Congratulations to the Businesses Recognized
at our Annual Meeting!
We all know every business goes through seasons. Some are seasons of change where a business diversifies product lines and/or services. Others are seasons of growth where new employees are welcomed. And, some are seasons of quiet stability, where a business simply maintains status quo. Our Annual Meeting celebrates local businesses who have successfully adapted to today’s rapid changes in the business landscape and economic environment. We salute local companies who have successfully achieved sustainability!
For the past several years, AT&T has focused on delivering the latest technologies and innovations to help our customers connect to their world, everywhere they live and work.
IN today’s always-on, always-connected world, consumers want to know that when they access their phone or open their tablet or go online over the Internet, the system is ready to complete the connection.
To meet customers’ needs, AT&T has invested more than $950 million in its South Carolina wireless and wireline networks over the past four years, improving mobile Internet coverage, as well as the overall performance. In 2011 alone, AT&T made more than 960 wireless network upgrades, including activating almost 20 new cell sites or towers to improve network coverage and deploying faster fiber-optic connections to more than 550 cell sites to enable 4G speeds.
Demand for mobile services continues to rise, driven primarily by the popularity of smartphones. Nationally, AT&T’s wireless data traffic has grown 20,000% over the past five years.
AT&T is continually working to develop the latest in innovative applications and deliver the full benefits of advanced technology. For example, in Texas, AT&T and Intuitive Health are working together to pilot a home-based remote patient monitoring solution that helps engage patients and family members in their own care, while seamlessly involving healthcare providers through integration with their clinical information systems.
The company also continues to unveil the latest in mobile phones, announcing in early January that the first 4G LTE Windows Phones will be available exclusively from AT&T. This is in addition to the broadest BlackBerry and Windows Phone selection and an extensive Android portfolio.
In addition to providing the products and services that make a difference in the lives of consumers and businesses, AT&T is also committed to impacting its communities, supporting a variety of education and environmental initiatives. In January 2012, AT&T announced the deployment of its 5,000th alternative fuel vehicle, part of a 10-year, $565 million plan to deploy approximately 15,000 alternative fuel vehicles through 2018.
And the long-standing focus on customer service continues. In February, AT&T announced that for the second consecutive quarter, it had ranked highest in customer service satisfaction, according to the National Customer Service Survey (NCSS) by Vocalabs. Vocalabs’ research showed that in the fourth quarter of 2011, 69 percent of AT&T customers surveyed were “Very Satisfied” with their customer service calls. Similarly, AT&T customers also reported the highest level of satisfaction with the company’s customer service representatives and the automated part of the customer service call.
Berkeley County Schools
The Berkeley County School District’s vision is to challenge and empower students to be successful in a highly competitive world. Achieving Sustainability for us is maintaining focus on continuous improvement, and raising the bar for achievement so our students may continue to build a legacy of success.
In 2011, our international accreditation process through AdvancED validated the quality of our programs, and nationally recognized schools such as Howe Hall AIMS (2010 National Blue Ribbon School) College Park Middle (2010 National School to Watch) and Marrington Middle School of the Arts (2012 National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence nominee) underscore our commitment to providing our youth with the best educational opportunities available.
Over the past five years, our focus on early childhood development has spurred one of the largest K3-5 enrollments in the state, and led to positive gains in early assessments, with over 80% of our students in grades 3-8 now scoring above the state average. In addition, we’ve launched a portfolio of success-driven programs such as: an International Baccalaureate Programme, a K-12 arts infused magnet, a drop-out intervention academy, a Montessori pilot, a single-gender program, an evening high school, a gifted and talented program, and an extensive career and technical program. We’re proud to have launched the first Middle College in the Lowcountry in 2010, where students are completing college level coursework in conjunction with their high school studies.
A data-driven mindset and increased supports and pathways have helped boost our on-time graduation rate to 75% percent in 2011, and lower our drop-out rate to 2%. In 2011, the district certified its largest graduating class with 1,759 graduates. These graduates received a record number of academic and athletic scholarship offerings, totaling nearly $30 million. In the athletic arena, Berkeley student athletes have been making a strong standing, garnering seven state athletic championships over the past two years.
