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

Our state’s economy continues to report good numbers and most economists predict more of the same to come.  However, there are some issues out there that our next guest says we should all be keeping an eye on.

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

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 ReportCharleston Regional Business JournalGSA Business and SCBizNews magazine.


Podcasts continue to gain ground as a popular form of entertainment and information.  Take ours, for example. But ours is also tied to an actual over-the-air radio show. Our next guest says there’s a lot more involved in starting one from scratch that only airs over the Internet.

Mike Switzer interviews Jack Hitt, a South Carolina native and co-founder of the 2017 Peabody-award-winning podcast “Uncivil”, based in Brooklyn, NY.

If you are a regular listener of this show, you have heard many of our state’s entrepreneurial stories.  But I can’t remember one where a product went from an idea to reality as fast as the one created by our next guest.

Mike Switzer interviews Joe Ortiz, founder of Joe Cup, based in Blythewood, SC.

As our population continues to age, the members of this aging population are more and more demanding to finish living out their lives at home rather than in an institution.  Two years ago, our next guest’s nonprofit organization noticed this trend and decided to respond with an entrepreneurial venture.

Mike Switzer interviews Tomas Mendez is with BeWell@Home, a program of the Lutheran Homes of South Carolina.

Abby Mason
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

If you’ve been perusing the new tax law, you may have noticed that individual taxpayers will still be allowed to deduct charitable contributions, however our next guest says that receiving a tax benefit for those charitable contributions may become more difficult.

Mike Switzer interviews Abby Mason, a certified financial planner with Abacus Planning Group in Columbia, SC.

John Warner
Concepts to Companies

An update of the news, issues, and events facing the entrepreneurial community in South Carolina.

Mike Switzer interviews John Warner is co-founder of Accessible Diagnostics and the Swampfox Facebook page, based in Greenville, S.C.

John Fellows
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

Not too long ago, our capital city received a grant from the Knight Foundation to design a program that would encourage people to gather and linger on the State House grounds.  The idea being that thriving public spaces are good not just for wholesome communities but for the local economy, as well.  It has been implemented now for several weeks and our next guest has a report on results so far.

Mike Switzer interview John Fellows, planning administrator for the City of Columbia, SC.

The social media world is fast evolving as Facebook and others work on new privacy policies and their associated algorithms.  There are even new forms of social networks appearing that want to turn control of these types of platforms over to the users and away from the “powers that be”.  Our next guest sees that trend as a business opportunity.

Mike Switzer interviews Rosemary O’Neill, co-founder of Narrative, based in Mt. Pleasant, SC.

Got a Book Idea?

Jul 25, 2018

If you are an aspiring author, in today’s world you have many more options for publishing than were available 20 years ago.  But our next guest says that doesn’t make it any easier.

Mike Switzer interviews Dr. Robert Saul, medical director of General Pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital in the Greenville Health System in Greenville, SC and author of My Children's Children:
Raising Young Citizens in the Age of Columbine

Unless you have or had a student loan, you may not have heard of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program which began in 2007 with a simple idea: provide debt relief to borrowers in critical but often low-paying careers after they make 10 years of timely student loan repayments. Law enforcement employees and public school teachers are examples of those who would be eligible.  But in the spring 2017, many individuals who chose those types of careers learned that their federal student loans may not qualify for this relief after all.

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.

Kevin Shwedo
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

Even with the growth and popularity of teleconferencing, many businesses still find face-to-face meetings and in-person conferences fruitful and therefore, imperative to their success.  And many of these meetings require boarding an airplane.  Which is why our next guest wants you to know about the looming deadline for Real ID, an upcoming federal requirement for air travel.

Guarav Sangal
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

Most people are aware of the many efforts in the education sector over the past several years to increase and improve our children’s exposure to science, technology, engineering, and math: known as STEM so that eventually, maybe more high school graduates might consider one of those career fields where demand remains high.  Our next guest has decided to turn his STEM experience into an entrepreneurial venture to further this educational trend.

Mike Switzer interviews Gaurav Sangal, a franchisee of STEM for Kids in Columbia, SC.

