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Brandon Brings Home 7 ADDY Awards, Including a ‘Best of,’ at AAF Midlands Gala

Brandon, the most creatively awarded marketing agency in the Southeast, claimed an impressive total of seven awards at the 2024 AAF Midlands American Advertising Awards Gala held recently in Columbia, South Carolina.

Photo credit: Brandon; 2024 Best of Online/Interactive Consumer Website (Putnam Rolling Ladders)

Held annually as part of the American Advertising Federation’s American Advertising Awards, the gala presents awards recognizing creative excellence in all forms of advertising. Winners of AAF Midlands’ ADDYs will now advance to compete at the district level, with the winners there moving on to compete for national awards.

The awards Brandon claimed at the AAF Midlands Gala include:
● 2024 Best of Online/Interactive Consumer Website – Putnam Rolling Ladders Website
● Gold ADDY: Photography – Madison Creek Photography
● Silver ADDY: Online/Interactive, Consumer Website – Putnam Rolling Ladders Website
● Silver ADDY: Cross Platform Online/Interactive Campaign – Idahoan: Back To School Idahoan U
● Silver ADDY: Out-of-Home & Ambient Media, Poster Campaign – Madison Creek Poster Campaign
● Silver ADDY: Cross Platform Integrated Campaign – Southern Point Co. Campaign
● Silver ADDY: Online/Interactive Social Media Single Execution – Madison Creek Social Campaign

“We are honored to again be recognized with ADDYs this year, and we are so proud of the talented team members who generated these award-winning ideas and brought them to life,” said Tyler Easterling, president and COO of Brandon. “We always strive to create work that drives results across an array of marketing channels for our clients, and the range of disciplines represented by these awards serves as a testament to our integrated, multi-disciplinary approach to helping our clients grow.”

To see the full list of 2024 AAF Midlands award winners, visit

Keith Albert to tell about the dangerous work of clearing the jungle in Vietnam

Keith Albert

COLUMBIA, S.C. – One of the biggest obstacles the U.S. military services faced in Vietnam was that posed by Mother Nature – the lush, tropical rainforest that never stopped growing. It impeded movement, and provided millions of hiding places for enemy troops bent on ambush.

Keith Albert of Florence was one of the people assigned to deal with that problem. He was a mechanic with the 86th Engineering Battalion, which operated out of Bearcat Base near Biên Hòa, South Vietnam. He was out in the field keeping the heavy machinery running – the machines that mowed down the jungle, day after day – for most of his tour in Vietnam, which started in late 1967.

Albert will tell his war stories in a free lecture at noon on National Vietnam Veterans Day – Friday, March 29 – at the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum in Columbia. The program, “Land Clearing in Vietnam,” is open to the public, and is presented in connection with the museum’s sprawling, unique exhibit, “A War With No Front Lines: South Carolina and the Vietnam War, 1965-1973.” The lecture is part of the museum’s regular Noon Debrief series.

The 86th wasn’t the unit Albert was assigned to when he arrived in-country, but he was sent out to join it in the jungle for a 90-day stint in November 1967 – and didn’t return to his assigned unit until a few days before his year-long tour ended. The primary challenge for him and the other mechanics was keeping the Rome plows and other equipment operating.

The Rome Plow was a large, specially modified armored bulldozer developed specifically for use in Vietnam. The machines were equipped with a very sharp “stinger blade” that weighed more than two tons and was able to cut down entire trees, which were then burned. When fully equipped, a Rome plow tractor weighed 48,000 pounds. They were mounted on Caterpillar D7E bulldozers.

The Rome plows and those who attended them operated under harsh, dangerous jungle conditions, and were assigned a tank platoon and an infantry company for security. That didn’t prevent the operators from becoming casualties.

Not only was the enemy often shooting from the greenery the unit was working to clear, but the plows themselves were dangerous, operating in the uneven terrain. “We lost a lot of operators to roll-overs,” said Albert. Many of them were seriously burned by the acid from the vehicles’ batteries.

The mechanics weren’t safe, either. On his Facebook page is a picture of Albert in 1968, working on the cage from one of the machines, in which the operator sat while working. He’s having to stand up to work, because of stitches in his leg from a recent bullet wound.

He has a lot of stories to tell. Join him on March 29 in the Education Room at the museum.

About the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum
Founded in 1896, the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum is an accredited museum focusing on South Carolina’s distinguished martial tradition through the Revolutionary War, Mexican War, Civil War, Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II, Vietnam, the War on Terror, and other American conflicts. It serves as the state’s military history museum by collecting, preserving, and exhibiting South Carolina’s military heritage from the colonial era to the present, and by providing superior educational experiences and programming. It recently opened a major new exhibit, “A War With No Front Lines: South Carolina and the Vietnam War, 1965-1973.” The museum is located at 301 Gervais St. in Columbia, sharing the Columbia Mills building with the State Museum. For more information, go to

Join the Kinetic Movement: Race, Build, and Explore STEAM at West Columbia’s Kinetic Derby Day!

