SCBIZ Magazine - September/October 2023

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SCBIZMAG.COM SEPT/OCT 2023 How South Carolina is training the future advanced materials workforce Best Places To Work Power List: Manufacturing industry leaders LASER FOCUSED A supplement to Charleston Regional Business Journal, Columbia Regional Business Report and GSA Business Report
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Use your noodle in this issue of SC BIZ Magazine

It’s a two-for-one deal in this issue of SCBIZ Magazine.

We’re featuring the advanced manufacturing and agribusiness industries inside these pages.

On the manufacturing side, Christina Lee Knauss has a fascinating look at how the tiny town of Saluda (population 3,122) became the ramen noodle capital of North America, as Palmetto

Gourmet Foods produces millions of pounds of one of the most popular foods in the world.

Inside the plant along U.S. 378 the company, a subsidiary of Borealis Foods, which was founded in 2019 by Reza Soltanzadeh, has created a new way of producing and thinking about the future of the quick-serve noodles, Knauss reports.

Palmetto Gourmet Foods currently pro-

duces the Ramen Express and Chef Woo product lines, which are available in more than 15,000 retailers nationwide including Walmart and Costco.

Right here in South Carolina.

On a related note, you’ll meet 12 difference-makers in the manufacturing industry through our Power List feature. They answer important questions that affect the future of The Palmetto State’s advanced manufacturing future. (Just a reminder that you’ll find their full answers online at

On the advanced materials front, Krys Merryman reveals how Clemson University is preparing the future workforce with its the $130-million Advanced Materials Innovation Complex. Work began on the facility in May, which establishes a launching pad for a new era of innovation and workforce development in advanced materials for South Carolina and the broader region, Merry man reports.

Switching gears, Knauss features the innovation behind Peculiar Pig Farm in Dorchester, which this summer was named one of 12 agricultural entrepreneurs to receive funding through the South Carolina Department of Agriculture’s Agribusiness Center for Research and Entrepreneurship, also known as ACRE.

Finally, we celebrate South Carolina’s Best Places to Work honorees — all 111 of them – inside these pages. I had the pleasure of co-hosting our Best Places award celebration in August at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.

From advanced manufacturing to agribusiness and everything in between, South Carolina’s future is bright.

Jason Thomas is the executive editor of SC Biz News. Reach him via email at



LEADING OFF Dollars, in millions, of capital investment in advanced manufacturing in South Carolina from 2017-22 890 Percent growth of South Carolina’s agribusiness industry over the past decade 25 The number of new jobs created by the advanced materials industry in South Carolina from 2017-22 3,411 Dollars, in billions, of the economic impact of South Carolina’s agribusiness industry 46 The number of direct jobs attributed to the agribusiness sector in South Carolina 247,000 The number of advanced materials companies in South Carolina 960 7

South Carolina seeks to be federally funded Tech Hub

On behalf of the Nexus for Advanced Resilient Energy (SC Nexus), the South Carolina Department of Commerce has applied for designation as one of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) 20 Regional Technology and Innovation Hubs (Tech Hubs).

SC Nexus represents a broad consortium which includes institutions of higher education, technical colleges, numerous state agencies, the Savannah River National Laboratory, economic development alliances and private companies, including electric utilities, a news release stated.

If selected as one of the Tech Hubs, SC Nexus will be eligible to apply for funding made available through the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, which authorized $10 billion over five years for the Tech Hubs effort, according to the release.

SC Nexus’ selected technology focus is Advanced Resilient Energy. Its defined geography consists of the Midlands and Upstate regions encompassing the Metropolitan Statistical Areas of Greenville-Anderson, Spartanburg and Columbia, as well as surrounding counties such as Aiken and Orangeburg, the release stated.

Additionally, this area covers more than 60 percent of the state’s distressed counties. While activity will be concentrated within this defined geography, the impacts will cascade across the region, state and the Southeastern U.S., benefiting rural and underserved communities.

SC Nexus’ work will target innovation and efforts geared toward enhancing energy generation, distribution and storage, which will result in the:

• Acceleration of high-quality job growth for a diverse workforce, with multiple education and training pathways through South Carolina’s broad education ecosystem.

• Closure of infrastructure gaps in rural and distressed communities.

• Enhancement of South Carolina’s ability to play a key role advancing the country’s competitiveness in the development and integration of globally leading electric-power technologies.

• Development of deployable and exportable electricity technologies that accelerate manufacturing of energy components and materials, innovate new battery technologies, and efficiently integrate advanced electricity sources into the grid.

A public and private consortium, led by S.C. Commerce, SC Nexus currently consists of more than 35 members including seven core members. In addition to S.C. Commerce, the initial, core members are:

• Clemson University

• Savannah River National Laboratory

• South Carolina Council on Competitiveness

• South Carolina State University

• SC Technical College System

• University of South Carolina

For more information visit


Innovation is the future of South Carolina agribusiness

It’s funny that farmers have a reputation for being fixed in their ways. In my experience, if you want to hear some new ideas or unusual ways to approach a problem, ask a farmer.

Agribusiness is a $51.8 billion industry in South Carolina. The industry is made up of thousands of people who are constantly pushing to grow crops more efficiently and sustainably, feed more people in innovative ways, and keep South Carolina on the cutting edge of agriculture.

Farmers are the original entrepreneurs. To keep our state competitive and ensure a future for agriculture, we need to support those entrepreneurs and help develop new ones.

New and beginning farmers don’t usually have millions to invest in land, equipment, and the other building blocks of a successful agribusiness. What they do have is drive, passion, and new ideas.

The South Carolina Department of Agriculture launched the Agribusiness Center for Research and Entrepreneurship in 2017 using funding allocated by the South Carolina General Assembly.

Since its founding, ACRE has awarded more than $1 million to 91 agricultural entrepreneurs, funded several industry-driven research projects, and led dozens of business workshops throughout the state.

By holding two competitive grant programs each year, ACRE has come across some impressive entrepreneurs. The Curriculum Program, in partnership with Clemson Extension, seeks out budding entrepreneurs who need intensive business training to start or grow their business. The Advanced Program seeks out established entrepreneurs who are looking for funds to take their business to the next level.

These two grant programs were built with

the recipients in mind. Many small agribusinesses would have difficulty qualifying for a grant that requires matching funds, is reimbursement based, or requires a long, complicated application and pages of reimbursement documents. ACRE keeps the application process relatively simple, requires no match, provides the funding up front, and supplies simplified reporting templates.

Beyond the funding, ACRE has created strategic partnerships throughout the state to assist these entrepreneurs. We work with Matson Consulting, which has assisted the entrepreneurs with federal grant applications; the South Carolina Small Business Development Center, which helps with creating and updating business plans; Clemson Extension, who facilitates the Curriculum; and SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives), which provides one-on-one business assistance.

Together, we’ve worked with a variety of successful agribusinesses that have continued to grow since taking part in the program. I want to share three of them with you.

Covered in Cotton is unique in two ways. They are in the rare position of making a valueadded product from their own cotton crop; and secondly, they are actively focused on charity, while at the same time growing their for-profit business.

The business was inspired by the story of their young son, who in 2015 battled for his life with bacterial meningitis in a Columbia children’s hospital and was comforted by a blanket given by a nurse. Because of this experience, the Woodards now donate one blanket for every 10 they sell to local children’s hospitals.

Covered in Cotton used the ACRE funding to grow their product line and to continue to

educate their customer base on South Carolina agriculture.

Barrier Island Oyster Co. a floating cage oyster farm in Charleston County, has a twopronged goal: promoting marine conservation and cultivating superior oysters. Spawned in hatcheries, the oysters grow in a mesh cage in Charleston waters until they have reached the ideal size. At that point, the oysters – dubbed “Sea Clouds” – are sold to local restaurants and raw bars, where they are a hot commodity.

This agribusiness has used ACRE funds to continue building their company brand and raising awareness of the crucial environmental and economic benefits of farmed oysters to improve local waterways for future generations.

Earth People Farms grows and sells a line of herbs and herbal products in the tradition of their African and Gullah/Geechee heritage: Mullein, Moringa, Goldenrod, Life Everlasting, etc. Located on St. Helena Island, owned and operated by a brother and sister team, along with help from their siblings, this business took the approach that their parents taught them growing up: “live off the earth.” Earth People Farms used ACRE funding to build a storage facility, purchased packaging supplies and website upgrade to offer e-commerce.

I have known co-owner Najmah Thomas for a few years now and her knowledge of Gullah/ Geechee agriculture history is second to none.

ACRE is in its sixth year of existence, and interest and applications continue to rise as the program evolves to best serve its entrepreneurs and the agriculture industry in South Carolina.

Kyle Player is executive director of the Agribusiness Center for Research and Entrepreneurship (ACRE) at the South Carolina Department of Agriculture.

See scenes from our annual Best Places to Work awards event at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. Photos by Ariel Perez


How Clemson University plans to train advanced materials workforce

Clemson University is once again putting stakes in the ground, paving the way with state partnerships in advanced manufacturing with a new building to educate the industry’s future workforce.

The state-of-the-art building will be housed on Clemson’s main campus and slated for completion by the end of 2025.

The university broke ground on the $130-million Advanced Materials Innovation Complex on May 16 to establish a launching pad for a new era of innovation and workforce development in advanced materials for South Carolina and the broader region.

The complex will be a 143,000-square-foot facility designed for education and research.

Advanced materials are new types of materials, often developed with cutting-edge technologies, that have special properties making them useful in a wide range of applications. They help make lasers more powerful, cars and planes more fuel efficient, and sustainable energy more reliable and economically viable. South Carolina is home to more than 960 advanced materials companies, and the field accounted for 3,411 new jobs and $890 million in capital investment in the state from 2017-22, according to the state Department of Commerce.

Anand K. Gramopadhye, Clemson University professor and dean of the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences, said the building will prove its worth in the next decade by attracting new industry and jobs, bolstering the economy and contributing to the prosperity of the state.

“The Advanced Materials Innovation Complex will be a cutting-edge advanced materials education and research facility, serving as a shining beacon for attracting top talent, both exceptional faculty and outstanding student,”

Gramopadhye added. “It will establish Clemson and our state as a national leader in advanced materials supporting industries in advanced manufacturing, transportation, energy, health innovation and next-generation computing. It will be the driver for research, innovation and for creating the future workforce to support our industry and overall economy.”

Clemson’s new facility will be a major part of the university’s efforts to supply a workforce for the advanced materials industry.

“The Advanced Materials Innovation Complex groundbreaking is a pivotal moment for Clemson University,” said Clemson President Jim Clements. “This state-of-the-art facility will shape the future of advanced materials through driving innovation, meeting workforce demands and promoting economic development. Through experiential learning, collaboration and cutting-edge research our

Seeing the important role advanced materials will play in the state’s economic future, Clemson University has launched construction of the Advanced Materials Innovation Complex near Memorial Stadium on the main campus. (Photo/Clemson University) Anand Gramopadhye CynthiaYoung

faculty, staff and students will continue to elevate the state of South Carolina and beyond.”

The complex will be the university’s most technologically advanced facility to date. It will include cutting-edge research and teaching laboratories and classrooms, as well as collaborative spaces for exploration and conversation outside the lab and classroom.

All students in the complex will conduct research, helping prepare them to be future leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs in advanced materials. The discipline is transformative in numerous fields, including advanced manufacturing, transportation, energy and health innovation.

The building will be the home of Clemson’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Researchers and educators from the departments of Materials Science and Engineering, Chemistry, and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering will work collaboratively in the new spaces provided in the complex.

Cynthia Y. Young, who became the founding dean of Clemson University’s new College of Science in 2017, said, “The teams that will call AMIC home have a long history of collaboration across departments, colleges and campuses. Bringing them together under the roof of this state-of-theart building will accelerate and amplify our collective impact, enabling us to drive innovation that will improve lives and livelihoods for people across our state, our nation, and our world.”

This complex will be a resource for the entire state, said Gramopadhye, not just Clemson’s staff, faculty and students.

“We want industries to say this is a first-class

facility in the Southeast,” he added.

The complex will be a “gold nugget” for the state, said Young, with multifaceted teaching labs to high-end research areas, a truly mixeduse building.

“For example, students taking organic chemistry will be walking around with faculty who are at the cutting-edge of the materials of tomorrow,” she said.

Scaling the future of advanced manufacturing in South Carolina

If you look at today’s manufacturing plants, Gramopadhye said, robots are doing more of the hands-on work, while humans take on the role of troubleshooting — behind the robots.

“Moving forward, you will have robots working on the floor, collaborative in nature,” he said.

Before, 11 people may have been at the end of a manufacturing but now there are cameras. The cameras are keeping an eye on quality control while humans keep an eye on the cameras.

Materials are the impetus for the new building, said Gramopadhye, and not just advanced materials that are available now but futuristic ones that don’t even exist, yet.

“This is what will drive innovation,” he added. “We will bring in talent with this type of infrastructure. The materials of tomorrow, using past problems to try and solve current problems. If you attract great talent in the area, students will be trained under their guidance and will become

Over the last two decades Clemson University has made a concerted effort to grow its research dollars and facilities. Many undergraduate students get involved in original research projects. (Photo/Clemson University) State economic developers want investments in public universities to translate into keeping some of the world’s best minds in South Carolina. (Photo/Clemson University)

the next gen of workforce for our state.”

Young said Clemson’s top priorities are improving the health of South Carolinians, the planet and the economy.

“Our job is to remove the barriers, recruit the best talent and let them do their thing,” she said.

Just this year, several multi-million and -billion-dollar investments have been announced in the state, in electric vehicles and the wider automotive industry, pharmaceuticals, health care, and other industries.

“We have one of the fastest growing life sciences industries in the country right now,” said Young. “Manufacturing advancements have fueled all these other industries, and life sciences is just one of them.

The advanced materials building at Clemson is not just a boon for the industry, but an important investment for the university, said Young.

