Nexsen Pruet partners with our wholly-owned subsidiary, NP Strategy (NPS+), for needs ranging from strategic communications, analysis, media relations, crisis communications, event management and more.
NPS+ is led by a veteran group of professionals from media, public policy, public relations and business backgrounds, who bring their wealth of experience to bear to positively impact clients.
From nonprofits to international corporations and government to local businesses, NPS+ works with a diverse group of organizations that span many sectors and industries.
Not all strategies are created equal.
We provide key knowledge and insight into how local and state governments operate and who influences important decision-makers.
We have an experienced team that can prepare you for the worst, and if it happens, will be at your side every step of the way.
With former journalists on our team, NP Strategy is well-equipped to foster cooperation between business leaders and members of the media.
Without the right message and delivery, even the best project can fail. We help you develop the right message.
Thorough planning for how to engage, manage expectations, and predict reactions, can be the most important step in the success of a project.
Planning and executing an event should be time-consuming and detail-focused for successful results.
Digital and Social Media
We advise clients on how to utilize digital media, build and leverage websites and manage social media campaigns to achieve their goals.
- 07.06.2021 | Media Mention
- 06.24.2020 | News from Nexsen Pruet
- 12.12.2019 | Media Mention
- 06.24.2021 | News from Nexsen Pruet
South Carolina Representative Kambrell Garvin of District 77 joins Heather and Darra to discuss Legislative initiatives helping the Palmetto State recover and thrive post-pandemic. Representative Garvin also provides insights on the health care issues impacting his District, challenges in the education system, and vaccinations in SC. Tune in to epsiode 61 now!
Workforce development is always a *hot* economic development topic - join us to learn more about what one technical college program is doing to fill that pipeline! Midlands Technical College Business Solutions Director Jeremy Catoe sat down with Kara and surprise guest host Tushar Chikhliker. We explore internships vs apprenticeships, the benefits of apprenticeships, and how MTC's program is working with students as early as their high school careers. Interested in hosting an apprenticeship, or know someone who may want to participate? Tune in and learn the ins and outs!
For our 60th episode, political journalist Meg Kinnard of the Associated Press joins us to share her fierce and focused fight against stage 3 inflammatory breast cancer. Meg discusses the personal details of her journey, including what she has learned about the health care system, how she continues to work, stay active, and spend time with her family, as well as her important story of detection. Tune in now for this informative conversation about self-examination, self-advocacy, and more.
Dr. Joseph Von Nessen is one of South Carolina's leading researching economists and, as he explains it, a specialist in "So What? Economics." As in, those numbers and data look great, but - so, what? Dr. JVN gets into the details of a recently published report on South Carolina's manufacturing sector, and why we (and all of us) should care. The report, published by the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance and SC Future Makers, provides a big-picture look at the $206 billion industry - and what the future of manufacturing in South Carolina may look like. Tune in to get the manufacturing scoop, and click here to find out more about the report.
Just before the 4th of July weekend, we sat down with Karen Riordan (MBACC President & CEO) to discuss the rebound in Myrtle Beach-area tourism and hospitality. DYK, Myrtle Beach was recently named a top U.S. travel destination? Plus, we got to discuss some emerging trends, like e-sports and gaming - bet you didn't expect us to go there! Tune in today.
This week, Kara & Burnie sat down with Mark Williams, an economic developer, site selection consultant, founder & president of Strategic Development Group, and now, an author! Mark gives his perspective on South Carolina's current econ dev landscape - from challenges to advantages, COVID recovery, and what sets S.C. apart from other states (+ more!). Listen in for some great insight from a site selector!
Our guest this week, Dr. Caughman Taylor, has spent nearly 4 decades dedicated to improving the lives of children in South Carolina. As the senior medical director at Prisma Health Children’s Hospital and Chair of the Palmetto Health-USC Medical Group Department of Pediatrics, Dr. Taylor shares his insights with Tina and Matthew on the benefits of a freestanding Children’s hospital and what sets Prisma Children’s hospital apart. Tune in now!
On episode 58, Allendale County Hospital CEO Lari Gooding joins Tina and Matthew to discuss the county-owned, non-profit hospital that has been serving Allendale and Hampton counties for nearly 70 years. We dive into the difficulties of rural health care, strategic partnerships and that help provide and expand health care services, and vaccinations in rural communities. Listen now!
Our cup runneth over with excitement for this episode! We spoke with Chester County Economic Development Director Robert Long, CEcD, to get the scoop on the recent (6/15/21) E. & J. Gallo Wines location announcement! The $423 million investment will create nearly 500 jobs over the next eight years, a 'mega project,' indeed! We spoke to Robert about the recruitment and site selection process (and the SERIOUS teamwork involved), and much more. Tune in!
This week, Tina and Darra welcome Dr. Graham Adams, CEO of the South Carolina Office of Rural Health, a statewide non-profit dedicated to improving health care in rural and under-served communities. They chat about the challenge of health care providers remaining viable while serving rural communities, how the SCORH addressed the pandemic, and the future of rural hospitals. Tune in now!
- 06.08.2021 | Episode 56: Randy Covington, Director of Special Projects and Newsplex, USC School of Journalism and Mass Communications
Randy Covington, award winning television news journalist and Director of Special Projects and Newsplex at the University of South Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communications, joins Heather and Matthew for episode 56 of Taking the Pulse. As a television veteran with nearly 30 years of experience, Randy shares his thoughts on the unparalleled media coverage during the pandemic and the dramatic changes taking place in the industry. Tune in now!
Did you know that colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of death in men and women in the United States? To get some insight into colon cancer’s widespread impact on Americans and other digestive issues, Heather and Darra welcome renowned Gastroenterologist Dr. March Seabrook. He shares important information about colon cancer, including brand new screening recommendations, as well as discusses reflux, indigestion and heartburn and what lifestyle and genetic factors can impact these conditions. Tune in now!
Newberry County has been on the up-and-up of economic activity over the past several years. We were lucky to catch up with Rick Farmer (Newbery County Economic Development Director) and chat more about local development tactics and news - setting up your county for success; nurturing existing industries and recruiting new ones; addressing community needs (like food deserts); and advice to another developer.