West Columbia, SC  – The City of West Columbia is gearing up for the award-winning 5th Annual Kinetic Derby Day featuring iMAGINE on April 20, 2024, from 10:30 AM to 3:30 PM, on State and Meeting Streets, in West Columbia, South Carolina. The Kinetic Sculpture Parade kicks off the day and will feature participants dressed to represent their favorite cartoon characters (this year’s them). The soapbox and obstacle course racing begins at 11 AM. Registration for racing and the parade is still open. State Street transforms into the iMAGINE STEAM Festival, with over 30 interactive booths for adults and children. The day includes competition and fun for all ages as teams construct unique vehicles and art installations. Register for the parade, racing, sponsoring, and volunteering at

Kinetic Sculpture Parade – 10:30 AM – Meeting Street
Register to participate.
What is a Kinetic Sculpture?
It is a human-powered vehicle, gear-based with no stored energy, motors, or electricity, designed to reflect your interpretation of the yearly theme (2024 is Cartoon). Bring your imagination to life and travel through the parade route in the heart of the River District in West Columbia. A panel of judges will award the most inventive entries with trophies in a variety of categories. Your sculpture can travel as an individual or a team (a team can include multiple members on a pedal-powered sculpture with themed costumes or multiple escorts in costume riding or walking along with a sculpture that includes kinetic movement).

iMAGINE STEAM Festival – State Street
Register to participate.
The iMAGINE STEAM Festival on State Street showcases interactive exhibits, emphasizing Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) to engage Pre-K through 12th-grade students and families in STEAM subjects and careers. This festival is a dynamic street fair that showcases hands-on learning exhibits provided by companies, schools, and nonprofits, all aimed at making STEAM subjects come alive for families. Explore interactive exhibits, conduct fun experiments, and get hands-on with the latest in STEAM education. It is a unique opportunity for families to engage with the worlds of science, technology, art, engineering, and math in a fun and exciting way.

The Kids’ Zone, presented by the Boys and Girls Club – State Street
Bounce House
Obstacle Course
Host to exhibition soapbox racing for the little ones
Face Painting and more!

Meeting Street Artisan Market – Interactive Art Park
Over 20 vendors showcasing and selling handmade art, crafts, and creations.

Giant Slide, Food Truck Rally, & Chalk Artists – Corner of Meeting and State Streets
FREE giant slide for all ages.
Multiple food trucks with a diverse selection to satisfy all appetites.
Multiple chalk artists create temporary art on the street. Interact with the artists as they finish their masterpieces.

Soapbox and Obstacle Racing – 11 AM & 1:30 PM – Meeting Street
Experience the ultimate Kinetic Derby Day in West Columbia, SC, by participating in both the soapbox derby race and the exhilarating obstacle course. The soapbox racing kicks off at 11 AM, allowing teams of up to 5 to register their derby cars. Choose to build either an art car or a need-for-speed car, and compete for exciting prizes while embracing the cartoon theme by dressing up as your favorite character. Enjoy an exhilarating soapbox race down a massive hill, featuring outrageous vehicles like rocket ships and giant rubber ducks, reminiscent of the “Little Rascals.” Then, at 1:30 PM, gear up for the obstacle course, a solo showdown of speed and precision open to participants aged 13 and older. Equip your soapbox car with pedals to conquer challenges like the “Green Slime,” “Foam Surprise,” and the thrilling “Water Obstacle.” It’s a day filled with skill, creativity, daring, and unforgettable experiences!

For more details, volunteering, team registration, or sponsorship, visit

Thank You to Our Sponsors & Partners
TNT Martial Arts & Fitness
House of Raeford
The Carolina Law Group
Cayce’s Best After School and Summer Camp
Dynamite Kids After School and Summer Camp
NAI Columbia
The Sourcing Group
First Community Bank
Security Federal Bank
Professional Printers
Savage Craft Ale Works
Ds Wings
WXRY 99.3 FM
Whetzel’s Automotive
Giles Brothers Insurance
Something Borrowed Wedding & Party Rentals
Faithful Marketing & Events
Boys & Girls Club of the Midlands
Brookland United Methodist Church
The Graphics Source

About Kinetic Derby Day
The mission of Kinetic Derby Day is to inspire creative problem-solving, build community pride, and showcase our growing community welcoming economic investment. The event is intended to inspire creative thinkers and help develop problem-solving skills to construct the ideas imagined. For more information, visit

iMAGINE is a program of South Carolina’s Coalition for Mathematics & Science (SCCMS) at Clemson University. Its mission is to create meaningful experiences that promote a culture of lifelong learning and professional growth with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM), innovation, and entrepreneurial activity in South Carolina. For more information visit or contact Dallas Thomas at

St. Pat’s in Five Points Returns to Columbia, South Carolina on Saturday, March 16

St. Pat’s in Five Points, South Carolina’s largest one-day festival, returns on Saturday, March 16, from 7:30 a.m.-7 p.m. for the 42nd event in Columbia, S.C. The festivities kick off with the Get to the Green race at 7:30 a.m., followed by the St. Pat’s Parade at 10 a.m. and live music performances beginning at 11 a.m.