The district is looking to the future, and building ways to equip students with twenty-first century skills. With a focus on literacy and ‘STEM’ – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math — students are exposed to the tools of tomorrow, via smart boards in virtually every classroom, computer labs, tablets, e-readers, media technology studios, digital design and engineering suites.
As our county grows, so do our schools. We have developed a plan that will poise our district to meet projected growth over the next 20 years with state of the art facilities that support high-tech learning. Population growth and funding are challenging how we achieve sustainability, but through fiscal responsibility and long-range planning, we are working today to not only sustain – but thrive – as Berkeley County moves into the future.
BCSD Highlights – 2011
2011 Academic Highlights
- The District received International Accreditation from AdvancED
- The high school on-time graduation jumped from 67.3% to 75%
- The District operates the only middle college program in the Lowcountry
- Seventy-two percent of Elementary & Middle Schools received state Palmetto Gold or Silver Performance Awards
- Howe Hall Arts Infused Magnet School was honored as a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence
- College Park Middle School was recognized as a National Middle School to Watch
- The district continues to expand “Innovative Choices” options for students, such as an International Baccalaureate Programme; a K-12 Arts Magnet; and an Evening High School
- The District enjoys 95% compliance with the federal Adequate Yearly Progress Rating (AYP) under the No Child Left Behind Act
- In 2011, the District’s Palmetto Assessment of State Standards (Grades 3-8) performance improved in two-thirds of objectives, and results were above the state averages in 80.7% of target areas
- In the High School Assessment Program (HSAP), 80.2% of tenth graders passed both the areas of English language arts (ELA) and math on first attempt
- The District’s average combined score (1447) on the SAT college entrance exam is above the state average.
2011 Arts Highlights
- Cane Bay High School Chorale under the direction of William Bennett was selected to perform as the featured choral ensemble at the South Carolina Music Educator’s convention in February.
- In the 2011 All-Region Band – which comprises 13 school districts — 44% of the middle school students and 30% of the high school students selected were from Berkeley County.
- Berkeley Center for the Arts sophomore, Courtney Pourciaux, placed first in the S.C. National Association of Teachers Singing Competition.
- Berkeley art students took first place at the elementary and high school levels at the 2011 North Charleston Art Festival. One student was awarded the $1,000 Scholarship for First Federal’s 2011 High School Seniors Art Exhibit.
- At this year’s Coastal Carolina Fair Youth Art Competition, 42 students received awards, 12 of which were cash awards. Included at the high school level were the Best in Show award to Shelby Droze, Goose Creek High; the Schneider Award to Samuel Amaya, Cane Bay High; and the Exchange Club Award to Abbie Wiedick, Cane Bay High.
- Four BCSD high school students were chosen in September for Regional Southern Division American Choral Directors Honor Choir. Eighteen elementary students were selected for the SC Elementary Honor Choir 2011-2012. We had eleven in this choir last February.
- Ten BCSD students were selected in the Fall for the Youth Orchestra of the Lowcountry and Joshua Teves of SHS received 2nd place in the All State Solo Competition. Sixteen strings students were selected and performed in Region Orchestra in November.
- The Berkeley County School District received arts program funding of over $80,000 in 2011-12. Five schools received the State Department of Education Distinguished Arts Program (DAP) awarded grant. Three schools received the South Carolina Arts Commission Arts in the Basic Curriculum Advancement Grant.
2011 Athletic Highlights
- Timberland High Football Class AA Division II 2011 State Champions
- Goose Creek High Class AAAA Division II 2011 State Champions
- Timberland High Girls’ Basketball Class AA 2011 State Champions
- Hanahan High Boys Wrestling Class AA 2011 State Champions
- Hanahan High Class AA Boys Track and Field 2011 State Champions
- Hanahan High Girls Track and Field 2011 State Champions
- In 2011, Hanahan High’s Chris Brown recorded the longest triple jump in the nation for high school boys.
- In 2011, Berkeley High’s Leanna Morris recorded the third fastest time for the 400-meter hurdles for girls in the nation.
- In 2011, Cross High’s Jalen Frasier was the Class A individual state champion in the boys high jump for the fourth consecutive year.
