Member News | January 24

ymcaThe YMCA of Columbia Announces New Executive Director of the Jeep Rogers Family YMCA Branch, Ryan Finney

The YMCA of Columbia welcomes Ryan Finney as the new Executive Director of the Jeep Rogers Family YMCA at Lake Carolina.

Finney has over 14 years of YMCA experience and most recently served as the Executive Director of the Caine Halter Family Branch of the YMCA of Greenville, S.C. from 2008 to 2013.

“I am excited to start my new position at the Jeep Rogers Family YMCA,” says Finney. “I am eager to help grow programs and opportunities for the branch. As someone who’s been working with various local Y associations for 14 years, the community really is like a family and I’m proud to be a part of it.”

Finney will supervise and manage the management team and 175 part-time staff at the Lake Carolina branch. He will be responsible for strategic and daily operations of the vibrant facility, its programs and community outreach.

He has proven experience in membership growth and retention, program innovation, Annual Campaign growth, fiscal management and facility improvement.

Finney has been working with Ys in Indiana, Ohio and South Carolina since 1999, holding employment positions such as Teen & Family Director, Senior Program Director, Associate Executive Director and Executive Director.

Finney graduated from Manchester University in 1998 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology.

About the YMCA of Columbia

Over the past century and a half, the YMCA of Columbia has been a community-transforming institution, not only in the Midlands, but in the entire United States. The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Regardless of age, income or background – the Y works to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. The Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. Please visit for more information.


WatsonFormer SCDOT Chief Engineer, JC (Clem) Watson, PE, Joins ICA Engineering as Senior Project Manager

ICA Engineering, Inc., a leading civil engineering firm focused on Strengthening America’s Infrastructure, announced today that JC (Clem) Watson, PE has joined the firm as a Senior Project Manager in the Columbia, SC office.  In this position, Watson will actively manage large projects, assist with business development and contribute to the construction management and engineering divisions.

“The entire ICA team is thrilled to have someone of Clem’s experience and reputation join us.  His leadership and character will play an integral role in the continued excellent service ICA is known for,” said David Beaty, PE, South Carolina Regional Manager.

“It’s exciting to be joining the ICA family,” said Watson, “This is a great time for the industry, and ICA Engineering is uniquely positioned for significant growth in Richland County and South Carolina. The firm has an impressive reputation and excellent track record of success. I am really proud to be a part of such a great team.”

Watson joins ICA Engineering after a 26 year career with the SCDOT, including eight years as the Chief Engineer for Operations, which involved the oversight of the Traffic, Construction, and Maintenance divisions of engineering at SCDOT, as well as oversight of the seven Engineering Districts statewide. These responsibilities involved the oversight of over 4500 employees and a combined annual operating budget of over $1 billion. As Chief Engineer for Operations at SCDOT, Clem Watson was intimately involved in developing the various ranking criteria for projects as required by passage of SC ACT 114 of 2007.

Watson’s education includes an Associate degree in Civil Engineering Technology from Midlands Technical College and a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of South Carolina.

About ICA Engineering, Inc

ICA Engineering, Inc. has been meeting and exceeding government and private-sector client expectations with first-class service and expertise in civil engineering and environmental services for nearly 50 years. One of the most skilled and experienced engineering consultancies in the US, the firm focuses on designing and strengthening America’s civil infrastructure in the transportation,  design-build, construction management, geotechnical, water resources, environmental, energy and utilities sectors. The firm employs a staff of more than 280 in 13 regional office locations, and is expanding into other rapidly growing US markets. ICA Engineering is an industry leader in providing infrastructure solutions and is listed in the ENR top 500 firms in the country. Together with our parent company, Infrastructure Corporation of America, we combine our expertise for planning and implementing engineering projects with performance-based asset management operations to provide efficiencies essential to agencies looking to lower costs and improve quality. For more information visit or


Mike GulaMike Gula Joins CAE Staff as Director of Operations & Maintenance

Columbia Metropolitan Airport welcomes Mike Gula as the new Director of Operations & Maintenance. Gula comes to CAE from Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport where he was the Director of Operations.

