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S.C. Chamber Announces the 2016 Business Leader and Public Servant of the Year

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce our honorees for the 2016 Business Leader of the Year, and Public Servant of the Year. Mikee Johnson, CEO of Cox Industries, has been named Business Leader of the Year, and House Speaker Jay Lucas is being honored as Public Servant of the Year.

As the third generation of his family to lead the company, Mikee Johnson successfully oversees 16 plants and 500 employees.  In a year where severe weather challenged our state’s economy, Johnson successfully enacted a 24/7 policy during natural disasters, meaning they are ready to produce and ship their poles and lumber 24 hours a day 7 days a week.  Johnson has served on several boards to ensure the success of others in his industry including the Treated Wood Council and the American Wood Protection Association.  He also volunteers his time as the Vice Chair of the Original Six Foundation.

S.C. Chamber CEO Ted Pitts says, “Mikee Johnson’s impact on South Carolina can’t be overstated.  Without a lot of headlines, Johnson’s work, selfless actions, and generosity have had a huge impact on so many fronts and in so many communities all across South Carolina.  It truly is an honor to recognize Mikee Johnson as the 2016 Business Leader of the Year.  South Carolina needs more business leaders like Johnson.” 

Meanwhile House Speaker Jay Lucas is being championed as the Public Servant of the Year.  Lucas has been serving our state since

Jay Lucas, Speaker of the SC House of Representatives

Jay Lucas, Speaker of the SC House of Representatives

1999 when he was elected to represent House District 65.  One of the many reasons Lucas was chosen was for his role in pushing the roads funding bill forward.   In the 11th hour, Speaker Lucas confronted lawmakers to end the roadblocks and pass a bill that would funnel much needed money into our states roads and bridges.  Not only was it important to assure our roads are safe for travel, but they play a major role in the success of businesses in our state and attracting new companies.

“When we were looking at who should receive the 2016 Public Servant of the Year it was easy,” said Pitts.  Speaker Jay Lucas has a unique leadership style of being able to bring people together to work on finding solutions to the Palmetto State’s biggest issues.  Whether infrastructure funding, workforce development, the flag, or ethics reform the South Carolina House of Representatives has gone to work for the people of South Carolina under Speaker Lucas’s leadership.  We need more people like Jay Lucas in public service.  There is no one more deserving of the business community’s 2016 Public Servant of the Year honor than Speaker Jay Lucas.”

Both Johnson and Speaker Lucas will be honored at 37th Annual South Carolina Chamber of Commerce Summit in Isle of Palms November 16-17th.   

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