificate programs • Advanced manufacturing programs and workforce training • readySC’s Boeing Training Center AT21-0147





November 29 - December 12, 2021

Aviation & Aerospace Companies - Statewide Ranked by No. of Employees Statewide

Employees: Statewide / Worldwide


Phone / Website / Email

Top Local Official(s) / Year Founded

Boeing South Carolina 5400 International Blvd. North Charleston, SC 29418


Lane Ballard 1916

5,706 141,014

Fabrication, assembly and integration of major 787 Dreamliner components and interiors; final assembly and delivery of 787 Dreamliner airplanes; engineering design and production support; information technology

Lockheed Martin 244 Terminal Road Greenville, SC 29605



1,050 114,000

Aircraft production and sustainment

Zeus Industrial Products 3740 Industrial Blvd. Orangeburg, SC 29118


Jennifer McQuesten, Steve Peterson 1966

Eaton Aerospace Group, Fuel & Motion Control Systems Division 7230 Cross County Road North Charleston, SC 29418


Charles P. Roark 1911

950 100,000

Manufactures aerospace component products

SAIC Inc. 5617 N. Rhett Ave. North Charleston, SC 29406


Chuck Murdock, Pete Lombardo 2013

807 26,200

Technology integrator

Kyocera AVX Components Corp. 1 AVX Blvd. Fountain Inn, SC 29644


Nicholas A. Kovalsky 1972

800 15,000

Manufacturer and supplier of electronic components and interconnect, sensor, control and antenna solutions

Stevens Aerospace & Defense Systems LLC 600 Delaware St. Greenville, SC 29605


Phillip J. Stearns 1950

220 380

Established in 1950; a maintenance, repair, overhaul, paint and interior modification and major upgrade center for military and civilian aircraft; 3 locations and a fleet of AOG truck teams

Parker Hannifin Corp. 1460 Garrott Ave. Moncks Corner, SC 29461


Steve O'Connor 2000

200 50,000

Fuel nozzles for gas turbine fuel systems and military aircraft

Stäubli 201 Parkway West Duncan, SC 29334


Roger Varin 1960

200 5,500

Fluid and electrical connectors, robotics and textiles

Ranger Aerospace 126 Millport Circle Greenville, SC 29607


Steve Townes 1997

125 445

Private equity management holding company; team with institutional investors to acquire, grow and improve companies in aviation services, aerospace sub-specialties, airfield operations, logistics and defense; enterprise-builders and partners

ACL Airshop LLC 500 Park Commerce Road Greenville, SC 29611


Steve Townes, Jeff Antinoro, Wes Tucker 1984

115 250

Worldwide provider of unit loading devices, cargo control and air freight products and services for the aviation industry; operates in unit loading device leasing, sales, repair and control, cargo nets and straps manufacturing

Metalworx Inc. 340 Deming Way, Suite A Summerville, SC 29483


Brandon Redmond 1997

55 180

Machining, fabrication, finishing, assembly and engineering services specializing in medical, aerospace and military and sawmill

Venture Aerobearings LLC 8701 Palmetto Commerce Parkway Ladson, SC 29456



54 54

Manufacturer of jet engine bearings

ADC Engineering 1226 Yeamans Hall Road Hanahan, SC 29410


Chris Cook, Mark Dillon, Greg Jones 1990

48 48

Aviation planning, landscape architecture, urban design, park and recreation planning, civil and structural engineering

ADC Engineering Inc. 25 Woods Lake Road, Suite 210 Greenville, SC 29607


Larry K. Barthelemy, Fred Guthier, Clay Greene 1990

45 45

Civil engineering, structural engineering, aviation engineering, landscape architecture, land planning, urban, site and sustainable design, recreation planning and design

Koops Inc. 25 Brookfield Oaks Drive, Suite H Greenville, SC 29607


Jeff VanUffelen 1989

45 250

Designs and builds machines and equipment for manufacturers across industries

Leatherwood Manufacturing Inc. 4355 Dorchester Road North Charleston, SC 29405


Michael G. Leatherwood 1986

45 45

Contract manufacturing, aerospace, military, commercial and transportation equipment and components; precision metal fabrication, five-axis CNC machining, turning and milling; coordinate-measuring machine systems

IHI Ionbond Inc. 197 Ridgeview Circle Drive, Suite I Duncan, SC 29334


Jim M. South 1860

43 860

Provides thin-film coating services and operates 39 coating centers in 17 countries; coatings are used to improve durability, quality, functionality, efficiency and aesthetics of tools and components; Ionbond is part of the business unit

