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Columbia Business Monthly

#ColumbiaAgenda: SC Firms Named to Top Design List, Boeing Unions, Food for Thought Fundraiser, Slow Start for Opportunity Zones, Teachers, The High Price of Anti-Venom, Fake Friends in Your Feeds

May 01, 2019 09:46AM ● By Chris Haire

Four South Carolina firms have named to Engineering News-Record's annual Top 500 Design Firms list: The highest ranking firm from the Palmetto State is Charleston-based LS3P, which came in at 195 on the ENR list, a drop from 2018's 177. The next highest was ESP Associates in Fort Mill, ranking 256 this year after 2018's 270 spot. Columbia's Infrastructure Consulting & Engineering leaped from a 353 position in 2018 to 286 this year. The Greenville firm of McMillan Pazdan Smith came in at 290, a slight fall from 288 in 2018. --Chris Haire


U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) has called for the unionization of Boeing South Carolina workers: Following last week's New York Times raising concerns about alleged safety issues and an alleged retaliatory workplace culture at the Boeing 787 Dreamliner plant in North Charleston, Sen. Brown issued a statement in which he argued that unionization would "change Boeing’s corporate culture" and help "improve product safety."

In a letter to Boeing, Brown wrote, "I read with great concern The New York Times’ recent reporting on safety concerns in the 787 Dreamliner production line. I was particularly troubled by the company’s repeated practice of ignoring, harassing, or firing employees who raised safety issues during production."

He added, "Instead of creating a corporate culture where potential safety violations must be reported quickly and processed carefully, multiple former plant employees said they were intimidated, harassed, ignored, or even terminated for raising production quality concerns."

"Your employees are critical to producing high-quality, safe planes, and they should be included in decisions regarding production quality and timing," Brown wrote. "Union representation would facilitate a productive exchange between workers and management and would ensure workers are protected from retaliation when they raise concerns about the production process."

While the Times focused on Boeing South Carolina, an earlier report from Defense One alleged that Boeing's Everett, Wash., site had produced planes for the Air Force in which "tools and parts" had been left inside the aircraft, a potential safety hazard. --Chris Haire


Food For Thought: The Brain Injury Association of South Carolina's new Midlands event, Food For Thought, will be held on Thursday, May 2 from 6-8 p.m. at the South Carolina State Museum in Columbia. The Food for Thought tasting event will showcase some of the most notable culinary influencers in the Midlands. Attendees will enjoy an evening of food, beer, and wine pairings to support the statewide mission of the BIASC. 

The focus of the conversation throughout this evening reception will be about concussion awareness and the importance of rehabilitation following a traumatic brain injury. To help convey this message, special guests will include former college athletes from across the state of South Carolina, as well as legislators who supported the SC Student Athlete Concussion Law in 2013.

To register, visit Tickets are $50 per person.


Despite 'no' vote on state offices, $1B redevelopment of County Square proceeds (Greenville News)

Towering History: Glendale Mill site up for sale (Herald-Journal)

South Carolina high school takes the top spot in US News & World Report 2019 ranking (The State)

Tax increase and teacher raise are in Greenville County school district's proposed budget (Greenville News)

ZF and BMW ink deal worth billions (Upstate Business Journal)

What would a growing Horry County look like without a planning and zoning department? (Myrtle Beach Sun News)

York Tech nursing program among best in South Carolina. Here’s where it ranked. (Rock Hill Herald)

Charleston catering is a career of chaos. Here are 7 revelations from inside the industry. (Post and Courier)

Viewpoint: Why is Opportunity Zones investment off to a slow start? (SC Biz)

BB&T chief preaches change at shareholders meeting in Charleston (Post and Courier)

Post Office Boss Ponders Cutting Mail Delivery to Five Days. Congress Balks. (WSJ)

Hospital charges $67,957 for 4 vials of antivenin after snakebite: 6 things to know (Becker's Hospital Review)

What Neuroscience Can Teach Us About the Mascots We Love and Hate (Ad Age)

‘Big and bold push’ for increased infrastructure spending in Washington (Logistics Management)

DOL Opinion Letter Finds Gig Economy Service Providers to Be Independent Contractors (National Law Review)

ESPN the Magazine Will Stop Publishing Print Edition in September (Sports Illustrated)

Meet the fake people who will soon crowd your timelines (Fast Company)

The Wire
Department Of Commerce Launches New S.C. Innovation Resource

50 Most Influential
Melanie Huggins
Richland Library 
Executive Director

Melanie Huggins is the executive director of Richland Library in Columbia, which received the 2017 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor. 

Huggins was named a 2018 Woman of Influence by the Columbia Regional Business Report. She was also named a 2018 Woman of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of South Carolina-Mountains to Midlands for her lasting impact in the community. Recently, she was named as the recipient of the 2018 Stephen G. Morrison Visionary Award from One Columbia Arts and History. Her work is influenced by her belief that libraries are uniquely positioned to make communities more livable, resilient, and inclusive. 

Huggins is a recognized leader in the library profession, having held trustee positions with both the Urban Libraries Council and the Public Library Association. In 2012 she was named South Carolina Outstanding Librarian by the S.C. Library Association. 

She is a Liberty Fellow, member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network; a member of the Spring 2018 class of the Riley Diversity Leaders Institute; vice president of the Together SC Board; vice president of the University of South Carolina’s University Associates Board; City Center Partnership Board Member; and a harried, forgetful mom to Adeline, Lila, and Shepard and concert-going buddy to her super-smart husband J.C.