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Marine and forestry research dreamland thrives in SC

South Carolina Business Review
SC Public Radio
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Our next guest’s 16,000-acre coastal nature preserve is home to four permanent research institutes each operated by the University of South Carolina, Clemson University, Coastal Carolina University and Francis Marion University. The property also hosts researchers from over fifty colleges, universities and research organizations around the world. And it all began in 1964 with a bequest from one woman’s will. Mike Switzer interviews George Chastain, executive director of Hobcaw Barony-The Belle W. Baruch Foundation.

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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.