Ethos Energy Accessories & Components 240 Parkway East, Suite 100 Duncan, SC 29334


Sandy D. Sprinkles 1990

42 160

Comprehensive testing and overhaul for aero engine fuel nozzles, injectors, harnesses, sensors and engine components

J.I.T. Manufacturing Inc. 428 Oglesby Lane Cowpens, SC 29330


Dan C. Hunter 1992

40 40

Full line of fabrication services including precision laser cutting, CNC forming, CNC punching, certified welding; services available for machining, powder coating, plating and more

OpTek Systems Inc. 12 Pilgrim Road Greenville, SC 29607


Duane W. Dinkel 2006

35 900

Laser processing of optical fiber and micromachined components

1,000 1,700

Because of space constraints, sometimes only the top-ranked companies are published in the print edition. Although every effort is made to ensure accuracy, errors sometimes occur. Email additions or corrections to

Area of Specialization

High performance polymer components

Researched by Paige Wills


November 29 - December 12, 2021 17

Aviation & Aerospace Companies - Statewide Ranked by No. of Employees Statewide

Employees: Statewide / Worldwide


Phone / Website / Email

Top Local Official(s) / Year Founded

Roylco 3251 Abbeville Highway Anderson, SC 29624


Carolyn Voisin 1990

30 64

Die cutting, laminating, heat sealing processes to manufacture sound insulation, NVH, foam padding, leather strapping, educational materials, rubber matting, and more

Alpha Sheet Metal Works Inc. 9525 Hamburg Road Ladson, SC 29456


Joseph W. Schady 1956

28 28

Custom metal fabrication

Accurate Brazing 299 Garlington Road, Suite B Greenville, SC 29615


Brent Davis, Greg Lane 2001

Lucideon M&P 1 Marcus Drive, Building 4 Greenville, SC 29615


Frank Anderson 2000

25 300

Materials laboratory-testing, characterization, failure analysis, process and product development; Nadcap-accredited; testing and analysis throughout the aerospace and defense supply chain

Venture Aviation Group 2102 GSP Drive Greer, SC 29651


David P. Knoblauch 1998

25 25

Executive aircraft charter and management, aircraft brokerage and maintenance

KTM Solutions Inc. 603 High Tech Court Greer, SC 29650


Ginger A. Kumler, Seth Withers 2005

22 22

Structural systems, advanced structural analysis, tooling systems professionally designed and manufactured (jigs, fixtures and assembly systems) and custom machines used to facilitate production processes

Solar Atmospheres Southeast Inc. 108 Progressive Court Greenville, SC 29611


Steve Prout, Mike Paponetti 2014

21 217

Provision of AS9100 and Nadcap-accredited vacuum heat treating and brazing services

Dynamic Filtration 606 McGee Road Anderson, SC 29625


Howard M. Steele 1997

20 20

Manufactures electrical discharge machining filters for all types of new and old electrical discharge machines including Mitsubishi, Sodick, Makino, GF+, Seibu, Accutex, Chmer, Brother, Fanuc and more

Greenville Jet Center 100 Tower Drive Greenville, SC 29607


Henry Brown 1986

20 20

Fbo, aircraft refueling service

Izumi International Inc. 1 Pelham Davis Circle Greenville, SC 29615


Ryutaro Izumi 1977

19 25

Equipment for composite and carbon fiber production, fiber coating lines, fiber winders 3D dispensing robot, industrial automation, conveyor systems, 6-axis robot systems

Multiplastics 476 Long Point Road Mount Pleasant, SC 29464


Paul D. Spies, Deborah D. Herbert 1952

18 18

Multiplastics produces custom vacuum forming, fabrication and assembly of plastic materials; comprehensive design-lab and engineering services for most industries; sister firm Curdbuoys makes buoys and sells accessorial product to marine industry

ATS World Packaging 7370 E. Spartan Blvd. North Charleston, SC 29418


Tom Roth 1997

15 15

Custom crating and packaging products and services, including warehousing and distribution, and export and import compliance

Separation Dynamics 611 S. Woods Drive Fountain Inn, SC 29644


Mike Presley 1986

12 12

Make water filtration and recycling systems that help automotive, aerospace, heat treaters and other manufacturers generate less wastewater

Hamilton Automation Inc. 1657 S. Batesville Road Greer, SC 29650


Jean Jones, Robert H. Aldridge 1999

10 10

Design and manufacture custom automated industrial assembly systems, test systems and control systems; factory automation systems integrator