For epsiode 54, Heather and Darra chat with Hope Barber, the owner of one of South Carolina’s favorite restaurants, Bowens Island. They dive into how COVID has drastically changed the restaurant industry, including shut downs, staffing shortages, masking, vaccinations, and much more! Tune in now to hear from this long running, family-owned restaurant.
Current trends in the health care industry could soon create dramatic changes in how health care is provided and delivered. Matthew and Heather welcome this week’s guest, PYA Principal Orlando Alvarez, to get his insight on pressing issues like consolidation, value-based care, downside risk, consumerism, tech use with rural providers, and much more. Listen now!
The Charleston Regional Development Alliance is tackling a lot of major issues and trends in economic development, like onshoring/reshoring, electric vehicles and life sciences (to name a few). Burnie & Kara spoke with Mike Graney, CRDA's VP of Global Business Development, and Tushar Chikhliker, CRDA Board Member and head of Nexsen Pruet's Economic Development group, about this and more - including sustainable growth and workforce availability in the Lowcountry. Tune in!
For international nurse’s week, Heather and Darra sat down with two health care heroes who have been serving on the frontlines of the pandemic in rural South Carolina at McLeod-Loris Hospital. Layla Soles and Kaila Bonnett share their challenges, successes, and overall experience of caring for COVID-19 patients during the pandemic. Tune in now for their first-hand accounts.
The rapid changes and complexities of the healthcare industry can be difficult to follow. This week’s guest, Kevin Locke, leads a national health care consulting practice with decades of experience advising his clients on evolving trends in the industry. Tune in to hear Kevin, Matthew, and Heather take a deep dive into the most important trends impacting healthcare such as provider consolidation, the shift from volume based care to value based care, and much more. Listen now!
- 04.28.2021 | Episode 53: SCRA & New Forge Technologies
The South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA) is helping recruit and launch some of South Carolina's leading tech start-ups around the state. We spoke with SCRA Industry Manager Catherine Hayes and New Forge Technologies Co-Founder Javier Ortiz to learn more about SCRA's many programs - what they are, how they're mutually beneficial to existing industries and start-ups alike, and how innovations - like New Forge's augmented reality tech is changing the game for manufacturers. Tune in!
For our 50th episode, Heather and Darra sat down with Reverend Stacy Lawton, an unsung COVID hero who serves as a Clinical Staff Chaplain at MUSC. Reverend Lawton shares the details of how COVID has drastically changed her job, the challenges of administering support to patients under COVID protocols, and how hospital chaplains are maintaining their own energy and mental health. Tune in now!
The Buzz is On The Road Again and Truckin' right along with another episode, where we sat down with South Carolina Trucking Association President & CEO Rick Todd. Logistics and supply chain movement remain critical to econ dev activity around South Carolina, especially with COVID-19 straining logistics capabilities. We discuss that, plus the state of S.C. roads (thank you, DOT!), plus training the next generation of trucking pros. And more! Check it out.
This week, Heather and Matthew chat with Dr. Steve Skinner of the Greenwood Genetic Center, a nonprofit that provides clinical genetic services, diagnostic lab testing, and much more. We dive into how the center has evolved over the past four decades, the unique services they provide, and the future of genetic testing and research. Tune in to epsiode 49 now!
Burnie + Kara recently sat down with David Lockwood (Colliers International South Carolina) to discuss the status of commercial real estate in South Carolina. What are the major sector trends David is seeing? What has COVID recovery looked like? How was his latest run? (looking at you, F3ers!) We had fun with this interview, and know you'll enjoy it, so tune in!
- 04.13.2021 | Episode 48: Dr. Brent McLaurin, M.D. Anderson Heart
With heart disease causing nearly 655,000 deaths in the United States each year, cardiovascular health has never been more important. Dr. Brent McLaurin, a skilled cardiologist and Medical Director of an internationally acclaimed research program, joins Heather and Darra to talk all things heart health. Tune in to episode 48 to learn about Anderson Heart, cardiac trends, and how COVID-19 infections may impact a patient’s cardiac health in the long term.
- 04.07.2021 | Episode 50: Nexsen Pruet Attorneys Julie Medich (CHS) and John Skvarla (RAL) on Food & Beverage Manufacturing
Food and beverage manufacturing is an economic development sub-sector that's taking off across the Carolinas, so Nexsen Pruet is diving deeper into the subject. Why is this taking off here, and why now? Attorneys John Skvarla (Raleigh) and Julie Medich (Charleston) join The Buzz to discuss trends they are seeing, as well as to highlight NP's upcoming Food & Beverage Friday Webinars. Both sessions are *free* and *virtual,* so anyone can join from anywhere (need we say more?).
- 04.06.2021 | Episode 47: Carl Humphries, CEO, and Dr. Heather Leisy, Director of Preventative Medicine, HopeHealth
For this week’s episode, Heather and Matthew chat with Carl Humphries and Dr. Heather Leisy from HopeHealth, a Federally-Qualified Health Center providing care to patients across multiple South Carolina counties. We discuss HopeHealth’s unique structure, the range of services they provide to more than 50,000 patients, and the future of community health centers post-COVID. Listen now!
Shennice Cleckley is a small-business owner, SHE-EO, and mom, among MANY things. Recently, she spoke with Burnie and Kara about her role as a Google Digital Coach. In this position, she helps educate and equip South Carolina small business owners - especially minority business owners - with the *FREE* tools they can use to promote, grow and sustain their business. Looking for new customers? Don't know who your target customers are or should be? Shennice can help with that, and MUCH more. Listen to hear more, or visit Shennice online to register for a class.
On episode 46, Heather and Matthew welcome back South Carolina’s epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell to discuss the vaccine rollout in South Carolina. They dive into vaccine phases, efficacy, safety, strains and much more. Tune in now to hear from an expert in all things regarding the pandemic!
- 03.24.2021 | Episode 48: Ethel Bunch, President & CEO, Sustain SC
In South Carolina, among many things, we love seeing our businesses thrive, and we love our beautiful outdoors. Ethel Bunch explains how Sustain South Carolina is the organization at the intersection of industry and conservation, bringing together Palmetto State business leaders to discuss, set, and achieve their sustainability goals.
This week, Heather is joined by co-hosts and attorneys Matthew and Darra for a deep dive into the most important topics impacting the health care industry in the Carolinas and beyond. Listen now for their insights on pressing issues that providers and health care professionals need to know, from shifts to value-based care and price transparency to the continued growth of telehealth.
