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Nonprofits and the business community

(Courtesy of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Columbia

By now, most people have heard of the Ronald McDonald houses which provide housing for families with seriously ill children so they can stay together near the child’s medical care. Our state has three locations and today we are going to check in with one to see how they are working with the local business community. Mike Switzer interviews Beth Lowrie, executive director of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Columbia.

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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.