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Business Black Box Quarter 2 • 2011

U.S. $5.95

The Soul of a City In the Heart of Downtown Courtyard by Marriott速 Greenville Downtown 50 West Broad Street Greenville, SC 29601 T 864-451-5700


Q2 2011

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Q2 2011


Q2 ‘ 11

every issue



34 &62 Trail Blazers: Lyerly & Hamilton

Status Check: Competition



11 12 15 48 82 86 96

Layers of thought GUT CHECK RANDOM & RELEVANT Big Picture 11 Questions 101 days What Matters

September/October Q2 2011 2009

Big Picture: Broome HIgh School

the think tank

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11 Questions: Quenton Tompkins


23 33 36 47 61 64 80 85 93

law hr ceos small biz global sales growth politics kidbiz

What Matters Missy Johnson

Why Business Black Box? EDITORIAL

Whether planes crash or crews overcome obstacles to successfully complete flights, airlines go to the black box to discover secrets, answers, and missing information to explain what happened and learn for the future. That’s the mission of our magazine, our connect events, and our interactive platform.Newsofbusinesses succeeding, failing, merging, hiring, firing and more are reported everyday, all over the Upstate. But in business, the real power is not just hearing the news, but about going behind the scenes, discovering, connecting, and learning from those that made it happen.

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At the heart of every event, every blog, every magazine issue, and every documentary Business Black Box produces, you’ll find a relentless passion for connecting, advising and growing Upstate business.

Editor-in-Chief Contributing Writers

Proofreading Research

Jordana Megonigal Julie Godshall Brown Andy Coburn Noelle Coyle John DeWorken Todd Korahais Ravi Sastry Sarah Schiavoni Tony Snipes Alison Storm Geoff Wasserman Terry Weaver Chad McMillan Sarah Schiavoni Caroline Stuckey

DESIGN Creative Director Art Director Graphic Design Traffic Coordinator Photography

Chad McMillan Lisa Worsham Chris Heuvel Lisa Worsham Wayne Culpepper/ Fish Eye Studios



BUSINESS Publisher Business Advisors


Geoff Wasserman Mary Wray Conner Charles Richardson Amy Smith Mike Zabloki


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Q2 2011

Layers of thought Black b ox

The takeaway lesson from this is simple. We can’t put new ideas, new mentalities, or new ways of doing things in old containers. It even applies to businesses today as we struggle to navigate the uncertain economy. We

are forced to rethink our strategy, our customer base, and our way of doing business in order to survive. The way our fathers did it and event the way we did it before may not work anymore.We can’t do the same old stuff and expect to get to new places. It might be time for change. The cover of this issue depicts three individuals, all from three different perspectives. On the right is someone looking behind her to the past with fear and uncertainty. Even though she has her finger on the road map to the future, she is constantly looking at what has happened in the past to evaluate loss. In the middle we have a person who is living in the present, firmly grasping the map with determination to make it right now and not give up. He is dressed as an intellectual, always thinking and

contemplating his next move. The person on the left is tenacious and resolved to keep moving forward, fearlessly pointing the way to the future no matter what happens. With one hand on his sword he’s ready to do battle if necessary. Even though they’re surrounded on all sides by tumultuous waves, and all three have access to the road map, they have different perspectives and different mindsets about their present. We are just like them and we all fall into one of those three areas. Will you continue to do business as you’ve always done? Are you just focused on surviving the present economy? Or is your gaze fixed intently on where you’re headed? It might be time to try new things. Don’t be afraid. After all, we’re all in the same boat.

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There’s an old saying I once heard that says, “You can’t put new wine in old wine skins.” Many years ago when people traveled they would fashion animal skins into containers to carry their newly-fermented wine. Once the wine skins reached a certain age they were no longer suitable to hold newly fermented wines— the old wine skins were “stretched to the limit” and would become brittle as wine continued to ferment inside, and so using old wine skins to hold new wine cause them to burst and spill the wine.

Q2 2011





here is an African proverb that says, “Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.” It sticks with me in some of my hardest times—times that I wish, wish for anything, that something could be easy. Why can’t it just be easy to get that next client? Why can’t it just be easy to attack each “to-do” on a never-ending list? Why can’t it be easy to get along with co-workers and family and friends and clients and everyone else around? Why can’t life just be easy? According to the Superbowl commercial starring Eminem and Detroit (oh, and Chrysler), “It’s the hottest fires that make the hardest steel.” Mythology and legend and even Biblical principles all follow the idea that suffering and hardship breed strength. In my own life, I’ve called it “baptism by fire,” and let me tell you — I don’t like it at all. It’s a concept that we all seem to believe, but few of us are strong enough to live. Things aren’t easy, and in business, they are exceptionally hard. But here’s the thing: the greatest business leaders knew it. Maybe not in the moment, but loads of them looked back on their life and how they got where they were, and each of them had something to say about the rough seas they had seen in their lives. Herbert Hoover:“About the time we can make the ends meet, somebody moves the ends.” Ted Turner: “All my life people have said that I wasn’t going to make it.” Warren Buffett: “You do things when the opportunities come along. I’ve had periods in my life when I’ve had a bundle of ideas come along, and I’ve had long dry spells.” Bill Gates: “In this business, by the time you realize you’re in trouble, it’s too late to save yourself. Unless you’re running scared all the time, you’re gone.” None of these guys got where they were from sitting still. Not one of them made money by waiting for it to show up on their doorstep. Most of them had a ton of failures (I’d bet money on it, whether it was aired publicly or not!), and looking back, each of them saw the places where things were just...hard. The most skilled sailors are those who have had to survive in the roughest weather. They had to learn where to give into the winds and where to batten down the hatches. The best of us are bred in times of hardship, strengthened in times of more hardship, and steeled in times of even more hardship.

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Editor, Business Black Box

12 • 864/281-1323 x.1010 • megonigal

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Photo by Wayne Culpepper/FishEye Studios

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Q2 2011

Business Black Box

what’s happening?

Here are just a couple of things going on around the Upstate for business owners, networkers, or entrepreneurs.

• WHAT - GROW Expo • WHEN - May 17, 2011 • WHERE - Carolina First Center, 1 Exposition Drive, Greenville • DETAILS - The Greenville Chamber will host its signature small business event, Grow Expo, during the National Small Business Week. Attendees will join hundreds of Upstate business leaders in a full day of networking and learning as a variety of training sessions offer strategies and tips Growing Your Relationships, Growing Your Thinking and Growing Your Influence. Small business resources will also be available for consultation and will feature a keynote speaker session. To attend this FREE event, register at www. Attendees must register in advance or pay $10 at the door. For more information, contact Claudia Wise at (864) 2393728 or

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The Best We’ve Heard... “You prac say I sta tica rted isn’t out corr lly noth wi i e n c g ther t. W , bu th e is. e al t tha It l sta t rt w mak ’s how ith a we es th use ll ings it th pos a t si -Hen ble.” ry Fo rd

Get connected by listing your event for FREE on our Business Black Box master business calendar:

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• WHAT - Innoventure Southeast • WHEN - May 10 & 11, 2011 • WHERE - Carolina First Center, 1 Exposition Drive, Greenville • DETAILS - The premier southeastern conference— now in its eighth year—creates “game changing business opportunties around the priorities of major economic anchors in four broad areas: mobility, energy, materials and connectivity.” For sponsorship information, contact Jessica Moss at (864) 640-5710 or JessicaMoss@ See www. for the agenda, information on the Przirembel Prize and more.


• WHAT - Think Green, Grow Green Business Summit • WHEN - April 26, 2011 • WHERE - The Hangar, 250 E. Main St., Spartanburg, SC 29302 • DETAILS - The Upstate Workforce Investment Board hosts this 2nd Annual Event to introduce ways area businesses can “Think Green, Grow Green” at this business summit that includes workshops and presentations on the benefits of “going green,” along with dozens of Upstate vendors that offer green businesses and services. Topics include “LEED: Unwrapping the Mystery and Getting to the Good Stuff,” “Profitable Recycling,” “Show Me the Money” and “Ask an Expert,” all alongside featured speaker Christine Steagall, of the SCDHEC Center for Environmental Sustainability. Registration is $15 per person and includes lunch and all workshops. For more information, contact JohnnieLynn Crosby at (864) 562-4184 or jlcrosby@

Lots more to see at

Calendar biz



Simply fill out the form and we’ll get your event posted to the calendar.

Q4 2010


Random&Rele Random & Relevant

Between the Pages

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What we read: The Seven Arts of Change by David Shaner The Gist: Local author and Furman professor David Shaner compiles his experiences into seven principles. blending Western business sense with Eastern philosophy. Highlighting the importance of change at a deep individual level rather than on the surface, he offers examples, exercises and advice to the business person looking to improve and succeed in the corporate world. How it’s Written: A simple format makes the book easy to navigate—each chapter focuses on one of his seven principles. By using his own experiences as well as stories about others to illustrate his points, while offering examples and lists—he’s big on lists—Shaner helps the reader learn and understand. Easy read.

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what Mark said...

e noranc ig is d e ne “All you dence; then nfi and co sure.” s is succes

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Great if: You’re looking for meaningful and lasting change in your business life and you want to improve your personal performance while helping your organization to succeed.

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Don’t miss:The Art ofWorking Naturally, where Shaner describes how to naturally expand your reach and sphere of influence. Even in a world of social media, the principles can be used to help grow your business and yourself.


Cool Point: According to Shaner, “Every one of us is a change leader in our own lives, first and foremost.And the truth is that it is only when we can effectively change ourselves that we can be effective in changing the lives of others.” Our Read: Interesting and inspiring, especially if you’re looking to make a real, lasting change in your business life.

Q4 2011 Q2 2010


Zeracom features award winning Pure IP Unified Communications Solutions like ZeraBox, an Asterisk IPPBX and ShoreTel. ZeraBox is an All-in-One IP-PBX Unified Communications system specifically engineered to meet the needs of small to midsize companies. Loaded with features and built using best-of-breed components, ZeraBox provides scalability for up to 100 employees and delivers a feature-rich Pure IP system, completely preconfigured with software and line cards that will allow you to make the highest quality phone calls possible, whether it is VoIP, SIP, T1/ PRI, or analog. • (864) 676-2170



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The Perfect business Browser

Internet browsers have been around since the beginning of the Internet and have always been the gateway through which people access the vast information on the World Wide Web. The Internet world is expanding more rapidly than ever, business owners and CEOs are trying to manage their time and resources better while delicately balancing their online presence. Separate from managing online marketing efforts, business owners are also struggling to manage the flow of information on a daily basis. From emails to news feeds, social media communications to online resource guides—how does one ever keep it all straight and limit the flow to what’s important?

Business Black Box

I bet you didn’t know your internet browser could be a major tool in simplifying your life around the interactive world. But which browser do you use and why? Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, Chrome, Opera? Each have their own tools and features.


An example of how browsers are helping us connect to the massive flow of information is the new RockMelt browser (for both PC & Mac). This browser is built on the Google Chrome platform which is becoming a very popular internet browser. RockMelt is very impressive and has a load of online tools in one place. It was released last year by invite only, but was just made available as a public beta. A few features of Rockmelt… Q22011 Q1 2011


Connect directly using your Facebook login to access your wall, see friends’ updates, chat with friends directly, see Twitter updates, and share a page or YouTube video directly from the address bar.


Keep up-to-date with the latest from your favorite news or blog sites in a thin bar on the right of the browser screen. Small badges on each icon indicates new entries delivered to your browser and ready for you to read. You can keep up with any websites that utilize RSS feeds.


Because RockMelt is built on the Google Chrome platform, it’s able to take advantage of the growing Chrome web app store. There are plenty of apps for investors, web programmers, designers, cooks, mechanics and many more. These are just some of the great features in RockMelt and how they can assist you and your business manage your online life and keep you from information overload. Try it out and let us know how you’re using it to grow personally and professionally.

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Q2 2011



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In today’s economy, it’s more and more important that companies, business owners and employees remain competitive—from filling positions to being that “top-ofmind” business your customers think of. So what is your thinking on the new era of competitiveness? What’s the most inventive way you’ve ever “beat the competition?”


Q2 2011

As a business owner looking for more customers, I have to be able to answer the ultimate question:“Why should I do business with you?”

We’ve always tried to provide the best service possible at a fair price, and we try to be as fast as possible in responding to our customers’ needs. But in order to define ourselves as the “go-to” company in our industry, we had to identify what made us different and what made us better than the competition. To that end, we have restructured our website to provide that answer on the first page. (Never assume your potential customer will take time to dig out what they need among the 10 or 10,000 pages of your website. Know what your customer needs from you before they get there and have it ready when they show up.) We have also tried to maximize our presence online. Having a website is great, but it’s not enough anymore. We try to engage past and future customers on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. We also have claimed, created or edited any directory listings on services like, HotFrog, MerchantCircle and Google Places. Whenever possible, we make sure that these listings (many of which are free) point to our main website. Most recently we have implemented a postappointment follow-up process that allows us to get a feel for how satisfied our customers are. It’s a three-minute, online customer satisfaction survey and we hope it will not only provide us with content for our testimonials section of the website, but also let us know if we are failing our customers in a certain area.

James Holloway

I agree with Gil - Said a little differently: “What is your value stream?” You may evaluate what your value stream is (how you make money from your customers) but what is the value stream . or your company offers? If you can answer that as part of your elevator speech - and it is relevant to your client base - you will probably have to turn away business! Hank Merkle ITW Shakeproof

We answer the phone. Sounds stupidly simple but that’s it.We do our best to answer the phone and not have someone greeted by a mechanical message-taker. Because we travel a lot and are sometimes in remote areas, we don’t always achieve our goal, but at least it is our goal. People comment all the time that they were surprised when they answered the phone because evidently our competition rarely does. It’s too easy to say “I’m busy, they can leave a message,” especially when you’re a small, one- or two-person business. Also, we’re nice. We try to sound positive and upbeat even when we’ve just driven 16 hours straight and we’re hardly functional—we call people by their name, and we thank them for taking the time to find us and call us.

