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ASCEND

2018

a publication of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce


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FEATURES 2018 Issue South Carolina Chamber of Commerce 1301 Gervais St, Suite 1100 Columbia, SC 29201 800.799.4601 www.scchamber.net ASCEND is a publication of the

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THE SC CHAMBER AWARDS

32 SC TOP 100 42 TOURISM INDUSTRY RECOVERY How We Weathered the Storm

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GOING DEEPER How the Panama Canal is Bringing Bigger Business to South Carolina

54 LOVE WHERE YOU LIVE

A Glimpse into South Carolina’s

Southeastern Wildlife Exposition

56 BARBEQUE & BEYOND

South Carolina Parks, Recreation and Tourism’s Exploration of Undiscovered SC

63 FEARLESS GIVING President & CEO Ted Pitts

Fostering a Culture of Giving at South Carolina’s Oldest Health Plan

Chief Operating Officer Robbie Barnett Vice President of Membership & Marketing Sunny Philips Vice President of Government Affairs & Public Policy Mark Harmon Vice President of Education Cynthia Bennett Vice President of Finance Susan O’Neal Associate Vice President of Communications & Public Policy, Magazine Editor Kate Bondurant Associate Vice President of Administrative Services, Board Secretary Caroline Donaldson • ASCEND Magazine Published by The Brand Leader Copyright @2018 by the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce and The Brand Leader. 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 South Carolina Chamber of Commerce by The Brand Leader.

DEPARTMENTS 3

LETTER FROM THE CHAIR

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LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT

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2017 LEGISLATIVE RECAP

10 WORKFORCE UPDATE 40 HUMAN INTEREST

Kodwo Ghartey-Tagoe

48 HOMEGROWN BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT

ICE Recycling

60 SC EATS 66 BUSINESS WEEK 68 AFTER THE EVENT 76 CHAMBER PAST CHAIRS

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S.C. Chamber of Commerce

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE JACK SANDERS – CHAIRMAN President and CEO Sonoco BARBARA MELVIN – PAST CHAIR Senior Vice President of Operations and Terminals South Carolina Ports Authority

OUR VISION

Make South Carolina the best place in the nation to live, work and do business.

OUR MISSION

To strategically create and advance a thriving, free-market environment where South Carolina businesses can prosper.

LOU KENNEDY – CHAIR-ELECT Presiden, CEO and Owner Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation CHARLES “TED” SPETH II – GENERAL COUNSEL Shareholder Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.

BRYAN HAMRICK – HUMAN RESOURCES COMMITTEE CHAIR Director, Human Resources Zeus Industrial Products, Inc.

CHRIS BARRAS – TREASURER Executive Director Ernst & Young, LLP

SIDNEY J EVERING II – LATF COMMITTEE CHAIR Special Counsel Parker Poe Adams and Bernstein, LLP

PETE SELLECK – COMMERCE CHAIR Chairman and President Michelin, North America

DAN SANDERS – MANUFACTURER’S STEERING COMMITTEE CHAIR Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary Michelin North America

TED PITTS – CEO President & CEO SC Chamber of Commerce KENNY JACKSON – CHAIRMAN’S CIRCLE Senior Vice President, Economic Development, Governmental and Regulatory Affairs South Carolina Electric & Gas KODWO GHARTEY-TAGOE – CHAIRMAN’S CIRCLE State President Duke Energy JAMES D’ALESSIO – CHAIRMAN’S CIRCLE Vice President of Government Affairs BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina TYLER EASTERLING – COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE CHAIR President and Chief Operating Officer The Brandon Agency DAVID CUDA – MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE CHAIR Senior Vice President and Director of Corporate Solutions Colliers International, Inc. STEPHEN COX – EDUCATION & WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE CHAIR Partner Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson, PA

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TOMMY LAVENDER – ETC CHAIR Member Nexsen Pruet, LLC DAVID ALEXANDER – TAX COMMITTEE CHAIR Director of Taxes Mount Vernon Mills, Inc. STEVE SPINKS – SMALL BUSINESS COUNCIL CHAIR CEO Spinx Company, Inc. CYNTHIA WALTERS – DIVERSITY COUNCIL CHAIR Corporate Director of Inclusion Palmetto Health BEN REX – INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & INNOVATION COMMITTEE CHAIR CEO Cyberwoven, Inc. ROGER SCHRUM Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Affairs Sonoco TIM NORWOOD President Bistro Holdings, Inc.


Letters

A LETTER FROM THE CHAIR As I reflect on the past year and the year to come, one thing is for sure: It is an exciting time to be part of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce. As the unified voice of business, the Chamber is leading the way on policy matters to create jobs, improve infrastructure and foster long-term workforce development. I believe South Carolina is uniquely positioned to excel in the years to come. I am pleased to see progress being made on legislative issues important to the business community and South Carolinians as a whole. Over the past year, we have adopted comprehensive infrastructure funding, solidified the funding for deepening of the Charleston port, and been named the least unionized state in the nation. As we prepare for the next legislative session, it is important we focus on workforce development. South Carolina is home to some of the most talented, hardworking people in the world. Businesses choose to locate here because of our solid workforce and attractive business climate, so as a statewide business community, we must ensure we are preparing South Carolinians to fill both new and existing jobs. Like many of you, one of Sonoco’s most significant challenges is attracting and retaining a skilled and capable workforce. Fortunately, our state has one of the strongest technical college systems in the nation. We must continue to support, foster, and develop this system as it works directly with the business community. Coherent skill pathways which begin in high school and feed directly into our higher education institutions are critical. We must ensure we are engaging South Carolinians to pursue the technical and vocational education, apprenticeships and on-the-job training necessary to succeed in critical roles. I am encouraged by the progress our state has made in the areas of job creation, manufacturing and economic development, and I look forward to even more exciting steps to be taken during the coming year. Change is all around us, and while we can’t necessarily control the changes occurring in the marketplace, we can control our actions and work together to address the challenges and opportunities we all face in the business community. I believe the business community is working together better than ever before, and I am truly encouraged. I appreciate all of our Chamber members and their support as we head into 2018. I look forward to serving as your Chairman.

M. Jack Sanders President and CEO, Sonoco Chair, South Carolina Chamber of Commerce

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S.C. Chamber of Commerce

BOARD OF DIRECTORS David Alexander

DIRECTOR OF TAXES

Mount Vernon Mills, Inc. Michael Allen

PROJECT DESIGNER

McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture

Sky Foster

Lindsay Leonard

Volvo Car U.S. Operations MANAGER, CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS

BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC

Newberry Electric Co-op., Inc.

Chuck Garnett PRESIDENT AND CEO NBSC, a division of Synovus Bank

Don Balderson

SR. VICE PRESIDENT/SENIOR RELATIONSHIP MANAGER

Bank of America Chris Barras

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Ernst & Young LLP Michael Baxley

SR VICE PRESIDENT & GENERAL COUNSEL

Aaron Lawrence

VP, CORPORATE STRATEGIC PLANNING & BUSINESS ANALYTICS

Keith Avery

PRESIDENT & CEO

Kodwo Ghartey-Tagoe STATE PRESIDENT

Duke Energy

Christian L. Gullott

DIRECTOR, STATE & FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS

Bridgestone Americas Bryan Hamrick

Zeus Industrial Products, Inc.

SENIOR DIRECTOR STATE & LOCAL, GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS

Boeing Company Sidney Locke

DIRECTOR OF STRATEGIC MARKETING AND COMMUNICATION

SAGE Automotive Interiors, Inc. Matt Manelli

DIVISION CONTROLLER

Nucor Steel - South Carolina Sharon Marra

SENIOR VP & SAVANNAH RIVER NATIONAL LABORATORY DEPUTY DIRECTOR

Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, LLC

Santee Cooper

DIRECTOR, HUMAN RESOURCES

Dan Becker

John Harvey

World Acceptance Corporation

BP America

Chad McAllister

SENIOR VP AND CONTROLLER

AECOM

James Bennett

AREA EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT

First Citizens Bank Kay Biscopink

SHAREHOLDER

Elliott Davis Decosimo Ben Breazeale

SENIOR DIRECTOR OF GOVERNMENT RELATIONS FOR SC

Zeus Industrial Products, Inc. PLANT MANAGER

Adam Hatcher

GENERAL COUNSEL

MAU (Management Analysis & Utilization, Inc.) Dee Dee Henderson

CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER

Agape Hospice Robby Hill

PRESIDENT & CEO

Charter Communications

HillSouth IT Solutions

Frank Bullard

Mason Hogue

BB&T, Charleston

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP

REGIONAL PRESIDENT, COASTAL REGION

Natalia Castillo

PARTNER

Grey Humphrey

Janet Matricciani

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER, SPECIALTY FABRICS DIVISION

Milliken & Company

Chris McCorkendale

SR. VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS AND TERMINALS

South Carolina State Ports Authority Paul Mitchell

MANAGING PARTNER

South Coast Paper Steve Mitchell

Todd Hyneman

Ben Mustian

Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd P.A. Dr. David Cole

Fisher Phillips

PRESIDENT

David Cuda

C. R. Jackson, Inc.

Bill Dudley

CEO

David Jones

EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT/CMO

Jackson Marketing Group George R Jurch, III

GENERAL COUNSEL

Continental Tire the Americas, LLC Lou Kennedy

PRESIDENT, CEO AND OWNER

VICE PRESIDENT, STATE GOVERNMENT RELATIONS

Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation

Tyler Easterling

DIRECTOR, PUBLIC POLICY

Aflac Group

PRESIDENT & COO

The Brandon Agency Sidney Evering

SPECIAL COUNSEL

Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP Lauris Finney

DISTRICT OPERATIONS MANAGER

United Parcel Service

Pete Selleck

CHAIRMAN AND PRESIDENT

Michelin, North America Richard Shaffer

SENIOR VP, GROWTH MARKETS & ENROLLMENT CENTER

Unum

Mike Shetterly

MANAGING SHAREHOLDER, GREENVILLE

Dave Solano

Enterprise Holdings Jane Sosebee

DIRECTOR LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS

AT&T

Ted Speth

SHAREHOLDER

Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. Steve Spinks CEO

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Richard Jackson

BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina

Sonoco

Tim Norwood

Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson, PA

VICE PRESIDENT OF GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS

Roger Schrum

VICE PRESIDENT, INVESTOR RELATIONS AND CORPORATE AFFAIRS

Kenny Jackson

DIRECTOR OF STATE, LOCAL GOVERNMENT & COMMUNITY RELATIONS

James D’Alessio

Sonoco

Willoughby & Hoefer, P.A.

South Carolina Electric & Gas

Colliers International, Inc.

Jack Sanders

PRESIDENT & CEO

Total Comfort Solutions, Inc.

Stephen Cox

SR. VICE PRESIDENT AND DIRECTOR OF CORPORATE SOLUTIONS

Michelin North America, Inc.

Spinx Company, Inc.

Bistro Holdings, Inc.

ATTORNEY

Dan Sanders

VP, GENERAL COUNSEL & SECRETARY

SHAREHOLDER

PRESIDENT

SR. VICE PRESIDENT, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, GOVERNMENTAL & REGULATORY AFFAIRS

PRESIDENT

PRESIDENT

Rhodes Companies

VICE PRESIDENT/GENERAL MANAGER

Joe Clark

Medical University of South Carolina

Thomas Rhodes

Barbara Melvin

Hargray Communications Group

REGIONAL MANAGING PARTNER

ATTORNEY/SHAREHOLDER

CEO

Cyberwoven, LLC

Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.

CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER

Spirit Communications

Ben Rex

SR. VICE PRESIDENT, SALES & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

CEO & FOUNDER

Escapada Living

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Katarina Fjording

VICE PRESIDENT PURCHASING & MANUFACTURING

Stephanie Kindregan Kinder Morgan

Richard Lackey

LEGAL COUNSEL

Cox Industries, Inc. Tommy Lavender MEMBER

Nexsen Pruet, LLC

Leesa Owens

Michelin North America, Inc. Paul Patrick

EXEC. VICE PRESIDENT FOR BUSINESS AFFAIRS & CFO

College of Charleston Blanton Phillips

PRESIDENT/CEO

Phillips Staffing Ted Pitts

PRESIDENT & CEO

SC Chamber of Commerce Matt Puckett

SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. Mickey Renner

SR. VICE PRESIDENT AND BUSINESS BANKING EXECUTIVE

Wells Fargo

Cheryl Stanton

SC Department of Employment and Workforce Chris Stormer

SHAREHOLDER

Bauknight, Pietras & Stormer, P.A. Greg Taylor

MANAGING PARTNER, GREENVILLE

Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP Dr.Henry Tisdale PRESIDENT

Claflin University Walt Tobin

PRESIDENT

Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College Cynthia Walters

CORPORATE DIRECTOR OF INCLUSION

Palmetto Health Dan Weekley

VICE PRESIDENT

Dominion Energy Rob Youngblood PRESIDENT

York County Regional Chamber of Commerce


Letters

A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT South Carolina has long been recognized for its hospitality and is often called the “friendliest” state in the nation. We come by this recognition honestly—South Carolina is one big community and home to hardworking, kind people. South Carolina is also thought to be one of the most business-friendly states in the country. Our work ethic, world class port, strong right to work laws, and good quality of life support that title. However, when you drill down on key issues of job creation, we have work left to do. To continue to thrive as a state, we must improve our state’s climate for job creators in areas including taxes, healthcare, education, and workforce development. On the taxation front, a challenge lies ahead of us. South Carolina is home to some of the highest commercial property tax rates in the nation. We are at the wrong end of these rankings and must lower the tax burden on our job-creators to spur job creation and help the state’s existing smaller manufacturers. Additionally, 230 municipalities and eight counties impose a business license fee, costing businesses time and money to remain in compliance and imposing a disproportionate burden on small business owners. Creating a uniform process would help South Carolina’s small and family-owned businesses focus on their bottom line, not the red tape. Education and workforce development will again be at the top of our agenda as we head into 2018. We must continue to work on our education system at all levels. From K-12 to our research universities, we must rise to meet the needs of new job-creators in our state. From ensuring that early childhood education prepares our children for success to encouraging veterans to bring their skills and expertise to our state, we must advocate a comprehensive approach to closing the skills gap between available jobs and qualified workers. Behind payroll, healthcare is the largest expense South Carolina businesses pay. We must craft innovative, South Carolina-based solutions to help address the rising costs. It is no secret that South Carolina employers and their employees are struggling with the impacts of the Affordable Care Act, and together we can implement meaningful change in this arena. As we turn the page to 2018, we thank those in the General Assembly for their leadership with the passage of a long-term, sustainable solution to address our state’s infrastructure needs. The business community applauds those leaders who voted to pass the bill, override the Governor’s veto, and fix our roads. Because of their leadership, job creators will be able to do business efficiently and effectively for years to come. It is an honor for the Chamber to recognize three of the Palmetto State’s extraordinary leaders who have been instrumental for South Carolina’s business community. If not for the hard work of Representative Gary Simrill, the Public Servant of the Year, we may not have reached a compromise solution for fixing our roads and bridges. Representative Simrill’s bold leadership was crucial to this year’s legislative success, and the business community is grateful. Our 2017 Business Person of the Year, Pete Selleck, exemplifies true leadership in the business community. As Chairman and President of Michelin North America, Selleck has championed issues of great importance for both job creators and employees. His leadership on issues including infrastructure and workforce development have been monumental. It is also a great honor to present Bill Bethea, Chairman of the South Carolina Military Base Task Force, with this year’s Sgt. William Jasper Freedom Award. Bethea’s leadership and service are to be commended, and he is well-deserving of this award. We look forward to the year ahead. As the champion for business in South Carolina, the Chamber will continue our work to make South Carolina the best place in the nation to live, work, and do business.

Ted Pitts President & CEO South Carolina Chamber of Commerce

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HELPING MAKE SOUTH CAROLINA THE BEST STATE IN THE

TO JOIN OUR EFFORTS, CALL 803.799.4601


NATION TO LIVE, WORK, AND DO BUSINESS SINCE 1940.

OR EMAIL MEMBERSHIP@SCCHAMBER.NET


Pete Selleck, Chairman and President , Michelin North America.

2017

LEGISLATIVE RECAP SOUTH CAROLINA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

SC INFRASTRUCTURE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT REFORM ACT South Carolina made history this year by passing a comprehensive, sustainable solution to road funding. Members of the General Assembly, working together with the business community, delivered tax relief to hardworking families, reformed the Department of Transportation, and provided long term funding for the state’s roads and bridges when they voted to pass H.3516, the SC Infrastructure and Economic Development Reform Act. The business community thanks legislators of both parties for showing true leadership this year and doing the right thing for the people of South Carolina. The bill became law in May 2017.

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Chamber President and CEO Ted Pitts praised legislators for their hard work. He said, “The people of South Carolina— business owners large and small, hard working families and local leaders from every walk of life—have been loud and clear: the cost of doing nothing to fix roads and bridges across the state is too high. Members of the House and Senate deserve credit for showing courage and taking action.”


Legislative Recap

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COMPETITIVENESS AGENDA In 2017, the South Carolina Chamber continued to fight for policies to make South Carolina the best place in the nation to live, work, and do business. The Chamber Board developed the 2017 Competitiveness Agenda through information captured from our investor surveys, grassroots meetings in partnership with our local chambers, and dialogue with business leaders from around the state. Though there are many other policy issues we take positions on and advocate for or against, the Competitiveness Agenda focuses on the top issues as determined by South Carolina businesses. This year, our central initiatives were filling the workforce pipeline, finishing the job on roads, and cutting the red tape on business licensing.

Industry Recognized credentials for critical needs jobs •

Finish the Job on Roads South Carolina’s business community has consistently called for sustainable, long-term funding to fix and maintain South Carolina’s roads and bridges. •

Fill the Workforce Pipeline South Carolina’s business community needs targeted strategies that will increase the number of people with the right skills in the talent pipeline.

Re-establishment of the Education and Economic Development Coordinating Council

Revenue options: remove the sales tax exemption on motor fuel; raise the sales tax exemption cap on vehicles; dedicate these funds directly to infrastructure

Cut the Red Tape on Business Licensing

Apprenticeship participation growth

Expansion of Career and Technology Education

South Carolina’s small business community needs a standardized business licensing process that makes it easier to do business across the state.

0% State income tax rate for military retirement benefits

Ex-offender workforce integration programs

Tuition support for non-credit bearing State Licensed or

One form, one expiration date and the ability to file online through the Secretary of State

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LEGISLATIVE SUCCESSES Passed Business Friendly Bills H.3516 (Simrill) Infrastructure Funding Known as the “Roads Bill,” H.3516 raises $600 million in recurring, sustainable revenue to fix our state’s roads and bridges. This bill, which also reforms the DOT, provides tax relief, and holds out-ofstate motorists accountable, became effective July 1, 2017. H.3220 (Allison) Education & Economic Development Coordinating Council This bill reestablishes the Education & Economic Development Coordinating Council, a collaborative effort between the education and business communities to strengthen the state’s workforce. H.3358 (Willis) Real ID Compliance Signed into law in April 2017, this bill ensures that South Carolina drivers’ licenses will be updated in order to comply with federal law.

S.218 (Massey) Employee Benefits This bill reserves the right to establish and mandate employee benefits to the General Assembly. H.3969 (Felder & Allison) Education Accountability Act The Education Accountability Act is a single, statewide education accountability plan that meets federal Every Student Succeeds Act requirements. The Chamber supported this bill but opposed any minimization of career readiness assessments.

Blocked Business Negative Bills H.3029 (Cobb-Hunter & Robinson-Simpson) Repeal of Right to Work Laws This bill sought to repeal South Carolina’s Right to Work laws.

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Workforce Update

APPRENTICESHIPS PROVIDE A NEW LEARNING CURVE Historically, apprenticeships have had a very defined meaning. Built from a European model where you might serve as an apprentice under someone who is skilled in the craft, it allows an opportunity for hands-on learning at a deeper level than can typically be found through other programs. In the past, trades like plumbing, electrical and appliance repair have used apprenticeships as a way to train new workers, but outside of those industries, the model has gained little traction. That is, until recently. “Historically, you tend to think of apprentices in trades industries, but we’ve moved toward that being manufacturing, IT, healthcare and other industries, too,” says Dr. Tim Hardee, President and Executive Director of the SC Technical College System. Hardee notes that in 2007, the state only had around 700 apprenticeships; today, there are more than 26,000 across the state. Apprenticeship typically involves three components: on the job training; educational employment; and a scalable wage increase. This process ensures that the ramp into fulltime, financially stable jobs is easily managed and balanced between education and actual work hours. The S.C. Technical College System is, in many locations, leading the conversation when it comes to apprenticeships, along with groups like the SC Chamber of Commerce, who was also instrumental in developing Apprenticeship Carolina. In practice, some companies—like Total Comfort Solutions, who provides commercial heating and air solutions—have partnered with other groups to provide solutions for their own workforce development. By partnering with the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, Total Comfort Solutions has developed a program to build their own employees—right out of high school. In the program, the Chamber funds books/tuition for rising sophomores. Those students attend school in the morning two to three days a week, participating in a program that allows

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them to graduate in two years with an HVAC certificate as a technician. Then they can go on to earn their associate’s degree. “So, while they are still in high school during the school year, they might work 15 hours a week getting practical experience here,” says Pat Garner, General Manager of Total Comfort Solutions in Charleston. However, part of the continued challenge, he adds, is the idea that most students need to focus on a four-year degree instead of exploring other opportunities like apprenticeships when considering their future career. “We need to do something to educate young people about options that they have,” Garner says. “Most options are listed out as professions, but they don’t address students who aren’t acclimated or inclined to attend college.” Today in South Carolina, there are more than 900 apprenticeship programs, many with companies like Boeing, Michelin and more, but it’s not just the larger companies that have shifted their thinking. As Hardee puts it, out of 8,400 manufacturers in the state of South Carolina, only 500 have more than 100 employees, so most are considered “small” businesses. “Right now, the need is that there’s a shortage of skilled workforce in South Carolina—that is apparent,” he says. “Apprenticeship allows many employers across the state to take what may be a really reliable employee and build them into an even more valuable employee.” Hardee notes that we can expect to see continued growth in this area as more and more industries and companies take advantage of the programs being offered, building a stronger and stronger employee base with the skills to help their companies thrive. “Moving forward, what we’ll see is more industries taking advantage of the programs because they see it as a way to tap into the workforce,” he notes. “The time of an unskilled worker being of value to an employer has passed.”


Workforce Update

THE VETERAN CONNECTION When it comes to workforce impact, there are two ways to consider the military in South Carolina—by active military and their impact, and by veteran workforce and employment. The former, generating more than $24 billion in economic impact and more than 181,000 jobs, is nothing to ignore; after all, the state is home to eight major military installations. Still, it pales in comparison to the potential held within the second group— our veteran community. Comprised of more than 417,000 veterans—and that’s a low estimate—South Carolina boasts the nation’s ninth highest military retiree population. What’s more: over 18 percent of those men and women are between the ages of 25 and 54, making them highly likely to enter private sector and begin a second career. Because of this, the veteran population is estimated to be able to fill around 3.6 percent of the projected job openings across the state in the next 10 years. Fortunately, a number of organizations and systems exist to help place these men and women back into the workforce after their transition out of the military. In addition to an estimated 1,500 or more Veteran Service Organizations across the state, partnerships between the S.C. Department of Commerce, the Military Task Force, Operation Palmetto Employment and others have formed to address the needs of those in transition. According to Charlie Farrell, Executive Coordinator for the S.C. Military Task Force, there are about 4,600 men and women transitioning out of the military in South Carolina every year, and many of them are highly qualified for the jobs that companies in the state need to fill.

counted in state numbers. “But these people are highly prized; employers don’t just want the technical skills—they want those soft skills, too.” Through Operation Palmetto Employment, another statewide, veterans-focused initiative that originated under the leadership of Gov. Haley, the S.C. National Guard and S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce work together to help place veterans in “meaningful civilian careers.” With a toolkit that spans a lot of state and federal institutions, OPE serves as a landing pad for Guardsmen and veterans who are in the job search. The organization aims to make South Carolina the most militaryfriendly state in nation—something they hope to achieve through three goals: streamlining the employment process and reducing duplication of efforts; leveraging military expertise; and ensuring collaboration between providers and employers. As an additional measure, efforts are being made to help military spouses get credentialed for numerous types of jobs in South Carolina through the Department of Education, streamlining the red tape that can sometimes occur when trying to transfer such certifications or credentials across state lines. By doing so, there is hope that the military family can further be strengthened and contribute to the workforce conversation, as well. “We’re just trying to connect these people up and keep them here,” says Farrell. “They’re gonna go where the job is, and if we can show them that we can help them get that job in South Carolina, then they’ll stay. “

“One of the things we are trying to do with the Military Task Force is just trying to capture who these folks are,” Farrell says, adding that if a veteran doesn’t use the VA for any services, they aren’t

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Workforce Update

SECOND CHANCES WITH EX-OFFENDER WORKFORCE RE-ENTRY Almost two years ago, at the behest of then-Governor Haley, a focus was placed on what was termed “offender re-entry”— the formal term for those in transition back into the workforce from prison. Since then, the partnership forged between the Department of Employment and Workforce, the Department of Corrections, and organizations like Goodwill Industries of Upstate/Midlands has born a program that is not only putting these men and women back to work, but reducing recidivism back into crime at an astounding rate. The program, housed at Manning Pre-Release Center in Columbia, is unique. Started as a 60-day program for level 1, male inmates who are within 180 days of release, its focus is to go “behind the wire” to focus on soft skills, in addition to the trades that many are already learning. As one of the first of its kind across the nation, the program includes a full-time employee who teaches resume tips, interviewing skills and offers bonding for higher-risk individuals. Not long after its inception, the program expanded to 90 days, and then to Graham (Camille Griffin) Correctional Institution—a prison for women, also based in Columbia. By focusing not only on trades and soft skills, but also on job certifications that match needed jobs in South Carolina’s workforce, the program has found quick success. Feeding offenders into jobs in construction, manufacturing and warehouse has proven an opportunity that solves both sides of a sometimes troubling equation. “We’ve seen a lot of success on this, and we’ve done that in two ways,” Grey Parks, Deputy Director of Workforce Operation at SC DEW, says. On the individual side, he notes, “There’s information that shows the individual that when they go into jobs the recidivism rate drops.” On the business side, employers are encouraged to consider hiring from the offender population as a solution to workforce gaps they might experience, and can even earn tax credits by hiring from this population. “We’ve seen really good returns,” Parks says. “It’s kind of grown past what we expected.” In general, 82 percent of those who come to Department of Corrections serve time for under five years; 93 percent are out within 10 years, according to Brian Stirling, Agency Director of the Department of Corrections. Under the PreRelease program at Manning, 75 percent of the people from the program have found jobs, and 72 percent are still employed 18

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months later. At Goodwill Industries of Upstate/Midlands last year, over 1100 previous offenders were placed into jobs—a 35 percent placement rate (compared to a 40 percent placement rate overall). Those jobs have an average wage of $10 per hour and 35 hours or more per week. “As the labor market has tightened, there probably has been a little bit more consideration of people who could not do this job but have this barrier,” Patrick Michaels, CEO of Goodwill Industries of Upstate/Midlands says, adding, “It’s one of the few good things of having a labor shortage.” Still, there are challenges in placing past offenders back into the workforce. First, there is an education gap, with the average education level of South Carolina prisoners around tenth grade. While this is something addressed by the Re-Entry Program and by partnerships with organizations that provide certificates, and even WorkKeys, there “is definitely a correlation between education and prison,” Stirling says. Additionally, there is the perception of hiring what most consider a violent offender— which has some discrepancy to the actual terminology. Nena Walker-Staley, Assistant Deputy Director of Programs for the Department of Corrections and Warden at Manning Correctional, explains. “When we say violent or not violent, most of the people we release have some sort of violent charge on them,” which she explains as a term simply being tied to most drug offenses. “We ask employers to look at them on a case by case basis, because when you say you’re not going to hire a violent offender, you’re eliminating just about everyone who is getting out.” Additionally, there are challenges in placement, depending on the charges. “The more severe the charge, the harder it is to get placed,” Michaels notes, but “the further in the past it was, the easier it is for them to get back to work, as well.” Still, the organizations are committed to making these transitions as easy as possible, and as beneficial as possible, even going to lengths of buying large equipment like welding booths or paving equipment to allow inmates to train on. In the end, Stirling notes, it’s just about filling the jobs that need to be filled with people who need them. “If there’s a company out there looking for a skillset that they just cannot find, we’d love to partner with them,” he says. “Jobs, benefits and a future make a difference.”


Workforce Update

INTERNSHIPS ON THE RISE Reversing a trend years in the making, employers last year projected to hire 3.4 percent more interns (and 6.3 percent more co-ops) than they did in 2016, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) 2017 Internship and Co-op Survey. This is good news for the generation that will be graduating college soon—a generation that has been notoriously plagued with a soured hiring market for new graduates. And although internship programs vary greatly between different colleges and universities, there is a commonality among them—that more and more attention is being paid to internship programs and the opportunities they provide. Troy Nunamaker, Director of Internships at the Center for Career and Professional Development at Clemson University, notes the difference, even among a matter of years. “When I first started with the internship program, we were tracking participation rates at graduation and at that point we were about 64 percent of students participating in some sort of experiential education,” he says. “Now, we are around 75 percent. I’d expect that colleges across the U.S. are seeing the same sort of thing.” At Clemson, Nunamaker notes that around 75 percent of Clemson students participate in “experiential education” at some point during their college career. Additionally, those who intern are 20 percent more likely to have a job offer upon graduation than their counterparts. Over at the University of South Carolina, the numbers are similar. While the internship program is largely “decentralized,” meaning that individual departments run their own internship programs in many cases, the school may still have around 1,300 internships or co-ops in their system at any given point. Additionally, there are many students not counted in the standard reporting numbers of internships. “For students who are getting academic credit, they are easy to count, because they are getting that credit,” says Thomas Halasz, Director of USC’s Career Center. “However, we know that for each of those, there are two non-academic internships that we have no record of, and students have no incentive to report it.” As Department of Labor regulations have tightened around employers, providing a set of strict guidelines over the past decade, trends have started to emerge on the employer side when it comes to interns. Initially, there are more ties back into

the curriculum itself, and more and more paid internships are offered. In short, Halasz notes, employers are using interns as one more way to fill their pipeline of talent and cultivate future employees and leaders. Additionally, while media companies have dwindled in their search for interns over the years (media was the hardest hit by lawsuits brought about by internships a number of years back), increases have been seen in industries like IT, healthcare, transportation, logistics, and even non-profits. Many times, companies in those fields use internships as a way to test out students as future employees, according to Dr. Bob Brookshire, Director of Graduate School Program at USC. “They want to assess soft skills in terms of teamwork, and being able to speak and interact with all levels of the company—those are good ways the companies can ‘try before they buy’ to see if they are potential employees,” Brookshire says. “At the same time, they know that at the start this is potentially only a temporary relationship, but if it does continue past the internship it’s because both parties were invested in it.” That option, to try out the relationship before formal employment, pays off: the NACE finds that 62 percent of those who work as interns will later accept an offer of employment from that employer. In many cases, however, it means that some internships can become very competitive, on both sides. Where companies used to begin a search for interns in January or February, now it is more common for them to start their search almost a year prior, in September or October of the previous year. “As companies have established internship programs, they are looking for the perfect student before a competitor gets there,” Nunamaker says. “They might take on 20 interns for a summer; they can fill 15 in the fall and then be more selective in the spring.” But the internship isn’t only for the employer’s’ benefit—it also offers an opportunity for students to determine their career paths by trying out a number of experiences. “Internships are a great opportunity to help you determine if you are on the right path,” says Halasz. “You can adjust your path; you can take courses that help you further define your career goals.” Tony Dillon, Director of Internship Program at USC, agrees. “For a student who works somewhere and doesn’t like it, that’s still a good learning experience.”

