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Business Black Box

Quarter 4 • 2015

U.S. $5.95







Q4 2015











Business Black Box Q4 2015

D E PA R T M E N T S 10














































Business Black Box Q4 2015


Photo by Wayne Culpepper/FishEye Studios














A team of experienced, connected business leaders from different regions and industries, who advise us regularly on trends, changes, growth, and progress in Upstate business.


OUR STORY... 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. News of businesses 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.



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.


Business Black Box (Vol.7, Issue 4) is published four times per year by ShowCase Publishing, 200 North Main St, Suite 201, Greenville SC 29601 phone (864) 281-1323; fax (864) 281-1310.


Business Black Box is a registered trademark of ShowCase Publishing 2015. 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.


Michael Bolick, CEO, Selah Genomics Julie Godshall Brown, President, Godshall Staffing Andy Coburn, Attorney, Wyche Law Firm John Deworken, Partner, Sunnie & Deworken Matt Dunbar, Managing Director, Upstate Carolina Angel Network Chip Felkel, CEO, The Felkel Group Greg Hillman, Executive Director, SCRA/SC Launch! Tiffany Hughes, Director Of Marketing, Meyco Products Dean Hybl, Executive Director, Ten at the Top Coleman Kirven, Commercial Banking Executive, The Palmetto Bank Todd Korahais, Operating Partner, Keller Williams Realty Jil Littlejohn, President, Urban League of the Upstate Sam Patrick, CEO, Patrick Marketing & Communications Nigel Robertson, Anchor, WYFF Ravi Sastry, VP Of Sales & Marketing, Immedion Tony Snipes, Business Coach & Entrepreneur Terry Weaver, CEO, Chief Executive Boards International Amy Wood, Anchor, WSPA




AUGMENTED REALITY Go to your app store and download the Layar app. (available for iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Google Glass) When you see this mark on any page, the page has something else to show you. Just scan that page, in full, with your Layar scanner, and it will pop onto your mobile device’s screen. 8

Business Black Box Q4 2015






WHEN LOOKING BACK IS BETTER I recently approved a “Memories” app on Facebook. The whole point is to show me where I was, on this day, and what I was posting. It’s pretty cool, when you have time to actually click back through and really reflect on it. Today was one of those few cherished times where I did that. And here’s what I saw: Last year, the family went on their first hike together, to Issaqueena and Burrells Ford. We apparently took a lot of pictures. The year before that, my cat was missing and I was desperately searching for her. A friend asks what color I want the afghan she’s making. UGA is playing USC and I’m listening on the radio because I’m spending a day at Folly Beach with the kids. In 2012, I had taken quite a bit of time away from Facebook because we were busy launching a new revenue model for the magazine. This year is blank. The year before that, I’m remembering a friend, a year after his death. It still stings. I wrote a column for another local magazine on Leadership. The year before that, I’m in Indiana, visiting family, on the last time I’ll see my Grandpa in person. My daughter catches her first fish. The kids meet their cousins for the first time. In 2009, I’m nesting. I’m due with our third child in a matter of months and I’m like a freight train with cleaning and cooking. We’re also in the first year of the magazine and I’m noting how weird it is that the year is almost over. The year before that, I post a video teasing the brand of Business Black Box. I’m writing this, not because I think you care, but to make a point: They’ll tell you not to look back—that the past is in the past—but sometimes looking back is healthy. It’s inspiring. It’s necessary. Because only in looking back can you see how far you’ve really come. We’ve taken more hikes since our first as a family. We eventually found the stupid cat, only three months after she went missing. I received a beautiful white, fluffy afghan from my friend at Christmastime. I still miss Trey. I still miss my grandpa but am grateful that he got to meet all my kids at least once. I am grateful that catching that fish led my daughter to a world where she fears nothing slimy or creepy-crawly. Business Black Box launched successfully, survived a recession, riffed on leadership and continues to do so. We launched the new model and have been growing exponentially ever since. And all the photos along the way? They are the most potent memories of them all. I feel rewarded. And successful. That even though I couldn’t see anymore than the pieces at those times, that there was a bigger picture being put together. I still can’t see the whole thing, but every day I see bigger and bigger portions of the image. And boy, is it awesome. If you get a chance, look back. Especially when you’re feeling like nothing you do makes a difference or that the mundane day-to-day of life is nothing more than filler. It’s not. It’s life. And it’s yours.

Publisher, Business Black Box 10

Business Black Box Q4 2015 | 864/281-1323 x.1010 | megonigal Photo by Wayne Culpepper/FishEye Studios



R A N D O M & R E L E VA N T

MOBILE ETIQUETTE Cell phones have become a mainstay of life. According to the Pew Research Institute, 92 percent of Americans now have some sort of cellular or smart phone, breeding questions of etiquette in cell phone usage and when or where it shouldn’t be used. It seems that when in a public environment—walking down the street, on public transportation or waiting in line—it is socially acceptable to be on your device. However, in general, it is considered a faux pas to be on your phone in more intimate or quiet situations—such as a movie theater, family dinner, business meeting or a worship service.

Info courtesy of Pew Research


1 Check out why there is so much construction in Greenville (p.58)


Business Black Box Q4 2015





Meet Elizabeth Davis, the president of Furman University (p.30)

Learn about the technology behind the laser—the maser. (p.66)

Download your Layar app (p. 8) and check out our hidden video about the Port of Charleston (p.47)

Get tips on how to plan long term for big projects (p.80)

R A N D O M & R E L E VA N T





$1 billion In direct community spending

9,300 Jobs created by visitors


Investment averages a $24 return


Of the hotel industry’s business is from tourism

$29 million

In visitor spending based on every one percent increase in hotel occupancy

$236 million In salaries and wages for Greenville residents created by tourism, annually

> 1.4 million

Estimated number of day trippers who visit Greenville each year

*Information courtesy of Greenville Tourism docs/media/VGSC-PurposeBook.pdf


Business Black Box Q4 2015

R A N D O M & R E L E VA N T



Find a Physician (Bon Secours St. Francis)

What We Read: Survive to Thrive: 27 Practices of Resilient Entrepreneurs, Innovators, and Leaders by Faisal Hoque and Lydia Dishman The Gist: In the nine chapters that form this book—chapters that tell the story of nine different entrepreneurs, their challenges and their successes—you’ll find an annal of “best practices” that you can implement in your own career. How it’s Written: The book is an easy read. Each chapter stands alone, telling the story of a different entrepreneur. Toward the end of each chapter you’ll find “Takeaways” and “Daily Practices”— breakouts designed to help you translate their own story into personal use.

Are you new to the area and looking for a new physician? Perhaps you are looking for a new family practice? Maybe a specialist? Check out the Bon Secours page, “Find a Physician.” Input various criteria from Zip code to field so you can get matched up with the perfect local doctor for your needs. find-a-physician.html





Great if: You end up alone, often anxious about if what you’re doing is on track, or wondering how other entrepreneurs take on thier own challenges. Don’t Miss: The fact that this is co-authored by Greenville’s own Lydia Dishman, a writer of great talent (and past writer for Business Black Box). Dishman’s style of personal narrative is a welcome diversion from heavy-hitting self-help books, and brings each entrepreneur into the room with you. Our Read: A great pick for a quick read , and a fascinating take on the entrepreneurial lifestyle. Worth a look if you feel like you need to streamline your own habits, or modify your outlook.


Business Black Box Q4 2015

Have you ever been somewhere and the situation arises when you have to write something down? You may have a pen, but there’s a much slimmer chance you have something to write on. Notability allows you to take notes on your touchscreen devices with ease and convenience. It also has extremely deep customization and integration options to where this might just replace all of your paper notebooks.



R A N D O M & R E L E VA N T





Since first meeting in March, the Electric City Angels have fielded several opportunities to invest in new businesses and have finally selected one. ActivED, Inc. is based on the work of Furman University Professor Dr. Julian Reed, who is an expert in kinesthetic education and makes use of “Walkabout” learning platform. The platform incorporates kinesthetics and motion into the learning process, and is already selling to several schools, including ones in the Anderson area.

What: Athena Leadership Symposium Where: TD Convention Center, Greenville, SC When: November 17, 2015

Dr. Reed stated, “ActivEd is delighted to have investors from Anderson who are helping us expand the reach of our unique learning tool. Walkabouts will help schools with the everincreasing pressure to improve educational outcomes, and we are delighted to begin this process at home in South Carolina.”

As part of the Chamber’s Diversity and Inclusion Initiative, the Athena Leadership Symposium is to present the Athena Leadership Organizational Award to organizations that go above and beyond to encourage and cultivate women in leadership.

The Electric City Angels are a part of the South Carolina Angel Network and are based out of Anderson, SC. Founding member Craig Kinley, says he is extremely impressed with the response in the investing community of Anderson willing to come together within a matter of weeks and make an investment.

For more information: athena-symposium.php


What: 17th Annual InnoVision Awards Celebration and Dinner Where: Hyatt Regency, Greenville, SC When: November 17th


For 17 years, InnoVision has been recognizing, celebrating and awarding advances in technology throughout South Carolina, becoming the only awards of its kind and distinguishing itself as an extraordinary honor. For more information: or contact Angela Halpin at


Business Black Box Q4 2015



For more information: events/36th-Annual-Summit-1799/details



What: South Carolina Chamber of Commerce 36th Annual Summit Where: The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort and Spa When: November 11th - 13th This is the premier annual gathering for all of South Carolina’s business leaders, in addition to kicking off the Chamber’s 75th Anniversary celebration. During the Summit, special presentations will be held honoring the Business Leader of the Year, Public Servant of the Year, Sgt. William Jasper Freedom Award winner, Ron McNair Leadership Award winner and the S. Hunter Howard Jr. Scholarship recipient.



53.5 Million Millennials have now overtaken Generation X as the dominant presence in the American workforce


R A N D O M & R E L E VA N T




Here at Business Black Box, we like celebrating things. And so we thought, “What could be better than celebrating those in our Upstate business community who have really moved the needle?” And out of that thought….the Business Black Box awards was born. It’s not a big event, and no, we don’t want your money. We don’t believe in pay-to-play and think that the best people to win these awards are the ones who actually deserve it. But here’s the thing: we may not know who all those people are, but we’re willing to bet that our readers do. Categories:

Best Place to Work Community Impact Future Leader Entrepreneur of the Year Best Boss Green Award Innovation Award Know someone you want to nomiate? Read more on our ad on page two or go straight for the ballots by visiting our website. Deadline is October 30, 2015! Greenville’s own Pedal Chic was recently honored as “Best Bike Shop for Women” during 2015’s interbike in Las Vegas. For more information about Pedal Chic, check out their website.

19% Did you know? The Top 20 Exports of the Port of Charleston make up 63 percent of its total exports, and 19 percent of that is paper and paperboard goods.


Business Black Box Q4 2015

“An organization, no matter how well designed, is only as good as the people who live and work in it.” DEE HOCK



Production Hours

Full disclosure about the cover... Sometimes, our cover plans don’t pan out. And that’s okay, because it means that we have the opportunity to create something even better. For this issue, we had the chance to photograph Jim Newsome at home in Charleston . We loved the photography, we loved the feel and the colors of the port, but felt that the photography alone lacked our special look. and the tie back to the Upstate. The ports are an important part to the economic vitality of South Carolina, so we wanted to make sure the cover did them justice!


Individual Photographs Used

212 Photoshop Layers

One of the first few cover ideas

Compositing the “painted” pictures to create the poster!

Original Ports Picture

First ideaRejected!


Catherine Crandall


Wayne Culpepper, Fisheye Studios

Steve Brown, Fox Audio Visual


Jim Newsome, 19 South Carolina Ports Authority Business Black Box Q4 2015




Live in Your Day Daily Planner — Planners are nice, but they leave a lot to be desired—especially if you have task lists and goals that dont necessarily get put on your calendar. Here, you can pack it all in together—and see your day as one comprehensive unit. And hopefully, get a little more accomplished.


1 2


3 10:00


* BHAG = Big Hairy Audacious Goal: a term coined in the business book Built to Last, these are your top 3 visions for where you want to go. Think big picture goals. These should drive daily goals and tasks.


1 1:00



2 3









Business Black Box Q4 2015







Photo by Wayne Culpep


hy per/FishEye Photograp

ORIAN RUGS made in Anderson, S.C.