I have to be able to answer the customer’s ultimate question: “Why should I do business with you?”

South East Installation Solutions

It’s way more than being just competitive!

Accent Photography

I’ve found that along with outstanding customer service

and superior product, offering clients honest options to their needs, regardless of getting the job, is critical and returns business tenfold.When my clients feel that I always have their best interest in mind, they pass that trust on in terms of referrals. I’m the first guy they call!

Matt Stocking ColorHammer

We simply offer the best and fastest service that we can. That is why we really have no competition.

Nothing earth shattering here, just good service...

John Hoyt

Homeland Secure IT

Gil Gerretson Biztrek

Join the discussion! Join our group— Business Black Box—on LinkedIn to give us your feedback on this and many other subjects! Q2 2011

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Every business must find a way to be distinctive and communicate that message effectively and efficiently. Gone are the days of fuzzy branding (ie. we provide good quality, service and price).The marketplace now demands that you be very specific. They want to know what you bring to the table that nobody else does.You’ll never produce a reliable and sustainable business without being “earth shattering”! So, how is BizTrek earth shattering? We are a marketing think tank for high potential entrepreneurs intent on mastering 12 Triggers that always produce more customers. Find someone else who does THAT!

Edie Ellison


Business Black Box



Q2 2011

LAW intellectual property: plan or suffer

LAW Black b ox by andy coburn

As an attorney with Wyche, Burgess, Freeman & Parham, Andy Coburn regularly represents clients in mergers and acquisitions, corporate reorganizations, structuring of joint ventures, securities offerings and other financing transactions. Andy also advises and assists public and private company clients in the design and implementation of executive compensation arrangements, equity compensation plans and broad-based employee benefits.

quite different from U.S. law and may provide no protection for your intellectual property outside of the United States unless you have registered the intellectual property or taken other appropriate actions in that country. Is it worth it? Not all intellectual property that can be protected is worth protecting. For example, patent litigation is often extremely expensive. Even smaller cases can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the litigation costs for larger cases are millions of dollars. A small company considering whether to patent an invention needs to consider not only the cost to obtain the patent, but whether the company can afford to defend the patent if it is challenged. If the There are times in business where you can successfully fly by the company cannot not afford patent litigation, it may not be worth seat of your pants.There are business situations where you can crash the time and effort to get a patent in the first place, particularly if through like a bull in a china shop, clean up the pieces later and the company can instead protect the invention as a trade secret. still get a decent outcome. Intellectual property is not one of these. Although litigation is generally less costly than with patents, Failure to act proactively to protect intellectual property most often trademarks and trade secrets require active measures to protect and leads to lost time, money and business opportunities and may result retain your rights. A company generally must engage in “reasonable in litigation or even total business failure. efforts under the circumstances” to protect the confidentiality of Intellectual property generally consists of patents, trademarks, trade secrets or it will lose its trade secret rights. Similarly, a company copyrights and trade secrets. Below is an overview of some of the must take active measures to identify and prevent unauthorized use common issues confronted by businesses dealing with intellectual of its trademark or it may lose its trademark rights. property, issues that require prior planning and execution to address effectively. The law does not automatically protect “your” intellectual property. If an employee creates copyrightable material in the course of their employment, the company generally owns the copyrights under the “work for hire” rules. In contrast, if an employee creates a patentable invention in the course of work, the company generally will not own the patent rights unless there is an employment contract stating that the employee has agreed to assign their patent rights to the company. A little planning can go a long way. Even where the law does provide some “automatic” protection, you can often get a lot more bang for your buck with a little prior planning and effort. For example, in the United States, you are not required to register a trademark in order to have trademark rights, but your rights and remedies are significantly stronger if you do register with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. A whole lot of laws to worry about. Different types of intellectual property are subject to different laws, and if your company operates in multiple states or countries, you may have to worry about the applicable laws of several different jurisdictions. For example, patents and copyrights are governed by federal law in the United States, while trademarks are subject to both federal and state law and trade secrets are primarily governed by state law. Foreign countries have their own intellectual property laws, some of which are


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Photography by Wayne Culpepper/FishEye Studios Q2 2011

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by Jordana Megonigal


Q2 2011

Business Black Box

In 1867, the term “maverick” was cited in the English lexicon for the first time, in reference to Samuel Maverick, a Texan who left his cows unbranded—a virtually unheard-of concept in the new West. But Maverick himself was not only someone who thought for himself, he was also a renaissance man of the post-Civil War West—a lawyer, politician and land owner—born in Charleston, S.C. and self-made into a man who defined what it truly meant to go out on your own. While the name has come to mean “a lone wolf” or one who creates dissention (Thank you, McCain/ Palin), the meaning is far closer to men like Samuel Maverick; he was, after all, “an independent thinker.” It’s interesting then, that Richard Elliott chose the name “Maverick” for his company—a term that perfectly describes Elliott himself, as well.

The Beginnings

But for Elliott, it hasn’t always been about “the guest experience.” Only in the past 22 years has his career consisted of any “guests” to speak of. At first, he wanted to be a journalist, and so went to the University

of South Carolina, graduating with a degree in journalism. “When I went to journalism school I was fascinated by journalism,” Elliott says, referring to his time in college. But after working with a Congressman and spending two years as Chief of Staff for a University President, he says,“I realized there were other ways to have an impact.” And so, he went back to school—this time to the University of Michigan for law school—as a step toward going into University Administration, something he loved working with. But for Elliott, who was born in Charleston and raised in Columbia, going to Michigan proved an “eye-opening experience.” “It was a totally different demographic than I was used to,” he says. The experience changed him, and after graduating he decided to practice law for a few years, instead of following into a leadership position at a university. In the 12 years following, he served as a trial lawyer for a large company in Atlanta, then on his own in his own firm, and finally formed another, larger firm, where he spent eight years. For Elliott, it was this point that showed him who he truly was. “It’s what told me I was an entrepreneur,” he says. “I realized I wanted more control over my career, and I wanted all my hard work to benefit me, not my partners.” In 1983, he was recruited (somewhat) out of the legal field to serve as the Associate General Counsel for Burlington Industries, Inc. in Greensboro, N.C., which at that time was the biggest textile company in the world. He soon was asked to run one of their divisions—Lees Commercial Carpet Company—which contributed to a growing awareness of his business sense, as well as the appreciation for generating a product that he was responsible for. Q2 2011

Business Black Box

You would think that someone who has had careers in law, corporate management, restaurant management and even the movie industry might be a little hard to get to know. But as Richard Elliott walks through his restaurant, he is a far cry from the nickname he has won since becoming a restaurateur almost 22 years ago. Although he doesn’t quite remember how he got the name “Mr. E”, he does remember that it was something that just “stuck.” “I don’t stand on formality much,” he says. It’s a statement well proven by his interaction with those around him—from his staff at High Cotton to the patron sitting in for lunch, to the U.S. Senator he runs into on the street, all are greeted with a genuine nature and likeability that Elliott exudes consistently. It’s this interaction that mirrors his goals for his business — as owner of Maverick Southern Kitchens, a hospitality company located in Charleston, S.C. that just happens to own High Cotton in Greenville, Elliott knows that the personal experience is the most important thing in creating a loyal following. “The most important thing is the guest experience,” he says. “All I do is contribute to the passion for making the guest experience exceptional.”


It was during this stretch of time that Elliott began yearning for a place to retreat to. “I spent five years at Burlington, mostly travelling, working on the export business to Europe and Asia,” he says. “It really contributed to my feeling for community and the desire to have a place to return to.” So, he resigned, and he and his wife, Dayna, bought a house on Kiawah Island. Not long after, Elliott began a few new ventures, becoming officer, director and shareholder of Southern Pump and Tank Company in Charlotte, as well as serving as the president of the environmental services division, while also dabbling in real estate investment in Charleston.

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TheTides Turn


It was one of these first investments that changed Elliott into the restaurateur he is today. He bought the Colony House restaurant—which at that time, in 1989, was the oldest and biggest restaurant in Charleston. So Elliott renovated the property and hired the seasoned staff needed to work it. He thought he would just let it run on it’s own, but soon realized that “Charlestonians expect the owner to be in the restaurant.” Still working between Charleston and Charlotte (with SPTC), Elliott soon realized he missed being in the restaurant every day. So in 1991, he sold his interest in the Charlotte company, deciding to focus solely on the restaurant business. Two years later, Club Corp approached Elliott to buy the Colony House. He sold, moving the staff, and executive chef Frank Lee, to their new location in downtown Charleston. But picking the location was the easy part. “We paid a firm $1,000 to develop a name,” he says, “and we didn’t like any of them.” He then tells of driving to Atlanta with his executive staff, locking the car doors on the way. “I said, ‘ We’re not leaving this car until we have a name for this restaurant.’” Soon, Slightly North of Broad (known to many locals as S.N.O.B.) was born.“It didn’t start out as an acronym. It just ended up that way,” he says, noting that they have never called the restaurant “Snob.” Regardless of what it’s called, the restaurant has garnered attention across the U.S., being inducted into the Fine Dining Hall of Fame in 2008. Over the years, The Elliott Group became Maverick Southern Kitchens, and grew the empire one venture at a time. Some, like High Cotton, worked. In 1999, Elliott founded High Cotton as a complement to S.N.O.B.—right across the street from the first’s location. “We weren’t looking to start a new restaurant—definitely not right across the street,” Elliott says. But by focusing on what the customer wanted, and by providing a very different customer experience in the two restaurants, they were able to create a quite successful industry with little customer crossover. Still, other ventures didn’t make the cut. “There were things along the way that were done and sold,” Elliott says. He refers to a restaurant on Shem Creek, which lasted five years, as well as a partnership with the Francis Marion hotel. “We provided all the food and beverage services for the hotel,” Elliott says. From room service to banquet service and an on-site restaurant, he says the experience was a “difficult one.” “It was a challenge,” he says. “We’re lucky that it didn’t kill us.” After all, he notes, just because it’s the same industry doesn’t mean that it’s all the same. But, he adds, “You learn more from failures than successes.” Like when, in 2008, he started a restaurant in Pawley’s Island with Q2 2011

the same map as S.N.O.B. “High Hammock” closed in 2009. “We tried to do the same thing in a resort location as we did with S.N.O.B. in Charleston. It did appeal to a lot of people but the large majority of the market was looking for a more “beachy” experience,” he says. “We learned how important it is to know what the market is looking for.” So when the opportunity came to grow the business to the Upstate, it naturally came with some hesitations.

Upward Bound

Elliott first became interested in growing to Upstate S.C. because of the potential—rather than the half-moon market found in Charleston (because it sits on the coast), the Upstate has a circular draw that pulls from many local counties. Still, he was unconvinced. It wasn’t until he visited the area, on demand of some local leadership, that he decided to make the jump. I walked downtown, and the trip told up how much the city cared about its downtown,” he says. “Riverplace (at that time hovering in between concept and reality) was visionary.”The space was far different than that he was used to, but he soon decided that the contemporary site would work well as a second location for High Cotton. Everything else is the same,” he says. “The menu is the same, the uniforms are the same, the standards are the same.” And so it came to be that Elliott once again moved his family—he and his wife split time between the Lowcountry and the Upstate. But for Elliott—whose mother is from Anderson—it’s much like returning to his roots. “I spent most of my summers at a dairy farm in Anderson,” he says. “I’ve always related to the Upstate.” Today, Elliott maintains a high interest in business—in addition to his work with Maverick Southern Kitchens, he is also the Business Manager for Rockfish Productions, a movie and television company located in Los Angeles, CA, run by his twin sons. But for the man who returned to his roots for the sake of community, he is active in many efforts across the state of South Carolina. He is a member of numerous boards of directors, from MUSC to Trident Technical College Foundation and the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, and education seems to hold a strong part in his heart. “Our tech schools are ‘critical’ to developing those who may not have had the opportunity to go to a four-year college,” he says, and adds that he considers arts education a “central part of being an educated person.” It is for that reason that he is committed to the Governor’s School and “helping it succeed.”

So for those who aim to be like this man—this “Mr. E” who has been everything from a lawyer to a Hollywood film company’s business manager and has spent 22 years in the restaurant industry in South Carolina; this man with five kids and eight grandchildren; the man who locks his staff into cars to guarantee decisions; and the man who may never stop changing—advice comes swiftly. “Just do it,” he says. “That’s the easy part: to just do something.” “The most important thing is to take the time to fully understand the business you want to be in from the customers’ perspective. And then be an evangelist.”

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HR Black

changing hr regulation and costs for small sc businesses

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by julie godshall brown

Julie Godshall Brown is the President of Godshall Professional Recruiting and Staffing, based in the Upstate for over 43 years. Julie holds a Masters degree in Human Resources from University of South Carolina and a Bachelor’s degree from Clemson University. She is active in the business community and she and her husband, Drew, have two tween boys.

