Press Releases

Greater Greer Chamber Honors Small Businesses

June 26, 2012

The Greater Greer Chamber of Commerce hosted the Small Business of the Year Celebration presented by Charter Business on Thursday, June 21. Wild Ace Pizza and Pub was recognized as the 2012 Small Business of the Year and Mayor Rick Danner presented the “Mayor’s Award” to Citizens Building & Loan.

The evening’s sponsors included:
Presenting Sponsor - Charter Business
Diamond Sponsor – Just for You Jewelers
Gold Sponsors – City of Greer, Cullum Interests, Inc., Southwest Airlines
Table Sponsors – Citizens Building & Loan, King Law Offices, LLC, Upstate Workforce Investment Board, Wild Ace Pizza

In April of 2009, Denise and Chris VandenBerghe introduced Wild Ace Pizza and Pub to the community of Greer. When they opened the doors, they had just eighteen employees, all driven by desire for success. Three years later, Wild Ace has formed both a home in the community and a family of more than forty employees.

Wild Ace has done much more than to simply provide delicious homemade pizza and other provisions to those who have supported it since its opening. From providing sponsorships to many local sports teams to supporting local high school athletics, Wild Ace has done its best to give back to its community. They have worked with causes such as Relay for Life, American Heart Association, and Susan G. Komen for the Cure. In addition, Ace has provided aide to childhood development programs, Greer Relief Foundation, Community Ministries, and many local churches. The VandenBerghes believe that partnerships between all neighboring merchants, organizations, and customers have led to the success of Wild Ace and allowed them to expand to a second location in Travelers Rest this past April.

Citizens Building & Loan first opened their doors in 1907 in the BA Bennett and Company building between Trade and Poinsett Streets. Led by a strong group of local citizens from the business community, the bank encouraged the town’s close-knit populations of farmers, mill workers, and merchants to build their dreams through home ownership and by regularly saving for the future. For five generations and counting, Greer families have passed down the tradition of doing business with Citizen Building & Loan. Their founding mission still serves them today, “To maintain long term relationships with our customers and to deliver personal service.”

In 1992, CBL moved to their third location at 229 Trade Street, a cornerstone of the revitalization efforts that has transformed the center of downtown into the vibrant destination it is known for today. With over $100 million in assets and an expanding customer base, CBL is one of the most highly capitalized institutions in the state.

The CBL Charitable Foundation was established in 1999 to support local non-profit and charitable entities in the Greer Area. To date, The Foundation has awarded over $539,600 to organizations such as the Greer Community Ministries, Greer Relief, Visions of Excellence, Greer Christian Learning Center, Greer Soup Kitchen, Joshua’s Way and others.

The evening concluded with Judy Albert, District Six city councilwoman, winning the drawing for the one carat diamond. Brenda Connelly with the Upstate WIB won the Dallas Cowboys game package and Jordan Abarotin of Wild Ace won a two-day driving school at the BMW Performance Center.
The Greater Greer Chamber of Commerce is a voluntary, non-profit organization that represents approximately 650 businesses in the Greer area. The mission of the Greater Greer Chamber of Commerce is “To Champion Economic Prosperity for our members and the greater Greer community.”  For more information on the Greater Greer Chamber of Commerce, call 864-877-3131 or visit



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