Orian Rugs has been making world-class rugs since 1979 and offers the finest in both traditional and contemporary designs manufactured at their state-of-the-art facility in Anderson, S.C. for more info, visit:


Business Black Box Q4 2015



2016 HR ESSENTIALS— CALCULATORS, SCALES AND PERSISTENCE Chill the champagne and practice Auld Lange Syne—it’s time to prepare for 2016. “Already?” you whine plaintively, your mind full of fourth quarter goals. Yep. If you want to avoid the HR avalanche that 2016 is bringing, it is time to prepare now. What is creating the avalanche? Four major changes are having a landslide impact on the workplace: 1. ACA (Affordable Care Act)1 If you have less than 50 employees, and you offer health coverage, you need to file an annual return in 2016 reporting information about employees and dependents if you have a self-insured plan design. If you don’t, consider whether the tax benefits offered to small businesses who provide health coverage are beneficial to you and whether you might want to purchase coverage through the Small Business Health Options (SHOP) program. If you have more than 50 employees, and you offer health coverage, you need to file an annual return in 2016 reporting information about employees and dependents; and whether and what health insurance you offered and follow Employer Shared Responsibility provisions. 2. FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) Reform2 This act is the one that determines whether an employee is or is not subject to overtime requirements. Historically, that decision has been a combination of two basic tests—a salary test and a duties test. In other words: was the person paid a minimum salary each week no matter how many hours were worked, did that salary meet the requirements of the Act, and did 1.


Business Black Box Q4 2015

the person perform the appropriate type and amount of duties to be exempted from overtime requirements? The proposed change could increase the minimum salary requirement from $455 per week to $970 per week. That increase would mean that anyone paid below that amount would be entitled to overtime— regardless of duties performed. The comment period closed September 4, 2015, and the final changes to the FLSA will be published in 2016. We currently do not know how long employers will be given to comply; however, the financial implications are significant for employers with a concentration of employees who are currently paid on a salaried-exempt basis but make less than $970 per week. 3. Legalization of Same-Sex Marriage and Transgender Awareness With the landmark Supreme Court decision on June 26, 2015, employers who had not already embraced same-sex partners in their workplace and health plan policies are now required to do so. One immediate impact is the increase in the number of qualifying events (resulting from life changes such as marriage and divorce) that employers will be required to monitor relative to health plan eligibility. Additionally, the decision may have fueled momentum behind another movement that takes workplaces into uncharted waters—the increasing acceptance and openness of transgender individuals (think Caitlyn Jenner). This movement makes even basic workplace situations (such as availability and use of restrooms) more complex.


4. Acceleration of Silver Tsunami Just as these issues are heating up in the workplace, the rate at which experienced professionals and leaders are opting for a partial or complete exit through retirement or part time work is also increasing. This topic is a column (or 20!) on its own, but it is safe to say that exiting workers will leave gaps (particularly in leadership and senior technical experience roles) that employers will have to fill creatively. How to respond: There are going to be substantial costs associated with each of these items and as you are planning your 2016 and 2017 budgets, consider a wide variety of possible scenarios related to each of these areas. Recognize that the prior workforce cost ratios in these areas may need adjusting, and be sure to weigh the pros and cons of challenging the basic assumptions relative to benefits, compensation structures, training programs, recruiting strategies and other “tried-and-true” HR components. And finally—have patience. Patience to wait for regulations to finalize. Patience to work through new compensation plans. Patience to teach and attend an increasing number of courses on diversity and changing workforces.

ABOUT LESLIE HAYES For Leslie Hayes, business is people. She tested a Harvard education and graduate leadership degree with over two decades of practical experience and currently serves clients of The Hayes Approach in the Upstate and globally. Leslie’s expertise, humor, compassion and realism keep her in demand as an HR expert, coach, educator and author.

3. 14-556_3204.pdf




By Josh Overstreet

Situated on the other side of Spartanburg and just south of Cherokee County in the Piedmont Region sits Union County. Compared to some of its siblings in the Upstate, Union is a quiet place but to assume that nothing is happening would be to underestimate the area. To the contrary, a surge of economic growth and the quality of life offered by Union County makes it quite attractive for those looking for somewhere a little “out of the way” but still close to more metropolitan areas such as Greenville, Charlotte and Columbia. A community of pioneers, Union was named for the Union Church that was first established in 1765 by Scotch-Irish settlers from Pennsylvania and Virginia. History is an important part of Union’s identity—with it being the location of two Revolutionary War battles: the Battle of Musgrove Mill and the Battle of Blackstock—and while they have a firm foundation in history, Union is looking ahead in terms of developing industry. From 2011 to 2015, Union County made it a priority to invest heavily in developing industry to foster economic growth throughout the county. More than $266 million has been invested, leading to 797 new jobs created with four companies announced—ESAB Welding & Cutting, Belk, Gonvarri Steel Services and Vapor Apparel. Add to that the multiple expansions to companies that already call Union home—Dollar General, Lockhart Power Company, Standard Textile and Timken Bearings, and you begin to see the tipping


Business Black Box Q4 2015

point the area is seeing. Dollar General’s Distribution Center is by the far the biggest employer, currently employing 610 people. The next highest are Gestamp South Carolina with 291, Milliken with 285 and then Timken with 277. These industries that are a part of Union are diverse —from distribution centers, to automotive suppliers, specialty fabrics, apparel and other textiles. Not only is Union rich in expanding industry, but with low cost of living combined with natural attractions, it is an ideal place to call home. Approximately 55,000 acres of the county are a part of the Sumter National Forest and rich with deer and turkey for hunting enthusiasts, and lakes and streams for fishing. The Broad River and Tyger River both flow through the county, in addition to the Palmetto Trail, which crosses a 25-mile portion of the county. .

As for the City of Union— the county seat— plans are already underway to help encourage a renewed interest in its central downtown. USC-Union calls the downtown its home and due to recent growth, long term plans are being laid for expanding the campus downtown. In addition, the Main Street Junction is under renovation to become an event and retail center that will encourage interest in activity in the town. As part of the Upstate region, Union County is making its mark as a quiet force that both is encouraging the expansion of industry, economic development and jobs and is also cultivating a strong quality of life—especially for those who love the outdoors.




Years of heavy economic investment


Jobs created in that investment


Residents of Union county


Acres of land in the Sumter National Forest


Capital invested into economic development from 2011 to 2015


Corporate expansions over a five-year period

RECOGNITIONS Palmetto Partnership Award from the S.C. Department of Commerce in 2003 for the development of the Union Commerce Park Palmetto Partnership Award from the S.C. Department of Commerce in 2010 for the state of the art Timken Sports Complex


Celebrate everything that is Union at the Uniquely Union Festival


Learn about Union County throughout the years at the Union County Museum

03 04 05 06

Tour and experience the plantation style home at Rose Hill Plantation introduction.aspx Go see a drag race at the Union County Dragway Experience history at the Cross Keys Plantation Get sporty at the Timken Sports Complex


Mural Photo by Jami Trammell / Main Street Photo by Everett Leigh

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THE W IN PROSPECTING I was a journalism major, so I can confidently say there is a “W” in prospecting—and I won’t even retract it tomorrow! It’s the “W” that no one likes to do or hear about: Work. But if you have a systematic work process, it will produce new clients and maybe even seem a little less like work. Prospecting work finds the right person to talk to and nurtures them into a conversation. Sounds easy, right? And in my head, it all works perfectly. But you and I know that in real life it isn’t that easy, nor are you that successful. I have found, however, that if you break it down into definable, manageable steps, you can do the Work of prospecting and hardly even notice that you’re doing it. Step 1: Navigate Find the right person to talk to. That’s all. Don’t talk, don’t sell, don’t charm. “I have a question about your company’s asset management software. Who should I speak with?” Step 2: Inform It’s a short word, so be brief about it. Ask your question—and keep it to a single question. Again, don’t talk, don’t sell, don’t charm. You don’t even know if they have a need for you yet, or a budget, or the slightest interest. Yes—I know—everyone can use your services or buy your product. But will they? No. Don’t assume that they will with your first question.


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Step 3: Nurture Not everyone is ready to buy from you today—unfortunately. Until they are, share information with them on a periodic basis: pertinent facts about your company, the marketplace, and economic trends that will help them become familiar with your brand, understand your authority in the marketplace, and see you as a trusted advisor. When they’re ready for your product or service, you’ll already know each other. Step 4: Invite After you’ve established that they are the right person to talk with and that they are interested in your offering, invite them to a deeper conversation—and schedule that conversation. Send a calendar invite. If someone says, “Yeah, call me anytime,” don’t waste your time calling them, because that means they aren’t really interested in making time for you. Your time is more valuable than that. I know that’s counterintuitive, but try it. The next time someone says “call me whenever,” attempt to set an appointed time. That way, they expect your call, and have time set aside to focus on your conversation. When you have finished your prospecting Work, then you get to do the fun stuff—Sell!

ABOUT ERIKA CANNON As President of Rally Prospecting, Erika is responsible for the company’s day to day operations. Erika has a background in journalism, marketing and business development, all of which she uses to keep clients and the Rally team on track. Erika reported for a daily newspaper in rural South Carolina, and worked in community relations at an urban hospital system. She directed programs that provided leadership training for women in business and politics and was also owner of two companies that provided public and media relations support and business development to non-profits and small businesses.



On July 1, 2014, Furman University elected its first female president in Elizabeth Davis. Most recently from Baylor University in Texas, Davis boasted a long history of education and educating, a background in finance and accounting, and a start in music, sports and everything New Orleans. Early this fall, only a little over a year after her beginnings at Furman, Davis sat down with our Publisher, Jordana Megonigal, to chat. From her background, to her views on the cost and value of education and her vision for Furman and its surrounding community, all of it is here, in her own words.

so let’s start easy. Where did you grow up, Q: Ok, and what was growing up like? A: Well, I was born in Texas but I actually grew up in Metairie, which is right outside New Orleans. And so we got to experience the fun of being in New Orleans, with great food and Mardi Gras and the culture. I went to an all-girls public high school, which was very unusual to find; in fact, we were the only parish in Louisiana that segregated high schools on gender. But as I look back, that was probably one of the most formative times in my life, because girls did everything. There was no competition with boys…you know, sometimes girls can be silly and not show who they really are because of what they think boys will think about them, and that wasn’t anything we ever had to deal with. So I got to be student conductor of the band, and I was drum major of the band, which meant I got to lead the band in Mardi Gras parades, and that was a ton of fun. It was a pretty traditional Southern upbringing. Both of my parents went to college; my dad was a dentist, but actually when we moved to Louisiana, he went to work for LSU Dental School. So father worked, mother stayed home, I had a younger brother…just pretty stereotypical. We played a lot of sports in the street; I got to be all-time quarterback and make the boys run so I could just stand and throw, and I enjoyed doing the same thing when I got to college, playing intermurals, although I was never good enough to play officially organized sports. I was always with the band. I went to Baylor, which at that time there were about 10,000 undergraduates—it’s grown now to about 14,000— so I was in the band and of course, that was co-ed. I played the trombone in the band. There were two girls out of 20 trombone players, so it was just an interesting switch. In my freshman year, Baylor won the Southwest conference, so I got to march in the Cotton Bowl Parade. It seems like marching in parades seems to be a theme that follows me around.


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Baylor was a great experience. We had family and friends who went to Baylor, and I had visited my junior and senior years at homecoming. Baylor’s homecoming is just remarkable—a lot of alumni come back, and it’s arguably one of the best in the country, but surely there’s someone else out there who will say theirs is better. But that school spirit was very attractive and we just had some great times… even though I left an all-girls high school and went to a co-ed institution, I never felt like I was ever told there was anything I couldn’t do. I started in computer science. It was too picky for me, so I switched to accounting, Again, what would be considered male-dominated professions, but no one suggested that I should think about doing something different. It was a great experience after I graduated from Baylor and moved back to New Orleans to work downtown. And, it just happened to be that year, 1984, that the World’s Fair was in New Orleans. So we could walk down the street to the World’s Fair, or walk down for lunch in the French Quarter. That was fun—to be single in New Orleans. But my New Orleans claim to fame goes back to my high school years, when I played with Wynton Marsalis.

Q: Oh, wow. That’s pretty cool. A:

Yeah, but it wasn’t as cool as it sounds. We were in district honor band together in the New Orleans Youth Symphony. But nevertheless, I can say that I played with him. I don’t really know him, but honestly I was star struck just watching him play, even as a high school student. Everyone knew that he was going to be something spectacular.

