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JANUARY 26, 2018 | VOL. 7 ISSUE 4

ONE OF A KIND The Greenville ONE Center officially launches as downtown’s conference center

Will Crooks / Upstate Business Journal



VOLUME 7, ISSUE 4 Featured this issue: Hitachi acquires Vidistar.................................................................................................4 Zylö Therapeutics’ game-changing Nanopods.........................................................8 Takeaway: Economic Outlook Breakfast.................................................................14

The Greenville ONE Center, downtown’s newly opened conference center, includes three large training rooms and six smaller breakout rooms, in addition to a 274-seat auditorium. Read more about the center and its projected impact on local businesses and economic development on Page 10. Photo by Will Crooks/Upstate Business Journal

WORTH REPEATING “Facebook has done it again.” Laura Haight, Page 16

“I tend to ignore the premise of young people not wanting to work anymore for two reasons.” Manfred Gollent, Page 15

“It will be a big step for targeted therapy.” Scott Pancoast, Page 8


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Data for Sale “It’s unusual to have information specifically marked as belonging to children or to infants on these markets.” Emily Wilson, director of analysis at Terbium Labs, a dark web intelligence firm, on dark web marketplaces beginning to peddle babies’ Social Security numbers







Spanish automotive supplier Grupo Antolin has leased this 175,000-square-foot spec building owned by Becknell Industrial at 2781 New Cut Road in Spartanburg County.

Vehicle of Growth BMW supplier Grupo Antolin expanding its Spartanburg County operations TREVOR ANDERSON | STAFF A BMW supplier is growing its operations in Spartanburg County, although details of the expansion remain sparse. Spain-based Grupo Antolin in 2016 added 55,000 square feet to an existing 156,000-square-foot facility on 8.29 acres at 304 John Martin Road, according to Charleston-based Frampton Construction. The company operates a 155,000-square-foot facility on 9.31 acres across the street at 320 John Martin Road. Grupo Antolin acquired both facilities after it purchased Canada-based Magna International’s interiors operations in 2015. Pete Anderson, executive vice president of investments for Illinois-based developer Becknell Industrial, confirmed the company has leased Becknell’s 175,000-square-foot spec, or speculative building, on 17.7 acres at 2781 New Cut Road at Wingo Park. The company’s sign has been placed in front of the building and there appeared to be activity inside the facility this past week. County Council documents revealed Grupo Antolin is the company seeking incentives under three economic development projects codenamed “Project Bobsled.” Council is scheduled to render its

second reading on the incentives at its Jan. 22 meeting, according to a tentative agenda. Documents showed the projects amount to $50 million in new investment and the creation of at least 152 jobs. A Grupo Antolin official could not be reached for comment. Sources familiar with the expansion said the company is gearing up to better serve Spartanburg County-based BMW Manufacturing Co., as well as several other automotive assembly plants in the Southeast. Spartanburg County officials declined to comment, stating that they can’t comment on projects that may or may not be in the pipeline. According to Grupo Antolin’s website, the company has 149 production plants, 29 offices, and more than 26,000 employees in 26 countries, as well as annual sales of nearly $6.18 billion in 2016. Site plans filed with the county showed Becknell will build another 140,000-square-foot spec building on 11.75 acres adjacent to Grupo Antolin’s site behind Odermath USA. Brian Young, Elliott Fayssoux, and Kacie Jackson with Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer represented Becknell Industrial in leasing the building at 2781 New Cut Road. Brandon Podolski with Plante Moran Cresa out of Detroit represented Grupo Antolin. 1.26.2018 |


TUES. Feb. 6 TIME:

5:30 - 7:00 PM






Innovating Informatics Hitachi affiliate’s acquisition of Greenville-based Vidistar a ‘win-win’ TREVOR ANDERSON | STAFF A digital health care concept based in downtown Greenville has caught the eye of one of the world’s leading tech companies. Ohio-based Hitachi Healthcare America’s Corp., an affiliate of Japan-based Hitachi Ltd., recently announced it has acquired Vidistar, headquartered at 204 Westfield St. near the Kroc Center. Vidistar, founded in 2005 by Craig Walker, is the developer of a web-based diagnostic viewer and patented structured reporting solution for medical imaging and clinical decision support. Financial terms of the deal, which closed Jan. 4, were not disclosed. Walker, who will continue with Vidistar as its general manager, described the deal as a “win-win” for his company and Hitachi Healthcare Americas because it will enable Vidistar to continue to grow


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with the support from a large corporation. “We’ve continued to be successful, but I knew that in order to be a major player, we needed a big name with synergistic capabilities,” Walker said. “With Hitachi, there’s no overlap.” “We will work together to create the next generation of health care informatics and analytics solutions so providers and health care professionals can take full advantage of the power of informatics,” he added. Walker said the deal had been in the works for about a year. Vidistar uses Hitachi’s Pentaho platform for its data mining and analytics. With the diagnostic and analytical solutions working in unison, Walker said Vidistar has been able to distinguish itself in the market by providing physicians with detailed information. He said that’s invaluable to physicians who need to show that their patients are having better outcomes, or in need of earning or maintaining their accreditation.

“This acquisition will add significant talent and expertise in expanding our Healthcare Informatics business at Hitachi,” said Yasuhiko Taniguchi, CEO of Hitachi Healthcare Americas. “As the health care market transitions from volume to value-based care, structured reporting and advanced analytics will play a critical role in enabling and supporting this transition.” In the mid-1990s, Walker was working on a project aimed at reducing low birth weights. Part of his job was to transmit fetal ultrasound images to consulting physicians. But it wasn’t until he and his wife, Bianca, were expecting their first child, a son, Liam, that he became inspired to impact the health care market with tech. Walker explained that Liam had prenatal hydronephrosis, meaning his kidneys were enlarged. He said he found himself “snail mailing” VHS tapes of ultrasounds to a medical specialist in order to get a second opinion. Walker said he asked the specialist if there was any way to send the videos via the internet. “I asked him, ‘Does anything like that exist?’” he said. “He said, ‘No. You ought to invent it.’” Walker began working on a plan. The idea took root after Walker was able to recruit an engineer from Poland who had come to the U.S. through a program introduced by former President George W.


