Partner News | December 19

Colonial Life customers pleased with claims experience
Independent customer satisfaction surveys show Colonial Life policyholders are highly satisfied

CLColonial Life & Accident Insurance Company policyholders are highly satisfied with the service they receive, according to customer satisfaction surveys by an independent research company.

Ninety-four (94) percent of customers reported satisfaction with the overall handling of their voluntary benefits claim during the third-quarter surveys conducted by Market Decisions Corporation on behalf of Colonial Life. The independent research firm surveyed a random sampling of claimants about their experience and satisfaction with the claims process.

Other key findings included:

  • 96 percent of customers report being satisfied with the overall experience of submitting their claims.
  • 92 percent were satisfied with how easy it is to check on the status of their claim.
  • 92 percent were satisfied with the timeliness of the communication they received after first filing their claim.
  • 92 percent were satisfied with the simple and clear language in written communications.

“These quarterly surveys are an important measure of how well we are serving our customers,” says Deb Rasmussen, vice president for claims at Colonial Life. “We work hard to meet and exceed customers’ expectations because they’re the reason we’re here – to preserve and protect what they’ve worked so hard to build.”

Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company is a market leader in providing financial protection benefits through the workplace, including disability, life, accident, cancer, critical illness and hospital confinement indemnity insurance. The company’s benefit services and education, innovative enrollment technology and personal service support more than 80,000 businesses and organizations, representing more than 3 million of America’s workers and their families. For more information visit or connect with the company at, and


Two SC Business Leaders Chosen to Receive Top Honor

scbizhalloffameJunior Achievement of Central South Carolina and the S.C. Business Hall of Fame Committee have announced the names of the 2015 honorees, to be inducted at the 31st South Carolina Business Hall of Fame this spring.

  • Joseph Blanchard
  • Hugh C. Lane, Jr.

Mr. Joseph Blanchard is President and CEO of Blanchard Machinery Company, the Caterpillar dealership serving the state of South Carolina, which doubled its number of employees since he became president in 1996. Blanchard serves on numerous boards and was recently presented the Medallion Award by Columbia College. His generosity to the arts is well known throughout the state.

Mr. Hugh C. Lane Jr., served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Bank of South Carolina Corp. until April 2012. He remains Chairman of the Board of Directors of The Bank of South Carolina, a position he has held since its organization in 1986, and Chairman of Bank of South Carolina Corporation since its organization in 1995. Mr. Lane is the recipient of many awards and honors during his long career, including the Order of the Palmetto.

The South Carolina Business Hall of Fame is presented by Junior Achievement of Central South Carolina. Long regarded the ultimate prize among S.C. business elite, the black tie event will be held April 9th, 2015 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. Many previously honored laureates and their families will be present as the 2015 inductees are added to the prestigious roll.

All laureates are chosen for their unique contributions to South Carolina’s business landscape, for being agents of positive change, for their leadership, and for being a source of inspiration to the leaders of tomorrow.  South Carolina Business Hall of Fame laureates have dedicated their careers and lives to leading their companies with distinction. They have nurtured the talents of their employees, motivating them to share their vision for a bright South Carolina future. They have demonstrated the courage and character to prevail and have inspired the next generation of South Carolina leaders to follow suit.

More information and photos available upon requestReservations for April 9th event.

Hand in hand with caring adult volunteers concerned about the future success and economic health of South Carolina’s students and the communities in which they live, Junior Achievement of Central South Carolina (JA) empowers young people to own their future economic success by enhancing the relevancy of their education. That’s because JA ignites the spark in students to experience and realize the opportunities and realities of work in a 21st century global marketplace.


Spirit Communications to acquire South Carolina-based SCANA Communications, Inc.

spiritSpirit Communications announced today the acquisition of SCANA Communications, Inc. (“SCI”), including its interest in FRC, LLC, (“FRC”) a fiber network joint venture between SCI and Spirit Communications.

SCI is the telecommunications subsidiary of SCANA Corporation (NYSE: SCG), a South Carolina-based energy company that has been doing business in the Southeast for 160 years.  SCI’s fiber network includes over 1,125 route miles of dense long haul and metro fiber, and extends across multiple markets in South Carolina, as well as in North Carolina.  SCI’s services include Metro Ethernet, long haul high bandwidth IP Transport and SONET-based transport capacity, and state-of-the art data center and co-location facilities. Spirit Communications is also acquiring SCI’s cellular tower business, which includes the construction and management of cell towers for wireless carriers in the Carolinas and Tennessee.

Spirit Communications and SCI have partnered to provide communication services to Carrier, Enterprise and Government customers for almost 30 years. Today’s announcement brings together two of South Carolina’s most respected companies known for providing cutting edge communications to businesses across the Carolinas. “The acquisition of SCI and FRC supports our strategy to be fiber-based and improves the fundamentals of our business, both operationally and financially, and provides a unique platform to serve our customers.  This acquisition makes Spirit the largest fiber-based CLEC in South Carolina” said Bob Keane, President and CEO of Spirit Communications.  “We have enjoyed a long and successful partnership with SCANA over the years, and this acquisition enhances our extensive and unique network in the Carolinas. In addition to the outright purchase of SCI, the agreement between SCANA and Spirit Communications builds on the longstanding relationship we have both enjoyed for many years and increases our commitment to serve SCANA and all South Carolina businesses, government agencies, medical institutions and research universities”, continued Mr. Keane.

Jefferies LLC served as the exclusive financial advisor to Spirit Communications.