Cane Bay Plantation, on behalf of Gramling Brothers Real Estate & Development
- Cane Bay Plantation continues to be Charleston’s #1 selling community 2008 – 2011 with the most homes sold in the tri-county.
- Cane Bay was recently ranked in a national survey the #40 best belling community in the country.
- The Publix opened this last October and Cane Bay Middle School will open for the 2012 school year.
- We hope for continued growth as some new builders have joined our community including Lennar, Dan Ryan Builders, and Sabal Homes.
Charleston Southern University
Thirty-five years ago, Charleston Southern University (then the Baptist College at Charleston) and its neighbor, Trident Hospital, were surrounded by woods. Today, the University and Hospital are surrounded by a vibrant business community, restaurants, hotels and Wannamaker County Park in the middle of the Charleston Metro area. During the past 35 years, campus buildings have more than doubled, from 10 to 22. In 1977 the University had 2,310 students enrolled, and 378 degrees were granted. In 2011 3,298 students were enrolled, and 623 degrees were granted. The University endowment has grown from $519,216 to $13,737,354. Full-time faculty, staff and coaches have grown from 180 to 351. The University has kept pace with the growth of the area and with the increasing need for educated workers in the region. Charleston Southern graduates are highly sought after by employers not only for the academic training they receive but also for their exposure to values and ethics and the integration of faith in all aspects of their education.
DuPont™ built and started-up the Dacron facility in 1972, creating over 1,200 jobs in BC. This facility was sold to DAK Americas in 2002. DuPont™ built and started-up the DuPont™ Hytrel® facility in 1999, creating 55 additional jobs.
But in 2007, DuPont™ announced it would build a $500,000 Kevlar® Plant here in Moncks Corner. In July, 2011, DuPont™ completed construction of the new Kevlar® Plant and the facility began making commercial product by November, 2011. Construction of the Kevlar® Plant created 200 to 800 Lowcountry Construction jobs per year from 2008 thru 2011. DuPont hired and trained 110 South Carolina Lowcountry residents who are currently operating and maintaining the Kevlar® facility.
We also transferred in 30 exempts from other DuPont facilities to manage and provide technology leadership. These 140 new jobs were created thanks to our partnership with Berkeley County and the great business and working relationship we have developed over the years with Berkeley County and the State of South Carolina.
Name of Business: DuPont
Date Established: 1972
Number of employees when opened: 1200
Recent Plant opening: 1999 – Hytrel®
Number of employees when opened: 55
Current employees: 195
Name of Owners: Plant Manager – Jerry L. Good, CEO – Ellen Kullman
Business Address: 3300 Cypress Garden Rd., Moncks Corner 29461
Farmers & Merchants Bank of South Carolina
Farmers & Merchants Bank of Holly Hill was chartered by the State of South Carolina on an application dated October 23, 2012. The bank’s prosperity during the following years was a result of the fertile soil which was the foundation of a very stable agricultural economy. Necessary funds were made available in order that area farmers might finance their crops and livestock. During that period of the Bank’s growth, loans were made in the Spring and collected in the Fall when the crops were harvested.
The depression years if the 1930’s brought hard times to the area, but the Bank remained solvent. Its Board proudly points out that it was one of three banks in Orangeburg County to weather that financial crisis and remain open. With the coming of World War II, the economy of the area began to improve and the Bank was again on the road to better times.
Today, under the name Farmers & Merchants Bank of South Carolina, the bank has eight offices and more than 90 years of experience to offer its customers. The areas served by the Bank are becoming more industrialized, this providing more economic opportunities than in the years past when it had a predominately agricultural economy.
The Bank has remained a strong driving force in our community and prides itself in being a local, independent financial institution which desires to serve each customer as an individual Our customers know us and we know them.
The Bank, with this fact in mind, is firmly committed to continued economic progress and looks forward to future with faith and confidence in the people and resources of the area it serves.