Bush that was meant to encourage collaboration between the two countries. By 2004, Walker was working out of the garage of his home in Austin in hopes of launching his company. It was then that he heard about funding available through the South Carolina Research Authority’s SC Launch program. He applied for the funding, pitched his concept, and was awarded some capital, the first of two awards he received to start the company. With funding secured and a few business partners already in South Carolina, Walker said it “made sense” to bring his company to the Palmetto State in 2005. Liam overcame his kidney issues and is now a standout swimmer at St. Joseph’s Catholic School. The couple also has a daughter, Sylvia.



Alpha Mode webcast launches at UBJ online Upstate Business Journal is pleased to present a new, digital feature that will appear monthly at, in partnership with QLI International LLC ( Alpha Mode, Conversations with Next-Level Leaders. “Having local business leaders interview other business leaders on the topic of leadership is relevant and practical,” said Upstate Business Journal publisher Ryan Johnston. “The opportunity to get strategies from seasoned professionals who have ‘been there, done that’ is unique and promises to provide great insight for people at the beginning of their careers or those seeking new opportunities,” Johnston said. “We already know that Upstate business professionals turn to UBJ so they can stay in-the-know. We’re excited to

bring more dimension and depth to our coverage moving into 2018.”

ALPHA MODE The first episode of Alpha Mode features Randy Dobbs of Dobbs Leadership Consulting. Dobbs served as a senior operating executive for a private equity firm in New York, where he led two portfolio companies to successful operating performance and financially strong exits. Dobbs also notched a 27year career with General Electric, earning GE’s Turnaround Business of the Year award. Dobbs authored “Transformational Leadership: A Blueprint for Real Organizational

Change,” a guide for proven strategic business tools and transformational leadership ideas. Alpha Mode host Manfred Gollent is an executive business coach with QLI International LLC. “Building a foundation for a successful, sustainable business often means investing time and resources that are not always in great supply, especially for busy executives,” Gollent said. “Making this resource available and accessible via UBJ online, a website that businesspeople already seek out for insight and information, will pay dividends for our business community far into the future.” Future episodes will feature smallbusiness owners, restaurateurs, retailers, and a diverse group of business professionals. Find the video online at

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To Bitcoin or NOT TO BITCOIN S P O N S O R E D

Not much over the past couple of years has captured the imagination like Bitcoin has with the last few months being at an even more torrid pace of excitement. Bitcoin, the most well-known cryptocurrency, came on the scene in 2009. What is Bitcoin? Bitcoin is a digital, decentralized cryptocurrency and payment system. A cryptocurrency functions without a central bank or single administrator by using blockchain technology to fashion a currency that has no physical form and that can be transferred with nearly untraceable individual ownership. This is accomplished through an extensive network of peer-to-peer users that allow transactions to take place directly between users without oversight. Transactions are executed through networks, verified through cryptography and recorded through blockchain technology. Nobody knows who founded Bitcoin, but the person (or persons) who invented Bitcoin goes by the pseudonym, Satoshi Nakamoto. After being developed, the software was built in an open-source platform, thus making it broadly available and extremely difficult, if not impossible, to steal. Bitcoin supply is created as a reward for a process referred to as mining. Mining is the process by which transactions are verified and added to the public ledger, or blockchain, using powerful computers solving complex, computational puzzles. According to a study prepared by the University of Cambridge, there are currently over 5 million unique Bitcoin users with over 100,000 vendors able to use Bitcoin as a method of payment. This seemingly clandestine currency has


gone from a $0.01 per coin value in 2009 to an alltime high of almost $20,000 just a few weeks ago. The first recorded transaction was an exchange of 10,000 Bitcoins for someone to deliver a pizza in 2010, that pizza (at $10,000 per coin) would now cost $100 million. Can you imagine being that guy? I have passed on real estate deals and stocks only to see them go up, but from $10 to $100 million would rank high on the regret scale. Early adopters of this cryptocurrency were rumored to be individuals with a certain moral flexibility that allowed them to satisfy their proclivity for illicit activities. Once the word got out how the currency worked and that it could not easily be stolen, together with the fact there was a growing demand, the value spread among the general


public. Increasing value equates to more people becoming interested with this blockchain phenom. As recent as six weeks ago, Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan, said Bitcoin was a scam. He has since recanted his statement and now views the cryptocurrency as a viable alternative that needs to be carefully examined. However, others, like the great Warren Buffet, have stated Bitcoin will more than likely end badly. In fact, some say it may be one of the greatest bubbles of all time, similar to the Dutch tulip mania of the 1700’s which saw tulips, yes tulips, go from pennies to thousands of dollars per bulb. But why do individuals behave this way during these types of events? In his book, The Madness of Crowds, Charles Mackay discusses how crowds can push prices very far, very quickly, only to have a similar correction after all, or most, of the potential buyers have entered the market. Basically, many buyers are only in a hot market because it’s hot, and even the slightest reversal can cause a stampede out of that same market. I once heard a New York floor trader compare this selling to watching a Labrador go through a cat door; It’s not that it can’t be done, but it will be painful. Since a picture paints a thousand words, I have included a chart from Bloomberg showing the rise of Bitcoin and the comparison to other so-called “manias.” In my opinion, it’s not the size of the potential market, as the worldwide money supply is estimated to be over $75 trillion with Bitcoin occupying a mere $170 billion (less than 1/4 of one percent of the world market), but whether World Governments will sit idly by while Bitcoin




(or any cryptocurrency) bypasses the current regulated monetary system. Although Bitcoin’s value seems less sensitive to forces that impact other currencies, such as deficit spending, trade balances and the strength of the issuer, the impact of potential regulation on Bitcoin’s value deserves the greatest consideration. I believe another major risk to Bitcoin’s future is the impact of competition. Bitcoin is a fascinating development and just like many other fascinating developments, success breeds competition. New technologies are notoriously littered with the failures of the first movers (think Netscape, Myspace or Blackberry) as competition almost always finds a better or cheaper alternative. The transactional difficulty of Bitcoin, one of the key attributes of any successful currency, could well be Bitcoin’s Achilles’ heel. Competition has already emerged in the form of Litecoin, Dash, Ethereum and Ripple, with others on the way. Although Bitcoin may be the winner today, there is no guarantee it will survive tomorrow. In summary, when people ask me if they should buy Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency, I am reminded of Levi Strauss who decided not to look for gold, but to sell clothing to those who looked for gold. Jumping into the fray, after what can only be described as an almost incomprehensible move in valuation, seems to be a leap only the most informed or optimistic are willing to make. Given how the market has already experienced a 50 percent fall in many cryptocurrencies, one has to wonder if the pending regulatory hurdles are yet fully priced into the new currencies. Overcoming the government hurdles will, in my opinion, be the most difficult with possible new supply being a close second. As we continue to learn more about the potential of cryptocurrencies, we should remember to look for the possibly different ways one can benefit from their group and increased trading volume rather than obsess over an entry point. All in all, there are probably less risky ways to deploy capital and maybe approaching the notion from the thought process of Levi Strauss will once again be the winning approach. Often times it’s best to approach life and investing like a game of chess, where you try to anticipate your opponent’s move before it’s made.