“St. Pat’s in Five Points is a much-anticipated annual event for both Columbia locals and visitors,” says Heather McDonald, executive director of the Five Points Association. “We’re excited to host a celebration that feels like home, yet constantly evolves to offer new experiences for our guests. This year, we’re continuing beloved traditions like the Get to the Green race, St. Pat’s parade and a diverse music lineup, while introducing new experiences, including The Saint mocktail lounge, Paddy’s Mini-Ramp Jam and Logan’s Irish Pub Pop-Up. We’re also providing free satellite parking and shuttle service as well as hydration stations throughout the festival.”

New this Year
• The Saint alcohol-free mocktail lounge: Presented in partnership with Cola Love. Showcases an exclusive selection of non-alcoholic beer and other beverages, including rotating mocktail features from Kao Thai, Backstreets Grill of Columbia, Smoked and Indah Coffee.
• Paddy’s Mini-Ramp Jam: Presented by Bluetile. Features a “learn to skate” beginner’s clinic, intermediate/advanced ramp jams, best trick contest and cash prizes. The $30 registration fee includes festival entry.
• Logan’s Irish Pub Pop-Up: Courtesy of Bushmills Irish Whiskey and Bushmills Black Bush Irish Whiskey. Features O’Hara’s house band and traditional Irish foods, provided by O’Hara’s Public House.
• Refillable water stations: Courtesy of 32 Dental. Guests are encouraged to bring empty reusable water bottles (plastic or aluminum; no glass) to refill at hydration stations, located throughout the festival.
• Free satellite parking and shuttle: Free parking is available at the South Carolina State Fair Grounds with complementary shuttle service provided by The COMET. The lot opens at 6 a.m. on Saturday, March 16, with shuttles running every 30 minutes from 6:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Restrooms and overnight parking are also provided.
• Cashless event: This is a cashless event, excluding independent bars, restaurants and retail vendors.

Schedule of Events
7:30 a.m. – Get to the Green 5K, 10K and 1-Mile Family Fun Run
• The Get to the Green race starts and finishes on Devine Street near the festival entrance. Costumes and good luck charms are welcomed and encouraged.
• Registration includes festival entry, a shirt, custom finisher’s medal and post-race refreshments and awards.
• Packet Pickup:
o Thursday, March 14 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Coastal Carolina National Bank, 1940 Blossom St.
o Friday, March 15 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Coastal Carolina National Bank, 1940 Blossom St.
o Saturday, March 16 (race day) from 6:30 a.m. – 7:30 a.m.
Start/finish line.

10 a.m. – Festival Gates Open

10 a.m. – St. Pat’s Parade
• The St. Pat’s Parade, presented by Carolina Gold Construction, covers a one-mile stretch that starts at Devine Street and Sims Avenue, turns right onto Harden Street and ends on College Street.
• This year’s Grand Marshal will be mascots from local sports teams, universities and children’s organizations.

10 a.m.-6 p.m. – Pot O’Gold Playland
• The Pot O’Gold Playland, located in the Andy’s Deli parking lot at 2005 Greene St., is free for children 12 and under.
• Activities include: balloon art, face painting, games, rides and more.
• Green Street family entrance: Adults/Guardians can receive a one-time re-entry into the festival at the Greene Street Family Gate, located at Andy’s Deli only, and enjoy the rest of the day’s offerings.

10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. – Paddy’s Mini-Ramp Jam
• The Paddy’s Mini-Ramp Jam, presented by Bluetile, will be held at 818 Harden St.
• Registration is $30 for contest entry and includes festival admission.
• Event features include: “Learn to skate” beginner’s clinic, intermediate and advanced ramp jams, best trick contest and cash prizes.

11 a.m.-7 p.m. – Live Music Performances

7 p.m. – Festival Ends

Music Lineup
This year’s St. Pat’s in Five Points features the festival’s largest lineup ever, with more than 40 local, regional and national artists, performing across multiple stages and venues, including headliners Lawrence, The War and Treaty, Futurebirds, Sister Hazel and Conner Smith. Columbia-based recording artist, producer, entrepreneur and hip-hop activist Master Splnta aka FatRat Da Czar returns as this year’s host.

