Three business leaders have been named laureates of the South Carolina Business Hall of Fame for 2017. Junior Achievement of Greater South Carolina announced the honorees, who will be honored in March at the 33rd annual event.
The award winners are:
- Emmett Davis, chairman of Davis & Floyd Inc. of Greenwood.
- Patrick W. McKinney, former partner of Kiawah Partners, Charleston
- James M. Smith Sr., founder of JM Smith Corp. of Spartanburg (honored posthumously)
Davis leads Davis & Floyd Inc., an engineering firm in Greenwood recognized as a preeminent engineering and environmental firm in the Southeast. A leader in professional engineering societies as well as in civic and community organizations, Davis serves as an elder in his church and is former chairman of the board of Erskine College and former director and president of The Citadel Development Foundation.
McKinney joined the S.C. Ports Authority board of directors in 2011 and is the current board chairman. His 40-year career in real estate sales and development included the $105 million purchase of Kiawah Island in 1988 from the Kuwait Investment Co., the largest single real estate transaction in state history at the time. McKinney was a partner in Kiawah Partners, master developer of the island, until its sale in 2013 and serves as a consultant to Kiawah Island Real Estate, from which he retired as president in 2006. He has served in leadership positions in many golf associations and nonprofit boards.
The corporation bearing the late James M. Smith’s name was born from a single pharmacy he opened in Asheville, N.C, in 1925. Smith prospered during the Great Depression and opened 15 more pharmacies in the Carolinas and Georgia. He traveled to visit all the stores each week. In 1943, he founded Smith Drug Co. in Spartanburg as a distributor of wholesale drugs The company acquired an IBM mainframe computer and in 1959 began providing services to area businesses and government as Smith Data Processing. In 1977, the QS/1 Pharmacy System was launched, bringing automation to U.S. pharmacies. The company became JM Smith Corp. in 1979, operating multiple divisions in wholesale drugs and technology.
The three were chosen as champions of free enterprise who serve as role models in business for South Carolina’s youth. They have made unique contributions to the state’s business landscape, according to Junior Achievement of Greater South Carolina. They are also honored for being agents of positive change, for their leadership and for being a source of inspiration to young people.
A black-tie event honoring these laureates will be held March 16, 2017, at the Columbia Marriott.