“We are thankful for the state’s support and continue to be nimble with workforce development, the state’s future workforce,” she said. “We will harness the power of all this talent together, both nationally and at the state level.”

But to be ahead of other states in the country, Gramopadhye said, it does require partnerships beyond faculty and students.

“Ten years from now, you will see this building and could tell Clemson took partnerships, local, state, national, international, very seriously,” he added. “You don’t want to put something out there unless you have the support of state partners. It is a complete team effort to get us to this point.”

The new building at Clemson will include the latest in classroom technology and research labs. (Photo/ Clemson University)


DORCHESTER – When Marvin Ross was growing up, he spent most of his free time on his grandfather’s farm, located right across the street from Ross’s family home.

Today, Marvin, his brother Jada Ross, and his wife Nikki are farming the same eight acres of land his grandfather did. They are the fifth generation of their family working on the land, using lessons handed down through the years to raise heritage hogs at Peculiar Pig Farm, a family venture dedicated to providing good food and helping people learn about the value and benefits of heritage meats and farm-to-table cuisine.

“As a child, any time I wasn’t in school I was always with my grandfather,” Ross told SC Biz News. “He taught me how to drive a tractor, how to install fencing, how to raise pigs and all the other animals, everything to do with farming. It stuck

with me. I went to college and then came right back to the farm.”

Ross raises a wide selection of animals at Peculiar Pig Farm, just as his grandfather did. Cows, hogs, goats, chickens, geese and ducks all live on the land and are raised using sustainable methods, but it is the hogs raised in a traditional “woodlot” method that are the center of the business.

“I had an idea that I wanted to do something with hogs when I was little,” Ross said. “I love pigs and I don’t exactly know why. My grandfather had every form of animal including horses, but I always gravitated toward the pigs. There is something about them that makes me enjoy working with them the most.”

When he founded the farm in 2009, Ross got his first lot of hogs from a farmer he knew and then brought in others from farmers who raised old-line heritage breeds of hogs. There are currently 162 hogs on the farm.

What makes heritage meat different? Heritage breeds of hogs are purebred, most of them

developed in the United States, and aren’t suited to the methods used in factory farming, the most common source of hog and other meat in the U.S. Many food experts consider heritage meet to be juicier and more flavorful, and the heritage method of farming appeals to many consumers because heritage farmers like Ross generally don’t use antibiotics, hormones and other chemicals on their animals.

At Peculiar Pig, the Ross family raises Duroc and Hereford hogs, as well as Hampshire/Yorkshire

Marvin Ross is using traditional farming methods at Peculiar Pig Farm in Dorchester to raise hogs and other livestock on land that has been in his family for generations. (Photo/Candice Crawford) Photo/Candice Crawford

crossbreeds, all breeds that were developed in the United States.

These pigs aren’t stuck inside pens or barns either. Instead, they are raised using the woodlot rotation method, rotating to different areas through woods on the farm’s eight acres.

“You won’t find hogs in the wild living on pastures — they live in the woods, and my grandfather taught me to get them close to their natural environment,” Ross aid. “It’s good for them because they can run, and also in the summertime the woods offer shade because hogs don’t do well in heat. We offer them a ration of corn and beans and roasted soybeans, and they also forage for acorns and other things at will.”

The natural, traditional method of raising hogs used at Peculiar Pig produces a higher quality meat that also is tastier, according to many of the farm’s customers, Ross said.

“The taste of the meat is really very different,” he said. “I enjoy it when older people tell us the meat tastes like they used to get when they were young. It’s hard to define, but there is a real difference in the fat content and the marbling of hog meat raised in this way. Hogs being raised on concrete are raised too fast and it doesn’t give

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Photo/Candice Crawford Photo/Candice Crawford

the meat the chance to marble properly.”

Peculiar Pig meat is sold to restaurants in the Charleston area, Hilton Head, Bluffton, Greenville and Savannah. Ross said he is currently looking at expanding into Charlotte and St. Augustine, Fla. The farm’s products are also regularly sold at farmers’ markets in the Charleston area, Orangeburg, Walterboro and other parts of South Carolina. Customers can also order meat online to be delivered to their homes.

In the future, Ross hopes to help young people learn about agriculture and how farming can not only be a career but something to enrich their lives. He said he is working on opportunities for youth with behavioral issues to work on the farm.

“This kind of work creates structure in their lives and that is a big thing that they need,” he said.

Along with expanding restaurant sales, Ross is also excited about expanding the farm’s catering business, Peculiar Pig Eats, which offers a wide variety of food including barbecue, kabobs, ribs, sandwiches, pulled beef, pork chops, soups, cracklings, salads, desserts and more.

“We are a true farm to table catering company,” he said. “We use our chickens, goats, cows and hogs to provide the protein and we source our vegetables

from local farmers in the Charleston area for our catering jobs.”

Peculiar Pig’s blend of tradition and innovation is getting attention from organizations around the state. In July, the farm was one of 12 agricultural entrepreneurs to receive funding through the South Carolina Department of Agriculture’s Agribusiness Center for Research and Entrepreneurship, also known as ACRE.

With their share of the $185,000 in grant money awarded around the state, the Ross brothers plan to open a butcher shop with freezer storage to help improve their meat processing efficiency.

Also in July, Ross was named the 2023 Top Chef at the 14th annual Palmetto Palate competition sponsored by the South Carolina Farm Bureau Federation and held at the South Carolina State Museum in Columbia. Ross and his crew from Palmetto

Pig competed against 10 other chefs and restaurants from around the state. They served a traditional Southern meal featuring whole hog barbecue, macaroni and cheese, cole slaw and rice and hash.

Also in the future, the Ross brothers hope to buy

more land to expand the farm and its operations.

Marvin Ross, in the meantime, is thankful to be able to work doing something he loves that was taught to him by family, on family land. It’s a combination of work and heritage that not many farmers get to experience, and it allows him to spend more time with his wife and three children, he said.

“I love what I’m doing, I love working with the hogs,” Ross said. “Also because of the farm I’m able to provide for my family and there’s nothing taking me away from them. I don’t have to go away to a traditional 9 to 5. We can do what we need to do and still be together.”

To learn more about Peculiar Pig Farm and order products, visit

Photo/Candice Crawford Along with hogs, Marvin Ross and his brother Jada Ross raise other livestock including goats on Peculiar Pig Farm in Dorchester County. (Photo/Candice Crawford) 16
On Peculiar Pig Farm in Dorchester County, heritage breed hogs are raised in the traditional “woodlot” method which gives them access to woods on the farm’s eight acres. (Photo/Candice Crawford) (Photo/Candice Crawford)


The Nature Conservancy in South Carolina recently approved grants to support BIPOC farmers (Black, indigenous, people of color) within a unique area in South Carolina’s Lowcountry.

The grants will support projects designed to keep current farms intact, boost minority farmers’ access to markets and improve the quality of soil and other conditions on farms in the area.

All of the projects will focus on farms within a 2.2-million acre tract that is in South Carolina’s first Sentinel Landscape.

Sentinel Landscapes are areas designated by the Department of Defense that are in proximity to military bases. These lands are areas where conservation, working lands and national defense interests converge, according to information from the Sentinel Landscapes Partnership. They are anchored by at

least one high-value military installation or range and contain high priority lands for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Department of Defense and the Department of the Interior.

South Carolina’s first Sentinel Landscape encompasses Beaufort County, which is home to Parris Island and the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station, as well as Jasper County and parts of Hampton and Colleton counties.

One goal of Sentinel Landscapes is to determine ways to allow the U.S. military to conduct needed training exercises without having a detrimental effect on natural spaces and farms, and also help farmers and caretakers of natural spaces to make their plans without in turn having a negative effect on the needs of the military.

“The goal is to work collaboratively on landscapes which benefit everybody,” said David Bishop, Coastal and Midlands conservation director for the Nature Conservancy in South Carolina.

The grants offer an important chance to help preserve farmland in the Sentinel District, an important concern since not only the acreage of South Carolina farms is dwindling, but so is the number of Black and minority farmers.

“Typically what we’ve done to protect lands is to do things like permanent conservation easements on the property,” Bishop said. “However, there are other ways to keep land intact, and that is to make it more profitable for farmers. We want to look at mechanisms we can use to help these farms stay farms, something that is increasingly important on smaller acreage farms, which affects Black farmers because they frequently are working smaller farms.”

Bishop said the grants are designed to help more farmers learn about creative, sustainable ways to operate farms, and in turn find new ways to help them reap profits from the products of their farms.

For more information visit

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How Palmetto Gourmet Foods became a major ramen noodle producer in tiny Saluda

SALUDA, S.C. – Most people who live in South Carolina probably don’t realize that a plant located in the small Midlands town of Saluda (population 3,122) produces millions of servings a year of one of the world’s most popular easy-to-fix meals – ramen noodles.

From U.S. 378, which runs right in front of it, the building that houses Palmetto Gourmet Foods Inc. looks like just another manufacturing facility. But what goes on inside is a new way of producing and thinking about the future of the quick-serve noodles, which are one of the most popular food items in the world. Experts estimate that about 100 billion servings of ramen are consumed annually worldwide.

Palmetto Gourmet Foods currently produces

the Ramen Express and Chef Woo product lines, which are available in more than 15,000 retailers nationwide including Walmart and Costco. The noodles are also available across Canada.

The company’s mission is much more than just producing noodles, however, according to Palmetto Gourmet Foods co-founder and CEO Reza Soltanzadeh. One of his and his company’s — biggest goals is to find a way to feed as many people around the world as possible by fighting the growing issue of food insecurity.

He is trained as a doctor but entered the business world shortly after completing medical school, looking to find a way to pair his concern for human health with a desire to develop products that could help people at all income levels live healthier lives.

In his quest to make healthy foods more available to people worldwide, Soltanzadeh in 2019 first

founded food tech innovation company Borealis Foods, which is based in Toronto. Palmetto Gourmet Foods is a subsidiary of Borealis.

“The mission of the company is to produce healthy food that is truly affordable and also sustainable,” Soltanzadeh told SC Biz News. “When we say healthy, we mean food that is high quality and also contains a good amount of protein. For many people around the world, finding access to that type of food at an affordable price is a huge challenge. My thought was, can we get a meal with about 20 grams of protein that would be less than $2 retail at Wal-Mart? Our food scientists initially were shocked and said that was impossible.

Reza Soltanzadeh Large machines slice dough into the proper width to form ramen noodles at Palmetto Gourmet Foods in Saluda. (Photo/Borealis Foods)

How Saluda became a noodle hotspot

In the quest to deliver protein-rich meals to the masses, Soltanzadeh worked consistently with scientists and in 2019 developed technology to make high-protein dough. The next question: what to make?

“We could potentially have done pasta, pizza dough or anything else, but we decided to produce ramen meals because ramen is popular around the planet,” he said. “People in all corners of the world and all cultures consume ramen but it’s inexpensive and easy. Add water and boom, you have a meal. We also liked the idea because ramen is so popular with young people.”

The next question: where to make this highprotein ramen?

“People were telling us to go and set up a factory and cold pack our ramen somewhere,” he said. “We went to China, Korea, and Vietnam and saw many factories, but we didn’t feel good about producing our food outside the United States.”

Then he heard about a plant in Saluda, South Carolina. Originally a textile factory, the facility was re-purposed as a food production plant and was co-packing ramen noodles for WalMart under the Great Value store label when Soltanzadeh and his partners came calling in 2019. They purchased the plant and launched

Palmetto Gourmet Foods.

“We could have chosen to be anywhere in the U.S. but we chose Saluda because of where it is,” he said. “We can stay connected through the Charleston port which is fabulous. The amount of sun allows us to plan for future solar use, and there is a large pool of workers coming out of this area, Columbia, Charleston and the Upstate.”

Palmetto Gourmet Foods currently produces two varieties of ramen. Chef Woo, its first brand, was developed to meet that goal of delivering high protein at an affordable price. It is the world’s first plant-based ramen noodle, featuring 20 grams of complete protein per serving. The company’s other popular brand is Ramen Express, which features noodles in a flat cake variety rather than the instant cup style of Chef Woo.

Making ramen noodles isn’t complicated, but it requires machinery that can accommodate a great deal of product in a short amount of time. Soltanzadeh invested in advanced ramen production lines for use at the Saluda plant.

At Palmetto Gourmet Foods, the dough Is mixed and then fed through a series of machines that slice it into thinner and thinner segments that form the noodles. The noodles are then steamed and sent through a fryer, then excess oil is removed from then and they dry as they move

down the line. Noodle cups have round ramen cakes dropped into them along with seasoning sachets, while flat ramen cakes have seasoning sachets placed on top and are sealed in plastic pouches. The products are divided into lines,

A worker sorts through cakes of ramen noodles as they come off the machines at the Palmetto Gourmet Foods plant in Saluda. (Photo/Borealis Foods) Workers prepare packages of Ramen Express ramen noodles, one of two brands produced at the Palmetto Gourmet Foods plant in Saluda.

packed into trays and cases, then vacuum sealed. There are separate production lines for Chef Woo, which comes in a cup, and Ramen Express, which features noodles pressed and packaged into square cakes that are wrapped in paper.

Pulling together through two crises

Handling a ramen noodle startup already came with plenty of its own challenges, but only a few months after taking over the Saluda plant in October 2019, Soltanzadeh and others at the Saluda plant were hit with the supply chain nightmares and worker shortages caused by COVID-19.

When the pandemic started to ease, the war in Ukraine which started in early 2022 hit, causing prices of oil and flour to skyrocket and causing more supply chain issues.

“Through both crises, everybody pulled together and we got together to make it happen,” Soltanzadeh said.

Despite the challenges, Palmetto Gourmet Foods has experienced constant growth since its launch. The plant currently has 300 employees in the 220,000-square-foot plant, and officials expect to hire another 700 workers by 2028.

The high-tech production lines introduced to the plant in early 2022 are now capable of producing 1800 meals a minute, which works out to about 600 million meals a year. Eventually, the goal is to produce more than 1 billion meals annually, Soltanzadeh said.