• Greene Stage
o Hotel Fiction (11:30 a.m.)
o Jive Talk (1:00 p.m.)
o The Stews (2:30 p.m.)
o The Original
Wailers (4:00 p.m.)
o Futurebirds (5:30 p.m.)
• Blossom Stage
o Homemade Haircuts (11:00 a.m.)
o Happy Landing (12:15 p.m.)
o Mo Lowda & The Humble (1:30 p.m.)
o Little Stranger (3 p.m.)
o Paul Russell (4:30 p.m.)
o Lawrence (6 p.m.)
• Saluda Stage
o Drew Dixon (11 a.m.)
o Shelby Raye (noon)
o The Collection (1:15 p.m.)
o Zach Top (2:45 p.m.)
o Conner Smith (4 p.m.)
o The War and Treaty (5:45 p.m.)
• Santee Stage
o Brandy and the Butcher (11:15 a.m.)
o DÅZR (12:45 p.m.)
o Empire Strikes Brass (2:15 p.m.)
o Spider Monkey (3:45 p.m.)
o Sister Hazel (5:15 p.m.)
• Fountain Stage
o Master Splnta with DJ Cannon Banyon (11 a.m., 2 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.)
o Soda City Brass Band (12:30 p.m.)

• Breakers Live: The Regulars.
• The New Brookland Tavern: Hillmouse, Daddy’s Beemer, Steam Killed Lula, The Birdwalkers, H3RO, Aim High, Hellvis, Som’bout, Preach Jacobs, Future Coffins, DJ Kris Love.
• Bang Back Electro Alleyway: Player 1 Productions Takeover, The Mixstress Madi Jo B2B M3RMADE, Tymellord, Liquid-L, Rhythm Mechanic B2B Mark Britt, DISKULL, shwiLLy, Kirby Bright.
• Jake’s on Devine: Droze, Goodnight Lizzy.
• Logan’s Irish Pub Pop-Up: O’Hara’s House Band.

Street Closures
• Friday, March 15
o 8 a.m. – 2100 block of Greene Street.
o 6 p.m. – 600 and 700 blocks of Harden Street.
• Saturday, March 16
o 2 a.m. – All other streets within Five Points.

All festival tickets are digital and can be purchased online at Tickets will also be sold at the gate on the day of the festival.
• General admission tickets are $30 in advance until midnight on March 15 and will also be available day of the event for $35 online and at the gate.
o Children 12 and under are admitted free with a parent/guardian who is 21+. Parents and guardians can receive a one-time re-entry into the festival at the Greene Street family gate, located at Andy’s Deli. No other re-entries are permitted.
o St. Pat’s in Five Points is a rain-or-shine event; all tickets are non-refundable.
o The festival follows ADA regulations on service animals and does not recognize emotional support, therapy, comfort or companion animals.
• The Saluda’s and Tito’s Ultra-Premium VIP Experience, located at Saluda’s Restaurant, 751 Saluda Ave. Tickets are $200 each and include:
o Festival entry.
o Indoor venue with access to Saluda’s balcony overlooking the center of the festival.
o Complimentary beer, wine and liquor.
o Premium hors d’oeuvres.
o Indoor restroom facilities.
• The Lucky Leprechaun VIP Lounge, located near the Postcard Mural in the festival zone. Tickets are $125 each and include:
o Festival entry.
o Access to special lounge area in the middle of the festival zone.
o VIP viewing area from the side of each stage.
o Three complimentary drink tickets.
o Climate-controlled restrooms with private stalls.
o Yard games, pub tables and light hors d’oeuvres.

ADA Accessible Viewing
ADA accessible viewing areas will be located at all stages within the festival. These will be marked with signage as well as noted on the festival map.

Camera Policy
Due to contracts with the artists performing at St. Pat’s in Five Points, professional recording equipment (photography, video and/or sound) will not be permitted at the festival without proper media credentials.

Approved and Prohibited Items
To provide a safer environment and more expedited entry for festival attendees, St. Pat’s in Five Points has a clear bag policy that limits the size and type of bags that may be brought into the festival footprint. Please be aware that all bags will be subject to search upon entry.
• Approved bags:
o Clear plastic, vinyl or PVC bags that do not exceed 12 x 6 x 12 inches.
o A clear bag shall be clear from top-to-bottom, with up to a 2-inch trim/border.
o One-gallon clear plastic freezer bag (Ziploc bag or similar).
o Small clutch bags no larger than 4.5 x 6.5 inches (approximately the size of a hand, with or without a handle or strap).
o Clear fanny packs.
o Diaper bags.
o Medically necessary items.
• Prohibited bags:
o Purses larger than a clutch bag.
o Briefcases.
o Backpacks.
o Cinch/drawstring bags.
o Luggage of any kind.
o Computer bags.
o Binocular cases.
o Camera bags.
• Other approved Items:
o Strollers and wagons with accompanying child.
o Small digital or film cameras.
o Sunblock (non-aerosol).
o Empty refillable water bottles.
o Baby food/formula (no glass).
o Food for medical purposes.
o Service animals.
o Mobile phones and chargers.
o Hand sanitizer and baby wipes.
• Other prohibited Items:
o NO glass admitted.
o NO aerosol cans.
o NO outside alcohol.
o NO outside food or drinks.
o NO umbrellas.
o NO weapons.
o NO laser pointers.
o NO SLRs, professional cameras, video cameras or GoPros.
o NO selfie sticks or tripods.
o NO pets (with the exception of service animals).
o NO drugs or drug paraphernalia.
o NO musical equipment or instruments.
o NO fireworks or paper lanterns.
o NO drones, remote control aircraft, cars or toys.
o NO coolers.
o NO promotional items or flyers.

