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MARCH 2, 2018 | VOL. 7 ISSUE 9




CONNECTION Will Crooks/Upstate Business Journal



VOLUME 7, ISSUE 9 Featured this issue: Brickyard Greenville wants to help small biz and startups................................4 The Spark: Thoughts on the inland port....................................................................7 Meet CU-ICAR’s new executive director..................................................................12

Contractors from Saluda Construction, who headed up work on the new Village of West Greenville plaza, took part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony Feb. 22, 2018. Photo by Will Crooks

WORTH REPEATING “We had a request for Wolof, which is a language in Senegal.” Yuri Ivanov, Page 14

“For the first time, essentially, manufacturers have to pay attention to marketing.” Charles Richardson, Page 16

“A few years ago, Hispanics became the country’s largest minority.” E. Richard Walton, Page 18 2

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On GHS “A locally owned GHS means we have community leadership committed to providing access to high-quality and affordable health care.” Greenville Chamber President and CEO Carlos Phillips, in a Feb. 26 statement on the local ownership of GHS







Next Ventures Accelerator program Techstars Atlanta coming to Greenville for startup search ANDREW MOORE | STAFF Techstars Atlanta will be visiting Greenville next month as part of its nationwide search for startups. Presented in partnership with Cox Enterprises, the accelerator program annually selects a group of 10 startups to participate in a three-month program that provides expertise, funding, and office space to help them accelerate their businesses.

ing Director Michael Cohn said in a statement. “We’re doing this by accelerating great startups already based here, but also by bringing international entrepreneurs to Atlanta. With the support of Cox Enterprises, we’re able to connect them with one of the city’s leading corporations. It’s a winning combination.” Cohn and other leaders from Techstars Atlanta plan to meet with local startups at NEXT on Main in downtown Greenville on



The program culminates with Demo Day, where angel investors and venture capitalists learn about the participants’ businesses, according to a press release. Approximately 75 percent of Techstars’ participants have received follow-on funding and/or become profitable soon after the conclusion of their three-month program. “One of the goals of Techstars Atlanta is to help shine a light on our city as a hotbed for innovation,” Techstars Atlanta’s Manag-

Thursday, March 8, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Techstars Atlanta is seeking applicants that are focused on social media platforms, cloudbased data, predictive analytics, cybersecurity, human-computer interaction, blockchain, cybersecurity, marketplaces, SaaS, and digital-native B2C businesses. Applications will be accepted here through April 8. The program will begin on July 16 and end with Demo Day on Oct. 15.

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5:30 - 7:00 PM






Serendipity Labs Coworking inks deal for Plush Mill site in Greenville The former Piedmont Plush Mill located on Highway 123 between downtown and the Village of West Greenville soon will be home to a new model of coworking — Serendipity Labs — an upscale hospitality brand offering a flexible workplace option for large companies, mobile professionals, and independent workers. This will be the first location for Serendipity Labs Coworking in South Carolina, said Trey Scott, a veteran hotel professional and entrepreneur who is the franchise owner of the location slated to open this summer. Shelby Dodson of CBRE represented the landlord, and Conor Brennan with JLL in Charlotte, N.C., represented the tenant in the transaction. Mark Peters of Fountain Inn bought the dilapidated industrial complex at 200 Easley Bridge Road in October 2016 with plans to renovate the 24,000-square-foot historic mill building into creative office space. The original development built in 1925, now called Plush Mill, was designed by J.E. Sirrine, a local architect whose projects, including the Poinsett Hotel, Greenville High School, Parker High School, Camp Sevier, and the Greenville Country Club, helped shape modern Greenville. The redevelopment will keep the open space, high ceilings, original flooring, exposed brick walls, and skylights. “Serendipity Labs isn’t your typical co-working experience,” Scott said. “Just like the Plush Mill site isn’t your typical location. We believe the renovation and rebirth of this historic structure will be one of the most talked about developments in Greenville for quite some time.” Recognizable to passersby because of its bank of 24-pane glass windows, the 2.94-acre site was recently annexed into Greenville city limits in anticipation of its rebirth as Serendipity Labs. “We are taking something old in Greenville and making it new again,” Scott said. “That goes for the building and the traditional coworking model.” 4

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Rendering provided by Serendipity Labs

“We work to ensure our Labs support the culture and values of our members and client companies. We are an upscale, enterprise-class network, not just another pretty space.” Serendipity Labs was founded by industry leader John Arenas in 2011 with a singular vision: to build a network of inspirational members-only workplaces, combining state-of-the-art workplace design, technology, and security with the highest hospitality service-level to deliver a peerless workplace experience. With 10 locations currently open in large metropolitan markets and 125 under development, it is expanding with company-owned, managed, and franchised locations in urban, suburban, and secondary markets using the same model as the hotel industry. Serendipity Labs is designed to encourage serendipitous interactions that result in new ideas and business connections through a variety of work-style settings and events which will be curated by local Greenville staff. “This is corporate coworking,” said Arenas, Serendipity Labs’ Chairman and CEO. “We work to ensure our Labs support the culture and values of our members and client companies. We are an upscale, enterprise-class network, not just another pretty space.”

According to Arenas, 45 percent of its current members come from well-recognized companies, 20 percent are startups, and 35 percent are independent professionals in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. More than 40 percent are women — double the industry average. Arenas said growth potential and proximity to Atlanta are key reasons the company, along with Scott, chose Greenville for its first South Carolina location. “Every city that has an office market is going to need a coworking solution,” he said. “It is going to be part of the office portfolio and real-estate solution for every company in the future. Local Greenville business and companies based out of Atlanta need flexible, shared offices, and coworking they can trust.” Coworking now constitutes 27 million square feet of office space. Emergent Research predicts it will double in the next two years — a 23.8 percent compounded annual growth rate. Serendipity Labs offers memberships that include dedicated offices, team rooms, and fulltime and part-time coworking. Each Lab has meeting rooms, private focus and wellness rooms, a work lounge, Lab Café, and visual studios with full A/V capabilities. It is also available for business meetings and offsite events. Corporate memberships are also available. Existing Greenville coworking options include Atlas Local, located inside the redeveloped Brandon Mill; Endeavor Greenville in the ONE Building; The Wheelhouse at 25 Delano Drive; Textile Hall in the Village of West Greenville; and Society Hall at 504 Rhett St. in the West End.