Earlier in 2023, the company announced it

planned to invest $100 million over the next five years to build up new facilities in Saluda and create a new solar power infrastructure that will eventually enable the plant to be powered totally by solar energy.

The investment will fund construction of a dedicated gluten-free ramen facility to enable the launch of new gluten-free ramen meals and highprotein snacks.

Giving back to the community

Employees at Palmetto Gourmet work in 12-hour shifts making sure the noodles get out to a growing assortment of customers, including many schools nationwide which recently

signed up to offer the company’s products after Soltanzadeh and other company officials manned a popular booth at a recent national convention of school nutritionists.

“There were people lining up to try what we had to offer,” he said. “It was truly humbling to see the response, especially when we were there next to much larger companies.”

The company has also made an effort to give back to the community that helped it grow from its beginnings in 2019. Recently, Palmetto Gourmet for the second time donated 100,000 of its Ramen Express “Magic Noodles” meals to schools in Saluda County. “Magic Noodles” was developed by the company in a collaboration with WalMart to help introduce children to ramen.

A famous name is also now connected with Palmetto’s mission to stamp out food insecurity. In June, world-famous chef and businessman Gordon Ramsay signed on as an adviser and strategic partner with Borealis Foods to help advance the goal of providing affordable meals worldwide.

Soltanzadeh smiles and his eyes gleam when he talks about the possibility of solving hunger problems both locally and around the world with something as simple and recognizable as ramen noodles, made in a small town like Saluda.

“There are a lot of people involved in this company who have put their soul, blood and sweat into what we’re trying to do — it’s been an amazing journey,” he said. “We really want to be able to use the technology we have here to have an impact on as many human lives a possible, to keep as many people as possible from going hungry.”

Palmetto Gourmet Foods in Saluda produces two lines of ramen noodles: Chef Woo and Palmetto Express. (Photo/Borealis Foods) Palmetto Gourmet Foods distributes its ramen noodles to more than 50,000 retail stores from its 75,000-square-foot distribution center in Saluda. (Photo/Borealis Foods)
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Title: Executive Director, SC Automotive Council Company/organization:

SC Manufacturers Alliance

Years in the manufacturing industry: 1

How will smart manufacturing affect the future of South Carolina’s manufacturing industry?

We haven’t seen such a drastic change in technology for a particular market since the development and introduction of the automobile. And the major changes aren’t just happening at the OEM level, the supplier network is having to adopt innovations that make their products lighter, stronger, and more environmentally sustainable.

With the adoption of alternative fuels such as hydrogen and electrification, there’s likely going to be a greater need for R&D and production to work closer than ever. This collaboration is exciting because it will require a more advanced technology-driven approach to improve efficiency and the production process. Manufacturing has always been the industry that literally invents the future, and the work being done today in the adoption of new smart manufacturing processes will lead to the creation of products that will continue to improve our quality of life.


Title: President and CEO


Coastal Hydraulics Inc.

Years in the manufacturing industry: 20-plus

What is the biggest challenge with developing a digital transformation strategy, and how do you overcome it?

Determining which digital solutions are most likely to deliver greatest value to our customers. Thus, we monitor and closely observe which digital tools and processes are adopted by similar industrial service providers, particularly those that gather and analyze data to yield greater insights into customers’ use of equipment and their reliability.

How will smart manufacturing affect the future of South Carolina’s manufacturing industry?

Smart manufacturing is essentially the integration of production equipment, computing, and data science and will be a requirement for success in the future. With leading manufacturers as well as university engineering programs within our region, South Carolina should be wellpositioned.


Title: Senior Director; 787 Manufacturing

Company/organization: Boeing Co.

Years in the manufacturing industry: 23

What is the biggest challenge with developing a digital transformation strategy, and how do you overcome it?

In my experience, people, in general, are resistant to change. So, as the industry embraces new technologies, I believe it’s important to make changes at a pace that teammates are comfortable with, and in a way that they are able to see how those changes benefit them and the team. I consistently work to keep my teammates engaged and informed throughout the transformation process, and allow them time to adapt, one step at a time.

How will smart manufacturing affect the future of South Carolina’s manufacturing industry?

At Boeing, safety, quality and innovation are at the forefront of everything we do. I believe technology will help the manufacturing industry become even safer, more effective and efficient, and make the business more agile. Data is already at our finger tips, and it’s just going to become more accessible as technology develops.


Title: Director – Industrial Projects and Facilities Company/organization: Nexans High Voltage USA Inc. Years in the manufacturing industry: 12

How do you manage a workforce that may be struggling with adapting to fast-paced change in the industry due to technology?

Heavy emphasis on development and training at all levels from the shop floor, to the engineers, to maintenance, the support staff and even management. Our industry is exploding and we are at the fore-front of emerging technology with the electrification and transmission of High Voltage power for renewable energy sources such as off-shore wind. We have created a matrix learning and training system where employees are trained on several processes and rewarded for their success. We utilize experts from our other facilities around the world to come in and share their best practices, to mentor, to transfer knowledge and work with them for months on end. But one of the keys to success here at Nexans is engaging the workforce, listening to them, and using their own criticalthinking and problem solving skills to tackle technology challenges. They are the ones that are making the products every single day.



Title: Site Manager at BASF in Converse Company/organization: BASF Environmental Catalyst and Metal Solutions

Years in the manufacturing industry: 25

How will smart manufacturing affect the future of South Carolina’s manufacturing industry?

Smart manufacturing will set us apart from other states and will help propel South Carolina forward, ahead of other states that are stuck in more traditional methods of manufacturing. When I grew up in Michigan and my dad was working in automotive manufacturing, everything had to be hand-built. Now, vehicles can be manufactured at a rate of 80-100 per hour, with a lot more bells and whistles, and with greater quality, so over the years I’ve watched first-hand as smart manufacturing has helped to produce better products, improve efficiency, produce more revenue, and made jobs easier and safer for employees.

As we partner with Spartanburg Community College to train our future workforce, smart manufacturing is an important topic that we train our apprentices on so they’re able to jump right into the manufacturing environment and utilize it to succeed.


Title: Professor of Mechanical Engineering Company/organization:

University of South Carolina

Years in the manufacturing industry: 16

How will smart manufacturing affect the state’s manufacturing industry?

It is the cornerstone of South Carolina. As a state, we are diligently doing our part in reshoring of American manufacturing, and we are doing it in an innovative way. Smart manufacturing is the intersection (or merger) of operational and information technology. This will enable South Carolina to set up smart future factories and facilities that can actually meet the demand, and stay affordable to challenge competition from other countries, especially those that have labor rates that the US can no compete with. With the use of smart manufacturing, we coin a new term of affordable operational excellence, where quality would drive the profit.

How do you unwind after a long day of work?

I love cooking for my family. I do three to four meals a week myself, and they are mostly creations. I open the fridge, see what we have, and we start … what comes next, is always a surprise to all of us.


Title: Founder and President

Company/organization: Bintelli

Years in the manufacturing industry: 23

What is the biggest challenge with developing a digital transformation strategy?

Our biggest challenge is keeping up with how fast everything is changing in the digital and AI world. It seems like every week you adapt to new technology, the next week offers a better option. We’ve been overcoming it by doing our research and using our vendor relationships to ensure that prior to beginning development of a new upgrade to our platforms, we’ve been diligent in comparing the available options and ensuring that the new development will truly improve Bintelli. Many companies get caught feeling like they “have” to keep changing things...and we don’t feel that way. If we’re going to make a change it’s because it will better our people, processes or products.

How will smart manufacturing affect the future of South Carolina’s manufacturing industry?

The smarter and more efficient we can all become, the better we can all be in weathering major hurdles such as labor shortages, port back ups, etc.


Title: CEO

Company/organization: JW Aluminum

Years in the logistics industry: 39

How do you manage a workforce that may be struggling with adapting to fast-paced change in the industry due to technology?

Embracing change is the first target behavior we expect teammates to adopt. We don’t just talk about “what” changes we’re making – we talk extensively about “why” we are changing, and how it will benefit them and the future of our company. That way, we’re not doing change “to” teammates – we’re changing together, “with” our teammates, encouraging active engagement in the business.

Many of our teammates are excited about learning new technologies, others are more hesitant. As a company, we’re committed to continuous improvement and developing our people. We provide training and support to help teammates learn new technological skills and welcome feedback as part of that process. We provide consistent and continual communication about change from all levels. All our actions are focused on creating a clear pathway to success for all of our teammates as individuals and as a team. 24


Title: CEO/Founder

Company/organization: Scout Boats

Years in the manufacturing industry: 34

How have you addressed the manufacturing labor shortage, and what role does automation play in solving production challenges?

We have adopted 5S to increase productivity and become creative with our work schedules to meet demand. Our 5-axis router helped us improve output in product development. Also, our methodologies for composite construction has created a cleaner and more desirable environment for employee retention.

How will smart manufacturing affect the future of South Carolina’s manufacturing industry?

Currently the smart manufacturing we have been able to implement are the 5-axis router and CNC machine. Because robotics are so expensive and requires repeatable tasks to make it worth it, we are just not able to do that at this time. However, many high-volume industry manufacturers, such as automotive have already proven this is a much more efficient process. Hopefully it becomes more affordable and we can implement more in the future.


Title: Chief Operating Off icer – Western Hemisphere, ACL Airshop

Company/organization: ACL Airshop LLC

Years in the manufacturing industry: 21-plus

How will smart manufacturing affect the future of South Carolina’s manufacturing industry?

The smart wave is sweeping across many manufacturing sectors, to do more with less, to adopt Lean initiatives, and use innovative technologies for prototyping. One of our best examples is the Bluetooth tag that we now make and attach to cargo equipment such as pallets for tracking & tracing. The first model was OK but somewhat clunky, suffered lots of breakage from forklifts. We used 3-D prototyping to slim it down, in concert with the engineering partner to downsize the electronics inside. After several iterations, we finally created a useful tracking tag that fits integrally into the narrow “seat track” at the edge of the metal cargo pallet. Smart manufacturing gives a company like ours better speed-to-market.

How do you unwind after a busy day of work?

Almost every evening I enjoy cooking dinner for my family — I cook a lot. Family, friends and even co-workers say I’m a pretty darn good cook.



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Title: Vice President, Commercial Plant Manager


Bosch in North America

Years in the manufacturing industry: 20

How will smart manufacturing affect the future of South Carolina’s manufacturing industry?

Ultimately, smart manufacturing is going to be a major enabler for what manufacturing can do. We pursue goals to make the Bosch Anderson plant best-in-class in Industry 4.0 because a smart factory is attractive for all generations of the workforce as well as for our customers. For our associates, data-driven insights and solutions save them time and effort so they can focus on the true value-added manufacturing activities.

How do you manage a workforce that may be struggling with adapting to fast-paced change in the industry due to technology?

I’m always willing to share my time and expertise to help associates embrace change, apply new skills and drive their own growth. I work to instill confidence, empowerment and accountability in every team member and nurture a culture of open and positive leadership, where we can succeed as a team with hard work and a lot of fun.


Title: President

Company/organization: Screwmatics Of S.C. Inc.

Years in the manufacturing industry: 50

How have you addressed the manufacturing labor shortage, and what role does automation play in solving production challenges?

Go anywhere in the country and you will see that the skilled labor shortage is the largest hurdle in manufacturing today. The companies that best handle this crisis are the ones that will be at the “top of the food chain.” Automation is absolutely a tool to be used to combat this crisis. At Screwmatics, we have spent millions of dollars on automation in the form of Robotic and gantry loaders, as well as automatic bar feed machines with fire trace systems that allows us to run a lights out shift. PreCOVID our second shift had about a dozen employees, post-COVID, we have zero employee on the second shift, but twice as many machines are running, all due to knowledgeable staff and heavy investments in automation and monitoring systems. But automation is to be leveraged, not to be “the answer.” Skilled machinist, skilled Engineers, skilled tool makers. These are essential for the machining industry. The answer is to invest in education and to invest in your employees. You must incentivize.


Title: Director of operations

Company/organization: South Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership (SCMEP)

Years in the manufacturing industry: 27

How have you addressed the manufacturing labor shortage, and what role does automation play in solving production challenges?

SCMEP has developed a free of charge Workforce Playbook in tandem with our state partners that is a guide to attracting, retaining, and developing the talent needed to succeed in today’s competitive employment environment. It can be accessed for download through our website at

Automation is also a viable part of the solution to addressing workforce constraints. SCMEP has a network of automation focused experts that help evaluate and deploy solutions that can mitigate the labor required for production output, especially for jobs deemed dull, dirty, or dangerous. We are constantly engaged in hands-on outreach focused events to demystify technology, such as collaborative robots, with the goal to promote adoption and challenge manufacturers to explore use cases in the factory.

FIND THE MISSING PIECES WHEN YOU SUBSCRIBE Get all the pieces when you subscribe! You deserve the full story - in the easy to read digital or print editions - plus all the perks of being a subscriber supplement Columbia Regional Report Power Surge Why South Carolina is on the fast track to being the electric vehicle ‘Battery Belt’ 5 Questions With GADC’s Mark Farris Junior Achievement Hall of Fame honorees SCBIZMAG.COM MARCH/APRIL 2023



From unlimited paid time off to free gym memberships to company outings — and everything in between – the 111 companies that make up the 2023 Best Places To Work have their pulse on workforce satisfaction. On the following pages you can read about what makes each of these companies and organizations stand out from the crowd. Best Places to Work honorees were determined using several criteria through Best Compa-

nies Group. They must first meet or exceed the minimum response rate required on an employee survey in order for their data to be looked at. The overall score is a combination of the employee survey (worth 75%) and the Employer Questionnaire (worth 25%). Best Companies Group then looks for at least an 80% positive response from employees and alignment across the eight core focus areas on the employee survey: Leadership and Planning, Cor-

porate Culture and Communications, Role Satisfaction, Work Environment, Relationship with Supervisor, Training, Development and Resources, Pay and Benefits, and Overall Engagement. SC Biz News saluted these best places in August during its annual awards event at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, which drew nearly 700 people. It was worth every penny. Congrats to all the Best Places To Work honorees.



Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

April Nadeau, Senior Vice President

Location Charleston

Why are you the best place to work? Our employees consistently mention how the leadership team invests in getting to know everyone on a personal and professional level, creating a transparent environment and a true open door policy; that is the foundation of our culture. Our employees recognize that our leaders provide an atmosphere that is flexible, fun and rewarding. There is strong precedence that individuals who want opportunities to grow and participate within the company may do so. Learning curves are supported. Our employees are dedicated to their work and the corporate mission. Our employees express their appreciation that Sentar provides time-off for team-building, family gatherings, and personal growth in education and professional cer-

tifications. They also enjoy Sentar’s monthly on-the-clock “Lunch and Learns” that include free lunch and prizes. Free tickets to sporting events is a great perk and brings employees together. The organization provides competitive salaries in the current market and an excellent benefits package. Last year, Sentar organized a

private class for Sentar employees to increase their technical knowledge and gain a new certification. The class was conducted virtually and the hours were set around employees’ schedules. Employees receive anniversary gifts each year, including stock appreciation rights on special anniversaries.

| DOT PHYSICALS | DRUG SCREENS | ON-SITE FLU SHOTS | ON-SITE WELLNESS SCREENING | WORKERS’ COMPENSATION | OCCUPATIONAL MEDICINE | ON-SITE MEDICAL CENTERS Employer Health Services Protecting your most valuable resources Best Places to Work Honorees & Winners: Congratulations! Full on-site medical services to care for your employees. Contact us today: (888) 845-6887 Jonathan Pent Business Developer Danielle Hickson Corporate Health and Wellness Manager Kitty Howell Director of BusinessDevelopment AIR COMPRESSOR SERVICES IS BOTH HONORED AND EXCITED TO BE COUNTED AMONGST SOUTH CAROLINA'S BEST COMPANIES! WE'RE IN GREAT COMPANY. Call us at 877-592-9892 or Visit FOR MORE INFORMATION We at ACS are continuously evolving & growing our one-of-a-kind team. If you want to join a close-knit crew that helps companies keep their machinery moving with industry-leading air compressor parts and service, let's talk! Scan the QR to connect with us on 2023


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC Trevor Jones, Project Manager

Location Greenville

Why are you a best place to work?

Burns & McDonnell is a family of companies bringing together an unmatched team of 10,000 engineers, construction and craft professionals, architects and more to design and build critical infrastructure. Clients state that employee ownership translates into enhanced effort and work. Turnover rate is one of the lowest in the industry at 5 percent. The culture of ownership leads everyone to care for each another’s success. It’s an attitude that permeates every project and relationship — a genuine interest in helping one another make deadlines, meet opportunities and find fulfillment. When the hard work is done for the day, the teams celebrate, including competing in intramurals together, or rolling up their sleeves on a Saturday to serve others in our community.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC Robert Horner, PE Location North Charleston

Why are you a best place to work?

Weston & Sampson is an employee-owned company that treats staff with the highest degree of professional respect and encourage them to grow and achieve. It provides a comfortable working environment along with state-of-the-art tools and equipment. It offers competitive salaries, a generous benefits package, and a friendly corporate culture where individuals are recognized for their contribution. Weston & Sampson is committed to the principles of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA). It has a culture where all employees are empowered to do their best work while sharing the advantages of their individual voice and lived experience.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Location North Charleston

Why are you a best place to work?

PulteGroup’s vision is to be considered the most respected homebuilder in America. Our single most important thing is our people. Our commitment to our employees includes work that moves you, trust that empowers you and a company that brings you pride and opportunities to grow. Pulte prides itself in our culture, made up of a close-knit family that is welcoming to existing and new employees. We do this through employee development and growth opportunities, caring about our people and their careers, promoting from within, holding events to give back to the community and encouraging employee feedback. In addition to this and our commitment to employee engagement, Pulte offers an array of perks and benefits to team members.

BEST PLACES TO WORK A STRONG CAREER REQUIRES A SOLID FOUNDATION. APPLY TODAY Charleston Columbia Greenville an employee-owned company CONGRATULATIONS To all of the 2023 Best Places to Work in SC Award Recipients, and thank you to SCbiz Magazine for the recognition.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC Zack Pannier, Charlotte-Greenville Business Unit Leader.

Location Greenville

Why are you the best place to work? DPR

Construction is an employee-owned company that has grown to a multi-billion-dollar organization with offices around the country, making it one of the largest general contractors in the nation. Ranked on FORTUNE’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list for five consecutive years, DPR is a flat organization without titles. Employees work in an open-office environment, where everyone including company co-founders and regional managers sit in wall-less cubicles; title-less business cards to allow individuals to take on multiple roles and levels of responsibility; and wine bars in every office used as a central gathering place for employee celebrations.



Highest-ranking executive and title in SC Tim Lyons, Partner

Location Columbia

Why are you a best place to work?

Mauldin & Jenkins is a premier provider committed to delivering comprehensive accounting and business advisory services by the most qualified professionals anywhere. We offer top-notch benefits and a rewarding work environment so we can attract and retain the brightest talent. Competitive pay and exceptional benefits mean a lot to staff and partners alike, but so do the little things, whether it is laughing during our traditional White Elephant party, enjoying firm-provided dinners during our busy season or letting loose at a tax party once crunch time is over. When life gets complicated, knowing you can count on the firm’s concierge service to help get it all done makes a big difference in stress levels, as well as offering family-friendly policies.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Bob Fei, President and CEO

Location North Charleston

Why are you a best place to work?

For over 40 years, LCE has provided engineering solutions that deliver lasting results for private industry, government organizations and the military. Our mission is to enable people and organizations to achieve their full potential. Our vision is to create a work environment where employees develop personally and professionally, have fun and develop advocate clients. LCE is a strengths-based organization focused on turning individual talents into strengths and channeling those strengths into organizational performance that supports our clients’ success. Our policies and practices are focused on employee success and work/ life balance.



Highest-ranking executive and title in SC Daniel Einstein, Division Leader, Business Insurance

Location Greenville

Why are you a best place to work?

We are proud to provide our clients with best-in-class services that meet their growing needs. We are leveraging the entrepreneurial spirit: client-first and the colleague-first culture that you see in independent private agencies. If you ask our colleagues what makes this a great place to work, they will resoundingly say that it’s a place where you enjoy going to work and are truly supported by the company. We strive to create a workplace where our values—integrity, collaboration, passion, innovation, and accountability—come to life. Colleague appreciation and engagement is embedded within our culture.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC R. Scott Woods, President / CEO

Location North Charleston

Why are you a best place to work?

At South Carolina Federal, our employees’ best interest is always at the pulse of our strategic decisions. From the exceptional benefits to the generous paid time off; from the opportunity to work remotely to the emphasis we place on internal promotion and development, we are thrilled to employ a dynamic and diverse group of individuals whose tenure almost doubles that of other organizations in the financial services industry. Our Talent Acquisition team ensures that we select a diverse group of bright, energetic, passionate employees.



Highest-ranking executive and title in SC Patrick Guerin, President, Lee Distributors Location Summerville

Why are you a best place to work?

Henry J. Lee Distributors is proud to be a family-oriented company that is a part of the Reyes Beverage Group, whose ambition is to be the elite beverage distributor in the U.S. Henry J. Lee Distributors is made up of three companies: Lee Distributors, located in Summerville and Beaufort and Greenco Distributor, located in Greenville. We proudly sell and distribute the widest variety of imported, craft and domestic beers, delivering over 7.8 million cases annually to over 4,000 customers throughout the Lowcountry and northwestern part of South Carolina. We take pride in the culture and environment we provide for our employees so they, in turn, take pride in their work.

BEST PLACES TO WORK Awarding our team’s passion with some of the best benefits around, including: n FREE health insurance option n AMAZING paid time off n EXCEPTIONAL mortgage rate discount n GENEROUS 401k employer match n And MORE! Find your fit at Equal opportunity employer CELEBRATING 11 YEARS AS A BEST PLACE TO WORK IN SC 2023 Congratulations Team Lee and Greenco for Being a Certified BEST PLACE TO WORK Lee Distributors Greenco Distributing AReyesHoldir19sComp�ny AReyesHoldingsCompany 2023


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC Nicole Hupfer, Financial Advisor

Location Florence

Why are you a best place to work?

Edward Jones is a leading financial services firm and every aspect of our business, from investment types to branch locations, is designed to cater to more than 8 million clients in communities where they live and work. At Edward Jones, we are guided by our purpose: to partner for positive impact to improve the lives of our clients and colleagues, and together, better our communities and society. It’s an ambitious purpose, and it’s one that is deeply rooted in helping every client and community where we live and work to thrive. Each Edward Jones neighborhood branch has a financial advisor and a branch office administrator serving clients where they live and work. These firm associates come to Edward Jones for a career, not a job.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Elham Farzam, PE, President / CEO Location Charleston

Why are you a best place to work?

Infrastructure Consulting & Engineering is a multi-disciplined transportation engineering consulting firm with a family feel and owners who truly believe in their employees. The firm promotes a balanced life and will assist during hard times if necessary. Managers are supportive and allow flexibility company-wide. The company gives bonuses for successful performances and supports employees attending business education workshops and conferences. With a focus on employee health and wellbeing, while offering employees a cash incentive walking program, and much more.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Tim Arnold, CEO and President

Location Columbia

Why are you a best place to work?

For more than 80 years, Colonial Life, a Unum Group brand, has called Columbia, South Carolina home. Our purpose to protect employees and their families during unexpected moments in life is at the heart of what we do, and we partner with over 100,000 businesses and protect over 4 million customers. Our workforce of nearly 1,000 employees is known for its caring spirit, a corporate value. Company-wide we host volunteer service projects, fundraising campaigns and recognize outstanding community advocates with a CEO Community Award. We know the success of our business and surrounding community begins when our employees and their families thrive. That’s why we ensure our employee benefits package is so competitive.



Shared Values and Purpose + our Vision for the Future = Crawford Culture. We are proud to be voted one of SC’s Best Places to Work six years in a row.
“You feel valued.”
“It is a uniquely pleasant work environment for an ad agency.”
“Crawford emphasizes the importance of work/life balance.”
“Very collaborative work environment.”
“Management walks the walk.”
“They value creating a culture of fun.”


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC Ben Barfield, Vice President / Division Manager

Location Greenville

Why are you a best place to work?

Brasfield & Gorrie is one of the largest privately held construction firms in the nation. Its purpose is to build exceptional people, trusting relationships, great projects, and strong communities. Headquartered in Birmingham, the company is the successor to the Thos. C. Brasfield company, a general contractor operating as a sole proprietor in 1921. Exponential growth led the company to open a full-service Greenville office in 2007—an area that the company had been serving since the 1980s. Today, its annual revenue is approximately $5 billion, and the firm is a nationally-respected general contractor with more than 3,500 employees and an average project value of $23 million.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC Marion Knox Jr., CEO

Location Columbia

Why are you a best place to work?

For over 70 years, Terminix Service, Inc. has been protecting the health, property & environment of the residents of South Carolina, Western North Carolina, & the CSRA Georgia. Locally owned & operated, Terminix Service, Inc. provides quality pest control you can trust through professional training, state-of-the-art equipment & the most advanced treating technology. Our employees appreciate that we are a leader in the industry and they also appreciate the culture of our company. We reward hard work. Many of our employees receive an incentive pay plan. Employees can earn a spot for a two-night stay at the Beach for our Annual Awards Weekend. Many regions offer similar incentives for administrative personnel.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC Donny DeMarie, CEO/President

Location Greer

Why are you a best place to work?

Cameron Ashley is a leading omni-channel distributor of interior & exterior building products. With 50 distribution centers and growing strategically located throughout the United States, many lumberyards, home centers and contractors turn to the team for products and solutions to help build their businesses. Staff works each day to exceed customer expectations in a fun and rewarding environment. There’s a laid-back atmosphere, casual dress and open communication where employees are empowered to win every day.

Thank you to our employees for making us one of South Carolina’s Best Places to Work in 2023. BRASFIELDGORRIE.COM
build more than great projects. We build exceptional people.



Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Managing Member

Location Columbia

Why are you a best place to work?

At MGC, we like to say that we are not your typical law firm. MGC was founded 28 years ago by three lawyers that wanted to build a law firm focused on excellent client service, while also designing an environment where employees enjoyed coming to work every day. We have grown since 1995, yet the small-firm feel has remained. From an innovative environment, where new ideas are celebrated, to a diverse workforce, knowing that we are ultimately better when we have people from different backgrounds and experiences, our firm is committed to an inclusive culture. We are focused on communication, transparency and a strong open-door policy.


#19: NHE INC.

Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Location Greenville


executive and title in SC Jack

President Central Banking Group

Location Charleston

Why are you a best place to work?

At SouthState Bank, we believe the relationship is more valuable than the transaction. We’re proud to be a leading regional bank in the Southeast and are deeply committed to supporting local economic growth within the communities we serve. With more than 5,000 employees and one million customers, we have the local leadership, depth of expertise and dedication to excellence to stay ahead of our region’s expanding needs. As our geographic footprint grows, we remain deeply committed to our team members and the communities we serve. We’re committed to doing everything we can to help our team members, customers and local economies thrive with a strong work life-balance. What’s

Why are you a best place to work?

NHE provides professional association management, conventional and affordable apartment management and service coordination to communities across the Southeast, and currently represents more than 17,000 homes, apartments, and condominiums in more than 15 states. NHE’s clients benefit from our expertise, experience and leading-edge technology delivered by a dedicated staff offering diverse services to assure premium performance and value. We recognize that our team is our key to success and are committed to treating them as individuals and partners in all aspects of our operations.

