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The economy in the Charleston metro region is booming and, while new and expanding employers such as Boeing and Volvo have grabbed most of the headlines, one of the region's top economic pillars remains our local military installations. According to the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, the region is home to 22,000 military personnel, with an annual economic impact of more than $8.8 billion. This economic engine will be showcased this Wednesday, May 25, as the chamber hosts its annual State of the Region: Military event on the U.S.S. Yorktown at Patriots Point. "This event brings one of the most powerful economic engines of the region to our members," said Mary Graham, chief advancement officer of the Charleston Metro Chamber. "Deputy Commander of Joint Base Charleston – Captain Timothy Sparks and a panel of officers and commanders representing several military branches – will share information on the impact of the military to our region and how it relates to every local business and resident." The panel referenced by Graham includes Commander Lane Askew, Executive Officer Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic, United States Navy; Colonel Gregory S. Gilmour, Commander 315th Airlift Wing, United States Air Force; Captain Gary Tomasulo, Sector Commander, Captain of the Port United States Coast Guard Sector Charleston; and, Lieutenant Commander Ignatius Karl Hickman, Executive Officer 841st Transportation Battalion, United States Army. The chamber holds these "State of the Region" events on a quarterly basis. Patrick Bryant, a partner at local silent auction software startup Bidr, said the quarterly events provide chamber members updates on regional issues affecting the local business community. These issues include the military, infrastructure, and local elections. "As the advocacy and advancement organization for the region’s businesses, the Charleston Metro Chamber’s quarterly membership meetings – State of the Region - deliver the kind of information that leaders of businesses small and large want and need to cast their future visions," said Bryant, also the incoming chairman of the 2017 chamber board of directors. Wednesday's event will run from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Chamber members can register online here.
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Local military to be spotlighted at Charleston Metro Chamber briefing