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Preparing for a career in music

South Carolina Business Review

Ten years ago, our next guest and his partner decided to launch their own music school and since then it has grown into five locations across the Midlands. One unique aspect of his school is to give students the chance to perform in a band in concert-like venues, which also gives them a peek at a career in live music.

Mike Switzer interviews Don Russo, co-founder of Freeway Music in Columbia, SC.

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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.