After almost 20 years, Mike Switzer retired from Wells Fargo Securities in 2001 as Senior Vice President/Investment Officer and Certified Portfolio Manager. In 1999, he and his wife, Maggie, purchased and operated for eight years the Baskin Robbins ice cream store on Forest Drive in Columbia. They grew the store from a bottom-tier operation in the Baskin Robbins franchise system to one in the top 5% nationwide within three years, tripling sales along the way. While operating the ice cream store, Mike and Maggie received patents for a portable ice cream sink and fold-down sneezeguard they invented and in 2002 started Magnolia Carts, an ice cream cart manufacturing company, which they sold in 2013.
Since 2000, Mike continues to host and produce the South Carolina Business Review, heard each weekday morning at 7:50am on South Carolina’s Public Radio Network, which includes eight NPR affiliate stations. The 6-minute show features interviews with entrepreneurs, business owners, and business leaders from across the state.
In 2009, Mike and Maggie finished construction of their new “green” home in Blythewood, SC which was awarded Gold Certification in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program from the US Green Building Council. In 2011, Mike co-founded Voterheads, a local-government-monitoring technology company. He currently serves on the company’s board of directors. He is also past chair of the Town of Blythewood Planning Commission and currently serves as the executive director of the Greater Blythewood Chamber of Commerce.
Mike joined the Blythewood Chamber in 2011, was elected to the board in 2012, and became chair in 2013. Since 2015, when Mike was hired as the Chamber’s executive director, the organization’s membership and operating revenues have increased by three-fold.