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 1999, he and his wife, Maggie, purchased and operated for eight years the Baskin Robbins ice cream store on Forest Drive in Columbia. They grew the store from a bottom-tier operation in the Baskin Robbins franchise system to one in the top 5% nationwide within three years, tripling sales along the way.  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, an ice cream cart manufacturing company, which they sold in 2013.

Since 2000, Mike continues to host and produce the South Carolina Business Review, heard each weekday morning at 7:50am on South Carolina’s Public Radio Network, which includes eight NPR affiliate stations.  The 6-minute show features interviews with entrepreneurs, business owners, and business leaders from across the state.

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.  Mike is past chair of the Town of Blythewood Planning Commission and served as the executive director of the Greater Blythewood Chamber of Commerce between 2014 and 2019.  In 2011, Mike co-founded Voterheads.com, a nationwide, local-government-monitoring technology company and currently serves as the President and CEO.

Ways to Connect

Wayne Jones
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

Regardless of their age, the majority of business owners have this in common: their business is usually their largest investment.  Which is why our next guest says he continues to be surprised at many business owners’ lack of connecting their business to their retirement planning.

Mike Switzer interviews Wayne Jones, a senior advisor with Pendleton Street Business Advisors in Columbia, SC.

New vs. Used Cars

Mar 26, 2019

Spring is right around the corner which makes a lot of us think of spring cleaning, out with the old and in with the new.  And for some of us that may mean a new car or just a newer car, which our next guest says can bring about a common car buyers dilemma: “Should I buy a new car or used car?”.

Mike Switzer interviews John Cooper, a certified financial planner with Greenwood Capital in Greenwood, SC.

Alan Cooper
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

An update of the news, events and issues that are trending right now across 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.

Amy Jolly
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

It probably comes as no surprise to you that individuals who experience mental illness can also experience difficulties finding meaningful employment.  Which is why our next guest’s organization exists.

Mike Switzer interviews Amy Jolly, executive director of Work in Progress based in Columbia, SC.

Michael Arndt
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

You may have heard recently that hearing aids are going to soon be available over the counter.  Will this be a big disruptor to the hearing industry? Our next guest says yes, but he also adds that much confusion could also result and he says there are other big changes coming to that industry that have not been given much press yet.

Mike Switzer interviews Michael Arndt, owner of Digital Hearing Outlet in Lexington, SC.

Springtime in South Carolina brings warmer weather and our first big national sporting event for the year.  It’s tennis time in the Lowcountry when the world’s top women players will be in our state competing for ranking points and big money.

Mike Switzer interviews Bob Moran, tournament director at the Volvo Car Open coming to Daniel Island, SC March 30-April 7.

Most people make an effort to prepare for their own retirement and to some degree, the possibility of nursing home care.  But our next guest says that not as many people are prepared to take care of an aging parent. The Institute on Aging, though, reports that over 43.5 million Americans are caring for an older family member.

Mike  Switzer interviews Jeff Wildes, a certified financial planner in Georgetown, SC.

A weekly update of the entrepreneurial activity in South Carolina.

Mike Switzer interviews John Warner, co-founder of Accessible Diagnostics and the Swampfox Facebook page, based in Greenville, S.C.

Dan Durbin
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

Many k-12 schools these days are specializing in certain areas, such as the arts and STEM.  Many are also reaching out to the business community to establish partnerships that help students identify career tracks as early as middle school.  Our next guest’s Lowcountry school has decided to connect with area companies to develop a specialty in teaching leadership skills.

Seth Gadsden
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

Spring brings more than just flowers and warmer temperatures.  In Columbia, it also means the return of an annual film festival that reignites the capital city’s downtown business district.

Mike Switzer interviews Seth Gadsden, director of the 13th Annual Indie Grits Film Festival, coming to Columbia March 28-31.

Most business owners understand that two keys to their success are customers that return to buy again and again and employees who stay with them year after year.  But our next guest says that while many of these leaders know these are key behaviors, they don’t know how to implement them.

Mike Switzer interviews Dr. Daisy White, president of White Ridgely Associates in Okatie, SC.

Joey Von Nessen
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

2018 is in the books and 2019 has almost finished one quarter.  How is our economy looking?

Mike Switzer interviews Joey Von Nessen, with the Division of Research at the Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC.

A weekly update of the entrepreneurial activity in South Carolina.

Mike Switzer interviews John Warner, co-founder of Accessible Diagnostics and the Swampfox Facebook page, based in Greenville, S.C.

Wade McGuinn
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

Over the past year, trade wars, immigration fears, and increasing interest rates have dealt a one-two-three punch to the homebuilding industry, causing a slowdown for the first time since the multi-year recovery emerged from the financial meltdown of 11 years ago.  How are the smaller, independent builders faring and how do they feel about the future?

Mike Switzer interviews Wade McGuinn, CEO of McGuinn Hybrid Homes in West Columbia, SC.

