Mike Switzer

Host, Producer

After almost 20 years, Mike Switzer retired from Wells Fargo Securities in 2001 as Senior Vice President/Investment Officer and Certified Portfolio Manager.  In 2008, he and his wife, Maggie, sold a Baskin Robbins ice cream store they owned and operated for eight years on Forest Drive in Columbia. While operating the ice cream store, Mike and Maggie received patents for a portable ice cream sink and fold-down sneezeguard they invented and in 2002 started Magnolia Carts which they sold in 2013.

In 2009, Mike and Maggie finished construction of their new “green” home in Blythewood, SC which was awarded Gold Certification in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program from the US Green Building Council.  In 2011, Mike co-founded Voterheads (www.voterheads.com), a voter education/citizen participation technology company.  He currently serves on the company’s board of directors. He is also past chair of the Town of Blythewood Planning Commission and currently serves as the executive director of the Greater Blythewood Chamber of Commerce.

Ways to Connect

I don't know if you've heard, but for the first time in a decade one of South Carolina's under-recognized airports has achieved three consecutive years of growth, finally overcoming the effects of mergers, trends in aviation, and the Great Recession.

Mike Switzer interviews Kaela Harmon, public relations manager for the Columbia Metropolitan Airport.

Our next guest's Upstate South Carolina company has been singled out by IndustryWeek magazine as one of the best manufacturing plants in North America. The publication specifically mentioned the company's “engaged workforce” in its announcement of their 25th annual Best Plants competition.

Mike Switzer interviews Gary Cole, operations manager for T&S Brass and Bronze Works in Traveler's Rest, SC. 

After physical health, most people would rank financial health next on their list of overall life priorities.  So our next guest says it only makes sense to work with a professional, especially if your situation is complicated.

Mike Switzer interviews Mason Hardy, a certified financial planner and Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor with Creative Financial Strategies in Columbia, South Carolina. 

A regular update of the entrepreneurial activity in South Carolina.

Mike Switzer interviews John Warner founder and CEO of SwampFox, an entrepreneur-centric business news service based in Greenville, S.C. 

These days, most everybody knows the importance of antioxidants in your daily diet.  Well, South Carolina's technology awards program known as Innovision handed out their 2014 awards late last year and one of the Small Enterprise Awards went to an Upstate company that has developed a proprietary method for extraction of antioxidants from animal blood.  Right now these antioxidants are only being marketed to the pet food industry, but the company says humans are next.

By now, you've probably heard of the "Internet of Things", where we see so many everyday devices becoming connected to the Internet.  For example, our next guest says that his technology will connect your water heater to the Internet so that you can more efficiently manage your use of hot water.

It seems like drones are in the news on a regular basis these days, but how many of you know that South Carolina is home to an award-winning drone team that has found some innovative uses for drone technology?

Mike Switzer interviews John Conrad, a physics professor at Furman University in Greenville, SC whose drone team is winning awards from the Upstate (Innovision) to Virginia to Oregon.

As business owners approach retirement age, they start to think about what will happen to their business.  Our next guest says it would be best if they started thinking about this long before retirement, but either way, he has six points for family business owners to consider when planning for succession.

Mike Switzer interviews Jon Robertson, a certified financial planner with Abacus Planning Group in Columbia, SC. 

A regular update of the entrepreneurial activity in South Carolina.

Mike Switzer interviews John Warner founder and CEO of SwampFox, an entrepreneur-centric business news service based in Greenville, S.C. 

Events:   

More than 67,000 people across South Carolina are employed in technology-related occupations at an average salary of $64,693, and of course, the numbers of these jobs and their economic impact will only increase in the future. That's why IT-ology, the non-profit technology training organization in Columbia, hosts an annual Summit on IT.  And the next one is right around the corner on March 18th.

Several years ago our next guest and his sister talked three sharks from ABC's TV show Shark Tank into investing into their company.  They sold it a few years later and then last year, he won Warren Buffet’s “Grow Your Own Business” competition, which then led to both of them launching their newest business on the Meredith Veira TV show.  And during this entire time, they have been and still are kids.

Mike Switzer interviews Jake Johnson, 15 (his sister, Lachlan, who could not join us today, is 19), co-owner of Lexington, SC-based Beaux Up.

Most businesses in South Carolina know the importance of our state's water resources.  In fact, many have said that shortages of water are much more likely now this century than oil.

Our next guest says that the adage "out with the old and in with the new" doesn't work anymore for American companies when it comes to their workforce.  He says that experience and wisdom have more value now than ever before and has led to a new buzzword in the human resources field: "unretirement". Mike Switzer interviews Chris Farrell, senior economics contributor at Marketplace, American Public Media’s nationally syndicated public radio business and personal finance program heard weekdays on this network.

In this regular update of the entrepreneurial activity in South Carolina, Mike Switzer interviews John Warner founder and CEO of SwampFox, an entrepreneur-centric business news service based in Greenville, S.C.  

