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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

James Marvin Owen Named Florence Chambers Business Person of the Year

FlorenceSC – The Great Florence Chamber of Commerce’s 2022 Business Person of the Year is James Marvin Owen.

Owen is one of the owners of ACS. He is Honorary President and Chair of the ACS Board of Directors. In his 39 years, Owen has served ACS clients as well as employees.

Owen said he wasn’t the only one to earn this honor. He said the award reflected all of his ACS’s approximately 400 employees.

As he came to the podium to receive his award, Owen said, Wow… I am humbled and honored by this. This is totally unexpected. “

He said it was overwhelming.

“We serve the church. That was our original vision. What a privileged career to be able to do that with this group of people,” he said. “If you are sitting here attending church, I hope you are. Please don’t call me.”

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According to Owen, 1 in 5 Americans is registered in the ACS church database. He said his first client was the First Baptist of Spartanburg.

“They are still,” he said.

He said people all over the country know about Florence through ACS.

Longtime ACS employee Bonnie McCune said Owen is all about integrity.

“I have been with ACS for 35 years,” she said. “He’s a calm yet creative leader.”

“We persevered for the first few years,” Owen said.

ACS Technologies is headquartered in Florence. The company provides technology solutions and services to the faith-based Christian market. It has approximately 400 employees in 26 states and supports approximately 20,000 churches nationwide. Owen said many of his employees are working from home.

ACS Technologies has been named one of South Carolina’s Best Companies to Work for by the State Chamber of Commerce.

Owen said he initially doubted whether a company like theirs could survive in Florence. I said I went to the workshop that the speaker said. Owen said Florence would be a good fit.

Owen said he started college with the idea of ​​following in his father’s footsteps and becoming a doctor. I advised him to spend some time with me. Owen says he changed his mind around age 18 after several deliveries, a C-section and a hysterectomy.

It was a message from God. You don’t want to do this,’ said Owen.

He returned to Furman College and changed his major to Computer Science/Mathematics.

Owen said he had good people by his side and had a blessed career.

According to Amber Sellers, commercial relationship manager at Wells Fargo, Owen’s first job was at Arthur Anderson’s computer consulting division in Charlotte. During these four years he moved to Computer Dimensions, a new Florentine start-up in 1983, where he gained valuable experience.

“It is said that he must have had strong negotiating skills to persuade his wife, who had a young son and a newborn daughter, to move to Florence,” she said. “Hired as a computer programmer, he was one of the few employees of this newly formed church software company, which later became ACS Technologies.”

Owen was appointed president of ACS in 2008, Sellers said. Through his leadership and the efforts of each employee, the company has become a national leader in information management solutions and software for the church.

She said Owen has led the ACS through hard and difficult years, as well as strong and prosperous years.

“It was his vision, design and implementation that enabled thousands of churches to process online pledges and giving through software,” she said.

“Customer service and company culture have always been key elements in his day-to-day work ethic,” Sellers said. “He is highly respected, not only within the company, but across the industry.”

According to Sellers, employees have described him as “a fatherly figure” to so many and “has a genuine care and concern for people. He is often the voice of reason.” is an excellent problem solver.”

She said Owen has a servant’s heart and has shown it time and time again through his dedication and support to the Florence community.

He has been a board member and treasurer of the McLeod Foundation since 2012. He is a member of the Manor Board’s Executive Committee and is also the Board’s secretary. Habitat He is the Chair of the Development Committee of the Board of Humanities and serves on the Furman College Alumni Association.

He and his family are members of the Central United Methodist Church and have served the faith community in Florence for nearly 40 years.

For ten years, he helped organize the Polar Bear Run Race sponsored by the Central United Methodist Church. It has benefited his CHOICES charter school.

Owen coached his son’s baseball team and daughter’s softball team for years and now graduates and coaches his grandson.

Owen is from Florence. He is one of his four children. He has 3 sisters. His father was an obstetrician and his mother was a former nurse and stay-at-home mom.

According to Sellers, Owen’s childhood was pretty typical for neighborhood friends playing small-town Southern boys, backyard games and sports, especially baseball and basketball. , followed in his father’s footsteps and became an Eagle Scout.

According to Sellers, Owen’s father also instilled a love of music in his children, playing the oboe in the school’s orchestra, Brevard Music Camp, and playing in the orchestra pit for performances at the Florence Little Theater. Did.

“He’ll tell you that he believes playing the oboe got him into college,” Sellers said.

Owen attended Briggs, Moore Middle School, and West Florence High School, but graduated from the former James F. Burns Academy.

He graduated from Furman College in 1977 with a bachelor’s degree. He played various intramural sports in college and was named manager of the year. His intramural group, the Million $ Men, has been gathering for homecoming events over the years.

Owen is an avid golfer and was honored by the ACS for his “retirement” with an Endowed Golf Scholarship to Furman College.

After earning his bachelor’s degree, Owen received his master’s degree from the Babcock School of Business at Wake Forest University.

He met his wife Beth Ann as a freshman at Furman. They have his four children. Son Chris and his daughter Claire are in Jackson, Wyoming, daughter Courtney is in New Orleans, and Kristen is in Florence. Kristen also happens to be an ACS employee. Their eight grandchildren also know him as Big Papa.

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