Palmetto Business Association starts year under new leadership


And new meeting schedule

By David Meade – Members of the Palmetto Business Association (PBA) began the year with a membership luncheon at Williamston Town Hall Tuesday. 2017 PBA President Blake Sanders welcomed approximately 25 business and community leaders and laid out plans for a revamped meeting and event schedule and other member incentives.

According to Sanders, PBA board members came up with a 2017 calendar of events that alternates a Toast and Topics breakfast meeting and a Business after Hours eventing meeting every other month with regular membership meetings. The meeting events will continue to be held on the third Tuesday of each month, however breakfast meetings will be held at 8 a.m., while after hours meetings will be at 6 p.m. The regular membership meetings will remain at 12 noon.

Meetings will be held at various locations in Williamston, Pelzer and West Pelzer including the Williamston Municipal Center, the Pelzer Gym, the new West Pelzer Town Hall, Restoration Chapel and Fiesta Mexican Restaurant.

All events will have a local sponsor and are totally free to area business representatives. A monetary donation will be taken at each event and will be presented to local community based organizations, Sanders said.

The first Toast and Topics meeting will be held February 21 at Williamston Town Hall.

The new Mill Town Place restaurant in West Pelzer will sponsor the breakfast and guest speaker Barrett Foust, President of Goodwin Foust Custom Homes. Foust will speak on the Housing Market Forecast and Housing Trends.

Sanders also announced that the organization plans to sponsor one Party in the Park event this year.

“The Pametto Business Association is eager to build on the successes of our local business partners and past events,” Sanders said.

Sanders said the PBA has a renewed vision of “Building a better community.”

In the business portion of the meeting, members approved a request by the Envision Williamston organization for $7650 to be used as part of a match for an Appalachian Regional Commission grant of $84,000.

The grants will be applied toward a larger town beautificaton project that includes a facade grant program, the Adopt a Rest Stop project and other greenway and gateway beautification projects, according to Envision Williamston Executive Director Sonya Crandall.

The PBA funds will be used along with Town of Williamston funding and a Palmetto Pride grant for the required match for the ARC grant.

Total project cost is $183,000, according to Crandall.

PBA officers for 2017 include President – Blake Sanders; First Vice President – Bobby Winburn; 2nd Vice President – Roxanne Hall; 3rd Vice President – Tammy Pitt; Secretary – Paula Payton; Treasurer – Faye Meares.

Members at large include Debbie Chapman, Sonya Crandall and Kelli Lancaster; Ex Officio – Mike Simpson.

Anyone with questions about the Palmetto Business Association or would like additional information about partnerships in the local community is asked to contact PBA President Blake Sanders by email at

PBA 2017 Event Schedule

The 2017 Meeting/Event Schedule includes:

Feb. 21 – Toast and Topics, 8 a.m. Williamston Town Hall.

Mar. 21 – Member Meeting, 12 p.m. Fiesta Mexican Restaurant; Easter Egg Hunt and Clay Shoot event planning.

April 8 – PBA Easter Egg Hunt, Mineral Spring Park.

Apr. 18 – Business After Hours, 6 p.m., Williamston Town Hall.

May 16 – Member Meeting, 12 p.m. Restoration Chapel, Party in the Park Planning.

June 20 – Toast and Topics, 8 a.m. Mill Town Place restaurant, West Pelzer.

July 18 – Member Meeting, 12 p.m., Historic Pelzer Gym, Mid Year Review.

Aug. 15 – Business After Hours, 6 p.m/, Williamston Town Hall.

Sept. 19 – Member Meeting – 12 p.m. Restoration Chapel, Golf Tournament Planning.

Oct. 17 – Business After Hours, 6 p.m., West Pelzer Town Hall.

Nov. 21 – Member Meeting, 12 p.m., Williamston Town Hall, Christmas Party Planning.

Dec. 3 – Christmas Party, 6 pm. location TBD.