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C O LU M N S 18























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NEXT GEN P.54 Photo by Wayne Culpepper/FishEye Studios


Q2.16 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.










ART DIRECTOR CATHERINE CRANDALL Business Black Box (Vol.8, Issue 2) is published four times per year by ShowCase Publishing, 18 S. Markley Street, Suite B, Greenville SC 29601 phone (864) 281-1323; fax (864) 281-1310. Business Black Box is a registered trademark of ShowCase Publishing 2016. 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.

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CHANGE OF ADDRESS When contacting us about changing your address, please provide us with both the old and the new addresses, as well as any other informational changes. The post office will only forward Business Black Box for 60 days, so make sure you let us know as soon as you have your information ready.

BACK ISSUES When available, back issues of Business Black Box are available for $9 by mail or for $7 for pick-up through our office.

FREELANCE OPPORTUNITIES Local talent is what keeps us moving. If you’d like to write or photograph for Business Black Box, please contact the editor at or by mail to Business Black Box , c/o Freelance Opportunities, 18 S. Markley Street, Suite B, Greenville, SC 29601.

REPRINT / PHOTO / VIDEO REQUESTS If you’d like to request a copy or a reprint of a photo or an article you’ve seen in Business Black Box, or of a video we’ve done for your event, please contact us for info and pricing at info@ or by mail to 18 S. Markley Street, Suite B, Greenville, SC 29601.



EVENT MANAGEMENT / SPONSORSHIP Business Black Box hosts events monthly from Business Connect networking held at local businesses to sponsoring events for other local organizations. If you’d like to find out more about hosting an event with Business Black Box, or about working with us to sponsor your event, please call our sales team at (864) 281-1323, ext. 1010, or email sales@

GET MORE BUSINESS BLACK BOX Whether you are looking for a story we did in 2010, or are curious about what is in the current issue of Business Black Box, check out our new online digs at


Business Black Box Q2 2016




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


1 2 5



9 6


10 8 12



13 17




Amy Wood, Anchor, WSPA


Chip Felkel, CEO, The Felkel Group 2.

11. Tony Snipes, Business Coach & Entrepreneur 12. Coleman Kirven, Commercial Banking Executive, The Palmetto Bank

Julie Godshall-Brown, President, Godshall Staffing 3.

13. Todd Korahais, Operating Partner, Keller Williams Realty

Andy Coburn, Attorney, Wyche Law Firm 4.

14. Terry Weaver, CEO, Chief Executive Boards International

Dean Hybl, Executive Director, Ten At The Top 5. Tiffany Hughes, Director Of Marketing, Meyco Products 6. Michael Bolick, CEO, Selah Genomics


Greg Hillman, Upstate Director, SCRA/SC Launch! 8. Ravi Sastry, VP of Sales & Marketing, Immedion 9. Jil Littlejohn, President, Urban League Of The Upstate 10.

15. Sam Patrick, CEO, Patrick Marketing & Communications 16. Matt Dunbar, Managing Director, Upstate Carolina Angel Network 17. John Deworken, Partner, Sunnie & Deworken 18. Nigel Robertson, Anchor, WYFF 19. Douglas W. Kim, Shareholder, McNair Law Firm, P.A.


Business Black Box Q2 2016


WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS Background: As of today, the Senate has (finally) put out an infrastructure (roads) plan, and sent it to the House. Right now, the House is considering it with a few amendments. This will likely have changed by the time the magazine hits your desk. At least, we can hope. Now I’m not here to get in the pros and cons of the bills put forth in House and Senate. Nor am I here to name names, nor criticize the lethargy of our elected leadership in addressing this issue. What I want to do instead, is talk about what is happening to us culturally. It’s really easy, after all of this, for the collective public to take a big breath, and say “Well, the Senate plan isn’t great, but it probably is the best we’ll get and we should probably thank our lucky stars that we have something, and accept it.” That may be true, but it is, in fact, counter-culture to who we are. By accepting the Senate bill, we are not only saying “minimally acceptable is okay” but we are also enabling the type of behavior that produces only the minimally acceptable. Would you ever hear Pete Selleck (Michelin) say: “that tire isn’t great, but it does technically work, and it’ll last as long as it takes to get it on a car, at least”? Can you imagine Frank Greer (Zipit) saying: “You know, we developed this platform, but it works kindof like the same way a pager does, so there’s not really any use in us taking any additional steps…we’ll just let the pager companies figure it all out.” It’s hard for us to imagine any of our S.C. companies doing only what was minimally acceptable. Yet for some reason we are willing to accept this out of our political leadership? We claim we have a state that is creative, innovative, collaborative and competitive. We claim to be one of the best states to work, live and play—and we are. You know this when you look at our cities and our communities and our businesses and our non-profits. But for a state that is all those things, the Senate plan is no more than another kick of the can. You can’t minimally fund something for one year with surplus and pretend that it’s solving a problem. You can’t avoid tax increases if you do not plan to fund these issues— those that cannot be fixed with 12 months of surplus—on a consistent, long-term basis. We don’t want to raise gas taxes because it impacts the lower-class negatively. Yes. All tax increases will. But you know what else will? When our businesses decide to leave this state, taking with them the jobs that we need. (Besides, if we are worried about poverty levels and impacts of our decisions on the lower class, maybe we need to focus more on the services that directly serve them and stop kicking those cans down the road, too.) There are also those who would argue that we can’t pass long term funding becuase we first need an audit (done) and possibly an overhaul of the Department of Transportation. I don’t disagree, but to quote a good friend, “These issues are not an excuse for inaction. If anything they are a call for more action.” It’s not time to pass the buck, or make excuses. It’s not a time for pandering, changing the subject, requiring more proof. This is not a time for minimally adequate, and it’s up to the voting base of our state to stop accepting it. This is a time for true leadership to step up and deal with whatever issues that arise and handle this issue, looking toward the long-term success of South Carolina. The can has been kicked for so long that it is a dented heap. As is my car, after driving I-85 every day.

Publisher, Business Black Box | 864/281-1323 x.1010 | megonigal 8

Business Black Box Q2 2016

Photo by Wayne Culpepper/FishEye Studios


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

WHAT VOTERS WANT IN A PRESIDENT According to a PEW Research Study, your average voter looks to qualities such as fresh ideas (55 percent of voters), military experience (50 percent), military experience—while becoming rarer—(50 percent) and are in some way religious (51 percent). In addition, where a potential candidate stands on an issue is becoming more important over perceived “electability,” with roughly 67 percent of Republicans and 65 percent of Democrats voting based on issues.



In September of 2015, 55% of GOP voters wanted new ideas over experience.


of both Republicans and Democrats prioritized electabily of a candidate.

of U.S. adults view military service as an asset to a presidential candidate.








The Greenville Drive is in its 11th season. Meet the man who has taken them from baseball team to community force. (p.20)

What’s WISE? Find out what it means for local students. (p.42)

There were 781 data breaches in 2015 alone. Learn how to avoid being one in 2016. (p.34)

See why 2015 was a record economic year for Oconee Country and why 2016 is looking the same. (p. 54)

The Space @ Wofford has a new director; take a look at what makes him tick. (p. 64)

Business Black Box Q2 2016

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




South Carolina Exports

$30.9 Billion Value of export sales for the state in 2015


Consecutive years of setting new export records


Increase in export numbers over 2014


Increase of exported aircraft sales

$9.8 Billion In motor vehicle export sales


Of U.S. exported tires come from South Carolina


$30.9 Billion

Different countries exported to from South Carolina

Value of export sales for the state

Image by John Wollwerth/Shutterstock

*Information courtesy of South Carolina Department of Commerce


Business Black Box Q2 2016

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




Want to keep up with the latest news on innovation and accolades in the Upstate? The NEXT Innovation Center, a program by the Greenville Chamber that encourages the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Upstate, keeps up a regular blog updating with their news, announcements and upcoming events.

What We Read: The Wizards: Inspiring Stories of American Entrepreneurs Who Take Company Building to a High Art Form by Michael Caldwell The Gist: “They face the same trials and tribulations that all companies have, regardless of industry or growth.” From the intro to the final page, The Wizards seeks to show you how across all different fields, sectors, businesses, that the entrepreneurs at the heart of these businesses are just mortals, yet possessed of a vision and creativity that helped them start successful businesses.





How It’s Written: Each new chapter introduces us to a new entrepreneur and their story. From first jobs, to schooling, to all the failures and successes, each new chapter tells the story of a “wizard” from beginning to end. Great If: You are an entrepreneur and want to have some insight into how other entrepreneurs created their businesses, overcame adversity and ultimately became wildly successful. Don’t Miss: Greenville’s own SANDLAPPER Securities and Trevor Gordon’s chapter, where he discusses on his early days in mutual fund research and sales to moving to the Upstate and founding SANDLAPPER. Our Read: The Wizards is an excellent insight into the stories of the men and women behind widely successful companies and can be incredibly useful to the up and coming entrepreneur who needs some guidance.


Business Black Box Q2 2016

Habitica Tired of the typical to-do list? What about one where you get to slay monsters as you complete tasks? Habitica turns your to-do list into an RPG style game that makes it fun to accomplish your daily goals and projects.




The road to transportation innovation begins at ITIC. Located in Greenville at the South Carolina Technology & Aviation Center (SCTAC)—a global hub for international business—the International Transportation Innovation Center (ITIC) is an innovative breeding ground for automotive research and testing.





Your Business is Cleared for Takeoff

Innovation on Track

For more than 50 years, SCTAC has served as an international business hub that drives $2 billion in annual economic impact. SCTAC is home to more than 100 advanced manufacturing and technology companies.

ITIC is a leading-edge automotive campus that facilitates transportation innovations in an ecosystem that is safe, secure, and confidential. ITIC delivers a dynamic research and testing environment that supports the development of sustainable transportation and networked vehicle systems.



GREENVILLE, SC 29605 | PHONE: 864.451.5755 |

FAX: 864.299.0797

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



What: Women in Business Conference 2016 Where: Converse College, Spartanburg, SC When: May 3, 2016


The gathering of female business leaders and role models from various sectors such as business, education and community outreach, in order to encourage, learn and share practices in an enriching environment. For more information: Visit web.spartanburgchamber. com/events/Women-in-BusinessConference-2016-1224/details


What: Business Black Box’s 2016 LEADER Series Where: McNair Law Firm, 140 S. Main St, Suite 700, Greenville, SC When: 2nd Tuesday of each month, 4 p.m.

“Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship. The act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth.” PETER DRUCKER


Black Box’s monthly forum series is dedicated to presenting up-­to-­date topics and trends that you need to know about in the business community. Presented in an open forum style with experts so you can have your questions answered. Networking and cocktails follow the presentation. For more information: Contact Business Black Box at (864) 281-1323 ext. 1010, or by email at

23 MAY

What: The Kopis Classic Where: Thornblade Club, Greer, SC When: May 23, 2016 Want to play golf and support local innovative education? For this year’s Kopis Classic, NEXT High School will be the beneficiary of all raised money so they can continue on their mission of changing the face of education.

For more information:

DID YOU KNOW? In the 1830s, gold mining was a major industry in South Carolina, only being outdone by agriculture. At its height, the state had more than 100 mines in operation. didyouknow.aspx


Business Black Box Q2 2016





WOOF THREADS Made in Greenville, SC Woof Threads offers the highest quality dog bandanas around. Each is 100 percent made in the Upstate in a variety of colors and designs to make your dog look their best. For more info, visit:

Photo by Wayne Culpepper/FishEye Photography

Woof Threads modeled by Brahj.