Business seems to have been BOOMING in Lancaster County as of late. So, what's the secret? We may not have gotten a magical recipe, but we did have a *golden* conversation with Jamie Gilbert. To what does the county attribute its success? How are they battling some of the emerging industry challenges? Listen in - it's always fun to catch up with Jamie.
On our latest episode, Heather and Darra welcome Dr. Hugh Durrence, a physician who has been working non-stop to help his community fight COVID-19. We dive into his greatest challenges over the past year, how Liberty is providing the vaccine as a family practice, and his designation by the Board of Medical Examiners to help develop the Protocol for Administration of Vaccines by Pharmacists. Tune in now for Dr. Durrence’s insightful perspective!
This week, we're bringing the TAX FACTS. Specifically, property taxes. We spoke with Dr. Daphne Kenyon to get the details on the Lincoln Institute's recent report on the state of South Carolina. With a foreboding title ("A Deep Dive on South Carolina's Property Tax System: Complex, Inequitable and Uncompetitive"), Dr. Kenyon explains the key findings and what it really means. Commissioned by the South Carolina Chamber Foundation and South Carolina Realtors to better understand how the South Carolina property tax system could be improved. Buckle up, and tune in!
On episode 43, Heather and Matthew welcome AnnMargaret McCraw to the studio, a health care reform advocate and CEO of Midlands Orthopaedics and Neurosurgery. AnnMargaret shares her passion for creating meaningful health care reform as well as her insights on cost transparency, ensuring quality care, and telehealth services. Listen now!
What exactly is the South Carolina Council on Competitiveness? We guarantee you've seen them, or maybe you know President & CEO Susie Shannon. Or, perhaps you've seen one of their several clusters (SC Aerospace, SC Logistics, Transform SC, SC Tech, or SC Fraunhofer USA Alliance). We deep dive with Susie about who is the Council - what they do, and how they do it. How does one organization advance the competitiveness of an entire state? Susie doesn't give away the secret sauce, but she does give us a great look behind the curtain.
- 03.02.2021 | Episode 42: Sheriff Lee Foster, Newberry County
Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster joins Heather and Matthew on episode 42 to discuss the ongoing struggles of his personal fight with COVID and the many challenges of leading a department during the pandemic. Tune in to hear Sheriff Foster’s insights and the details of his ordeal now.
- 02.25.2021 | Episode 44: David Rousse, President, INDA (Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry)
Nonwoven fabrics surround us every day - wipes, hygiene products, face masks. What are they? How are they made? Today, we sit down with David Rousse, President of INDA (Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry). Dave explains what nonwovens are - how they're made, material sourcing, how manufacturers have easily adjusted to nonwovens production and why the Carolinas (and the southeast) are a hotbed for manufacturers. Learn more about this industry, and how they're helping to safely and quickly create solutions for PPE manufacturing. Listen now!
This week, Heather and Matthew are joined by a leader in the infectious disease community, Dr. Krutika Kuppalli of MUSC. Dr. Kuppalli, a COVID-19 expert witness to the United States Congress, provides her perspective and shares her vast knowledge on vaccine timelines and effectiveness, new COVID variants, super spreader events like the super bowl, and much more. Tune in now!
It's been 8 months (!) since we've last spoken to SC Realtors CEO Nick Kremydas - and a lot has changed in that time. As COVID continues to play out, the Palmetto State's residential real estate industry has seen significant impacts. As Nick says, with high demand and very low inventory, it's truly a seller's market.
On epsiode 40, Heather and Darra are joined by Dr. Kyle Guyton, a Pediatrics Specialist and Co-Owner of SouthernMed. We dive in to how his practice has changed during the pandemic, his participation in a COVID vaccine trial, and his views on in-person and virtual learning as a Lexington School District One board member. Tune in now!
Today, we're joined by SC Technical College System representatives Michelle Fehr and Karmen Hewitt to discusses the EZone (Enterprise Zone Retraining Program) retraining program. Did you know that your company could earn 67% back on expenses for tools and programs used to retain your employees? Are you taking advantage of available incentives? Tune in and find out more about EZone - what it is, who is applicable, how to apply and MUCH more! Listen in!
- 02.09.2021 | Episode 39: John Carrington, Founder & CEO, ZVerse
Joining Heather and Matthew for episode 39 is John Carrington, the Founder and CEO of ZVerse, a South Carolina 3D printing company taking the PPE industry by storm. John discusses how he quickly pivoted ZVerse to meet the demands of the pandemic and became a critical supplier of face shields. Tune in now to hear ZVerse's success story, the latest on PPE and more!
David Edwards, CEO of Greenville-Spartanburg Airport District, joins Kara & Burnie on #TheBuzz. Edwards details traffic levels, investment projects and hints at a major announcement coming soon! You don’t want to miss this!
For episode 38, Heather and Matthew welcome back our first ever guest: Thornton Kirby of the South Carolina Hospital Association. As President & CEO of SCHA, Thornton has been helping lead the health care industry and SC during the pandemic. Tune in to hear his unique insights on everything from supplies and hospital capacity to the possible salvation on the top of everyone’s mind- the vaccine. Listen now!
- 01.27.2021 | Episode 37: Jed Suddeth, CEO, Suddeth Health Care Solutions, and Dr. Mac Knight, CMO, Coker Group
On this week’s episode, Heather and Matthew welcome Jed Suddeth of Suddeth Health Care Solutions and Dr. Mac Knight of the Coker Group. As heads of numerous health care businesses throughout their careers, Jed and Dr. Knight have been at the forefront of creating innovative health care reform to decrease costs and build a more value based care delivery platform. Tune in to learn about their important efforts to help patients by improving the health care system now!
The South Carolina legislature is back in session, and we needed a primer on key issues expected to be taken up. Nexsen Pruet Governmental Affairs Advisor Mark Harmon stepped in to brief us on key economic development issues, like Abandoned Buildings Tax Credit extensions, the state's Unemployment Fund, broadband accessibility, liability protections, and more. (And yes, this was filmed in advance, so these issues may have seen action since we recorded.) Listen and learn with us!
