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FEBRUARY 17, 2017 | VOL. 6 ISSUE 7

Chris Merritt, Matthew Smith, and Matt Cook of Greenville’s ATLAS LOCAL are cultivating community, not co-working


CONNECTORS From left to right: Merritt, Smith, Cook Photo by Will Crooks.

Capable of captivating. Driven by desire.

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CARLTON MOTORCARS (864) 213-8000 2446 Laurens Road | Greenville, SC 29607





Welcome Rudolph Bell to UBJ.

䴀䈀䄀 䌀伀刀倀伀刀䄀吀䔀 To Tell the Truth

Photo by Will Crooks

Media outlets that invest in business content will show a considerable ROI RUDOLPH BELL | STAFF A journalist’s job is to tell the truth. So let me try to tell the truth about business reporting in the Upstate. It has been almost 18 years since I moved to Greenville to begin my fourth newspaper job and my first covering business full-time. Over the years, I have watched the scope and variety of commercial activity in this dynamic region of South Carolina grow... and grow… and grow again. There is simply much more business news in the Upstate today than there was when I arrived here in 1999. And I’m convinced Upstate consumers are as hungry as ever to get that news. Unfortunately, some media outlets that Upstate consumers have traditionally relied on to provide that news have not been investing enough in business content, even as the market has grown. Part of the reason is that those media outlets are still struggling to find their footing in a media landscape that has been redefined by the internet. And part of the reason is that they have chosen to do something else with the money they’ve harvested from the community. But the market always seems to find a way, doesn’t it? And so it was that four years ago, a scrappy new entrant arrived on the scene, the Upstate Business Journal. UBJ is locally owned and investing back into the business.

Publisher Ryan Johnston has a management degree from Clemson University and formerly worked as a commercial real estate broker. He’s very active in the Greenville Chamber and helped bring the Founder Institute, a training program for would-be entrepreneurs, to Greenville. He’s also president of the business association in the Village of West Greenville. There aren’t many people as plugged in to the local business community as Ryan. UBJ has been building its reporting staff, hiring veterans, and sending them out into the business community for that indispensable face-to-face networking. First, Trevor Anderson, who’s covered business in Spartanburg for more than a decade and basically owns the beat, came on board. Then UBJ hired David Dykes, my former boss and a 20-year Greenville resident who has worked as a business editor at more than one newspaper. And now, I am proud to say, UBJ has hired me. Good reporting is still based on relationships, and UBJ’s staff has been developing relationships for a long time. If you’ll allow me to say so, there is no finer business reporting staff in the Upstate. Bar none. In the journalism business, investing in content pays dividends. So it’s not surprising that UBJ is breaking all kinds of news these days. And its coverage is only going to get better.

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VOLUME 6, ISSUE 7 Featured this issue:

Textile leaders to Trump: Don’t dump NAFTA..............................................................5 Greenville’s County Square getting nibbles from developers.............................6 Take me down to the Startup City....................................................................................20

Student Paul Mosher examines plywood pieces cut by a CNC device for a new construction method developed by Clemson’s School of Architecture. The sim[PLY] method uses tab-and-slot pieces that fit together to form a solid frame. The Department of Defense, as well as architectural communities in Europe, have expressed interest in sim[PLY] as a potentially cost-saving opportunity. Photo from Clemson University.

WORTH REPEATING “I think I need a really sharp pencil and hours and hours of pro formas to get to the real answer to that.” Page 6

“Like Gandhi said, ‘Be the change.’” Page 8

“Like a lot of people who loved those billboards, whose kids loved them, we’ve had many of those magnets on the fridge in our house.” Page 10



On yet another national ranking Look for an announcement soon on Greenville’s first ever taco and tequila festival…

“Greenville encompasses big-city amenities without attracting the same unpleasantries that come with a more populated, urban metro area.” U.S. News and World Report, ranking Greenville No. 29 in its list of “100 Best Places to Live in America.” Read more at places/rankings/best-places-to-live.





Textile industry wants Trump to renegotiate NAFTA, not dump it TPP would have put the United States into a trading bloc with 11 other Pacific Rim nations. NCTO announced its support of TPP last year, but Tantillo said that was only because the Obama administration was adamant about adopting it.

RUDOLPH BELL | STAFF U.S. textile companies used to be divided over the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which put Mexico into a trading bloc with the United States and Canada 23 years ago. Now they like it, for the most part, even as the new president, Donald J. Trump, threatens to cancel it. As it turned out, a provision of NAFTA called the “yarn forward” rule led to a symbiotic relationship between textile mills that manufacture yarn and fabric in the United States and cut-andsew operations in Mexico that turn fabric into consumer products, such as clothes, and ship it to U.S. retailers. Mexico has a competitive advantage in hosting cut-and-sew operations, because those operations are labor-intensive and labor is cheaper in Mexico compared to the U.S. and Canada. But under the “yarn forward” rule, Mexican cut-and-sew operations must use fabric with yarn manufactured in the NAFTA region in order to gain duty-free access to the U.S. market. And that incentivizes them to buy fabric from highly efficient American mills, many of them in the Carolinas, instead of from Asian mills. As a result, Mexico is the No. 1 export market for U.S.-made yarn and fabric, buying nearly $4.4 billion worth of it in 2016, according to federal trade data. “NAFTA has been good for our industry,” says Rob Chapman, chief executive of Inman Mills, which employs more than 700 people making yarn and fabric at three plants in Inman and Enoree. The same dynamics apply to the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) between the United States, five Central American countries, and the Dominican Republic. The mutually beneficial trade relationship is why the National Council of Textile Organizations, a trade association with many South Carolina members, doesn’t want Trump to walk away from NAFTA as he threatened to do while campaigning for the White House. Trump has revised his position more recently, saying he wants to renegotiate a better deal from Mexico and Canada


and will walk away only if he doesn’t get one. “We like his current position much better than the original position,” said Augustine “Auggie” Tantillo, president of NCTO, which lobbies for U.S. textile interests in Washington. The NCTO’s membership reads like a “who’s who” of the Carolinas textile industry. South Carolina members include Greenville-based Sage Automotive Interiors, Mauldin-based Mount Vernon Mills, Spartanburg-based Milliken & Co., Easley-based Alice Manufacturing, Inman-based Inman Mills, Gaffney-based Hamrick Mills, and Spartanburg-based William Barnet & Son. Tantillo said NAFTA’s “yarn forward” rule is having another beneficial effect on top of creating demand for U.S.

is China’s Keer Group, which three years ago announced plans to spend $218 million and hire more than 500 people for a new cotton yarn plant in the Lancaster County community of Indian Land, its first facility outside of China. While NCTO doesn’t want Trump to walk away from NAFTA, it does support his call to renegotiate the free-trade agreement to make it more advantageous for U.S. companies and their workers, Tantillo said. One way to do that, he said, is to eliminate a loophole called a “tariff preference level” that allows a certain amount of goods made of fabric from outside of the NAFTA region to enter the U.S. duty-free. “That was a political concession,” Tantillo said. “There was no economic basis for it. And it’s the exact type of thing Donald Trump is talking about

NAFTA NUMBERS All 2016 U.S. textile & apparel exports (yarn, fabric, made ups, and apparel):

$22.2 BILLION - WORLD $5.9 BILLION - Mexico $5.16 BILLION - Canada

$1.46 BILLION - Honduras $907 MILLION - China $615 MILLION - United Kingdom

textile makers. He said it’s one reason that foreign textile companies have been building plants in the United States. Other reasons are less-expensive natural gas and the availability of raw materials such as cotton, polyester, and nylon. Among the foreign companies that have built plants in the United States

when he says, ‘Why did we do that?’ U.S. textile workers in the Carolinas don’t benefit from that.” Tantillo said NCTO is glad Trump ended U.S. involvement in another proposed free-trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which he said presented a very different situation than NAFTA.

