Transplant Times

As Fort Mill newcomers, we’re not alone

March 25, 2014 

Cherie and I continue to enjoy the journey as we explore Fort Mill and its surrounding area. As a newcomer, it is always nice to be able to meet with people who have decided to put roots down in this region.

Recently, we had the opportunity to have lunch with Dr. Rick Hellerman and his wife Kelly.

Rick and Kelly are also transplants from our former state of Kentucky. Rick and I have been friends on Facebook for many years and Kelly and I have attended conferences together. This was, however, the first time we had all met together as couples. What a special time it was for all of us. And it occurred to me that it only requires a few people to come together to really form community and develop closer relationships.

One of the things we did together was attend the Charlotte Christian Chamber of Commerce meeting. There we had an opportunity to meet with Dave and Pat Baldridge, the chapter organizers. What made a lasting impression on us, was that the chamber members were not only communicating a message of connectivity, but genuinely walking it out by making time to get to know us. The chamber brought in a guest speaker who shared some best practices of marketing and building your business utilizing both social media and more traditional types of advertising to improve marketplace visibility.

It was really a day to treasure as we gained deeper insight into the heart of the extended growing community.

Being a transplant can be a bit challenging, especially when it comes to forming new professional relationships. Some communities can be a bit guarded and protective of their “business turf.” But so far, that has not been what Cherie and I have experienced in the Charlotte/Fort Mill area. It was refreshing to meet high-caliber people who are also on a journey to develop future generations of entrepreneurs and form new business relationships at the same time.

Charlotte, as most people in the area know, is nicknamed The Queen City. Grabbing hold of this designation, the Charlotte Christian Chamber of Commerce adopted as its tagline: Doing the King’s Business in the Queen City.

Cherie is a flight attendant and we frequently take advantage of the benefits by flying to destinations worldwide. When we land at the Charlotte/Douglas International Airport, we feel we are home. In the short time Cherie and I have resided in the area, we have felt supported, loved and truly welcomed.

The journey we have been on has everything to do with faith, and it is reaffirming to us to know that people can come together in a brief moment and connect on such a deep level. We look forward to connecting with many more of you as we explore the richness and the depth of this beautiful part of the United States.

William and Cherie Winship can be reached at

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