We hold celebrations for employees such as baby showers, wedding showers, and quarterly birthday events. NHE has an annual employee conference in Greenville to celebrate, motivate and recognize our employees.

than our 7,000 volt fence?
TEAM who supports it. AMAROK™ is a full-perimeter security company with an awardwinning culture that helps you stay on a career path you love. 2017–2023 SPARK SOMETHING? Apply at WE ARE PROUD TO BE HONORED AS A SOUTH CAROLINA BEST PLACES TO WORK FIRM GET IN TOUCH GOING BEYOND TRADITIONAL ACCOUNTING ROLES: We counsel individuals and businesses with a comprehensive and strategic approach, placing emphasis on long-range financial goals and planning. Tax - Audit - Accounting - Consulting Tax - Audit - Accounting - Consulting
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Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Location Columbia

Why are you a best place to work?

AMAROK is the market leader in electric security fences and perimeter security in the country. AMAROK Relentlessly protects commercial and industrial locations across the U.S., providing a safer work environment for employees while reducing total security costs. The company feels strongly about maintaining a culture where people can have fun while they reach high levels of performance. Leaders encourage employee participation in company-sponsored events to help bring other departments together to collaborate, whether that be an annual Christmas party, dressing up for Halloween, participating in the company-sponsored kickball and softball teams or various charity events. Executives truly want employees to look forward to coming to work and enjoy what they do and who they work with.

#21: M. B. KAHN


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Location Columbia

Why are you a best place to work?

While externally, we aim to be the preferred provider of quality, value-added construction services, internally we strive to be a preferred employer. To accomplish that goal, it starts with the employees. Our foundation was built on values that relate to each individual member of the team. Each employee has integrity, honesty, is hardworking and produces quality work. All it takes is a walk through at a jobsite or a stroll down the hallway to see that everyone is welcoming, open, respectful and caring. Even though we have hundreds of employees, we enjoy the feel of a small company because we are a family, and our family is comprised of truly good human beings.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Location Summerville

Why are you a best place to work?

Advanced Technology International (ATI), a nonprofit company, lessens the burden of government by coordinating and managing the nation’s most innovative research initiatives. ATI builds and leads technology development collaborations for the federal government. We manage the business operations of federallyfunded R&D programs with a total contract value of more than $16 billion. Industry and academia have long sought to support the warfighter through innovation – they just needed a better way to do it. ATI’s mission is purpose-built and created to deliver better and faster solutions to the nation’s most challenging technology requirements.

BEST PLACES TO WORK 2017-2023 Managing the nation’s largest innovation ecosystem & accelerating technology development to federal customers. @ATI_ORG ATI | Advanced Technology International


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Why are you a best place to work? 9Rooftops is a bold, integrated marketing agency known for breakthrough creative that gets results. We blend insightful strategy and creativity with industry-leading data science and analytics to deliver culturally relevant, highperformance creative solutions for regional, national and global brands. It is our “Heart and Hustle”—an unyielding obsession with originality and an insatiable desire to deliver results that makes 9Rooftops an indispensable partner for ambitious brands. It’s what inspires our team of discipline experts to make a big difference every day, in everything we do for our clients. There is a contagious, charismatic and courageous atmosphere created by people who care. We are a multidisciplined mix of thinkers, innovators, visionaries, designers, developers, writers, artists, and strategists determined to make a difference.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Why are you a best place to work? Atlas Tech was started nearly 26 years ago to establish internet connectivity on Navy ships. Today, it provides multiple technology services to the Navy and Coast Guard with the goal of improving the lives of the Warfighters, those committed to protecting our freedoms. A healthy integration of work/life is constantly emphasized, and the company encourages taking time for themselves. The structure fosters open communication among team members, supervisors, and senior leadership with weekly and quarterly one-on-one meetings. Senior Leadership is transparent to all team members, sharing quarterly goals during a company-wide virtual lunch and State of the Company presentation with awards, in addition to weekly meetings.



Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Location Charleston

Why are you a best place to work? Total Quality Logistics is rooted in putting our employees, customers and carriers first, resulting in a thorough recruiting, vetting and hiring strategy, a dedicated learning and development team that creates and constantly updates programs for education and growth, including an extensive on-boarding and development program for all new employees, a sales training program, department-specific professional development programs, focused training modules for new service lines, advanced sales technique learning sessions, leadership development programs for employees who show initiative or desire for leadership roles.

At Lutes Property Services we want to see you succeed. We prioritize the well-being and growth of our employees. Joining our team means being part of a community that values work-life balance, professional development, and employee empowerment. NAMED A BEST PLACE TO WORK IN SOUTH CAROLINA 2023! Check our job openings and join our team! (843) 203 3906 Ready for a new challenge?


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC Jeff VanUffelen, Director of Finance

Location Greenville

Why are you a best place to work? Koops designs, builds and integrates automation systems. We are committed to living the values company leaders have set as its guiding principles, which are how members, vendors and customers are treated. We are committed to growth, specifically individual growth and career opportunities. We are committed to the development of people and pursuing their strengths. The result is an awesome team and culture to work in, a work environment that’s just easy to enjoy. We do exciting and diverse work, with challenging and cutting-edge technology. We work with diverse customers needing vastly different solutions and coming to work every day is a problem solver’s dream.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC Jared Mathey, Senior Vice President

Location Charleston

Why are you a best place to work? INDUS is a 100% employee-owned, customer-focused government services provider with expertise in engineering, information technology, cybersecurity, program/financial management, logistics, and data analytics. At INDUS, we believe in the value of the INDUS team. We deliver exceptional customer service, foster a growth and support-centered work environment and focus on how we can give back to the communities that we serve. Empowering employees starts on day one and creates an environment full of innovation and promise. By offering mentorship and robust training and development opportunities, INDUS continues in our pursuit to be the employer of choice.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC Courtnay Thompson, Market President

Location North Charleston

Why are you a best place to work? Associate engagement, satisfaction and safety are top priorities. Our associates are our most important, valuable and powerful resource and we make it a point to let them know at every opportunity. Since beginning a phased return to office/ community, in April 2022, we’ve strengthened our engagement strategies to ensure associates feel appreciated, informed and involved, with ample opportunities to ask questions and share feedback. We offer monthly e-communications to all associates from the market president, monthly leadership talking points, sharing timely and relevant information and a monthly associate newsletter to highlight associates/ teams’ accomplishments.

people get care, stay well, and build healthy communities since 1995.



Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Location Greenville

Why are you a best place to work? ScanSource, Inc. is a leading hybrid distributor connecting devices to the cloud and accelerating growth for customers across hardware, SaaS, connectivity and cloud. ScanSource enables customers to deliver solutions for their end users to address changing buying and consumption patterns. ScanSource is headquartered in Greenville and has more than 2,300 employees across the globe. Our culture was built on our core values, such as honesty and integrity, valuing the opinion of each employee, respecting and valuing diverse backgrounds, and a commitment to meeting our partners’ needs quickly and fairly. ScanSource is meeting employees where they are.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC Kent Thames, vice president

Location Charleston

Why are you the best place to work? Established in 1924, JE Dunn Construction is a family and employee-owned commercial general contractor with expertise in construction management, program management and design/build projects. We are ranked as the 13th largest domestic building contractor in the nation by Engineering News-Record. We are proud to be a locally-owned and employeeowned company (ESOP). Our team members naturally take pride and personal responsibility in not only the work we perform, but also the Charleston community in which we live. There is no doubt that Charleston and the Lowcountry is unique and very special to each of us. We are proud to be a part of this historic city that we call home and look forward to supporting the local building industry.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Location Greenville

Why are you a best place to work? Integrated Power Services is the leading North American solution provider for power management, electromechanical, and rotating equipment processes. The company serves over 13,000 customer locations across a wide range of end uses, including power generation, utilities, water and wastewater, petrochemicals, air separation, oil and gas, metals, mining, paper, aggregates, cement, hospitals, universities, commercial buildings and data centers. Headquartered in Greenville, IPS has the industry’s largest network of locations, with service centers, distribution centers, and field service offices across North America.

PROUD TO BE AMONG SOUTH CAROLINA’S BEST PLACES TO WORK 1360 Truxtun Avenue, Suite 104 | North Charleston, SC 29405 UNLEASH YOUR POTENTIAL. at one of sc’s best places to work. Scan the code to learn more or visit


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Location Lexington

Why are you a best place to work? The culture of Lexington Medical Center is without a doubt what sets us apart. Over the last three years during the pandemic, Lexington Medical Center never laid off or furloughed a single employee. Every employee was taken care off with jobs, safety and support. The Lexington culture is built on caring and compassion, it is made up of people working together to serve a common goal. Our mission drives our strategy every day and every employee is focused on doing quality work with the utmost compassion, with integrity and works together as a part of a team to get it done. The same quality and compassion that is provided to patients and customers is also provided to each other. Employees at Lexington Medical Center look out for each other and work together.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Location Charleston

Why are you a best place to work? At Charleston Water System, our mission is to protect public health and protect the environment. Our vision is to achieve excellence and exceed customer expectations. Every year, we volunteer thousands of man hours to helping our community, including hosting plant tours for local schools so students can learn how clean drinking water is made. We give talks and presentations to local community groups so they can understand what we do and the impact we have in their everyday lives. We support community groups including the Trident United Way, Beach Sweep/River Sweep, Habitat for Humanity, Water Mission and many others.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Location Charleston

Why are you a best place to work? Samet Corporation, a construction company, is built on a foundation of customer service and recognizes that in order to remain a solid industry leader, we must invest in our most valuable resource—our people. When you join Samet, you become a part of our family; a team who not only cares about the work you do but about who you are. We want the best employees and the best for our employees so we can deliver the best experiences to our clients. Samet provides continuing education opportunities, a robust healthcare program, 401(k), and opportunities for professional and personal growth. Employee camaraderie extends far beyond the office in the form of community service, outreach events, company outings and holiday parties. Samet sponsors many events within our community that associates can volunteer at or attend.

BEST PLACES TO WORK Honored to Be Recognized as Best. SC BEST PLACE TO WORK again! PROUD TO BE NAMED A C M Y CM MY CY CMY K ai169047861311_Best Places to work congrats ad.pdf 1 7/27/2023 1:23:35 PM


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC



Location Charleston

Why are you a best place to work? We recruit, hire, train and retain attorneys and staff whose diverse backgrounds and life experiences reflect those of our clients and our communities. HBS believes that a strong sense of community and shared values of collaboration and inclusion are the bedrock of every successful business. We try to create a culture of welcome, acceptance and belonging that transcends any role, business unit, language, heritage, race, sexual orientation, life experience and other factors. We are committed to continuously strengthening an equitable and inclusive workplace for all employees, clients, vendors and other business partners. Our efforts are purposeful and intentional as we establish goals and actively monitor our progress.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Why are you a best place to work? The largest electric cooperative in South Carolina, Berkeley Electric serves more than 120,000 meters and more than 100,000 member-owners living in Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties. Employees embrace teamwork to provide the best possible service to member-owners and the community and many employees stay: retirees in just the past two years have 700 years of collective experience. Volunteerism is a cornerstone of the co-op’s culture. Employee appreciation activities include outdoor family movie nights, oyster roasts, and fishing and golf tournaments. The coop offers fully funded pensions and a life insurance policy worth 5 times an employee’s salary. Thank you for your


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Location Greenville

Why are you a best place to work? We’re the largest U.S.-based staffing agency with eight South Carolina locations. At Employbridge, our people are first. Everyone makes the wheels turn for our clients and talent. We are very lucky that we impact lives by helping others with their careers. Everyone works hard and we’re provided flexibility to create a work/life balance. When an employee has a struggle, we’re all in to help. Out-of-the-box thinking is encouraged and rewarded. There are career advancement opportunities and managers encourage other opportunities within the organization if that’s best for our people. We all know our purpose and trust each other to maintain our integrity. We offer the Better Worklife Academy, which provides free online training to enhance skills. who put employees first. We offer Fun Fridays, Mimosa Mondays, Bring Your Dog to Work and more.



Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Location Columbia

Why are you a best place to work? Palmetto Citizens Federal Credit Union is a memberowned financial institution committed to our philosophy of helping people achieve their potential. Our staff is dedicated to offering exceptional service and proactive solutions to our members’ financial issues, safeguarding their confidential information and working within a team. We are committed to diversity, inclusion and providing an atmosphere where all staff are respected, supported and rewarded based on their professional achievement and contribution.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC


Location Mount Pleasant

Why are you a best place to work? Established in 2007, JEAR Logistics is a 3PL company that specializes in the moving and transportation of goods. We specialize in saving time and reducing empty miles by exceeding expectations, developing strong and long-lasting relationships with customers and carriers alike. Success begins with our people. Their effort and total commitment to working together to serve our customers and carriers 24/7 is the core of our team-focused culture. Our core values are the “JEAR Way”: Exceeding Industry Standards for work ethic and service; All work as one, together as one; Unmatched Integrity and Accounting. JEAR strives to provide a work environment that empowers our employees to grow professionally and personally.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC Nick

Location Lexington

Why are you a best place to work? Since 1987, Opterra Solutions is the leader in environmental management and compliance. We have always been a family-run company and we don’t just mean the owners. Each employee is part of the Opterra family and is empowered to make an impact on the growth and success of our group. Leaders are developed from within, growth is collaborative, and we work with the mindset that if we all pull in the same direction, everyone should win. We also appreciate that our employees do hard work each day. From the roadsides of our interstates to the ditches of our stormwater systems, it takes strong people to be able to perform in highstress, high-production conditions. Because of this, we put a strong emphasis on safety and building a great work/life balance.



Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Location: North Charleston

Why are you the best place to work? Parker’s is the best place to work because of our continuous growth. This allows the company to find new ways to develop, train and retain employees. With the ever changing industry and keeping our stores in check with these changes we are always looking to make changes to our employee experience as well. Last year we did a complete overhaul of our benefits and created packages to meet the needs of employees on all levels. We are also always looking for new benefits employees would enjoy, for example paying for approved day cares for our full-time employees and offering pet insurance just to name a few. We have increased our focus on employee recognition on all levels and made this recognition an exciting adventure and celebration for employees and family members. We recently did a company wide audit of position descriptions and pay, this led to a company wide update for titles and pay all in favor of the employee. Parker’s has also started a fulltime/part-time program to push employees that regularly work in FT hours to a FT position with the aligning pay and benefits. This program also initiated a full launch of a new pay scale for operations, the pay scale not only provides consistency with position and pay but lays out development options and next steps with clear expectations of compensation employees can see.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Location Charleston

Why are you a best place to work? After 100 + years of service, we want to continue to be the most trusted beverage distributor in the Southeast by treating our suppliers, customers, employees, and community like family. Southern Crown Partners is a large company with a small company family feel. Our leaders care about each and every employee and we are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to improve the quality of life for our team. We invest heavily back into our business so our employees have access to the best technology and equipment to do their jobs safely, effectively and efficiently. We don’t Southern Crown Partners to be a place where you can grow and have a successful career. We believe in people above profit. We work in a fun industry with amazing brands and have access to unique events and experiences as a result. We have become a “family” and the team values growing their career with their people who become much more than co-workers. Unique health benefits include free surgery, and $1,000 if you use a preferred surgery center and no cost on certain expensive prescription drugs.



Why are you a best place to work? South Carolina 811, widely known as the ‘CallBefore-You-Dig Notification Center,’ is an innovative communication hub dedicated to the education and safety of its stakeholders and the public. SC811 is committed to damage prevention and strives to keep utilities and excavators safe during excavation. SC811 is the best place to work because of its highly-motivated employees working hard to make an impact by serving communities throughout South Carolina. The competitive benefits and wages offered, the flexibility provided through remote work and flexible shifts, and the company’s culture and mission make

it an exceptional company that employees can proudly represent. The company provides excellent benefits and competitive salary to help meet the needs of all employees regardless of age or family size. The company values our employees ‘work, recognizes their contributions and puts trusts in their abilities to take on challenging projects. This shows confidence

in the employees and demonstrates how they are an important part of the team. Team challenges and competitions hosted by our culture crew with prizes awarded for participation. Applauz perks allow for employees to recognize their peers with custom badges that can be redeemed for gift cards.

Highest-ranking executive and title in SC Misty Johns Island
Employees PROUD TO BE NAMED ONE OF THE BEST PLACES TO WORK IN SOUTH CAROLINA PROVIDING BEST IN CLASS POINT OF SALE TECHNOLGY & SUPPORT SOLUTIONS FOR OVER 30 YEARS. 123 Grace Drive | Easley, SC 29640 864-288-9122 | 2023 CALL OR CLICK BEFORE YOU DIG! Safe digging is everyone’s responsibility. Notify SC811 of your planned excavation to help prevent damages that may result in fines, utility service disruption, and injury - even death. SC811 works throughout the state to drive awareness and educate citizens about the importance of safe digging. #sc811 #callorclickbeforeyoudigSC #SouthCarolina811


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC Ed Parrish, Chairman

Location Columbia

Why are you a best place to work? We are a consulting engineering firm that delivers innovative solutions, inspired designs, and unparalleled service to clients throughout the Southeast. Through our comprehensive planning, design, and construction inspection services for highways, bridges and airports, we have earned a reputation of providing small-firm service with large-firm results. Since 2013, our team has been dedicated to providing exceptional service to every client while simultaneously driving efficiency to get projects completed on time and on budget. We ensure our employees have what they need to do their best work and grow professionally, while recognizing they have a life away from work.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Our culture is about living our values. To that end, we have developed our values in action. This framework was developed by our team, with every team member having the opportunity to add insight into what our values and purpose look like in their individual roles. Having this level of clarity helps employees know what is expected of them and what they should expect from their team. We work together to achieve a common goal of caring for others. The story of Trehel is one of a family business that has evolved into one of the most successful and respected privatelyheld general contractors serving the Carolinas and Georgia. Spanning four decades, Trehel has maintained a proud commitment to public service and community activism tradition.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC Masahiro Arai, Chief Operating Officer Location Columbia

Why are you a best place to work? SIOS Technology Corp. makes software solutions that provide IT Resilience for critical applications. Using SIOS high availability clustering, applications automatically recover from infrastructure and application failures in a matter of minutes with no loss of data, keeping business data protected, applications online, and users satisfied. SIOS provides the best of both worlds — a global company in a small environment with a diverse workforce serving diverse customers. We will continue to create a work environment and culture where employees will be successful and engaged in pursuing our core values: creativity, passion, commitment, integrity and teamwork.

Safeguarding our water environment for future generations


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Location Greenville

Why are you a best place to work? Find Great People’s organizational values are defined as our “3 G’s” — growth, gratitude and great. They are rooted in everything we do. We are intentionally focused on growth — for our employees and company. Our team is motivated by a balance of clear goals, high expectations and personal support and encouragement to fulfill their potential. We offer professional development opportunities throughout the year at the company, team and individual levels, ensuring our team has the best tools and resources to be successful in their role. These are supplemented by personal development roundtables focused on health and wellness, personal finances, and working parents. Diversity and Inclusion are at the forefront of our recruiting efforts.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Location Ladson

Why are you a best place to work? We have the close-knit culture of a small family company. Team members are encouraged and expected to “challenge the status quo.” If there is a better way of doing something, we want to know about it. All team members have a direct line to company leadership and a real ability to effect change within the organization. One way we encourage this is by holding workshops for employee groups that serve as an open forum to engage directly with one another and with management to air any challenges, questions, new ideas or best practices. We built a brand-new training center/flex space this year to serve as a dedicated space for our team to interact, learn and have fun.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC David

Location Greenville

Why are you a best place to work? The mission of NCEES is to advance licensure for engineers and surveyors in order to safeguard the health, safety and welfare of the public. We value our employees and recognize the impact their day-to-day work has on the public. Providing them with the best possible climate for development, health and wellness ultimately benefits us all. We provide generous benefits and a healthy, fun, relaxed work environment where employees can engage with one another. We are committed to providing them with the best possible climate for maximum development and goal achievement. We seek to develop a spirit of teamwork; individuals working together to attain a common goal. In order to maintain an atmosphere where these goals can be accomplished, we provide a comfortable and progressive workplace.

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Highest-ranking executive and title in SC Johnny Evans, Chief Executive Officer/Chairman of the Board

Location Orangeburg

Why are you a best place to work? CF Evans Construction is a third-generation, familyowned construction management company. Celebrating its 75-year Anniversary in 2023, CF Evans Construction has been named a “Best Place to Work” in South Carolina for 14 years in a row, with our best finish of #2 awarded last year. Focusing primarily on multi-family construction and recognized as an ENR Top 400 largest contractor in the United States. Each of our employees shares a common adherence to core values established by the Evans family many years ago. We have sustained our growth by hiring great employees and retaining the team, prioritizing recruiting and retaining the best by utilizing an “all hands on deck” approach.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC Russell Bauknight, Managing Shareholder

Location Columbia

Why are you a best place to work? Bauknight Pietras & Stormer is the largest privately held CPA firm in the state. Attracting good people, treating each person as family, providing them with opportunities to learn and grow professionally while respecting work-life balance has led to a team that feels appreciated, respected and is focused on exceptional customer service. The company invests in employees’ ongoing professional education and leadership training, sending them to courses across the country. Recognizing how demanding the profession is during busy season, the company offers employees a choice of taking additional paid time off or getting overtime as a cash bonus.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC Allan

General Manager Location Mount Pleasant

Why are you a best place to work? We are an established industry leader that is respected by our peers in the water and wastewater space. What makes us the best place to work is, by far, our dedicated, hardworking, smart, immensely talented group of people who love our company and the community we serve. We provide clean water, a vital resource for our community and there’s a strong sense of purpose and pride that comes with public service. We also foster a culture of close-knit camaraderie and teamwork. MPW hosts creative employee appreciation events such as field days, food trucks, icecream socials, crockpot cooking classes, oyster roasts, game show events and more.

BEST PLACES TO WORK Opportunity knocks. Success here is based on our people. We are relationship-driven, teamoriented, people-first accountants. Join our team of accountants and business advisors and work at one of the best places in South Carolina. Apply today at


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Location Greenville

Why are you a best place to work? The culture. Every single person has said that they have never worked in a place where they have felt so welcome and appreciated. Our team goes out of their way to practice our company Values: Teamwork, Service, Growth-Minded, Trust and Innovative to provide phenomenal IT experiences. We work as a team to make sure we are delivering phenomenal experiences for our customers. Every year, we hold engagement sessions and take feedback from our teams and work to take corrective action. Our teams know that honesty and transparency are important and we practice that by making it a safe space for everyone to share ideas and opinions.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Location Greenville

Why are you a best place to work? As the fastest-growing Chromebook reseller in the nation, Vivacity Tech offers several unique proprietary solutions aimed at helping schools do what they do best. From Student Repair Academy, there’s a curriculum of teaching students to repair e-learning devices, to asset management, to charging carts and cases. As a Public Benefit Corporation, we have a TripleBottom-Line; “People, Planet, Profits” – in that order. We care deeply about our people, internal employees, partners, customers, our planet, and how we spend our profits. We offer all employees professional development allowances, robust benefits and incredible incentives, ensuring that our people are taken care of in various aspects of their lives.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Location Walterboro

Why are you a best place to work? PRTC is a member-owned cooperative providing a complete telecommunications solution to the homes and businesses of the Lowcountry and the surrounding areas since 1951. We pride ourselves on providing quality service utilizing the latest technologies to our local residents, businesses and communities. At PRTC, success is measured by the progress of the communities it serves. Employees can say with pride that they work for an organization that supports many non-profit fundraisers, community festivals and events.


to be in Good Company
WWW.MOUNTPLEASANTWATERWORKS.COM Best Places to Work ad 2023.indd 1 7/17/2023 3:08:08 PM
Eight BEST PLACES TO WORK awards in eight years! We value our employees and the value they place on integrity, innovation, involvement, and inspiration.

Highest-ranking executive and title in SC Brian McKay, President & CEO

Location Greenville

Why are you a best place to work? Spero

Financial Federal Credit Union was chartered in 1935 as a not-for-profit financial cooperative with one mission: to improve financial lives. As one of the Palmetto State’s largest credit unions, today, it has more then 50,000 members and $700 million in assets. Headquartered in Greenville, the credit union has 10 locations in the Upstate and Midlands. Our family-centric culture encourages each team member to bring their entire authentic self to work each day and celebrates the unity that can be found in diversity. We approach every decision with our core values as our guide — the spirit of a warrior, mind of a champion and heart of a servant. We are financial experts, but our approach is down to earth.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC Chris Moore, President/CEO

Location Greer

Why are you a best place to work? Headquartered in the Upstate of South Carolina, CarolinaPower serves industrial, commercial, health care and federal market sectors in South Carolina and North Carolina. We are an employeed-owned company that embraces the principles of servant leadership. Our people are empowered to grow and are encouraged to continually strive to enhance their careers and personal lives. Established nearly 25 years ago, CarolinaPower now has a total of four offices in South Carolina — one in each part of the state. Employees are quick to praise the company culture and genuine respect for people that transcends all levels of the organization.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Location Myrtle Beach

Why are you a best place to work? Because we value a trusted relationship with our employees and encourage them to cultivate and nurture trusted relationships with their families, coworkers, members and communities. We emphasize to each that our handshake and word mean something to someone, therefore, expectations for Carolina Trust are high. Our employees and members expect us to follow up, follow through, and lead the way in cultivating a culture of inclusivity, diversity, openness and positivity. We value our employees’ hard work and invest in them by offering opportunities for professional and personal growth through internal promotions and benefits packages.

Improving Financial Lives for over 85 years

We’re more than just a credit union. We’re a team of nancial coaches, resolution-seekers, and thought-leaders committed to enhancing the nancial lives of our members.

48 #14: SPERO
www.spero. nancial
Start soaring today!


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Location Columbia

Why are you a best place to work? Softdocs is a software company that specializes in enterprise content management solutions for educational institutions. The company was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in Columbia with remote teammates across 26 states. Softdocs is known for its strong company culture. Employees are valued and encouraged to take ownership of their work and ideas. Softdocs’ positive workplace culture includes employee empowerment. Softdocs values its employees and encourages them to take ownership of their work and ideas. The company promotes open communication, where employees are free to express opinions and ideas.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Wesley Watkins Sr. Director, Strategic Initiatives

Location Charleston

Why are you a best place to work? At SpinSys, we are constantly growing and learning from each other. We have people from all over the country and all types of backgrounds that make this such a fun place to work. Employees enjoy unlimited PTO, gift cards and wellness giveaways, fun trivia and fun facts throughout the year to celebrate days like “national doughnut day.” There are regular lunch outings, catered lunches for office meetings, a Fitness Challenge in the summer, employee recognition, wellness giveaways and monthly yoga sessions. There are work outings for thing like lunch and top golf for employees to connect and socialize.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC


President and Chief Executive Officer

Location Columbia

Why are you a best place to work? We are a generation and transmission electric cooperative owned by the state’s 20 distribution electric cooperatives with consumer members in all 46 counties. Central offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes tuition and health club reimbursements and AAA membership. We promote continuous learning and encourage employees to increase not just their professional skills, but also to develop personally. We offer in-house classes on financial wellness, healthy living and professional skills development.

BEST PLACES TO WORK Congratulations! Central Electric Power Cooperative has earned the distinction of being named one of the 2023 Best Places to Work in South Carolina!