Custom Equipment Co. Inc. 2700 S.C. Highway 41 Charleston, SC 29492


Robbie Lewis, Bobby Riggs 1978

8 8

Storage (racks, cabinets, lockers and shelving); logistics (carts, conveyors, tuggers and dollies); facilities (modular offices, mezzanines, wire partitions and physical barriers); packaging (custom-returnable, expendable films, bags and caps)

Ergo Corp. 212 Riverside Court, Suite B Greer, SC 29650


Greg Conner, Lacy Strange 1985

6 6

Standard and custom made material handling equipment

Harris Group Inc. 7301 Rivers Ave., Suite 175 North Charleston, SC 29406

843-203-7014 info@harrisgroup.copm

Bryan Wood 1975

6 90

Multidiscipline engineering firm providing planning, design and construction management as advisor services to aerospace, manufacturing and process industries; projects range from small to in-plant projects to additions and new facilities

Southeast PowerLift Hydraulic Doors Inc. 7204 N. U.S. Highway 29 Pelzer, SC 29669


Janet T. Poole, Curtis D. Poole, Jonathan A. Poole 2016

4 -

Manufacture and installation of one-piece hydraulic hangar doors

Tiger Enterprises & Trading Inc. 512 John Ross Court Pelzer, SC 29669


Dwight D. Walker, Bonnie L. Walker, Dan Hansen 1993

4 4

Sales of aircraft rotable and airframe components, subassemblies, propellers, engines and engine parts to airlines, OEMs, U.S. Department of Defense and defense subcontractors, authorized repair stations and after-market suppliers worldwide

Above & Beyond Inc. 28 Miler Lane Greenville, SC 29607


Ted Hanes 2001

3 3

Aircraft repair and maintenance

Palmetto Sun Balloons 132 Fawnbrook Drive Greer, SC 29650


Roger D. Clark 2005

1 1

Hot air ballooning and communications equipment for aviation; hot air balloon rides, flight and ground instruction; safety and weather services for hot air balloon festivals around the U.S.

Seymour Consulting Inc. 145 Pier View St., Suite 203 Daniel Island, SC 29492


John C. Seymour 2009

1 1

Aeronautics and propulsion professional development short courses for the civil and defense aerospace industries

27 16,000

Because of space constraints, sometimes only the top-ranked companies are published in the print edition. Although every effort is made to ensure accuracy, errors sometimes occur. Email additions or corrections to

Area of Specialization

Vacuum brazing, vacuum heat treating and HIP'ing (hot isostatic press); ISO9001, AS9100 and Nadcap heat treat-accredited; ITAR registered and compliant

Researched by Paige Wills



Regional Airports

November 29 - December 12, 2021


Ranked by Runway Length

Company Charleston International Airport 5500 International Blvd. North Charleston, SC 29418 Charleston Executive Airport 2742 Fort Trenholm Road Johns Island, SC 29455 Berkeley County Airport 616 Whitesville Road Moncks Corner, SC 29461 Summerville Airport 898 Greyback Road Summerville, SC 29483 Mount Pleasant Regional Airport - Faison Field 700 Faison Road Mount Pleasant, SC 29466 St. George Airport 541 Horne Taylor Road St. George, SC 29477 Honderosa Airport 8650 Rivers Ave. North Charleston, SC 29406 Crosswinds-Wilson Airport 1862 Poplar Hill Drive Cross, SC 29436 Mount Holly Airport 1030 St. James Ave. Summerville, SC 29483 Too Goo Doo Farms 4692 Too Goo Doo Farm Road Meggett, SC 29449 Raven's Run Airport 1414 Omni Blvd., Suite B Mount Pleasant, SC 29464 Flying Tails Airport 517 Bravo Dog Lane Bonneau, SC 29431 Laurel Hill Farms Airport 8863 U.S. Highway 17 North McClellanville, SC 29458 Pluff Mud Field 1922 Capri Drive Charleston, SC 29407