Brickyard Greenville co-working space targets early-stage small businesses and startups Bandwagon founder and local entrepreneur Harold Hughes spent the last couple of years jetting all over the country, meeting investors, raising funds, and learning from those who’ve successfully started their own companies to get his own startup off the ground. But he doesn’t want anyone else in Greenville to have to do the same thing, spending months away from their home and families and away from the businesses they’re trying to grow. Enter Brickyard Greenville, a new Greenville Chamber of Commerce-backed co-working option under construction in the NextManufacturing Center at 400 Birnie St. Ext., Greenville, that co-founders Hughes and Sydney Cooke, also executive director, are launching. The organization is geared toward small businesses and startups that could benefit from pooled resources to help take them to the next level. Cooke says Brickyard is currently accepting applications and should be ready to roll in its physical space early this month. “The reason I wanted to do this was because I had to fly to San Francisco and fly to New York and Austin and drive to Durham and Atlanta, and what I was gathering and learning in all those places, I want people to learn faster here,” Hughes says. “What it took me two flights to San Francisco to learn, I want people to be able to gather in one trip to the West End.” Cooke says what they discovered was that there are available programs in Greenville built to help people who are two to three years into their business, such as the





Chamber’s Minority Business Accelerator or NEXT, but not a lot of resources for those less established. “Because of how we’ve framed it, we’re focusing on early-stage startups, these emerging growth companies that have hit this number — 250, 300, 400 thousand dollars of revenue — how do you get to that next leap?” Hughes says. “So what if we could help you get the education for where you are when you need it?” Cooke says many of those necessary resources likely exist in Greenville already, but new businesses and entrepreneurs may not know how to access them and certainly not all in one central location. The 3,400-square-foot Brickyard facility in the NextManufacturing Center features co-working space with dedicated and floating desks, phone booths for privacy, a conference room, and event space Hughes says they plan to use for community events. Business-related events such as the Chamber’s MBA program and 1 Million Cups will be held there as well. Currently, usage rates for Brickyard are as follows: dedicated desk, $299/month; floating desk, $199/ month; nights & weekends, $149/ month; student, $79/month (special deals for Clemson and other supporting university students); and day pass $10/day. 3.2.2018 |

Join us for an evening honoring CREW Upstate Award Recipients. (See catagories below)







ProTrans unveils new 230,000-square-foot facility in Spartanburg County TREVOR ANDERSON | STAFF Upstate leaders welcomed a new logistics operation to the region on Thursday, Feb. 22. Indiana-based ProTrans, a third-party logistics provider that has had a presence in the area for about eight years, officially opened its new 230,000-square-foot facility in Spartanburg County. The facility is on 20 acres at 410 Global Commerce Drive at the Greenville-Spartanburg Airport International Logistics Park next door to the South Carolina Ports Authority’s Inland Port Greer. Indiana-based ProTrans will initially serve BMW from its new Upstate facility, but company leaders hope to add more business in the future. “There is no question that ProTrans is here to stay,” said Gary Cardenas, president of ProTrans, during a ceremony. “We are cementing our roots here. We want to continue to grow. We want to continue to create jobs and make a difference in the community.” ProTrans’ new facility was developed by Illinois-based CenterPoint Properties. CenterPoint developed the inland port and an adjacent export facility of more than 416,000 square feet for BMW Manufacturing Co. A nearly 300,000-square-foot addition to BMW’s operation is currently under construction. Project officials said ProTrans will initially service BMW, but Cardenas said the new facility will aid his company’s efforts to “diversify” its customer base. Michael Murphy, chief development officer for CenterPoint, praised ProTrans, local leaders, and others involved in the project, including Greenville-based Evans General Contractors, Cornerstone Architects, the engineering firm Kimley-Horn, and Spartanburg-based Clary Hood Inc. Greer Mayor Rick Danner recalled when officials cut the ribbon for the inland port in 2013. “At that ribbon-cutting, I said, ‘This facility and the surrounding development will make Greer the premier location for logistics and distribution on the East Coast of the United States,’” Danner said. “I’m not that good at predicting football games or horse races, so I 6

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The company said the facility, developed by CenterPoint Properties, will help support its growing customer base. Photo courtesy of ProTrans.

can’t help you in that regard. But we are already seeing the fruits of what that investment in that location is doing for logistics and distribution in this area.” ProTrans employees cut the ribbon for the new facility near Greer. “It is amazing the amount of growth that we have seen in the last five years from suppliers across the U.S. and international[ly] as they find our area and this location,” Danner added. Carter Smith, executive vice president of Spartanburg County’s Economic Futures Group,

said ProTrans’ new facility is another sign that the inland port is helping the Upstate capitalize on several modes of transportation, including rail, truck, and air. “This all speaks to how you move product in and out,” Smith said. “The efficient use of various forms of intermodal transportation is good here. We continue to see growth.” Cardenas said the facility has created about 60 jobs so far and the company is still hiring. He asked job seekers to visit the company’s website.


230,000 total square feet 7,500 square feet of office space 2,500 square feet of warehouse office space 80 dock doors 2 level drive-in doors 137 trailer positions



The Spark Happenings in Upstate Biz with Trevor Anderson Five years ago, about 250 state and local business leaders huddled together near a tent on a 100-acre patch of dirt just east of downtown Greer. The air was chilly March 1, 2013, as former Gov. Nikki Haley, S.C. Ports Authority President and CEO Jim Newsome, Sens. Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham, and a few others gripped the wooden handles of their shovels. There was a momentary pause, followed by an explosion of camera flashes and then the “Psssht” sound of metal striking dirt accompanied by the smell of freshly turned earth. Officials said then that the State Ports Authority’s inland port in Spartanburg County would spur economic development and improve the efficiency of freight movement between this region and the Port of Charleston via Norfolk Southern rail. “This is a historic day for South Carolina,” Haley said. “This signals that not only are we open for business, but we mean business. ... It shows that we’re serious and that we’re ahead of the game.” Since that day, BMW Manufacturing Co., the inland port’s largest user,