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ZYLร– THERAPEUTICS Founder: Scott Pancoast Service: Developing silane composite nanoparticles that deliver a 24-hour sustained release of nitric oxide, curcumin, lidocaine, and various other therapeutic agents through topical administration. Market: Health care, pharmaceuticals and cosmeceuticals, nanotechnology research Differentiators: Many therapeutic compounds begin to lose their healing properties as soon as they touch the skin. Zylรถ Therapeutics is combining those compounds with nanoparticles and turning them into an ointment, gel, or cream. The nanoparticles embed under the skin and enter the tissue, resulting in a sustained and controlled release of the compound that increases efficiency and reduces side effects.


TINY TECHNOLOGY Words by Andrew Moore | Photo by Will Crooks

Scott Pancoast 8

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he use of nanotechnology has exploded over the past few decades, with more and more manufacturers including nanoparticles (microscopic particles that are bigger than an atom but smaller than what the human eye can see) in clothing, food, and various other consumer products to improve texture, kill microbes, or enhance shelf life. Now a Greenville-based startup is ramping up operations to manufacture a nanoparticle-based drug delivery system that’s capable of treating infectious diseases, accelerating wound healing, and correcting vascular dysfunction. Using a patented process, Zylö Therapeutics is developing silane composite nanoparticles that deliver a 24-hour sustained release of nitric oxide, curcumin, lidocaine, and various other therapeutic agents through topical administration. “Many therapeutic compounds begin to lose their healing properties as soon as they touch the skin,” said Scott Pancoast, CEO of Zylö Therapeutics. “That’s why we’re combining those same compounds with nanoparticles and turning them into an ointment, gel, or cream. The drug-carrying nanoparticles embed under the skin and gradually work their way into the tissue, resulting in a sustained and controlled release of the compound that improves efficacy and reduces side effects.” Pancoast added that the system is the brainchild of Dr. Joel Friedman, a professor of physiology and biophysics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and Dr. Adam Friedman, an associate professor of dermatology at George Washington University. In 2006, the father-and-son duo set out to create a sustainable delivery method for nitric oxide. The colorless gas, which is naturally produced by the human body, has been found to increase blood flow and improve circulation, which means more oxygen and vital nutrients being distributed to muscles, organs, and tissues. But nitric oxide is only active for a few seconds due to its small size, extremely short half-life, and instability. After years of research, the duo created a biodegradable hydrogel containing silane composite nanoparticles that release nitric oxide over time. A reaction between sodium nitrite and a sugar generates nitric oxide during the manufacturing process, according to Adam Friedman. The concentration of nitric oxide released and the time required are controlled by altering the amount and molecular weight of other ingredients. “While we have known for decades that nitric oxide has tremendous potential in so many areas of medicine, its use has been limited due to the lack of effective delivery systems,” Adam Friedman said. “Here we used a well-studied nanoparticle that can actually make nitric oxide, not just release it, and deliver therapeutic levels over time to attack these deep and difficult to reach infections.” Pancoast said the company’s nanoparticles, also known as Nanopods, could deliver nitric oxide into


Pancoast said the company’s nanoparticles, also known as Nanopods, could deliver nitric oxide into the skin to help accelerate wound healing, treat bacterial infections, and reduce inflammation caused by dermatological conditions like eczema and acne.


The study, investigation, manipulation, and development of materials between 1 and 100 nanometers What is a nanometer? About a billionth of a meter How does it work? When something is shrunken to such a small scale, the surface area relative to the volume of that material grows exponentially. Why does it matter? When you have more surface reactivity, the ability to interact with the environment is much greater.

the skin to help accelerate wound healing, treat bacterial infections, and reduce inflammation caused by dermatological conditions like eczema and acne. A recent study published by Friedman in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology shows that the release of nitric oxide using nanoparticles actually kills bacteria associated with acne. The nanoparticles also inhibit the inflammation that causes the large, painful pimples associated with inflammatory acne. Zylö Therapeutics also plans to use nanoparticles to deliver curcumin, a chemical compound that has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. In a series of laboratory tests with mice, Friedman and collaborating researchers found that the release of curcumin can reduce bacteria in MRSA-infected burn wounds and stop the progression of osteoarthritis, a type of arthritis that affects 3 million Americans each year. “While so much is known about curcumin’s therapeutic potential, there have been numerous limitations with respect to clinical translation resulting from its poor solubility, instability at physiology pH, and unsightly yellow-orange color,” Friedman said. “Nanotechnology can and has overcome many of these impediments. At the nanoscale, the likelihood of curcumin interfacing with its intended target is much greater.”

