E-Commerce Report
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September 29, 2022
Four strong leaders join
Aiken Chamber board of directors  
The Aiken Chamber of Commerce welcomes four new members to its board of directors. Dr. Daniel Heimmermann of University of South Carolina Aiken, Molly Jones of SRP Federal Credit Union, Sharon Marra of Savannah River National Laboratory, and Matthew Merrifield of Aiken Regional Medical Centers will be seated immediately and complete the unexpired terms of Karen Poteat, Rhonda Overbey, Debbie Eblen, and Jim O’Loughlin who have recently resigned from the board of directors for job related reasons.  
Dr. Daniel Heimmermann became the fifth chancellor of the University of South Carolina Aiken on July 1, 2021, and, as chancellor, serves as the chief executive officer and principal spokesperson for USC Aiken.

Over the past 25 years, Dr. Heimmermann has held leadership positions at universities in Alabama, Mississippi, and Texas serving as department chair, dean, and provost before becoming chancellor.

Originally from Wisconsin, Dr. Heimmermann received undergraduate degrees in history and Spanish before earning Master of Arts and Ph.D. degrees in early-modern French history from Marquette University.

Dr. Heimmermann has led the creation of signature academic programs in engineering, business, nursing as well as numerous industry-aligned graduate and undergraduate programs in emerging areas such as cyber security, data science, gaming and simulation, network administration security, software development and website design and development.
In support of these programs, Dr. Heimmermann established colleges in health sciences and human performance, engineering, nursing, business, nursing, as well as academic and research centers/institutes in biomedical science, cyber security and information, natural resource management, and water and energy whose applied research focus on solving the nation’s most pressing challenges.
Dr. Heimmermann is married to Claudia, a Spanish teacher at Aquinas High School in Augusta, and they have one daughter, Lucie, who is a junior at Aquinas.
Molly Jones, a graduate of the College of Charleston, has been in the financial industry for over 20 years and had the privilege of working in many areas of banking including branch management, investment services, mortgages, and small business lending.

Jones is currently a commercial loan officer with SRP Federal Credit Union. She is responsible for portfolio management, business development and commercial lending across the CSRA. Prior to her current role, she served as the assistant VP of business deposit services for SRP where she was responsible for the development of business services, training of business products and managed business deposit services.

Jones enjoys volunteering her time in the community. She currently serves on the Aiken Women’s Heart Board, Aiken Downtown Development Association Board as the chair of the board, the Youth Advisory Council chair for St. John’s United Methodist Church and serves as the co-chair of the Community Business Division for the United Way of Aiken County. Jones is also a graduate of South Carolina Banker’s School, Leadership Lexington County, and Leadership Aiken County.

She resides in Aiken with her husband, Dewayne, and her two sons, Sam and Luke.
Sharon Marra, deputy laboratory director, operations at the Savannah River National Laboratory is responsible for executive leadership and daily management of the 1100 employee, $350M multi-program national laboratory. She leads SRNL in driving down safety and operational events and assuring cost effectiveness while conducting the laboratory’s critical missions in support of its customers and the nation.

Marra has over 35 years of experience in engineering and research at the Savannah River Site (SRS) and the materials manufacturing industry, including over 25 years in management and technical leadership in nuclear waste immobilization processes and technology development. She has held various director and management level roles in technical leadership in materials and chemical processing. In these roles she oversaw the development and deployment of critical technologies to advance environmental management and other DOE missions.

She serves on the Ames National Laboratory Operations Review Committee, advising on operational performance plans and recommending past practices. She also serves on the University of South Carolina Aiken’s Engineering Advisory Board and has recently been appointed by the South Carolina Governor to the Aiken County Commission for Higher Education.

Marra is past division chair of the Nuclear and Environmental Technology Division of the American Ceramic Society (ACerS) and in 2016, was named a fellow with ACerS for her accomplishments and long-standing service to the society. Marra is a graduate of Alfred University and holds a Bachelor of Science in Ceramic Engineering.
Matthew Merrifield is the recently appointed chief executive officer at Aiken Regional Medical Centers. In this role, Merrifield is responsible for driving the growth and performance of the hospital, as well as providing strategic direction and oversight to help ensure the highest quality of patient care and safety. He is also responsible for driving growth among service lines and cultivating relationships with community leaders and businesses.

Merrifield has more than 12 years of experience in healthcare leadership. He earned his Master of Business Administration from Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina and his Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from West Virginia University.

