Letter to Columbia Chamber Members on the loss of Ike McLeese

Dear Members,

All of us at the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce are heartbroken at learning the news yesterday of the passing of our friend and president and CEO Ike McLeese. As a native South Carolinian, no one worked more tirelessly than Ike for the betterment of the state and the community in which he lived. His thoughtful leadership on important issues, from protecting our local military installations from closure in 2005 to uniting the region’s business communities through the MIDSTATE Chambers Coalition will forever mark his place in history.

Ike has no greater legacy than the work that he accomplished at Fort Jackson and our local military installations.  He developed, grew and maintained the relationship between our fort and the local business community achieving his mission of making our region “the most military friendly community in America”.

During this time, the Columbia Chamber Board of Directors & Executive Committee as well as the entire Chamber staff will continue to remain active and focused on the issues surrounding our community.

A memorial will be scheduled. We will keep you informed as those plans are finalized.

No words can adequately express our sadness at Ike’s death or our gratitude for the opportunity to work with him. We will honor his memory by dedicating ourselves to continuing the work he loved so much.


Holt Chetwood
Chair, Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce


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