YARN FORWARD RULE: Under this provision of the North American Free Trade Agreement, a garment maker, with certain exceptions, must use yarn and fabric made in the NAFTA region in order to enjoy duty-free access to the U.S. market. This gives textile companies within the NAFTA region — the United States, Canada, or Mexico — a competitive advantage over their competitors in Asia or other non-NAFTA regions.

“Under the Obama administration, there was an air of inevitability about doing TPP,” Tantillo said. “Consequently, we had to work within that system to make sure TPP did not cost 100,000 U.S. jobs and did not set back the rebound that we had struggled so hard to achieve. We felt like we got the needed language to insulate us from that damaging blow.” Now, Tantillo said, NCTO is glad to have a new president who is challenging conventional wisdom on trade policy. Trump’s insistence that U.S. manufacturers and U.S. manufacturing workers benefit from U.S. trade policy is “an incredibly important and welcome fundamental change in attitude,” he said. “In a general sense, the new president has ushered in an environment of policy debate and change that I haven’t seen in my 35 years in Washington. So for the first time, we aren’t just on automatic pilot and doing more of the same. We have a White House and an administration that has said, ‘Hold on. Let’s find out what’s actually working.'”






Developers from Atlanta, Charlotte eye County Square RUDOLPH BELL | STAFF Real estate developers from Atlanta and Charlotte are among those showing interest in redeveloping nearly 38 acres of land owned by Greenville County in the downtown Greenville area. County officials began soliciting proposals late last month for the longplanned redevelopment of County Square, the county's base of operations since 1987. On Thursday, Feb. 9, about 45 people — including developers, builders, real estate brokers, engineers, and architects — attended a “pre-submission” conference in the county’s main office complex on the property. County officials are instructing developers to include in their proposals a plan for building a 250,000-square-foot office building to house county operations and replace the former shopping center building at County Square that houses them now. Officials also say they want a 1,000-space parking garage to be included in the redevelopment plans.

“I would guess this project’s going to be eight to 12 years in duration, multiple phases, multiple product types.” Lindsey McAlpine, CitySculpt Shannon Herman, assistant to the county administrator, reviewed the county’s requirements for development proposals, which are due April 6, and fielded questions along with County Administrator Joe Kernell. They plan to select the winning development proposal by June 1. The acreage at Church Street and University Ridge is high ground within walking distance of popular downtown attractions — Falls Park, Fluor Field, and the Greenville Health System Swamp Rabbit Trail. The property includes the main County Square site at 301 University Ridge, as well as two office buildings with parking lots across University Ridge.

Downtown Market

Among those attending the pre-submission conference was Lindsey McAlpine, managing partner of CitySculpt, a Charlotte-based real estate development company. McAlpine said he’s part of a team interested in the potential redevelopment that includes Armada Hoffler Properties, a publicly traded real estate investment trust based in Virginia Beach, as finance partner. “I would guess this project’s going to be eight to 12 years in duration, multiple phases, multiple product types,” McAlpine said. He said his team wouldn’t know for weeks what they’d propose to the county, but he said in response to a question from UBJ that it was “certainly possible” the county could accomplish its hope of trading the prominent property for a new office building without having to put any cash into the deal. “I think I need a really sharp pencil and hours and hours of pro formas to get to the real answer to that, but it’s certainly possible,” McAlpine said. His team includes Greenville developer and commercial real estate broker Steve Navarro and Greenville architect Joe Pazdan. Herman told interested parties at the meeting that the county wants to keep its main office complex on the property, but is open to relocating it as long as the site is centrally located within the

ON THE TABLE Proposals should include: • A plan for a 250,000square-foot office building to house county operations • A plan for a 1,000-space parking garage • Preliminary traffic impact analysis • Preliminary sewer, stormwater, and utilities impact analysis • Project design and production schedule

county and is accessible to public transportation. Tax incentives may be available to help fund public infrastructure necessary for the redevelopment of County Square, she said. Other out-of-town developers represented at the conference included Carter Developments and RocaPoint Partners, both of Atlanta, according to a sign-in sheet for attendees. Three other developers represented were Crosland Southeast of Charlotte, Selig Enterprises of Atlanta, and Third Palm Capital of Dallas, according to Herman, who collected business cards. Also present were representatives of DPR Construction, a general contractor based in California that does business across the country; an Atlanta architecture firm called Rule Joy Trammell Rubio; and Thomas & Hutton, an engineering and planning firm with eight offices in the Carolinas, Georgia, and Tennessee. Also attending were Greenville architects Ben Rook, Kenneth Betsch, Scott May, K.J. Jacobs, and Michael Duty.

ANTICIPATED PROJECT SCHEDULE Feb. 16: Deadline to submit all questions Feb. 24: Responses to all submitted questions posted April 6: Responses due April 27: Evaluation of responses May 25: Top candidate presentations




Mike Gambrell helps Synnex’s customers sell various high-tech products and services to police departments, fire departments, and EMS agencies. Photo by Chelsey Ashford.

Former police official remains at the intersection of technology and public safety RUDOLPH BELL | STAFF When he was with the Greenville Police Department, Mike Gambrell helped to put mobile data terminals in squad cars and install video surveillance cameras downtown. He still works at the intersection of technology and public safety. He just does it for the private sector now. “There’s a unique stress in law enforcement that’s like no other occupation,” said Gambrell, who was named Officer of the Year four times. “And I don’t miss that.” The 54-year-old Greenville native spent 30 years with the police department and was a supervisor in every division before retiring as interim chief in 2014. For the past year and a half, he’s been a subject matter expert for Synnex Corp., a distributor of information technology products and services that employs 685 people in Greenville, not including those who work for its Concentrix subsidiary. As manager of the Synnex public safety program, Gambrell helps the company’s customers sell various hightech products and services they get from Synnex to police departments, fire departments, and emergency medical service (EMS) agencies. Those products and services include video cameras worn on the uniform, mounted in patrol cars, installed in

and on buildings, and sent into the air on drones. They also include the computer servers, cloud storage service, and software needed to store and retrieve all of the video created by the cameras. Gambrell, a graduate of the FBI National Academy, speaks at sales-related events sponsored by Synnex, its customers, or the industry and says he spends about 80 percent of his time on the road. He also communicates in webinars and on conference calls, sometimes with police chiefs. He was just a few months into retirement when a mutual friend put him in touch with Eddie Franklin, a Synnex vice president who oversees the company’s work for public-sector markets. At the time, Franklin recalled, Synnex wanted to expand its public safety business and “needed to collaborate with someone who knew more than we did, someone who understood how technology supports the mission of policing.” Gambrell’s “experience applying technology to solve problems and the way he connected with our team made it evident he was our guy,” Franklin said. “Mike is extremely humble and approachable. He’s had a positive impact on so many people in the building, and provides a good example of what a real teammate looks like. We are lucky to have found him,” he added.







Owner Lisa Muehlenbein plans to add a tea bar and lounge, massage rooms, and AntiGravity classes to Zen Studio.