Merrifield returns to Aiken Regional after two years with Summerlin Hospital Medical Center, a Universal Health Services (UHS) 485-bed acute care facility in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he served as chief operating officer. Prior to Summerlin Hospital Medical Center, he served as chief operating officer at Aiken Regional for four years.

Merrifield and his wife and family are delighted to return to Aiken where they enjoy volunteering.
Buy Aiken
Red Ticket Campaign
The Aiken Chamber of Commerce is continually finding innovative ways to help business grow and thrive in our community. Last November, the Chamber launched the Buy Aiken-Red Ticket Campaign, an initiative that encouraged our neighbors to step back from online shopping and step into our locally owned stores to complete their holiday shopping.

Shoppers earned 1 red ticket for every $25 spent at a participating business for a chance to win up to $5,000 in cash prizes. 34 businesses participated in 2021 with over 52,000 red tickets given away equating to over $1.3 million spent locally. The Aiken Chamber plans to increase those numbers this year in the second edition of the Buy Aiken-Red Ticket Campaign, happening November 1-December 19.

Step one of the campaign is rounding up participating businesses. The Buy Aiken-Red Ticket Campaign is an affordable, fun way to increase your business sales during the holiday season. Participating businesses will be part of a 7 week long, advertising campaign being underwritten by our major sponsors. Marketing of the Buy Aiken-Red Ticket Campaign includes: 

  • WRDW News 12 & WAGT NBC 26 – TV, streaming, digital ads, and social media posts
  • Fig Magazine – print and online distribution, direct mail, email, and social media coverage
  • Participating businesses registered by Oct 3 will have their place of business professionally photographed by ByFarr Design House
  • The Aiken Horse – print and online distribution
  • Exclusively featured in social media posts on the Aiken Chamber’s Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn pages using professional photos
  • Prominent placement of the participating businesses on www.aikenchamber.net
  • Coverage in the Aiken Chamber Commerce Report distributed in the Aiken Standard
  • Weekly e-blasts in the Weekend Rundown to over 7,000 subscribers in the CSRA
  • Signage for storefront announcing your business as a participating location
  • Three (3) $500 dollar prizes for the businesses that distribute one of the grand prize-winning tickets
  • Weekly drawings to build enthusiasm and encourage additional shopping
Thank you to the following major sponsors who have already invested in the Buy Aiken-Red Ticket Campaign.

  • The Aiken Horse
  • Bridgestone
  • Breezeline
  • ByFarr Design House
  • Master Chevrolet
  • Meybohm Real Estate
  • WRDW-TV, Inc. 

Participating businesses as of 09/28 are:
  • The Aiken Horse
  • Aloha Aesthetics
  • Area Churches Together Serving (ACTS)
  • Affordables Apparel
  • Apricot Lane Boutique
  • Beauty and Butterflies
  • Beyond Bijoux
  • Caroline’s Boutique
  • C&C Automotive
  • Cold Creek Nurseries
  • Dirty Chimney, LLC
  • The Etherredge Center for the Fine & Performing Arts
  • Honeybaked Ham Café & Catering
  • Horse Creek Academy
  • Jameson McDubby's Irish Pub
  • Jet Power Washing, LLC
  • Lionel Smith, Ltd.
  • Maddie P Boutique
  • Master Chevrolet
  • MacK’s
  • Meybohm Real Estate
  • Pitter Patter Children’s Boutique
  • Pizza Joint
  • Plum Pudding
  • Return Engagement
  • Roots and Leaves, LLC
  • Shepeard Community Blood Center - Aiken
  • SRP Federal Credit Union
  • Tiffany’s At the Stables
  • Town Creek Boutique
  • The Village Cafe
For an investment as low as $100 for members and $300 for nonmembers, the Aiken Chamber can give your business a boost this holiday shopping season.

Participation is not limited to retail. Contact the Chamber’s creative membership services team, Jim Tunison and Emily Murphy, at 803.641.1111 or jtunison@aikenchamber.net or emurphy@aikenchamber.net to register and discuss innovative ways to involve your business.
A quarter century of advocacy
A vital role of the Aiken Chamber of Commerce is to be an advocate for its members in local, state and federal legislative matters. Simply wading through the bureaucracy and special interests in these centers of power is complicated and daunting. But, combine the strength of our membership and you have a powerful force to push for the issues important to our regional business members.
The Chamber advocates for its members regarding government-related concerns and to address or act where it is needed on legislative issues. Each year we review specific proposed legislation and policy decisions and make sure our lawmakers know where we stand on these issues.