Runway Length / Runway Width


Surface Type

Latitude / Longitude

Use Type




Elliott Summey

U.S. Air Force/Charleston County Aviation Authority



9,001 150



32.8986389 -80.0405278



5,350 100



32.7010278 -80.0032500


Elliott Summey

Charleston County Aviation Authority



5,001 75



33.1855000 -80.0362500


Stacy Thomas

Berkeley County



5,000 75



33.0634444 -80.2793333


Don Hay

Dorchester County, Purchasing Division



3,700 75



32.8978333 -79.7878611


Elliott Summey

Charleston County Aviation Authority



3,201 60



33.1955000 -80.5084722


Don Hay

Dorchester County, Purchasing Division



3,000 30



32.6869444 -80.1063889


Williams E. Stokes

Williams E. Stokes



2,700 100



33.2714972 -80.2542417


James B. Wilson

James B. Wilson



2,700 65



33.0543333 -80.0834167


Jim McCormick

Jim McCormick



2,600 80



32.42166430 -80.15113550


Susan Stanley

Too Goo Doo Plantation



2,400 100



32.49256310 -79.48242960


Cecil H. McLeod

Raven's Run HOA



2,219 200



33.18232000 -79.56551000


Nicholas V. Lucarelli

Nicholas V. Lucarelli



1,900 100



33.0516667 -79.35413889


Bright McConnell

Laurell Hill Farms LLC



1,200 75



32.37556510 -80.05323400


W. B. Upshur

W. B. Upshur

Because of space constraints, sometimes only the top-ranked companies are published in the print edition. Although every effort is made to ensure accuracy, errors sometimes occur. Email additions or corrections to 1 Source: Federal Aviation Administration

Researched by Paige Wills

Make an impact of your own. This important component of the annual business library provides the analysis and context to give you a year’s worth of insight into the stories that have shaped the Lowcountry economy. Make an impact of your own with an advertisement in Newsmakers

NEWSMAKERS December 28,

2020 | www .CharlestonB

| Vol. 26, No.



Businesses work to rise above with resilience, gr it


CONTACT TODAY TO RESERVE YOUR SPACE. Robert Reilly at 843-849-3107 or



November 29 - December 12, 2021

Economic indicators make case for robust growth


ost economists expect GDP growth to slow next year as the excessive government stimulus provided in the first few months of this year will disappear. Others are concerned that the steady drumbeat of higher inflation will dampen consumer spirits and they opt to cut spending. Others fret that STEPHEN D. the recent increase SLIFER in the number of COVID cases could dampen growth. We suggest several offsetting factors. First, most of the slowdown related to the disappearance of economic stimulus has already occurred. Second, there will be a period of renewed spending vigor as consumers catch up for spending deferred from late summer when COVID cases surged. Third, jobs will continue to climb vigorously as workers who have left the labor force choose to seek and find employment. Fourth, the increasing number of Americans who have been vaccinated and those who have already contracted the disease and have natural immunity, will reduce the number of COVID cases to the point where it ceases to be a significant factor in the pace of economic activity. Finally, the brake on economic activity caused by delivery delays and parts shortages will gradually disappear as the year progresses and provide a tailwind to GDP growth. That is why we expect GDP growth of 8.0% in the fourth quarter followed by 4.9% GDP growth in 2022. The economy received considerable stimulus in the first half of this year as the government issued multiple rounds of stimulus checks. Government transfer payments skyrocketed. Prior to the recession transfer payments were $3.2 trillion. They peaked at $8.1 trillion in March 2021. By September these government income subsidies had shrunk to $3.9 trillion and are unlikely to fall below $3.5 trillion. If so, this factor will only subtract 0.25% from GDP growth next year. As inflation climbs, workers real wages are declining. In October average earnings rose 4.9% in the past year, but inflation rose more quickly and real earnings fell 1.2%. Thus, consumers purchasing power was 1.2% lower than a year earlier. There is still no hint of consumers cutting their pace of spending. Retail sales jumped 1.7% in October and retailers expect sales to remain robust through the important holiday season. With jobs climbing, nominal wages rising, and the Fed unlikely to intervene vigorously any