Moments of Zen Spartanburg businesswoman expanding yoga concept Zen Studios TREVOR ANDERSON | STAFF A popular yoga studio on Spartanburg’s east side will expand to meet growing customer demand. Lisa Muehlenbein, owner of Zen Studios, has signed a six-year lease on a 2,700-square-foot space beside her current 2,200-square-foot location at 1040 Fernwood-Glendale Road at Hillcrest shopping center. The space is undergoing a renovation to provide more space for amenities and programming, including a loose-leaf tea bar and lounge, a studio for its AntiGravity classes, a private studio, and two additional massage rooms. Construction is expected to be complete in April. The project will increase the footprint of Muehlenbein’s business to nearly 5,000 square feet. “With all of the growth that is happening in Spartanburg, I think the community is ready for something new and different,” Muehlenbein said. “I am excited to be a part of it. Like Gandhi said, ‘Be the change.’” Muehlenbein began teaching yoga in 2001. She has earned her E-RYT 500 teacher training credential from the Yoga Alliance and has taught about 5,500 hours of yoga.

The owner said her staff includes 16 teachers, two massage therapists, and two office associates. The studio offers both 200-hour and 500-hour teacher trainings recognized by the Yoga Alliance. Zen Studios currently offers 23 group classes per week. It features a “yoga wall” that incorporates a series of straps placed on different parts of the body to create traction and space. A few years ago, Muehlenbein began offering AntiGravity Aerial Fitness classes, a style of yoga that employs a hammock-like apparatus. She said those classes have really “taken off.” She said the expansion would increase capacity to nearly 50 classes per week. She anticipates her staff numbers growing to about 20 yoga teachers, nine massage therapists, and three to four employees at the tea bar. In June, Zen Studios was announced as one of four initial tenants headed to the Drayton Mills Marketplace, a commercial complex under construction in the former warehouses and company store of the 114-year-old Drayton Mill. While leases for the other three businesses were finalized, Muehlenbein said Zen Studios was unable to secure her contract.

YOGA POSES 36.7 MILLION: Yoga practitioners in

the U.S. in 2016, up from 20.4 million in 2012.

28%: Americans who have participated in a yoga class.

72%: Yoga practitioners who are women. 10 MILLION: Men practicing yoga in the

U.S. as of 2016, up from 4 million in 2012.

14 MILLION: Yoga practitioners over the

age of 50 in the U.S.

$16.8 BILLION: Spent on yoga clothing,

equipment, classes, and accessories as of 2016, compared with $10 billion in 2012.


Yoga practitioners who participate in other group exercises, compared with 9 percent among the general population. Numbers courtesy of the Yoga Alliance





Life and live theatre don’t come with subtitles and rewind “We are very excited our current patients and the rest of the buttons. To fully experience the comedy and tragedy, we need to hear population in that area won’t have to travel so far for their hearing the action as it unfolds. No one knows that better than the doctors at services.” Dr. Davis and her colleague Dr. Alexandra Tarvin still see Davis Audiology, who recently upgraded every seat in the house at patients at their location on East North Street in Greenville full time. Greenville Little Theatre. Now that the new location is up and running, Davis Davis Audiology donated an Induction Loop Audiology is focused on another important mission: to get “We think about getting System to celebrate the theatre’s 90th anniversary. The the community to think about hearing as a part of overall our eyes and teeth system magnetically transmits stage audio, making wellness. “We think about getting our eyes and teeth checked yearly, but it sound like the cast is talking directly into audience checked yearly,” Dr. Davis said, “but people forget about people forget about their members’ devices that are customized to their hearing their hearing and take it for granted.” hearing and take it for needs. Davis Audiology also has a looping system Dr. Davis says everyone over 55 should have their granted.” in its waiting room, so audiologists can make sure hearing checked annually. Davis Audiology is offering free patients’ hearing devices are compatible to looping. hearing screenings as a part of this education effort. Dr. Kristin Davis is overwhelmed by the gratitude Through community service, education, and support people have expressed since the donation. “It makes me proud to be programs, Davis Audiology is setting the stage for people to hear their able to set a good example for my kids,” Dr. Davis said. “When you world and embrace their lives. achieve your goals, it’s important to give back.” Dr. Davis and her husband Christopher have three children ages 10, 14, and 16. Middle and high school sports take up a lot of their free time, but they also enjoy hiking, kayaking, and doing community service. Dr. Davis is passionate about her work. In addition to her scheduled appointments, Davis Audiology hosts hearing healthcare seminars and 4318 East North St., Greenville support groups for patients with hearing loss and their loved ones. 11 Five Forks Plaza Ct., Simpsonville In January, Davis Audiology opened a full-service satellite office in 135 Botanical Cir., Travelers Rest Travelers Rest. Dr. Davis says they’re filling a need in an under-served area of the county. 864.655.8300 |







Wade's restaurant ending iconic campaign after 22 years TREVOR ANDERSON | STAFF A billboard depicting a cartoon green bean sporting a bowl cut and pointy ears next to the phrase “‘Bean’ Me Up Scottie” got the creative and digestive juices of Spartanburg County residents flowing in 1995. “It started as a quirky, fun advertising campaign,” said Hamp Lindsey, co-owner of Wade’s, an iconic meatand-three in Spartanburg. “Our billboards really connected with the community. It became much more than just a marketing campaign.” After 22 years, Lindsey said the restaurant located at Pinewood shopping center will end the campaign in order to focus its marketing dollars on social media and other efforts that will impact the community in a more “tangible” way. Wade’s supporters will still be able to submit their ideas, and the best ones will be illustrated and posted on the

After 22 years, Wade's restaurant will end their quirky billboard campaign.

Rail Trail between Forest Avenue and Country Club Road. The park will be near Wade’s corporate office off South Pine Street. “Pretty much all of our marketing budget was dedicated to the billboards,” Lindsey said. “We are excited. We think this is going to free us up to do some more permanent things.” Lindsey and his sister, Carole Miller, own the popular restaurant founded by their parents, Wade and Betty Lindsey, in 1947. It wasn’t long after the owners introduced the campaign that they began asking the community to submit ideas, and that’s when it began taking on a life of its own. Each of the ideas that made it to the billboards included the name of the person who submitted it. For some local residents, it was a chance for a moment in the spotlight. A few of those ideas have included “Darth Tater,” “Spider Ham,” “Yam Newton,” and a depiction

1 2 restaurant’s website. “All good things must come to an end,” Lindsey said. “We knew it wouldn’t last forever. … I’m sure there will be some who take this as a sign that the restaurant is closing, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. …

We feel like it’s our responsibility to do something more.” The first two efforts Wade’s will sponsor include a stage at the Hub City Farmers Market and the new 7-acre community park that will be built along the Mary Black Foundation



PETE BRETT, CCIM Commercial Circle of Distinction - Gold Level

DAVID SIGMON, CCIM Commercial Circle of Distinction - Bronze Level




billboards, whose kids loved them, we’ve had many of those magnets on the fridge in our house. But everything runs its course, and I’m glad they’re putting their energy into other things.” Jaime Nash, director of marketing for Spartanburg-based Roebuck Buildings, said she too will miss the campaign, but will continue to dine at Wade’s. “In general, as a business, you have to do marketing,” Nash said. “How much you spend should be scalable based on what you’re selling. … When it comes to a well-known local establishment, long-held traditions are important because it promotes community pride. But there are certainly times where it makes sense to change things up and try something new. When you’ve got a restaurant that values bringing families together for dinner, I think it’s a great message for them to sponsor a park that will bring families together.” Lindsey said he has not completely closed the door on bringing the billboards back in the future. “It may come back at some point. You never know,” he said. “We just feel like this is the right decision for us at this time.”