has been named the nation’s top automotive exporter four years running. Greenville-based Michelin North America has contributed to the state becoming the top tire exporter in the U.S. Part of the Upstate BMW plant’s export operation is housed in a 400,000-square-foot facility beside the inland port. Another 300,000-square-foot warehouse is nearing completion next door. And Illinois-based CenterPoint Properties is clearing land for another large warehouse near the new 230,000-square-foot home of Indiana-based third-party logistics provider ProTrans’ new home at GSP International Logistics Park. The sum of these parts shows the Upstate has turned the corner from being “open for business” to being “brisk business.” And Spartanburg County is at the center of it all. Spartanburg has attracted more than $4 billion in new investment and thousands of jobs since the start of 2014. Ports Authority leaders thought the inland port could handle 100,000 rail moves by its 2018 fiscal year. We are well ahead of those projections: The facility finished the 2017 fiscal year having completed a record 121,761 rail moves. This past week, the Ports Authority reported the inland port’s volume is already up 4 percent during the 2018 fiscal year. The concept has worked so well that the Ports Authority is building a second inland port in Dillon County. Before the inland port, goods were primarily transported from the Upstate by truck to Charleston and other nearby ports. The facility has transformed our region into an intermodal hub, and it continues to fuel economic growth, particularly in manufacturing. That means more jobs, more money to spend on goods and services, and more opportunity for our children and our community. No matter how you look at it, that’s good business.


1116 South Main Street, Greenville, SC 29601

864.467.9800 |

Investment products and services are offered through Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, LLC (WFAFN), Member SIPC, a registered broker-dealer and a separate non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company. Nachman Norwood & Parrott is a separate entity from WFAFN.

3.2.2018 |






Topgolf makes its Greenville location official

Alpha Mode: With the Owners of Sidewall Pizza

As the Upstate Business Journal previously reported, global sports entertainment leader Topgolf® on Feb. 27 officially announced Greenville as its next location. Topgolf will begin construction on the 55,000-square-foot venue this spring, and it is expected to open to the public in summer 2019. It will be located on a 77-acre property near the intersection of Pelham and Garlington roads, anchoring Garlington Park, a new mixed-used development along I-85 that is currently under construction for occupancy in 2019. “We welcome Topgolf to Greenville County and the Upstate, with its unique entertainment and event venue that is attractive to families, individuals, and groups,”

Upstate Business Journal is pleased to present the second installment of Alpha Mode, its new, digital feature that appears the first Friday of each month on, in partnership QLI International LLC. This month’s Alpha Mode, “Conversations with Next-Level Leaders,” features Andy O’Mara and Loren Frant, owners of Sidewall Pizza Company.  They opened their first Sidewall location in Travelers Rest in January 2015. A downtown Greenville location opened in 2016, and a Pelham Road location followed in 2017.  They also recently opened Rocket Surgery, a craft cocktail bar, in Travelers Rest. They will be adding

said Greenville County Council Chairman Butch Kirven. “We appreciate the jobs and economic benefits Topgolf brings to our community and wish them great success.” Players can hit golf balls with computer microchips to track the distance and accuracy of shots. Topgolf Greenville will create 325 full- and part-time jobs. The three-level venue would also feature approximately 1,500 square feet of private event space and 72 climatecontrolled hitting bays that can host up to six players at a time. Residents can track Topgolf’s progress in Greenville at  facebook. com/topgolfgreenville and @Topgolf on Twitter and Instagram. -Ariel Turner

Monkey Wrench Smokehouse, a barbecue restaurant, to Main Street in Travelers Rest early this year.

ALPHA MODE Before opening Sidewall, neither O’Mara nor Frant had ever worked in a restaurant. Rather, Andy brings over 15 years of entrepreneurship to their restaurant ventures, and Loren brings experience managing large teams, budgets, and projects. Partners in business and partners in life, the couple live in Travelers Rest with their son and their dog. -Staff Repotrt

Athletic, yet elegant. The 2018 C 300 Coupe


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Greer-based North American Rescue Huntington Solutions announces acquires JTM Training Group acquisition of TrimTec Systems Greer-based North American Rescue has acquired JTM Training Group in Las Vegas. North American Rescue provides casualty care solutions to uniformed soldiers, first responders, health care professionals, and security forces both at home and abroad, according to a news release. JTM has more than 20 years of experience providing tactical and medical training to military, law enforcement, EMS, and first responder personnel. “North American Rescue has always been committed to equipping the warfighter and first responders with what they need to save lives,” Robert Castellani, CEO of North American Rescue LLC, said in the release. “We are pleased to bring the JTM team onboard.”

“We are confident that JTM’s solutions will enable us to exceed expectations for leading-edge education and training experiences and that the options of online, inperson, or even mobile training events will provide accessibility to premium training that meets and exceeds requirements,” Castellani added. JTM Training Group plans to change its name to North American Rescue Education and Training and transition to new branding during the second quarter. -Andrew Moore

Huntington Solutions, a provider of custom-engineered expanded polystyrene and expanded polypropylene molded foam solutions, has acquired TrimTec Systems, a central Ohio-based specialized manufacturer of custom fabricated EPS and industrial packaging solutions. “TrimTec is a great addition to the Huntington organization and will allow us to quickly expand the range of product offerings to our existing customer base while also further expanding our geographic reach in the Midwest market,” said Ed Flynn, president of Huntington Solutions. Huntington Solutions is a portfolio company of Mill Point Capital, a New York-based private equity firm.

The company currently operates four production facilities across the country that specialize in the production and assembly of key components utilized in protective packaging, energy absorbing safety materials, and temperature controlled containers, according to Flynn. -Andrew Moore

Fun on a global scale Membership Means More Upstate

The Benefits of Corporate International Month | March 1-31 Sponsorship

diversity; a chance to see, taste, hear, and touch If your company has international employees, international business interests, far corners of the world without the ofUpstate. or if you simply recognize leaving the important nature this investment, Corporate • Connect. World Affairs Council Upstate, the International Women’s Club, Annual membership in Upstate International means more A celebration of global abundant opportunities to experience the world. International Book Club, and International Men’s Club provide outstanding networking and socializing opportunities.

