Department of Commerce Honors 2016 Ambassadors for Economic Development

State Celebrates 25th Annual Industry Appreciation Week

May 02, 2016



Individuals and companies from every county in South Carolina were recognized on April 28th for the many contributions they provide to their communities and to economic development as part of the 25th Annual Industry Appreciation Week.

These individuals included local leaders from the private sector representing a variety of businesses and economic development organizations committed to securing new jobs and investment in their communities. In the SouthernCarolina Alliance region, several prominent leaders were honored.


Ann Rice, Allendale County

Allendale County’s Ambassador for Economic Development for 2016 is Anne Platts Rice, who has served as an advocate for economic development in the region for more than 30 years.

As a small business owner for over twenty years, Anne Rice experienced first-hand the importance of business development in rural communities. Her insights as a business owner chartered her energy and focus as she began her career in public service and as an active community volunteer.

As Director of the USC Salkehatchie Leadership Institute, Anne helped develop the platform and agendas for community and economic development efforts in the USC Salkehatchie Region. Through both her professional and personal volunteer efforts, Anne played a leading role in many regional economic development programs, including the establishment of leadership training for over 1700 adults and youths; the development of the Allendale County Comprehensive Land Use Plan; development of the Allendale County First Steps program; establishment of the “Allendale County Alive” Community Development Corporation and program; STEM and robotics training and competition for area students; spearheading of the one-cent sales tax referendum for the Quick Job Training Center and Library;  and as founding member of the Bi-state Lower Savannah River Alliance to promote eco-tourism on the Savannah River.

Further, Anne’s community involvement has been equally as active and successful. Most notably has been her work in securing funding for the restoration of the “Carolina Theatre” and the establishment of the Salkehatchie Art Center, a regional retail center for local artists. 

Anne was married to the late Sam Rice and has three children and six grandchildren. Allendale County has been her home for forty-nine years, and her work has laid the foundation for future generations.


Greg Pierce, Bamberg County

Greg Pierce, President of Black Water Barrels, LLC, was named the 2016 S.C. Economic Ambassador for Bamberg County.  Mr. Pierce announced in January 2016 that the company would locate their manufacturing facility, South Carolina’s only cooperage, in Bamberg County.  The project will transform a vacant commercial building, the former Zeigler Chevrolet dealership, into a revitalized manufacturing facility where 57 jobs will be created.  The company’s capital investment in the project will be $3.6 million.

During an extensive multi-state and county site selection process, Greg encouraged partners and decision makers within his company to choose the location in Bamberg.  He has also worked to utilize local vendors, suppliers, service providers and employees in his project, bringing additional economic stimulation to the local business community.

The entrepreneurial project, the first to manufacture white oak barrels in the state, will serve the growing spirits industry in the U.S. and abroad.


Alan King, Barnwell County

Alan King, President of Precision Metal Fabricators, Inc., was named Barnwell County’s Economic Ambassador for 2016.

 A firm that specializes in the manufacturing of metal and fabricated metal products, Precision Metal Fabricators is creating 19 new jobs and is investing $500,000 in Williston, South Carolina.

Established in 1990, Precision Metal Fabricators is a homegrown, service connected disabled veteran-owned business, serving a wide variety of industry sectors.

After 9/11, Mr. King felt that, “it was my patriotic duty to serve our country, so I proudly enlisted into the United States Marine Corps,” and served on Active Duty from April 29th, 2003 to June 3, 2011.   He served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan during a very rewarding career in the Marine Corps.  With an Honorable Discharge, he then worked with CGI Federal as a Field Service Technician for the “BFSA” Project and a Quality Assurance Specialist on the “Remote CEM” Project.

In August 2013, Mr. King was hired at Precision Metal Fabricators, Inc. as the Plant Superintendent. Within a few months, the former president retired and Mr. King was named president of the company in 2014.  By 2015, Alan King took over 51% ownership of the company and registered the company as a SDVOSB with the Veterans Affairs office.

