Page 1

M arch /A pril 2012 V ol . 33 | N o . 2

A Growing Industry Celebrating South Carolina Agribusiness

Cultivating the Next Generation MWV

Branching Out

Specialty Food Companies Find New Markets Farm Credit System Provides Vital Support for Agribusiness


Acting today for a better tomorrow.


FEATURES

Growing South Carolina’s Agribusiness Industry.....10

By Cathy Novinger

The economic impact of agribusiness in South Carolina.........................................................12

10

Cultivating the Next Generation.................................14 By Gail Crouch Branching Out..............................................................16 By Matthew Gregory Specialty Food Companies Find New Markets.............20 By Nichole Jeffords

12

Farm credit system provides vital support for agribusiness...................................................................24 By Matthew Gregory ECONOMIC DRIVERS SC Minds@Work gains momentum • Julie Scott.....................................................5 A collective voice for agribusiness • Gary Spires.......................................................5 President’s NLRB recess appointments are an abuse of power • Andy Satterfield........ 6 Clemson PSA enhances economic growth • George Askew......................................6

14

Reversing the trade deficit, S.C. style • Michael Johnson............................................7 Precision agriculture provides high-tech solutions • Stephen Hudson........................7

D E PA RT M E N T S Message from the President......................................3

Member News...........................................................30

Otis Rawl Welcome, New Members.........................................31

After the Event S.C. Chamber hosts Republican Presidential Candidate

Events Calendar.........................................................32

Forum at Business Speaks.............................................26 2012 Human Resources Professional of the Year.........28

20

Advertiser Index........................................................32

Business Briefs...........................................................29

The opinions and views expressed by the contributors to this publication do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, its staff or members.

2

| S o u t h C a r o l i n a B u s i n e ss


A M e ss a g e f r o m t h e P r e s i d e n t ~ O t i s R a w l

March/April 2012 Volume 33, Number 2

South Carolina Chamber of Commerce 1301 Gervais Street, Suite 1100 Columbia, South Carolina 29201 800.799.4601 www . scchamber . net

M P resident & C hief E xecutive O fficer OTIS RAWL V ice P resident of P ublic P olicy & C ommunications DARRELL SCOTT A ssociate V ice P resident of C ommunications

JULIE SCOTT M ulti M edia C oordinator MATTHEW GREGORY G raphics & W eb A dministrator BOBBY BAKER

M SOUTH CAROLINA BUSINESS MAGAZINE E ditor MATTHEW GREGORY A rt D irection & D esign TIM MCKEEVER / TMCA INC. P roduction & P rint C oordination TMCA INC./CONVERGING MEDIA LLC A dvertising S ales CONVERGING MEDIA LLC DEIDRE MACKLEN 803.318.3923

STATE CHAMBER with Distinction

Copyright © 2012 by the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce and Converging Media LLC. All foreign and U.S. rights reserved. Contents of this publication, including images, may not be reproduced without written consent from the publisher. Published for the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce by Converging Media LLC. 803.256.3010

The importance of allies

S

outh Carolina is a relatively small state, so the concept of six degrees of separation, meaning everyone is about six people removed from any other person, definitely holds true in the Palmetto State. In fact, I would argue in South Carolina it’s more like two degrees of separation. This “small world” of sorts enables South Carolina’s business community to build allied relationships fairly seamlessly, which is invaluable concerning legislative matters. Since advocacy is such a large part of what we do, the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce often partners with allied organizations on various issues. These relationships are critical to achieving a shared goal of making South Carolina a better place to do business. Our allies are so important, we dedicate a section of our website at www.scchamber.net to these relationships. Together, we work to make a more business friendly South Carolina. Time and again, we see the importance of building strong alliances on legislative issues. Tort reform, achieved last year in the General Assembly, is a good example. The legislature had last addressed the issue in 2005, but there was still much work to be done, especially in the areas of punitive damages and limits on appeals bonds. Without allies speaking with one voice, including members of the South Carolina Civil Justice Coalition, the business community would not have been able to realize further reforms to the tort system. This issue of South Carolina Business focuses on agribusiness, an industry that is a major ally of the Chamber on key business issues and recognized as one of the state’s largest business sectors. The agribusiness community knows the value of allied relationships, and the Chamber is proud to work with the Palmetto Agribusiness Council (PABC), South Carolina Farm Bureau Federation (SCFB) and South Carolina Forestry Association (SCFA) on many legislative matters. A united front among key players in South Carolina’s agriculture and forestry industry is evident. The Palmetto Agribusiness Council is led by public policy veteran Cathy Novinger. The 68-year-old South Carolina Farm Bureau Federation, the state’s largest general farm organization, has more than 112,000 member families statewide. SCFB is led by Sumter farmer David Winkles, an agribusiness visionary who has assembled a strong team to lead agricultural issues. The South Carolina Forestry Association represents more than 3,000 members who grow, manage, harvest and process forest resources. Led by Cam Crawford, the association’s mission is to ensure policies that encourage management of forest resources while strengthening the pro-business climate for the wood and paper products industry. The Chamber is proud to have worked closely with each organization on business issues like tax policy, port expansion, immigration reform and protection from over-regulation of small businesses.

Currently, we are working together on the Pollution Control Act, brought to the forefront with the recent Smith Land Company ruling by the South Carolina Supreme Court. Under the Supreme Court’s ruling, all discharges or emissions into the Otis Rawl is president and chief environment now executive officer of the South require a permit. The Carolina Chamber of Commerce. ruling also creates a private right of action for any citizen or citizens group to bring suit against those “violating” the Pollution Control Act, even when there is no permit for businesses to obtain. The Supreme Court’s opinion is plainly wrong and contrary to legislative intent. The decision has already opened the door for a tidal wave of environmental litigation and created a climate of uncertainty for industry. Businesses are committed to doing the right thing. If a company obtains required permits, it should not be sued. It is frivolous and will hamper economic development. The South Carolina Chamber will continue to work with our allies on legislation to restore balance to the Pollution Control Act by correcting the Smith Land Company ruling from the South Carolina Supreme Court. Agriculture is a high-risk business, dependent on the weather, world trade policies and commodity market volumes and prices. It is important we work together to provide valuable insight to our elected officials to help them understand the importance of agribusiness and the numerous opportunities to expand the industry. This edition of South Carolina Business includes a look at the top federal and state issues facing the agribusiness community, examines agricultural education programs across the state and introduces you to Kenneth Seeger, president of Community Development and Land Management at MWV. We also take a look at agribusiness financing opportunities and exporting South Carolina specialty food products. Finally, we share an article on the Chamber’s Agribusiness Council and how it is advancing agribusiness in the state. South Carolina agriculture and forestry products are used all around the globe, and agribusiness will continue to be a huge component of building our state’s economy. The South Carolina Chamber and its allies appreciate the impact agribusiness has on all of our lives, and we look forward to working with legislators and policy makers to ensure this growing industry’s needs are met as we look to the future.

s c c h a m b e r. n e t | M a r c h / A p r i l 2 0 1 2 | S o u t h C a r o l i n a B u s i n e ss |

3


Real wood, Real value, Real service 速 Industries, Inc.

Cox Industries, Inc.

,

www.coxwood.com

,

(800) 476-4401


B y J ulie S cott

D

id you know in 2010, more than 800 fewer students dropped out of state high schools than in the previous year, or South Carolina’s workforce ranked sixth in CNBC’s America’s Top States for Business 2011? Did you hear that since 2008, Education Week’s Quality Counts report has ranked South Carolina first in the nation in the Teaching Profession category, or the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council ranks the state the fifth friendliest in the nation for small business and entrepreneurship? The facts about education and workforce development in South Carolina are improving every day, and SC Minds@Work is committed to spreading that message. In South Carolina, when minds are at work, people are put to work. SC Minds@Work, launched just over a year ago, is a coalition of business leaders, education leaders and citizens that helps promote the positive steps South Carolina is taking in workforce development. Together, South Carolina business leaders are promoting the aggressive strides the state is making to ensure the people of South Carolina are thinking, learning and working. In November 2011, the Bank

of America Charitable Foundation announced a $20,000 grant to forward the initiative. This generous contribution will go a long way in helping improve the perception of the state on a national and global scale as it relates to education and workforce development. “As an employer and as a leading financial services institution, we have a vested interest in supporting educational initiatives that will produce a knowledgeable and skilled workforce able to compete in the global economy,” said Bank of America Greenville Market President Stacy Brandon. “We are pleased to support South Carolina Minds@Work and their efforts to impact and improve the perception of our state’s current education position and workforce development as it relates to attracting economic growth.” In 2011, business leaders spoke to thousands about the initiative, building a strong coalition to continue advancing the positive steps the state is making. Many have visited www.scmindsatwork.com and signed up to “Stay in the Know.” In addition, many employers have placed facts about education and workforce development in their common areas and linked to

www.scmindsatwork.com from their own company websites. Plans for 2012 include quarterly newsletters to stakeholders, a targeted media campaign and continued discussion about the importance of promoting the positive. Everyone can agree the state must continuously work to move education forward, but negative perceptions of public education within South Carolina and outside of the state can damage economic development and job creation. The business community looks forward to telling the true story of workforce development in South Carolina, while continuously working towards improvements in the education of our young people – businesses’ future workers.

E conomic D rivers

SC Minds@Work gains momentum

Julie Scott is associate vice president of communications at the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce.

A collective voice for agribusiness B y G ary S pires

C ourtesy of S C F arm bureau

D

uring my nearly three decades working with agriculture and natural resources issues, there has never been a time when the agribusiness industry has stood as united as it is today. We have moved from an era when individual agriculture and natural resources entities stood on their own to a time now when we stand as the state’s largest economic engine. As chair of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce’s Agribusiness Council, I’m proud to say our committee is comprised of agribusiness leaders from across the state who make recommendations on ways the South Carolina Chamber can provide support to the industry. The Chamber’s Agribusiness Council provides input on legislation that impacts agribusiness and helps determine how the Chamber can cultivate more agribusiness-related opportunities in the state. We work closely with state agencies like the South Carolina Department of Agriculture, the South Carolina Department of Commerce and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). We coordinate with private organizations like the South Carolina Farm Bureau Federation and the Palmetto Agribusiness Council to ensure agribusiness interests are heard and protected. The Agribusiness Council is working on a number of issues, including monitoring last year’s Smith Land

Company ruling by the South Carolina Supreme Court that says a permit is now required for any discharge or emission released into the environment. The Agribusiness Council and the Chamber’s Environmental Technical Committee are working closely with the Chamber to urge legislators to address this dangerous precedent. Another issue we are working on is the need for improved transportation and infrastructure, as South Carolina’s farmers and foresters depend on safe roads and bridges and a strong port system. Long overdue funding for roads and bridges is a necessity to sustain and grow the agribusiness industry. The deepening of Charleston Harbor will also bring growth opportunities

for agribusiness and multiple other industries in South Carolina. Then there’s the issue of maintaining agricultural sales tax exemptions as the legislature looks for ways to strengthen the budget and find additional revenue. One of the biggest concerns is the lack of understanding about agribusiness. While manufacturers can shut down their productions from time to time to control inventory and production, farmers do not have that option. Profit margins are already so narrow in the agribusiness sector that additional tax burdens will put many of our best farmers out of business. I encourage members of South Carolina’s agribusiness industry to let the Agribusiness Council know what we can do to continue to strengthen the state’s business climate. Our goal is to serve as a collective voice for all areas of agribusiness and strengthen our industry through smart policy. Gary Spires is director of government relations at the South Carolina Farm Bureau Federation and chair of the South Carolina Chamber’s Agribusiness Council.