Q: So you ended up in accounting…? A:

I was an auditor with Arthur Anderson and company, and I decided that I enjoyed my Baylor experience so much that I wanted to teach. So I decided to go to grad school. I started at Duke in August of 1987 and was done by December of ‘91, but my graduation date was ‘92. I met my husband while I was in grad school, and he was getting his PhD in accounting at UNC Chapel Hill. I was at Duke, but the programs were such that we could take courses at both places. We met our first semester in a Behavioral Decision class. We started hanging out, and it turned out he was playing the organ for a small church in Durham, and they needed a pianist, so I started playing the piano. So for three years he and I played for a church in Durham, so we would play duets. It was a lot of fun, but he was way better—and still is—than I am. They just tolerated how I played. When we were looking to get employed after graduation, trying to find two accounting professors positions at that time was pretty tough; add to that that many schools don’t like to hire married couples. Baylor ended up having three accounting positions open, and so Charles and I got two of them. Charles had told a friend of his, years before, that he’d never live in Texas. We lived there for 23 years.


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Q: A:

But then you ended up moving here, as once again, the first woman in a typically male-dominated position. Right.

one of your interviews that Q: Iyoureadsaid,in about being the first female president of Furman, “the best thing about being the first is that it means that there will be more.”


Yes. You know, one of the things that has been interesting as I’ve been on the road is that I’ll meet alumni from years past who can’t imagine that Furman would have ever had a female president in their lifetime. You know, with the Baptist roots, and tending to be sort of “stereotypically” Southern Baptist. Of course, Furman separated from the Baptist convention, but still I think it was hard for some of the women to imagine a female president. Really, it’s hard to know if I’ve noticed anything other than just surprise. I was in Columbia for the USC game, and we had a luncheon for some of the parents. They asked me to sit in the middle of the table and the host asked the waiter to serve the president first. Well, she was looking at all the different men, and finally he said ‘No, it’s the woman in the middle of the table.’ So that still tends to throw people off, but not in a bad way.

interesting… You’re now here at Q: It’s Furman, and you came from a liberal arts education.


I actually have a business degree, but of course the liberal arts were a required core leading up to the accounting degree. I think there are people who will argue with you about how many liberal arts I have in my degree.

something that comes up a lot: Q: That’s the argument between the value of a standard university versus a liberal arts education. What is your take on that…on liberal arts learning?



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If I didn’t believe that it was critical education, I wouldn’t be here. In particular, seeing how Furman takes liberal arts, and lets students shape how their thinking progresses and how they are able to deal

with ambiguity to find solutions, has really been very impressive to me. I read something not too long ago that said that the halflife of most jobs right now is about 10 years, and soon it will be five years. So if people are going to be looking for new jobs every five years, or needing to reinvent themselves, they’re going to have to approach that from a place of knowing how to learn, knowing how to bring a lot of disparate ideas together to find themes that emerge and then to be creative with solutions. Training for a particular job today is not going to help our students in the long run. I also think that at a liberal arts institution where students are required to take courses across disciplines, they are encouraged to find different ways of thinking, which means that even if they don’t necessarily follow a particular career path, that they know and understand how someone different from them thinks about an issue. That is incredibly important today when it comes to collaboration. None of the real challenges that our country faces can be solved in a uni-dimensional way, so the real leaders and the real strategic thinkers in the country are going to have to know how to approach issues from multiple points of view, or at least know how to bring the right kinds of teams together to think through providing solutions. That’s what I think the beauty of a liberal arts college is. But the term “Liberal arts” also throws people off, because they don’t know that sciences are one of the liberal arts, so in fact, our science programs are some of our strongest programs. We have a relationship now with Greenville Health Systems as the undergraduate program, and Clemson as the research provider and MUSC as the medical school. Why would you have a liberal arts college? Because we have strong students who are prepared in the sciences and the humanities and the social sciences who are in a perfect position to go on to advanced learning in the health profession. So really, there’s no dichotomy between STEM and humanities. We believe all students need some of all of it to be well-rounded. I think the bigger conflict arises when people say from a liberal arts education, you’re not prepared for “a” job; that there’s no skill that someone can particularly see, when in fact, if you match up what employers say they want in employees, it’s exactly what a liberal arts education develops. Excellent communication skills; excellent ability to think through ambiguity to be self-starters; those who know how to use information appropriately.

lot of colleges, with the advent of so Q: Amany educational options, have been hit hard financially. On the other side of that are students having to pay upwards of

$60,000 a year to go to school. So what are your thoughts on the value of the price of tuition, and really being able to provide them with something they can use without drowning in debt five to 10 years following?


Because a Furman education is not for everyone, and that’s okay. But for the students who would thrive here, we want them to be able to afford it. So the first point is that we have to be clear about who we are and what we do. A second point is to find ways to be sure that the financial aid dollars we have are being used the most appropriate way, and to continue to raise those dollars or to underwrite programs that, while they may look like ancillary programs, actually create the fullness of what a Furman education is.

First of all, thank goodness we have so many options in this country for students to find the right postsecondary education—if that’s what they want—that fits with their desires, their skill sets and their ability to pay. I don’t think anybody should get into a situation where they’re coming out with $100,000 of debt.

So when I go out and talk to alumni I ask them what their favorite parts of Furman are, and then ask them to help us make sure that those favorite parts don’t go away.

However, I don’t think that its unreasonable for students to have some debt, when you consider that a college degree can alter their life. It’s an inflection point in their life’s trajectory that will actually help them in terms of what they can accomplish. But absolutely, unwieldy debt that is going to make it difficult to live is really not appropriate.

For example, the Study Away program. When our students Study Away during the fall or spring semester, they don’t have to pay anything different than if they were coming here; at a lot of institutions it’s not that way. We’re trying to find ways to underwrite those programs that we believe are transformative. We want as many students as possible to have that experience.

So some of the things that students have to consider is: what is the track record of an institution in terms of not just students getting that first job but their ability to have continued employment and be able to adapt to changes?

So, part of its tuition. Part of it is philanthropy—getting people to underwrite and support what it is that we do because they believe in what we do.

How strong are those networks that are there for students? They’re an alumni for forever, so do they feel that connection to the university to help them as they continue to need that support? There’s a study that came out—a Gallup-Perdue study— that talks about the employees who are most satisfied in their jobs, who can actually trace it back to college experiences where there was a faculty member who encouraged the student to pursue her passions, or had an experience—whether it was internship or research—that helped them develop more fully their academic interests. I think, when students have to look at the way the value of the education or the cost, there’s a lot to consider: not just the degree, but the support that goes along with it. How fast do students get out? Some of the things you read in the press talk about six-year graduation rates being under 50 percent for some institutions…. okay, well, that’s probably two more years of tuition that people aren’t counting on; that’s two years of lost income that people weren’t counting on. All those factors need to be weighed, because that is a significant investment that could have really a lifelong payoff.

something that is a concern to you, Q: Isforthat your own students? A: Absolutely. In fact, one thing that I’ve done early on is to be sure that we are being very clear about the nature of a Furman education and the value of a Furman education.

about the ancillary programs? Q: What What priority are programs that focus on the business community itself, to the bottom line here and to the vision?


You know there are certain programs—lets take Riley, or the OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) program—that bring real value to the community, but we’re not necessarily making money off of them—in terms of returning it to the bottom line to underwrite other programs. And I think that’s an important part of what we can do for the community—what we should do and what we’ve shown we have strength in. So for something like Riley and DLI, what we don’t want to do is put a burden on undergraduate tuition. We need for the tuition dollars that we charge for DLI and the philanthropy that comes in to cover the cost. But we believe that what we are doing is so significant for the state of South Carolina that we’re satisfied if we can break even. It’s the same thing with OLLI, which is the lifelong learning for Senior Adults. Its job is to bring culture and intellectual stimulation to the community, that otherwise, this group of 1,700 OLLI members might not have. Yesterday, I went and greeted Senior Leaders Greenville, which is a program that is patterned after Leadership Greenville, but for senior adults, because senior adults want to be engaged. They want to be developed and they want to give back and they want to continue to


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learn, and so to me, that is a very important piece of what we do as an institution.

who think very differently; who have realities that are different from the 20-year-olds on campus.

Now there’s other things—we have corporate professional development programs that I think have an opportunity to help bring education to that sector, that might actually end up dropping some money to the bottom line that might help us reduce overall costs to operate Furman university. The University has tons of fixed costs, so to the extent that we can find revenue sources to contribute to those fixed costs, all the better; like the camps we run in the summer—we are using our facilities to help meet an educational need.

Certainly, I see this as a way for Furman as an institution to be a part of the community. But I also think about this being part of our students’ education, that they otherwise would not get. And if we want to prepare the next generation of citizens, we better practice some citizenship, you know? I think Greenville in particular is a great place to do this, because we have a history of working together to make things better, so it demonstrates to students what collaboration can look like. And Greenville’s not so big that students’ can’t get their hands around it.

thing you keep mentioning is Q: One connection to the community. You’ve

what is your vision for the school, for Q: So Greenville? What is that vision the next

talked about engaged learning, noting that younger generations prefer to be more hands-on, with volunteering and problem solving. What is your vision for that relationship, and how does that relationship get deeper?


That’s a great question and in fact, I posed that at the fall faculty retreat just last week. We are so engaged in the community—we are engaged in terms of the education we deliver, the DLI and OLLI programs, and we are celebrating this year 50 years for the Heller Service Corps. We have faculty and students who are doing significant research making a difference in the quality of life; for example, we are one of the participants in LiveWell Greenville.

five or 10 years?


My vision for Furman nationally to become known for the breadth and depth of the education we provide and the kinds of students we graduate. And locally, for innovation, collaboration and partnership, to make this community a better place for all who live here. It’s how were’ understood…my vision is that we are understood differently than we are now. Furman is regarded as a great liberal arts institution that serves 18- to 22-year-olds. But we do more than that, and that’s how I want to be known. I tell people we educate from ages three to 93, and I think that demonstrates the enduring value of a liberal arts education: you’re never too old or too young to benefit.

We could continue to do all this stuff, but what if we were more coordinated in our efforts? What if we were seen truly as a partner in the community, where we were at the table when issues affecting the quality of life in Greenville and the Upstate came up, where our connections were so close that we were in constant conversation, and where the work that we did went beyond a boundary by semester? You know, when students get to the end of a semester, they’re done. But that’s not how problems and issues occur—they don’t occur according to an academic calendar. But if we were engaged in a way where there was continuity…where we said, “We’re in here, and we’re going to create research programs or curricular programs and they could hand off from one semester to a next…and students over two or three years could see the development?” If we truly believe that liberal arts prepare students in the best way to solve problems, lets give them some practice identifying issues and workable solutions. Workable solutions in a textbook are quite different from workable solutions when you’re sitting around a table with people who are all on a different schedules;


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Worth a Look: Check out the offerings at the Riley Institute, one of Furman’s most prestigious programs for leadership.





THE BOOTSTRAPPER, DEFINED Bootstrap. A word that’s become part of our hyper-tech startup lexicon along with the likes of seed-round, growth-hacking, entrepreneur, pivot and 100’s more. Among slight variations, Webster defines bootstrap as: “to promote or develop by initiative and effort with little or no assistance.” So how does that translate to businesses— including startups—and what makes a bootstrapped company different from any other company? In our world, the “little or no assistance” generally refers to outside capital. You may raise some initial capital from friends and family, but for the most part, your primary source of input into your company is sweat equity and sales. This has been the traditional route of business growth as explained in John Mullins’ “The Customer Funded Business.”


like what you’re selling, you’re out of business. There is no runway to sustain you. Second, the bootstrapped company has traditionally demonstrated a more efficient use of capital than its professionallyfunded competitor. So much so, that there are Silicon Valley venture-capital firms that specialize in investments solely in companies wanting to make a transition to external funding. While bootstrapped companies and externally-funded companies are alike in most ways and would look the same from the outside, there is one core difference in their paths. Once an entrepreneur takes professional external capital she is committing to one of three outcomes: 1. Get acquired (financially or synergistically) and hope you can time the peak of your valuation

And whether you like him or hate him, you can’t argue Mark Cuban’s business acumen. A few years back I heard him speak at an IT event where he made a statement that the best place to raise money for your business was from your friends & family and your customers. This was in the same breath he answered the question “When did you know it was time to sell your business?” with, “In 1999, when someone offers you five billion dollars, you know it’s time to sell your business.”