Like most businesses, Nexsen Pruet law firm has had to adapt over the past few years. One area that has seen some of the pronounced changes is the firm’s Real Estate Practice. When real estate prices soared in the early 2000s, every deal was making money. But, when the recession hit, South Carolina’s real estate lost an estimated 30 to 40% of its value statewide. As a result, banks tightened their purse strings, private development slowed, and regulators focused their attention on lending practices. All that has changed the way the real estate industry works, and how the firm’s attorneys approach the representation of its clients.
According to Nexsen Pruet attorney, Neil Robinson, “Before the recession, a developer with a good idea had lots of options for borrowing money. But, now-a-days it takes a lot more than a good idea. Lenders want to see very specific business plans that showcases great potential for success.” “It is more difficult to make a deal happen now, but there are still tremendous opportunities out there. Part of my job these days is to help connect the right people, with the right project, so that those opportunities are not missed.”
Nucor Steel Berkeley
Established, began operations, 1996- 334 team mates
Current Team mates = 913 at end of 2011
Owned by Nucor Corp
1455 Hagan Ave, 29450
Giff Daughtridge accepting award.
Started operations in 1996, and added another production line in 1998, a galvanizing line. The galvanizing line allowed supply of a brand new product for Nucor Berkeley. In late 1998, we started a beam mill. This was another complete new product supplied out of Nucor Berkeley. Total team mates at end of 1998 was 647.
In 1999, Nucor added an acid pickling line to allow more value added product to be made from Nucor Berkeley opening more markets and applications. Employment at end of 1999 was 687.
More production lines for casting, cold rolling and liquid steel processing were added in 2000 to 2003 that allowed higher productivity for existing products. Employment at the end of 2003 was 832.
From 2004 until 2009 Nucor continued to invest capital at Nucor Steel Berkley while expanding the work force to 893 team mates.
In 2010 we added a tension leveler to allow higher quality steel applications to be made from Nucor Berkeley products as part of $22 million in capital expenditures and added 12 more team mates to bring total to 905.
Most recently we have been approved for over $100 million of new capital to invest at Nucor Berkeley as part of a modernization and expansion project. Although no new product lines will be installed we will expand the product widths, gauges and strengths we currently supply. Employment at the end of 2012 in forecast to be 930 people.
Meanwhile, we had zero layoffs in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 during recession.
Santee Cooper has a continuing need for employees with many different skill sets and educational background, from line technicians and mechanics to financial analysts and engineers. We rely on a progressive program to recruit and retain employees. Although we are not increasing our workforce, maintaining it is a challenge as we have a large percentage of employees eligible to retire over the next few years.
- Educational partnerships – we work with schools to help provide resources that let the schools educate our future workforce.
- Power Associates – an innovative, competitive scholarship program where successful applicants complete a custom two-year curriculum and work part-time for Santee Cooper, with a goal of training workers we can then hire as jobs open up.
- Environmental internships – Our competitive environmental intern program accepts about 11 students each summer who are recommended by members of Congress and other elected leaders to complete an internship that exposes them to Santee Cooper’s key resources and responsibilities in the environmental well-being of South Carolina.
- Santee Cooper offers other internships for college students to gain real-world training in accounting, communications and other careers.
- Ongoing training – Santee Cooper has a proactive training regimen that ensures our employees remain proficient in current job requirements, learn new technologies and always emphasize safe work habits and procedures. Additional training develops future leaders, to help us with succession planning as current employees retire.
Sweetbay Produce & Nursery, Hydroponic Farm
1541 Charity Church Road
Huger, SC 29450‐95420
Located adjacent to the Francis Marion National Forest near Charleston, SC, Sweetbay Produce & Nursery is a state of the art, year round, commercial hydroponic farm. Our family owned & operated facility specializes in the cultivation of premium lettuces, microgreens, basils, edible flowers and chefs specialties. Our produce is grown using techniques that help achieve an ideal balance of water, nutrients, temperature, light, and air that are critical lements for high quality yields. Our efforts ensure the freshness and flavor of all of our produce. Sweetbay products are delivered daily in our own climate‐controlled delivery vehicles for the culinary enjoyment of ur finest produce at tables in homes and restaurants all around the Lowcountry.
Lowcountry Grown ~ Community Served
Aug 2010 – Production began with 2 full-time (FT) employees and 1 part-time (PT) employee.