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Location Daniel Island, CEO

Why are you a best place to work? Hudson Management Group provides administrative and operational support and training for Hudson Automotive Group, an automotive group consisting of 38 dealerships. We put emphasis on employee training, growth and leadership. We are committed to promoting internally as much as possible and have promoted at least five employees from the dealership level over the last year. Our goal is to support the stores with everything we do as we continually grow and learn.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Location Columbia

Why are you a best place to work? Recruiting Solutions has collaborative company culture, unique employee perks and opportunities for professional development and growth within the company. The culture at Recruiting Solutions is highly collaborative with an opendoor policy among both peers and leadership. Employees are encouraged to share ideas and help cultivate new processes.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Location Greenville

Why are you a best place to work? In 70 years of providing individual interiors for businesses of every kind, people trust us to bring the best to every project and to create amazing spaces that reflect and enhance the core values of their brand. Our core values include always doing what is right by being honest and forthright in our dealings with others; continue to promote safe and healthy environments for the communities we serve with the efficient use of our resources and earn the respect and loyalty of our employees and customers every day.



#23: TPM INC.

Highest-ranking executive and title in SC Chris Fay, President

Location Greenville

Why are you a best place to work? TPM has been a family owned and operated business for years and we strive to live up to and exceed our original mission statement every day. Our company is built by professional thinkers that never stop learning or embracing change. Our Team is our most important quality and we personally and professionally develop every single one to be leaders at work, at home and in their communities. We’ve also recently released our “Success Principles” to accompany our mission statement. Our leaders walk teammates through the door and foster open and honest communication. We lead by example, develop our people and value relationships.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC Rev. Myron Wilkins, President and CEO

Location Clinton

Why are you a best place to work? Founded in 1875, Thornwell is a diverse non-profit ministry across Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. We are committed to the most innovative and effective solutions to heal, strengthen and empower children and families in a mission to prevent child abuse and neglect. When an employee comes to work for Thornwell, they know that each day they are working to empower, support and improve the lives of some of South Carolina’s most vulnerable children and families. You can feel the love on this campus and in the communities in which we serve.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC Andrew M Cope, CEO

Location Rock Hill

Why are you a best place to work? Employees are encouraged to give back to their community through company-sponsored events, including “Back the Pack” which distributed 2,000 bookbags in York County. Our team volunteers with Habitat for Humanity. Unique employee perks include teambuilding trips, including a fishing trip, go-cart racing, a fall festival and other holiday events and contests. There are two major teambuilding events each year. The company offers adoption assistance, flexible hours to accommodate personal schedules such as school events or taking family to the doctor.

Guiding Manufacturing and AEC Companies into the Digital Future

guides growing manufacturers and AEC firms through the journey of digital transformation by applying the latest software, hardware, and services to all phases of their core product and project lifecycles.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC


Why are you a best place to work? We value and prioritize maintaining a strong sense of community and appreciation for all its employees, even with geographic distance between teams. The Langston leadersp team emphasizes employee learning and development as part of the overall business strategy. By empowering employees to develop their skills and advance their careers, Langston not only retains top talent but also improves the quality of its work and services. Langston’s Development Committee integrates input and perspectives from a diverse range of employees and stakeholders.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Location Mount Pleasant

Why are you a best place to work? We offer our employees a range of benefits and perks, including a majority cost share on medical insurance premiums, retirement plan company match, reimbursement for professional development and tuition, fully funded international supplier immersions trips, discounts on our products, flexible work hours, paid volunteer days and more. We are open to creative and efficient solutions from our employees rather than continuing to do something the way it was always done. We operate from the top-down on open, clear and honest communication by having managers provide ongoing coaching as well as frequent updates from our CEO.



Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Location Greenville

Why are you a best place to work? Established over 50 years ago as the credit union for Greenville County school teachers and employees, we have created a family-friendly culture that promotes employee work-life balance and community involvement. We strive to provide all employees opportunities to grow individually and professionally through career opportunities, project participation and community service roles. All employee improvement ideas are welcomed and acted on which helps our employees feel empowered and heard. We care for each other and our community.



Highest-ranking executive and title in SC Jim Wanner, CEO

Location Liberty

Why are you a best place to work? We have a people-first company culture. Founded in 1996, KeyMark Inc. is a leading automation software integrator. KeyMark helps clients leverage technology, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, to maximize productivity and decrease manual labor. As a systems integrator, We offer customers professional implementation services and award-winning extended support for automation providers. We offer eight hours of paid time off for employees to use to go serve and give back to the communities in which we live and work. Our KeyMark Charitable council helps employees with arranging time to serve individually or with fellow employees. Leadership communicates effectively and often with employees. We have fun and we take care of our employees and their families.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC Frederick (Rick) Saunders Jr., CEO

Location Columbia

Why are you a best place to work? First Reliance has redefined community banking with a commitment to making customer’s lives better, its founding principle. Our associates are engaged and committed to our brand and the communities we serve. First Reliance is committed to associates by providing a caring leadership team, opportunity to do their best work as well as rewards and recognition that make their life better. Associates take care of each other as evidenced by contributing to an Employee Assistance Fund where an associate can receive financial help if they are in need. An Adoption Assistance Program is offered to help associates who grow their families through adoption. FRB knows it has a responsibility for providing a great place to work.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC James Cyr, Director of Sales and Marketing Location Columbia

Why are you a best place to work? Our company values employees, provides a familyoriented atmosphere and is incredibly supportive. We have a strong benefit package and generous wages. We also offer an employee appreciation program eligible to employees on the first day of hire that promotes volunteer work and community involvement. We have flexible scheduling for all positions and offer telecommuting for our office personnel. The owner and executive staff are always available to employees at any time. We feel our employees are genuinely happy to come to work.

BEST PLACES TO WORK YOU’RE ONEOFAKIND. SHOULDN’T YOU HAVE A BANK THAT’S ONEOF AKIND, TOO? SOUTH CAROLINA NORTH CAROLINA Cabling  Audio/Visual  Security  Sound Masking Wireless  Cellular Boosters  Maintenance  Service  866-782-0200
Congratulations to our South Carolina team for winning Best Places to Work 4 years in a row! You make Connectivity Point the company it is today. Thank you.

#32: CUI

Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Why are you a best place to work? Employees are top priority at CUI. We believe happy employees make happy customers. To make sure we are being successful in this endeavor, we take an annual employee survey and we schedule annual employee reviews which gives the employees specific opportunities to give management feedback. We use this feedback to make improvements. CUI also makes sure that employees know that their family and health come first. Employees know they can have time off to take care of family situations or personal issues without fear of being penalized. We also have fun at CUI. The company has an annual Dollywood trip in which we provide a park pass and lunch for employees and their immediate family. We have regular events in which we provide breakfast or lunch as well as having competitions for prizes and gift cards.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Why are you a best place to work? Our people are what makes our organization the best place to work. We have a flexible work environment with hybrid office days. Mental health is a number one priority for our team and our organization as whole. We are provided an expansive amount of resources and truly feel like we are cared for. Our leadership scored a 100% on a recent survey for Caring Management support. We also have summer Fridays where we get off early as well as unlimited PTO. We have numerous opportunities for volunteer work and every office in our entire company takes a day to do a service project in our local communities. We take part in quarterly philanthropy projects.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Location North Charleston

Why are you a best place to work? CPM is committed to creating and maintaining a workplace in which all employees have an opportunity to participate and contribute to the success of the Credit Union and are valued for their skills, experience and unique perspectives. This commitment is embodied in the Credit Union’s policies and the way we do business at CPM and is an important principle of sound business management. CPM is an organization that wants to see its employees grow, be successful, be happy, have fun and be healthy. We try to make every decision with our employees at the top of our minds and we are always looking for ways to make improvements.

Our culture and values are reflected in how we work, how we collaborate and how we commit to being our best and brightest selves – for our clients, our industry, our community and each other.

BEST PLACES TO WORK Federally insured by NCUA | 800.255.1513 Interested in working at CPM? View our available positions at “I love my job today as much as I did the day I was hired.” Employee Testimonial Serving the world's most impactful sports talent, artists, brands and properties in the world, Wasserman is an inclusive community of visionaries, thought leaders, storytellers and relationship builders.
TeamWass is hiring! Apply and view all open positions at


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Location Greenville

We believe in treating each other fairly, and understand that health and family come first. We expect our team to give us their best every day, and in return, we want them to take sick days, enjoy their vacation and have a personal life. Our work environment is professional, but flexible where people can choose to start early or later and leave early or later, work part-time and from home if needed or desired. We strive to create a culture of openness where communication is transparent, ideas are encouraged, collaboration is constructive and opportunities are limitless. Infinity also provides employees with many professional development opportunities to further their knowledge and career, including an internal mentorship program and platform training sessions.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Why are you a best place to work?

Mankiewicz Coatings recently celebrated 25 years of providing innovative products to market leaders like Boeing, BMW and ZF. Our growth over 25 years wouldn’t have been possible without our strong employee culture. Being a family-owned company, our owner created the motto of the 5F’s—Fast, Focus, Flexible, Friendly and Fun—to ensure every employee understands his goal of creating high quality paint for the aviation, automotive and industrial markets in an enjoyable work environment. Employee culture is constantly evident, from interactions with colleagues rto employee training in Hamburg, to company-wide employee events.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Location Greenville

Why are you a best place to work? The culture of excellence at ReWa is the hallmark of our success, and that culture would not be realized without the dedication of our team of experts. With their guidance and input, ReWa has increased its workforce engagement successes through a series of employee-led initiatives and continuous improvement strategies that are, in part, informed by the collective insights gleaned through survey data. We believe the voice of our workforce should be heard in all sectors of our strategic direction, from the design of our safety program and the integration of our asset management principles, to our community relations and sustainability efforts.

BEST PLACES TO WORK (843) 900-5408 OVERDELIVER OVERDELIVER Every chance we get. Every opportunity we can.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Location Columbia

Why are you a best place to work?

Rhythmlink International not only cares about our customers but our employees as well. Our mission, “improving patient care by connecting patients to machines,” is instilled in the work ethic of each and every one of our employees. When looking to hire a new employee, we seek to find someone who not only fits the bill on paper, but someone who will work well with our company culture. At Rhythmlink, we want work to be a fun, family atmosphere, but we also put our customer’s needs first by providing superior customer service year after year. The open-door policy we provide not only improves communication but helps increase workflow and team support.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Location Greenville

Why are you a best place to work? Carolina Foothills FCU has worked in the community with the local Habitat for Humanity and hosts company parties and offers its employees free or discounted tickets to local family entertainment or sporting events. Carolina Foothills FCU is a financial co-operative, serving members in the counties of Greenville, Spartanburg and Cherokee since the 1960s. It is owned by its members and employees strive to make sure members are taken care of. The motto “we move you forward!” is the behind every transaction.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC David

Location North Charleston

Why are you a best place to work? Plumbing and HVAC trades are labor-intensive jobs and LimRic makes a concerted effort to ensure that employees are appreciated for their hard work. LimRic provides constant employee appreciation parties, events, gifts and bonuses. LimRic listens to its employees and provides team members with one-on-one support to ensure they are on the road to success to achieve their career goals. Through paid apprenticeships, LimRic provides team members with the tools for success to learn new career skills while on the job and pays for employees to continue their education in their respective fields.

BEST PLACES TO WORK THANK YOU! For naming Rhythmlink a Best Place to Work in SC for the 12th Consecutive Year!

#41: GSP

Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Location Greer

Why are you a best place to work? GreenvilleSpartanburg International Airport emphasizes teamwork, innovation, excellence, innovation, integrity, a servant attitude, safety and security. GSP fosters a culture of inclusiveness, mutual support and professionalism and is dedicated to allowing each team member reach their career goals and objectives. The airport invests in its employees through ongoing training, leadership development programs, proficiency planning and tuition reimbursement to help employees feel valued and motivated to continue to contribute and grow. GSP recognizes and rewards exceptional performance through an innovative and competitive compensation and benefits strategy that includes merit increases, cost of living adjustments, performance incentives and longevity bonuses.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Location Myrtle Beach

Why are you a best place to work? Team members are the company’s most valuable asset and executives are committed to helping team members grow their careers are provide a safe, healthy and unique work environment. Over 95% of the senior positions are filled through promotions from within the company. An annual leadership conference with award shows, employee recognitions, breakout sessions and keynote speakers who teach team members how to become future leaders as well as the 10-month Women’s Leadership Alliance program designed to enable talented female associates to grow within the company.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Location Georgetown

Why are you a best place to work? Location: Georgetown

Brandon’s core values include family, independence, innovation, creativity, equality, purpose and joy. The goal is to create a family-oriented work environment while allowing employees the freedom to be entrepreneurial and self-motivated. The company’s purpose is to connect data-driven insights with creative ideas to help clients grow. Brandon wants employees to love what they do. Leaders are dedicated to creating an inclusive and safe space for the entire team and extending this culture of inclusion into their work. Employees are offered regular lunch and learns with an in-house expert providing training on topics ranging from personal growth to the latest business trends.



Highest-ranking executive and title in SC William

Location Columbia

Why are you a best place to work? The South Carolina Education Lottery’s mission is to enhance educational funding in South Carolina through the fun, entertaining games and products we offer to adults. SCEL is unique in many ways, most evident in our close-knit family environment that encompasses our “TEAM” philosophy—Together Everyone Achieves More. Each employee is important assets and executives respect each employee as an individual. Our employees believe in what they are doing. For all of us, it is about the transfer of funds to education, and therefore a better tomorrow. Every day, employees come to work knowing that they are offering the opportunity for individuals in South Carolina to have a better education. With over $6.5 billion dollars transferred to education, what we do here every day at SCEL has greatly impacted the lives of our fellow South Carolinians. Employees are provided with the opportunity to participate in professional development seminars and classes funded by the Lottery Commission. Events conducted by the Fun Squad and we have a yearly holiday gathering.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC Greg

Location Greenville

Why are you a best place to work? Greenville Country Club has served its community since 1895. Boasting over 200 employees spread out across several hundred acres, working at GCC is an experience like no other. With an average tenure rate of more than six years (more than double the industry norm), Greenville Country Club stands out in the hospitality industry. GCC’s core values of trust and teamwork, effective communication, innovation, balance and appreciation are the foundational concepts on which it bases all of its employee decisions. Nestled on the banks of the Reedy River in Greenville, we take pride in offering an employee experience like no other that includes a foundation dedicated to providing continuing educational scholarships for its employees and their immediate families. At GCC, you’re more than a number, you are part of an extended work family dedicated to your growth and development. We offer competitive pay, a generous PTO policy and a full complement of employee benefits that includes pro shop discounts, a holiday fund bonus program, employee break food and flexible scheduling options.