2. Go public in an IPO

A bootstrapped business relying primarily on profit to fund growth gains two primary advantages. One is the customer validation of its product value. If the market doesn’t

Bootstrapping—especially in the beginning—is the only option most of us have. It doesn’t mean that it’s the lesser option. It means that just because you don’t

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3. Get slaughtered. This last option—of course—doesn’t sound very pleasant, but keep in mind that, after so much time, venture capital investors have to close their funds. It’s much easier to explain your company as one of nine failures (predictability) than the one that’s growing steadily and giving off a 20 percent return.


Looking to bootstrap your own business? Check out the Bootstrap Engine at

have venture capitalists beating down your door or your sales pitch is more important than your pitch deck that you have any less of a business. Maybe one day you’ll be pitching in Boston, Austin, or even Silicon Valley. Or, maybe one day you’ll be one of the innumerable bootstrapped companies creating jobs, opportunities, products, and a better life for people in your community and around the world. If you want to read more about some great bootstrapped companies check out the stories of Spanx and In/Out Burger.

ABOUT DAVID SETZER David Setzer has been an entrepreneurial coach and mentor to thousands of business owners in former communist Eastern Europe for over 20 years. Additionally he is the founder and CEO of Mailprotector, a global IT security firm based in Greenville, SC, and co-founder of The Bootstrap Engine an entrepreneurial greenhouse located in downtown Greenville.





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Photo by Wayne Culpepper/FishEye Studios


J U LIA N N IXON By Josh Overstreet

Julian Nixon is a trailblazer in the truest since of the word; mentoring others using his own life experiences to help guide the next generation of students and new experiences to change the face of education. Over the next two years, he took himself from the 1.9 GPA that got him into probation into an average 3.5 GPA.

When Julian Nixon came back from a date, the last thing he expected was to see his parents sitting at the table, looking over a letter telling him he was on academic probation. Born in Atlanta, Nixon attended Clemson University, receiving degrees in both Animal and Veterinary Sciences and Animal and Food Science, focusing on Food Microbiology.

“My advisor in college told me—to my face— that I would never graduate, much less get two degrees and that I would never teach college,” he remembers. But Nixon not only obtained two degrees, he is now the department head of Biosciences at Greenville Technical College.

“I didn’t know how I got on academic probation,” says Nixon, “When you’re young and new to the system it can creep up on you. I was hardworking, but I realized there were things I could have been doing a lot differently.”

But his college experiences taught him a great deal, and for that reason, he is always willing to mentor and share his experience to help the next generation of students. “Used to be, if you said you were mentoring, the reaction was, ‘Oh, you have nothing better to do?’” says Nixon. “Now, mentoring is the thing.”

That moment over the kitchen table was a pivotal point in his life—but Nixon himself will tell you that the following two weeks of his life were the most important part of the story.

One of his first mentoring experiences was in college when a family friend approached him about mentoring her son, with whom Nixon shared a common interest: rapping. Through that, Nixon helped the reclusive boy begin to open up and even started considering going to college.

“That next morning I woke up, took a shower and packed,” he says. “I had to go and show improvement.” Upon returning to school, Nixon set about figuring out just what it was that got him into trouble in the first place. He began changing habits, learning time management, guarding how much time he would hang out with friends, and which friends to hang out with, and figuring out his learning style and how it meshed with the teaching styles of his professors.

Now, Nixon always has a line of students out of his office looking for advice and guidance. He mentors young men through the African American Male Institute—a big brother to provide guidance to those who may have never had it. Out of his love for mentoring, Nixon created Make it Plain for Me Please, a blog in which he talks about all of his experiences in order to have that advice readily available for students and anyone who needs guidance—and it isn’t the generic “how to succeed” advice.

For Nixon, it wasn’t one magic thing he needed to fix, but a lot of little things. “These little things I figured out started having enormous effects,” says Nixon.


Check out Nixon’s website at

“I just put it out there and see what happens,” says Nixon. In one scenario, he talks about what happened when he had a crush on his lab partner, she had a crush on him and the lab instructor had a crush on her. “One day, I came to class and acid was spilled on my project with a note that said: ‘You will fail,’” says Nixon. “What do you do with something like that?” Still, Nixon uses that scenario to help students understand what their rights are, how to and when to file a grievance, what the due process is and just how to handle that kind of situation. Today, Nixon is also a part of the first class of The Founder’s Institute, a entrepreneur bootcamp designed to accelerate viable ideas into actual business and products, where he is developing a game app, Nerdable, which targets 6th to 8th graders and helps teach them math and science wrapped around an entertaining game. “In that group gamification increases retention,” says Nixon, “Kids love playing video games, kids love having fun and do it in a way that makes you feel like you have an Xbox in your hand.” Nixon hopes that his idea will take off and other apps he has ideas for will become realities, to the point where he can do that full time, while still teaching. “Ten years from now, hopefully I will strictly be teaching for fun and be able to move into a role to change the culture of education,” says Nixon.


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HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO BUILD AN APP? Software is eating the world and apps are a significant part of the disruption happening. In the next 10 years, every industry and manner of doing business— legal and illegal—will be changed by technology. Some call it disruption; in reality, it is simply a normal market evolution. We are in the middle of the technology revolution where—like the industrial and agricultural revolutions in prior centuries—civilization as a whole is in the midst of change. As a result of this technology revolution, many of us have ideas for applications that could change the way people work, shop, search, communicate, travel, learn, exercise, diagnose and beyond—while potentially making a lot of money in the process. However, what many people cannot do is build the technology and write the software needed to produce the app they know will be a huge success. As a result, you may have asked yourself, a friend or Google, “How much does it cost to build an app?” That is a GREAT question, but it is the WRONG question to ask. Instead you should ask “what can I do to build this app myself?” Here is why: If someone wanted to start a plumbing business, would you agree they should first know how to plumb a building to code? If someone wants to open a law office, would you agree that they should be able to practice law themselves? In these cases and many others, the owner of the company is a skilled technician in their field of work. In the same way, if you


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are starting a technology company that will build an app, you should be able to build and run the company yourself. Don’t be the person who just has the idea and is unwilling to learn how to build a company around it. Today there are a vast number of options available to you to learn, from free online courses via Coursera, Codecademy, Khan Academy and YouTube to paid online courses like Treehouse, One Month, Udacity, Udemy and others. In fact, Greenville is home to the largest three-month intensive code bootcamp in the United States—the Iron Yard Academy. It is a full-time course that trains students to become software developers in only three months. The result is that with so many options available, you should not be asking “how much does it cost to build an app” and instead set out on a course to learn the skills needed to build it yourself. Certainly there are exceptions to the rule, but if you need to ask the question of “how much does it cost to build an app” you are not going to find the answer you are looking for. Rather than rely on buying an app built by someone else, you should instead ask yourself “what do I need to do to build this app myself?” You will learn, just like I have, that there is a world of opportunity waiting for you if you are willing to explore the possibilities from a different perspective.

ABOUT MARTY BAUER Marty is a two-time Greenville transplant. He is the co-founder of RidePost, a transportation software company, and the Managing Director of The Iron Yard Accelerator Programs. Connect with him on Twitter at @bauermarty.



HERE The Greenville Chamber exists to inspire, inform and help businesses perform better and prepare for the future. If you’re in business, you have a partner in us.


The S.C. Port System is one of the biggest economic boons in the state. Their expansion means continued economic growth for the state.


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an economic lifeline It’s business as usual at the South Carolina Inland Port as employees unload a Norfolk Southern train. A 40-foot container dangles precariously in the air as it’s lifted off the train and transferred to a stack nearby. Around the corner, a box truck pulls up and waits for another container to be set on its bed so it can then transfer it to another location.


During the 2015 fiscal year, which ended in June, the Ports Authority’s container volume increased by 14 percent. An unprecedented 1.9 million twenty-foot equivalent units, or TEUs, were handled by SCPA. Pier containers, or box volume, also increased 14 percent to 1.1 million containers. The Port’s Authority reported $30.4 million in operating earnings and $196.8 million in revenues at the end of fiscal year 2015.

Everywhere you look, activity is underway. Even recent announcements of new industry coming to South Carolina, such as a Dollar Tree’s retail distribution center in Cowpens or Volvo’s first North American production facility in Berkeley County, have not created hiccups in the operation at either the inland port or the Port of Charleston.

Likewise, growth at the inland port has also kept a steady pace. The port system conducted 58,000 rail lifts (moves by rail) during the last fiscal year, and during the month of July 2015, had 7,500 rail lifts—indicators that seem to reveal that next fiscal year will show continued growth.

This fact is crucial—the South Carolina port system has become a vital member of the manufacturing economy in the state, and is at the center of a booming economic system of not only importing goods for use, but of exporting final product from South Carolina manufacturers, as well.

But with recent announcements like Volvo Cars’ in the Lowcountry (adding to major manufacturers like Mercedes and Boeing who already call the area home) and Dollar Tree and continued Upstate growth in manufacturing, the question remains: with all this growth, can the port system keep up?

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Port Of Opportunity When it came to luring Volvo to the state, Jim Newsome, president and CEO of the South Carolina Ports Authority, says there were several capable ports vying for the business. Eventually, Volvo selected South Carolina for its base over other nearby competitive ports such as Savannah and Jacksonville. “Manufacturing is probably the most sophisticated industry in terms of logistics; they are very focused on timeliness and capabilities,” Newsome says. “An integral part of [Volvo’s] decision was to make sure we were able to cope with their needs now and in the future. I think we were able to convince them pretty readily of that.” Still, the current capabilities aren’t necessarily reflective of future ones. That’s why $1 billion is being invested in infrastructure updates over the course of the next five years at the Port of Charleston. The greatest percentage of that investment will be spent on a new container terminal at the former Navy base, expected to open in 2020. There are also plans for strengthening the foundations of the wharf at the Wando Terminal, which was built in the 1980s. The most daunting and time consuming task, however, will be the deepening of Charleston’s harbor to 52 feet. As of September 14, the Harbor Deepening Project received the final report from the U.S. Corps of Engineers, essentially giving the project the greenlight to progress into the construction phase. “Receipt of the Chief’s Report is tremendous news for SCPA,” Newsome is quoted in the subsequent press release. “By the end of the decade, we will achieve 52 feet of depth and Charleston will be the deepest harbor on the East Coast. This depth advantage will provide our customers with 24-hour access to deep water, a requirement for significant long-term volume growth in today’s big-ship environment. We are grateful for the expertise and leadership of our partners, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who deliver today’s news just four years after we began the deepening process.” Once that is done, they will begin the design phase and test ship simulations to ensure their channel configuration will accommodate larger ships as planned. “We are—literally—full steam ahead, and expect to have this project completed by the end of the decade with utilization of the entrance channel to our largest container terminal by the end of 2018,” says Barbara Melvin, senior vice president of external affairs at SCPA. Deepening the harbor is important to the growth in volume expected with the addition of Volvo, because for every additional foot of depth the port can load 100 more containers, Newsome says. Already, he estimates Charleston can handle another 600 to 1,000 loaded containers versus the closest port in the Southeast. Charleston also has the benefit of a six foot tidal lift, so ships can come in or out on low tide with full loads, vital to keeping shipping schedules as efficient as possible.


the Upstate Catalyst

A little more than 200 miles away, the inland port sits in Greer, alongside rail lines and neighboring Greenville Spartanburg International airport. Since it began operations in 2013, it has been an important catalyst to the overall growth of the state’s port system, Newsome says. “It cemented the link between the Upstate and the port and Lowcountry in terms of cargo flows. Over half of our cargo flows are to and from the Upstate,” Newsome says. The Ports Authority had to acquire property from the GreenvilleSpartanburg Airport District to make their vision a reality, and Newsome says airport executives and the Upstate community have been accommodating every step of the way. “We think [the inland port] is a catalyst for future economic development,” Newsome says. “Certainly having the airport there is important because it puts air freight into play...You have the convergence of four modes of transportation—water, truck, rail and air.” When the inland port opened in 2013, Newsome predicted they would reach 100,000 rail lifts by 2018, and he is more confident than ever that prediction will become reality. However, bringing that reality about requires a bit more work, as officials agree the inland port’s footprint will need to be expanded soon. To do this may require acquiring 30 acres that neighbor the Inland Port’s current footprint. According to Mike Hoffman, terminal manager of the South Carolina Inland Port, they are also in the process of moving two rubber-tired gantry cranes from the Wando Terminal to the inland port to help process the increase in volume at a fast rate. That increase is ever more important as the port takes on more product from more manufacturers. When the inland port first opened two years ago, 100 percent of its volume was BMW product. Since then, BMW has continued to increase its production numbers, but now only makes up 50 percent of the volume, a testament to the quick growth the port has seen in such a short time. Other users of the inland port include Adidas, Eastman Chemical and Michelin—demonstrating the broad range of companies that the base serves. “Even though [BMW’s volume] has increased, we’ve really really diversified with a lot of other customers,” Hoffman says. “We have a lot of industry here along the I-85 corridor, and a lot of companies in western North Carolina, eastern Tennessee, and some from northeast Georgia are using us. We’re not just limited to the borders of South Carolina, we’re really becoming a regional port.”

