South Carolina Rural Summit Scheduled for February 22 – 24 in Clemson

February 3, 2009

COLUMBIA, SC – January 30, 2009 – The South Carolina Department of Commerce has scheduled the 19th annual South Carolina Rural Summit for February 22 – 24 at The Conference Center and Inn in Clemson.  This is the second year the conference will be held in the Upstate.

“The goal of the Rural Summit is to build on our ongoing work with the state’s rural communities to make their county or municipality more attractive for business investment,” said Maceo Nance, director of Commerce’s Community Planning and Rural Development Division.  “From educating community leaders on the role innovation and technological advancements can play in improving the business climate to addressing infrastructure needs and community revitalization, we help make these communities become more competitive in the economic development arena.”

Some of the presentations on this year’s agenda include:

Carol Johnson – Roswell, Georgia.  A proven sales expert and founder of Continuous Dialog, a professional consulting company specializing in sales training. Her presentation “Quit Waiting for Funerals and Elections, How to Prepare the Local Team to Win” promises to provide conference attendees with a humorous and enlightening approach to achieving success today by changing the tactics of yesterday.

Hugh Weathers – Commissioner of Agriculture.  As a former banker, a third-generation dairy farmer of Weathers Farms and partner in Circle W. Farms in Bowman, Commissioner Weathers understands the tremendous economic impact potential of the Agribuisness Industry in South Carolina.  Commissioner Weathers will offer an overview of the Department’s programs, plans for the future and what’s “Fresh on the Menu” for the Certified S.C. Supper at the Summit.

Rebecca Gunnlaugsson – Director of Research, South Carolina Department of Commerce.  Having received her Ph.D in Economics from the University of Michigan, Dr. Gunnlaugsson is a valuable partner in the state’s efforts to recruit new business and help existing business grow. Her presentation will discuss how to evaluate costs and incentives, asking “Is the Deal Right for You?”.

Sonny Dixon – Savannah, Georgia. As a daily news anchor and member of numerous boards, Mr. Dixon has won several awards for public speaking and communication.  Mr. Dixon also served in the Georgia House of Representatives from 1989- 1997. During the Certified S.C. Supper at the Summit, Mr. Dixon will explain why “Life is Good.”

As part of the regular conference agenda, there will be off-site educational sessions at the Advanced Materials Research Lab, BMW Automotive Plant and a rolling classroom exploring a portion of the National Heritage Corridor.

For more information about the conference or to register, visit the conferences and events section of the Commerce Web site: