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Business Black Box Quarter 4 • 2011

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Our first issue...

You told us not to open the boxes until we all were there to share the experience, and that we had to take pictures. We tried to shrug you off—none of us wanted to show up on Facebook that day. But you made us do it. And every issue for three years now, we still open the boxes and celebrate together as a team, every time, thanks to you. You told us it was important to take pictures that day because it would be a memorable moment in our history. You told us we’d regret not capturing it, because life was too short.

You were right.

We miss your corny puns, crazy stories, and the round tables at Arizona’s, laughing about how goofy we could all get when we were together.

But mostly, Trey, we just miss you. Love and peace,

Your ShowCase Marketing & Business Black Box family

Business Black Box

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101 Days: loaves & Fishes

Status check: Tourism in the Upstate

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GUT CHECK LAYERS OF THOUGHT RANDOM & RELEVANT MEET STEVE SPEED PITCH

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’m sitting here right now, a little turned around. You see, I just scrapped the piece I had written for this issue over a month ago, only days before publication, because something changed everything I wanted to say. After all, it’s hard to talk about leadership and influence (what I was going to talk about) now. It’s hard to pretend that we all understand our potential and what we hold for those around us. Because, well, a friend is gone today. This friend was instrumental in getting this magazine off the ground. He was part of the last-second discussion on whether our first issue would be printed or not. He helped us become one of the leading publications using social media in the Upstate. He is a part of Business Black Box. Now, I won’t speculate on the hows and whys—frankly, I was not privy to a lot of it, so it’s not my place to do so. Many others are far more experienced than I to discuss all that. But what does stick out about this entire situation is one simple thing: Trey did not realize how influential he truly was. And I’m just now realizing what a danger is in that—the underestimation of one’s power. See, he was truly loved. By a lot of people. But he didn’t always feel it. Maybe he felt he was of no importance to anyone. Yet tonight, mere hours after “it” happened, thousands are online praying for his family, missing him, talking about him. Bloggers around the world have picked up the story, right after Mashable posted the news. A candlelight vigil took moments to organize. Relevant? Absolutely. Influential? You’d have to assume so. Powerful? Damn right. But no, like so many of us do, he underestimated his influence. He saw his clout as a number, instead of the many ears that listened to him. He missed seeing his true relevance as a person, not a persona. And too late, many of us probably did as well. Imagine, if that influence had been truly realized, how different the story could have been. So, no, tonight I won’t talk to you about how to be more influential. I won’t discuss random thoughts on how to be a leader. I don’t really have the words, nor the desire to. Not tonight. Besides, it’s likely that you already are all those things, in one circle or another. But that’s not something I can help you with, anyway. You either are, or you’re not. But for those, like Trey, who question their own power, their own relevance, or doubt themselves, and ask, “How can you assume I am influential?” I simply reply:

How can you assume you’re not?

Editor, Business Black Box jordana@insideblackbox.com • 864/281-1323 x.1010 twitter.com/jmegonigal • facebook.com/jordana megonigal linkedin.com/in/jordanam Photo by Wayne Culpepper/FishEye Studios

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Why Business Black Box?

EDITORIAL Editor-in-chief

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

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contributing Writers

Proofreader

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Julie Godshall Brown andy coburn Noelle coyle John DeWorken Todd korahais Emily Nelson Ravi Sastry Tony Snipes alison Storm Geoff Wasserman Terry Weaver chad McMillan Brittany krout

DESIGN creative Director art Director Graphic Design Traffic Coordinator Photography

chad McMillan lisa Worsham chris Heuvel lisa Worsham Jana candler Photography Wayne culpepper/ Fish Eye Studios

VIDEO & INTERACTIVE Interactive

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.

Jordana Megonigal

Enkindle

BUSINESS Publisher Business advisors

accounting

Geoff Wasserman Julie accetta Mary Wray conner Shannon Harris andy linn charles Richardson amy Smith Sarah Irwin

PRESENTING SPONSORS

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business out of that brand. And once he became established, he turned around and figured out how to “pay it back” to the community that helped raise him. In fact, to dismiss McCain as simply a musician is to ignore a huge part of who he has become for the Upstate—an advocate for the local music industry, an investor in major technologies and businesses coming out of the region, and an economic development leader drawing people into the Upstate through Euphoria, the event he co-founded with Carl Sobocinski. To rely on perceptions can be misleading; it’s far too easy to assume that the lawyer sitting next to you at the conference is an attorney, and only that, rather than think that he might have just started a non-profit to help underfunded schools.

It’s far too easy to think that the barista at the local coffee shop is now and will forever be that barista, rather than thinking that maybe, she’s the next real estate mogul or that her pre-med degree (that’s she works on at night) will make birth the next brain surgeon or orthopedist. When you look around your community, your social groups, or your office, who do you see? Do you see only the person, the title? Or can you see beyond that to who they might be, or what passions they might hold? It’s so important for us to see the possibilities—not only for us, or for our community and our city, but also for each other.To ignore that is to ignore our very growth potential.

Business Black Box

Sometimes, leadership comes from the most unlikely of places. Take, as an example, Edwin McCain, who is on our cover this issue. McCain is known around the world for his music—in the Upstate, he is known as a local boy, who just happens to be a globally-known celebrity, who hasn’t forgotten where he came from and who he grew up with. But so many still don’t realize the power that McCain has when it comes to business, economic development, or even growing the music culture right here in the Upstate. It’s for that reason that we wanted to focus on McCain as a business leader—after all, he built his own brand from the ground up. He grew a

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what’s happening?

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

• WHAT - InnoMobility 2011 Conference • WHEN - October 18 &19, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. • WHERE - TD Convention Center, Greenville • DETAILS - InnoMobility is holding a conference for people to discover and develop new business opportunities such as seeking customers, capital, talent and technology. Each day will have a series of brief presentations of high impact opportunities followed by audience discussions.

• WHAT - Goodwill Industries of the Upstate’s Champions Tribute • WHEN - October 27 • WHERE - TD Convention Center, Greenville • DETAILS - Goodwill Industries of Upstate/Midlands South Carolina will honor six South Carolina residents at its 3rd Annual Champions Tribute event. The event will feature Rudy Giuliani, the former Mayor of New York City, as the keynote speaker. More than 500 community and business leaders will be in attendance to celebrate the successes of Goodwill Industries, its team members, partners and supporters. Tickets for the event are $150 and can be purchased by calling 864-351-0150 or through the link below. Sponsorship opportunities are also available. For more information, please contact Brandy Humphries at (864) 271-0718.

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• WHAT - Movers & Shakers A Free Networking Event • WHEN - November 4 & December 1 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. • WHERE - The Bleckley Inn, 151 East Church Street, Anderson • DETAILS - The Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce is holding a business networking event that will take place the first Friday of each month for a chance to meet other “Movers & Shakers” over coffee and/or breakfast.This event is free and no advance registration is required. For more information, contact the Anderson Chamber of Commerce at (864) 226-3454.

Lots more to see at www.insideblackbox.com

Business Black Box

For more information, contact Jessica Moss at jessicamoss@innoventurellc.com or visit http://www.innoventurecommunity.com/ community/innomobility-community

The Best We’ve Heard... “Som e inno times w v h mist akes ate, you en you them . It is m best ake q u with ic t impr kly, and o admi t ov g inno ing you et on vatio r ns.” other -Stev e Jo bs

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Between the Pages

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Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/insideblackbox

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What we read: Drive, by Daniel H. Pink the gist: The subtitle says it all: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. Spoiler alert: The “surprising” part is that money isn’t it. how it’s Written: Pink is a great writer, and very easy to follow. Drive is written in a chapter-based format,with a few illustrations scattered in where they are relevant.Overall, it’s an easy read, and he makes some great points along the way.

Call for

Women of Achievement

The YWCA is currently accepting nominations for the 2012 Women of Achievement Awards, April 3, 2012. CATEGORIES: Women of Achievement, Dream Achievers, and Dream Catchers Please visit www.ywcagreenville.org for applications and criteria for each award category. Applications will be accepted October 1st - November 30th.

Business directory

great if: You think money can buy you anything. Or if you think you’re the only one who doesn’t think that money can buy you anything. Don’t miss: The Toolkit. At the end of the book is a “Toolkit” that breaks down strategies for implementing positive motivation in everything from compensation, to kids (teachers, you should read this!) and even getting motivated to excercise. First stop: Nine Strategies for Awakening YOUR Motivation. our read: Our copy of Drive is all marked up and sitting on the desk for easy reference. Definitely top-shelf material, and worth the day it’ll take you to read it.

OnTargetEnglish.com OnTargetEnglish.com presents Business Communication Targets and video tutorials that help you enhance your writing and speaking skills in the workplace. Email : ontargetenglish@gmail.com

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An Event You Don’t Want to Miss...

If you like our article,”Masterpiece in the Making” on page 40 of this issue, and want to find out how to become more involved in Early Childhood Education issues, you’ll want to check out this event.

….That the executive leadership of the City of Greenville walks the streets every few months? No, not like that.

When John Castile became City Manager for the City of Greenville, he wanted the executive leadership of the City of Greenville to become more intimately involved with the community. So, in addition to scheduling time where city leadership would spend time within other departments or organizations—like Public Works or the Phyllis Wheatley Center—they would also, once every few months, walk the city of Greenville.

Pee Dee Regional Business Leaders Summit on Early Childhood Investment Southeastern Institute of Manufacturing Technology 1951 Pisgah Road Florence, SC November 15, 2011 11:00am – 3:00pm

Business Black Box

Featuring a keynote by Senior Vice President of Boeing, Rick Stephens, as well as a panel on Education and Research and Community Opportunities, this is a chance for you to find out more and get involved in the movement that will shape South Carolina’s future.

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For more information, contact the Institute for Child Success at 864.331.3859 or www.instituteforchildsuccess.org

The “walk-around” allows city leadership, as a group, to remain up-to-date on changes within the city, but also to notice problems (broken sidewalk? Bad lighting?) that could be fixed—proactively—to better the city. Through the process, the leadership of the city is aligned and familiar with all parts of city management and can identify problems of any size which could adversely impact public safety or quality of life. We’ve caught the team on a few of their walks around town, and spoke with Julie Horton, the Government Relations Manger for the City of Greenville, and she notes, “Since we have instituted this ‘education’ process, I know that each member of the management team has a much better understanding of goals, challenges, and issues that other departments and department heads face which we might not otherwise realize. The overall process also has pulled us together much closer as a team, helped us to understand the symbiotic nature of how we are structured, and bolstered the collaborative efforts in our decisionmaking processes. It’s a win-win for the City and the businesses and citizens of Greenville.”

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Where’d You Get Your Information?

If you’ve ever wondered how much people actually watch the news, or how many people get their weather online, check out the PEW Research Center’s new study (published September 26) at http://pewresearch.org/pubs/2105/local-newstelevision-internet-radio-newspapers. An interactive graphic also shows the spreads for how people get information on certain subjects; below, a national look at how people get news on business news versus information on local politics.

Local newspaper Local TV Radio Internet Local government Word of mouth Print bulletin or newsletter Mobile phone Other sources

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Right, you probably won’t find Business 101 in any elementary, middle or high school around, but that doesn’t mean we can’t teach our kids about innovative thinking, money, or how business is conducted.

From learning about career options and businesses in the community to managing personal finances and running a business, the Junior Achievement of Upstate South Carolina will give 9,500 students the skills they need to succeed in a competitive economy.

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School is great for teaching math and science, but business skills?

Fortunately, Junior Achievement is dedicated to developing innovative programs that educate students in grades K-12 about entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy. This year, nearly 400 professionals, parents, retirees and college students in the Upstate are volunteering to help prepare young people for the real world by engaging them in hands on, experiential programs.

Biz News

Local newspaper Local TV Radio Internet Local government Word of mouth Print bulletin or newsletter Mobile phone Other sources

to Give Back

29% 27% 5% 5% 19%

2% 3% 7%

2%

All it takes: an hour a week for about five weeks. It may seem insignificant, but hey, you might be helping mold the next generation of business minds for the Upstate. To find out how to volunteer or donate to Junior Achievement, call 864-244-4017 or visit http:// upstatesc.ja.org.

Source: Local News Survey 2011, conducted January 12-25, 2011 by the Pew Reserch Center’s Internet & American Life Project, the Project for Excellence in Journalism, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. n=2,251 U.S. adults age 18 and older, including 750 cell phone interviews. Interviews were conducted in English and in Spanish.

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levant Fill ‘er up.

No, wait.

Plug ‘er in. Where are the gears? How does it work? What is it? Where can I get in on the ground floor?

Visit InnoMobility.com to find out more.

What’s next.

INNOMOBILIT Y Global Conference, October 18 - 19, 2011 in Greenville, SC Q4 2011

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InnoMobility brings customers, capital, technology and talent together in a community dedicated to transforming mobility. Connect with business developers, entrepreneurs, designers, investors and other professionals from around the world.

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LaW “legal issues” vs. “business issues”

by andy coburn

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

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A client calls. “We just finished negotiating the terms of the Smith contract. We just need you to write it up and add all that legal boilerplate. Oh, yeah, and make sure we’re covered.” It is not that common to hear this specific language from a client, but it reflects two issues that are not uncommon with business people. The first is the idea that there are “legal issues”—strange and mysterious issues that are fundamentally different from “business issues.” Business folk affected by this are not really sure what exactly these “legal issues” are and don’t really want to know or be involved with them. Isn’t that what lawyers are for? The second idea that some business people have is that when they enter into an agreement, the lawyer is supposed to do their “lawyer-thing” to ensure that the business never has any “legal issues” with the agreement.

All Legal Issues are Business Issues

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Thinking that “legal issues” are not business issues makes no more sense than thinking that human resource or information technology issues are not business issues. Now there certainly are “legal issues” that are technical and require a lawyer to provide advice and guidance. But all legal issues affect your business and you need to understand how. After all, the arcane product recall, warranty, indemnification and limitation of liability provisions are only “technical legal issues” until you have a problem with a customer.

That does not mean that you need to become a lawyer.You need a good lawyer to explain how the issue can impact your business, give you options to address it and provide advice as to which options may be better. But to get a good result for you and your business, the process needs to involve both you and your lawyer because which option is “better” almost always depends on business factors—the relationship with the customer, your manufacturing quality control processes, etc.

