The Aiken Chamber MEANS business
Q & A with the 2020 Aiken Chamber Chair
Julie Whitesell
Julie Whitesell

Why is the Aiken Chamber of Commerce an important piece of the community?
The Aiken Chamber is made up of 1,000 small and large businesses and organizations, all their employees, public officials, and community-minded citizens all working toward a common goal - We all love Aiken and care about its future.

We advocate for a strong business climate and that means paying attention to the big picture, staying ahead of issues, and working with community leaders to make sure business can grow and thrive here.

We work to build and nurture relationships that will last a lifetime and have a positive impact on Aiken.

How would you describe the Aiken business community?
Aiken is a really special place to do business. We are so blessed to have local, national and even international companies, elected officials, educators and residents who realize that we all share the responsibility of creating economic success. Aiken business owners work hard to nurture the small-town live-work-play culture, and that is one thing that makes Aiken so special.

From a real estate perspective, Aiken has always had success. We have people from all over the world that call Aiken home. It's such a pleasure to take someone visiting on a tour...sharing our history, our unique opportunities, the friendly people, and the vibrant culture. I always encourage people considering Aiken to be sure to take a stroll downtown, visit our parks, shop in the local boutiques located throughout Aiken, and eat at one of our many amazing local restaurants... this always gets them hooked on Aiken.

What are some of the goals you have for this year?
The Chamber's board of directors has the following goals for 2020:
  • Collaborate with the City of Aiken in the development of a comprehensive Economic Development Action Plan for Aiken. 
  • Advocate for new missions to facilitate economic growth at the Savannah River Site - Pit Production.  
  • Use the Chamber's influence to advocate for issues of major importance to the community's economic vitality and quality of life through letters of support, forums, input to elected officials and other means for impactful development projects.
  • Continue to monitor and advocate for key projects that promote Aiken's economic vitality.
  • Grow the winner's circle related to the relocation of the United States Army Cyber Command (ARCYBER) Headquarters to Fort Gordon in Augusta, Georgia, to include Aiken as a desirable location to live, work and locate businesses supporting ARCYBER.
  • Refresh the Aiken Young Professionals organization - Coordinate with large employers to connect new hires to the community to aid in employee retention.
  • Continue to be the Voice of Business for Aiken by growing the Chamber's digital media footprint through the launch of the podccast Lucky Enough. This new platform will allow the Chamber to keep members and the general public informed and engaged with business news and opportunities.
Whitesell and Moore
Like Father, 
Like Daughter
What is your history with the Aiken Chamber?
My dad, Jim Moore, was the chair of the Aiken Chamber in 1983. He has been a phenomenal role model for service above self. Whether it was leading the Chamber of Commerce or using his talents for the Aiken Heart Board, he taught me to love and give back. I am honored to follow in his footsteps in this role.

What is your favorite thing about the Aiken Chamber? The people!

Anything else you would like to add?  Come join us. You won't regret it.
Meet Julie Whitesell

A true Aikenite, Whitesell is proud that she and her husband, Jimi, are raising their two children, Baxter and Shyla, in her hometown. Whitesell has been with Meybohm Real Estate since 2001 and has been the broker-in-charge of the Aiken downtown office for the past four years, where she loves working with her Meybohm family and her mother, Carolyn Moore, who is the broker-in charge of the Aiken Silver Bluff office. 
As a real estate professional, Whitesell is affecting her community through local, state and national connections. She is on the Greater Augusta Association REALTORS® Board of Directors, serves the SC REALTORS® as a RPAC Trustee and is on the Board of Directors, and is the SC representative of the Broker Engagement Council for the National Association of REALTORS®. Whitesell is also proud to serve with her friends on the Kevin and Brittany Kisner Foundation.
A graduate of USC Aiken with a degree in theatre, Whitesell enjoys the vibrant art community in Aiken. She is very involved in the Aiken Women's Heart Board show, the Aiken Community Theatre, and teaches Sunday School at St. John's United Methodist Church.
Whitesell has lived in Charleston, Boston, and the East Village in Manhattan but always comes home to Aiken. Whitesell says she has finally learned "if you're lucky enough to live in're lucky enough."
Bridgadier general to give briefing on DreamPort at 
First Friday Means Business
Brigadier General Owens
Brigadier General Brad Owens, the Director of the South Carolina National Guard Joint Staff will be briefing the Chamber's membership on the S.C. National Guard's DreamPort Cybersecurity Collaborative at USC Aiken at the March 7 First Friday Means Business breakfast.
The DreamPort complex, which includes both open and secure settings, is intended to foster cyber- and technology-related research, education and workforce development. It's also meant to spearhead the fi ght against growing cyber security pitfalls.  
Establishing the DreamPort facility at USCA puts it well within reach of other synergetic operations: Fort Gordon, the Army's cyber center of excellence in Augusta, and the in-motion Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative, a U.S. Department of Energy and Savannah River National Laboratory nuclear venture.
Elected officials and USCA Chancellor Dr. Sandra Jordan have hailed the DreamPort installation as a fantastic addition to an already interested and invested region.
This cutting-edge project, which could start in 2022, is very important to the Aiken community and Chamber members are encouraged to be well-informed advocates for this initiative.  

