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Greenville Business Magazine

The Business Narrative: Tennis Moves

Oct 13, 2022 01:00PM ● By David Dykes

Beemok Capital Completes Acquisition of the Western & Southern Open

Beemok Capital, the family office of Charleston, S.C.-based businessman and philanthropist Benjamin Navarro, announced the recent closing of its previously announced acquisition of the Western & Southern Open tournament from the United States Tennis Association.

Terms weren’t disclosed.

The tournament, which has been played in Ohio, fields the best players in the world and is one of only five tournaments in the world, outside of tennis’ major championships, to host concurrent top-tier men’s and women’s tournaments at the same venue. 

Officials said that in 2025 the importance and scale of the tournament will continue to grow as the ATP main draw player field will expand by 70 percent and the duration extends from seven to 12  days.

The acquisition is the next milestone in Beemok’s commitment to the development of tennis across all levels in the U.S., the officials said.

Beemok affiliates currently play host to North America’s largest women’s only professional tennis tournament, the Credit One Charleston Open, which was acquired by Beemok in 2018.

Beemok also operates two tennis complexes in the Charleston area that serve as hosts for numerous USTA Pro Circuit events, the USTA Girls’ 18s National Clay Court Championship, and a tennis academy developing players who aspire to compete at the college and pro levels.

“We’re honored to be the new owners of the Western & Southern Open,” said Navarro. “It is a tournament I have admired for many years, and we are thrilled at the opportunity to honor the traditions of the tournament while exploring ways to enhance the experience for players and fans.”

Beemok also announced the hiring of Todd Martin as the head of tennis operations for Beemok Sports.

Martin will assume the role effective Jan. 2, 2023, and will lead Beemok’s efforts to drive growth and development of tennis in the U.S.

Martin will also work closely with the existing leadership teams of the Credit One Charleston Open and Western & Southern Open.

Martin currently is chief executive officer of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, a role he has held since 2014.

His many achievements on the court as a professional on the ATP Tour include reaching the men's singles final at both the 1994 Australian Open and the 1999 US Open as well as attaining a career-high singles ranking of world No. 4.

Martin previously was the coach of Novak Djokovic, the winner of 21 Grand-Slam men’s singles titles, and the former No. 1-ranked American player and current U.S. Davis Cup Captain, Mardy Fish.

He has dedicated himself to the sport in various ways through philanthropy and volunteer service, including the founding of Todd Martin Youth Leadership, which serves at-risk youth in his hometown of Lansing, Mich., by providing education and leadership programs through the game of tennis; serving as president of the ATP Player Council throughout much of his playing career; and serving three terms as a director at large on the USTA Board of Directors, from 2011-2016.

Martin currently is a player representative to the president of the USTA and a member of the board of directors of the Tennis Industry Association.

SC Canna, LLC Establishing Operations in Clarendon County

SC Canna, LLC, an agricultural hemp company, announced plans to establish its indoor growing operations in Clarendon County.

The company’s $8.8 million investment is projected to create 37 jobs, according to the South Carolina Department of Commerce. 

SC Canna, LLC, a subsidiary of Sirius-A-Bioscience, is an integrated grower and distributor of medical-grade hemp products.

Founded by native South Carolinians, the company specializes in aeroponics, which allows hemp to be grown indoors from seed to wholesale.

Located at the Clarendon County Industrial Park in Manning, the newly constructed 50,000-square-foot commercial space will house the company’s proprietary growing system.

Operations are expected to be online in 2023. To learn more about SC Canna, LLC and Sirius-A-Bioscience, go to the company's website

Dash EV Establishing Operations in Greenville County

 Dash EV, an innovative electric car company, announced plans to establish operations in Greenville County. The company’s operations will create 10 jobs, according to the South Carolina Department of Commerce.

Dash EV produces sustainable vehicles to expand the carsharing business.

With an environmentally friendly mindset, Dash EV created Dash, a cost-effective, 100 percent electric and solar-charged vehicle. The company’s mission is to provide sustainable mobility that fills the gap between walking, biking, and mass transit in cities and on campuses.

Located at 355 South Main Street in Greenville, Dash EV’s facility will serve as the company’s headquarters.

Operations are expected to be online by mid-December. Those interested in joining Dash EV should go to the company’s contact page

SC Students Achieve Moderate Gains on ACT

The ACT released 2022 assessment data for South Carolina high school students who took the ACT test.

The South Carolina Department of Education said South Carolina public school students saw a moderate increase in the average composite score, from 18.3 in 2021 to 18.5 in 2022.

The national average ACT Composite score for the high school class of 2022 was 19.8, the lowest average score in more than three decades, according to data released by ACT, the nonprofit organization that administers the college readiness exam.

The ACT report represents 18,800 South Carolina public school students who took the ACT test, which is not required but is paid for by the state. Students were able to test either during a designated school day or on a Saturday national test date.

“The moderate gains we see with the ACT are consistent with other assessment results we have seen this year,” said State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman.

“We are encouraged by growth but know there’s more work to be done. Our focus is on continued growth and bridging the achievement gaps, so that moderate gains can become sustained and significant progress for South Carolina students.”

In South Carolina and in the nation, taking the proper coursework in high school dramatically increases a student’s likelihood of success on the ACT, according to education officials.

Retesting is also likely to increase scores, ACT reports. The average score for single-tested students is 17.6 for public school students, while the average score for retested students is 22.4 (public).

Additional trends and observations, according to state education officials:

The total number of scores sent to colleges by 2022 South Carolina graduates at the time of their most recent test was 25,108.

The top planned education majors include health sciences, business, biological and physical sciences, and engineering.

As part of South Carolina statewide testing in spring 2022, 14,652 juniors tested, an increase of over 1,300 students from spring 2021.

ACT and other assessment data can be found online at

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