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Connecting SC factories and suppliers

FILE - Sara Hazzard
FILE - Sara Hazzard

When the COVID-19 pandemic essentially shut down the international supply chain, many American businesses realized that locally sourced suppliers were going to be essential in avoiding future disruptions in the manufacturing process. As a result, our next guest’s organization decided to help bring a new tool to our state’s manufacturers in an effort to avoid this problem in the future. Mike Switzer interviews Sara Hazzard, president and CEO of the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance in Columbia. Companies can sign up for Connex South Carolina by visiting SCMEP.org/Connex.

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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.