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Greenville Business Magazine

The Business Narrative: Embracing the Future

Jan 31, 2024 11:24AM ● By Donna Walker

New identity Reinforces South Carolina’s Commitment to Companies’ Long-Term Success

In fulfilling its vision of embracing the future to ensure South Carolina’s sustainable advantage, the South Carolina Department of Commerce unveiled its new agency brand and tagline, “Launch to Legacy,” to support industry recruitment and retention.


Building on South Carolina’s multi-decade track record of economic development success and proven ability to help companies thrive in a time of transformation, the new brand is designed to speak to S.C. Commerce and the state’s commitment to support businesses for long-term success, Commerce officials said.


The “Launch to Legacy” brand leverages three core elements:

* When you invest in South Carolina, you grow – as a business, a person and community.

* South Carolina is built for the new economy – people can work where they love.

* South Carolina is the new home and headquarters of American innovation.


Together with a South Carolina-based advertising agency, S.C. Commerce undertook a strategic and methodical process for creating the “Launch to Legacy” brand.


The process, which took place over the last year and a half, included qualitative and quantitative research with more than 500 in-state, domestic and international stakeholders to:

* Understand current perceptions of the state and what it means to do business here.

* Identify selling points that differentiate South Carolina from its competitors across the Southeast and the nation.


Said South Carolina Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III: “With a nod to the state’s heritage, an eye toward the future and a spirit of embracing innovation, the ‘Launch to Legacy’ brand positions South Carolina to carry out our vision and strategic priorities."


He added, "The messaging and reimagined logo reinforce our commitment to business as we continue to compete globally while building a high-tech, diverse, sustainable economy.” 


Publicly announced during the state’s first Governor’s Economic Summit, the “Launch to Legacy” tagline is also being used to propel a full-scale media campaign targeting corporate decision-makers.


Told through the perspective of some of the state’s CEOs, the media campaign will reinforce that South Carolina has everything companies need from launch to legacy, Commerce officials said.


To learn more about the “Launch to Legacy” brand, including the brand introduction video, go to

Was Amelia Earhart's Aircraft Found by Team of SC-Based Experts? 

After an extensive deep-water search, a group of underwater archaeologists and marine robotics experts have unveiled a sonar image that may answer the greatest modern mystery - the disappearance of Amelia Earhart.


Captured westward of Earhart's projected landing point, in a swath of the Pacific untouched by known wrecks, the image reveals contours that mirror the unique dual tails and scale of her storied aircraft. 


Deep Sea Vision (DSV), a Charleston, South Carolina-based marine robotics company led by CEO Tony Romeo, was pursuing the missing aircraft using the "Date Line theory" of her disappearance nearly 87 years ago.


Originally theorized in 2010 by Liz Smith, a former NASA employee and amateur pilot, the Date Line theory attributes Earhart's disappearance to simply forgetting to turn the calendar back one day as she flew over the International Date Line.


Smith suggested that Amelia's navigator, Fred Noonan, miscalculated his celestial star navigation by simply forgetting to turn back the date from July 3 to July 2 as they flew across the Date Line, creating a westward navigational error of 60 miles.


As a private pilot, DSV's CEO Tony Romeo and his brother, Lloyd Romeo, believed the idea had merit and began digging deeper into the celestial math Smith had laid out.


The Romeos came to believe that after 17 hours of exhausting flying it was quite plausible that Earhart's navigator Fred Noonan could have made such an error. The theory and area described by Smith had never been searched – until now.


For 90 days, the DSV team searched across 5,200 square miles of the Pacific Ocean floor, more than all previous searches combined.


Their secret weapon, the HUGIN 6000, is an autonomous underwater craft, modified to outperform any underwater submersible used before. 


DSV further improved the equipment by modifying the side scan sonar to search nearly 1,600-meter-wide swaths instead of the normal 450 meters.


The changes were made possible by DSV President of Operations Craig Wallace, who Romeo recruited directly from the sonar manufacturer to help put the expedition together.


