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BB&T receives inaugural Greer Development Chairman's Award

GDC celebrates 10th anniversary

STAFF REPORTS
Published on Thursday, March 22, 2012

John Bolt, Vice President of BB&T in Greer, accepted the inaugural Greer Economic Development Chairman’s Award today on behalf of the bank at the GDC's 10th anniversary luncheon at City Hall.

Reno Deaton, GDC Executive Director, gave the annual report that reflected positive gains in 2011 and good early growth in the first quarter this year. Dennis Hennett, vice chairman of the board is rotating off to concentrate on his duties as CEO at Greer State Bank. Hennett retired and was recalled to lead the bank. Dave Edwards, Executive Director at the Greenville-Spartanburg Airport in Greer, has been approved as Hennett’s replacement.

John Warner, CEO of Innoventure, was the keynote speaker challenging Greer businesses to strategize their growth focusing on their core strengths and recruiting innovative and intellectual talent. “I think some of the economic development is disconnected,” Warner said.

“I think (Greer’s business reports) are wonderful statistics on a scorecard. But it doesn’t tell how much business was lost,” Warner said. “Start thinking of places where you can be the best in the world, you can be. Buffalo hunting is obsolete. Industrial recruitment is not.”

Bolt was honored for his guidance in placing a 150-person BB&T Retail Loan Processing Center on the top two floors at its 400 Memorial Drive office.  “That was an incredible new project in Greer,” Deaton said. 

“That was a very exciting project for us because that building was unoccupied for 20-plus years,” Bolt said. “To do something with that building that also helped that corridor was pleasing.”

BB&T did not make a formal announcement. GreerToday.com first reported the retail call center (Nov. 22, 2011).

BB&T manufactured the call center during the economic downturn and was the impetus for Greer’s rebound before the BMW Manufacturing Co. of Greer $900 million investment injection and the Wade Hampton Blvd. corridor becoming a business and retail mecca with Kohl’s and Walmart’s first Neighborhood Market in South Carolina paving the way.  Tractor Supply Company is undergoing a facelift the same time the parking lot renovation at Piedmont Market Place is ongoing. Langston & Black are also re-energizing Wade Hampton Blvd. with its commercial property sales and listings.

Deaton and the GDC made special mention of entrepreneurs and business owners who contributed to Greer’s “robust and outstanding” growth last year.

• Denise VandenBerghe, co-owner of Wild Ace Pizza & Pub and Acme General Store. “People kept saying if Greer only had a general store wouldn’t it be special,” Deaton said. “Thanks to Denise and her partners we do.”

• Skip Davenport, President and General Manager of D&D Ford. “Skip is a third generation automobile dealer owner. “Skip honors the past and pushes the future anchors and success of Wade Hampton Blvd.” D&D is investing $7 million in a new state-of-the-art dealership showroom and repair facility.

• Marty Navarro, property owner of Piedmont Market Place. “Marty reinvigorated Wade Hampton Boulevard when he came forward with the Piedmont Market Place and introduced Kohl’s to Greer. The opportunity he created is immeasurable.”

• Marvin Murrell, Chief Financial Officer, Advance Composite Materials. The company is an aircraft equipment parts and supplier and manufacturer. In describing Murrell’s business, Deaton said, “Martin’s company makes all kinds of pretty things with technology.”

People mentioned in this article. Click a name to view more articles for that person.

Reno Deaton, Ed Driggers

Businesses mentioned in this article.

Acme General Store, BMW, City of Greer, Greer Development Corporation, GSP Airport, Kohl's, Walmart

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