Law is Risk Management, Not a Magic Wand

Sadly, your lawyer does not have a magic wand. Legal assistance can reduce (sometimes dramatically) the risk of potential legal issues and the harm that they might cause if they occur. But it is rarely possible to simply make a legal issue disappear. I can write the perfect contract for you that covers every possible issue or situation that you and the other party might face, but that beautiful piece of paper cannot stop the other party from ignoring it if they so choose. If they breach the contract, you may have a slam dunk legal case against them and be legally entitled to recover all of the damages that they caused you. But you still have a legal issue. You are going to have to bring a lawsuit and, if you win, you may have to take further legal action to collect damages. The beautiful contract may make it easier to win the lawsuit, but it can’t eliminate the need for the lawsuit if the other party breaches. A lawyer is an important part of your risk management program, but they can’t work miracles. Use them in connection with the other tools that you are familiar with, such as insurance and traditional commercial risk management arrangements (such as letters or credit) that are suitable for your business.

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We hear a lot about S.C. tourism, but most people tend to think of the coast or the mountains. What are your thoughts on tourism in the Upstate of S.C.? Do you “see” any of it at all?

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Tourism has its good and bad attributes. Places that have a lot of tourism (e.g. Asheville, Myrtle Beach, Charleston) have higher cost of living associated with it. But tourism also brings dollars into the local economy and creates jobs. We get a lot of tourism business here in the Upstate already...and our cost of living (currently) is reasonable. I’d like to keep it that way.... Judy Hodges

Kelly Services of Upstate South Carolina

I think steadily and thoughtfully growing the tourism visits to the Upstate makes a nice “additional

income stream,” although I’d never want to be as dependent on tourism dollars as some other parts of the state. Diversifying income streams is always a good thing, though! Probably the best-promoted/developed “tourism” aspect of the Upstate right now is downtown Greenville...But what I’d love to see is some promotion and branding around some of our Upstate history (there is, after all, some of that up here, e.g., Cherokee, traders, settlers, old mills, etc., it’s just a different type) and around some of our Upstate outdoors activities. I don’t think either of those has been sufficiently identified, branded and promoted. I’m thinking, in particular, of an illustrated map of historic destinations in the Upstate that people could visit. Charleston has done a ton of that—simply identifying, then cobbling together into one package and promoting series of historic sites and events. The same thing could be done with our outdoor adventure opportunities and locations.

Sarah Hey

Social Media & Brand Identity Consultant

Almost everyone living in the Upstate

Gil Gerretsen

Biztrek International

Virginia Simpson

Simpson & Partners

Join the discussion! Join our group— Business Black Box—on LinkedIn to give us your feedback on this and many other subjects! Q4 2011

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Business Black Box

Well, I may be a little biased here since I am in the hospitality industry but I say yes. Tourism creates jobs and provides tax revenue that funds much of what we love about Greenville. Purpose-driven tourism, as described by Virginia above, has a tremendous economic impact. But so does the leisure tourism. It is much easier to measure the true economic impact of a convention than it is random leisure business coming into the market. Sycamore Investment Group

pleasure and purpose. Pleasure tourism (like Myrtle Beach) is better known, but lower yield. Charleston does a great job of combining the two—but the big money comes from purposedriven tourism (like SE Wildlife, Spoleto, or conventions). MB’s tourism is low yield and mostly folks who can drive in, competing with places like Branson. Charleston, on the other hand, competes with cities like San Francisco and New Orleans for very pricey convention business and, at the other end of the spectrum, still competes for the same market (family of four, drives three to seven hours) as MB or other areas that are largely tourist driven. I throw this background in for one reason: in developing a vision around tourism, we would do well to pursue only the purpose-driven sector, building on specific events and high yield targets. While we are physically attractive enough to go after the camper/hiker market, the profits are so low and the downsides so high that it is strategically a bad choice. BUT, purpose-driven tourism gets three cheers and a “thumbs up.” Imagine a four-day meeting of, say, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, with docs and spouses enjoying the golf courses, restaurants, natural beauties, arts, theatre, ball field, and our superb hospital system showcased at the center of it all. Typically a four-day academy meeting adds $12- 15,000 per attendee to the host city’s coffers. And doctors are a pretty conservative bunch with a low impact (except the numbers) on a community. We have the events to build on (US Cycling, Euphoria, Artisphere, etc.). We have the destinations (ICAR, BMW track, Hospital System). We have the arts community and the aesthetics. We have the natural beauty and the outdoor activities (from golf to pontoon boats to ballooning). But we don’t have the vision, strategy, or the in-place expertise. As with too many things, our efforts—even our discussions!— are mired in thinking that is a decade or more old. One example? A recent survey asked about the degree to which we would embrace buying carbon credits (offsets) with an eye to putting a program in place here in the Upstate. However, the Chicago Climate Exchange (the only trading floor for carbon credits in the U.S.) has recently been shut down, the early players (like Terra Pass) are under fire as scams, and the once-interesting concept has been thoroughly discredited. Purpose-driven, high-yield tourism could be a real boon to the area, but the approach would have to be a bold departure from the ho-hum mediocrity that is the state of affairs in the current model of Convention/Visitors Bureau thinking.

“As with too many things, our efforts—even our discussions—are mired in thinking that is a decade or more old.”

knows someone who has decided to relocate here because they loved the community so much. The Upstate has an amazing surprise factor. Tourism brings money to the area and gives visitors lots to those unexpected surprises to share with their friends back home. That, in turn, leads to new residents. New residents bring skills and jobs that in turn lubricate the wheels of our local and regional economy. If we encourage and love our visitors, and treat them well, then we will collectively prosper. So get out there and promote your favorite Upstate secrets!

Jacqui Rose

There are two very distinct types of tourism:

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Sometimes it takes a catastophic storm to lead to your greatest success.

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Written by Alison Storm

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Money is not the root of all evil—

but the love of it is. Some say that verse in 1 Timothy is the most misquoted in the entire Bible. But Gene Krcelic knows it well. That’s because it was a warning he didn’t heed, a trap he drove his shiny midnight blue Range Rover right in to. He spent decades hounding success, coveting more cash, and achieving an amped up version of the American Dream. Until the dream became a nightmare of vanishing savings, mounting bills and a crumbling company. It was the perfect storm and—as it turns out—it made landfall on Krcelic’s life at the perfect time, pushing him into a new career, a new faith and a new outward focus.

Business Black Box

Often at the eye of the storm was Krcelic’s business. OneTen Management Group, better known as OMG, launched in the late 1990s, starting as a special event management and sponsorship sales firm. Even the name of Krcelic’s company provided insight of his constant pursuit of “more.” OneTen, Krcelic says, stood for the elusive 110 percent he saw as essential to absolute greatness. The company launched in Greenville, creating community events like Main Street Fridays, Shaggin’ on Augusta and Red, White & Blue. Quickly, OMG expanded to North Carolina and California, ultimately turning its focus to music and sports management, recruiting big names and area talent. OMG’s goal was to produce demo recordings and negotiate record deals on their clients’ behalf. With investors like Upstate-born and internationally-known musician Edwin McCain, OMG began gaining

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traction. Finally, Krcelic got the break he’d been waiting for. A hip hop group working with OMG caught the interest of Universal, but something about the impending deal didn’t sit well with Krcelic and his business partner, attorney David Wyatt. They couldn’t stomach the idea of putting their names on an album with lyrics so vulgar they wouldn’t dare allow their children to listen to it. So after discussion and prayer they agreed the potential for success couldn’t compete with their desire to follow God’s will. They decided to shelf the project, a move that ended up being the first of many financial drains OMG experienced. But it was a Thanksgiving mission trip to Texas, which had been damaged by Hurricane Ike, that gave Krcelic some muchneeded perspective. In his recently-published book Loves Like A Hurricane, he writes about what he saw in Crystal Beach, just north of Galveston.

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“It looked as if God had taken His hand and wiped the slate clean. Almost nothing was left,” says Krcelic. “It was a vivid reminder that what man creates is temporary: the beach houses, the restaurants, the telephone poles, the cars. It had been changed. It was equally as poignant that what God created never changed: the waves still rolled up the beach as they did before the storm. God’s creation was permanent; man’s creation was fleeting.” As it turns out, OMG’s success was also fleeting. Despite signing Christian rock band Chasen to a major label and recording a hit song heard by millions, it still wasn’t enough to secure the company’s future. Krcelic infused OMG with nearly $500,000 in personal resources, including tapping into his daughters’ college fund, but he wasn’t able to drum up more cash from investors to keep the doors open. “You don’t want to see something that you created fail or have to close,” he says. “I lost almost all the money I had, putting it into the company, paying salaries when there wasn’t money.” Often Krcelic found himself wondering if OMG was worth fighting for. More short-term mission trips to Louisiana and Alabama after Hurricane Katrina forced him to consider the possibility that instead of trying to hold his company together he should be helping people in the Gulf put their lives back together. “On one hand, I feel I need to be doing ministry and helping the people on the Gulf rebuild,” he wrote. “On the other hand, I’ve got responsibilities with the company and I can’t turn my back on it.” In retrospect, Krcelic now sees those early mission trips as a small taste of his future—preparation for what God was about to do in his life. In late 2008, money was tight and Krcelic had few options other than to shut down the company he spent a decade trying to build up. He could no longer afford to use his personal assets and investors had bigger worries than keeping OMG afloat. “All you have to do is read a newspaper to see that we were one of how many thousands of companies that didn’t make it in 2008 and 2009,” says Krcelic. “But that wears on me every day that people put money into the company, knew the risks of course, and they lost their money.” Ironically, the outcome relieved his wife Mary, who knew it would ease the burden falling on his shoulders. Not only did his finances receive a crushing blow, but Krcelic’s ego did too. He went quickly from negotiating deals with record executives to standing in an unemployment line. “I once thought it was simply a place for losers looking for a handout,” Krcelic wrote about receiving government assistance, “but with the ever-present reality of the American economy, I realized it was a place to help pay for rent and put food on the table.” Krcelic filled his time with service, study and prayer. His focus had been altered, from wealth-building to rebuilding. He continued to head south regularly to help with construction projects in areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Months went by, and although Krcelic continued to apply and interview for jobs, every employment opportunity fizzled out. He considered launching his own non-profit, Hope Disaster Relief. He even accepted a volunteer position on the National Response Team of

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, one of 65 people who follow destruction and lay out a long-term plan for recovery, offering hope along the way. But after nearly a year without a job Krcelic received the opportunity he’d been praying for. The Premier Foundation, the non-profit arm of The Premier Group which touches millions of people annually through Christian concerts, cruises and other events, needed a new leader and they felt Krcelic was the perfect person for the job. Now, as president of the Premier Foundation, Krcelic spends much of his time raising funds—just like his days spent rallying investment money for OMG. “The only difference now is I’m giving [the money] away,” he says. That money goes to support ministries around the world, and since 1998, the Premier Foundation has provided millions of dollars in grants to Christian ministries including The James Fund, WorldVision and Compassion International. In 2011, Ambassador International, a book publisher based out of Greenville, picked up Krcelic’s story and published his first book, Loves Like a Hurricane. Interestingly enough, Krcelic never intended it to be published; it was written as a personal memoir for his daughters, Alexis and Caroline—a way for them to know more about their father’s struggles and success. The book isn’t just about Krcelic, but also features stories of other people who impacted his life in profound ways, including the chronicle of six-year-old Jack Huffman’s battle with cancer.The Greenville boy was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma a day after his mom noticed a bulge on his stomach. Krcelic also explains why he tried to raise thousands to help Gwen Lauderdale, a Greenville wife and mother convicted of embezzling money from her employer. Krcelic and Lauderdale attended the same church and while most people rejected her, Krcelic controversially came to her aid. “This was not about Gwen, and this was not about me,” he writes.“This was about what God would have us do in times of trial and how we should be obedient to Him and trust in His love.” Looking back, Krcelic says he sees God’s hand on the ups and downs of his life.“I’m grateful for all my pressures and struggles, successes and failures,” he says.“I think God has used me and put me here for a reason and given me trials and tribulations for a reason.” It sharpened his skills and dulled his ego so he’d be ready for what he hopes is the last job of his life. Once in a while, however, he’ll receive a tempting business proposition that tugs at his inner-entrepreneur. “You think about those things and get excited for a minute, but then I have to look at myself in the mirror and say ‘Are you kidding me? This is where God has you for a reason. Don’t you dare consider anything else.’” Krcelic realizes now that OMG was started out of his love for money—a quest he now considers absurd. “The business aspect [of the Premier Foundation] is similar [to OMG] but we don’t sell CDs; we don’t sell Nike hats or Coca-Cola,” says Krcelic. “We sell hope for a better future both here and after death.” While he spent a huge portion of his life diverting disaster, Krcelic now finds himself chasing it. After all, he says, in the storm’s trail of destruction and despair is where you often feel the most love.

I’m grateful for all my pressures and struggles, successes and failures. I think God has used me and put me here for a reason and given me trials and tribulations for a reason.

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CEOs & LEA B o x CEOs & LEADERS Black

p90x, kitchen remodeling and the power of when

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

Business Black Box

People crave closure. Whether it’s a broken relationship, a lost client, or any other unfulfilled expectation, talk to both sides and you find something fascinating: While the “why” sometimes can be a point of contention, the “when” never seems to happen when both sides are fully comfortable with it coming to an end. “Why now? Why not years ago? Why not after the upcoming project finished? Why not after the weekend, instead of Friday afternoon?” This is a powerful principle that great leaders and marketers spend thinking through on the front end of a new product rollout or a new initiative: How and when will we know we’re done?

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by geoff wasserman

quick, easy solution to a lifelong struggle. So P90X brilliantly and relentlessly went after the portion of the market willing to put in the work, just not forever. And, they promised closure. People also love to negotiate closure, so P90X knew that for many, 90 days meant, “Well, if I can look like that in 90 days, I can probably look good enough in 45.” And, the rest is history.

The “Dream” Kitchen

I recently had my kitchen remodeled. Very nice guy, did good work...eventually. Here’s the problem. The project finally finished—11 months later. Sure, there were lots of very valid reasons along the way. However, the source of all my pain, in reality, was living amidst sheet rock and makeshift cooking arrangements with the ongoing inability to have a firm commitment date as to when the job would be done. When expectations and reality begin to distance themselves from each other, the space created between the two is called conflict.The wider the gap, the bigger the conflict.