Membership can benefit your organization in a number of ways:

UIM promotes our rich cultural diversity, heritage, and global connections. • Enhanced image and increased visibility as a visionary company with ties to

• Communicate. Language Classes taught by native speakers are available

South Carolina and the world.

exclusively to members. Plus, free access to weekly Spanish and English • Networking opportunities amid a forward-thinking, globally-minded business

Conversation Clubs. • Access. Invitations to exclusive programs and events—and free admission to UI’s member programs such as the Annual Membership Meeting, Humanitarian Outreach Luncheons, and Religious Traditions Awareness Forums.

community that shares our humanity. • Preferred access to educational opportunities including language classes, Distinguished Speakers Series, cross-cultural training, traditional ethnic

• Discounts. Special reduced prices on ticketed events, including: Global

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Connection Receptions, the International Gala, and Distinguished Speaker events.

9 S. Memminger Street We | Greenville, SC to 29601 | 864.631.2188 Invite You Learn More and

• Information. Monthly newsletters and e-blasts detailing internationally-related events across the Upstate, and the “World News Update” through World (864) 213-8000 2446 Laurens Road Greenville, SC 29607

Affairs Councils of America.

Join Our Global Community

More importantly, your membership supports our vision for an inclusive Upstate that respects and celebrates global diversity. Individual memberships are $50 and Family Memberships are just $75. In addition to memberships, sponsorships by

individuals and organizations jump start new programs and further UI’s outreach.

3.2.2018 |







Two years ago, while volunteering at Fall for Greenville as a cashier selling event tickets, Ramon Nieves-Lugo overheard some attendees in conversation. They were speaking Spanish, and as a Spanish-speaker himself, he began to engage with the visitors. He made a mental note of the exchange, and when it came time to give ideas to the event’s marketing committee about ways to improve Fall for Greenville, he revisited that conversation and put forward the idea of recruiting speakers of various languages as volunteers for the event. In 2017, he was able to see his idea come to life, as about 100 volunteers wore language buttons identifying themselves as speakers of 15 different languages at that year’s event. For Nieves-Lugo, it was satisfying. “I was there the whole time. I love it,” he says. “Normally, language is the first barrier toward someone feeling included,” Nieves-Lugo adds. Nieves-Lugo has made a career out of bridging cultural gaps and fighting for inclusion, as founder and principal of UniComm Media Group, a marketing agency that helps businesses understand the Hispanic market in order to include them in their marketing efforts. For the past nine years, he has been a voice that helps bring traditional marketing efforts into the Hispanic community and make them more effective. Nieves-Lugo was born in Puerto Rico, and he learned English through a private school on the island. When it came time to go to college, he moved to Greenville to attend Bob Jones University, where he worked toward a degree in marketing. But upon graduation, the recession hit, and Nieves-Lugo decided to go out on his own. “A friend of mine mentioned to me that there was a big need for a Hispanic marketing agency,” he says. So, he pitched the idea to his brother, Gustavo, and soon they were starting work out of their parents’ house. Nine years later, the agency has retained its entrepreneurial edge and remains the leader in Hispanic-focused marketing. “In our space as an agency, we know and understand the Hispanic community better than anybody else,” Nieves-Lugo says. He adds, with a small laugh, that he tires of seeing lawn signs


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plastered with “Se Habla Espanol” as the extent of a business’s bilingual marketing plan. “That is not an effective strategy; it is not connecting with your audience.” Rather, Nieves-Lugo wants companies to really focus on the Hispanic market just as they would with any other market segment — and to truly try to connect with the population around them. If they don’t know how to do that, he says, the solution is behind the walls at UniComm. “We really want businesses to come to us to get to the Hispanic community,” he says. That community makes up a little less than 10 percent of the overall population in the Upstate, with Greenville having the largest percentage of RAMON’S THREE C’S OF MARKETING TO THE HISPANIC COMMUNITY

Communication. What language does the community speak that you are going after? Are they bilingual? Do they speak a mix of Spanish and English? A Mexican audience might have certain vocabulary or words that others don’t use, for example. Language is important; and that communication piece is, too. Culture. What’s the culture for that target audience you’re going after? Who are they, and how do they interact with other cultures, or among themselves? Develop content based on that culture and what you know about them. Community. How is the community you are trying to reach made up? How is it structured? What are you trying to achieve? What is the right Hispanic audience for what you are trying to sell? Once you determine the answers to these questions, use those filters to see how you can better reach the Hispanic community. Hispanic inhabitants in the region. In some areas, however, that population becomes far denser. Berea, for example, has about a 26 percent Hispanic population, Nieves-Lugo says. Many people within that population may be affected by ongoing

issues like immigration or DACA — if not directly, then certainly within their families and communities. Those challenges can hinder the development and growth of Hispanic businesses — which typically are hiring and paying taxes like any other business in the area. Since starting UniComm Media Group almost a decade ago, Nieves-Lugo has become a force — not only through the agency, but within the community, as well. In addition to his service both on the marketing committee and now as the chairman of the volunteer committee for Fall for Greenville, he works alongside the South Carolina Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, where his mother, Evelyn Lugo, serves as president. Through the chamber, which has about 300 members, he teaches marketing to Hispanic-owned businesses to help them, too, connect to the community around them. Separately, Nieves-Lugo serves as chair of the Hispanic Business Council through the Greenville Chamber of Commerce, as well as vice chair of Latinos United, a grass-roots organization under the umbrella of the United Way. “We are really passionate about being role models to young Latinos, and reaching them through self-empowerment and higher education and volunteering,” he says. “We really want to make an impact there.” In a less formal way, Nieves-Lugo is also making an impact abroad — in his home of Puerto Rico. Much of the island is still suffering from the effects of Hurricane Maria, and Nieves-Lugo, along with a number of other Puerto Ricans, have worked together to meet needs — providing generators, toys, water, or anything else that they hear of. In the end, Nieves-Lugo has one goal: to create connections between people. “There is a misconception that the Hispanic community wants to be off in our own space, but I don’t think that’s true,” he says. “We want to be part of the community just as anyone else is part of the community; we want to be part of that fabric of Greenville. There are some barriers — like language and just the culture itself — but we want to be part of the community. I am just one example.”