time soon, their willingness to spend is understandable. COVID cases have picked up slightly in the past several weeks. But 228 million Americans have had at least one vaccination and 48 million more have already had COVID and presumably have natural immunity. Thus, 276 million people have immunity and only about 54 million remain unvaccinated. By summer our expectation is that those cases shrink to a pace roughly consistent with the flu and COVID is no longer a major news item. The labor force remains 3 million below where it was prior to the recession. The reasons vary from dissatisfaction with working conditions and/or pay in their previous job. Retirement adds to the total. And some individuals seem content with the current level of government provided benefits. We have never experienced this type of behavioral change regarding employment and we cannot be certain what happens next. However, we take comfort with the steady decline in layoffs and the number of people receiving unemployment benefits. Our guess is that 700,000 jobs will be created in November. If the labor force increases by 500,000 the unemployment rate will decline another 0.2% to 4.4%. The labor force should continue to climb in the months ahead. Finally, supply chain disruptions have severely curtailed firms’ ability to produce their goods and businesses have dipped into inventories to fill as many orders as they can. In fact, inventory levels have declined $275 billion in the first three quarters of this year and subtracted 1.8% from GDP growth. Eventually those supply issues will be resolved and firms will rebuild inventories. At that point GDP growth will get an inventory tailwind. We have not incorporated into our forecast a likely pickup in the pace of government spending in 2022. The infrastructure bill has already passed, and President Joe Biden’s economic plan has passed the House. Its fate in the Senate is unclear. But in all likelihood government spending will increase next year which will further boost the inflation rate. There are reasons to expect GDP growth to slow in 2022, but there are even more reasons to be optimistic. Thus far it appears that GDP growth will rebound from the anemic 2.0% pace in the third quarter to 8.0% in the fourth quarter. That would give us GDP growth of 5.7% in 2022 - the fastest pace of expansion in 40 years. That would presumably be followed by another stellar 4.9% growth rate in 2022. Not too shabby. CRBJ

Daniel Island e9conomist Stephen Slifer can be reached at 19

Hot Properties Each week, the Charleston Regional Business Journal publishes commercial real estate transactions online at the Business Journal’s website:

Robert Pratt of RE/MAX Pro Realty represented the landlord, Seventeen A Associates LLC, in the lease of 4,500 square feet of flex space at 1907 Varner St., Suite A2, Summerville, to CareLinc Medical Equipment & Supply Co. LLC. Keith Mayfield of Twin Rivers Capital LLC represented the tenant. Thomas Boulware of NAI Charleston represented the seller, Pearce Development LLC, in the sale of 5,600 square feet of office space at 1049 Morrison Drive in Charleston to BKDE-Morrison LLC for $2,520,000. Trad Dyches of Palmetto Commercial Properties LLC represented the buyer, Roper Hospital, in the sale of 4.5 acres square feet of land space at 512 Johnnie Dodds Blvd., Mount Pleasant, from Laga L.P. for $9,000,000. Charlie Carmody of CBRE represented the seller.

Robert Pratt of RE/MAX Pro Realty represented the landlord, the Greater Summerville/ Dorchester County Chamber of Commerce, in the lease of 2,508 square feet of worship center space at 402 N. Main St., Suite D, in Summerville to Iglesia de Jesucristo Sendero de Luz. Todd Garrett, SIOR, CCIM, and Tradd Varner, SIOR, of Avison Young - South Carolina Inc. represented the landlord, Evans and Evans Land Co. LLC, in the lease of 5,600 square feet of industrial space at 7135 Cross County Road, Building 100, in North Charleston to A Yacht Marine BRIG. Tim Raber of CBRE Inc. represented the tenant.

Kevin Shields of Belk Lucy represented the tenant, 540 Smoke & Vape, in the lease of 1,214 square feet of retail space at 7643 Rivers Ave., Suite G-B, in North Charleston from Eden McKoy. SouthCoast represented the landlord. David Grubbs, Dexter Rumsey of NAI Charleston represented the seller, The Rosemary Family Limited Partnership, in the sale of 102.34 acres of mixed-use development space at 0 Nexton Parkway and 0 N. Maple St. in Summerville for $17 million.

Jeremy Willits and Gerry Schauer, CCIM of Avison Young - South Carolina Inc. represented the landlord, First Point Properties LLC, in the lease of 1,550 square feet of office space at 498 Wando Park Blvd., Suite 300, Mount Pleasant, to ADP LLC. Charlie Carmody of CBRE Inc. Charleston represented the tenant. Jack Owens and Sarah Shelley of NAI Charleston represented the seller, Exchange Real Estate Holdings LLC, in the sale of 88,750 square feet on 15 acres of industrial space at 160 Cocoa St., St. George, to TMR Holdings LLC for $1,169,580. Trey Sedalik of Prospect Real Estate Brokers represented the landlord in the lease of 1,200 square feet of retail space at 221 St. Philip St. in Charleston to Island Provisions. JR Caldwell and Bob Caldwell of Caldwell Commercial Real Estate Services represented the landlord, 825 Lowcountry Boulevard LLC, in the lease of office space at 825 Lowcountry Blvd. in Mount Pleasant to Pearce & Associates.