The Power of “When”

I’m amazed at how many projects our firm’s picked up over the years simply because the client’s previous firm couldn’t give them a firm date for completion. People crave “when.” It makes The P90X Phenomenon the unknown known, and when it’s possible to provide it, but the P90X certainly wasn’t the first of thousands of systems sold as provider doesn’t provide it, resentment sets in. the world’s best workout program to give you six-pack abs. It was, Truth be told, until a couple years ago, our firm did great work however, the first to combine three components: Show real results, but had average service. The single biggest change we as a firm do it in an extremely believable, viral way, and promise the results in made a few years ago to radically transform our customer service a realistic timeframe that matches the target audience’s perception was this: We committed and agreed to hold each other (and clients) of realistic. accountable to executing on “when.” Our leadership’s catch phrase Part Three is the key. We all grew immune to the “great abs in a developed from there: “My people perish for lack of ‘when’…” week” equipment sold on infomercials (and eventually in yard sales Effective leaders know that people crave closure, so when as great clothes hangers). So P90X listened to the consumer they they launch new ventures, start new projects, and introduce new were targeting, and realized we all inherently understood at some assignments they do it not just with the excitement and promises level that there wasn’t a “get thin quick” magic pill, machine or diet of the start, but with a clearly articulated vision of the end. Stephen that wouldn’t require hard work. We all, in fact, had begun to repel, Covey’s “begin with the end in mind” principle holds true; if people make fun of and disassociate from most products that claimed a know the outcome, they’re more likely to start something. It’s the very reason why so many people struggle with the concept of faith…the idea of trusting without seeing the end. So whether your promise is a new brand in 60 days, 21 days to your backyard oasis, 45 days to the kitchen of your dreams, or six-pack abs in a week, consistently check the “when” you offer (or if you even offer one at all), offering it and sticking to it will significantly impact your growth—and staying power—in your market space.

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X

imena Herrera was first attracted to TED when she heard the talk given by Majora Carter on “Greening the Ghetto.” It was her first introduction to TED, and one that immediately stuck. “She was so passionate,” Herrera says of Carter. “And one talk 2001 at a time, I became sucked into TED.” It wasn’t long after that she saw a Facebook ad for TEDx Asheville, and immediately felt drawn to bring TED to Spartanburg. “The part that attracted me was the ‘X’. My name starts with an X; I sign with an 2004 X, so it stuck out to me,” she says. “My heart was pumping like crazy; I started having cold sweats. It was like the little devil and angel were there saying, “Do it, do it, do it; no, don’t do it. It’s too hard.” So the Argentinian-born architect with McMillan Pazdan Smith jumped, not fully realizing what she was getting herself into. “I forgot the tiny detail that I have a full-time job,” she says, with a tired smile, only one week before TEDx Spartanburg will launch at Hub-Bub. Tickets sold out 2006 in three days, and four satellite viewing locations and a live stream were added to provide for the demand. But a full team of friends, volunteers and community leaders has helped make the event happen smoothly. Still, her desire to bring another TEDx series to the Upstate doesn’t end with a sell-out. “I’m excited because that means something happened.” 2010 In fact, her identity as an “outsider” in South Carolina helps infuse her with the desire to create conversation and effect change. “People think, ‘What is this foreigner doing?’” she says, acknowledging that her 2011 thick accent and South American looks made her initially shy away from being the face of TEDx Spartanburg. “But then, I tell them, ‘I’m Southern too; just a little more Southern than you are.’” Besides, she says, growth and change doesn’t have to be painful for a community. “There’s all kinds of people in our own community who have stories to tell and we are just creating a space for them to share it with everyone else,” she says. “Things can be some other way. Not better, not worse. Just, different. And different people can have the space to be themselves.” But for her, it all came together when someone warned her against signing her name with only an “X,” noting that in South Carolina’s past, it marked someone’s ability to read and write. “So, that’s my job—to give the “X” its full letter rights,” she laughs, then becomes pensive. “I thought, ‘If there’s such a meaning attached to one little letter, think about our young people who are told ‘don’t do this’ or ‘don’t do that.’” TEDx Spartanburg, she notes, is just like her one-letter signature. “It’s just one little rule that you can break. It’s not chaos—it’s just a bit of freedom you find on the other side.”

Moves to St. Louis from Argentina Moves to S.C. when husband, Norberto Gliozzi, also an architect, is transferred to Spartanburg

TRAIL BLAZERS BLAZERS 12

Begins working as an architect with McMillan Pazdan Smith Begins creating TEDx Spartanburg The first TEDx Spartanburg is held on September 10

The facts: Number of days it took to sell out of tickets to the inaugural TEDx Spartanburg event

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3 4 18 9

Satellite locations that aired the TEDx Spartanburg LIVE Number of speakers at TEDx Spartanburg (not including host Patrick Whitfill) Team members, from Sustainability to Audio/Visual, who made TEDx Spartanburg happen.

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She’s an artist at heart. When she looks at things she sees the color and the beauty. She sees structure and design. Her mom thinks she’ll grow up to be an architect. Her dad thinks she’ll be a lawyer. But for now, she’s content to draw, getting ready for days in kindergarten where she’ll learn letters and numbers and how to work together. The foundation is set. Fortunately, she has parents who love her and take care of her. She goes to preschool where her teacher will help her get ready for school next year. She’s a lucky one. When she’s older, she’ll be okay, but many of her classmates will be held back a grade or two. Some will drop out in ninth grade. Her best friend will get pregnant at the age of 16, and even some of the ones who graduate with her won’t go on to college, won’t study a trade, and will have no further direction or impact on the state’s knowledge economy. But she’s okay; she goes on to MUSC and becomes a pediatrician. She’s a model citizen and people are proud to work with her, and for her.

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And it all started because someone took the time to invest in her.

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Parents. Teachers. Friends. A businessman who she’ll never meet. A children’s advocate who worked with her mother. A legislator who introduced a bill to help pay for her preschool.

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Imagine this:

At these “peaks,” humans are at their most able to absorb, and are easily shaped by their surroundings. After the peaks, unnecessary connections are pruned. It becomes absolutely vital then, to focus a system of education on our youngest citizens—before they even hit the public school system at the age of five.

In fact, there is evidence that, were the U.S. the decision maker in the above scenario, we would put most—if not all—of our money in the lower-yielding of the two options. It doesn’t make sense, but fortunately, the situation is resolvable—with education, some evidence, a lot of support, and aligned advocacy, we can not only understand why our choices are lacking, but also how we can get a better return on our investment. First, however, it is first necessary to look at something that might, at first, seem completely unrelated to investments and returns—we need to know and understand how the human brain develops. In studies presented by The Center on the Developing Child out of Harvard University, science shows the development of the brain over time. In short: The basic architecture of the brain is constructed through an ongoing process that begins before birth and continues into adulthood. Early experiences affect the quality of that architecture by establishing either a sturdy or a fragile foundation for all of the learning, health and behavior that follow. In the first few years of life, 700 new neural connections are formed every second. After this period of rapid proliferation, connections are reduced through a process called pruning, so that brain circuits become more efficient.

0

Numbers

1

2

3

4

Years of Age

5

Social Skills Conceptualization Language Emotional with Peers Control

6

Hearing

Vision

*Dots of graph mark the highest sensitivity point for each area of learning Graph developed by Council for Early Child Development (ref: Nash, 1997; Early Years Study, 1999; Shonkoff, 2000.)

But school readiness doesn’t just include cognitive skills and literacy skills—it also includes behavioural and social-emotional skills, as well. How a student can relate to others, as well as their temperament and overall behaviour, are just as important in determining long-term success. Even more challenging are those children under what is considered “toxic stress”—the “strong, unrelieved activation of the body’s stress management system”—who are far more likely to experience drug or alcohol abuse, depression, and smoking, and are even at higher risk for health issues like liver and heart disease later on in life. Otherwise coined Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, this toxic stress— including poverty, abuse, neglect, or exposure to violence—damages the very architecture of the developing brain, and when it does not form as it should, can “lead to disparities in learning and behavior,” according to Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child. On the other hand, should a child be cultivated during that time, the exact opposite happens—they grow, and build an architecture that allows them to interact with others, and over time, they are more successful. Children who are well adjusted and taken care of early on are likely far more ready for kindergarten. Those who were ready for Q4 2011

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Basically, everything we are, and everything we are to become, is begun when our brain first starts forming. Not only that, but as we age, our brains “prune” neural synapses—meaning that windows you might have had open at the age of one (how many languages can you learn?) will close over time, the brain deeming them unneeded. In fact, when you look at the development of the brain, and of the many physical and emotional skills, as well as the foundational skills of capacity, almost all peak early on—before the age of five. Vision and hearing develop and peak first (around the age of one), with emotional control, conceptualization, and language skills peaking around the age of two, and numbers and social skills peaking around the age of three.

Sensitivity

It seems like an easy decision, but one that in reality, we lose at. Every time.

Low

Which would you choose?

High

You are given two investment options: one, a piece of property that, in about 18 years, should yield around three percent return; the other a Sensitive Periods in Eary Brain Development company that, in the same amount of time, Pre-school Years School Years would yield around 10 percent.

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the early grades are far more likely to absorb information and stay on track through school. This even progresses into adulthood, where those same adults are not only less likely to experience depression, alcohol or drug abuse, but in 2003, research done by Art Rolnick and Rob Grunewald, both in Minnesota, showed that a worker with a college degree was more than 60 percent higher than the wages of a worker with a high-school degree. James Heckman, a Nobel laureate, economist, and one of the leading authorities on early childhood education, usually focusing on the economics of the situations involved, clarifies: “All capabilities are built on a foundation of capacities that are developed earlier.”

The Cost of Status Quo

While the science is overwhelming, and proven more and more year after year, unfortunately, most of the U.S., for years, has remained focused on funding the end results—the programs put in place to intervene in late teens and adulthood—rather than shifting the focus to early childhood education. After all, it’s hard to shift an entire budget (state or federal) in a single move. But the fact remains that we will spend the vast majority of our budget after the age of five—funneling more and more money out the older a child gets.

Brain Growth vs. Public Expenditures for Children 0-18 Percentage of Total Brain Growth

Cumulative Percent of Public Spending for Children 0-18

Age 1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

Brain Growth

9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Public Spending

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Source: Brain development: Figure 2.4 in D. Purves, Body and Brain, Harvard University Press, 1988, adapted from D.W. Thompson, On Growth and Form, Cambridge University Press, 1961. Public spending on children: Derived from Tabe 1 in R. Haveman and B. Wolfe, “The Determinants of Children’s Attainments: A Review of Methods and Findings,” Journal of Economic Literature, Vol. 33, Decebmer 1995, pp. 1829 -1878.

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But by continuing the path we’ve always taken—the path of least resistance—we will continue to spend billions of dollars for those programs, many of which have low success rates, anyway. In fact, Heckman’s studies show that the results later on down the road—through adult literacy, job training programs, teen pregnancy programs—are costly and much less effective. If that’s not convincing enough, putting an actual dollar amount next to the programs, on both sides of the discussion, can be revealing. According to the PEW Center for the States, programs that focus on early childhood can show a decrease in the incidence of

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low birthweight babies (of which South Carolina ranks 1.7 percent higher than the national average), each of which cost anywhere from $28,000 to $40,000 each in medical costs. Likewise, the cost for a child who is neglected or abused is high— anywhere from $30,000 to $200,000 in medical and legal costs. Interestingly enough, both of these situations—low birthweight babies and child abuse and neglect—can be addressed through a program finding its way into states across the nation. Nurse-Family Partnerships, where a nurse will come in and consult, advise and work with young or inexperienced parents in low-income or high-risk situations, and in many cases, help prevent many of the above situations through education. In fact, PEW research notes that children from families who have participated in a Nurse-Family Partnership have 32 percent fewer emergency room visits, and 56 percent fewer visits for injuries and poisonings. An investment of $9,000 in a Nurse Family Partnership can have an amazing return, paying for itself in a matter of a few years. But it doesn’t end there. Throughout childhood, costs can be saved through intervention programs, as well. PEW research shows that in Chicago Child-Parent centers, third-grade students coming from the centers had a 35 percent less grade retention and 26 percent less special education placements than their peers of the same age. If you also consider the lifestyle of the parents whose children are well provided for through child care during the day—that they work harder, or can search for work, participate in job training programs and therefore rely less on public assistance programs—the savings are amazing.That same study provided the astounding evidence that the return on investment in a pre-k program for children ages birth to five is 10:1. Yet other data shows that an even higher possible return—an investment of $10,000 in pre-kindergarten programs, whose students are far less likely to drop out of school, can return up to $250,000, when one considers that a high school dropout’s earnings create costs found in public assistance programs and other efforts like job training, which are needed to compensate the lack of education. Sure, it’s vague, and it’s risky.You can never be sure that the investment will turn out as expected. But with more and more programs cropping up across the U.S., providing numbers and statistical information as evidence of their successes, it’s hard to turn a blind eye to the matter.

Average Lifetime Per-person Costs of Bad Outcomes When we fail to invest early, children suffer from a range of problems—they are at higher risk for being abused, becoming teenmothers, dropping out of high school and misusing alcohol and illegal dugs. They are less likely to be healthy and more likely to be criminals.

Illegal Drug Abuse: $250K-$740K Alcohol Abuse: $230K-$690K

Child Abuse: $30K-$200K Teen Pregnancy:

$120K-$138K

Notes: The low-end present value figures reflect only tangible costs; the high-end figures add intangible costs. Because each bar includes individual and societal costs that may overlap with others, they cannot be tallied to produce a total. Q4 2011

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High School Dropout: $250K-$450K

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Shifting the Vision

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The question then becomes: If all this is true, how do we then, make a shift? State and federal dollars are already spread thin across so many programs, and convincing legislators to pick up the banner of another cause is difficult. But in 2010, an organization was founded solely to champion that cause for South Carolina. Established in response to the growing call for early childhood education focuses in the state, The Institute for Child Success works, under the theme “Kids Drive Our Future,” to unite advocacy groups across the state of South Carolina, while at the same time finding corporate and legislative advocates to help promote the agenda. “By reducing child maltreatment, the incidence of teen childbearing, a reduced use of special education, and increasing the high school graduation rate, evidence shows we can lower the public costs over the long run,” Joe Waters, associate director of SCICS says. “Respectively, we can reduce the cost of the child welfare system, lower the cost of public healthcare, lower costs for special education, and spend less on adult literacy programs and corrections.” It’s a hard battle fought, especially in a state like South Carolina, known for its place at the bottom of the educational totem pole, nationally. In fact, S.C. ranks only 33rd in state financial support per child, where perstudent funding in 2010 was at a low of $1,446 per child.To put this number in perspective, consider that in 2002, the state invested $2,029 per student, and that neighboring states, today, spend anywhere from $4,206 (in Georgia) to $5,239 per student (in North Carolina). With the national average of per-student spending hovering around $4,212, it would seem that we have a lot of ground to make up.

