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Jim Brown, CEO of Synergi Partners in Florence, South Carolina was named the Greater Florence 2021 Businessperson of the Year on Thursday, September 9. The award, given annually, was sponsored this year by Wells Fargo Bank.

Each year the award is presented to an outstanding individual who has managed a successful business that has made significant contributions to the community, as well as to their clients and associates.

“If you look at the list of previous year’s recipients, you will recognize their business acumen and lasting contributions that have been realized in our communities throughout the Pee Dee. They have all managed a successful business with a record of responsibility toward their employees, their customers, and the members of our community. Jim Brown, as this year’s Businessperson of the Year recipient, clearly fits that definition,” said John Bankson, Managing Director and SVP at Wells Fargo.

As Jim stepped into the workforce shortly after graduating from Francis Marion University in 1980, he adopted an adage to live by: “Don’t ever let anything be ordinary; ordinary is average, normal, usual and commonplace.” Based on all his business ventures and successes, his strong work ethic and leadership, it’s evident how much Jim has impacted the community of Florence.

Over the years, Jim has created employment opportunities for Florence and the surrounding communities through the many businesses he has brought to the area. He’s been at the forefront of the revitalization of historic downtown Florence, turning formerly boarded up, dilapidated, and empty buildings to flourishing businesses. Today there are multiple hotels, thriving restaurants, boutiques, and an abundance of new storefronts. Not only has Jim been instrumental in boosting the local economy, but he’s also provided employment and career growth for hundreds of local South Carolina residents.

His colleagues and friends had this to say about Jim, the nomination, and the win:

“Jim’s passion for leading and growing a business is evident by the legacy he’s created in building and growing several companies which were sold to Fortune 500 companies. But let’s not forget the hundreds of local jobs his businesses have created and continue to produce.”

“He’s one of the most admired leaders I’ve ever known and worked with. He has the unique ability to form meaningful relationships with those at all levels of the business. He inspires those around him to want to be better, and win.”

“Jim Brown sets the tone for everything that we do at Synergi Partners.  He is a relentless and passionate leader that has the ability to help people accomplish more for themselves than they ever thought was possible.  His constant encouragement and belief in others allow the impossible to become reality. “

Jim’s love of competitive sports is obvious. He is a huge Clemson fan, rarely missing a football or basketball game. He’s recruited and encouraged many young diverse athletes to pursue enhanced education paths through The Byrnes Schools and Trinity Collegiate scholarships.

As one of the founding members and CEO of Synergi Partners, Inc., Jim currently employs more than 400 individuals, primarily based in Florence. Synergi Partners supports thousands of clients by processing business tax incentives and credits. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the company has helped small to large businesses retain their employees and keep their doors open. Jim and his team at Synergi Partners have provided organizations life-changing opportunities through the Employee Retention Credit, impacting communities across the nation.

Jim is also a partner in EmployReward Solutions, Inc. (ERS) based in Florence, South Carolina. The company currently employs about 120 people and provides guidance and support to individuals who are currently on Social Security and/or disability benefits as they transition back into the workforce, which has been another rewarding venture.

Prior to Synergi Partners and ERS, Jim employed more than 200 healthcare associates throughout Florence, West Columbia, Summerville, and Rock Hill, South Carolina as one of the owners of Home Health of SC, Inc., which was purchased by National Healthcare Corporation. Jim also served as CEO and Partner of Shelley Management Services (SMS) for many years where he employed more than 250 Florence area residents. SMS was acquired by Automatic Data Processing (ADP) Tax Credit Services and through the transition, Jim served as the General Manager of Tax Credit Services and Senior Vice President of Government Relations for ADP. At that time, ADP Tax Credit Services employed more than 500 people in Florence, South Carolina and today, they continue to employ hundreds.

Jim is a community investor which includes a partnership in multiple hotel and real estate ventures, local and state-wide. He is highly active in the local community and serves on many boards.

To sum up the impact Jim has had on so many, his colleague stated, “Jim’s competitive desire and winning attitude is infectious. It’s in his blood and everyone that works with him seems to share a piece of this. When you’re aligned with Jim Brown, you’re on the winning team.”

Congratulations to Jim Brown – the Greater Florence 2021 Businessperson of the Year.