Kisha Lyles and Chris Prince of Avison Young represented the tenant, Best Cart Performance LLC, in the lease of 2,404 square feet of flex space at 3125 Ashley Phosphate Road in North Charleston from STH LLC. Robert Pratt of RE/MAX Pro Realty represented the buyer, 101MC LLC, in the sale of 3,164 square feet of medical space at 2679 Lake Park Dr., North Charleston, from Lee Hershon LLC for $900,000. Erin England of Commercial Real Estate Ventures Inc. represented the seller.

Jeremy Willits and Gerry Schauer, CCIM of Avison Young - South Carolina Inc. represented the landlord, Three Broad Inc., in the lease of 800 square feet of office space at 3 Broad St., Suites 451, 452 and 453, in Charleston to Poe Group Advisors.


November 29 - December 12, 2021

The definitive resource guide for business professionals in the Lowcountry. STON BOO 2021 CHARLE




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At Work


People in the News

Business Digest

The Honey Hive now open on King St. Charleston’s newest late-night eatery specializing in desserts, The Honey Hive, recently opened its doors at 563 King St., offering both sweet and savory bites and a sophisticated cocktail list named after famous women throughout history like Rose Kennedy. Pastry Chef Payton Williams oversees the menus, which feature signature desserts like the Kinsey Cake, at left. Shawna Allen, who comes from a food and beverage background in Key West, spearheads day-to-day operations. The Honey Hive’s “Bubble Room,” designed by Willow Event Designs, is a private event venue accepting reservations for bachelorette groups, wedding parties and more.

Sisters of Charity Foundation awards $720,500 in grant funding

The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina has awarded $720,500 in grant funding to 95 nonprofits across the state. The organizations are working to reduce poverty in South Carolina by meeting the immediate needs of people experiencing poverty, breaking the cycle of poverty and working to change systems that are considered to be drivers of poverty.

Transportation services company expands in Ladson

California-based logistics, distribution and transportation provider Ability Tri-Modal Transportation Services is expanding in Ladson. The company broke ground on a new 190,000-squarefoot Class-A facility will boast 46 dock doors, a fleet maintenance shop and over 100 trailer and container yard positions. Along with their existing 405,000-squarefeet of operating space in Ladson and Summerville, this new facility will be online quarter three of 2022.

Hana Engineers and Consultants receives certification by S.C.

Hana Engineers and Consultants LLC, a small, minority-owned environmental and geotechnical firm based in Richmond, Va., with an office in North Charleston, has been certified as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise by the South Carolina Division of Small and Minority Business Contracting and Certification. The certification is a program of the U.S. Department of Trans-

portation that is intended to increase the participation of certified firms in federal projects.

EventWorks adds 3-event rental companies under its umbrella

EventWorks, a full-service event rental company headquartered in Charleston, has added event rental companies in Atlanta; Birmingham, Ala.; and Nashville, Tenn.; to form the Southeast’s largest event rental provider. EventWorks now has locations across five states and seven cities. The company merged with Peachtree Tents & Events, Event Rentals Unlimited and Music City Tents in 2017, but they retained their original names and identity until recently. Leadership and staffing will remain the same at the new EventWorks locations.

Frampton Construction to build 3 industrial sites in Berkeley County

Frampton Construction Company LLC has been chosen to lead the construction of three facilities at Camp Hall commerce park in Ridgeville. Totaling 940,000-square-feet, the three buildings will be located on the park’s 77-acre Campus 4A site, which was recently purchased by global logistics developer Portman Industrial from Exeter Property Group. They will be constructed of tilt-up concrete wall panels with structural steel frames and thermoplastic polyolefin roofs. Buildings A and B are approximately 220,000-square-feet each with a rear-loading layout. Building C is approximately 500,000-square-feet with a cross-dock layout.

Boeing Co. donates $150,000 to Lowcountry Food Bank

Boeing has donated $150,000 to the Lowcountry Food Bank to support programs working to reduce hunger in the region. The announcement was made on Nov. 4 at a distribution event at Devon Forest Elementary School. Boeing teammates also volunteered to help with food distribution.

Engel & Völkers opens new shop in Mount Pleasant

Engel & Völkers Charleston recently held a grand opening event for its new real estate shop in Mount Pleasant at the heart of the Coleman Boulevard business district. More than 100 guests attended the official ribbon cutting ceremony and reception. Engel & Völkers Charleston hopes the new location will effectively showcase their properties and designs to a new pool of potential clients, and the company is currently looking to expand their presence by recruiting new team members.