Business Black Box Q2 2016


by Chip Felkel


THE SAD STATE OF POLITICAL AFFAIRS To render me speechless is significant, and yet, the state of American politics and the 2016 race for the White House has come pretty close. It’s tremendously sad when so many people tell you they don’t see an appealing option to support, however, that is exactly where we are. Sure, a lot can and will happen before November and in the strangest of strange political cycles I certainly will not volunteer to predict or prognosticate about what comes next. The real question I think is: how did we get here? What exactly led us to this point? The answer lies not in one clearly defined event or development, but rather a number of contributing factors over the last 25 years. Of course, the easy answer is that the masses are just angry and fed up with what they view as uncaring, unresponsive and out-oftouch elected officials who say one thing to get elected and do another once in office in Washington, in Columbia or down at City Hall. That is true. Another easy answer would be to blame the current administration for promising “hope and change” and yet being consistently partisan in their own actions. That, to some extent, is also true. Some might go so far as to say that ironically, there is no Trump campaign without the Obama administration. But, I think it is really far deeper than that. There has been a confluence of social trends and policy decisions that have contributed significantly to the current environment. It’s not just one thing, but rather a whole lot of things: Free Trade. The passage of NAFTA in 1993 and the acceptance of China into the World Trade Organization can be directly connected to the availability of jobs and to the stagnation of wage growth in the United States. Both parties


Business Black Box Q2 2016

fought for these policies, both promised there would be new jobs to replace old ones, and instead, automation or more senior positions have been the result across numerous sectors including engineering, chemistry, biotechnology and others. With the loss of these jobs there has been a loss of “hope” and from that loss, comes anger. Further, the bailout of Wall Street in 2008 did very little to assuage the fears of Middle America that the deck isn’t stacked against them, that their elected officials really cared about their personal situation and that special interest lobbyists have far too much influence. Bottom line is: Where was their bailout? Cultural Shifts. It’s pretty clear we are, as a society, losing the reverence we have long held for a number of institutions and concepts, particularly as it relates to our civic interaction and personal experiences. We attend church less, we seem to less inclined to expect—and demand—honesty and integrity, we are told that we should expect less in terms of work product and work ethic, we see that marriages that last for decades are unique, not the norm. Political correctness has been the required mindset, not conviction to a set of unwavering, unflinching principles. In many minds, we are shifting more and more towards being like Europe, which scares the hell out of folks in terms of their more left-leaning government policies and social norms. Congressional Lines. We have no honest to goodness “general elections” outside of the race for the presidency. Let’s face it: most elections are now decided in the nominating process months earlier. To win the party nomination, a candidate has to swerve hard Left or hard Right in order to appease the views of those hard core party activist who are most likely to participate. It’s hard to truly

get any kind of serious discussion on policy when the candidate only has to appeal to such a small percentage of his or her actual voting constituency. Talk Radio. Anger sells. Many people listen to talk radio to have their own views reaffirmed. A lot of those views are fueled by frustration and anger over financial stresses, wages, or yes, an aversion to political correctness. Anger, begets anger. Frustration begets frustration. The more angry and frustrated listeners there are, the more a station or show can charge for advertisements. It’s one thing to be played but it’s another to be conned and played and not even realize it. Cable News. Don’t kid yourself. Whether you watch Fox or MSNBC or CNN, they too have an agenda and they too, are selling advertising. Don’t assume otherwise. Again, anger sells. Social Media. People post things on social media they would never say to someone’s face. The keyboard courage that exists today is beyond anything we would have ever imagined. Why call when you can text? Why keep quiet when you can blast someone of opposing political belief without really having to look them in the eye? Why follow mom’s old advice of not saying anything at all if you can’t say something nice?

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


by Josh Overstreet photo by Kevin Anderson/FishEye Studios


Business Black Box Q2 2016


Business Black Box Q2 2016


Business Black Box Q2 2016

Just like you don’t hit the track and automatically run a marathon, you don’t build a brand that is a vital part to the community overnight. as a marathon runner himself, Craig Brown knows the importance of taking one step at a time and has built the Greenville Drive into a vital part of the community fabric in the last 10 years.

The Second Marathon “I used to run and maybe have one marathon left. I always like to make the analogy that if you look at it as 26 miles you will never do it; you can’t visualize the end,” says Craig Brown, owner and president of the Greenville Drive. “The only way you can do that is to divide it into three-­or five-­m ile segments and run a three-­mile segment, then another. Then you realize that you are nine or 12 miles in, and the end becomes more of a reality. Careers and relationships evolve in the same way.” For Brown, the baseball team represents a second career—a second marathon. As a 23-­year veteran of global advertising and part of some of the major, historical mergers of that business, Brown’s first marathon was quite eventful. After joining D’Arcy Macmanus & Masius, the advertising agency responsible for Skittle’s “Taste the Rainbow,” and Coca­Cola’s first Santa Claus design in 1980, he was part of the merger with Benton & Bowles, a New York­based advertising company whose most famous client was Procter & Gamble, in 1985, which is looked at as the first big merger in that industry and that led to several others over the next several decades. “Basically, I became the chief financial officer for the firm, then I became the chief operating officer and then I became the president,” says Brown. “We grew from $100 million in revenue to $2 billion in revenue.” Then in 2002, Brown was a part of one of the last major mergers of global advertising—between Bcom3, a Chicago based agency, and the Publicis Groupe, a French advertising company who can claim Coca­ Cola, Nestle and Hewlett­ Packard as clients—which would become one of the final four players in global advertising, as these four firms controlled 60 percent of the global advertising market. “It was really the last mega merger that could take place in the business. There weren’t any firms left that size that could get together. So I like to say I was in the first merger in the advertising business and in 2002 I did the last merger with Publicis,” says Brown. Not wanting to pick up and move his family to France, where Publicis is located, Brown decided that his first run was over and began to look for another to begin. “I was still young enough to make a difference and ultimately choose, and I stumbled upon minor league baseball,” says Brown. “There were three of us—the original owners of the

Greenville Drive—we just knew it represented a throwback in the way it engages with the community. It was wholesome and very family oriented and it attracted business.” “To have a second career where you get to work in sports—a lot of people think that’s the sexy thing to do,” he says. “It keeps you young and vibrant as much as possible and there’s enough business involved in running the Drive that it keeps my business juices flowing.” In the sports world, if you want to own a team in minor league baseball, you have to wait for a franchise to come up. As chance would have it, the Columbia Bombers in Columbia, S.C., came up for sale, and Brown and his two partners jumped at the opportunity. “Being marketing people, we knew to really make the brand and do what we wanted to in the community, we needed a new stadium because the stadium in Columbia was very outdated and not at all modern,” he says. “We tried for years to develop a stadium proposal working with the city and with the University of South Carolina. In the end, we weren’t successful with that.”

The Drive Then, in 2004, the Greenville Braves were lured away to Jackson, Mississippi. “We were just suffering the disappointment of not getting a new stadium in Columbia, and all of a sudden—Greenville— just 90 minutes up the road, became available,” says Brown. In 2005, the team was awarded to Brown and they were tasked with building a stadium for the first pitch on April 6, 2006. “In the course of building the stadium, from March 2005 to April 2006, it was kind of like running a marathon. It was emotional, invigorating, exciting and all of those emotions, and in the end probably the most satisfying thing I’ve ever done in business—to see on April 6, the whole thing come together in one great, grand opening,” says Brown. There was no soft opening and no time to waste. The night of the game, the asphalt on Main Street was still warm from being poured the previous night. The crosswalk paint was still wet, and they had forgotten to get an American Flag. “At 4:30 p.m. for a 7 p.m. start, we were buying a flag,” says Brown.


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The Community Fabric “I spent 27 years living in Connecticut, after we had moved from Michigan. In Connecticut, we lived 50 miles from New York City,” says Brown. “It’s hard to get a sense of community living that close to a big city. I never really experienced a community since becoming a business person. So in coming down to Greenville and having things like the Chamber of Commerce and other activities, it was very invigorating.” According to Brown, the team doesn’t mean much without being a vital part in the community fabric. Being shiny and new will get people in the doors, he says, but you have to become a mainstay in the local community to have long­term, impactful success. Its for that reason that programs such as the Greenville Drive Reading All­Stars, partnering with the Blood Connection, YMCA, boy and girl scouts are vital to what the Drive is. “Every one of our events is put under the softer side of economic development, and what we really have here is a community engagement platform,” says Brown. “Five years ago, the Greenville News called Fluor Field ‘Greenville’s Front Porch.’ I didn’t necessarily knew what that meant, but came to learn it was a compliment. You go back to that desire to be a part of the fabric of the community and it tied quite well.” Another important relationship Brown cultivated is with the city government. “I like to say the relationship with the Greenville Drive and with the city of Greenville is one of the best public­ private partnerships in the country,” he says “We were named National Ballpark of the Year in 2006. You just don’t do that unless you have a very committed partner in terms of the city.” A tangible example of that partnership drives up and down Main Street everyday—the trolleys. They were purchased as part of the branding of the Greenville Drive to ferry people from County Square—the main parking lot for Fluor Field. “We purchased a trolley with a branding and a look that was consistent with the Greenville Drive—we positioned it very much that the Drive experience begins with the trolley ride to the ballpark,” says Brown. The trolley was such a hit that the city wanted them to buy a second one, according to Brown. “It evolved to where we didn’t really need the trolleys except on game days and the city always wanted trolleys as an amenity to downtown Greenville,” says Brown. “So in exchange for the branding rights to the trolleys as the Greenville Drive trolleys, the city now operates them and gives us priority on games.”


Business Black Box Q2 2016

photo by Kevin Anderson

Every one of our events is put under the softer side of economic development and what we really have here is a community engagement platform. —Craig Brown


Business Black Box Q2 2016


Business Black Box Q2 2016

The Next Decade “Last season was all about our tenth anniversary season. We did a lot of retrospective looking and it’s gone by in an instant—as it always does,” says Brown, who is looking ahead to their second decade. “We’ve been very intentional about this being our second decade and not sitting back and being content. You are either going forward or going backward, there isn’t such thing as standing still so we have an effort to relaunch the brand if you will.” Among some recent investments have been a new video board along with an upgraded sound system. A new 500 Club is set for this year as well. Several new announcements are planned for the next six months focusing on the infrastructure of the ballpark itself. “We want to make the experience always fresh; that’s really the business we are in—delivering the unexpected at times,” says Brown. “It’s been a great 10 years, I wouldn’t change a bit, but we want to make year 11 a jump shift and take it to another level,”

A Single Step For Brown, his time with the Drive wasn’t something he planned out meticulously. “The advice I have is that it’s not like I had a 10­-year plan that this is my second career. I didn’t really know how this was all going to play out,” says Brown, who has learned that sometimes pursuing perfection can be a detriment to good business. “A lot of young people look for perfection and sometimes they let that perfection get in the way of good.” According to Brown, you just have to take one step at a time and see where that leads and then take another step and repeat that process. Just like training for a marathon. Recently, Brown bought out his original two partners in the team and at least for the foreseeable future settled the Drive here in Greenville. “That was the ultimate confirmation that this is what I enjoy doing and I want to do it for as long as I am able,” says Brown. “It’s been a great 10 years, I wouldn’t change a bit.”