- 01.20.2021 | Episode 39: Amanda Loveday, COO, NP Strategy
Inauguration Day calls for a special edition of #TheBuzz - today, we interview NP Strategy COO Amanda Loveday, a longtime South Carolina + Democratic politics pro to discuss her work alongside the Biden administration. She gives us a look behind the curtain at what to expect after President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in, and how his policies and relationships might impact the Palmetto State. Get an insiders' look with us before the inauguration!
Joining Heather and Darra to kick off season 2 of Taking the Pulse is Mako Medical VP of Operations Steve Hoover. We dive in to how the diagnostic lab has rapidly expanded to meet the demands of COVID-19 testing since we last spoke to Mako in July, news on the new COVID variant in the United States, the current vaccine roll out, and much more. Tune in now!
What better way to kick off the new year than with something so near and dear to our hearts? That's right - we're talking TAX CREDITS with South Carolina Department of Revenue Tax Attorney Jerilynn VanStory. Jerilynn explains all aspects of job tax credits, especially in Tier 1 - 4 counties. How much are businesses eligible for? What do they mean? How do you even claim the credits? We review it all - listen in!
- 01.05.2021 | Epsiode 35: Lauren Sausser, Features Editor and Health Care Journalist, The Post & Courier
On episode 35, Heather and Matthew chat with Lauren Sausser, an award winning health care journalist and features editor for The Post and Courier. They discuss how COVID-19 has impacted journalism, Lauren’s recent COVID coverage, and the role of the media during the pandemic and ongoing vaccination roll outs. Tune in now for more!
This week, Heather and Matthew are joined by the Free Medical Clinic Executive Director Freddie Strange, a life-long health care worker known for his hands-on care and leadership. We discuss how the Free Medical Clinic provides high quality health care to South Carolina’s working poor as well as the pandemic’s impact on the non-profit and those they serve. Listen now!
On episode 33, Heather and Darra welcome back South Carolina Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman to discuss how the Palmetto State has met the challenge of maintaining instruction during the fall semester as the pandemic continues. We dive into case numbers, testing strategies within schools, rural broadband services, and much more. Tune in now!
So you want to know about COVID-19 vaccines? Attorneys aren't usually ones to dole out free legal advice, but we sat down with Nexsen Pruet Employment & Labor Law chair David Dubberly to discuss employer and employee rights. Of course, South Carolina is an at-will state, but how does that play a part in vaccination recommendations, proof of COVID-19 testing/vaccines, or employee opt-outs? What role do liability protections play in all of this? We dive into all that - and more - with David on this episode of The Buzz!
Heather and Darra welcome back South Carolina’s epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell to discuss the pandemic’s continued stronghold within South Carolina. They cover rising COVID cases throughout the state, virtual and in person schools, vaccine timelines and distributions, and more. Tune in to hear from an expert in all things regarding the pandemic now!
- 12.08.2020 | Episode 31: Lara Hewitt, South Carolina Hospital Association and Andy Hartung, Self-Regional
On this week’s episode, Heather and Matthew welcome Lara Hewitt of the South Carolina Hospital Association and Andy Hartung of Self-Regional Healthcare. As heads of a state-wide healthcare association and a medical center, Andy and Lara have been on the frontlines of ensuring that SC healthcare systems have been safe and prepared during the pandemic. Tune in to hear about the impact of unexpected healthcare partnerships, PPP procurement, the future of the vaccine in the palmetto state, and much more!
Railroads: the logistics and supply-chain giant, particularly critical across the Carolinas. For many companies and site selection professionals, access to rail is a must; but, rail as we know it is evolving. Enter Scott Saylor, former president of the North Carolina Railroad Company and current Nexsen Pruet Of Counsel. An expert on rail in the region, Scott built his career in the industry over several decades - and is here to update Buzz listeners on all things rail (types, infrastructure, major players, role in economic development, etc.). Listen in for a lesson on Railroads 101!
This week, Tina and Matthew are joined by Brian Morris, President of Fulcrum Risk Solutions, a full service brokerage firm dedicated to providing holistic risk management and insurance strategies to their clients. We discuss how Fulcrum assists medical practices and other employers as well as COVID-19’s impact on risk management, insurance, benefits and more- listen now!
On episode 29, Tina and Darra speak with Dr. Addison Livingston, the owner of Hawthorne Pharmacy and Medical Equipment, a local drugstore that has been serving the midlands for nearly 70 years. We dive in to how the pharmacy sector has evolved in response to COVID-19, the clinical care side of the industry, emerging trends, and much more. Listen now!
This might be the best trivia episode of The Buzz, ever. Calling all film buffs: test your knowledge of movies shot around the Palmetto State! Or, do you know the film industry's economic impact on the state? We also get into incentives (of course), how COVID-19 has impacted movie and television sets, (several) Burnie anecdotes, and much more. Tune in to the latest episode now! We promise you'll enjoy it.
- 11.17.2020 | Episode 28: Matt Shaffer, Senior Vice President, and Dr. Shawn Stinson, Senior Vice President of Health Care Innovation and Improvement, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
This week, Tina and Matthew sit down with South Carolina BlueCross BlueShield executives Matt Shaffer and Dr. Shawn Stinson to discuss how the state’s largest health insurance provider has weathered the pandemic. We cover long-term changes to the industry, innovative strategies to assist the community, and much more- tune in now!
- 11.11.2020 | Episode 27: Brandon Neal, Deputy Chief Legal Officer, and Mindy Staley, Assistant General Counsel, Novant Health
On Episode 27, Heather and Matthew are joined by Deputy Chief Legal Officer Brandon Neal and Assistant General Counsel Mindy Staley of Novant Health. They dive into how the award winning integrated network of hospitals has continued to succeed during the pandemic, the consolidation of hospital systems, and working in the legal department of a healthcare provider. Tune in now!
- 11.11.2020 | Episode 34: Jay Bender, FOIA Attorney
Confidentiality is a big part of economic development projects - but so, too, is transparency (at least when it comes to governing bodies and government entities). Enter the Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA. We called in a FOIA expert - attorney Jay Bender - to explain the ins-and-outs of FOI. What exemptions apply to economic developers? Who does FOIA apply to? Jay Bender lays down the facts in this episode - listen now!
- 11.03.2020 | Episode 26: Josh Baker, Director, South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
For episode 26, Heather and Matthew welcome South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Director Josh Baker to discuss how the agency oversees health care benefits for the state and COVID-19’s impact on their services. Tune in now to hear about telehealth, the CARES Act, and more!
