Chamber kicks off ‘Success in 60’ series, first talk focuses on HR issues

Published 7:49 pm Wednesday, August 21, 2019

A new program at the Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce will offer business owners a chance to network and learn valuable lessons on a semi-monthly basis. Success in 60 is a new lunch-and-learn style event sponsored by the Chamber that will bring speakers from a variety of backgrounds to speak about a wide array of business-related topics.

“Our goal is to have these every other month,” said Chamber Assistant Director Robin McKeithan. “The goal is to provide another networking opportunity and also an education piece.”

The first talk, scheduled for next Thursday, will cover a crucial topic for any business professional. Human resources professional Pam Pippin, of Pippin Resource Group, will discuss the “trifecta” of HR pitfalls: workplace bullying, hostile environment and harassment.

“What I’ve found is that supervisors and managers get promoted throughout the ranks because they’re skilled at their jobs, but they’re not necessarily skilled at dealing with the grey matter of human beings and the personality issues or the behavioral issues on the floor. What I’ve tried to make a theme of my business is trying to overcome those obstacles so we can all be more productive at work.”

With 20 years of experience dealing with such claims, Pippin hopes to share helpful information to keep local businesses from experiencing these woes. She says on average, harassment incidents cost companies $125,000 to defend, with costs skyrocketing when multiple employees are involved. The end result can be enough to sink even a fiscally healthy company.

“It can literally shut a company down,” Pippin said. “… It’s important for companies to take proactive measures to make sure all of their people, anyone who is handling people and the public, are aware that their actions can lead to bullying, harassment and hostile work environment.”

In addition to the learning opportunities available through the Success in 60 programs, the chamber is also preparing to launch a new season of Leadership Beaufort. The yearlong program seeks to educate local leaders on the many aspects of Beaufort County’s economy, government and civic life. There are still a few spaces available in the coming year’s cohort, which will begin Sept. 10. The deadline to register is Aug. 30.

The first Success in 60 will be held from noon to 1 p.m. at the Chamber next Thursday. There is a $15 charge to attend, with a catered lunch prepared by Carryout by Chrislyn. Non-Chamber members are also welcome to attend this talk. McKeithan says a second session, scheduled in October, will address social media presence for businesses.

To register for Success in 60 or Leadership Beaufort, email McKeithan at or call 252-946-9168.