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FDTC Set to Honor Pee Dee Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurial Forum Photo

The Florence-Darlington Technical College Educational Foundation presents the second annual Entrepreneurs Forum, Thursday evening, February 11, 2016 at a Gala held at the Southeastern Institute of Manufacturing and Technology (SiMT).

The Forum honors individuals who have contributed to the prosperity of the Pee Dee through their entrepreneurial activities, business leadership, and involvement in the community.  There will be a reception and dinner that will be followed by a video presentation of each honoree.  FDTC President Dr. Ben Dillard will present each individual with an award.

The following entrepreneurs will be honored:

David Aycock, Raldex Hospitality Group, President and Owner; Aycock is the retired CEO of NUCOR, which has grown to be one of the country’s biggest steel producers.  He’s currently the president and owner of Raldex Hospitality Group.  His company own and manages several high end motels and hotels in the Florence area.

Dale Barth, Redbone Alley Restaurant, Chef and Owner;  This entrepreneur owns the popular Redbone Alley restaurant in Florence and has branched out with a mail order business of sauces and recently opened a restaurant, Fiasco,  in downtown Florence, which he’s the co-owner. Barth believes that mentors have greatly contributed to his success as an entrepreneur.

Jerry Ellison, JBE, Inc., President and Chief Executive Officer; Minority owned company that excels in providing larger manufacturers with “Just in time” manufactured products out of his Hartsville facility.  Ellison is a firm believer in “keeping it in the family”.  His executive staff is made up of his children and their spouses.

Henry Johnson, W. Lee Flowers, President;  Johnson credits his good fortune as an entrepreneur to having a good partner in Heyward King, W. Lee Flowers’ Chairman of the Board, and of course, his wife, Jenny.  He also is a strong believer in tithing and giving back to the community.  W. Lee Flowers is a big supporter of Lake City’s Artfields festival. 

Heyward King, W. Lee Flowers, Chairman of Board and Owner; King says that his company has been around since 1922 and says careful planning has brought him success as an entrepreneur.  King says they didn’t choose the Pee Dee to grow their business, but that the Pee Dee chose them.

Doris Lockhart, Accustaff, Owner;  Lockhart is an investor and business owner.  She’s also the co-owner of Mi Ladies 182 in Florence and says passion for providing quality service to her clients and customers is the driving force behind her entrepreneurial success.

Rick Saunders, First Reliance Bank, President and Chief Executive Officer;  Saunders is President of the Florence area’s only locally owned bank and his company was named as one the top community banks in  the country.  Saunders calls himself a compulsive learner.  He has become a steady reader of business and customer service books and that lifelong learning has made him a successful entrepreneur.

James Schofield, Carolina Supply House, Inc., Owner and Florence County Council member; Schofield’s family has been involved in the business community of Florence for over 100 years.  He’s had success in the hardware and supply business and the hotel business.  He’s also served an elected official of both the city and county of Florence.   

Henry and Marion Swink, McCall Farms, Co-Owners:  The Swink brothers have taken a small canning company and built it into a nationally known business that supplies a variety of vegetables to groceries around the country.   McCall Farms has been around since 1868 and both men credit their success to being community oriented and being willing to take chances.

The event will be business attire. To purchase tickets, please call Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Jill Lewis at (843) 661-8003, or you can her email at 

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