............................................................................. By nature, the human resources function of an organization is saturated with change. For seasoned, well-informed human resources professionals who are dedicated to their area of expertise, it is difficult to keep up with ever changing legislative action, regulation, and trends. For the majority of small businesses who do not have a dedicated human resources department, keeping up is extremely taxing. A few key areas that warrant focus are mentioned below as well as the resources available to support your business. 1. Regardless of the size of your business, did you know that you must have an employment license to hire? The SC Illegal Immigration Reform Act must be followed in addition to the federal I9 process. Often businesses wrongly believe that need not participate unless they hire illegal or foreign born workers, but even small business is not exempt. The penalty involves a fine and the inability to employ anyone if the license is revoked! South Carolina has hired additional auditors and they are working hard to ensure compliance.The required process for state and federal compliance is clearly explained on the following websites: 2. Did you know that “comp time” is not available to private employers? Logically, many firms allow employees time off to compensate them after a long work week. This practice violates wage and hour regulations if the employer uses this time to compensate the employee for hours over 40. Unless the employee’s position is exempt from wage and hour laws, the employee must be paid overtime at time and one half for the hours over 40 that they work in the week. Did you know that all wages, including bonuses, must be included in this calculation? A great deal of information regarding overtime and other wage and hour provisions is available at the following Department of Labor site: Consult your labor attorney if you have questions regarding complicated situations. 3. Concerned about discrimination claims? According to the Society for Human Resource Management, the majority of discrimination claims in 2010 were based on retaliation. Most business owners understand basic discrimination laws. A key point: it is not only important to handle all employee complaint with respect, but it is important to consult your attorney before taking any type of employment action affecting someone who has filed a complaint. 4. Are you familiar with “protected concerted activity”? The National Labor Relations Board asserts that

an employee’s negative comments on a Facebook page were protected under law. The decision is not final but warrants caution for employers who may have previously felt they had the right to loyalty and positive representation from their employees via social media. 5. Many employers will see a significant increase in federal and state unemployment taxes. The problem is two-fold: our state fund has been depleted for a variety of reasons and must be rebuilt; additionally, S.C. (one of only three states currently) must repay the federal government for the dollars borrowed. Interesting fact, did you know that a portion of the dollars employers pay to the S.C. unemployment is actually sent to the federal government? In other words, the fund is truly not 100-percent available to our state to manage. Many small businesses are concerned that these increases will severely affect the ability of businesses to increase hiring, therefore, the result could be negative rather than positive. The economy certainly seems to be on the road to recovery and yet businesses need to remain vigilant regarding legislation which could affect their profitability. Heathcare regulation, unemployment costs—both state and federal, income taxes, and insurance costs are a few areas to watch.Your legislators need to hear from you so that they understand how proposed changes will affect your business.

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Q2 2011 Photo by Wayne Culpepper/FishEye Studios


hile women have made their way in practically every area of the business sector these days, there are still professions dominated by men.The legal profession is one of those — and at times, it can be a difficult place for a woman to develop a strong career. But with women like Michele Lyerly, a partner with Smith 1993 Graduated from USC with a degree Moore Leatherwood law firm, there are, at least, mentors in the in International Studies field that can serve as role models to other women making their way into the profession. Lyerly grew up in Lugoff, S.C., a shy child who thrived in a small town. But after going to college and law school in Columbia—something she calls “a great experience”— 1997 Graduated from USC School Lyerly developed a desire for growth and change. She moved to California, took the bar of Law exam and worked at a firm there. Still, part of her longed to come home. “It’s hard to be away from everything you know,” she says, especially when wanting to start a family. So when her husband, Ted, 1998 Moved to California to begin her who worked with Michelin, was transferred back to South Carolina, she took that as an career in Law opportunity to return to her roots. She was soon hired by Leatherwood Walker Todd & Mann to cover real estate law, something she says she “knew nothing about.” But her hard work paid off— Lyerly is 2000 Moved back to South Carolina now partner of Smith Moore Leatherwood, and Practice Area Leader for the Commercial Real Estate Practice, where she represents developers and investors in the development, leasing and sale of shopping centers, office buildings and mixed-use developments. 2004 Became a partner with Leatherwood In an industry that’s been hit as hard as real estate in recent years, Lyerly admits that Walker Todd & Mann law firm her job as Practice Area Leader wasn’t always easy. (became Smith Moore Leatherwood “Real estate hasn’t been doing that great, but it’s coming back,” she says. “It’s a whole in 2006.) different set of management skills to be a cheerleader when there’s nothing to cheer about.” Still, it’s her efforts outside of those titles that stand to make her the most influential. While she participates in Smith Moore Leatherwood’s women’s mentoring program, she is also a founding member of the Greenville chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW), and serves on the United Way’s Women Attorney Leadership Committee, a group devoted to increasing donations to the United Way by women lawyers in the community. It’s in these capacities that she is able to represent what women can accomplish in what is still a very male-dominated market. And as a mother of twin girls, she does it all while balancing her role as “mom,” with the many community and professional titles she holds. While some of her liberty comes from the fact that Smith Moore Leatherwood is very culturally advanced in terms of adapting to mothers (they were named one of the “50 Best Law Firms for Women” by Working Mother magazine), much of this is due, of course, to Lyerly’s approach to life. But even as a self-proclaimed “control freak,” she admits taking on a different perspective after having her daughters. “I have a light-hearted approach to practicing law, and it’s definitely not a lighthearted endeavor,” Lyerly says.“It’s perfectly acceptable to be a mother and a laywer. I just had to do it and still act [professionally] like a man—we [women] just don’t have a lot to point to.” She does however, consider other women in the field, like co-worker Tami McKnew, to be encouraging in her goal to be an advocate for other women coming up through the practice. “Females don’t have to pretend that they handle their practice and handle their lives in the same way a man does,” she says. “I’m who I am. Take me or leave me, this is who I am.”


The facts: The percentage of women with a child over the age of one, who works full-time. The percentage of female lawyers who leave their profession to take care of children. The percentage of all lawyers who are women. The number of hours per day the average “working mom” spends at tasks, both at work and at home. The number of jobs that would become vacant overnight if all moms stopped working tomorrow.

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72 42 29.1 13 26 million $476 billion

The amount of money working mothers contribute, as a whole, to U.S. household incomes, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Q2 2011

35 35

CEOs & LEA b o x CEOs & LEADERS Black

by geoff wasserman cultivating potential vs. feeding the system

Business Black Box

Geoff Wasserman, CEO and president of Showcase Marketing and Publisher of Business Black Box, spends most of his business time advising and consulting with business and ministry leaders developing growth strategies. Before starting Showcase Marketing in 1999, Geoff spent seven years in sports marketing with the Montreal Expos and the Atlanta Braves, and seven years as managing director in the financial service industry with two Fortune 500 Companies.


I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the future of education, both within the system and in the home. Not so much with what’s being taught—my three children have fantastic, caring teachers, and doing an incredible job with limited resources—but more so with the “system” in general: what’s being encouraged and made a priority vs. what, due to time, resources and discipline, gets discouraged, overlooked, neglected and perhaps not ultimately valued as a priority, a non-negotiable ROI of time spent in an educational setting. This issue is one that I notice happens so frequently in the fast-paced workplace every day, where so many businesses and Ministries refuse to change as the market, customers and employees change, and recognize the gifts in the people around them every day, dismissing them because they don’t fit a title, a project, a current need or a system. So we shouldn’t be surprised that we’re putting the same expectations on educators and perhaps missing the real opportunity we’re supposed to be looking for, the game changers, the impact, the life-shapers, the difference makers. Imagine, for a minute, if these conversations/letters actually happened. They happen every day, either formally, between parent/ child, leadership/employees, or simply in our heads as the story we tell ourselves to stay comfortable and not go out on the limb… where the real fruit usually is. “Mr. & Mrs. Lennon, please inform your son that his fifth tardy this week means he can no longer qualify for our after-school band program. While his excuses of playing music with his three friends in corner pubs is admirable, they in no way take the place of a formal music education and he simply will have to choose… closing down Liverpool bars or a quality music education with us. We believe the choice is obvious. Please let us know of your decision as responsible parents concerned about his future.” “Mr. Macfarlane, this is the fourth time we’ve caught you, during the workday in your cubicle, drawing cartoons and cutting jokes. Seth, you’re here to learn from this internship at our company, so you can one day get a job to support yourself. These distractions must stop immediately.” “Mrs. Hogan, your son will once again be in detention after school for wrestling classmates on the playground. This is a school; we are trying to prepare him for his future. His friends are even calling him ‘Hulk’! Q2 2011

Continuing such behavior will result in expulsion. Consider this his last opportunity to change.” When true greatness and unparalleled potential is first unveiled, it’s usually very subtle, like showing up as a baby in a manger. It usually occurs during the flow of “same old, same old,” and usually gets overlooked or set aside as a distraction from the task at hand. I’m just wondering: how many times has someone in leadership became so adamant and focused on adhering to rules of a system, that true passion, undiscovered genius and gifts were overlooked, unrecognized, and died on the doorstep? CEO’s: Outside of their “job,” what do your employees do nights and weekends, or on lunch break? You might find their real gift, and it just might turn your company around if you make room for it.

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avid Livingstone, one of the greatest European explorers of Africa, once said,“I’ll go anywhere as long as it’s forward.” He may have been talking about his 19th century search for the Nile’s source, but his words could also be spoken by the business leaders, economic developers and unemployed workers of today. They too are forging a new path down uncharted territory. Old maps are outdated. Well-traveled roads of the past have been abandoned. And what was once a guarantee for success is no longer such a sure thing.

The Great Recession spanned from 2007-2009, marking the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. This financial earthquake shook many people, businesses and communities to the core, and some say it shifted the way we operate. Recent indicators suggest that we’re not just coming out of a trough, but we’re entering a new era. It’s possible that the current business climate may actually be the new norm for business in the United States, as well as the Upstate on a regional level. Whether or not our current situation fits the textbook definition of “new economy” is up for debate. Scott Baier, Associate Professor of Economics at Clemson University, says things are changing, but the principles that operate our economic behavior haven’t. “When people use the term ‘new economy’ they mean a host of different things,” he says, “one of those being that the old rules no longer apply. That clearly isn’t true.” Jason Jones, Assistant Professor of Economics at Furman University, says there is definitely a new normal nationwide, but believes the Upstate will adjust more easily than many other areas. For starters, he says the impact of the bust in the financial and construction markets is far worse in states like California, Florida and Nevada. And while people who once worked in those industries are being retrained, unemployment will remain elevated. “We don’t want it to go back to where it was where these people were all employed in the construction industry or financial services,” explains Jones. “We don’t want that part of the economy to rise up so the structure of the economy will look different.” South Carolina’s unemployment rate is currently about one

percent higher than the national average of 9.8 percent; however, Jones doesn’t anticipate a permanent adjustment. Statistics show that the average U.S. unemployment rate since 1948 is 5.72 percent. “For us to be permanently up around 10 percent is not the structure of our economy,” he explains. “I have nothing that leads me to believe that when we readjust we won’t be back to that in the long run.” In comparison, Jones says Europe’s unemployment rate maintains at a much higher average because of factors including a heftier minimum wage and stronger unions. “[In Europe] there are impediments to moving labor around. Once you hire someone it’s almost impossible to fire them,” says Jones. “[In the U.S.] people will be able to be hired when the economy recovers.” The unemployed labor force must find a place to shift to and in the Upstate experts say the high growth areas are technologybased textile manufacturing as well as the automotive, life science and biomedical industries. Baier says he sees the Upstate migrating from low tech manufacturing positions to high tech jobs. “I think in the long run we’re going to continue to have a reasonable manufacturing base in the Upstate but it’s going to be quite a bit different than it was 30 or 40 years ago,” he says. He says that may mean some of the Upstate’s unemployed will need to learn new skills so that they’re aligned with the job openings available. Jones says South Carolina appears to be in a good economic position when it comes to attracting new industry. An accommodating tax structure, a willing workforce, and being a Right-to-Work state are all competitive advantages, says Jones. In short, more jobs are likely for the Upstate, but Baier says it will likely take at least two or three years before unemployment drops.

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“I think in the long run we’re going to continue to have a reasonable manufacturing base in the Upstate, but it’s going to be quite a bit different than it was 30 or 40 years ago.”


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A New Way


A nationwide survey issued by Citibank in February shows that Americans are not only trimming the fat, but they’re altering their lifestyle. • 52% cook their own food more frequently • 48% stay at home more rather than going out • 41% use coupons more regularly • 35% find ways to use less gas including carpooling and combining trips • 32% bring their lunch to work more often



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Retail sales have slowly been topping projections and employers added nearly 200,000 jobs in February, but all that positive recovery could come to a screeching halt thanks to a driving force in the economy: oil prices. The purchases made by U.S. consumers account for 70 percent of the economy and if consumers are spending more at the pump they’ll have less money to buy other items. That trickles down to a decreased demand for products, less expansion in jobs and finally, slowed recovery. “Oil and energy is a big input cost and [companies] don’t want to hire folks if their costs are rising,’ says Jason Jones, Assistant Professor of Economics at Furman University. “[At the end of February] I would have said I’m feeling confident that within a year we’ll see a drop in that unemployment. But with these recent events in the Middle East I’m more tentative to say when things will turn around.”


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That’s not great news for people like Chip Smith. Smith, who spent 14 years as the Vice President and Director of Operations for what is now known as the Carolina First Center, has lost not one, but two jobs because of the economy.“The first time it was a shocker,” says Smith, 45. “The second time it was worse.” He’s definitely living under a new normal and says going through the Great Recession has changed him fundamentally as a person. “I have learned from this whole experience just how much pride I used to have,” says the father of two boys, ages 9 and 14. “Everybody doesn’t need me and everybody doesn’t want me.” He says life is completely different now. Everything from the order of his priorities (relationships are now on top) to where he shops for clothes (his favorite suit was $12 at Goodwill) has changed. And although he was once concerned prospective employers would see him as a “job hopper” because of the growing length of his resume, he says he thinks the stigma of having multiple careers is fading. “I’ve learned to accept change,” he says. “Whether it’s good or bad I’ve learned to make the best of it and know there’s a reason for it.”