s c c h a m b e r. n e t | M a r c h / A p r i l 2 0 1 2 | S o u t h C a r o l i n a B u s i n e ss |

5


E conomic D rivers

President Obama’s NLRB recess appointments are an abuse of power B y A ndy S atterfield

O

n January 4, President Barack Obama announced three recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Two of the appointees, Richard Griffin and Sharon Block, are democrats with strong ties to labor. Apparently doubtful the Senate would confirm these controversial appointments, President Obama bypassed Congress and instead issued “recess” appointments, even though the Senate was not in recess at the time. This unprecedented action shows a complete disregard for the Senate’s right to provide advice and consent with respect to presidential nominees. Recess appointments are provided for in Article II, Section 2, Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution, which states that “[t]he President shall have the Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate . . . .” Since at least 1921, this Recess Appointments Clause has been interpreted to require a Senate recess of between 10 and 25 days, and never less than six days, in order for a president to make a recess appointment. During the past 30 years, the shortest recess during which a president made a recess

appointment was 10 days. The Constitution states that neither house of Congress may adjourn for more than three days without the consent of the other house. Because the House of Representatives did not consent to a Senate recess of more than three days at the end of last year, the Senate continued to conduct “pro forma” sessions every third day until January 23, 2012. Under Senate rules, “pro forma” sessions are considered legislative sessions. Even though most senators were absent during those sessions, business was conducted, including extension of the controversial payroll tax reduction that was approved by unanimous consent of the Senate. By signing the bill, President Obama acknowledged the Senate was in session, and the bill was properly enacted. Motions have been filed by employers and business groups alleging the NLRB lacks the authority to implement and enforce the Board’s notice-posting rule because of the president’s failure to appoint new Board members with the advice and consent of the Senate. Motions also have been filed to disqualify the new Board members from participating in cases. If successful, this

will result in the NLRB not having a quorum necessary to render decisions. It will obviously take a great deal of time and money to sort through these legal issues, and any actions by the Board in the meantime will be called into question. Moreover, this sets a dangerous precedent for future presidents to simply side-step Congress in its important advice and consent function. By choosing this path, President Obama is making it clear he is willing to continue to take extreme positions to win the support of labor. Andy Satterfield is a partner at Jackson Lewis LLP.

Clemson PSA enhances economic growth B y G eorge A skew

6

| S o u t h C a r o l i n a B u s i n e ss

C ourtesy of C lemson P S A

C

1994 through recommendations that improve lemson University enhances economic yields and reduce chemical costs, making South growth for South Carolina agribusiness Carolina the second largest collard producer in through a continuous process of the nation. identifying critical issues, finding solutions and • Peach growers save $4 to $6 million per transferring that knowledge to producers. year by using a test to target treatment for brown Clemson Public Service Activities (PSA) is rot, reducing fungicide use and preventing yield made up of four interrelated units. Experiment loss. In 2011, Clemson partnered with the U.S. Station conducts research, Extension transfers Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the South science-based information to producers and Carolina Department of Agriculture to export Livestock-Poultry Health and Regulatory Services peaches to Mexico. Peaches are a $64 million crop protect animal and plant health under state and in the state. federal mandates. • Cattle research is improving reproduction Here are just some of the examples of the Peanut crop value increased more than 13-fold to $75 million per rates and reducing feed costs. The cattle industry economic impact Clemson programs contribute year from 2002 to 2011. produces 108 billion pounds of beef, 319 million to South Carolina agribusiness. • Poultry exports have nearly doubled since 2005 to – through a monitoring program to detect and treat pounds of milk and farm sales of more than $150 million $145 million because of diagnostic analyses and disease- soybean rust. Soybeans are a $150 million crop in the per year. free certification. Total farm sales of poultry and eggs state. • Strawberry growers’ profits increased 13-fold George Askew is the associate exceed $1.2 billion per year. vice president of Clemson • Peanut crop value increased more than 13-fold since 1988 to more than $10 million per year through University Public Service and to $75 million per year from 2002 to 2011, with more improved production methods that increase yields and Agriculture. growth expected in 2012 through variety evaluations reduce disease damage. Clemson is a founding partner in the Southern Region Small Fruit Consortium of six and more cost-effective production methods. • Soybean growers save $25 million per year – $15 universities that develop regional solutions for small fruit million in reduced spraying costs and an additional $10 growers. • Collard growers have saved $20 million since million in reduced crop losses when the disease is active


B y M ichael J ohnson

C ourtesy of S C F orestry commission

T

he Southeastern United Carolina are transported by States is the Saudi Arabia vessel. of Southern Yellow Pine While we do import forest products. The strong, some select forest products resilient Southern Yellow Pine from other countries, we are Tree is a valued commodity clearly a net exporter in the for countless end uses. It is also forest products market. The one of the least expensive and ability to move our products most effective carbon sinks allows companies in the forest in nature, meaning it absorbs products industry to increase more carbon than it releases. volumes and thereby improve The success of this commodity their technology. Export dollars is directly tied to the port system allow the industry to lower in the Southeastern United domestic costs, employ more States. people and seize the global There are countless stage as it pertains to forest producers of forest products in products. various industries in both South S i n c e 20 01, S o u t h Carolina and the Southeast Forest products are the number one export Carolina’s forest product Region utilizing the ports of moved through the Port of Charleston, exports have doubled from Charleston, Savannah, Norfolk accounting for more than 30 percent of the approximately $600 million to and others. In fact, according goods moved through the port in 2010. $1.3 billion. Customers include to the South Carolina Forestry Canada, Italy, the Czech Commission, forest products are the number one Republic, Taiwan, China, Germany, the Caribbean export moved through the Port of Charleston, and many more nations. In an interesting global twist, accounting for more than 30 percent of the goods forest product-related companies from these countries moved through the port in 2010. Approximately 83 are now seeking locations in South Carolina to domicile percent of the forest products exported from South their own manufacturing facilities.

With the Panama Canal transitioning from the ability to handle ships with up to 5,000 TEUs to ships that can carry up to 13,000 TEUs, South Carolina cannot afford to be left behind. With the opportunity to upgrade the Port of Charleston to handle the larger post-Panamax ships, we are in position to dominate forest products trade for the entire United States. With ports in Georgetown and Charleston and the opportunity to expand our presence with Jasper, South Carolina is positioned to be a global leader in the export of forest products. South Carolina is one of the few places in the world producing Southern Yellow Pine with the highest of strength ratings. The Palmetto State has arguably the strongest natural landscape for not only our timber but also our port system. The next time you walk by a job site and see Southern Yellow Pine lumber being used in construction, realize there are similar sites all around the world.

E conomic D rivers

Reversing the trade defıcit, S.C. style

Michael Johnson is president and CEO of Cox Industries.

Precision agriculture provides high-tech solutions B y S tephen H udson

C ourtesy of sc farm bureau federation

W

hen the average person sees a farmer driving a tractor across a field, he or she doesn’t see the state-of-the-art technology being employed as the farmer navigates between the rows. The intricately detailed Global Positioning System (GPS) and Geographical Information System (GIS) guiding the tractor are part of a new industry within agriculture called precision agriculture. The goal of precision agriculture is to improve farmers’ profits and harvest yields while reducing the negative impacts of farming on the environment that come from over-application of chemicals and the over-usage of irrigation. In the past decade, precision agriculture techniques have become more of a staple in a farmer’s toolkit. The concept behind precision agriculture is that profitability can be increased by managing zones within a field differently than one would manage the field as a whole. GPS allows a farmer to precisely identify the specific locations within the field, and GIS allows a farmer to maintain the data about each location. With the push of a button, GPS pinpoints an exact

location to within one meter. Touching another button displays a series of GIS maps that show where the soil in a field is moist, where the soil eroded over the winter and where there are factors within the soil that limit crop growth. All of this allows the farmer to reduce irrigation in one area, increase it in another and determine where to treat for insects. Insects, such as the stink bug, attack cotton, causing $50 million in yield losses in the Cotton Belt annually and another untold millions in eradication costs. New sensor technology currently being developed at Clemson University’s Edisto Research Education Center (REC) in Blackville, S.C. to identify stink bug locations in a cotton field can help farmers minimize damages and their costs. When stink bugs attack cotton bolls, the plant releases a chemical into the air as a distress signal, and the bug releases a pungent odor. Using technology similar to what is already used by the Department of Homeland Security, researchers are developing an “Electronic Nose” that can sniff out and identify stink bug locations. The sensors can either be handheld equipment to find damaged bolls or can go directly on the sprayer. This new technology identifies which

Farmers can monitor soil conditions and insect damage using GPS and GIS technology.

areas need treatment and only spray the areas the bug is attacking, allowing farmers to use site-specific pesticides. South Carolina farmers are using cutting-edge tools to increase their yields using precision agriculture. Research goes on every day to improve precision agriculture and develop new technologies that will benefit all of us. Stephen Hudson is a public information coordinator for the South Carolina Department of Agriculture.

s c c h a m b e r. n e t | M a r c h / A p r i l 2 0 1 2 | S o u t h C a r o l i n a B u s i n e ss |

7


8

| S o u t h C a r o l i n a B u s i n e ss


Growing With South Carolina ‌

YES, YOU CAN. Since 1838, McCall Farms has cultivated the rich soils of South Carolina, growing to become one of the nation’s leading providers of farm-fresh, Southern canned vegetables, fruit and peanuts. With distribution that includes many regional and national retailers, McCall Farms is able to deliver a wide cross-section of products, including seasoned and low-sodium offerings. And, with more than 80% of the produce coming from South Carolina, McCall Farms remains committed to its history, heritage, ever-increasing employee base and the Pee Dee community. www.margaretholmes.com


Growing South Carolina’s agribusiness industry

W

hat picture comes to mind when people think of agribusiness in South Carolina? More than likely, visions of green pastures and cattle, a farmer on a tractor plowing a vast field of soybeans or a roadside market brimming with peaches and tomatoes are the typical pictures of the state’s agriculture industry. While these picturesque visions are certainly accurate, agribusiness is a vast network of different industry sectors that covers producers, processors, packaging, financing and transportation. Historically, agribusiness, which includes agriculture, forestry and timber products, has always played an important role in South Carolina’s economy. Today, it is the state’s largest business sector, contributing $34 billion to the state’s economy and providing about 200,000 jobs. The good news is those powerful statistics could be increased significantly as a new agribusiness economic development strategy has become the focus of the South Carolina Department of Commerce, the South Carolina Department of Agriculture and the South Carolina Forestry Commission, in partnership with the Palmetto Agribusiness Council. According to Palmetto Agribusiness Council President Jack Shuler, the way we look at agribusiness is changing. Shuler, who chairs the group’s Agribusiness Economic Development Coordinating Council, said, “Even though agribusiness is a significant contributor to the state’s economy, often times it has been overlooked in state and local economic development strategies.” Shuler explained that economic development planners traditionally look at how they can incentivize and attract large manufacturers to their communities for job creation and investment, and South Carolina has been a leader in doing so. “But we have seen the change with competition in manufacturing from countries like China and India,” said Shuler. “An added strategy to our traditional approach is to focus on how we can grow the agribusiness cluster, which will play a significant role in creating jobs and raising per capita income in our rural areas.” The South Carolina Department of Agriculture has developed a plan to increase the economic impact of agribusiness to $50 billion by 2020. The South Carolina Forestry Commission has a plan to increase the forestry industry’s $17.4 billion impact to $20 billion by 2015. By identifying a specific roadmap of value-added opportunities, agribusiness is poised to become a more powerful economic engine than before, especially in rural and

