Clark’s Inn & Restaurant expands branding and seeks new markets
Winfield and Edward Clark have taken charge of their family business Clark’s Inn & Restaurant in Santee. Their father William “Bill” Clark and his wife Tricia have decided to turn the day-to-day operations over to their sons who are being assisted by Kittie Collier, a close family friend who serves as general manager.
The property belonged to Bill’s father and when the senior Clark returned from WWII he transformed the site into an opportunity to serve his community and travelers along Highway 301. Opened in 1946, Clark’s Inn & Restaurant later relocated near the new construction of Interstate 95 proving an astute move that positioned the business for success.
Winfield, kitchen manager, said, “We’re probably one of the largest employers in town.” While Clarks experiences the same high employee turnover of most hospitality businesses, Clark’s has people who have been with them close to twenty years and two that have been employed for more than forty years. They have retained 25-30 people for three years or more.
Featured in Southern Living, Clark’s Inn & Restaurant is an un-franchised experience for guests. The Inn offers 75 rooms, as well as suites, apartments and meeting rooms. The property has a landscaped courtyard, pool, full bar, three dining rooms and a gift shop that appeals to shoppers who seek gifts with Southern charm. The restaurant also has Southern appeal, featuring recipes introduced by Helena “Sweetie” Clark, Windfield’s grandmother.
SC SBDC welcomes new technology commercialization specialist
The South Carolina SBDC welcomes Dr. Jim Wasson as our new technology commercialization specialist. Wasson will assist small businesses and university research partners in identifying and winning federal Small Business Innovation Research and Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) grants. He will also provide consulting assistance in commercialization, growth strategies, financing, IP strategies, business management, government contracting, networking and business development.
Wasson comes to the SC SBDC from Growth Strategies International (GSI), a management consulting firm that assists entrepreneurs in the creation and expansion of businesses. At GSI, Wasson worked with the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy providing assistance on the SBIR Commercialization Readiness Program. He also provided composite manufacturing engineering project management support and training on the 787 Dreamliner program for Boeing South Carolina.
Prior to relocating to the Charleston area in 2010, he was Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at BAE Systems, a major aerospace and defense company, where he planned and directed new product development and created and led the Innovation Venture in the U.S. and Europe. Wasson has 20 years of experience as Director of Program Management and Business Development at Smiths Aerospace (now GE Aviation) and McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing).
Wasson, who was Chairman of the Graduate Business and Management College for the University of Phoenix in West Michigan and an MBA Adjunct Professor for 15 years has published several textbooks. Wasson has also founded and operated several successful high-tech small businesses.
“We are pleased to welcome Jim to our network. We are fortunate to have a consultant with his wide range of experience,” said Michele Abraham, SC SBDC state director. “He will be a great assist to SBDC clients as our state’s knowledge economy grows.”