“I don’t see us moving back to what we were several years ago. I think it’s a new way of doing business now moving forward.” If you ask those on the front line of economic development, not only have the rules changed, but so has the game. “I think it’s a whole new world from a development standpoint,” says Greenville’s Director of Economic Development Nancy Whitworth. “I don’t see us moving back to what we were sever al years ago. I think it’s a new way of doing business now moving forward.” And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, she says. In the past, money was easier to come by for developers, but now she says projects must be fully vetted before they begin. A few years ago Whitworth says she saw businesses taking leaps forward, while currently they’re cautiously proceeding with baby steps. “Now there’s a hesitance to get too far out in front,” she says. “I think that things don’t happen nearly as quickly as they did several years ago.” Whitworth says even though expansion slowed down, her economic development team hasn’t.They’re still working to assist and encourage development, but the way they do that is different. She’s laying more groundwork to help projects gain momentum, assisting developers in finding capital and forming strategic partnerships to pool resources. That collaboration is Dean’s Hybl’s focus as well. He’s the executive director of Ten at the Top, a coalition bringing together ten Upstate counties

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While it’s easy to think that the past 18 months have been the primary force behind a suffering economy, it’s important to remember that for many communities in South Carolina, it is just more of the same. For those like the Sterling community of Greenville, 40 years of financial stress and economic woe once reduced the community to the ashes of its former self. (Ironically, the fire 44 years ago that devastated the Sterling High School, based in the community, is oftentimes alluded to as the harbinger of the economic downfall). It’s through initiatives like the ones put in place by Bon Secours St. Francis through their community relationship building efforts, led by Maxim Williams, that communities can “rise out of the ashes” of poor health. By helping create projects like the Odessa Street community organic garden, which allows local residents to help care for and benefit from fresh, local-grown produce (instead of gas station food!), the organization has created a community that in most recent months — when most everyone else was struggling —was beginning to thrive. “If anything, the recession was good for the community,” says Williams. “It slowed down the explosion of development around them that was making it hard to stay there.” To use Sterling as a model for other communities will be a natural progression, but Williams notes that community residents themselves are learning to lead in their own way. “We are just putting the residents in charge,” he says. “We let them map the direction.” For more info on the Sterling Community and the work being done there, visit Business Black Box

with the goal of fostering regional growth. He’s not so worried about the past and instead says he’s looking positively towards the future. “You really have two choices you can make—choice number one is pull back and hunker down and get through it,” Hybl says of the economy. “Then choice two is that you reach out and look for collaboration and partnerships.” He believes that the Upstate hasn’t suffered to the extent as other areas of the country because of the region’s ability to work together. “I’ve seen more and more folks, business leaders in particular, who are more willing to go down the path that is less traveled and may not be as well known because they realize there is potential for more success.” Even though the road most traveled is often the most comfortable, Whitworth says she’s currently working with startups who are stepping out into new territory. “One thing about an economy when it shifts and when there are downturns, that’s when you see more activity in new business formation,” Whitworth says. Some experts call these folks“involuntary entrepreneurs.” They’re often people who have lost their jobs or businesses and have decided to create new opportunities for themselves.The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the number of self-employed Americans jumped to 8.9 million by the end of 2009, up from 8.7 million the year before. And a new report from the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity says that there were 565,000 new businesses started each month during 2010. In South Carolina, 230 people per 100,000 started new businesses last year. That was a bit lower than the national average of 340 per 100,000 who formed new companies. One of those new companies is Crescent Home Referrals, Inc, launched by three Upstate family members including 66-year-old John Harrison. Harrison retired from teaching in 1997 and then got his builders license. For 13 years he constructed spec homes and still calls himself a builder even though it’s been two years since his last project. “I almost started [a spec home] about three years ago and backed off at the last minute,” Harrison says with relief. “It would have had to have sold for around 350 to 450-thousand and the market can’t bear that kind of thing.” He says other builders he knows have had homes listed for two or three years. “Paying the interest on these construction loans is killing them,” Harrison says. “It’s run a lot of people out of the building industry.” Including Harrison, who moved forward with a business idea he says he’s been sitting on for years, a referral website helping locals find licensed, insured and experienced contractors. He says another “building buddy” opened up a restaurant. “That’s quite a change, isn’t it?” he asks with a laugh. And despite being thrown onto a road full of curves, it seems that many of the business leaders, economic developers and residents of the Upstate are moving forward with new purpose, just like Livingstone did during his African explorations more than 150 years ago when he said, “I determined never to stop until I had come to the end and achieved my purpose.” And who knows what discoveries await those brave enough to forge this new world.

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at Furman University

SERVICE , V E R S AT I L I T Y, A ND E L E G ANCE COMPLIMENTARY AMENITIES • Free wireless internet • Event planning staff • Built-in projector and screens for audio, video, and presentation support

• Flexible sound system, podiums, and conference calling • Business center • Abundant free parking

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Bell Tower Catering offers custom menu planning and flexible service options. Corporate meeting packages also available.


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business with both brains

Tony Snipes is the former director of Redemption Marketplace Alliance, a Greenvillebased entrepreneurship training program, where he utilizes a unique combination of years of leadership experience in the corporate arena with ministry experience in the community. Tony has spent over a decade as an Internet publishing and advertising expert, helping news media companies such as the Greenville News,The St. Petersburg Times, and News Channel 7 WSPA.


Brain research confirms that the brain is divided into two hemispheres. Although both sides are involved in nearly every task we do, the left side of the brain processes in a logical and sequential order while the right side processes intuitively and randomly. Most people have a dominant side, and that side is displayed by certain characteristics. So, which side of your brain do you run your businesses with, especially when it comes to reaching out to potential customers? I think most people lean more on the left side. Before I share my thoughts behind that, take a look at what these two sides usually are responsible for:

by tony snipes

Now look at how we commonly try to sell our product, service or even the entire business concept to prospective customers:

1. The Left Side lists sales TARGETS, but the Right Side identifies potential CLIENTS. 2. While the Left Side plans to present to those sales targets a business PITCH, the Right Side plans to CONSULT them instead. 3. The Left Side seeks to SELL a product or service in order to meet an internal goal, while the Right Side seeks to HELP a client achieve something important to THEM. Your goal should be to harness BOTH sides of the brain, applying their unique processing patterns where they would make the most impact. Use the Right Side’s creative and relationship-focused centers to remain mindful of customer needs creative solutions to meet those needs. Balance that with the Left Side’s ability develop, implement and track a solid business plan and strategy to remain profitable while fulfilling the needs of those you serve.


Left Brain Functions Analytical

uses logic

Right Brain Functions

Creative, Relationship-focused uses feeling


“big picture”-oriented

facts rule

imagination rules

math and science

philosophy & religion


spatial perception

perception reality-based forms


presents possibilities impetuous risk taking


ck a b d Fee m, advise anvdisit

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ou stor lBiz. Brain in when y om/Smal .c weigh lackBox B e Q2 2011 47 d i 47 Ins


b o x BIG PICTURE Contractor-Terrazo:


United Enterprises of Atlanta, Ga.

MBAJ Architecture, Lexington S.C., Shelby, Charlotte, Raleigh N.C.

Construction: Melloul-Blamey, Greenville, S.C.

Windows: Kapasi Glass, Spartanburg, S.C.

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Broome High School Auditorium


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Broome High School Fountain: Origin Falls, Franklin, Mass. & MBAJ Architecture, Lexington S.C., Shelby, Charlotte, Raleigh N.C.

Brickwork: Cherokee Masonry, Gaffney, S.C.

Sound & Lighting (inside auditorium): Productions Unlimited, Greer, S.C.


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381 Cherry Hill Road Spartanburg, SC 29307 (864) 279-6700 The design of the new auditorium was intended to capture some elements of the community—the stone work and water feature represent the water resources, while a three-dimensional “art wall” captures the textile heritage and some artifacts from around the communities. The auditorium holds 600 people, plus wheelchair stations. While its primary use is for school programs, the auditorium is available for public use as a rental space. For more info, contact: Greg Mack (864) 279.6011

Photo by Wayne Culpepper/FishEye Studios Business Black Box

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P-3 Orion. C-130 Hercules. Chinook. Lakota. No, these aren’t characters from Star Wars, nor are they ancient mythologyat least not in this inference. They are military aircraft and represent just a fraction of the business generated by the aerospace industry in South Carolina.

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The aerospace industry in South Carolina has been making its mark for many years, what with the presence of such companies as Lockheed Martin, GE Aviation and Honeywell, just to name a few. But it has become a rising star in the state most recently following The Boeing Company’s announcement to build a $750 million final assembly line for its 787 Dreamliner in North Charleston, which broke ground in November. The news brought worldwide attention to South Carolina, attention that was especially evident at the 2010 Farnborough International Airshow in England. Jody Bryson, president and CEO of the South Carolina Technology & Aviation Center, says that although he did not attend, members of the state’s Department of Commerce team who attended reported back that the response from other attendees was overwhelming.


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“We were like the rock stars of that trade show last year, whereas in the past to a large degree we were just one of many states represented there,” Bryson says. “There’s no doubt Boeing was a game changer, but I think Boeing just kind of put us over the top based on the strong foundation that was already established here.” There are several different facets of aerospace evident in South Carolina.The most obvious is commercial passenger service found at airports such as Greenville-Spartanburg International. The Upstate also has corporate aviation, such as the services available at the Greenville Downtown Airport. Military aviation also has a large presence in the state, both directly and indirectly. Military bases such as Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter demonstrate an active presence. Then there’s the military impact that’s often overlooked, provided by such companies as Lockheed Martin and Boeing, both of which provide manufacturing and repair services to the military community. According to the South Carolina Department of Commerce, more than 13,000 people are employed by 152 aerospace and aviation-related companies in the state. Since 2006, the department has recruited a total capital investment of more than $1.1 billion and has recruited nearly 7,000 jobs. Job recruitment numbers saw a huge spike with the Boeing project, but Communications Coordinator Chris Bender says there was an increase in jobs even without taking Boeing into consideration. “If you take out the Boeing project, we still had 600-plus jobs recruited by Commerce during 2009 for the aviation and aerospace sector,” he says. “That’s more than twice the number of any of the previous three years. And in 2010, there were more than 1,400 jobs recruited.” An economic impact study on SC-TAC released in February stated that SC-TAC has a $1.4 billion total economic impact on the state and has generated more than 6,800 jobs directly and indirectly. Businesses at SC-TAC cover more than just the aerospace industry. The study found that the site’s employment ratio has 34 percent employed in aviation-related activities; 31 percent in manufacturing-related activities; 22 percent in trade businesses; and 13 percent in other categories, which include biotech research and pharmaceutical development. By now, most everyone is familiar with Boeing’s decision to open a final assembly site here. Paul Kumler, president of KTM Solutions, doesn’t believe the public is fully aware, however, of the long term effect this will have on the industry’s future in the state. “Boeing has never delivered an airplane out of anyplace other than Seattle, so that’s a huge coup ... I don’t think people realize

how big that is,” he says. “There’s a lot of potential for the carry on business and the suppliers and the things that happen after the airplanes are delivered to really exploit in this area.” “This is a historic move for Boeing and for the aerospace industry in general,” adds Candy Eslinger, a spokeswoman for Boeing’s Charleston site. “This will be the first time in history that Boeing has delivered a wide-body commercial airplane outside of the Puget Sound area. The new South Carolina facility will be one of only three of its kinds in the world producing commercial wide-body aircraft.” With Boeing’s larger presence in the state, more businesses will be drawn to following in Boeing’s footsteps. This will bring even more needed jobs and will help position South Carolina as a leader in aerospace. Bryson says SC-TAC was working toward advancing the industry’s position before Boeing’s announcement. Those efforts led toward the rebranding of the center from Donaldson Center Industrial Air Park to SC-TAC. “We were already positioning ourselves to try to be more proactive in the world of economic development, especially operating in the global economy that we compete in,” he says. Those efforts also included the identification of several pieces of property at SC-TAC that are now being marketed as aerospace parcels, one of which being a 312acre parcel with access to a runway that has been inactive for several years. Bryson’s team is marketing these parcels to aerospace-related companies in the hopes that they will build in South Carolina. Lockheed Martin has a huge presence on SC-TAC, where they lease a 1 million square foot ramp space, 950,000 square feet of hangar space and employ just over 1,100 individuals. The maintenance, repair and overhaul facility services aircraft used by a variety of military outlets including the U.S. Navy and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. Aircraft serviced on the Greenville site include the P-3 Orion, which is used for maritime patrol, antisurface warfare and anti-submarine warfare; and the C-130, which is a large cargo plane. The company is in its 26th year of operation in South Carolina and during that time has had a large impact on the state’s economy. According to Communications Representative B.J. Boling, in 2010 the company generated $24 million in business commitments with 161 suppliers in the state. “If Lockheed continues to grow and if some more aerospace corporations are brought into the state and grow here, that could be a real driving force not too dissimilar from the automotive industry that’s carved out a little bit of a niche particularly in the Upstate,” Boling says. SC-TAC is also the future home of a 30-acre, $26 million aviation support facility for the SC Army and Air National Guard.

More than 13,000 people are employed by 152 aerospace and aviation-related companies in the state.

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“This is a historic move for Boeing and for the aerospace industry in general. This will be the first time in history that Boeing has delivered a wide-body commercial airplane outside of the Puget Sound area. The new South Carolina facility will be one of only three of its kinds in the world producing commercial wide-body aircraft.”


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This facility will house and service the Chinook and Lakota helicopters. At a recent board meeting, Lt.Col. Andrew Batten revealed that the 82,000-square-foot facility would be built over the next two years. Long range plans for the site include a partnership with Greenville Technical College’s Aircraft Maintenance program and an Army training center. Growth within existing aerospace companies and the opening of new companies will be a much needed boost to both the state’s economy and manufacturing unemployment woes. “Compared to typical automotive or consumer products industry line workers who average $15 an hour, aerospace technicians command $25 to $30 an hour, on average,” says Jason Premo, president of ADEX Machining Technologies. “This means that when an aerospace job is created in a state, the impact is significantly greater than lower wage jobs since the respective payroll taxes are higher for the state, and of course the purchasing power of the employee is stronger which is then felt in sales taxes and qualification of credit for housing, cars, etc.” The state needs to ensure, however, that its workforce is prepared to meet the needs of aerospace employers as technology advances and the industry grows. The industry requires extensive training, especially after the recession led to some companies expecting their employees to have the skills to operate multiple pieces of equipment and take on extra duties. Kumler, who is a former employee of Boeing, says that if the state’s workforce can’t meet a company’s needs, they’ll hire elsewhere. “The best way we can bring revenue to the state is to bring jobs here and Boeing will do that,” he says. “We have to get the workforce ready, so we need to invest in workforce development so we can use our own people rather than look out of state.” In response to this need, a partnership was formed among 12 local, state and federal organizations to create Greenville Works, which works with industry sectors that have growth opportunities in developing a sustainable workforce. The organization has identified what it calls a cluster of aerospacerelated companies in the county that it is reaching out to and offering assistance.