Official Hotel Partner
Plan your stay with the event’s official hotel partner, Aloft Columbia Downtown, 823 Lady St.

Satellite Parking
• Free parking is available at the South Carolina State Fairgrounds main parking lot, located at 1200 Rosewood Dr. The entrance to parking gate 6 opens at 6 a.m. and is located at 901 George Rogers Blvd.
• The COMET will run free shuttles to the festival every 30 minutes from 6:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
• The shuttle drop-off/pick-up location is at the corner of Blossom and Laurens Streets.
• The parking lot will be closed and locked at 10 p.m. on Saturday, March 16. Vehicles parked overnight can be picked up by entering the north gate at 1200 Rosewood Dr. after 10 a.m. on Sunday, March 17.
• Restrooms will be open to the public.

Neighborhood Parking
Please be respectful of surrounding neighborhoods and use the satellite parking and shuttle instead. Festival parking is prohibited in the following neighborhoods:
• Hollywood-Rose Hill.
• Melrose Heights.
• MLK Park.
• Old Shandon.
• Shandon.
• University Hill.
• Wales Garden.
• Waverly.
• Wheeler Hill.

ADA Parking
• ADA parking will be available inside the former Wells Fargo lot, 705 Saluda Ave.
• Parking route: From Blossom Street, turn left on Pickens Street. Take a right on Greene Street, then right on Laurens Street and back down to Blossom Street.
• Proper identification will need to be displayed for patrons to access the lot.

Rideshares, such as Uber or Lyft, pick-up and drop-off locations are at Greene and Blossom Streets.

Volunteer Opportunities
From the early morning hours of the Get to the Green race, to the very last note played by the headliners, St. Pat’s in Five Points would not be possible without the help of the volunteers that bring the festival to life. If interested in participating in the festival as a volunteer, email

Community Impact
Last year, St. Pat’s in Five Points welcomed approximately 35,000 attendees with more than 35 percent traveling from outside of Columbia, spanning over 2,000 zip codes and 30+ countries. The festival brings in $12.6 million to the City of Columbia and Richland County, allowing the Five Points Association the opportunity to give back to the community that has been its biggest supporter. To date, the Five Points Association has donated approximately $1.2 million to local charities.

For more information, visit, download the app, or follow the festival on Facebook @StPatsinFivePoints, Instagram @stpatsinfivepoints and TikTok @StPatsinFivePoints. To learn more about sponsorships, vendor or parade applications and/or volunteering, please email

About St. Pat’s in Five Points
Set in the vibrant Five Points district of Columbia S.C., St. Pat’s in Five Points is one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day festivals in the Southeast, drawing 35,000+ attendees of all ages from across the region and beyond. The annual event showcases a diverse lineup of musical acts across multiple stages and also features a variety of vendors, food trucks, artisans and family-friendly attractions, including the Pot O’ Gold Playland, the Get to the Green race and the St. Pat’s Parade. Originally conceived by Duncan MacRae of Yesterday’s Restaurant & Tavern, Steve Gibson of Peddler Steak House, Chuck Pettit of the Columbia Jaycees and Tony Latella of PYA Monarch, St. Pat’s in Five Points is a Columbia tradition known for its fun atmosphere and focus on giving back to the Midlands community. To date, the Five Points Association has donated approximately $1.2 million to local charities.

About the Five Points Association
Founded in 1983, the Five Points Association is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to the growth and evolution of Five Points, a one-of-a-kind commercial and residential district that is home to more than 100 businesses. Led by an executive director and governed by a board of directors, the Five Points Association oversees the efforts to promote, grow and support the Five Points district. The Five Points Association oversees the district’s events, development, clean and safe team and beautification projects. Visit to learn more.

DeWees Real Estate Group Represents Seller in the sale of 2,997 SF Retail Building

Columbia, SC – March 4, 2024 – DeWees Real Estate Group, a full-service commercial real estate firm specializing in Columbia’s residential, office, retail, industrial, and land markets from acquisitions, to leasing and management, is proud to announce the sale of 6179 Saint Andrews Road in Columbia, SC.

Sales associate, Angela Cash represented the seller in the sale of the 2,997 SF freestanding retail property. The building sold for $375,000. The buyer, LT Toys & Stuff, will be relocating from 1621 Broad River Rd. LT Toys & Stuff originally opened in Boozer Shopping Center by 12-year-old Lawson Taylor. Taylor, who is now 15, has grown the business and needed a larger location with more exposure for his business.