Hamp Lindsey and Carole Miller


of now-President Donald J. Trump telling a chicken, “You’re fried!” He estimated Wade’s has produced between 150 and 170 billboards during the life of the campaign. The restaurant only received one cease-and-desist order. “We consciously stayed away from anything we



felt might be controversial,” Lindsey said. “We always wanted to appeal to different groups of people.” “[Lindsey and Miller] know how to run a successful business,” said Will Rothschild, a spokesman for the city of Spartanburg. “I’m personally going to miss the campaign,” said Rothschild. “Like a lot of people who loved those




At Coldwell Banker Commercial Caine, we know the power of our name and brand is rooted in the performance of our talented real estate brokers. We are proud once again to honor our top producers and special award winners for 2016. Thank you for making them your trusted real estate advisors in the Upstate.


12 | BANKING |





BB&T plans $30M facility in Mauldin DAVID DYKES | STAFF BB&T






140,000-square-foot mortgage servicing center in Mauldin that will house more than 600 employees, company officials said. The employees work primarily in administrative, back office, and support functions and will relocate to 825 E. Butler Road. The mortgage servicing and other operations now are located at 301 College St. in Greenville. Bank officials planned to break ground on the new facility Thursday. Officials at the Winston-Salem, N.C.-based financial services holding company have said they plan to relocate the main downtown Greenville office from College Street to nearby 2 W. Washington St., where BB&T will occupy nearly 7,000 square feet. At some point, the College Street location could be sold, but the timing is uncertain, BB&T officials have said. “The construction of this new mortgage servicing center is indicative of BB&T’s commitment to South Carolina, Mauldin, and the greater Greenville area,” said Tol Broome, BB&T mortgage lending president. “With this state-of-the-art facility, we will be better

More than 600 administrative, back office, and support employees will move from BB&T’s offices on College Street in Greenville to a new mortgage servicing center in Mauldin. equipped to provide our clients with superior service as we help them fulfill the dream of homeownership.” “The city of Mauldin is proud to welcome BB&T’s mortgage division to our city,” said Mauldin Mayor Dennis Raines. “The addition of BB&T will positively impact our community and generate more opportunities for the entire Upstate, and we are

committed to working with them to make this endeavor a huge success.” Raines said Mauldin “has worked diligently” to enhance opportunities for growth and development. “Our geographic location, outstanding infrastructure, and exceptional quality of life make Mauldin an excellent choice for business,” Raines said.

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BMW supplier Schedl planning first U.S. plant in Spartanburg County TREVOR ANDERSON | STAFF German wheel and tire assembly manufacturer Schedl Automotive System Service GmbH plans to move into a new 150,000-square-foot facility that will be built on 10.68 acres at 1181 Howell Road in Duncan within Hillside Enterprise Park. It will be the company’s first U.S. plant. Sources familiar with the project said the BMW supplier’s multimillion-dollar announcement is expected to bring more than 100 jobs to the county. On Oct. 10, 2016, the limited partnership Spartanburg Schedl Automotive System Service registered with the S.C. Secretary of State’s office. A spokesperson for the company could not be reached for comment. Joel Scannell, managing partner for Scannell Properties, an Indiana-based developer that owns the 84.5-acre Hillside Enterprise Park, said he could not comment on Schedl’s plan. Schedl’s facility will be constructed between two sites that have recently attracted new companies. The first is an existing 150,000-square-foot facility at 1171 Howell Road that will house German automotive supplier Brose and one other tenant yet to be named. In November, Hickory, N.C.-based Advanced Ceramic Coatings (ACC), a joint venture between Ohio-based GE Aviation and Turbocoating Corp. of Italy, announced it will invest $15 million to build a new 62,500-squarefoot facility at 1191 Howell Road and create 50 jobs. Schedl’s site plan was filed with the county under the economic development project codenamed “Project Royale.” “We opened up the site for development about a year ago and are in the process of building out half of the park,” Scannell said. “Hopefully, things will continue to move at this pace. We’d like to see the next half completed during the next couple of

years. We have been picking up tenants in light manufacturing and distribution. These are good jobs for the market, which is what we hoped for.” Scannell said there are still about 28 acres of undeveloped property at the park, which could support up to 400,000 square feet of industrial space. The brokerage team of Garrett Scott, Givens Stewart, and Brockton

“We have been picking up tenants in light manufacturing and distribution. These are good jobs for the market, which is what we hoped for.” Joel Scannell

Hall with Colliers International represents the developer. Spartanburg County Councilman David Britt said he was grateful for Scannell’s investment in Spartanburg, but could not comment on projects that are in development. According to the company’s website, Schedl grew out of a joint venture between Continental and Lemmerz in 1993. The company has 12 facilities in Germany, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Great Britain, Portugal, and China.

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Coming April ’17 View the 2016 book at:

14 | COVER |





n recent years, a plethora co-working spaces have opened in Greenville, each one promising to provide freelancers and startups a place to work and collaborate. But Matthew Smith, the founder of Atlas Local, believes many spaces have failed to cultivate a lasting, impactful community of thinkers and doers. “Traditional co-working operates a lot like a gym membership,” he said. “You know that 100 people will fit in the room, but you sell 300 passes and pray to God they don’t show up at the same time. That’s a good model for desk real estate. But it’s not so good if you’re looking to build a community that has potency, power, and effect in the community. That’s a priority for us.” Smith, alongside Chris Merritt and Matt Cook, opened Atlas Local in January. It’s not so much a co-working space as it is a small community of about 45 creative-minded people from various industries, ranging from technology to accounting. Located in the newly renovated Brandon Mill in the Village of West Greenville, the new space features 45 desks, seven private offices, and a large conference room for meetings and private phone calls. Membership ranges from $300 per month for individual desks to $500 per month for private offices. Drop-in members get access to Wi-Fi, parking, and common spaces for $100 per month. What separates Atlas Local is the degree to which it curates its co-work community. “Like a business full of employees, we have a culture we hold dear,” Merritt said. “A bad egg could spoil the breakfast, so we treat the first three months of every new member as a trial period for everyone. … We’ll all know if it’s a good fit or not.” According to Smith, new members have to commit to their space for a year. “It pushes them to really dig in here,” he said. “We’re not looking for people who want to sign up and leave after a month. That’s not community.” The average Atlas Local membership lasts for two years, according to Smith. “This isn’t a model you’re going to see everywhere. It takes a lot of passion and belief in your own city,” Smith said. “By no means do we have an elitist mentality. We just know who we are, because we’ve been doing this for a while.”