“What we’ve done so far is get them organized to the point that we have their needs fairly well defined and the next step is to work with them to build a training program so that we’re creating a pool of qualified people they can pull from,” says John Baker, director of Greenville Works. Once an industry cluster determines its training path, his team then works with Greenville Technical College to find out if they either already have the needed curriculum or if it can be developed. Each individual cluster, Baker says, can then work with the instructor to set up the curriculum and class schedules. Training programs are currently in effect or in the planning stages for both new hires and incumbent workers. In fact, in February a $300,000 grant was awarded to Greenville by the National Fund for Workforce Solutions to be used for training programs. Baker says the grant funding will be used for the transportation fabrication sector, which includes automotive and aerospace operations. “This training will have three phases, with the first phase focusing on assessing ability and addressing basic skills needs,” he says. “The second phase focuses on skills such as applied math and other learning areas related to manufacturing. The third phase may include a variety of approaches based on each company’s needs and can include apprenticeships and on-the-job training programs. The key part of this program is that we are leveraging existing programs along with new training dollars to get the maximum benefit out of the training.” Although Baker could not reveal ways they’ve helped individual aerospace companies without their permission, he did describe Greenville Works’ efforts to obtain grant funding to be used for a class attended by employees from all the companies. After gathering feedback from the companies, the organization successfully gained grant funding for a class on blueprint reading, which will be held this spring. “It is important that we are very aggressive on a local and regional basis in trying to grow the human resources that are going to be required for aerospace,” Baker says. “We’ve caught it, what are we going to do with it now and (workforce development) is something that we can do that’s a very proactive step.” The state’s technical college system has also responded to the growing needs of aerospace. In 2008, all of the technical and community colleges in the Upstate began offering a mechatronics program, which integrates mechanical engineering, computer engineering, electronics and information sciences. “Part of the beauty of the technical college system in South Carolina is that they adapt their curriculum to meet the needs of employers,” says Bryson, who added that Greenville Technical College even has an aircraft maintenance school located at SC-TAC. The existence of high-tech companies such as GE Aviation, which designs large jet engines, indicates that the state already

In 2008, all of the technical and community colleges in the Upstate began offering a mechatronics program, which integrates mechanical engineering, computer engineering, electronics and information sciences.

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Applied Tech Services Inc. FAA repair station for engine components

ARC Products Inc.

Aircraft fuel injector design and manufacturing

Avenger Aircraft

Business Black Box

The Upstate has a wealth of aerospacerelated companies that are generating millions of dollars for South Carolina’s economy. A study released by the GADC identified several of the companies located in Greenville County and demonstrates the array of businesses needed for the industry.


Engineering design, reverse engineering

BMI Corporation

Aerodynamics, design and manufacturing

Broadhead Aviation Maintenance Inc. Aircraft painting service/repair


Carbon fiber/aircraft components

D3 Engineering Aviation engineering

GE Aviation

Jet engine turbine blades


Aircraft engine parts and helicopter engines

H&L Accessories

FAA repair station for engine components

Lockheed Martin

Commercial and military aircraft maintenance and modification

Michelin Aircraft tires

Professional Interiors Inc. Aircraft interiors and upholstery

SAATI Americas

Carbon fiber/aircraft components

Stevens Aviation

Inspections, overhauls, maintenance and warranty, paint refurbishment, aircraft detailing, etc.

Woodward Industrial Control Fuel nozzles Source: Greenville Area Development Council

Woven Electronics Electronic cabling

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“You add a huge name in the aerospace industry to match Lockheed Martin and you’ve got two of the biggest players in the world here in the state and all of these other supporting companies in place as well. I think we’ve solidified our position in the United States as an aerospace hub and state.”

has well-educated employees up to the job, says Kevin Landmesser, vice president of the Greenville Area Development Council. “They have world-class technicians there and at other examples like BMW and Honeywell,” Landmesser says. “We’ve demonstrated that we can produce high-end goods. We need to be thinking long term about continuing to grow that pipeline.” Another idea that’s been percolating in the minds of aerospace business owners is the concept of an aerospace research center similar to the CU-ICAR facility. Premo says if the concept could become a reality — and acknowledges that could take several years, as CU-ICAR did — it would be a major boon to the aerospace industry in South Carolina. “Incentives for developers and industry to build a center of excellence in our state could be a catalyst in further economic development,” Premo says. “Similar to what we are seeing now with ICAR where it has become a selling point in recruiting companies, an aerospace version could be providing the incentives for Boeing to develop research facilities and more importantly the hundreds of national and international suppliers for Boeing.” Bryson says such a concept is possible, but adds that it would require a great deal of time to develop, considering CU-ICAR was a project that took more than a decade to get where it is today. “There certainly would be opportunity as our state grows and evolves for an ICAR-like campus that would serve aviation,” he says. “Where it would be, what it would like, whether it would utilize CU-ICAR or not, I think all of that remains to be seen.” For now, this concept is just an idea, but leaders in the industry are hopeful that the state’s businesses, public-private partnerships, universities and legislature can work together to create a concept that would help the state evolve into not only a leader in aerospace manufacturing, but a leader in research and development as well. There is no question among the industry’s business leaders, however, that the aerospace industry is already having an impact on the state and, with Boeing’s latest development in Charleston, the industry will produce bigger and brighter things to come for South Carolina. “You add a huge name in the aerospace industry to match Lockheed Martin and you’ve got two of the biggest players in the world here in the state and all of these other supporting companies in place as well,” says Bryson. “I think we’ve solidified our position in the United States as an aerospace hub and state.” Business Black Box

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understanding mental methods Ravi Sastry is president of International Innovations, a consulting firm specializing in American and Asian business and commerce. He has held senior management positions in international sales, marketing, logistics, and operations. During his 25year career, he has lived and worked in 14 countries on three continents, forging strategic relationships with industry leaders like Bosch, IBM, McKinsey, Samsung and others.


“We are prisoners of our own islands of thought until some foreign intruders come to our shores. Then we realize the wonder and perils of interacting with this ‘brave new world’ outside the scope of our former mental models.” - Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”

Four Classic Mental Models

Consensus-Flat System where each member has equal say. Popular in Scandinavia, Netherlands and Canada. Effective at limiting overly aggressive team members, but can result in deadlock too often. Charismatic-Dynamic Leader System where members are encouraged to contribute in a manner that is compatible with the group’s norms and behaviors. Popular in U.S., U.K. and Latin America. Effective at fostering ideas and ensuring progress, but strong institutions are essential for the success of this type of model. Another drawback is that the charisma of the leader can cause groupthink. Patriarchical-Great Man System where decisions and policies are delivered from the top-down. Popular in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Effective in creating a consultative system where best practices can be established quickly and are followed. However, due to the concentration of power at the top, it can create a dictatorial system where inputs from lower levels are not encouraged or valued. Technocratic-Hierarchical System where decision-making is slow due to the check and balance procedures to scrutinize ideas. Popular in Germanic Countries. Effective at ensuring the soundness of policies or ideas prior to implementation. However, bureaucracy tends to cripple this process making it inoperable at times. After examining these four mental models, think about employees, managers and clients from the past and present and think about how their mental model created kinship or caused animosity. Remember, each mental model believes that their model works best.

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v to Brains when you /Global. in m o weigh lackBox.c B e Insid Q2 2011

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Why do some people seem to handle conflict and form relationships with ease? Were they just born that way? The simple answer is that they have a greater understanding of mental models. Mental models are the way in which people process and understand information differently. For example, when Americans and Europeans clash over issues, it is not a matter of one side being right or wrong. It is the mindset or mental model that each side brings into a situation. Many executives have asked why Europe hasn’t been able to develop a “Silicon Valley” of their own. The reason is that risk taking, in general, is viewed negatively in Europe, while risk takers are admired in America. Silicon Valley has been the greatest money making machine the planet has seen, but the plethora of bankruptcies which came out of Silicon Valley would never come about in Europe. The reason for this is the difference in mental models. Having contradictory mental models on an executive team should be beneficial as long as all members understand why their colleagues think differently and how that benefits the team as a whole. This is not easy to do, and only gets more difficult with age. When faced with contradictory personalities or behaviors, we quickly classify others as “others” and don’t see them as individuals. We classify new ideas as “crazy” and don’t give them a second thought. How do you cultivate the ability to see things differently? How do you remove your own blinders and come up with new perspectives? How do you take these perspectives seriously enough to transform the way you see the world, but not so seriously that you lose touch with your past or your current reality? Begin with identifying the classic mental models and defining them in order to gain a basic understanding of them. I’ve listed four classic mental models below. As you’ll see, they’ve all got their strengths and weaknesses.

by ravi sastry


Business Black Box


Q2 2011

Photo by Wayne Culpepper/FishEye Studios


ometimes, to get people interested in a topic, it’s easier if you just start by putting it in front of them. And that’s exactly what Dan Hamilton does on a daily basis. From his seat in the S.C. House of Representatives, those connected to Hamilton via social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook can get an “insider’s look” at what happens in our state legislature—as it happens. “It’s kind of the 21st Century Town Hall,” he says. “It’s Town Hall every day— constituents can always get in touch with you.” For Hamilton, who discovered a passion for politics early in life, it was a natural progression to the statehouse.The first campaign he volunteered on was that for Bob Inglis in 1992, where Hamilton worked as an intern. Over the years, Hamilton grew deeper and deeper roots into politics, helping his father secure a S.C. House seat for District 20 (the same seat that he now holds), and working as a political director for Jim DeMint. In his “off ” time, Hamilton continued to work for DeMint in the Upstate, thinking that it was a way for him to remain local (“I didn’t really want to move to D.C.”) while working on his real estate license (“There’s only so much you can do at a district level.”). In 2003, he becume a partner in Keller Williams real estate—and the first Keller Williams office in S.C. Today, Hamilton & Co. serves people with a team of 12 people. It was through real estate that Hamilton initially became interested in social media, seeing it as a way to connect with people and to market his business. But it soon became much more as it mirrored the life that Hamilton had built for himself. “Social media gives you an opportunity to show who you are, so I try to give a little but of every part of who I am,” he says. “I’m just me on there.” While Hamilton is one of billions of people using social media, it’s what he uses it for that has the most impact. From video from the gubernatorial inauguration to photos of awards given during session, and the occasional latenights on the floor, Hamilton has created a world for his constituents—and many other South Carolinians—to deepen their understanding of the statehouse and how policy is made. “I try to think about what the ‘average Joe’ would like to see,” Hamilton says. “Social media is best used as two-way offers a great means of feedback.” And for Hamilton, who sees tort reform (H. 3374) , unemployment insurance debate (H. 3442) and the recent addition of the S.C. Angel Investment Act bill (H. 3044), it should soon prove to be a very busy schedule, indeed. “It’s cool—with my iPhone, I can sit in committee and get instant feedback from people,” he says. “I don’t think there’s ever been a time where citizens could actually communicate back and forth with their representatives in real time like that.”


Worked as an intern for Bob Inglis


Managed his father’s campaign for S.C. House District 20


Served as political director for Jim DeMint during his senior year of college


Graduated from Bob Jones University


Started the first Keller Williams office in South Carolina


Ran for office in House District 20


The facts: Number of Facebook “friends” of Hamilton (at time of publication) The S.C. House District that Hamilton represents, comprising areas of Taylors and Greer. Number of bills sponsored by Hamilton in Session 118 (five of which were passed) The FM radio station (WMUU) that airs “My Greenville Home” every second, fourth and fifth Saturday of each month, with Hamilton as host.

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1,935 20 8 94.5

63 63



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navigating the storm

Todd Korahais currently serves as Operating Partner for Keller Williams Realty. He has successfully built three different businesses and at age 31 sold his first business to a publicly-traded company. His community involvement includes several board positions and leadership roles in civic, business, and philanthropic organizations— most specifically, the Greenville Chamber of Commerce and Clemson University.

Business Black Box



If you’ve been following my column, then you’re probably aware that the topics I cover build upon each other in a sequence.The idea behind this is for you to integrate each of these columns into your career based on their respective topics. In other words, the parts may be valuable, but the true value lies in the integrated whole. The purpose behind this is twofold: as a salesperson, we can get sucked into thinking in short term increments, like from commission check to commission check. These columns are designed to help you think with a long-term strategy. The second purpose is to keep you buying Business Black Box (you’re welcome, guys!). Last issue, we discussed bracing for the upcoming economic storm. While it may seem like a storm right now, the truth is we are currently in the eye of the storm. What we went through since September 2008, is the front half of the storm. What’s coming this fall is the back half of the storm, which is always more destructive. The conversation you’re hearing on the evening news, talk radio and Sunday morning television about Congress raising the debt ceiling is something that you should be paying attention to.You may ask yourself, “Why, if there’s nothing I can do about it?” While this is true (like me, you’re probably not a voting member of Congress), we can still prepare in advance for the potential ramifications this may have on our respective businesses. If you’re in a business that’s commodity based, you can plan on an increase in the value of those commodities. We’ve all seen the increase in the commercials for “We Buy Gold.” The reason for this is not because the value of gold is going up. In fact, the value of gold doesn’t change at all. It simply takes more dollars to buy that same amount of gold, which means the value of the dollar is going down. However, not all businesses are commodity-based. If, in fact, your business deals with the debt financing of assets, like mine, you can anticipate a decrease in the value and pricing of those assets. The greatest example of this is the current housing crisis. When money was widespread and loan approvals were rampant, debt financing increased availability, which artificially drove up pricing, and now the day of reckoning is upon us.

by todd korahais

As a sales professional, this leaves you with a prognosis, and now we must determine the prescription for your success moving forward. The first thing I would do is get myself out of debt, both personally and professionally. The second thing I would do is figure out ways to restructure payment options for your existing clients that make business sense and are Win/Win for both of you. Please do not interpret this as me suggesting that you are the bail out option for your clients. Quite the contrary. If you can bring a solution on price and terms that keeps both of you in business, then you’re moving forward towards navigating the storm successfully. If I sound alarmed, it’s because I am. Many a ship has gone down because they interpreted the eye of the storm as the end of the storm. Make no mistake, many of your competitors will not survive the unfolding wrath that’s coming. Hopefully, these articles will help you survive the journey until the sailing is truly smooth again.

ck a b d Feestorm, adviseouanvdisit Q2 2011

y s. Brain when .com/Sale in h ig x we Bo Black Inside


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by Sarah Schiavoni

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It may be complex and intimidating, but knowing the “next steps” is half the battle. To the right, we’ve listed a basic breakdown of what a standard start-up might look like.