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2017

Business Leader OF THE YEAR

PE TE SE L L E CK

Chairman and President, Michelin North America

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When Francois Michelin visited the Upstate in the 1970s as CEO, he saw an area ripe for manufacturing, but reeling from a wounded economy. “What Mr. Michelin saw was this large workforce—a textile workforce—that was in need of work,” says Pete Selleck, President of Michelin North America. “In many ways, Francois Michelin based the future of his company on South Carolina. About 40 percent of our initial workforce came from former textile companies, and they proved him to be right.” Four decades later, Selleck himself has a similar perspective, still waging bets on the business community of the Upstate and asking to be proven right. Selleck’s career at Michelin began simply enough—after growing up an “Army brat”, going on to West Point and then a career in the U.S. Army, he found himself newly married in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and looking for his next move. Only a few months later, he was going through a rigorous interview process, only to begin his first job out of the military as an industrial engineer for Michelin’s passenger and light truck tire plant in Greenville. Continuing to grow and develop with the company, he was consistently promoted, and through it all, he learned how to manage people, how to run a plant, and most importantly: the difference between types of leadership skills. “I learned a lot about leadership in an industrial environment, which is different than it is in a military environment, because it’s a different type of operation,” Selleck says. “Leaders are not here to be served; leaders are here to serve others. Whether that’s our customer or our shareholders or our employees or the community or society as a whole, we have a role to serve, and that lined up with the paradigm I learned in the military.” After leaving the plant in 1993, Selleck took over the management of eight plants across the U.S. and Canada. A major acquisition of fellow tire manufacturers Uniroyal and BF Goodrich soon after led to a restructuring—a true test of the company’s mettle. Michelin North America had to get “leaner and meaner,” Selleck notes, but he remembers being impressed with how the corporate entity handled all of the changes. He soon realized that the backbone of the company was truly the people who worked there. “This is the type of company that is serious, and as a leader you can look yourself in the mirror and say it’s not just about maximizing the profits, or the wealth of the senior leadership. It’s about trying to take care of every person within the company,” he adds. After the reorganization, Selleck led the passenger and light truck tire business for North America, overseeing research and development, manufacturing, marketing and sales, and working alongside companies like Costco and Discount Tire in a $2.5 Billion business. Then, after 21 years in Greenville, he and his wife moved to Clermont-Ferrand in France, the global headquarters for the company. There, he had two jobs: first, managing the European passenger and light truck tire business; and after that, the truck tire business for the company, globally. “Essentially, I was able to run a North American business, then a European business, then a global business, which very few people ever get the chance to do,” he says. Upon his return to the states in 2011, he took the office he now currently holds—as Chairman and President of Michelin North America. Today, 20 plants comprise the North American

market, and more than 22,000 people. It’s a $9.4 Billion business and Selleck is at the top. But he is also candidly aware of the influence he wields—not only within the company but within the state as a whole. And it’s the ownership of that power that makes him a true force in South Carolina. A few years ago, Selleck was asked, “What keeps you up at night?” His response—which included mention of South Carolina’s “disgraceful” infrastructure, with little sustainable action to improve it, was a shot heard round the state. It was instantly picked up by the press, and Selleck became a prominent voice from the corporate community on the issue of roads and bridges. “Safety is a major issue—we have 1,000 people killed on our roads every year, and many of those can be attributed to the roads themselves,” he says. “For us personally, [Michelin has] made a $5 Billion investment in this state over the past 40 years and we rely on a number of aspects of infrastructure, but certainly the roads systems are crucial for us to be able to transport goods between our facilities and the port and our customers.” It took three legislative sessions, numerous conversations, and endless back and forth, but in 2017 a plan was passed to fund the state’s infrastructure, and not simply out of surplus funds. With a smile, Selleck simply says, “It’s nice to see government work.” On the other hand, when it comes to workforce development, it’s an issue that requires all hands on deck. From tech schools to government entities, everyone has their hands in trying to make a difference, and Michelin is no different, offering apprenticeship programs and the Michelin Technical Scholars program, where 70 students around the U.S. get full scholarships to go to a technical school. There, they’ll complete 20 hours a week of paid internship work, and after graduating, will likely be hired immediately. Of those, many will continue to advance to get four-year degrees through Michelin’s education reimbursement plan. “It’s a great program,” Selleck says, “not just to attract people into our maintenance area, but the technical schools work with us to make sure their curriculum is constantly updated.” But workforce development begins much earlier than high school. That’s why Michelin also facilitates the Michelin Challenge Education program, where about 500 employees go into 24 elementary schools weekly around the U.S. and Canada to work primarily with at-risk students—by reading. The employees simply do nothing more than sit down and read with them once a week. For Selleck, the reason for this is simple. “Today, if a child cannot read at the third grade level by the time they are nine years old, they are probably never going to catch up at that point. Beyond that point, you read to learn,” he says. And although he smiles, one thing is certain: Selleck is serious about his understanding of the role he plays in these conversations. “Business leaders always know that their customers are important and that their financial performance is important— those are the two things that every business leader gets,” he notes. “But our responsibility, I believe, goes beyond that... [Business leaders] are among the most credible voices that exist in society, so we can’t just play it safe and not say anything about government affairs issues or local issues.”

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2017

Public Servant OF THE YEAR

R E P R E S E N TATI VE GA RY SI M RILL S.C. House District 46

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Gary Simrill has always been interested in politics. Since his eighth grade field trip to Columbia, where he first saw the Statehouse, he had held a fascination for public office—at the age of 14 he was working on political campaigns for Ronald Reagan, and serving as a precinct chairman throughout his teens. That fascination only grew as he grew older, so it should serve as no surprise that he has ended up in that same Statehouse for the past 23 years. Growing up in Rock Hill, Simrill went to Winthrop University, earning a business degree in 1991. Throughout school, he worked at a moving and storage business to pay his own way, but noticed that any complaints—about tuition, the price of books, or lab fees—were almost always met with the same retort: blame the politicians. So when a special election was held in Rock Hill the year he graduated, he decided to run. He lost that election, but wasn’t deterred. When he ran again, only a year later for the House seat in District 46, he won. Today, now 25 years later, Simrill has remained in the House—where he’s always wanted to be—and spent more time in office than he ever was out of it. “I have, quite literally, served for half of my life; that’s half of my life spent in public service,” he says. “I guess this year I’ll celebrate my silver anniversary.” But even though he’s been in public office for half of his life, Simrill never saw it as a career. He had little desire to climb through the ranks into federal office, and truly, never expected to be in the House this long at all. “If you talked to me in ‘91 when I lost, and asked me the question, ‘Where do you see yourself going,’ I would have said that I wanted to be in the House,” Simrill notes. “I never wanted to move up the line, and I still don’t. I never looked at it as a career. I looked at it as public service and helping people.” For his own career, Simrill remained in the moving business until just after September 11, 2001. While it was a good business, he didn’t find it rewarding and had no desire to continue something that wasn’t meaningful to him personally. “As I looked at people walking into the Pentagon or the Twin Towers, it was just a normal day for them, but it was a day that many of them weren’t coming back,” he remembers. “That taught me the fragility of life and to do what brings you the most contentment. The moving business was a good business, but it was not rewarding to me, so I got into the car business. It was a challenge, but I had an affinity for cars, and if your vocation and avocation can be one and the same, that’s a winning combination.” In the Statehouse, however, Simrill’s passion is clear. As chair of the Infrastructure Committee (initially created by Speaker Bobby Harrell in 2014), he has become known for his leadership on the passage of a sustainable roads bill for the state of South Carolina. But it wasn’t always a topic he thought was needed. “When I was first tasked with this, my preconceived idea was that we didn’t need need an increase in gas tax but we did need Department of Transportation reform,” he says. “But, I decided to be as objective as possible and so I decided to gather testimony.” So, the committee began to talk with everyone involved in the process of creating and maintaining the state’s roads and bridges.

Out of almost 40 hours of testimony, he realized that his initial beliefs were misguided. South Carolina, he found, had not kept up with the needs of their highways, and by looking back at the history of how the roads were managed—all the way back to the ‘50s—he began to not only understand the challenges, but how they could be addressed. “The last time we raised gas tax was in 1987 under Carroll Campbell,” Simrill notes. “But why did we even have a gas tax? Well, Herbert Hoover wanted to pay for roads, and a user fee is better than taxing everyone for something. After that, Eisenhower expanded gas tax as a user fee to pay for roads. Then in 1982, Reagan signed the next increase in gas tax in order to pay jobs and to spur economic development and jobs.” Because of this knowledge of history, Simrill notes, debating the gas tax today was always interesting, because historically, it had always been a conservative effort linked to job creation and economic development. “I decided that if we are going to continue with economic prosperity and expansion, whether that’s the port or with new business, infrastructure is important; but it’s also about safety,” he says. And while the roads bill has played a substantial part in his political career for the last few years, he is quick to deflect credit. “The Secretary of Transportation, Christy Hall, and legislators were working together for the best solution for the people of South Carolina, for the businesses coming into South Carolina and the buildup of of our economy. So the credit for that goes way way beyond me,” he says. More important than a singular bill, however, is how Simrill has used his time in office—not simply to pursue the passage of specific legislation, but to gain consensus throughout the state on issues that matter. “My mantra is to treat everyone I serve with with respect and understanding, and take what is mutual between us and build on that to get things done for South Carolina,” Simrill says. “From a political standpoint, it is the building of consensus and ideas that move the state forward, recognizing that each district is equally important, and that whether the rep has served two years or 25 years or is a Democrat or Republican, the constituents in that district are equally important.” It’s a challenging goal, and one that Simrill realizes doesn’t always translate to the public eye. He notes that people tend to view Washington D.C. as “broken”, and thats more because of the lack of collaboration and consensus than what actually gets passed. “I realize that people don’t necessarily see the work toward a common purpose,” he says. “But ultimately, I’m accountable to the people of District 46 in Rock Hill. My resume goes out every two years.” Going forward, Simrill knows there will be other issues to tackle—and a few, like the V.C. Summer project in Jenkinsville, that will take center stage—but his job, he notes, is to simply keep pushing for progress. “Our job is to stay on the forefront of the needs of South Carolina,” Simrill says. “You realize that the wheel of government often turns slowly, but it must keep turning.”

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2017

SGT. WILLIAM JASPER

Freedom Award B I L L BE TH E A

Chairman, S.C. Military Base Task Force

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In the mid 1940s, in a small post office in Dillon, S.C., Bill Bethea first saw the poster. A U.S. Marine, in dress blues, with a message: “Be a Marine.” Even at the age of six, Bill Bethea knew that poster was calling to him. So, it shouldn’t have been surprising when, at the age of 18, he signed up for an Officer’s Recruiting program in the Marine Corps, while enrolled at Newberry College for a football scholarship. For two summers, he’d travel to Quantico, Virginia, to train in the program, until he graduated from both institutions in 1962. Throughout that time he served as a Marine Reserve. “I actually got my bachelor’s degree and Second Lieutenant’s bars and it was my birthday on June 2, 1962,” Bethea remembers. “So that’s memorable to this day, obviously.” At Camp LeJeune in North Carolina, Bethea went on to join the armor division and became a tanker, converting his Reserve status into a regular Marine commission. He then joined the counterintelligence division and was soon sent to DaNang province in Vietnam, assigned to the First Marine Air Wing, and traversed between there and the counterintelligence division in Chu Lai.

Bethea says. “This was a great opportunity to get involved again with something that was very special to me.” The project wasn’t going to be easy, however. With few records on the previous entity and a state that housed nine major military installations, it was no small task. “We started, literally, from scratch,” Bethea says. “When we inherited the records from the previous task force it was only the size of a small box, so we built it from the ground up.” After recruiting Charlie Farrell as Executive Coordinator of the task force, one of the first tasks they took on was to commission an economic impact study, to determine the value of the military presence in South Carolina. The first study resulted in proof of economic impact of more than $17 Billion dollars, generated by military installations, workforce, defense contracts, and more. Only a few years later, a 2017 study produced evidence of more than $24 Billion impact. For Bethea, one of the main drivers of the Task Force is to build more awareness of the sacrifices that are made at home and abroad by the military community.

“About that time, the war was very political, and believe it or not, it was apparent on my level. It became disillusioning to me that politics was really dictating what we were going to do,” Bethea remembers. Fortunately, about that same time, the government did something that would set Bethea onto his next path—they enacted the G.I. Bill, which provides educational benefits for veterans and military personnel.

“The draft has been dead for a long time, and less than one percent of the population has any military experience, so the general public just doesn’t have the appreciation for it like in earlier generations,” Bethea says. “One of our biggest challenges is to elevate the understanding and the appreciation of what the men and women and their families do in serving this nation, and then in residing in and contributing to our local communities.”

“I’d always wanted to go to law school, so I said what the heck,” Bethea says. From Vietnam, he filled out an application to law school at the USC School of Law, and was accepted, even though he hadn’t yet taken the LSAT test. So, in 1966, Bethea left DaNang and headed to South Carolina once again, and once again converted his commission—this time, back to a Reserve officer.

In South Carolina, the military community generates one out of every 12 jobs in the state, resulting in 181,847 jobs, according to the 2017 study. But while it’s easy to count military personnel while they are in the military, it’s a lot harder to account for them once they get out.

After graduation, he began to practice law at a firm out of Georgetown, S.C., before opening an office on Hilton Head, dealing primarily with real estate transactions. Over the next 30 years, he and his wife, Paula, built extensive careers across South Carolina, and were recognized for numerous contributions. In Bill’s case, he helped establish the Hilton Head Hospital in 1974, served on boards like the Ports Authority, the Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics Foundation, a task force that linked South Carolinian efforts to Georgian efforts to build a Savannah River port, and was even given the Order of the Palmetto, to name a mere few. Then, in 2013, he was approached by Governor Haley with a special request: reactivate the state’s Military Task Force, an entity which had been dormant for years, but was built with the intent to “enhance the value of military installations and facilities and the quality of life for military personnel in South Carolina, as well as coordinate efforts among military communities and public and private sectors to maintain a significant Department of Defense presence in South Carolina.”

The numbers say that there are around 417,000 veterans in South Carolina, but according to Bethea, there’s likely more than 900,000, as the only veterans counted in the official numbers are those who have applied for some sort of benefit through Veterans Affairs. Through both communities, Bethea and the Military Task Force are focused on addressing the issues that matter— education, childcare, workforce development, and any other issues that touch either the military or veteran communities. Encouraged by the recent passage of 13 pieces of militaryfriendly legislation, the commission of a legislative study committee, and a new organization, Bethea is excited to tackle the challenges before them. “I’m kind of gung ho about this—it’s been a real passion for me and I’m happy that we’ve made progress,” he says. “From that little box where we started, we have a long way to go, but we’ve made some really good progress. I think it will help us achieve our overall objective of increasing the appreciation among our citizenry of what the armed forces does for our nation, and what the military community does for the economy of our state.”

“The Marine in me was still there all that time, so I had a great respect for our military and our firefighters and our police force,”

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P RESENT ING t he SOUTH CAROLINA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

State Chamber AWA R DS

Throughout the year, the SC Chamber of Commerce recognizes a number of people throughout the state for industry excellence. From our Human Resources awards to recognizing top companies in our manufacturing space, we are honored to see those persons and companies on the following pages continually representing our great state. In addition, this year, the Chamber partnered with Upstate-based The Brand Leader to honor and award 15 different entities with the first-ever SC Branded awards.

DIV E R SIT Y

H U MAN RESOURCES WO RKFORC E

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MANUFAC TU R I NG

SC BRANDED


2017 State Chamber Awards

Excellence in Workplace Diversity AWA R D

The Excellence in Workplace Diversity Award recognizes companies for their significant contributions to the advancement of South Carolina through diversity initiatives and inclusion efforts. Criteria considered in selecting the winners include diversity initiatives, effectiveness and applicability/replicability. All South Carolina companies are eligible to apply.

2 01 7 AWAR D WIN N E R S Presented at 38th Annual Summit, December 6, 2017.

​S M A L L EM PL OY ER (Less than 300 employees)

Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce Florence, SC

M ED IUM / L A R G E EM PL OY ER (300 or more employees)

Medical University of South Carolina Columbia, SC

2 01 6 AWAR D WIN N E R S The South Carolina Chamber is also proud to recognize our 2016 Excellence in Workplace Diversity Award winners, who were honored at the 37th Annual Summit in November, 2016.

​S MALL EMP LOY ER (Less than 300 employees)

Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, PC

M ED IUM / L A R G E EM PLOY E R (300 or more employees)

Bank of America Columbia, SC

Greenville, SC

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By combining our low-cost, reliable energy and diverse property portfolio with South Carolina’s low cost of doing business, creative incentive packages and unparalleled quality of life, Santee Cooper continues to help new businesses picture a better future – and continues to power South Carolina toward Brighter Tomorrows, Today.

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2017 State Chamber Awards

Human Resources Professional O F T HE YE AR

The Award for Professional Excellence in Human Resources Management recognizes creative approaches and consistently high performance that benefits the nominee’s company or organization and the business and professional community. The person selected is the “best” in the human resources profession. The annual award is a joint venture of the SC Chamber of Commerce and the South Carolina State Council/Society for Human Resource Management.

2 01 7 AWAR D WIN N E R

20 17 FI NA L I S TS

Robyn Knox SHRM -SCP, SPHR, VI CE PRE SI DE N T , HU M A N RE SOU RCE S, SOU T HE RN WE AVI N G

Robyn Knox is the Vice President of Human Resources at Southern Weaving in Greenville, South Carolina. Since November of 2007, Knox has led Southern Weaving’s human resource efforts, including developing recruitment and retention initiatives, defining benefit and compensation strategy, implementing an award-winning wellness program, and partnering in the strategic planning process. Knox is a Clemson University graduate, having earned a Bachelors degree in Management and a Masters degree in Human Resource Development. Knox has been certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources since 2002, and she was one of the first to be certified through the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) as a Senior Certified Professional. Knox serves as a member of the Greenville County Workforce Development Board and is Secretary of the Greenville Regional Education Center Advisory Board. She serves as the Workforce Readiness Director for the South Carolina SHRM State Council and is an active Board Member and Immediate Past-President of the Greenville Society for Human Resource Management. Knox was recognized by Greenville SHRM as 2016 HR Professional of the Year.

Robyn Knox

SHRM-SCP, SPHR, Vice President, Human Resources, Southern Weaving

Michelle Piekutowski HCS, Associate Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer, Clemson University

Kay Straky

JD, Director, Human Resources, Ogletree Deakins

Teresa Vaughn

SHRM-SCP, SPHR, Vice President, Human Resources, Johnson & Johnson (Insurance)

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to jobs

Bank of America to compassion At Bank of America, we’re connecting our resources and people to the things that make life better in communities across the United States. From working with local businesses that create jobs and supporting nonprofits that address critical needs to revitalizing neighborhoods and funding safe and affordable housing. Our mission is simple: to help South Carolina thrive.