About DeWees Real Estate Group
DeWees Real Estate Group is a full-service commercial real estate firm located in Columbia, SC. We specialize in Columbia’s Residential, Office, Retail, Industrial and Land markets from acquisitions, to leasing and management. Our team utilizes state of the art software and marketing materials to make sure our listings are getting the highest and best exposure available to our clients in the marketplace.

Hussey Gay Bell Columbia Expands with the Hire of Sweat

Wade Sweat, PE

Columbia, SC – Hussey Gay Bell is pleased to announce the hire of Mr. Wade Sweat, PE as a Senior Project Manager. Wade joins the firm’s Civil Division in Columbia with 25-plus years of experience designing and permitting civil/site development and infrastructure projects for industrial, commercial, residential, healthcare and liturgical projects. He is responsible for project management and coordination, applying for regulatory permits, developing concept reports and project models, producing project plans and specifications, overseeing project bidding, construction administration and site observations. Wade is a licensed Professional Engineer registered in the State of South Carolina and holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering degree from the University of South Carolina. Of unique note, he has served many years as a mentor for the ECIV 470 capstone senior design course at USC and previously developed a comprehensive customized automated drafting and CAD standards software package for South Carolina Electric & Gas Company’s (SCE&G) GIS department.

Peak Drift Brewing Company and Columbia Craft Brewing Company Establish Craft Brew Inc.

Peak Drift Brewing Company and Columbia Craft Brewing Company, award-winning craft beer companies based in Columbia, SC, have joined forces under the establishment of a new parent company for regional breweries, Craft Brew Inc. The formation of this company will strengthen the craft beer industry in the Midlands and throughout South Carolina.

Craft Brew Inc. was formed through joint efforts from both brewery management teams and was established to be a holding company of multiple brands. It will serve as a one-stop shop for craft breweries and beverage companies that want to scale up their production, directly print their cans in-house and utilize resources within a family of brands where economies of scale are created.

“Peak Drift is forming strategic partnerships for long-term success,” says Jordan Styles, owner and chief executive officer, Peak Drift. “We are committed to industry collaboration and the creation of Craft Brew Inc. will help cultivate the security of craft beer in South Carolina.”

Craft Brew Inc. will begin with two brands under its name and has plans to add more breweries into this alliance in the future. The focus is to keep each brand identity but to grow the Craft Brew Inc. name corporately. Currently, Craft Brew Inc. distributes products state-wide in South Carolina and exports to the United Kingdom.

“We’re thrilled to be a part of the Craft Brew Inc. family and we look forward to growing our footprint and creating amazing products for craft beer enthusiasts everywhere,” says Richard Strauss, former managing member, Columbia Craft. “This partnership will further develop the region and industry by continuing to position South Carolina as a leader in producing award-winning craft beer.

Peak Drift’s partnership with Columbia Craft started in 2023, when Peak Drift began partner brewing select Columbia Craft beer at its 25,000-square-foot production facility. As Craft Brew Inc. continues to expand its family of brands, the individual brand identities of the breweries and management teams will remain in place. Columbia Craft will continue to operate its taproom located at 520 Greene Street in Columbia.

About Peak Drift Brewing Company

Founded in 2021, Peak Drift Brewing Company is an innovative craft beverage company based in Columbia, South Carolina. Capturing life’s peak experiences, Peak Drift features high-quality craft beers, hard seltzers and non-alcoholic beverages inspired by the landscapes of the Southeast region. Peak Drift products are available at select stores, bars and restaurants throughout Columbia, S.C., Greenville, S.C. and at Smoked, a restaurant in the heart of downtown Columbia. For more information, visit


About Columbia Craft Brewing Company

Columbia Craft was founded in November 2017 and is a production brewery and taproom located at 520 Greene St., in the heart of the Vista. Since its opening, Columbia Craft has been dedicated to brewing a unique lineup of ales, lagers, sours and barrel-aged beers, including many that have received regional and national medals. Visit the taproom, take a tour and enjoy one of the brewery’s 16 selections on tap. For more information, visit


Litigation Counsel Taylor Stanley Joins Adams and Reese in Columbia Office

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Adams and Reese is pleased to announce the addition of Taylor Stanley as Counsel in the law firm’s Litigation Practice Group. He will practice in the Columbia office.

Representing clients in commercial litigation and business disputes across a wide array of areas, including construction, real estate, and M&A, Taylor is recognized by clients and peers among the top litigators in South Carolina and North Carolina. Taylor is admitted to practice in South Carolina, North Carolina, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and U.S. Supreme Court.

He has been selected among Best Lawyers in America® “Ones to Watch” in Litigation: Real Estate, Litigation: Construction, and Commercial Litigation; South Carolina Super Lawyers “Rising Stars” in Business Litigation; North Carolina Super Lawyers “Rising Stars” in Business Litigation; and Midlands Legal Elite in Business Litigation and Construction.