Uniting South Carolina

“That’s very important because these ships have to make an appointment with the Panama Canal when they go through, and if they miss that appointment because of the tide, they have to pay much more in canal dues,” Newsome explains.

In 2014, BMW’s export value of passenger vehicles through the Port of Charleston totaled $9.2 billion, an increase of 13 percent from 2013. Nearly 250,000 vehicles from the Upstate plant were exported that year, which represents more than 70 percent of the plant’s total volume.

Melvin agrees. “Loading those additional export containers is simply sound money for an ocean carrier or steamship line, and that is important in a very tightly margined industry,” she adds.

“BMW continues to prosper in South Carolina. With an investment of nearly $7 Billion in the state, partners like the State Ports Authority’s and South Carolina Inland Port have certainly

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enabled BMW to expand by providing vital infrastructure that has kept pace with our company’s strong demand,” says Sky Foster, manager of corporate communications at BMW Manufacturing. “When true partnership happens, objectives align and organizations grow and invest in parallel ways that benefit entire regions in profound ways. BMW in South Carolina has been successful based on these types of organic partnerships.” Many expect that same kind of production out of the Charleston area, especially now that Volvo’s import and export loads will come in addition to those of Boeing and Mercedes-Benz, who runs the line of Sprinter vans out of North Charleston. In the fall of 2015, Volvo Cars broke ground on a $500 million manufacturing facility in Berkeley County. The company predicts it will produce up to 100,000 cars per year, with the first cars expected to roll off the assembly line in 2018. An estimated 2,000 jobs will be created at the facility over the next decade, and up to 4,000 in the longer term. Moreover, an economic impact study conducted by Dr. Frank Hefner at the College of Charleston estimates the facility’s annual economic output would total $4.8 billion. According to a press release from Volvo Cars, the company chose the South Carolina location due to its easy access to international ports and infrastructure, a well-trained labor force, attractive investment environment and the state’s experience in the high tech manufacturing sector.

Changing the Game All in all, South Carolina’s port system is strong and getting stronger. Never to be underestimated, the port system is among the most important forms of infrastructure for the state. “Companies like BMW and Volvo understand port operation extremely well,” says Lewis Gossett, president and CEO of the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance. “You can’t go and tell them port capabilities if that port actually doesn’t have them, they weren’t born yesterday. They know what South Carolina’s port is and will be capable of, and that has a lot to do with them making the decision to locate here.” The inland port—he adds—is a game changer and he agrees that it will lead to many more positive changes for the state. “Two or three years from now there will be a significant announcement in South Carolina, and we will know that part of the reason that announcement is there is because of the inland port” says Gossett.

“We’re excited to build our first American factory in South Carolina and we look forward to helping grow the local community and economy,” says Lex Kerssemakers, president and CEO of Volvo Cars of North America. “We were impressed with the friendliness, work ethic and passion of the people in the Charleston area.”


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$6.3 Billion







500 Tons




$912 Million

IN TAX REVENUE GENERATED FOR THE STATE For more info, visit: pressroom/pressroom.asp?PressRelease=455


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YOUR ACTIONS ARE SO LOUD I CAN’T HEAR WHAT YOU’RE SAYING As the director of a marketing firm, I have the opportunity to meet with business leaders on a daily basis. Most of these folks lead great organizations and are— in general—great people. Most of these meetings start with: “We have a killer product and a great company; we just need more people—or the right people—to know about us.” This is where we get to go away and write a dynamic brand message or create a campaign that aligns their consumer perception with the reality of their excellent product/service and—in turn— creates a wave of customers that beats down their door. (At least, we hope.) As many companies that exist like this in the Upstate—great brand because of a great product—there is an overwhelming amount of the very opposite: Those brands that spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on marketing in an effort to overcompensate for a bad product or service. Take a look at the signage outside of your favorite fast food restaurant. Compare that image to the object on your plate. Not a fair comparison? The truth is your customers may face this same comparison with your company. You may have had an agency or someone in your company write brand positioning statements for your company—statements that position you better than your competitors in certain areas of focus. The problem in most cases is “Your actions are so loud we can’t hear what you’re saying”.


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“We’re the leader in innovation.” • Website still needs a flash player to view and isn’t mobile friendly. • Thinks “My customers aren’t on Facebook.” • Says “Well, that’s the way we’ve always done it.” “The best customer service—hands down.” • Sales/Account reps don’t return emails or calls. • The phone constantly rings and leads to a fax line. • Customer service reps are unfriendly. “Attention to detail is our highest priority” • Misspellings in their sales pieces • Lawn hasn’t been mowed • Office is dirty Don’t just give your customers a headline to memorize. Give them an experience they’ll never forget. Don’t just tell your customers you have a friendly staff—BE FRIENDLY. Don’t tell your customers that you are the leader in innovation—INNOVATE. Don’t just design a poster of the perfect burger outside of your restaurant—MAKE A GREAT BURGER! You may not be making burgers for a living, but you get the picture. Challenge: Take a look at your brand positioning statements. Compare them to every touch point your customers (and potential customers) have contact with your brand. Then: Refine, review, repeat.

ABOUT DANIEL LOVELACE Former Pastor and part-time alligator farmer (ask him!), Daniel combines a passion for helping other with all the tenacity befitting an All-American Defensive End. A native of Chester, S.C., Daniel now helps companies and organizations develop marketing plans to grow and fulfill their dreams. Daniel currently serves as Agency Director at ShowCase Marketing, doing what he does best: helping a dynamic, diverse client base move the needle and increase sales.




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Photo by Wayne Culpepper/FishEye Studios


ASHLEYCLARK By Josh Overstreet

As a college graduate in 2012, Ashley Clark didn’t really know what to do, until the idea of opening a new retail venture was put before her. Today, Kilwins is a successful business, and Clark is quickly becoming a force in the local community.

After graduating from Clemson University in 2012, Ashley Clark found herself in the same situation many college grads are in—not knowing what’s next. “It was actually my dad’s idea,” Clark says of her first venture, “I was just living at home after college just figuring out what I wanted to do.” But by Thanksgiving of that year, Clark had been in contact with Kilwins—a well-known confectionary—and had already decided on a location in order to open their store: in Ivey Square in downtown Greenville. “When we contacted them and they had been seeking to open a franchise in Greenville for five years,” Clark says. The lease agreement was signed in March 2013 and Clark—along with her husband, Landon—opened Greenville’s first Kilwins in September of that year to great success. While managing employees came as a new experience for Clark, starting, organizing and running a new enterprise is something that was passed on to her from her father, Al Adams. Adams founded The Orange and White— Clemson University’s alumni Publication. For Clark, there was always the drive to establish something of her own. So, with a grant in entrepreneurship from Hugh Weathers, the S.C. Commissioner of Agriculture, Clark established the Clemson Farm Fresh Market—which is still going strong to this day.


The experience was vital for Clark, who credits it with teaching her to budget, organize and manage resources. “That taught me a lot about wearing all of the hats,” says Clark, who admits, “I am really interested in agriculture.” And, with a longstanding interest in working with agriculture and in politics, she teases, “I’d eventually like [Weathers’] job.” But before she takes over that Commissioner’s position, Clark is taking her new role as retail owner in stride, looking for any opportunity she can to help impact the employees she has under her leadership. As an example, Clark has all of her employees store their phones during their shifts in her office, which cuts down on distractions. But Clark has another motive. “I see it as a way for me to get you—one or two nights a week—to disconnect from technology and to have face-to-face interaction,” she says. “To look people in the eye and have real interaction.” That leadership has come to be one of Clark’s true passions, and she looks for any opportunity to utilizeto become involved in the local community. She and her husband volunteer weekly with the White Horse Academy, a residential treatment home for teenage boys. They teach personal finance and take the boys out monthly for special events, such as a Krispy Kreme nights or taking them to Kilwins. She also serves as the co-chair for Downtown Greenville Holiday Happening—with her mentor Veera Gaul—

Interested in attending a Cake & Whiskey Hobnob? Keep an eye on the local Facebook page at

volunteers with Girls on the Run, is the area coordinator for Ducks Unlimited, and is an Associate Commissioner with the Greenville County Soil and Water Conservation District. Clark and Gaul also serve as area hosts for Cake and Whiskey “Hobnobs”—informal, quarterly gatherings for women to get together and build connections and relationships in the local business community. During each event, Clark makes a point to never bring business cards; she doesn’t want it to become the kind of event where you just make the rounds and hand out cards. Instead, she wants attendees to build lasting relationships—not just in business, but friendships, as well. “We really try and focus on building genuine relationships. I specifically, do not bring my business card,” says Clark, instead looking for the story each woman has to tell. “All women have a story to share.” Clark plans on being around Greenville till at least 2023 with Kilwins, primarily venturing further into community involvement. After that, she hopes to hire a manager for the store and still remain involved in some way, but she still keeps aspirations of running for public office. “Just to go on and do something else; I don’t know what that is. Maybe on the state level, Commissioner of Agriculture,” says Clark.


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by Anna Locke OWNER A.T. LOCKE

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE? What’s the difference between financial accounting and management accounting? I recently caught myself taking the position that there should be no difference. And I must choose some position, or else I will be caught in the stereotypical answer of “it depends”. So, some will say that financial accounting is designed for audiences outside of the company and management accounting is for users within the company. Yes, managers need to have readily available data for last week, this week, and next week to make decisions on next steps. This data can look like a daily cash report, weekly sales, and inventory turnover—all of these include accounting, just like a cash flow forecast, budget or trend analysis. Day traders of stocks want the same thing—data for last week, this week and next week to make decisions on next buy/ sell decisions. Accounting at its core is a record keeping of activities—a record keeping for which there can be different users with different perspectives as to positive or negative results. Different users with different anticipation as to future activities. Different users with different metrics for determining success. Or perhaps the same user with new expectations or bias. Success to the investor might look like quick returns so regulatory bodies look to ensure that financial accounting does not allow you to accelerate revenue recognition just to maximize shareholder returns. The Internal Revenue Service allows businesses to accelerate deductions


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on some purchases but not all so the tax records may look different than the internal business records. Success to the board of directors includes a clean audit opinion. Auditors issue audit opinions based on the financial statements’ conformity with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) as published and governed by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) or the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB). Private equity and future investors use the audited financial statements (balance sheet, income statement and cash flows) as the basis to begin work in calculating enterprise value and cap rates. Whether we always agree with GAAP or not, it is the current basis for financial accounting and has to be addressed. Managers may prefer to see data on a cash basis at all times while GAAP will not allow us to report all company activities solely on a cash basis. GAAP forces us to ask the question of value beyond the cash element of the transaction. Did assets increase with this transaction or do we simply have the promise of an increase? Did we receive the cash in advance of earning the revenue and what commitments do we have toward delivering on that revenue? What did we trade in the transaction that may have an impact of the future success of the business? Management accounting and financial accounting have no difference when we define them as the reporting tools critical to decision making toward the strategic direction and success of a company.

ABOUT ANNA LOCKE Anna T. Locke is an Upstate South Carolina business leader passionate about bringing relevance to financial data. She leads A.T. LOCKE, a company she founded in 2008, on a day to day basis while staying active in community conversations relevant to future business and educational needs. Locke currently serves as Treasurer of the Board for the NEXT High School, is a member of the Board of Directors for the Certified Development Corporation of SC, and serves on the Accounting Advisory Committee for Greenville Tech. Besides professional interests, Anna serves as a Board member for The Center for Developmental Services.




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With the growing number of hotel rooms in inventory, can the occupancy of Upstate visitors and business travelers keep up?

Perhaps one of the most scenic views of downtown Greenville is at the highest point while driving over the Church Street Bridge. Erwin Penland, City Hall, the Westin Poinsett and the rest of the familiar skyline comes into view and the recent additions that have been made. Large construction cranes and the skeletons of construction in progress look to add more to that beautiful skyline. And if you were to point at any one of them today, the chances would be high that you would be pointing to a future hotel development.