photo by Kevin Anderson/Fisheye Studios

Business Black Box Q2 2016


by Tressa Gardner


OUR STATE NASA (OR, HOW TO GET YOUR GEEK ON IN S.C.) I am a South Carolina space geek. String theory makes me giddy; neutrinos tickle my funny bone. My husband and I scamper onto the roof to watch the bright path of the International Space Station across the night sky—our neighbors think we are odd. The Mars Rover and I are on first name basis. My geek club is NASA. I’m by no means a NASA expert—just an enthusiastic and engaged advocate—and I consider myself a part of a proud South Carolina tradition. After all, our state’s NASA roots trace back to Lake City, where Challenger astronaut Ronald McNair grew up and is memorialized. South Carolina is also the birthplace of astronaut and current NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. Through education, technological innovation, research, business and industry, the South Carolina-NASA connections are significant and strong. I’m part of a large community of like-minded folks from around the country who engage with NASA daily through social media. Since the inception of NASA Tweetups (now Socials) in 2009, over 5,000 folks have participated. I was fortunate enough to be one of approximately 200 NASA “socialistas” to attend the first multi-site NASA Social, spread across six sites, in August 2012 as Curiosity prepared to land on Mars. I was in Langley, Va., where we spent the day touring the facility, walking through wind tunnels, and posting everything we saw on social media. For some I met, attending a Social at every NASA facility completes their bucket lists. My geekiness began soon after I arrived at Florence-Darlington Technical College (FDTC) in 2003, just as Spirit and Opportunity were launched. The duties of my National


Business Black Box Q2 2016

Science Foundation (NSF) grant-funded position included recruiting high school students for our engineering technology programs, one of many programs that lead to high paying STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers. What better way to engage kids than to talk about small robots and dune buggies heading to Mars? In recent years, improving STEM participation has become a national priority, not just for NSF and FDTC but for schools, colleges and corporations. NASA’s impact might surprise you. The following are just a few examples: ScienceSouth in Florence hosts NASA Science Saturdays for children across the Pee Dee, utilizing projects and hands-on activities related to current NASA projects, such as learning to drive a Rover. The South Carolina Space Grant Consortium is funded by NASA and provides opportunities for two- and four-year college students to participate in summer research projects with university faculty from across the state. The Consortium’s partner institutions also host teacher workshops using NASA related curriculum. A product developed by Columbia-based Sensor Electronic Technology, Inc. (SETi), the world’s leading supplier of deep UV LEDs, was sent to the International Space Station (ISS) for research. At last November’s SCBIO Conference in Charleston, Craig Kundrot, Lead Life Scientist for NASA presented “Human Systems in Space and at Home.” SCBIO supports and advances South Carolina’s life science industry through collaboration,

advocacy, workforce development, and education. Kundrot addressed 200-plus industry leaders to describe what we are learning from the Human Research Project, including the year-long Twins Project now ongoing with Mark and Scott Kelley. Every year, NASA develops 1,600 projects and partners with industry to translate those discoveries into commercial projects to improve lives across our country and the world. Currently NASA and Boeing are testing anti-stick coatings to prevent bugs from sticking to wings and windshields. Dead bugs create drag which results in lower fuel efficiency for airliners. A two percent increase in efficiency saves millions. In his recent address to the NASA community, Columbia native Charles Bolden, who was aboard Discovery when the Hubble Telescope launched, summed it up best: “The State of Our NASA is Strong!” In South Carolina, our state of NASA is strong, too.

ABOUT TRESSA GARDNER Tressa Gardner is Associate VP of the Southeastern Institute of Manufacturing and Technology (SIMT), Florence, SC. Ms. Gardner connects business, industry, inventors and entrepreneurs to the advanced technical resources of the SiMT. Ms. Gardner received a Bachelor of Science in Economics degree from Francis Marion University and a Master of Arts in Economics from Clemson University. She served as Project Manager and Co-PI on numerous National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education (ATE) and S-STEM grants to Florence-Darlington Technical College from 2003-2013, and joined the SiMT as Director of Business Development in 2013.




By Reba Hull Campbell People in Hartsville like to think of their hometown as “the small town with a big heart.” That “heart” is pumped by lifelong residents and newcomers alike who are committed to investing their time and resources to strengthen the local economy and build a better quality of life. While Hartsville boasts a Fortune 500 company headquarters, numerous educational institutions, bountiful natural assets, a bustling downtown and reinvigorated neighborhoods, city leaders understand progress and growth must happen strategically and must happen in all parts of the city. A key element in the city’s vision for economic development is identifying the types of businesses that would fit the unique assets of the community and going after those companies. Leadership from the business, education and nonprofit communities have joined city leaders in creating the vision for Hartsville. From brick sidewalks and ample parking to façade grants and streamlined business licensing practices, a major factor in the success of downtown Hartsville’s renaissance in recent years is the focus on making it easy for a business to locate and thrive downtown. One incentive the city offers provides reimbursements of certain fees and taxes for a limited time, which increase Hartsville’s attractiveness to private developers. The fact that 14 new businesses opened downtown in 2015 is evidence that the city’s attention to business development is working. Partnerships have been essential to the city’s success in its downtown development efforts. Two of those partners, Startsville and Main Street Hartsville, are key players in downtown development. Startsville is a partnership among the City of Hartsville, Duke Energy, Clemson University and business leaders that helps local entrepreneurs connect with the resources they need to be successful. Main Street Hartsville is part of the both the Main Street USA and Main Street South Carolina programs that support downtown revitalization efforts. Both Main Street Hartsville and Startsville operate under the umbrella of the Foundation for a Better Hartsville as a conduit for funds. Startsville and Main Street Hartsville came together to create the StartUp Hartsville competition to help new downtown businesses get off the ground. Last May, the program kicked off by awarding $12,000 in rental assistance to two businesses that were already planning to open downtown. The program also provides legal, marketing and accounting support to the winning businesses. The owners presented their business plans to a panel of business leaders and economic development professionals. Selection was based on economic viability, solid business plans and the ability to open quickly. An entrepreneur opening a boutique featuring handmade accessories and another who owns a furniture boutique and wine/bourbon bar were the first winners of the contest.

Two new hotels now draw additional visitors to stay downtown. A 90room Hampton Inn and Suites opened last year. Additionally, a former furniture store has been transformed into the Mantissa Executive Suites and Spa, a locally owned boutique hotel with 17 luxury rooms, a rooftop bar and fine dining. Educational institutions are helping create a vibe that appeals to young people in downtown Hartsville. Coker College is located just off the city’s main hub. Coker students not only go downtown to eat and shop, but some also live downtown in upper floor apartments built specifically to meet their needs. Two blocks down from Coker is the Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics. Students at this two-year residential high school become part of the fabric of downtown by participating in internships at City Hall and frequenting the local coffee shops and restaurants. At Christmas in 2014, the students joined Main Street Hartsville to pair with artisans from the Farmer’s Market to open a 30-day storefront selling local homemade and hand-crafted items for the holidays. Coker and GSSM students have also been the reason the city has gone after downtown businesses such as Grouchos and Pita Pocket that appeal to this young demographic. City leaders note that while downtown Hartsville is flourishing, this success hasn’t come at the expense of other sectors of the city. The past year has brought attention to revitalizing the historic Butler district adjacent to downtown. A renewal plan focuses on opportunities for housing, business and transportation in that area of town. A grant from the Byerly Foundation allowed the city to establish the Business Builders program to help entrepreneurs in the Butler neighborhood who couldn’t get traditional funding for their business. The program includes a certification course that teaches aspiring entrepreneurs the skills they need to own and operate a successful business. Everyone who completes the program is then eligible to apply for low interest loans of up to $10,000. City leaders also recognize the importance of maintaining a system of diverse public parks to cater to a variety of interests all around the city. A downtown pocket park in the parking lot behind the Mantissa Hotel has café seating and string lights to connect parking lots to downtown stores and restaurants. A dog park is in the planning stages downtown. Garrison’s Place is a fully-integrated playground that includes a wheelchair-platform swing, adaptive swings and a zip line for children with disabilities. The city also added aquatic wheelchairs at the Piratesville Splash Pad at the Byerly Park Recreation Complex. Burry Park downtown is the site of summer movies in the park while Centennial Park hosts the annual tree lighting. Vision and action have come together in Hartsville to create a place people want to live, work and visit.

ABOUT REBA HULL CAMPBELL Reba Hull Campbell is the deputy executive director of the Municipal Association of SC that represents all 270 South Carolina cities and towns. Reba has spent more than 25 years in communications, government relations, fundraising and campaigns around SC and in Washington, DC. When not working to promote the interests of SC cities and towns, Reba is a writer, traveler and frequent bicycle rider on the Swamp Rabbit Trail.


Business Black Box Q2 2016




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Business Black Box Q2 2016


by Sharon Day


3 BIG ASSETS SELLERS HAVE, AND OFTEN MISUSE I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the issues my prospects and clients share and why the same themes keep recurring. What I’ve found is that at the heart of what is working well for some and not for others are three assets available to all sellers: your time, your mindset and self-talk, and your network. Those who maximize all three consistently outperform their teammates. Let’s take a look at each of these through some specific examples. Your Time: Yes, this has to do with time management, but on a deeper level that relates more to what these sellers choose to focus on and how they prioritize their work and personal lives. Understanding their core strengths and energy levels also plays a part in this. One sales candidate shared that she attributes her success generating new business to one thing: she schedules her prospecting. Each day she sets aside one hour in the morning and one in the afternoon. These appointments are non-cancellable and she doesn’t allow distractions. One-hour blocks make it easy for her to work around meetings and it goes fast so she doesn’t burn out on the activity. Focusing and planning her time has resulted in her having a proven, repeatable and successful system. For those of you who love to make lists, here’s a tip. Select four or five items and make those the core things you’ll focus and work on. Put the rest of the items aside. By focusing, you’ll know a greater sense of accomplishment and less frustration in not having to look at a long list of things you didn’t get to. Your Mindset and Self-Talk: These sellers have a keen sense of self. They have honed the skill of recognizing when their self-talk


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is turning negative and they stop themselves and reframe their thinking. This is huge and has a powerful positive impact on their performance. They have pushed themselves through their fears to realize how ridiculous those were to begin with. One client’s new seller shared that they felt their rates were ‘a bit pricey’. Uh-oh! Until they change their mindset to ‘the work we provide is worth twice what we charge’ they will struggle and leave monies on the table. Top performers don’t over-think, pre-judge or pre-imagine; rather, they stay positive while performing necessary behaviors.

you start down the path of negativity, selfdoubt, listening to your fears, or giving in to how tired you feel, you will find yourself in a tough spot. You will likely make decisions that involve poor use of your time. You may procrastinate about reaching out to others. It requires a great deal of energy to continually push yourself, especially when you’re off your game, but push you must so be positive. One step at a time keep moving and doing the right things for the right people and you will succeed.

Another advantage these sellers have is that they minimize contact with negative people and refuse to work in negative environments or with overbearing clients. They don’t compromise on this issue. Your Network: We all know lots of people on varying levels. The top-tier sellers regularly reach out and provide value to their network. They keep a list of the 25 key business relationships they need to cultivate in order to quadruple their business. These are their ideal target clients. Because these sellers have provided value, the people in their network help them gain introductions to these companies. No man or woman achieves success on his or her own. Getting to the top requires having a network of varied talents and strengths for support; one of relationships based on securing mutually beneficial outcomes. Top guns realize the value of this asset. They leverage their network. While these things seem simple enough, for many sellers they prove hard to do. I’ve come to believe that the second asset—your mindset and self-talk—are the reason. Once

ABOUT SHARON DAY Sharon Day is President of Greenville-based Sales Activation Group. She and her team focus on recruiting, educating and motivating sales teams to produce at higher levels. Everything is customized for each client and their offerings range from fractional sales management to one-of-a- kind sales contests and promotions. For more information call 864.451.7676 or e-mail:



Business Black Box Q2 2016


It’s not a question of if you will get hacked, but when. Find out how to protect yourself, what to do when you get hacked and how to stay ahead of the curve to reduce the risk of being a statistic in 2016.


Business Black Box Q2 2016


Business Black Box Q2 2016

It seems these days every company is at risk, and each year the attacks get bigger and bigger, costing customers and corporations alike up to millions of dollars to recover. In fact, according to Identity Theft Resource Center, 2015 alone saw 781 data breaches—338 that exposed more than 164.4 million personal records, and 160 that exposed another 800,000 credit and debit card records.

