Growth Summit - Coastal Carolina University
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Annual Growth Summit yields the best turnout to date  


By Hattie Jordan

The Grant Center for Real Estate and Economics hosted CCU’s 21st annual Economic Growth and Real Estate Summit in March at the Marina Inn at Grande Dunes. The biggest summit to date welcomed more than 200 attendees, ranging from community business members to CCU students and 17 (Said 16 on the template for newsletter. Please fact check) corporate sponsors.

The first keynote address was delivered by David Eyzenberg, president of Eyzenberg & Company, a New York City-based investment bank delivering best-in-class debt, equity and ground lease capital solutions for existing, transitional and to-be-built projects. In his talk, Eyzenberg discussed capitalizing commercial real estate transactions with innovative financial structures. 

The second keynote address was delivered by Lewis M. Johnson, co-chief investment officer at Capital Wealth Advisors. Johnson’s talk addressed the cyclical nature of real estate and shared his opinions on how to avoid becoming a victim of the cycle and how to harness the power of cyclical volatility.

For the first time in the summit’s history, the center provided a presentation of its various resources and opportunities made available for the community and CCU students and faculty throughout the year. The segment consisted of a panel discussion led by Rob Salvino, Ph.D., director of the Grant Center and the Ammons Family Endowed Professor of Free Enterprise, and included input from Ed Gilmer, relationship banker at First Reliance Bank and chairman of the Grant Center’s advisory board; Michael King, president and chief executive officer of KingOne Properties International and vice chairman of the Grant Center’s advisory board; and Erin McQuade, a CCU accounting major from Sayreville, N.J., who has participated in the Grant Scholar program since 2017. A networking break followed the panel discussion and allowed attendees to meet the keynote speakers and form useful connections with CCU students and community business members.

The third keynote speaker was Salvino, who presented the Waccamaw Economic Outlook (WEO), a quarterly economic outlook report that reviews the latest economic indicators for the Grand Strand and the surrounding region.

The last keynote speaker was Rox W. Pollard Jr., vice president and director of the retail services team for Colliers International South Carolina. Pollard discussed the trends in brick-and-mortar retail based on his more than 30 years of involvement in retail real estate throughout S.C. and the Myrtle Beach market. His talk focused on truth versus perception and discussed what the retail “new frontier” is.

The event was sponsored by the Tony and Carrie Grant Fund; Keith Hinson, Waccamaw Land & Timber; the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce; the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation; Coastal Carolinas Association of REATLORS®; Horry County Council; Horry Georgetown Home Builders Association; The City of Myrtle Beach; The Jackson Companies; W. Cary Rowell, Eagle Strategies LLC; Conway National Bank; Century 21 Boling & Associates Inc.; First Reliance Bank; Hilton Grand Vacations; SiteTech Systems; The Litchfield Company; and the Cana Group at Keller Williams Realty.

The purpose of the summit is to provide a welcoming forum for leaders from the private and public sectors to discuss key issues impacting their organizations, meet potential new clients and partners, and share ideas for a stronger economy.

The next Economic Growth and Real Estate Summit will take place on Feb. 28, 2020.