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Also in South Carolina, only three percent of three-yearolds were enrolled in a state funded preschool program in 2010, according to numbers published by the National Institute for Early Education Research’s State of Preschool report. And while three seems very young for a child to be in a state-supported preschool, only 38 percent of four year olds were. “Our biggest threat in South Carolina is a lack of education,” says Minor Shaw, president of Micco. Shaw has sat on numerous boards—from the United Way to the Duke Endowment—in which she has learned more and more about the necessity of support for early childhood education and it’s impact on our future workforce. “I don’t think that we put the focus on the importance of quality education like we should in South Carolina,” she adds. “In a state like South Carolina that is a rural state, in the past education wasn’t as important as it is today. It was a different world. But we live in a different world now and, as we all know, jobs are changing. “The type of education that you have to have in order to be able to get a competitive job is much different than it used to be and we’ve got to have a higher degree of people getting their high school degrees, but we also need to have further training.” That concern—lack of a knowledgeable workforce, both now and in the future—is growing among South Carolina’s businesses. It’s a concern shared by many, from manufacturers and suppliers, to those in the medical and educational sectors, and even to business leaders like Shaw herself. “The fact is that we are in a very competitive world and South Carolina, presently, is going to have a hard time competing in that world if we don’t elevate the education levels of our citizens,” Shaw says.

How to Change the Future

For more on this subject, visit InstituteforChildSuccess.org or see the Random & Relevant section for information on the upcoming Business Leaders Summit on Early Childhood Investment. Q4 2011

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But how to do that? We know we need to shift dollars to work better for us, and we know that our state has a lot of growth potential. But then what? While it may seem intimidating,Waters is quick to point out that the term “investment” is not limited to financial funding. “‘Investment’ signifies a commitment to increase advocacy and awareness in the community,” he says. “Funding programs directly is only a portion of what needs to be done to have an evidence based impact on children’s futures.” That advocacy can come in many forms, and in the business community it can be as simple as helping provide childcare for employees, or helping move ECE-friendly legislation through the statehouse. Locally, many companies and organizations already do support the movement, including Spartanburg Regional hospital, Greenville Memorial Hospital, Furman and USC Upstate, who offer on-site or near-site childcare; the YWCA of Greenville, which operates a high-quality childcare and early educational programs to families from a variety of income levels and neighborhoods. Statewide, South Carolina First Steps aims to “leverage state, local and private resources to increase the quality of, and number of children participating in, developmentally appropriate pre-kindergarten programs in both the public and private sectors.” A Nurse-Family partnership is already in place as well, with six locations throughout the state, and one agency each in Spartanburg, Greenville, and Anderson. So, while we are far from providing solutions that encompass each child in the state, there is already much being done.

“The ideal is a mix of programs and interventions that are both publicly and privately funded that meet the needs of South Carolina’s children by delivering high-quality and accessible early education and care,” Waters says. “There is no one ‘solution’ or program that is an ideal, but instead a whole system that supports child success in all areas.” “Getting the infrastructure in place to do that—that’s probably our biggest challenge,” says Jim Akerheilm, president of JENK and incoming board member for SCICS. “I just don’t think there’s a choice here,” he says. “For me, it’s not a question of if; it’s a question of when. The data is absolutely compelling. We need to spend a bit more money earlier on in childhood development.” In a state where manufacturing is bread-and butter (how many pieces and suppliers make up a Boeing Dreamliner, anyway?) and the medical and educational sectors are thriving, it would seem like Akerheilm is right. In fact, data provided by the Institute for a Competitive Workforce (in cooperation with PEW Center for the States), shows some terrifying data. Twenty percent of U.S. workers are functionally illiterate. Only 25 percent of 17- to 24-year-olds will qualify to serve in the U.S. military, the rest of which would not meet physical, behavioural or educational standards for service. The majority of both fourth and eight-graders are not proficient in both math and reading in any state, and—as if that weren’t scary enough—most children reading well below grade level at the end of 4th grade will not graduate from high school. So although it seems like a hard road to climb, South Carolina isn’t alone in the need to improve. It seems appropriate, then, that according to Akerheilm, South Carolina won’t be the only ones changing their focuses. “I think you’ll see public education budgets across the country start to move that way,” he says. “It’s much more expensive to catch an 18-year-old up than a 3- or 4-year-old.” Shaw agrees. “If we can create a common set of goals for our children in this state and it’s all tied not just to the children, but even concept goals for the state—where we would like to be for the future? Then we back up and look at how we achieve these goals for the state,” she says. “You can’t achieve these goals unless you have an educated and a successful group of people living in the state. And that has to start with early childhood—not just education, but early childcare, and early childhood education. “Without that foundation…in this community, then down the road they’re not going to be able to have the quality workers that they need to fill the jobs…the competitive jobs,” Shaw adds. “It’s an economic development issue, not to mention it’s the right thing to do. But if you want to put the dollars and cents to it, it’s definitely an economic development issue.”

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SMALL BIZ Black

B ox

SMALLBIZ

3 things not to do when ideas fall flat

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

by tony snipes

Don’t Get Anxious:

It’s easy to get on an emotional high once you feel that an idea you’ve stepped out on is going to happen. But when it comes to a screeching halt, the first reaction can be emotional as well, and that leads to distress or uneasiness. This is natural, so I can’t say, “Don’t feel that.” What I will say is don’t take action on the feeling. Watch what you say, email, or who you call in those first few moments of realizing that the plan isn’t going to happen.

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Business Black Box

Strategic partnerships do wonders for the up-and-coming business, and I just love when a partnering plan comes together. On the flipside, I can get bummed out when a plan doesn’t come to fruition. If you are like me, the disappointment that takes place when you realize that an exciting idea for your business just isn’t going to happen can be just like the drop that takes place immediately after a sugar rush: Sweet and exciting at the beginning…knocking you off of your feet thereafter. The reality is that not every great idea, partnership or initiative is going to happen as planned or imagined. Many times you’ll never know if it’s better that way or not…it’s just how it is. So how should the start up business owner handle this scenario, especially when great ideas and strategic partnerships mean so much to the growth of the business? Here’s what I’ve learned from my own experience:

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Don’t Take It Personal:

One thing I’ve learned over the years is that when someone says “no” in business, they aren’t necessarily saying “no” to you. It’s human nature to take rejection personal, so be prepared to counter that. Know that if the project isn’t going to happen as planned, it’s not necessarily because they don’t want to do business with you.

................................................................. Don’t Close Doors or Burn Bridges:

Allowing your emotions to take control, coupled with taking it personally can immediately lead to closing the doors of future opportunity. Just because the current idea is a wash, doesn’t mean there’s not another one with the same entity down the road or even right around the corner. Shake hands and stay in contact. Business is all about relationships, and those relational ties can be strengthened, even when things don’t go as planned.

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Z YOUNTS CONFERENCE CENTER

at Furman University

S E R V I C E , V E R S AT I L I T Y, A N D E L E G A N C E COMPLIMENTARY AMENITIES • Free wireless internet • Event planning staff • Built-in projector and screens for audio, video, and presentation support • Flexible sound system, podiums, and conference calling • Business center • Abundant free parking

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

CONTACT US FOR MORE INFORMATION! 864.294.2390 email: younts@furman.edu furman.edu/younts

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HR

today’s hiring marketplace: strategies for hiring during a recovery

Black

HR B o x

by julie godshall brown

Julie Godshall Brown is President of Godshall Professional Recruiting and Staffing, a firm specializing in direct hire and contract staffing solutions in professional, healthcare, manufacturing, legal, financial, accounting and technical markets. Julie holds a Master’s degree in Personnel and Employee Relations and a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing. She has been in the human resources field for 18 years and is very involved in the Upstate community, currently serving in leadership roles on several business, civic, and university boards.

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1. “Toto, we are not in Kansas anymore!” It is always a candidate market for truly outstanding candidates. Top professionals have choices—even more now than two years ago in most cases. These candidates are “passive candidates” who are not actively seeking a job change, but will only make a change for an ideal opportunity. Companies that acquire top talent recognize that their organization and opportunities are being scrutinized by the candidate just as the company is evaluating the candidate’s skills and abilities. Put your best foot forward in “selling” top candidates on your organization.

2. Remember that candidates may view your hiring process as a window to the organization. Recently, I was told by a top candidate that he dropped out of an employer’s hiring process primarily because he felt that the lack of respect demonstrated during the inefficient process would be typical of the way the organization would treat their employees and customers. Regardless of whether you make an offer to a candidate, your reputation depends on providing each applicant with a positive touch. Be a responsible steward of your company’s reputation.

team to determine if emerging trends would change the role over the next one, three, or five years. How will market shifts, globalization, or changing internal goals affect the evolving role and the skills required to succeed?

4. If a skill set is needed only for a project or a finite period of time, be up front with candidates. Research indicates that future generations think of work differently. Specialized skill sets are developed on a project basis and the expectation is often not that of a lifelong career with one employer or industry. Nothing harms a company’s reputation as an employer of choice more than ongoing layoffs. Consider the cost savings that would result from hiring these individuals on a contract basis.

5. Set a higher bar. Use your organization’s increased need for top talent as an opportunity to improve an outdated or ineffective hiring process. Consider changing “the way things have always been done” by updating skill requirements, utilizing online skills testing or effective assessments, and streamlining the interview process. Provide training for managers on the skills, objectivity and consistency needed to hire the best possible talent available to your organization. Remember, many top companies outsource their hiring to a third party to take advantage of their knowledge of the market, expertise and economies of scale. Unless you have dedicated resources to hire top talent, outsourcing may be your most effective option!

3. Change is constant.

ckand ba d e is e Fainstorm, adv yeou visit

Business Black Box

Consider the skills needed today and tomorrow. A clear job description is an important starting point for the hiring process. Once your job description has been updated, review it with a cross-functional

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Where they met him, how they went to school with him, how a friend of a friend lives near where he grew up. After all, McCain has become, for the Upstate, one of few celebrities who embrace their home state—continuing to live and support the area long after fame and success knocked on his door. So it’s only natural that his local celebrity continues to grow, in every telling of every story—regardless of the level of truth or the level of actual personal connection.

The inter esting thing is this: not many people r ealize how influential Edwin McCain really is.

Business Black Box

Sure, it’s easy to celebrate him as the globally-known musician he has become—now 20 years after his first steps into a studio, but the truth is that the Upstate community has benefitted from McCain for years, reaping the benefits of his “Southern boy” identity that not only keep him firmly rooted to his home state, but also to the community with which he so closely identifies.

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Rooted

McCain grew up in Greenville. His uncle played Old Appalachian music, telling an oral history through song of the people of western North Carolina, and instilling in him the art of storytelling in music.

“It was a r eally inter esting

introduction as to what music was for me, ” he r emembers back, consider ing the music that came out of the foothills. It was always based on truth, and that inadvertently shaped how I saw music.”

In high school, he was turned away at a band audition (“They needed a bass player who could sing; they very quickly realized I didn’t play bass,” he says). But he was good at music, and his time in the choir at Christ Church proved it. “You had to earn that position,” he notes. “I still look back and remember being very proud that I managed to get into that choir.” There, he found choir master Bob Powell, who taught music theory and pitch and all the things that the young Edwin would soon use to realize his success. “They were very nurturing,” McCain says. Still, his goal at that point in time wasn’t to become a professional musician.

“Back in high school, we had some guys who were die-hard musicians,” he remembers of the group that every high school has— those who will go to California and try to make it big. “But I always thought of that path being incredibly impossible.” So instead, he went on to USC in Columbia, and hopped to College of Charleston and Coastal Carolina. But it was after his young college career ended that McCain realized the power in his voice. “After crashing a car and needing some money, I started playing to earn extra money,” he says. Playing circuits in Charleston was great, but on a trip to Colorado, McCain met Shannon Tanner, a musician who played in resort towns. After auditioning for Tanner’s booking agency, McCain found himself in Hilton Head, playing restaurants and bars. “Once I figured out I could make a little money at it, I booked as much as I could,” he adds. “One time in Hilton Head I booked 10 shows in one week.” It’s this drive that has earned him attention as “one of the hardest-working figures in popular music,” according to industry bloggers. Still, McCain realized that the next step was to expand the brand he had worked so hard to build, and he decided to add a few more members to the crew. Today, those members include Craig Shields (saxophone and keyboard); Larry Chaney (lead guitar); Jason Pomar (bass); and Markeya Sherard (drums).

Good Move

Fortunately, it was a time when bands coming out of the Southeast—bands like Hootie and the Blowfish & the Dave Matthews Band—wer e garner ing much attention, and Edwin s decision to expand his own footpr int happened to coincide with the industry shift.

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It wasn’t long after that Lava, a subsidiary of Atlantic Records, who also represented Matchbox Twenty and Hootie and the Blowfish, signed Edwin, and released the album Honor Among Thieves in 1995. “We worked so hard at getting our record deal and getting the politics of that into place,”he says. “But having a record deal is one thing; understanding how to work the intra-company politics is a whole other game.” Trying to understand the relationships within the Warner Brothers brand was difficult. But almost immediately, McCain’s ability to tell stories through song became known. His song “Solitude” made charts, speaking of a boy’s lost youth. With the next album, Misguided Roses, the song “I’ll Be” hit #7 on Billboard charts and officially solidified his place as a songwriter, and unofficially, his place as a

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king of ballads, although he prefers the less ostentatious “maybe, Eastern Viceroy of Sappy Love Songs.” So that’s how he ended up in situations like one in Los Angeles, playing wedding music at a Krispy Kreme drive-through for couples who had—in the drive-through, no less—officially tied the knot. But through it all, he has maintained a sense of reality whenever categorized as a “sappy love song” musician. “What other people think of my business is none of my business; I have no compunction to try to shape what people think about me or my music, and it’s a fools errand to try,” he says. “Part of the function of art is that it’s not really art until it’s been interpreted. It’s not up to me to tell people how to interperet it. I listen to music based on how I feel— and sometimes people will hear a lyric that’s not what I wrote, but it’s not my job to correct it.”

