Mike Switzer

Host, Producer

After almost 20 years, Mike Switzer retired from Wells Fargo Securities in 2001 as Senior Vice President/Investment Officer and Certified Portfolio Manager.  In 2008, he and his wife, Maggie, sold a Baskin Robbins ice cream store they owned and operated for eight years on Forest Drive in Columbia. While operating the ice cream store, Mike and Maggie received patents for a portable ice cream sink and fold-down sneezeguard they invented and in 2002 started Magnolia Carts which they sold in 2013.

In 2009, Mike and Maggie finished construction of their new “green” home in Blythewood, SC which was awarded Gold Certification in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program from the US Green Building Council.  In 2011, Mike co-founded Voterheads (www.voterheads.com), a voter education/citizen participation technology company.  He currently serves on the company’s board of directors. He is also past chair of the Town of Blythewood Planning Commission and currently serves as the executive director of the Greater Blythewood Chamber of Commerce.

Ways to Connect

For the past couple years, our next guest has been busy restoring and operating Magnolia Farm Lodge, a bed and breakfast, outdoor school and working farm in Ridgeway, SC.  He is also a practicing attorney in Columbia, SC and the leader of the band the Plowboys.  But if that isn’t enough, he has now added two new projects in Ridgeway: Honeysuckle Hill bed and breakfast and Brice’s Country

It's been awhile since you’ve heard us mention IT-ology, the nonprofit organization in Columbia working to grow the information technology workforce in our state.  And that’s because, over the past several months, they have been re-tooling their focus and programs and have a new leader.

Mike Switzer interviews Tammy Mainwaring, president of IT-ology in Columbia, SC.

Entrepreneurs in our state now have a new opportunity to apply for start-up funding of up to $50,000.  But there is a catch.  You will have to move to Charleston for a year.  Which may not be all bad…

Mike Switzer interviews Jake Hare, co-founder and CEO of Launchpeer in Charleston, SC.

The economists we interview on this program each month have been reporting pretty much the same story for several years now: "same old-same old," "slow but steady growth", etc.  But this lackluster economic environment must really be wearying to our next guest whose latest published prognosis includes terms like "sleepwalking” and “zombie-like."

A weekly update of the entrepreneurial activity in South Carolina.

Mike Switzer interviews John Warner is co-founder of Concepts to Companies and founder of the Swampfox Facebook page, based in Greenville, S.C.

Regardless of the rhetoric that we hear these days, huge demographic shifts are underway in our country that will continue to impact our workforce and our economy.  And our next guest says that because of that, diversity and inclusion in the workplace will be more important than ever for a business to succeed.

You probably know about the big tea plantation in the Lowcountry of our state.  But probably not many know that tea is becoming big business in the Upstate, as well.  In fact, our next guest says that the southern Appalachian climate is ideal for growing tea leaves.

Mike Switzer interviews Steve Lorch, CEO of Table Rock Tea Company in Pickens, SC.

It probably won’t surprise you to hear that it costs a lot of money to keep someone in jail.  $20,000 a year in a state prison, and $30,000 a year in a federal prison.  But the cost is even higher when a former inmate turns back to a life of crime, which is what happened recently when an ex-convict killed a chef in a Charleston restaurant.  A sad situation that our next guest is working hard to alleviate.

Mike Switzer interviews Amy Barch, executive director of Turning Leaf in Charleston, SC.

Our country and our state’s population continues to get older.  Which means more and more people are turning 70 ½, which requires them to begin taking minimum distributions from their IRAs, if they haven’t already started.  Do you know what those requirement details are and what your alternatives might be?

An update of the news, events and issues that are trending right now across South Carolina's business community.

Mike Switzer interviews Andy Owens, managing editor of SCBizNews, the company that publishes the Columbia Regional Business Report, Charleston Regional Business Journal, GSA Business and SCBizNews magazine.

The U.S. government is the largest single purchaser of goods and services in the world, awarding approximately $500 billion in contracts every year.  The US Small Business Administration has offices across the country and in our state that work with the small business community to facilitate acquiring those contracts.

Mike Switzer interviews Michael Corp, lead business opportunity specialist with the SBA's South Carolina district office in Columbia, SC.​

If you didn't know, September 15 to October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month, which makes it a good time to talk about the issues facing the Hispanic business community in our state.

Companies are always telling us that finding and keeping highly qualified employees is a constant challenge.  Our next guest says that that challenge is amplified for foreign companies with facilities here.  And that's why they host annual conferences here in our state for all those involved.  One of these events is coming soon to the Upstate.

Most people would agree that saving for retirement is vital, especially in the current retirement landscape where most companies don't offer large and dependable pensions any longer.  And then there's the survival of the social security system which most people are skeptical about.  Do you have a reliable plan to be financially ready for retirement?

Mike Switzer interviews Tiffany Ritchie, a certified financial planner with Morris Financial Concepts in Mt. Pleasant, SC.

