The Aiken Chamber MEANS business
1,000 Businesses: Buliding Aiken's Future 

The Aiken Chamber is a dynamic business alliance formed 100 years ago to serve the business interests of Aiken and the region.  

Over 1,000 members strong, the Aiken Chamber is the largest voluntary membership-driven organization of businesses in the Aiken region. The Chamber exists to be the catalyst for business growth, the convener for leaders and influencers, and the champion for a stronger community.

The Chamber is made up of a five-member professional staff led by President/CEO J. David Jameson and is governed by a board of directors chaired by Joshua E. Stewart, J.E. Stewart Engineering. For the past decade, the Aiken Chamber has been accredited at the highest level by the United States Chamber of Commerce.
"At the Chamber, we take our role as the "voice of business" very seriously, and that includes listening to the challenges and issues facing our business community," said Stewart. "Goals and initiatives of the Chamber are set based on the principles of allowing businesses to grow and thrive, freeing business from unnecessary regulation and onerous government processes, and educating, cultivating and equipping the workforce of the future."
 Aiken's future as a desirable place to live, work, and visit depends upon a dynamic, diversified and growing economic base that complements the unique character of Aiken. Economic vitality is the primary means of supporting a quality of life that is distinctive to Aiken.

The Aiken Chamber works daily to help build and diversify the economy, aid the profitability of its members, and represent members' interests in governmental and legislative issues.
Schools important to AIken County's future

"We cannot overstate how important the Aiken County Public Schools are to building Aiken's future. This is a well-thought out plan that will positively affect the students, teachers and our community."  
Richard Harmon, Security Federal Bank.

"Quality public education facilities are a crucial tool in recruiting employers to the region.This bond will help keep the Aiken region competitive in an increasingly demanding marketplace. Companies looking to invest millions of dollars and hiring hundreds of people want to go to communities that are investing in themselves."
Will Williams, Economic Development Partnership President/CEO 

"We as a community have the opportunity to accelerate the road toward modern school facilities that was started with the passage of the penny tax. Support of this bond will address these needs in a 3-year time frame. Other fun
ding options will not allow us to impact these needs for the next 9-19 years."
Julie Whitesell, Meybohm Real Estate

"The success of Aiken County Public Schools is intrinsically linked with the success of Aiken. Pastor Paul Bush, Concerned Ministers Fellowship. The Aiken Chamber has consistently advocated and supported Aiken County Pubic Schools for 100 years. Please join us in voting YES May 1."
 Pastor Paul Bush, Concerned Ministers Fellowship 

Stewart appoints two to Chamber board 
               Rhonda Overbey                       Vahid Majidi 


Ruthven receives honor of Ambassador of the quarter
Martha Ruthven is the first 2018 recipient of the Ambassador of the Quarter Award. The award recognizes one member of the 58-member Ambassador team each quarter that goes above and beyond in their commitment to the Chamber and its members.
"When I think of this ambassador, I think of commitment, connection and caring," said Maidi Thompson, 2018 Ambassador Chair. "With her dynamic personality, she makes a connection with everyone she meets, whether a fellow ambassador, a Chamber member or the Chamber staff. She is someone who genuinely cares about our community and is ready to be there when we call."


Twenty years ago, I had the honor of serving as the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce's Board of Directors Chair. Just as it is today, the Aiken Chamber was a driving and powerful voice  for businesses in our region in 1998.
A top priority for the 1998 Chamber Board of Directors was to initiate programs that would enhance Aiken's existing business environment and attract new industries to the area. Prog rams such as promoting Aiken as an attractive d estination city for tourism; advocating for new missions at SRS; and offering chamber members the opportunity to learn about exporting their products and services to international markets were just a few of the initiatives the Chamber was involved with then. We also celebrated Bridgestone Americas' opening of its plant in Graniteville - their first new passenger tire facility in the U.S.
Without a doubt, the highlight of my year as Board Chair was construction of the new and beautiful Chamber building on Richland Avenue. Moving the Chamber from a small yellow house on upper Laurens Street to its current location was no small feat.
Alison South says thank you to SCORE

The Alison South Marketing Group presented a check for $500 to the Greater Aiken chapter of SCORE as a token of appreciation for SCORE's role in building its business. These funds will be used to further the mission of SCORE.

Greater Aiken SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to educating entrepreneurs and helping small businesses start, grow and succeed. SCORE is a partner with the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce and has provided no-cost mentoring to small-business owners in the area since 2004.

"We at Alison South Marketing Group want to thank Aiken SCORE for its critical role in our company's phenomenal growth," said Cynthia South, president of Alison South. "Five years ago, we formed an advisory board of SCORE members who offered their business management advice and encouragement that gave us the confidence to make and implement our strategic plan."

Serving on the advisory board from SCORE were Dr. Hugh Johnston, John Eyler, John Carman and Tim Bendle.

SCORE receives modest funding from the Small Business Administration and must augment that funding with fundraising. SCORE Fundraising Committee member Cheryl Tyson said, "We thank Alison South Marketing Group for its leadership giving! Alison South is one of many SCORE success stories."

