Taking Care of Business
MPBA ContinuesTo Grow
ount Pleasant is home
to a business organization that is
actually growing at a faster rate
than the town itself.
Buoyed by East Cooper’s
population explosion, the
success of its annual Expo, its
close relationship with the town and the enthusiasm and
hard work of the volunteers who run the Mount Pleasant
Business Association, MPBA is more
vibrant than ever. In early August,
the group’s membership included 244 local businesses.
“We are obviously meeting the needs of our members,”
said MPBA President Chris Staubes, who assumed the
helm of the organization in the
spring of 2015. “What we’re
doing must be resonating with
local business owners.”
So what exactly is it
that MPBA is doing? It’s a
networking organization that
gives local businessmen and
professionals the opportunity
to get together and share ideas
at least three times a month.
But MPBA also is defined
by its philanthropy – its
contributions to local charities,
help to those in need with its
annual un-food drive and the
college scholarships it awards to
Established in 1992 as the East Cooper Merchants
Association, the group’s membership has more than
doubled in the past two years.
“We are growing because Mount Pleasant is growing,
but that’s not the whole story,” said Staubes. “Our Expo
has played a major role in attracting new members, and,
in the last year, our Membership Committee, chaired by
Shane Griffin, has done an outstanding job of recruiting
new people to the organization and making them feel
welcome. That makes a big difference.”
MPBA holds its regular meetings at lunchtime, the
By Brian Sherman
third Thursday of each month. Recent keynote speakers
have included Gov. Nikki Haley, U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford,
local meteorologist Rob Fowler, Mount Pleasant Mayor
Linda Page, Charleston County Superintendent of Schools
Gerrita Postlewait and Jim Newsome, president and CEO
of the South Carolina Ports Authority.
In addition to its regular luncheon, the organization
hosts two official networking events every month at local
businesses: “Before Nine” and “After Hours.”
MPBA’s main event is the Mount Pleasant Business
and Community Expo, held each year at the Omar Shrine
Convention Center. As has been the case for the past four
years, all 74 booths have been sold for the Sept. 22 Expo.
Billed as East Cooper’s Biggest Networking Event, the
Expo historically attracts more
than 1,000 visitors. This year’s
goal, according to Co-chairs
Frank Frazier and Sue Spearman,
is to bring in a crowd of 1,500.
“The Expo continues to grow
every year. As with MPBA in
general, its success is the result of
the hard work of volunteers. We
have a lot of members who give
of their time and talent to make
MPBA a great organization, and
that helps make Mount Pleasant
a great place to live and work,”
“Our organization is dialed
into the community like never
before,” he added.
And MPBA is working with Mount Pleasant like never
before. Business Development Officer Amy Livingston is a
member of the MPBA board, and the town and MPBA are
combining their efforts on activities for this year’s Mount
Pleasant Business Appreciation Week, which culminates
with the Expo. In addition, the town and MPBA have
been hosting a six-month-long business education series,
“Food for Thought,” where participants learn ways to
advance their companies and to maximize business success.
“More than ever, we have a true partnership with the
town of Mount Pleasant,” Staubes commented.
mPBa’s main event is the annual mount Pleasant Business
and Community expo.
Photo courtesy of MPBA.