“Taylor’s deep understanding of the litigation landscape throughout both South Carolina and North Carolina, and his extensive knowledge of the legal implications within the construction, real estate, and M&A industries, will be significant assets to Adams and Reese,” said MMM&A Partner Will Umbach, who serves as Adams and Reese Partner in Charge, Columbia. “We are pleased to welcome Taylor to our Columbia office.”

Taylor has practiced law since 2013, earning his J.D. from the University of North Carolina School Law. He received his Bachelor of Science in business administration from North Carolina State University in 2010.

Taylor is a member of the International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC), a preeminent, invitation-only global organization for attorneys who represent corporate and insurance interests.

About Adams and Reese: Adams and Reese, founded in 1951, is a multidisciplinary law firm with more than 300 attorneys and advisors strategically located throughout the United States and Washington, D.C. The American Lawyer includes Adams and Reese on its distinguished list of the nation’s top law firms, the Am Law 200. The National Law Journal also includes the firm among the top 200 on the NLJ 500 list of the nation’s largest law firms.

Coalition advocates for passage of the South Carolina Justice Act

The South Carolina Coalition for Lawsuit Reform (SCCLR) recently gathered on the State House steps to address longstanding issues with the state’s legal liability system and to rally for the passage of the South Carolina Justice Act.

The briefing focused on the adverse impacts of current South Carolina law, which can leave defendants fully responsible for damages in lawsuits regardless of their level of fault.

Under current South Carolina law, defendants can be held fully liable for damages in lawsuits even if they are only partially at fault. This system disproportionately affects businesses, including small businesses, which may struggle to withstand the financial burden of hefty lawsuits. Moreover, this legal framework results in increased insurance premiums, reduced availability of insurance coverage, and targets those perceived as having “deep pockets.”

The South Carolina Justice Act intends to address the inequities within the state’s statutory scheme. The bill aims to correct the language in the existing law to ensure that parties are held liable for damages proportional to their actual responsibility for the damage or injury.

At the briefing, Tom Mullikin, SCCLR President and General Counsel, emphasized the importance of civil justice to the state’s businesses and urged the Senate to pass the Justice Act. “Our efforts are in response to the call from the South Carolina Supreme Court to address the inequities within the state’s statutory scheme,” Mullikin said. “The South Carolina Justice Act bill would correct wording in the current law that presently allows for parties to be held totally liable for damages when they have only a small percentage of actual responsibility for the damage or injury.”

Industry sector leaders and representatives of small and large businesses, as well as veterans’ service organizations and non-profit and arts advocacy groups joined in support of the cause. Alongside Mullikin, the lineup of speakers included Rep. Mark Smith, District 99, Sen. Ross Turner, District 8, Sen. Shane Massey, District 25, Jake Scott, Collum’s Lumber Products LLC, Lowell Koppert, U.S. Army Special Forces veteran, Aiken County Veterans Council chairman, small business owner and Tim Aponte, Director of Health, Safety, & Security, McCall Farms.

The South Carolina Coalition for Lawsuit Reform serves as the united voice for the business community on tort and workers’ compensation issues; coordinating lobbying, legal, grassroots, and public relations activities. For more information about the SCCLR and the South Carolina Justice Act, visit



“As a manufacturer that depends on a timely and efficient supply chain to bring timber into our sawmill so that we can get our products to the marketplace, I understand the real-life negative impacts that our state’s civil justice system is having on our economy. In our industry alone, we have seen commercial liability insurance rates triple in many cases since 2017. Increased insurance premiums and liability costs only hurts our state’s broader economy by prohibiting businesses from reinvesting back into their operations or their employees.” – Jake Scott, Vice President of Operations, Collum’s Lumber Products, LLC, Allendale, S.C.

“Our business, like many others in the state, has been hit with rising liability costs and increasing insurance premiums because of the imbalanced civil justice system in South Carolina. This increases the cost of doing business. This in turn raises prices for consumers. Thankfully, the South Carolina Justice Act would remedy this issue and restore fairness to an unfair system by making clear that defendants less than 50 percent responsible for an incident or accident are only liable for damages equivalent to their portion of fault. This common-sense solution will go a long way to restoring a more fair and reasonable system of justice in our state that brings certainty to businesses that operate here.” – Tim Aponte, Health, Safety & Security Director, McCall Farms, Effingham, S.C.

