FLORENCE, S.C. – The Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce will begin its 2019-20 year on July 1 with seven new members of its board of directors.

Mark Buyck III of Willcox, Buyck & Williams, PA; Scott Collins of Collins Architecture; Brian Fast of First Citizens Bank; Kevin Gause of Wells Fargo; Ed Hoffman of Trinity-Byrnes Collegiate School; Tyron Jones of Florence-Darlington Technical College; and Linda Johnson of the Senior Citizens Association have all agreed to serve.

Mindy Taylor of Duke Energy, who served as chamber board chair during 2018-19, will now serve as past chairman, and Ken Jackson of RE/MAX Professionals will become the new chair.

“Being chair of the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce board of directors has truly been an honor for me, and I am extremely proud of everything we have been able to accomplish – together – for our community,” Taylor said. “Mike [Miller] and the entire chamber team made my job as chair a blessing, and I cannot thank them enough for their efforts every day.

“I step down knowing the chamber will continue to serve our community well as Ken Jackson takes the gavel, and I look forward to all that’s yet to come for our chamber and our great city.”

Miller, the president of the chamber, said he and his staff members are thrilled that Jackson is the new chairman.

“We will continue to expand community and business opportunities under his watch,” Miller said. “The chamber takes pride in its planning efforts for the growing list of programs and events it implements each year. We know Ken will help us enhance those projects with the community support needed for our future success.”

Jackson said he is excited about the coming year. He has been on the chamber board on and off for the past 30 years. He just completed a year as chair-elect. This will be his first time serving as chair.

He said the board approves a Chamber Business Plan each year. The key initiatives for 2019-20 are to achieve a goal of 700 plus memberships, expand efforts in capital and president level Foundation membership, continue efforts in communications to members and associates, continue to expand partnerships in educational and workforce programs and continue to grow relationships with media to promote and educate on chamber efforts. These and other parts of the business plan are available on the chamber website.

Jackson said there are several things that he is particularly interested in, including increasing membership to a level that will help the chamber become more successful.

The current membership, Jackson said, is between 625 and 650.

“I would like to cross the 700 threshold this year,” he said. “Things are trending upward, and I hope to continue that on my watch.”

Jackson is also hoping to get more board members directly involved in chamber programs year round.

He said he also wants to get membership more involved.

“We have about 60 different programs and events, from Business After Hours to CEO breakfast to Leadership Florence Alumni,” Jackson said.

There is something for everyone, he said.

“There are a lot of great things happening in Florence,” Jackson said. “The downtown has a lot to be proud of. It is a good time to be a part of the chamber and the business community.”

He said the chamber is a great source for people to network and increase their professional development.

“I am a more seasoned business person,” he said.” It is kind of fun to be around younger business people who are just starting their careers.”

The chair-elect will be Mike Reichenbach of Mike Reichenbach Ford. Keith Buckhouse of Synovus Bank will continue to serve as treasurer.

Leaving the board will be Bailey Dabney, Morning News; Drew Chaplin, Palmetto Commercial Real Estate; Adam Connolly, Coker College; Bret Greer, Toledo Carolina; Debbie Hyler, The School Foundation; Mathew Langston, BB&T; Britt Poston, Zaxby’s; Teressa Tabor, The Manor; and James Tolston III, North American Assemblies.

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