But cyber war isn’t isn’t new. Some believe that it began (accidentally) in 1988, when Robert Tappan Morris, a student at Cornell University, created a cyber worm—by his account, to determine the span of the internet—that went horribly wrong. Like most Artificial Intelligence villains out there, the worm didn’t bow to its creator; it morphed into a virus and began infecting everything it touched. In the end, it is estimated that more than 6000 computers were affected (about 10 percent of the total number of machines connected to the Internet in that day) costing somewhere between $250,000 and almost $100 million dollars.

According to Anderson—a Security Entrepreneur and CEO of Atlas Vault, which views security in the light of the company-vendor relationship—data is vulnerable in one of three states: while at rest (in a database or on a server), while being consumed or used, and in flight (while moving across the wire from rest to consumption).

While the result of not protecting data is clear, the how of how to protect it is not.

Out of the 781 breaches reported last year, almost 38 percent were due to hackers or scammers. But also represented were accidental exposures (by email or Internet), theft, and thirdparty compromise.

“Prepare for something to go wrong,” says Ben Hathaway, Chief Technology Officer of Upstate-based Virtual Connect. For Hathaway, the issue of cyber security is part of his daily work. Virtual Connect’s core offering—called MailProtector— is an email-focused security system that offers, among other things, a cloud-based filtering platform for email. “To assume that you’re going to be ahead of every threat forever is foolish. You need to prepare; the only thing worse than a threat getting through is not being prepared for it getting through.” To do so, he says, “You have to imagine all the possible scenarios. If there’s a fire, what happens? If the internet goes down, will you still be able to operate?” That type of response—a holistic, company-wide view—is a deliberate shift from the way companies used to view cyber security. “We used to silo risk. It used to be just the IT or security guy that would be concerned with digital risk,” says Adam Anderson. “But people are moving away from the silo and into collaboration between organizations. The thing is, they are extraordinarily bad at it.”

That’s a lot of potential for hackers and bugs, but to think the key to fighting cyber attacks lies in technology is absolutely wrong. For prevention, the best place to look is your own organization’s policies, processes and procedures.

On February 12, 2013, President Obama issued an executive order focused on improving critical infrastructure within the federal government. But read the order itself, and you’ll notice one critical factor. “It was issued to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, but It has nothing to do with technology,” notes Anderson. “It has to do with the processes and procedures in place on how to deal with the data at rest, and then in flight, and then while it’s being consumed.” Still, it’s hard to grasp how the two are linked, until you consider how many breaches originate. In his book Small Business Cyber Security, Anderson relates the following story: “…The employees at one company had so many IDs and passwords to remember for their systems that they posted them on a whiteboard in the office. People were photographing in the office and tweeting pictures, without realizing that all of those passwords were now tweeted to the world.


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“There’s a dual issue in this example. One is the complicated procedures, so complicated that no one can remember them. Then, people are allowed to take pictures in the office. This might not have been an issue in the old pre-digital days, but now with Facebook and everything else, it certainly is.” And while that example seems pretty cut and dry, consider this: the breach of the South Carolina Department of Revenue—hacked on August 12, 2012, and resulting in 3.8 million tax returns being compromised, in addition to 1.9 million social security numbers, almost 700,000 business tax returns and 3.3 million bank accounts—began with a single email. According to a report on this breach provided by Mandiant, a cybersecurity firm hired to determine the scope of the breach, a standard “phishing” email was opened by an employee at DOR. When opened, their user name and password were stolen. That information was used to log in, and through that user’s access level, permitted to steal other users’ credentials. Over a few weeks, the hacker did their due diligence on the system, and then finally, began moving information to the Internet. None of this was realized until October 10—almost two months later. It took almost $21 million to rectify the problem, with the state instituting a new security and paying for credit monitoring for S.C. taxpayers. The critical mistake, Anderson notes, is to assume it can’t— or won’t—happen to you; that hackers are only going after large entities. “People don’t understand how hackers find them, but nobody is looking for ‘Adam Anderson’; it’s automated, like a virus,” he says. “If you were going to go to a country that has an outbreak of something, you would take precautions. Why not with your own company?” He also notes how easy it is to be hacked—even by someone who isn’t trained in coding or hacking into systems. “There was a financial institution, who had a Smartphone app that got hacked. What had happened was that a person went to the Darknet, which is super encrypted, and posted a job that said, ‘I would like to hack the bank website.’ He got malware and hackers to bid, along with references and past portfolio of work. In the end, he got it done for $1500. “That’s how easy it is to do these things,” he adds. “You cannot afford NOT to take this seriously.”


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So then, what is a company to do? There are so many risks and so many possibilities— where does one even start?

Take Ownership “Know thyself,” says Anderson, who notes that a company has got to take ownership of cyber security and their own risk. “Too often we want to outsource it,” he says. “We think, ‘the consultant needs to own it.’ But if you get hacked, that consultant is worthless.” Start with evaluating your own policies and processes. See if you can identify holes or cultural norms within your organization that leave gaps in information security. Lock into what your goals are and the main areas you want to make sure are secure.

“Often times, a question arises as to who owns the data—e-mails, voice mails—on a company-owned phone, computer, or other electronic device,” says Reggie Gay, an attorney and shareholder with McNair Law Firm. “Companies need to be sure there is no expectation of privacy on the part of an employee, and so should clearly state in their policies and contracts that the company is the owner of all phone, computer, and electronic equipment and the data stored on them.” According to Gay, these documents should also state that the employee should have no expectation of privacy when using such systems and the company is free to monitor or view the data at any time.

Keep in mind, too, that your vendors and contract employees are an extension of your business as well, so don’t leave them out of the loop or out of the plan.

But what if the phone belongs to the employee?

Get Help

“The answer becomes a little less clear,” says Gay. Still, he says, “Companies should address this issue in their policies by stating that an employee’s personal phone, computer, or other electronic device used for work purposes is subject to search by the company and the employee has no expectation of privacy.“

When dealing with Cyber Security, there are so many potential threats that it’s important to make sure you are connected to someone who knows what they are doing. Hathaway recommends finding trusted vendors to take the security issue off your plate. “It’s such a moving target that unless you’re going to be doing it full time, there are new threats every day,” he says. “Good luck treating it like a part time thing and trying to stay ahead of it.” Anderson agrees, with a specific caveat. “Go out and get professional help creating the strategy, but don’t buy from that person afterward,” he says, noting that many vendors are simply there to sell you software and aren’t truly interested in helping minimize your risk. The easiest way to ensure you’re getting something effective in helping plan your security strategy? “Pay someone for the plan and let them know up front that you will be purchasing elsewhere and part of their job is to help you find vendors.”

Watch the Phones It’s no surprise that many workers are accessing their work email from their phone—it’s a way to achieve lifestyle balance while always being accessible. But who owns that info?

Remember the Inbox It’s not just finances that need to be protected. Keep in mind that when Sony Pictures was hacked in 2014, it wasn’t stolen business records that did the most damage—it was the emails retrieved that opened private conversations and made them public. Because after a hack, the last thing you want to have to deal with is a public relations nightmare at the same time.

Don’t Put it Off Whatever you do, make sure that you are making cyber security a priority, and in this case, sooner is far better than waiting until later. And don’t assume that this is a giant undertaking—you can make your company and it’s information safer step-by-step. “There are maybe 20 things that an average company can do right now to lock down cyber risk, and these are things that can be done for under $20K and move you light years ahead,” says Anderson. “The myth is that it’s difficult.”


Business Black Box Q2 2016


by Anna Locke


ACTIONS V. INTENTIONS In daily life we tend to judge ourselves by our intentions, yet we judge others by their actions. Great intentions can lead to great things, and only with action in between.

activities that will impact the cash flow for the month in order to meet the company’s needs. Often times, this person is the owner of the business or senior management.

As I sat in a meeting recently and reviewed three sets of financial statements for the same entity, I could see where action was missing. I knew what the intentions of management had been, and I saw clearly what new action needed to be taken. There were holes (zeros) in categories that should have been full of new activity. The company’s investment in pipeline, or its long term revenue generating assets, was a major hole. Another hole was failing to invoice for the little things—tracking the time spent providing ‘free’ services to its clients.

I remember the days in which I was starting to do my homework and my mother would walk in just before I had picked up the pencil. All energy was lost when she told me to do the thing I was already intending to do. However, my intention alone to do my homework didn’t get it done. How does the energy leave when great intentions get interrupted in your business? What will prompt you back to action?

The cash flow statement in a set of financial statements proves out the actions taken by a business in a given month or year. The cash flows overlaid against the previous month or previous year show us what is possible as much as what has happened. A cash flow statement takes away the customer names and the details that may distract us from the true results. Work performed for the customer and never invoiced is lost opportunity. Accounts receivable without collection turns into zero gross profit. Equipment purchases without use of the equipment just consumed next month’s bonus check. Banks need to understand the cash flow cycle of a business in order to extend financing, and someone in the business needs to be able to describe the cash flow cycle to the bank. This means someone needs to be watching—and cueing—


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The cost of inaction can be huge. Keeping an eye on cash flow creates activities for the entire company team and should be the reflection of your actions consistent with your intentions.

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.




Business Black Box Q2 2016

Photo by Wayne Culpepper/FishEye Studios


SERITAACKER By Josh Overstreet

For Serita Acker, education is an important gateway to a better situation. Now, she is making it her life’s goal to make sure others know how important education is to improving not only one’s self, but also the community around them.

“Basically I applied for the job (program director for Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) at Clemson University) and got it, but what kept me here and what is appealing is my desire to expose young people to education. Period. These highly technical fields are necessary,” says Serita Acker.

For Acker, creating an environment of support and networking is one of the most important parts of WISE. The space the program occupies is always open for students to come and work and get to know each other, tutors are always available to help students and a program called Women in Science and Engineering Residence (WISER), which lets female students live together in the same residential spaces and be able to mentor and support one another.

While it might have been just a job at first, Acker quickly found her calling in life. While her father worked for the city and mother was a cook, Acker is a first generation college student and knows exactly how much it impacted her life.

with corporate donors and working around the state to make sure that the best and brightest of the next generation of STEM professionals have what they need to succeed. “How can we do this better, recruit and retain and how can we help students get through and get those degrees?” says Acker. “We need to keep the program going to leave a lasting legacy.”

In addition to helping on campus, Acker is also passionate about being active in the community and showing students the educational opportunities that they have, especially in STEM related fields. They also utilize a program called “Math, Science and Engineering is a Girl Thing” and go into Anderson School District 5 schools to mentor and put STEM education in front of female students who may be considering a related field.

“If you get some kind of credential, it can turn your life around,” says Acker. “It has been true in my life.” Originally graduating from Lander in Business Management, she completed a masters in human resources during her time at Clemson University.

WISE, in support, receives donations and outreach help from local industry leaders— such as FLUOR, GE and Duke Energy—who all benefit from a stronger STEM workforce.

Now in her 26th year—and 20th working specifically with STEM students—Acker has taken WISE to new heights. When she first came, freshman women made up 17 percent of students in engineering.Today they make up roughly 30 percent at Clemson.

“The more we have in that circle, the bigger the workforce will be in the future,” says Acker. For now, while Clemson undergoes a reorganization with the colleges of Engineering and Science and WISE and Acker will become a part of the Center for STEM Opportunity and Diversity. Her new role under the program will be partnering

“Even in 2016, you can come to Clemson as a minority and very well be the only one in your major. As a female, as you get into higher level classes you can be the only female in the room,” says Acker.