“We really want businesses to come to us to get to the Hispanic community.” -Ramon Nieves-Lugo 3.2.2018 |


“The ‘A’ in ‘ICAR’ will always stand for ‘automotive.’ But many of the core technologies that have been developed in the automotive space are also applicable to the energy, aerospace, and appliance industries.” -Nick Rigas


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Clemson University has appointed Nick Rigas as executive director of its International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) in Greenville. Rigas replaces Fred Cartwright, who headed CU-ICAR for six years. Cartwright resigned last - Mobility year to take over as president of Pruv Ecosystem, an Indiana-based company developing smart infrastructure test beds for connected, autonomous, and advanced propulsion technologies. “I’m really excited for the opportunity to lead CU-ICAR into the future,” said Rigas, who was also recently appointed associate vice president for Strategic Initiatives at Clemson. “To work with Clemson on the larger initiatives again, it’s really invigorating.” Rigas brings decades of experience in the energy industry to CU-ICAR. After graduating with a doctorate in chemical engineering from Washington University in St. Louis in 1991, Rigas was named director of manufacturing and technology at Charlotte, N.C.-based FMC Corp., where he led the expansion of the company’s lithium manufacturing capabilities in India, Argentina, and China. He was then hired to serve as vice president of Chicago-based EcoEnergy, where he was responsible for the development of more than 3,000 megawatts of wind-power projects throughout the country. More recently, Rigas served as executive director of the Clemson University Restoration Institute (CURI) in North Charleston and oversaw the construction of the $98 million SCE&G Energy Innovation Center. The center, which was funded by a $45 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and $53 million in private and state contributions, houses the world’s most advanced wind-turbine drivetrain testing facility capable of full-scale highly accelerated mechanical and electrical testing of advanced drivetrain systems for wind turbines. Rigas also served as principal investigator on a $10 million grant from the Department of Energy to build a grid simulator at CURI. The 15-megawatt hardware-in-the-loop grid simula-

tor can simulate the electrical grid of any country in the world, according to a news release. “Nick has already done wonderful things for Clemson with the vision and realization of the Energy Innovation Center and Zucker Family Graduate Education Center in Charleston,” said Angie Leidinger, vice president of external affairs at Clemson University. “By utilizing his ability to bring together the great minds within the university as well as strategic corporate and international partners, I fully expect he will be able to take CU-ICAR along the same path as the automotive world enters one of the most consequential transitions in history.” Rigas said his vision for CU-ICAR is not just to oversee the daily operations but also to work closely with industry. He also plans to leverage resources in the automotive engineering department and the college of engineering, computing, and applied sciences to grow the research and education programs. “Let’s be honest, when industry engages with us, their primary concern is what can we do for their workforce,” Rigas said. “By keeping that in mind, it helps shape what we do both on the educational and research side here at CU-ICAR. If we’re going to be developing the engineers of the future, we want to make sure they’re properly prepared to meet those needs.” Opened in 2007, CU-ICAR is a 250-acre advanced-technology research campus that offers one of the only automotive engineering graduate programs in the nation. The two-year program has so far graduated more than 180 master’s and Ph.D. students. CU-ICAR is currently supported by more than a dozen industry partners (BMW, Michelin, etc.) that provide machinery, equipment, student fellowships, and internships. Research at the center is focused on seven automotive areas, including advanced powertrains, vehicular electronics, manufacturing and materials, vehicle-to-vehicle infrastructure, vehicle performance, human factors, and systems integration. Rigas said automotive research will remain a point of emphasis for CU-ICAR but that he plans to explore partnerships with other industries in the coming years.

“The ‘A’ in ‘ICAR’ will always stand for ‘automotive,’” he said. “But many of the core technologies that have been developed in the automotive space are also applicable to the energy, aerospace, and appliance industries. They share a lot of the same challenges.” He added that additional partnerships could also help manufacturers across the state combat the ongoing skills gap by exposing students to other industries and careers. Ninety-five percent of CU-ICAR graduates are employed in the automotive industry. About a quarter are employed in South Carolina. More than 1,800 manufacturers, including about 460 foreign companies, currently call the Upstate home, according to Upstate SC Alliance, a  regional economic development organization. Manufacturing accounts for $13.3 billion, about 22 percent, of the region’s nearly $60 billion gross regional product. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the industry supports 107,837 jobs regionally, which comprises 21 percent of the Upstate’s workforce not including state and federal government jobs. But the skills gap is widening, and over the next decade, 2 million of the projected 3.4 million manufacturing jobs expected to come online will be unfilled, according to the Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte Consulting LLP. Rigas said CU-ICAR would also put a larger emphasis on workforce development in the coming years to help students and industry partners learn and develop advanced manufacturing techniques and technologies, especially robotics. “He’s ramping up quickly,” said Zoran Filipi, chairman of the automotive engineering department and executive director of the Carroll A. Campbell Graduate Engineering Center at CUICAR. “In particular, Nick embraced the vision for the new umbrella organization in manufacturing, the Center for Advanced Manufacturing, and is on the forefront of discussions regarding plans for the expansion of the Greenville campus.”

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The economic and political chaos caused by the collapse of the former Soviet Union prompted Yuri Ivanov in 1997 to follow a job opportunity in software localization to Greenville. Born and raised in Moscow, Russia, the 51-year-old Ivanov observed a need for foreign translation services in the Upstate. He launched his company, Ivannovation Language Management, in 1998. The company specializes in localizing, or translating, technical documents, user guides, proposals, and marketing materials for the software, construction, and manufacturing industries, as well as the user interface for websites, apps, and software programs. Since its inception, Ivannovation has translated in more than 100 languages and built a translator network of more than 400 people across the globe. The company serves more than 100 customers ranging from small local firms to large global companies. Ivanov and his wife, Galina Ivanov, who is also a native of Russia, have one daughter, Dasha, who is 6.

What led you to the Upstate? I served in the Russian air force from 1988 through 1993, climbing to the rank of senior lieutenant. I have been everywhere except Australia and South America. … Dating back to the 1850s, every man in my family was an officer in the [Russian] air force or navy. … When I retired from the air force, I found a job in Greenville as a software localization professional.

