SCMA looks to future at virtual Annual Meeting

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Posted August 27, 2020


COLUMBIA, S.C. – Despite challenges brought on by COVID-19, the state of South Carolina’s manufacturing economy remains strong. That was the overriding message from the first-ever virtual annual conference of the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance (SCMA) held today.

“This has been an unprecedented year for all of us – for businesses, schools, families – for all South Carolinians,” said SCMA Chair April Allen of Continental. “But the thing about 2020 that has stood out the most has been the unprecedented ways SCMA and our manufacturing community have banded together during a time of widespread crisis, neighbor helping neighbor, to develop new worker safety products and protocols, transform entire production lines to manufacture and distribute vitally-needed PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), and go to extraordinary lengths to aid employees and communities in desperate need. I’ve never been prouder to be a part of our state’s manufacturing community.”

Dr. Joey Von Nessen, a research economist with the University of South Carolina Darla Moore School of Business, discussed the state of South Carolina’s manufacturing economy, highlighting trends and pointing out that the manufacturing industry will be a key component for the economic recovery within South Carolina.

South Carolina companies have responded to the COVID-19 crisis by manufacturing Personal Protective Equipment, participating in medical research and providing community support. John Carrington shared that ZVerse, a digital manufacturing company he founded in Columbia in 2013, has now manufactured more than 4 million plastic face shields for schools, businesses, and healthcare providers in the United States.

S.C. Governor Henry McMaster and S.C. Speaker of the House Jay Lucas also addressed the conference, briefing members on the upcoming legislative session.

“This virtual conference is an example of how, while COVID-19 has forced us to rethink the way we do things, it has not changed the fact that South Carolina’s manufacturers are our state’s great innovators and the economic engine that drives us,” said Sara Hazzard, President and CEO of the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance.

SCMA also elected the following officers and board members at the annual meeting:

Executive Committee 


  • Chairman – April Allen, Continental 

  • Immediate Past Chairman – Max Metcalf, BMW Manufacturing Co.

  • First Vice Chairman – Todd Croker, FujiFilm Manufacturing USA, Inc.

  • Second Vice Chairman – Chuck Hall, Barnet

  • Treasurer – Curtis Hutto, Thompson Construction Group, Inc.

  • Automotive Council Chairman – Paige Reed, Sage Automotive Interiors 

  • Chemistry Council Chairman – David Beaty, Elkem Silicones

  • Lowcountry Manufacturers Council Chairman – Ken Skiles, Lincoln Electric 

  • Textile Council Chairman – Charles Hamrick, Hamrick Mills

Terms Expiring 2021


  • Kristen Blanchard, Nutramax Laboratories

  • Bill Bowen, Inman Mills

  • Derick Close, Springs Creative 

  • Hope Lanier Freeman, BP Americas

  • Chris Heard, Sage Automotive Interiors 

  • Jann Moore, Caterpillar, Inc.

  • Tommy Preston, The Boeing Company 

Terms Expiring 2022

  • Rodney Blevins, Dominion Energy

  • Kevin Brown, Milliken & Co.

  • Mike Fox, Lockheed Martin

  • Kevin McAtamney, Volvo Car USA   

  • Arnhelm Mittelbach, Mercedes-Benz Vans

  • Rodger Riddle, VTL 

  • Will Whitley, Michelin

Terms Expiring 2023

  • Randy Blackston, Glen Raven, Inc. 

  • Grant Burns, AFL

  • Scot Fischer, FN Manufacturing

  • Chris Gullott, Bridgestone

  • Dan Royston, A.O. Smith Water Products

  • Steve Slesinski, Nucor Steel Berkeley 

  • Jonathan Waller, The Timken Company


Source: SCMA

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