South Carolina's technology awards program known as Innovision handed out their 2014 awards late last year.  The College of Charleston earned the Technology Application Award for 3-dimensional imaging technology that will allow a single snapshot from a digital camera to help doctors diagnose cancer growths in patients in severely under-served regions of the world.  Mike Switzer interviews Dr.

According to published research, 75% of stroke survivors suffer from arm movement damage.  Yet only 15% of patients fully recover, due to what our next guest says is the limited availability of therapy, lack of customization to individual needs, and low compliance to recommended home therapy exercises.

Most businesses in a community will tell you that local festivals are good for business.  And it's that time of year when outdoor festivals are starting to pop up around South Carolina.  One that's showing up on our radar this week is Charleston Wine + Food, which is celebrating it's 10th year, and whose profits go to culinary and hospitality scholarships in Charleston. Mike Switzer interviews Gillian Zettler, executive director for this non-profit organization.

Our next guest says that many, if not most, of the titles behind the names of people in the financial advice industry are largely meaningless. Titles such as financial advisor, financial consultant, financial planner, wealth manager.  Meaningless from a legal and regulatory perspective anyway.  The Securities and Exchange Commission however, has recently proposed new rules that they hope will alleviate this situation. Mike Switzer interviews Dave Gerdt, a certified financial planner with the Hultquist Firm Advisors in Greenville, SC.

A weekly update of the news, events and issues facing South Carolina's business community.Mike Switzer interviews John Warner founder and CEO of SwampFox, a business news service based in Greenville, S.C.Events:
Imagine Upstatehttp://www.imagineupstate.org/ Smart Statehttp://smartstatesc.org/index Summit on IThttp://www.techjunto.com/events/834

Most people are aware that the government mandate for electronic health care records has spawned a burgeoning industry of software companies helping doctors meet this mandate.  But many don't know that this law is also spurring the growth of medical scribes, trained employees who stand next to the doctor and write down everything he or she says.  Our next guest says doctors are loving this new trend and it's why his company is thriving.

Mike Switzer interviews Sam Jones, founder of eScribe, based in Charleston, SC.

The Capital Corporation's list of South Carolina’s 25 Fastest Growing Companies for 2014 was released recently.  Coming in third was a LowCountry company that provides online information for used car buyers.

Mike Switzer interviews Jeremy Anspach, president and CEO of Charleston, SC-based PureCars.

Last month, the City of Columbia, SC held its final public meeting for Walk Bike Columbia, a project that our next guest says will bring a lot of health, environmental and economic benefits to the city and its residents and businesses.

Mike Switzer interviews Lucinda Statler, the Urban Design Planner for the Planning Department for the City of Columbia.

As we are all only too much aware, this is tax season.  And while most of your 2014 deductions are already done and maxed out, there are still a few opportunities for lowering that tax bill.

Mike Switzer interviews Bryan Ballentine is a certified financial planner with Ballentine Capital Advisors in Greenville, SC. 

A weekly update of the news, events and issues facing South Carolina's business community.

Mike Switzer interviews Alan Cooper, founder and editor of three online business news websites in South Carolina: MidlandsBiz, UpstateBizSC, and LowCountryBizSC.   

Events:

With cars and tires and numerous other automotive products manufactured here in our state, most of our citizens are aware of the importance of that cluster of companies to our economy.  But I would be willing to bet that the majority does not know that South Carolina is ranked second among all U.S. states in automotive exports. Mike Switzer interviews Catherine Hayes is executive director, of the South Carolina Automotive Council in Greenville.

Our next guest says that if kids are hopping, jumping, and running while they are learning math, English and other school subjects, they will not only be fitter, but will learn better. Mike Switzer interviews Dr. Julian Reed, founder of ActivEd, which recently received the Innovation in Education Award from South Carolina's Innovision Awards program.  He is also among the nation’s leading researchers exploring the relationship between obesity, cognition and academic achievement.

Even though gasoline prices have collapsed, they remain very unpredictable and that's why many public and corporate fleets are exploring alternatives to petroleum-based transportation.  And that's why the South Carolina Energy Office has partnered with the US Dept. Of Energy in a new initiative geared toward expanding the use of alternative fuel vehicles. Mike Switzer interviews Jennifer Satterthwaite, coordinator of the Palmetto State Clean Fuels Coalition, part of the nationwide Clean Cities program.

Although our state's economy has now entered the second month of 2015, our economy statistics for 2014's year-end have only recently become available. Mike Switzer interviews Joey von Nessen, a research economist with the University of South Carolina's Moore School of Business, and their Division of Research, which stays busy tracking and calculating our state's economic statistics.

A regular update of the entrepreneurial activity in South Carolina. Mike Switzer interviews John Warner founder and CEO of Swampfox, a South Carolina business news service, based in Greenville, S.C. 

Have you ever tried selling something to the owner of a local shop or franchise?  Our next guest says that small business owners tend to be elusive and can often leave marketers scratching their heads trying to figure out how to get their message across.  That's why he formed an agency that is focusing on the fast growing segment of marketing known as Business to Small Business or B2SB. Mike Switzer interviews Dan Gliatta, managing partner at Cargo, headquartered in Greenville, SC.

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