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(Connect the dots below to reveal the direction to success.)


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1. Create a Business Plan

Don’t know where to start? Find a great template at

2. Find more resources/assistance/ training

You can’t do it alone, and there’s a lot to learn. (See pg. 72 for more info).

c. You may be required to register with the South Carolina Employment Security Commission and the Workers’ Compensation Commission. d. The city or county where you locate your business may require you to obtain a local business license. A lawyer or small business adviser can be especially helpful in ensuring that you register with all the proper government agencies.

7. Get a TIN

If starting a business was easy, cheap and risk-free, everybody would do it. For some options, check out pg. 70.

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number, and is used to identify a business entity. Generally, businesses need an EIN.You may apply for an EIN in various ways, and now you may apply online at for free.

4. Choose your location

8. Register for State/Local Taxes

5. Find a good lawyer Determine your Legal Structure

9. Obtain licenses/permits

3. Find funding

Where do you want to work? Are you a coffee-shop bouncer or do you need a location that customers can find?

a. Sole proprietorship: business that is owned by an individual who is responsible for all aspects of the business. b. Partnership: legal entity that is jointly owned by two or more people. c. Corporation: business that is formed and authorized by law to act as a single person and is legally endowed with rights and responsibilities. d. Limited liability company: an unincorporated business association that provides its owners (members) limited liability and flexible management and financial alternatives. An LLC usually provides the favorable passthrough tax treatment of partnerships and the limited personal liability of corporations.

6. Register the Business

a. If your business is a corporation, limited partnership, limited liability company or limited liability partnership you need to register with the Secretary of State. b. Most businesses also must register with the S.C. Department of Revenue, with the exception of some small, sole proprietorship businesses that are servicerelated and not selling goods and products to customers.

Look into form SCTC-111, the Business Tax Application, which can be obtained from www.sctax. org or by calling (803) 898-5599.

Before you start a retail business in South Carolina, you will need a retail license. Apply for the license on Form SCTC-111.

10. Establish your brand

From your name to your logo, what does your brand look like and how does it speak to your customer?

11. Understand/Keep up to date on Employer Responsibility

If you aren’t savvy in the ins-and-outs of every facet of your business, including human resources and employment law, taxes, finances, marketing and accounting, make sure you have or keep in touch with someone who is.

12. Make Connections

The project doesn’t end once you are set up — it just changes into a constant game of creating relationships and partnerships that will strengthen your business. For some outlets, see p. 71. **For more info, visit


Business takes money. And a lot of companies have a hard time finding it. But here are some ideas on where to get it when you need it.

For Small Business/Start-Up Funding 1. Michelin Development 2. Upstate Carolina Angel Network/UCAN

For Knowledge Sector Funding 3. InnoVenture (connections to VCs and Angels) 4. SC Launch 5. South Carolina Research Authority/SCRA

For Specialized Sectors

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1. Governor’s Office of Small & Minority Business Assistance/SC OSMBA 2. SC Jobs-Economic Development Authority/SC JEDA 3. Service Corps of Retired Executives/SCORE 4. Small Business Administration/SBA 5. Appalachian Council of Governments


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Like a game of dominoes, the way to win is through making the right connections. By matching up with the right people, partnerships can be made that can change the way your business looks forever. Here are some great ideas on where to meet that next connection.

For Anybody 1.Your local Chamber of Commerce 2. New Carolina Council on Competititveness 3. Swamp Fox

For the Knowledge/Tech Sectors 1. InnoVenture 2. NEXT Upstate 3. SC Bio 4. Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson Technology Council (GSATC) 5. South Carolina Technology Alliance/SCTA

For Specialized Sectors 1. ExecNet: South Carolina Executive Network 2. Upstate Entrepreneur Forum/UEF Business Black Box

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(Finding the right resources can be the difference between success and failure. See if you can find all the resource words in the puzzle on the following page.)

There’s a lot more to learn than you can get on any website, and fortunately, there are groups and people in place already to help get you on your feet. So for guidance on how to get started, or learning the curves in areas you aren’t well-versed in, check out these groups.

For the Basics 1. Clemson Small Business Development Center/ SBDC 2. Service Corps of Retired Executives/SCORE 3. Small Business Administration/SBA 4. Appalachian Council of Governments 5. Arthur M. Spiro Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership 6. Upstate Entrepreneur Forum/UEF 7. FastTracSC® 8. SC Jobs-Economic Development Authority/SC JEDA 9. New Carolina

For Specialized Sectors 1. SC Bio 2. Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research/CU-ICAR 3. Greenville Spartanburg Anderson Technology Council/GSATC 4. SC Manufacturing Extension Partnership/SC MEP

For Minority Owned Businesses 1. SC Minority Business 2. Governor’s Office of Small & Minority Business Assistance/SC OSMBA

For Knowledge Sector Businesses Business Black Box

1. South Carolina Research Authority/SCRA 2. Clemson University Research Foundation/CURF (High tech) 3. InnoVenture 4. NEXT Upstate


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The Ultimate Resource Directory Each of the groups in this list is here for a reason— many are economic development engines, geared toward bringing in companies and helping pre-existing ones grow. Some are here to make the Upstate work better together. Some are here as tools for you to use, resources to utilize and people to get to know. * this organization is statewide ** this organization serves the entire Upstate

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Abbeville Chamber of Commerce 107 Court Square • Abbeville, SC 29620 (864) 366-4600 Abbeville County Development Board Steve Bowles Development Services Director P.O. Box 533 • Abbeville, SC 29620 (864) 366-2181 Access Greenville Anderson Chamber of Commerce 907 North Main Street, Suite 200 • Anderson, SC 29621 (864) 226-3454 Anderson County Office of Economic Development 126 N. McDuffie Street • Anderson, SC 29621 (864) 260-4386 Arthur M. Spiro Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership** 346 Sirrine Hall • Clemson, SC 29634 (864) 656-7235 Cherokee County Development Board 225 South Limestone Street • Gaffney, SC 29340 (864) 489-5721 City of Clinton Economic Development 211 North Broad Street • Clinton, SC 29325 (864) 833-7505 City of Greenville Economic Development 206 S. Main Street (9th floor) • Greenville, SC 29601 (864) 467-4401 City of Spartanburg Economic Development Economic Development Staff 201 Caulder Avenue, Wing D • Spartanburg, SC 29306 (864) 596-2972 or 864-596-3068 City of Union Municipal Building 101 Sharpe Avenue • P.O. Box 987 • Union, SC 29379 (864) 429-1700 Clemson Area Chamber of Commerce 1105 Tiger Boulevard • Clemson, SC 29631 (864) 654-1200 Clemson Small Business Development Center/SBDC** Clemson at the Falls 55 East Camperdown Way • Greenville, SC 29601 (864) 370-1545 Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research/CU-ICAR* CU-ICAR Partnership Offices 5 Research Drive • Greenville, SC 29607 (864) 283-7100


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APRIL 21–23

Detail: Ascension Window, Louis C. Tiffany. Stained glass, First Presbyterian Church, Topeka, KS. Photo credit: Wade Ramsey. ©2011 Bob Jones University. All Rights Reserved. (9759) 3/11

You’re invited to a one-of-a-kind Easter season presentation that weaves together music, original drama and “living art.”


adults, $11 children 6–12, $9 Children must be six years of age to be admitted.

prEsEntEd bY

b ob j on E s u n i v Er s i t Y a n d t h E M us E u M & G a l l E r Y r o d E h E av E r a u d i to r i u M

visit to order tickets, watch videos and learn more.

7 Bob Jones University

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Clemson University Research Foundation/CURF** 91 Technology Drive • Anderson, SC 29625 (864) 656-1132 Easley Chamber of Commerce 2001 E. Main Street • P.O. Box 241 • Easley, SC 29641 (864) 859-2693 Economic Development Alliance Of Pickens County Alliance Pickens 509 S. Lewis Street, Suite B • Pickens, SC 29671 (864) 898-1500 Economic Futures Group * P.O. Box 1636 • Spartanburg, SC 29304 (864) 594-5000 EngenuitySC* P.O. Box. 50768 • Columbia, SC 29250 (803) 783-1507 ExecNet: South Carolina Executive Network* 2750 Speissegger Drive • N. Charleston, SC 29445 (843) 577-2510 FastTracSC® Mary Dickerson, Director P.O. Box 975 • Charleston, SC 29402 (843) 805-3089 Fountain Inn Chamber of Commerce 102 Depot Street • Fountain Inn, SC 29644 (864) 862-2586 Governor’s Office of Small & Minority Business Assistance/SC OSMBA* 1205 Pendleton Street, Suite 440-A • Columbia, SC 29201 (803) 734-0507 Greenville Area Development Corporation/GADC 233 N. Main Street, Suite 250 • Greenville, SC 29601 (864) 235-2008 Greenville Chamber of Commerce 24 Cleveland Street • Greenville, SC 29601 (864) 242-1050 Greenville Spartanburg Anderson Technology Council/GSATC* GSA Technology Council 209 North Main Street, #201 • Greenville, SC, 29601 (800) 688-2094 Greenville Forward 14 Manly Street · Greenville, SC 29601 (864) 233-8443 Greenwood Chamber of Commerce 110 Phoenix Street • Greenwood, SC 29646 (864) 223-8431 Greenwood Partnership Alliance 109 West Court Avenue • Greenwood, SC 29649 (864) 388-1250 Greer Chamber of Commerce 111 Trade Street • Greer, SC 29651 (864) 877-3131 Greer Development Corporation 111-B S. Main Street • Greer, SC 29650 (864) 416-0125

1700 Wade Hampton Blvd. • Greenville, SC 29614

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Business Black Box

INNOVATE Anderson 126 North McDuffie Street • Anderson, SC 29621 (864) 260-1062 InnoVenture* (864) 561-6609 Laurens Chamber of Commerce P.O. Box 248 • Laurens, SC 29360 (864) 833-2716 Laurens County Development Corporation 291 Professional Park Road • Clinton, SC 29325 (864) 939-0580 Mauldin Chamber of Commerce 101 East Butler Road • Mauldin, SC 29662 (864) 297-1323 Michelin Development** (864) 458-6038 New Carolina - SC’s Council on Competitiveness* 1411 Gervais Street, Suite 315 • Columbia, SC 29201 (803) 760-1400 NEXT Upstate** 411 University Ridge • Greenville, SC 29601 (864) 751-4806 Oconee (Seneca) Chamber of Commerce 105A Ram Cat Alley • Seneca, SC 29678 (864) 882-2097 Oconee County Economic Development Commission 502 East Main Street • Walhalla, SC 29691 (864) 638-4210 Palmetto Institute* 1411 Gervais Street, Suite 450 • Columbia, SC 29201 (803) 806-8106 Partnership for a Greater Greenwood County & Economic Alliance 109 West Court Avenue • Greenwood, SC 29649 (864) 388-1250 Pickens Chamber of Commerce 222 West Main Street • P.O. Box 153 • Pickens, SC 29671 (864) 878-3258 Saluda Chamber of Commerce 111 North Main Street • Saluda, SC 29138 (864) 445-4100 SC Chamber of Commerce* 1201 Main Street, Suite 1700 • Columbia, SC 29201 (803) 799-4601 SC Department of Commerce* 1201 Main Street, Suite 1600 • Columbia, SC 29201 (803) 737-0400 SC Economic Developers’ Association* 1122 Lady Street, Suite 1115 • Columbia, SC 29201 (803) 929-0305 SC Jobs-Economic Development Authority/SC JEDA* 1201 Main Street, Suite 1600 • Columbia, SC 29201 (803) 737-0268


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SC Launch* (Greenville Office) CU-ICAR International Center for Automotive Research 5 Research Drive (4th Floor) • Greenville, SC 29607 (803) 733-9070 or (843) 760-5896 SC Manufacturing Extension Partnership/SC MEP* (Greenville Office) 216 South Pleasantburg Drive, Suite 283 • Greenville, SC 29607 (864) 288-5687 SC Minority Business* Service Corps of Retired Executives/SCORE* Piedmont SCORE Federal Building, Room B-02 300 E. Washington Street • Greenville, SC 29601 (864) 221-3638 (Greenville, SC Simpsonville Chamber of Commerce 211 N. Main Street • P.O. Box 605 • Simpsonville, SC 29681 (864) 963-3781 Small Business Administration/SBA* South Carolina District Office 1835 Assembly Street, Suite 1425 • Columbia, SC 29201 (803) 765-5377 South Carolina Appalachian Council of Governments** 30 Century Circle • P.O. Box 6668 • Greenville, SC 29606 (864) 242-9733 South Carolina Research Authority/SCRA* SCRA Corporate 1000 Catawba Street • Columbia, SC 29201 (803) 799-4070 South Carolina Technology Alliance/SCTA* 1201 Main Street, Suite 1920 • Columbia, SC 29201 (803) 748-1323 Spartanburg Development Association/SDA** 1004 South Pine Street • Spartanburg, SC 29302 (864) 585-1007 Swamp Fox* Ten at the Top** 124 Verdae Boulevard, Suite 202 • Greenville, SC 29607 (864) 283-2315 Union Chamber of Commerce 135 West Main Street • Union, SC 29379 (864) 427-9039 Union County Development Board 207 South Herndon Street • Union, SC 29379 (864) 319-1097 Upstate Carolina Angel Network/UCAN** NEXT Innovation Center 411 University Ridge, Suite 211 • Greenville, SC 29601 Upstate Entrepreneur Forum/UEF** Upstate SC Alliance** 124 Verdae Boulevard, Suite 202 • Greenville, SC 29607 (864) 283-2300


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growing your business–part 2 of your selling system

Business Black Box

Terry Weaver is the owner and CEO of Chief Executive Boards International, a peer advisory community for successful business owners and CEO’s. He is also the national CEO of Peer Advisory organization. Terry has held many leadership positions, such as Divisional VP for Johnson Controls, Inc., President/COO, of KEMET Corporation, and director of two Japanese Joint Ventures. He is also founder of Metaprise Consulting and Delta Resource Group.


