Chamber fetes small businesses at yearly lunch


Shannon Lambert, executive director of the Pickens County Advocacy Center, accepted the award for Non Profit of the Year.

Johnny Harvin took home the Young Professional of the Year award presented by the Easley Chamber.

Vicki Ciplickas, owner and operator of The Starving Artist Cafe, was honored by the Greater Easley Chamber of Commerce as Small Business of the Year.

Ken Byars of R. Carl Byars in Easley was honored to accept the award of Pillar of the Community on behalf of his agency. The agency has been a member of the Easley Chamber since 1970.

EASLEY — The Greater Easley Chamber of Commerce held its third annual Small Business Awards Banquet at Tri-County Technical College last week and made special presentations honoring four local business establishments.

Taking home top honors as Small Business of the Year was Easley downtown’s own The Starving Artist Cafe, owned and operated by Vicki Ciplickas.

The cafe was called to the front of the field due largely to their involvement in the Doodle Trail as well as the Downtown Business Association.

Non-profit Organization of the Year went to The Pickens County Advocacy Center (PCAC.)

Formally known as the Rape Crisis Center, the PCAC was established in 1985 to provide quality assistance and crisis intervention for all sexual assault victims in Pickens County. They remain the only local agency to exclusively provide direct services to this population of sexual assault victims.

Johnny Harvin of State Farm in Powdersville was named Young Professional of the Year, an award that went last year to Nicole Hemphill of the PCAC.

Harvin is married with two children and joined the Easley Chamber in 2012. He is currently serving as chairman of the Powdersville Business Association.

The award for Pillar of the Community 2015 went to the employees of R. Carl Byars Insurance Co. who have been members of the Easley Chamber since 1970. The business is family run and is currently operated by Ken and David Byars.

Chamber president Cindy Hopkins was on hand at the event last Thursday to congratulate each winner and praised all of their accomplishments and contributions to the Easley area.

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