Business Black Box

A New Day

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Today is a bit different for McCain. Although he spends quite a lot of time on the road, as an independent labelled artist, he has a bit more freedom to spend with family, friends and other professionals like Maia Sharp, who co-wrote most of his newest album, Mercy Bound. “I was 20; we took off on the road and it was about as much fun as you could have. I could play 300 shows a year and it didn’t matter,” he says. “But my career has changed. I’m not the up-andcomer. Im the 40-year-old singer and songwriter that just released his 10th album. I have no illusion about gold records or chart positions. What I aspire to is keeping everybody employed and enjoying what I do. It becomes much more about finding the joy in the small things.” Those changes aren’t limited to McCain’s simply growing older in the industry. His family, whom he will talk about relentlessly about in person or on stage (he’s a storyteller, after all) but doesn’t discuss much within interviews, has also had an impact. “They inspire all of this,” he says of his wife and three young children. “It’s their perspective more than anything that inspires the way I look at things. I find myself being positive and encouraging.” And while that change may be seen in the stories he tells, the creative process—how his music is created—has remained the same. McCain doesn’t employ any “techniques” in the creative process; he simply lives until he has a story. “I live my life until I have lived enough of it to dig through and find the poetry,” he says. “It takes a little bit of time, but I’m not a big fan of manufacturing the time. I like having some facets of truth to draw from.” In fact, one of the most frustrating things for McCain is the actual writing—something he finds frustrating because that inspiration is not something you can turn on or off as needed. “Even Sting says the worst time of his life is when the pen is a few inches from the paper,” he notes. Still in the mix of it all, he retains a level of humility not typically found in musicians of his stature. Compliment his lyrics—his stories—and he’ll graciously shy away. “It’s like giving credit to the lightning rod for creating the lighting,” he says. “I just try to be a good conduit for what you want to say.”

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A Bit of Exposur e

As if the busy life of a touring musician weren’t enough, in 2006, McCain partnered with Greenville restaurateur Carl Sobocinski to start what has become one of the biggest attractions to the Upstate— Euphoria. Initially called Southern Exposure, the music, food and wine festival started as a way to streamline what was already being done. “It started out because Carl and I were being asked, all the time, by charities, to do some events,” McCain notes. “We both wanted to do them all, but we just can’t. So we said, ‘We can’t get to everything; isn’t there a way we can put on an event and showcase our city, and give some money out as well?’” It was a match made perfectly. Both men were excited about the potential of the event, and about showing off Greenville’s downtown on a larger scale. “I love Carl’s spirit and energy; we are very much alike,” McCain says. “We jump in with both feet, and then we figure it out.” So they started the foundation Local Boys Do Good—a moniker that needs no further explanation—a non-profit arm that serves to raise money through Euphoria and distribute to charities around the Upstate. What was in McCain’s mind was simple—barbeque and a concert. Sobocinski, of course, modified that idea a bit. Over the years, the attendees and the city modified it a little bit more.

Today, Euphor ia is a four-day event, with mor e than 3,500 attendees from 25 states, many of whom have never been to Gr eenville befor e. But mor e importantly, each year , approximately $25,000 is distr ibuted to char ities like The Meyer s Center , A Child s Fishes. Haven, and Loaves

&

“I had no idea when we started this, that it would continue this many years later, or it would turn into what it is today,” McCain says. “We’ve got people all over the country who fly in for this event and leave thinking how cool Greenville is. And it’s a testament to the great, forward-thinking poeple who make this place special. It was us wanting to carry that tradition on.”

There’s no arguing McCain’s place in the Upstate as a business partner with Euphoria, or his place in the world as a musician. But many still don’t see his place in the Upstate as an economic leader. Sometimes, it seems, even he doesn’t see it. “The Mayor asked me over to his office one day, and I felt like I was getting called to the principal’s office,” he remembers. But Mayor White simply wanted to talk about his ideas for the future— what he had in mind that he might want to do in the Upstate. “I had put together a plan for an Austin City Limits-type TV show, so I showed it to [Mayor White].”

“ ’

It’s that energy, and that commitment to the community, he says, that drives his involvement—not just in the music scene, but in the business market as well. He’s also involved in local companies—one of which, Thurso Power, is committed to developing the infrastructure across the Southeast that is needed to maintain electric vehicles. “I love cutting-edge technology,” McCain says, of the company and its CEO, Brian Edens. “Then, Brian was kind enough to introduce me to Dr. Taiber at Clemson.” It’s the people he’s met over the years that help him help make things happen. His Rolodex is full, he says, and it’s those people he calls when he needs something or wants to be better connected. “I’m just open to the ideas. Everybody likes to sit down and spitball ideas, and part of it is learning things I dont know anything about.” With such a drive to participate in the growth of his community, it wasn’t too long before McCain found himself “in the loop” when larger economic deals were in play. Concert series and downtown development led to higher-profile connections in the arena that McCain played a part in. “When everbody was courting Southwest, Carl asked me to come sing at a dinner,” McCain says. “And then I started being invited to more Chamber of Commerce-y meetings.” He began to see the inner workings of economic development—where people may or may not be philosophically aligned, but all are working toward a common goal.

“When it comes to the

betterment of the community, everybody puts aside all the personal stuff and gets to work. And that doesn t happen everywher e. Gr eenville is unique in that.

Greenville has become, then, one of McCain’s favorite places to help grow—not only cultivating the music scene, but also becoming involved in businesses he finds interesting or vital to economic growth. It allows him to do things like adding a concert series outside of Saffrons in the West End, to continue to foster the idea that Greenville can be a music town. It’s a vast change from the city he knew growing up, as he recently related to Garden & Gun magazine.“When I was in high school, the rule was I could have the keys to the car, but I better not go downtown,” he said. “Now downtown has just exploded.” Today, it’s not only a downtown that he loves, but it’s a city and a community that he has chosen to support throughout his growing successes. And at the root of it all is his story, and his music. Q4 2011

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The Leader Emerges

Of that encounter , McCain notes,“ It s just rar e that you have a community who is in touch with all its members and is trying to be better . And not just better for some; but better for all. ”

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ESPANOL B o x EN ESPAÑOL Black

los hispanos—su contribución a la economía y los negocios

Business Black Box

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-profit organization in June 2009 by the IRS.

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Le puede parecer que el hablar sobre este tema es algo trillado. Sin embargo, es una realidad que la podemos apreciar diariamente. Y aunque la recesión y sus efectos se han reflejado en los comportamientos en general, y en el caso de los hispanos uno de los sectores más afectado ha sido el de la construcción, no podemos menos que contribuir con nuestro punto de vista. Las mejores estadísticas son aquellas que vemos a diario, cuando visitamos el centro comercial, donde no sólo vemos la presencia de los hispanos, sino que la comunicación entre el consumidor y el proveedor ocurre en español. Somos ese grupo que aporta grandemente a la economía cuando adquirimos bienes y servicios que entendemos necesarios para nuestro bienestar y comodidad. En el aspecto de los negocios, el espíritu emprendedor está muy presente. Lo palpamos en los más de 6,000 negocios a nivel estatal (Carolina del Sur), y esto son números conservadores, pues sabemos que pueden ser más. En estas estadísticas no están contados los micro negocios (aquellos que operan desde el hogar) que son una parte importantísima y que aportan de igual manera al desarrollo económico. Y no quiero dejar de mencionar el sector de la agricultura que sabemos es el que se afectará a corto y largo plazo si no se mejoran las condiciones de trabajo. Q4 2011

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by evelyn lugo

Los hispanos somos la mano de obra diestra en el área agrícola y un factor determinante en ese sector de la economía, especialmente en los campos de Carolina del Sur. Ellos son una parte importantísima en la cadena de distribución de productos de calidad, frescos y alimenticios. ¿Ha pensado usted que sucedería si esa cadena de distribución reduce la mano de obra hispana? En la Cámara de Comercio Hispana de Carolina del Sur reconocemos que los hispanos aportan grandemente a la economía. Somos el grupo minoritario más grande y de mayor crecimiento. Es por esta razón, y otras, que se crea la Cámara Hispana, buscando servir a un sector que necesita conocer y entender su influencia en la economía local y nacional. Es nuestro deseo ser ese puente que facilite el entender el mercado, las leyes, en fin, el sistema empresarial en general; que muchas veces resulta complicado y burocrático hasta para aquellos que tienen, no sólo la experiencia, sino que dominan el idioma inglés. Si quiere más información sobre la Cámara Hispana de Carolina del Sur, puede llamar al (864)643-7261 ó visitar nuestra página en la Internet: www.schcc.org.

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GLOBAL GLOBAL Black B ox

not your father’s bric

by ravi sastry

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

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BRIC is an acronym that Jim O’Neill of Goldman Sachs came up with in a 2001 paper called “Building Better Global Economic Bricks,” to refer to Brazil, Russia, India, and China, who have moved the global economic power from the developed G7 to the developing BRICs. These four countries account for more than 3 billion people and $8.6 trillion in GDP. Comparatively, the G7 has 744 million people and $30.4 trillion in GDP. The average annual GDP growth rate in the past 10 years for the BRICs, compared to the U.S., Euro and other emerging markets, is staggering.

and Russia and Brazil in raw material supplies. By working together, they can essentially counter the ingrained interests and managerial structures of the G7. If you’re in business and not aware of the BRICs, you may want to reconsider your strategy since these could be the building blocks for American companies looking to the future. Whether you believe the BRICs will continue on the long-term growth rate as predicted by Goldman Sachs or they will crumble trying to compete with the G7, one cannot avoid the short-term influence they have on the global economy (i.e., the next 10 years). Access to these countries, with respect to manufacturing, services, procurement of materials, or markets will be critical to the success of many American companies. A major reason for investment into the BRICs is the enormous geographical size of each, and thus hordes of future consumers. While likely slow in coming, it’s worthwhile to consider these targets for long-term export planning. These countries comprise about 15 percent of the world economy and, perhaps more importantly, have about 40 percent of global currency reserves. Do you need to lose sleep over this? Probably not, but a fastrising China or Brazil is likely to affect the general U.S economy (positively as well as negatively) and could make for big changes in your particular sector of the economy. So yes, pay attention. You could profit handsomely, or get taken to the cleaners.

Source:World Economic Outlook (Oct, 2010)

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Goldman Sachs predicted eight years ago that the BRICs, by 2050, would have the same GDP as the G7—$127.5 billion. This put them in the leadership position relative to innovation, middleclass wealth, and the largest consumers.Today, they estimate this will take place by 2027; acceleration due to the fact that these countries have emerged in much better shape from the global credit crisis than the major economies. Between 2000 and 2008, the BRICs accounted for 30 percent of the worldwide growth, compared to only 16 percent in the previous decade. The G7 during the same time period went from 70 percent to 40 percent. Since the start of the crisis in 2007 the BRICs have risen 45 percent in global growth. Why are the BRIC countries important to someone doing business in America? Just look at the trends in the past 10 years where China dominates in manufactured goods, India in services,

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hanging the way the world thinks about anything is hard enough; changing the way they see something as personal as their cars is a step even beyond that. But for Brian Edens, it all became clear on one trip to the gas station in 2008. 1994 “I was off of Woodruff Road, and gas had gone up to $4 a gallon. It took me $75 to fill up my tank, as I stood there breathing in exhaust from the traffic and feeling the heat,” he remembers. “And I remember thinking: ‘This is not sustainable.’” 1996 It all took on a more tangible form in 2009, when Edens visited the Embedded Systems Conference in Silicon Valley, Calif. And became engaged in the conversation to bring electric vehicles (EVs) to the Southeast. “I knew there was nobody thinking about the infrastructure part in the Southeast,” Edens says. But part of the challenge in getting people to buy an EV is having the infrastructure needed to support them — including private and public EV charging 2009 stations at shopping centers, universities, and businesses. So, he talked to Dr. Joachim Taiber, a research professor at Clemson University, about creating a business that had the model of a systems integrator—with the ultimate goal of providing the infrastructure needed to support (EVs) in the Southeast. “This was before anyone in Greenville had really heard about EVs,” Edens says. “So I was really doing equipment for vehicles that nobody even knew existed yet.” 2010 Out of this, Thurso Power Systems was born in 2010, starting with the first EV charging unit right outside Eden’s office. It was the first in the Carolinas, as well 2011 as Georgia. “Stations need to be in destination areas,” Edens says, referring to the difference between destination fueling (charging while being parked in an area for shopping or work) versus in-route fueling (stopping on the highway for a quick charge-up.) And although many other cities are making progress in the EV infrastructure, and business has spread quickly—in one year Thurso Power has installed 50 stations in the ground and has another 30 or more on order—Edens notes that Greenville is, “pound for pound, probably the most EV-friendly city around.” “Here, you can fly in, you’ll be able to rent an EV at the airport, and then we’ll have businesses, universities, and hotels who have EV charging systems,” Edens says. And of course, there’s the EV Ecosystem, a partnership with the City of Greenville and other corporate and public groups that has transformed the city into an EV haven. It’s a model he hopes to take to other cities like Richmond, Raleigh and Chattanooga, as well. From the car (Edens mentions new additions Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf) to the huge city buses made by local Proterra (Thurso Power has developed a highvoltage charger for Proterra that can adhere to route schedules), EVs are becoming more and more popular, and thanks to Edens, are already far more sustainable on a local level.

