Florence firm offers ‘creative way’ to meet companies’ needs

By: Andrew Boardwine

FLORENCE, S.C. — K. Hope Creative joined ambassadors from the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce to celebrate the organization’s new chamber membership with a ribbon cutting.

K. Hope Creative is a boutique consulting firm specializing in brand development, marketing and public relations.

Kim Bowman, president and CEO of K. Hope, said she began the firm about a year ago after a successful career in marketing and business development.

“I find a creative way to get where we need to go,” Bowman said. “If a client has a problem with sales, visibility, brand development or whatever it is, we’re going to find a creative way to do just that. I love working with people who need somebody to come in, or an outside objective look, to solve problems through that creative touch and approach.”

Bowman most recently served as the CEO of the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science & Mathematics Foundation, where she was responsible for strategic direction, marketing, fundraising, outreach, and recruiting.

She has also held marketing and leadership roles with EdVenture Children’s Museum, Lake Murray Magazine, University of South Carolina, Policy Management Systems Corporation, and AT&T.

K. Hope works with several organizations, including business, education, lifestyle and nonprofit groups. The firm offers marketing, strategy, brand development, public relations, community relations, business development, project management and execution fundraising, campaigns and content, help with new ventures and events, and more.

“I don’t think ‘important’ is a powerful enough word,” Bowman said about the importance of business marketing. “If you can’t get your message out effectively, you’re not in business. It’s something that is done differently with every single different organization.”

For more information or to contact K. Hope Creative, visit khopecreative.com or contact it at 803-240-6642 or by email kim@khopecreative.com.


Leadership Florence participates in October session

The Leadership Florence journey continues, as the class had their October session on Oct. 9, Visual Arts and Media Day.

The 38 member class of 2018-2019 visited Adam’s Outdoor, iHeart Media, Morning News, FMU PAC, Florence Museum and Florence Little Theater.


Florence Chamber hosts annual golf tournament

The Greater Florence Chamber held their annual Fall Golf Classic at Traces Golf Club last Thursday, Oct. 4. The event was sponsored by Raldex Hospitality.

Local community leaders and business friends joined together as more than 100 players enjoyed great food and beverages during a great day on the links. Lunch was served at 11:00 a.m. and golfers hit the tees at 12:10 p.m. Everyone appreciated a course full of food and various hospitality hole vendors.

The first-place winning team was Cradles to Crayons with players Shane Grainger, Joel Oliver, Rick Reed and Bree Kullenburg. The second-place team was HopeHealth made up of Clay Oliver, David Ellis, Jamie Stanley and Noah Mims. Closest to the pin winners were Lisa Lee, Andy Haigler, Tim Bell and Trey Brown. Longest drive was Keith Young.

Florence Junior Leadership students learn about healthcare industry

Even though HIPAA did not allow for many pictures today, our Junior Leadership students learned so much about the healthcare industry on Sept. 28. Special thanks to Carolinas Hospital System and McLeod Regional Medical Center for their hospitality!


Jets have brought more passengers through Florence airport

By: Matthew Christian

FLORENCE, S.C. – The addition of jet service is paying off for the Florence Regional Airport.

In a presentation Monday to the Florence Rotary Club, the airport’s executive director, Connie Anderson, said the airport had seen an increase in the number of people boarding a plane at the airport since jet service was reintroduced on July 4.

“We did see our enplanements go up for the month of July and the month of August – not large, but every number is positive, and I’m running with it,” Anderson said. “So, you’re looking at almost 900 more people flying out of Florence in July and August.”

The data for September is not yet available.

In response to a question from a Rotarian, Anderson also said the airport has seen a reduction in the number of delays and cancellations since Piedmont Air flew its last de Havilland Canada “Dash 8” into the airport on July 4. The airline now flies Embraer E145s between Florence and Charlotte.

Piedmont operates four flights daily from Florence to Charlotte under the banner of American Eagle, a regional airline wholly owned by the American Airlines Group.

Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce President Mike Miller and Anderson both said during the presentation that many of the remaining delays at the airport are caused by issues in Charlotte.

Charlotte Douglas International Airport is the 10th busiest airport in the United States and the 32nd busiest in the world in terms of passenger traffic.

Miller said that when the planes all try to enter or leave Charlotte at the same time, it creates delays that are felt in Florence.

Anderson also said the airport had discussed the reinstitution of service between Florence and Atlanta with Delta Air Lines. However, she added that the airline was not interested in service to Florence at this time. She also said that no other airlines were currently looking at expanding to Florence.

The airport also is moving toward a more community-oriented approach, according to Anderson. The airport now hosts a book exchange and a new restaurant. The airport also has held a recent kids’ day and hosted a birthday party.

Anderson said the goal is to become the community’s airport and get the youth more interested in the airport.


Fellows in Education gives local leaders a close look at school operations

By: Staff Reports

FLORENCE, S.C. – Through a three-way partnership among Florence One Schools, The School Foundation and the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce, a program designed for business and community leaders to spend time getting a unique, behind-the-scenes look into schools in Florence One continues in its fourth year.

For 28 participants, the program that is known as Fellows in Education began Tuesday with a visit to Wallace-Gregg Elementary School.

Through May, participants will get firsthand looks at some of the successes and daily challenges that educators face in the classroom.

There also will be an opportunity for interested participants to take part in a “Principal for a Day” exercise where the local leader will spend a portion of a day with a school principal as he or she conducts the duties of running the school.

“We are extremely excited about having members of our business community visiting our schools again this year,” said Richard O’Malley, the superintendent of Florence One Schools. “The commitment on the part of each of these individuals is greatly appreciated. During these visitations, the Fellows in Education will gain knowledge of the many outstanding school initiatives, as well as the needs and the resources in our schools.

“Through their in-depth understanding of these outstanding programs, the needs and resources, we believe that they will be better able to serve as advocates for students in Florence One Schools.”

Organizers say the ultimate goal of the program is to create a cadre of local leaders who will be able to collaborate with policymakers and community members in developing better education policies in the local community.

Seven more sessions will be held on the first or second Tuesday of each month through the month of May at different Florence One schools.