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

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.

When we last interviewed our next guest, she had just opened the only women-focused bicycle shop in the country.  Over the past eight years, her business has grown so dramatically she has moved into a new location and partnered with a major bicycle manufacturer to begin making her design of a new women’s bicycle, right here in South Carolina.

Mike Switzer interviews Robin Bylenga, founder of Pedal Chic in Greenville, SC.

Melissa Azallion
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents recently raided close to 100 7-Eleven stores across 17 states, demanding employment verification from managers in an attempt to crackdown on the employment of undocumented immigrants.  With the acting ICE Director saying late last year that employment audits would likely increase five-fold in 2018, our next guest says this could result in more prosecutions and higher fines for employers, including those throughout South Carolina.  Is your business ready?

Most people are aware that golf is big business in South Carolina.  But you may not know that our state’s premiere men’s professional golf tournament is celebrating its 50th anniversary in just twelve more days.

Mike Switzer interviews Steve Wilmot, tournament director for the RBC Heritage presented by Boeing, coming to Hilton Head Island April 9-15th.

By now, most people have a basic understanding about the new tax law and how it’ll impact their 2018 tax returns. But one area that hasn’t gotten as much attention in local or national news is the new law’s possible effect on Health Savings Accounts.  Our next guest says the result may be an increased use of HSA’s.

Mike Switzer interviews Josh Harris, a certified financial planner with Clemson University where he also works as a lecturer and academic advisor.

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.

Natalie Britt
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

As you are probably aware, tourism is a big economic driver in our state. And sometimes, as our next guest will point out, a public/private partnership can help with that equation.

Mike Switzer interviews Natalie Britt, executive director of the Palmetto Conservation Foundation in Columbia, SC.

Water is one of our state’s most abundant natural resources, and making sure that water is clean, is an important selling point when our economic developers are recruiting new business.  And our next guest is part of that equation.  His local utility is currently gaining national recognition for its involvement in the Savannah River Clean Water Fund where five utilities in South Carolina and Georgia are pooling their resources to protect their large watershed.

Lori Peacock
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

Workman's compensation claims can be a big headache for a company, not only affecting insurance premiums, but also down time on the manufacturing line.  Our next guest says that besides all the standard safety training, an employee's physical fitness can be just as important.

Mike Switzer interviews Lori Peacock, president of Physical Performance Solutions in Aiken, SC.

Managing Cash Flow

Mar 20, 2018

When we think about our finances, whether for home or a business, we often think of the income and expenses, but our next guest says that too often people don’t recognize the importance of the actual process of planning and managing cash flow.

Mike Switzer interviews Jeff Wildes, a certified financial planner in Georgetown, SC.

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.

After working as the director of events for the Charleston Wine + Food Festival for seven years, our next guest discovered that what she really wanted to do was help women succeed in the hospitality industry.  As a result, last year she launched a workshop that drew over 200 women from across the country to our state to learn from some of the most respected women in food, beverage, and travel.

Mike Switzer interviews Randi Weinstein, founder of Fab, the Charleston event that is returning in June.

Spring is in the air and that means a lot of outdoor sporting events will soon be bringing an economic force to our state. Big golf tournaments in Augusta, Hilton Head, and Charlotte, for example.  But first up is one of the premier tournaments in women’s professional tennis, the one that was actually at the forefront of equal pay efforts in the sport 45 years ago.

Mike Switzer interviews Bob Moran, tournament director at the Volvo Car Open in Daniel Island, SC.

Kimico Myers
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

While we often hear news about large companies and even governments getting their computer systems hacked, our next guest says that, in fact, small and medium-size companies are more likely to be targets for cyber thieves because these businesses tend to not invest in the additional monitoring and security that large businesses do.

Mike Switzer interviews Kimico Myers, owner of the Columbia, SC franchise of TeamLogic IT.

Stephanie Vokral
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

As you may be aware, March is Women’s History Month.  Even with all the economic progress women have made over the last 100 years, our next guest says she is still surprised to see how many women are unprepared financially when a crisis hits, like divorce.

