Partner News | November 14

Gerry Owen Named as CFO at EDTS

Gerry Owen Named CFO at EDTSLongtime community banker and certified public accountant Gerry L. Owen has been named Chief Financial Officer at EDTS, a regional IT services company specializing in managed IT services, network security, and advanced infrastructure for Southeastern businesses.

Mr. Owen brings nearly two decades of accounting, business consulting and financial management experience to the rapidly growing technology firm, which was recently named to the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies in America for the fifth consecutive year.  A native of Aiken, South Carolina, he most recently served as CFO and Chief Compliance Officer for Savannah River Banking Company.  He previously held leadership positions with Security Federal Bank and regional public accounting firm Elliott Davis LLC.

In his new capacity with EDTS, Mr. Owen will be responsible for financial planning and analysis, record-keeping and reporting, and will oversee the human resources, billing, accounts payable and accounts receivables departments. He will report to Chief Executive Officer Charles Johnson and work with other members of the management team on all matters relating to budget management, cost benefit analysis, forecasting needs and strategic planning to help the company continue to grow across the organization’s Southeastern footprint.

He is a graduate of the University of South Carolina at Aiken with a B.S. degree in Business Administration, and has completed additional executive education courses relating to financial management at the University of South Carolina’s Moore School of Business.  Married with two children, Mr. Owen is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the South Carolina Association of CPAs, and serves as Treasurer of both Children’s Place and Lakeside Baptist Church.  He is also active with several chambers of commerce and other business and civic organizations.

“As EDTS expands and serves a more diverse customer base across the Southeast, we are pleased to add a financial professional of Gerry’s caliber to provide additional insight, experience and analytics to our organization,” said Charles Johnson, EDTS CEO.  “He will be an important key to our organization’s growth strategy, and we are pleased to welcome him to the EDTS family.”

Founded in 1999, EDTS has over 50 professionals serving clients 24/7/365 across the Southeast from offices in Augusta, GA and Columbia and Greenville, SC.  A full service technology consulting firm, EDTS specializes in networking, security and managed IT services for business.  The firm helps customers increase productivity and reduce cost associated with information technology.  EDTS has been named to the Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing Private Companies in America for five consecutive years, and honored among the fastest-growing companies in South Carolina on multiple lists.  Learn more at


Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd Recognized as 2015 Top Law Firm by US News – Best Lawyers

HSBlogoU.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers® released their 2015 “Best Law Firms” list, which included Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, P.A., for the 15th consecutive year. With more than 110 lawyers, the firm was selected for numerous practice areas in multiple offices.

To be eligible for a ranking, a firm must have a lawyer listed in The Best Lawyers in America©, which recognizes the top 4 percent of practicing attorneys in the US. Over 12,000 attorneys provided over 330,000 law firm assessments, and almost 7,000 clients provided approximately 20,000 evaluations.

Firms included in the 2015 “Best Law Firms” list are recognized for “professional excellence” based upon consistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. Achieving a tiered ranking signals a combination of quality and breadth of legal practice. The 2015 rankings are based on the highest number of participating firms and highest number of client ballots on record.

The following practice areas in four offices were recognized as Metropolitan First-Tier Rankings:

Columbia, SC
Appellate Practice
Banking and Finance Law
Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law
Commercial Litigation
Corporate Governance Law
Corporate Law
Financial Services Regulation Law
Litigation – Antitrust
Litigation – Banking & Finance
Litigation – Bankruptcy
Litigation – Construction
Litigation – Intellectual Property
Litigation – Real Estate
Litigation – Securities
Mergers & Acquisitions Law
Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants
Product Liability Litigation – Defendants
Public Finance Law
Real Estate Law
Securities / Capital Markets Law
Securities Regulation
Tax Law
Trusts & Estates Law

Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, P.A. provides business, litigation, financial legal services, and government relations to national and international clients. With a history dating back to 1887, it is one of the largest law firms in the Carolinas with more than 110 attorneys. The Firm has offices in Charleston, Columbia, Florence, Greenville, and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  For more information, visit

Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected attorney ranking service in the world. For more than 30 years, Best Lawyers has assisted those in need of legal services to identify the attorneys best qualified to represent them in distant jurisdictions or unfamiliar specialties. Best Lawyers lists are published in leading local, regional and national publications across the globe. The Best Lawyers in America list recognizes the very best lawyers in each practice area and metropolitan region in the country.