After receiving his degree in Aviation Management from Bowling Green State University, Gula began his Airport Management career at Toledo Express Airport (TOL) as the Manager of Operations and Cargo Development. He also worked as the Operations Manager at the Lexington Blue Grass Airport (LEX) in Lexington, KY where he had the opportunity to create an Operations Department and assist with terminal renovation and multiple airfield related projects.

While at GSP, he created and managed an Operations Department, served as the Airport Security Coordinator, and oversaw the Badging/Credentialing office, the Airport’s Dispatch Center, and the Aviation Services Department which provides ground-handling services for both passenger and cargo operations.

Gula is recognized as an Accredited Airport Executive through the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE); one of the industry’s most highly regarded designations.


MGC_LOGOA New Look for McAngus Goudelock & Courie

McAngus Goudelock & Courie unveiled a new logo and website, as well as a narrowed focus on the insurance defense industry, on January 23.

Since the firm’s founding in 1995, MGC has strived to meet and exceed the needs of clients in many different ways. Practice areas have come and gone, but the core business remains the same – insurance defense.

“In a continued effort to best serve our clients, we are excited to announce a new look for MGC. We celebrate our position as a leading insurance defense firm built on metrics and efficiencies,” said Jay Courie, Managing Member. “Welcome to the future of MGC – new look, same great people.”

For more information, please visit

About McAngus Goudelock & Courie

McAngus Goudelock and Courie is a metrics-driven law firm built specifically to meet the needs of insurance companies and their customers. From seven regional offices, we serve clients across the Southeast. For more information, please visit


BHM 2014 image iiAviation Employee Network Hosts 31st Annual Black History Month Celebration at Columbia Metropolitan Airport

Wednesday, February 12 at 12pm

Columbia Metropolitan Airport in the Carolina Room

This event is Free.

The Aviation Employee Network (AEN) will hold their 31st annual Black History Month program on Wednesday, February 12 at 12 o’clock Noon in the Carolina Room at the Columbia Metropolitan Airport.

This year’s event celebrates the Golden Jubilee of the civil rights act and will feature a presentation from internationally renowned artist, Karl Wilkes, and Columbia Mayor, Steven K. Benjamin as the Keynote speaker.

Guests will enjoy additional entertainment including poetry and song.  A complimentary lunch will be provided at the conclusion of the program.

This event is FREE and open to the public and parking passes will be provided to attendees, however space is limited and pre-registration is required to attend.

For further information or to register; please contact Ms. Chappelle Broome, Columbia Metropolitan Airport’s Director of Human Resources  at or  803-822-5000.


Rubber Stamp & Scrapbook Show

Learn to make your own greeting cards and scrapbook your memories.

Jamil Temple Hall
206 Jamil Rd.
Columbia, SC 29210
February 15, 2014 – 10:00am-5:00pm
February 16, 2014 – 10:00am-3:00pm

Admission at the door – $6.00, entry good for both days
Children under 12 are admitted FREE

Stampers, scrapbookers and paper crafters will have the opportunity to see popular rubber stamp/scrapbook manufacturers, view their entire lines & buy direct from them. They will have all the newest & coolest supplies!! Free demos of products will provide lots of inspiration for creating your own paper crafted artwork. StampScrapArtTour will feature a raffle on both Saturday & Sunday for fabulous Gift Baskets full of the newest & coolest supplies valued at over $500.00 each. 100% of the proceeds from raffle tickets will go to the Shriner’s Hospitals for Children. The first 100 people in line on Saturday will receive a key for the Treasure Chest which contains a $100.00 certificate to be spent at the show.

For more information visit or email


IngleNAI Avant Facilitates Lease For Garden & Gun, LLC, Charleston, SC

David Ingle, Senior Broker with NAI Avant’s Charleston office, recently represented the tenant in the lease of office space at 409 King Street in Charleston, SC. The tenant, Garden & Gun, LLC, will occupy Suite 300, consisting of approximately ±3,410 square feet. Tim Weldon with King Street Commercial represented the landlord.