How did you become interested in software localization? I had majored in Chinese and English. In the early 1990s, I became interested in the products that were showing up. I actually worked on the localization of some early products. That got me on the path of learning to code a little bit. I don’t really have a formal software development education. I guess you could say I’m self-taught. … After the Soviet Union collapsed, the situation became bad in terms of economics. Things were 14

UBJ | 3.2.2018

unstable. There was no country. I just didn’t want to live under those circumstances. I wanted something better for my family. I have been a [U.S.] citizen for 11 years.

How did Ivannovation come to be? I recognized there was a need. There were companies that really didn’t know what to do, how it works, or where to go. So I gathered a few software engineers and a number of very qualified translators and started the company.

Has Ivannovation ever come across a language that it could not translate? I can’t say that we’ve translated in every language, but I can say it has not happened that we have not found a qualified translator. The way it works is that you need to find a translator in the country for which you are translating. If someone’s asking me to translate in Spanish and they want to do it in Mexico, we find a qualified, highly trained person in Mexico.

What is it that excited you about your job? There is always something new. No matter how many times we have translated in a language, there’s always something new. … So there’s always learning. We are very proud to promote connectivity and conversation between different cultures. We help eliminate frustration that comes from communication problems. I meet a lot of people from a lot of different businesses in a lot of different industries. I learn a lot from all of them.

What does your customer base look like? We serve some major automotive manufacturers, not just in the Upstate, but across the country, as well as major aircraft manufacturers, engine manufacturers, and some major software companies around the world. We have more

than 100 customers of all sizes, from teeny tiny to very big corporations. We have four employees, but our subcontractor network includes more than 400 people all over the world. Then we also partner with software engineers and desktop publishing professionals. … We don’t currently have an office. We are completely online. It’s really an advantage because we can work from anywhere out of the cloud.

Are there any languages Ivannovation is seeing emerge in the Upstate? I can’t say we’re getting more requests for any certain language. Chinese and Japanese have both been popular historically. There’s also German, Spanish, and French.

What is the strangest language your company has ever translated? We had a request for Wolof, which is a language in Senegal. It took us about a week or so, but we found a translator. The job did not go through, but that would have been interesting.

How does the future look for Ivannovation? The future looks great. I’ve been asked in recent years, ‘How do the internet and technology affect your business?’ The simple truth is that things like Google Translate have no effect on our business. As soon as you step through the door of a factory or office, you can no longer speak the general language. We are working very seriously to provide technology that is customized to our clients’ needs. It’s kind of like this: You and I can talk about bees and how they make honey all day. But if I want to learn how to breed them, I need to go to a specialist. That’s really where I see our company going. We will be that specialist and will help you translate your technical, legal, or software terminology. … I see our future in quality control. … We are very professional in every step. Linguistic nuances in the professional arena are extremely important.



“I can’t say that we’ve translated in every language, but I can say it has not happened that we have not found a qualified translator.” -Yuri Ivanov





Changing Times Foreign investment in SC places new demands on marketers

By CHARLES RICHARDSON senior writer/content strategist, FUEL

South Carolina has become an international breeding ground for advanced manufacturing, particularly in the automotive and aerospace industries. The state is home to major players such as Boeing, BMW, Volvo, Michelin, Daimler Chrysler, Continental Tire, and Bridgestone. What’s more, these behemoth brands are pulling in a long line of suppliers and manufacturers in their wake. There are hundreds of innovative, technology-driven manufacturing companies in the state to support these global leaders. Consider these numbers supplied by BusinessClimate: South Carolina is home to more than 180 aerospace-related companies that employ nearly 20,000 people. More than 250 automotive-related companies have operations in the state, including original equipment manufacturers and expansive tier-one and tier-two suppliers.


S.C. manufacturers need to attract young skilled workforce With Foreign Direct Investment growing by leaps and bounds — with both OEM and tiered suppliers — there is an increasing demand for a skilled, ready workforce. As Bobby Hitt noted in 2016, we have “approximately



100 OVER



CH THAN CEAPER HA ON AVE RLOTTE RAG E* *Average one way fare plus Passenger Facility Charge in each of GSP’s top 50 markets per USDOT for 12 months ending June 30, 2017.


UBJ | 3.2.2018

1,200 international establishments currently operating and employing more than 115,000 workers” in South Carolina. And that was two years ago — these numbers have doubtlessly grown. And as baby boomers continue to age out, the growing need must be filled by younger workers, primarily millennials. There’s just one problem: Millennials don’t aspire to manufacturing jobs.


Marketers must help solve the manufacturing image problem There is a serious image problem within the manufacturing industry at large. The negative perception is it offers little gratification, and even less pay. As an article from the S.C. Manufacturing Extension Partnership (SCMEP) points out, most people are misinformed about manufacturing jobs in today’s workforce. “There’s a common misconception that manufacturing is dirty, dangerous, and not an ideal career choice,” says Channing Childers, with SCMEP. The irony is that although manufacturing is vital to our quality of life and fiscal health, few parents are encouraging their kids to go into manufacturing — and even fewer kids are considering it in their own right. “It is critical that we be able to change the perception of what today’s manufacturing jobs are like in South Carolina,” says Jody Bryson, president and CEO of the South Carolina Technology and Aviation Center. “These aren’t simply jobs; these are good, in-demand careers that require advanced skill and specialization.”


South Carolina is just right for business, and plenty of international companies know it. Hundreds of foreign firms employ tens of thousands of residents throughout our state, creating wealth and helping make the communities they’re in sustainable.


This Isn’t Your Grandparents’ Manufacturing Bryson is right. These are some of the most desirable and high-paying jobs for young people entering the workforce. According to the SCMEP, manufacturing jobs pay two to four times (up to $80,000) as much as the median salary for millennials (under $20,000). These jobs also carry great benefits without the necessity of a four-year undergraduate degree. But few millennials (or parents) realize this. Consider this: The manufacturing giants who have set up shop in South Carolina are global

leaders. They are true influencers pushing the industry forward. They are quite literally on the cusp of technological innovation and research. As a result, these brands are in perpetual need of a young, dazzling, highly skilled, technologically savvy workforce at the ready. But the industry at large must do a better job marketing this story and making it part of an ongoing dialog with students.


