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

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.

Satish Cherukumalli
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

You may have noticed that this summer we’ve had one of the worst mosquito infestations in a while.  While that’s been good for the mosquito pest control companies, it’s also been good for a new technology company in our state that is working on eradication through surveillance.

Mike Switzer interviews Satish Cherukumalli, co-founder and CEO of  TrakitNow in Columbia, SC.

During the US Small Business Administration’s annual Salute to Small Business earlier this year, our next guest was named the co-Young Small Business Person of the Year for South Carolina.  And she says it all started with a trip to Thailand.

Mike Switzer interviews Laura Cannon, co-owner of the Orange Spot Coffee House in North Charleston, SC.

Tia Williams
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

  The second sentence on the About page at our next guest’s web site identifies the Midlands of South Carolina as “A region “booming with potential” but somehow still lackluster in its demand for greatness.”  And so she launched a company to dispel that image.

 Mike Switzer interviews Tia Williams, founder of Midlands Anchor in Columbia, SC.

Investing With Impact

Aug 22, 2017

If you haven’t heard, there’s a new term for socially responsible investing.  It’s now referred to as impact investing.  But who are these investors, what are they investing in, and how are these investments performing?

Mike Switzer interviews Greg Garvin with Natural Investments in Charleston, 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.

Do you remember what your career plans were when you graduated from high school?  Were you going to college for a specific degree for that career?  Or were you just going to wing it for a while?  Oftentimes, these decisions can put high school students into a quandary of indecision.

Mike Switzer interviews Ian Leslie, co-founder of Vireo Labs in Beaufort, SC, creators of a new mobile app for these students.

By now, surely you have seen a drone or two or three flying around for some reason or another.  More often than not, that reason is an economic one.  They are being used to promote economic development, provide mapping data, assess infrastructure damage from storms, and a for variety of promotional and marketing purposes.  That's just one of the topics that will be covered at the upcoming South Carolina Aerospace Conference and Expo.

SC Healthcare Update

Aug 16, 2017
Lynn Bailey
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

Both Congress and the president are on vacation until after Labor Day and as a result, the healthcare debate has quieted down significantly since the vote collapse a few weeks ago.  But our resident healthcare economist says that just because things are quite, there’s still plenty to talk about.

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

Ever since the early days of the Internet, we’ve heard the phrase and many of us have experienced the phrase “information overload”.  Our next guest says this overwhelming abundance of information has also made do-it-yourself financial planning kind of confusing and is bringing people back to the desks of financial planners.  But she also says, you should know how to pick the financial planner that’s right for you.

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.

Louise Blais, Canada's Consul General to the U.S.
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

According to the latest trade statistics, our state’s exports to Canada total about $3.5 billion dollars a year.  Our imports from Canada come to about $2.9 billion.  All of which leads to about 165,000 jobs in South Carolina that depend on that trade relationship with our northern neighbor.

Mike Switzer interviews Consul General Louise Blais, Canada’s top diplomat in the Southeast United States.

When a company is just getting started, there are certain legal ducks that need to be in a row in order for that company to not only get off the ground but to survive.  One of those is to make sure your proprietary knowledge and designs are protected.

Mike Switzer interviews Ben Klosowski, an attorney with Thrive IP in Greenville, SC.

For the past 25 years, our next guest has been guiding his customers through the saltwater estuaries and blackwater rivers of our state’s Lowcountry by powerboat, kayak and paddleboard.  As much fun as that sounds, he says the best part is the environmental education they leave with.

Mike Switzer interviews Chris Crolley, owner of Coastal Expeditions in Mt. Pleasant, SC.

Most of us are probably aware of how habits formed while we're young normally continue throughout our lifetimes.  Our next guest says this is why helping your children develop a savings habit while they’re young will be one of the most precious gifts you can give your children.

Mike Switzer interviews Noel Swain, a certified financial planner with Provest Wealth Advisors in Spartanburg, 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.

Moultrie Ball
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

By now, most people know what STEM is when mentioned in regard to education.  That having a foundation in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math will help in career development later in life.  Our next guest decided that he wanted to focus on the E in STEM by launching a company that helps kids understand the importance of engineering through building their own small projects.

Mike Switzer interviews Moultrie Ball, co-founder of RumbleLab in Columbia, SC.

If you are a regular listener of this program, you’ve probably heard John “Swampfox” Warner and I talk many times about the value of our state’s research universities and how a lot of that research is helping bring new companies to life.  Our next guest is one example.

Madiken Helsel
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

It’s no secret that the better your team of employees works together, the more productive they will be.  A lot of that depends on their ability to share their work and information.  And that’s why knowledge management platforms are becoming more important to companies, especially start-ups.

Mike Switzer interviews Madiken Helsel, co-founder of TipHive, recently featured as one of 10 start-ups to watch by the Upstate Business Journal.

It’s been eight years since the Great Recession officially ended, unemployment has been hitting new lows but growth has been slow.  Our next guest says that while South Carolina is doing very well, he says, in fact, “bursting at the seams”, we also could soon run out of water.

Mike Switzer interviews Frank Hefner, director of the Office of Economic Analysis at the College of Charleston.

Start-up companies face many challenges, a lot of which are financial.  One such obstacle can be the ability to afford to pay an attorney for things like incorporation, patents, etc.  Our next guest’s law firm though, recently rolled out a new program entitled Palmetto Propeller which is designed to provide free legal work to qualified entrepreneurial projects.

Five years ago, the final major professional golf tournament of the year, the PGA Championship, was held for the first time in South Carolina, at Kiawah Island.  This year, it will be at another first-time venue, Quail Hollow Club, just across the border in Charlotte, NC.  Which means once again, a huge economic impact for our state from the game of golf.

Mike Switzer interviews Jason Mengel, tournament director for the 2017 PGA Championship.