Kent Dykes, President
Originally from Brunswick, Georgia, Kent
has lived in the upstate since 1970 and considers this home.
He graduated from Georgia Southern University and was a founding brother of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and was student government President while on campus.
He was in the U.S. Navy and was stationed in Pensacola, Florida while taking flight training.
time in the service he
took a job with Milliken and Company
as a planning manager at the Honea Path Plant.
This was the startup of Milliken's warp knitting operation that eventually grew to the automotive fabrics division of the company.
This began a thirty three (33) year career with Milliken
and many different jobs in manufacturing, process improvement, information management, project management, product development, and sales account management.
When Honea Path and Gayley
consolidated knit machinery in 1976 Dykes
coordinated the machinery move and was transferred to the Gayley
Plant in Marietta, SC.
At this time he
wife Chris and young son Elliott moved to Easley
would drive through the town going from Honea Path to Gayley
for weekly meetings and would eat at Joe's Restaurant on Main Street.
was impressed with the friendliness of the community.
was just the right size town for his
family and a good location for commuting to work.
During this time, Dykes attended evening classes and eventually earned his Masters of Business Administration degree through Clemson University.
In recent years he was a development manager and helped created seating fabrics that eventually went into GM, Ford, Chrysler, and many transplant automobiles.
He started the market for Milliken in the big class 8 trucks and sold and developed fabrics going into Freightliner, Volvo, and International trucks.
In 2003 with the business down turn many Milliken overhead jobs were eliminated and his
job was among those.
considered retirement but he
was too energetic and enjoyed getting out and working with people.
In a visit to the Chamber of Commerce to get information to teach Citizenship in the Community merit badge he
talked with Judy Burns and decided to be the membership director of the chamber.
enjoyed this for a year and recruited 135 businesses into the Chamber.
Then an opportunity came open at Dixie Machine Tools for a sales engineer.
learned the products and sold machinery to various companies in the Greenville - Spartanburg areas.
Kent is married to the former Chris Harris of Pelzer and they have a son Elliott who is a Human Resource Consultant with Hewitt Associates in Atlanta.
Their daughter Meredith is an Interior Designer and lives in Charleston, SC.
They have been members of the First Baptist Church for over thirty (30) years.
Kent is an Eagle Scout and is currently the district commissioner for the Pickens County District of the Blue Ridge Council BSA.