Our state’s research universities are constantly looking for ways to monetize their research and a recent example just came across our radar screen.  A Lowcountry company recently received a grant from the National Institutes of Health to continue developing a double-balloon catheter using technology licensed from the Medical University of South Carolina.

Mike Switzer interviews Cephus E. Simmons, Sr., founder & CEO of SealCath in Mt. Pleasant, SC.

As 2019 continues to unfold, many uncertainties still abound.  What will the Federal Reserve do next with interest rates?  Are the trade wars winding down?  Will global and domestic political environments get clearer or cloudier?  Our next guest says uncertainties like these are always a concern to financial markets.

Most people know what they are trying to accomplish with their investment portfolio: retirement, new house, fund some charities.  But our next guest says these goals can be elusive if you don’t have a written document that outlines your objectives and limitations.

Mike Switzer interviews Chris Cabri, a certified financial planner with Ameriprise Financial Services in Greenwood, SC.

Andy Owens
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

  An update of the news, events and issues that are trending right now across South Carolina's business community.

Mike Switzer interviews Andy Owens, managing editor of SCBizNews, the company that publishes the Columbia Regional Business Report, Charleston Regional Business Journal, GSA Business and SCBizNews magazine.

Our next guest’s Upstate company recently won the 2018 Innovision Award for Sustainability for engineering a portable, personal, solar energy storage system.

Mike Switzer interviews Chris Petrella, founder and CEO of Unlimited Power in Greenville, SC.

Finding investment capital has long been a struggle for entrepreneurs, especially in our small state of South Carolina.  However, our next guest says that many small businesses may not be aware of an obscure new rule from the Securities and Exchange Commission that can be used to raise money without a lot of the normal red tape.

Mike Switzer interviews Greg Finch, a patent attorney with Finch Paolino in Charleston, SC.

Crystals and Lasers

Feb 27, 2019

Most of us know what lasers are but many of us may not know that one of their critical components is a crystal.  Normally, these crystals are grown in a high temperature environment.  However, our next guest’s company has figured out a way to grow these crystals in a lower temperature, fluidic environment that brings them a new competitive advantage.

Mike Switzer interviews Henry Geisber, president and founder of HT Crystal Solutions in Clover, SC.

A weekly update of the entrepreneurial activity in South Carolina.

Mike Switzer interviews John Warner, co-founder of Accessible Diagnostics and the Swampfox Facebook page, based in Greenville, S.C.

According to the most recent statistics, the cost of a nursing home has increased 54 percent over the past 15 years and, for the first time last year, reached an average of $100,000 per year.  So as more and more retirees continue feeding the “silver tsunami” relocation to our state, this is becoming an increasingly important topic.

Mike Switzer interviews Barbara Franklin, a long-term care specialist in Charleston, SC.

  

Jack McBride
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

We’ve all heard the old adage “cleanliness is next to godliness”, and in today’s world of bacterial and viral phobias, schools, hospitals, and hotels are worshiping cleanliness now more than ever.  Our next guest’s Upstate company, through a collaboration with another industry partner in its area, recently won an award for disrupting the cleanliness industry.

Mike Switzer interviews Jack McBride, CEO of Contec in Spartanburg, SC, winner of the InnoVision 2018 Technology Innovation Award.

The tourism industry continues to be big business in our state and probably always will be, which is why more and more of our institutions of higher learning are investing in that curriculum.  Including our next guest’s Lowcountry campus.

Mike Switzer interviews Charles Calvert, dean of the University of South Carolina Beaufort at Hilton Head Island, home of a $25 million new building to house their hospitality management program.

There are many factors involved in achieving financial independence, however our next guest says that a critical one is also one of the most misunderstood.  He calls it the “Great Misunderstanding of Risk”.

Mike Switzer interviews Bryan Ballentine, a certified financial planner in Greenville, SC.

A weekly update of the entrepreneurial activity in South Carolina.

Mike Switzer interviews John Warner, co-founder of Accessible Diagnostics and the Swampfox Facebook page, based in Greenville, S.C.

Agie Sundaram
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

As you’ve heard us report recently, access to venture capital in our state is growing.  And, as evidenced by our next guest’s organization, some of that funding is home grown.

Mike Switzer interviews Agie Sundaram, CEO of SPAN Enterprises and co-founder of SecondBrick Ventures in Rock Hill, SC.  SecondBrick is now part of the VentureSouth network.

While the solar industry has faced many challenges over the years, our next guest’s company has flourished, reaching the ranking of 2018’s fastest growing company in the large company category from SCBizNews.

Mike Switzer interviews Steffanie Dohn, director of government relations with Southern Current in Charleston, SC.

Sam McGuckin
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

Over the past decade our state’s capital city has become a nationally recognized insurance information technology hub, and in the process, creating a tremendous number of jobs.  Companies like Blue Cross Blue Shield, Siebels Bruce, CSC, Duck Creek, and our next guest’s company which began as a USC Technology Incubator business that recently led to another big player in that industry coming to South Carolina.

Mike Switzer interviews Sam McGuckin, is with Capgemini in Columbia, SC.

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