Jan 2011 – The year began with 2 FT and 2 PT employees increased to 3 FT and 3 PT.
Jan 2012 – We currently have 4 FT employees and 3 PT employees and will add a 5th FT soon.
Dec 2010 – Our first sale was at the Charleston Farmers Market generating $1000 gross revenue for that year.
Dec 2011 – The year ended with over $150,000.00 gross receipts for our first full year.
Expanding Operations, Product Lines and/or Services:
Dec 2010 – Facility size 8,500 Square Feet (SqFt), 3 Lettuce Species, 4 Basils, some herbs serving 5 chefs.
Dec 2011 – Facility size 18,000 SqFt, 6 Lettuce Species, 6 Basils, 7 Microgreens, 5 Edible Flowers, leafy greens, Heirloom and Black Cherry Tomatoes, and specialties. In peak season we regularly served over 80 Restaurants and Chefs within a fifty mile radius of Huger, SC. We have introduced our products to over 140 chefs in Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester Counties.
The Berkeley Independent
The Berkeley Independent newspaper in Moncks Corner and The Gazette in Goose Creek have continued to experience a steady recovery from the economic recession, in the form of increased circulation and advertising revenue. Both newspapers have also enjoyed a major increase in online readership.
The staff sizes of both newspapers remained unchanged in 2011, and are poised to grow in the months ahead, as a sales representative position is being added in the Goose Creek area.
The Independent and Gazette take pride in being the local source for news for Berkeley County. “Our commitment is to Berkeley County,” Executive Editor Judy Watts said, “and we feel that commitment is being recognized both in Moncks Corner and Goose Creek.”
Thomas & Hutton
Thomas & Hutton believes sustainable development adds to economic vitality while preserving quality of life and protecting the environment. Thomas & Hutton relies on its design experience and knowledge of the Lowcountry to provide innovative designs ranging from rainwater harvesting to constructed wetlands to traffic calming measures.
Thomas & Hutton works on projects seeking Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification under the LEED for New Construction and LEED for Core & Shell guidelines. Projects types include speculative warehouses, offices, prisons, hotels, recreational facilities, and vehicle preparation centers.
As a member of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), Thomas & Hutton employs LEED AP BD+C professionals, some of whom serve on local USGBC Boards. Thomas & Hutton actively participates on the EarthCraft Regional Communities Council which provides technical support for Southface, a non-profit that developed the EarthCraft for Communities program, a standard for sustainable residential development in the region. Thomas & Hutton provided engineering support for an EarthCraft Community.
Within the office, we have implemented the use of dishware and glasses for meals instead of paper plates and bottled water. We recycle as much paper as possible and promote web-based systems to our clients to cut down on paper usage.
Trident Technical College
Recognizing the need to focus its energy efficiency and sustainability efforts, Trident Technical College (TTC) formed TTC Green in 2009. TTC has implemented a number of sustainable practices that permeate the college in curricula, student life and operational practices. Some of TTC’s recent initiatives are listed below.
TTC’s Division of Continuing Education and Economic Development has taken a lead in the community in providing training in fields related to environmental sustainability. Some of these efforts include:
- Participation in a Department of Labor grant—This grant provided training funds to prepare students for work in residential weatherization. More than 220 students completed the training while more than 70 have been employed in related industries to date. Work with job placement for program graduates continues.
- New noncredit program offerings include:
Building Operator Certification Program—Students learn to reduce energy consumption in commercial buildings and become a nationally recognized certified Building Operator. Students learn building science concepts, the building envelope, heating and cooling systems, energy calculations, payback and auditing.
Certified Apartment Technician Program—Students obtain the knowledge and skills to become a certified Apartment Technician. This program is designed for people interested in becoming certified to work in the maintenance and repair of apartments and condominiums.
Program areas related to sustainability include:
- Environmental Technology–TTC offers an associate degree and certificate in Environmental Technology. These paths lead to careers related to air quality, water quality, solid waste management, hazardous materials, hazardous waste and emergency response.
- Sustainable Technology–TTC offers an associate degree and certificate in Sustainable Technology. These paths lead to careers related to energy management, resource conservation, waste minimization, transportation system management and biotechnology.