The team launched the expedition out of a tiny island in the Pacific Ocean about a four-day cruise from where the discovery was made.


Each dive of the sonar equipment lasted nearly two days and collected several terabytes of data scanning the sea floor.


The international team worked around the clock, analyzing the imagery using cutting edge software that was being written as the mission went along. 


According to Smithsonian Magazine, the blurred object is far from definitive proof, but Dorothy Cochrane, an aeronautics curator at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, tells the magazine it’s “an intriguing image” that warrants a second look.


Earhart's fate has been the source of speculation and conspiracy theories since her mysterious disappearance in 1937. She remains a defining icon of her generation, women's rights and a pioneering spirit of early aviation.

United Homes Group Announces Acquisition of Homebuilding Business of Creekside Custom Homes

United Homes Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: UHG), a leading homebuilder in the Southeast, said it has acquired the homebuilding business and assets of Creekside Custom Homes, LLC, a home builder and land developer in the Coastal region of South Carolina. 


Financial terms weren't disclosed.


Creekside builds homes primarily in the rapidly growing Myrtle Beach market with a product set that aligns with the existing Great Southern Homes brand in the marketplace.


“The Creekside acquisition nearly doubles our presence in the fast-growing Myrtle Beach market and allows UHG to control an attractive future lot position consistent with our land-light strategy,” said UHG Chief Executive Officer Michael Nieri. “The coastal markets in our footprint continue to benefit from a favorable quality of life and affordability that is driving in-migration from all over the country.”


Jamie McLain, owner of Creekside, will stay on as the Coastal Division Land Manager of UHG’s associated land developer, and the Creekside team will join Great Southern Homes’ Coastal division. 


Born and raised in South Carolina, McLain formed Creekside in 2004. He is a graduate of Clemson University and is a Horry County native with over 20 years of building and land development experience. 


“I am very pleased to be joining the UHG/Great Southern Homes team,” said McLain. “It’s exciting to be a part of the UHG story early in their evolution as a public company. The homebuilding business is one that benefits from scale, and this combination will go a long way towards achieving that in the region.”


UHG is a publicly traded residential builder headquartered in Columbia, South Carolina. The company operates and builds new home communities located across South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia.


UHG has been recognized as one of the top 50 builders by Builder magazine.

Are You a South Carolina Agribusiness Entrepreneur?

The Agribusiness Center for Research and Entrepreneurship (ACRE) at the South Carolina Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for the 2024 Advanced Entrepreneurship program through March 8, 2024.


South Carolina entrepreneurs selected for the program will have the opportunity to pitch to a panel of judges, competing to earn business mentoring and funding for their agribusiness.


The awardees will be granted up to $25,000 for their company or product.


In the seven years since it was founded, ACRE has awarded more than $1 million to 100 agricultural entrepreneurs, funded several industry-driven research projects, and led dozens of business workshops throughout the state.


“Each year, ACRE continues to uncover new entrepreneurial talent in the world of South Carolina agribusiness – a testament to our state’s talent, drive and vision,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers. “I look forward to seeing a new group of competitive folks step up to the plate in 2024.”


Previous successful awardees have included female-owned vegetable grower Crescent Farm in Laurens County, which used ACRE funding to expand production; regenerative agriculture-based duck producer Vital Mission Farm in Wadmalaw Island; Milky Way Farm in Starr, which bought a second robotic milking system; and Project Victory Gardens, which leads workshops to help veterans transition to careers in agribusiness.


The Advanced Entrepreneurship application requires a business plan and a ready-to-launch prototype or sales history for the applicant’s company or product.


Applicants’ businesses must be located in South Carolina. The application also includes a detailed guide to what ACRE is looking for in a business plan.


ACRE has a separate program each fall for beginning innovators who have an agribusiness idea but don’t have experience in business.


For more information, go to or contact Kyle Player at 803-734-2324 or [email protected].

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