Alan Turfe

A. Alan Turfe


J M Smith Corp., one of the largest private companies based in South Carolina, has named a new CEO and chairman.

A. Alan Turfe's appointment took effect March 1, following the retirement of longtime CEO William R. Cobb.

Turfe was selected by the board of the Spartanburg-based company after a nationwide search. He has previous experience in the life sciences, medical device, e-commerce and automotive industries, with positions at General Motors, Fisher Scientific, IDEX Corp. and other companies. Most recently, he was senior vice president and chief procurement officer at Fresenius Medical Care. 

“In a pool of incredibly qualified candidates, Alan demonstrated the leadership skills, business acumen and background best suited to lead J M Smith Corporation into the future,” said Terry Cash, a board member who chaired the search committee. 

J M Smith is a health care and technology company. Its business units include Smith Drug Company, QS/1, Integral Solutions Group and RxMedic Systems Inc.

Magna International, a global automotive supplier based in Canada, is constructing a 480-worker Spartanburg County manufacturing plant that will make car seats, giving the company its fourth factory in the state.

The latest expansion entails a $29 million capital investment. The jobs will be created over the next five years in Tyger River Industrial Park on Highway 290. The new 230,000-square-foot seating plant is expected to begin production in June and will include sequencing lines to supply seats to the nearby BMW plant in Greer.

Magna currently has three manufacturing sites in South Carolina - in Greenville, Lexington and Spartanburg - and employs about 1,450 workers in the state.

The S.C. Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved tax credits the Ontario-based company can claim based on the number of workers it hires.

"This is a new chapter in the ongoing collaboration between Magna and BMW, as it's our first seating business award with this valued global customer,” said Mike Bisson, president of Magna’s seating division.

VELUX, a skylight and roof window manufacturer based in Denmark, is investing $4 million to expand its Greenwood County operations. The company said it expects to create 21 new jobs.

The expansion will accommodate a new line of products targeting the industrial and commercial skylight industry. Hiring is projected to begin in early 2017.

The 75-year-old business sells its products through home centers, building material suppliers, lumberyards and independent specialty retailers.

The S.C. Coordinating Council for Economic Development is providing the county with a $100,000 grant to offset the cost of building improvements.

CompuCom Systems, a Texas-based information technology business is building its new global headquarters in Lancaster County, a move that's expected to bring 1,500 new jobs and a $41 million investment.

The company said the 150,000-square-foot facility in Indian Land will have corporate offices and a worldwide contact center.

The company says it plans to hire the workers over the next five to seven years and will start immediately.

About 100 employees are also being relocated from an office in Charlotte next year.

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Currently headquartered in Plano, Texas, CompuCom provides IT infrastructure services to other companies. The company has 11,500 employees worldwide.

PL Developments, a manufacturer, packager and distributor of pharmaceutical and consumer health care products, is investing $45 million to launch new Greenville County operations and expand its presence in South Carolina. The new development is create 450 jobs.

Founded in 1988 and headquartered in Westbury, N.Y., PL Developments primarily serves U.S. retailers with more than 450 products.

Its new Upstate operation will be in Piedmont. Logistics operations will begin in early 2017 with manufacturing to follow about a year later.

Elsewhere in South Carolina, PL Developments runs three locations that either make, package or distribute goods. They are in Clinton and Duncan, according to its website.

The S.C. Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved tax credits the company can claim based on hiring at the Piedmont site. Also, the state provided the county with a $750,000 grant to offset property improvements associated with the business expansion.

R+L Carriers, a national logistics and transportation firm that handles smaller “less than truckload” cargo shipments, is investing $7 million to expand its Hampton County operations and create 25 jobs.

The company is building a 50,000-square-foot distribution terminal on S.C. Highway 68 in Yemassee. Hiring for the new positions is projected to begin this year.

Formed in 1965, R+L Carriers has grown from a single-truck company into a fleet of 13,000 vehicles that serves all 50 states, along with Canada, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. The Wilmington, Ohio-based company also offers warehousing and shipping services.

The S.C. Coordinating Council for Economic Development awarded the county a $100,000 grant from its rural infrastructure fund to defray the costs of property improvements.

Staff and wire reports