As of 2012, only 18 percent of women, eight percent of Hispanics and four percent of African Americans receive a bachelor’s degree in an engineering field.­numbers­explain­stem­ diversity­matters­us/


Business Black Box Q2 2016


by Leslie Hayes


DO YOU SEE WHAT I SEE? I have horrible vision. If I tried to drive without glasses or contacts, I could probably keep the car on the road at 15 miles per hour, but I still might hit something. It’s amazing how simply wearing glasses gets me down the same road four times faster and accident free! Last quarter, I mentioned lack of vision as one of the critical factors impacting employee engagement. I know you answered those questions and have 20/20 clarity on where you are trying to go this year. My question to you now is: Are you communicating that vision? Here are four areas to check: Compensation. You know the adage— people will do what you pay them to do, but are you paying them to do what you want? Last year we discussed revisiting your pay bands to address upcoming changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act; however, when communicating vision, it is critical to tie rewards explicitly to behaviors that fulfill the vision. For example, do you value collaboration and teamwork but provide only individual raises and bonuses? Besides base pay, what are the other rewards in your organization? How do these rewards tie to results? Policies. When is the last time you revised your handbook? For legal reasons, you need to review certain policies annually— but have you looked at your conduct or performance policies lately? Are they clear, concise and aligned with your vision? Policies don’t need a lot of words; they need the words that are there to be clear and meaningful.

1: praise-or-criticism/


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For example, if you value honesty, you do not need 100 words on integrity. Instead, you can say, “Do not lie, cover up, evade or ‘fudge’ the truth. Ever.” That’s pretty clear, right? Feedback. Excellent coaches have one thing in common: they stop a player the minute they do something incorrectly, show them how to do it correctly, and have them practice it several times.1 Contrast this with the workplace. Typically, we provide instruction manuals or training courses, turn the employees loose on the process and only follow up when something goes wrong—or provide a “once-a-year, need-it-or-not appraisal” that is, at best, neutral at motivation. Or, even worse, we provide no direction and force employees to figure it out as they go along—only to criticize when the work doesn’t match our vaguely-defined expectations. Behavior. Does your management team talk openly and repeatedly about the vision? Have they personalized it to their functional areas and are they demonstrating results that support it? Do you see discretionary effort? New ideas? Openness to mistakes? Sharing of credit? As a leader, do you “shoot the messenger” when you receive bad news or openly thank the individual for bringing the information forward so that it can be addressed? Want to go faster than 15 miles per hour? Look at your organization through some new lenses and make sure you are enacting and communicating the vision you want your team to see.

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.



Business Black Box Q2 2016


In recent years, both Greenville and Spartanburg have seen a massive renewal in their downtowns. Retail space, events and great restaurant scenes are easy to see as part of rejuvenation, yet none of them would be possible without a foundation: a thriving office market. BY JOSH OVERSTREET




Business Black Box Q2 2016


Fundamentally, for a downtown to be sustainable long-term, you have to have good office spaces, retail, residential and entertainment. NANCY WHITWORTH

A History of Revitalization

The State of the Market

Over the last decade or two, both Greenville and Spartanburg have experienced a renewal effort in their respective downtowns, all based in having a foundation set in the office sector.

The market for Greenville and Spartanburg—and the Southeast as a whole—is healthy. Investing, construction and low vacancy are all factors that show that the downtowns of both are growing and growing in good ways.

While there are several noteworthy facades in downtown Greenville, one of the easiest to recognize is what was once known as the Daniel Building. Now called the Landmark Building, it was built in 1965 and was the main office of Daniel Corporation founded by brothers Hugh and Charles Daniel, until it was acquired by Fluor in 1977. According to Nancy Whitworth, deputy city manager for the City of Greenville, Charles Daniel’s purpose in building it was to have an impressive presence in the downtown area. Now, 51 years later, it is still one of the most recognizable in the city. Downtown Greenville has always had a strong business presence in multiple sectors—especially banking and finance. “The names aren’t the same names as they are today, but the banking industry always had a presence downtown,” says Whitworth. In the 1970s a lot of the retail base moved from downtown Greenville which would hurt the city for many years. “That took a lot of energy out of the downtown,” says Whitworth. That energy left, but with the building of the Hyatt, the Liberty Buildings and the city getting more and more involved with putting on events in the 1980s, you had a return of not only businesses interested in selecting downtown to work in, but people coming back to enjoy what downtown could offer. “Fundamentally for a downtown to be sustainable long-term, you have to have good office spaces, retail, residential and entertainment,” says Whitworth. Similar to Greenville’s revitalization, downtown Spartanburg has undergone similar growth in not only having people working downtown, but having activity and residential growth as well but it is all anchored with a strong office presence. “Denny’s, QS1, Advance America, American Credit Acceptance and Integral Solutions make up the bulk of our core downtown,” says Patty Bock, director of economic development for the City of Spartanburg. In addition, the Spartanburg Marriott and the Hyatt Regency both anchor their downtowns giving them not only a hotel for business travels but conference room space.

According to the CBRE Marketview of G.S. Office Space, in Q4 2015, the vacancy rate of office space hit 12.2 percent, a record low. This came in spite of the loss of a major tenant, CertusBank. The same report says that the loss of Certus was cushioned by a healthy increase in informational technology and technology distribution, such as Wynit Distribution. “Wynit was a very big deal,” says Mike Panasko, the business development manager for the city of Greenville. “We had a product that helps sell itself and we have a lot of advocates.” The Greenville Area Development Corporation (GADC), the Greenville Chamber of Commerce, Greenville County and the South Carolina Department of Commerce all work together to recruit and retain new office tenants not just in downtown Greenville but anywhere in South Carolina. Downtown Greenville currently has several sites under development that will be used for office space. Erwin Penland 360 will add about 125,000 square feet of Class-A space, 504 Rhett will have 6,000 square feet of space for offices, and Falls Park Place will add 12,000 square feet of Class-A space. Finally, Camperdown, the multi-use project at the Greenville News building, will include space for offices in addition to retail, hotel and apartment development. In Spartanburg, there are currently two locations proposed for potential office and mixed use space. The first is a 50,000 square foot, 250 worker site on Liberty Street and the other is a six-story mixed-use development on Daniel Morgan Avenue at West Main Street. In addition, Beaumont Mill is being renovated to house 400 staff for Spartanburg Regional. “Developing the downtown is one of the top priorities of the city. We aim to have a healthy, busy and vibrant downtown that has the same unique and gritty edge that it has now. This is what Spartanburg is already and one of the reasons people will choose to work and live and play in Spartanburg. As demand continues to rise, the need to convert some of the vacant older buildings into more modern open office space will need to happen,” says Bock. However, with all growth comes potential growing pains.

“You need places for business to have meetings, it’s one of those essentials you have to have, to grow the office space in downtown,” says Whitworth.


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Looking Ahead

“We decided years ago to get into the parking business to level the playing field,” says Whitworth.

“You have to make sure whatever you are doing is sustainable from infrastructure and resource standpoint,” says Whitworth.

Most of the parking structures in downtown Greenville are owned by the city in an effort to make sure rates stay down and don’t become a burden on office tenants.

Parking and infrastructure aside, the office market is quite healthy in both downtowns, mostly because of a certain vision of recruiting companies and growing from within.

According to Whitworth, parking is much more affordable than if it was owned privately.

For Greenville, it’s all about trying to stay diverse in medium range businesses and offices. According to Whitworth, it helps not to have all of your eggs in one basket, so if a merger happens or a downturn closes your big downtown corporate giant, it will not cripple your local economy.

Spartanburg, likewise, views parking as one of the biggest growing pains of expanding office space in downtown.

Spartanburg has a similar vision for growth. “Parking may certainly be an obstacle to address, but in actuality, that is a positive challenge. We see that as an opportunity to accommodate growth, build the critical mass and encourage more visitors and residents and new business to the downtown,” says Bock. Currently, Greenville is looking for more creative solutions to the growing demand for parking, such as cheaper lots that might be further away from the core of downtown. According to Whitworth, the vision is to not have huge areas of flat surface parking taking up downtown. “We are trying to look for what is the right fit for Greenville,” says Whitworth.

We want to generate opportunities for businesses to migrate... Patty Bock Director of Economic Development for the City of Spartanburg

RealOP Investments—a commercial real estate investment firm— has seen a lot of this first hand. Moving to Greenville in 2013 and seeing a tripling in business over that time, they see the need of increased parking to accommodate the increase of growth. “Parking seems to be one of the driving factors when tenants are looking for office space downtown, but in addition, flexibility of use,” says Reggie Bell, partner and CEO of RealOP Investments, which is currently located on Church Street, but they are in the middle of construction of new offices in the West End with a partner company and will be moving there this summer. “We are beginning to see more open, collaborative space, but more efficient use of space in terms of square foot per person. Especially with rents increasing. However, more efficient use of space means more people per square foot, which gets us back to the need for parking and/or increased need for alternative means of transportation into the Central Business District,” he says.


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“We look for diversity, new jobs, wages and the potential for that business to grow in our community. We want to generate opportunities for businesses to migrate and other entrepreneurs that aim to grow in our city and at the same time adding value to the downtown. An element of that value is businesses and their employees to become engaged in activities in the community. This can be helpful in the success of and the retention of the business,” says Bock. As the office market continues to grow, it is necessary for it to remain balanced, according to Whitworth. Balanced with retail, residential and entertainment elements that not only get people working downtown but living and enjoying the downtown environment. “It’s all about balance,” says Whitworth.



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11 MIL.











by Andrew Kurtz


FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE, PIE CHARTS AND THE BIRTH OF BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE Did you know that the actual pioneer of Business Intelligence was a nurse? Florence Nightingale is best known for revolutionizing the field of nursing and instigating widespread hospital reforms, but her methodology looks a lot like the cutting-edge business strategies used today. During the Crimean War, the death toll extended far beyond the battlefield. Mortality rates in Army hospitals were rapidly increasing even among soldiers admitted with minor wounds. The medical system desperately needed modernization and reform, but the doctors in Army hospitals were too busy treating the sick and wounded to step back and understand the core problems at hand. In 1854, British Parliament sent Florence Nightingale—along with 38—nurses to Crimean war hospitals to assist in wounded patients’ care. Nightingale came to believe that poor sanitation contributed to the high death rates in Army hospitals, but she needed to prove it. Collecting and centralizing of data. Nightingale knew that even seemingly insignificant factors could affect the spread of disease among the wounded, and no piece of data was too insignificant to contribute to the increasing death rate. She kept meticulous records detailing the size of the rooms where soldiers were housed, the amount of ventilation and sunlight these rooms received, and even the distance between the kitchens where the soldiers’ food was prepared and the sick areas. She brought the data together so that doctors and statisticians could analyze the problem as a whole and extrapolate actionable insights even from factors formerly ignored.


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Data visualization reveals the core problem. The data brought back from Army war hospitals in Crimea fueled years of study for Nightingale and the statisticians who made up her team. The next step in solving the larger problem required coming to a better understanding of the core issues. She rejected the long-standing one-dimension method of conveying data for a deeper, multi-dimensional visualization: pie charts. By visualizing the data in this way, Nightingale was able to quantify the impact of small changes and effectively answer questions that politicians never thought to ask. She knew that in order to convince stakeholders there was a need to change, she would need to convey her complex findings in an innovative and easy-to-grasp way. She was right. Data collection and data visualization leads to cultural transformation. Nightingale’s research convinced stakeholders that her theories were more than just theories and that change was critical. Her recommendations for hospital reform were concrete and specific. Caregivers rallied behind the new standards and guidelines she suggested and the result was a complete transformation in military hospital care. Results: Exceeded expectations. After a decade of sanitary reforms, the mortality rate of British soldiers in Indian hospitals dropped 75 percent. Nightingale and her team’s work affected thousands of lives and changed the way that leadership approached seemingly unsolvable problems. Like Nightingale’s work, business intelligence is more than a one-time solution. It’s a radical

new way of thinking. Whether you’re running a business or seeking—like Nightingale—to find answers to medical mysteries hidden in data, business intelligence can identify the problem, collect data around the processes and systems that support the problem, and create visualizations that reveal the problem’s source. All of this translates into actionable insight that can be used to solve the problem, transform your organization’s culture, and lead to new opportunities and long-term growth.

