Event exceeds membership goals and statewide record

The “voice of business” grew significantly when 234 businesses joined the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce during its Membership Event.  The three-day event, held March 5 – 7, took the Chamber to its highest membership number ever and exceeded the organization’s goal.  

“We are thrilled,” said Chair-elect Dr. Deidre Martin, University of South Carolina Aiken.  “We had a goal of growing the current membership to 1,067 – one member more than the Chamber’s record high of 1,066 – and we took that number beyond 1,100,” said Martin, who chaired the Membership Event.

Chamber Chair Steve Wilson, SRP Federal Credit Union, welcomed and thanked the new members for investing in the Aiken Chamber.  “We appreciate your support in strengthening the voice of business in our community and look forward to working with you as collectively we move our community into a promising future,” Wilson said.

Dr. Martin was quick to point out that the success of the event was due to the hard work and dedication of more than 200 volunteers and to the businesses that supported them.

“I truly was overwhelmed by our volunteers’ enthusiasm and commitment.  The energy they brought to the table was second to none.  They believe in this community, and it showed.  We are so grateful to them,” Dr. Martin said.

Motivational speaker and humorist Jimmy Cusano, Your Chamber Connection, was the impetus who inspired, encouraged, entertained, and spurred the volunteers to action.  He kept his audience engaged with numerous antics and anecdotes throughout the event.  He also kept them on their toes as a nodding head or ringing cell phone could lead to a perpetrator having to do a push-up.

With Cusano’s encouragement, volunteers called on businesses throughout the region, explaining the value of Chamber membership and how their support strengthens the local economy, and ultimately, their business. The result of the collaborative effort spoke volumes and left Cusano speechless . . . but only for a moment.

“There's no sugar coating it!  Yes, Aiken, South Carolina is now officially over 1,000 members.  In only 3 days, this 5-Star Chamber recruited 234 new members and raised the revenue bar, making it the new South Carolina state champion, surpassing Summerville-Dorchester County,” Cusano said. “Congratulations Aiken Chamber and the amazing volunteers that made it all happen!” 

The Membership Event concluded with a lively and fun celebration on March 7 where several volunteers received award certificates, pats on the back, and a little heckling from Cusano.

Membership Event Awards
Steve Wilson, SRP Federal Credit Union

Dr. Deidre Martin, USC Aiken

Carlos Milanes, Aiken Regional Medical Centers; Barry Adams, Security Federal Bank; Pegi Flahault, Mobile Office Management, LLC (M.O.M.); Kevin White, Health and Safety Solutions, Inc.; Dr. Sandra Jordan, USC Aiken

Top Dogs (six or more New Members)
Carlos Milanes, Aiken Regional Medical Centers; Josh Booth, Security Federal Bank; Lee Bennington, SRP Federal Credit Union; Craig Archer

4 or More (New Members)
Clay Killian, Aiken County; Kim Sinclair, Comcast Spotlight; Larry Phillips, Aiken Regional Medical Centers; Todd Gaul, Designer Builders, Inc.; Bobby Bagwell, Hammond’s Ferry;  Rob Rehnlund, Tognum America Inc.; Rich Henderson, Jani-King of Augusta; Jeff Jenik, USC Aiken; Ed Presnell, SRP Federal Credit Union; Tommy Caldwell, Columbia Energy and Environmental Services; Belinda Reed, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, LLC; Trent Arnold, Arnold Advisors, LLC; Karen Garcia, RCS Corporation

Most Competitive Group
The Green Group
Chair, Bart Blackwell, B & S Machine Tool

Most Enthusiastic Group
The Red Group
Chair, Dr. Sandra Jordan, USC Aiken

Top Sales Individual
Carlos Milanes, Aiken Regional Medical Centers

Top Team
Team 23 of the Green Team
Captain, Fran Jones, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, LLC
17 New Members

Top Group
The Green Group
Chair, Bart Blackwell, B & S Machine Tool
36 New Members


icon-circle-arrow-up Top