Finalists also announced for $5000 Ignite! Ideas Contest, sponsored by SCRA, with daily online voting through Nov. 18
Nov. 10, 2015 (COLUMBIA, S.C.): 2 Fat 2 Fly food truck founders and Oprah’s OWN Network reality TV stars Ramone Dickerson and Corey Simmons will join Aflac VP and COO Dan Lebish, as well as the co-founders of the Columbia Design League, architects Adrienne Montare and Tom Savory, to speak at EngenuitySC’s Ignite! economic competitiveness celebration. One of the hottest tickets of the year for the Midlands business community, the event will be held at a new venue, the University of South Carolina Alumni Center, on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $55, available online at http://www.engenuitysc.com/ignite.
New this year: online, advance voting has been enabled for the $5,000 Ignite! 2015 Ideas Contest, sponsored by SCRA. The public can watch finalists’ videos and vote online once daily until November 18 at http://www.engenuitysc.com/ignite. Event guests will be able to watch finalist videos and vote online as part of the evening’s program.
EngenuitySC’s Ignite! is the region¹s annual celebration of innovation, entrepreneurship and economic competitiveness, bringing together top brass executives, civic leaders, new media mavens, technology wizards, creatives and entrepreneurs for an evening of dynamic, keynote talks by local thought leaders.
Guests enjoy open bar, heavy hors d’oeuvres and an extended networking hour (5:00 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.), along with a streamlined program of three speakers. The evening will be hosted by EngenuitySC Board Co-Chairs Steve Benjamin, Mayor of Columbia, S.C.; Dr. Harris Pastides, President of the University of South Carolina; and Dr. Keith Shah, Assistant Vice President of Corporate Planning & Strategic Services at BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina.
2 Fat 2 Fly’s Ramone Dickerson and Corey Simmons, Columbia, S.C. natives who launched their stuffed chicken wing company in the late 2000’s, will lead the lineup of business-savvy speakers at Ignite!. 2 Fat 2 Fly’s food truck became wildly popular in Columbia, leading the two entrepreneurs to the opportunity to star in their own reality television show on the OWN Network, “2 Fat 2 Fly.” Most recently, 2 Fat 2 Fly has returned to Columbia to open a flagship restaurant near Williams-Brice Stadium. The pair will share their story of starting the food truck, landing a national TV show and how Columbia has helped them get where they are.
Dan Lebish, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Aflac Group Insurance in Columbia, will speak about how Aflac grew so quickly in our region thanks to the strength of our workforce and the great local talent pool that already existed when the company came to the Midlands in 2009. Lebish has more than 30 years of experience in the health care management and insurance industries; in his current position, he oversees the day-to-day operating activities, performance goals and strategic initiatives of the Columbia organization as well as individual operations in Columbus, Georgia, and management of the U.S. broker channel.
Adrienne Montare and Tom Savory, architects, are co-founders of the Columbia Design League, the membership organization at the Columbia Museum of Art responsible for the wildly popular Runaway Runway event each April. The pair will discuss how they founded the Columbia Design League 18 years ago upon their move to Columbia, and how the design community has grown and strengthened since then. They will touch on ways that regions with a strong design community, like the Midlands, can better bounce back from natural disasters like October¹s historic flooding, especially as it pertains to architecture. Montare currently serves as Executive Director at the American Institute of Architects (AIA) South Carolina chapter, and Savory is Founding Principal of Watson Tate Savory architects in Columbia and Charlotte, N.C.
WIS reporter and anchor Mary King will emcee Ignite!. King, former Miss Maryland, award-winning dancer and choreographer and national television commercial star, is a Broadcast Journalism graduate of Troy University and current graduate school student. King worked for TV stations in Maryland, N.Y.C. and Charlotte, N.C. before entering her current position as a leading reporter and anchor at WIS TV in Columbia, where she lives with her husband, Curtis.
The three finalists for the $5,000 Ignite! 2015 Ideas Contest, sponsored by SCRA, are as follows:
· KOIOS, a management team with 12 years in Internet startup experience and upper education backgrounds in Library Science, is developing an Internet browser extension that searches public library catalog records in addition to regular search engine resources without requiring a separate search in an individual library¹s catalog system.
· Mr. Penguin Designs is a company that partners with local, student artists to create one of a kind, protective cell phone cases, with the mission of helping the students gain exposure for their work while providing them with residual income, via royalties, throughout college.
· Vesta is a solution to traditional, limited wedding registries. With Vesta, couples can register for wedding gifts at any local store with their mobile device and are no longer limited to big box stores. The goal: harness the power of shopping small for gifting and receiving truly meaningful items.
Guests can learn more about each company and vote once daily at http://www.engenuitysc.com/ignite. The winner of SCRA’s $5,000 prize will be announced at Ignite! on November 18.
An Anchor Sponsor of Ignite! and the sponsor of the Ignite! 2015 Ideas Contest, SCRA grows the technology-based economy in S.C. by supporting and making investments in early-stage companies and commercializing intellectual property. Multiple economic impact studies show SCRA’s cumulative output into South Carolina’s economy to be over $18.1 billion since 1983.
Other Ignite! 2015 Anchor Sponsors include BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, sponsor of the evening¹s bar and catering, and the USC/Columbia Technology Incubator, sponsor of the evening¹s extended networking hour. Competitiveness Sponsors are Aflac, McWaters, the University of South Carolina Office of Economic Engagement and Midlands Technical College.
To learn more about Ignite!, visit http://www.engenuitysc.com/ignite.
Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., EngenuitySC is an economic development nonprofit focused on enhancing our region’s competitiveness and prosperity. In partnership with business, government, education and community leaders, EngenuitySC specializes in regional collaboration and project management, the activation of local industry clusters and regional research, analysis and marketing. For more information, visit http://www.engenuitysc.com/.