Headquartered in Columbia, South Carolina, Spirit Communications provides voice, data, Internet and fiber optic solutions, along with a full suite of Cloud services to commercial businesses and government agencies across the Southeast. The company’s mission is to enable customers to transform their operations through fast, stable and secure offerings that flex with business demand. Ranked among the top 25 privately-held firms in South Carolina, Spirit Communications serves thousands of customers in over 150 service locations throughout South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia. Spirit Communications is owned by eleven Independent Telephone Companies in South Carolina.  For more information, visit

SCI, a carriers’ carrier since 1985 owns, develops and operates long haul and metro fiber optics networks in South Carolina and North Carolina. SCI provides data transport services, bandwidth, tower site construction, management and rental services for wireless carriers, enterprise, government and communications service providers. For more information, visit


EdVenture Children’s Museum Presents New Year’s Eve at Noon: Columbia’s Only Ball Drop for Kids

EdVentureEdVenture is ready to ring in the New Year at the stroke of noon with Columbia’s only ball drop for kids on December 31. Doors open at 9 a.m. with New Year’s Eve activities from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. As the countdown to noon begins, a giant illuminated ball descends and lands at the foot of EDDIE®, kicking off the biggest mid-day celebration in town!

The Lunch Money band will perform live at the celebration, complete with lots of confetti, face painting and a shimmering ball drop. Children can even make their own LED 2015 glasses and party hats!

“New Year’s Eve at Noon is a tradition for many families in the Midlands,” said Kristy Barnes, director of marketing at EdVenture. “Kids don’t have to stay up until midnight to celebrate and it still leaves the evening available for adults to attend the Famously Hot New Year celebration on Main Street.”

New Year’s Eve at Noon is free with museum admission. EdVenture will be open on New Year’s Day.

The mission of EdVenture is to inspire children to experience the joy of learning. EdVenture is a locally-managed, not-for-profit informal educational institution dedicated to lifelong learning through its 92,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor interactive exhibit space and in its educational outreach programs and after school programs. The museum has welcomed visitors from all 50 states and 18 foreign countries, creating shared experiences and memories for families learning together. For more information about EdVenture, visit or call (803) 779-3100.

Click here to see photos of New Year’s Eve at Noon.


WLTX Wins duPont Award

WLTXWLTX is among the winners of the 2015 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards for Outstanding Local Television Investigative Reporting.  The awards are administered by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

News 19’s Investigative Reporter Clark Fouraker, Anchor Darci Strickland, Reporter Jennifer Bellamy, and News Director Marybeth Jacoby will be honored for:  DSS:  The System Failed.

This on-going series of more than 40 reports examined the tragic case of a four year-old boy, who despite multiple reports of abuse, died in State care. The reports detailed significant flaws in the South Carolina Department of Social Services system that ultimately led to the resignation of the agency’s State Director and policy changes in the Child Protective Services Division.

“The duPont-Columbia award recognizes the very best in broadcast journalism,” said Rich O’Dell, President & General Manager of WLTX-TV.  “I couldn’t be more proud of this important work done by our team, truly making a difference in our community.

“We’re extremely honored to receive this award,” said Marybeth Jacoby, WLTX News Director. “When people rely on the system and that system fails them, it hurts the very fabric of our society.  It’s the responsibility of journalists to shine a light on difficult situations like this so the community itself can stand up and demand change.”

The duPont Jury looks for accurate and fair reporting about important issues that are powerfully told. Breaking news coverage, innovative storytelling and content, and stories that have an impact in the public interest are paramount.

The Silver Baton will be awarded to WLTX on January 20, 2015 at the Columbia School of Journalism in New York.

Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI) is an international media and marketing solutions company that informs and engages more than 110 million people every month through its powerful network of broadcast, digital, mobile and publishing properties. Our portfolio of trusted brands offers marketers unmatched local-to-national reach and customizable, innovative marketing solutions across any platform. Gannett is committed to connecting people – and the companies who want to reach them – with their interests and communities. For more information, visit

For information, contact Courtney McCallum at WLTX.  803-647-0278,


Adams and Reese Makes $1,000 Holiday Donation to Epworth Children’s Home in Columbia

Adams and ReeseThe law firm of Adams and Reese LLP donated $1,000 to Epworth Children’s Home through its 2014 charitable holiday card campaign of donating to organizations across the Firm’s regional footprint that help and provide resources for children in need.

Pictured from left include: Adams and Reese attorney Lyndey Zwing; Mitzie Schafer, Executive Vice President of Epworth Children’s Home; and Adams and Reese Columbia Office Partner in Charge Rob Bethea.

Adams and Reese Donation


SC Chamber of Commerce Names New President and CEO: Tedd Pitts to take helm of state’s largest broad-based
business organization

SC-ChamberofCommerceThe South Carolina Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that Ted Pitts has been named president and CEO, effective January 2015. Most recently, Pitts served as chief of staff for Governor Nikki Haley. Current President and CEO Otis Rawl will serve as an advisor to the South Carolina Chamber Board of Directors during the transition period.

“As we move into the future, we are happy to welcome Ted to our team. Ted is an accomplished leader with a great knowledge of issues affecting business,” said Mikee Johnson, president and CEO of Cox Industries and 2014-15 chair of the South Carolina Chamber. “His management experience and demeanor will serve this organization well as he leads the unified voice of business.”

Pitts, 42, is a Lexington native and a graduate of Presbyterian College. He serves as a Major in the South Carolina Army National Guard. He also served in the South Carolina House of Representatives from 2003-2010. Prior to joining the Office of the Governor in 2011, Pitts was a commercial real estate broker for 11 years with Newmark Grubb Wilson Kibler in Columbia. He and his wife, Christina, have three children.

“We are pleased to welcome Ted and know he will bring a great deal to this statewide role that represents each of us,” said Pamela Lackey, president of AT&T, South Carolina and 2013-14 chair of the South Carolina Chamber.


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