Mike Switzer

Host, Producer

After almost 20 years, Mike Switzer retired from Wells Fargo Securities in 2001 as Senior Vice President/Investment Officer and Certified Portfolio Manager.  In 2008, he and his wife, Maggie, sold a Baskin Robbins ice cream store they owned and operated for eight years on Forest Drive in Columbia. While operating the ice cream store, Mike and Maggie received patents for a portable ice cream sink and fold-down sneezeguard they invented and in 2002 started Magnolia Carts which they sold in 2013.

In 2009, Mike and Maggie finished construction of their new “green” home in Blythewood, SC which was awarded Gold Certification in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program from the US Green Building Council.  In 2011, Mike co-founded Voterheads (www.voterheads.com), a voter education/citizen participation technology company.  He currently serves on the company’s board of directors. He is also past chair of the Town of Blythewood Planning Commission and currently serves as the executive director of the Greater Blythewood Chamber of Commerce.

Ways to Connect

Recovering Food Waste

Jun 8, 2018

Americans throw away billions of pounds of food each year, worth billions of dollars and enough to feed millions of people. In fact, according a recent report on food waste by Johns Hopkins University, if we were able to recover all of our wasted food, we could provide a 2,000-calorie diet to 84% of the population.  Our next guest’s university is working with a major South Carolina corporation on an initiative to address this issue.

Elizabeth McClendon
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

According to a recent report from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), our state ranks 8th in the nation in new cases of AIDS per capita, with Columbia ranking 5th, Charleston, 22nd and Greenville, 51st.  And our next guest says that 40% of our state’s new cases are age 20 -29, young people just entering the workforce, which she believes could lead to a significant impact on our economy.

Chris Robinson
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

Imagine being able to store red blood cells as a bottle of powder on a shelf, not needing any refrigeration or for those who need regular transfusions, being able to receive one through a simple injection into the upper arm, like a shot.  Our next guest is a University of South Carolina professor who has been an integral part of this nano blood technology.

The last time we spoke to our next guest, about three months ago, he said he believed that our country’s economy seemed to be waking up from a long period of sleepwalking.  Well, we’re almost to the midpoint of the year and interest rates are rising, construction activity is reported to be declining, the stock market appears to have stalled, so let’s see how he feels now.

Andy Owens
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

An update of the news, events and issues that are trending right now across South Carolina's business community.

Mike Switzer interviews Andy Owens, managing editor of SCBizNews, the company that publishes the Columbia Regional Business Report, Charleston Regional Business Journal, GSA Business and SCBizNews magazine.

Busy Time at SC Ports

Jun 1, 2018

As the economy has been improving over the past several years, our state’s ports authority has been quietly setting new records for container volume while at the same time, continuing its efforts to deepen Charleston Harbor to accommodate the bigger, new Panamax ships which will allow for even more volume to our ports.  And if you missed it, our state’s second inland port recently held its grand opening in Dillon.

Mike Switzer interviews Jim Newsome, president and CEO of the South Carolina Ports Authority in Charleston, SC.

Don Medlin
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

It’s becoming more commonplace to hear about entrepreneurial ventures springing from our state’s research universities.  And they’re getting more interesting, too.  For example, through a collaboration with Clemson University’s physics and astronomy department, our next guest’s company recently won an award for their cancer treatment device.

Mike Switzer interviews Donald Medlin, CEO and co-founder of Medical Beam Laboratories in Greenville, SC.

Kimberly Tissot
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

Despite the workforce shortages we continue to hear about across a variety of industries, our next guest says that there are hundreds of thousands of untapped employees right here in South Carolina: people with disabilities.  A group which, in South Carolina, happens to have one of the highest unemployment rates in the country.

Mike Switzer interviews Kimberly Tissot, executive director of ABLE SC in Columbia, SC.

Back when I was working in the financial services industry, parents and grandparents saved for children’s college costs mostly through Uniformed Gifts to Minors accounts which could be used for anything, not just college.  However, the money legally belonged to the child when he or she turned 18.  Then came 529 plans, which kept the contributor in charge of the funds, just in case circumstances changed, but specified that the money had to be used for college costs.  But now things have changed again.

John Warner
Concepts to Companies

A weekly update of the entrepreneurial activity in South Carolina.

Mike Switzer interviews John Warner is co-founder of Concepts to Companies and founder and CEO of Swampfox, an entrepreneur-centric social media company, based in Greenville, S.C.

On one of our regular Monday interviews with John Warner, you’ve probably heard him mention the Charleston Digital Corridor and the success they are having nurturing and supporting technology entrepreneurs in the Holy City.  But you may not know that two years ago, they partnered with the city of Beaufort to expand those efforts.

Mike Switzer interviews Kevin Klingler, board chairperson at the Beaufort Digital Corridor.

Most people know that spending money at your city or town’s small businesses does more for the local economy than buying online or at big box stores.  But our next guest says that that buying power is much more significant than folks realize. He says that for every dollar someone spends in a locally owned business, 75 cents stays in the community, whereas only 35 cents spent at a big box retailer stays local and only one penny of every dollar that is spent online.  So he’s turned that focus into a business of its own.

If you are a bicycle racing fan, you probably knew that last year, for the first time since 2001, the BMX World Championships were held in the US.  And that specific location was the BMX Supercross Track in Rock Hill, SC, the only Olympic-caliber training facility on the U.S. east coast.  That’s the kind of venue that can make a significant economic impact on the local community.

