Earlier this year, Mr. Caswell was awarded the Order of the Palmetto at the Mechanical Contractors Association meeting. This is a result of his work at W.O. Blackstone & Co., Inc. and his many community and industry volunteer activities.
The meeting was held at the Phillips Center at the Farmers Market with many other mechanical contractors, suppliers and vendors in attendance. A few of our clients were also there including: Chuck Beamon - CEO of Palmetto Health, John Singerling - President of Palmetto Health, Dr. Ron Carroll - System Vice President Palmetto Health, and MarkHood - Hood Construction among many others. Additionally, Mr. C. had some family in attendance, including his wife Naomi and Steve’s widow Melanie Caswell and 4 of Mr. C’s 5 granddaughters (one of the girls is on a mission trip out of the country).
A little bit about the Order of the Palmetto:The Order of the Palmetto is the state’s highest civilian honor awarded to citizens of South Carolina for extraordinary lifetime service and achievements of national or statewide significance. The Order of the Palmetto is a once in a lifetime achievement.The first Order of the Palmetto was presented in 1971. The award comes in the form of a certificate or plaque that in part reads:
"In grateful recognition and friendship to the state of South Carolina and her people, I do hereby confer unto you the Order of the Palmetto with all the rights and privileges appertaining there to."
Some of the more well-known people to have received an Order of the Palmetto are author Pat Conroy, Dr. Billy Graham, the Honorable Ernest "Fritz" Hollins, Governor Carroll Campbell, Bob Hope, singer James Brown, recording artist Hootie & the Blowfish & Darius Rucker, Wayland Henry Cato Jr. and the "Unknown Confederate Soldier".
Those who make a significant statewide contribution are eligible for the Order of the Palmetto. The names and design of this award is based upon prominent features of the State of South Carolina flag.All applications are made in writing and a panel makes the decision to award the honor to an individual.
Mr. Caswell started at Blackstone in 1958 as an intern engineer while at the University of South Carolina. He became the owner of the company in 1982, and after our purchase agreement in 2013, is now acting as Chairman. He has been a great mentor to me and a wonderful example of leadership.
Some of his many achievements include President of the Mechanical Contractors Association, Chair of the Contractor Licensing Board, long time Board Member of the YMCA, and a retired Colonel from the Air National Guard. This is just a snapshot of his many achievements, as the list is really impressive. He has served his community and W.O. Blackstone with integrity and distinction.
The place he is most proud, however, is truly his family and his five granddaughters. You can tell that those five girls are proud of him and look up to him.
He was very appreciative of this honor and grateful to those who helped him along the way. We can all, in a way, celebrate this honor as a company, as it was made possible through Blackstone’s heritage of hard work, customer service and commitment to excellence.