Part of that advocacy mission includes the annual CSRA Leadership Trip to Washington DC. In its 25th year, the trip is a collaborative effort with the North Augusta, Augusta and Columbia County Chambers of Commerce. Public and private sector community business leaders from across the CSRA traveled to the nation’s capital September 13-15 to discuss with lawmakers and government officials issues that impact our region.
The 2022 Aiken contingency was led by Aiken Chamber Chair Norman Dunagan of Dumpster Depot and Aiken Chamber President/CEO, J. David Jameson.
“The CSRA Leadership Trip is a very effective way of informing and educating our legislators on issues important to the vitality of our businesses and our community,” Jameson said. 
Trip participants traveled to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for a federal legislative update and a transportation and infrastructure discussion as well as discussions on workforce and earmarks. Groups met with legislative directors and chiefs of staff from congressional offices and held meetings with all four senators representing Georgia and South Carolina to advocate on behalf of our region.
Briefings from the Department of Energy (DOE), the Office of Environmental Management (EM) and National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) were also held to discuss:

  • The Savannah River Site landlord transition between EM and NNSA
  • The future direction of Workforce Opportunities in Regional Careers (WORC) grants. 
  • Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative (AMC) community and industry partnership assistance
  • Community involvement on NNSA plutonium processing facility mission
  • DOE partnership on local infrastructure projects
  • Future role and responsibilities of the Savannah River Site Community Reuse Organization
Collins selected for U.S. Chamber Foundation Education and Workforce Fellowship Program
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation recently announced Mandy Collins, VP of Economic Vitality of the Aiken Chamber of Commerce, was selected to participate in the seventh cohort of its premiere business leadership program. The Business Leads Fellowship Program trains and equips leaders from state and local chambers of commerce, economic development agencies, and trade associations with resources, access to experts, and a network of peers to build their capacity to address the most pressing education and workforce challenges.
“We created the Business Leads Fellowship Program in response to the needs of our state and local chamber partners,” says Cheryl Oldham, Senior Vice President of the Center for Education and Workforce. “They, better than anyone, see the critical link between education and economic development, and we are glad to be able to support them as they take on this critical leadership role in their community.”
Following a competitive application and selection process, Collins was selected along with 34 other state and local chamber executives, economic development professionals, and association leaders to participate in the seventh class of this program. The six-month program, consisting of both in person and virtual meetings, will cover the entire talent pipeline, including early childhood education, K-12, postsecondary education, and workforce development.
“It’s quite an honor for the Aiken Chamber to have a seat at the table. Mandy’s interaction and collaboration skills will be valuable to the group. I’m certain that she be exposed to ideas and programs that can be applied in Aiken to help our members grow and thrive,” said Chamber President/CEO J. David Jameson.

Upon completion, Business Leads Fellows will join the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s dedicated network of over 250 chambers of commerce and statewide associations from around the nation who regularly engage on education and workforce initiatives.
For more information on the Business Leads Fellowship Program, visit the program’s website.
All About Aiken – A tool for employers 
Attracting and retaining employees is difficult, especially in today’s economy. One key to retaining employees is to make sure employees connect with not only the company but also with the community. 

The Aiken Chamber is offering All About Aiken, an orientation program to connect your key employees and their families to the wonderful Aiken community.
All About Aiken will offer a glimpse of Aiken’s fascinating history, highlight the activities and offerings available in the community, and share information on Aiken’s promising future.
Attendees will discover the many ways there are to connect to Aiken. They will leave with a better understanding of the many working relationships that affect Aiken’s overall quality of life.

Scheduled for October 13 from 8 a.m. to noon at the Aiken Chamber of Commerce, All About Aiken will feature multiple presenters and include breakfast and a voucher for a complimentary driving tour of Aiken with Marty Bailey, owner of Tailored Tours of Aiken.
The cost of the half-day program, breakfast and tour is $95 per person. Contact Mandy Collins for reservations at (803) 645-0049 or mcollins@aikenchamber.net
All About Aiken is sponsored by Security Federal Bank.

All 6 area Waffle House restaurants are proud members of the Aiken Chamber of Commerce.
The Waffle House Index
Waffle House restaurants are a great place to grab breakfast, and possibly take-in some entertainment from the short order cooks or fellow customers, but Waffle Houses can be more than just a restaurant. 
Known for being open 24/7, over a decade ago the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) created the “Waffle House Index” to rank how bad of a disaster has hit an area. The index is based on Waffle House's reputation for having good disaster preparedness and staying open during extreme weather or reopening quickly afterwards.
The Waffle House Index is divided into three tiers:

GREEN: full menu – Restaurant has power and damage is limited or no damage at all.