10

| S o u t h C a r o l i n a B u s i n e ss

distressed counties. South Carolina is not famous for one agricultural product as found in other states. Despite growing more peaches than Georgia, South Carolina is not the Peach State. Even though South Carolina grows more peanuts than Virginia, it is not the Peanut State. Other states are far ahead of South Carolina in getting out the message about the quality of their apples, oranges, dairy products and more. Florida has Fresh from Florida, New Jersey has Jersey Fresh and Georgia has Georgia Grown. South Carolina needed an umbrella brand and a marketing program to promote that brand. With the help of private and public partners, the South Carolina Department of Agriculture developed the Certified SC Grown program. The Certified SC Grown program has grown over the past five years to include 1,171 members. According to a USC Moore School of Business study, South Carolina’s economy will grow along with the Certified SC Grown campaign. With the success of this program, which has generated almost $3 million in additional producer surplus, adequate investment is needed to sustain it. Based on the study’s findings, for an additional $2 million state appropriation, $23 million in additional revenue and 10,000 more jobs could be generated for South Carolina. With all the agribusiness commodities South Carolina produces, the state is still missing out on capturing the additional value of those products by sending them out to other states for processing. If South Carolina can locate processing and packaging plants in the state, touching our products more than just once, there is a better chance of increasing their value. South Carolina also needs to explore agritourism, organic products, research and development, biofuels, forest product opportunities in secondary processing and niche markets. While looking at its opportunities, South Carolina cannot overlook issues that can impede progress. Agribusiness has always been dependent upon the old “farm to market” road to connect producers to consumers. Today, that “road” is South Carolina’s highway system, the fifth largest state-maintained system in the U.S. Many of the state’s roads are in disrepair, due to lack of state

photos C ourtesy of S . C . dept. of agriculture

B y C athy N ovinger


Labor remains a challenging issue for agribusiness. States, including South Carolina, have passed their own legislative mandates to regulate immigration. In order for agribusinesses to expand in the state and remain in business, they must have access to a dependable workforce. Agriculture is unique from other sectors within the economy because of perishable commodity production. Without a legal, skilled and accessible agricultural workforce, the industry risks losing a large part of its domestic production, driving the nation’s food production offshore. Our immigration system is broken and needs to be fixed with a comprehensive federal solution that addresses securing our borders and includes a guest worker program to meet the unique needs and seasonality of agriculture. South Carolina’s economic history was built upon agriculture. If we can address obstacles and take advantage of opportunities, agribusiness can be the major force in driving South Carolina’s economic future, growing its economic impact to $50 billion and adding 290,000 jobs by the year 2020. Cathy Novinger is the executive director of the Palmetto Agribusiness Council.

South Carolina Agri-businesses trust us. You can trust us, too. For nearly 60 years, South Carolina’s agricultural community has turned to Farm Bureau Insurance for reliable, affordable insurance protection and personalized service. Today, our company is a leading provider of auto, home and life insurance. We also offer a variety of commercial products and business insurance planning for businesses of all sizes. Find your local agent online at SCFBIns.com. [ML PR(0212)SC]

photos C ourtesy of S . C . forestry commission

and federal funding. According to the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT), nearly one-third of South Carolina’s primary and interstate highways are in poor or mediocre condition, with approximately half of the state’s secondary roads considered to be in failing condition. One out of every five bridges in the state is considered deficient. Even though SCDOT has expanded weight limits to the Port of Charleston for trucks, they are route restricted due to the condition of the roads, adding transportation costs and eating away profitability. Expanding agribusinesses in South Carolina by identifying new export markets is a major component of the agribusiness economic development strategy, but businesses must have a cost-effective means of transporting goods. In neighboring states, 10 trucks can do the work of 12 in South Carolina because of higher weight limits that can be supported by better infrastructure. If South Carolina agribusiness is to remain competitive, the state must find ways to fund our highways. Needed strategies include encouraging a five-year appropriation from the Federal Highway Transportation bill and revising the federal gas tax formula that would return more dollars to our state than we contribute. Expanding South Carolina port opportunities for agribusiness is an important element in our economic development strategy, which is dependent upon the ability of the Port of Charleston to provide accessibility to overseas outlets. Agribusiness leaders believe the expansion of the Charleston Port to accommodate larger vessels with the completion of the Panama Canal expansion is essential to not only sustain the industry but also increase its profitability. There are untapped export potentials for forestry products, poultry, grain and many others.

Commercial Property Employee Pension Plans General Liability Group Health Plans

South Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company • Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company • Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company, Jackson, MS • Palmetto Casualty Insurance Company South Carolina Farm Bureau Insurance Agency, LLC • Authorized Representative for: BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and UnitedHealthcare. BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. UnitedHealthcare is a UnitedHealth Group Company.

FBIagribusinessad12.indd 9

2/14/2012 3:17:52 PM

s c c h a m b e r. n e t | M a r c h / A p r i l 2 0 1 2 | S o u t h C a r o l i n a B u s i n e ss |

11


The economic impact of agr $17B

500

There are around 500 retailers participating in the Certified SC Grown program, including: Walmart, Piggly Wiggly, Food Lion, BI-LO and IGA.

South Carolina’s agricultural commodity exports totaled $482.4 million in 2006.

$345M According to statistics from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service, South Carolina’s top five commodities in cash receipts in 2010 were broilers, turkeys, greenhouse/nursery, cattle and calves, and corn.

12

| S o u t h C a r o l i n a B u s i n e ss

In 2006, South Carolina ranked 2nd in the nation in peaches and flue-cured tobacco, 4th in tobacco (all types), 6th in peanuts, 7th in watermelons, 8th in cantaloupe, cucumbers and sweet potatoes, 9th in turkeys and 10th in tomatoes and snap beans.

$482.4M Pulpwood is South Carolina’s leading forest product by volume harvested and is also South Carolina’s most valuable forest product ($345 million for pulpwood vs. $230 million for sawtimber).

Photos courtesy SC Forestry commission, S.C. dept. of agriculture, agsouth, sc farm bureau federation, clemson psa, tmca stock

The impact of forest products (forestry, logging, primary wood products and furniture manufacturing) on South Carolina’s economy is more than $17 billion annually and ranks second in value-added goods among the state’s manufacturing sector.

The South Carolina Department of Agriculture launched its Certified SC Grown program in 2006. At that time, 90 percent of polled South Carolinians said they were unable to determine what was locally grown produce and products at stores and restaurants. Only 20 percent of consumers thought South Carolina products were available, and only 13 percent of consumers could find these products in stores.

Sources South Carolina Agriculture Statistics: from Economic Impact of the Agriculture Industry in South Carolina, prepared for the Palmetto Agribusiness Council by Miley, Gallo & Associates LLC, September 2008 / South Carolina Forestry Commission and USDA Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) / South Carolina Department of Agriculture


ribusiness in South Carolina 13.1M

South Carolina has 13.1 million acres of forestland, which represents 68 percent of the state’s total land area.

23.3B According to the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, food typically consumed in the U.S. travels an average of 1,500 miles from production to consumption.

The Certified SC Grown program has grown to include 1,171 members.

200,000 As jobs are declining in other sectors of the economy, nearly 200,000 South Carolinians are employed by the agribusiness industry. There are now nearly 190 Certified Roadside Markets and 115 communitybased farmers markets around the state, which are members of the Certified SC Grown program.

$16.8B

1,171

South Carolina’s forests now contain 23.3 billion cubic feet of wood, more than at any time in the past century.

The direct and indirect impacts of the agriculture industry in South Carolina total more than $16.8 billion.

The South Carolina Department of Agriculture launched Fresh on the Menu in 2008, and now 344 restaurants across the state are participants pledging to dedicate their menus to at least 25 percent locally grown ingredients.

344

s c c h a m b e r. n e t | M a r c h / A p r i l 2 0 1 2 | S o u t h C a r o l i n a B u s i n e ss |

13


Cultivating the

next generation B y G ail C rouch

C

of the top chapters in the state.

C l emson ’ s broad net Clemson University offers 17 bachelor’s, 14 master’s and 10 doctorate degrees within its College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences. While the university continues to offer traditional life science courses, newer courses such as biochemistry and biotechnology examine ways to increase crop production while preserving natural resources. “Students who leave Clemson will fit into a broad range of opportunities in the agriculture industry,” said Dean Tom Scott. “Many will go to work at large agribusiness companies – anything from a John Deere making agricultural equipment, to companies involved in production of food and fiber, to those involved in food processing and packaging.” Some students will return to family farms to be involved directly in food production, but they will go back with the latest technology and techniques at their disposal. Imagine, suggests Scott, “I’m sitting on a tractor utilizing modern computer technology and GPS navigation systems to do precision agriculture in a field that I am monitoring to have the least harmful impact.” Students in Clemson’s agricultural program are encouraged to participate on Creative Inquiry Teams, solving real-world agricultural challenges with other students and faculty members representing different disciplines. “Our peach team is primarily housed in the horticulture area, but its members include faculty and students involved in genetics and biochemistry,” said Scott. “They are working closely with our peach

14

| S o u t h C a r o l i n a B u s i n e ss

breeders to develop stocks that will have different flavors or drought resistance.” Educating the educators The Agricultural Education program, also housed at Clemson, is educating agricultural education teachers who in turn will prepare their students for future careers in areas such as production farming, golf course management, forestry, food science and veterinary studies. With the 2005 passage of the Education and Economic Development Act, now called Personal Pathways to Success, 16 career clusters were created

South Carolina Farm Bureau Federation's Ag in the Classroom program provides hands-on learning for K-8 grade teachers.

in secondary schools, including the Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Career Cluster. More than 100 schools and 11,000 students participate in agricultural education programs across the state, and the demand

for new programs is growing even in urban districts, said Dr. Tom Dobbins, program director. In addition, Agricultural Education oversees the state’s FFA program (formerly Future Farmers of America, now simply known as National FFA) and continuing education for farmers and teachers through the South Carolina Young Farmer and Agribusiness Association (SCYFAA). Patrick Earle, ag ed instructor at McBee High School and a National Hall of Fame teacher, said 75 percent of students in his small school participate in the ag ed program. Most are among the top academic performers and plan to pursue higher education. Half of his students now are female, and many hold leadership positions in FFA. Much has changed since he began teaching 32 years ago, Earle said. “We’re not just teaching ‘plows and sows’ anymore. Technology has become such a big part of what we do,” said Earle. The South Carolina Farm Bureau Federation supports education through its Ag in the Classroom program. Ag Literacy Director Vonne Knight leads 12 to 15 workshops and a one-week summer institute each year, providing K-8 grade teachers with cross-discipline lesson plans to help them teach their students about agriculture. Since 2004, the program has reached approximately 2,500 educators and more than 125,000 students. Knight said many students and teachers have little experience with agriculture. “Our goal is to bridge the gap between perceptions and the reality about farming,” said Knight. “I’ve witnessed too many kids who believe clothes come from the mall, and food comes from the supermarket,” said South Carolina Farm Bureau Federation President David Winkles. “It is incumbent upon us in the agriculture industry to do what we can to help consumers learn that their food and fiber begin on the farm. The Ag in the Classroom program does just that.” Winkles said it is rewarding to hear teachers tell him how much they have learned about the importance of agriculture and how excited they are to get that information into the classroom. “I truly believe what we are doing in this area is making a difference and helping teachers and their students grasp the enormity of the agriculture industry in South Carolina and across the globe,” said Winkles.