About Garden & Gun, LLC

Garden & Gun magazine, a popular national magazine headquartered in Charleston, SC, focuses on the allure and charm of southern living. The magazine has seen double-digit increases in subscription every year, with 45% of their subscribers reading from outside of the South.

Columbia Industrial Highlighted By Positive Absorption and Speculative Development, Columbia, SC

NAI Avant reports the fourth quarter continued the trend of positive absorption, elevating rental rates, and strong demand for industrial space throughout the Columbia market. Product continues to be absorbed and we are seeing a national trend of new product being delivered to the market. Much of the recent activity has centered within Richland County as existing product and immediate space requirements make it attractive to prospects.

In the South Columbia market, Boyd Development speculated on a 38,500 SF distribution facility and it was leased at the commencement of construction. Trane USA will occupy the space and utilize the facility for training, showroom, office and distribution. PTI Rubber Gaskets is another company that has recently committed in Richland County. The manufacturer leased the former Fasco Distributors building off Old Clemson Road with the assistance of Richland County and the State, PTI was able to secure financial aid to make modifications necessary for manufacturing in the building.

Although Richland County saw strong fourth quarter activity, Lexington County also experienced positive absorption.  AOS Specialties backfilled the former Americast facility off Two Notch Rd and I-20.  The site consisted of approximately 4,000 SF of office space and ±20,000 SF of fabrication buildings. Construction on the new UniFirst facility at the same interchange is nearing completion with expected delivery in first quarter 2014. With very little space available in the market, many of the users are looking for alternative markets with existing available product.  The current warehouse vacancy factor is hovering around 2% on buildings greater than 25,000 SF.

During the fourth quarter, no new construction projects were delivered. In the midst of its planning stages, a 60,000 SF 100% speculative project is being contemplated for development with an expected construction commencement in early summer 2014. This stems from current demand in the marketplace with few alternative for modernized product to fulfill the requirements. The space will have 28’ clear heights, LED lighting, and offer flexibility for cross dock solutions.

NAI Avant is optimistic about first quarter results as interest remains strong. Based on the results of fourth quarter, we speculate the vacancy rate will continue to decrease, and rates will steadily increase as space is absorbed.  We will see demand for construction projects but wariness is still a barrier to entry as this recovery has come quickly after four difficult years experienced by developers and building owners.

About NAI Avant

NAI Avant’s commercial real estate business is one of the largest in the Southeast.  With over 65 professionals, the firm provides comprehensive brokerage, leasing, development, property and project management services.  For nearly three consecutive decades, the group has had more of its brokerage professionals recognized as top producers or recipients of the top awards than any other firm in South Carolina. As a member of the NAI Global Network, NAI Avant is affiliated with over 350 offices and 5,000 professionals in 55 countries across the globe. NAI Global is the largest independent commercial real estate service provider worldwide and a wholly owned subsidiary of C-III Capital Partners. NAI Avant’s Property and Project Management Group currently manages a multi-million square foot portfolio of properties across South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia. Through its Avant Healthcare Division, the firm provides comprehensive services to hospitals, clinics, and physician groups. NAI Avant, founded in 1966, is headquartered in Columbia, SC with an office in Charleston, SC. Find out more about NAI Avant and its services at Be sure to follow us on Twitter @NAIAvant and like us on Facebook.


Land Rover Columbia Sold

Twelve years have passed since Land Rover Columbia was established. To support corporate desire for all Jaguar and Land Rover retail operations to be combined businesses, Jaguar and Land Rover stores will merge together under new ownership at the current Land Rover facility. The Land Rover staff will remain employed by the new combined dealership.

Land Rover Columbia has been an active participant in the local community.  They were sponsors of The Riverbanks Zoo’s annual Zoofari event, Camden Cup, Chamber of Commerce, and the American Lung Association’s Oxygen Ball. Dr. Jack Frasher opened the dealership in November of 2001 and sold it January 23, 2014.




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