For Atlas Local, co-working is about more than sharing desk space. It’s about creating a community. Words by Andrew Moore Photos by Will Crooks

A Growing Trend Atlas Local is a continuation of CoWork, Greenville’s first shared workspace. In 2007, Smith, a designer, and several freelancers started sharing an office space in downtown Greenville. “It was really just a way to get out of the house and share rent,” Smith said. “We didn’t even know that it was called co-working at the time.” In the following years, co-working became a growing trend across the nation and people started to approach Smith about joining the space. In 2011, Smith and his colleagues relocated to 1040 W. Washington St. under the moniker CoWork. With 25 desks and a conference room, the space became a hub for Greenville’s budding group of startups


| Atlas Local’s new space in Brandon Mill features 45 desks, seven private offices, and a large conference room for meetings and private phone calls.

and freelancers, including Merritt and Cook. “We were the only space in Greenville at the time,” Smith said. “It took off out of nowhere.” CoWork was absorbed by Greenville-based coding school The Iron Yard in 2012. When the partnership ended in 2014, Cook and Merritt took on leadership roles beside Smith, who had decided to restructure the business. “Things had gotten stagnant, and we needed to let it grow or let it die,” Merritt said. “But we really just needed people to champion each section of the business. The three of us emerged as the ones who would keep it alive.” In 2015, several CoWork members started hiring for their startups. Merritt, Smith, and Cook knew they’d need to eventually expand, so they proposed an expansion to the building’s owner, Trey Cole. But it didn’t work out. They immediately started searching for a larger space. “We hated to leave Trey. He was our landlord, but he was also a member of our community,” Merritt

said. “The decision to relocate ultimately gave us more space and a new identity.” As co-working became a trend, the trio felt like their name was no longer synonymous with their mission. “We had great SEO, because ‘co-work’ became a term. But it quickly lost its potency and efficiency when other spaces started popping up throughout Greenville. It became too vague,” Cook said. Greenville has become a co-working hotspot over the years. There are five co-working spaces in or around downtown Greenville. That includes recent additions The Wheelhouse and Textile Hall, which opened last year, and older groups such as Endeavor and OpenWorks. “We respect other places in the sense that they’re businesses. However, we don’t want to be that,” Cook said. “That’s why we eventually lost our brand recognition. Our name just no longer represented who we are and what we do. It needed to change.”

“We want to promote the city” As CoWork underwent rebranding, leadership changed. Cook and Smith became general partners, and Merritt became the managing partner and majority owner of Atlas Local. Despite the new name, their goals remained the same: provide a community for Greenville’s thinkers and doers and foster their talents. “I’d say we’ve just refined it more. The vision behind the new brand is that we’re in this together,” Smith said. “We’re a group of people who love craftsmanship and labor hard over the stuff we care about. Some people work for themselves. Some work for teams. But in the end, we’re all working for each other’s success.” Pathwright’s Paul and Mark Johnson have grown their online education startup out of Atlas Local since 2012 and recently rented a private office. “I don’t think we would have launched Pathwright without Atlas,” Johnson said. “While they didn’t ATLAS continued on PAGE 17

16 | COVER |



“We’re not looking for people who want to sign up and leave after a month.

That’s not community.” Matthew Smith






| COVER | 17

ATLAS continued from PAGE 15

From left to right: Chris Merritt, Matthew Smith, Matt Cook

contribute seed funding or help with projects, they created an environment where you’re able to work side by side with friends and people who work within the same industry. It’s extremely energetic and exciting.” Atlas Local also holds community outreach events. The space currently holds a free public event called Zero Day on the first Friday of every month from 9 a.m. to noon. Members and residents can speak for up to 20 minutes. “It’s a time for people to practice thinking,” Smith said. “They can share ideas, opinions, and whatever else they feel like discussing. We’ve literally had people present on everything from fly fishing to a chapter from ‘Jurassic Park.’” Atlas Local might also revive CoWork’s old technology conference and networking event, Grok. “The idea was to start conversations and find like-minded people who can solve industry-specific problems,” said Merritt, who helped manage the event under The Iron Yard from 2012 to 2014. “We want to promote the city, and Grok is a great way to do it.” The event garnered nearly 500 attendees from around the Upstate in 2014, according to Merritt. Any future events will likely feature keynote speakers, small round-table discussions, and more.

What’s Next? The future of Atlas Local isn’t as certain. Merritt has dedicated his time to the new space for now but plans on returning to the design and development world soon. And Cook currently works at Fathom & Draft, which Smith started in 2015. “Keeping true to our community is our core ethos, our highest priority. We’ll expand where our DNA can be carried on,” Merritt said. “Many businesses fail because they don’t know who they are. We don’t take the next steps lightly.” Several people have offered to start Atlas Local chapters across the country, but Merritt has turned them down. “Most of the places we would consider expanding to are pals of ours that wish they could be part of our community but are in other states,” Merritt said. “Expansion is a lot more about the heroes that can champion a new swell of great people.” “The space grows around them, not the other way around,” he added.

“We respect other [co-work] places in the sense that they’re businesses. However, we don’t want to be that.” Matt Cook








Major Verdae subdivision will add to Laurens Road development Plans have been filed with city officials for a mixed-use commercial project that planners say is consistent with the Verdae master plan and critical to redevelopment of the Laurens Road corridor. The applicant — Alliance Consulting Engineers — plans the project on nearly 70 acres at Henderson and Laurens roads on property owned by Verdae Properties LLC, according to city records. The project is part of the $100 million Laurens Road redevelopment effort Verdae Development Inc. announced in 2014 for 30 acres of retail, 70 acres of residential, and a new park and trails connecting to the GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail. Verdae Properties acquired the 12.2-acre former Sam’s Club property at 2519 Laurens Road in 2013 for $3.25 million and then completed the $2.3 million purchase of the 6.9-acre former Best Buy site. Those buildings were bulldozed to make room for the new development, which will include the Sam’s Club property and Best Buy site, according to Debbie Wallace, a Verdae Development spokesperson. The types of new businesses or tenants haven’t

A major subdivision is planned for the former Best Buy and Sam's Club sites. been determined, she said. Alliance Consulting proposes a subdivision of nine lots and new streets. The subdivision of the properties will allow for redevelopment of the former Laurens Road commercial sites. Additional parcels will have access to the future Swamp Rabbit Trail extension, city records show. Officials with Alliance Consulting couldn’t be reached for comment.

A staff analysis shows a proposed street will be built to align with the Henderson Road intersection at Laurens Road and deeded to the city at a later date. From a roundabout, the street heading south will connect to the Velo apartment complex, providing another point of access for that development, staff members said. As proposed, the street would

connect with Woodruff Road as development on additional parcels occurs. At a neighborhood meeting Feb. 6, attendees voiced support for redevelopment of the property but raised questions about Laurens Road improvements, whether new roads will be public or private and required yard setbacks. The applicant has indicated a deceleration lane will be installed on westbound Laurens Road. Streets interior to the property will need to be named later before deeding those to the city, staff members said. Staff recommended approval with certain conditions. The development must meet provisions of the city’s land management ordinance and recording of a final plat. The development will require an extension of the city’s water and sewer systems to serve the new lots, city officials said. Various roadway and traffic signal improvements are recommended for Laurens Road, the proposed new road, and site-access points to mitigate traffic impacts resulting from full build-out of the site, the officials said.

JHM will change plans for Eastside storage facility DAVID DYKES | STAFF d Ol in




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send back to the Planning Commission a local hotelier’s plans to build a 100,000-square-foot indoor storage facility near Pelham Road on the county’s east side. At their Feb. 6 meeting, Pl anning and Development Committee members said they were sending back a rezoning request on behalf of JHM Hotels with new changes. The facility, 1408 Boiling Springs Road, concerns some residents, who fear an adverse traffic impact. The applicant is listed on county records as Chris Watson of Seamon Whiteside, a civil engineering firm, for JHM Hotels. Watson couldn’t be reached for comment, but county records show a zoning request from FRD, or flexible review district, to FRD-MC, or major change.