Graduated from Furman with a degree in Economics Work for DataStream Systems (worked from inside sales, sales manager, director of iProcure, and eventually as director of the life sciences division) Worked for Sealevel Systems as national sales manager

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Went to the Embedded Systems Conference in Silicon Valley Started Thurso Power Systems Helped create and execute the EV Ecosystem in Greenville

The facts:

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The number of EVs expected on the road, by 2015

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1 million 90

The percentage of drivers who drive under 100 miles per day (according to pluginamerica.org)

The number of miles, on average, that the typical EV can go on a single charge (according to pluginamerica.org)

$27,700

The starting price for the Nissan Leaf, a fully electric vehicle

$32,780

The starting price for the Chevy Volt, an electric hybrid that uses gas only as the charge runs low. Q4 2011

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SALES

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B o x SALES

big brother is watching, but is he buying?

by todd korahais

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

Today, learning what sales prospects want has become so much easier through the use of technology.While you may be accustomed to utilizing written testimonials from existing clients, you may want to consider that by the end of 2015, it is estimated that 94 percent of all content on the Internet will be video, rather than text. Video testimonials should be an accurate reflection of the relationships you have with your current clients and geared toward them helping you gain new ones. Not too long ago, I was at a seminar where it was explained that retailers now use facial recognition software to capture your likeness and then run a report on all of your buying habits. Then, as you’re If you’ve ever read the “rule book” on being Greek like me, then walking by products that you’ve been known to purchase in the you know you’re required to frequently patron Greek restaurants. As past, your cell phone will receive a text offering you a discount, if soon as the owners see the Chia Pet I call a hairdo and the unibrow you buy those products in that store on that day. You can certainly above my eyes, they realize quite quickly I’m one of them. This say Big Brother is watching, but people do not buy on price alone. leads to a visit from the owner/proprietor and a conversation about Capturing any purchasing tendencies of prospective sales clients is where our families are from in Greece. always a must; however, you must establish trust and a relationship. While this touch of home offers charming conversation, it alIn other words, technology can never replace you as a sales profesways winds up with me becoming a regular there and receiving sional.You must harness and utilize cutting edge technology to stay treatment that can only be categorized as VIP. Ordering off the competitive, but uncovering what people truly want and tailoring menu and being presented with food that you can’t pronounce may your products and services to their needs is what makes them feel be your experience at every Greek restaurant, but consider yourself like a valued customer or VIP and not just a number or a dollar sign. lucky—you don’t have the Chia Pet or unibrow to deal with. Today, in real estate, over 90 percent of all transactions begin The question as a sales professional that you need to be asking online; however, top-producing agents will tell you that half of their is, “How do I find out in advance what my sales prospects want sales come from referrals of past clients and friends. Consumers may to make them feel like a VIP?” In years past we used to tap every begin their search online, but they still call someone they trust and resource we had to find out the preferences of our sales prospects. respect to help them buy or sell a home. That is something that Big For example, I used to own a shredding company, and I learned that Brother will never be able to accomplish. So when a sales consultant the decision-maker of a major account here in Greenville enjoyed tells you the future is in building lists, capturing names and creating brandy and cigars, so one night I took him to do just that: enjoy online community, I agree; however, the common denominator of brandy and cigars and execute a contract. that list is still you, today’s sales professional.

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hen Raynard Gadson, a Sumter, SC native, graduated from Winthrop University in 2005, there was no hesitation in his mind about where he would go next. The broadcast communication major had always intended to leave South Carolina and his big break came a mere two weeks after graduation when he accepted an internship opportunity with A&E Television Networks in New York City. “I sent out 20 resumes to various production companies in New York City, and A&E was actually the only response and the only interview I had out of those 20,” Gadson says. “It was undoubtedly the hand of God that lined it up like that. There is no other explanation.” His internship transitioned into a full time job and, today, he’s still in New York City working as an associate producer at “The Dr. Oz Show.” Surveys conducted by Greenville Forward in 2006 and 2010 show that Gadson is not alone in his desire to leave South Carolina.The surveys asked college juniors and seniors “How likely are you to move out of South Carolina after you graduate?” In 2006, 48 percent said they were likely to move out of state, and in 2010, 46 percent said they were likely to move out of state. “The main reason for the study was to find out what Greenville and South Carolina could do to make this a better place for young people,” says Russell Stall, executive director of Greenville Forward. Some of the results of what students are looking for, he says, were surprising. “It’s interesting, as older people, we have a perception that every student out of college wants to come to a place with a lot of bars and nightlife and we found that they really would prefer it to be more family-friendly.” The top three preferences students cited were safety, familyfriendly and cultural diversity. Cultural diversity, Stall says, is one aspect that Greenville has made steps toward improving, but he says

more can be done. One area of improvement, he explains, is the need for more alternative venues for music and unique activities. Stall cites his own life as an example of a student who left the Upstate but returned many years later and, he says, he’s noticed great improvement in the region, especially in Greenville. “I was coming back to a place that I didn’t think was very progressive or creative or fun, and I think it is now,” he says. “We’re a lot more open than we were, we’re much more willing to accept people that look different or think different or dress different. So the challenge is getting word out that Greenville is not the Greenville it used to be.” The presence of a vibrant culture is just as important as providing good job opportunities, says Abraham Goldberg, assistant professor of political science at USC Upstate. He cites a recent book he read that stated one of the first things that needed to be rebuilt in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina was the local restaurants and bars where the city’s music culture flourished. Public parks, convenient transportation, ample shopping and being a physically attractive place will also enhance a community’s quality of life and improve retention of all inhabitants in general, he adds. “This isn’t to say that the jobs and the state of a local economy is not important, but I think to get people connected to where they live, we have to think outside of those things and make it a place that’s desirable to live, not just work,” Goldberg says. Goldberg works in Spartanburg and lives in downtown Greenville, and while he says they are two very different towns, he believes they both “do a good job of eliciting a sense of place and a sense of community.” He says that just by walking through downtown Greenville, people can get a sense of connectedness with options varying from Falls Park to Fluor Field and an array of restaurants and shops. “You can tell people care about what they’ve built there and there’s a great vibrancy to it,” he says. “Communities need to continually look for ways to get people socially engaged — that goes a long way to getting them to want to stay.” One of the key steps Greenville and other communities in the Upstate need to take to increase college graduate retention

“It’s interesting, as older people, we have a perception that every student out of college wants to come to a place with a lot of bars and nightlife and we found that they really would prefer it to be more familyfriendly.”

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Dear Mom, ho ol. Don’t sc r te af g in do I’m t ha w d de ci Fi nall y de ci ded I’m going de e I’v t bu y, pp ha oo t be ll u’ t hi nk yo er Spr ing Break ov ve lo in ll Fe . ns ea rl O ew N o t so many st ju s e’ er Th . re he t it d ye jo en and real ly t he fo od! I nd ...a ic us m he t d an es ur lt cu different my pat h! s se os cr ho w e se o t it wa t n’ ca Talk t o you so on! - Jamie

C o l lege Hi Ma, I’m goin is great! I t here f ogr t o st ick ar ouhink t he ho l i nd - Timot h day. y

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rates, Stall says, is to give them a platform to present their own ideas for the community and being open to their ideas. “Giving them a voice and making them feel like they are an integral part of the fabric of the community,” he adds. “Part of that is making sure we listen to them, and don’t just listen to them when they turn 25, listen to them in middle school.” Greenville Forward and the Greenville Chamber of Commerce are already moving in that direction with the advent of programs such as HeadStrong, which gives high school students the opportunity to be involved in the decisions that impact Greenville. Ben Riddle, a senior at Mauldin High School, is this year’s HeadStrong intern for Greenville Forward. Riddle has always been actively involved in school clubs and activities — this year, he is student body president — but it was after observing Google on Main that he really began to interact with business leaders in Greenville. He reached out to the event’s organizer, Aaron von Frank, via Twitter, and with his help, was able to develop Share the Hope, a fundraiser for the Project HOPE Foundation that took place during his high school’s spirit week. His new connection with von Frank opened the door to other opportunities including helping with the planning of Experience Greenville and serving as a volunteer at TedX Greenville. “The way that I’ve been lifted up and mentored by so many in the community inspires me to go back to teens and say ‘Guys, there are a wealth of opportunities right outside your doorstep, wake up, raise your voice and make your mark and let’s get engaged because you can do anything and make changes that you want to see now,’” he says. Young professionals aged 22 to 39 can get involved in PULSE (Professionals United for Leadership and Social Enrichment), which not only provides social activities, but provides opportunities for professional and leadership development. PULSE, which is a single membership based organization open to young professionals throughout the Upstate, currently has roughly 800 members and hosts events such as political symposiums, volunteer opportunities, leadership development luncheons and members often attend sporting events together. Chair-Elect Tammy Johnson says the organization is starting a new summer intensive program for interns in the community that will offer sessions based on career building curriculum, community engagement and social interaction to help them network with fellow professionals. “As Greenville moves forward in planning for the coming years, it’s very important to have the young talent involved in the decisions that will carry the city and the

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“The way that I’ve been lifted up and mentored by so many in the community inspires me to go back to teens and say ‘Guys, there are a wealth of opportunities right outside your doorstep, wake up, raise your voice and make your mark and let’s get engaged because you can do anything and make changes that you want to see now.’” Q4 2011

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community forward,” Johnson says. “PULSE is involved in not just leadership and professional development, but also in connecting and engaging all of our young professionals in the community as a whole. ... Our goal [with the intern program] is to help attract and retain young talent to the Greenville community. We introduce them to Greenville, help them to make some friends and get them connected and leave the city with a positive impression.” Universities in the Upstate also stress the importance of internships, and offer assistance to students looking for both internships and jobs. Clemson University, Furman University and Bob Jones University, all of whom participated in the student retention survey, offer internship and career fairs every fall and spring for students to interact with businesses. Students can also participate in mock interviews with career services staff and get advice on how to improve their resume. Furman University gives its students access to an alumni database, which John Barker, director of Career Services, says contains more than 2,300 contacts. “That’s probably one of the best things we can do, is to put them in contact with people who are employed in the industries [students] are interested in and are Furman alums,” he says. Neil Burton, executive director of Career Services at Clemson University, says the school’s 2020 roadmap includes a new initiative for students — engagement. “We want students to be engaged in creative inquiry opportunities where they are actually working with faculty members in small groups — we want them to engage in running the university” through on campus internships, Burton says. “We’re hoping that those kinds of experiences will help them build their resume and show them they can function well in a professional environment. It’s helping put their education into practice and helps the student to grasp more fully what they are seeing in class. “It’s like riding a bike,” Burton adds. “I can give you a manual on how to ride a bike and you could understand the theory but until you actually hop on there and start pedaling you’re really not gonna know how to do it.” Bob Jones University’s accounting program, which produces students who score higher on the CPA test than any other program in the state, offers an annual picnic where representatives from accounting firms from across the state, and some from North Carolina and Georgia, come to network with students. Steve Buckley, manager of Career Services, says this event leads to internship opportunities for many of the students, which can eventually translate into a full time job. “An internship experience is like a 12-week job interview,” Buckley says. “When you have that much time for an interview and make your presence and abilities known, often a job offer is made before the internship finishes.” Internships are not only beneficial for students, but for companies as well. Fluor Corporation offers summer internships to students in all of its business groups, which includes engineering,

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direction to go, Gadson says. Without those opportunities, more students will follow his example and leave. “This generation is drastically different from the one before us,” Gadson says. “We’ve been told that we should want to stand out, so we do. We want to be seen and heard. We want to be recognized for something that separates us from everyone else, and that requires learning how and being able to tap into our creative potential. ... If we don’t have a reason to stay or a promise that our potential is possible, we are at risk of being stifled, and it’s our human nature to fight that by any and every means necessary.” Stall believes the trend is starting to turn, however, and more students are choosing to stay thanks in part to the connections they make both at local universities and in local internships. “It’s much easier to get connected if you have some roots where you land and a lot of those roots are formed while you’re in college, so I hope more programs emerge to link the colleges to Greenville and to the decision makers and organizations like Greenville Forward,” Stall says. “I think it will be fascinating to see in the next 10 years what emerges. Greenville has turned into a pretty cool place and people want to be here.”

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architecture, finance and this past summer they even had an attorney internship. This isn’t simply a coffee fetching and errands type internship though. Students are given the opportunity to dive right in to their assigned business group and are often assigned a project that is presented to senior management at the conclusion of the summer. They attend weekly meetings and are assigned a mentor from Fluor’s GAP (Graduates Advancing toward Professionalism) program, which consists of employees that have been out of college zero to five years. “[The internship program] gives us an opportunity to test the waters with these young potential candidates and keeps us fresh as well,” says Annette Allen, vice president and general manager of Greenville Operations. “It amazes me the technology and multi-tasking capabilities that some of these kids are bringing to bear right now. They show up and they’re on Facebook and Twitter and they are able to leverage some of these skills that we don’t see or use traditionally in our day-to-day business to bring additional value to their jobs.” Roughly two-thirds of Fluor’s interns either return the following year for another internship or are offered full time employment, a sign that Fluor’s program has been successful in retaining new talent. The company’s GAP program demonstrates Fluor’s continued commitment to young professionals. Focused on professional development, personal development and social interaction, GAP employees are given the opportunity to meet with personal finance and tax specialists, learn group professional etiquette and often interact with senior management, including at the company’s monthly “Luncheon Learns,” where senior management officials will share their own stories of development. “It makes it very exciting for these people right out of school to know they have a lot of options and they don’t have to be linear,” Allen says. Demonstrating this commitment to its fresh young talent has helped retain students and Allen says if more businesses would do the same, college graduate retention numbers would improve. “Fluor is doing a lot to make a difference but so is BMW and Michelin and General Electric,” she says. “We have a lot of global corporations that are relocating here and hiring and that’s a real opportunity for us to continue to bring this place up with a skilled workforce.” Giving college graduates the attention they have worked so hard to achieve and actually listening to their ideas is the right

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GROWTH Black

B ox

GROWTH

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

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This is a series of articles on the critical success factor in growing your business: having a selling system in place that ensures enough inbound revenue to keep the business growing. Here’s an overview of a selling system: http://bit.ly/ mTXimo. Today we’re talking about two final stages in a completed selling cycle: proposal and closing. The fact is, the proposal itself may not be all that important, particularly if you don’t get there too early in the game. Inexperience creates many more proposals than necessary, as inexperienced salespeople tend to think they propose first, then “sell” the prospect on the contents of the proposal. Try turning that around. Do all the selling first. Make sure you’ve uncovered the pain or what’s missing in the prospect’s ambitions. Then make sure you’ve addressed all those wants in your conversations with your prospect. Agree in advance about what he needs and, more importantly, what he wants. Probe for any objections. “Is the budget number I gave you within your budget? Is there anyone else who needs to OK this purchase? Are you ready to go ahead with this?” Look hard for a reason the prospect might balk.

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by terry weaver

“So, if I bring you a proposal that summarizes our conversations, are we set to do business?” That’s when you rev up your proposal machine. The proposal is just documentation of everything you’ve already agreed upon with the buyer, including his agreement to buy what you’re proposing. The last step is closing, which is all but done—it’s a review of your proposal and a final approval.You start that conversation with a restatement of everything you’ve agreed upon, and use confirming probes to make sure you’re still in agreement. “That’s what we agreed upon, correct?” Then you open up the proposal and read it to the prospect. Yes, read it to him. Put a copy in front of him and follow the text with your ballpoint pen, making sure he’s staying on track with you. Every now and then, stop and confirm: “That’s what you wanted, right?” or “Sound okay?” When you get to the end, it’s pretty much time for him to act. Curiously enough, that’s when the balk may set in—when it’s time to actually give you the order. Then it’s back to discovery: “What’s getting in the way?” Review your points of agreement along the way—has anything changed? The balk should be the exception—if you’ve done the selling first, then proposed already-agreedupon products, services, pricing, terms and conditions, you’ll likely have an order.

