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Schipp Johnston named Business Person of Year at Florence Chamber luncheon

August 31, 2018

FLORENCE, S.C. – Schipp Johnston, the owner of Crown Beverages in Florence, was named the 2018 Business Person of the Year during the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce Annual Membership Luncheon on Thursday.

Johnston, a Florence native, said he was thankful for his staff, his family and those who gave him an opportunity in his career.

“It’s a humbling honor,” Johnston said. “I want to thank everyone who works at Crown Beverages and all of our partners. I also want to thank my family and the support they’ve given me.”

Johnston graduated from South Florence High School before attending the University of South Carolina. After working in Charlotte for a few years, Johnston returned home in 1991 to work for DuBard Beverages. He worked in several capacities, including controller, sales manager, general manager and partner. In 2006, Johnston purchased the business and formed what is known today as Crown Beverages Inc.

At the time of the purchase, the company had just one supplier — Anheuser-Busch, Inc. — but has since grown to more than 40 suppliers, employs about 80 people and serves over 800 customers in seven counties in the Pee Dee.

“Mr. DuBard means everything to me,” Johnston said. “He gave me a chance and fortunately, I’ve been surrounding by great people, great friends and a great family. It’s been awesome and I really appreciate it.”

Recently, Johnston reached an agreement with Southern Eagle Distributing Co. based in Charleston and the two companies now represent 51 counties and employ more than 500 people.

In addition to his job, Johnston loves to spend time with his family and volunteer in the community.

He served as a past chairman for the South Carolina Beer Wholesalers Association, as well as many other organizations including the chairman of the American Red Cross- Pee Dee Chapter; chairman of the Florence Civic Center Commission; chairman of All Saints Episcopal Day School; president of the Florence Country Club; treasurer of St. John’s Church; board member of the Francis Marion University Foundation; board member of the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce; board member of the PDRTA; and a member of the Florence Rotary Club.

Currently, he is serving as a board member for Carolinas Hospital System and Synovus Bank.

Robert Sasser, managing director at Wells Fargo, presented the award to Johnston.

“I know what many of you are thinking. How difficult could it be to sell Budweisers in the Pee Dee?” Sasser joked. “But, they now distribute more than 350 brands. Schipp gives back to his community through his service and support and is very deserving of this award.”

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