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Anderson University Formally Launches Family Enterprise Institute of South Carolina

September 25, 2020
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South Carolina Chamber of Commerce Officials, Founding Organizations Join FEISC at Greenville Ceremony

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Family-owned enterprises across South Carolina have new opportunities to strengthen their business through a first-of-its-kind initiative created by Anderson University.

The Kim S. Miller Family Enterprise Institute of South Carolina on Monday held a kick-off event at the Westin Poinsett in Greenville, introducing its founding member organizations at a ceremony that welcomed South Carolina Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Ted Pitts and University officials.

“We have a lot of great companies here in South Carolina, and what Anderson University is doing in this endeavor is key,” Pitts said. “We need to keep home-grown companies successful right here. South Carolina has a lot of great things going on, (and) our strength still is in those small, home-grown family businesses. A lot of times they just need access to resources and opportunities to succeed. That’s why (the FEISC) hits the mark.”

The Kim S. Miller Family Enterprise Institute of South Carolinais unique in the state. A membership organization, its mission is to provide education, networking, support resources and research to help family enterprises and those involved in or serving them maximize their overall health and sustainability. The FEISC fosters learning, sharing and creative solutions regarding the many critical issues and problems faced by family enterprises.

Steve Nail, dean of the Anderson University College of Business, introduced Brad Bechtold, director of the FEISC, the organization’s advisory council and its member organizations. All told, 20 family enterprises have joined the FEISC. Mikee Johnson, CEO of Carolina Brick, provided valuable family business advice and an engaging final charge to the audience.

Legacy Leader for the FEISC is Eastern Industrial Supplies and its President and CEO Kip Miller. Founding Families include Jennings Dill; Spinx Company; Sargent Metal Fabricators; and T&S Brass and Bronze Works, Inc. Framing Families include Stone Property Management; Stringer Oil and Gas Company; and Ortec. General members include Ayers Leather Shop; Bank of Travelers Rest; Colonial Packaging; Cowart Awards; Davis & Floyd; Electric City Heating and Air; Greenville Office Supply; Harper General Contractors; Integrated Support Systems; International Plastics; Luck Companies; and Watkins, Garrett and Woods Mortuary, Inc.

Family-owned businesses are the backbone of the American economy. Ninety percent of American businesses, and 35 percent of Fortune 500 companies, are family-controlled, representing the full spectrum of American companies, from small business to major corporations. Family-owned enterprise accounts for 64 percent of U.S. gross domestic product, generate 62 percent of the country’s employment and account for 78 percent of all new job creation. 

It is estimated that 40 percent of family business owners expect to retire within the next five years, creating a significant transition of ownership in the United States. However, fewer than half of those have selected a successor. Furthermore, though nearly 70 percent of family businesses would like to pass their business on to the next generation, only 30 percent will actually be successful at transitioning to the next generation.

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Executive Director for Public Relations