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Black

b o x 11 QUESTIONS

1. What was your first job? Before I was legal enough to drive at dusk I started working at Western Family Steakhouse for the Isham Family. I learned quickly I could make more money and get less dirty if I sold shoes at Houser Shoes.That was the beginning of my shoe issues; we won’t talk about that anymore. 2. You came to Clemson at the Falls after a long career in Insurance Underwriting and Risk Management. What made you want to make that kind of change? It happened over a period of time, a series of many events, several conversations, mentors and leaders like Phil Yanov, Russ Davis and Kamran Popkin, that challenged me to think about things differently. If I had to pinpoint the major internal shift, it was during a discussion led by John Warner that I realized I lacked passion for my role in the Insurance Industry. I went in search of a career where the line between work and life is so blurry and thin that I can’t tell them apart. Clemson at the Falls is where I wanted to join the conversation and be a part of something special in the business community. I want to be the difference and influence growth in Greenville and South Carolina.

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3. What was the hardest adjustment you had to make from Insurance to Academia? Priorities in Academia are so different than that of a corporation. I remember asking Dean Pickett for an Org Chart; he looked at me so puzzled because they don’t have those in Academia! It’s not about who is at the top, it’s all about who has the next best ideas. Academia has to make investments in the future (so to speak) long before they ‘pay off ’ financially; corporations rarely have the patience for this type of innovation and discovery.

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4. What is your most difficult responsibility? With information about personal and professional development at every point and click, my most difficult responsibility is to ensure that your time spent in our innovative community teaches you more than you could have learned anywhere else. Bottom line, we want to help your business grow and deliver a better future.

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5. How do you deal with it? My role is to listen at a deeper level; really, it takes a lot of questions to get down to what organizations and individuals need (rarely is it what they call to talk to us about) and then co-design and deliver exactly that. Businesses and Training Development Executives can go anywhere and get a training package off the shelf or online—we offer a totally different experience (we don’t have any shelves). 6. What is your biggest hope for Upstate businesses and/or leaders? My biggest hope? It’s simple, my hope is that we leave our community and businesses in better shape than we found them. Less greed, more creativity. 7. If you could choose one piece of knowledge you know now that you wish you knew earlier, what would it be? Shut up and listen. Sounds like a simple concept, right? Not for an off-the-chart extrovert. 8. What is your biggest personal goal? Right now? Extremely short sighted, I’m trying to find my way to the 2012 London Olympics; attend all four Tech After Five events in Charleston, Columbia, Charlotte and Greenville in the same month; and get my MBA by the end of 2012 (not necessarily in order of importance). 9. What is the one thing you want people to know about you? I know that sounds so cliché, but I’m happiest when I’ve been able to help someone. 10. What are your plans for your future and career? I just started at here in April, we’ve got a world class Professional Development program and I want to talk to every business leader in a 100-mile radius about it. I’m going to be busy for a while. If we haven’t met, you’re on my list. Let’s talk. 11. Why do you think leadership and professional development are so important? In my personal opinion, the best life an individual can lead includes at its core continuous learning; being open to looking at things differently, considering all the possibilities and being the best you can be at whatever makes your soul happy. If you think you don’t need to learn anything new, check your pulse and then the obituaries. Photo by Wayne Culpepper/FishEye Studios

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POLITICS POLITICS Black B ox

sc legislature, governor delivers historic job saving relief

by john deworken

John Byrnes is president of the South Carolina Association of Personnel and Staffing and is owner of Express Employment Professionals located in North Charleston, SC. He can be reached at John.Byrnes@ExpressPros.com.

insurance plan bases layoff experience on the last seven years, where previously the experience was based on the company’s lifetime. Therefore, companies that had impeccable hiring records for generations but were victims of the Great Recession were smacked with huge increases. During the 2010 debates, the staffing industry, those companies that are responsible for putting 200,000 of South Carolinians to work every year, was one of the first to see the economic hurricane The beginning of 2011 was intended to be a special year for on the horizon. Unfortunately, those warnings did not yield the small business owners, plant managers and staffing agencies. It was results needed. supposed to be the year that they all finally surfaced from the Great So, the 2010 summer months of vacationing and recreation and Recession, the worst economic growth since the start of the World’s fall months of college football elapsed without incident. All was Second Great War. It was supposed to be a good year, an optimistic looking well for businesses lucky enough to emerge out of the year, a year of real growth and a year that people finally got back Great Recession without closing their doors. The optimism of the to work. New Year was upon them. In February 2011, optimism was turned on its head. For tens Unfortunately, the economic tsunami abruptly arrived, bringing of thousands of companies, February 1 signified the day that with it the largest tax increase to South Carolina businesses in businesses were thumped with a catastrophic blow. Opening memory. Though the structure of the plan was fair, it was not a state unemployment insurance tax (SUTA) bills from the plan the state’s businesses could afford. Most believed that this new newly created S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce, plan would cost jobs when the state could least afford to do so, and thousands of businesses saw their unemployment insurance rates this plan would cost millions in capital investment when capital was increase by thousands and millions of dollars. They saw optimism dearly needed to spur the economy. go out the window for a stark realism that 2011 was, again, a year Many in the private sector called for relief as well. Manufacturers, that they would have to hang on as if dangling from a flagpole the agricultural community, the hospitality and tourism sectors, during a hurricane. NFIB, and some local chambers got on board to fight for relief. Businesses of all shapes and sizes were hit. The only requisite By the end of February, it was obvious that SUTA increases were required for vulnerability is that one must have had unemployment hurting those very industries that the South Carolina legislature claims during the last seven years. Hundreds of abhorrent anecdotes had historically and so very religiously protected: manufacturers, of unprecedented SUTA increases were reported in the coming farmers and tourism. Something had to be done. Fortunately, the cold winter days. legislature responded. Blue chip manufacturers—companies that put thousands of By the end of June 2011, with leadership from the legislature South Carolinians to work over many decades—had their rates and the governor’s office, regulatory changes were made and increased by millions of dollars for 2011. And staffing firms, by $146,000,000 was appropriated to provide up to 25 percent relief nature an industry that swings with the economy, took it on to thousands of businesses hit the hardest with unemployment tax the chin. increases. Rewind ten months to April 2010. The relief package was not a cure-all, but we would agree that it After the state’s unemployment insurance trust fund decreased sure was a sign that the South Carolina legislature and the Governor’s from a $600 million surplus to an $800 million deficit in a mere job-one is job creation. It should also be a sign to thousands of decade; after years that Employment Security Commission handed businesses inside South Carolina and the millions of dollars of out checks to people who didn’t deserve unemployment benefits— potential capital investment outside her borders that South Carolina the people who had been fired for egregious reasons (which is continues to be open for business. said to have cost the state unemployment insurance trust fund $30 million per year); after the state borrowed hundreds of millions of dollars from the Feds to cover unemployment claims; and after the Great Recession, the Governor’s office and General Assembly embarked on a journey to right a problem that amounted to 16 percent of the state’s multi-billion dollar budget. A plan was created in the spring of 2010 to charge more in unemployment insurance to businesses with more layoffs. The plan e and seemed fair. Unfortunately, because of the increases to thousands of advis visit , m r businesses, the plan ended up being too costly too soon. The new sto you itics. Brain in when com/Pol . h weig BlackBox e d Insi Q4 2011 8383

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Every year, Feed the Thousands provides a Thanksgiving meal to 3,000 people. coordinated by loves and Fishes, in coorperation with companies across the Upstate, it’s a huge task to undertake. Will this year’s event come together, or will the team fall flat?

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Hurdling towards disaster OR conquering the mighty competition.

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THE PERSON

THE PLAN

THE PURPOSE

Susan Douglas, the executive director of Loaves & Fishes, is quite passionate about this project, which is the “only direct feeding event” that they do. Typically involved in distribution of food that would otherwise be thrown away, Douglas is the main coordinator of the event, which raises awareness that there are people who would miss a Thanksgiving meal, were it not for such organizations. Together with a team of more than 300 volunteers and approximately 20 business partners, Douglas will help make this one day happen, all while maintaining “business as usual” through Loaves & Fishes. As Douglas notes, “It’s a lot like inviting 3,000 people to dinner when you don’t have any food or any staff.”

The team must coordinate the donation and pickup of everything: turkeys, green beans, utensils, volunteers and kitchen space. Once picked up, the food will be stored (in the case of dry goods) or frozen (in the case of perishables and turkeys) until it is ready to be prepared. Four local churches— Woodruff Road Presbyterian Church, Buncombe Street United Methodist Church, and First Baptist Church of Greenville and St. Mary Magdalene’s Catholic Church (who partner together)—will pick up and prepare the meals, then distribute them to groups across the Upstate—from senior housing to homeless shelters. It’s a job that will take an extraordinary amount of time and coordination, but one that will reap great personal reward for each person involved.

Feed the Thousands is an annual event focused on feeding those on Thanksgiving who might not otherwise receive a Thanksgiving meal. Since being founded in 1994 by Red Lobster, Feed the Thousands has become a tradition for Loaves & Fishes, a local food rescue who helps ensure that food from restaurants and stores is not wasted, but rather delivered to the people who need it the most. Typically, 2,500 to 3,000 people will be served through this one meal, and everything involved— from the turkeys to the green beans, the containers, the volunteers and even the utensils—is donated by a partnership of Upstate businesses.

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“Making this contact always starts the ball rolling,” she says. “But I’m always nervous until I get a confirmation because without turkeys there is no Thanksgiving.”

Day 16: Douglas plans a meeting with Chef Patrick Wagner, who runs the kitchen at Woodruff Road Presbyterian, to discuss this year’s plan and discuss volunteer recruitment and division of labor. Wagner, who is also Chef Instructor at the Culinary Institute of the Carolinas, is a key part in making this event happen, and serves as the chief food specialist. Unlike past years, churches will be individually responsible for getting their own volunteers to pick up supplies and food, prepare and distribute meals, while Loaves & Fishes will remain responsible for gathering food supplies from donating companies, sorting and storing all supplies, and coordinating the pick up and delivery to each location.

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It’s a lot like inviting 3,000 people to dinner when you don’t have

Day 1: Near the beginning of implementing the plans for this year’s Feed the Thousands event, Douglas sends an email to the contact at GE Energy to confirm their annual turkey donation and to establish a pickup date.

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any food or any staff.

Day 29: Loaves & Fishes relies on the connections they make year-to-year both for donations and volunteers. Wagner connects Loaves & Fishes to Ballentine Equipment Company. They donate serving utensils which will be a huge help. Business Black Box

Douglas also sends an email out to the leader of Boy Scout Troop 828, to help with other tasks such as unloading turkeys and the foods and funds drive.

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Day 32: Only a few days later, Douglas speaks with the Scout Leader and receives confirmation that they will help unload turkeys into storage at Carolina First Center. Since each carton of turkeys weighs about 40 pounds, the older scouts will move the cartons off the pallets and take them out of the cartons, while the younger scouts will break down the cartons for the dumpster. “What a relief!” she says, remembering a year when the entire unload was handled by the truck driver and the chef alone. “I thought then, ‘We can’t do this again.’ Many hands make light work of this job!”

Day 28: Bi-Lo confirms with Douglas that they will donate 15 new five-gallon buckets to transport gravy in.

Day 47: Loaves & Fishes is given confirmation that they will have a professional carving team who will help carve more than 250 turkeys! The professionals help out tremendously and give amateur carvers some needed assistance.

Day 53: Douglas tries to get a hold of Mike Shuler, the managing partner at Smoke on the Water and kitchen manager for Feed the Thousands’ First Baptist Church location, as well as Jessica Tremel, her contact at Red Lobster, regarding their involvement with this year’s event. However, because of the busy schedules of people in the restaurant business, she’ll have to keep trying!

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Day 57: The team gets bad news today: unfortunately, John Cessarich from WYFF4 will not be able to return to cover the event for John on the Road, like he did such a great job on last year. “He had done such a great job the year before that we hoped he could come back,” Douglas says. “So we were disappointed, but we understand. He’s an amazing professional guy. He always makes such a big deal over whatever event he’s covering.”

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You always feel better after you make contact and they say yes. Until then, you’re always thinking, ‘What is my plan B? Do they know someone else who could help?’

Loaves & Fishes also confirms the dry storage space at Green Gate Business Park, which allows them to store the supplies for the church sites until pickup day. This allows the team to be able to divide all food and supplies up before the day they’ll be picked up, and helps make the process of pulling supplies into one place and pushing them out to another much more efficient.

Day 54: Today shapes up to be a rather busy one. Fortunately, Douglas hears back from Jessica, who will be having back surgery and will be out for six to seven weeks. But even in her absence, Red Lobster, who started Feed the Thousands in Greenville, will still help by raising money and purchasing a lot of the needed products for use. Dispoz-O confirms the donation of utensil sets, and schedules the date for pickup. “This is important because we never know exactly where the meals will be consumed, so we include the utensils so every recipient can sit down and eat right then if they want to,” Douglas explains.

Day 60: Douglas receives confirmation that Red lobster will help out by donating seasoning packets and buttery sauce. “Each bucket of butter sauce could cost around $18 each, so their donation is very important,” Douglas notes.

Day 61: Confirmation comes from Shuler, who will go to First Baptist with two helpers from Greenville Tech. “Mike runs Smoke on the Water, and then what does he do on his holiday off? He runs a kitchen,” says Douglas, in awe. “Usually he leaves our event and then goes to pick up whatever he’s prepared for his family for Thanksgiving at Smoke on the Water.”

Day 64:Table 301 and Larkins on the River has agreed to donate two-ounce cups and lids, along with aprons and head covers for the kitchen staff. Loaves & Fishes is also in the process of confirming dates and times for the collection of some turkeys at St. Mary Magdalene’s and the delivery of them to Red Lobster, where they will be stored until the day of the event. Any extra turkeys will be donated to local organizations like Project Host, who runs a soup kitchen downtown and uses the turkey year-round.

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101 DAYS Day 71: Finally, Douglas is able to confirm the days and times for turkey carving with a Chef at Carolina First Center. It’s been difficult to coordinate, as most of the carving volunteers are also working professionals.