C ourtesy of S C F arm bureau federation , patrick earle / mcbee high school , S . C . state fair

lemson junior Caleb Miller is the fourth generation on his family’s small beef farm in Saluda, S.C. Like many family farms, Miller Farms faces challenges that include high costs for equipment and supplies, unfavorable weather and a shortage of farmland for expansion. Miller plans to complete his degree in agricultural mechanization and business and go to work for an agricultural corporation, while helping run the family farm on the side. Miller is typical of many young farmers today. Most will seek some form of higher education to make a living. Fortunately, South Carolina has numerous agricultural education programs to prepare students for a variety of careers in the McBee High School FFA members receive the Governor's Citation from the South Carolina FFA Association for being one agribusiness industry.


The South Carolina State Fair's Field to Fair program is designed to educate the public about what it takes to get a product from the farm to its display at the fair.

high school seniors who plan to attend in-state colleges. This spring, the State Fair is launching the Field to Fair program to educate the public about what it takes to get a product from the farm to its display at the fair. “We want to educate them about everything from roses to rutabagas to roosters…and how agriculture affects their lives,” said Goodman. The campaign will include weekly broadcasts on the South Carolina Radio Network to showcase agricultural products and regions of the state. Information and games for children will be offered on the State Fair website, and the campaign will culminate with informational displays at the State Fair in October.

Support for new farmers In January, the SCYFAA held its 64th annual convention in Columbia. The group, comprised of farmers, agricultural educators and agribusiness workers, partners with Clemson University to encourage young farmers, mentor students and provide continuing education and support to farmers of all ages. The group offers scholarships to FFA students and selects a Top Young Farmer of the Year for each region of the state. One goal of the SCYFAA is to link experienced farmers with students who want to take up farming. “We want to bridge the gap for farmers who don’t have someone in their family to take over the farm, and match them with young people who could become their farm managers,” said SCYFAA President Jeremy Holtzclaw. Other new farmers are entering the field via nontraditional paths - venturing into sustainable, organic and specialty products. For them, the South Carolina New and Beginning Farmer Program, also administered through Clemson University, offers assistance. “We have three types of clients,” said Dr. David Lamie, program director. “One, we have people at mid-career, who have retired early or been downsized and now want to explore farming. Two, we have a younger set, fresh out of college or with a few years of experience, who are joining the local food movement. Three, we have traditional retirees who enter farming as their retirement project.” In its second year of a three-year $750,000 USDA grant, the program focuses on helping farmers develop a business plan, understand state and federal regulations and market their products, said Lamie. Working with other organizations, including the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association and Lowcountry Local First, the program also provides opportunities for farm visits and apprenticeships with other producers. Educating the public The South Carolina State Fair, founded in 1869, continues its mission to support agriculture, said General Manager Gary Goodman. The Fair supports 4H and FFA programs, funding students’ participation at national conferences and competitions and hosting an FFA Day each year during State Fair week. The State Fair awards $300,000 in scholarships annually to South Carolina AD.indd 1

A promising future The South Carolina Department of Agriculture

launched its Farm-to-School program in 2010, a public-private partnership between produce growers, local distributors and local schools to provide fresh fruits and vegetables for school meals. The program provides potential new markets for farmers and encourages healthier eating. “We’re very pleased with where we are one year into this effort and where it can potentially go,” said South Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers. “It’s a market opportunity for farmers, but we also think that putting a better quality product on the menu will have tremendous health benefits for our schoolchildren.” Weathers is optimistic about the state’s agribusiness industry. “The future of agriculture in South Carolina is bright,” he told farmers and educators at the recent SCYFAA conference. Gail Crouch is a freelance writer based in Columbia, S.C.

Unemployment Frau Costs You Money

Unemployment fraud is: • Paying individuals “under the table” to avoid unemployment taxes • Paying an employee who is submitting unemployment claims • Purposely categorizing employees as independent contractors

For more information,

visit: dew.sc.gov/fraud

SC Department of

EMPLOYMENT AND WORKFORCE

s c c h a m b e r. n e t | M a r c h / A p r i l 2 0 1 2 | S o u t h C a r o l i n a B u s i n e ss |

12/14/2011 4:38:08 PM

15


mWV

Ken Seeger

March~April 2012 Centerfold 16

| S o u t h C a r o l i n a B u s i n e ss


s c c h a m b e r. n e t | M a r c h / A p r i l 2 0 1 2 | S o u t h C a r o l i n a B u s i n e ss |

17

B y M atthew G regory

P hotography by pat crawford

ver since MeadWestvaco, now known as MWV, first purchased land in South Carolina in the 1920s, forestry has been an essential part of the company’s success. MWV owns more than 700,000 acres of land across Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia, with about 320,000 acres in the Palmetto State alone. As the state’s forestry industry has evolved, so has MWV’s strategy. Under the leadership of Ken Seeger, president of MWV Community Development and Land Management, the company has transitioned from a purely forestry operation to a community and industrial development company with forestry operations that is using its land to drive economic development. “We saw the need to relook at our land, embrace world-class planning and leverage off the company’s community involvement to back economic development in the region,” said Seeger.

E

Branching out


March~April 2012 Centerfold Ken Seeger eeger has been in the real estate development business for more than 35 years. A graduate of The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Seeger’s early career included a senior executive position at Fox and Carskadon Financial Corporation, a public syndication company with apartment, commercial and hotel investments throughout the United States totaling more than $2 billion. He was also a founder and president of The Presidio Group LLC and its affiliates, a San Francisco-based real estate asset management, land entitlement and development company. When arriving at MWV in 2007, Seeger was tasked with developing a strategy to maximize the value of MWV’s land through enhancement strategies, such as managing land for conservation, recreation and development. “I took over the responsibility of our forestry division, including minerals, mining, wind power, natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale and everything that goes with managing a modern forest,” said Seeger. “We also began to look at our land base and determined how to maximize the value of our land assets in a way that was environmentally responsible to the communities we operate in.” Under Seeger’s leadership, the company recognized it no longer needed to own the land to supply fiber for its mills and could instead rely on long-term fiber supply agreements with third parties. The company eventually sold its Charleston mill in 2008. Seeger was also instrumental in developing a rural land sale program where land is enhanced by digging ponds, improving roads and thinning trees to improve aesthetics and wildlife habitats before being sold for recreational use. A comprehensive land management strategy was announced in 2007 that included East Edisto, a 72,000 acre master planned region along the eastern edge of the Edisto River in Charleston and Dorchester counties. Bringing in world-class land planners, MWV engaged the community and developed a vision for East Edisto that includes a mixture of homes, businesses, schools and conservation areas, maintaining the area’s rural charm. “It’s a conservation inspired master plan that celebrates the countryside. We can have trails through the countryside, a nature center on the Edisto River and opportunities for biking. We can create jobs close to housing so people don’t have to have long commutes,” said Seeger. MWV has already constructed the first phase of East Edisto’s Pine Hill Business Campus outside of Summerville. The first tenant is ArborGen, a leading developer of biotechnology tree seedling products. The company has also announced Nexton, a master planned community of nearly 5,000 acres along Interstate 26 in Summerville. Nexton will have approximately 9,000 homes and 6 million feet of commercial space, including two hotels, a large apartment complex and a retail center. With almost 1.5 miles of frontage on I-26 and a walkable campus environment, the development is well-positioned to bring new employment opportunities to the area. MWV is doing more than just building communities for South Carolinians. The company is working closely with the South Carolina State Ports Authority and the South Carolina Department of Commerce to bring jobs to the state via the strategic location of distribution centers and commerce parks. One of MWV’s first projects demonstrating its focus on economic development exists in the form of a foreign trade zone within the Jedburg Distribution Cluster located off of U.S. Interstate 26 between the Summerville and Jedburg exits. The Rockefeller Group-MeadWestvaco Foreign Trade Zone is home to a massive 1.1 million square foot distribution center for TBC Corporation, the parent company of

18

| S o u t h C a r o l i n a B u s i n e ss

Tire Kingdom and the largest marketer of private brand tires in North America. The tire giant offloads tens of thousands of tires at the facility each day, a prime location given the close proximity to the port. The Rockefeller Group-MeadWestvaco Foreign Trade Zone also has two pad-ready sites for buildings ranging from 455,000 square feet to 562,000 square feet, enabling six months to be cut off of a new building’s construction time. “We continue to work on new economic development opportunities with The Rockefeller Group, primarily in the area of distribution,” said Seeger. MWV is also developing eight other commerce parks located along major transportation routes and within close proximity to ports. Two of these commerce parks will be located in East Edisto, while the others will be located in Dorchester, Berkeley, Hampton, Colleton and Georgetown counties. “We want to preserve manufacturing, and the port is critical,” said Seeger. “I also think that Charleston, which has been named a number one tourist destination, has recently risen on the radar screen as a world-class city that everyone wants to visit. It will allow us to attract new world companies, whether it’s creative companies, like advertising, Internet or software businesses, more medical research groups and new energy technology companies. I think it’s the type of environment that young

MWV is developing nine commerce parks located along major transportation routes and within close proximity to ports.

MWV is one of the largest landowners in the state and manages land for forestry and a variety of development opportunities.