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A Greenville County committee voted to©HERE

Jay Burnett, vice president of real estate for Greenville-based JHM Hotels, told committee members that JHM Hotels will limit the elevaThornblade tions to 40 feet and 23 feet. In addition, JHM Club Hotels will soften the color scheme to match the area’s residential character and it could be adjusted further, Burnett said. Traffic use should be low, Burnett said. Any changes will be reflected in the final development plan drawings and reviewed by staff members and the Planning Commission, county officials said. Staff members will revise their recommendation based on changed drawings, and that recommendation will be submitted to the Planning Commission, county officials said. The commission will send a new recommendation to the committee. Commission members had recommended the project be denied.





100,000 SF Brookfield Parkway building sold for $16.7M DAVID DYKES | STAFF A 100,000-square-foot Class A office building on Brookfield Parkway in Greenville has been sold for $16.7 million. CBRE Group Inc. said CCP Commercial Real Estate bought 750 Brookfield, at 750 Brookfield Parkway, last month. Patrick Gildea, Tripp Sellers, and Charles Gouch of CBRE represented the seller, Chicago-based J.L. Woode Ltd. 750 Brookfield has a 93.5 percent occupancy rate and totals 106,649 square feet, CBRE officials said. Ford

Motor Credit Co., a 750 Brookfield tenant, has more than 68 percent of the leasable area. The building is in a landscaped park setting that is home to other tenants such as MetLife, GE Gas Turbines, Verizon Wireless, Jacobs Engineering, and Ahold USA. The property is in the Greenville suburban submarket, which has experienced a Class-A annual average rental rate growth of 12 percent for the last three years, CBRE officials said. As of fourth quarter 2016, Class-A occupancy in the submarket was over 92 percent, the officials said. “We continue to see outside investors with increased interest in both


the suburban and CBD office submarkets,” Gildea said. “The Greenville

market has become a focus for many regional and national investors.”

Grading permits issued for buildings at Corporate Center TREVOR ANDERSON | STAFF The developer of a business park in Spartanburg County has cleared a Final hurdle for the construction of two new buildings expected to attract new jobs and investment to the community. Pete Weisman, owner and architect of Corporate Center, said he has received grading permits for two buildings — a 60,000-square-foot facility and a 55,500-square-foot facility — on more than 16 acres at the north end of the park. He said construction will begin soon and should be completed by early 2018.

“Everything is moving to the Southeast,” said Weisman, a former New York City architect, who acquired the site in 1989. “The migration is on. It’s just a matter of time. We feel like we are in a very good position.” Corporate Center’s main campus is on 150 acres on the northern side of the Interstate 85 Business Loop near the Bryant Road exit. Weisman also owns about 85 acres across the interstate. The two new buildings at 140 and 150 Corporate Drive will bring the park’s existing space up to 11 buildings, totaling more than 500,000 square feet. Weisman said he still has room for

at least three more buildings to be constructed on the north side of the park. The park houses several foreign

and domestic companies that range in size from small to large and provide jobs for hundreds of local residents.

20 | FORWARD |





Startup City 4 reasons to launch your enterprise in Greenville By KEITH SHIELDS Partner, Designli

“Where’s Greenville?” That was my reaction some two years ago, when my business partner called me up — practically shouting into my ear — that I “had to come see this place!” after spending a weekend exploring downtown. “How great could it be?” I thought. We had operated our mobile app development agency, Designli, for just about two years at that point and were going to be free agents after graduating from Ohio State University. With no corporate jobs telling us where to live, we were looking for somewhere to set up shop. That was just about two years ago. In the brief period since then, we have discovered that Greenville is a small town with a booming tech hub and a perfect place to plant roots as the software ecosystem begins to thrive. Although arriving here was a happy accident for our business, we now spread the word to anybody who will listen. Why, you ask? Here are four of the biggest reasons why you should start your business in Greenville, S.C.


Although Greenville hasn’t been known as a tech hub in the past when compared to its larger nearby cities, it’s certainly becoming that way. Organizations like NEXT focus on helping high-impact technology companies grow and thrive here without having to go find resources elsewhere. There are more than 100 companies in the NEXT program, networking and sharing resources and knowledge to lower the barrier of starting game-changing companies. Pair this with angel investing groups such as UCAN, and you have a recipe for a startup ecosystem that is truly exciting to be a part of.



How many places do you know of that are growing this fast, and that have shared working spaces right in the heart of downtown — like Openworks — that charge startups and small businesses only $180 per month to rent a desk? Talk about a great place to entertain clients — having them “step into your office” and an all-glass conference room with a view out of the city’s main drag.



Greenville is a small town with a booming tech hub and a perfect place to plant roots as the software ecosystem begins to thrive.

We know what it’s like to put heart and soul into the success of your venture. That’s why we focus on sophisticated lending solutions that meet your financial needs, delivered with a customer-first attitude toward helping you achieve your goals. Ultimately, we offer local business owners what matters most: the eyes of an expert, and the ears of a partner.


1/8/17 4:23 PM




Pair that with networking events like Tech After 5 and the new 1 Million Cups, and you’re off to the races, not only working in the heart of downtown but also getting to know the readily approachable members of the technology and business community. On that same note, you’d be surprised how accessible the area’s local business leaders are — and how asking them to a quick coffee at Methodical or Coffee Underground is pretty much all it’ll take to add them to your Rolodex.



Greenville has one of the world’s best downtowns. Recently mentioned as one of The New York Times’ “52 Places to Go in 2017,” this is an area that will lend itself very nicely to your company’s recruitment efforts as you expand. Group this with graduates from Clemson and Furman universities, and you have a pool of hardworking talent that — you guessed it — is all eager to get jobs and stay here in the city of Greenville. Last but certainly not least, don’t forget that Greenville is the home of coding school The Iron Yard, which churns out new programmers on a regular basis, ready to join your software enterprise.


| FORWARD | 21

What do


people have in common every morning?


If all the above isn’t quite enough to sell you on why Greenville is a great place to start a business, let’s not fail to mention that you can always drive elsewhere if needed. You’re an hour and a half from Charlotte and Columbia, two and a half hours from Atlanta, and three hours from Charleston. Are we missing anything? We’d love to chat. Come find us at NEXT on Main, NEXT’s office ecosystem for young and growing high-tech companies. We’d love to chat about Greenville, apps, startups, or all three. We’ll see you around town.

Chad Hardin Technical Recruiter

Find out at

We’ve already met your next employee.

Godshall Professional Recruiting and Staffing specializes in executive recruiting, career placement, and

consulting for businesses and job seekers in South Carolina. Our technical services team has more than 20 years of combined experience in placing qualified candidates in areas such as Information Technology, Engineering and Manufacturing. Let us find the perfect fit for your employment needs. Professional • Finance • Technical • Healthcare • 864-242-3491






Creativity Goes to Work eries, artist studios, and real estate develDean of Academic Development and opers, showcase creative thinking and Support, Greenville Technical College aspire to bring people together. Creativity, Fictional nanny and amateur research, and collaboration intersect career coach Mary Poppins shared this in colleges and universities, manufacadvice in song: “In every job that must turing facilities, medical research be done, there is an element of fun. You centers, and collaborative work spaces. find the fun and ‘snap,’ the job’s a Creativity is not only “nice to have,” but game.” Similarly, Albert Einstein noted, it is also essential to sustain livable “Creativity is intelligence having fun.” communities and competitive businessIn truth, creativity is a valuable es. “element of fun” that makes work inWell-known organizations build teresting and allows us to excel in our reputations on their efforts to empower chosen pursuits. employees to be creative and innovaCREATIVE ORGANIZATIONS tive. In describing their culture, Google points to “offices and cafes … designed Across the Upstate, examples of to encourage interactions between communities and organizations investGooglers within and across teams, and ing in creativity are plentiful. Towns to spark conversation about work as are enriching quality of life by develwell as play.” Online shoe retailer oping event venues, farmers markets, Zappos reminds employees to “Create parks, public art, and festivals. Small Fun and a Little Weirdness,” “Be Adbusinesses, such as restaurants, brewventurous, Creative, and Open-Mind-


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To get your creative juices flowing, read, draw, watch, listen, smell, touch, taste, exercise, play, and think about the origins and interconnectedness of things. ed,” and “Pursue Growth and Learning.” To attract and retain world-class organizations like these, the Upstate needs a broad creative workforce.