Ron Wray Elected President of the South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys Association

Wray Bio Webpage HS Close-Up 10-7-13Gallivan, White & Boyd, P.A. is pleased to announce that firm shareholder Ron Wray was elected President of the South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys Association , at the November 7, 2014 annual meeting of the Association.  Wray takes the reins from outgoing president and fellow Gallivan, White and Boyd partner Curtis Ott. Ott will continue to serve the Board of Directors in 2015 as Immediate Past President.  Wray states, “Curtis did a tremendous job in leading the Association over the past year.  We are very thankful to Curtis for his service to the SCDTAA and for his many accomplishments in leading our organization over the past year.”

Wray’s election continues a long line of service by Gallivan, White and Boyd attorneys to the SCDTAA.  In addition to Wray’s election as president and Ott’s continued service as immediate past president, GWB partners Johnston Cox and Breon Walker were also elected to continue their service on the SCDTAA Board of Directors. Wray was elected to the SCDTAA Board of Directors in 2003.  He served as SCDTAA Secretary in 2012, Treasurer in 2013, and President-Elect in 2014. Wray states, “I am honored and humbled by my election.  I consider the SCDTAA to be the finest local defense organization in the country.  I look forward to serving the outstanding attorneys that are part of this great organization.”

Founded in 1968, the SCDTAA has grown to nearly 1,000 attorneys statewide.  The SCDTAA’s mission is to assemble lawyers in South Carolina who devote a substantial amount of their practice to the defense of civil litigation matters.  Additionally, the SCDTAA provides the opportunity for members to exchange ideas, techniques, procedures, and court rulings related to the handling of defense litigation. These opportunities will ultimately lead to the enhancement of the knowledge and skills of defense lawyers.

Practicing law for over 22 years, Wray’s practice focuses on commercial transportation and complex litigation with an emphasis on railroad law, trucking, products liability, class actions, and appellate work. He is perennially listed in Best Lawyers in America in Commercial Litigation and Railroad Law.

Managing Partner John T. Lay states, “Ron has been a leader in the profession and at the firm for many years.  GWB is very proud of Ron and we know he will do a great job on behalf of the SCDTAA.”

Gallivan, White & Boyd, P.A. has offices in Greenville, Columbia and Anderson, SC and Charlotte, NC.  Practice areas include business and complex litigation, strategic risk assessment and counseling, and corporate representation. For more information about the firm, see


NBSC Names Samhat to Board of Directors

Dr. Nayef H SamhatNBSC, a division of Synovus Bank, announces the appointment of Dr. Nayef H. Samhat to its SC Board of Directors.

A native of Michigan, Dr. Samhat is President of Wofford College. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs from George Washington University’s School of International and Public Affairs, a Master’s degree in International Affairs from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Northwestern University.

Dr. Samhat joined Wofford after having served as provost and professor of political science and international studies at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. Prior to his time at Kenyon, he was the Frank B. and Virginia B. Hower Associate Professor of Government and International Studies and an associate dean of the college at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky.

“We are pleased that Dr. Samhat has joined our board.  He shares the same commitment to South Carolina business and communities as NBSC.  He is a great addition to our state and will be a valuable member and contributor to our Board,” said Chuck Garnett, President and Chief Executive Officer of NBSC.


NBSC Names Green to Board of Directors

HSB;BlackENBSC, a division of Synovus Bank, announces the appointment of Toya Hampton Green to its SC Board of Directors.