Marketing Takes Center Stage For the first time, essentially, manufacturers are having to pay attention to marketing. Their


success today depends on it, much more so than in the past. “Many B2B companies, especially manufacturing companies,” says FUEL President Warren Griffith, “have never marketed themselves before. They’ve never had to. But with changes in technology and the immediacy of the digital age that we live in, manufacturers are having to rethink not only how they reach customers but how they attract top talent and make manufacturing enticing and desirable with a younger potential workforce.” The more savvy manufacturing companies are already leveraging this story in their marketing communications. They are creating strategic marketing plans designed to capitalize on, as well as bolster, the need for high-paying, benefit-heavy jobs that require only a year or two of technical college. “In the past couple of years, we have seen a number of companies in a variety of B2B segments — manufacturing, automotive, industrial, advanced technology, you name it — who now recognize how critical it is to ‘tell their story’ by integrating digital media with more traditional marketing outlets. This is a big change for most of them,” Griffith says.

t the Village of West Greenville Suppor

SAVE THE DATE Friday, Mar. 16

2-6 pm

12 Sevier Street Greenville, SC 29605 864-282-8600

St. Patrick's Day BLOOD DRIVE

Join the Village people in an afternoon of life-saving and fun! The Blood Connection will be on-site accepting blood donations. All donors will receive a Village Goodie Bag and a Walmart gift card. Reserve your spot today…

Show your appreciation... 3.2.2018 |




Behind the Curtain Since 2009, the Upstate’s Hispanic Alliance has served as a resource and a lifeline

By E. RICHARD WALTON board member, Hispanic Alliance

Hispanics are playing a significant role in Greenville, but not everyone knows about the specific ways they’re growing as individuals or their vital contributions to the Upstate economy. Many Upstate residents read about “Dreamers,” young immigrants who remain in the U.S. under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, but few are cognizant of the quiet influence they have on local business. A significant number of DACA recipients are Hispanics ages 17 to 35 who came to the United States as kids. They accompanied their parents, who rushed to get jobs. At first, they came in small groups from Mexico. West Coast farmers played a key role in hiring many. Paying these workers less, these business folks were simply harvesting their crops for the market. Similar farmer-businessmen in Florida, Texas, and New York were complicit. This was the situation in the 1960s. These were the first Hispanics who arrived across the border from Mexico and promptly returned to their very Catholic families. After a while, employers urged them to stay. And they did. They stayed to work for us caring

for our children and our homes, serving our businesses and eating establishments, and more. They received fake Social Security cards. Meanwhile, these workers were sending cash back to Mexico, pumping up a foreign economy. Both their (citizen) employers and the workers liked the arrangement. And then their children came.

LATINO LEADER CHANGES THINGS Enter Cesar Chavez, a former farm worker who’d become a leader in the Latino community. He began speaking to their employers for them. At his peak, he was leading 50,000 Hispanics, most of whom joined United Farm Workers. Soon, they lobbied for higher wages, shorter-than-12-hour work days, and related benefits. Chavez was hailed as a Latin Martin Luther King Jr. There were even times when these two leaders united, marching together. A few people were worried, but many with farms or orchards in California, Florida, New York, and Texas liked things, especially the economics. After all, the crops were being harvested in a timely manner and costs were being contained. American consumers weren’t paying as much for tomatoes, lettuce, oranges, and grapes. Meanwhile, the Latin kids morphed into 800,000 “Dreamers.” (Some estimate the real figure is closer to 3.1 million.) Because most aren’t citizens, that means they are eligible for deportation.

WHERE GIVING BACK DOESN’T COST A DIME. Partnering with The Blood Connection to host a blood drive is a great way to: Rally your company or school around a cause that saves millions of lives each year. Demonstrate leadership. Promote teamwork. Engage employees. Encourage students. Fulfill a civic responsibility. And it won’t cost you anything, except time. #idonateblood #isavelives #givelife

Sharing Life, Saving Lives 18

UBJ | 3.2.2018



THE GOP, THE SHUTDOWN, AND THE FIX In 2018, some Republicans are cool with everything. Other GOP’ers are angry at Democrats for protecting the Dreamers. The situation feels a bit out of control, leading to the temporary government shutdown in late January. Despite pressure to drown out Latino voices, the Hispanic agenda is not fading. In reality, Hispanic power is growing, economically and politically, quietly, and at warp speed. A few years ago, Hispanics became the country’s largest minority. There are 57 million Hispanics — 18 percent of the population, according to online statistics. Moreover, they displaced African-Americans as the top minority; African-Americans comprise 42 million, or 14 percent of the nation’s 324 million people. By 2060, the Hispanic population is projected to be 119 million, population experts say. If accurate, that would be one-third of the American populace.

PART OF THE CULTURE Have you noticed Target’s TV ads this past holiday season? A few were entirely in Spanish — no subtitles or English translation. We at the Hispanic Alliance, a Greenville nonprofit, keep abreast of both the DACA recip-

ients and Hispanic issues. HA estimates there are 232,000 Hispanics statewide; about 42,000 live in Greenville County, or 7 to 8 percent of the population, according to our data. Almost half are U.S.-born; 35 percent are foreign-born, studies show. The majority of these Latinos are under 35 and are bilingual, speaking English and Spanish. Some speak a combination of both languages. The majority of Hispanics in the Upstate are from Mexico. Others are from South America (mostly Colombia); a portion is from Central America (El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala); and still others are from Puerto Rico. DACA was created during former President Barack Obama’s administration after Congress couldn’t agree on updating the country’s immigration laws after 25 years. Recipients are commonly referred to as “Dreamers,” based on those never-passed proposals in Congress called the DREAM Act. It was a temporary measure to forestall the deportation of young immigrants brought here as children. To be eligible for DACA, you must attend high school or college, be employed, and be serving or have served in the military. Many are employed and going to school. Those enrolled in the federal program are eligible to work and apply for a Social


Security card and a driver’s license. Commit a crime, and your DACA status is yanked and you can be deported. “Dreamers” are essentially Americans, supporters argue. Surveys reveal that Americans — both Republicans and Democrats — don’t want them deported or their families separated. The Hispanic Alliance monitors new arrivals — Hispanic or not — in the Upstate. This month, Nathalie Morgan assumed the top HA leadership position as chairwoman of the board of directors. She succeeds Magaly Penn, who continues to serve along with about 15 others. HA’s daily activity is managed by Adela Mendoza, an executive director who heads a small staff of workers and volunteers. The HA began in 2009, shortly after 300 Hispanic workers living in the country illegally were arrested in Greenville by agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). During the Trump administration, ICE says it has made 40 percent more arrests. Many are either jailed while awaiting hearing or deported. HA is now a registered nonprofit with a strong list of supporters including Bon Secours, Greenville Health System, Greenville Technical College, Clemson University, and Greenville County School District.

