Board elects six to the 2013 Chamber board

The Board of Directors of the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce recently approved six new board members.  They will begin their three-year terms in January 2013.

Steve Wilson, SRP Federal Credit Union, nominating committee chair and incoming board chair, said, ďThese new board members represent a cross section of our business community.  They are experienced leaders and reflect a true commitment to the chamberís goals.  Iím excited to have them join us and look forward to hearing their ideas. Their leadership skills will complement those of the current board members.Ē

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 23 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 Chamberís 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. This is Blackwellís second term on the Chamber board.  He currently serves as vice chair of Public Affairs.


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 worked as both a bank regulator and a community banker for the past 32 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 Aiken Rotary Club. He is also a member of the South Carolina Bankers Association (SCBA) and currently serves as the chair of the SCBA Asset Liability Management Committee. He has a B.S. in Financial Management from Clemson University.

Charlie Hartz is the owner of the two Dunkin Donuts & Baskin Robbins restaurants located in Aiken.  His career spans 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 Benniganís Restaurant in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. Hartz is a board member of the Sertoma Club, the Aiken Technical College Foundation, and The Family Y Ė Aiken Branch, where he serves as the current board chair. 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 Hunt is senior vice president of Environmental Management Operations for Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, LLC.  In his position, he is responsible for safe execution of all environmental management operations at the Savannah River Site. Most recently, he served as vice president American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, responsible for completion of the $1.4 billion cleanup project. He has 25 years of management experience in engineering and technical projects, including waste management facility operations and waste disposition, as well as Navy nuclear technical and operational expertise. He has a B.S. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Oklahoma and an MBA in Finance from the University of Maryland.  He has served in the US Navy and the US Navy Reserve from 1991 through the present and attained the rank of captain in 2005.

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 Jonesí second time on the chamber board; she served in 2007 prior to leaving the area for another Bridgestone assignment.



Brenda Stein is senior vice president, Relationship Management, Veracity Payment Solutions.  She has 20 years of experience in the credit card industry. In her current position, she is responsible for the management of 130 bank partners and major client relationships.  She also manages a team of bank support managers located in Moline, Illinois, as well as has responsibility for the center located in Lansing, Michigan. Stein was instrumental in bringing the Veracity Payment Solutions Operations Center to Aiken in 2007.  The Aiken Operations Center currently employs a staff of 35, who are responsible for managing payment processing implementation and servicing for merchants nationwide. This is Steinís second time on the chamber board; she served from 2009 to August 2011 prior to a temporary relocation with Veracity.  She also serves on the Aiken Partnership Board.

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