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Global business conference coming to Upstate SC

Tracie Frese
Tracie Frese

With so many foreign companies locating in our state and buying products made in our state, most people would agree that global engagement is critical to the health of the economy. Which is why our next guest’s organization holds an event for the business community in our Upstate that focuses on international business topics. Mike Switzer interviews Tracie Frese, executive director of the World Affairs Council Upstate, host of the 2023 Global Upstate Conference on International Business and World Affairs taking place in Greer, SC, between October 3 & 4.

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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.