- 10.28.2020 | Episode 33: Dr. Matt Martin, SVP and Charlotte Regional Executive, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond
On today's episode, Kara and Burnie spoke to the good doctor: Dr. Matt Martin of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. We spoke up and down about the economy - how COVID has impacted certain sectors (and how they have or have not bounced back), how that will have a ripple effect on real estate markets, and how manufacturing and workforce retention are also affected. You don't have to be an economics major to track this one - Matt makes it easy (and, honestly, kind of uplifting). Listen now, and learn something new!
Heather and Darra chat with Dr. Anne Cook of AnMed Health, an internal medicine physician with nearly 40 years of experience and a member of the South Carolina Board of Medical Examiners. Dr. Cook walks us through what it’s like to work on the frontlines of the pandemic, how medical workers are protecting their mental health, the expansion of telemedicine, and regulatory challenges during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Tune in now!
- 10.21.2020 | Episode 32: Anita Patel, Deputy Director of International Strategy and Trade Division, S.C. Dept. of Commerce
Our latest guest has traded her frequent flyer miles for Zoom credits, but she's working as hard as ever to facilitate international trade in the Palmetto State. S.C. Department of Commerce's Anita Patel, Deputy Director of International Strategy and Trade Division, walks us through her day-to-day - under normal circumstances AND since adjusting to COVID-19 procedures. For South Carolina manufacturers looking to export products to international markets, Anita is your go-to. How does Commerce support companies through the export process, or target market growth? Anita walks us through it - tune in to learn more!
On episode 24, Heather and Darra welcome back Representative Murrell Smith to discuss the most recent South Carolina legislative session. We dive into how the Statehouse addressed CARES Act funding, the absentee voting process, rural broadband access, the budget for 2021, and much more – listen now!
- 10.14.2020 | Episode 31: Will Williams [South Carolina Economic Development Partnership, President & CEO]
You may know him for his dad jokes on social media- President and CEO of Economic Development Partnership, Will Williams talks about the post COVID economy and new investment on the latest episode of #TheBuzz.
- 10.13.2020 | Episode 23: Bobby Williams, CEO, Lizard’s Thicket
For episode 23, Heather and Matthew are joined by Bobby Williams, the co-founder and CEO of Lizard’s Thicket, a local restaurant chain known for its southern home-style food and hospitality. We discuss how the family owned business has adapted to the pandemic, the future of the restaurant industry amid COVID-19, and Bobby’s role as Chair of the South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association. Listen now!
Heather and Matthew sit down with Community Integrated Management Services CEO Peter Leventis to discuss how the independent association, which is made up of 14 federally qualified health clinics, provides care to more than 350,000 patients across South Carolina. We dive into what CIMS is doing to adjust their services during the COVID-19 pandemic, the role of community health centers in health care systems, and more. Listen now to episode 22 of Taking the Pulse!
- 09.30.2020 | Episode 29: Greg Jones, Founder, Founder & Vice President, Foreign-Trade Zone Corporation
Foreign Trade Zones (or, FTZ's as they are affectionately known) are a huge buzzword in econ dev. Whether it's the site selection process, incentives, manufacturing or imports/exports, there's a lot to unpack on the subject. So, we sat down with Foreign-Trade Zone Corporation Founder & Vice President Greg Jones to get into the nitty-gritty (but not too nitty-gritty, the just-right level of nitty-gritty). What even are FTZ's? How can they benefit your company, or a company looking to invest in your region? What are the limitations of the program? How does one even apply? We'll give you the skinny in under 23 minutes. Tune in!
- 09.29.2020 | Episode 21: Will Hamilton, CVA, BuckheadFMV
On this episode, Heather and Matthew dive into the valuation sector with guest Will Hamilton, a health care valuation consultant with BuckheadFMV. We discuss the importance of fair market valuation in the health care industry and how it has exploded in growth, the financial impact COVID-19 has had on health care providers and how it affects valuations, and more. Listen now!
- 09.23.2020 | Episode 28: Jeff McKay - Executive Director, NESA
We had the honor of being escorted in episode 28 by a real pro - a pro's pro, if you will - North Eastern Strategic Alliance (NESA) Executive Director Jeff McKay! If you don't know, Jeff has been with NESA for nearly 15 years, making him a NESA savant, if you will. We talked to Jeff about lots of #econdev topics on the local and regional level, like site selection processes, project involvement, and how COVID has impacted it all. We also discussed the Dillon Inland Port, and its tremendous impact on Jeff's region (ports are just for seafaring folks anymore). Hear more about local development from a longtime pro - and an all-around great guy - listen now!
- 09.22.2020 | Episode 20: Angela O'Neal, Nextra Solutions Director, and Dawn Staley, USC Women's Basketball Coach
For episode 20, Heather and Matthew are joined by special guests Angela O’Neal, attorney and Director of Nextra Solutions, along with the legendary Dawn Staley, Coach of the University of South Carolina Women’s Basketball team. We discuss how COVID-19 has dramatically altered the sports industry, what leagues at the college and professional levels are doing to safely bring back games, and how the pandemic and recent social justice movement has impacted athletes. Tune in for all that and more!
So, what exactly is EXIM Bank? What do they do and who do they help? You may have heard a lot about them, but now you can hear from them - Burnie and Kara interview Eastern Region Managing Director Sharyn Koenig all about EXIM's presence in S.C., and how our companies can benefit from EXIM. No, they're not just for the 'big boys' of business. Listen now!
For episode 19, Heather and Matthew sit down with Dr. Bill Massey, the Chief Scientific Officer of Vikor Scientific, to learn about the specifics of COVID-19 testing and how the pandemic has forced the life science company to quickly pivot their business. Dr. Massey, a world renowned neuropharmacologist and pharmacogeneticist, discusses how Vikor has dramatically increased their workforce and equipment capacity, recent developments in the types of tests and their efficiency, and the state of testing and tracing in South Carolina. Tune in now!
Burnie and Kara had the pleasure to speak with South Carolina Department of Agriculture Commissioner Hugh Weathers on the heels of a huge agribusiness announcement (Agriculture Technology Campus) in Hampton County. We discussed a lot about that project - what went into it (years of research and planning), how it became a reality, and what it means for the future of agribusiness in S.C. We also discussed SCDA's ACRE program, its farm-to-food bank initiative, and MUCH more. Tune in!