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2017 State Chamber Awards

Manufacturing Employee O F T HE YE AR

The Chamber presented the South Carolina Manufacturing Employee of the Year Award on October 6, 2017, in conjunction with Manufacturing Week. This award was created to focus attention on the important contributions non-executive manufacturing employees make to their employers, customers and communities. The award showcases employee contributions in the areas of innovation, teamwork, community service and leadership. We are pleased to announce the following winners for 2017:

P RO DUCT IO N

SMALL EMPLOYER

Wayne Norris

SUPPORT

​SMALL EMPLOYER

Andrea Rodgers

ENA B L I NG

SMALL EMPLOYER

​Lisa Ann Ward

3C Forming Team Lead, CeramTec North America

Information Technology Administrator, Phoenix Specialty Mfg. Co.

Administrative Assistant, Danfoss

MEDIUM EMPLOYER

MEDIUM EMPLOYER

MEDIUM EMPLOYER

Armond Prior

Aircraft Sheetmetal Mechanic, Lockheed Martin

Teri King

Manager, HR, Bosch-Rexroth Corporation

Eva M. Grande-Sandoval

L ARGE EMPLOYER

L ARGE EMPLOYER

L ARGE EMPLOYER

Dennis Askew

Vice President and Mill Manager; Marlboro Mill, Domtar

George Olley

Tire Building Controller, Michelin- Spartanburg

Plant Change Management, Draexlmaier - Duncan

Eugene White

Principal Program Planner Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, LLC

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THE FORESTRY ASSOCIATION is the Voice of South Carolina’s

WOOD & PAPER PRODUCTS INDUSTRY

Billion Industry  TIMBER: #1 Agribusiness Crop  $21

AD Forestry Association OF SOUTH CAROLINA

Cam Crawford President & CEO Forestry Association Columbia, SC scforestry.org

W. McLeod Rhodes Chairman McLeod Lumber Co. Charleston, SC

facebook.com/SCForestryAssociation


2017 State Chamber Awards

Workforce Innovator AWA R D S

The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce the small, medium, and large employer award winners for this year’s Workforce Innovator Award. The winners represent the Chamber members who have used their own resources and ingenuity to implement private sector workforce development solutions to address the skills gap and help create a South Carolina workforce of the future. The following businesses were awarded at the 2017 Workforce Symposium, hosted in partnership with SCDEW and SWDB and presented by Bank of America.

2 01 7 AWAR D WIN N E R S

SMALL EMPLOYER*

MEDIUM EMPLOYER

PPG, Chester

Sonesta Resort, Hilton Head Island

For many years, the PPG-Chester Plant has been a role model for K12 and higher education support, not only in Chester County but throughout the region. Driven by the direct involvement of their senior management, the plant has provided financial support for countless robotics and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) projects in middle and high schools. They have also invested in local Junior Achievement entrepreneurship programs, in the purchase of new equipment for local career centers, and in the Summer Externships for Educators program that provides high school teachers the chance to work in industry during their summer break.

Sonesta Resort developed the School Incentive Partnership program to grow local talent. It started with the Hilton Head High School and, based on the program’s success, it has been expanded to the other public schools across the island. The company recruits school students (age 16 and older), teachers, administrators, custodial staff, cafeteria attendants, school bus drivers, and Board of Education professionals into available part-time and full-time positions throughout the hotel. In addition to normal wages, Sonesta agrees to donate $1 per employee for each hour they work to any schoolsponsored academic club, activity, sport, or organization.

L ARGE EMPLOYER

Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, Aiken

For nearly a decade, children and young adults have benefited from SRNS education outreach programs, whose primary goal is to stress the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Those initiatives include the Traveling Science Demonstration Program, Science & Technology Enrichment Program, Introduce a Girl to Engineering, and various workshops, tours, lectures and demonstrations. The company also has several programs that are based on learning through competition. They include the CSRA Science Fair, DOE Savannah River Regional Science Bowl and the Future City Competition. SRNS also annually offers a “mini grant” program to provide financial assistance to area teachers through corporate funding to help implement their innovative ideas. During this past school year, grants for more than 150 teachers, totaling $75,000, were awarded. SRNS helped develop the curriculum for a new certificate program at Aiken Technical College that prepares students for entry-level positions in the nuclear industry. In addition SRNS supported the program with a donation of $10,000 to help students offset the cost of enrollment.

* Business size definition: Small Employer: Less than 200 SC employees; Medium Employer: 200 to 999 SC employees; Large Employer: 1000+ SC employees.

29


You see a storefront‌

AD We see a family-owned business with a proprietor who counts on city water, sewer, police and fire protection, and other services to keep providing that special hometown experience to his customers, each of whom he treats like family. www.masc.sc

Follow: MuniAssnSC.CitiesMeanBusiness @MuniAssnSC MuniAssnSC.blogspot.com


2017 State Chamber Awards

SC Branded AWA R D S

On November 2, the S.C. Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with The Brand Leader, presented the first S.C. Branded awards, honoring 15 winners and an additional 28 finalists for acknowledgement of brand excellence within their industries.

LEGENDS AWARD

BRAND ON THE RISE

BREWERY OF THE YEAR

CHARITABLE IMPACT

DESTINATION AWARD

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROJECT

Bluecross Blueshield of South Carolina

TASTE OF THE STATE

Brackish Bowties

River Rat Brewery

Greenville’s Main Street

Newberry County Samsung Project

PALMETTO GREEN

HOMETOWN S.C.

Soby’s

G.F. League Company, Inc.

Spartanburg, S.C.

HEALTH INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR

FARM, FOREST & FIELD

Harvest Hope Food Bank

District Six at Cragmoor Farms

ICONIC SPORTS MOMENT

Clemson’s 2017 College Football National Championship

PRODU CT INNOVATION

ARTS CHAMPION

WOVEN & WORN

Growler Chill

Cherington Shucker

Kentwool, Inc.

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Presented by

32


G

rant Thornton has proudly recognized the Top 100 private companies in South Carolina through the Grant Thornton South Carolina 100TM (“The South Carolina 100TM”), the only ranking of the state’s largest privately held companies, since 1984. The South Carolina 100TM is compiled under the direction of Mark Ballew, office managing partner of the firm’s Columbia office, and Andrew Pope, Audit partner, in cooperation with the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce. Participation in the South Carolina 100TM is voluntary and companies are ranked by their net revenue for their most recent fiscal year, based on data provided by the participants. The SC100 list is restricted to companies based in South Carolina that do not have publicly traded stock. Companies owned by private equity are permitted. Nonprofits, financial services companies, health care providers such as hospitals, companies engaged primarily in retail, and subsidiaries of corporations are excluded. Founded in Chicago in 1924, Grant Thornton LLP (Grant Thornton) is the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd, one of the world’s leading organizations of independent audit, tax and advisory firms. Grant Thornton, which has revenues in excess of $1.7 billion and operates 60 offices, works with a broad range of dynamic publicly and privately held companies, government agencies, financial institutions, and civic and religious organizations.

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The 2017 ranking of the Grant Thornton South Carolina private companies includes many dynamic companies in multiple industries. While each year the ranking experiences some changes, highlights of changes from last year are 1) total revenue and # of employees increased 5 percent and 2 percent, respectively, 2) revenue for manufacturing increased 9 percent with an increase in employment of 4.6 percent, and distribution showed a decrease in revenue of 6 percent but an increase in employment of 17 percent between years. ($ amounts in Billions)

2017

CATEGORY

REVENUE

EMPLOYEES

9.8

39,722

6.1

6,565

22

$

DISTRIBUTORS

21

$

ALL OTHER

56

$

8.1

42,445

$

24.0

88,732

REVENUE

EMPLOYEES

9.0

37,961

6.5

5,564

7.4

43,418

22.9

86,943

CATEGORY

2016

#

MANUFACTURERS

#AMOUNTS IN BILLIONS

100 #

MANUFACTURERS

23

$

DISTRIBUTORS

22

$

ALL OTHER

55

$

#AMOUNTS IN BILLIONS

34

RANKINGS

100

$

$

24.0

$

22.9


2017 TOP COMPANIES There was a change in the top 10 companies for 2017, with the addition of Greystar Real Estate Partners, LLC and both Lincoln Oil and Carolina Eastern moving up one place in the ranking, as indicated in the comparison chart.

2017 RANK MOVEMENT Significantly, nine companies joined the ranking for the first time or after an absence.

SIGNIFICANT RANK JUMPS FROM 2016

2017

2016

COMPANY

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

1 2 3 4 5 6 8 9 13 10

Milliken & Company The Intertech Group, Inc. and Affiliates J.M. Smith Corporation Novolex Holdings, LLC Southeastern Freight Lines, Inc. Quality Business Solutions, Inc. Lincoln Oil Co., Inc. Carolina Eastern Inc. Greystar Real Estate Partners, LLC Mount Vernon Mills, Inc.

2016

COMPANY

25 31 32 55 56 63 81 82 87

Essex Homes Holding Company, Inc. AM Conservative Group, Inc. McCrory Construction Company, LLC Builders Wholesale Flooring, LLC Vino.com, LLC PCI Group, Inc. Cohn Construction Services, LLC Infrastructure Consulting & Engineering, PLLC Piedmont Mechanical, Inc.

INCREASE 31 13

COMPANY Turbeville Insurance Agency, Inc. Palmetto Corp. of Conway

Companies that moved up in the ranking by 10 or greater for 2017.

35


MORE THAN $1 BILLION #

COMPANY

CITY

CEO

BUSINESS DESCRIPTION

1

Milliken & Company

Spartanburg

Harold Chandler

Chemicals, carpet and textile manufacturing

2

The Intertech Group, Inc. and Affiliates

North Charleston

Anita G. Zucker and Jonathan M. Zucker

Diversified Family-owned company

3

J M Smith Corporation

Spartanburg

A. Alan Turfe

Wholesale Pharmaceutical distribution and pharmacy technology systems

4

Novolex Holdings, LLC

Hartsville

Stanley B. Bikulege

Manufacturer of a family of North American based packaging products

5

Southeastern Freight Lines, Inc.

Lexington

W.T. Cassels, Jr.

LTL Motor Carrier

6

Quality Business Solutions, Inc.

Travelers Rest

Pamela Evette

Provides a wide and comprehensive range of benefits and services

7

Lincoln Oil Co. , Inc.

Greenville

James E. Farish Jr

Wholesale petroleum, biofuels, trucking and petroleum storage

$100 MILLION TO $999 MILLION #

36

COMPANY

CITY

CEO

BUSINESS DESCRIPTION

8

Carolina Eastern Inc.

Charleston

Alton C. Phillips

Distributor of Fertilizer, Seed, and Ag chemicals

9

Greystar Real Estate Partners, LLC

Charleston

Robert A. Faith

Investor, developer and operator of multifamily real estate assets

10

Mount Vernon Mills, Inc.

Mauldin

David Hastings

Diversified and integrated manufacturer of textile, chemical and related products.

11

Mungo Homes, Inc.

Irmo

Steven Mungo

Residential real estate development, homebuilding, investment and property management

12

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP

Columbia

James K. Lehman

Legal Services

13

Blanchard Machinery Company

West Columbia

Joe Blanchard

Heavy Equipment dealer that specializes in CAT products. Parts, Sales, services and rental of Heavy Equipment and Power generation equipment.

14

Metromont Corporation

Greenville

Rick Pennell

Precast Prestress Building Solutions

15

Edens Investment Trust

Columbia

Jodie McLean

Retail SC owner and developer; national

16

Spartanburg Forest Products, Inc.

Greer

Steve Michael

Sell, distribute, manufacture, pressure treated lumber and all related products.

17

Comporium, Inc.

Rock Hill

Bryant Barnes

Diversified communications company

18

Thompson Construction Group, Inc.

Sumter

Greg A. Thompson

Leading provider of industrial construction, maintenance, and building construction services in the southeastern United States

19

M. B. Kahn Construction Co., Inc.

Columbia

William H. Neely

General Construction, Construction Management, Construction Management at Risk, and Design-Build.

20

Dearybury Oil & Gas Inc.

Spartanburg

C.W. Dearybury

Wholesale supplier of petroleum and distillates.

21

Southeastern Paper Group, Inc.

Spartanburg

E. Lewis Miller, Jr.

Distribution of disposable paper, plastics and cleaning supplies

22

Cox Industries, Inc.

Orangeburg

Mikee Johnson

Manufactures and distributes treated lumber, utility poles and pilings.

23

JHM Enterprises, Inc.

Greenville

HP Rama

Developer, owner and operator of upscale hotels

24

Medical Services of America, Inc.

Lexington

Ronne L. Young

Health care services, rental and sale of home medical equipment and supplies

25

Essex Homes Holding Company, Inc.

Lexington

Karl Haslinger

Construction of single-family residential homes

26

Spirit Communications

Columbia

Robert Keane

Fiber based communications service provider

27

Cregger Company Inc

West Columbia

Morris Cregger

Plumbing,Electrical,HVAC,Appliances and Lighting distribution

28

Diamond Hill Plywood Company, Inc.

Darlington

John C. Ramsey

Wholesale distribution of building materials, along with manufacturing of hardwood/ plywood.


29

Prestage Farms of SC

Camden

Ron Prestage

Live turkey production

30

G&P Trucking Co., Inc.

Gaston

G. Clifton Parker

Truckload transportation of freight

31

AM Conservation Group, Inc.

Charleston

John Bailes

Leading provider of energy and water-saving products, kits, online stores and educational programs to utilities, municipalities, cooperatives and large corporations throughout North America.

32

McCrory Construction Company LLC

Columbia

Allen Amsler

Non-Residential Building Construction. Commercial, Industrial, Retail, Multi-Family, Healthcare, and Institutional construction.

33

AGY Holding Corp

Aiken

Patrick J. Burns

Leading manufacturer of advanced glass fibers that are used as reinforcing materials in numerous high-value applications, including aircraft laminates, ballistic armor, thermoplastic applications, architectural fabrics and specialty electronics.

34

Broad River Furniture, Inc.

Fort Mill

Charlie Malouf

Home furnishings

35

Terminix Service Inc.

Columbia

Marion A. Knox Jr.

Termite and Pest Control company

36

Palmetto Corp of Conway

Conway

Shawn Godwin

Heavy Highway General Contractor

37

Human Technologies, Inc.

Greenville

Herbert W. Dew, III

Multi-faceted human resource advisory firm

38

THE BEACH COMPANY

Charleston

John C. Darby

Full Service real estate-sales, leasing, development, management

39

Merritt Veterinary Supplies, Inc.

Columbia

Robert M. Mims, Jr.

Distributor of supplies, equipment, and drugs for the veterinary industry

40

H G Reynolds Company Inc.

Aiken

Jeffery Reynolds

General contractor - commercial and industrial

41

CoLinx, LLC

Greenville

Donavan Louis

Logistics and ecommerce services

42

Industrial Packaging Supplies, Inc.

Fountain Inn

Jerry Murdock

Wholesale distribution of packaging materials

43

The Ritedose Corporation

Columbia

Umesh Dalvi

Contract pharmaceutical manufacturer

44

Commercial Foodservice Repair, Inc.

Greenville

Kurt Herwald

Installation, maintenance and repair of food service equipment

$50 MILLION TO $99 MILLION #

COMPANY

CITY

CEO

BUSINESS DESCRIPTION

45

Defender Services, Inc.

Hopkins

John N. McCarter, Jr.

Janitorial, security and staffing services on a contractual basis

46

Thompson Industrial Services, LLC

Sumter

Josh Chambers

Provider of industrial cleaning and maintenance services.

47

Life Cycle Engineering

Charleston

Bob Fei

Professional Service Firm providing solutions to both commercial and government customers.

48

Eldeco, Inc.

Greenville

Allen McKinney

Electrical Contractor

49

Dilmar Holdings, Inc.

Florence

Earle Atkinson III & Gray Atkinson

Lubricant Distributor & commercial real estate

50

Gateway Supply Company Inc.

Columbia

Sam Williams Jr.

Plumbing and HVAC wholesaler

51

O'Neal, Inc.

Greenville

Kevin Bean

Integrated engineering and construction company

52

The Yahnis Company, Inc.

Florence

Byron Yahnis/Jimmy Yahnis

Wholesale Beverage Distribution.

53

Professional Plumbing Group, Inc.

Conway

Thomas Penner

Progressive plumbers with the right products at the right time.

54

Springs Creative Products Group, LLC.

Rock Hill

Derick Close

Services spanning the creative and technical side of the supply chain, including sourcing, logistics, digital printing, product design, brand development, marketing, merchandising, and more.

55

Builders Wholesale Flooring, LLC

West Columbia

Wayne Martin

Residential wholesale flooring

56

Vino.com, LLC

Mount Pleasant

David J. Pardus

Importer and supplier of beverage alcohol products.