CREATIVE TYPES Creativity is a soft skill sought by employers, so how do individuals meet the needs of business and communities? Artistic careers usually leap to mind when we think of creativity, but there is widespread consensus that creativity is not exclusive to specific personalities, learners, or professionals. Simply, creativity is developing valuable ideas, and innovation is the process of applying them. Albert Einstein noted, “Creativity is intelligence having fun.” Creativity can happen whenever smart people are making connections. In “How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Every Day Genius” (1998), author Michael Gelb asserts that everyone has untapped creative potential. To support this claim, Gelb returns to the Italian Renaissance to reintroduce us to Leonardo da Vinci. He reminds us that da Vinci was both a master artist and a groundbreaking scientist — two roles that seem to be opposites. Not only did da Vinci produce masterpieces like “The Last Supper” and “Mona Lisa,” but he also left a scientific legacy including precursors to modern inventions such as automobiles, planes, helicopters, and more. Gelb identifies behavioral traits that da Vinci practiced — curiosity, willingness to test beliefs, use of the senses, acceptance of uncertainty, balance between art and science, physical fitness and coordination, and focus on connections. Gelb promises that these behaviors will stir creativity in each of us.

NURTURING CREATIVITY As students prepare for careers, schools and colleges are ideal places to build creative genius. From preschools to universities, both in and out of the classroom, educators search for teaching strategies and engagement activities that spark interest and inspire students to find their own creativity. Across colleges, faculty combine subject expertise with creative practices to educate and engage. In addition to traditional courses, they use case studies, problem-based learning, flipped instruction, service learning, honors courses, and research to inspire students. While serious work takes place, learning labs, studios, shops, simulators, clinics, kitchens, and mock courtrooms are intellectual playgrounds that spur creativity. Beyond the classroom, students find inspiration and connections through extracurricular activities. Volunteerism encourages students to combine skills, knowledge, and compassion on behalf of the community. International travel provides structured learning with a dash of adventure. Academic departments and libraries offer talks to expose students to a host of speakers and topics. Even beyond our school days, the potential to be more creative is limitless. To get your creative juices flowing, read, draw, watch, listen, smell, touch, taste, exercise, play, and think about the origins and interconnectedness of things. In the process, your work may become more productive, your intelligence may have some fun, and our communities will become more sustainable because of your increased creativity.





1 MILLION CUPS 1 Million Cups: 1 Million Cups, a Greenville event for local entrepreneurs to meet and present their startups to a peer network of founders, has started its weekly run each Wednesday at Society Hall at 504 Rhett Street. Learn more at Photos by Phil Yanov.


A spelling competition among corporate teams of 4 featuring emcee JDew. Bring your enthusiasm!




Details & Registration Information:


Thursday, March 30 from 6-9 pm at Larkin’s Sawmill To BEE involved, contact Eleanor Vaughn at (864) 467-3458 or

Sponsored by Greenville Journal

24 | ON THE MOVE |









Joined McNair Law Firm P.A. as director of information technology. Blair rejoins the firm after having previously worked as the firm’s technical services manager from 2006–2012 and most recently from Lexington Medical Center, where she was the hospital’s IS support services manager. She earned her Bachelor of Science in business administration at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Hired as the chief operating officer of the YMCA of Greenville. His work history includes employment at Y’s in Nashville, Tenn.; Louisville, Ky.; Raleigh, N.C.; and Winston-Salem, N.C. Most recently, he served as the vice president of the YMCA of Northwestern North Carolina, where he provided key leadership at the Wilkes Family YMCA. Franklin is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University.

Hired by McGregor & Company LLP as an audit manager at their Greenville office. Goessel is a CPA who attended both Clemson University and Furman University. He brings with him 10 years of experience in public practice primarily with commercial, nonprofit, and employee benefit plan audit engagements. He is an active member of the Greenville Chamber of Commerce and enjoys coaching and playing soccer in his free time.

Appointed to the South Carolina Bankruptcy Court’s Advisory Committee on Local Rules and Practice by the Honorable David R. Duncan, chief judge of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the district of South Carolina. The committee, which has seven members, provides suggestions to the court regarding local practices and procedures. McCarrell of Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP focuses on business litigation and will serve on the committee for a one-year term.

Serves as chair of the Better Business Bureau of the Upstate in 2017. Her involvement in the organization’s board dates to 2013, when she previously was part of the events committee and served as secretary of the board and vice chair. Serving as chair for the Bureau involves many roles, including assisting the CEO in carrying out advisory board resolutions. Beach was recently selected to serve as advisory board chair of the Salvation Army and has been active on the legislative committee for the Greenville Chamber of Commerce.

Craig O’Neal, president and CEO of VantagePoint Marketing, has been appointed to the Anderson University MBA Advisory Board, a board of business leaders that provides support and guidance for the university’s graduate business program. With more than 30 years of experience as a business leader and entrepreneur, O’Neal brings expertise in the field of marketing to the board and is helping to position Anderson University as a leader in business education. O’Neal co-founded VantagePoint Marketing in 1993 and has spearheaded the award-winning company’s growth and development for the past 23 years.

LEGAL Roe Cassidy Coates & Price P.A. has hired Jack Griffeth and Ross Plyer. Griffeth and Plyer have decades of experience in the legal profession. Griffeth concentrates his practice on mediation, representing colleges and universities in higher education matters, and insurance defense. Plyer focuses his practice on business and employment litigation, higher education, and insurance law.

ST. FRANCIS FOUNDATION BOARD The Bon Secours Health System has added seven







members to the St. Francis Foundation Board: Dr. Tom Baumgarten is an orthopedic surgeon with Piedmont Orthopaedics Associates. He is the team physician for Furman University, director of St. Francis Sports Medicine, physician dyad leader for the Bon Secours Medical Group, and president of Piedmont Orthopaedic Associates. Gary L. Daniels Jr. is VP and business development officer for Wells Fargo Bank N.A. Pamela Evette is CEO/CFO of Quality Business Solutions Inc. Dr. Alex Garvey Ph.D. is the senior VP of mission at Bon Secours St. Francis. Fred Gilmer III is the executive VP and senior lending officer for Southern First Bank. Sidney Mitchell Jr. is an attorney for Mitchell Ramseur LLC. Sally Russell is a long-standing volunteer with the St. Francis Foundation and a former elementary school teacher.

