Emerging Leaders Summer Institute Holds Retreat

The Chamber’s Emerging Leaders Summer Institute class kicked off their summer sessions with a half day retreat on Wednesday, June 29th at the Florence Chamber.

The purpose of the program is to identify, develop and empower “Emerging Leaders” excelling to the next level of community and business leadership. The group had an informative training session, and heard legislative updates and leadership tips from SC House Representative Terry Alexander.

The retreat was facilitated by Gina Trimarco of Pivot10 Results.

To see photos from the session, click here.

Florence Chamber Holds Two Information Sessions for Businesses

The Florence Chamber held two information sessions for small and minority businesses on Thursday, June 30th. The first was a Federal Contracting 101 workshop conducted by the Small Business Administration. The workshop was done in partnership with the Francis Marion University Kelley Center for Economic Development.

The Chamber also hosted a “Doing Business with BMW” session. Both sessions were held at the Florence Chamber.

To view photos from the session, click here.

Business Smart Series: 3 Part Virtual Workshop

Join the Florence Chamber, Small Business Administration, and FMU Kelley Center for this free workshop designed to help entrepreneurs understand how to start and grow a business and the local resources available. Additional topics will include registering your business, legal structures, marketing, and finance. This workshop is laid out in three parts.

For more information, click here.

FMU Staff Members Recognized

Francis Marion University recognized the outstanding service of four employees during its annual Staff Service Awards luncheon on June 24th.

Brigid E. Kennedy received the Marvin Lynch Humanitarian Award, and Dr. Cheri L. Richardson was presented with the John J. Kispert Leadership Award. Erick Polite and Laura Rhoads were named winners of the University’s two Outstanding Staff Service Awards.

The recipients were selected by a committee of past award winners, who received nominations from members of faculty and staff.

To read the full story, click here.

McCall Farms Opens New Family Health Center

McCall Farms, in partnership with McLeod Onsite Health Services, held an open house and ribbon cutting for their new Family Health Center located in Effingham, South Carolina, on Friday, June 24, 2022. McLeod has been working with McCall Farms as a healthcare partner for nearly ten years.

“It is an honor for us to continue our partnership as your healthcare provider,” said Donna Isgett, President and CEO of McLeod Health.

Pictured left to right: Thomas Hunter, Co-President of McCall Farms; Woody Swink, Co-President of McCall Farms; Tim Aponte, McCall Farms Safety, Training & Compliance Director; Donna Isgett, President & CEO of McLeod Health; and McCall Swink, Co-President of McCall Farms.

FMU Plans Building $18M Forestry & Environmental Science Facility

Francis Marion University’s Board of Trustees approved the university’s operating budget for Fiscal Year 2022-23 on Thursday, including major expansions in the university’s environmental and health sciences programs, according to a news release.

The legislature last week appropriated $18 million in capital funding for a new forestry research and classroom facility located across Francis Marion Highway from the university’s main campus.

Construction on the Forestry and Environmental Sciences Building is anticipated to begin in 2023.

To read the full story, click here.

New York Life Hosts Ribbon Cutting with the Florence Chamber

New York Life insurance agent Julie Cord celebrated with the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce at a ribbon cutting in the James Allen Plaza on Dargan Street on Wednesday, June 22nd.

“My goal is to help families and businesses protect their most important assets, themselves,” Cord said. “I do this via developing customized strategies with a variety of products such as permanent life insurance, term life insurance, disability insurance, long term care insurance, and fixed annuities.”

As a mutual insurance company with the highest ratings given by the major financial rating organizations, the company has been helping people for over 177 years and has remained strong through wars, influenza outbreaks and natural disasters, she said.

“I’m incredibly proud to be associated with New York Life,” Cord said. “I pleased to be able to help people alleviate their concerns about money and protect the people they love.”

To read the full story, click here.

High Caliber Guns and Optics Opens in Florence

High Caliber Guns and Optics celebrated its opening at 3320 W. Palmetto St. in Florence and joining the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce with a ribbon cutting on Monday, June 20th.

Owners Robert Guffey, Cassius Smith and Teresa Norman were joined by Chamber staff and ambassadors. Norman cut the ribbon.

The store opened Friday.

High Caliber Guns and Optics sells firearms, new and used; ammunition, thermal imagery scopes, night vision, suppressors and more. They buy, sell and trade.

“We are a Class 3 dealer,” Guffey said. “That means we can sell suppressors.”

Guffey said they saw a need in the Florence area that no one was offering — custom firearms, night vision and thermal.

He said business has been great, and everyone has been very complimentary thus far.

To read the full story, click here.

McDonald’s on Irby Street Joins the Florence Chamber to Get More Involved in the Community

Superior QSR Inc. /McDonald’s in Florence on Irby Street held a ribbon cutting on Thursday, June 16th to celebrate joining the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce. Chamber ambassadors joined in the celebration.

Rick Hoff, Owner/President at Superior QSR, has four stores in the area – the Irby Street location in Florence and one in Bennettsville, Dillon and Cheraw. He has been an owner for seven and half years and in the business for 29 years. He is a second-generation McDonald’s franchise owner.

“We are changing the culture of the restaurant,” said Luisbel Burgos, area supervisor, who has been a supervisor for 12 years. In November of last year he moved to Florence. He said the restaurant is making changes in how it does business, including having an employee outside to move the line along faster. He said the restaurant is trying to improve customer service and kitchen operation with lots of training.

“It takes a team to succeed,” Burgos said.

To read the full story, click here.

Florence Chamber Thanks Outgoing Board Members at Board Appreciation Luncheon

The Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce held its’ Board Appreciation Luncheon last week to honor those individuals that have served their 3-year terms with the Chamber.

Those members fulfilling their terms include Tyron Jones – Florence Darlington Technical College, Jill Lewis – Signature Wealth, Linda Mitchell Johnson – Senior Citizens Association, Kevin Gause – The Citizens Bank and Mark Buyck III – Willcox, Buyck & Williams.

Also pictured here are current Chamber Chairman, Brian Fast – First Citizens Bank and Chamber President, Michael Miller – The Florence Chamber.

Brian Fast will move to Past Chairman and Paul Seward will become Chamber Chairman on July 1, 2022.