Heather & Darra dive in with South Carolina Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman to discuss the challenge of operating schools and maintaining instruction during the pandemic. Tune in as we cover strategies for reopening, the delivery of broadband services for virtual learning, how educators and administrators are adjusting, and much more. Listen now!
- 09.02.2020 | Episode 25: Bret Sowers, Southern Current
Southern Current's Bret Sowers (VP of Development + Strategy) was positively beaming about solar energy in this episode of The Buzz. The discussion was illuminating - Burnie, Kara and Bret (& Bret's cat) discussed everything about the industry (taxes, tax credits, incentives, residential vs corporate and a lot more). Burnie beamed at the subject, Kara shined, and Bret brightened our day. If you had any questions about South Carolina's solar industry, we're certain this episode covers it - listen in!
- 09.01.2020 | Episode 17: South Carolina Senator Shane Massey
Heather and Darra sit down with South Carolina Senator and Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey to discuss how the pandemic is impacting the Statehouse- from reopening procedures for schools and plans for absentee voting, to creating a new budget for the state and much more. Hear Shane provide insight on what the South Carolina legislature plans to address during their September session as the COVID-19 pandemic continues – listen now!
Burnie and Kara brought in Rich Fletcher (President & CEO, I-77 Alliance) to break in the new studio - can't you just hear the difference?? The trio get into the latest in the I-77 Alliance region: the Fairfield County megasite, possibilities of reshoring, and how Charlotte is our friend - not a cross-state rival. Anyone else feel that *buzz* in the air? That's football season trying to work its way back. Yes, we got into the Carolina Panthers development, which is basically our version of Hard Knocks. All that, and much more. Give it a listen!
On this episode, Heather, Matthew and Darra dive into the current landscape of the health care industry and the trends and changes Matthew and Darra are seeing as they serve clients amid the pandemic. They provide insight on how COVID-19 has forced organizations outside of the health care system into participating in major health care decisions, the upward trend in employers closely monitoring employee’s health, the consolidation of providers, and what organizations are doing to stay innovative and agile. Listen now!
On our latest episode of The Buzz, we're talking about all things apprenticeship - they've become a widely successful tool in developing South Carolina's workforce, and introducing young people to career opportunities they may never have had exposure to otherwise. Kara and Burnie sit down with Amy Firestone, Vice President of Apprenticeship Carolina, to discuss the programs available. We discuss apprenticeship eligibility, how companies can get involved, and how COVID-19 has adjusted the apprenticeship process. Listen in for that and much more!
For episode 15, we’re joined by Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina President Tom Keith. Tom and hosts Heather and Matthew discuss how the non-profit world has reacted to COVID-19 and what the Sisters of Charity Foundation is currently doing to support organizations throughout South Carolina. Tom gives insight into how the pandemic has altered how the Foundation assists communities, including the formation of new partnerships and quickly awarding nearly 30 grants to address COVID-19 related problems. Listen now to hear how Sisters of Charity has adjusted, it’s rich history, the future of non-profit and public health partnerships, plus much more.
- 08.12.2020 | Episode 22: Jamie Suber, Chief of Staff, South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (SCDEW)
Economic developers will be the first to tell you - their work means nothing without a workforce. While COVID-19 has caused record unemployment numbers in South Carolina, it's also a huge hiring opportunity for companies looking to build their workforce. So today, Burnie and Kara spoke with South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) Chief of Staff Jamie Suber abut life at the agency - what are they seeing and doing day to day? How did they adjust (basically immediately) to respond to the pandemic? What unemployment trends are they seeing? Plus much, much more. Tune in!
- 08.11.2020 | Episode 14: Sara Goldsby, Executive Director, DAODAS
Heather + Darra sat down with South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services Executive Director Sara Goldsby to discuss how the stress and isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on mental health and exacerbated substance abuse issues in individuals throughout the state. We discuss exactly what DAODAS is and their resources for SC citizens, how they've used telehealth to maintain their services and social media to track alcohol and drug abuse trends, and demographic changes in overdoses since the pandemic began. Stream the full episode now.
- 08.05.2020 | Episode 21: Burnie solo-cast
Today, we dive a little deeper with our hosts - that's right - Kara and Burnie go one-on-one in Episode 21. Kara (a former journalist - and it shows!) finds out what makes Burnie tick (don't we all want to know??). We talk about Burnie's background, his professional experiences, and a little bit about how he's become the Burnie Maybank we all know and love. Take a walk down Maybank Highway Lane with us for a a little fun.
We jumped into the frontlines of health care workers with this episode, where Heather and Matthew interview Dr. Mitch Nimmich about what it's like to treat COVID-19 patients at Lexington Medical Center. We discuss how his team is doing - and what they are doing to make critical care patients feel more comfortable, even in the isolation of the COVID ward. Dr. Nimmich shares how he and the medical staff manage the stress associated with a quarantined unit, plus much more.
Burnie and Kara get into some GOOD NEWS with Dorchester County Economic Development Director John Truluck. We discuss the the details of Dorchester Co.'s recent Walmart announcement (a major win), opportunity zones, COVID-19, re-shoring, honey harvests and a little reality television. Never a dull moment over here. Listen now!
- 07.28.2020 | Episode 12: Dr. Ada Stewart, President-Elect of the American Academy of Family Physicians; Physician, Eau Claire Cooperative Health Center
Heather and Darra sit down with Dr. Ada Stewart, a physician at Eau Claire Cooperative Health Center around the Midlands, to discuss the impact that COVID-19 has had on her patients and treatment experiences. They discuss Dr. Stewart's service to largely underserved communities around South Carolina, her growing up without a physician or access to health care, and how she came to work become a doctor. Dr. Stewart is driven by a desire to serve others, and we couldn't think of a more inspiring individual who embodies that service. Listen now!
For episode 19, Kara and Burnie sat down with Jim Stritzinger (Revolution D, Inc. Founder, President & CEO), an expert in rural broadband infrastructure development and deployment. You may have heard him referred to as "Mr. Broadband;" he's been in the industry for decades, but is working double-time trying to get South Carolina connected. We discuss how S.C. is deploying rural broadband, how the allocated CARES Act funds come into play (and how far they'll really get us), what exactly defines 'high-speed internet,' and much more. Listen now!