Other therapeutic compounds that can be incorporated into the nanoparticle-drug delivery system include cannabinoids, lidocaine, allicin, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, melanin, antioxidants, and amphotericin B. Zylö Therapeutics, which is headquartered at Next on Main in downtown, plans to outsource production to a contract manufacturing organization and sublicense its system to private pharmaceutical and cosmeceutical companies, according to Pancoast. “Our goal is to get 15 to 20 partnerships within the first three years of operation,” he said. Pancoast added that Zylö Therapeutics is currently looking to open a formulation and product development laboratory at the Clemson University Biomedical Engineering Innovation Center or Greenville Hospital System Institute for Translational Oncology Research. The company recently hired Andrew Draganski, a research fellow at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, to manage the lab and prepare for clinical trials. “Our goal is to put out a vitamin E cream or some other cosmeceutical product by the end of 2019. But then again, it depends on how we do this year,” Pancoast said. “We’ve already secured $1.3 million from investors, so I think we’re in good shape. But we’re also trying to raise another $4.7 million for marketing and other costs.” If successful, Zylö Therapeutics may see a promising revenue stream. According to BCC Research, the global market for nanoparticles in the life sciences is forecast to grow to more than $79.8 billion in 2019, with the biggest increase likely to be seen in the area of drug delivery systems. As these products gain market approval from the Food and Drug Administration, their revenues are expected to grow at 23 percent. Pancoast said the Nanopod system is currently being tested on animal models in hopes that it can be moved to human clinical trials in the near future. The company is also working to develop a paramagnetic nanoparticle that can penetrate the blood-brain barrier to kill a tumor. “Doctors will be able to guide the Nanopods to any part of the body with a projected magnetic field,” he said. “It will be a big step for targeted therapy.”

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A 274-seat auditorium with stadium seating is part of the Greenville ONE conference center, which offers capacity for meetings and events in proximity to downtown.


1 Located in the heart of downtown, the new Greenville ONE Center will serve as a catalyst for future economic development Words by Ariel Turner | Photos by Will Crooks

The result of a yearlong discussion between Greenville Mayor Knox White and Bob Hughes of Hughes Development Corporation about the need for a conference center downtown apart from the available hotel and event spaces was officially announced Jan. 24 from the new Greenville ONE Center. Located in the former CertusBank training center at 2 W. Washington St. in the West tower of ONE Greenville, Greenville ONE Center is a 36,000-square-foot, two-story conference center equipped with stateof-the-art technology throughout. “The space is exceptional,” White says. “It meets a need for conference space to attract even more professional groups to Greenville. It also is a good way to ‘test’ the market for an even larger conference facility in downtown in the future.” ONE continued on PAGE 12 1.26.2018 |




ONE continued from PAGE 11

A variety of open meeting settings, including one-on-one breakout areas, are positioned throughout the conference center.

The circular fire pit seating area is just outside the former “mock bank” room, that will eventually be gutted and turned into a transitional gathering space.

One of the more non-traditional meeting rooms on the second floor features bar stools, soft seating, and flexible space for about a dozen people. 12

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The center includes a 274-seat auditorium with stadium seating and an additional 12-seat skybox, three large training rooms with a capacity for 24-60 people, six smaller breakout rooms, a catering kitchen, and other flexible meeting areas. Only one room, the former CertusBank “mock bank” training room, will need to be renovated. All other spaces will remain as is. Greenville ONE Center is completely privately owned and operated. The physical space is owned by Greenville 1.1 LLC, which is a partnership that owns the entire building. Operations of the center are being handled by a joint venture between Hughes Development Corporation and JMI Sports. Rental rates range from $250-$5,000 for both half-day and full-day rentals depending on the room or rooms needed, with additional options to rent the conference center a la carte, by floor, or the entire facility. Lauren Johnson-Cummings, executive director for the new center, was brought in late November to manage the space overlooking Main and West Washington streets. Formerly an event planner with the Peace Center and the TD Convention Center, Johnson-Cummings says Greenville ONE Center fills a unique need in the business community. “We’ve got lots of different event spaces, the hotels, but this really fills a unique need that is really important, and it’s really going to help the economic development of downtown Greenville,” she says. “And with this conference center being in the hub of downtown in the proximity to all the hotels and eateries, this is just going to be significant.” Johnson-Cummings has begun marketing the center to local organizations as well as regional areas, such as Atlanta, Raleigh-Durham, N.C., and Washington, D.C. “It fills a need in the business community to be able to come and do a meeting and walk to get some lunch instead of being stuck in a carpeted room,” she says. “They can kind of get out and see a little bit of Greenville, which is what we want. We want people to be engaged and walk and see what Greenville has to offer.” Over the years planning events in the 370,000-square-foot TD Convention Center off of North Pleasantburg Drive and more recently at the Peace Center, Johnson-Cummings says she’s been very aware of the shortcomings of available conference venues. “The convention center is great and has lots of capacity, but it is so removed from everything,” she says. Also, in her experience, organizations booking conference space are now looking for different amenities than they previously were. “I think the name of the game is collaboration and engagement now with events, and I’ve seen that kind of change throughout my career,” she says. “Before, everyone just kind of stayed in one spot, and that has changed significantly. In order to keep participants engaged, you want to offer them inspired events spaces, and you want to get them as engaged as possible by getting out and seeing the city, especially if they’re not local, and even if you are local. Instead of catering lunch in, why not break up in groups and walk downtown?” Since CertusBank announced its closure in 2015, the training center has sat largely vacant, except for occasional events and training bookings.



The Greenville ONE Center • 36,000 square feet • 274-seat auditorium with 12-seat skybox • 3 large training rooms, each with capacity for 24-60 people • 6 small breakout rooms • 1 catering kitchen • $250-$5,000 for half-day and full-day rentals • Powered by SCI Electronics Inc.

Modular seating and moveable furniture provides numerous meeting options.

Natural light floods the entry stairway to ONE Conference Center

On Jan. 23, the day before the official Greenville ONE Center announcement, the YMCA of Greenville hosted approximately 200 people from around the country for its board orientation. “What attracted us to the ONE Center is we are able to host our board members in a location that is centrally located in the heart of downtown that has such a high-level of professionalism, while also in an inviting environment,” says Jamie Inman, chief mission advancement officer of YMCA of Greenville. Another user is Brasfield & Gorrie, who constructed both of the ONE Greenville towers as well as the Aloft hotel and adjacent parking garage, and helped the city reimagine what is now ONE City Plaza, formerly Piazza Bergamo. They were also the interior upfit contractor for the Greenville ONE Center before it became that entity. Their office is located in the ONE Greenville North Tower. The company has previously used conference space in the Clemson MBA suite and also conference space in the Greenville ONE Center. Most recently, they used the space for a party in December. “At Brasfield & Gorrie, we love to take every opportunity we can to show off our team members’ hard work, so when we learned the Greenville ONE Center was available for events, it seemed like the obvious choice for us to be able to welcome family and friends into a space that highlights what we do every day,” says Jessica McCoy, senior marketing coordinator.

McCoy says with their unique background with the ONE Center and knowing its intricacies, they knew it would be a great opportunity to serve as an event facility. “The Greenville ONE Center is definitely an untapped resource for folks looking for corporate or personal events,” she says. “It’s a one-stop shop for conferences — auditorium, café space, perfect downtown location, etc. — but could also have potential for rehearsal dinners or maybe even a wedding or two given the right headcount and setup.” In November, NEXT, which has used various event spaces downtown, booked the Greenville ONE Center auditorium, entryway, and bar area for its venture pitch. “The breakout rooms and size of the space were perfect for a conference highlighting our innovative startups and entrepreneurship,” says NEXT operations manager Christy Ashkettle. “The location is superb, right in the middle of downtown, and very accessible.” Ashkettle says, with Greenville’s growth, an event venue such as Greenville ONE Center is timely. “Its value lies in that it is unique, with a crisp and contemporary look and feel,” she says. “It’s high tech and perfect for business seminars, summits, team building, and conferences. The ONE Center has filled a very definite need for the Greenville community.”

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Status Update Richard Kaglic of the Richmond Federal Reserve Bank talks GDP, growth, and unemployment By DR. JERMAINE WHIRL vice president of learning and workforce development, Greenville Technical College

What: Economic Outlook Breakfast Where: Greenville Technical College’s Center for Manufacturing Innovation Who was there: Members of the Greenville business community

How will the recent tax cut affect us? In the short-term, the tax cut has potential to boost economic activity marginally. For the longer term, Kaglic says the jury is still out.

Feature Presentation: Richard Kaglic, senior regional economist, Richmond Federal Reserve Bank

People are spending more, saving less, and borrowing more. They feel confident about the economy because of growth in the stock market and are tending to spend more without earning more. Along with a 17-year high in consumer confidence, business confidence is also high. Businesses report that new orders, new export orders, backlog of orders, and other confidence-building factors are up. That was the message from Richard Kaglic, a senior regional economist for the Richmond Federal Reserve Bank, who spoke to a full house at a Jan. 16 Economic Outlook Breakfast sponsored by Greenville Technical College’s Economic Development and Corporate Training Division along with the Upstate SC Alliance and the Greenville Chamber. The information shared with an audience at

Pre s i d e nt, T H R I V E Fa r m e r s

FREE and open to the public. Space is limited! REGISTER:


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Greenville Tech’s Center for Manufacturing Innovation will allow the business community to strategically plan for the year ahead and to make longer-term decisions. Business spending, particularly expenditures related to equipment, is up. This is a bounce-back effect that has taken place over the past four quarters. The two years prior to that saw capital equipment expenditures at very low levels thanks to a decrease in crude oil prices and an increase in the value of the dollar, making goods produced overseas more attractive. The housing market still hasn’t recovered to pre-recession levels. Over the past three months, there’s been an uptick in home sales. Builders are a little more confident, and this year, there will likely be steady but modest growth in the housing market. Real gross domestic product (GDP) is now in its ninth year of economic expansion. The record, set from 1991 to 2000, was a 10-year period of growth. Can the growth be sustained? Kaglic says probably not. He doesn’t see enough evidence to suggest that the natural speed limit or normal growth rate has changed materially. Thus, while above-trend growth is likely to continue for the near term, the economy should settle back to a normal trend of about 2 GDP growth after 2018. In its most basic terms, Kaglic said, the economy is people making stuff. For the economy to grow, either you need more people or you need existing people to be more productive. We’re not likely to have more people. The tight labor market is a constraining force on the economy. Job growth has slowed down in the U.S. because we’re running out of available bodies. The unemployment rate, at 4.1 percent, may go even lower in 2018 and 2019. By 2020, Kaglic expects it to be back to about 4 percent. Labor force participation isn’t likely to grow significantly as it has during periods of our nation’s history such as the 1970s when female participation rates bumped up the numbers. We’re also not likely to increase productivity. In fact, our ability to produce more goods and services has been diminishing over time. What about the outlook for our region? Kaglic says our economy is growing a little faster than trend, which may continue through 2018. At that point, mirroring nationwide trends, we’re likely to settle into 2 percent GDP growth. When the recession hit, South Carolina lost about 170,000 jobs, falling, Kaglic says, deeper into the trough than some other areas. That fall was a result of our state’s reliance on manufacturing and lower-than-nationwide averages in educational levels. Since that time, manufacturing has helped us out of the recession by leading the way in job production. Now, we’re below the nation in our unemployment rate. How will the recent tax cut affect us? In the short-term, the tax cut has potential to boost economic activity marginally. For the longer term, Kaglic says the jury is still out. Want to hear more from the Federal Reserve? Kaglic will return to the Upstate on April 12 to discuss the 10-year history of the Great Recession. More information will be announced soon.



The ‘L-Factor’ Employee loyalty isn’t an employee issue; it’s a reflection of employer leadership We played a round of golf on a recent By MANFRED GOLLENT weekend: two business CEO, QLI International owners, the executive of a midsized company, and myself. At one point in the round, the conversation turned toward finding and keeping good employees, and the natural offshoot of that topic: lack of employee loyalty. The arguments circled around “young people don’t want to work anymore” and that it is impossible to find “usable” talent. One of the guys was adamant that if you’re “lucky” enough to find the right people, they leave again for 50 cents more per hour to the next place — that is, after you’ve invested all the time, effort, and money to train them properly. When we sat down after the round, I could not help but tell my acquaintances that I consider the whole matter a leadership issue rather than an employee issue. As you might expect, this statement did not earn me warm friendship. But let’s shed some light on the situation. I tend to ignore the premise of young people not wanting to work anymore for two reasons: 1 I heard the same line 40-plus years ago from my parents’ generation about my generation. 2 I know many young, hard-working people. They are employees, entrepreneurs, contractors in the gig economy, or otherwise driven performers. Yes, I also know a few who might be considered lazy.

