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College of Charleston Launches German-American Business Summit


Germany has long been an important and strategic economic partner with the state of South Carolina.

  And because of that relationship,

the College of Charleston will soon be hosting the first German-American Business Summit on October 6th that will highlight that country’s industrial presence in our state, focus on their workforce needs, and building bridges with our higher educational institutions.


Mike Switzer interviews Michael Balke, president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Vans in Ladson, 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.