For episode 11, we're joined by Presbyterian Communities of South Carolina CEO Rev. Dr. Franklin Fant, and Nexsen Pruet health care attorney Alice Harris makes her Taking The Pulse debut. Dr. Fant, Heather and Alice discuss COVID19's impact on senior living facilities, especially in a place like Presbyterian Communities, which offers a huge range of services for senior citizens (assisted living, independent living, health care and hospitality services, and more).
- 07.15.2020 | Episode 18: S.C. State Treasurer Curtis Loftis
Kara and Burnie sit down with South Carolina State Treasurer Curtis Loftis about all things budgets - how he has saved South Carolina and South Carolinians, alike, huge amounts of money. We discuss COVID's impact on the state's budget, revenue, small businesses and much more (Treasurer Loftis brought the jokes). Listen now!
For ep. 10 of Taking the Pulse, Heather + Matthew sat down with Representative Murrell Smith to discuss COVID-19's impact at the statehouse - everything from how the legislature has (and will) manage the pandemic, to its impact on the state's budget, Medicaid in S.C., and much more. We discuss a few pieces of legislation that are currently in motion (like liability protection) and the status of S.C. schools returning in the fall. We dive into all that and MUCH more - listen now!
- 07.08.2020 | Episode 17: Swati Patel, EVP of Communications and Public Policy + Of Counsel, SC Chamber of Commerce
Our dynamic co-hosting duo sit down with Swati Patel, South Carolina Chamber of Commerce EVP of Public Policy, Of Counsel, and Chamber Foundation President. We did not ask her about having the longest title(s) of any of our guests to date. We did ask her about the Chamber's public policy priorities (notably, liability protections), and where they stand with the legislature. We also discuss broadband, essential workers, and how legislation gets passed.
Heather and Matthew sit down with Mako Medical COO Josh Arant to learn about how COVID-19 sparked innovation for an N.C.-based medical manufacturer. Business was booming - then COVID hit, bringing production to a near stand-still. Now, Mako is producing COVID-19 tests in record numbers, and business is booming in ways Josh never could have imagined a year ago. We chat about the process of becoming licensed to produce these tests, what the current virus testing market looks like, as well as a bit more about Mako's work as a stateside medical product manufacturer.
- 06.30.2020 | Episode 8: Bob Quinn, Executive Director, SCRA
Heather + Darra sat down with South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA) Executive Director Bob Quinn to discuss how COVID-19 has sparked innovation among SCRA member companies, and the impact they are having on S.C.'s health and life science industries. We discuss exactly what the SCRA is (and how you can get involved with them), how SCRA start-ups are chosen, and even some several SCRA success stories. Tune in
This week, Burnie + Kara sat down with SC Technical College System President Dr. Tim Hardee for an update on higher education and workforce development in the Palmetto State. We discuss everything from how students are retooling due to the pandemic, to how the technical college system is adjusting its approach for students, to workforce development programs like readySC and SC WINS - and MUCH more! Listen now.
- 06.23.2020 | Episode 7: Dr. Gerry Harmon, President-Elect, American Medical Association; VP of Medical Affairs, Tidelands Health
In this episode, Heather & Darra sit down with Dr. Gerry Harmon, President-Elect of the American Medical Association and Vice President of Medical Affairs at Tidelands Health in Murrells Inlet. They discuss the impact of COVID-19 on health care providers, both locally in South Carolina and nationally. We'll get into how associations like the AMA - and health care systems - are supporting patients and frontline health care workers, the prioritization and allocation of PPE and critical health care devices, and how health inequities have been exasperated by the pandemic.
Burnie and Kara sit down with Nick Kremydas, CEO of the South Carolina Association of Realtors, and discuss all things real estate: taxes, trends (residential and commercial), local legislation, COVID-19 impact, pandemic response + adjustments, and MUCH more. Stream this episode to hear the latest on real estate around South Carolina.
Matthew & Heather dive in with South Carolina's epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell to discuss COVID-19's stronghold in South Carolina. Tune in as we discuss the upward trend in positive cases, why we've seen that trend, where testing and vaccines stand, and MUCH more. Dr. Bell reinforces best practices for preventative safety and her recommendations for all South Carolinians. Listen now!
- 06.10.2020 | Episode 14 - Sunnie Harmon, SC Lobbyist
Need a legislative primer? We did, too. South Carolina's 2020 legislative session was anything but normal, so cue veteran lobbyist (and renowned tennis phenom) Sunnie Harmon to catch us up to speed. She spoke to Kara and Burnie about what the legislature accomplished before its unusually early sine die, what we can (or might) expect from the legislature when they return to Columbia, and how COVID-19 has changed the way business is done around the state house. Check out that - and MUCH more - on this episode of The Buzz!
- 06.09.2020 | Episode 5: Sam Konduros, President + CEO, SCBIO
On Episode 5 of Taking the Pulse Podcast, Matthew Roberts & Heather Matthews interview SCBIO President + CEO Sam Konduros about South Carolina's pharmaceutical and life sciences industries - and their current economic impact on the state, as well as their potential impact on the knowledge economy. Sam also shares great stories about how Palmetto State companies in those sectors have stepped up in the battle against COVID-19. Hear that and much more - listen now.
- 06.04.2020 | Episode 4: Richele Taylor, General Counsel & Senior VP of Advocacy & Communications, SCMA
Heather and Darra speak to South Carolina Medical Association's GC & SVP of Advocacy & Communications Richele Taylor about many of the challenges and changes she's seeing throughout South Carolina's health care system as a result of COVID-19. Everything from the telehealth boom to the battle between public health vs. economic impact. Richele also shares some interesting - and uplifting - stories about physicians introducing innovative practices to comfortably and safely treat patients.
Kara and Burnie chat with John Lummus, leader of Upstate SC Alliance, a regional alliance based in - you guessed it - the Upstate. Representing 10 counties, John and his team have their fingers on the pulse of quite a bit of economic development action. Check out our interview with John, where the trio discuss hot topics like reshoring, COVID-19's impact on Upstate businesses, tax revenue projections, addressing workforce shortage, and some of the things Upstate SC Alliance has on their radar for the next 20 years.. All that and MUCH more on this episode of The Buzz!
