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Taking Care of Business

MPBA ContinuesTo Grow


ount Pleasant is home

to a business organization that is

actually growing at a faster rate

than the town itself.

Buoyed by East Cooper’s

population explosion, the

success of its annual Expo, its

close relationship with the town and the enthusiasm and

hard work of the volunteers who run the Mount Pleasant

Business Association, MPBA is more

vibrant than ever. In early August,

the group’s membership included 244 local businesses.

“We are obviously meeting the needs of our members,”

said MPBA President Chris Staubes, who assumed the

helm of the organization in the

spring of 2015. “What we’re

doing must be resonating with

local business owners.”

So what exactly is it

that MPBA is doing? It’s a

networking organization that

gives local businessmen and

professionals the opportunity

to get together and share ideas

at least three times a month.

But MPBA also is defined

by its philanthropy – its

contributions to local charities,

help to those in need with its

annual un-food drive and the

college scholarships it awards to

deserving students.

Established in 1992 as the East Cooper Merchants

Association, the group’s membership has more than

doubled in the past two years.

“We are growing because Mount Pleasant is growing,

but that’s not the whole story,” said Staubes. “Our Expo

has played a major role in attracting new members, and,

in the last year, our Membership Committee, chaired by

Shane Griffin, has done an outstanding job of recruiting

new people to the organization and making them feel

welcome. That makes a big difference.”

MPBA holds its regular meetings at lunchtime, the

By Brian Sherman

third Thursday of each month. Recent keynote speakers

have included Gov. Nikki Haley, U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford,

local meteorologist Rob Fowler, Mount Pleasant Mayor

Linda Page, Charleston County Superintendent of Schools

Gerrita Postlewait and Jim Newsome, president and CEO

of the South Carolina Ports Authority.

In addition to its regular luncheon, the organization

hosts two official networking events every month at local

businesses: “Before Nine” and “After Hours.”

MPBA’s main event is the Mount Pleasant Business

and Community Expo, held each year at the Omar Shrine

Convention Center. As has been the case for the past four

years, all 74 booths have been sold for the Sept. 22 Expo.

Billed as East Cooper’s Biggest Networking Event, the

Expo historically attracts more

than 1,000 visitors. This year’s

goal, according to Co-chairs

Frank Frazier and Sue Spearman,

is to bring in a crowd of 1,500.

“The Expo continues to grow

every year. As with MPBA in

general, its success is the result of

the hard work of volunteers. We

have a lot of members who give

of their time and talent to make

MPBA a great organization, and

that helps make Mount Pleasant

a great place to live and work,”

Staubes said.

“Our organization is dialed

into the community like never

before,” he added.

And MPBA is working with Mount Pleasant like never

before. Business Development Officer Amy Livingston is a

member of the MPBA board, and the town and MPBA are

combining their efforts on activities for this year’s Mount

Pleasant Business Appreciation Week, which culminates

with the Expo. In addition, the town and MPBA have

been hosting a six-month-long business education series,

“Food for Thought,” where participants learn ways to

advance their companies and to maximize business success.

“More than ever, we have a true partnership with the

town of Mount Pleasant,” Staubes commented.

mPBa’s main event is the annual mount Pleasant Business

and Community expo.

Photo courtesy of MPBA.

MP Business