Dynamic team set to lead Chamber in 2012
The Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce has announced its leadership team for the upcoming year. These dedicated volunteers offer a broad perspective on business and community related matters and, through their service to the Chamber, support the Chamber's mission of creating opportunities for members to build successful businesses and to enhance the community's quality of life.
The following 2012 officers will work closely with the board of directors, the professional staff, and numerous volunteers to implement the Chamber's 2012 program of work.
Arthur (Buzz) Rich - 2012 Chair of the Board
Buzz Rich considers himself to be a native of Aiken (almost), having moved to the community at the age of four. He has been practicing law in Aiken for the past 37 years, beginning when he joined his father's law firm in 1973. In 1981 he formed his own private practice with an emphasis in real estate and in estate planning and administration.
Rich has been an active member of the Aiken community for many years. He is president of the Aiken Estate Planning Council and board member of the Aiken Corporation, Aiken Technical College Foundation, Salvation Army Advisory Board, and Public Education Partners, where he also serves as treasurer. In addition, he is a member and past president of the Rotary Club of Aiken and the Kiwanis Club.
Steve Wilson - Chair-elect and Membership Services
A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Steve Wilson is vice president of branches for SRP Federal Credit Union. His responsibilities include working with branch staff to provide exceptional service to almost 100,000 members throughout the credit union's 21 branches and seven-county market area. Wilson came to the credit union in 2006 from First Resource Federal Credit Union in St. Joseph, Michigan, where he served as vice president of member service and sales.
He has more than 37 years experience in the financial services industry; he earned his bachelor of arts in Economics from Grove City College in Grove City, Pennsylvania, and his MBA in Finance from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Cindy Meares - Secretary/Treasurer
Cindy T. Meares is a certified public accountant with more than 30 years of experience in federal and state taxation. She also specializes in flow-through entities and retirement plan consulting.
She serves on the boards of Rotary Club of Aiken, Community Care and Counseling of Aiken, where she serves as treasurer, and the Friends of the Aiken Railroad Depot, where she also serves as treasurer. She previously served as secretary/treasurer of the Aiken Chamber Board.
Dr. Deidre Martin - Vice Chair of Business and Community Development
Dr. Deidre Martin is the vice chancellor for advancement at the University of South Carolina Aiken (USCA). She has worked as an administrator at USCA since 1988 and also teaches as an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Communications and is the advisor for the Circle K Club.
Dr. Martin is active in the Aiken Kiwanis Club, United Way of Aiken County, Daughters of the American Revolution, and the American Association of University Women. She has been recognized as Outstanding Fundraising Professional in the CSRA by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Woman of Excellence by the Girl Scouts of the CSRA, and Woman of the Year by the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce.
Bart Blackwell - Vice Chair of Public Affairs
Bart Blackwell is the president and owner of B & S Machine Tool. He received his BS degree from the College of Charleston and an MS from the University of Southern California. He is a former Air Force officer and began his manufacturing career nearly 20 years ago as a program manager for a defense contractor.
Prior to joining B & S, he led the development and manufacturing efforts of a start-up medical device manufacturer and holds patents for the Lotecon Personal Care System.
Blackwell is a 2003 graduate of Leadership Aiken County, has served on the Aiken Chamber Board of Directors since 2010, and is a member of the Chamber's Workforce Development Committee.
Frank Thomas - Immediate Past Chair
A native of Aiken, Frank Thomas is the president of Security Federal Bank and also serves on the board of directors of Security Federal Corporation. Thomas has been in the Aiken banking business for more than 35 years and had his own real estate firm for five years.
He actively participates in the community and currently serves on the board of directors of the Aiken Corporation and the GVW Community Corporation. He has also served as president of the Aiken Board of Realtors, as chair of the United Way, and as a board member of the USC Aiken Partnership.
J. David Jameson - President/CEO
A native South Carolinian, J. David Jameson is the President/CEO of the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce. He has more than 38 successful years of Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development leadership and management in South Carolina and North Carolina. He led the Aiken Chamber through a 5-Star Accreditation process with the US Chamber of Commerce this year.
He currently serves on several boards, including Aiken Downtown Development Association, Aiken Corporation, and the Rotary Club of Aiken where he serves as the current president.
Jameson serves on the Board of the Savannah River Site Community Reuse Organization, a non-profit organization representing five counties in Georgia and South Carolina that surround the Department of Energy's Savannah River Site.