1 Create an organizational culture based on relevant values. 2 Demonstrate ample self-discipline. 3 Generate strong engagement throughout all ranks. 4 Always live with passion and enthusiasm. 5 Represent authentic empathy with anyone in the organization. 6 Be ready to implement causes that matter. 7 Regularly provide candid feedback in a constructive fashion. 8 Be open to continuous learning and honing of leadership skills. After all, leadership is creating results THROUGH people. Those who possess the right leadership toolbox, a forward-looking attitude, and an infectious enthusiasm will lead the workforce of the future effectively. When we begin to embrace generational differences in the workforce and identify the opportunities these differences offer, great things will happen. Manfred Gollent, CBC, MBA, is an executive business coach and founder of QLI International, which specializes in a range of executive coaching, group coaching, team building, and strategic planning services for individuals, teams, and companies. Based in Greenville, QLI has strategic partners in Chicago and Dover, Del., and a network of best-in-class executive business coaches across the country.

Because Your Bottom Line is our TOP concern!

Finding great talent is really challenging, especially in an economy with an unemployment rate below 5 percent. The times when companies received hundreds of unsolicited resumes a day are over. It requires several things: • Hiring sophistication to find great people. • A competitive package. • An attractive corporate culture. • Nowadays, a cause to engage the young generation. While the first two items can be accommodated with a few decisions and some money, the last two are a leadership challenge and will take longer to correct. That is also where the loyalty conundrum, the “L-factor,” comes into play. Here we have a challenge that has a rational and an emotional component. As employers we must recognize that we buy the service of specific labor from those we employ, and not the individual as a whole. As employees we sell our time, during which we ideally apply our capabilities and expertise the best we can. Authentic loyalty can work only when it goes both ways. The era of lifetime employment has long ago seized to exist; hence the term “loyalty” has a limited meaning in the context of employment. I suggest focusing on more realistic ways to generate organizational and individual performance. Aside from an engaging vision and a manifested value system, the organizational culture becomes an important factor in hiring and retaining the new workforce. The culture should be initiated, guided, and developed by the leadership. For this to happen effectively, leaders must develop enhanced and advanced people skills. Leaders in the new economy with a predominantly millennial work force must be “people persons” to get all stakeholders on board and maximize shareholder value. My eight secrets for successful leadership:

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Hidden Messages Geek-speak obscures tech issues important to businesses

By LAURA HAIGHT president,

Algorithms, chip vulnerabilities, “viewable-only organic reach,” and “speculative execution side-channel attacks.” It’s geek-speak run amok, and no one can blame you for flicking past posts on Meltdown, Spectre, and Facebook News Feed’s technology changes, in favor of something — anything — else. But these two issues are important for small businesses. Here’s why:

Facebook falls back Facebook has done it again. Announcing that it is once again changing its formulas that determine how much visibility any post will get “organically,” i.e., for free, Facebook is effectively significantly changing the social media marketing landscape. Facebook has become a big part of most businesses marketing and advertising plans. Forty-one percent of small businesses and 84.7 percent of larger businesses (those with more than 100 employees) have Facebook pages. Many smaller companies have built full-featured Facebook pages and skipped traditional websites. The new formulas will be a blow to businesses that have put most of their marketing eggs into the Facebook basket, as they will give precedence to users’ friends and family in their news feeds, downgrading posts from companies, brands, and media. What’s a business to do? Facebook rewards those who sing along with the rest of the band. •C  ut the clickbait. Businesses that use provocative headlines and “guess-what!” summaries are going to be on Facebook’s proverbial cutting-room floor. Think about the headlines in grocery store tabloids. Provide informative content with accurate summaries. •D  rop the hyperbole. Have you noticed how often you use an exclamation point these days? I do it far more than I even realized. (This is great! Thank you for being a great client! Congratulations!). Businesses that tout extreme and hyperbolic claims with effusive language and overblown promises will also get no love from Facebook.


UBJ | 1.26.2018

• Be clear and concise. Facebook gets a lot of feedback from users, and they have made clear that they are sick of misleading posts and claims. Just like with newspapers, most readers make a decision on what to read by the headline. If your headline oversells, Facebook promises “decreased post distribution.” • Learn about targeting. The good news for businesses is that paid Facebook advertising is fairly reasonable. The key is identifying the right audience and understanding your goals with social media posts. That sounds like a no-brainer, right? But how many companies don’t even look at their Facebook analytics each month? Even a small business and, occasionally, a nonprofit, can spend $50 to boost a post to gain exposure or donations. • Set expectations. If you launched a product and no one bought it, would you keep selling it? Probably not. Same question for social media. You invest time and effort into feeding the social media machine, but do you know which posts work and which posts don’t? Which posts drew readers to your website? Which posts eventually resulted in a sale? Are you re-evaluating what works and realigning your posts accordingly? Facebook has fairly deep analytics; read them. Really. There are still plenty of opportunities in Facebook’s vast global community, but we’re going to have to work smarter.

Meltdown and Spectre The bad news: These two flaws in the designs of computer chips are not dangerous natively and have, in fact, been in our computers since 1995. But they are vulnerable to hacking attacks. Most concerning is the breadth of the problem. Chips in nearly every PC, server, smartphone, and Mac contain these flaws and require patching. The good news: Patches and fixes are being released at a fever pitch. As a business exec, ensuring that all your network gear has been patched is critical. That’s more than just PCs. Network switches, routers, and firewalls may have vulnerabilities that need to be patched. Even small businesses and nonprofits with just a few computers connected to a wireless router may be harboring this open door. Netgear, one of the largest providers of consumer/small business network gear, is preparing to release updates to a number of devices. As is Cisco.

The new formulas will be a blow to businesses that have put most of their marketing eggs into the Facebook basket, as they will give precedence to users’ friends and family in their news feeds, downgrading posts from companies, brands, and media. These updates do not just happen; they may require active intervention by you or your IT provider. Talk to your IT staff or provider about identifying a list of all potentially vulnerable computing equipment in your business/nonprofit, and tracking its update status. After Heartbleed, the 2014 bug that affected nearly every website, many companies were breached because they did not move quickly to install the fixes. That’s an unforced error — and a potentially costly one. Partner risks: But even if you are following a diligent patching process, it may not be enough. In our cloud-driven environment, businesses are not in total control of their own security. We are dependent on others doing the right things as well, no matter how good we are. That’s a lesson we should have learned with Heartbleed. But it’s even more true today. Third-party vendors have been the catalyst for several big hacks in recent years. They would include: MSPs, cloud-based service providers, payroll and HR companies, accountants, banks, CRM systems, any software delivered as a service including design programs, and application suites, to name a few. Third-party vendors often have trusted relationships with your systems, so vetting their security practices and policies is just as important as maintaining your own. Don’t forget mobile: Most hacks affect desktops or servers or mobile. Rarely — maybe never — do they hit all the platforms. But Spectre and Meltdown do. So make sure to patch your tablet and smartphone. This is easier for the iPhone because Apple forces its developers to stay in lockstep with them on security.













