Solving problems is what Conway small business owner John Cassidy thinks he does best.
He’s used that skill to launch and grow a successful business, DuplicatesINK, for more than thirty years since graduating from Coastal Carolina University in 1990.
Now he wants to put that skill to work in Columbia as the representative for District 61, a new district recently created due to this area’s large growth.
According to Cassidy, the new district covers Downtown Conway, Sixteenth Avenue to Pine Street, part of Country Club Drive, East Country Club Drive to S.C. 905 and Long Avenue Extension. The district heads out on the right side of U.S. 501 to the waterway, according to Cassidy.
Cassidy says he’s never held political office before, but he’s served many organizations and clubs and now has a true yearning to put his business acumen to work for the people in this area.
“This is a new district that needs a new direction,” he said.
At this point, he believes it’s education, roads and healthcare that top the concerns of residents in the new district, but he’s open to anyone who wants to discuss the area and its needs with him so he can take those concerns to Columbia.
“In Conway, flooding is always a concern. I also hear about infrastructure, roads, and the volume of people coming in needs to be addressed,” he said.
He believes that inflation is also an issue that needs the S.C. Legislature’s attention.
“We can do so much together that we can’t do by ourselves,” he said.
Although Cassidy’s business is in Conway, he believes the entire area needs more attention.
“My focus wouldn’t be solely on Conway, but Conway’s the county seat. How can the area where the courthouse is located not have representation for Conway proper up in Columbia?” he asked.
Cassidy and his business partner, Scott Creech, began their printing business almost on a lark. They rented an office on Third Avenue in Conway and put a sign in the window advertising copies for 10 cents. What they didn’t know then was that they were jumping into a shift in printing from long-term printing to same-day service.
They have been named one of the Top 100 printers by Quick Print magazine, and USA Today once put them on the front page of its Money section.
In 2007, the partners built an office on U.S. 701 and bought a half-million dollar press.
Then came Conway’s worst flood that filled their office with 24 inches of water and after that came COVID.
With help from their friends, they never missed a delivery, according to Cassidy.
He doesn’t worry about not being onsite everyday if he becomes the area’s next representative.
“Those mentors of mine taught us to hire the best, pay the best and be transparent with them about our expectations so the business can operate with or without me,” he said.
Cassidy and his wife, Shawne, have been married for 25 years. She is a retired schoolteacher and cancer survivor, according to her husband. They have two daughters: Hailey, 24, is employed as an accountant with one of Manhattan’s top tax companies; and 22-year-old Hanna is in her final year of nursing school.
Over the years, Cassidy’s been a member of the Waccamaw Sertoma Club, a subcommittee member for the Greater Grand Strand Committee and a member of the Board of Appeals and Variances with Horry County and also a Conway Chamber of Commerce board member. He’s been a supporter of the March of Dimes for about thirty years now.
His resume’ also includes being the incoming president of the Print Industry of the Carolinas Association.
Cassidy says he’s available to listen to any concerns people have. He can be reached at (843) 602-8806, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Filing for the office closes Wednesday.
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