Mike Switzer interviews Stephanie Vokral, a certified financial planner with Critical Transitions Wealth Advisors in Columbia, 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.

Virtual learning, online courses, and webinars have been around for some time.  Our next guest has been a part of that industry, helping people create their own courses from their Upstate headquarters for almost 10 years now.

Mike Switzer interviews Paul Johnson, CEO and co-founder of Pathwright in Greenville, SC.

With investments like the stock market and Bitcoin getting all the news these days, does anybody consider investing in art and collectibles anymore?  Our next guest’s expertise in this area has been on display on PBS TV shows such as Antiques Roadshow and Market Warriors and the Art Breakers airing currently on the Ovation Network and she says you should be aware of the pros and cons (and maybe even the sharks) before you dip your toe into the art/collectibles market.

One of the fastest-growing segments of our state’s economy is the life sciences industry.  And that’s why our next guest’s organization is hosting an economic awareness boot camp on this topic in Columbia soon.

Mike Switzer interviews Erin Ford, a vice president with SCBIO in Greenville, SC.

In case you haven’t noticed, activity in the bond market is signaling higher interest rates, the stock market is wobbling, and yet all the economic numbers continue to look decent.  But the definition of “decent” is relative.  Our next guest says the economy has really been sleepwalking since the Great Recession and that perhaps it may be about to wake up.

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: MidlandsBiz, UpstateBizSC, and LowCountryBizSC.

Ray Farmer
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

Over the past year, healthcare insurance has been quite a hot topic across the country.  Obamacare has changed, insurance companies are confused.  How are state insurance commissions dealing with all of this?

Mike Switzer interviews Ray Farmer, director of the South Carolina Department of Insurance in Columbia.

As the South Carolina economy and unemployment rate have improved dramatically since the Great Recession, our next guest says there are still pockets of our population that face challenges finding jobs, such as senior citizens and those with a criminal background.  And that’s why those are now the focus of his organization’s job placement efforts.

Mike Switzer interviews Pat Michaels, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Upstate/Midlands South Carolina based in Greenville, SC.

Randy Pellisero
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

A Council of Government, also known as a COG, is an association of local governments, usually across several counties, that work towards facilitating intergovernmental land use and transportation planning, community development, mapping, and more, such as economic development, which happens to be our next guest’s focus.

Mike Switzer interviews Randy Pellisero, the senior lending officer at the Catawba Regional Council of Governments in Rock Hill, SC.

Demystifying Medicare

Feb 27, 2018

One of our recent shows featured a discussion on Social Security strategies and the various ways you can maximize your distributions.  And if you thought Social Security was complicated, wait till you hear about Medicare.  Fortunately, our next guest says that if you learn basic enrollment guidelines and some of the nuances of various Medicare plans, you'll be empowered with the knowledge you need to make better decisions—and avoid costly penalties.

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.

Experiential graphic design may not be a term many of us are familiar with but it is increasingly becoming the preferred method for companies and organizations to connect with their customers.  Retail, entertainment, hospitality, and sports industries, in particular, are immersing their environments with rich graphics and digital technologies to educate and delight their users and visitors.  Our next guest’s Upstate company is right in the middle of this growing trend and is specifically targeting college sports.

Improving our state’s education system continues to be a priority for our business community which is why we like to check in with our next guest’s organization on a regular basis.  They are a significant public-private partnership that has been collaborating and making recommendations on this topic for the past several years.

Mike Switzer interviews Tim Arnold, president and CEO of Colonial Life in Columbia, SC and a co-chair at TransformSC.

Ehsan Jabbarazadeh and Julie Iarossi.
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

I don’t know if you’ve noticed but over the past ten years, colleges and universities have become more and more involved in teaching entrepreneurship.  And our next guest says a focus on technology and innovation is the most recent trend in this area.

A regular review of your financial plan and investment portfolio is always a good idea.  This is not just to make sure you are still on track to meet your goals, but to also make sure your risks haven’t increased past your initially desired risk threshold.  And our next guest says that is especially a good idea when financial markets have been setting record highs.

Mike Switzer interviews Les Detterbeck, a chartered financial analyst in Charleston, SC.

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