When it comes to investing in stocks and bonds, have you ever given any thought as to your personal investment philosophy or behavior?  Our next guest says that you are probably one of three basic types of investor: rational, irrational, or “sort of balanced”.

Mike Switzer interviews Hans Blake, a chartered financial analyst and CPA with Intelligent Investing in Greenville, SC.

John Warner
Concepts to Companies

A weekly update of the entrepreneurial activity in South Carolina.

Mike Switzer interviews John Warner is co-founder of Concepts to Companies and founder and CEO of Swampfox, an entrepreneur-centric social media company, based in Greenville, S.C.

David Beitz
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

When we last interviewed our next guest, he and his partner had just started a geographics company.  Since then, they discovered a need for a specialized version of their data in the grocery industry.

Mike Switzer interviews David Beitz with Beitz and Daigh in Columbia, SC.

Travis Knowles
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

With certain changes in our state’s beer industry laws over the past few years, more and more former home-brewers are venturing out and starting full-fledged breweries.  And the latest that we have learned about is a partnership between five such individuals in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina.

Mike Switzer interviews Travis Knowles, co-founder of Seminar Brewing in Florence, SC.

For the past several years, our next guests have been working in the trenches of our state’s independent film industry and they say they continue to be amazed how few people are aware of South Carolina’s film incentives that exist to spur the growth of this sector of our economy.

Mike Switzer interviews Chris and Emily White are filmmakers in Greenville, SC and their latest film project is Electric Jesus.

While our next guest agrees that the number one uncomfortable topic for discussion with our children is the “birds and the bees”, he says a close second is talking to your adult children about money.  Which is why he brought with him today some tips on this topic.

Mike Switzer interviews John Cooper, a certified financial planner with Greenwood Capital in Greenwood, SC, and current president of the SC chapter of the Financial Planning Assn.

John Warner
Concepts to Companies

A weekly update of the entrepreneurial activity in South Carolina.

Mike Switzer interviews John Warner is co-founder of Concepts to Companies and founder and CEO of Swampfox, an entrepreneur-centric social media company, based in Greenville, S.C.

If you are a regular listener of ours, you know that our state has a plethora of resources available to entrepreneurs.  And our next guest is right in the thick of this activity, which includes an upcoming free summit they will be hosting in Columbia where collaboration, networking, exchange of ideas, and South Carolina’s innovative companies will be highlighted.

Tom Ledbetter
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

Of course, government contracts can mean big business for big businesses, but small businesses can benefit, too.  For example, just one government agency last year awarded $5 billion in prime contracts to small businesses.  Our next guest says that many small businesses are unaware of how to pursue these opportunities which is why he’s hosting a free outreach event on this topic in Columbia, SC on May 23rd.

Most people realize that starting and operating your own business takes a lot of work.  Our next guest says she knows what it’s like to be one of these exhausted, stressed, overworked entrepreneurs with not much time left over for the loved ones in their lives.  Which is why she wrote a book in an effort to help those with what she calls “lifestyle deficit disorder”.

It’s early in the month of May and a good time to check in on the state of our state’s economy.

Mike Switzer interviews Frank Hefner, director of the Office of Economic Analysis at the College of Charleston.

John Warner
Concepts to Companies

A weekly update of the entrepreneurial activity in South Carolina.

Mike Switzer interviews John Warner is co-founder of Concepts to Companies and founder and CEO of Swampfox, an entrepreneur-centric social media company, based in Greenville, S.C.

Food maestros in our state continue to win national awards.  The most recent example is a Lowcountry chef who received recognition for two of her creations earlier this year at the 2018 Good Foods Awards in San Francisco.

Mike Switzer interviews Leslie Rohland, owner of The Juice Hive and Health Emporium in Old Town and the Cottage Cafe, Bakery, and Tea Room in Old Town, Bluffton, SC, who won the pickles category for her Shiso Leaf Kimchi and Low Country Kimchi.

Neil McLean
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

Are you proud of your ability to multi-task? Can you close a deal, hire someone, attend a video conference AND make dinner plans – all while driving your car?  Our next guest says that multi-tasking is a common trait among entrepreneurs but it may also be one that can get out of control.

Mike Switzer interviews Neil McLean, managing partner at Sagacious Partners in Columbia, SC.

Marian Crawford
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radios

Most businesses know they need to have an advertising and marketing campaign, but with today’s ever-evolving media marketplace, many are confused about how to develop it.  Our next guest says that she believes a holistic approach is best.

Mike Switzer interviews Marion Crawford, owner of Crawford Strategy an award winning marketing and PR firm in Greenville, SC.

One of the recent financial planning and investment experts we interviewed on this show said he thought now was the time to start considering non-traditional investments such as commodities since he sees a lot of risk currently in the stock and bond markets.  Our next guest says that there certain considerations you should think about before utilizing alternative investments.

Mike Switzer interviews Chris Cabri, a certified financial planner with Ameriprise Financial Services in Greenwood, SC.

Alan Cooper
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

An update of the news, events and issues that are trending right now across South Carolina's business community.

Mike Switzer interviews Alan Cooper, founder and editor of three online business news websites in South Carolina: MidlandsBizUpstateBizSC, and LowCountryBizSC.

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