Dynamic team set to lead in 2014
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 2014 officers will work closely with the board of directors, the professional staff, and numerous volunteers to implement the Chamber’s 2014 program of work.
Dr. Deidre Martin – 2014 Chair of the Board
Dr. Deidre Martin is the vice chancellor for advancement at the University of South Carolina Aiken (USC Aiken). She has worked as an administrator at USC Aiken since 1988. In addition, she teaches as an adjunct faculty member and academic advisor 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, Shepard Community Blood Center Board, 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 – Chair-elect and Membership Services
Bart Blackwell is the president and owner of B & S Machine Tool. He is a former Air Force officer and began his manufacturing career nearly 24 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 Chamber’s Government Affairs Committee, and is a former scout den leader and youth soccer and baseball coach.
He has a B.S. from the College of Charleston and an M.S. from the University of Southern California.
Blackwell currently serves as vice chair of Public Affairs.
Fran Jones – Vice Chair of Business and Community Development
Fran Jones is vice president of Administrative Services, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, Aiken Off Road Plant. In her current role, she is responsible for the human resources, community and government relations, training and development, transportation services, and contractor management for the new ultra large tire plant currently under construction in Aiken County.
She actively supports the community through participation in service projects such as Habitat for Humanity and United Way. She also serves as a mentor for the Southeast region Women Unlimited, Leadership, Education and Development (LEAD) program.
She has a degree in Management and Human Resources and an MBA from Trevecca University in Nashville, Tennessee.
This is Jones’ second time on the chamber board; she served in 2007 prior to leaving the area for another Bridgestone assignment.
Charlie Hartz – Vice Chair of Public Affairs
Charlie Hartz is the owner of the two Dunkin Donuts & Baskin Robbins restaurants located in Aiken. His career spans more than 30 years of restaurant and country club/resort management, as well as his recent self-employment.
He has worked for ClubCorp Golf Management, located in Aiken and Debary, Florida; Arnold Palmer Golf Management with locations in Bangkok, Thailand, Los Angeles, California, and Orlando, Florida, and Bennigan’s Restaurant in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.
Hartz is a board member of the Sertoma Club and the Aiken Technical College Foundation. In addition, he is a member of the Club Managers Association of America and the United States Parachute Association.
He has a B.S. in Marketing and Management from Alfred University, Alfred, New York.
Paul Dusenbury – Secretary/Treasurer
Paul Dusenbury is President/CEO of VistaBank, a de novo community bank headquartered in Aiken with additional offices in Columbia and Conway, South Carolina. He has a B.S. in Financial Management from Clemson University and has worked as both a bank regulator and a community banker for the past 34 years.
Dusenbury is active in the community and within his profession. He is a member of the Board of Governors and Quality Improvement Committee of Aiken Regional Medical Centers, a member of Public Education Partners (PEP) Endowment Investment Committee, a board member of the United Way of Aiken County, and a member of the Aiken Rotary Club.
He is also a member of the South Carolina Bankers Association (SCBA) and currently serves as the immediate past chair of the SCBA Asset Liability Management Committee and as a Group III Director of the Community Bankers Council.
Dusenbury currently serves as secretary/treasurer of the Aiken Chamber.
Steve Wilson – Immediate Past Chair
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 more than 100,000 members throughout the credit union’s 19 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 40 years of 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.
J. David Jameson – President/CEO
A native South Carolinian, David Jameson is the President/CEO of the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce. He has more than 39 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 last year.
He currently serves on several boards, including Aiken Downtown Development Association, the Aiken Corporation, and 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. He also serves as chair of the Greater Aiken Integrated Trails Foundation (GAIT).
He is a recipient of the Order of the Palmetto, the highest civilian honor awarded by the Governor of South Carolina.