Toya is Special Counsel at Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, P.A. in the Charleston office.  She works on the public finance team and focuses her practice on school district financing.  Toya also works with other Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd attorneys on behalf of counties, cities, special purpose districts, and utility service systems.

Prior to joining Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, Toya served as the Director of Policy and Legal Services at the South Carolina School Boards Association.  Before working in public finance and school law, she worked as a real estate transactions attorney for many years both at her own law firm and at a larger statewide firm.

“We are delighted that Toya has joined our board. Her business acumen and experience will help us as we serve the financial needs of our community,” said Chuck Garnett, President and Chief Executive Officer of NBSC.

NBSC is a division of Synovus Bank and currently serves 25 communities in South Carolina from 39 locations.  For more than 100 years, NBSC has focused on relationship banking and remains dedicated to the communities it serves. Together with affiliates of Synovus Bank, NBSC offers diverse lines of business and personal financial services including Business Banking, Investment Services, and Mortgage Lending.  For more information, visit

Synovus Bank is a Georgia-chartered, FDIC-insured bank. Synovus Bank, together with its affiliates, provides commercial and retail banking, investment, and mortgage services to customers through 28 locally-branded divisions, 258 branches, and 342 ATMs in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Florida, and Tennessee.  See Synovus Bank on the web at, on twitter @synovus and LinkedIn. Equal Housing Lender.


EngenuitySC Announces Finalists for Ignite! Ideas Contest

ignite2EngenuitySC has announced the three finalists in the $5,000 Ignite! 2014 Ideas Contest, a public competition sponsored by Wells Fargo, open to individuals and organizations with ideas for starting something new in the Midlands. Live audience voting will determine the winner at the Nov. 19, 2014 Ignite! celebration at The Zone at Williams-Brice Stadium, 5:00 to 8:30 p.m.

Ignite! is EngenuitySC’s annual celebration of innovation, entrepreneurship and economic competitiveness in the Midlands. The 2014 Ideas Contest, sponsored by Wells Fargo, represents a chance to use $5,000 to start something exciting and innovative in the Midlands.

In addition to presentations by the three Ideas Contest finalists and live, shark tank-style voting for the winner, guests will enjoy an evening of engaging speakers, reserved banquet seating, valet parking and networking with CEOs and local leaders, sponsored by McWaters, Inc. There will also be an open bar and light supper by Chef Scott Hall – a Cooking Channel regular – courtesy of BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina.

Ignite! 2014 Ideas Contest Finalists:

Goodsupply | Sam Ervin, Faris Montgomery and Shraddha Pandya
Goodsupply is a social platform that will connect charitable organizations with their giving communities. Designed to fulfill some of the overlooked needs of local nonprofits, donors will be able to give the organizations exactly what they need in just a few clicks. Nonprofits can create a profile and list their needs directly on the Goodsupply website. Philanthropic community members can then go online, browse organizations’ needs and choose exactly what they want to donate, all directly on Goodsupply’s site. Donors will know exactly what they give, where it’s going and how it’s going to make a difference.

Red Finch Roasters | Jessie Albin
Red Finch Roasters is a coffee house/semi-public art studio hybrid; designed to appeal to coffee lovers and art enthusiasts. Red Finch Roasters will roast its coffee beans in-house and offer other products that are handmade on-site. The coffee house will feature a small, efficient coffee bar selling espresso drinks, drip coffee and other non-alcoholic beverages. The semi-public art studio will take the place of traditional coffee house seating, where customers will be able to get up close and personal with Red Finch Roasters’ creative processes and use the business’ art supplies to create their own work while enjoying an expertly crafted latte or cappuccino.