Hendrick Automotive donates $50,000 to Lowcountry Food Bank

Hendrick Automotive Group recently donated $50,000 to the Lowcountry Food Bank as part of its year-long, employee-fueled Fight Against Hunger fundraiser. A donation ceremony held on Oct. 27 included a special appearance from NASCAR driver Kyle Larson. Hendrick Automotive Group teammates from its Charleston and North Charleston dealerships also donated their time on Nov. 5 to pack hundreds of food boxes for food-insecure neighbors in the tri-county region.

CONSTRUCTION Mashburn Construction has hired Brooks Wheeler as culture coordinator and Cameron Wegrzyn as controller. Wheeler has been with Mashburn for Wheeler 12 years. In her new role, she will organize health and wellness activities for the company, plan internal and external events and work with new employees to ensure they are comfortable during their integration into Mashburn. Wegrzyn spent five years working with a public accounting firm in Charlotte before coming to Mashburn. As controller, he will oversee the financial operations of the company, updating accounting procedures, internal controls and other specialized accounting projects. Cullum Constructors Inc. has promoted Eric Folberth to plumbing foreman. Folberth has been around the plumbing profession for as long as he can remember, Folberth growing up in Florida where his grandfather owned a plumbing company. He completed a four-year plumbing apprenticeship at Central Piedmont Community College and is CPR and OSHA certified. Palmetto State Exteriors LLC has hired David Smith as director of the company’s waterproofing division, which provides waterproofing solutions for commercial and residential applications in South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia. Smith will use his more than 20 years of leadership experience in the construction and building materials industry to lead a team focused on providing solutions for customers’ moisture issues.

LAW Finkel Law Firm LLC has hired Kori McGraw as an associate in their Charleston office. McGraw is a recent graduate of the Charleston School of Law. She will be focusing her


See PEOPLE, Page 22


November 29 - December 12, 2021

People in the News PEOPLE, from Page 21

practice on a combination of general litigation, default services, foreclosure and homeowner’s association law.

Target your market in an upcoming issue of the Charleston Regional Business Journal



List: Commercial Property Management Co Special Section: Health Care Heroes

Advertising Deadline: November 29 JANUARY 17


List: Hospitals Bonus List: Urgent Care Centers

Advertising Deadline: January 3 FEBRUARY 7


Advertising Deadline: January 24 FEBRUARY 21


Advertising Deadline: February 7

For advertising information, call Robert Reilly at 843.849.3107

Riley, Pope & Laney LLC has hired Clara H. Mintz and William Stroud as attorneys in the transactional and commercial real estate group in the firm’s Charleston office. Mintz graduated from the University of Richmond School of Law in 2020. She will focus on transactional residential and commercial real estate including sale, purchase, leasing and refinance. Stroud graduated from the University of Richmond School of Law in 2017. He manages the firm’s Charleston office and focuses on commercial real estate including leasing and development.

LIFE SCIENCES SCBio has hired James Chappell, an executive with Louisiana Economic Development, as the organization’s new president and CEO. Chappell Chappell joined LED in 2013 and held positions of increasing responsibility at the organization. During his tenure, he designed and implemented the state’s $100 million venture capital and small business funds, developed strategies to recruit globally recognized companies to the state and joined the Louisiana MediFund board to develop strategies to increase the biosciences and healthcare industries in the state. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s in plant environmental sciences from Clemson University, his Ph.D. from Louisiana State, and a postdoctoral fellowship in stem cell biology focusing on cancer and diabetes from Harvard Medical School. He began his new role with SCBio on Nov. 8.

REAL ESTATE Trey Sedalik with Prospect Real Estate Partners was elected as the incoming president of the South Carolina chapter of the Appraisal Institute. Jody Bishop Sedalik swore the new officers in at the chapter’s fall meeting held at the Charleston

Harbor Resort, and Sedalik presented the President’s Plaque to Sarah Guthrie of Greenville for her leadership as the 2021 president. Sedalik earned MAI designation in 2011 and has over 20 years of residential and commercial real estate experience. He will serve a one-year term representing the South Carolina Chapter of the Appraisal Institute. William Means Real Estate has hired Kaelin Hall. Hall graduated with honors and degrees in business and philosophy from Washington and Lee University. She has experience in international strategy and operations with the world’s largest asset manager, and has a broad knowledge of downtown, Mount Pleasant and Charleston’s surrounding islands. Carolina Retail Experts partner Elyse Welch, CCIM, won the inaugural Commercial Real Estate Women - Charleston Member to Member Impact Award for generating most closed deals and referrals with CREW - Charleston. CREW Network is a networking coalition built to transform commercial real estate by advancing women globally across the industry sector.

