Practicing what he preaches

Charlie Hartz, 2017 Chamber chair and Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee, truly believes that the business climate is the No. 1 factor of a successful community, and he does all he can to contribute to that success.

Hartz has served as the chair of the Aiken Chamber since July 2016. He was the incoming chair at the time, but started his term six months early when Fran Jones relocated midyear.

“Charlie’s commitment and service to the Chamber and its goals and objectives can best be described as faithful, conscientious and unselfish,” said Chamber president/CEO J. David Jameson. “This was the first time I had worked with someone with a background in managing a membership organization, and it was certainly a pleasure.”

Hartz started his corporate career in club management for nine years. He 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 an entrepreneur at heart and now he works for himself. He is the franchise owner of four Dunkin’ Donuts locations. One of those he started just after taking on his role with the Aiken Chamber. His newest venture is the Village Café, a new upscale cafe located in the Village at Woodside.

While he continued to grow his own businesses, he also worked for the benefit of the 1,000-member businesses of the Aiken Chamber. During his tenure as chair, Hartz led the Chamber on two Cool Carolina City tours – one to Hartsville, South Carolina, to explore innovative downtown development strategies and one to Hilton Head to see firsthand the transformation of a mall property to a vibrant lifestyle center.

As Hartz constructed and opened his newest location inside Aiken Regional Medical Center’s new lobby, he also advanced the vision of the Aiken Chamber’s Centennial Project, a major investment in the future of the Aiken Chamber to align the 20-year-old building’s design and function with the needs of future Chamber members.

Hartz served during year three and four of the Chamber’s five-year strategic plan to create viable, proactive mechanisms that are becoming a driving force for Aiken’s prosperity in the 21st century.

“I appreciate the forethought that the Chamber leadership showed four years ago in developing a long-term course of economic vitality initiatives that are making a difference in Aiken,” Hartz said. “It’s very clear to me that it’s the Chamber’s responsibility to exercise its influence to build Aiken’s future. I am proud to have been a part of this team.”

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