TTC Online College
Enrollment for TTC’s academic programs has grown for 17 consecutive semesters to its highest level at nearly 17,000 students. To help meet the region’s growing educational needs while addressing environmental concerns such as commuter miles, TTC launched TTC Online College in the fall of 2011. This initiative increased the college’s online offerings and services, eliminating or reducing the need for many students to travel to a campus to attend class.
Business PracticesTTC constantly evaluates ways to reduce energy and implement environmentally sound practices. Recent efforts include piloting an energy savings procedure and improving the college’s recycling program. Additionally, the college submitted its Climate Action Plan as part of its participation in the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. This plan outlines goals and accountability measures as TTC endeavors to further reduce its carbon footprint.
Wingate by Wyndham – University Blvd.
The Wingate by Wyndham has successfully adapted to the ever-changing business climate and it has sustained its employees through the belief and practice of the “Count on Me (COM)” philosophy. The philosophy is the belief that “hospitality starts with me,” and it is built on these core values:
- Act with integrity
- Respect everyone, everywhere
- Provide individual opportunity and accountability
- Improve our customers’ lives
- Support our communities
Although this is a training tool implemented through Wyndham Worldwide, the Charleston Wingate actively participates in “COM” full-heartedly throughout the entire year. Based on a structure of three teams; Team Responsive, Team Respect, and Team Great Experience, the committee has directly contributed to the success and improvement of the community, employee satisfaction, great customer experiences, and the hotel’s overall business prosperity.
Community is the cornerstone for success! Through active volunteering, donations, fundraising, and support, Team Responsive has coordinated contributions to several organizations such as, the Pattison’s Academy, Girls Rock Charleston, the Society for Prevention of Animal Cruelty (SPCA), Lowcountry Heart Walk, Ronald McDonald House, the Boys & Girls Club, Jaiden’s Place, Camp Happy Days, Convoy of Hope, Susan G. Koman Foundation, Race for the Cure, Lowcountry Food Bank, Backpack Buddies, Salvation Army’s Angel Tree, Meals on Wheels, Palmetto House Homeless Shelter, and local first responders. The team also promotes green initiatives including recycling paper, cans, bottles, and linens for the SPCA. The Wingate supports the community because the community supports the Wingate.
High morale translates into high productivity! Team Respect provides much appreciated employee recognition by rewarding the Employees of the Month with a bonus, by recognizing all of the employee’s birthdays with a card, and by providing quarterly employee appreciation luncheons. It is important to let staff members know they are important to the company and are appreciated for their hard work.
When the employees are happy, so are the guests! Team Great Experience has added to the customer experience by the initiation of many customer appreciation measures. They have administered complimentary Massage Monday’s, Ice Cream Social Wednesday’s, Winter Chili Wednesdays, and by mailing Holiday cards to important clients and loyal guests. Because our staff goes above and beyond to make each customer’s experience amazing, the Wingate is now #3 out of 57 hotels on the Trip Advisor website!
The Charleston Wingate’s excellence would not be possible without the “Count on Me” Committee members and their practices. It has earned our property honorable mentions on two separate occasions from Wyndham last year. Guests are, time and again, satisfied with our facility, staff, and quality service. In addition, our rev par index has increased each year since our grand opening, proving that we offer the best value in the Charleston area. At this property, we understand that Charleston is a beautiful environment, and if it weren’t for its unique southern charm and the people that make it up, this hotel would not thrive, or continue to thrive as is does.
MWV has been a part of the Lowcountry for nearly one hundred years. West Virginia Pulp and Paper began buying land in South Carolina in the 1920s. Since that time the company has maintained an active presence in the region. Today MWV’s Specialty Chemicals Global headquarters and MWV’s Community Development and Land Management, and collectively their 400 employees, call South Carolina home.
The Specialty Chemicals division with global headquarters and a chemical plant located in N. Charleston, South Carolina. The division manufactures markets and distributes specialty chemicals derived from sawdust and other by-products of the papermaking process in North America, Europe, South America and Asia.
Community Development and Land Management in South Carolina is currently responsible for master planning efforts, commercial and industrial real estate, rural land sales, and forest management.