Boeing VP speaks in Florence about company’s plans for growth in state

(image courtesy: Joe Perry/

“FLORENCE, S.C. – Boeing loves South Carolina.

That was the message brought Friday to the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce annual membership luncheon by keynote speaker J. Michael Luttig, executive vice president and general counsel of the aerospace giant.

But before Luttig detailed Boeing’s ever-expanding investment in the Palmetto state, he wanted the audience of about 500 at the Florence Civic Center to know how much state Sen. Hugh Leatherman of Florence means to him personally as well to the Boeing Company.

“There is no question that without you, Senator, the Boeing Company would not be in South Carolina,” Luttig said.

He also thanked chamber President Mike Miller and called Florence “one of the very best communities in South Carolina,” hailing downtown’s revitalization and the wide range of small and medium businesses here.

“In so many ways, we’re in this together,” he said. “Boeing is grateful for your friendship and support.””

Click below to read the full article.

SCNow Web Article – Boeing VP speaks in Florence about company’s plans for growth in state

Raines receives Chamber’s Business Person of the Year award presented by Wells Fargo

(image courtesy: Joe Perry/

“FLORENCE, S.C. – Grey Raines of Raines Hospitality was named the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce Business Person of the Year on Friday at the Florence Civic Center during the chamber’s annual membership luncheon.

Rob Sasser of Wells Fargo introduced Raines, calling him “a true product of Florence,” who was born and raised here. During Raines’ formative years, his father, Mark, parlayed the family business from ownership of a single I-95 truck stop into a portfolio including convenience stores and a petroleum distributorship, Sasser said, while holding fast to the idea of owning a Marriott hotel.

After contacting Marriott International, Mark Raines started with a Super 8 motel, Sasser said, and later partnered with Dave Aycock under Raldex Incorporated before going on his own with Raines Hospitality in 1997. The company’s first property was the Marriott Courtyard on Hospitality Boulevard.”

Click below to see the full article. Web Article – Raines receives chamber’s Business Person of the Year award

Carolina Bank moving to downtown Florence

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“A South Carolina banking institution with roots deep in the Pee Dee is moving to Florence announced bank officials last week. Carolina Bank will relocate the bank’s headquarters and administrative offices, along with a new retail branch, to downtown Florence to better serve the expanding Florence market. The move, which will take place in the Fall of 2017, is only the first phase of a far-reaching growth plan that also includes modernizing existing branches and introducing new technological products and services.

Carolina Bank will continue to operate its retail branch in Darlington. “This move will allow us to provide more focused service to our customers and potential customers in a growing market. The development downtown is exciting and we are thrilled to be a part of it,” said Rick Beasley, president of Carolina Bank. “However, we remain committed to our customers in Darlington and our other branch locations.

We will continue to serve our communities with the exceptional customer and banking services they have come to expect from us.” Under the expansion plan, Carolina Bank will shift its administrative and training staff, as well as the lending, information technology, and mortgage departments, to a new location at 185 West Evans Street by the Fall of 2017. Though most of the employees will relocate from the current headquarters, up to 20 new positions will also be created.”

Click below to read the entire article from My Florence Today: web article – Carolina Bank moving to downtown Florence


Chamber hosts Regional Education Summit

“The Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce hosted a Regional Education Summit Wednesday morning at the Florence Civic Center.

Speakers were: Hood Temple, 7th District representative for the Commission on Higher Education, Francis Marion University president Dr. Fred Carter and Florence-Darlington Technical College president Dr. Ben Dillard.” web article – Chamber hosts Regional Education Summit

Carolinas Hospital System announces Mayo Clinic collaboration

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“FLORENCE —  Carolinas Hospital System announced today it will become part of the Mayo Clinic Care Network in a collaboration designed to improve the delivery of care and bring about a new level of healthcare expertise.

Carolinas chief executive officer Darcy Craven called it an “historic day” for not just for the hospital, but for Florence as well as the overall Pee Dee region.

