Business In Brief - September 5, 2007

Chester Medical Center security officer rewarded

CHESTER -- Capt. Jerry King, site supervisor for American Security at Chester Regional Medical Center, was presented with the "Gotcha" award by hospital staff recently.

King was alerted that a man visiting a patient had a gun in the waistband of his pants. King shouted at the man, who refused to stop. He got the license plate number and car description that resulted in the suspect's apprehension.

The award normally is for hospital employees, according to a statement from the hospital.

Chester Regional Medical Center outsources in-house security to American Security, a division of American Services. With headquarters in Greenville, American Services provides contract security, janitorial and staffing companies in the Southeast.

Two join Williams & Fudge as associate VPs

Williams & Fudge announced recently it has hired Andy Bass and J.R. Berninzoni as associate vice presidents of sales.

Bass previously was director of sales at The Herald. A Rock Hill resident, he is involved with numerous boards and organizations.

Berninzoni previously was deputy delivery project executive or IBM's contract with General Motors. He lives in Westminster, Colo.

Williams & Fudge is a locally owned college loan collection agency located at the old Cotton Factory off Dave Lyle Boulevard.

State of the Community breakfast to be Sept. 14

TEGA CAY -- The 2007 Tega Cay State of the Community breakfast will begin at 8 a.m. Sept. 14 at the Tega Cay Golf Club, One Molokai Drive.

York County Council Chairman Buddy Motz, Tega Cay Mayor Bob Runde and Fort Mill school board chairwoman Martha Kinard will speak.

The event is hosted by the Tega Cay Area Council of the York County Regional Chamber of Commerce. Sponsors are South Carolina Bank & Trust of the Piedmont, Carolina First, city of Tega Cay, Founders Federal Credit Union, Newland Communities, Smiles By Design, Tega Cay Golf Club and York County government.

Registration is $15 for chamber members and $20 for nonmembers. For reservations, call Becky Adams, 324-7500, or e-mail badams@yorkcountychamber. com.

Funding available for tri-county businesses

The Institute for Workforce Development, part of the Continuing Education Division of York Technical College, received a $243,000 grant to help local employers hire and retain skilled employees.

The funds support the expansion of the WorkKeys system which enables employers to refine the applicant pool, match candidates to jobs and identify skill gaps that hinder productivity.

For information, contact Brenda Odom, program manager, at 981-7144 or e-mail

Professionals chapter to meet Tuesday

The Rock Hill Area Chapter of the International Association of Administrative Professionals will meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the School of the Deaf and the Blind, Midlands Outreach Center, 197 Piedmont Blvd., Suite 202.

Amy Townsend, registered dietitian, will speak on eating healthy.

For more information, call Debi Burt, membership chair, at or check the Web site at rock-hill.

Business before hours Thursday in Chester

CHESTER -- A business before hours will be from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Thursday at the Magnolia Inn Bed and Breakfast, 120 Academy St.

For more information, call (803) 581-4142.

GM, Nissan, Honda report sales up in August

DETROIT -- Chrysler, Toyota and Ford each reported sales declines last month, but General Motors, Nissan and Honda surprised industry analysts Tuesday by showing increases, despite the declining U.S. auto market.

Toyota's 2.8 percent sales drop, Ford's 14.4 percent decline and Chrysler's 6.1 percent decrease were symptoms of what analysts said would be a slumping U.S. auto market due to high gasoline prices, rising mortgage payments and turmoil in the financial markets.

Ford's drop allowed Toyota to take the No. 2 slot in U.S. auto sales from Ford for August and for the first eight months of the year.

But GM, led by increased pickup truck sales, showed an increase of 6.1 percent, while Nissan reported its sales increased 6.3 percent for August and Honda reported a 4.7 percent increase.

Home Depot announces stock repurchase plan

ATLANTA -- Home Depot said Tuesday it expects to repurchase 289.6 million of its shares for $10.7 billion as a result of a tender offer, a little less than halfway toward its goal of buying back $22.5 billion in stock.

Preliminary results of the tender offer that ended Friday indicated the nation's biggest home improvement store chain expected to repurchase the shares at $37 per share, using about $8 billion in net proceeds from its sale of HD Supply and $2.7 billion in cash, said spokeswoman Paula Drake.

Drake said the final results will be released next week.

Sony Ericsson Mobile names new top executive

LONDON -- Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications named Hideki Komiyama as its new top executive Tuesday as it announced that Miles Flint will step down for personal reasons.

Flint, who became president of the company in 2004 and helped bring the venture to profitability, will remain executive adviser to Komiyama until the end of the year.

Komiyama will take up his position Nov. 1.

Wireless provider Metro PCS may buy rival Leap

SAN ANTONIO -- Discount wireless phone provider MetroPCS Communications on Tuesday offered to buy regional rival Leap Wireless International for about $5.12 billion in stock -- a deal that could effectively create another nationwide carrier.

Both companies, two of the fastest-growing wireless providers in the country, offer prepaid phone plans. But they do so in few overlapping markets, and analysts have long speculated the companies might combine.

The buyout offer would give Leap investors 2.75 MetroPCS shares for every share they own. Dallas-based MetroPCS would also assume $2 billion in debt.