57

Trehel Corporation

Greenville

William W. Huss

Design Build General Contractor

58

ISHPI Information Technologies, Inc.

Mount Pleasant

Earl. D. Bowers

Provider of information & Cyber Dominance, C51SR Engineering & Technical Services

37


59

JEAR Logistics, LLC

Mount Pleasant

Mark Neumeyer

Provide third-party transportation of products throughout the continental United States and Canada

60

Gregory Electric Company, Inc.

Columbia

Robert Livingston

Electrical and mechanical construction operating in - commercial, institutional, industrial, and utilities

61

Sumter Transport Company

Sumter

Robert Rumph

Provider of environmental solutions to refinery and chemical industries.

LESS THAN $50 MILLION

38

#

COMPANY

CITY

CEO

BUSINESS DESCRIPTION

62

Roebuck Buildings Co., Inc.

Roebuck

Dean Anderson

General Contractor

63

PCI Group, Inc.

Fort Mill

Christian Kropac

Complete customer communications resource for businesses in which client-centric data is key, and efficiency, and security are paramount.

64

McNair Law Firm, P.A.

Columbia

David Tigges

Legal services

65

Interstate Management & Investment Corporation

Columbia

Bert Pooser

Own, operate and manage hotels throughout FL, NC, SC and TN

66

Palmetto Synthetics LLC

Kingstree

Henry Poston

Producer of Synthetic Fibers

67

Turbeville Insurance Agency, Inc

Columbia

Bill Turbeville

Insurance Agency

68

McMillan Pazdan Smith LLC

Greenville

Joseph M. Pazdan

Architecture, interior design and planning firm.

69

Infinity Marketing Solutions, Inc.

Greenville

Tony Williams

Full-service advertising agency

70

New South Construction Supply, LLC

Greenville

Jim Sobeck

Distributor of construction products

71

H. R. Allen, Inc.

Charleston

Rod Allen

Industrial and commercial electrical contractor

72

AME, Inc.

Fort Mill

Jeff P. Campbell

Industrial Contracting

73

A3 Communications, Inc.

Irmo

Brian Thomas

Systems integrator, provider of IT and security solutions

74

Greenville Meats, Inc.

Greenville

Gerald Sloan

Meat and poultry processing and distribution

75

Dillon Provision Co., Inc.

Dillon

Dan Bozard

Wholesale Meat Distributor

76

WALDROP, Inc.

Spartanburg

William Caldwell

Mechanical Contractor

77

Electric Guard Dog, LLC

Columbia

Jack DeMao

Electric security partner for commercial and industrial locations across US

78

Colite International, LTD

Columbia

Martin C. Brown

Full-service sign manufacturing who manages international brand implementation projects.


79

Companion Professional Services, LLC

Columbia

Terry M Floyd

An information technology consulting group dedicated to providing innovative and cost-effective IT solutions primarily to the healthcare industry.

80

Park Place Corporation

Greenville

Jason L. Kelley

Manufacturer of Sleep Systems and Products

81

Cohn Construction Services, LLC

Columbia

Harris Cohn

Commercial general contractor.

82

Infrastructure Consulting & Engineering, PLLC

Columbia

Elham Farzam

Civil Engineering and related services.

83

Dove Print Solutions, Inc.

Florence

Richard B. Coxe

Business technology solutions.

84

Delta Pharmacy Inc

Moncks Corner

Willis High

Community Retail Pharmacy

85

Sumter Packaging Corporation

Sumter

Benjamin T. DeSollar

Corrugated shipping containers and specialties.

86

Find Great People, LLC

Greenville

John Uprichard

Administrative, accounting and IT Staffing and Direct Hire, Executive Direct Hire, HR Consulting, and Outplacement services.

87

Piedmont Mechanical, Inc.

Spartanburg

Albert E. (Gene) Smith

Mechanical Contractor

88

International Plastics, Inc.

Greenville

Steve McClure

Manufacturer, importer and wholesale supplier of plastic bags and flexible packaging.

89

Augusta Fiberglass Coatings, Inc.

Blackville

John W. Boyd

Manufacturing - Fiberglass Reinforced Plastics

90

GMK Associates, Inc.

Columbia

Thomas P. Monahan

Architecture, engineering (MEP), interior design, design-build, and construction services

91

JL Anderson Co Inc

Wallace

Robert S. Rogers III

Brick manufacturing and masonry products sales and distribution

92

Eagle Construction Company

Newberry

Jeff D. Spotts

Heavy Highway Construction

93

VC3, LLC

Columbia

David Dunn

IT service provider to the private and public sectors in SC, NC, GA, VA, AL and TN

94

Blue Ridge Log Cabins

Campobello

Milton A. "Chip" Smith, Jr.

Manufacturer of modular log homes and mountain architecture.

95

Rhythmlink International, LLC

Columbia

Shawn Regan

Designs, manufactures and distributes medical devices and provides custom packaging, private labeling, custom products and contract manufacturing

96

Carolina Ceramics, LLC

Columbia

Michael Borden

Commercial and Residential Ceramics Brick Manufacturing, Distribution, and Installation

97

Alliance Consulting Engineers, Inc.

Columbia

Deepal Eliatamby

Civil and environmental engineering firm

98

CHICORA AFFILIATES LLC

Myrtle Beach

Don J. Smith

Residential and commercial sales, residential and commercial rental management, land development

99

Dennis Corporation

Columbia

Dan Dennis

Engineering, surveying, and construction management firm

100

Chernoff Newman, LLC

Columbia

W. Lee Bussell, Sr.

Integrated marketing communications

To learn more about this year’s survey, please contact Mark Ballew, office managing partner of Grant Thornton’s Columbia office at (803) 231-3045 or e-mail at mark.ballew@us.gt.com. Grant Thornton’s web site address is www. GrantThornton.com. For more information on the Grant Thornton South Carolina 100TM, including prior year rankings, go to www.gt.com/sc100.

39


Human Interest

Connections Build a Brighter Future T H E S T O RY O F D U K E E N E R G Y ’ S

KODWO GHARTEY-TAGOE by Jordana Megonigal

Throughout life, we meet any number of people—some with us for a reason, and some merely for a season. But building a life is about more than simply passing humans by in a timeline—it’s about finding common purposes and reaching out, both to accept help and to offer it. Life is all about connections. At least, that’s how Kodwo Ghartey-Tagoe sees it. Born in Accra, Ghana, the now-state president for Duke Energy in South Carolina, Ghartey-Tagoe lived his childhood between Accra and Saltpond in the African state, moving as his father built a career in national broadcasting. After attending Mfantsipim School, a boys’ boarding school in a town called Cape Coast, he made his way to Montreal, Canada, to attend McGill University at the behest of his father, who at that time was training broadcasters in east Africa under The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). “It wasn’t my first choice; it was my father’s first choice,” GharteyTagoe says with a laugh, noting that because of the familiarity with other countries within the British Commonwealth and the schools in those regions, his father had looked at Oxford, Cambridge and McGill, finally walking all the paperwork through himself to ensure it was well received. In September of 1982, Ghartey-Tagoe made the trip from the tropics of Ghana to the cold Canadian metropolis. “I think it was 65 degrees that first day, but as far as I was concerned it was -52,” Ghartey-Tagoe says. But despite the cultural and physical shock of the change, it was within those

40

first few days at McGill that he made a connection that would impact the rest of his college career. Upon finding out that he had missed the deadline for applying for a dorm room at the university, Ghartey-Tagoe found himself homeless in a new country. While on a trek to the registrar’s department to determine his classes, he ran into some fellow Ghanaian students, who invited him to call them once he figured out his schedule. When Ghartey-Tagoe called later to catch up, he mentioned the room, and the man—whom Ghartey-Tagoe knew only from running into on campus—offered to help. “He had an efficiency apartment, and also had a friend visiting him from Kenya, but he invited me to stay with him until I could find a place,” he says. “I call him my angel because at that time I had nobody.” It just goes to show, he adds, that “meeting people can determine your future.” In another twist of fate, the man introduced GharteyTagoe to another Ghanaian student in engineering, who introduced him to a female Ghanaian student in economics, the field Ghartey-Tagoe himself had chosen. Not only did she help him choose his classes, but she also convinced him to register for the honors course for both economics and finance, as she was doing. In only three years, he was graduating, and considering his life after school, with two viable options—an MBA, or Law School. It was on a trip to visit his sister who was at East Carolina University in North Carolina that he first learned of his next destination. On a visit alongside his sister’s boyfriend (now her husband), he was introduced to Duke University, and “fell in love.” The University had an exchange program with McGill— which was helpful, considering Ghartey-Tagoe’s student status—and so he soon began exploring the option of going to Law School. He didn’t understand the concept of a safe school, although he had options, and Duke was in his crosshairs.


Human Interest Soon, Ghartey-Tagoe was moving from Canada to Durham, with little more than $250 in his pocket. After his first year at Duke didn’t go well (admittedly, Ghartey-Tagoe notes that his initial goal was simply to graduate), he finally decided to change his point of view. “I decided, if I was going to do this, I was going to thrive, not just survive,” he says. And thrive he did. After graduating three years later, he was fortunate enough to find a position within Washington D.C. firm Spiegel & McDiarmid working in energy regulation and litigation, although he still planned on heading back to Ghana after the year was up. While in D.C., however, he decided to reach out to one of his law school professors—a man who offered his contact information to students who desired to connect. Together with a mutual friend, they went to lunch, and it was there that the professor asked Ghartey-Tagoe about his further interests. “That was the first time I had said out loud that I wanted to stay,” he remembers. “He said, ‘Good. I have the best immigration lawyer around. Come with me.’” That connection—made simply by reaching out to someone who had offered it—ended up providing Ghartey-Tagoe with a work permit and eventually, a green card. And what’s more, the professor—the late Allen Siegel—wouldn’t even let him pay for the legal work. While at Spiegel & McDiarmid, Ghartey-Tagoe represented municipal and cooperative electricity providers in contract litigation and federal level utility regulation; in his next career move, to Richmond-based Mays & Valentine, he focused entirely on local and state regulations. His first case out of law school involved representing several municipalities in North Carolina against a company called Carolina Power & Light for cost overruns in the construction of the Shearon Harris nuclear plant outside Raleigh, North Carolina. There, too, he made a connection with Ed Flippen, a partner at the firm, whose leadership and mentorship shaped his professional future and perspective on always being open to helping others. He also worked at Richmond-based McGuire Woods where he represented investor owned electric, gas and telecommunications companies on regulatory matters. Ghartey-Tagoe’s introduction to Duke Energy came later along his career path, as he began to interact with a few of the company’s lawyers. Then, in Spring of 2002, he was offered a position by the energy company and for a number of years, served within the regulatory group of the legal department there, then moving up to general counsel for litigation, and then vice president of commercial business legal support. In 2011-2012, he assisted with obtaining approvals for the merger of Progress Energy and Duke Energy, and with that task, had closed a circle within his own career. “Because of my background, I have worked on every merger that Duke Energy has had since I joined the company,” Ghartey-Tagoe says. “Fast forward to 2015, and my team and I represented Duke Energy to buy back the nuclear assets at issue in my first case with Carolina Power & Light.” (Carolina Power & Light eventually became Progress Energy, which merged with Duke Energy in 2012.) Life, Ghartey-Tagoe says, is a big circle. Eventually, Ghartey-Tagoe was asked to return to regulatory work as senior vice president for state and federal regulatory legal support, where he and his team were responsible for all the public utility regulation matters in six jurisdictions, including

Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana. Then, in early 2017, he was named state president for Duke Energy in South Carolina—a job that surpasses simply the legal aspects and branches into all avenues of the business in the Palmetto State. “In my previous role, I was focused on the regulatory outcomes, primarily,” he says. “Today I’m focused on the entire pie, and the business implications. But most importantly, I work to ensure we are serving the needs of all of our customers.” In addition to his growing position within Duke Energy, Ghartey-Tagoe is involved with other organizations that keep him connected to the communities he is most fond of. He sits on the board of visitors for Duke University Law School, and is a member of the Executive Leadership Council, a nonprofit dedicated to the growth and success of African American leadership, primarily in Fortune 1000 companies. Still, a piece of his heart remains in Ghana, and it is there that one of his greatest personal projects lies. “In many high schools in Ghana, once you’ve been gone 10 years or so, you go back and do something to help your school,” Ghartey-Tagoe explains. “We were considering what to do for our 20th anniversary, and someone said, ‘Why don’t you do something bigger?’ So, we decided to focus on the entire country.” It was out of this that Progress in Education was born—a 501(c)3 designed to forward the mission of helping secondary schools in Ghana gain the equipment they need to teach. “When I was in school, there were five to seven of us around one science experiment,” he notes, adding that his school was rather wellequipped when compared to others. “Today, in many schools, if they do them at all, it’s a full class around a one experiment.” Formed in August of 2000, Progress in Education has since provided more than 50 schools with more than $300,000 in science and technology equipment—covering schools in all 10 regions of Ghana. In addition, they have provided scholarships to exchange students who have travelled to the U.S., and to several college students in the U.S. or who show interest in intercultural relations.“The world is getting smaller and smaller every year,” Ghartey-Tagoe says. “Students are finding ways to interact across borders. I think it’s important to help them get the same vernacular so they can communicate on the same level.” Back at home, at Duke Energy, Ghartey-Tagoe is rounding out his first year in his new position with big plans. The company plans to invest more than $3 billion to make the grid more resilient and secure, which will include undergrounding cables and improving cyber and physical security, and will require large-scale hiring efforts. The company plans to institute self-optimizing grids to re-route power in cases of an outage, as well as ensure that the security of information they possess is as safe as possible. With more than 740,000 customers, he has a lot of work to do.

Still, the work required doesn’t scare him—just as it didn’t throughout his career. After all, in the end, it’s really about making the connection, and making a difference with what you’re given. “My mission is to make all the difference I can,” he says. “It’s an exciting future ahead of us.”

41


By Duane Parrish Director, South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism

42


Four years ago, each of these names likely held a broad variety of meanings and connotations for residents of the Palmetto State. Be it positive, negative or neutral, each of these names carried countless individual meanings. Today, these names have a shared significance and bear a common gravity in the minds and hearts of many South Carolinians. They bring back memories of felled trees and flooding, damaged homes and businesses, and compromised infrastructure. They are bitter reminders of the anxiety and uncertainty— and sometimes the destruction—that each hurricane season brings.

However, along with recalling unpleasant events we may wish to leave behind us, they also provide encouragement through the remembrance of the widespread unity and collective resolve that often arise in the face of darkening skies and troubled waters. It is the emergence of these qualities in the wake of those events that have fueled our state’s recovery efforts.

OUR RESOLVE AND OUR UNITY

—as residents, business owners and community leaders working together toward a common good—

ALLOW US TO MOVE FORWARD TO REPAIR AND REBUILD WHAT WAS LOST.


The second type of damage is, often, less obvious because it is less tangible. It is the negative impact on business communities that occurs before, during and after the storms. Hurricanes drastically alter general consumer behavior. Sensibly, securing the essentials for storm preparation become an exclusive priority. While some businesses may benefit from this shift in consumer spending, many do not. This is especially true for our tourism business communities, as approaching hurricanes not only affect travel plans prior to and during the storm, but in many cases well after the storm has passed—even in areas that are ultimately not directly impacted by the hurricane itself.

2015 Flooding

With each of these hurricanes, our state experienced two distinct types of damage. First, there were the physical, tangible damages surveyed and assessed in the aftermaths of each storm. Much of this destruction has been well documented with accounts and photographs of failed dams, collapsed bridges, eroded beaches, as well as structural damage to homes and businesses. Cost estimates of physical damages from the 2015 floods and Hurricane Matthew totaled well into the hundreds of millions in South Carolina. There is no doubt that, when the accounting of Irma is all said and done, there will be a significant increase to South Carolina’s ledger of hurricane expenses.