NONPROFIT The S.C. Community Loan Fund has named Nate Barber CEO of the organization. Barber was selected after a nationwide search led by SCCLF board. Barber Barber recently retired from South State Bank after 18 years as community development officer and community reinvestment officer. Barber has more than 25 years’ experience in community development finance, the organization said. Barber was instrumental in the first bank investment made in SCCLF’s predecessor, Lowcountry Housing Trust. Previously, Barber has taught college business courses and lead a Small Business Development Center, in addition to serving on the following boards: Community Capital Alliance, Together SC, South Carolina Association for Community Economic Development, Columbia Housing Development Corporation, and Richland Library. The S.C. Community Loan Fund is a nonprofit that provides access to capital for communities and small businesses.

Submit items at our online submission portal: Publication in print and online is subject to editorial discretion.



Securing the right space for your business M

ost companies start from a basic idea or premise of creating something that the market needs or wants. Often, the result is the primary focus while the processes and requirements to meet that result are secondary. For example, transitioning from working from your home office or RANDY garage to leasing CUTTS commercial space can be a daunting prospect, and is often the largest new expense for a company. Proactively preparing for this transition is a key to avoiding costly mistakes. When the need for this transition is reached, organizations or individuals are often not fully prepared for what they should be looking for in a commercial space. In my experience, each business is as unique as the individuals involved and there are just as many variations for meeting their requirements and goals. In this article, I will attempt to help you think through the process and provide you with more questions to ask yourself or a real-estate professional than answers. There is no “one size fits all” reply to what each business needs or desires for a workplace environment.

The importance of the lease

The lease is a binding contract between the parties that defines how you are permitted to use the space. The lease also addresses what is included in your rent or what is not. The lease outlines possible additional expenses to be considered, such as utilities, parking, hours of operation or availability to the facility. For example, there may be premiums if your business requires you to operate outside of the facility’s normal hours as defined in the lease.

How do I make sure I am leasing the amount of space that I need?

The answer may be tied into how long you desire to be in the space. If you are signing a longer-term lease — usually 3-5 years or more — you will need to consider growth into the equation based on your business plan. Have the conversation with the facility management to determine their flexibility or interest of phased leasing. One tool that can be incorporated into the lease would be a first right-of-refusal clause. This allows


“There is no ‘one size fits all’ reply to what each business needs or desires for a workplace environment.” you to be first in line should another party make an offer on any available space within the facility. This clause provides you the right to meet the proposed offer and secure the space for yourself, or if you are not ready for expanding your own operation, defer to the new candidate.

What if I outgrow the space before my lease term is up?

This will be defined in your lease terms. If you have executed a longer-term lease and your space requirements become more than is available in the current facility, you can be bound to the terms agreed to without remedy. You may be able to provide yourself with additional flexibility by having options written into the original lease which allow for early termination at certain intervals. An

example would be where you can execute a five-year lease with an option to renew or not at year three. This allows you to secure the space for the full five-year term or use the option to terminate after the third year. You may also to be able to provide options for renewal or extending your lease at the end of the original lease term, such as a five-year lease, with two one-year renewal options.

What if I have specific requirements for my workspace?

Again, each business is unique, and requirements can vary dramatically. The array is as large as the imagination, whether drop-in workstations, an office with a desk, wet labs with the ability to do scientific research or secured areas for classified work. Although the current availability of wet lab space is somewhat of an issue, all these options already exist within the real-estate environment of our state. The key is identifying the space that meets all your current and anticipated needs within your desired geographic region and at the most affordable price. Selecting the correct real-estate agent to locate such space is often the key to success in identifying the space that meets all these criteria. Given the importance of that selection decision, it is vital to seek suggestions from colleagues and perform

careful due diligence before engaging a real estate agent.

The right facilities are vital for economic growth

South Carolina Research Authority has developed some of the most technologically advanced facilities in the state and is attracting businesses from other regions of the United States as well as countries from around the world to relocate their operations here. Our state has done an exemplary job of offering worldclass space. However, we must continually provide the forward-looking facilities that allow our companies to optimize and expand their ability to offer a variety of products or services for regional, national and international markets which are developed or produced in a safe, secure and productive environment. CRBJ

Randy Cutts is the facilities director for the South Carolina Research Authority.

We want to hear from you Write: Andy Owens, Executive Editor Charleston Regional Business Journal 3265 North Carolina Avenue, Suite 101 North Charleston, SC 29405 Email:


November 29 - December 12, 2021

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