Columbia Business Owner Recognized Nationally for His Community Support

“I’ve been very fortunate in my business,” states Nieri. “I’m no superstar. I’m a normal person that’s found a passion and figured out how to do it.”

Michael Nieri, the founder, owner, and president of Great Southern Homes in Irmo, SC has been awarded a 2020 Hearthstone BUILDER Humanitarian Award. This award has been recognizing home builders since 1999 that demonstrate a lifetime commitment to public service. Nieri has always strived to build quality affordable homes but also believes in building up and giving back to the local community by helping several charities and groups in need.

In 2004, a local family, close to Nieri and his community, lost their 11-year-old son named Cole Sawyer to cancer. During Cole’s fight with the disease, he attended special summer camps where he was able to meet other children facing serious illnesses. His memory became the inspiration to establish Camp Cole

Nieri has been a major contributor and board member since the beginning, pledging $1.5 million to the cause which includes the building of six residential cottages for the campus. The new facility will be built in the Midlands of South Carolina for children and adults facing serious illness and other physical and mental health challenges and will provide a gathering place for mission-driven service organizations.

“Michael has always been a charitable type of person, but 20 years ago, Michael couldn’t have made the contribution that he’s making to Camp Cole today,” says Mike Satterfield, CEO at Great Southern Homes. “As our company has grown and prospered, his willingness to donate and give back to the community has become so powerful.”

The camp recently announced that it has met its $10 million initial fundraising goal, with the total campaign now increased to $14 million to fund construction and first-year operations. Groundbreaking for the campus occurred in late April of this year. When complete, Camp Cole will positively impact the lives of thousands of South Carolina families who are coping with the stresses of serious illness and mental health.

“Hearthstone is proud to recognize Michael Nieri of Great Southern Homes as our private home builder winner for his contributions and support to our industry’s future leaders by endowing a scholarship program to support students focused on a career in construction management,” says Mark Porath, CEO of Hearthstone. We also recognize Michael’s dedication to helping sick and underprivileged children through his construction of state-of-the art dream camps such as Camp Cole."
- Mark Porath, CEO of Hearthstone:

More 2020 Hearthstone Winner Michael Nieri:

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