I mages courtesy of M W V

S

MWV


people and highly educated people will gravitate to, and it’s important that we help the region move up that sort of value chain.” Seeger stays involved in the state by serving on numerous boards and professional associations, including Charleston Regional Development Alliance’s Economic Leadership Council, the Trident Technical College Foundation Board of Trustees and the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. He is also chairman of the South Carolina Aquarium Board of Directors. MWV’s successful shift in its strategy is even more impressive considering the earliest stages of the transition occurred right around the time the recession was proving to be particularly painful for many businesses. “I think it caused us to be more conservative with the timing of our business plan. It created a favorable environment for the stage we were in. It created an opportunity to do more planning and get our entitlements. The amount of activity had declined, and the cities and counties had more time to work with us. There was a psychological shift from a fear of growth to a desire to create jobs,” said Seeger. The implementation of the company’s new business plan during the economic downturn also demonstrates the importance of its forestry division. MWV has sold between 25,000 and 35,000 acres of recreational land every year for the past five years. MWV also has a gas drilling agreement on 193,000 acres in the Marcellus Shale, where a $100 million pipeline is being built. In addition, MWV has a Specialty Chemicals division with global headquarters and a chemical plant, both located in North Charleston. The division manufactures, markets and distributes specialty chemicals derived from sawdust and other byproducts of the papermaking process in North America, Europe, South America and Asia. Products include activated carbon used in gas vapor emission control systems for cars and trucks and applications for air, water and food purification. Other products include performance chemicals used in printing inks, asphalt paving and adhesives, as well as in the agricultural, paper and petroleum industries. “We’ve been very fortunate to have a lot of operations that produced profit and

East Edisto's plan organizes communities into villages and towns to preserve and protect the countryside.

cash flow all throughout the downturn that’s allowed us to self-finance,” said Seeger. Of MWV’s remaining 700,000 acres of land across six states, a little less than 200,000 acres will be used for fiber supply, while approximately 100,000 acres will be retained for future development. The remaining 400,000 acres will be sold as recreational property or timber supply over the next decade. Throughout the past five years, Seeger has never forgotten the huge amount of responsibility – environmentally and economically- that comes with managing such large areas of forestland. “Our mantra has been to let the land tell us what is appropriate to do with it,” said Seeger. Matthew Gregory is the multimedia coordinator at the South Carolina Chamber and the editor of South Carolina Business.

Business Connections South Carolina St yle

Successful business expansion plans are all about connecting the dots. As the nation’s second largest publicly owned net generator of electricity, Santee Cooper can provide you access to all of the power and the resources of South Carolina’s Power Team. Composed of Santee Cooper and all 20 of the state’s electric cooperatives, the Power Team is dedicated to building strategic relationships with smart, forward-thinking businesses that are looking to expand within the state. We back this commitment by delivering quality service and reliable power at some of the lowest rates in the nation. Get connected in South Carolina. Visit www.scprimesite.com/SCB.

santee_scecde_4862_17 dp_7X5.indd 1

9:37 AM s c c h a m b e r. n e t | M a r c h / A p r i l 2 0 1 2 | S o u t h C a r o l12/21/11 i n a B u s i n e ss |

19


Specialty food companies find new markets

I

f there was any doubt the demand for locally grown food is increasing, validation came when the New Oxford American Dictionary chose “locavore” as its 2007 word of the year, defining the word as a person who tries to eat only food grown or produced within a 100-mile radius. South Carolina has been at the forefront of the grow local movement since the birth of the Certified SC Grown program, created by the South Carolina Department of Agriculture. This movement has worked to stimulate rural economies, offer access to fresher produce and boost state pride and loyalty. While South Carolinians enjoy eating local foods, customers around the globe are also appreciating Palmetto State food products. ECI/Find New Markets is doing its part to help South Carolina specialty food companies reach new customers. ECI is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) that helps small enterprises find new markets and grow through market research and creative marketing solutions. To date, ECI has helped more than 1,000 companies, most recently focusing on local specialty food products. “May’s Unique Vinaigrette was the beginning of ECI working with specialty food companies, and we have now built

20

| S o u t h C a r o l i n a B u s i n e ss

May's Unique Vinaigrette creator Sharon May originally made her signature dressing for Hennessy's, a Columbia restaurant, before expanding to other stores.

a niche in it,” said Fred Monk, president of ECI. “As people are buying more and more local, this really fits in to what people are looking for. We have a lot of indigenous products in South Carolina that are somewhat invisible, and what we’re now looking to do is see how we can elevate these types of entrepreneurs.” The specialty food companies that have worked with ECI have needed assistance developing a clear vision of how to expand

their products and market their companies properly. With a team of research analysts and marketing gurus, ECI helps these companies get SC Certified and find new markets domestically and abroad. ECI also creates websites, logos and brand identities for clients. Monk said he also sees ECI as a connector. “One of the things we’re looking to do is increase their visibility by bringing them together as a group through the South Carolina Specialty Food Association,” said Monk. The South Carolina Specialty Food Association helps farmers, producers and retailers throughout the state expand their businesses through joint marketing programs, promotional campaigns and technical assistance. “People want to buy local because it’s fresher, and it doesn’t travel so far. People want to support their own state. At least 90 percent of the companies in the association have applied to be SC Certified because people are increasingly buying local at farmers markets,” said Jackie Moore, executive director of the South Carolina Specialty Food Association. One of ECI’s clients, Carolina’s Harvest, a Berkeley County company, creates easy to bake mixes from peach cobbler to pizza dough. Sandy Reddy, founder of Carolina’s

photos provided by may ’ s uni q ue vinaigrette , sallie ’ s greatest jams , matthew gregory

B y N ichole J effords


Harvest, said she found that the national brands didn’t have the finest ingredients. “I love great food, but I never have time to make the items for scratch using pure ingredients for the fullest flavor. I created the idea of a mix blend that would allow me to make many different items with less work,” said Reddy. Reddy’s business has grown from three recipes to 20, and she is expecting her company to double this year. Reddy is in the process of launching the Lowcountry Barrel, a new product filled with all of her gourmet blends and packaged in a recycled container. Sallie’s Greatest Jams, located in Calhoun County, got its start winning a Garden & Gun Made in the South Award. The magazine wrote about the company’s Strawberry + Basil Jam and another jam that wasn’t even on the market at the time – Fig Sweet Onion. Jam sales skyrocketed after the article was published. “I was not planning on doing this for a living. This was my hobby. Now, we’ve sold to more than 90 different retail locations across the United States,” said Sallie Dent Porth, creator of Sallie’s Greatest Jams. “The uniqueness of fresh herbs in my jams, working with local produce and educating the consumer on how

to use and enjoy our product have been key to our success.” Bringing You Baskets and Faithful Foods Inc., located at the Shoppes at Flight Deck in Lexington, produces southern gourmet mixes and products using solely South Carolina products and goods. For the past eight years, ECI has helped Faithful Foods with marketing assistance, website development, graphic and print production and with the overall promotion of its products. Heidi Black, creator of Faithful Foods, said she is “delighted with the combined efforts of Carolina’s Harve st founder Sand y Reddy has gro the Department of Agriculture of mixes from thr wn her line ee recipes to 20 . and ECI/Find New Markets to promote all of the wonderful local sustainable food and products made local consumers hungry for just right here.” Black also voluntarily organizes that very thing,” said Black. the Lexington Local Farmers Market, May’s Unique Vinaigrette, ECI’s first which benefits Lexington County Meals on specialty food client, started off as the Wheels. signature dressing for Hennessy’s, a “By hosting this market, it has offered landmark restaurant in Columbia. After the opportunity to many local growers and gaining immense popularity, creator South Carolina food/product producers to Sharon May decided she wanted to sell her sell their goods to an ever-growing, everproducts to other stores, but she did not receptive market of know how to get started. She credits ECI with mentoring her on the startup of a new product and introducing her to connections. ECI did all research on bottles, caps, labels, barcodes and everything needed to put her product on the market. They also designed her logo, website, signs, brochures and other promotional items that have helped her product gain recognition. Mother Shucker’s Original Cocktail Sauce got its start as the signature sauce of The Oyster Bar Columbia, owned by mother-son team, Mary and John Sparrow. John is credited for creating and perfecting the sauce, while Mary is the face of the sauce as the famous Mother Shucker. Since its birth 10 years ago, Mother Shucker’s sauce has expanded and can be found in stores throughout the nation. Sallie Dent Porth, creator of Sallie's Greatest Jams, refers to her products as "all-day jams" because they can be used to enhance a variety of foods, such as a strawberry basil salad with blue cheese.

s c c h a m b e r. n e t | M a r c h / A p r i l 2 0 1 2 | S o u t h C a r o l i n a B u s i n e ss |

21


ECI got involved when John Sparrow decided to bottle their sauce and was referred to ECI through the South Carolina Specialty Food Association. ECI counseled the Sparrows on finding company packing for the product, developing their logo, building websites and other marketing materials and providing connections to resources needed by new business owners. Mary Sparrow refers to the ECI team

22

scag_006214_tea_party_scbiz_03.indd 1

| S o u t h C a r o l i n a B u s i n e ss

as “experts” and said through them, she is exploring marketing in Europe and Canada. “Mother Shucker’s popularity has been encouraged because people like to see a local product succeed, and they identify with all the entrepreneurs who are trying to create a product and sell it,” she said. The Cornwallis House Tea Co., located in the historic Lord Cornwallis House in Winnsboro, was started by Christina Fair and Jenny Praser to encourage pride in South Carolina’s history with exceptional tea. “Every tea is named for a person, place or event from the state’s history and has a little story about that name on the back of our labels. We want to encourage pride in our state’s story and culture,” said Fair. “We

are selling our state when we sell our tea.” Fair said the biggest challenge was putting the business plan on paper, and ECI’s help with this “has been priceless in organizing growth as a company.” As the demand for South Carolina The Cornwallis House products grow, so does Tea Co., located in the state’s economy and the historic Lord pride. Cornwallis House in Winnsboro, provides “This is an industry facts about South in South Carolina that Carolina history on its we have the ability to packaging. expand, and ECI is proud of the role it has,” said Monk. Nichole Jeffords is an intern with ECI/ Find New Markets and a student at the University of South Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

2/15/12 4:00 PM

photos provided by mother shucker ’ s , cornwallis house tea co . and matthew gregory

Mary Sparrow, the face of Mother Shucker's Original Cocktail Sauce, is exploring marketing opportunities in Europe and Canada.


