Success Stories

Dexter Price was in the real estate business helping a customer when he discovered an unmet need in his community. The customer started talking about his son not being able to get a job. This puzzled Price to the extent, he decided to conduct some additional research.  The research informed him that the customer’s son could benefit from soft skills training and general mock interviews.  Price realized that some people needed help becoming employment ready, hence Aiken Personnel Services was born.

Price opened up the staffing agency with an office and two computers. He started providing free mock interviews and teaching people how to write resumes. The firm started with a sole employee, Dexter Price, and now has 5 in-house employees and over 100 placements.

“We recruit for clients spanning across Aiken County in multiple industries,” said Price.

Price discussed his challenges with starting and running a business. The number one challenge was funding the business... Read More

Engaging the workplace and employees is considered a critical element to being prepared, making people smile, and maximizing the time of each unique individual – both in and outside of the workplace.  

“It’s all about shaping the future and making people smile,” said Chelsea Treboniak.

Treboniak is the co-owner of Critical Ops based out of Ohio.  She is the mother of three boys, and the wife of Chad Treboniak, a Major in the United States Army.  She is dedicated to creating a rewarding workplace and lives her vision of mainstreaming readiness with daily passion.

The firm’s primary focus centers around workplace engagement. Critical Ops uniquely applies project-based learning techniques to create focus on practical applications, enhanced communication, increased trust, and teamwork. The firm started in 2012 with one employee. Currently, the firm has five full-time employees. On a regular basis, Critical Ops employs additional personnel based on project demands... Read More

Claire Morris never expected to become an entrepreneur, but the right opportunity motivated her to start her own marketing and public relations firm.

Upon her exit from working in public relations for the Department of Commerce, Morris was offered the opportunity to become an independent consultant for the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education. Morris started Clare Morris Agency (CMA) to meet the needs of her first client. The agency employs a total of five people and one intern.

“Being awarded a major contract of $750,000 really helped my business and gave us a huge boost,” said Morris.

CMA is a full-service marketing and public relations firm based in Columbia, SC. The agency is comprised of talented professionals with diverse backgrounds who hold master’s degrees in international business, communications, and sociology.  They have experience in working with private, nonprofit, and government organizations.

“For each of our clients, we work to... Read More

Linking people and particularly small business owners is important for Vanessa Mota. In addition, uncovering the various cultures that exist in Columbia, SC has been a goal for Mota. In 2008 Mota decided to make it her business to link the Latino community and other cultures to business resources in the area. She created Mota Enterprises, LLC in April of 2008 with the direct goal of cross linking markets culturally and networking different professions. She sums this up in three words: Unite, Connect and Diversify.

The firm partnered with the City of Columbia’s Office of Business Opportunity to facilitate and provide language translation services. Mota is the sole owner but employs associates to meet the demands of her business.

 In 2017, the firm began receiving business advice from the Columbia Area Small Business Development Center (SBDC). SBDCs provide assistance to small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs throughout the United States and its territories. SBDCs... Read More

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