Partner News | September 12

WellsFargo Announces $2.8 Million Investment in South Carolina
Team members show support by volunteering and giving back during ‘Week of Caring’ events


Wells Fargo & Company announced that it has invested $2.8 million in 375 philanthropic organizations across South Carolina through August 31. The announcement, which helps kick off Wells Fargo’s inaugural ‘Week of Caring’ across South Carolina, highlights the collective impact Wells Fargo and its 5,566 team members make in 46 counties across the state.

In 2013, Wells Fargo invested $3.4 million across the state. In addition, Wells Fargo team members in the Palmetto State logged more than 29,200 volunteer hours last year.

“We are Columbia’s bank, and we are proud to continue to do what we can to make a difference in our local communities,” said Kathy Heffley, Community Banking president in the Midlands. “Wells Fargo is committed to using our financial resources and expertise, while working closely with nonprofits and other stakeholders, to create long-term economic growth in the communities we serve. We believe that we’re responsible for being leaders and doing our part to help improve the quality of life for everyone in our communities. If they prosper, so do we.”

As part of our commitment to our communities, Wells Fargo has planned the following local events for the ‘Week of Caring’:

  • Monday, Sept. 15 – Columbia team members will volunteer at Harvest Hope Food Bank, an organization that provides for the needs of hungry people by gathering and sharing quality food and is South Carolina’s primary disaster hunger relief emergency feeding organization, from 1-3 p.m.
  • Thursday, Sept. 18 – Members of the South Carolina Regional Operating Committee will volunteer from noon to 1 p.m. for St. Lawrence Place, a 30-home community where homeless families can find skills and shelter that foster independence and free them from poverty, and the Jubilee Academy, a faith-based organization that assists inner-city children, youth and families, in Columbia.
  • Saturday, Sept. 20 – Wells Fargo’s South Carolina Green Team in Columbia will participate in the Broad River Sweep at the Saluda River from 9-11 a.m. Wells Fargo Green Teams are volunteer-driven groups dedicated to helping Wells Fargo conserve resources, reduce waste and promote environmental awareness at work and in the community. The river sweep is sponsoring by Keep the Midlands Beautiful, an organization established to engage, inspire and educate people to invest in the community through litter prevention, recycling and beautification.

“Our team members in the Midlands are dedicated, passionate people who care deeply about making a difference,” added Midlands Market President Holt Chetwood. “This announcement and these unique events demonstrate the power of teamwork and the commitment of our team members to make a meaningful impact in their local communities around the Midlands. This shows that when you combine people and resources, you can make a difference.”

About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.4 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 stores, 12,000 ATMs, and the Internet (, and has offices in more than 35 countries to support the bank’s customers who conduct business in the global economy. With more than 270,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States.  Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 25 on Fortune’s 2013 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially.


Local FASTSIGNS® Team Member Recognized with National Award

11860037-fastsigns-logoMatt Harris, Outside Sales Professional from FASTSIGNS® of Columbia – Harbison Blvd., received the Bronze Sales Award at the 2014 FASTSIGNS Outside Sales Summit, recently held in Frisco, Texas.

“It’s been an exciting year at FASTSIGNS of Columbia,” said Harris. “This award is the result of working with terrific clients in our community. I enjoy helping them achieve their business goals using signs, graphics and other visual communications solutions that we provide.”

The Bronze Sales Award recognizes top performing Outside Sales Professionals. With more than 550 FASTSIGNS centers worldwide, only 54 Outside Sales Professionals received this award.

“The Outside Sales Professionals in the FASTSIGNS network are talented, driven and committed to providing customers the best visual communications solutions possible,” said Mark Jameson, Executive Vice President of Franchise Support and Development at FASTSIGNS International, Inc. “Their dedication continues to make FASTSIGNS a leader in the visual communications industry.

FASTSIGNS® of Columbia – Harbison is an independently owned and operated sign, graphics and visual communications company that provides comprehensive visual marketing solutions to customers of all sizes—across all industries—to help them meet their business objectives and increase their business visibility. To learn more, visit or call (803) 781-2229.


NAI Avant Represents Tenant in  ±6,500 Square Foot Lease Transaction, Summerville, SC

downloadScott Peevy and Derek Mathis, both brokers with NAI Avant’s Charleston office, recently represented the tenant, Van Der Ent Machines, LLC, in the leasing of ±6,500 square feet of industrial space at 216 Cember Way in Summerville, SC. Van Der Ent Machines, LLC is a 92-year old manufacturing company that produces machines for the baking and chocolate industry. Brendan Redyoff with CBRE represented the landlord in the transaction.

NAI Avant Consummates ±9,000 Square Foot Lease in Long Point Commerce Center, Mount Pleasant, SC

CHARLESTON, SC (September 10, 2014) Thomas Boulware, Derek Mathis and Scott Peevy, Brokers with NAI Avant’s Charleston brokerage team, recently facilitated a ±9,000 square foot lease in Long Point Commerce Center, located at 547 Long Point Road in Mount Pleasant, SC. Boulware, Mathis and Peevy represented the Landlord in the transaction. The tenant,, LLC, was represented by Chad Yonce, CCIM, CPM with Southeastern Management Group.

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 more than 375 offices strategically located throughout North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific, with over 6,700 local market professionals, managing over 380 million square feet of property. NAI Global is the single largest, most powerful global network of owner-operated commercial real estate brokerage firms and is a wholly owned subsidiary of C-III Capital partners.  NAI Global Member firms, leaders in their local markets, are actively managed to work in unison and provide clients with exceptional solutions to their commercial real estate needs. 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.


You are Invited to Join a Sunset Safari

Riverbanks ZooEmbark on an epicurean expedition, encounter animals up-close and support wildlife conservation at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden’s premier fundraiser, Riverbanks ZOOfari brought to you by Land Rover Columbia, on Friday, September 26, at 7:00pm.

Sample a variety of African-inspired dishes seasoned with a taste of the South. Step inside Riverbanks’ African elephant yard while our herd spends some time off exhibit. Feel the rhythm of the beat and try your hand at African drumming. Enjoy scheduled animal feedings, presentations and up-close animal encounters. Take a nighttime climb on Sky-High Safari, the Zoo’s 4-story ropes challenge course. Plus, bid on one-of-a-kind silent and live auction items such as these:

  • Australian Affair – an Australian-themed dinner and wine tasting for six inside Koala Knockabout including up-close encounters and plenty of photo opportunities with koalas, wallabies and lorikeets
  • Grapes with Apes – a private wine tasting for eight inside Gorilla Base Camp with a behind-the-scenes look at the gorillas
  • Zip and Sip on the Saluda – a rare nighttime river zip for eight followed by hors d’oeurves and wine on the Zoo’s scenic Saluda River footbridge

We hope you can join us! A limited number of tickets are available. Advance tickets are $50 for Riverbanks members and $60 for the general public. Admission will be $70 on the day of the event. Tickets may be purchased online or at any Zoo and Garden ticket window.

Riverbanks ZOOfari will take place rain or shine. Dress is safari casual. Low-heeled, closed-toe shoes are required to climb Sky-High Safari.

All proceeds benefit ongoing wildlife conservation and education efforts at Riverbanks.


Columbia Attorney First to Receive Prestigious Award

Ken LesterThe SC Bar Solo and Small Firm Section Council announces that Ken H. Lester has been named the winner of the first Solo and Small Firm Section Award. Mr. Lester will be recognized during the Bar’s Solo and Small Firm Conference and Tech Expo on Friday, September 19, at the Greenville Hyatt Regency.

The Solo and Small Firm Section Award is presented to a sole practitioner or small law firm that has demonstrated service and leadership to the community or to fellow lawyers. Award recipients must display exemplary skill and conduct in his or her practice of law and have made significant contributions of time and talent to the SC Bar, the lawyer’s local bar or local community or devoted substantial time and effort to the education and training of fellow solo or small firm lawyers in S.C. The award was created in 2013 in an effort to increase awareness of the value of lawyers in small firms in the state and the legal community. Mr. Lester is the award’s first recipient.

