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Columbia Business Monthly

The Business Narrative: An Educational Gift

Jun 06, 2024 09:45AM ● By Donna Walker

College of Charleston Receives $2 Million Gift for Schools of Business and Education

The College of Charleston School of Business and School of Education will have enhanced faculty and student experiences thanks to a $2 million gift by Mark Buono ’81 and Judy Buono ’22 (M.Ed.).  

 

The Buono Endowed Professorship in Commercial Real Estate will be an endowed faculty position in the School of Business that will elevate the distinction of the real estate discipline at the university.  The fund will supplement the base salary of a tenured faculty member, which will enable the college to recruit more competitively for a candidate to both teach in the Commercial Real Estate Finance Program and serve as director of the Carter Real Estate Center.

 

The Commercial Real Estate Finance program has flourished thanks to the Carter Real Estate Center, which has built momentum for the college’s real estate program by engaging the local community, arranging for cutting-edge tools such as CoStar and partnering with local and national professional organizations. Since 2018, the number of declared commercial real estate finance majors has grown from 33 to 190. 

 

“The program has grown substantially since it was created a short time ago,” says Mark Buono, who is also a professor of practice in finance and is serving as interim director of the Carter Real Estate Center.

 

“The program will only continue to be successful with excellent faculty and staff, and we hope our gift will allow the College to attract top-notch faculty.” 

 

The Mark and Judy Buono Endowed Scholarship will support rising juniors, seniors, or graduate students majoring in education. The scholarship will enable future teachers to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by the School of Education and graduate to serve their communities and prepare future generations for success.  

 

The School of Education started preparing P-12 teachers in 1937. Today, the school graduates 100 future teachers each year, with more than 60 percent staying in the Lowcountry.

 

Judy Buono knew of the School of Education’s long history of producing qualified, engaged teachers. While in the Master of Education program, Judy interacted with other students who were also passionate about teaching but learned some were facing financial barriers to complete their degrees.  

 

In addition to these two new funds, the Buonos supported the College’s annual CofC Day event, which took place on March 13 and 14, 2024.  Their CofC Day Challenge to provide $50,000 at the 750-donor milestone served as a motivator and is helping build a stronger culture of philanthropy at the college. They will provide a similar challenge for CofC Day in 2025.  

 

“The college is fortunate to count Mark and Judy Buono as alumni, donors and advocates,” said President Andrew T. Hsu.

 

“Their extraordinary philanthropic investment will move us closer toward our goal of becoming a national university by elevating distinctive programs like real estate and education. Their example of giving back to their alma mater is truly inspiring, and we are grateful for their generosity.” 

Caine Commercial, KDS Commercial Properties Join Forces to Form KDS Caine

KDS Caine announced the merger of its legacy companies Coldwell Banker Commercial Caine and KDS Commercial Properties. 

 

Building on more than a century of combined service to the Upstate’s commercial real estate market, KDS Caine blends personalized service and agility with the capability of handling clients of all sizes. 

 

Stephen Edgerton, CEO, and Mark Ratchford, President, will lead the new entity. Mark Masaschi will provide senior leadership as partner, and Brad Halter will serve as chairman.

 

“We are thrilled by the opportunity this merger brings to our community,” said Edgerton.

 

“KDS Caine represents two great, locally owned and operated companies that have decided to join forces, leveraging each other’s complementary strengths, to better serve the Upstate’s commercial market. We are totally focused on the future of our vibrant and growing community and those who want to invest in it.”

 

KDS Caine will combine its leadership in the brokerage business with well-established property management services, allowing KDS Caine to serve the brokerage client beyond the sale or lease of an asset.

 

The company’s newly combined team is backed by experienced commercial real estate professionals with decades of industry knowledge.  

 

Masaschi, who serves as local development partner for the billion-dollar County Square project, joined Coldwell Banker Commercial Caine in 2002 as a broker, and by 2005 he was the top-producing broker for the firm. 

 

Halter, a third-generation Realtor and grandson of Caine Company founder Bubber Caine, said he looks forward to remaining engaged in the new company’s direction as chairman.