Committed to Agriculture For more than 95 ye ars While we’re proud of our 95+ years of experience, our focus continues to be on the future. Whether you’re just starting your agribusiness, expanding your current operation or preparing to pass it to the next generation, AgSouth can help you get where you’re going. AgSouth Farm Credit is a reliable source of credit for farmers and rural Americans and the lender of choice for land, farm and home loans. Serving South Carolina from the upstate to the lowcountry

866-585-6234 | agsouthfc.com

s c c h a m b e r. n e t | M a r c h / A p r i l 2 0 1 2 | S o u t h C a r o l i n a B u s i n e ss |

23


Farm Credit system

provides vital support for agribusiness B y M atthew G regory

24

| S o u t h C a r o l i n a B u s i n e ss

Board of Directors, touted the fact that ArborOne is a farmer-owned co-op. “As a co-op, if we make profits, our profits are returned to our customers, and our customers are our stockholders. The good thing about doing business with ArborOne for any agribusiness is if we make a profit, we’re going to return part of the profits back to you,” said Ward. ArborOne’s loan officers, which are called relationship managers, have a special way of delivering credit. “Each of our relationship managers goes out to the farm. Our customers very rarely have to leave their farm, office or place of business,” said ArborOne President and CEO Kathy Heustess. “Our relationship managers say they close more loans on the hood of trucks or in the cabs of tractors than anywhere else.” Both AgSouth and ArborOne provide funding through the Rural America Bond Program, which

has had a huge impact on agribusiness as well as the quality of life in rural areas. In 2005, the U.S. Farm Credit Administration challenged its member banks to develop programs to better meet the financial needs of rural communities across the United States. AgFirst Farm Credit Bank, located in Columbia, S.C., contacted Nexsen Pruet to solicit ideas. In response, Nexsen Pruet attorneys Pat Brown and David Gossett outlined a new bond financing tool for agricultural banks and associations. The pilot program created was eventually approved by the Farm Credit Administration and became known as the Rural America Bond Program. “The Rural America Bond Program is the first of its kind in financing to allow Farm Credit associations to finance businesses and essential community facilities in rural communities,” said Nexsen Pruet attorney David Gossett. “Through the bond program, the USDA is offering guarantees that make these

P hotos courtesy of A g S outh , arborone

P

resident Woodrow Wilson helped establish the Farm Credit System in 1916 to provide a lender that could meet the special needs of agriculture businesses. Today, Farm Credit institutions across America continue to provide funding options for the agribusiness community. AgSouth Farm Credit is a member-owned cooperative serving portions of Georgia and South Carolina, with administrative offices in Spartanburg and Orangeburg, S.C. AgSouth has 13 branch offices serving 34 counties in South Carolina. AgSouth shares its profits with members through its patronage program. Since it began returning its profits in 1991, AgSouth has distributed more than $295 million in cash to its members. AgSouth provides loans for real estate, agriculture and rural homes and leasing for automobiles, equipment, buildings and commercial operations. AgSouth also offers crop protection services. In addition, AgSouth finances homes through a division of the company, AgSouth Mortgages, which provides loans for home purchases, home construction, improvements and refinances. “AgSouth’s mission is to be the first choice for agricultural financial services within our territory by creating stockholder wealth through strong, consistent growth and continued profitability,” said Ronnie Summers, South Carolina regional president of AgSouth Farm Credit. “While promoting our state’s largest industry, we are proud to be associated with the other businesses of the state that make up the agribusiness sector.” Headquartered in Florence, S.C., ArborOne Farm Credit is an agricultural lending cooperative owned by its members-borrowers. Serving 12 counties in the Pee Dee, ArborOne provides loans for land, equipment, livestock and production, rural home mortgages as well as crop and life insurance. Mickey Ward, who has been a customer of ArborOne for 20 years and is chairman of ArborOne’s


deals very attractive to businesses and the financial institutions providing the initial capital.” “The reach of the bonds goes well beyond South Carolina and projects directly tied to farming and agriculture,” said Nexsen Pruet attorney Pat Brown. “Through this financing, we’ve been able to get schools, hospitals, nursing homes and other businesses built in some of the most rural and economically depressed communities across the country.” According to Heustess, most of ArborOne’s involvement in the Rural America Bond Program has involved critical access to hospitals and replacement educational facilities. “It brings that hospital from maybe 50 miles away to 10 miles away. It truly enhances their life because they have medical care nearby,” said Heustess. AgSouth has invested in several privately owned businesses operating at the South Carolina State Farmers Market through the Rural America Bond Program. One of these operations is Senn Brothers, a third generation family-owned wholesale produce distributor co-owned by Gregg, Jimmy and C.P. Senn and Gary Prince. The company receives large shipments of fresh produce from suppliers located across the U.S. and delivers to community food based co-ops. Senn Brothers also sells fresh produce to walkup customers. Senn Brothers has been awarded a $15 million contract to deliver fresh fruits and vegetables to military facilities within South Carolina. In addition, the company has secured a major contract to supply fresh fruits and vegetables to various school districts throughout the state. “Unequivocally, we would not have been able to get this contract had we not moved to our new facility, which was financed through the [Rural America] Bond Program,” said Prince. AgSouth and ArborOne also have customers in the forestry industry. Forestry-product loans represent more than 40 percent of AgSouth’s total portfolio, which includes financing for timberland, land improvements, equipment and other needs for timberland owners. ArborOne provides loans to timber buyers, loggers and customers who want to buy timber property for recreational purposes. David Freeman, owner of Florence-based Palmetto Pulpwood and Timber, said ArborOne’s rapid response to his financial needs has helped his business grow. “It’s essential in the timber business to have a line of credit be able to close tracts out at a moment’s notice without having to do a lot of indepth paperwork and putting people on hold,” said Freeman. Loans for equipment and irrigation have been in big demand at ArborOne and AgSouth. “A piece of equipment in today’s farming world is similar to a computer in the fact that every day there’s an advancement, which keeps them more competitive in the marketplace,” said Richard Pitts, chief lending officer at ArborOne. “From an irrigation standpoint, a lot of farmers are looking to do irrigation because it allows them to rent less acres, and it allows

them to bolster the production they get on the farms they currently have without having to seek additional property.” In addition to providing funding opportunities for agribusinesses, both AgSouth and ArborOne are committed to giving back to the state’s agribusiness community through educational programs and partnerships. ArborOne supports youth organizations like the National FFA Organization (also known as Future Farmers of America) and 4-H. In fact, ArborOne recently held a skeet shoot and gave 100 percent of the earnings to these two organizations. ArborOne is also a proud supporter of the Palmetto Agribusiness Council. Through a partnership with the South Carolina Farm Service Agency, ArborOne is able to receive guarantees on loans for young farmers who are just starting out in the business, an important commitment given the prohibitive costs of getting into farming. Likewise, AgSouth finances young, beginning, small and minority farmers, and a similar relationship exists with the South Carolina Farm Service Agency. “AgSouth is committed to 4-H, FFA and the two land grant schools in South Carolina, as one of its many objectives is to encourage students to choose agriculture as a profession,” said Miriam Pflug, vice president of marketing at AgSouth. In 2011, AgSouth’s retail office located in Anderson, S.C. established a demonstration farm that allowed local FFA and 4H students to learn more about farming, the budgeting process, farm production and related operating expenses coupled with experiencing all the adversities of an agricultural operation. AgSouth’s Anderson office also partnered with the Haven of Rest to give individuals struggling with personal crises the opportunity to work on the farm and learn basic farming skills. “During 2012, the association has plans to partner with Haven of Rest to conduct a major fundraiser to purchase a tractor and equipment for the mission’s use,” said Pflug. “The mission will then

Through AgSouth’s support, V.B. Hook & Co. has set up operations at the South Carolina State Farmers Market.

ArborOne Relationship Manager Johnson Atkinson meets with customer Duff Williams of Horry County. (Photo Left) Whit Player of Lee County shows ArborOne Relationship Manager Chris Bradham the control panel on his state-of-the-art irrigation system.

be able to teach others farming techniques while also producing food for the mission to use in their day-today operations.” Given the challenges agribusinesses face with weather, fuel costs and commodity prices, Farm Credit institutions like AgSouth and ArborOne will continue to be a vital part of the agribusiness industry for years to come. Matthew Gregory is the multimedia coordinator at the South Carolina Chamber and the editor of South Carolina Business.

s c c h a m b e r. n e t | M a r c h / A p r i l 2 0 1 2 | S o u t h C a r o l i n a B u s i n e ss |

25


After the event

S.C. Chamber hosts Republican Presidential Candidate Forum at Business Speaks

S

outh Carolina’s most influential business leaders gathered for Business Speaks, presented by Elliott Davis LLC, January 17 at the Marriott in Columbia. A Republican Presidential Candidate Forum, featuring Governor Rick Perry, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Senator Rick Santorum, was hosted by the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce and South Carolina Business and Industry Political Education Committee (BIPEC). The candidates each took 15 minutes to share their economic visions for the nation, followed by 15 minutes of questions from moderator Ben Hoover of WIS News 10 that were submitted by the business community. The three candidates discussed their views on tax reform, energy, harbor deepening at the Port of Charleston, manufacturing, job creation and the nation’s debt crisis ahead of the South Carolina Republican Presidential Primary. All three candidates were asked how they would handle the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) if elected. “We have to look at the law that allows the NLRB to act in such an irresponsible way,” said Santorum. Gingrich said he would defund the NLRB, eliciting applause from many in the audience. While discussing the expansion of the Port of Charleston, Gingrich told business leaders, “We need a 21st century infrastructure if we are going to compete with China and India…the port is part of that.” Business Speaks also featured a South Carolina House and Senate panel with Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler (Cherokee), Senate Minority Leader John Land (Clarendon), Assistant House Majority Leader Bruce Bannister (Greenville) and House Minority Leader Harry Ott (Calhoun). They addressed issues such as economic development, workforce development, tax reform, health care, regulatory relief and the state budget. During this year’s Business Speaks town meeting, the business community honored and recognized more than 50 legislators who scored 100 percent on the South Carolina Chamber’s 2011 Legislative Scorecard. These leaders were presented the third annual Business Advocate Award. For a list of Business Advocate Award winners, visit www. scchamber.net.

26

| S o u t h C a r o l i n a B u s i n e ss

(Above) The South Carolina House and Senate panel addresses numerous business issues.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and South Carolina Chamber Chairman Jim Reynolds greet attendees. Former Senator Rick Santorum talks with South Carolina Chamber President and CEO Otis Rawl.


After the event

© 2012 Elliott Davis LLC © 2012 Elliott Davis PLLC

Sponsors Presenting Sponsor Elliott Davis LLC Rick Davis, CPA Platinum Firm Managing Shareholder CenturyLink SCANA Gold Alcoa Mt. Holly We’ve helped businesses succeed through the Great Depression, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina the recent recession and every market in between. Duke Energy Carolinas FUJIFILM Manufacturing U.S.A., Inc. Time Warner Cable Silver For 87 years, Elliott Davis has advised businesses on how BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC to run efficiently, grow wisely, be more profitable. Led by Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated Firm Managing Shareholder Rick Davis, our team provides Michelin North America everything from audit and tax solutions to highly specialized Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce advisory services across the spectrum of industries. Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. (Greenville, Columbia, Charleston Offices) Progress Energy South Carolina • North Carolina • Georgia • Virginia Sonoco www.elliottdavis.com Total Comfort Solutions Bronze Allied Air Enterprises Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative 200 East Broad Street • Greenville, SC 29601 • 864.242.3370 Coleman Lew & Associates, Inc. Cox Industries, Inc. Darlington Raceway Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP is proud to have served as legal counsel to The Electric Cooperatives of SC, Inc. Force Protection in its $360 million merger with General Dynamics.2/3/2012 8:22:41 AM SCBusiness_4.625x5_OverviewAd (R. Davis) w bleed marks.indd 1 Hospice Care of South Carolina CONGRATULATIONS International Council of Shopping Centers ICSC Midlands Technical College Piedmont Natural Gas Roche Carolina Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, LLC The Timken Company Contributors Carolinas AGC, Inc. Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce Greater Summerville/Dorchester County Chamber of Commerce Greater Sumter Chamber of Commerce We are honored to have played a part in the continued effort to protect our troops and our allies in conflict zones around the world. Kerr & Company Kershaw County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center ® Attorneys at Law North Augusta Chamber of Commerce Robert W. (“Bobby”) Pearce Jr William L. Pitman Charleston, SC | 843.577.9888 Greenville, SC | 864.240.2494 North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce bobby.pearce@smithmoorelaw.com bill.pitman@smithmoorelaw.com Orangeburg County Chamber Of Commerce David E. Hodge Frank C. Williams SC Credit Union League & Affiliates Greenville, SC | 864.240.2481 Greenville, SC | 864.240.2487 david.hodge@smithmoorelaw.com frank.williams@smithmoorelaw.com Tri-County Regional Chamber of Commerce www.smithmoorelaw.com ATLANTA 404.962.1000