The sponsor for the March First Friday Means Business breakfast is AT&T.
H ave a Blast with the Aiken Chamber
Pipeworks Team
The shotgun team representing Pipeworks of Aiken, Inc. won the fourth annual Blastin' for Business competition in 2019. Will Good, Grace Poole, Rayford Poole, Denny Flahault and Pete Widener made up the winning team. 
The Aiken Chamber will be firing off its fifth  Blastin' for Business Clay Shoot at Palmetto Shooting Complex, a premier shooting destina­tion operated by the National Wild Turkey Federation.
The event will be held March 20 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. All skill levels are wel­come to join this fun and ex­citing day of networking and team building.
Often referred to as golf­ing with a gun, the Blastin' for Business Clay Shoot will start the day with a "flurry shoot". A 'flurry' begins at the call of "pull" and five clay targets are all traveling towards and over the shoot­ing stations, like a covey of birds would rise. A target is then released from one of five traps until 50 birds have been launched in about a minute.
After the flurry shoot, teams will depart via golf carts to the fully automated clays course among the pine trees to shoot at clay pigeons and network.
A gourmet lunch will be ready and waiting for every shooter at the awards ceremony along with trophies and awards for the top teams.
Ryan ReynoldsRyan Reynolds of H. G. Reynolds Company, Inc. has participated in the event each year and had this to say, "The Blastin' for Business Clay Shoot pro­vides an incredible venue and networking opportunity for those outdoor sports enthusi­asts who might otherwise not share the same enthusiasm for traditional golfing. Palmetto Shooting Complex is a first class facility all the way."
The cost for a team of five is $625. The package in­cludes use of a golf cart, am­mo, 100 targets, and lunch followed by the awards ceremony with cash prizes.
To make reservations or to inquire about sponsorships, please contact Jim Tunison at 803.645.0144 or .
Blastin' for Business is sponsored by:

Title Sponsor:
H. G. Reynolds Company, Inc.

Breakfast Sponsor:

Buckshot Sponsors:
Alfred Benesch & Company
Cranston Engineering Group
Gillam & Associates, Inc.
Lori Comshaw's Personal Training
Matthews Motors
Pipeworks of Aiken, Inc.
Pollack Company
TD Bank
Trinity on Laurens / Hixon's Roofing & Construction, LLC
United Rentals - Aiken
United Rentals - Augusta

Lucky Enough

Lucky Enough  goes live
The Aiken Chamber of Commerce has launched a new podcast.
Lucky Enough , focuses on individuals who make Aiken's business community thrive. From C-Suite executives to budding local entrepreneurs, listeners will find out everything needed to stay informed, be engaged and help their business grow and thrive.
In the first episode of Lucky Enough, sponsored by Atlantic Broadband Business, Chamber President/CEO J. David Jameson chats with entrepreneur extraordinaire Norman Dunagan about what it takes to start and run a successful business, the importance of being an active member of the Aiken Chamber of Commerce, and a little bit more. 
A goal of the Chamber's 2020 Program of Work is to utilize all forms of media to promote Chamber members and educate both members and the general public about Aiken's business community. The infusion of new content on the Chamber's social media sites is part of reaching this goal.
Episode 1 of Lucky Enough can be viewed on YouTube and will soon be available on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.
Make sure to follow the Aiken Chamber on all its platforms to stay informed, engaged and help Aiken grow and thrive.
It's a great day for business in Aiken, South Carolina.
Facebook: @AikenChamber
Instagram: @aiken.chamber
LinkedIn: Aiken Chamber of Commerce
YouTube: AikenChamber
Census Participation

Census means $$$ for Aiken

While getting an accurate count of the current population is important, the U.S. Census is much more than the information collected - it means dollars and cents for our community. The census helps determine how billions of federal dollars are allocated annually for critical public services. The census drives decisions that affect business growth, social services, infrastructure, government representation and education. If we do not get an accurate count, our community loses out on federal funding opportunities.

Aiken residents have the chance to secure necessary funding for our community, spur economic growth, and prepare our city for the future by participating in the U.S. Census.
Census data is essential to a business' bottom line. A complete count could lead to more jobs and new businesses in Aiken. Businesses use population statistics to help decide where to add jobs or open new stores. Census results enable business owners to determine where to locate operations based on where their customers are, and the likelihood they will be able to hire enough qualified workers.

If your company buys, or perhaps even does its own market research, chances are that the basis of that research is census data. Census data tells us how many people live in each area and it describes their living arrangements, ages, income, educational attainment, commuting patterns, and occupations. It even describes the kinds of homes people have as well as the availability of phones and vehicles.

Achieving an accurate population count is imperative, and the business community can play a key role in the process. We need your help in ensuring all Aiken area residents are counted, so we are urging you to use your communications networks to encourage your employees and people in your sphere of influence to complete the Census.

The first mailing of the U.S. Census is expected to take place March 12 - March 20. Census Day is April 1 and is observed nationwide. By this date, every home will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. For the first time, the U.S. Census will provide the option to respond electronically online as well as by mail or phone.