“Today we’re announcing a clinically significant collaboration,” he said, that will give providers at Carolinas access to the resources of “the most respected, recognized healthcare system in the world – the Mayo Clinic.”

Dr. Ryan Uitti, a neurologist and medical director of the Mayo Clinic Care Network’s southeast region, said the network has grown to include 40 member organizations around the world over the last five years.” Web article – Carolinas Hospital System announces Mayo Clinic collaboration

U.S. News’ ‘Best Colleges’ include FMU, Coker College

(image courtesy: Melissa Lloyd/

“FLORENCE, S.C. – Francis Marion University and Coker College once again are ranked among U.S. News & World Report magazine’s top regional universities and colleges in the South.

FMU is listed at No. 33 among 46 public schools in the South, and it is tied for No. 84 among 146 regional universities overall. The South region includes 12 states.

The Citadel is the No. 1 public school in the South, and it ranks No. 3 among regional universities overall.

Coker is rated at No. 6 among 113 regional colleges. That’s up 14 spots from last year. At No. 5, USC-Aiken is the only South Carolina college ranked higher.

The 2017 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges,” one of the oldest of the dozens of college rating sites on the Internet, is available now online. The information also will appear in the magazine’s print editions later this month.

FMU has been a regular member of the top-ranked Regional Universities for more than decade. Coker is ranked for the 21st consecutive year.”

Click below to read the entire article from the Morning News: web article – U.S. News’ ‘Best Colleges’ include FMU, Coker College

City, County Leaders Discuss Potential Parking Deck

(image courtesy: Joshua Lloyd/

City and County leaders met Wednesday to talk about a proposed parking deck, where it should go and how it will impact areas currently plagued by construction-related parking woes.

From the Morning News:

“FLORENCE, S.C. – Florence County and City of Florence officials converged Wednesday morning in an “off-the-books” meeting for an overdue discussion about parking in the downtown area of Florence, as construction booms have tied up hundreds of spaces.

Wednesday’s meeting was focused on a parking study of the area that took months to complete and factored in the 320-space city parking deck, as well as parking that will be freed up when construction ends.

The study, commissioned by the city and completed by CDM Smith Inc., indicates parking is currently adequate in the area but will not be sustainable in the next two to five years.”

Click below to read the entire article from the Morning News: web article- Proposed Parking Deck

FDTC Education Foundation to Host Fall Gala


Join us for an evening of Jazz at “Club SiMT.”

The legendary Preservation Hall Jazz Band of New Orleans will provide the tunes as we celebrate FDTC’s anniversary!

Follow the link to purchase tickets.

Click Here to Purchase Tickets

The Foundation was established in 1979 to help ensure that Florence-Darlington Technical College (FDTC) will be able to continue its contribution to the economic development of the area and the personal enrichment of the citizens of the Pee Dee. FDTC, one of sixteen comprehensive two-year technical colleges in South Carolina, serves the diverse educational needs of Florence, Darlington and Marion counties and is fully accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. An open admissions college, FDTC provides quality, affordable transfer and career programs leading to Associate Degrees, Diplomas and Certificates in an environment conducive to achieving excellence in teaching and learning.

The Florence-Darlington Technical College Educational Foundation Inc., is chartered in the State of South Carolina as a not-for-profit, tax-exempt organization under Section 501 � (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Foundation is separate from the college but operates exclusively for the benefit of the College. It is governed by a Board of trustees, of which the College President and one (1) member of the FDTC Area Commission, FDTC’s governing board, serve as ex-officio members.

The FDTC Foundation acquires its funding from charitable contributions from businesses, industries, civic and professional groups, other foundations, alumni, and individuals. Gifts can be made in many ways and can be arranged to provide maximum tax benefits to the donor — while providing generous support to the College.

Contributions to the FDTC Foundation may be in the form of cash, real or personal property, or securities. Bequests made through wills, insurance policies or trusts, which name the college as beneficiary, are another means of giving. The gifts may be designated (restricted) or unrestricted, and they may be made in one tax year or spread over several tax years.