What’s the essential business process you have to own in order to grow your business? A selling system. A documented, explainable process that keeps your pipeline full of suspects, prospects, proposals and closed orders. In my experience, fewer than 25 percent of businesses have one. For the rest, each month’s revenue is a surprise—some ok; most below target. Here’s a link to overview of a selling system: Last month, we explored Lead Generation, a critical failing of most selling systems. This month, we’re talking about Opportunity Development­ —that discovery process where we determine whether a suspect (not yet a prospect) has a real need for what we do. Buying decisions are emotional, not logical (perhaps later logically justified). There’s not going to be a sale unless one of two human emotions is in play­— fear or greed. Fear is an opportunity. Fear of liability, fear of failure, fear of loss of status, fear of bankruptcy. These are strong drivers. If a suspect (not yet a prospect) has a fear that our product or service addresses, he’s a strong candidate to become a prospect. Greed is another opportunity. The desire for more income, more status, more respect, more success, more personal indulgence. Almost all consumer products are sold to this emotion. About the only things sold to consumers’ fear are insurance and safety-related products, like car

Q2 2011

by terry weaver

seats and smoke detectors. A person driven by either fear or greed is in pain. Pain-finding is a critical step in a selling system and a critical skill in a sales person—find out where it hurts (what the suspect fears or covets) and you’ll find an opportunity to sell something. If you can’t find pain and identify it as either fear or greed, move on. Your selling system needs to quickly parse through suspects and retain only those who have some pain. Then, it’s about fit. Fit between the pain and our solution. Does what we provide really soothe the suspect’s pain? Can we easily demonstrate that, and can the suspect clearly make the connection, more emotionally than logically? If not, move on. Imagine yourself as a sales manager addressing his sales force, saying, “Folks, we sell hammers. Your job is finding prospects who have problems that look like nails.” If your product or service isn’t a glove-fit to the suspect’s pain, move on and find one where that’s the case. So, does your selling system have a good opportunity development process—a welldefined method by which you determine whether there’s some pain—whether fear or greed—and confirm that there’s a glovefit between your product or service and alleviating that pain? If not, it’s a critical missing link in your selling system. More next month on part three of your selling sytem: Qualifying—the process of choosing the “best few” prospects on which to spend time.

ck a b d Fee advise and

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Q2 2011


b o x 11 QUESTIONS

1. What was your first job? My first job was in high school; the first half of my shift was on the convenience store side restocking shelves, cleaning and processing meat for the diner side. 2. What are some skills you developed early that you’ve found to be essential to your practices now? I began managing personnel and projects at a very early age; long before I had a degree...I learned to treat people with fairness and respect which takes me much further than disrespecting or degrading them. Relationships are far more productive then. 3. How do you strike a balance between your personal and professional lives? I constantly remind myself of my priorities: what God wants, family, work and then everything else—in that order. I try my best to complete all work tasks during the time I am at work...and I try to limit the amount of work activity that interferes with family time. 4. What are some strategies you use to keep yourself in check? Simply remembering that my life is not my own helps me stay focused. I don’t get caught up into titles or positions because they come and go. Being a child of God is the best title that I can wear and it’s the only one that will never go away at the end of the day.

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5. If you could choose one principle you know now that you wish you had known earlier, what would that be? “Opportunities of a lifetime must be seized in the lifetime of the opportunity”. There were some opportunities that I passed on when I was younger that I wish I had taken advantage of when they presented themselves. It’s never too late most of the time, but it typically calls for more sacrifice than it would have before.


6. If you retired tomorrow and could change to any field except the one you are in now, what would you pick? I think I would become a teacher or professor. Shaping and forming the lives of youth is a tremendous service to society. Despite the all of the turmoil within our education system on every level, I think this would be the most meaningful and fulfilling way to spend my retirement. It’s either that, or try my hand at acting and singing; I think teaching would be safer for all of us.

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7. What was your biggest failure as a professional and how did you recover from that failure? My biggest failure came when I became the leader of a program that was having financial woes and the sustainability of the program was at risk. I was not able to turn the program’s situation around as we all had hoped, but I was able to find a new and creative way for the work to go forth within a neighboring program. I recovered simply because I knew that I tried and didn’t run from a growth opportunity. 8. What is your vision for the Kroc Center? My vision is very much in line with what Mrs. Kroc intended —access to opportunities and an opportunity to discover possibilities. Our center will be a hub of life and opportunity for anyone within our community no matter background or status of any sorts. 9. What about the opportunity to serve at the Kroc Center appealed to you? This was a great opportunity to be a part of three things that I am truly passionate about; ministry, service to the community, and impacting the lives of youth. I am blessed to have an opportunity to do all these things through my professional endeavor here at the Kroc Center. 10. What is the first task you’re going to work on? I am making sure the leadership team is all on the same page with what the Kroc Center needs to be for the Greenville community...Once everyone has the same shared vision we can move forward with developing our body of work that will drive the operations of the Center. 11. How is your job different now than it will be when the Kroc Center is completed? Currently, I am spending a great deal of time researching, exploring and developing programs and activities for the center. However, once the center is complete we will be in implementation and maintenance mode. This simply means I will be constantly monitoring those programs and activities to make sure they are functioning as we envisioned them.


To read our complete interview with Quenton Thompkins, visit insideblackbox. com. Photo by Wayne Culpepper/FishEye Studios

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south carolina stands firm against labor unions by john deworken John DeWorken is partner in The Sunnie Harmon and John DeWorken Group, a pro-business government relations and advocacy firm, committed to giving each client the personalized attention it needs to reach its goals.

latter may be true in Pelosi’s San Francisco Haight-Ashbury district, but not in the solidly pro-jobs belt of South Carolina. Haley, Harrell and Templeton certainly are no union boss favorites. It might be safe to say that they are collectively and individually the antithesis of what union bosses are looking for in candidates. According to the American Institute for Economic Research, “Since 1990, labor unions have contributed over $667 million in election campaigns in the United States, of which $614 Increased productivity and job creation is made possible through million or 92 percent went to support Democratic candidates. In teamwork, camaraderie and innovation, not through collective 2008, unions spent $74.5 million in campaign contributions, with bargaining and arbitration. That message has been clearly delivered $68.3 million going to the Democratic Party.” With Card Check to union bosses throughout the nation by South Carolina’s new being the number one legislative issue among unions, Haley, Harrell governor, Nikki Haley, its new director of Labor License and and Templeton are to be sure to fight unions every step of their way. Regulation (LLR), Catherine Templeton, and by South Carolina Haley’s new LLR appointee, Catherine Templeton, also has Speaker of the House Bobby Harrell. asserted her own anti-union stance: “In my experience I have Only days after taking office, found there is not one company that Governor Haley said this about unions: operates more efficiently when you “There’s no secret I don’t like the unions. Let me be very clear ... this is put another layer of bureaucracy in. ... We are a right-to-work state. I will do We will do everything we can to work an anti-union administration everything I can to defend the fact we with Boeing and make sure that their are a right-to-work state. We are prowork force is taken care of, that they - Governor Nikki Haley business by nature. I want us to continue run efficiently and that we don’t add to be pro-business. If they don’t like what anything unnecessarily.” I said, I’m sorry, that’s how I feel.” That anti-union position is not unexpected. Templeton is an You don’t get any clearer than that. attorney for Ogletree Deakins, a labor and employment law firm Bobby Harrell, the state’s Speaker of the House, which in South in South Carolina. According to Ogletree Deakins, Templeton has Carolina is one of the state’s most influential elected officials, has been involved in union avoidance for the past 14 years and has spent the last three years joining South Carolina Representative Eric extensive experience with national labor campaigns against the Bedingfield in the fight against “Card Check” legislation, federal UAW, IBEW, and the Teamsters. She has spent the last couple of legislation that would allow unions to infiltrate South Carolina’s years traveling around the United States providing training on the right-to-work state employers. Employee Free Choice Act. Harrell and Bedingfield, along with South Carolina Senate If there ever was a statement that Haley could make, appointing Majority Leader Harvey Peeler, successfully pushed for a South a clear anti-union advocate to the LLR director’s post is it. Carolina Constitutional Amendment that guarantees South As a result of Haley and Templeton’s aggressive anti-union Carolina workers the right to a secret ballot election in union votes comments, the International Association of Machinists, as well as – a clear push against President Obama and Democratic Leader the AFL-CIO, filed suit in federal court demanding that Haley and Nancy Pelosi’s pro-union agenda. As a result, the National Labor Templeton cease all rhetoric and remain neutral on union issues. Relations Board is expected to take South Carolina to court over Though ultimately thrown out of court, the plaintiffs claimed the Constitutional Amendment. Haley and Templeton’s actions, “taken under the color of state law, As a top priority by union bosses and President Obama, as well as intimidate and coerce workers so that they are compelled to refrain Democrats in Congress, federal Card Check legislation, otherwise from joining or supporting labor organizations.” erroneously known as the Employee Free Choice Act, would The Machinists Union representative went on to say that Haley remove the rights of workers to a secret ballot election during a and Templeton’s actions are unprecedented for state elected officials. union vote. It also would provide that after a collective bargaining In South Carolina, it is clear that Haley, Harrell and Templeton was established, if an agreement wasn’t reached, a federal bureaucrat are certain to ensure union bosses, pro-union National would intervene and set the employer’s contract for its employees – Labor Relations Board members and even in right-to-work states, such as South Carolina. collective bargaining agents stay Speaker Pelosi, in addressing a crowd of 3,000 AFL-CIO clear of infiltrating South members said, “Our work in Congress is based on two truths: Carolina’s workforce. nd vise a isit d America’s economy is only as strong as America’s middle class; a , storm you v itics. America’s middle class is only as strong as America’s unions.” The Brain in when com/Pol . h weig BlackBox e d i s In Q2 2011 85 85


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101 101 DAYS


2,424 hours

145,440 MINUTES

8,726,400 SECONDS

With 1.3 million tractor-trailer trucks on the road at any given time, pressure is increasing to provide environmentally-friendly solutions. SmartTruck, a two-year-old company in the Upstate, can provide those solutions. But how long will it take to turn an industry around? Hurdling towards disaster OR conquering the mighty competition.

the PEople

After years of design and testing,

Because of increasing laws and

was founded by Mike Henderson and

SmartTruck has fully realized a system

regulations on the trucking industry,

Mitch Greenberg, and their partners

focused on upgrades to current trailer

the need to reduce drag and emissions

SteveWulff and Bob Balachowski, to face

designs, and are now working on a

was increasing, while at the same time

the challenge of making transport trucks

new design that would implement

the economy was not being kind to

the changes upon manufacturing.

those truckers who spent most of their

With partnerships that include the

time on the road. For the 1.3 million

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

trucks on U.S. roads at any given time,

his own engineering company where

and its Jaguar computer lab (the

half of the energy of those trucks is

he focused on designs for race teams,

world’s fastest super-computer) and

being lost in drag.

and eventually was commissioned by

NASA, SmartTruck is in a position

So for Greenberg, President, and

Ford to create a low-drag hybrid vehicle.

to change the trucking industry one

Henderson, CEO, the purpose is

Meanwhile, Greenberg, then with the

truck at a time, and is now focusing

simple—to improve fuel efficiency

on the rollout of sales dedicated to

and make the trucking industry

their trailer components, which can

more efficient and environmentally-

reduce drag on a tractor-trailer unit

friendly. With Frito-Lay and Con-way

by up to 10 percent.

Truckload as current customers, they

who came from a background in the aviation industry where he worked in the design sector for Boeing, had started

Environmental Protection Agency, had created the SmartWay program, which Business Black Box


Almost two years ago, SmartTruck

and trailers more efficient. Henderson,


the PLAN

recognizes trucking fleets for operating efficient trucks. When Greenberg heard about the Ford project, he approached Henderson, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Q2 2011

seem to have their sights on the goal.

Because of their relationship and use of Oak Ridge National Lab’s Jaguar super computer for testing the aerodynamics of their truck and trailer designs, Henderson has been asked to present at a conference on High Performance Computing in Chattanooga. He presents to the audience his perspective on being the first small company doing an industrial project to use the computer and report out on it, as contrasted to the medical and future-science jobs that are typically run at Oak Ridge. “Overall, they were very happy with that,” says Henderson.

To have a clean

Current protocol with the EPA to become certified is near impossible to run cleanly, and Henderson and Greenberg meet with the agency to discuss future alternatives.

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40-mile session where neither truck has a burn takes a lot...with modern trucks it’s almost

Day 14:



Day 11:

101 DAYS

“The problem is that randomly, a truck will have a “fuel burn” which can throw off the data,” Henderson says. “To have a clean 40-mile session where neither (of two trucks) has a burn takes a lot...with modern trucks it’s almost impossible.” Instead, they are pushing to use aero data to predict mileage, but it’s a project that may take another year or so to perfect.

Day 15:

At a board meeting, the meeting with EPA is reported on, as is the first sales—Con-way Truckload will buy SmartTruck components to retrofit all of their trailers. But because the test trailer was at a show (to boost sales) and not in testing, they missed the retrofit by two weeks. Since then, the installation team, run by Steve Wulff and Henderson’s son Ian, has been to Con-way Truckload’s main facility to train their team on installation of the parts, and everything is back on track. Mike Henderson Photo by Wayne Culpepper/FishEye Studios



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101 DAYS

ability to showcase the UnderTray to fleets.” Day 20: The first full truckload shipment of the UnderTrays is on its way to Con-way Truckload. The shipments will be shipped Day 56: As an important milestone, the 100th UnderTray shipped. It’s a signal that production is building up, which is continuously over the next three to four isencouraging to the leadership of SmartTruck. years to fully outfit each of Con-way Truckload’s 8,000 trailers.