Webgyrlz Code | Shambi Broome
Webgyrlz Code is a hands-on training program that teaches young girls, in third through fifth grades, how to hand-code web pages using HTML5 and other programming languages. Designed to encourage female interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields, the program can be completed in one to five classes, after school or on the weekends. Eventually, the company hopes to incorporate a mobile classroom that will be able to reach underserved areas. Aside from fueling interest in STEM-based learning and career paths, Webgyrlz Code is designed to foster lasting life skills that produce confident young women.

Tickets to Ignite! 2014 are $75 and can be purchased now at Ignite! is once again a part of Global Entrepreneurship Week in Columbia, S.C.

Stay on top of Ignite! 2014 updates at

Ignite! 2014 Twitter hashtag: #IgniteCAE

Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., EngenuitySC is a public-private partnership focused on enhancing our region’s economic competitiveness and prosperity. Through collaboration with business, government, higher education and community leaders, EngenuitySC builds partnerships and measures success around five indicators of competitive communities: innovative capacity, talent, entrepreneurial/business environment, livability and strong industry clusters. Through our innovative process, unique vision and ability to create a plan and deliver results, EngenuitySC is working to build a more competitive and prosperous Midlands region. For more information, visit


Local Financial Advisor Joins Leading Association of Fee-Only Financial Planners

KRAMER, EDWARD (A0221217)Edward W. Kramer, II of Abacus Planning Group, Inc. in Columbia, SC has been accepted for membership in the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF PERSONAL FINANCIAL ADVISORS (NAPFA).  With membership, Mr. Kramer becomes affiliated with an organization of more than 2,400 of the most-qualified financial advisors in the nation who deliver objective, fee-only advice.

“I congratulate Eddie for demonstrating his dedication to provide effective, transparent, client-centered services by upholding the high standards that NAPFA sets for all its members.  By offering true fiduciary care to our clients, NAPFA members are leading the charge toward a financial planning community that rivals other professions in its desire and ability to foster consumer trust.  We welcome Eddie to our ranks and look forward to his contributions to our organization,” said Bob Gerstemeier, NAPFA Chair.

Abacus is a comprehensive, fee-only financial planning and investment counsel firm managing over $850 million on behalf of its 190 clients.  Abacus consists of a team of multi-disciplinary experts who work collaboratively to serve its clients in making smart financial decisions.   Visit Abacus’s website:


Main Street Battle for Blood donors make community impact
Downtown drive collects 78 pints of blood

Downtown donors generously came forward to roll up a sleeve at the Fourth Annual Main Street Battle for Blood on Nov. 7. The blood drive collected 78 pints of blood, helping to save potentially 234 lives.

Donors could give blood and vote for their favorite team, USC or Clemson; this year, USC won by a landslide.

Sponsors of the blood drive also donated $1,000 to the American Red Cross chapter to support its lifesaving mission. The blood drive was sponsored by Agapé Senior, Edens, MGC Insurance Defense, Nelson Mullins, NBSC and Nexsen Pruet.

Those who were unable to attend Friday’s blood drive can still make a difference in the work of the Red Cross. Long-sleeved Carolina-Clemson blood battle shirts are available to purchase, and proceeds will benefit the Red Cross chapter. To purchase a shirt, contact Carol Caulk,, 803-391-3163.

Additionally, blood donors can roll up a sleeve and make a difference in the community at the American Red Cross Columbia Blood Donation Center or at many blood drives throughout the community. To schedule a donation appointment, simply download the Red Cross Blood Donor app, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS.

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.


Mashburn Construction Welcomes A New Employee
Mashburn Construction is pleased to welcome a new employee to the company:

BStange2Bryan Stange joins Mashburn’s Charleston office as Director of Business Development. Bryan grew up in Greensboro, NC and graduated from North Carolina State University. Upon graduation he guided fly fishing trips at Chelatna Lake Lodge which is located on the edge of the Denali National Park in Alaska. Prior to joining Mashburn, Bryan served as the Director of Business Development for ECS Carolinas, a geotechnical engineering company, in both Wilmington, NC and Mount Pleasant, SC.


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