 

“I’ve led our commercial brokerage team since my brother Caine’s passing in 2007, and I’m grateful to have exceptional new partners leading the team into the next generation. I couldn’t be happier to see the creation of KDS Caine and serve as its chairman.”

 

Caine Company will continue serving families and individuals in the Upstate through its residential brokerage, Coldwell Banker Caine, and in-house insurance agency, Caine Hayes Insurance.

South Carolina-Based Bronco Lube Named Jiffy Lube Franchisee of the Year

Jiffy Lube International, Inc. recently honored Bronco Lube as the 2023 Franchisee of the Year. This recognition is awarded to the franchisee who exemplifies excellence in all aspects of their business and stands out as a pillar of their local communities.

 

Owned by Chad and Silvia Weisbeck, Bronco Lube, which owns and operates 15 service centers across the state, focuses on training, customer service, and continued optimization.

 

“Bronco Lube is the embodiment of the brand's commitment to customers and we couldn't be prouder to celebrate the entity as our Franchisee of the Year,” said Luke Byerly, president of Jiffy Lube International, Inc.

 

“Chad and Silvia are valued members of the Jiffy Lube network, and we applaud the hard work and dedication they pour into each of their 15 Jiffy Lube service centers. They welcome other franchisees into their markets, pilot new programs for the betterment of the entire Jiffy Lube system, and invest time and energy into building strong service center teams.”

 

Bronco Lube joined the Jiffy Lube network in 2002 and received its first Franchisee of the Year award in 2014. Ten years and just as many new stores later, the franchise is receiving its third recognition for their continued growth and commitment to operational excellence.

 

Contributing to their top marks in customer service, Bronco Lube places a premium on in-store training with two Master Technician trainers, customer service adviser classes, a Jiffy Lube Multicare apprentice program, and a management development program. 

 

“This recognition would not be possible without the employees at each of our stores who always go above and beyond for our customers,” said Chad Weisbeck, owner and operator of Bronco Lube, LLC.

 

“My wife Silvia and I are proud to represent the Jiffy Lube brand and we look forward to continued success for our stores as we continue to serve customers in our communities.”

IRS Document Upload Tool Receives One Millionth Taxpayer Submission

The Internal Revenue Service announced it has reached another key milestone in the agency’s transformation work with the Document Upload Tool accepting its one millionth taxpayer submission.

 

Use of the Document Upload Tool, sometimes referred to as DUT, continues to grow. During the first six months of this fiscal year, more than 265,000 taxpayers used the tool, and the number continues to grow each month.

 

Initially launched in 2021 in a limited format and greatly expanded in 2023 with funding from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the tool offers taxpayers and tax professionals the option to respond digitally to eligible IRS notices by securely uploading required documents online through IRS.gov.

 

For anyone with a smart phone or computer, this means that replying to IRS notices is now often as easy as scanning required documents and uploading them to the tax agency.

 

“The Document Upload Tool is a key part of our ambitious initiative to transform the IRS into a virtually paperless agency, and we continue to see increased use of this by taxpayers,” said IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel.

 

“This tool saves time for taxpayers and helps IRS employees process responses faster and more efficiently. A growing number of taxpayers are using their smart phones or computers to scan and upload their responses to IRS correspondence, rather than the more time-consuming option of writing a letter or mailing in documents.”

 

The Document Upload Tool has shown steady growth over time as well. Since 2022, average monthly use of the DUT has more than doubled every year, from around 16,000 in 2022, to around 37,000 in 2023 and finally almost 84,000 so far in 2024.

 

The document submissions cover a wide range of tax issues, including responding to IRS Notice CP2000, where the agency notifies taxpayers of potentially underreported income.

 

The IRS receives about 76 million paper tax returns and forms, as well as 125 million pieces of correspondence, notice responses and non-tax forms each year. In the past, the agency’s limited capability to accept these forms digitally or to digitize paper has added time-consuming steps that has created challenges for taxpayers, tax professionals and IRS employees.

 

For decades, the only option available was to have taxpayers or their representatives mail or fax these documents to the tax agency.

 

The IRS estimates that more than 94 percent of individual taxpayers will have the option of no longer having to send mail to the IRS, potentially replacing up to 125 million paper documents per year.

 

To learn more about the Document Upload Tool, visit IRS.gov/DUT.

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