The turbulence at Charleston International Airport have forced organizers of a monthly small business luncheon had to find a pinch hitter for their event this week.
The scheduled keynote speaker for the Aug. 1 “Small Business Lunch at Halls” had been Charleston County Airports Director Sue Stevens. Understandably, she won’t be taking the podium Thursday at the upper King Street steak house. Last week, she disclosed her intention to resign by Sept. 30 for reasons that airport officials said included verbal abuse and disrespect from at least two members of the board she reports to.
Stevens is to go on paid leave effective today, and she has hired a lawyer who is considering litigation.
Meanwhile, luncheon organizers Friday said they are substituting Stevens with Charleston RiverDogs co-owner and marketing guru Mike Veeck. His topic: “What Could Possibly Go Wrong?”
The board that runs the airport are probably asking themselves that very question. It meets tomorrow to discuss her departure and to start the search for a replacement. One potential candidate that Charleston County Aviation Authority Chairman Andy Savage suggested last week is state Sen. Paul Campbell, the former top executive at the Alcoa Mount Holly smelter near Goose Creek.
Mount Pleasant appears to be producing a line of winners lately.
The new Miss South Carolina, Brooke Mosteller, is from the town, and now, Noah Leask took the nod as the first runner-up in this year’s National Small Business Person of the Year. A service-disabled Navy veteran, Leask is president of Mount Pleasant-based cyber operations firm ISHPI.
He and his wife, Lisa, a fellow Navy veteran, started ISHPI out of their home in September 2006. Today, the firm has 140 employees and facilities in Virginia, the District of Columbia and San Antonio, in addition to its East Cooper international headquarters.
Notable clients include the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, U.S. Central Command and the Joint IED Defeat Organization.
In April, the SBA named Leask the 2013 South Carolina Small Business Person of the Year. Previously, SBA had honored Leask as the 2009 Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year for both South Carolina and the Southeast for his mentorship of fellow veterans pursuing entrepreneurship.
Leask continues to support veteran entrepreneurs through the ISHPI Warrior Program. Its additional community outreach efforts include programs in support of the disabled, Native American youth and the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
Leask was nominated for the Small Business Person of the Year award by Linda Blanton, a consultant with the Small Business Development Center in North Charleston.
Like clockwork, the state Department of Employment and Workforce has released South Carolina’s monthly jobless reports on a predetermined day at 9 a.m. sharp.
Except for this month. The agency emailed the numbers at 3 p.m., some 18 hours ahead of schedule.
The reason: a minor glitch at the federal level, said Adrienne Fairwell of the state employment agency.
She said the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics inadvertently loaded computerized tables containing pre-release state payroll employment data early.
“To ensure equal access to the information,” Fairwell said, the BLS decided to release the state’s regional and state employment and unemployment report early as well.
The South Carolina jobless report for July is due out Aug. 19 — at 9 a.m. sharp.
Take a bow
“Hats Off” is the theme of the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce’s upcoming Legislative Appreciation Reception. The Aug. 6 event at Charles Towne Landing’s Founders Hall recognizes lawmakers who played a key role in advancing economic development in the Charleston area and to celebrate the business wins for the region.
Among the noteworthy pieces of business legislation passed during the past session was the “Angel Investor Bill,” also known as the “High Growth Small Business Access to Capital Act,” a law that allows qualified individuals to receive a 35 percent tax credit for investing in qualified South Carolina start-up businesses.