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McClatchy-Tribune  07/27/2014 4:52 PM ET
Expo gives chamber members, others chance to showcase businesses [The Times and Democrat, Orangeburg, S.C. :: ]

July 27--Owner of Kwest Mortgage Group LLC Rodney Tumbleston has been participating in the Orangeburg County Chamber of Commerce's Business Expo for several years.

Tumbleston attended the expo first as a former South Carolina Bank and Trust employee and then as president of the Maude Schiffley Chapter of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Last year was his first as owner of Kwest.

"We had a blast," Tumbleston said about the 2013 expo. "It was great. It is business competing against business, but it was just a friendly environment with everyone in one room. We are definitely on board."

Tumbleston said opening the event to the general public rather than restricting it just to chamber members is welcome.

"As business owners and community organizations, we definitely want the public to know what we are doing and to get more participation," he said. "They are our customers and we want to see them out there."

Tumbleston is one of the participants in the annual Orangeburg County Chamber of Commerce Business Expo.

The expo's team spirit theme "In It to Win It" is designed to allow chamber members to network with other chamber members, prospects, new customers, and current customers.

The event will be held on Thursday, Aug. 14, from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at The Cinema. The first hour will be for chamber members only. The remainder will be open for the general public and chamber members.

Complimentary refreshments and beverages will be served.

There will be opportunities for participants to win an Apple iPad, 2014 S.C. State homecoming football tickets, Carolina/Clemson tickets and door prizes.

Chamber members will receive two complimentary tickets. Chamber members who participate as vendors will receive three extra tickets. Extra member tickets are available for purchase at the chamber.

Chamber President Dede Cook said the expo is all about providing a venue for chamber members to showcase their respective businesses.

"We feel relationships make good business," Cook said. "It gives them an opportunity to have a one-on-one interaction with the public."

Cook said the Expo will allow businesses to offer the public business cards as well as provide information on their products. Cook said no goods or services will be sold.

"We are trying to convince our citizens to shop local and what better way to do that than to open it up to the public so they can see what our chamber members have to offer," Cook said.

David Kitchens, general manager of Automated Business Systems, said it is about the fifth year the business has participated in the expo.

"It is a great thing for chamber people to get out and do stuff like that," he said, noting the fact the event is going to be open to the public for the first time is another plus. "I think they should have done that years ago. A lot of chamber members are business people and there is some business you get from the chamber, but it is better to have a little more public involvement."

"There are people who are not chamber members and maybe they will be enticed to join the chamber if they see the chamber doing something like this," he said.

Tickets to the general public will be $10 and are available at the chamber.

The presenting sponsor for the expo is the Orangeburg Department of Public Utilities. Gold sponsors are First Citizens Bank, Fatz Cafe, The Regional Medical Center and Zeus Industries.

Contact the writer: or 803-533-5551.


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