“I am here today not to speak on behalf of veterans or for veterans. I am here today to speak alongside veterans. We as a group stand to lose something that is very near and dear to us. Something our predecessors created for us and something we earned the right to be a part of through our service to this great nation. I am talking about our Veteran Service Organizations; you may know them as the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, the Purple Heart Chapter, the Special Forces Association, Disabled American Veterans, Marine Corps Leagues and the Military Officers Association of America, to name a few. These organizations are closing their doors, unfortunately, due to the rising cost of liquor liability insurance. These are organizations that were created around the simple principle of service. Service to the community in which they reside. As these organizations close their doors, it is not only the veterans that lose out, it is the community as a whole.” – Lowell Koppert, U.S. Army Special Forces veteran, Aiken County Veterans Council chairman, small business owner

“South Carolina prides itself on being a business-friendly state, but businesses are under tremendous pressure to continue to operate as their insurance rates steadily climb because of the impact of joint and several liability. Businesses are often told that they must take total financial responsibility for something where another party is at fault. That’s not fair, and that’s not right. S. 533 will help us return fairness to our liability laws. Fairness is what South Carolinians understand and expect from the Legislature.” – Leslie Clark, COO, SC Government Relations & Divisions Director, Carolinas AGC

Adams and Reese Launches Aviation and Aerospace Practice Team, Adds Industry Power Players to National Footprint

Marc Warren

The national law firm of Adams and Reese has launched an Aviation and Aerospace Practice Team with the recent additions of legal industry power players Marc Warren, former FAA acting chief counsel and deputy chief counsel; Paul Alp, former Boeing senior counsel; and Laura DiBella, Florida’s first female secretary of commerce and chair of the Aerospace Alliance.

Adams and Reese is a member of the AmLaw 200, Law360 Top 400, and NLJ500, with 315 attorneys and advisors representing business and industry in more than 75 practice areas across 20 offices, 10 states, and Washington, DC.

The Aerospace and Aviation Team of attorneys and advisors represents clients in aviation law and regulation under domestic and international authorities, related to compliance, safety, security, enforcement, risk management, and commercial issues. Subsections include Airworthiness, Manufacturing, and Products; Drones, Advanced Air Mobility, and Future Transportation; Investigations, Enforcement, and Disputes; and Regulation and Compliance.

Paul Alp

Warren and Alp bring over 60 years of combined experience representing the aviation and aerospace industry’s leading companies. DiBella brings more than 25 years of experience in economic development and government relations strategy. Warren and Alp will serve as co-leaders of the Adams and Reese Aviation and Aerospace Team.

“Marc and Paul are recognized around the world for their expertise, relationships and leadership in the aviation and aerospace industries, and together we have a shared vision of building the top aviation law practice in the country. We could not have two better partners to lead us on this journey,” said partner Brad Lampley, Adams and Reese Intersection of Business and Government Practice Group Leader. “We view Laura as a game-changer for our clients and prospective clients throughout our footprint. She understands business in Florida and the Southeast and understands how to get things done at all levels of government.”

Laura DiBella

Lampley added: “The Aviation and Aerospace practice provides great synergies with our global trade, transportation, government relations and economic development practice areas, and we are excited to see how our clients will benefit from their extraordinary capabilities.”

In addition to Warren, Alp, and DiBella, Aviation and Aerospace Practice Team members – across a wide range of cross-section, practice area disciplines – include IBG Practice Group Leaders and Partners Lee Reid and Brad Lampley; IBG Partner and Executive Committee Chair B. Jeffrey Brooks; EC Member and IBG Partner Britton Bonner; IBG Partner and Global Trade, Transportation and Logistics Team Leader Chris Kane; GTTL Partner and DC Partner in Charge Matt Paxton; IBG Partner Michael Berson; Public Finance Partner Cindy Barnett; MMM&A Partner Rob Breunig; IBG Partner Cole Callihan; IBG Partner and Baton Rouge Partner in Charge Susan Eccles; Litigation Partner Tom White; Litigation Attorney Luke LaHaye; and Real Estate Attorney Jordan Barley.

Warren and Alp have launched a Liftoff Blog with insights, analysis, and the latest news around Aviation and Aerospace Law. Warren is the former FAA acting chief counsel and deputy chief counsel for operations. Warren previously led the Aerospace and Aviation Practice teams at Crowell & Moring and Jenner & Block. Alp was most recently a Jenner & Block partner. He formerly served as The Boeing Company senior counsel, where he advised on all regulatory aspects of product certification, compliance, and safety for Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

“Marc and Paul have impressive careers driving solutions, shaping policy, and resolving complex matters for clients at the intersection of regulatory, legal, and technical issues,” said Adams and Reese Executive Committee Chair and DC Partner B. Jeffrey Brooks. “The addition of Marc and Paul is a testament to our commitment to growth in specialized practice areas in which our clients are doing business. Their established aviation industry relationships position us uniquely to serve and excel in these complex sectors.”

About Adams and Reese: Adams and Reese, founded in 1951, is a multidisciplinary law firm with 315 attorneys and advisors strategically located throughout the United States and Washington, D.C. The American Lawyer includes Adams and Reese on its distinguished list of the nation’s top law firms, the Am Law 200. The National Law Journal also includes the firm among the top 200 on the NLJ 500 list of the nation’s largest law firms.