Day 57:

Focused once again on EPA testing and certification standards, Henderson and Greenberg are part of the SAE aero committee call, developing protocols for aerodynamic measurements. “We’re part of the committee that is figuring out how you actually do the testing and get the data.”

Word is getting around, and a local trucker stops by the office to inquire about the SmartTruck system. Henderson offers him a reduced price if the trucker (an independent) reports back continually on how the system is working, and brings the product back in for repairs or maintenance. The trucker agrees to be a “durability tester” and immediately notices a difference — the truck not only shows a seven percent increase in fuel mileage, but also handles much better.

Day 28:

“We weren’t designing for that, but because the wake is stabilized and “pushed down” in the back, the shaking of steering is reduced,” Henderson says. Further data proves that without the system a driver will move the steering wheel twice as much to keep steady.

Day 27:

Greenberg attends a meeting with EPA and the U.S. State Department on the growing market for green freight and logistics technologies in China. This federal partnership is looking to assist China to integrate innovative technologies, like the SmartTruck UnderTray, into Chinese fleets.

Day 69: The installation team is sent to Tijuana, Mexico, for an installation with Hyundai Translead, another major trailer manufacturer.

Day 31: Wal-mart requests two UnderTray systems to use as evaluation of the product for a few months. “There are some interesting issues with them,” says Henderson.

Business Black Box

“Their trailers are a bit different, so we have to develop a special kit for them to retrofit the piece.” In the future, a piece will be made on the initial build to help adapt their equipment to the system.


Day 42:

SmartTruck secures a second dealer partnership— Trudell Trailers in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan—which helps get the product in front of fleets and owner operators in the Great Lakes area. An installation team is sent north to help train on the retrofit. “Trudell Trailers is one of Great Dane’s largest dealers in the country,” says Greenberg. “Trudell will dramatically expand our Q22011 Q1 2011

Day 70: Con-way Truckload wants to speed up the retrofits

of their units, and increase volume shipped. They also want to modify the system to make it quicker. Henderson complies and teams up with Con-way to meet the goals. “We were able to work with them and get our install time down to three hours,” he says.

Day 73:

Greenberg meets with the American Trucking Associations (ATA), the trucking industry’s largest and most influential association, about EPA’s new regulatory strategies. “SmartTruck and ATA share many similar ideas about how freight programs should be constructed,” says Greenberg.

Day 76:

At the first distrib utor showcase of the UT system, Midlands Carrier Transicold in Nebraska hosts an Open House and shows off the system. Midlands specializes in refrigerated trailers that haul food and other perishables. Greenberg notes, “Refrigerated units are a huge part of the market.”


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Day 92: Even MSNBC is picking up on SmartTruck and their product, posting a story online about the potential effect of the system on the trucking industry.

Day 101: SmartTruck is contacted by Great Dane Trailers

Day 79:

Heavy Duty Trucking Magazine spends the afternoon with SmartTruck, covering them for an article they are working on honoring the Top 20 products of 2010. Henderson is impressed. “They are pretty prestigious,” he says, “and I’m never going to turn down free publicity.”

in Savannah, Ga., one of the biggest trailer manufacturers. SmartTruck meets with Great Dane to discuss ways to partner. Henderson and Greenberg are encouraged by the meeting and expect it to move further.  

UPDATE Day 90:

At the TMC Conference, SmartTruck receives the award from Heavy Duty Trucking Magazine as one of the Top 20 Products in 2010.

To receive this type of award so quickly, just three months after we unveiled the Undertray System, is a fantastic surprise,” says Greenberg. “This recognition shows that SmartTruck has designed a gamechanging product.

The first priority, moving forward, is production support and increasing sales to boost the company even further. But as a second priority, design has already begun on optimization of a Class 8 truck. “This has never been done before, so we’re beginning to develop some of that in partnership with NASA,” Henderson says. Eventually, he adds, that will lead to the design of a super-trailer, where the tractor is the same, but the SmartTruck components are built-in instead of added later. Preliminary work of a full design of both tractor and trailer is on the horizon, but will probably take two years to complete. Still, with a potential of 60 percent reduction in drag, it’s

something exciting that keeps them moving forward.

Day 91: Partners involved with SmartTruck are excited about

the award win, especially Oak Ridge National lab. They report to the Department of Energy, and the story ends up being discussed on the White House blog.

Do you have a business you’d like us to follow for 101 Days? Mergers, start-ups, new events and big changes always make for a great story, and we want to hear yours. Email us at and give us a look into what you and your company is about to do. We’d love to spend the next 101 Days with you.

Q2 2011

Business Black Box

We were blown away that our industry award ended up on a White House blog,” says Greenberg. “DOE may have been more excited about the award than we were.

Do you have a business venture that you would like us to track? Drop us a note and let us know more:

101 DAYS



b o x SPEED PITCH All of us have things that remind us of special times or special people — but Shannon Batson has found a way to keep those memories close in a very special way. But do her Creative Treasures have what it takes to make it in such a niche market?

Shannon Batson Creative Treasures

The Pitch: This business was created after the death of my Grandfather. When he passed away, I wanted to find a way for my family to embrace his special memories. I took some of his favorite shirts, pants and some handkerchiefs, and turned these pieces into teddy bears for each member of the family. We called them Memory Bears. I found that families were looking for a way to embrace the memories of their loved ones or those special moments in their lives. Memory Bears give them the opportunity to have their special memories made into a one-ofa-kind heirloom teddy bear, which can be created from items such as wedding dresses, baby blankets, fur coats, etc. The possibilities are endless and each bear is unique. Flowers will wither way and eventually die but a Memory Bear will last a lifetime. Show family, friends and loved ones that you care by giving such a unique gift during their time of loss. This product is hard to market due to the fact that most orders are received online through our website. Our future goals include focusing in on specific demographics where the product is needed, including funeral homes and hospitals, as well as bridal stores and baby boutiques.

Photo by Wayne Culpepper/FishEye Studios

Brainstorm, advise, weigh in.

Wanna offer your advice? Log on to

Business Black Box

What They Say...


In general, I really like the concept for Creative Treasures. I think overall market potential is quite expansive. There are a few things that I’d encourage Shannon to consider. First, while the name of the business is fitting, it’s not particularly unique. A quick search reveals a number of similar types of businesses by the same name, so she might look for a more unique name to help establish her brand and lead to quicker hits in online searches. Second, given that most of Shannon’s business is conducted online, spending some money to make the online experience as welcoming, professional and simple as possible would be a good investment. Q2 2011

Third, while the business was born out of the loss of a loved one, I think Shannon rightly points out that her creations are appropriate keepsakes for many types of events and occasions. Rather than framing the brand with a primary focus on lost loved ones, it can be crafted as a trusted source of heirlooms for all the important occasions and people in our lives. I like that she is currently focused on just one type of product but as she builds for the long-term, I would encourage her to think about how to not only scale the volume of teddy bears she could make, but also what types of additional product line extensions she could offer to appeal to an even broader audience.

Matt Dunbar Managing Partner, Carolina Network

Upstate Angel

Shannon does here what I see many business owners fail to do when they pitch their business concept or idea—she effectively expresses the need or void her product fills. Immediately following up with telling how her Memory Bears are the solution to the previously mentioned need is the way to verbalize that there is a legitimate demand for what she does. I would, however, tweak a couple

of things in her pitch. In her opening statement, after telling the name of the business, I think she needs to briefly add what Creative Treasures does or sells. And last toward the end, I see where she’s attempting to describe the challenge of marketing to a potentially grieving end customer and the solution of targeting the funeral industry and hospitals. I’m not sure if that was clearly communicated. Tony Snipes Small Business Advisor Business Black Box

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KIDBIZ Black b ox

how your kids can sell their arts and crafts online Tony Snipes is director of Redemption Marketplace Alliance, a Greenville-based entrepreneurship training program, where he utilizes a unique combination of years of leadership experience in the corporate arena with ministry experience in the community. Tony has spent over a decade as an Internet publishing and advertising expert, helping clients for news media companies such as the Greenville News, The St. Petersburg Times, and News Channel 7 WSPA. Tony’s three daughters offer him a unique perspective that he brings to KidBiz.

by tony snipes

percent transaction fee and keep the rest. As a seller, you and your young entrepreneur get your own easy-to-use online shop. Your hand crafted items can be found by buyers from all over who come directly to looking for unique gifts. Better yet, you can tell local people to go to your Etsy site to buy from your son or daughter. Linking from Facebook to your Etsy online store would be a great way to sell the work of your young artisan.

.............................................................................. Is It Different from E-bay? ............................................................................ .. HowAlthough dbay has a larger audience and yes, artisans Last year, my daughters did a phenomenal job creating their very own hand made jewelry and then selling that jewelry at a local craft fair within their school. I was so proud of them and they were pleased to see that they could earn their own money by “making stuff!” Unfortunately this year, the school did not launch that same event, so my girls did not get to repeat their success. With that in mind, I came a cross a solution that I think we’ll try and you should, too, especially if your son or daughter is the creative type. I’ve found a website especially for those that love to make or buy hand crafted items. The site is called Etsy. com and it is an e-commerce site focused on handmade and vintage items, art, photos, other knickknacks and even edibles. It’s been around since 2005 and has proven itself to be a reputable venue for the local crafter that wants to sell outside of their immediate local reach or just wants to use the power of the Internet even for local selling.

have had success with selling handcrafted items on the site, Etsy targets the buyer that appeals to buying handcrafted items. Visitors to ebay and other sites may not recognize the value in buying hand-crafted art or jewelry. Etsy’s buyers not only recognize the value in buying unique, one-of-a-kind items, they are also willing to pay for it. The best what to see if Etsy would be a good method for your kids to sell their arts and crafts online is to go directly to for yourself and look for items similar to what your child enjoys making.


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Business Black Box

How It Works:

Just like similar e-commerce sites such as ebay or, you and your child sign up to be “Sellers,” then you list your items on Etsy for a very small fee. It only costs 20 cents to list your item for four months. If it sells, you ship the item to the customer, pay a small 3.5

ou v stor iz. Brain in when y om/KidB c . h x weig lackBo eB Q2 2011 93 Insid


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Freelance Opportunities Local talent is what keeps us moving. If you’d like to write or photograph for Business Black Box, please contact the editor at or by mail to Business Black Box, c/o Freelance Opportunities, 1200 Woodruff Rd., Suite A8, Greenville, SC 29607.

RePRINT/Photo/Video Requests If you’d like to request a copy or a reprint of a photo or an article you’ve seen in Business Black Box, or of a Fly On The Wall video we’ve done for your event, please contact us for info and pricing at or by mail to 1200 Woodruff Rd., Suite A8, Greenville, SC 29607.

Event Management/ Sponsorship Business Black Box hosts events monthly–from Business Connect networking held at local businesses to sponsoring events for other local organizations. If you’d like to find out more about hosting an event with Business Black Box, or about working with us to sponsor your event, please call our sales team at (864) 281-1323, ext. 1018, or email

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Business Black Box (Vol.3, Issue 2) is published four times per year by ShowCase Publishing, 1200 Woodruff Rd. Suite A8, Greenville, SC 29607; phone (864) 281-1323; fax (864) 281-1310. Business Black Box is a registered trademark of ShowCase Publishing © 2011. Content may not be reproduced without written permission of Business Black Box. Excerpts may be reprinted, provided that credit is given to the author and to Business Black Box magazine., Q2 2011



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All Occasion Celebrations • • 46 Courtyard Marriott • • 1 fête Greenville • • 95 Fisheye Studios • • 62 Greenville Road Warriors • • 7 Greer State Bank • • IBC GROW Expo • • 24 Hilton Garden Inn • • BC Holiday Inn Express • • 17 Innoventure Southeast • • 22 Larry J.Carlton Roofing • • 5 Living Healthy Technologies • • 76 Max Motivation • • 81 Nantucket Seafood Grill • • 84 Palmetto Pride • • 2 Pinnacle Bank • • 65 Professional Healthcare Services • • 13 Quality Business Solutions • • 76 Rick Erwin’s West End Grille • • 37 Sequoyah National Golf • • 19 St. Francis Mud Run • • 14 Structured IT • • IFC Table 301 • • 10 Ten at the Top • • 91

A Multimedia Celebration of Downtown Greenville

The Living Gallery • • 77

Water Of Life • • 92

Look for us online

Wolf Technology • • 81 WORD • • 50 Younts Conference Center • • 46 Q2 2011

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Trade Bank • • 32





issy Johnson’s favorite quote is one from Mother Theresa:

“The world today is hungry, not only for bread, but hungry for love; hungry to be wanted, to be loved.”

It’s a saying that has propelled Johnson into a life dedicated to senior citizens—a population that Johnson says can be “lonely” but “full of wisdom.” As editor of All About Seniors, an Upstate resource guide for seniors and their families, and host of the Prime of Life TV show on Fox, Johnson is a huge proponent of anything serving the senior community. Her love for her grandparents, originally from Czechoslovakia, gave birth to a desire for stories based on their experiences and histories, and eventually propelled her during college. At the University of Georgia, Johnson did everything necessary to be able to work on the “Georgia Centenarian Study” where they asked the question: “Is there an elixir for aging?” Of course, there isn’t, but the study was enough to ignite a passion for the senior community that continues today. It’s why she serves as the board chair for the Alzheimer’s Association of South Carolina, as well as on the board of Meals on Wheels of Greenville. “I love the stories,” Johnson says. “I love making a difference in our community and focusing on a segment of the population that needs our care.” The need is great—recent statistics say that in our region, more than 196,000 people are over the age of 65, and four of our Upstate counties have high percentages of seniors living alone (up to 29.5 percent in Cherokee county). It’s this population that Johnson was born to serve, and in which she sees the needs so clearly.

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After all, she says, “I live my passion to be a servant leader.”


Missy Johnson and Neil Connor, her co-host from the Prime of Life TV show on Fox TV. Photo by Wayne Culpepper/FishEye Studios Q2 2011

Business Black Box - Q2 - 2011  

Business Black Box, Q2, 2011

Business Black Box - Q2 - 2011  

Business Black Box, Q2, 2011