McDonald, Lynn. “Florence Nightingale, statistics and the Crimean War. Journal Of The Royal Statistical Society: Series A (Statistics In Society) 177, no. 3 (June 2014): 569-586. Business Source Alumni Edition, EBSCOhost (accessed March 10, 2016). Wuithiran, Rosrin. “THE ORIGIN OF GRAPHS AND CHARTS.” History Magazine 13, no. 1 (October 2011): 6-7. History Reference Center, EBSCOhost (accessed March 10, 2016). Brasseur, Lee. “Florence Nightingale’s Visual Rhetoric in the Rose Diagrams.” Technical Communication Quarterly 14, no. 2 (Spring2005 2005): 161-182. Education Research Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed March 10, 2016). Conway, Anne-Marie. “LADY WITH THE DIAGRAM.” Eye (0960779X) 21, no. 82 (Winter2011 2011): 29. Art & Architecture Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed March 10, 2016). Nightingale, Florence, and Lynn McDonald. Florence Nightingale and Hospital Reform. Waterloo, Ontario, Canada: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2012. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost), EBSCOhost (accessed March 10, 2016).

ABOUT ANDREW KURTZ Andrew Kurtz is the president of Kopis (formerly ProActive Technology), which has been serving Greenville, SC with custom software development solutions since 1999. Andy and his team are experts in business intelligence, custom software development, SharePoint development, database administration, mobile app development, and much more.




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Photo by Wayne Culpepper/FishEye Studios



Economic development isn’t easy, but for Richard Blackwell it’s a worthwhile and challenging pursuit. Under his leadership, the Oconee Economic Alliance has set a number of records and is poised to build a lasting legacy of economic success in the county.

“We don’t want to be Anderson, Pickens or even Greenville. What we want is the best Oconee County can be,” says Richard Blackwell. Originally a native of Greenville, SC, Blackwell serves as the executive director of the Oconee Economic Alliance. After working for several years in government, managing Greer’s downtown and commercial opportunities, Blackwell took a job as a lobbyist for the Association of Realtors, but quickly grew out of it. “It was the easiest job I ever had in my life, but it didn’t challenge me,” says Blackwell. “So I got back into economic development working with the Upstate Alliance.” After spending five years with the Upstate Alliance, the regional group tasked with marketing the Upstate of South Carolina to the rest of the world, Blackwell made a “leap of faith,”–as he called it—moving over to Oconee County to champion the area’s economic development efforts. One of the first things Blackwell did was begin a restructuring of the original Economic Development Commission, which was a public entity, into the Oconee Economic Alliance which is built on public/private partnerships with a very specific focus on economic development, community development and entrepreneurship. The restructuring allows for a greater responsiveness and timeliness in addressing the economic development needs of the county. One


example Blackwell mentions is land surveys. As a public entity, it could take a few months to properly survey potential development property. However, under the current structure it is something that can be accomplished in a few days time. “Government can’t cure everything we are challenged with, we need the private sector to step up and help us be the best we can be,” says Blackwell. As part of the restructuring, the Oconee Economic Alliance was relocated from Walhalla to Seneca. “It’s been a good change,” he says. “We are a little closer to the interstate, to Clemson and to Greenville; closer to the assets of the Upstate that are on people’s radar.”

“The biggest challenge is overcoming notions of Oconee as being off in the distance and far away from the Upstate. Some people in our community, this is what they have known and they don’t like change. We’ve worked with that. We have to grow our economy,” says Blackwell. For Blackwell, the most important thing about economic development is telling your story and creating jobs. “We are trying to get jobs, any kind of jobs,” he says. “A job is a job and we hold the belief that jobs change family trees. We don’t care if it’s more retail jobs, manufacturing, small business; we just want jobs.”

Four years later, in 2015, Oconee is breaking records. More than 420 new jobs have been added, along with $53 million in capital investment. What’s more: it doesn’t look like it will stop anytime soon. In addition, Oconee spent $15 million over the past five years in an effort to get potential manufacturing sites ready and marketed for businesses to move headquarters and production to the county and create jobs. “In our project pipeline we have a BMW supplier, another manufacturer and some other new community projects totaling $20 million in investment and around 150 new jobs,” says Blackwell. Still, this success hasn’t been without challenges.

Oconee Economic Alliance was the only South Carolina organization to make the top 18 for Global Trade magazine’s “America’s Top Economic Development Corporations.”­trade­daily/commentary/americas­leading­edcs


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by Daniel Lovelace


THE MENTOR-DELEGATOR Effective delegation is the Holy Grail for many business leaders today. It’s something you hope to find, but something that always seems just out of reach. One of the core reasons why many business leaders struggle to effectively delegate is the belief that others are not yet capable of doing what you are capable of, and the truth is: it’s true. The real question you should be asking is: why are they not capable yet? There are hundreds of specific situational answers you could give to this question, but my guess is that they all cluster around the fact that your employees do not yet fully grasp the how and why behind your business. You have a vision, quality standards, and a way that you want things done that is rooted in experience, purpose, and mission. But currently, you’re the only person on your team with full access to this knowledge and information. The result is your employees do not understand the big picture behind why and how your business does what it does. In this case, delegation inevitably becomes a frustrating chore or fails altogether. You are then tempted to do it all yourself or micromanage the delegation process, which only further robs you of time, energy, and patience. As your business grows and you are unable to delegate, you will soon outgrow your own capacity to keep up, and you, your employees, and your business will begin to suffer. Simply put, if you are striving to achieve long-term business growth and success, you must learn how to delegate. But how?


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I would like to propose that mentorship is the key to effective delegation. Traditional mentorship evokes images of a teacher sitting down over coffee with a student and sharing his or her experience and advice on how to succeed. The teacher talks. The student listens. The student is then expected to go out and apply it on his or her own. True mentorship, however, is more practical, collaborative, and interactive— much like an apprenticeship. Mentorship is about giving teachable people ongoing, practical access to your knowledge and experience in the course of daily life and work. It’s about questions and answers, trial and error, input and feedback. It will look different in every situation, but it is often as simple as letting employees observe your personal workflow, explaining to them why you make the decisions you do, brainstorming together with them, and inviting them to participate in the strategic process.

embrace your company’s how and why and begin to creatively expand upon them. When this happens, leaders are born, new and innovative ideas emerge, and delegation becomes efficient and effective. In short, by adopting a mentor spirit in your approach to delegation, you empower yourself, your employees, and your business.

Delegation is a challenge for me although I am slowly learning how to effectively utilize the people on my team to the fullest of their capacities. At the same time, it’s increasing mine (capacity, that is). As a matter of fact, I didn’t write this article, a guy named Jon did. This is the only paragraph in this entire column that I wrote. Jon did incredible job and, in my opinion, wrote the best column in my series. I hope this was encouraging and challenging to you as it was to me.


Passionate, teachable employees with this type of access to your knowledge and experience will quickly connect the dots and begin to capture your vision and translate that into their daily work. And when this happens, the return on investment will be incredible. Delegation will no longer be the offloading of boring tasks to others, but will become a collaborative partnership between you and your employees as you strive to fulfill your company’s purpose and vision. But the true magic will happen when over time your employees understand and

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.



by Melissa Azallion


I-9 COMPLIANCE: TRENDS AND BEST PRACTICES IN WORKSITE ENFORCEMENT Immigration compliance remains a key issue for most employers. Failure to comply with federal immigration laws can mean hefty penalties and a large investment of time for companies. Knowing the trends and best practices in worksite enforcement will assist employers should Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) come knocking. Under federal law, an employer must verify the identity and employment eligibility of all individuals hired in the United States after November 6, 1986, on Form I-9. Employers must maintain I-9 forms for inspection for all current employees, and must follow the I-9 retention rules for terminated employees. It is important that managers understand the I-9 process in terms of timing and acceptable documentation. Failing to properly complete all portions of the I-9 form in a timely manner has led to substantial paperwork violations for employers in the course of ICE audits. If an employer chooses to conduct an internal I-9 audit, it is important to work with immigration counsel to establish a legally defensible internal audit procedure and to ensure proper corrections are made on I-9 forms. Recently, ICE and the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Special Counsel, released guidance for employers on the internal I-9 audit process. One important decision is determining whether the I-9 process will be centralized in one department (i.e. Human Resources), or whether supervisors will be responsible for completing Form I-9. Another key consideration is deciding whether the company will complete paper I-9 forms or implement an electronic I-9 system. While employers have the option to store and present I-9 forms in paper, electronic or a combination of paper and electronic formats, specific


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regulatory requirements must be met. With electronic systems, there are many products on the market, but it is important to ‘vet the vendor’ to ensure the particular product complies with the legal requirements. In the course of an audit, questions will likely be posed about the system’s electronic signature capabilities as well as the audit trail features. Employers should perform due diligence in comparing vendor products and should consult experienced immigration counsel in evaluating electronic I-9 systems. ICE audited more than 1,300 employers in fiscal year 2014. Civil monetary fines for employers rose from $1 million in fiscal year 2009 to over $16 million in 2014. This was 2 million dollars higher than in fiscal year 2012. There are various reasons a business may be selected for an ICE audit, including tips from members of the public or former employees and/or industry type. Also, ICE has recently been re-auditing businesses that have previously gone through an ICE audit in the past few years. Finally, audits can be random or triggered by E-Verify queries which demonstrate a pattern of employer non-compliance. The ICE audit process typically begins with an ICE Special Agent personally serving a Notice of Inspection (NOI) and subpoena to the employer. The notice provides the employer with three business days to respond. If additional time is needed, the employer may request an extension, which may or may not be granted. Documents should not be purged once an NOI has been issued. It is also important to know the position of the ICE auditor in your region before making any corrections and submitting the I-9 forms to ICE. In some jurisdictions,

post-NOI corrections are prohibited, while other ICE offices are amenable to post-NOI corrections made in good faith. ICE audits can take several months or even years depending on the circumstances. After ICE has reviewed the I-9 forms and other documents provided by the employer, ICE will typically issue a variety of notices informing the employer about the results of the audit as well as any follow up action needed. For example, ICE may issue a Notice of Intent to Fine (NIF) for certain types of paperwork violations, as well as for employers who knowingly hire or continue to employ illegal workers. Upon receipt of a NIF, the employer has 30 days to appeal the finding and request a hearing. Oftentimes, a settlement is reached between the employer and ICE, depending on the facts and circumstances. Employers must stay alert of immigration developments, both at the federal and state levels. Internal audits and effective immigration compliance training are proactive steps which can assist employers should ICE come knocking at the company’s door.

ABOUT MELISSA AZALLION Melissa has more than 20 years’ experience advising clients on business immigration and labor and employment law issues. She represents clients in multiple industries including manufacturing, technology, health care, quick service/food service, hospitality, government, and education.


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.



By Doug Kim

In 1999, a British entrepreneur coined the term the “Internet of Things” (IoT) which was originally meant to refer to a global network of devices connected by Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). Since then, IoT has been used to describe just about any machineto-machine communications, cloud computing, and mobile, instant and virtual connections—the concept of making our day to day lives “smart”. Recently, Forbes published an article that discussed why the IoT would be the next economic disruption. However, a discussion of the fundamental driving factor for the IoT can be found in the almost 2 billion smartphones presently existing in the world and the projected 2.7 billion by 2019.

longer the well capitalized bank that has the advantage, but the fast mover able to quickly adopt technology.