**Producer's note: this interview was done before Governor McMaster's announcement reopening attractions on 5/20/20, so some conversations may be out of date** Burnie and Kara interview Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce President + CEO Karen Riordan for a business update from the Grand Strand. The trio discuss the impact of COVID-19 on Myrtle Beach businesses, how they plan to bounce back, and how we might expect the city to reopen. Join us for that, and MUCH more, with Karen Riordan!
Nexsen Pruet Health Care attorney Darra James Coleman makes her co-host debut, joining Heather Matthews for an interview with Palmetto Care Connections CEO Kathy Schwarting, MHA. The trio discuss the rise of telehealth - as well as its inherent challenges. They also chat about rural healthcare access, and how telehealth can help bridge that divide. Listen for all that, and much more, now.
Burnie and Kara catch up with a friend abroad - United States Ambassador to Switzerland & Liechtenstein Ed McMullen. Ed, a South Carolina local, began working with the Trump administration during the 2016 election as the Trump campaign lead in the Palmetto State. The trio chat about the impact of COVID-19 on Switzerland and, more broadly, Europe, as well as the status of international countries reopening for business and tourism. Burnie was also curious about what European businesses really think about American closures and precautions due to COVID-19, and how it could impact the possibility of re-shoring, especially in South Carolina. Tune in for all that, plus MUCH more - this was a fun one!
Heather and Matthew kick off Episode 2 of Taking The Pulse with Charles Williams, President + CEO of Regional Medical Center. Williams has the unique insight as the leader of not only a rural hospital system, but also one of - if not the - largest employer in the region. The trio dive into the impact of COVID-19 on RMC's staff and patients, how RMC is supporting its employees, and even the impact of COVID-19 on rural and minority communities. Hear that, and much more, on this episode of Taking The Pulse: A Health Care Podcast.
Burnie and Kara sat down with Lilyn Hester, the Head of Southeast Public Affairs for tech giant Google. Lilyn - and Google - are no strangers to South Carolina. They've been a community partner in the Lowcountry for over a decade, and Lilyn and her team have gotten ahead of issues like lack of access to rural broadband or basic health care. Lilyn explains the innovative ways Google has been serving the greater-Berkeley County community, and much more..
In the inaugural episode of Taking The Pulse, hosts Heather Matthews and Matthew Roberts chat with Thornton Kirby, President and CEO of the South Carolina Hospital Association. They talk to Thornton about the impact of COVID-19 on the health care system - everything from supplies and inventory to personnel - and what it will take for the industry to bounce back. Stream the full episode now.
- 05.11.2020 | Episode 9: Jonathan Yarborough, Director of Government Affairs & Economic Development, Dominion Energy
Kara & Burnie sat down with Jonathan Yarborough, who oversees government affairs and economic development for Dominion Energy, one of South Carolina's largest energy providers. Prior to going in-house with Dominion, Jonathan began his econ dev career with the S.C. Department of Commerce; he's also no stranger to the famed Edisto Honey Harvests.. Listen in as the trio talk all things energy, Dominion's COVID-19 response, community involvement and giving, plus MUCH more!
- 05.06.2020 | Episode 8: Barbara Melvin, COO, South Carolina Ports
Burnie + Kara spoke with Barbara Melvin, Chief Operating Officer for South Carolina Ports, about the impact of COVID-19 on global trade and supply chain, as well as the local impact on all ports in the Palmetto State. They also look beyond coronavirus, discussing the port's long-term expansion and investment plans (like the Leatherman Terminal & Jasper Ocean Terminal projects), and much, much more.
Burnie & Kara caught up with South Carolina Chamber of Commerce President + CEO Ted Pitts on a number of things about the impact of COVID-19 on South Carolina's economy and getting the Palmetto state back to work. We spoke about the impact of the shutdowns (from schools to businesses, was it worth it, from a business perspective?), how we get the state's economy moving again, his involvement in the Accelerate SC task force, and more.
Burnie and Kara dive into a local developer's perspective in Episode 6 with Gregg Robinson, Executive Director at Orangeburg County Development Commission. AND - we're joined by special guests Mike Newman with QM Group and Robert Ferguson with ExxonMobil, sharing how QM is adjusting production to combat COVID-19 and announcing a new partnership with ExxonMobil.
- 04.27.2020 | Episode 5: Sara Hazzard, SC Manufacturers Alliance
Burnie and Kara chat with SC Manufacturers Alliance President and CEO Sara Hazzard about the manufacturing industry - one of South Carolina's largest industries - and what the organization is doing during COVID-19. They cover everything from what SCMA is hearing from its member companies, to restarting South Carolina's 'economic engine.' Sara was also recently named to the accelerateSC advisory committee - we cover that, and a LOT more.
Kara and Burnie sit down with SC Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism Director Duane Parrish to check in on how COVID-19 in impacting the state's hospitality and tourism economies, and what SCPRT is doing to combat that. They chat everything from beaches and hotels, to restaurants and golf tournaments - and even Carolina/Clemson football?.. We covered a LOT with Duane - check it out now!
- 04.20.2020 | Episode 3: James Chavez, SC Power Team
Kara and Burnie catch up with SC Power Team President & CEO James Chavez about how he serves South Carolina's electric cooperatives, and the special role his team plays in the Palmetto State economic development landscape. They chat about the impact of COVID-19, how SC's economy can bounce back, and MORE!
- 04.14.2020 | Episode 2: S.C. Economic Developers' Association Leadership (Andrena Powell-Baker & Richard Blackwell)
Kara and Burnie catch up with SCEDA President Andrena Powell-Baker (Lockhart Power) and Incoming President Richard Blackwell (Agracel, Inc.) to discuss what the state's largest economic development professional association is seeing right now - from COVID-19 impact and response to rural broadband, and more.
- 04.07.2020 | Episode 1: Lou Kennedy (Nephron Pharmaceuticals)
Kara and Burnie talk BEES, plus a few things that make Nephron kind of unique. Interview with Nephron Pharmaceuticals President & CEO Lou Kennedy talking pre-coronavirus investments and production, Nephron's teacher-hire program, adjusting production for COVID-19 response, advice for companies looking to make adjustments, U.S. vs. overseas pharmaceutical production, importance of investing in health/life sciences and rural broadband.