The participation rate for Aiken County was 78% in 2010. Remember, the 2020 Census will determine congressional representation, inform hundreds of billions in federal funding, and provide data that will impact Aiken for the next decade. Let's work together to make sure everyone is counted in Aiken County in 2020.


* Prior to 1790, the Census was used mainly to tax, secure property, and enlist the youth into military services.
* In 1820, the Census began asking for more detailed employment information.
* In 1890, an electric tabulation system was used for the first time.
* 1960 marked the first mail-out of the Census.
* In 2000, the Census data was released principally on the internet for the first time.
* In 2020, the Census will be able to be completed online for the first time.

SCORE to offer website workshop

The local SCORE office will hold a seminar March 13 to help small businesses attain optimum exposure on the internet.
The workshop, Business Website Design, is for businesses with established websites, as well as for business owners/managers who are considering starting a website to boost their bottom line.
Laura Gibbons, owner of Blue Salamander Solutions, LLC, is the guest speaker. She is a website developer, specializing in digital solutions for small businesses.
Seminar topics to be covered include:
* Fundamentals :  Basic website dos and don'ts
* Responsive/Mobile websites : Optimizing your website for mobile devices
* SEO fundamentals : Basic tools to enhance your search engine rankings
* Resources : Free online resources for graphics and website enhancements
The workshop will be held Friday, March 13, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Aiken Chamber of Commerce, 121 Richland Ave. E., in downtown Aiken. There is no charge to attend, but registration is required. Visit  or call (803) 641-1111.

Aiken County Museum

Fifty years ago, the Aiken County Historical Museum cut a ribbon to dedicate its first building. The anniversary of that historical occasion was commemorated with a ribbon cutting February 12. Attending were the Friends of the Museum, elected officials, Chamber board members, Chamber ambassadors and community members. Aiken County Historical Museum has no admission charge and is open Tuesday - Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday afternoon from 2 to 5 p.m.

March 6
Sponsored by AT&T
At Newberry Hall
7:30 to 9 a.m.

March 13
At Aiken Chamber of Commerce
10 a.m. to noon

March 20
Blastin' for Business - Clay Shoot Tournament
Sponsored by H. G. Reynolds Company, Inc.
At Palmetto Shooting Complex
9:00 a.m. Registration
10 a.m. Shotgun Start
2:00 p.m. Finish with lunch
Contact Jim Tunison at (803) 645-0144 or

March 26
Sponsored by Dumpster Depot, Trinity on Laurens & AHH Sunshine
At Trinity on Laurens
5 to 7 p.m.
Amen Corner Ponds
We are water feature experts and have a passion for installing lifestyle for families in the CSRA.
Warrenville, SC 29851
Contact: Ethan Hammond
Phone: (803) 226-1002 

Bat Aero Films
Video Production
We are on a mission to help you get noticed and succeed at what you do. Providing top quality video production and aerial drone services for motion pictures/film, TV & events, real estate, corporate video and government support.
Aiken, SC 29803
Contact: Randy Batarao
Phone: (803) 646-4311

Crawlspace Medic of Augusta
Home Improvement
Our expertise in structural repair and moisture remediation helps us identify what repairs are needed to get your problem resolved. We set out to help homeowners prevent the loss of equity in their homes and improve the quality of their indoor air through our expert inspections and diagnosis.
4492 Washington Road
Evans, GA 30809
Contact: Kevin Hudson
Phone: (706) 760-7616

Gen Mar Solutions, LLC  
International Trade Company
We are working with the leaders in industrial engines and instrumentation and controls in the US to maximize market penetration into Latin America and Caribbean and creating an alliance of distributors targeting power generation, oil and gas and related industrial/commercial businesses.
252 Finch Road
Wagener, SC 29164
Contact: Lisa Quintero
Phone: (803) 443-4213

International Cultural Exchange
Facilitating international students to learn the native language and culture by living with a host family and attending adult education or college classes.
Aiken, SC 29803
Contact: Jola Garcia
Phone: (201) 983-7097

Paceline Ride
Nonprofit organization where 100% of the funds raised go to support critical research and survivorship at the Georgia Cancer Center in Augusta, GA
720 St. Sebastian Way, Suite 4
Augusta, GA 30901
Contact: James Holmes
Phone: (706) 922-3755

PlayLand of Aiken  
Entertainment and Activities
Indoor play center for kids ages 0 - 13. Also available for field trips, birthday parties and private events.
951 B Dougherty Road
Aiken, SC 29803
Contact: Anna Klimenko
Phone: (803) 226-0096

Salon SHEARiousity  
Hair Salon & Spa
A relaxing salon experience that will leave you looking and feeling fabulous! Our focus is healthy hair! We specialize in cuts, color and good vibes!! How SHEARiuos are you?
324 Park Avenue, SE
Aiken, SC 29801
Contact: Toquetta Christian
Phone:(803) 215-8576

S am's Club #4879
220 Jefferson Davis Highway
Aiken, SC 29801
Contact: Lavonya Maddox
Phone: (803) 761-6908