Alison South Marketing Group's ownership includes Cynthia South, Mike Thomas, Ron Turner and Kate Sanders. The company was founded as South Company by South and Thomas in 2010, and the firm merged with Augusta's Alison Group in 2016. Alison South is based in Aiken and has a second office in Augusta
Women on Offense topic of Women in Business 

Women, don't unknowingly put yourself at risk of an attack. Risk avoidance and awareness makes up 90 percent of self-defense education, not physical response. Learning how to avoid situations by being aware of the surroundings is imperative to staying safe.
Chamber members are invited to join retired Army and patrol sergeant, Amanda Alexander at the upcoming Women in Business event, Women on the Offense, May 30 from 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. at Newberry Hall.
Situational awareness and prevention measures are key principles of the seminar. Whether it is a potential rape situation, or simple aggression against you, learn to protect yourself by becoming aware of possible situations, preventing escalation, defending against violence and becoming the victor instead of a victim.
Strategies and tips for risk reduction and awareness in the home, car and workplace will be taught at the seminar.

Fee to attend is $35.00.


VIP Luxury Nailbar & Footspa, LLC celebrated the opening of its new manicured and freshly polished business at 953-A Dougherty Road with a ribbon cutting March 28. Cutting the ribbon is owner Deirdre Balde, her associates, Chamber Chair Elect, Pastor Paul Bush and Chamber Ambassadors.

AVARA Pharmaceuticals Aiken celebrated its acquisition of GSK in the Verenes Industrial Park with a ribbon cutting celebration April 17.
The Executive Team of Avara and the Site Leadership Team of Aiken Avara. In the picture from left to right: Chuck Osborne- Finance Director, Aiken; Scott Harris- North American Transition Program Manager, Avara; Jaime Pedraza- Engineering Director, Aiken; LaChanda Canty- Quality Director, Aiken; Bill Van- SVP Engineering & Capital Management; Kelli Johnson- IT Lead, Aiken; Warren Horton- EVP & Quality Assurance; Bill Pasek- EVP & Chief Commercial Officer; Jessica Calhoun- Planning and Logistics Manager, Aiken; Tim Tyson- Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Avara; Omaira Shelor- VP & Site Director, Aiken; Jim Scandura- SVP & Chief Operating Officer; Mike Kays- EVP of Global Supply Chain, Avara; Keith Richardson- Technical Services Director, Aiken; Mark Hembarsky- EVP of Operational Excellence, Avara; Darren Brown- Environmental, Health and Safety Manager, Aiken; Yarelis Del C Rivera, Communications and Engagement Lead, Aiken; Grace Laguerre- Operations Director, Aiken; and Todd Cambron- Operational Excellence Lead, Aiken.


May 4                      
Newberry Hall
Sponsored by: Advanced Oral & Facial Specialists
7:30 to 9 a.m. 
May 11                      
  Aiken Chamber of Commerce
 10 a.m. to noon
May 17                         
Third Thursday
Sponsored by: AECOM 
Newberry Street
5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
May 18                          
Aiken Chamber of Commerce
10 a.m. to noon
May 24                         
Sponsored by:Fairfield Inn & Suites
5 to 7 p.m.

May 28                         
Memorial Day - Chamber Closed

May 30                          
Newberry Hall
Sponsored by: Aiken Regional Medical Centers & 
Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, LLC
11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Visit to register for events.   


Aiken Weight No More Health Wellness and Weight Loss Center, LLC - Health & Wellness
Direct service medical health, wellness, and weight loss treatment, education, and research center.
953 B Dougherty Road
Aiken, SC 29803
Contact: Catherine Toomer, MD
Phone: (803) 226-9010

Almost Home Wellness Center - Animal Shelter
Serves as a transitional space for rescued dogs on their journey to permanent adoptive homes in New Jersey.
4568 Whiskey Road
Aiken, SC 29803
Contact: Toni Ann Turco
Phone: (908) 598-8212

American National Insurance, Stan McDaniel Agency - Insurance
Stan McDaniel Agency represents American National Insurance Company which provides insurance and financial products to families and businesses. We offer coverage for Auto, Home, Life, Farm and Business
233 Pendleton Street, NW
Aiken, SC 29801
Contact: Stan McDaniel

Boomer Coatings - Home Improvement
Offers decorative concrete coatings, with designs that bring your concrete to life.
Aiken, SC 29801
Contact: Gregg Boomer
Phone: (217) 413-5095

Garden Bliss - Green Living Events
Eco-friendly company that holds green living events to promote sustainable lifestyles, renewable energy, and green technologies.
2503 Wire Road
Aiken, SC 29803
Contact: Frances C. Workman
Phone: (803) 262-3224

Jacobs - Engineering (Nuclear)
Premier global consulting, design, engineering, construction, operations & maintenance and technical services firm delivering advanced solutions for a more connected, sustainable world.
1041 East Butler Road
Greenville, SC 29607
Contact: Bill Badger
Phone: (865) 220-6161

The Pot Smoker BBQ - Restaurant
We do not cut corners. We smoke our meats every night for service the following day! You can smell our butts a mile away!
651 Silver Bluff Road
Aiken, SC 29803
Contact: Philip Pye
Phone: (803) 226-0941