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Current Market


At this point, it’s hard to go anywhere within the city—and county—of Greenville and not be able to find a good hotel. Downtown itself has five hotels—the Hyatt, Westin Poinsett, Courtyard Marriott, Holiday Inn Express and the Hampton Inn. All are on—or within a block of—Main Street and cover from Elford Street all the way to the West End.

“The leisure business is what has been tremendous over the past few years,” says Ryan Herron, the director of sales and marketing at the Hyatt Regency Greenville.

“These hotels are doing extremely well; the room rates are extremely healthy, especially in May when we have so many things going on,” says Mary Douglas Hirsch, downtown manager for the City of Greenville. According to Hirsch, Greenville’s turnaround, specifically in downtown, is linked to the hotels, with the Hyatt kicking it off in 1982. When the Westin Poinsett reopened it’s doors in 2000, it was clear what was happening. “We look at that as the turning point in downtown’s revitalization because that brought a lot of people who were on the fence about whether downtown could come back,” says Hirsch. According to, the room rates for 2015—as of June—averaged $93 per room, per night. Back in 2004, they averaged $59. The growth is a clear sign of the market not only growing, but also increasing in quality. Downtown isn’t the only area of growth either. Other hotspots include Travelers Rest, Haywood Road, Roper Mountain Road, Woodruff Road and Fountain Inn—each seeing healthy growth as the region becomes home to not only more and more business but also leisure travelers.

According to Herron, on weekends in which they didn’t have a big convention, he says it used to be pretty easy to predict what kind of numbers they would have. However, he notes, now it’s not uncommon to have an influx of 50 to 100 extra guests, all who are coming to the Upstate as a weekend trip. So, how did Greenville become a travel destination that is rivaling some of the coastal destinations of South Carolina in occupancy and leisure travel? While VisitGreenvilleSC as an entity has been around awhile, (previously under the nomenclature of the Greenville Convention and Visitor’s Bureau), a recent campaign launched in 2012 called “Yeah, That Greenville,” has shown a significant impact on bringing leisure travelers to the city and county. “Our civic leaders built an amazing place and they built it for their residents, not necessarily just to draw in tourists,” says Jennifer Stilwell, the chief marketing officer of VisitGreenvilleSC. “We have a product that people can enjoy— theatre, art, parks, attractions, just have to go out and tell the story.” According to Stilwell, the rename has been a huge success, and she has the numbers back it up. Occupancy across the county is up in 2015—so far—to 73 percent, which is greatly improved from the 61 percent of 2011. To put that into a larger perspective, in 2014, Greenville boasted a 70 percent occupancy rate, with the state of South Carolina at 61 percent, the Southeastern region at 63 percent and finally the United States at 64 percent. “The talent and creativity with the ‘Yeah That Greenville’ campaign has received national attention,” says Fabian Unterzaucher, the general manager of the Westin Poinsett. “It is encouraging to to see that the money is being put to good use and tells the success story of Greenville in a manner we have never had before. After all, this city’s transformation has been spectacular and you want to share it with the world.”


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Growth Between the City, the County and Municipalities of Greenville, there are 8,300 hotel rooms spread over 81 hotels as of 2014 and it is growing. New developments pop up not only in the downtown area but in each of the surrounding hotspots; still, it all traces back to downtown, due to a compression effect. “If I can’t get a room downtown on the weekends, I go to the next circle,” says Stilwell, “[This growth] is positively affecting hotels all over Greenville County.” According to, in 2014, downtown itself took up 918 rooms of the 8,300, equaling to 335,070 rooms per year to fill. The recent constructions under way will add another 144 rooms by the end of 2015 when Aloft goes online, then in 2016 another 273 thanks to Home2 Suites and Embassy Suites and finally, in 2017, another 414 will be added with the AC Hotel development (a new-to-theUpstate Marriott brand) at the Greenville News site. This would bring the total to 1,749 rooms per day and 638,385 rooms on a yearly basis that need to be sold. Along with VisitGreenvilleSC, the city is fully supporting the developments. By forging public/private partnerships to get projects done such as place making—parks, benches, sculptures, etc.—and by addressing challenges of parking and sewer infrastructure, the city is doing all it can to encourage the growth, according to Hirsch.

Future At first glance, that growth is a good thing. As long as downtown grows and attracts not only leisure travel but also residents who live in downtown and businesses, retail shops and restaurants continue to flourish, and people will continue to come. “We’ve had this slow and steady growth over a 30-year period,” says Hirsch, “As long as you are active with interesting things, people will seek you out.” While most projections show a healthy market through 2017, many are cautiously optimistic about the future. (“Let me grab my crystal ball and take a look,” says Herron, with a laugh.) Unterzaucher, who has been the general manager of the Westin Poinsett for 11 years, is a veteran of the market and advises caution because of the cyclical nature of economies and when the market softens, there will be a lot of inventory to sell and fill. “I am always a believer in steady but reasonable growth,” says Unterzaucher. According to Unterzaucher, the market needs more demand drivers in place to go along with the growth. “Demand is currently steady but, as we know, everything is cyclical. Greenville, despite being attractive, is not creating this much new demand that would warrant several hundred new rooms every year,” says Unterzaucher.


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The Convention Question Currently the city of Greenville has the TD Convention Center, an obvious attraction for those looking to the area for large gatherings and events. “It started out as a textile hall that the city rescued from bankruptcy,” says Hirsch. According to Hirsch, Greenville is now at the place that it is competing for conferences because of the lack of a central, downtown convention center, because travelers stay in one place and often have to budget for additional transportation. Thus, the question of a downtown convention center and its necessity comes up again and again. So, an outside advisor has been brought in to take a hard look at the market and examine every aspect that would go into the project. “That report should be in by the end of this year, it will be a very honest look at our market and, should [a new convention center] be downtown,” says Hirsch. According to Unterzaucher, a downtown convention center would have a significant impact on downtown itself. “We need to be aware that we want to preserve Greenville’s style of living that we enjoy,” he says. Traffic, parking and more construction would only be some of the changes to downtown due to the increase of activity from the convention center. According to Hirsch, it would have to really blend into the fabric of downtown, be mixed use and walkable. Many of the hotels agree. “A lot of work needs to go into what makes sense,” says Herron. For Unterzaucher, preservation of what the area already boasts is key. “There is an overall consensus that whatever we decide to do, it needs to be considerate and not damaging to what makes Greenville so spectacular,” he says.


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Meanwhile, In Spartanburg Up Interstate 85, Spartanburg has been experiencing its own downtown growth. Since 2013, 56 new businesses opened their doors bringing in over 500 jobs and $80 million invested into the downtown area itself. “The city is working with property owners, local developers and meeting with developers outside of the area to market properties and development opportunities. They see Spartanburg as a vibrant community to invest and just in the past month four significant buildings have sold and three more are under contract,” says Patty Bock, the economic development director for the City of Spartanburg. In addition, the city invested $2.3 million into streetscape improvements for walkways, streetlights, outdoor seating and bike paths. “Things necessary for people to come downtown to live, work and play,” says Bock. And when it comes to hotels, the Downtown Spartanburg Marriott and attached conference center holds the only position in that downtown market. The conference center itself can accommodate upwards of 1,000 guests with plenty of overflow parking. It won’t be long, though, before another hotel will enter the market, in another AC Hotel. “The market is demanding more beds and heads in the downtown and we don’t have other hotels in the downtown, so the AC Hotel by Marriott, with 110 plus rooms, brings needed diversity in a new brand,” says Bock. “Those guests will stay for a variety of reasons and they will eat, shop, and stay busy in our downtown, whether here for business or pleasure.” The city is looking forward to having another hotel and instead of a market shake up, they are referring to it as a “perk up.” The competition will help drive quality, while the availability of more and more space for people to stay will only be a positive to the flourishing Spartanburg downtown.


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LASERS, MASERS AND OUR OWN LOCAL HERO By Doug Kim Today, the LASER impacts everybody and is part of everyday life: electronic communications, surgery, barcode scanning, 3D printing (Additive Manufacturing), CD and DVDs, targeting commercial and civilian sectors, welding, scanners, light shows at concerts, distance measurements, temperature determination, military applications and on and on. While the term LASER (Light Amplification By Stimulated Emission Of Radiation) is well known, what is not so well know is that we can trace the origin of the LASER to a lesser well known innovation the MASER (Microwave Amplification By Stimulated Emission Of Radiation), an invention that was created by a team of three scientists in 1953 by P. Gordon, H. J. Zeiger and South Carolina’s own Charles H. Townes. Dr. Townes was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for the theoretical work that led to the construction of the first working MASER. What is not well known outside the scientific community is that the work of Dr. Townes on the MASER was the foundation of the creation of the LASER, which works on the same principle, but uses “light” rather than “microwaves”. In fact, when initial components of the LASER were first conceived in the 1950s, they were called the “Optical Maser”. Without the time and effort of men inventors like Dr. Townes and the researchers provided to him by the University system, the modern LASER would not be what we know it as today. Obviously, the economic impact of the LASER is staggering. In 2010, it was estimated by the American Physical Society and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, with the assistance of Stanford University, that in the IT industry, LASERS have had

a $4 trillion impact; Entertainment - $200 billion, Healthcare $2.5 trillion, Transportation - $1 trillion, Manufacturing - $500 billion and so on. To reach this level of economic impact, a few things have had to come together. The innovation has to be created, and that innovation has to be communicated in a meaningful way (good marketing) to those in the commercial space with the insight to see its commercial applicability. This leads to a different type of search; rather than theoretical science or innovation, the research goes to commercial Research and Development, and then to product development. Next, the commercialization has to be accepted by the marketplace which is accomplished by either identifying an existing need, or by informing the consuming public that they had a need. After all, the consumer didn’t know it wanted iTunes until Apple let us know we did. Henry Ford recognized this when he said, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said ‘faster horses’…”. As is typical with innovation in the 1950s, at the time of its creation, the LASER was a solution in search of a problem. Candidly, no one had conceived of the commercial applications of the MASER or LASER. It took quite a few years for the work of Dr. Townes to become a commercial product. As the timeline shows, commercialization of the LASER was not the singular effort of one individual, but a series of events that, when well-coordinated, resulted in wildly successful commercialization of innovation.

ABOUT DOUG KIM: Doug Kim, a physics major and former computer programmer, likes to maintain a close relationship with both up-and-coming technology, as well as the history of its predecessors. Kim is also the head of the Intellectual Property Group of McNair Law Firm and current Chairman of the InnoVision Awards.


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The 2015 InnoVision Awards Dinner on November 17, 2015 will honor the life and accomplishments of Dr. Charles Townes who left us this year at the age of 99.

TECH BRIEF July 28, 1915

Dr. Charles Townes is born in Greenville, SC and attends Greenville public school.

1935 -1939

Townes graduates from Furman University with a B.S. in Physics—but is interested in natural history—and graduates summa cum laude at the age of 19, completes his Master of Arts in Physics from Duke University and then receives his Ph.D. at the California Institute of Technology.

1933 -1947

Townes is a member of the technical staff of Bell Labs working during World War II on radar bombing systems. He receives a number of patents based upon his work at Bell.


Townes is appointed to the faculty at Columbia University and continues to research microwave technologies. He is made Professor in 1950.


Townes first conceives the idea of the MASER—a device that amplifies stimulated emissions creating coherent electromagnetic waves. . Only three years later, he builds the first MASER and coins the term.

1954 1958

Townes shows that, theoretically, the LASER could be built based upon the MASER technology.


Townes, along with co-researcher Arthur L. Schawlow, is granted U.S. Patent 2,929,922 for the “optical MASER.”


Theodore H. Maiman, a physicist at Hughes Research Laboratories in Malibu, Calif., constructs the first laser.


Lasers begin appearing on the commercial market through companies such as Trion Instruments Inc., Perkin-Elmer and Spectra-Physics. The first medical treatment using a laser on a human patient is performed by Dr. Charles J. Campbell of the Institute of Ophthalmology at ColumbiaPresbyterian Medical Center.


Barron’s magazine estimates annual sales for the commercial laser market at $1 million.


Only four years after the initial development of the laser, cutting and surgical tools are created based upon the technology.


The first semiconductor LASER is created.


Ushering in a new age of retail, a pack of Wrigley’s chewing gum is the first product read by a bar-code scanner in a grocery store.