Often, long before a hurricane makes landfall, destinations within the cone of uncertainty are flooded with hotel room cancellations. During the 2015 floods, statewide hotel occupancy dropped 20 percent, with the most significant decreases in occupancy occurring in the Grand Strand and Lowcountry areas. During and after Hurricane Matthew last year, hotel occupancy rates in all three major coastal destination areas dropped even more drastically during and after the storm. Of course, decreases in hotel occupancy not only impact hotel revenues, but also revenues for all other tourismrelated businesses within those destinations. Based on information from local business communities and major tourism-related economic statistics, South Carolina’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism estimated that the 2015 Floods resulted in approximately $35 million in lost visitor spending. Visitor spending losses during and immediately after Hurricane Matthew totaled approximately $74 million. Although the path of Hurricane Irma gradually shifted farther from South Carolina, anticipation of the storm resulted in substantial decreases in hotel occupancy rates along the state’s coast and ultimately yielded an estimated loss of $95 million in visitor spending during the two-week period surrounding before and after the storm. In the weeks following both the 2015 floods and Hurricane Matthew, some of this statewide visitor spending loss was recovered as damage assessors and emergency and repair crews moved in to begin addressing physical damages. However, the influx of work crews that arrived

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Hilton Head


in South Carolina after each storm did not offset the substantial tourism revenue losses for many of our destinations, especially along the coast. At the end of the day, while work crews may fill many otherwise vacant hotel rooms, their spending within local business communities is generally limited and cannot compare to the economic contributions of that leisure travelers bring. Simply put, they are here to work, not spend. Thus, just as it is up to utility companies, government agencies and construction crews to repair the physical damages wrought by a hurricane, it is equally vital for economic development agencies and business communities to begin the process of business recovery. Proactively engaging in business recovery efforts after a major event like a hurricane is vital to ensure the continuity of the economic contributions provided by our state’s $20 billion tourism industry. While tourism is a critical component of many local economies around the state, its impact on our coastal areas is, without question, substantial not only to their respective business communities, but also to the overall economic vitality of South Carolina. In 2016, South Carolina’s five coastal counties (Horry, Georgetown, Charleston, Colleton and Beaufort) generated nearly $8.2 billion in domestic visitor expenditures, or roughly 63 percent of the state’s total. These expenditures, in turn, generated over $790 million in state and local tax collections and helped to support over 83,000 tourism-related jobs within these counties, which constitute two-thirds of the state’s overall tourism employment. Recovering tourism business not only generates revenue for businesses, it also helps to support and sustain jobs for tens of thousands of South Carolinians and taxes necessary to fund vital government services for the benefit of all South Carolina residents.

From a tourism perspective, much of the recovery process centers on effectively communicating with potential consumers in key target markets. It involves generating public awareness of actual travel conditions and letting visitors know which destinations were impacted by the storm, and to what degree, and which ones were unaffected. Before and during a hurricane, many of our destinations receive broad attention through national media coverage of the storm. Generally, after the storm has moved on, it also takes most of this national media coverage with it, with the exception of reporting on catastrophic damages and losses suffered during the event. This, then, shapes the national perception of conditions in South Carolina’s destinations and can influence consumer travel planning well after the hurricane has passed, creating a residual negative impact on tourism businesses if left unaddressed. Following the 2015 Floods and Hurricane Matthew, state and local tourism marketing plans were adjusted to dispel any misperceptions about travel conditions in South Carolina and reinforce tourism opportunities at destinations throughout the state, particularly along the coast. These recovery strategies utilized a broad scope of mixed media platforms and relied heavily on social media to ensure maximum public reach. Like all recovery activities, these efforts were made stronger by the collaboration between state and local organizations and the broader business community. Simply put, we worked together to let our visitors know that we are still here and ready to offer the same quality visitor experiences that can only be found in the Palmetto State. In both cases, within weeks, hotel occupancy rates across South Carolina began to normalize and, in some cases, even increase over previous years. In the wake of Irma, these same strategies are being utilized to mitigate any residual tourism business impacts and recover some of what we lost in the days leading up to and during this most recent storm.

Edisto


JOAQUIN. MATTHEW. IRMA. These names, like their predecessors such as Hugo, will likely retain a special shared meaning in the minds of South Carolinians for many years to come. But, as we remember the troubles that these unavoidable events have brought, let us also be encouraged by our demonstrations of unity and resolve to swiftly and fully recover from these events.

And, let the character of our state be defined not by the impacts of the inevitable,but by the outcomes of our collective actions to overcome them.

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Myrtle Beach


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Homegrown Business Spotlight:

ICE Recycling Creating Sustainable Solutions for Businesses Across the Globe

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Homegrown Business Spotlight

By Jordana Megonigal, The Brand Leader

Sustainability has become, in recent years, a hot topic in all types of industries and shows no signs of losing steam. As businesses strive to become more and more efficient by using less and less, and taking strides to reduce their lingering impact on the world around them, recycling companies like ICE Recycling are gaining traction by providing real solutions to this growing need. An acronym for Industrial Conservation Engineering, ICE Recycling is a Lake City-based company with global reach— one that provides recycling solutions to a variety of companies, including manufacturing locations, distribution centers, canneries, pharmaceutical companies, and more. But with a unique perspective, ICE hopes to transform how businesses see recycling—and their relationship with recycling companies. As what General Manager Wesley Ballou calls a “total recycling solutions provider,” the company offers programs to existing businesses to reduce—or even eliminate—waste throughout the company, offering the remnants to end-users across the globe and giving the waste new life. “It’s more of a partnership than a vendor relationship,” says Ballou. “We’re not looking to come in and purchase one type of material; we’re coming into put together a sustainable solution.” That solution, he notes, is based on their individual needs, customized to their business, and built in collaboration with the company itself. “Every solution is different, and every customer is different— but we will find the solution that fits their need and what they’re looking for, and execute it,” Ballou says. With on-site employees at partner locations to manage waste and recycling programs, ICE programs can reduce waste completely, or even take companies to “landfill free”, where nothing goes into a landfill at all. In that program, bulk waste heads from the facility to Lake City by truck, then is sold and exported to end users. What little is left can be incinerated and turned into electricity.

“We can recycle anything that is non-hazardous, even down to cafeteria waste, ” says Ballou. “Our ideal state is to recycle 99 percent of what is recyclable.” ICE offers equipment on site, and will drop a trailer to streamline the haul. With a focus on quality, the company can also offer size reduction, sorting, and rebaling—all of which provide a cleaner material for the end user. It’s a system that comes at an opportune time—as China has tightened, year after year, their regulations on accepting scrap and waste as exports from the U.S. — compromising the United States’ sixth largest export base to China. In 2017, China further regulated this trade, banning 24 varieties of waste. While many recycling companies have fallen away during that time, ICE Recycling has grown—in part, Ballou says, due to their focus on partnership and customization. “[The changes with China are] forcing domestic recyclers like us to really think about our business and try to provide the best solution and be flexible,” Ballou says. “We ask, What is the right fit for a manufacturing facility? Do they want to have someone that’s dedicated to working with five or six vendors and bidding out waste on a quarterly basis? Or would they rather deal with a one-stop shop who can handle it all and give them market feedback as well?” In the end, however, Ballou notes that companies who decide to use ICE Recycling are doing so because it benefits their bottom line. “We are fortunate to be able to provide a solution that is as good as anyone in the business,” Ballou says. “We simplify it; we try to make it as easy as possible, and that’s really the advantage we provide.”

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CON SU M ERS S EE

A comfy chair.

SCSPA.COM

WE SEE

A dynamic business partnership that maximizes shipping predictability, flexibility and efficiency while minimizing risks and unforeseen problems to create a streamlined supply chain so products can be imported and exported seamlessly and delivered to customers faster.


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Exports Many have deemed the expansion of the Panama Canal the most significant event in shipping since the advent of the container. While it is true that U.S. East Coast ports began handling big ship calls long before the expansion was completed, there is no question that it accelerated the shift of import freight from the West Coast to East Coast, the upsizing of ships, and the opportunity for S.C. businesses big and small to gain supply chain efficiencies that support their competitiveness on a global scale.

environment. SCPA is completing a wharf modernization project at its busiest container terminal, the Wando Welch, to strengthen the dock and terminal substructure to handle the impacts of bigger ships as well as to accommodate bigger, heavier cranes necessary for efficiently working big ships. By July 2018, SCPA will have eight ship-to-shore cranes with lift heights of 155 feet above the dock capable of working two 14,000 TEU vessels simultaneously. New gate systems, technology upgrades and numerous other projects ensure the Port’s existing facilities meet increased demands while continuing to deliver reliable, productive service to customers.

The nearly nine-year, $5.25 billion expansion project increased the size of vessels able to transit the Panama Canal from 5,000 twentyfoot equivalent (TEU) containers to 14,000 TEUs. The biggest ships that transit the Canal today are known as “New Panamax,” and these vessels carrying 13,000-14,000 TEUs of cargo now frequent East Coast ports, ushering in a new age in shipping.

Additional terminal capacity is required to handle increasing cargo volumes, as the Southeastern port market grows nearly double the rate of the U.S. port market. SCPA is constructing the Hugh K. Leatherman, Sr. Terminal to open in June 2020 to accommodate future growth. The state’s new Navy Base Intermodal Facility, which will be served by both CSX and Norfolk Southern, will handle the booming growth of container cargo moving to markets across the region by intermodal rail. In addition, a dedicated access road to the Leatherman Terminal from I-26 to support the new terminal will increase efficiencies of cargo movement to and from the Port.

Historically, approximately 70 percent of import goods entered the U.S. via West Coast ports. Thanks in part to the Panama Canal expansion, a major shift has begun to take place as many shippers direct their freight to the East Coast to reduce inland transportation costs—it only makes sense from an efficiency, environmental and reliability standpoint to bring goods to ports that are located closer to the consumer markets they serve. Likewise, the Southeast’s strong base of manufacturers and agriculture producers fill vessels with heavy export cargo bound for emerging market economies in China and the rest of Asia. Today, the share of import cargo between the West and East Coasts is approximately 65 and 35 percent, respectively, and someday the two coasts may handle equal volume of inbound containerized cargo. What does this mean for shippers like adidas, BMW, Bosch and the countless suppliers, vendors and small businesses who also depend on the international flow of goods? The lowest cost leg of the supply chain, ocean shipping, just became cheaper. The Canal allows the most efficient route for the Asia-U.S. East Coast trade to be filled with bigger ships owned by shipping lines working together in alliances, which drives the transportation cost per unit down and delivers direct savings to the owners of the goods inside the containers. Big ships offer plenty of space for shippers and opportunity for ocean carriers to enjoy more favorable economics on longer-haul routes to the East Coast. The impact of these trends to our state port system cannot be understated. South Carolina Ports Authority’s (SCPA) ability to remain competitive in the current environment requires tremendous investments in infrastructure to accommodate big ships and growing volumes. The State of South Carolina and SCPA are investing over $2 billion this decade in port-related infrastructure to ensure our port system remains a top ten U.S. port. Charleston’s naturally deepwater harbor, currently 45-feet deep at low tide, must be deepened to 52 feet to accommodate New Panamax vessels 24 hours per day without tidal restrictions. Thanks to supportive leadership by elected officials at all levels of government, the Charleston Harbor Deepening Project has progressed quickly and construction on the entrance channel to 54 feet will begin this fall. Existing port terminals, all of which were constructed long before ocean carriers ever dreamed of deploying such large container ships to the East Coast, require significant updates in today’s big-ship

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Further enabling the flow of goods through our state and deeper into the hinterland are two SCPA owned and operated inland ports in Greer and Dillon, South Carolina. Inland Port Greer opened in November 2013, utilizing an existing Norfolk Southern intermodal rail line to move cargo between Charleston and the Upstate overnight. The facility quickly surpassed SCPA’s expectations for volume and utilization by shippers in the Upstate region, spurring plans for a second facility in Dillon to open in the early spring of 2018. Inland Port Dillon will utilize a CSX intermodal train to offer access to a different marketplace than Greer and will no doubt become a catalyst for economic development throughout the area. The Port is benefiting from bigger ships and more cargo in recordbreaking volumes. In fiscal year 2017, SCPA handled 2.14 million TEUs, the most in its history, and Inland Port Greer handled a record 121,761 rail lifts. While there is no question that such growth drives our state’s economy and positions us as a leading manufacturing location, SCPA works diligently to address and reduce the impacts of this transformation on its neighbors. The Port cannot build or expand roadways, but it plays a key role in supporting the movement of freight in ways that reduce the impact to the community. SCPA has significantly grown the volume of containers moving to and from the port via rail, which is a key benefit of the development of inland ports. It has also expanded weekday gate hours and added Saturday gates to minimize truck travel during peak times. The lasting impact of the Panama Canal expansion is the deployment of bigger ships to East Coast ports, and ultimately the ports that can handle these ships without limitation are the clear winners. SCPA’s competitiveness in today’s shipping environment makes the Port an important asset for the state and a powerful recruitment tool for companies considering South Carolina for investment. The opportunity to take advantage of Charleston’s deepwater harbor, which is soon to be the deepest on the entire East Coast, as well as access to growing markets and inland connectivity is delivering economic development wins that broaden our economy. With port-related jobs paying 40 percent higher than the average state wage, growth of the port and port-dependent business is a tide that lifts all boats.


Rodney Case Business Developer, Upstate

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Employer Health Services Covering South Carolina employers from the coast to the mountains.

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Love Where You Live

Wild at Art

A Glimpse into South Carolina’s Southeastern Wildlife Exposition

By Mary Wooten, Marketing Director, Southeastern Wildlife Exposition

The Southeastern Wildlife Exposition (SEWE) has been bringing art collectors and wildlife enthusiasts together in Charleston for the past 36 years. Through history, SEWE has remained true to its roots. Its values of honoring the beauty of wildlife and nature are ingrained in the framework of the event, much like paint on a canvas. Each February, it celebrates the works of world-renowned artists, sculptors, exhibitors and entertainers.

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Love Where You Live SEWE is an annual weekend celebration of wildlife and nature through fine art, conservation education, sporting demonstrations, food, drink and the people who honor them all. The largest event of its kind in the nation, SEWE makes its home in Charleston and plays host to hundreds of internationally known artists and exhibitors, plus experts in wildlife and nature art—all eager to share their work and insights with more than 40,000 attendees. Founded in 1983, the event continues to grow and adapt each year, paying respect to the wild of the past, present and future. What started as a relatively small event with 5,000 guests and 100 exhibitors has grown into a premier event—and one of the most unique in the Southeast. When recounting the inaugural event, former Charleston Mayor, Joseph P. Riley said, “Everyone there was so excited. We all really, truly had the sense that we had started something big and important. And we certainly had.” SEWE’s impact on Charleston and the state continues to grow, as does its popularity. With an estimated average economic impact of $50 million each year, SEWE draws attendees and exhibitors from all 50 states and, in February 2017, saw attendees from seven countries. While SEWE has become a marquee event in Charleston, those in the hospitality and food and beverage business refer to it as the “kickoff to tourism season.” “It’s fun to watch the city come alive in February,” said Mary Roberts, SEWE Marketing Director. “Being held post-New Year and after a brief winter lull, SEWE is the first event of the year to fill hotels and restaurant reservations. At a time that is usually slow in the tourism season, locals and out-of-towners come in droves to enjoy our artists, exhibitors and live performances.” Additionally, the SEWE VIP program, which offers perks and insider access along with exclusive events, has sold out every year for nearly a decade. And, it is strongly suggested to buy general admission tickets in advance to avoid ticket lines during the weekend. “I am often asked what makes SEWE so successful,” states Jimmy Huggins, SEWE President and CEO. “The first attribute is the easiest—we host our event in the city of Charleston. Second, we invite some of the best artists and exhibitors in the country and the world. That’s one recipe for success. Our staff, the backbone of SEWE, is proprietary about the show and its outcome. We all call Charleston home, so it’s important to us to offer the most sincere hospitality and deliver a world class event. Since I began my tenure in 1987, SEWE has grown exponentially. Thanks to our young staff, we continue to change with the times and technologies and strive to keep things fresh. Our success is due to the overwhelming support we receive from local and visiting attendees, artists, exhibitors and especially our corporate supporters. But the true testament to the Exposition’s glory is her host, the most beautiful and embracing city in the world…Charleston.”

Painters, sculptors and carvers that participate in SEWE weekend span from coast to coast and include artists from Canada, Africa and beyond. Esteemed Wyoming native Kathryn Mapes Turner has been selected as the 2018 Featured Artist. Artists honored with this distinction over the years have included Brett Smith, Carl Brenders, Luke Frazier, John Banovich, John Seerey-Lester, Lindsay Scott and Eldridge Hardie.

Something For Everyone With generations of loyal attendees, SEWE strives to make their guests’ experience a priority. From world-renowned artists, sculptors, artisans, craftsmen and southern tastemakers to wildly popular entertainers and animal experts spanning five venues throughout downtown, SEWE is a weekend that has a little something for everyone. SEWE’s lineup includes more than 300 exhibitors showcasing handcrafted items from oyster knives, bowties and decoys to canoes. The event also includes live demonstrations with painting and sculpting, birds of prey, retrievers, sheep herding, duck herding, fly-fishing and more. In case you haven’t experienced DockDogs®, it is all abuzz during SEWE weekend. DockDogs® is a dog-lover’s paradise, where dogs of all kinds and skill levels compete in various water jumping competitions in side-by-side tanks all weekend long. SEWE has also become known for its interactive and entertaining shows from wildlife experts like Jack Hanna, Jeff Corwin and Busch Wildlife Sanctuary. Not to mention, there are cooking demonstrations with some of the Lowcountry’s finest chefs, courtesy of the Certified South Carolina/Fresh on the Menu program. Keeping the show accessible, affordable, and family friendly, kids 10 and under receive free SEWE admission.