YELLOW: limited menu – No power or only power from a generator, or food supplies may
be low.

RED: the restaurant is closed – Indicates severe damage or severe flooding.
Craig Fugate, former head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency once commented, “If you get there and the Waffle House is closed? That’s really bad…” 
As bizarre and silly as the Waffle House Index might sound, it does indicate how a community is doing after a devastating weather event. An open Waffle House can feed people who have lost their homes, plus hungry first responders who have worked up an appetite rescuing people. In addition, the quicker businesses like grocery stores, restaurants, and banks reopen after a disaster, the quicker the community at large will recover.

The Waffle House Index is thus a surprisingly useful indicator of how well a community is faring after a severe storm.

Mercy Church held a ribbon cutting September 6 to celebrate the launch of its new food pantry, “The Storehouse of Mercy”. If you'd like to donate items, you can deliver them to 2700 Whiskey Road Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Worship services are Sunday at 10:30 a.m. and Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m. Cutting the ribbon are Storehouse of Mercy manager Juanita Bell and Mercy Church lead Pastor Kenny Murphy, along with Aiken County Council Chairman Gary Bunker, and Aiken City Council member Kay Brohl. They are joined by members of the Mercy Church congregation and the Aiken Chamber Ambassador Team. 

Apricot Lane Boutique held a ribbon cutting ceremony September 8 to celebrate its official grand opening. Located at 1944 Whiskey Road Suite 102 (in between Metro Diner & T-Mobile), Apricot Lane is a locally owned specialty boutique that offers women's fashion apparel, jewelry, handbags, accessories, and gifts in the styles and trends customers enjoy. Store hours are Monday-Thursday: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday & Saturday: 10 a.m. to 8 a.m., Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cutting the ribbon is owner Lyndsey Newson. She is joined by her family, Aiken Chamber board member Keyatta Priester, Aiken City Council member Gail Diggs, Aiken County Council Chairman Gary Bunker, members of the Chamber’s Ambassador Team, staff and friends. 
Build On Your Land, LLC held a ribbon cutting August 31 to celebrate the grand opening of its new office space/showroom located at 539 East Pine Log Road. Build On Your Land is a licensed and locally owned builder known for their consistency in prices, simple and streamlined process, and superb floor plans. If you own or want to purchase land and build your home, swing by their showroom, or call (803) 971-4663. Cutting the ribbon for Build On Your Land is owner Tim Rawlings, team members Matt Barr and Dwayne Boling, and Aiken Chamber President/CEO J. David Jameson. They are joined by members of the Aiken Chamber Ambassador Team. 
Terry Lambert Hyundai cut a ribbon September 27 to celebrate the grand opening of the new dealership at 5585 Jefferson Davis Hwy. Pictured cutting the ribbon are the Lambert family – Michael, Terry, Theresa, Joseph and John Patrick. They invite you to schedule a test drive or stop by the brand-new showroom and service center Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. You can visit the Terry Lambert Hyundai website and view the selection of new and used cars at www.terrylamberthyundai.com. The Lambert family and their friendly, professional staff are devoted to making the car buying process easy.  
City of Aiken launches 4Aiken news channel
The City of Aiken recently launched its news streaming channel "4Aiken,” which can be viewed on Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire devices, and the City website at www.cityofaikensc.gov/4aiken. The new streaming service offers viewers access to City Council meetings, videos of past events, various programs from partners of the City, and other City-related content. Keeping residents informed of what is occurring in their community is the mission of 4Aiken.

The Aiken Chamber is partnering with the City of Aiken to showcase the business community on 4Aiken. Chamber President/CEO J. David Jameson and Chamber Director of Membership Services Jim Tunison are working with City of Aiken Media Coordinator Gary Meadows on programing. Stay tuned for the first installment from the Chamber on the new 4Aiken streaming channel.
Aiken Choral Society, Inc.Performing Arts
Community chorus dedicated to providing the best singing experience to interested and talented singers throughout the Aiken area. Our repertoire is wide – from early music to last year’s hit movie theme. We celebrate the best in composition, and we welcome you to join us. 
PO Box 2161
Aiken, SC 29802
Contact: Maureen Simpson, DMA
Phone: (803) 649-6570

Apricot Lane Boutique Retail
We are an independently owned and operated clothing boutique. From that perfect date night dress to a comfy and casual outfit, we have everything you need to create the perfect look for any occasion.
1944 Whiskey Road
Aiken, SC 29803
Contact: Lyndsey Newson
Phone: (706) 399-0823