The first commercial installation of fiber optic communications system is put in place in Chicago (under the street system).


Music is not exempt from the technological revoultion, and the CD is announced by Phillips as a new form of audio technology.


Laser Spectroscopy—the use of a highly energized laser pulse to analyze matter— is developed.


NASA flies the first LASER powered aircraft. The 11 ounce, 5 foot wing span prototype is powered by a laser which stimulates photovoltaic cells powering its small engine.


Industry analysts predict the laser market globally for 2010 alone will grow about 11 percent, with total revenue hitting $5.9 billion.

The Future

Ford’s LASER ignition system patent expires—this invention entered the market in 2012. While the uses are widespread—we have modern innovations already working in new applications. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has stated that “Our Connectivity Lab is developing a laser communications system that can beam data from the sky into communities. This will dramatically increase the speed of sending data over long distances.”


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POROUS BORDERS– A SOURCE OF CREATIVE ENERGY I was listening to my favorite radio station using an app on my smartphone, streaming it through a Bluetooth connection to my car speakers. The station, FIP, is broadcast in the Paris region, but through the wonders of modern technology is available to anyone who cares to listen. Of course, the commentary is in French, and it’s the comments of one of the DJs that I want to start with.

cultures. The British have embraced Indian cuisine to the point of inventing dishes that don’t even exist in India. Many dishes on the menu of a typical American Italian restaurant are Italian in name only, bearing little resemblance to the dishes of the Old Country. Yet with each variation, each new iteration creates a new mix that responds to the local tastes and brings a unique flavor to the world.

Languages are a funny thing, and translations are often amusing—sometimes downright hilarious. In this case, it was the striking use of a metaphor that caught my ear. The DJ was interviewing a producer who remarked on a certain young jazz artist. He said “She flows easily across the porous border between hip hop and jazz.” It was a way of describing the artist’s ability to mix and blend the two genres into new sounds.

In business, many companies are discovering that keeping strict borders between different functions, disciplines, lines of business are getting in the way of creativity and innovation. Some companies are purposely removing borders, pushing different groups of people together in different ways to spark new ideas and new approaches. More radical yet, some organizations are reaching out to a range of stakeholders – including customers, suppliers, even erstwhile competitors—and ‘co-creating’ products and services in ways that they could never do on their own.

We all know the story of the United States as a melting pot. And the issue of refugees seeking asylum in Europe is both heartbreaking and complex. But, even though there is ample evidence that new immigrants are a net positive to economies, it is not this political aspect of borders that came to mind as I listened to the innovative blend of music. What came to mind was that new ideas and energy seem to thrive at boundaries. In fact, look closely and you will notice how most borders are really blurry, and how much change and creativity can be found in those regions. Take the culinary world for example. It is driven by experimentations and blending of different cuisines. Chefs constantly dabble and blend flavors from diverse


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As I sat listening to that “radio” station halfway across the world, the jazz/hip hop fusion was indeed amazing. The artist was creating new art, passing through the porous borders of the two genres. When you are looking for creative solutions to problems, or innovative ways to delight your customers, take a close look at your organizational boundaries. You will almost certainly find new sources of inspiration in those porous borders.

ABOUT MARC BOLICK Marc Bolick replanted his native roots in Greenville after living in Europe for 13 years. He has worked in all aspects of product and service creation for companies ranging from Fortune 100 multi-nationals to mid-sized European firms to startups. Marc is managing partner in the US of DesignThinkers Group, an international design-driven innovation agency. He is passionate about using the power of service design thinking to help companies build their capacity to work collaboratively, to innovate and to solve vexing problems..

Carolina Gallery





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What was your first job? In grade school I used to sell Coca-Colas at Clemson games for our grandfather that ran the Anderson Coca-Cola Bottling Company. As a teenager, I was the end-of-line dishwasher for Capri’s Italian.


How do you strike a balance between your personal and professional lives?

What are some strategies you use to do so/keep yourself in check? Like the Dos Equis guy—kind of—says, “Stay Humble my friends!” Always keep the ego in check and your mind set on leadership, and if we get thirsty—we can get craft beer at the Growler Haus!


What is your biggest challenge currently?


What was your biggest failure as a professional and how did you recover?



How did you become involved with E-Merge?


Any other projects in the hopper?

Having a Type A personality and living in a Type B world!

Not sure I have ever encountered a total failure. Learning from the mistakes and growing from reflection and insight is always important. What is one of your favorite hobbies, and what is it that you find most fulfilling in it?

I was sitting around a campfire one night at the end of 2011 and was pondering the incubator plan and asked a group of colleagues “what would go well in Anderson to compliment and draw more people downtown?” I figured I had been a corporate guy for 10 years and needed to prove to myself how to start something from scratch before building a program to help other people get their dreams off the ground. Craft beer was trending, I was driving to Greenville to get good craft beer and we said “what about a coffee shop with a relaxed nostalgic business environment with great craft beer?” The rest is history.

Now that I am in my middle age, I always ask myself, ‘will the activities benefit and/or add value to my family, me or community?’ If the answer is maybe, I dig deeper into why I should spend time on the activity.


Where did the idea for Growler Haus first come from?

e-Merge @ the Garage is my Liberty Fellowship project that I built on paper over 18 months during the Liberty program and then afforded the right to capture the grants through some great S.C. Department of Commerce and local community support. All in all, it has been a great three-plus year project and I look forward to what the city of Anderson has in store during its maturity now that we have successfully launched all the programs our team spelled out in the grant’s framework.

There are a few Upstate municipality projects I am engaged in, reviewing and guiding them into building their own entrepreneurial ecosystem. The culture is an important base to understand, then digging into the stakeholders, assets and a mutually agreed upon action plan. Then, we are off to the races.

I enjoy starting businesses and seeing others learn and become successful—that is the most fulfilling hobby. It can be a roller coaster game; just buckle in and do not drink too much of your own Kool-Aid before the “ride of business startup reality”.


What is your plan for yourself in the future?


What is the most important thing for a new entrepreneur to do when getting a startup off the ground?

I will continue to evaluate opportunities in the Upstate and across the state of South Carolina and build and capture fruitful national and global relationships to this great state we live in.

Dream big, execute a simple plan and become more complex as warranted through the business process. Double or triple the time, resources and money of what you think it will be and you will not be disappointed at the end of the process.


Emerge @ the Garage in Anderson is thriving as an entrepreneurial boomtown. Check it out at


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REGULATION “A+” AND VENTURE CAPITAL FINANCING In 2012, Congress passed the JOBS Act with the intent of making it easier for start-ups and smaller companies to raise capital. At the time, Regulation A was an existing Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulation that provided the rules for one type of private securities offering, but it was not often used because it only allowed companies to raise a maximum of $5 million and Regulation A offerings were subject to state securities law registration requirements. In contrast, the most common type of private offering, a Rule 506 offering, has no limit on the amount of money that can be raised and is exempt from virtually all state registration requirements. The JOBS Act revised Regulation A to increase the offering limit to $50 million and, subject to certain requirements, exempt Regulation A offerings from state registration requirements. Final regulations implementing the revisions became effective in June, 2015, so it is time to consider whether Regulation A is now an attractive alternative to Rule 506. Regulation A could be used by a wide variety of companies, but we will focus on Regulation A as a potential option for startups and venture capital stage companies. Time will be the ultimate test, but it does not appear likely that Regulation A will replace Rule 506 as the primary offering method for early stage companies. While helpful in many respects, the revisions made to Regulation A set up an offering process that is simpler than, but similar to, the full SEC initial public offering process. In a Regulation A offering, a company must submit offering documentation with specified form and content (Form 1-A) to


Business Black Box Q4 2015

the SEC for review and comment, and no sale of stock can occur unless and until the SEC “qualifies” the offering. Regulation A offerings can be made exempt from additional state securities law requirements, but only if the company is willing to engage in ongoing public reporting that includes annual, semi-annual and current reports that are a simplified version of those required for public companies. Regulation A does have attractive features that are generally not available in Rule 506 offerings. For example, there are no restrictions on the number and types of investors that can invest in a Regulation A offering, and a Regulation A offering can be used to permit shareholders, not just the company, to sell stock. Regulation A also generally permits public solicitation of investors. (Rule 506 permits this but only if certain investor verification requirements are met and all investors are “accredited investors.”) In addition, with the increased limit under revised Regulation A, offering size generally should no longer be a significant factor in choosing between Regulation A and Rule 506. For many start-ups and venture capital companies, however, the SEC review process and the unhappy choice between public reporting or state law compliance may be just be too high a price to pay for the benefits of Regulation A.

ABOUT ANDY COBURN As an attorney with Wyche, Andy regularly represents clients in mergers and acquisitions, reorganizations, structuring of joint ventures, securities offerings and other financing transactions. He has extensive experience with growing companies and private placements of securities. Andy also advises and assists public and private company clients in the design and implementation of executive compensation arrangements, equity compensation plans and broadbased employee benefits. Outside of his legal profession, Andy is on the board of the Greenville Little Theatre, a project leader for Habitat for Humanity, and serves as a Business Black Box advisor in law.




TRUMP: BULLY AND/OR PROTECTOR? Like many, I have found the dynamics of the 2016 Presidential Race both interesting and perplexing. Of course, the centerpiece of media attention has focused—for better or worse—on the candidacy of one individual and how he has challenged what is referred to as “conventional wisdom”. Some detest him and some admire him and no matter where you fall, the emergence of Donald Trump, is worth further examination. To many, Trump is simply a bully. If it sounds like a duck and walks like a duck, then it must be a duck, right? And why the support for a bully in a country where 3.2 million students are the victims of such each year? What kind of example are parents giving their kids when they openly support someone whose tone, actions and attitude are so in line with what society says is bad behavior? Here is where it gets interesting. Dewey Cornell, a forensic psychologist and bullying expert at the University of Virginia defines bullying as, “the repeated, intentional harm of another person who has less power than you do.’’ There is, my friends, the rub. Many voters don’t necessarily see Trump’s targets for verbal assaults as having too little power but rather, too much power. While he is undoubtedly blunt, sometimes offensive and full of braggadocio, to his supporters he is not a bully. To them, it is the elected class—the “establishment”—who are either unresponsive or too intrusive, depending on the issue. In their minds, they are being bullied by Washington’s inaction and inattention to repealing Obamacare, to stopping the flow of illegal immigrants, to fighting ISIS, to providing unfair tax


Business Black Box Q4 2015

breaks to those that don’t need it and much more. They feel ignored, taken for granted and abused. And to them, Trump is their protector. He has given voice to their anger.

It makes sense. And yes, it probably took a guy with deep pockets, no filter, and a “yuge” made for television personality, to start the discussion.

How—you ask—can anyone, especially someone seeking the presidency, say and do so much that has offended so many and in all likelihood would have ended any other candidacy, be seen as a protector? How can a guy who started with millions in inheritance identify, connect and be a “voice” for Joe Six-Pack?

Whether he wins the nomination and becomes president or not, Donald Trump has ripped off the bandages. He has exposed a serious, significant wound when it comes to how the public feels about the state of American politics. He has given voice to an angry mass of people who know that very little of the people’s business is getting done in Washington. And while that angst is understandable, I would respectfully remind you that our system of checks and balances doesn’t allow for a president to just “fix it” by “building a wall” or talking tough and mandating that it is so. That’s what monarchs and dictators do. Is that what you want?

It speaks volumes about society’s frustration and cynicism towards all institutions such as Washington, Wall Street (Sanders over Clinton) and the Church (Pope Francis vs hierarchy). We know that most victims are either afraid or unable to stand up against their bullies. That’s where the protector comes in. The protector is the one who stands up for and side by side with the victim and to help them defeat their bully. And, perhaps so blinded by their anger and frustration, it matters little that Trump has not offered any substantive policy solutions. He has cleverly said a lot and very little at the same time. To those who see Trump positively, the other guys are only offering lip service. So how does this turn out? As the field narrows, money gets harder to raise and voters get focused on issues that matter specifically to them, Trump’s lack of substance and specifics will further erode some of his “entertainment value.” Serious voters are now beginning to move past window shopping and for Trump, that might turn into a “bad deal”, with Fiorina, and to a lesser extent Carson benefitting.

Second, I would say to those who have been supportive of Trump, be careful. The message is more important than the messenger. Trump’s obsession with poll numbers, petty shots, and constant tweets and skirmishes with the media put far too much focus solely on him. Not on the important solutions we need which is what has you so mad to begin with.

