Press Releases

Greer Chamber to Feature Guest Speaker, David Wilkins, Former United States Ambassador at the Annual Small Business Awards Luncheon

June 2, 2009

(GREER, SC) The Greater Greer Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that David Wilkins, former United States Ambassador to Canada, will be the guest speaker at the Annual Small Business Awards Luncheon on Thursday June 25 at the Greenville Marriott.

Presenting Sponsor for the event is Spartanburg Regional Corporate Health.

The purpose of the Small Business of the Year award is to recognize small businesses that have a special entrepreneurial spirit, a unique marketing approach, or a special focus on the customer that results in a successful business.  To qualify for the award organizations must have fewer than 100 employees or have sales of under five million dollars.  In addition, the qualifying firm must have completed three or more full years of operation and be locally owned and operated.

“We are thrilled each year to give this award to a deserving small business who has made an impact on the Greater Greer community,” stated John Kimbrell, President of the Greater Greer Chamber of Commerce.

Ambassador David H. Wilkins is a partner at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP and chairs the Public Policy and International Law practice group, which focuses primarily on representing businesses on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border and offers experience on a wide range of strategic bilateral issues.

On April 27, 2005, Mr. Wilkins was nominated by President George W. Bush to become the United States Ambassador to Canada and was confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate on May 26, 2005. On June 29, 2005, he became the 21st United States Ambassador to Canada.

During his tenure, Ambassador Wilkins helped to resolve some of the most high-profile issues between Canada and the United States, including the decades-old softwood lumber dispute. He is known on both sides of the border as an honest broker who worked for solutions on the toughest issues – energy, national security, the environment, trade and travel -- impacting millions of citizens in both countries.

Prior to his appointment as Ambassador, Mr. Wilkins practiced law for 34 years in Greenville, South Carolina, and has extensive experience in civil litigation and appellate practice.

Mr. Wilkins was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives in 1980 and served there for 25 years. He quickly rose through the ranks in the House of Representatives, serving six years as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and two years as speaker pro tem before being elected speaker, a position he held for 11 years. He was the first Republican elected speaker of any legislative body in the South since the 1880s and retired as one of the longest serving speakers in the country. In 2001, he served as president of the National Speakers Association.

Mr. Wilkins served as state chairman of the Bush-Cheney ‘04 campaign and as co-chair of the campaign in 2000. He was appointed by the president to the Board of Visitors to the United States Academy at West Point in 2002 and served for three years. He currently serves as a trustee on the Clemson University Board.

A native of Greenville, South Carolina, Ambassador Wilkins earned his undergraduate degree from Clemson University and his law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law. He also served in the U.S. Army and U.S. Army Reserves.

The former Ambassador has been married to Susan Wilkins for 37 years. They are the proud parents of two grown sons and two grandchildren. The Wilkins reside in Greenville, South Carolina.

Luncheon Details:

Date:    Thursday, June 25, 2009
Time:  11:45 am – 1:00 pm
Place: Marriott Greenville, 1 Parkway East
Price: $30.00 for Chamber Members, $35.00 for non-members
Reservations required. RSVP online at

For more information about the Small Business Awards Luncheon, contact the Greer Chamber office at (864) 877-3131 or visit

The Greater Greer Chamber of Commerce is a voluntary, non-profit organization that represents approximately 590 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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