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After 74 years, Upstate company finally achieves independence

South Carolina Business Review
SC Public Radio
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Labor and material shortages continue to present a major challenge to the construction industry which itself continues to experience strong growth even through the current slowdown. Last year, our next guest’s site services company finally became an independent entity after operating as a division of other companies since 1947. So now they are on their own dealing with these issues. Mike Switzer interviews Gary Bernardez, CEO of AMECO in Greenville, 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.