The Blood Connection Blood Center
Our mission is to support our healthcare partners with adequate, safe, cost-effective blood supplies and services. When we share blood, healing happens; individuals thrive; and families remain whole.
1099 Bracken Road
Piedmont, SC 29673
Contact: Sarah Schultz
Phone: (864) 751-3080

Crane & Owen Financial Solutions, A financial advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC Financial Advisor/Investments/Planning
We help clients achieve their financial goals.
445 Silver Bluff Road
Aiken, SC 29803
Contact: Gerry Owen
Phone: (803) 989-7096

Mark Davey, RE/MAX Tattersall, LLC Real Estate Sales and Consulting
I look forward to serving your real estate selling or buying needs at ReMax Tattersale in Aiken, South Carolina. I take great pride in doing things right and listening to you to make your transaction as efficient as possible preserving your valuable capital.
314 Richland Avenue, W
Aiken, SC 29801
Phone: (803) 770-9584

Dirty Chimney, LLC Home Maintenance
Dirty Chimney is a chimney, dryer vent and rain gutter cleaning service company. We are timely, clean, professional and we make sure our customers are 100% satisfied when we are finished. We offer first responder, military, veteran and new customer discounts!
262 Eastgate Drive, Suite 183
Aiken, SC 29803
Contact: Kristen Samoranski
Phone: (803) 455-2446

Jet Power Washing, LLC Pressure Washing & Exterior Cleaning
Providing residential/commercial pressure/soft and surface washing. House/office buildings, roof, gutters, windows, driveways, sidewalks, parking lots, fleet washing as well.
Aiken, SC 29803
Contact: Jerad Jeffries
Phone: (803) 646-2477

Lindsey Vance – Living in SC at Real Broker, LLC Real Estate
Our team enjoys serving buyers, sellers, fellow agents, and those looking to reach goals in any aspect of real estate.
Aiken, SC 29803
Contact: Lindsey Vance
Phone: 9803) 443-3438

Jameson McDubby’s Irish PubRestaurant
Jameson McDubby has always been a man of sound judgement. Everyone from titans of industry as well as world leaders have relied on his advice and mentorship. It only makes sense that he would settle in Aiken SC and open his world-renowned Irish Pub!
126 Laurens Street, NW
Aiken, SC 29801
Contact: Marty Dubber
Phone: (803) 262-5331

Practical Steve Handyman Services is a small job specialist for Aiken’s homeowners and businesses. My focus is on the jobs that are too small for the large-scale commercial painters, construction contractors, electricians, and plumbers. I enjoy working with seniors to help them live independently.
Aiken, SC 29803
Contact: Steve Teeters
Phone: (803) 443-4333

South Aiken High SchoolSchools
Our mission at South Aiken High School is to cultivate in ALL students the world class knowledge and skills that are necessary to be successful in their post-secondary endeavors through the development of the life and career characteristics of integrity, self-direction, global perspective, perseverance, work ethic, and interpersonal skills.
232 East Pine Log Road
Aiken, SC 29803
Contact: Sam Fuller
Phone: (803) 641-2600

Tiffany’s at the StablesRestaurant
Your go to spot for amazing food and drinks with world class service and an atmosphere like no other. We know how to keep the party going and feature the very best music talent around on our patio.
245 Greenville Street, NW
Aiken, SC 29801
Contact: Tiffany Smith
Phone: (803) 226-9224
Establishing a non-profit organization

You have a great idea. You think it will make a great nonprofit. Can you evaluate whether your idea will succeed? And what are the steps to create your organization? Learn how to evaluate your idea and what you need to do to get your non-profit organization off the ground at the upcoming SCORE workshop being held virtually and in person at the Aiken Chamber of Commerce on October 25 from noon to 1 p.m.

SCORE is proud to have the nation’s largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors. They help thousands of entrepreneurs start and grow their small businesses every year. SCORE volunteers give back to their communities and pass on their knowledge to the next generation of entrepreneurs.

SCORE hosts free, live webinars every week on small business tips and strategies. Register for this and other workshops at greateraikenscore.org or score.org.
Food, music, theatre, equine activities and even drag racing are just the beginning when it comes to things to do in Aiken.

Sponsored by A.B. Beverage Company and Savvy Home, the Aiken Chamber Weekend Rundown is a once-a-week email highlighting the many happenings in Aiken.
Join the email list here, stay in the know, and get connected to your community.