ABOUT CHIP FELKEL Hollis (Chip Felkel) is a veteran public affairs strategist and political advisor who has worked in the state and national arenas for almost 30 years. He is the CEO of Felkel Group and of RAP Index, a web based advocacy service. Follow him on Twitter: @ChipFelkel




LAURA RODDEY Sea Island Seasonings

THE PITCH: Sea Island Seasonings isn’t a major name-brand seasoning salt that you’re going to find on shelves at Publix. It is a smaller, local brand that is trying to make an impact. My name is Laura Roddey and I, along with my little brother Thomas, am the CoFounder of Sea Island Seasonings. When Sea Island Seasonings started, Thomas and I created the recipe in our kitchen at home as an out-of-the-box Christmas present for friends and family in our hometown of Beaufort, SC. Before we knew it, we were receiving rave reviews about it and how those people wanted more. This was in 2011 and now—four years later—the company is looking into growing the business and broadening our horizons to reach a larger consumer base. Until recently, Sea Island Seasonings was blended, bottled, labeled, and sealed all in that same kitchen. With the exciting growth that the company is experiencing, Sea Island Seasonings is in a major transition period as we work to outsource our assembly from our kitchen at home to one that can handle our growing demand. From the beginning, we decided that all of our profits would be given to charity. In the early stages, the proceeds helped financially assist The Help of Beaufort, a local food bank, and the Little Red Dog Foundation, a nonprofit that provides specialized tricycles to wounded warriors and children who are unable to ride normal bicycles. While not forgetting these two local charities of Beaufort, South Carolina we have since been able to spread our assistance to other charities including the Military Heroes Foundation, the Hope Center for Children in Spartanburg, and Prevent Child Abuse America. Thomas and I have found that there is no greater feeling than being able to help those in need, whether they are in our own community or across the country. We never thought we’d get so much out of giving something so little for Christmas four years ago and it’s even more exciting to think where we’ll be four years from now. But whether we’re under the same roof or 200 miles away, Thomas and I will stick together to help change the lives of those we’ve never met with this product created for giving: Sea Island Seasonings.


Business Black Box Q4 2015

Photo by Wayne Culpepper/FishEye Studios


THE FEEDBACK: Normally I try to touch on a few different aspects of a business in a pitch review but I want to address one thing specific today that will be critical to get right in order to grow your business. As a customer, I’m going to buy your product because it tastes good. I’m going to buy it because it solves a problem in my life— whether that be a bland steak or some boring asparagus. I am not going to buy it because of a specific charity to which you donate. This is obviously very important to you and the purpose of your business, as evidenced by its prominence in your pitch and placement on your website. Realize though, that you first have to be relevant to what is important to your customer or you won’t be in business long. To fund the growth of your business you have two simple options. You either raise capital from outside investors or you self-fund through customer sales (profits). Either of these growth options faces a substantial hurdle when you commit to giving all of your profits to charity. If you look for outside investors, then a portion of those profits are going to be theirs to choose to do with what they want. An outside investor is going to be looking for a return on their investment proportional to the risk of investing in your company. They will then use that return to invest in other companies, provide for their own families, and most likely give to the charities they support. If you decide to self-fund, then your challenge may be even harder. Your sole source of growth capital (to buy new equipment, hire new people, hold more inventory, etc) is going to be your profits. If you are giving all your profit to charity, then you will be choking off your only source of growth. Finally, I want to tell you that I truly applaud your entrepreneurial spirit, family commitment, and desire to help others. The freeenterprise system in America has created the most generous nation on the planet and you have become an honorable part of it. I heard a statement many years ago from a billionaire that I’ve always remembered. He said “broke people can’t help broke people.” The best thing you can do to help those you desire is to create a strong, healthy and profitable business. Good Luck! DAVID SETZER Founder, The Bootstrap Engine CEO, MailProtector


The S.C. Angel Network is gaining traction! Check them out (and how you can qualify for Angel Investment incentives) at

People have been making and selling salt for thousands of years. The word “salary” comes from the Latin for salt, because Roman legions were occasionally paid in salt—and it had a long history even by then. Spices have been traded for millennia across the world in fact, finding better ways to trade them is partly why Columbus came to the Americas. So a new blend of seasonings isn’t an obvious product on which to build a business in 2011! But there are many businesses—for-profit, not-for-profit or charitable focused (like yours), and “hopefully-one-day-for-profit”– based on local or regional foods, flavorings, and recipes, and some of them have been very successful. Selling locally to family and friends, and then to their friends, is a great start, and I’m sure your positive reviews so far are well deserved. It sounds like your next challenge—growing the business and widening your consumer base—is one you will relish. It is undoubtedly going to be difficult and my biggest concern would be your competition. How do you compete against aisles of established seasoning brands, or farmers’ markets stalls filled with interesting regional products? How can you convince people not simply to making their own concoctions at home? And, probably most importantly, how do you persuade distributors to get your products to enough outlets to meet your goals? You need good answers to these questions before you invest your money and effort in expanding, because once you start growing you won’t have a lot of spare time! You’ll need to develop a brand for marketing; create your ecommerce site (you should probably get this up now, so readers can buy your product without calling you!); and make your production methods more scalable—not to mention comply with manufacturing standards that get ever higher as you get larger. Solving these, and all the other challenges of being a small business, will make it hard for you to stand back and see if your recipe is working. You have an exciting history so far. I hope that you can continue growing into a business that has its own place in the history books and enduring legacy for the charities you assist.

PAUL CLARK Director, SC Angel Network


Business Black Box Q4 2015



ACCESSO A CAPITAL: CUALES SON MIS OPCIONES No hay duda que el tema es uno, a veces, muy trillado. Los expertos parecen tener la respuesta y estamos de acuerdo en que educarse en cuanto al tema y buscar información es sumamente importante. En mi experiencia personal, la búsqueda puede llevarnos a desmotivarnos. Obviamente, se necesita dinero para comenzar un negocio. En el proceso del desarrollo de la idea la obtención del dinero necesario se encuentra en el proceso. Repasemos los pasos básicos para comenzar un negocio: 1. La idea; 2. Un estudio de mercado; y 3. Un plan de negocios. Es dentro de estos procesos o pasos que debemos acercarnos a los profesionales como lo son el experto en mercadeo, el contable o asesor financiero, y hasta en algunos casos, un buen abogado. Las fuentes para encontrar el capital necesario son variadas, y entre ellas se encuentran: ahorros personales, de los familiares y amigos, socios o empleados, préstamos bancarios o del gobierno (Small Business Administration). Otras instituciones como las cooperativas de crédito, son otras posibilidades que usted no debe descartar. En el área del financiamiento de nuevas empresas existen muchos mitos que todo el mundo repite y solo voy a nombrar los que me parecen más importantes: 1. Hay sin duda muchos tipos de ideas de negocio que requieren cantidades sustanciales de capital. Las franquicias suelen requerir inversiones de sobre $200.000 dólares, mientras que la manufactura y la biotecnología pueden


Business Black Box Q4 2015

requerir millones de dólares. Sin embargo, usted puede comenzar fácilmente un negocio con menos de cinco mil dólares. Ejemplos que vienen a la mente son las empresas de consultoría, servicios de reparación y empresas de limpieza. 2. Comenzar sin dinero, es comenzar en pequeño y sin posibilidades de crecer. Muchos empresarios utilizan una técnica llamada “bootstrapping” donde crecen los negocios mediante la reinversión de las ganancias que genera la propia empresa sin buscar financiamiento exterior o personal. Para una pequeña empresa que sólo necesita comprar más equipo o invertir en mercadeo, “bootstrapping” no detendrá el crecimiento del negocio y será una manera más barata de hacer crecer su negocio. 3. No hay dinero para financiar los negocios. Es cierto que la financiación de su negocio no es una tarea sencilla. La mayoría de las fuentes tradicionales de financiamiento requieren que usted tenga un par de años de funcionamiento y buen crédito con el fin de cualificar. Sin embargo, hay algunas opciones con menos requisitos. La Cámara Hispana de Carolina del Sur, por ejemplo, ha establecido recientemente un fondo que ofrece pequeños préstamos a empresarios hispanos llamado AXESO. Este programa ofrece financiamiento accesible para nuevas empresas que no cualifican para préstamos tradicionales. Actualmente estamos aceptando solicitudes. Si necesita más información sobre nuestro programa, póngase en contacto con la Cámara Hispana al (864) 643-7261 o visite


Want to know more about local Hispanic businesses? Check out the S.C. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce at

4. Es absolutamente necesario usar financiamiento externo. A veces, puede utilizar los ahorros personales para ayudar a financiar su negocio. Otra idea sería la de conseguir un empleo, mientras que su negocio se levanta. De esa manera, usted no tiene que depender de su nuevo negocio para proporcionarle los fondos necesarios para continuar con su estilo de vida. Cuando sea el momento adecuado y su negocio se lo permita, usted puede dejar su trabajo y dedicarle toda la atención a su negocio. Como siempre, la SCHCC está aquí para proporcionar asistencia. Nuestro programa AXESO puede proporcionarle los fondos que necesita para iniciar o hacer crecer su negocio en términos que sean cómodos para usted. Para más información sobre nuestro programa, póngase en contacto con la Cámara Hispana al (864) 643-7261 o visite

ABOUT EVELYN LUGO Evelyn Lugo is the founder and President of the South Carolina Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (SCHCC). With a background in business administration, Ms. Lugo obtained additional experience in working with corporations such as Eastman Kodak, Abbot Pharmaceutical and 3M. Her motivation is to help entrepreneurs, identify business growth opportunities, and help others to overcome challenges during their business development. The South Carolina Hispanic Chamber of Commerce was incorporated in August 2007 and designated a 501(c)6 non-profi organization in June 2009 by the IRS.



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Business Black Box Q4 2015


PLAN STRATEGICALLY “I love it when a plan comes together,” was the famous line from John “Hannibal” Smith of A-Team fame. Strategic thinking and planning are vital to success of any project you undertake. It’s always a good idea to have some sort of framework, goals, assignments, timetable or map of what is needs to be done when, how and how well.


1. Work from Big to Small In your initial brainstorming session and team meetings—hopefully you have a team—identify your largest tasks first and then begin to fill in the finer details. Michelangelo didn’t just climb a scaffold and start painting the Sistine Chapel! He took time, formulated a plan, sketched out drafts, decided what needed to go where, and finally laid it out on the ceiling before starting to fill in the finer details of the masterpiece. Masterpieces usually don’t happen by just flying by the seat of your pants from the start. 2. Involve a Team It’s always a good idea to work in a team and distribute responsibilities among several people, especially if they specialize. Take this publication for instance. One person cannot simultaneously create and edit content, sell advertisements, take pictures, design and print this magazine. Instead it is a labor of love coordinated with several talented individuals who take on parts of it based on their skill sets. Everyone has a job to do, and once a quarter we get to celebrate the accomplishment of a dynamic and talented team. 3. Use Props Calendars are key. Day planners, wall and desk calendars, and Google Calendar can all be vital tools in planning out. They can help you assign and think long term. A wall calendar can help you visualize a lot of bigger dates and upcoming events. Google’s Calendar is extremely helpful because of it can be shared with your entire team allowing them to see events and add in there own availability or lack of availability at a given day or time. Asana is another useful tool for setting tasks based on calendars and works as a shareable to-do list. 4. Perfect Communication Especially when working in a team, communicating is key. In this age, it’s incredibly easy to reach out to people. Email, texting, and Facebook are all ways to get hold of people, but you need to make sure that all channels are open and clear during a project and be sure everyone knows to be as prompt as possible in responding to messages. Things like Google Hangout and Skype are great for meetings, especially if you aren’t in an office together, and texting is great in a pinch. is an amazing tool for helping to visualize workflow, but also you can comment on individual projects and the team is alerted to it. 5. Do an Autopsy The dust has cleared. The event is over, the magazine published, the Sistine Chapel is painted. So now what? First, celebrate a job well done. Then, immediately perform an autopsy on your accomplishment. I know, it’s hard thinking of your hard work as a cadaver, but you—and your team—always need to critique it. Look at it objectively and ask: What worked? What didn’t? If we failed at something, how can we not do that again? Did we do a good job planning and executing and how can we improve? Make notes and learn; failure is the greatest teaching tool.


Business Black Box Q4 2015

Business Black Box - Q4 - 2015  

Upstate South Carolina's Business Magazine

Business Black Box - Q4 - 2015  

Upstate South Carolina's Business Magazine