The Development Authority of Columbia County Recognizes Four Companies in Annual Awards Dinner

November 12, 2015

The Development Authority of Columbia County Recognizes Four Companies in Annual Awards Dinner

Columbia County, GA – The Development Authority of Columbia County hosted the Columbia County Business Appreciation Dinner and Awards last night.  Each year the Development Authority strives to recognize our corporate citizens for their investment in our community – both job creation and capital investment.  Our local businesses are key to the success and prosperity of Columbia County.  The Development Authority strives to work with our local businesses to support their needs, address their challenges, and to thank them for all they do to make Columbia County great.

This year, the Development Authority of Columbia County recognized four companies for their commitment to our community.

Company of the Year –Small Business

Southern Tots – Started by Ashley Jernigan 6 years ago, Southern Tots designs and sells southern children’s clothing.  The company has grown from a home based business to a 14,000 SF facility in Evans, GA.  In 2012, Southern Tots was recognized by Headline News as one of the largest Facebook retailers.  In the past 5 years Southern Tots have done $14 million in sales.  The company has 30 employees and expects to complete 200,000 orders in 2015.


Company of the Year – Manufacturer

Health-Wise/Nutritional Resources – With the vision of Jim Mathews, Health-Wise has become an industry leader in nutritional weight loss products.  The company celebrates 21 years of success providing their products to weight loss practitioners to help their patients overcome obesity and reclaim their passion for life.  Health-Wise recently purchased the Columbia County Spec Building with plans to expand their operations from 50,000 SF to 100,000 SF. Because of their growth and success the company has grown to 118 employees and more $25 million in annual sales.


Company of the Year – Office/Headquarters

TaxSlayer – In 2009, TaxSlayer spun their company off from Rhodes Financial Services to build their new Headquarters in Evans, GA.  Jimmy and Carl Rhodes have led TaxSlayer to great success as self-service tax filing program.  Their marketing efforts and brand can be seen nationally.  However, it is their commitment to the local community that stands out the most.  TaxSlayer has become a philanthropic leader in our area.  In the past two years alone the company has committed annual gifts of $200,000 to Safe Homes of Augusta’s capital building campaign.  TaxSlayer employs more than 100 full time workers and expects to hire 200 seasonal workers.


Project of the Year

Hoback Investments, LLC – Hoback Investment is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bennett International Group.  In May2015, Hoback Investments and Bennett International Group broke grown on their new state of the art warehouse in Grovetown.  At 524,700 SF, this is the largest warehouse built in Columbia County.  This project represents a $24 million capital investment and will create more than 60 new jobs. This new facility will serve John Deere by consolidating nine regional warehouses.