In all fairness, to call it a phone—even a “smart” phone—simply does not do it justice. The “smart phone” is much more than a communications device; it is now an integrated part of our personal and business lives. It collects and stores virtually every data point of every aspect of our life: banking and finance, daily schedules, family and personal photos and information, emails, texts, private images and communications (sometimes very private), medical records, financial records, virtual keys, passwords, and much more. A recent Deloitte study found that the average user checks a smart phone 46 times a day; that’s about once every 20 minutes for every waking minute. The economy is shifting to where the smartphone is the distribution channel of choice. Add “smart” devices, such as cars, appliances, homes, building infrastructures, and ecommerce and we have a society where consumers will make economic decisions and conduct transactions virtually anywhere with much more information than ever before.

Speed to market and distributed communications with personal devices disrupting the economy, or at least economic segments, is not new. Take file sharing technologies of the early 2000s. Prior to file sharing technologies, the consumer would travel to a retail outlet and purchase a CD, listen to the radio, or visit a concert hall. Enter Napster. With Napster, users could download and share music to personal devices (computer and eventually MP3 players) without having to travel anywhere. After legal troubles that would have killed most any company, Napster was sold to Best Buy in 2011 for about $120 million. The ability to adapt to new technologies, underrated the mobility of the customer and the use of personal devices caused Napster to succeed when by all rights it should have failed.

This model is very disruptive to the traditional consumer transaction process. Take the banking industry, for example. At one point, banks proudly advertised that they had physical bank branches on every corner. This was a desired feature so that customer would conveniently visit banks without significant travel. However, with module banking on your smartphone, customers simply don’t interact with a human banker with any frequency at all. The physical branch is now a significant cost without the benefit to the customer. The banks that recognized and reacted to this with speed and innovation—bothof which have marketplace advantages. It is no

Another example is in consumer products and transactions. The ability to use the smartphone, in combination with the Software as a Service (SaaS) model combined with drop shipping completely disrupts the distribution channels for traditional retailers. This model greatly reduces the costs of infrastructure of an organization and in many cases, takes it to virtually zero. No longer are the large companies outperforming the small companies, but the fast companies are outperforming the slow to adapt.

We can take lessons from Napster, the banking industry, and consumer products. Understand IoT, what it means to you, and what it means to your industry, goods or services and customers. Get there fast, but don’t ignore your customers. A good example is the launch of iTunes. After all, we didn’t even know we wanted it until Apple told us; an excellent example of understanding the technology, industry, goods and services and customer to anticipate consumer acceptance. This is the model being adopted by Tom Siebel, founder of Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics (sold for over $5 billion). In February of 2016, Siebel’s company C3 Energy changed its name to C3 IoT. However, Seibels is not the only one moving in the IoT direction. A research project by IDC predicts that by the year 2020, $1.7 trillion will be spent on research and launching of companies and technologies directed to the IoT.

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 British physicist Robert Hooke “invents” the can and string telephone.


Alexander Graham Bell is awarded the first patent on the telephone, as an “apparatus for transmitting vocal or other sounds telegraphically.” (Admittedly, the first inventor of the telephone is dispute).


It’s a busy year as BlackBerry introduces a two-way pager, Kevin Ashton coins the phrase “Internet of Things,” European banks introduce SMS banking, and Napster is founded.


The first phones with cameras, the Nokia 7650 and the Sanyo SPC-5300, are invented.


The first coast-to-coast long distance telephone call is made between New York to California.


Zopa is founded in the U.K. as one of the first peerto-peer lending applications.


The wireless “phone” by AT&T is distributed, but cost about $190 a month and $5 a call in today’s dollars.


Prosper, another peer-to-peer lending application, is founded, with many others soon to follow.


In the science fiction novel Space Cadet, written by Robert Heinlein, a pocket telephone is described. Also, AT&T introduces Mobile Telephone Services, a wireless telephone service, to 100 towns in the US.


There are over 295 million subscribers on 3G networks worldwide as Apple introduces the iPhone.


The Android platform is released and Napster sells to Best Buy.


The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the federal agency that regulates the securities market and protects investors, requires peer-to-peer companies to register as securities, a tradeable financial asset, which is a heavily regulated industry with a complex registration process.


Samsung announces the development of flexible/ foldable smart phone.


Hackers attempt to access the control systems of a water dam near New York City.


In a discussion about the ability for consumers and third parties to modify vehicle software, GM’s attorney stated, “It is [GM’s] position the software in the vehicle is licensed by the owner of the vehicle.” Therefore, vehicle software is not purchased.


The widespread use of flexible screens for smartphones leads to jokes about how we used to own a smartphone that you held in your hand and was not part of your body.


Penn Central Railroad provides commuter trains with wireless pay phones, allowing passengers to place calls from a moving train.


Motorola introduces the first mobile phone.


In Japan, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone launches the first commercial cellular network.



Computer hackers enter database of TRW Information Services Division and access credit histories of approximately 90 million people. The Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM), a standard to describe the protocols of second generation digital cellular networks, and Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA), a channel access method used by radio communication technologies, are developed.


The IBM Simon, a handheld touchscreen cell phone, is released.


Paypal is founded, under the name Confinity, Inc., as a money transfer service.


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by David Setzer


DECISIONS, DECISIONS “You don’t have a better bad idea than this?” ”This is the best bad idea we have, sir…by far.” -John O’Donnell and Tony Mendez to Secretary of State Cyrus Vance in discussing the CIA plan to free six Americans secretly held up in the Canadian embassy in Tehran in 1979. That exchange, depicted in the movie “Argo,” exemplifies the choices entrepreneurs tend to face on a weekly—if not daily—basis. Most times we don’t have a choice between a great idea and a bad idea. That’s easy. Most of our true decisions require us to pick a strategy, choose a direction, or make some value judgment between a spectrum of not so ideal choices with a competing mix of pros and cons. So, when we’re faced with these situations, what do we do?


Get some advice. Solomon wisely tells us in Proverbs that there is safety in good counsel. Spend time establishing relationships across your network of people that are further down the path than you, people that have experienced what you’re dealing with and seek their counsel. Remember not to put the decision on them though. In the end, you’re the one in charge, so it’s your call. Sleep on it. Seriously, this one sounds cliché but it really does make a difference, as Dan Ariely details in his fantastic book Predictably Irrational, citing extensive research of Israeli parole board decisions. Decision making draws energy from a finite internal account we all have which must be refilled regularly. The larger or greater number the decisions, the faster the draw down. Don’t stretch a day decision into a week, but don’t make a year’s decision in an hour. Know when you’re mentally, emotionally, and spiritually fresh and use that time to make the call.

Does the decision align with your vision and core values? You haven’t really defined those, you say? That’s the subject for a different column, but this is the easiest criteria to evaluate first. Ask this one simple question of every option: “How well does this align with our core reason for existing?”

Focus on the question. Rather than try to figure out the answer, figure out the right questions and the answers will find you. The right path will become clear. “We thought we had the answers, it was the questions we had wrong” -Bono

Make one decision to prevent you from having to make 100. This was advice I received from a pastor just after getting married about how to decide where to give time and energy. “There will always be tons of good options, but decide first what matters. It makes saying no easy so you can say yes to what’s important.”

And sometimes, in the end, you just have to make a decision. Do something and move on, doing everything you can to make it the right decision. If things don’t work out, then make a new decision, but always keep moving. I remember a saying my dad had when I was growing up: “Make a decision and make it the right one.” I always thought

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that was just foolish. If you have to make a decision then there’s a right one and a wrong one and your job is to figure out which one is the right decision but most times, the wrong one is no decision. A bad decision is better than indecision. Remember… “two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less travelled by.” That poem wouldn’t live on today if there hadn’t been a decision made, so if a poet can decide…so can you!

ABOUT DAVID SETZER David Setzer has been an entrepreneurial coach and mentor to thousands of business owners in former communist Eastern Europe for 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




What was your first job? My first job was picking cucumbers for Bo’s Produce in Chesterfield, S.C.. I was paid per bushel box of cucumbers. The end use of the cucumbers was midget pickles, so we were encouraged to pick just the small ones. I remember thinking the rows were miles long and it takes an enormous amount of small cucumbers to fill up a bushel. What are some of the skills you developed early, that you’ve found beneficial or essential to your practices now? I was trained as a community organizer and that was my first job after I graduated from Wofford. One of the key parts of organizing is listening to all sides and supporting people to find their voice. This taught me that often the best answers to challenges are found with those who experience the particular challenge you are trying to solve.



Early in my career, I took a job with a statewide organization. In hindsight, I took the job because I thought the statewide focus would impress others. I thought little about office culture or how this job would play to my skills. It didn’t go so well and after the 90-day trial period we parted ways. It took time, but reflecting on what I was good at and needed in a job became an important focus for me.




I think a sense of humor is key for me. I laugh often at myself.


What vision do you promote for your community, and how do you get others to buy into or tap into that vision? I absolutely love Spartanburg! I believe that Spartanburg is a special place where, if you want to start something, you can. If you want to change something, you can, and if you want to put down strong roots, you can. For me, listening and understanding where folks come from is the key to getting their buy-in and working together to achieve common goals.


As recently appointed director of The Space at Wofford, what is your vision for The Space in 2016? This goes beyond 2016, but our goals are to help Wofford students find their passion. This happens through many avenues: internships, summer jobs, academic programs, and entrepreneurship. Ultimately, we want Wofford students to graduate better prepared for what they want to do than any other student.

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

What are some of the strategies you use to do to keep yourself in check?

What is one of your favorite hobbies, and what is it that you find most fulfilling in it? Anything outside, but particularly mountain biking. I have found it to be the one activity where I naturally can be mindful and tune out all of the other noise that clouds my mind.

First off, this isn’t something I excel at, but I have learned that self-care is critical and for me, I have found meditation incredibly helpful.


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

As an entrepreneur yourself, do you think your expertise will help leading that effort? Entrepreneurship challenges you to think about solutions from all different angles. In a nutshell that is what we are doing at The Space—helping Wofford students figure out their future from many different angles.


Is anything new being planned for the Space this year? We are currently talking with students, faculty, alumni, and parents about what the future of the Space looks like. I know we will be building on the great work that has already taken place.

What’s your most difficult responsibility, and how do you deal with it? My first reaction was to say being a father, and while that is true, I will add this: Listening to all points of view, including my teenage children, is key to understanding and moving forward. That said, it’s really hard and takes constant practice.


Business Black Box Q2 2016


by Marc Bolick


WE DON’T WANT YOUR BUSINESS I’ve agonized over writing about this, mainly because the people who are involved are generally such open, welcoming and friendly folks. Yes, I’m talking about our neighbors to the North. This story is both a short-term heads-up about visiting Canada on business, and a long-term message about how quickly things could degrade on a global basis if we are not very, very careful. In February, I traveled to Ottawa to meet with a colleague and help her with a client engagement. As I strolled through the arrivals wing of the airport, I was happy to be inside looking out at the frigid weather (Polar Vortex = -30°F). I pulled up to the immigration desk, and presented my passport and immigration form. After a short but thorough questioning by the officer, I was sent on my way to collect my bag. As I was heading out of the baggage claim area, I handed the form to the officer at the door, expecting a routine wave through. Instead, he instructed me to go to a door labeled ‘Immigration’. I walked through and presented my documents to the officer there. He read my form, asked a bunch of questions about the nature of my trip, and then asked if I had a permit to work in Canada. Shocked, I said no. He proceeded to describe the documents I would need: contract from the client, forms, CA$250 fee from the client, CA$150 from me. He then indicated I would need to leave my passport and return the next morning to get the required work permit. After explaining that my workshop started at 8:00 am the next morning, and quite a bit of calm, respectful discussion, the officer used his discretion to allow me through, “just this once.”