Greenville Country Club has remained one of the South’s most historic country clubs. We aim to be the most extraordinary, diverse club in the Southeast by consistently exceeding our members’ expectations while maintaining the entrepeneurial spirit, creativity and intimacy of a small club.




Highest-ranking executive and title in SC Stephen Bryant, CEO

Location Columbia

Why are you a best place to work? SYSTEMTEC has a positive work culture because employees are positive, motivated individuals who feel valued and recognized financially and publicly for their efforts. We have an annual incentive trip for employees plus a guest. Our employees thrive on meaningful work we believe has a positive impact on those we serve. Our work aligns with our individual values and interests. We are a team, better together and we support each other and hold ourselves accountable. Our employees are supported by leadership with an open-door policy and a clear, united vision. Perhaps most importantly,

we like each other and we share a love for the IT staffing and professional services industry. Each employee has the potential to contribute positively to the organization and they help create and foster a positive, productive work culture. They are optimistic, resilient and accept challenges with a “can-do” attitude. They

are committed to continuous learning and look for ways to improve skills and knowledge. They are team players, accountable to each other and to themselves. SYSTEMTEC has the characteristics, skills and qualities of a winning employer because the individuals we hire do the right things and do things right.

take hiring seriously.
in Best Places to Work in South Carolina
50-249 Employees We


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Location Columbia

Why are you a best place to work? SCSLC provides top-notch benefits, professional development, work-life balance and a happy and healthy work culture. We offer a hybrid workfrom-home schedule, monthly catered lunches, free snacks and beverages and we help families at the holidays.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Location Columbia

Why are you a best place to work? We strive to maintain an open, collaborative and fun environment. We stick to the core values of our organization: innovate, be tenacious, act with integrity, simplify and appreciate each other. With our weekly company lunches, fun team outings, volunteer events in the community and flexible work environment, we foster a culture that makes our employees excited to come to work.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC RL Simpson, Jr., Managing Partner Location Greenville


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC Neal

Location Greenville

Why are you a best place to work? It begins with a comprehensive rotational training program where each new employee cross trains. When one department gets overloaded, others step in to help out. No one at ACS ever says, “that’s not my job.” Each quarter every employee helps to stock parts in the warehouse. The daily “feel” of the culture is light-hearted but focused on achievement.

Why are you a best place to work? Isomer Project Group was founded on a simple principle: There must be a better way to execute infrastructure projects. The open-air office is laid out for creativity, including music regularly playing, activities and break times that allow employees to use 3D printers, and play game systems. We have indoor/outdoor work spaces. There are regular employee walks around the park and staff gather for lunch/happy hours at our office or the options that are walkable from our office. We are a family-friendly “open door policy” office. We are located in a popular city park, and we often have employee’s family members stop in the office during business hours to join for lunch or to say hello. We offer a flexible work schedule with unlimited PTO as part of our culture of trust and to promote a healthy work/life balance.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Location Greenville

Why are you a best place to work? Crawford takes our work very seriously but we work intentionally to maintain a culture of creativity, caring, teamwork, fun, recognition, fairness and value. We work to make sure every team member is given a pathway to personal and professional fulfillment. We have developed and shared career paths for every position at Crawford so that each team member understands how their career can progress and what they need to do to get to the next step. We have a professional coach who has been working with us for many years.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC Geoff Wasserman, CEO

Location Greenville

Why are you a best place to work? Unlimited vacation, annual bonuses, a strong company culture, office bikes and in-office showers for bike commuters/midday runners, flexible time off and work from home options and Meetingfree Mondays are just a few employee perks at The Brand Leader Inc. Our culture is secondto-none and based around our philosophy of “People First.”


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC Brett Evans, President

Location Orangeburg

Why are you a best place to work? We live by the Core Values established long ago by the Evans family and we pride ourselves for always doing what’s right for our employees, customers and our company. We have not only hired great new talent to help lead our growth effort, but we have had the opportunity to promote some of our well-deserving employees to management positions.




Highest-ranking executive and title in SC Brandon Lutes, President

Location Ladson

Why are you a best place to work? Working on what we love with people we love. All our team members do what they love, we try to fit everyone into a position they are not only good at doing, but also enjoy performing. We promote growth internally and offer opportunities for everyone. We take care of them and treat them like family.

#13: SCRA

Highest-ranking executive and title in SC Bob Quinn, Executive Director

Location Summerville

Why are you a best place to work?

South Carolina. SCRA is a great place to work because we care about and support our employees while challenging them to grow with the company. Leadership is involved and engaged, communication is a top priority and we believe in work/life balance and stand behind our six core values: integrity, respect and trust, stewardship, courage, innovation and collaboration. A flexible work schedule of three days in the office and two days working at home helps employees’ work/life balance.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC Scott Junkins, President

Location Anderson

Why are you a best place to work? Harris provides a wildly successful customer experience and we do that by providing a specialized team of experts. Harris offers a team bonus when monthly goals are met. This helps provide financially and reward the success of our team. Throughout the year, Harris hosts fun competitions with cash prizes. This is a fun way for our employees to spend time together and participate in company bonding. We host employee and employee family events like team bonding day as well as a family Christmas party.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC Brett Evans, President Location Orangeburg

Why are you a best place to work? Our ability to personally connect with every employee that works with us, including the founding Evans family members, allows us to build significant bonds and a sense of community within our organization. We have a common purpose that makes each employee give their best effort not only for him or herself, but for the team — our “work family” as a whole. You can sense the passion during all-employee meetings and feel the sense of family.



Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

William A. Russell III, Partner Location Charleston

Why are you a best place to work? We truly care about and support our employees to be the best they can be while also challenging them to grow within the company. JNR offers career development, generous PTO and many career and personal milestone celebrations.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC Robert Isherwood, CEO Location Elgin

Why are you a best place to work? One of the key factors that makes AMBAC a great place to work is its commitment to open book management. By sharing financial information and business performance metrics with its employees, AMBAC enables everyone to feel invested in the company’s success. This transparency promotes a sense of ownership among employees and empowers them to make informed decisions that benefit the company. AMBAC has built a workplace where everyone can thrive and succeed.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC Dan Rundle, CEO

Location Greenville

Why are you a best place to work? We seek to be more than just a great employer on paper, but actually be a place where people love to work and grow long term. We are deliberate about defining and reinforcing our values while we hire and retain people who are true to those values. Our people are talented and principled innovators who want to do work that matters and improve their expertise every day. We are driven by our four core values: Advancing Mastery, Enduring Partnerships, Constructive Conflict, & Industrious Joy.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC Ben Creasman, CoOwner/Operator Location Taylors

Why are you a best place to work? We offer an unparalleled construction experience, transforming the lives of our employees by investing in them to become the best holistic people they can be and becoming a standard-bearer in the construction industry in people, process and end product. The company growth path is rooted in our values.



Highest-ranking executive and title in SC Derek Robbins, President/CEO

Location North Charleston

Why are you a best place to work? Employees value a workplace culture that is supportive and inclusive, fosters open communication and encourages feedback and suggestions from employees. We encourage employees to utilize their own thinking and creativity. We recognize employee achievements through various rewards and recognition programs. Our compensation package includes encouraging volunteer and community engagement.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Elizabeth Renwick, co-owner

Location Winnsboro

Why are you a best place to work? Staff are as much a part of the momentum and change that we are making in the industry and the world, doing things that have never been done before and paid well to do so. It is motivating to work side-by-side with other likeminded people that are themselves achievers that deep down want to make a difference and things better, in their respective roles and within the company.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC David Stasiukaitis, CEO

Location Ladson

Why are you a best place to work? Our team members’ needs are met through biannual compensation reviews, performance bonus programs, development workshops, community service events, regular partner and family events, company-wide family style meals and a rich benefits package including 401k match.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC

Michael Jeffcoat, CEO/Attorney

Location Columbia

Why are you a best place to work? The Jeffcoat Firm cares about continually enhancing our employee benefits program, our diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, providing excellent legal services and investing in our community. From the very beginning, and throughout every phase, The Jeffcoat Firm has prioritized taking care of our clients and our team. We are determined to be the best defensive law firm and employer.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC Brian Thomas, Principal and CEO Location Greenville

Why are you a best place to work? As stewards of our local community, we are passionate about how we can build a better Greenville through the power of design. Our business is about people, the talented members of our team, and the ones who will live, work, and play daily in the spaces we create. We foster an internal culture that encourages our team to donate their time, skills, and passions to the community through volunteer service.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC Brooks Israel, CoFounder and Managing Partner Location Greenville

Why are you a best place to work? The Hiring Group focuses on a positive company culture, industry-leading compensation and benefits, opportunities for professional development and effective and supportive leadership. We provide a very diverse working environment with unique benefits like $1000 per month toward our internal employees’ childcare costs, a full onsite gym, and free meals at our onsite restaurant.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC Brad Lucas, President Location Easley

Why are you a best place to work? We have a true family feel for caring for one another. Our staff is made up of individuals that have been part of the team for the past 20+, 15+, 10+ years. This mix provides a great balance between experience, talent and expectations for our customers. Our ability to continue to hire individuals who are hungry, humble and smart allows us to continue to push our abilities further for our customer base and fellow team members.


Highest-ranking executive and title in SC Shane Murphy, President Location York

Why are you a best place to work? We are a family atmosphere. Everyone helps each other and ownership is always willing to help employees achieve personal goals, whether it be help buying their first home, or needing to work around children’s events so the employee can attend or helping them cross train in multiple areas to help reach professional goals. Custom Recycling LLC is a family owned and family-run business.



Tommy Preston Jr.

What is your experience in the manufacturing industry?

I grew up in Pickens County where most of my family worked in South Carolina manufacturing, so I have been connected to the industry my entire life. When I became a lawyer, I represented a number of manufacturing companies who were investing or expanding in our state. Today, I work as the global Vice President of Ethics at The Boeing Company, and I have spent the past eight years at the Boeing South Carolina site in other roles supporting programs like the 787 Dreamliner, Space Launch System, and Missile and Weapons Systems. It’s been inspiring to see our state’s manufacturing sector grow exponentially over the years, and much of that growth and success I tie to South Carolina’s outstanding business environment and the work done by the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance (SCMA) of which I’m honored to serve as board chair.

What makes South Carolina manufacturing unique?

For being such a small state, South Carolina has a strong and diverse presence of manufacturing companies. More than 5,000 manufacturing facilities operate throughout our 46 counties and make products associated with a myriad of major sectors like automotive, aerospace, life sciences, household items, advanced materials, and so much more. On top of that, the Palmetto State attracts foreign investments from companies serving the United States and other countries – this is due to our strong pro-business environment and talented workforce. The manufacturing workforce is diverse in culture and talent, truly reflecting the communities across South Carolina. Having a diverse workforce is vital to advancing manufacturing industries that serve people around the world. We have become a true leader in advanced manufacturing and one of the world’s top producers of complex and innovative products, which positions our state with maintaining our reputation as a manufacturing powerhouse for many generations to come.

How can South Carolina best prepare its future workforce for the influx of advanced manufacturing jobs coming to the state?

Workforce continues to be the number one challenge facing employers in all sectors. With the tight labor market, employers have to work harder than ever to attract talent to their organizations. In manufacturing, this is especially true. For our state’s manufacturers to be successful, we have to focus on the emerging talent coming from our K-12 system and change the negative stigma that still exists with students and their families about working in manufacturing. There are amazing, long-term, high-paying careers in manufacturing, and students need to understand that manufacturing today is much different than what it was decades ago. It’s safe, clean, high-tech, sustainable – and there is a dynamic future in it for all kinds of students from all different backgrounds.

Our state is unique in that we have the right environment and resources, thanks to our world-class Technical College System and four-year institutions, plus community and government partners who are committed to growing the future workforce. Students have the opportunity to receive an education that prepares and equips them with the right skills and experience to thrive in manufacturing, and the training and on-the-job experience can begin as soon as students are in high school. Even at a younger age, students can see themselves not only having a job in manufacturing, but a long and sustainable career.

What technology do you see as most important to the manufacturing industry in the next five years, and why?

It’s important that we are building a workforce that understands, adapts and innovates new technology. It’s the current and future workforce that is and will be developing new technologies that will make manufacturing stronger and more sustainable. In order for South Carolina to stay competitive, we have to stay aware and on top of the manufacturing advances. In fact, Boeing South Carolina (BSC) leads the company in invention disclosures per capita. Since 2009 more than 1,250 BSC teammates have received U.S. patent grants for nearly 800 unique inventions or processes. Many of these inventions ultimately go on to improve Boeing products, change the way the company does business and advances the aerospace industry. We encourage our teammates at Boeing to never stop innovating, and I encourage the same for the manufacturing workforce across the state.

What is the coolest thing being manufactured in South Carolina right now?

Standex Scientific in Summerville produces temperature-controlled equipment that reaches temperatures of -122.8 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, so I’d say that is literally the coolest thing we make in the state. Jokes aside, though, I’ve watched hundreds of planes come through Boeing’s Final Assembly line, right outside my office window, preparing to be delivered to dozens of different airlines. Then, these incredible airplanes - that South Carolinians built – will connect people all over the world. I think that’s pretty cool. But, as I mentioned before, South Carolina’s manufacturing industry is so diverse. The 787 couldn’t be built without the hundreds of suppliers that we utilize right here in our state. The same could be said for the different automobiles, tires, and other products that that are made here in South Carolina. Each manufacturer has a supply chain that supports its production, making manufacturing truly a team sport – which I think is the coolest thing about manufacturing.

Tommy Preston Jr. is global vice president of ethics at The Boeing Co., and chair of the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance.

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