Day 85: Publix has agreed to donate all remaining bakery goods on Wednesday, the night before Thanksgiving, from 10 local stores. Douglas receives instructions about who to see at Publix stores, and Loaves & Fishes confirms donations pickup information with store managers.

Day 82: loaves & Fishes picks up the gravy buckets from Bi-lo’s headquarters, which poses the question, how many fivegallon buckets can you get in a Honda Accord? The answer: a lot, provided they aren’t filled with gravy first!

Day 89: The big day: loaves & Fishes picks up the turkeys from GE Energy and delivers them to the carolina First center. “This is always a dance for us because we don’t always know the answers to questions like, ‘how many turkeys will they get?’ or ‘Will the turkeys fit in the trucks?’” Douglas says. Still, the donation is extremely important, because it will stock the freezer with turkeys and the storage unit with canned goods.

Day 90: Extra turkeys over what is needed for Feed the Thousands are delivered to Project Host, who works with their staff and volunteers to freeze as many turkeys over the winter, spring and summer so that nothing goes to waste. Project Host will use the turkey year-round to help provide more than 78,000 meals to the hungry in Greenville County.

Day 93-96: It’s turkey-carving time! For the next four days, teams will take shifts to make sure every bit of every turkey is used. Fortunately, this year’s teams include many restaurant professionals, many of whom could take on the entire load of turkeys by themselves. “We have to make sure our team of professionals leaves some carving for our amateur carvers! Stay away from the guys with the tall hats and the sharp knives!” Douglas says.

Day 98: Wagner is busy making gravy, while the final sorting of all the canned goods is going on at the storage unit at Green Gate. Loaves & Fishes has always been amazed at the

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Day 79: Loaves & Fishes secures about 100 cartons for desserts and dinners from Pratt Industries. The cartons will help transport the final product—a dinner that will include turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, cranberry sauce, and dessert—to it’s final destinations. “This donation is huge since we can collect all of the cartons in one trip and they are all the same size,” Douglas says. Douglas also meets with Feed the Thousands’ planning team to go over last-minute details about the pickup and storage of dry goods, as well as pickup and preparation of the turkey and gravy.

We have to know when they want to pick up, what kind of vehicle they will have, and then let them know the two locations that they’ll need to pick up from,” Douglas says. “I can’t be in two places at once, so while I’m running around all day, Lisa, our Operations Coordinator, is trying to keep the day-today operations running.

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Two maintenance guys came to drop stuff off, and our coordinator remarked, off-hand, that she needed a hand truck like the one they had,” Douglas says. “Apparently, they were going to go buy one themselves to donate, but the company stepped in to help pay for it. We were so tickled, I jumped on the phone and called their boss,” she adds. “That company has been really good to us.

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Day 99: Loaves & Fishes picks up the donation of 1,500 twoounce cups for the cranberry sauce. Filling them up is a great job for some of the younger volunteers at the churches. Although the turkeys are tightly locked up in a freezer at Carolina First Center, they have entrusted Loaves & Fishes with a key to have access to the coolers and freezers in such a hectic time.

Day 100: The day before the meal, Loaves & Fishes counts the number of cranberry sauce cans and realizes they don’t have enough.

This is frustrating, because usually I’m the reason the count is off,” says Douglas. “It’s interesting, because we get a lot of green beans, but for some reason people don’t like to buy cranberry sauce!

Fortunately, they also received some donated Bi-Lo gift cards that they can use to purchase more! Since it will take around 205 cans of cranberry sauce in order to get 1,000 servings, it’s important that this be done soon! Loaves & Fishes picks up the tape guns and tape to build the cartons for dinners and desserts from GHS Materials Management, and then shuttles back and forth between Green Gate and the Carolina First Center to lock, unlock, and manage the supply pick up.

This is all I do the week of Thanksgiving,” Douglas says. Of course, she adds, this is when thousands of questions and concerns arise about specifics that need to be addressed for coordinators. “All the time, it’s ‘Where is this? Do we have enough of that?’ We’ve got three great leaders at three locations, but it’s a whole year in between each event. So while it’s a really well-oiled machine, there are always still questions and concerns.

amount of cans of green beans, cranberry sauce, and other items that arrive thanks to the generous employees of many local companies like Synnex. In fact, one company, who had come to offload canned goods, came back simply to donate a hand truck for their future use.

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Still, the day must go on, and the volunteer teams at each location spend the next five hours filling the orders and sending them out for delivery. The first meals go out by 9:30 a.m., and, after a

full clean up, everyone tries to finish up by 12:30 p.m. to go home and spend time with their families.

It runs like a big assembly line,” Douglas says. “It always goes faster than you think it’s going to go.

When all is said and done, it’s time for the volunteers and workers to return to their own families for the holiday, but only a few months until planning for next year will begin.

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

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Day 101: Thanksgiving morning has arrived, and while Douglas will spend the day talking to media and ensuring that everyone has everything they need, Wagner is putting out last-minute fires. although he advised each location to adjust their water heater to a higher temperature, the group at Woodruff Road Presbyterian has, upon arriving at the church at 7 a.m., just realized that the element on theirs has burned out. So, the team takes to boiling water on the stovetop to make their huge batches of mashed potatoes and gravy.

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At the last minute, Douglas realizes that the goods that were collected by St. Mary Magdalene’s are still in the storage space at Green Gate storage. The coordinator from First Baptist and a volunteer meet Douglas to get these canned goods moved to the site so that teams can start prepping. Meanwhile, at the churches, volunteer teams arrive for set up and prep where they open cans, fill cups with cranberry sauce, build, label and stage cartons, and set up lines for tomorrow morning. Douglas makes rounds to check in with site coordinators and see if there is anything else they need at this point. As the Publix stores close, volunteers pick up the donated bakery items, including rolls and desserts, and deliver them to the sites.

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B o x SPEED PITCH

The Pitch: Large scale disasters happen all the time across the country. In addition to loss of life and serious injuries caused by these catastrophic events is the extreme financial and logistical burden of recovery and rebuilding. On average, 50 percent of the total cost to a community post-disaster is emergency clearing and general debris removal. National Disaster’s primary product is StormView Online—a cloud-based records management program that provides a suite of tools for recording, reconciling and reporting on various costs and activities post disaster. All debris details must be accounted for—including type, weight, volume, gps coordinates, and photos. Target users are local jurisdictions, private contractors, and monitors (hazard & recovery consultants) that currently use multi-part paper forms as a primary reason for claims being disqualified by FEMA as improper and incomplete records. With no software to install or special hardware needed, we are the only user-agnostic platform that brings a modern digital solution and provides an easy on-ramp for all. Role based security protocols allow for custom access privileges—assignable by the client. And it is a pay-to-play model which means you only pay when using it. Ultimately, StormView reduces costs, increases efficiencies and contributes to successful reimbursement claims, thus easing taxpayer burden. For an even more robust system, users can request StormView Digital, our touchscreen mobile device that allows for in-field data collection and synchronization and StormView Executive, a business intelligence module that translates large amounts of data into colorful and interactive graphics and dashboards— providing for a full end-to-end digital solution.

When large-scale disaster hits, the clean up alone can cost a community tens of millions of dollars. BJ Ryan and his partner have created a solution to help those communities get federal dollars back— and reduce fraud as well. BJ Ryan National Disaster Photo by Wayne Culpepper FishEye Studios

Brainstorm, advise, weigh in.

Wanna offer your advice? Log on to www.insideblackbox.com/SpeedPitch

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What They Say...

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The good news is that there is always a need to improve government efficiency. National Disaster (ND) is following the latest tech trends by using the Software as a Service (SaaS) business model to deliver their StormView Online application (app) over the cloud to mobile devices. While there is nothing very new in their approach, the question is their value proposition. The Federal Government, specifically FEMA, sets the standards for national disaster recoveries. FEMA is the organization that could gain the most from Natural Disaster’s app. Why doesn’t FEMA buy it? By placing the official FEMA logo on

all their web pages, ND implies they have FEMA’s endorsement. If they have, that is huge, if not that is very misleading. Perhaps the only other group to buy the app would be people applying for claims. However, they are unlikely to purchase unless either FEMA or the paying insurance companies have endorsed StomView’s products. JB Holeman President, Holeman Investments CEO, OverSight, Inc.

From the pitch, I take it that National has done their homework and developed a product that offers potential users valuable features and functionality that are not otherwise available. For me, the next questions that need to be answered are markets, marketing and pricing. For example, how big is the real market for this product? Can you get cities interested other than those in the hurricane and earthquake regions? In these tight economic times, can you get customers to pay an ongoing revenue stream for a product that many or most of them will use once every few years, at most? Or is there enough of a market with disaster consultants who travel

the country from disaster to disaster and therefore will use the product on a regular, ongoing basis? National needs to have good answers to these types of questions to ensure that they have not just a good product but also a good business. Andy Coburn Legal Advisor, Business Black Box Attorney, Wyche Law Firm

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

.............................................................................. Now, I’m no farmer, but I have taken a stab at growing things in my lifetime. And one thing that comes to mind when I reflect on the process of introducing my kids to the opportunities of entrepreneurship is that it has to be just like farming. Here’s what I mean:

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Planting the Seeds:

The easy part. If you’ve read this column over the past year at least, you know that I’ve introduced my three kids to the concept of entrepreneurship as a resource for acquiring what they want. A resource that they can get as little or as much out of in order to get the things they want. I try to give them glimpses into my world as an entrepreneur, showing them examples of small business in action. But most of all, they’ve dabbled with it themselves first hand. Some projects are more successful than others, but the key is that the concept has been planted in them.

by tony snipes

My 12 year old: This is the “saver;” the one that has learned to save her birthday and Christmas card money over time to have a pretty thick roll of cash for a kid. We’re discussing things like using money saved to make more money and put it back in “the business” to keep it growing. She also now understands the need for bank accounts so that she doesn’t have to walk around with her entire savings at risk of getting lost. My High school Cheerleader: She has specific purchasing goals, mostly fashion-based that can be acquired at the local mall. She understands that Dad finds value in work around the house that would allow him and Mom to take a break from doing it themselves. She “bids” on duties around the house that both give her the revenue she needs for her purchasing goals while providing service of real value around the home. My College Student: The one that I thought might not have been drawn to the concepts of entrepreneurship is actually reaching out for insight and advice. The more she has been involved with groups and organizations on campus, the more she has asked for my business advice for their events or initiatives. By the time you read this article, she may have helped launch a website or negotiated her first sponsorship package for a group or two on campus. So, if you’re planning to go all the way with exposing your kids to entrepreneurship, trade your business casual attire for bib coveralls and be a little patient.You might reap a pretty cool harvest!

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Patience:

This is one of the reasons I’m not a farmer. I’m a product of the “microwave era,” so I originally expected my kids to “sprout” with immediate excitement and consistency as they took my lead and ran with their own small business projects. This did not happen as I expected. Each of my daughters would try a project with success or failure here and there, at their own pace. And because I’ve been writing to you that we are not to push them to be entrepreneurs but allow the concept to “take root,” I had to practice what I preached and remain patient.

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Harvest—Watching for Results:

acknd b d e Fe orm, advise ua visit

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Over time, I began to see each of my three daughters show individual signs of an interest in entrepreneurship. That interest served each of them very differently, not necessarily three different types of businesses, but you could see each of them exploring entrepreneurial concepts and methods based on their individual goals and challenges.

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Business Black Box (Vol.3, Issue 4) is published four times per year by ShowCase Publishing, 1200 Woodruff Rd. Suite A8, Greenville, SC 29607; phone (864) 281-1323; fax (864) 281-1310. Business Black Box is a registered trademark of ShowCase Publishing © 2011. Content may not be reproduced without written permission of Business Black Box. Excerpts may be reprinted, provided that credit is given to the author and to Business Black Box magazine., Q4 2011

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B o x WHAT MATTERS Lisa Worsham, our Art Director, just returned from a water mission to the villages surrounding Kakinada, India. Her story, in her own words, is what matters to all of us here at Business Black Box.

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recious children sitting in rows on the floor of an orphanage eating only rice.Widows looking like little more than skin and bones. “Untouchable” villages whose inhabitants have been the innocent victims of cruel and unspeakable abuse. Villages suffering from typhoid and malaria, the result of unsafe drinking water. Child slaves working in rock quarries. All of these heart-wrenching images are from actual photos that come across my desk as I work on ad campaigns (like the one you saw on page 92) and other designs for Water of Life. A person can only see so many of these before it sparks more than just a general curiosity. Me—I had to see it for myself.So in September I traveled to South India with “Water of Life” and “Nurses for the Nations” on a trip that would change my heart and my paradigm. Now, when I lay my daughter down in her crib with her custom plush bedding, I remember the deep brown, teary eyes of the children in the orphanage that would be going to sleep on a hard floor with 60 other children. Now, when I meet the friendly gaze of a stranger, I remember the sadness and misery I saw in the eyes of the “untouchables” (if you’re unfamiliar with this group in India, I encourage you to Google it). I vividly remember the pain and tears as I embraced person after person that had been taught they were sub-human and were treated as such. Now, when I get crystal clear water to drink from my stainless-steel refrigerator, I remember the women collecting drinking water from a filthy brown river to carry in jars on their heads as they walked, often for miles, back to their village. And, now, when I sit in my air-conditioned church on Sundays with a production team, awesome praise team & band, lights, cameras…I remember worshiping in a small village church, a roof made of dried palm branches, a floor made from cow dung, where the only light was what flickered from a solitary birthday candle. I remember sitting with a congregation on the road next to where their church used to be—before it was burned down by those so hostile to their faith. I look at my pastor now and remember how I shook hands with pastors that had scars across their faces; healed wounds from vicious attacks. I remember the grief in the eyes of the pastor whose child was killed simply because his father was a Christian pastor. Persecution and threats that we are so unfamiliar with here in our country. But even all of that doesn’t stop them from sharing the Truth. We have so much to give—our time, our love, our gifts, our resources—to make a difference in someone else’s life. It’s all very real...the poverty, the sickness, the abuse, the need. It’s so huge it’s overwhelming, but we can help...one precious life at a time.At the end of my life, I want to look back and know that I gave of myself freely and diligently and without wanting anything in return. I want to be empty of everything I’ve been given. It’s a challenge. It’s something you have to schedule and plan and sacrifice for. It’s something you can’t put off until next year or next pay check or next free weekend. Do it now. And please email me (Lisa@createlaunchlead.com) if I can help. Q4 2011

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Business Black Box Q4 2011  

2011 Q4 issue of Business Black Box

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