Has joined AR Funding as a regional vice president covering the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida, eastern Tennessee, Illinois, Wisconsin, and the Dakotas. Chaffee has 30 years of experience in credit and risk management and assetbased lending.

Has joined Upstate SC Alliance as global cities program coordinator. Tate previously served as assistant director of Ten at the Top. She has previous experience in nonprofit program management, taxes and accounting, and client services management.

Has joined Vantage Point Marketing as a junior account executive. Wylie graduated from Clemson University in 2016 with a degree in marketing. She has since gained experience in both agency and marketing environments.

Has been appointed to the board of directors at Denham-Blythe Company, a national design firm. Morgan currently manages the operations of the company’s newest office location in Greenville. Morgan holds a degree in civil engineering from the University of Kentucky and has over 20 years of experience in the design and construction field.

Has been promoted to senior vice president and chief operating officer of FUEL Marketing. Kinsey has extensive experience in marketing, from both the agency and client side, and now will be responsible for the daily operations of FUEL.

VIP KACEE LOMINACK Kaccee Lominack has accepted a position with the Metropolitan Arts Council as development associate. Since 2007, Lominack has worked for the Greenville Symphony. Alan Ethridge, executive director of the Metropolitan Arts Council, said, “Kacee brings fantastic experience in donor software and programming that will be instrumental in moving the organization forward. Her tenure at the Greenville Symphony will transfer perfectly to MAC. All of us are very excited to be working with Kacee.”

Meals on Wheels of Greenville has announced three new members to its 2018 board of directors: Sandie Boyd (Michelin), Jim Fayssoux (Fayssoux & Landis Attorneys at Law), and Lucas Marchant (Marchant Lawfirm LLC). The South Carolina chapter of the Public Relations Society of America has announced its 2018 board of directors, and the following members are from the Upstate: Sarah Moore, Upstate regional director (public relations director at Complete Public Relations); Isabel Posada, vice president of membership (account coordinator at Crawford Strategy); Beth Thomason, assembly delegate (director of marketing and advertising at Spinx); and Robert Reeves, ethics officer (assistant professor of communication at Anderson University).

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The Community Foundation of Greenville bridges philanthropy and purpose by offering planned giving services, donor-advised funds and administering charitable endowment funds in support of a better community.

1.26.2018 |




THE WATERCOOLER 1. Savvy & Shine: Taryn Scher has made a career of making Greenville sparkle


19, 2018




2. Facebook Boost Program coming to Greenville

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Photo : Will Crooks / Upstate Business

3. Dog Culture day care to open downtown this spring



4. Locally owned KidZone drop-in day care to open this spring




DIGITAL FLIPBOOK ARCHIVE 5. Ready, Set, Go: Creating marketing fuel for your business development and sales engine *The Top 5 stories from last week ranked by Facebook reach

GET THE INBOX Follow up on the Upstate’s workweek. The Inbox – our weekly rundown of the top 10 local biz stories you need to know.


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Greenville Chamber of Commerce’s Gubernatorial Series Lunch feat. Kevin Bryant (R)

Greenville Mariott 1 Parkway E 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.

Cost: $40 for investors, $80 general admissions For more info:;; 864-239-3748


Greenville Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Meeting

TD Convention Center 1 Exposition Drive 5–8 p.m.

Cost: $95 for investors, $150 noninvestors. For more info:; 864-271-0718

Clemson University MBA Program & Upstate Business Journal present Innovative Leadership Series, featuring Tom Matthesen, president, THRIVE Farmers

Clemson University at Greenville ONE 1 N. Main St. noon–1:30 p.m.

Cost: Free. RVSP required. For more info:


Urban League of the Upstate’s Annual Equal Opportunity Dinner Awards Gala

TD Convention Center 1 Exposition Drive 6 p.m.

Cost: $75 for individuals For more info:


Greenville Chamber of Commerce’s Gubernatorial Series Lunch feat. James Smith (D)

Greenville Mariott 1 Parkway E noon–1 p.m.

Cost: $40 for investors, $80 general admissions For more info:;; 864-239-3748

Wyche Law Firm’s #YouToo: Legal Ethics & Responding to Sexual Harassment Reports in the Weinstein Era

Studio 220 at NOMA 220 N. Main St. 4–6 p.m.

Cost: RSVP required by phone or email For more info:; 864-242-8258



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1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011

UBJ milestone

UBJ milestone jackson Marketing Group’s 25 Years 1988 Jackson Dawson opens in Greenville at Downtown Airport


1997 Jackson Dawson launches motorsports Division 1993

1990 Jackson Dawson acquires therapon marketing Group and moves to Piedmont office Center on Villa.


Kristi Fortner





Got any thoughts? Care to contribute? Let us know at


Chairman larry Jackson, Jackson marketing Group. Photos by Greg Beckner / Staff

Jackson Marketing Group celebrates 25 years By sherry Jackson | staff |


Solve. Serve. Grow. Those three words summarize Jackson Marketing Group’s guiding principles, and according to owner Larry Jackson, form the motivation that has kept the firm thriving for the past 25 years.