A New Tradition With its continued mission to contribute to the local economy while promoting wildlife and nature conservation and preservation, SEWE was recognized as a perfect backdrop for awarding $100,000 to a qualified, international pioneer in the conservation world. SEWE and the Banovich Wildscapes Foundation have joined forces, along with the Cabela’s Outdoor Fund, Cabela Family Foundation and Bass Pro Shops, to acknowledge exceptional contributions to wildlife and nature conservation with the inaugural Award for Conservation Excellence (ACE). ACE recognizes the men and women who have dedicated their lives to conservation and the sustainability of the world’s remaining wild places and species. The winner will be announced among five finalists during the ACE ceremony on February 14th. An event unique to SEWE, it will be a night to remember with celebrity presenters, wild animals, wildlife artists and inspirational entertainment.

The Premier Wildlife Art Show In The East

SEWE 2018

The core of SEWE is its wildlife and sporting art showcase. The event has earned the reputation of being the premier wildlife art show in the East, which has afforded it the opportunity to build an impressive artist roster—one that includes well-respected veterans, mid-career artists and talented up-and-comers.

The 36th annual SEWE will take place February 16 through 18th at multiple venues throughout historic downtown Charleston. VIP events and art previews begin February 15th. General admission and VIP tickets available for sale now on SEWE.com.

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photos courtesy of Discover South Carolina


By Duane Parrish, Director, South Carolina Parks, Recreation & Tourism

When South Carolina’s department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism (PRT) first embarked on the path of promoting Undiscovered South Carolina a few years ago, we were confronted with a wide range of promising, new creative directions for marketing the Palmetto State—so many that it was difficult to choose where to begin. We wanted to develop a marketing campaign that would create greater awareness of Undiscovered South Carolina’s travel destinations and shed a little light on our state’s hidden gems and best-kept travel secrets. We wanted to create a campaign that would generate a positive economic impact for these destinations through increased visitor spending, helping their tourism economies and their tourism industries grow. We also wanted to create something completely new and different, unlike anything our agency had done before. We knew where we wanted to arrive; we just weren’t sure the best way to get there. We started out by exploring the various tourism products and experiences found throughout our state, searching for a common thread. We explored every facet and aspect of travel and tourism in the Palmetto State, searching for an inaugural Undiscovered SC marketing campaign that could offer a broad statewide experience comprising an array of distinctive visitor experiences. As we continued our exploration, we realized there was a type of visitor experience that could be found throughout the state, offering both the continuity and variety of experiences we had been searching for. Thus, our first steps into marketing Undiscovered South Carolina were taken along what would become the South Carolina Barbecue Trail. We pinpointed barbecue as a great starting point for our marketing initiative for a few reasons. For starters, barbecue is statewide. No matter where you travel in the Palmetto State, you can always find a barbecue presence nearby. And, many of our barbecue restaurants are located in prime Undiscovered SC destinations, in places like Hemingway, Kingstree and Holly Hill. Another great quality about barbecue in South Carolina is that we offer four distinct types that vary by region. This promised our visitors a unique barbecue experience wherever their travels took them in the Palmetto State—whether it’s vinegar-based in the Pee Dee, mustard-based in the Midlands, or ketchup and tomato-based in the Upstate region and along our western border. Essentially, the barbecue trail could offer a range of culinary experiences for our visitors as vast and as varied as our natural landscapes.

restaurants from the mountains to the Midlands to the coast, encouraging travelers to get out and explore lesser-travelled areas of the state on their journey to find barbecue bliss. The Barbecue Trail was not only a uniquely South Carolina culinary experience, but also told the story of our state’s culinary history and cultural heritage through the words of the barbecue pit masters across the state. For many of these folks, barbecue is more than just a food, it’s part of their history. It is their family bond and legacy and, because of that, it is a core part of their identity. Ultimately, it is their stories that truly injected flavor into the SC BBQ Trail campaign and breathed life into the campaign. After all, tourism— at its very core— is a “people” industry and great storytelling is often what lies at the heart of great tourism marketing.

Another appealing aspect of barbecue was its long-standing history in the state, dating back to the earliest days of exploration and settlement. Not only could the barbecue trail feature culinary experiences in these destinations, it could also provide connections to the culture and history of these areas, creating the possibility of a richer and fuller marketing campaign.

The Barbecue Trail was a strong beginning to our journey, one that inspired our visitors to continue exploring the wonders of Undiscovered South Carolina. While the barbecue campaign was enjoying great success in market, we began planning the next phase of our marketing journey, conducting research to launch a new, more broadly encompassing campaign to highlight our Undiscovered visitor experiences: the Discover South Carolina campaign.

Touting South Carolina as The Birthplace of Barbecue and Home of the Four Official Sauces, the South Carolina Barbecue Trail was established, and we began to market South Carolina like never before. We created a Barbecue Trail micro-site and the first-ever barbecue trail map, featuring more than 200

As we launched the Discover campaign, we began by highlighting unique travel experiences across the Palmetto State, steadily introducing a broad array of hidden travel gems across the state, from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Atlantic Coast and all points in between. The campaign featured

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outdoor experiences such as treehouse camping on the Edisto River, and paddleboarding on Lake Jocassee. It also showcased our state’s wealth of historic events and cultural experiences, such as the Revolutionary War Days in historic Camden and the Gullah culture of South Carolina’s Lowcountry. All of these unique and disparate elements were tied together by one central theme, which has since become almost a mantra of the Undiscovered SC marketing initiative: There’s Always Something New to Discover in South Carolina. While building onto the Discover campaign, we also began developing creative for a new marketing initiative. Modeled after the successful South Carolina Barbecue Trail, we curated a list of the state’s growing number of “liquid assets” and developed the Satisfy Your Thirst initiative.

from the tour. And, we developed a Satisfy Your Thirst tour map, available in both print and as part of the Satisfy Your Thirst app, that lists over 100 whistle-whetting businesses. The map and mobile app invite travelers and residents to sip and see South Carolina on the Satisfy Your Thirst Tour while experiencing the stories behind every sip of our authentic liquid assets. Like the Barbecue Trail, it’s the stories of the brew masters, moonshiners and other liquid asset proprietors that really brought out the flavor of this initiative by tapping into the history and culture of our great state through the legacy of the products being promoted.

Our definition of a liquid asset was broad and included local beer, wine and moonshine products, as well as non-alcoholic beverages produced in our state, such as Blenheim Ginger Ale, American Classic tea and South Carolina’s official state beverage—milk. Essentially, if the liquid product was made in South Carolina, and if a visitor could tour the production facility, sample or purchase the product or even bottle their own on location, then it became part of our Satisfy Your Thirst experience.

As with any new initiative, it took time for our Undiscovered SC strategies to mature. But, as the campaigns continued to grow, so did awareness in our target markets. By 2015, over half of consumer households in PRT’s target markets recalled seeing our advertising campaign, compared with one third of households in the previous year. From 2013 through 2015, travel to Undiscovered South Carolina increased by 50 percent, with three quarters of these visitors reporting awareness of our Undiscovered advertising. Ad-aware consumers in our targeted markets visited South Carolina in 2015 at more than twice the rate of those who were not aware of our advertising.

Like the BBQ Trail campaign, Satisfy Your Thirst was anchored by its own unique landing page and supported through public relations, social media and the production and distribution of content through our primary leisure travel website. To support the campaign, we also launched a state-of-the-art mobile app, offering information on tours, events and sampling locations, as well as the latest happenings, product launches and news

As we continued to evolve the strategy, we also expanded our geographic scope, reaching out to more target markets farther away from South Carolina. According to our most recent advertising recent study, our Undiscovered SC advertising influenced approximately 618,000 Undiscoveredonly trips, with 77 percent of these trips coming from new consumer markets outside the traditional 350 mile radius.

South Carolina: Home of the Four Official Sauces

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Carolina Red

Tomato Based

Vinegar & Pepper

Mustard Based

WHERE TO GET IT

WHERE TO GET IT

WHERE TO GET IT

WHERE TO GET IT

Upstate

Pee Dee

Coastal Carolina

Midlands

INGREDIENTS

INGREDIENTS

INGREDIENTS

INGREDIENTS

Apple Cider Vinegar, Brown Sugar, Ketchup, Salt and Crushed Red Pepper

Tomato Juice, Brown Sugar, Dry Mustard, Celery Salt. Cayenne Pepper, Paprika, Cornstarch, All Spice, Worcestershire Sauce, White Vinegar and Grated Onion

Apple Cider Vinegar, Crushed Red Pepper, Black Pepper, Salt, Ketchup and Dark Brown Sugar

Yellow Mustard, Beer, Apple Cider Vinegar, Brown Sugar, Tomato Puree, Worcestershire Sauce, Cayenne Pepper, Black Pepper, Salt and Garlic Powder


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SC Eats

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Greenville

Janet Lewis Matricciani Chief Executive Officer, Worldwide Acceptance Corporation Whether I’m entertaining clients, consulting with partners or celebrating with my team, Larkin’s on the River provides the hard-to find combination of an elegant yet approachable business luncheon. I prefer taking advantage of the yearround outdoor seating on the patio to enjoy views of the heart of downtown, especially Reedy River and Falls Park. Don’t miss out on their truffle fries or the crème brulee!

Fort Mill

Robert Wick, III General Counsel-North American Divisions, Schaeffler Group USA I really enjoy the Flipside Cafe in Fort Mill. Flipside has great chefs, great service, and uses local products and suppliers. Flipside may not be well known outside of Fort Mill and Rock Hill, but it should be—the trip would be worth it. My opinion: you cannot go wrong with the Bacon Wrapped Fort Mill Meatloaf.

North Augusta

Christine Crawford McDonald’s Franchisee, D&G Management Anywhere in the North Augusta’s riverfront neighborhood, Hammond’s Ferry. If I had an adventurous guest, I would actually walk to all three restaurants. We would start with tapas at Hammond’s Ferry Larder, followed by a French inspired dinner on the patio of Manuel’s Bread Cafe. Tiramisu and a digestif at the modern DiVino’s would be the perfect ending.

Charleston

Donald P. Balderson Senior Vice President/Senior Relationship Manager, Global Commercial Banking, Bank of America Merrill Lynch We have many wonderful restaurants in the Charleston area that provide excellent venues for a business dinner—It is hard to pick just one! Three of my favorites are Peninsula Grill, Hall’s Chophouse and the Oak Steakhouse. We are fortunate to be blessed with locally sourced seafood and many farm-to-table options.

Across S.C. Jack Sanders President/CEO, Sunoco

Motor Supply is one of my favorites when in Columbia; The menu is always evolving with wonderful results. Victor’s Bistro in Florence has a strong menu, from steaks to seafood; and a great business atmosphere in redeveloped downtown Florence. New York Prime in Myrtle Beach has great steaks and fun atmosphere.

Columbia

Cynthia J. Walters, Ed.D Corporate Director of Inclusion, Palmetto Health My favorite place for a business dinner is Villa Tronco. The food is awesome, the atmosphere and décor is engaging and the service is extraordinary. I like the interaction with the staff; and Italian food is good any time—not to mention their fabulous desserts.

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By Elizabeth Nkuo Johnson, Director, Community Relations, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina

Giving to charity is part of the culture at BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina. Walk around the halls of our buildings, and you see evidence of it most every day—whether it’s posters promoting our current employee giving campaign or employees wearing jeans to demonstrate their support of a particular organization. Our employees give back without hesitation. Headquartered in Columbia and operating in South Carolina for more than 70 years, BlueCross has always made charitable giving a part of its culture. While our core business is ensuring we meet the health care needs of our members, we have also kept a focus on what we can do to help communities thrive and grow. On the clinical side, working with our hospitals and doctors to mitigate rising costs, and working on quality-of-care issues by encouraging improvements like patient-centered medical homes is paramount. Through the corporate giving and foundation programs, getting to know the needs and gaps that exist in our communities, and partnering with the right kind of nonprofit organizations, we collectively work toward improving the quality of life of all South Carolinians.

Health and human services are the main focus areas for BlueCross’ charitable giving, because our business is healthcare. However, the company’s philanthropy reaches across other charitable focus areas, too. The arts, education, economic development and diversity are important to us as a company and partnering with organizations whose missions reflect these ideas makes South Carolina a great place to work and live. In 2016, BlueCross employees raised more than $2.8 million and contributed more than 25,000 hours of volunteer service to South Carolina-based nonprofit organizations. These numbers do not represent an anomaly. For many years now, the company and its employees have consistently been generous donors to South Carolina-based organizations that address the most critical needs in our state.

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A key driver to fostering this culture is that we assist a diverse array of organizations on an annual basis through our employee fundraising program. Rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach, we provide a strong mix of organizations that address our community’s most critical needs, while also aligning with employees’ interests. These fundraising campaigns enable employees to learn about the many needs that exist in our community. As a result, each year, many employees take it a step further, taking on volunteer, advisory or board positions with these agencies. Individual giving is the largest source of giving in the U.S., accounting for more than 70 percent of all giving, according to research from the Giving USA initiative. Companies like ours do make an impact with corporate contributions, but most nonprofits rely on individuals to help them fulfil their mission each day and be sustainable for years to come.

Our corporate giving program is also closely aligned with employee engagement and retention. One of the first questions new employees often ask is how the company gives back and how they in turn can do the same. During the onboarding process, our Human Resources staff takes the time to educate new hires about the depth of the giving programs. American Charities is an organization that aggregates data specifically on employee engagement and employee giving. More than 70 percent of employees say it is imperative or very important to work for an employer whose mission and values align. And working for a company where there is a culture that is supportive of giving and volunteering is very important to more 71 percent of its employees. Looking at the results of our campaigns, we work hard to reflect and exceed these expectations. BlueCross is proud to have the reputation of being a good corporate citizen. And our employees reflect the same, supporting countless organizations year-round. We do this not only because it is an investment in our community. It is the right thing to do.

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FEARLESS IS FINDING A BETTER WAY


Business Week

A NEW PERSPECTIVE:

Four Business Week Graduates Tell Their Stories

Emily Carson

FRONT OFFICE MANAGER, HILTON COLUMBIA CENTER 2016 College of Charleston Graduate, Business Administration and Hospitality and Tourism Management

I believe it was Benjamin Franklin who said “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.� Every summer for almost 35 years, the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with area businesses, and many volunteers and sponsors, invests in our future business leaders. Business Week helped me to learn the fundamental skills involved in leadership and teamwork and started the engine behind my love of business management. Before my experience at Business Week, I had an idea of where I wanted to go in my career and life, but I had no clue the path I needed to take. How they are able to pack so many invaluable experiences into one week and be able to include so many youth from across the state still astonishes me. Over 10 years later, I have maintained contact with many of my fellow graduates and have watched their success stories progress. One just passed the S.C. Bar Exam, one just completed the S.C. Police Academy, one runs a her own event planning business, and I help manage one of the largest hotels in Columbia. I can say with confidence that Kathy Olson and Robbie Barnett, COO at the SC Chamber of Commerce, and all Business Week sponsors and supporters played a key role in helping guide my way on my path to success. I want to thank all who help keep this program active and encourage all South Carolina businesses to sponsor and donate to this amazing event to ensure this opportunity is available for our future leaders.

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Daniel Flores

PL ANT MANAGER FOR NORTH COLUMBIA QUARRY, MARTIN MARIETTA Growing up, I liked to read lawyer novels. The hours of investigation and preparation, the thrill of the opening argument, the satisfaction of a favorable ruling, all had great appeal to me and from a young age I had aspirations to be a great defense lawyer like Clarence Darrow. During the summer of 2002, I attended Business Week on the campus of Erskine College and this experience changed this dream and changed my future. That summer was a pivotal one for me. I was a rising senior and I was faced with some of the biggest decisions of my life. What college courses did I want to take my senior year? What colleges were on my short list? What did I want to do with my life? Attending Business Week would help me make many of those decisions. During Business Week, I had the opportunity to get inside information on operating a business and the impact that they made on the state of South Carolina. I learned that our state had a lot to offer large companies which do business here and how small businesses and entrepreneurship was the foundation of our economy. For the first time, I heard business leaders speak candidly about the importance of diversity in the workplace and some of the obstacles that many faced and overcame. Through team exercises, I gained insight on how working together in a group you could accomplish more than working alone. I learned a lot about myself during this week away from home. I realized that I could make it without my parents. I saw in myself that I possessed many of the characteristics that it took


Business Week to be a leader. Ultimately, Business Week presented me with the realization that I wanted to major in business. From there, I attended the Moore School of Business at South Carolina and graduated with a Management and Marketing degree, and later received an MBA there. Currently I work for Martin Marietta as a Plant Manager at a quarry in Columbia. The quarry produces construction materials that are used in concrete and asphalt, which are essentially the foundation of South Carolina’s economy. I left Business Week 15 years ago with the dream that I could one day be a leader and somehow make an impact and I have been able to realize that dream while still living in my home state. I highly recommend this experience to anyone who is considering it. It helped shape me in more ways than one and I still see the impact today.