As President and majority owner at Precision Metal Fabricators, Inc., it has been Mr. King’s goal to expand the company and hire more local employees from the surrounding area, while building a positive relationship with the local communities and county. They currently have 21 very talented employees and are working on doubling their workforce over the next 2 years.

Mr. King has served as an outstanding ambassador of economic development by not only creating new jobs, but also serving as a representative of industry for our region, including meeting with dignitaries and hosting plant tours.

Born, raised and residing in Charleston, thirty-four year old Alan King is a single father of 3 children: Caroline King (age 11); Slade King (age 5); and Piper King (age 3).



Vittorio Musso, Colleton County

Vittorio Musso, CEO of Meter Bearings, a family-owned business founded in 1981 and headquartered in Torino, Italy, has been named Colleton County’s 2016 Economic Ambassador.  

Meter Bearings produces ball and cylindrical roller bearings at manufacturing plants in Italy and China with customer support offices in the U.S. and Germany. In 2014 their growth strategy led them to establish a U.S. manufacturing plant in Colleton County to serve existing U.S. customers. As Chief Executive Officer, Vittorio Musso has been involved in every step of this growth and expansion process that will lead to a $4.5 million investment and 50 jobs.

Mr. Musso recognized the value of local training opportunities and has been eager to take advantage of the resources at the Colleton Career Skills Center and Palmetto Training.

Mr. Musso was instrumental in another Italy-based company, BUSCOT LLC, locating to South Carolina. BUSCOT LLC produces specialty bearings and worked with Meter Bearings in Italy. Mr. Musso’s decision to expand Meter Bearings to the U.S. greatly influenced BUSCOT LLC to do the same. In 2016, BUSCOT LLC announced their decision to establish manufacturing operations in Colleton County, investing $1.15 million in the project and expecting to create 10 jobs.


Marco Genoni, Hampton County

Marco Genoni, President of Nupi Americas, was named the 2016 S.C. Economic Ambassador for Hampton County.

Mr. Genoni was instrumental in bringing Nupi Americas, an investment of $4.85 Million and 37 new jobs, to Hampton County in 2015. Since agreeing to locate his company in Early Branch, Marco has proven to be accessible, prompt and thorough as he has worked with the county and SouthernCarolina Alliance toward an operation date in the spring.

A North American subsidiary of Nupi Industrie Italiane, S.p.A., Nupi Americas, Inc., will focus primarily on its NIRON product line, which is a complete polypropylene pipe and fitting system for the distribution of hot and cold water in plumbing and air conditioning systems.  The company purchased the Hampton County Spec Building, located at 314 Commerce Parkway at the Southern Carolina Industrial Campus in Early Branch, where the facility is expected to be fully operational by the second quarter of 2016.

Mr. Genoni’s investment in our region will be a valuable asset as we continue to market the county and region to other Italian prospects.


Lee Edwards, Jasper County

Lee Edwards, CEO of The Greenery, Inc., was named S.C. Economic Ambassador for Jasper County in 2016. 

The Greenery, Inc. is celebrating 43 years of service in the Lowcountry and has grown to one of the largest and most respected landscaping companies in the Southeast.  Lee Edwards started his career at The Greenery as a young boy who spent his afternoons and weekends working for the company. 

Now The Greenery’s CEO, Lee is providing new leadership at the helm of this employee-owned corporation. The company’s operation in Jasper County employs around 225, over 50% of the company’s total employment, who are highly motivated employees, professional horticulturists, and experienced management that work in its residential, commercial and retail divisions.  While recognizing their past and vision for future growth, The Greenery is quick to acknowledge that all their efforts are about their people. The Greenery invests in and relies on its people who in turn care, help grow and contribute to the company and to the customers it serves.  Every employee has a stake in the quality of its work, the success of the business, and the satisfaction of each of its customers. 

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