Tuesday, September 10, 2013
It is widely known that first impressions– whether by attire worn or through communication - can form the perception of how a person is viewed. So, it is fitting that the opening session of the SC State University 2013 fall Executive Speaker Series will focus on the importance of professional image.
The first of the fall series will get underway at noon on Wednesday, Sept. 11 in the 4th Floor Auditorium, Belcher Hall. Travis Shuler, president and chief executive officer of Suit Yourself Clothing and Custom Apparel, located in Columbia, S.C., will be the guest speaker. He will present the topic: "Your Professional Image: Professional Attire in the Workplace."
Prior to his current role, Shuler held several positions, both in the private and public sectors. For ten years, he was a software developer at Policy Management Systems Corporation (PMSC), where he designed and developed software for insurance companies throughout the United States and abroad. He later left the private sector to work as a software developer for the South Carolina Judicial Department (SCJD) for six years. While there, he was the lead developer for the Jury Management System, a program that allowed the state, in all 46 counties, to select more effectively jurors for jury duty.
With an acute interest in business, coming from a family of entrepreneurs, and a passion for fashion, Shuler decided to use his technology skills to launch an online web-based clothing business. After many years of success with conducting business online, the demand for a local presence pushed him to open a “brick and mortar” store in November 2009.
Two years later, he left state government to pursue his dream and passion as a full-time entrepreneur. Shuler says he is often asked how one is able to go from developing software to owning a clothing store.
“My career as a software developer allowed me to provide for my family before I decided to follow my dreams of being an entrepreneur,” says Shuler, who believes that a person’s passion should drive him or her to do the work for free.
"That's how you know you love it," he says.
Shuler has served on many community organizations, including the School Improvement Council at Catawba Trail Elementary School, Blythewood Middle Web Team, Boys Club Leader at Progressive Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the March of Dimes.
Shuler, a graduate of Midlands Technical College, earned a degree in computer science and technology. He resides in Columbia. with his wife, La Tanya, and sons, Travis and Tyler.
Dr. Ann S. Winstead, director of the Executive Speaker Series, says that SC State University students, as in years’ past, have much to look forward to this semester with the opportunities that will be provided through the series.
"Students will be able to engage with speakers on topics that reflect the current business environment," says Winstead. "We are excited about the launch as we collaborate with units campus wide in providing opportunities for students across disciplines as well as the community at large.”
Dr. Barbara Adams, interim dean of the College of Business and Applied Professional Sciences, shares the same sentiment, noting that the initiative will assist business students and other students from different disciplines with honing their professional and leadership skills.
“ESS is a component of our unique and innovative Leadership and Professional Development (LAPD) Program that is designed to motivate and challenge students as well as to help them develop a professional image.”
Those interested in visiting Shuler’s Suit Yourself Fashions, can visit the store at 10223 Two Notch Road, Suite B or shop online at www.suityourselffashions.com.
For more information about the Executive Speaker Series, contact Dr. Ann S. Winstead at (803) 516-4864.