D’Andre Riley

L AKEWOOD HIGH SCHOOL, CL ASS OF 2018 For the past three years, I’ve had the opportunity to attend Business Week. This camp prepares young adults for the business world by showing us the “principles of leadership, teamwork, and the American free enterprise system while promoting selfreliance, individual responsibility and entrepreneurship.” This is the statement that you will find on the marketing material for the program, but it’s the motto of the 2014 year that made me interested in the program. That motto was “Students Today, Leaders Tomorrow.” I knew that this program would only help me grow as a person after speaking with past attendees and expressing my interest. Once I got in the “Business Week Spirit,” it was hard for me to stay away. On the first day, all of the students are broken up into mock companies and with the help of our company advisor we open and run a store through a simulation. Each of the company advisors are leaders in the South Carolina business world. They all have humble personalities and made it easy to adjust to the program. I look up to all my company advisors, especially Chase Clelland and Clarence Hair, who instantly made me feel as if I can accomplish any goal I want to. They set the bar high and keep it high all week long! Every year I learn something new from attending SC Business Week. My first year I learned leadership skills that helped me the following year in my high school choir. In my second year I learned that I am my own person and my leadership skills and confidence can help me to achieve my goals in life. Finally, this past year I learned that whenever you start to struggle in life, you can always reach out and ask for help. I continue to return to the many connections and friendships one can build in a week. All of the Company Advisors are kind and willing to help the students in any way possible. In just a week they help you understand the business world and how to think strategically. Business Week is a life-changing experience that I would recommend to anyone. I hope that I will have an opportunity to attend my final year as a student, and hopefully as a Assistant Company Advisor.

Sarah-Ellen Floyd

GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY, CL ASS OF 2018 McDonough School of Business - Accounting & Economics It was my junior year of high school when my guidance counselor suggested I apply to Business Week. I had never heard of the program, Presbyterian College, or even the town of Clinton, S.C., but I trusted her recommendation and recruited my best friend to apply with me. We were both accepted and, a few months later, I was making the five-hour trip from Murrells Inlet to Clinton when I received the call that my best friend was too sick to attend. I was moments away from begging my parents to take me back to my familiar beach environment so that I could spend my final weeks of summer uninterrupted. Unbeknownst to me, my decision to attend Business Week anyway would begin a long-term commitment to the program. During my first business week, I had the opportunity to lead my company of fellow high school students through an entrepreneurship simulation of opening a small retail business. We worked with amazing business leaders from across the state, and distinguished speakers imparted their knowledge in many topically diverse presentations. These were all important to building my Business Week experience, but the most impactful element of the week was the scholarship competition. The opportunity to interview with a panel of some of the most prominent business leaders in South Carolina built my confidence in an unparalleled way. As a scholarship recipient, the chance to speak at the Chamber’s Annual Summit developed me even further as a student and future business professional. Although I was incredibly grateful for my experience as a participant and scholarship recipient, I thought my Business Week journey had come to an end, so I was thrilled when I was invited back to serve as an Assistant Company Advisor, a logistical support role filled by undergraduate Business Week alumnae. The late nights, extreme heat, and packed schedules were exhausting, but the friendships created and mentorship received were well worth the challenges. Again, after my second Business Week, I expected that I would not have a reason to return. Once more, I was wrong. I was invited back as the 2017 Coordinating Intern, a full summer position, and it was a chance I could not pass up. This year, the nights were even longer and the responsibilities increased, but the rewards were even greater. I had the opportunity to lead my own team of Assistant Company Advisors and to leave my personal mark on Business Week. As a senior Accounting major at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, I can confidently say that Business Week was one of strongest influences on my decision to study business and become a public accountant. I have come to realize through my personal experience the potential of the program’s impacts on its students. I will not make the mistake of assuming my involvement with Business Week is over a third time; I know that I will continue my involvement in the program because its invaluable work in the formation of the future leaders of South Carolina.

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After the Event

After THE Event The South Carolina Chamber is known for its exceptional events designed to unite the business community on issues and topics of concern, including federal issues, manufacturing, infrastructure, healthcare, energy, the environment, education, workforce, workplace safety, diversity, human resources and loving where you work. Many of the events hosted for the Chamber’s members are designed to be listening forums and grassroots meetings, elevating regional concerns to the capital.

for more information on upcoming events, visit: scchamber.net/events

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After the Event

Governor Henry McMaster addresses Business Speaks attendees during their tour of the Statehouse.

January 18, 2017 | Columbia

BUSINESS SPEAKS

Representatives Arrington and Caskey participate in the Freshman House Member panel.

The Chamber’s 2017 Business Speaks event, presented by Zeus, was a huge success. It was standing-room only with more than 200 business leaders gathered to hear from House Speaker Jay Lucas, President Pro Tempore Hugh Leatherman, and panels of senators and representatives. The lawmakers discussed tax structure, roads funding, workforce issues, and business licensing.

2017 Board Chair Barbara Melvin leads the Leadership Panel discussion.

Chamber Education & Workforce Development Committee Chair Stephen Cox leads a panel discussion.

February 8-9, 2017 | Columbia

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT SYMPOSIUM In February, the Chamber partnered with SCDEW and SWDB for a two-day Workforce Development Symposium, presented by Bank of America, which brought together South Carolina business leaders, educators, and state officials. Panel topics ranged from building the talent pipeline, to integrating ex-offenders into the workforce, to rethinking recruitment and more. Katarina Fjording of Volvo delivered the keynote speech at the luncheon where the Chamber honored the 2017 Workforce Innovator Award winners and shared an update on the progress at the new Berkeley County Volvo plant.

Katarina Fjording, VP, Purchasing & Manufacturing, Volvo Car U.S. Operations, delivers the keynote speech; an update on the new Berkeley Country U.S. Volvo Plant.

Symposium attendees enjoy a luncheon at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.

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After the Event

Jeff Merck of Coastal Corrugated Inc. accepts a Commendation of Excellence.

March 30, 2017 | Columbia

SAFETY AWARDS LUNCHEON The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce recognized companies from across the state for workplace safety during its annual Safety Awards Luncheon presented by Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, P.A. Safety Award winners understand that a safe workplace is one where employees grow and succeed. We are proud to honor this year’s winners, and we look forward to watching them continue to make South Carolina’s economy strong.

Bluestar Silicones USA Corp. receives a Commendation of Excellence.

A packed house: this year saw the largest crowd ever at the Safety Awards, with over 400 individuals celebrating their teams’ 2016 safety records.”

April 4, 2017 | Washington, D.C.

SC DC DAY

U.S. Congressman Tom Rice addresses the group.

Senators Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham joined the SC DC Day panel discussion.

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Employers large and small from across South Carolina had an opportunity to talk to lawmakers and policy experts about how federal issues impact the business community when they visited Capitol Hill in April for the S.C. Chamber of Commerce’s second annual SCDC Day presented by AT&T. South Carolina’s entire congressional delegation and U.S. Chamber of Commerce staff participated in SCDC Day along with U.S. Senators John Barrasso (R-WY) and John Thune (R-SD).


After the Event

Procurement officers meet with small businesses at the Matchmaker event

May 4, 2017 | Columbia

SALUTE TO SMALL BUSINESS Salute attendees collaborate.

Hundreds of small business owners and advocates attended the 13th annual Salute to Small Business and made the event a tremendous success. The SC Salute to Small Business, presented by Boeing, is the state’s annual National Small Business Week event. A highlight was Governor Henry McMaster stopping by to honor retiring U.S. Small Business Administration S.C. District Director Elliott Cooper with the Order of the Palmetto. Mr. Cooper retired in May after 28 years at the SBA.

Governor Henry McMaster presents retiring US Small Business Administration SC District Director Elliott Cooper with the Order of the Palmetto.

Robyn Knox, Vice President of Human Resources at Southern Weaving in Greenville and 2017 Professional Excellence in Human Resources Management Award winner with Chamber HR Committee Chair, Steve Nail.

May 10-12, 2017 | Hilton Head

27TH ANNUAL HUMAN RESOURCES CONFERENCE

HR Professional of the Year finalists at the 2017 HR Conference.

The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce hosted the 27th annual HR Conference May 10 through12 in Hilton Head. By bringing together experts and professionals in the HR industry from across our state and the country, the event connected and strengthened the HR community in South Carolina. Robyn Knox, Vice President of Human Resources at Southern Weaving in Greenville, was recognized as the 2017 winner of the Professional Excellence in Human Resources Management Award.

Attendees enjoy a waterfront reception in Hilton Head.

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After the Event

Ann Beauchene from the US Chamber delivers remarks.

May 23, 2017 | Columbia

CYBERSECURITY SUMMIT The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the US Chamber of Commerce and the University of South Carolina’s SC Cyber, hosted the Cybersecurity Summit aimed at helping small and mid-size businesses develop, evaluate, and strengthen their cybersecurity programs. Immedion was the presenting sponsor of the Summit.

Panelists from industry experts and small businesses discuss finding a balance between cost and IT security on a small-business budget at the 2017 Cybersecurity Summit.

The Rocus Network team showed up in full force as exhibitors at the Cybersecurity Summit.

Meeting Street Schools placed 2nd in the Small/Medium Employer category.

Chamber CEO Ted Pitts welcomes representatives from the 70 listmaking companies to the 2017 Best Places to Work event.

August 3, 2017 | Columbia

BEST PLACES TO WORK IN SOUTH CAROLINA Best Places to Work, presented by Colonial Life, is a crowd-pleasing, cheer -inducing celebration of all things great about innovation in workforce policies and programs. Winners included Advoco, Inc. (#1 Small/Medium Employer), Edward Jones (#1 Large Employer), Meeting Street Schools, and Privilege Underwriters Reciprocal Exchange.

Equiscript, LLC, North Charleston accepts their award for #6 Small/Medium Employer.

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After the Event

Legislative Agenda Task Force Chairman Sidney Evering leads congressional panel.

August 23, 2017 | Columbia

WASHINGTON NIGHT IN SOUTH CAROLINA Attendees have an opportunity to hear from the SC Congressional Delegation about the issues being tackled in Washington.

Held during Congress’ August recess, Washington Night, presented by Parker Poe, is part two of our federal event series. Utilizing a town hall format, our members and guests were able to interact and listen to the Congressional delegation talk about issues in Washington that affect business in S.C.

George Wolfe of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP and George Jurch of Continental Tire enjoy the reception with Senator Lindsey Graham following the panel discussion.

Ray Tanner addresses the crowd.

September 20-21, 2017 | Columbia

LEADSC YOUNG PROFESSIONALS SUMMIT

Tiger Wells of the Municipal Association moderates a lively panel focused on Making a Difference: What does it Take? Representatives from nonprofits, corporate philanthropy, municipal office, and community activism discussed the best ways for YPs to impact their communities.

Today’s Young Professionals are tomorrow’s leaders. Some of South Carolina’s best and brightest YPs (loosely defined as under 40) convened for professional development and networking at the 4th Annual LeadSC Young Professionals Summit in September.

LeadSC attendees made the most of networking, with over 100 new connections made and many existing connections strengthened across SC’s YP network.”

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After the Event

Armond Prior, Aircraft Sheetmetal Mechanic at Lockheed Martin, is honored as a 2017 Manufacturing Employee of the Year. (Production - Medium Employer Category)

October 6, 2017 | Greenville

MANUFACTURING EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR AWARDS This inaugural event honored the 2017 recipients of the South Carolina Manufacturing Employee of the Year Awards, presented by Jackson Lewis. The award winners, selected by the Manufacturing Steering Committee, showcase employee contributions in the areas of innovation, teamwork, community service and leadership.

A panel of legislators, employers, and education leaders discuss the future of manufacturing in South Carolina.

Teri King, HR Manager at Bosch-Rexroth, is named Manufacturing Employee of the Year (Support-Medium Employer Category).

Some of the 15 “Brandys” awards that were given to SC-based individuals and organizations who have shown brand excellence in their respective industries

November 2, 2017 | Columbia

SC BRANDED AWARDS

New this year, the SC Branded Awards focus on companies, people and products that define South Carolina. The event includes 15 awards— called “Brandys”—presented to qualifying companies, products and people from across South Carolina who have become known for their brands’ meaning and impact on the state. SC Chamber President and CEO Ted Pitts, Legends Award winner Harold Chandler of Milliken, Geoff Wasserman, CEO of The Brand Leader, and Jordana Megonigal, Director of Brand Engagement of The Brand Leader

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2018

EVENT CALENDAR

JANUARY

SUN MON TUE WED THU

7

4

FRI

SAT

5

6

1

2

3

8

9

10 11 12 13

FEBRUARY SUN MON TUE WED THU

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8

9

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14 15 16 17 18 19 20

11 12 13 14 15 16 17

21 22 23 24 25 26 27

18 19 20 21 22 23 24

28 29 30 31

25 26 27 28

BUSINESS SPEAKS AT THE STATEHOUSE January 23, Columbia

SPOTLIGHT ON AGRICULTURE & FORESTRY February 7, Columbia

28TH ANNUAL HUMAN RESOURCES CONFERENCE February 28-March 2, Isle of Palms

MARCH

SUN MON TUE WED THU

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5

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APRIL

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MAY

SUN MON TUE WED THU

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SCDC DAY April 10, Washington, D.C.

SALUTE TO SMALL BUSINESS CYBERSECURITY SUMMIT

SUN MON TUE WED THU

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March 29, Columbia

May 2, Columbia

JUNE 3

SAFETY AWARDS LUNCHEON

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13 14 15 16 17 18 19

10 11 12 13 14 15 16

20 21 22 23 24 25 26

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May 24, Charleston

BUSINESS WEEK July 20-27, Clinton

BEST PLACES TO WORK August 2, Columbia

WASHINGTON NIGHT

JULY

SUN MON TUE WED THU

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AUGUST

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WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT SYMPOSIUM September 12-13, Columbia

LEADSC YOUNG PROFESSIONALS SUMMIT September 27, Columbia

MANUFACTURING EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR AWARDS October 5, Greenville

SEPTEMBER SUN MON TUE WED THU

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SC BRANDED AWARDS

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39TH ANNUAL SUMMIT November 27-29, Kiawah Island

LUNCH & LEARN SERIES February 14, Columbia: Immigration & Employment Law Update

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April 11, Columbia: Managing Conflict in the Workplace

NOVEMBER SUN MON TUE WED THU

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October 17, Columbia: Healthcare & Employee Benefits FRI

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December 5, Columbia: Diversity & Inclusion in the Workplace

OSHA SAFETY TRAINING 10/30 Hour: June 11-15, Columbia One-day Seminars: November 7 & 8, Columbia

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SC Chamber of Commerce

PAST 35 YEARS OF CHAMBER LEADERSHIP Past Board Chairs Barbara Melvin

2016-2017 South Carolina State Ports Authority

John Uprichard

2015-2016 FGP International, Inc. dba Find Great People

Mikee Johnson

2014-2015 Cox Industries, Inc.

Ms. Pamela Lackey 2013-2014 AT&T

Michael Brenan 2012-2013 BB & T

Emerson Gower, Jr. 2005-2006 Progress Energy

Mack Whittle

2004-2005 Carolina First Bank

W. Lee Bussell, APR 2003-2004 CNSG

Don Herriott

2002-2003 Roche Carolina

Hayne Hipp

2001-2002 Liberty Corporation

M. Edward Sellers

Jim Reynolds

2011-2012 Total Comfort Solutions, Inc.

Dick Wilkerson

2010-2011 Michelin North America, Inc.

Joseph Salley

2009-2010 Milliken & Company

William C. Boyd

2008-2009 Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, P.A.

Harris DeLoach, Jr. 2006-2007 Sonoco Products

2000-2001 BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina

1991-1992 Coward-Hund Construction Co., Inc.

William L. Mazilly 1990-1991 Fluor Daniel, Inc.

Tommy Gregory

1989-1990 Gregory Electric Company, Inc.

John Settle

1988-1989 Home Federal Savings Bank

James Shoemaker, Esq.

1987-1988 Wyche, Burgess, Freeman & Parham, P. A.

Leonard Fulghum, Jr. 1985-1986 Ferguson Fulghum, Inc.

Paula Harper Bethea

1998-2000 Bethea, Jordan & Griffin, P.A.

W. Mat Self

1984-1985 Greenwood Mills, Inc.

Paul Campbell

1996-1997 Alumax of South Carolina, Inc.

John Boatwright 1983-1984 NCNB Carolinas

Joe Anderson 1995-1996 Southern Bell

John Huguley 1982-1983 Huguley Co.

Hugh Lane, Jr.

1994-1995 Bank of South Carolina

James Morton, Jr.

1992-1993 Michelin North America, Inc.

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C. Ronald Coward

George Dean Johnson, Jr.

1981-1982 Johnson Development Associates


CONNECTING

NETWORKS

Serving our customers and our community Headquartered in Spartanburg, South Carolina, AFL is 900 associates strong and growing. As a global leader in fiber optics, AFL continues to develop innovative products and services that fuel our growth. More importantly, we are dedicated to making a difference—in our community and throughout the world.

www.AFLglobal.com 864.433.0333 67


ASCEND 2018  
ASCEND 2018  

This publication is an annual publication from the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce.