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Columbia Business Monthly

Upbeat for April

Apr 30, 2020 10:33AM ● By David Dykes

 Upbeat : The Road to Retirement Sponsored by Michael Onan Retirement Planning Specialist Please submit your new hires, awards and promotions to David Dykes, Editor, at [email protected]


Burns & McDonnell announced the addition of veteran engineering, construction and business development professional Lori Jones in its South Carolina office. 

She has more than 20 years of engineering, construction and business development experience working with a wide range of public and private sector clients. Throughout her career, she has led several large-scale projects in the Southeast, including a $400 million greenfield chemical processing facility in Tennessee.


The Greenville Symphony Association announced the appointment of its new director of development, Christine DeMint. She succeeds Linda Grandy, who retired in September 2019.

DeMint will be responsible for and oversee all fundraising program initiatives and development, including its current endowment campaign, as well as donor relations and cultivation. 

A University of South Carolina business graduate, DeMint was a marketing manager responsible for a $40 million business unit with a large, international manufacturing company based in Charlotte.


GreenWood Inc., an integrated maintenance, construction and workforce solutions provider, announced the hiring of Dean Swartout as the new site manager at the Honeywell Aerospace Facility in Greer. 

In this role, Dean manages the GreenWood team responsible for machinery preventive maintenance, Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) implementation, industrial hygiene support, process waste-water treatment, plant engineering project support and safety. The facility is a major center and dedicated aerospace manufacturing hub for Honeywell’s machining, special processes, and maintenance, repair and overhaul services for both commercial and military aircraft. 

Dean brings 25 years of aerospace and industrial manufacturing experience in maintenance, operations, project management, quality engineering, lean manufacturing, continuous improvement and safety.

Prior to joining GreenWood, he spent several years at BMW in project management and quality engineering roles.   

Dean earned a business degree in management from Columbus State University in Georgia and holds the VDA 6.X Quality Management System certification, an extension of ISO 9001.


The Women’s Leadership Institute of Furman University recently recognized the following Class of 2020 graduates:


•        Nenna Akpaete-Culliver, Michelin North America

•        Rafaela Baranzano, Fitesa

•        Emily Baulig, Goodwill Industries of Upstate/Midlands, SC

•        Amie Blankenship, LS3P

•        Lauren Briles, Primrose School of Greenville and Midtown Greenville

•        Caitlin Buckingham, Furman University

•        Katy Davenport, CommunityWorks

•        Tara Eaker, City of Greenville

•        Jade Fountain, United Ministries

•        Chelsea Fulton, The Write Way

•        Anita Garrett, Re-Connect

•        Janice Garrett, Phenix Engineered Textiles

•        Melissa Halliburton, BringFido

•        Merianna Harrelson, Garden of Grace United Church of Christ

•        Lucy Henry, First Sun EAP Alliance Inc.

•        Leigh Holcomb, Learn2Learn Cognitive Coaching

•        Sarah Huet de Guerville, Gordian

•        Qena Jennings, Public Education Partners

•        Julia Jeter, Michelin

•        Tamiko Jiles, Fitesa, Inc.

•        Brenda Laasko, NEXT

•        Angelica Lozano-Alonso, Furman University

•        Laura Macpherson, Ideally

•        Jessica McCoy, Brasfield & Gorrie, LLC

•        Charlotte McDavid, Greenville County Schools

•        Bibianna Michalska, Fluor Enterprises, Inc

•        Alison C. Miller, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.

•        Amy Mirabelli, Michelin

•        Halle Price, BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC

•        Tricia Sellers, Job Impulse

•        Jenna Spencer, AssistPro, LLC

•        Katie Thompson, Table 301 Restaurant Group

•        Shelly Waite, Waite SLTS

•        Catherine Watt, EduForum

•        Andrea White, Greenwood District #50

•        Sheila Zirlin, Fitesa


The WLI aims to enhance leadership skills and form a collaborative, lasting network of relationships among executives and senior managers from diverse disciplines and backgrounds in corporations, law, government agencies, educational institutions and nonprofit organizations.


Brokers from Coldwell Banker Commercial Caine’s Greenville and Spartanburg offices recently represented the following area real estate transactions from the months of January and February:


Spartanburg:  Tim Satterfield of Coldwell Banker Commercial Caine represented Maria L. A. Rabeiro (Seller) in the sale of a +34,000 SF industrial building on +4.14 acres at 1201 Union St., to 1201 Union Street LLC (Purchaser).

Spartanburg:  Tim Satterfield of Coldwell Banker Commercial Caine represented Kapasi Investments LLC (Purchaser) in the purchase of a +1,296 SF retail building on +0.22 acre at 368 W. Main St., from Moneyline Properties LLC (Seller). 

Spartanburg:  Tim Satterfield of Coldwell Banker Commercial Caine represented Samuel D. Garrett, Trustee (Seller) in the sale of +11.75 acres at Candlewood Dr., to David Rex Shields and Patricia Diann Shields (Purchasers). 

Lyman:  Pete Brett, CCIM, David Sigmon, CCIM, SIOR and Matt Vanvick, CCIM of Coldwell Banker Commercial Caine represented Wells Fargo Bank N.A. (Seller) in the sale of a +2,687 SF retail building on +1.69 acres at 250 Spartanburg Rd., to Cooper Ràe LLC (Purchaser).


Greenville:  Pete Brett, CCIM, David Sigmon, CCIM, SIOR and Matt Vanvick, CCIM of Coldwell Banker Commercial Caine represented Infinity Marketing (Sublandlord) in the subleasing of a +5,500 RSF office space at 874 S. Pleasantburg Dr., to IMI Resort Sales LLC (Subtenant).

Greenville:  Pete Brett, CCIM, David Sigmon, CCIM, SIOR and Matt Vanvick, CCIM of Coldwell Banker Commercial Caine represented Rick Erwin Dining Group LLC (Tenant) in the leasing of a +3,351 SF office space at 850 S. Pleasantburg Dr., from Ramsay Warne LLC (Landlord).

Greenville:  Pete Brett, CCIM, David Sigmon, CCIM, SIOR and Matt Vanvick, CCIM of Coldwell Banker Commercial Caine represented Mountain City Land & Improvement Co. LLC (Landlord) in the leasing of +3,784 additional SF of office space at Innovate, 148 River St., Suite 222, to Synterra Corporation (Tenant).

Greenville:  Sammy DuBose of Coldwell Banker Commercial Caine represented Verdae Properties LLC (Landlord) in lease renewal negotiations with Old Time Pottery Inc. (Tenant) for +109,956 SF of retail space at Marketplace Shopping Center, 2425 Laurens Rd.

Fountain Inn:  Pete Brett, CCIM and T. Cox of Coldwell Banker Commercial Caine represented 100 North Main LLC (Landlord) in the leasing of a +1,056 SF retail space at 101 Trade St., to Timothy Cutter (Tenant).

Spartanburg:  Pete Brett, CCIM, David Sigmon, CCIM, SIOR and Matt Vanvick, CCIM of Coldwell Banker Commercial Caine represented Summit 24 LLC d/ba Tropical Smoothie Café (Tenant) in the leasing of a +1,800 SF retail space at 1490 W. O. Ezell Blvd., from 1490 Ezell LLC (Landlord).

Spartanburg:  Tim Satterfield of Coldwell Banker Commercial Caine represented Mary Black Foundation, Inc. (Landlord) in lease renewal negotiations with Spartanburg Academic Movement – SAM (Tenant) for +1,950 SF of office space at 349 E. Main St., Suite 101.

Spartanburg:  Tim Satterfield of Coldwell Banker Commercial Caine represented M. H. Thompson Real Estate (Landlord) in the leasing of a +5,000 SF industrial flex space at 357 South Ave., to Planet Connections LLC (Tenant).


Lakeside Lodge Clemson announced that Echo Bostrom has been named assistant general manager of the luxury condo hotel while Savannah Russell has been named special events director.  

As assistant general manager, Bostrom will help recruit, train and manage Lakeside Lodge’s team, oversee day-to-day operations, assist with sales and marketing efforts, and maintain high customer service standards across the property.

She has worked for Southern Resort Group for the last six years and held numerous managerial positions at The Residences at Biltmore in Asheville, NC, including front office, group sales and rooms division manager. Bostrom lives in Seneca.

Russell oversees group and event sales and management, including meetings, large private dining, weddings, receptions, room blocks and more. Russell is a graduate from Clemson University with a bachelor’s degree in parks, recreation and tourism management.

Lakeside Lodge Clemson has 118 residences with a mix of studio, 2-bedroom and 3-bedroom condos on Lake Hartwell.


Coldwell Banker Caine recently recognized its top producing agents in property sales and listings from February through the Circle of Excellence program. The Circle of Excellence distinction is awarded to agents within the company’s offices throughout the Upstate – and celebrates $1 million in listing or closing volume, or four units listed or closed.

 Circle of Excellence agents include:

●        Beth Beach

●        Brian Hurry

●        Chelsi McCoy

●        Dave Beech

●        Donna Morrow

●        Drew Torres

●        Greg Norris

●        Heidi Putnam

●        Helen Hagood

●        Holly West

●        Hunter Hurst

●        Jacob Mann

●        Jake Dickens

●        Jennifer Simms

●        Jennifer Wilson

●        Kiersten Bell

●        Kimber Roberts

●        Mary Jo Ochylski

●        Monica McKiernan

●        Renade Helton

●        Rhonda Porter

●        Sally Ballentine

●        Sandy Moffitt

●        Stephanie Burger

●        Steve Babb

●        Suzanne Cook

●        Virginia Hayes


Coldwell Banker Commercial recently named Coldwell Banker Caine’s Brad Halter the recipient of the Halter/Case Leadership Award. The award honors Caine Halter, the late owner of Coldwell Banker Commercial Caine, and the late Ray Case, owner of Coldwell Banker Commercial Atlantic International in Charleston. Caine Halter was Brad’s brother and mentor.

 Each year the Halter/Case Leadership Award is given to an individual who embodies a positive attitude, professional aptitude and exemplary leadership.

Brad Halter has been with Coldwell Banker Caine for nearly 42 years. A third-generation Realtor, holding his license since 1978, Brad took over leadership responsibilities of Coldwell Banker Commercial Caine after his brother’s passing in 2007. Brad now sits as the chairman of Coldwell Banker Caine with a particular focus on the growing commercial team. A Greenville native, he is active in community outreach both personally and professionally. Throughout his career he has served on many boards, including the Cancer Society of Greenville, the Greenville Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Board of Governors for the Greenville Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Greenville Association of Realtors, Greenville’s Board of Zoning Appeals, and more.


Beth Meade Leavitt, a science and engineering teacher at Wade Hampton High School in Greenville,  won an Educator Achievement Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), the world’s largest technical society for aerospace professionals.

The award includes a $5,000 grant for Wade Hampton High School.

 Leavitt, a teacher for 20 years, is receiving the award “for believing that with the right tools and mentors all students can become STEM literate with the confidence they can solve any problem encountered.”


Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood, Inc. announced Kevin Laird as executive vice president of engineering. Laird joined the architecture and engineering firm in Birmingham in 2005 and moved to Greenville in 2007 to open its first office in the state. He has  continued to lead GMC’s South Carolina operations and was elected to serve on the company’s board of directors in 2018.

As executive vice president, Laird is responsible for managing the firm’s entire engineering division, which includes oversight of approximately 180 employees in offices throughout Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee. He succeeds Burt Hankins, who announced he would step down from the EVP role at the end of 2019. 

 GMC has completed several projects in the region, including the Clemson University Football Operations Complex, Clemson University Softball Complex, Anderson Regional Joint Water System Lake Hartwell Water Treatment Facility Ozone Addition, Laurens County Water & Sewer Commission Lake Greenwood Water Treatment Facility, Greenville Water – Water Resources Master Plan, and the Aiken County Public Service Authority Horse Creek Water Pollution Control Facility Upgrades. 

Laird is a graduate of both Leadership Greenville and Leadership South Carolina and was named one of Greenville Business Magazine’s “Best and Brightest Under 35” in 2010.

He graduated from Clemson University with bachelor’s degrees in civil engineering and crop, soil and environmental science, in addition to earning a master’s degree in civil engineering from Auburn University. He is a registered professional engineer in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Alabama.

 In addition, the firm appointed Yann Cowart, vice president of sports architecture, to the board of directors. He joins the 2020 board alongside Chris Engel (chairman), Cedric Campbell, Kevin Laird, Freddie Lynn, Galen Thackston and Lee Walters.


Financial advisor Brian Fitzsimmons recently joined Foster Fitzsimmons Wealth Management of Raymond James, member New York Stock Exchange/SIPC, located at 112 Haywood Road according to Beach Foster, managing director, investments. 

Fitzsimmons grew up in Greenville and graduated from Clemson University before receiving a commission in the United States Marine Corps. He served for eight years as an infantry officer with multiple deployments, including three years with the Special Operations Command-Central in Tampa.


First National Bank, the largest subsidiary of F.N.B. Corporation (NYSE: FNB), said it has hired David Carpenter as senior vice president, commercial banker, in the bank’s South Carolina region.

In his role, Carpenter serves as a relationship manager for middle and upper-middle market clients in Greenville and across upstate South Carolina, providing access to FNB’s suite of corporate banking products and services such as international banking, mezzanine finance and treasury management.

With more than 25 years of financial services experience, the majority spent in Greenville, Carpenter recently was a senior commercial relationship manager with HomeTrust Bank and has also held commercial banking management roles at other financial institutions including Fifth Third Bank, BB&T (now Truist) and Bank of America. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

FNB entered South Carolina through its acquisition of Yadkin Financial in 2017 and recently announced the expansion of its Commercial Banking services across upstate South Carolina in 2019.



C-SPAN said students in Columbia were winners in C-SPAN’s national 2020 StudentCam competition. Students from Richland Northeast High School who won prizes include:

Scott Moore, Breize Brown and Keyanna Argumedo will receive $750 as third prize winners for the documentary "Cages of Steel: America and Prison Reform."  

Ebony Christie, Tiye Whitaker and Kimora Smith will receive $750 as third prize winners for the documentary "Bright and Broke: The Student Debt Crisis and Wealth Gap."

Kirslyn Gunter, Kailynn Shaw and Darius Lee will receive $250 as honorable mention winners for the documentary "The Case of Abortion."

Brennan Davis, Jackson Stanton and Elijah Clements will receive $250 as honorable mention winners for the documentary "Realigning Sights on Gun Rights and Safety in America."

Darius Darby, Mckynzie Bailey and Kincaid Cummings will receive $250 as honorable mention winners for the documentary "Teacher Shortages."

William Davidson and Gabby Greenley will receive $250 as honorable mention winners for the documentary "The Seeds of America," about immigration.

Each year since 2006, C-SPAN partners with local cable television providers in communities nationwide to invite middle and high school students to produce short documentaries about a subject of national importance. This year students addressed the theme, "What's Your Vision in 2020? Explore the issue you most want presidential candidates to address during the campaign."


The Salvation Army of the Midlands appointed Thomas L. Rhodes III as chairman of the Advisory Board. He was installed as an Advisory Board member in 2014 and was vice chair this past year.

He is president of Rhodes Graduation Services Inc., a family owned and operated business representing Jostens since 1975, and is co-founder of  Rhodes Branding, a branding and marketing agency focused on serving the education community. 


United Community Bank added Jonathan Strauss as vice president/commercial relationship manager to its Columbia team.

Strauss joins United from Patterson Dental Supply where he served as a new practice representative and territory manager. In his new role, he will focus on building relationships and increasing commercial loans and deposits for the bank. Strauss is the fifth addition to United’s Columbia team, a market it entered in July 2019.

Strauss is a native of Columbia. He is a 2009 graduate of Wofford College and former member of the Terrier’s golf team.


The McKay Firm added Alexander Zuraff as an attorney at the firm.

Zuraff practices in the areas of general civil defense and government defense. He graduated from North Carolina State University with a degree in political science. He earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of South Carolina School of Law where he was a member of the Moot Court Bar and Order of the Barristers.

Zuraff is a member of the South Carolina Bar Association and the Richland County Bar Association. He is admitted to practice in South Carolina and before the United States District Court of South Carolina.



NAI Charleston said Reeves Major was named as a member associate of The Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR). Member associates benefit from professional development, early career resources, mentorship, networking with industry leaders, and opportunities to build business with the Global SIOR community. Reeves was selected based on her experience, production, endorsements, ethics and responsibilities in the commercial real estate industry.

 NAI Charleston is a full-service commercial real estate brokerage and management firm with industry experts who have over 150 years of combined experience in the Charleston commercial real estate market. In 2017, local brokers Thomas Boulware, Dexter Rumsey, David Ingle and David Grubbs partnered together to establish NAI Charleston as an independent franchise of NAI Global.


Realtors Chris Eller and Mary Beth Wichlei joined The Cassina Group, a Charleston real estate firm. The company has offices in downtown Charleston and Mount Pleasant.

Eller and Wichlei have extensive careers in the real estate industry and vast experience working with buyers, sellers, builders and commercial clients.

Eller joins The Cassina Group after serving as broker-in-charge for his own real estate company. A native of Charleston, Eller has been in the real estate field for more than 17 years. In addition to having his broker’s license, he also has his builder’s license as well as several designations, including CRS, CSP, ePro and GREEN.

Wichlei comes to The Cassina Group with more than 16 years of experience in the industry. She has a background working as a Realtor for buyers, sellers and national and regional home builders. She most recently worked in commercial real estate as a member of the No. 1 real estate team in Florida, where she focused on acquisitions and dispositions.  


Jarrard, Nowell & Russell LLC, a Charleston-based accounting and business advisory firm, added Charity C. Wright as a staff accountant in the firm’s North Charleston office.

 As staff accountant, Wright prepares tax returns, reviews financial statements, and performs monthly bookkeeping duties.

Prior to joining Jarrard, Nowell & Russell, Wright was a bookkeeper and accountant for Tile & Stone Design Studio. In previous years, she worked as financial advisor and branch manager trainee for One Main Financial in North. Charleston.

Born in Charleston, Wright earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Voorhees College and her MBA with a concentration in finance from Strayer University.