SBA Busy on SC Coast

Jul 18, 2018
William Furman
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

While the main district office for the US Small Business Administration in South Carolina is located in our capital city, there is also a branch office in North Charleston, which from our research, appears to be pretty busy serving the coastal areas of our state.

Mike Switzer interviews William Furman, senior area manager for the Charleston, SC office of the SBA.

Joey Von Nessen
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

Our national and state economies continue to report positive numbers while the labor market continues to tighten.  Could that shortage of workers derail the good times?

Mike Switzer interviews Joey Von Nessen, with the Division of Research at the Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina 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 Accessible Diagnostics and he runs the Swampfox Facebook Page, all based in Greenville, S.C.

Nancy Oppenheimer
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

Artists often find that making a living as an artist can be very difficult.  Besides competing with other artists for space in galleries, another possible source of revenue can be winning art competitions.  One that we’ve recently learned about involves art commissioned for public buildings.  28 states have programs requiring or encouraging new public building projects to include art as a percent of their construction budget.  South Carolina is one of those states and our next guest is one of those winners.

Among all the resources a company has, probably the most crucial to their success is also often the biggest: their human resource.  Our next guest says that the human resource can also be the most challenging to develop.

Jean Meeks-Koch is CEO of Positively People, in Mount Pleasant, SC.

Lynn Bailey
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

As the healthcare insurance industry continues to evolve, our next guest says that patients are more and more in need of help in understanding their plan benefits.  And employers are recognizing this, as well she says, with many large corporations now hiring “health advocates” to not only help employees navigate the company’s health benefits plans but to also help them deal with the health plan’s customer service representative.

Allen Gillespie
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

  A year ago when we last interviewed our next guest about cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, the leader in this sector, Bitcoin, was near an all-time high in popularity and price.  But a lot has changed since then, or has it?

Mike Switzer interviews Allen Gillespie, a chartered financial analyst with Fintrust Investment Advisors 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 Accessible Diagnostics and he runs the Swampfox Facebook Page, all based in Greenville, S.C.

Rita Patel and Marcus Munse
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

Boutique hotels continue to gain traction in the hospitality industry including in South Carolina.  For example, we recently discovered a new one has opened in our our capital city.

Mike Switzer interviews Rita Patel and Marcus Munse, owners of Hotel Trundle in Columbia, SC.

Christa Divis
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

Charitable giving continues to evolve as tax laws change and economies cycle up and down.  And our next guest says that new trends can also be a factor.  One that she is seeing now, not only locally but nationwide, is that donors want to see local impact results.

Mike Switzer interviews Christa Divis, chief financial officer for the Coastal Community Foundation in Charleston, SC.

Portfolio management can take many forms these days, from value investing to growth investing to what our next guest calls “ethical investing”.

Mike Switzer interviews Mike Kuckel, a chartered financial analyst and CEO of the Sovereign Financial Group in Greenville, SC.

You may have noticed that so many people these days take a lot of prescription drugs for a lot of different reasons because, as time has gone by, pharmaceutical research results in products designed for these reasons.  But for those who are prescribed multiple drugs, and for those who are administering them, complications can arise resulting in missed doses and overdoses.  After watching nurses in health care facilities administer medications to numerous patients with complex conditions, our next guest experienced the proverbial light-bulb effect, and proceeded to launch a new business.

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.

The Nashville Entrepreneur Center and the Country Music Association (CMA) recently accepted a  Charleston, SC-based startup into their competitive 2018 Project Music Portfolio program, which is a year-round, entrepreneurship program designed to accelerate the success of music-oriented startups.  And of course, you want to know who that company is…

If you live in or have visited Walterboro, South Carolina recently, you may have noticed a little renaissance going on.  From a farm-to-truck food truck to a new event venue on the river to a former Boeing executive's new aviation company...entrepreneurs are apparently migrating to the area to launch their dreams.  What’s going on in Colleton County?

Mike Switzer interviews Hank Amundson, assistant city manager for the City of Walterboro, South Carolina.

According to the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives, fewer than half of people who apply for disability benefits — about 45 percent — are ultimately accepted; and that even getting a hearing takes an average of nearly 600 days.  That’s why our next guest says that you should know what Social Security Disability offers, who is eligible, and what changes have occurred over the past several years.