Business Black Box Q2 2016

Of course, I was extremely grateful, but…I was also amazed. I later heard multiple stories of Canadians traveling to the US and being hassled entering under similar circumstances. Many people I told this story to suggested I lie about my reason for entering their country. Ok, I could do that. But, why should I have to? I understand countries trying to protect the jobs of their citizens. After all, the US is notoriously scrupulous about people entering the country. But, I have never dared lie when entering a country. And, I have never hesitated to cross borders for legitimate, short-term business reasons. Now, just imagine what it would be like if you ran into this sort of roadblock at each border. What if you needed a work permit for customer visit in São Paulo? How much would it cost and slow down your growth if you had to have a work permit for every international trip you took? This is something we should really consider when we hear the cries for erecting barriers, both physical and psychological. These barriers will have repercussions, they will impair business, and ultimately they will undermine the very system we are trying to protect. So, “sorry,” Canada. Let’s keep the doors open to commerce and keep the restrictions focused on real risks, both economic and security. Because, if we want economic growth and prosperity, we need to keep our borders open for business!

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..

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Parker Baxter, Drew Stanley & Katie Hughes (from left to right)

THE PITCH: FosterFoods is a food recovery think­tank that delivers innovative, cross­-platform solutions for reducing personal and commercial food waste by giving surplus foods a new home. With pressures on the environment and growing populations, food scarcity is becoming a worldwide concern. In the U.S., billions of potential food revenue is wasted as unsold surplus for businesses each year. Of all the food that is produced, far too much goes uneaten, and FosterFoods is on a mission to change that. FosterFoods’ core premise exists as a digital aggregator that monitors surplus food in groceries and produce warehouses, and pushes flash sales of the surplus to a large network of restaurants and individuals—connecting those with excess to those in need, creating a more balanced supply/demand equilibrium—recovering percentages of lost revenue for suppliers, and reducing food costs for buyers. Suppliers can set up alerts and timers to input inventory into the aggregator, while those with the application can specify and filter the notifications they receive based on things like food type, locality, volume, and cost. FosterFoods’ offering is unique because the products sold aren’t limited to the inventories of any single grocery chain or location and the user­base is not required to be in the store or purchased from only one supplier. This type of ubiquity means FosterFoods’ offering is as scalable as the food inventory data it can receive.

Using the Greenville area alone, that could mean almost 40 potential suppliers and more than 600 local buyers—not counting individuals and households. If the proposition goes national, FosterFoods could be looking at potential revenues into the billions of dollars with just a small percentage of the market. Innovative by nature, the team is already exploring expansion into other platforms to reduce food waste. This includes what they call a “mobile creative kitchen” that creates daily menus based on local food surplus, along with a subscription­ based educational re­ use program for pickling, composting, and re-planting household surplus. The FosterFoods team, led by Parker Baxter, Katie Hughes and Drew Stanley, came together at Greenville’s 2016 Startup Weekend, where they went on to become Finalists in the Global Startup Battle’s Innovator’s Track. Their collective resumes include work in legal and foreign affairs, philanthropy, product design and food innovation for major Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) companies. They are currently exploring funding and development possibilities, and are connected to major food business incubators like Food X, AccelFoods, and the Chobani Food Incubator.


Business Black Box Q2 2016

Photo by Wayne Culpepper/FishEye Studios


THE FEEDBACK: I come away from your first statement about FosterFoods with almost a complete lack of insight into who you are and what you’re trying to accomplish, so we’ll start there. I have no idea what a “food recover thinktank” delivering “innovative, crossplatform solutions” to “ waste” (ok, there’s my first and only somewhat of a clue) by “giving surplus foods a new home”. A new home? Where does food want to live? “In my belly?” Sorry, can’t resist the Austin Powers reference. Seriously though, in your entire description of who you are and what you do I get half of the top 20 list of business clichés not to use and only a single concrete morsel to conclude that FosterFoods has something to do with reducing food waste. You absolutely MUST be able to clearly and succinctly state what you do and why that matters in as few words as possible to someone without specialized knowledge. More on this later... After reading through the rest of your pitch I seem to come away with a better picture of what you’re trying to do. It appears you have three potential lanes each of which will have different ideal customers, buying motivators, and engagement levels: • Restaurants—corporate buyers, larger quantities, regular supply, regulatory requirements • Individual—price driven, more flexible demand, more difficult community to engage, lower volume • Non-Profit—highly motivated, more adaptable, longer term partner Each of these lanes may be able to be served through a single technology platform, but will require a different customer interaction model and different end-end messaging. However your pitch crosses back and forth without any lane markers, leaving me to figure out if you are a non-profit focused on delivering food to those in need; an ‘ebay’ for the commercial food channel, or; a grocery bill saving site for families. Maybe you want to be all three, or more, but you should figure out where you want to start, and do that well first. Then move out into other lanes. Remember, over 40 percent of startups fail because of lack of market need, so that would be my first decider in figuring out what to do first. Once you’ve figured it out, you can begin with something like this: “FosterFoods helps restaurants source local fresh foods more regularly” or “FosterFoods helps nonprofits deliver food to those in need instead to a landfill”. That clarity will help you focus your company, your capital, and your product. Good luck!

There are some good things, and some issues, with this idea. As someone who feels food insecurity is one of the biggest issues facing children today, I know that the need to create a streamlined channel for excess capacity for food already in the distribution system is vital. FosterFoods presents an interesting hypothesis in how their technology platform could help alleviate that need. If it were to be developed as a straightforward user interface that could speak to the various inventory systems of major grocery chains, or a native integration with those systems, it could be very effective. However, there are a number of issues this summary presents. Groceries already push flash sales in their own store locations through deep discounts. Once grocers decide food is not essential they typically dispose of it, and want to move it out of their storage quickly, since storage and refrigeration are at a premium. The quality of produce at the end of the life cycle is less than ideal and stores will use that food in other value added products like prepared meals rather than waste it or redistribute it. In addition, depending on the location there may be an active food pantry or food bank already in existence that will take on the logistics of pick ups and drop offs of that same food, where the FosterFoods technology is depending on others for the pickups and drop offs. Many groceries won’t wait around. Another thing to consider is grocery chains are relatively set in their ways, so introducing a new methodology will involve education, outreach, and process improvement. The people I know who work to divert food waste or are in “food waste recycling” speak to that education issue often. I like the idea of a mobile creative kitchen, but having had no stated restaurant experience in their resumes, I would caution this group into that endeavor. It can be a very unforgiving business. Finally “Foster Foods” is already a food industry company, both in the U.S. and the U.K., so you may want to find a new name for the company due to trademark infringement. JOSH SILVERMAN Founder & CEO, Jericho, Inc.

DAVID SETZER Founder, The Bootstrap Engine CEO, MailProtector


Business Black Box Q2 2016


Por Evelyn Lugo


ENTENDIENDO LOS CAMBIOS EN MERCADEO El mundo del mercadeo está cambiando ante nuestros ojos. De acuerdo con el Content Marketing Institute (CMI), el mercadeo tradicional está desapareciendo rápidamente y ha llegado el momento de encontrar una nueva manera de ganar y retener a los consumidores.

Por ejemplo, Disney comparte vídeos de escenas a las que el público no tiene acceso regularmente, Kraft publica libros de cocina, Lion Brand Yarn ofrece tutorías en vídeo, y la editorial Random House utiliza Pinterest ampliamente para recoger el contenido valioso en un solo lugar para sus clientes.

Contenido: esa es su señal Empresas de increíble éxito como Microsoft y John Deere emplean la estrategia con contenido. Y usted se preguntará: ¿qué es el mercadeo con contenido? CMI lo define como “un enfoque estratégico de mercadeo enfocado en la creación y distribución valiosa, relevante y consistente de contenido para atraer y retener a un público claramente definido - y, en última instancia, que produzca ventas.”

No se quede atrás según la comercialización sigue cambiando. Puede comenzar poco a poco, tal vez mediante la creación de un blog cada dos semanas, y crecer a partir de ahí. ¡Con el mercadeo con contenido, el cielo es el límite! Este tipo de mercadeo es uno con el cual usted puede divertirse. ¡Mientras más interesante y entretenido, mejor!

Los consumidores quieren información relevante y valiosa, de la cual puedan aprender. Brafton, una empresa de mercadeo, indica que aquellas empresas que educan a sus posibles clientes ganan su confianza y credibilidad. De acuerdo con la página Web de Brafton, el 61% de los consumidores son más propensos a comprar de las empresas que ofrecen contenido personalizado. Entonces, ¿qué debe ofrecer a sus clientes? El mercadeo con contenido viene en una multitud de formas, y todas sirven el propósito de informar y entretener al consumidor. Usted puede comercializar contenido sólido a través de gráficas, vídeos, blogs, boletines, revistas, y mucho más. Las empresas de todo el mundo se están dando cuenta de la importancia de, consistentemente, compartir contenido útil con su público.


Business Black Box Q2 2016

Así que, sea que usted escriba sobre un tema en particular o se dedique a producir vídeos cortos de cómo hacer proyectos en el hogar, comience a compartir contenido con sus clientes y verá sus números aumentar.

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.



START A BUSINESS WHAT YOU NEED TO GE T OFF THE GROUND While starting a business is a very complicated endeavor, it can be distilled down into five key factors that everyone should look into.


1. Make A Plan Sit down and write out a business plan. It doesn’t have to be a novel; just one or two pages outlining your vision, mission and objectives and how you are going to go about fulfilling those objectives in detail. “Your plan will provide the road map to achieve the success you want,” says Dave Lavinsky, contributor for Forbes. “The question shouldn’t be IF you write your plan, but how to write a business plan that will take your company where you want to go.” 2. “Spend” Your Money “It’s a basic tenet of business: before you can make money you have to figure out how to spend it,” according to the article, “How To Start a Business Budget,” on “Drafting a budget is a key way to help you turn your dreams for business success into reality.” Figure out how much you need to spend to get off the ground and in what individual ways it needs to be spent. Are you relying on investors or are you bootstrapping? And always set aside more money in the budget than you might need to avoid possible heartbreak. 3. Get Legal Determine your legal structure. According to an article by Beth Lawrence called “Start Your Own Business: 50 Things You’ll Need to Do,” there are several legal considerations such as: how many owners are in your business, personal liability amounts, how your business is taxed, to sell or not to sell stocks, and ownership structures. And to wrap it all up, do not be afraid to consult a lawyer with any questions you might have. They can save you from pitfalls you might not even see coming. 4. Build a Site You might not have a killer marketing budget starting out, but you will need a website. Lock down a domain through a provider (GoDaddy for instance) and find an inexpensive, drag and drop style of website design (WordPress and Weebly come to mind). Before you know it, your business will be making the big bucks and you can hire a marketing firm to really revolutionize your look and branding. 5. Start Selling! Now that you have some foundation, get out there and test yourself in the market. “If you have a service­-based business, get involved with your local chamber of commerce or small­business chapter immediately and ask what resources are available for you to speak, present or share information about your business,” says Matthew Toren, in his article, “A Simple 6-Step Process to Starting a Small Business,” for Entrepreneur. “If you have a product­based business, test the viability of your product at local swap meets, farmers markets or other community events to test what the public really thinks (and if they’ll purchase from you).” Also, look at ways to get attention to local media, project in social media and make sure your presence is out there. You might have a fantastic business, but if no one knows who you are, you’re not going far.


Business Black Box Q2 2016

Business Black Box - Q2 2016  

Upstate South Carolina's Business Magazine

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