CHARLESTON 843.577.9888

CHARLOTTE 704.384.2600

GREENSBORO 336.378.5200

GREENVILLE 864.242.6440

RALEIGH 919.755.8700

WILMINGTON 910.815.7100

s c c h a m b e r. n e t | M a r c h / A p r i l 2 0 1 2 | S o u t h C a r o l i n a B u s i n e ss |

27


After the event

Hubbell Lighting VP named 2012 Human Resources Professional of the Year

T

he South Carolina Chamber of Commerce and the South Carolina State Council of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) honored the 2012 Human Resources Professional of the Year February 9 in Columbia. More than 100 HR practitioners were in attendance as Steve Nail, SPHR, vice president of human resources at Hubbell Lighting in Greenville, was named the 2012 Human Resources Professional of the Year. The event was presented by Colonial Life. “This state has many outstanding HR professionals, and I am very honored to be recognized as one of them,” said Nail. Nail’s development of a strategy for mid-term union contract modifications to an industry pattern agreement resulted in a $120 million savings over three years for Hubbell Lighting. He also spearheaded both the flextime and compressed work week programs at the company, which has improved morale and served as a cost-saver from an overtime perspective. Through a concentrated effort of education, processes and programs, Nail reduced workers’ compensation costs for Hubbell Lighting from $13.3 million per year to $2 million, an 85 percent reduction in the three years ending December 31, 2010. “No one can achieve anything of significance without a good team around them. I have been blessed with good teams my entire career, and it is to them that I owe a great debt of thanks,” said Nail. The South Carolina Human Resources Management Award for Professional Excellence, presented by Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart P.C., was established in 1989 to recognize an individual for outstanding service and dedication to the human resources field.

2011 Safety Awards

Steve Nail, SPHR, vice president of HR at Hubbell Lighting, addresses the crowd after being named 2012 HR Professional of the Year.

Other 2012 HR Professional of the Year Award nominees: Melissa H. Anderson, Senior VP of Human Resources, Domtar Donnie Brown, SPHR, VP of Human Resources, Tindall Corporation Linda Hannon, SPHR, HR Director, Duke Energy Barbara Rice, HR Manager, UEC Electronics sponsors

Presenting Sponsor Colonial Life Platinum Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. (Greenville, Columbia, Charleston Offices) Gold Columbia SHRM Delta Dental Domtar Duke Energy Greenville Society for Human Resource Management Hubbell Lighting, Inc. McNair Law Firm, P.A. S.C. SHRM State Council SCANA Silver BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina

For a complete list of 2011 Safety Award recipients, please visit www.scchamber.net.

28

| S o u t h C a r o l i n a B u s i n e ss

Bronze Alcoa Mt. Holly Food Service, Inc. Jackson Lewis LLP Jim Gray Consultants, LLC Nexsen Pruet, LLC Spirax Sarco, Inc.


B u s i n e ss B r i e f s

Allison Barry to serve as S.C. Department of Commerce’s lead agribusiness recruiter

T

he South Carolina Department of Commerce has announced the addition of Allison Amick Barry to the agency’s Global Business Development division as the new agribusiness project manager. Barry will Barry focus exclusively on agribusiness projects that will bring investment and job creation to South Carolina. “Agriculture and agribusiness have long been an important part of South Carolina’s economy. Allison Barry brings a wealth of knowledge and experience, and will play the lead role in helping recruit new agribusiness-related firms as well as helping our state’s existing businesses in this sector expand,” said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt. Barry has been part of the South Carolina Department of Commerce since August 2010 and worked in the agency’s Research division. A Columbia native, Barry grew up immersed in her family’s agricultural business in Gilbert, S.C. “Agribusiness grows South Carolina. With the help of the new project manager in recruiting new and expanding agribusinesses, we can create jobs and achieve economic growth and prosperity for South Carolina,” said South Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers. The funding for the new position was appropriated by the South Carolina General Assembly last year. In the fall, Secretary Hitt and Commissioner Weathers signed a memorandum of understanding creating a partnership between the two agencies to recruit agribusiness firms and establish the agribusiness project manager position.

for Charleston’s post-45 foot deepening project for fiscal year 2013, which begins October 1, 2012. “The business community is pleased that the president, at the request of our federal delegation, included $3.5 million in his budget for Charleston’s post-45 foot deepening project. Today’s announcement shows that creating jobs is a bipartisan effort,” said Otis Rawl, president and CEO of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce. “The completion of harbor deepening is critical to companies all over the state that do business with the port. This announcement is another great step in the right direction for South Carolina and the entire Southeast region.” The total cost of the project is estimated to be $300 million of which South Carolina’s shared responsibility is estimated to be $180 million.

BMW announces $900 million expansion of Spartanburg plant

B

MW has announced a $900 million expansion of its Spartanburg County plant that is expected to generate 300 new jobs. BMW also commemorated a production milestone – 2 million vehicles since the company began U.S. production in 1994. Frank-Peter Arndt, BMW Group Board Member responsible for production, announced the company’s

New funding advances Charleston Harbor project

intention to expand its X-model family, saying production of the new BMW X4 will occur at the Spartanburg plant, spurring significant investment and job creation necessary to prepare the facility for the new model. With the addition of 300 new jobs, this year the plant will raise production capacities up to 300,000 units. By the end of the year, the plant will employ nearly 7,500 people at its more than 4 million-squarefoot facility. Since the original decision to build BMW’s only U.S. plant in South Carolina in 1992, the announcement brings BMW Group’s total investment in the state to nearly $6 billion and represents its largest, single investment to date in its South Carolina plant.

The Top Economic Development Announcements of 2011 article by the South Carolina Department of Commerce that ran in the January/February issue of South Carolina Business featured two charts listing the Continental Tire the Americas (CTA) plant as being located in Lancaster County. The more than $500 million investment by CTA will actually be located at a new manufacturing facility in Sumter County.

When your message needs to reach the largest possible business audience, there is only one choice:

the magazine of choice for South Carolina’s top executives.

C

harleston’s alreadyunderway harbor deepening project got another boost with the release of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Work Plan for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2012. The Corps included $2.5 million for the continued work on the Charleston Harbor post-45 foot deepening project. In addition, for the first time, the president’s budget includes funding for Charleston Harbor deepening. The administration included $3.549 million

1/3 Page, 2012.indd 1

Contact Deidre Macklen at 803.318.3923 for 2012 marketing and advertising opportunities.

PUBLISHING & MEDIA SERVICES

s c c h a m b e r. n e t | M a r c h / A p r i l 2 0 1 2 | S o u t h C a r o l i n a B u s i n e ss |

29

2/20/12 12:24 PM


M E M BER N EW S

Washington Night in South Carolina April 3, 2012 Columbia Marriott 4 p.m. Town Hall Meeting 6 p.m. Reception For more information, please contact Alexa Stillwell at alexa.stillwell@scchamber.net.

Is your company a

Best Place to Work?

We’re looking for the Best Places to Work in South Carolina. To be eligible for consideration, companies must meet the following criteria: • Be a for-profit, not-for-profit business or government entity • Be a publicly or privately held business • Have a facility in the state of South Carolina • Have a minimum of 15 employees in South Carolina • Must be in business a minimum of one year Entry deadline is May 25, 2012. SPONSORED BY:

Visit our website, www.bestplacestoworksc.com, for more information.

30

| S o u t h C a r o l i n a B u s i n e ss

Lexington Medical Center’s Surgical Intensive Care Unit has received a Gold Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of CriticalCare Nurses for outstanding patient care, outcomes and work environment. Lexington Medical Center is one of only 11 hospitals in the nation to receive a gold distinction for this award. Cheryl R. Holland, CFP®, president of Abacus Planning Group, has announced that Charles B. Flowers, AIF® has become a shareholder in the firm.

Roger W. Liska, professor and chairman of construction science and management at Clemson University, has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Institute of Contractors (AIC).

AgFirst Farm Credit Bank Board Chairman Wayne Lambertson recently announced F. A. (Andy) Lowrey, chief executive officer, will retire on June 30, 2012. Leon T. (Tim) Amerson, the bank’s president and chief operating officer, will become CEO effective July 1, 2012.

Collins & Lacy P.C. founding partners Joel Collins and Stan Lacy have been selected as recipients of the South Carolina Lawyers Weekly 2012 Leadership in the Law Awards.

A.T. LOCKE, an Upstate business providing accounting services, business analysis and financial and strategic guidance to emerging and mid-sized organizations, has added Tim Moxie as an accounting analyst on the firm’s rapidly-growing team. Boeing is supporting Inquiring Minds: Reading to Learn and Innovate in Mathematics and Science, a research and innovation program being conducted by South Carolina’s Coalition for Mathematics and Science at Clemson University to identify the reading, writing and communications strategies that make science and mathematics more accessible to middle grade students. Boeing is supporting Inquiring Minds at the $750,000 level over a three-year period. Boeing will fund research at 10 middle school sites still to be determined and engage communities in support of STEM education. To learn more about what companies across South Carolina are doing to advance education, visit www.scchamber.net. The Brandon Agency has named Jim Jackson video production manager and Stephanie Carr media coordinator.

Electric Guard Dog and Vanguard Trucks have signed a deal for all Vanguard locations to be secured and protected by the Electric Guard Dog system, the company’s flagship product and service. Four Elliott Davis LLC professionals have earned the designation of Certified Construction Industry Financial Professional (CCIFP®): Travis R. Bogan, Todd Soderlund, David Turner and Jim White. Kirby Shealy has joined Ellis, Lawhorne & Sims P.A. as a shareholder and a member of the Litigation and Dispute Resolution Practice Group. Shealy has extensive jury trial and appellate experience in contract disputes, real property concerns and First Amendment issues. Erwin Penland has hired Beth Cobb as a junior media buyer, Laura Connell and BreAnne Northcutt as assistant account executives, Randall Blake Cring and Sallie Harrison as graphic designers and David Fraga as operations coordinator, also promoting Gloria Gonzalez and Kristin Popham to senior graphic designers. First Citizens announced Sharon Bryant has been promoted to South Carolina banking executive. Bryant, a 27-


M E M BER N EW S

Boyd

Brown

Caldwell

Carr

Crum

Fields

Gaymon

Gifford

Golding

Goodin

Goudelock

Griffin

Haile

Jackson

Liska

Mayer

McKinney

Miner

Pearson

Poliakoff

C o m p i l e d b y M at t h e w G r e g o ry ( S e n d p u b l i c i t y a n d e v e n t p h o t o s to: m a t t h e w. g r e g o r y @ s c c h a m b e r. n et)

Welcome, New Members Quantz

Starr

Thames

year banking veteran, is now responsible for all of the company’s retail and commercial banking operations in South Carolina – a region with more than $7.51 billion in bank assets. Fisher & Phillips LLP has announced the relocation of its Columbia office to the Meridian Building in downtown Columbia. The managing partner of the Columbia office is Jonathan Pearson. In addition to moving the Columbia office, Fisher & Phillips recently expanded into Massachusetts and Tennessee with the opening of offices in Boston and Memphis. The firm now has 27 offices across the country. Matthew Goodin, a survey crew chief in GEL Engineering LLC’s surveying group, recently received his Professional Land Surveyor license from the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation Board. All four shareholders of Hagood & Kerr PA, Ben Hagood, Rob Kerr, Beth Settle and Wendy Wilkie, have joined Moore & Van Allen as members in the firm’s Charleston office. Also joining Moore & Van Allen will be several other attorneys from Hagood & Kerr along with their paralegals, legal assistants and office manager. William C. (Bill) Boyd, shareholder, Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd P.A., received the 2011 Distinguished Service Award from the Richland County Bar Association at its annual meeting. This award is the highest recognition given by the association and acknowledges distinguished and meritorious service to the legal profession and to the public.

Tigges

Tr a v i s

Boyd, a lifelong Columbia resident, has practiced law with Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd P.A. and its predecessor firms in his hometown since 1965. Lexington Medical Center has announced the opening of Lexington Cardiovascular, a hospital physician practice that will treat patients requiring cardiac, thoracic and vascular procedures, including open heart surgery. Lexington Cardiovascular will be home to Dr. Jeffrey Travis, Lexington Medical Center’s new heart surgeon. Upstate businessman Ray Lattimore, president and CEO of Marketplace Staffing, has been named to the Greenville Technical College Area Commission, the body responsible for development and operation of Greenville Technical College. Lee Gaymon and Brian Miner have joined the Mashburn Construction team as project engineers. Jeff Griffin has been appointed to the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) Committee of the Central Midlands Council of Governments (CMCOG). Rusty Goudelock and Dominic Starr with McAngus Goudelock & Courie have been awarded the 2012 Leadership in Law Award by South Carolina Lawyers Weekly. The award recognizes individuals in the legal community who are working to better the legal profession through mentoring and involvement in their communities as well as going above and beyond in their everyday jobs. McKay, Cauthen, Settana, & Stubley

Tu r n e r

P.A. Paralegal Diana Cohen has been selected to serve as the 2nd Vice President and Membership Committee Chair on the Executive Board for the Palmetto Paralegal Association. McNair Law Firm P.A. Managing Shareholder and Attorney David Tigges and attorneys Liz Crum, Henrietta Golding and Rita McKinney have been selected as recipients of the South Carolina Lawyers Weekly 2012 Leadership in Law Award. Meridian Energy & Environment LLC is a newly formed full service environmental engineering practice based out of Charleston, S.C. designed to provide expertise and focus to the industrial and energy sectors. Co-founders Richard Moore, Tim Owens, P.E., PhD and Marie Stephens, P.G. have more than 50 years of environmental, engineering and health and safety consulting expertise. Builder magazine has named The Mungo Companies America’s Best Builder for 2012. There are four winners for 2012, and the Mungo Companies ranked as America’s Best Builder in the category with the highest number of closings.

Back Woods Quail Club Georgetown The Cline Company Taylors GlaxoSmithKline Aiken Harper Corporation General Contractors Greenville Jeff D. McBeth d/b/a McBeth Kids Clothing Eastover LCWSC Laurens Levelwing Media Charleston Merck and Co. Inc. Watkinsville, GA Mullikin Law Firm Camden Peoples Bancorporation Inc. Easley SC Insurance News Service Columbia Scott, Taylor, White & Wingo CPA Spartanburg South University Columbia

Ruth Marie Embler has joined the Senior Brokerage Team at NAI Avant’s Charleston office. Embler brings 25 years of experience in the shopping center industry from new construction development, marketing of outparcels and leasing expertise.

W. Wheeler III and Troy Conrad Santoscoy to the Bishopville Community Board.

NBSC, a division of Synovus Bank, has announced the addition of William

Two Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough attorneys have been

WPunch LLC Landrum

s c c h a m b e r. n e t | M a r c h / A p r i l 2 0 1 2 | S o u t h C a r o l i n a B u s i n e ss |

31


M E M BER N EW S

Events

Calendar March 14, 2012 2011 Safety Awards Columbia March 21, 2012 Quality Forum Columbia March 22, 2012 Tax Committee Columbia Excellence in Education Council Columbia April 3, 2012 Washington Night in South Carolina Columbia Board of Directors Meeting Columbia Executive Committee Columbia April 5, 2012 Human Resources Committee Columbia April 11, 2012 Small Business Committee Columbia April 12, 2012 Legislative Agenda Task Force Columbia April 13, 2012 Environmental Technical Committee Columbia April 17, 2012 Safety, Health & Security Committee Columbia April 18, 2012 Quality Forum Columbia April 19, 2012 PR Advisory Committee Columbia Tax Committee Columbia April 26, 2012 Manufacturers Steering Committee Columbia For additional events, visit scchamber.net.

32

| S o u t h C a r o l i n a B u s i n e ss

promoted to partner in the Charleston office. The new partners are Matthew Brown, whose practice focuses on pharmaceutical and medical device products liability litigation, and Eli Poliakoff, whose practice focuses in the areas of health care, maritime law and privacy and information security. The South Carolina Supreme Court has certified Jamie Hedgepath as a specialist in employment and labor law. Hedgepath, a member (partner) in Nexsen Pruet’s Greenville office, is the eighth attorney at the firm to earn the designation. Nexsen Pruet attorney April Lucas has been unanimously elected as the president of the Midlands International Trade Association (MITA). John Wentzell Jr., from the Greenville office of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart P.C., has been elected a shareholder. O’Neal Inc., a Greenville-based integrated design and construction firm, has welcomed Tom DeGrace to the Atlanta team as a design project manager and Will Richardson to the Greenville office as a structural engineer. Palmetto Health Foundation has announced Judi Caldwell has been named financial accounting analyst. Attorneys Emily R. Gifford and Shelton W. Haile have been named shareholders at Richardson, Plowden & Robinson P.A. Regional insurance agency, brokerage and consulting firm Rosenfeld Einstein has been named by the Wellness Council of America (WELCOA) as a Gold “Well Workplace” award winner for 2011, recognizing the firm’s quality and excellence in worksite health promotion. Marty Phalen has been named senior vice president of administration for SCANA Corporation. In his new role, Phalen will be responsible for SCANA’s human resources, communications and strategic planning, corporate security and facilities. Dr. M. Evelyn Fields, associate professor of early childhood education/ child development at SC State University, was recently appointed to the National Association of African American Studies and Affiliates Board of Directors (NAAAS). Select Health of South Carolina CEO J. Michael Jernigan has taken on the added role of southern regional president for the AmeriHealth Mercy Family of Companies. Jernigan continues as president and CEO of Select Health, which he founded in 1995.

South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities Inc., an association of the 20 independent colleges in South Carolina, has distributed $278,000 in scholarship funds to 175 students at the 20 member colleges through the Named Scholars Program. Southeastern Freight Lines has been recognized as an LTL Carrier of the Year by Schneider Logistics Inc. for the second consecutive year. Southeastern was one of 16 carriers to earn this award for 2011. Sowell Gray Stepp & Laffitte LLC has been named Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year by the South Carolina Bar. Since 2009, the firm has dedicated its pro bono efforts to representing residents of the Hannah House, a transitional housing facility for women and their children. Four Spartanburg Water employees were selected for recognition at the Blue Ridge Foothills District Awards Meeting. Corey Reid received the Collection System Operator of the Year Award, Lance Johnson was honored with the Young Professional Award, Willie Shell was presented with the Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator Award and Jeffrey Erwin earned the Water Treatment Plant Operator Award. Streit USA Armoring LLC (SUSA), a leading armored vehicle manufacturer located in North Charleston, has received a Five Year plus Three Five Years Options (20 years) U.S. General Services Administration Schedule Contract. This contract identifies SUSA as a “preferred vendor” to U.S. Government Procurement Personnel. TD Bank has named Cynthia Mayer vice president, senior commercial loan officer and William B. Quantz vice president, senior relationship manager in Charleston, S.C. G. Troy Thames has been promoted to lieutenant colonel with the U. S. Army Reserve. Troy serves as a judge advocate with the Army Special Forces. He is based in the Charleston office of Turner Padget Graham & Laney P.A. and concentrates his practice in the area of general civil litigation, with an emphasis on construction litigation and insurance law. Debra A. Turner, CPA has succeeded V. Carroll Webster, CPA as WebsterRogers LLP’s managing partner. Turner will be responsible for the day-to-day management and operations of WebsterRogers. The move is part of WebsterRogers’ overall succession strategy, which will have Webster remain with the firm in a consulting capacity.

Advertiser Index AgSouth Farm Credit......................................23 ArborOne Farm Credit......................................1 Clemson University............................................8 Cox Industries....................................................4 Elliott Davis.......................................................27 McCall Farms.....................................................9 Santee Cooper.................................................19 S.C. Chamber of Commerce............Back Cover S.C. Department of Agriculture......................22 S.C. Farm Bureau Federation............................8 S.C. Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co.........11 SCDEW............................................................15 Sonoco................................... Inside Front Cover Smith Moore Leatherwood............................27 Titan Farms.......................................................23

When your message needs to reach the largest audience, there is only one choice: SOUTH CAROLINA BUSINESS. The magazine of choice for South Carolina’s top executives. For advertising and marketing opportunities, call Deidre Macklen at 803.318.3923.


Want to grow your business?

Join the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce! We help your business by: • Making your voice heard by our state legislators through our Grassroots Network • Working to pass business-friendly legislation and halt anti-business legislation • Keeping you informed on issues and providing solutions for growing your business through our bimonthly magazine, South Carolina Business • Providing networking opportunities with legislators and other business owners • Training your employees on human resources, quality and management issues • Publishing the Carolina Legal Reference Series

Contact us today at 800-799-4601. Learn more at www.scchamber.net.

Join the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce!


Your Business Advocates R

E

A

D

Y

T

O

H

E

L

P

Our concerns are our members’ concerns. Strong business advocacy ensures South Carolina becomes more globally competitive.

— Otis Rawl, President and CEO of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce

Founded in 1940, the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce is the Palmetto State’s largest statewide broad-based business and industry association and voice of business at the State House.

Agenda, is based on feedback from the more than 18,000 businesses the Chamber represents.

Over the past four years alone, the return on investment for South Carolina The South Carolina Chamber keeps a close businesses has been $2 billion through eye and constant presence at the State legislative advocacy on issues like workers’ House, engaging legislators in meaningful compensation reform, Employment dialogue while working to get positive Security Commission reform, port business legislation passed and halting restructuring and more. dangerous anti-business bills. The business community’s annual list of legislative priorities, the Competitiveness

Contact us today at 800-799-4601. Learn more at www.scchamber.net.

2012 Mar-Apr South Carolina Business  
2012 Mar-Apr South Carolina Business  

Agribusiness edition