Submitted by Emerson Smith
Public Relations Chair
Five Points Rotary Club
Andrew Folks is the 2013-2014 President of the Five Points (Columbia) Rotary Club. He has been a member of the club since April 2005 and, at 35, is the youngest president of the club since its founding in 1955. Folks was named his club’s Rotarian of the Year for 2012-2013 and 2005-2006.
Professionally, Folks is director of business relations for the South Carolina Power Team, the economic development organization representing the state’s electric cooperatives and Santee Cooper in their industry recruitment efforts. He has a bachelor’s in political science from Presbyterian College and a master’s in mass communication from the University of South Carolina. Folks is a member of the Leadership South Carolina Class of 2011.
The club, with a motto of “Service Above Self”, recognizes the exceptional service over the last 12 months of Past-President Bill Lathem, an attorney with Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough.
The Five Points club, with 90 members, was founded by the Rotary Club of Columbia. It originally held meetings in restaurants in the Five Points shopping area. But as the club grew the meetings were held on the State Fair grounds. Today the club meets on Fridays at 1:00 PM at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.
One of the longest serving businesses in Five Points was owned by Rotarian Archie Harrell, who operated, with his wife Mary, A. A. Harrell Jewelers, originally at 2020 Devine Street, later moving to 729 Saluda Avenue. Harrell, who passed away at age 93 in 2011, was the last surviving charter member of the club.
The Five Points club remembers Rotarian J. Marvin “Bo” Mullis, an attorney with the Mullis Law Firm, for his service to Rotary, the community and his profession. Mullis passed away in October 2012 at age 72.
For about 30 years, the club’s primary project has been raising well over a million dollars to benefit the SCETV Endowment and many local charities by operating the parking at the SCETV offices and studios during home football games.
“For nearly 60 years,” says Folks, “this Rotary club has provided support for the Five Points area and the greater Columbia community. It provides an avenue of service for business leaders, young and old, and since 1988, for women as well as men. And we seek to include people to reflect the diversity in the community. During my year as president, I intend to make Rotary more visible in the community and to provide more service to benefit the community.”