Jackson graduated from Bob Jones University with a degree in video and film production and started his 41-year career in the communications industry with the U.S. Army’s Public Information Office. He served during

Vietnam, where he said he was “luckily” stationed in the middle of Texas at Fort Hood. He left the service and went to work in public affairs and motorsports at Ford Motor Company in Detroit. After a stint at Bell and Howell, where he was responsible for managing Ford’s dealer marketing and training, the entrepreneurial bug hit and he co-founded Jackson-Dawson Marketing Communications, a company specializing in dealer training and product launches for the auto industry in 1980. In 1987, Jackson wanted to move back south and thought Greenville would be a good fit. An avid pilot, he

learned of an opportunity to purchase Cornerstone Aviation, a fixed base operation (FBO) that served as a service station for the Greenville Downtown Airport, providing fuel, maintenance and storage. In fact, when he started the Greenville office of what is now Jackson Marketing Group (JMG) in 1988, the offices were housed on the second floor in an airport hangar. “Clients would get distracted by the airplanes in the hangars and we’d have to corral them to get back upstairs to the meeting,” Jackson said. Jackson sold the FBO in 1993, but says it was a great way to get to know Greenville’s fathers and leaders


with a majority of them utilizing the general aviation airport as a “corporate gateway to the city.” In 1997, Jackson and his son, Darrell, launched Jackson Motorsports Group. The new division was designed to sell race tires and go to racetracks to sell and mount the tires. Darrell Jackson now serves as president of the motorsports group and Larry Jackson has two other children and a son-in-law who work there. Jackson said all his children started at the bottom and “earned their way up.” Jackson kept the Jackson-Dawson branches in Detroit and others in Los Angeles and New York until he sold his portion of that partnership in 2009 as part of his estate planning. The company now operates a small office in Charlotte, but its main headquarters are in Greenville in a large office space off Woodruff Road, complete with a vision gallery that displays local artwork and an auditorium Jackson makes available for non-profit use. The Motorsports Group is housed in an additional 26,000 square feet building just down the street, and the agency is currently looking for another 20,000 square feet. Jackson said JMG has expanded into other verticals such as financial, healthcare, manufacturing and pro-bono work, but still has a strong focus on the auto industry and transportation. It’s

2003 motorsports Division acquires an additional 26,000 sq. ft. of warehouse space


2009 Jackson Dawson changes name to Jackson marketing Group when larry sells his partnership in Detroit and lA 2003

1998 Jackson Dawson moves to task industrial Court

also one of the few marketing companies in South Carolina to handle all aspects of a project in-house, with four suites handling video production, copywriting, media and research and web design. Clients include heavyweights such as BMW, Bob Jones University, the Peace Center, Michelin and Sage Automotive. Recent projects have included an interactive mobile application for Milliken’s arboretum and 600-acre Spartanburg campus and a marketing campaign for the 2013 Big League World Series. “In my opinion, our greatest single achievement is the longevity of our client relationships,” said Darrell Jackson. “Our first client from back in 1988 is still a client today. I can count on one hand the number of clients who have gone elsewhere in the past decade.” Larry Jackson says his Christian faith and belief in service to others, coupled with business values rooted in solving clients’ problems, have kept

2009-2012 Jackson marketing Group named a top BtoB agency by BtoB magazine 4 years running

him going and growing his business over the years. He is passionate about giving back and outreach to non-profits. The company was recently awarded the Community Foundation Spirit Award. The company reaffirmed its commitment to serving the community last week by celebrating its 25th anniversary with a birthday party and a 25-hour Serve-A-Thon partnership with Hands on Greenville and Habitat for Humanity. JMG’s 103 full-time employees worked in shifts around the clock on October 22 and 23 to help construct a house for a deserving family. As Jackson inches towards retirement, he says he hasn’t quite figured out his succession plan yet, but sees the companies staying under the same umbrella. He wants to continue to strategically grow the business. “From the beginning, my father has taught me that this business is all about our people – both our clients and our associates,” said his son, Darrell. “We have created a focus and a culture that strives to solve problems, serve people and grow careers.” Darrell Jackson said he wants to “continue helping lead a culture where we solve, serve and grow. If we are successful, we will continue to grow towards our ultimate goal of becoming the leading integrated marketing communications brand in the Southeast.”

2011 Jackson marketing Group/Jackson motorsports Group employee base reaches 100 people

2008 2012 Jackson marketing Group recognized by Community Foundation with Creative spirit Award

pro-bono/non-proFit Clients American Red Cross of Western Carolinas Metropolitan Arts Council Artisphere Big League World Series The Wilds Advance SC South Carolina Charities, Inc. Aloft Hidden Treasure Christian School

CoMMUnitY inVolVeMent & boarD positions lArry JACkson (ChAirmAn): Bob Jones University Board chairman, The Wilds Christian Camp and Conference Center board member, Gospel Fellowship Association board member, Past Greenville Area Development Corporation board member, Past Chamber of Commerce Headquarters Recruiting Committee member, Past Greenville Tech Foundation board member David Jones (Vice President Client services, Chief marketing officer): Hands on Greenville board chairman mike Zeller (Vice President, Brand marketing): Artisphere Board, Metropolitan Arts Council Board, American Red Cross Board, Greenville Tech Foundation Board, South Carolina Chamber Board eric Jackson (Jackson motorsports Group sales specialist): Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club Advisory Board

November 1, 2013 Upstate bUsiness joUrnal 21

20 Upstate bUsiness joUrnal November 1, 2013


NOVEMBER 1, 2013

Order a reprint today, PDFs available for $25. For more information, contact Anita Harley 864.679.1205 or UBJ welcomes expert commentary from business leaders on timely news topics related to their specialties. Guest columns run 700-800 words. Contact associate editor Emily Pietras at to submit an article for consideration. Circulation Audit by

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publishers of Copyright ©2017 BY COMMUNITY JOURNALS LLC. All rights reserved. Upstate Business Journal is published weekly by Community Journals LLC. 581 Perry Ave., Greenville, South Carolina, 29611. Upstate Business Journal is a free publication. Annual subscriptions (52 issues) can be purchased for $50. Postmaster: Send address changes to Upstate Business, P581 Perry Ave., Greenville, South Carolina, 29611. Printed in the USA.

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PEOPLE BUY FROM PEOPLE. 91% of people buy from people they know or have heard of. Let people get to know you — it will make a lasting impression.

Behind The Counter has been the most popular business publication in the Upstate for the past 15 years. Featuring large, full bleed photos and interesting insights, the 2018 Behind The Counter promises to be a great read on great local businesses. Don’t miss the opportunity to feature your business in the upcoming edition – publishing on April 13.

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January 26, 2018 Upstate Business Journal  

Upstate Business Journal published for the Upstate of South Carolina. Designed and created by Community Journals.

January 26, 2018 Upstate Business Journal  

Upstate Business Journal published for the Upstate of South Carolina. Designed and created by Community Journals.

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