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

Eddi Kramer
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was passed in December 2017, but it’s only now that people are starting to see what it may mean to them personally.  This year’s tax filing season is the first that will actually be affected by that law.  Our next guest says many people are facing this new reality and realizing they should do a bit more planning for their 2019 tax bill

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Mike Switzer interviews Eddie Kramer, a certified financial planner with Abacus Planning Group 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.

Most companies will tell you that two of the most important skill sets they are looking for when interviewing college graduates are communications and critical thinking.  Which is why our next guest’s institution launched a program three years ago to help students develop these and other skills that are in high demand by today’s business world.

Mike Switzer interviews Peter Gasca, director of the CoBE Institute at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, SC.

Finding venture capital funding has been a challenge for entrepreneurs in our state for a long time.  But our next guest says the picture is getting better as evidenced by the fact that the South Carolina companies his organization have invested in have received over $1 billion in follow-on funding.

Mike Switzer interviews Bob Quinn, executive director of SCRA in Summerville, SC.

27 years ago, our next guest retired from the US Marine Corps at Parris Island, SC and launched a film career in the Lowcountry, including making an award-winning documentary about the Marines.  His love of films and the history of major motion picture-making in that part of our state, led to the creation of what has become over the past 13 years, one of the most successful film festivals in the south.

Mike Switzer interviews Ron Tucker, executive director of the Beaufort International Film Festival.

2019 is under way now and many are still feeling a lot of uncertainty about how our economy will perform this year.  How will the trade wars, interest rates, and politics play into the multi-year economic growth we have been experiencing?

Mike Switzer interviews Frank Hefner, the director of the Office of Economic Analysis at the College of Charleston in Charleston, 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.

It probably won’t surprise you to hear that the Centers for Disease Control recently reported that autism diagnoses in children are on the rise.  But what you may not know is that autism can currently only be diagnosed through clinical observation and parent questionnaires.  However, our next guest’s company recently received almost $1 million in grants for research and development of a blood test for autism that came out of work done by SC’s Greenwood Genetic Center.

While Garden and Gun magazine’s annual Made in the South Awards cover several categories, they do honor one product as an overall winner and 2018’s award went to our next guest’s Lowcountry company, whose winning product is Jimmy Red Bourbon Whiskey.

Mike Switzer interviews Scott Blackwell, co-founder of High Wire Distilling Company in Charleston, SC.

Sometimes energy costs alone can be a determining factor in a manufacturer’s ability to make a profit.  If you are a small to medium-size manufacturer in South Carolina, you may not be aware that, because of funding from the US Dept. of Energy, our next guest’s institution may be able to help with a no-cost energy assessment.

Financial decisions can be some of the most difficult and important challenges that families face.  While it’s common sense though, that we should have at least basic financial knowledge, our next guest says that, unfortunately, most Americans’ financial literacy has been dropping in recent years. That’s why he believes that we should be helping our school-age children be better prepared for the financial decisions they’ll face when they enter adulthood.

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.

Della Watkins
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

As you would probably guess, the business community puts a lot of value on quality of life for their employees, especially when a new site location is being considered.  Things like parks, recreation, theaters, and the arts.  After more than a year and a half of intensive construction and transformation,  one such institution in Columbia has become an even more integral part of that equation.

Mike Switzer interviews Della Watkins, executive director of the Columbia Museum of Art.

Kyle Bevel
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

SC Biz News recently announced their fastest growing companies list for 2018 and our next guest’s employee staffing company came in at number one in the small company category.

Mike Switzer interviews Kyle Bevel, president of the North American headquarters of Job Impulse, Inc. in Greenville, SC.

Our state’s business relationship with Germany remains strong and continues to grow which is why our next guest continues to host an annual summit for those companies and individuals interested in furthering that relationship.

Peter Pigeon
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

The 2018 tax reform brought the most changes to the federal income tax code in over 30 years. And your first real experience with these changes will probably be when you file your upcoming tax return. In general, most tax-payers will pay less tax in 2018 compared to prior years, but our next guest says this law has also created some new retirement planning choices, especially for those planning to retire during the next five years.

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.

Lynn Bailey
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released its report on National Health Expenditures (NHE) for 2017 and it showed an increase of 3.9%, its slowest rate of growth in four years.  No doubt, this report might prompt some to conclude that the health spending spiral is slowing.  But our next guest has serious doubts.

Brucer Harper
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

The commercial real estate market can often indicate the current state of a local economy and maybe even predict its short term future.  With the new year only recently upon us, we thought it might be a good idea to check in with a local expert on this topic.

Mike Switzer interviews Bruce Harper with the newly-opened, Columbia, SC location of Trinity Partners.

Most people with disabilities want to work.  It's more about getting the opportunity to work because, let’s face it, there can be some barriers to getting a job for some people with disabilities.  Sometimes the barriers can be imposed because we make assumptions about what people with disabilities can or can't do; and this can indeed limit the opportunities for good workers with disabilities to connect with good jobs.  But our next guest says there are several South Carolina companies that are now specifically recruiting people with disabilities.

Well, here we are, moving right along in the new year already, maybe some of us wondering how our investments will perform after a disappointing 2018.  Our next guest says that although there will continue to be plenty of uncertainty, he is full of hope.

Mike Switzer interviews Doug English, market prognosticator and certified financial planner with ACT Advisors in Charleston, 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.

Laura Corder
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

A little over two years ago, our next guest’s state agency launched a trial online platform that would allow any South Carolina resident with Internet access to learn how to become a software engineer for free.  And now this no-cost code school, SC Codes, is out of the pilot stage and officially launched.

When the City of Atlanta was hit with a ransomware hack in 2018, it cost local taxpayers $17 million while operations were restored over the next several months.  Our next guest says that cybercrime, ransomware in particular, is estimated to cost businesses and cities $2 trillion this year, and he says this is because these attacks are not widely publicized, catching most everyone off guard.

Mike Switzer interviews Rob Cheng, is a cyber security expert in Myrtle Beach, SC.

Finding a Publisher

Jan 9, 2019
Lisa Anne Cullen
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

If there are any authors in our audience today, I’m sure they know the difficulties in finding a publisher for their work.  Our next guest is an author and illustrator of children’s books who has recently found a publisher in the University of South Carolina Press.

Mike Switzer interviews Lisa Anne Cullen, who lives, writes and draws and Ridgeway, SC.

Alex Chastain
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

Studies show that, on average, college graduates earn $1 million more during their lifetimes than people who don’t go to college.  Another study found that people who graduate from college have, on average, four times the net worth of people who don’t.  But it is a big investment, which is why our next guest says there are several questions to answer and decisions to make before attending.

Mike Switzer interviews Alex Chastain, a certified financial planner with Abacus Planning Group 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.

If you were to name the one critical variable that determines the destiny of an organization, what would your guess be?  Money, workers, marketing?  Our next guest says the correct answer is “leadership”.

Mike Switzer interviews Antony Bell, CEO of Leader Development, Inc. in Columbia, SC.

Audio for this program is currently unavailable.

If you were to name the one critical variable that determines the destiny of an organization, what would your guess be?  Money, workers, marketing?  Our next guest says the correct answer is “leadership”.

Mike Switzer interviews Antony Bell, CEO of Leader Development, Inc. in Columbia, SC.

Every year, the US Small Business Administration holds an awards program during National Small Business Week, which, this year, is coming May 5-11.  Nominations are being accepted right now but time is running out because the deadline is only six days away: January 9th.

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