John Warner
Concepts to Companies

A weekly update of the entrepreneurial activity in South Carolina.

Mike Switzer interviews John Warner is co-founder of Concepts to Companies and founder of the Swampfox Facebook page, based in Greenville, S.C.

Ray Moore
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

Because it is so much cheaper than suing and fighting in court, alternative dispute resolution is gaining favor among plaintiffs and defendants alike.  And law firms are noticing this trend and adapting their practices to take advantage of it.

Mike Switzer interviews Ray Moore, an attorney with the Murphy and Grantland Law Firm in Columbia, SC.

As a business owner, president, CEO, or manager it is your responsibility to know what your employees are saying to your clients.  But have you ever thought about how important not only their words are but what their body language is saying as well?

Mike Switzer interviews Gerald Glascock with the Southern Institute of Etiquette and Protocol in Columbia, SC.

Lynn Bailey
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

The American Medical Association says that the physician-patient relationship is the bedrock of the healthcare system in our country.  However, our next guest says that, for the most case, neither physicians nor patients are happy with the current state of that interaction.

Mike Switzer interviews Lynn Bailey, a healthcare economist in Columbia, SC.

Have you ever thought about paying someone to monitor or coach your behavior?  Probably the most common example would be a personal fitness trainer.  But how about when it comes to your financial behavior?  Our next guest says that having an objective voice, separated from the emotions of YOUR money can be a positive.

Mike Switzer interviews Jesse Hansford, a certified financial planner with Gateway Wealth Strategies in Greenville, SC.

John Warner
Concepts to Companies

A weekly update of the entrepreneurial activity in South Carolina.

Mike Switzer interviews John Warner is co-founder of Concepts to Companies and founder of the Swampfox Facebook page, based in Greenville, S.C.

In South Carolina, tourism is big business and many municipalities outside of the normal tourist zones in our state are looking for ways grab a piece of the action.  Because of its proximity to the National Audubon Society's Francis Beidler Forest, our next guest’s town has decided to make birdwatching its tourism focus.

Mike Switzer interviews Colin Martin, administrator for the Town of Summerville, SC.

Most people are aware that our state has an established reputation in the automotive industry, insurance technology, and now aerospace.  But few are aware that we are gaining quite a foothold in cancer research.  Our next guest’s Upstate company, for example, has developed a vaccine that is showing promise in patients with solid tumor cancers such as melanoma, lung, colon, breast, and more.

Mike Switzer interviews Dr. Thomas Wagner, chief researcher at Orbis Health Solutions in Greenville, SC.

If you’ve lived in our state for a while, you have a pretty good idea of how important tourism is to our economy.  And probably the biggest parts of that industry are hotels and restaurants.

Mike Switzer interviews Katie Montgomery, director of communications for the South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association

Most people are familiar with the bull and bear markets in stocks but I would be willing to wager that not many people are following the ups and downs in the bond market. For example, did you know that we are currently in a 35-year bull run in bonds? And our next guest says that may be about to end.

Mike Switzer interviews Roy Janse, a certified financial planner in Greenville, SC.

A weekly update of the entrepreneurial activity in South Carolina.

Mike Switzer interviews John Warner is co-founder of Concepts to Companies and founder of the Swampfox Facebook page, based in Greenville, S.C.

Alan Buck
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

Have you noticed that more and more electric vehicles are showing up on our roads and highways?  Even with low gas prices, the EV industry is growing nationally and in our state.

Mike Switzer interviews Alan Buck, the Columbia, SC coordinator for the Drive Electric Event, coming Sept. 9th.

Just when we thought coding schools were becoming passé with the closing of the Iron Yard and other schools, we came across one company who is bullish on the industry and is moving quickly to fill the vacuum left by those who exited.  And they’ve planted a beachhead here in South Carolina.

Mike Switzer interviews Tom Wilson, chief technology innovation officer and an instructor at JRS Coding School in Mt. Pleasant, SC.

While the debate over healthcare insurance has certainly been on a lot of people’s minds lately, one new trend in the industry continues to move forward: outcome-based healthcare.  Our next guest’s company is trying to catch that wave.

Mike Switzer interviews Rick Hammer, CEO of SE Healthcare Quality Consulting in Charleston, SC.

Joey Von Nessen
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

For the past couple of years, every time we speak to an economist, we seem to get the same story: growth is good, growth is slow, and the forecast is for the same.  What do you suppose we’re going to hear today?

Mike Switzer interviews Joey von Nessen, a research economist with the University of South Carolina's Moore School of Business, and their Division of Research, which stays busy tracking and calculating our state's economic statistics.

Alan Cooper
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

An update of the news, events and issues that are trending right now across South Carolina's business community.

Mike Switzer interviews Alan Cooper, founder and editor of three online business news websites in South Carolina: MidlandsBiz, UpstateBizSC, and LowCountryBizSC.