REAL ESTATE Coldwell Banker Caine recently recognized its top producing agents in property sales and listings from December through the Circle of Excellence program. The Circle of Excellence distinction is awarded to agents within the company’s five offices – Easley, Greenville, Greer, Seneca, and Spartanburg – and

CONTRIBUTE: New hires, promotions, & award winners may be featured in On the Move. Send information and photos to


celebrates $1 million in listing or closing volume, or four units listed or closed. This month’s Circle of Excellence members include Francie Little, Holly West, Jacob Mann, Jake Dickens, Jordan Corbett, Kiersten Bell, Landon Thompson, Linda Wood, Lindsay Blanton, Susan Gallion, Trey Boiter, Victor Lester, and Wanda Stewart. The Circle of Excellence team award is given to four or more agents achieving $2 million in listing/closing volume or eight units listed or closed. This award is given to the Cheves Mussman Ouzts Group.

OUTREACH Julio Hernandez has joined Clemson University’s Office of Inclusion and Equity staff as associate director for Hispanic outreach. Hernandez has 18 years of work experience in higher education admissions, recruiting, financial aid, marketing, public and community relations, student affairs, and business operations. He was campus director for Greenville Technical College, overseeing business operations for all satellite campuses. Hernandez has been involved with A Child’s Haven, Public Education Partners, the Greenville Literacy Association, the Hispanic Alliance Higher Education, Metropolitan Arts Council, Greenville County Workforce Youth Development Committee, and Greenville County College.




Open for business 1

Photo provided

1. Lowes Foods’ Simpsonville location opened Feb. 3. The grocery store is located in the Village Market-East shopping center at Woodruff Road and Sunnydale Drive in the Five Forks area. CONTRIBUTE: Know of a business opening soon? Email information to aturner

Greenville Chamber announces 22 participants in its 2017 Minority Business Accelerator The Greenville Chamber kicked off its 2017 Minority Business Accelerator (MBA) program with 22 new and sustaining participants on Jan. 17. MBA participants represent minority-owned, women-owned, and veteran-owned businesses, as well as businesses that operate in low- to moderate-income communities throughout Upstate South Carolina. Inaugural class participant awards: The Accelerate Award was presented to Ava Smith with Flat Fee Recruiting. The Leadership Award was presented to Rich Hagins with US&S Inc. The Community Impact Award was presented to Carlo White with WH Trucking. The Advocacy Award was presented to Robert Chandler with IG Global LLC. The Partnership Award was presented to Jeff and Emily Alfonso, owners of Alfonso Interpreting and Transporting LLC. The Excellence Award was presented to James Jordon with JCC Construction LLC. The Champion Award was presented to the MBA program’s greatest champion, Toby Stansell, CEO of Acumen IT. The Coaches Award was presented to Erwin Carter, CEO of Newbold Services. The Corporate Partner Award was presented to Louise Connell, supplier diversity manager for BMW Manufacturing. The MBA Partner Award was presented to David Willis with NuLevel Strategic Solutions LLC. The 22 participants chosen for the MBA program’s second class after an intense acceptance process are James Richard, AAA Care; Jeff Alfonso, Alfonso Interpreting; Sergio Burnside, Allstar Meats; Delores Lewis Watkins, Cornerstone Salon and Spa; Jeannette Houchens, HIT Services; Robert Chandler, IG Global; James White, James White Enterprise; Shawn Jefferson, Karidan Logistics; Tammy Johnson, High Spirits Hospitality; Simon McClain, M&T Technologies; Lindsey Holder, Organic Tan; Amy Pecoraro, PECULIAR LLC; Brenda Ligon, Precept Staffing Inc.; Tracy Ware, Primary Choice; William Wilson, SC Solar Energy; JoAnne LaBounty, Spartanburg Meat Processing Co.; David Mitchell, Talent Solutions; Anita Garrett, The Weathers Group; Kenzie Biggins, Uniquely Virtual; James Bennett, Upstate Home Care Solutions; James Jordon, JCC; Carlo White, WH Trucking; and Luis Rodriguez, Wrap & Roll Graphics.


26 | #TRENDING |




>Danielle Bryson “Something other than apartments. Everywhere I turn they are building more apartments.”

RE: WADE’S RESTAURANTS WILL END ICONIC BILLBOARD CAMPAIGN AFTER 22 YEARS >Alan Jenkins “Noooo! I love this campaign! I guess it’s for very good reasons.” >MaryAnn Best Myers “Now they all need to be published as a coffeetable book, listing the date of each with its creator!”

RE: SINCE YOU CAN’T PREDICT THE FUTURE, YOU SHOULD TRY TO CREATE IT >@PalmettoAngel “Insightful stuff from the antifragile Matt Dunbar.”

>> CONNECT WITH US We’re great at networking.


FEBRUARY 10, 2017

Natural the

went from Michelle Higdon om, the barn to the boardro ies helping compan nationwide get where they want to go

| VOL. 6 ISSUE 6

DIGITAL FLIPBOOK ARCHIVE >> The layout of print meets the convenience of the Web. Flip through the digital editions of any of our print issues, and see them all in one place. >> upstatebusinessjournal. com/past-issues










>> 442

1. Spartanburg businesswoman expanding yoga concept Zen Studios

>> 374 >> 251

Got something to offer? Get it off your chest. We’re looking for expert guest bloggers from all industries to contribute to the UBJ Exchange. Send posts or blog ideas to

RE: COLLIERS: UPSTATE INDUSTRIAL PROPERTY MARKET IS ONE TO WATCH >@tsfeemster “Depending what the Prez does with international trade, this market will follow.”

3. Major Verdae subdivision will add to Laurens Road corridor development

>> 178 4. Menkoi’s North Main Street location opens Friday

>> 82 5. Developers from Atlanta, Charlotte eye County Square redevelopment

RE: MENKOI’S NORTH MAIN STREET LOCATION OPENS FRIDAY >Linda Fung “I’ll definitely be by with some coworkers soon!” >Matthew Foster “It was delicious. Went there for lunch today. They are going to crush it at lunchtime.”

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MARCH 17 THE INNOVATION ISSUE What’s the big idea(s)?

Will Crooks


Mark B. Johnston


Ryan L. Johnston


Chris Haire


Jerry Salley



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

Bo Leslie | Tammy Smith


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


ADVERTISING DESIGN Kristy Adair | Michael Allen

1997 Jackson Dawson launches motorsports Division 1993

1990 Jackson Dawson

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


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


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

1998 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 Jackson Dawson changes name to Jackson marketing Group when larry sells his partnership in Detroit and lA 2003

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-prof 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

APRIL 7 THE PERSONAL FINANCE ISSUE Keeping your bottom line top of mind.

pro-bono/non-proFit / Clients lients 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 nit inVolVeMent nitY in olV inV olVe VeMent & 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

CLIENT SERVICES Anita Harley | Jane Rogers



Order a reprint today, PDFs available for $25. For more information, contact Anita Harley 864.679.1205 or

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CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Sherry Jackson, Melinda Young

MARKETING & ADVERTISING SALES REPRESENTATIVES Nicole Greer, Donna Johnston, Annie Langston, Lindsay Oehmen, Rosie Peck, Caroline Spivey, Emily Yepes

APRIL 28 THE DIVERSITY ISSUE There’s room for the whole spectrum of backgrounds, ideas, and talents.


Emily Pietras Trevor Anderson, Rudolph Bell, David Dykes, Cindy Landrum, Andrew Moore, Ariel Turner


Got any thoughts? Care to contribute? Let us know at ideas@ UBJ welcomes expert commentary from business leaders on timely news topics related to their specialties. Guest columns run 700-800 words. Contact managing editor Jerry Salley at to submit an article for consideration. Circulation Audit by

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Copyright ©2016 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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Feb. 17, 2017 UBJ  

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

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