“Ken Lester’s name is synonymous with what is best about our legal profession.  When we speak of the SC Bar’s collegiality, we mean the courtesy, the generosity and the wisdom reflected by Ken Lester,” said Melissa F. Brown, a family law attorney in Charleston.

Mr. Lester is the founding partner of Lester & Hendrix, LLC with offices in Columbia, Myrtle Beach and Beaufort/Hilton Head. He received his Bachelor of Science in 1963 and Juris Doctor in 1966 from the University of South Carolina. Mr. Lester has dedicated the past 48 years to practicing family law in South Carolina. He regularly speaks and coordinates numerous continuing legal education seminars locally and nationally and routinely serves as a mediator in complex custody or financial cases in the family court.

Mr. Lester writes on various issues dealing with South Carolina family law. He is currently a diplomat in the American College of Family Trial Lawyers and a fellow in the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, where he also served as the president of the South Carolina chapter.

“Throughout his successful career, Ken has demonstrated integrity, intellect and skill. At the same time, he expended time and energy to improve our honorable profession with a special focus on family law, by selfless mentoring of generations of younger members of the Bar,” said Brown. “Ken Lester’s outstanding leadership and servant’s heart has made our profession a more honorable arena and our lives more enriched. We are all in his debt.”

Mr. Lester is an active member of the SC Bar and a past chair of the Solo and Small Firm Section and the Family Law Section. He also served as the Section Delegate to the SC Bar House of Delegates and regularly teaches the family law portion of the SC Bar Review course for law students.

For more information on the Solo and Small Firm Section, visit

The SC Bar, which has a membership of more than 15,000 lawyers, is dedicated to advancing justice, professionalism and understanding of the law.


Junior Achievement Recognizes Their Best of 2014

junior achievement-logoJunior Achievement of Central South Carolina recognized three individuals who have made a difference. Gloria Thomas, Robin Rawl and Joel Skipper were honored at the JACSC board meeting on September 10.

Gloria Thomas was awarded the JA 2014 Volunteer of the Year award for her service as a JA classroom volunteer for the past fourteen years in Fairfield County. Ms. Thomas has brought JA programs to more than 1000 South Carolina students and is teaching more this semester.  Employed by the S.C Department of Transportation, Ms. Thomas says “I always wanted to be a teacher. Sharing Junior Achievement programs with South Carolina students allows me to fulfill that teaching dream while sharing my other professional experience too. ”

Robin Rawl, was honored with a JA Twenty Year Service Pin, in recognition of her twenty plus years  as a volunteer teacher delivering JA programs. Ms. Rawl was also recognized for her many years of exemplary service on the Junior Achievement Board of Directors. Ms. Rawl is vice president of membership & sales for Club Corp-which owns and operates private clubs throughout the country, including Columbia’s Capital City Club.   “By sharing my professional experiences with students, I am able to help them see the connection between what they are learning in school today and their own future success,” Ms. Rawl explains, “It takes very little time on my part to make a difference in the lives of these young people.”

Joel Skipper was presented with a JA Ten Year Service Pin for volunteering in area high schools every year of his professional career, which officially began in 2004. Joel is a financial planner for Discipline Financial Management but started his own portfolio as a teenager. “I didn’t get an allowance as a child, so I had to figure out how to make money to buy the things I wanted,” explained Skipper. “I had Junior Achievement in high school myself and I know JA programs do help students recognize their own potential and visualize a path to a successful future.”

Stephanie Stuckey, president of Junior Achievement of Central South Carolina and Tyler Hudson, chairman of the JACSC Board of Directors presented the awards at the Board of Director’s annual meeting in September. “If we could clone these amazing people, students in South Carolina would never want for a volunteer,” laughed Ms. Stuckey.  Mr. Hudson, an executive vice president with NBSC, agreed.  “Each of these people do so much for JA and our community.  Their service reflects that they care about the futures of our youngest citizens and each of our honorees is an exceptional role model for our students.”

About Junior Achievement
Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organization dedicated to educating students about work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs. Junior Achievement programs help prepare young people for the real world by showing them how to effectively manage finances, how to create jobs which make their communities more robust, and how to apply entrepreneurial thinking to the workplace. Junior Achievement’s mission is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy. For more information:


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