Celebrating Economic Growth in the Upstate Join Spartanburg Community College in recognizing and nominating businesses that have shown exemplary leadership, growth and significant financial impact to our community.

Tickets Available Now!

2018 Economic Visionaries Celebration

Thursday, March 22 Spartanburg Marriott 299 North Church Street, Spartanburg, SC

Lynn Good President & CEO Duke Energy

5:15-6:00pm – Guest Reception 6:00-6:30pm – Welcome 6:30-7:30pm – Dinner & Keynote Address featuring Lynn Good 7:30-8:00pm – Awards Presentation

(864) 592-4448 • 3.2.2018 |


Undeniable: Undeniable: Our professional leadership continues to step forward.

Ourprofes ional eadership continuestostepforward.

JohnT. Lay, Jr.

John E. Cuttino President, DRI 2016-2017

President, IADC 2016-2017

H. Mills Gallivan President, FDCC 2016-2017

Congratulations Lindsay Joyner, President SC BarYoung Lawyers Division 2017-2018


n an unprecedented achievement, three Gallivan White Boyd attorneys simultaneously served as president of the three major national/international defense bar organizations during 2016-2017. Now in 2017-2018, our firm’s leadership in the legal profession continues with Lindsay Joyner serving as president of the South Carolina Bar Young Lawyers Division. Joyner is part of the next generation of legal leaders at Gallivan White Boyd, as the firm builds for the future. Currently celebrating our 70th anniversary, Gallivan White Boyd is a leading Southeast lawfirm for business and litgation.

Charleston | Charlotte | Columbia | Greenville | |

T. David Rheney, Managing Partner 864-271-9580













Has joined Presbyterian College’s physician assistant studies program as its full-time medical director. Mappin has served as Self Regional Healthcare’s chief medical officer and vice president of medical affairs for the last 12 years and a thoracic surgeon for the last 25. Mappin will additionally serve as a professor in the program.

Has joined SVN Blackstream as an associate advisor. Gillis graduated from Clemson University with a master’s degree in real estate development. Her undergraduate degree is from the University of South Carolina. She previously worked with Berkshire Hathaway.

Has joined Jackson Marketing as a digital graphic designer. Moeller will primarily work on digital projects and assist with print design projects. Moeller is a graduate of Bob Jones University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in graphic design, and he is currently earning an MFA in graphic design and visual experience from the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Has been named vice provost and associate vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of South Carolina Upstate, where she will oversee hiring, development, support, evaluation of faculty, and more. Steinke has over 20 years of experience in higher education leadership.

Has been promoted to associate accountant at Scott and Company LLC. Hawkins joined the firm in 2016 after she graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor of Science in accounting.

NONPROFIT A Child’s Haven has announced its board of directors for 2018. The following are executive committee officers for 2018: president, Jennifer L. Osgood (Wagner Wealth Management); past president, Reid T. Sherard (Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough); vice president, Zack Devier (Armada Analytics, Inc.); secretary, Dr. Lorraine DeJong (Furman University); and treasurer, Roselle Bonnoitt (Cherry Bekaert LLP). Returning members of the 2017 board of directors include Neil M. Batavia (Dority & Manning, P.A.),  Wes Bryant (South State Bank),  Dr. Mary Fran Crosswell (Greenville Health System), Danny Mezzancello (Resurgent Capital Services),  Christopher Major (Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd),  Wes Thornton (Hubbell Lighting), and Reed Wilson (Palmetto Technology Group).

CONSTRUCTION ABC of the Carolinas has announced

its 2018 board of directors. There are five board members from South Carolina, and the remainder is from North Carolina. Upstate board members include Brian Gallagher (O’Neal Inc., Greenville) and Chris Moore (Carolina Power, Greenville).

Open for business 1

FINANCE CresCom Bank has announced several new team members throughout the Carolinas. Those from the Upstate include Blake Joy, who has joined the bank as a credit underwriter, and Ethnie Swanson, who has joined as a full-time floater.

UTILITIES Greenville Water has been acknowledged for its excellence in financial reporting for the fourth year in a row. The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) has awarded Greenville Water the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for its comprehensive annual financial report.

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

1. Junk Recyclers, an affordable and green junk pickup service, has recently begun operating in the Greenville area. Eighty-five percent of what they pick up is reused, repurposed, restored, or recycled. For more information, visit CONTRIBUTE: Know of a business opening soon? Email information to

3.2.2018 |




Presented by

THE WATERCOOLER 1. Jefferson Awards Foundation names 2018 Change Makers

2. Serendipity Labs Coworking inks deal for Plush Mill site in Greenville

3. Bon Secours Health System announces intent to merge with Mercy Health

Conversations with UpstateProfessionals

4. Topgolf makes its Greenville location official

RE: TOPGOLF MAKES ITS GREENVILLE LOCATION OFFICIAL “It’s cool that we are getting one … but they could not have picked a worse location when it comes to traffic. I hope there are plans to improve Pelham [Road], the interaction at Garlington, and the interchange with I-85… This area is gridlocked in the morning, at lunch, and in the evening.”

Kirt Borcherts

Saskatoon 681 Halton Road, Greenville, SC 29607

Wednesday, March 21 5:30pm to 7:00pm Network, Network, Network

5. BMW’s Spartanburg County plant remains nation’s top auto exporter in 2017

*The Top 5 stories from last week ranked by Facebook reach

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. past-issues

“This is gunna [sic] be good.”

Tim Sterr



23, 2018



The Futur






(is ha nd s- fr

Rethink Robo robots used tics’ “Sawyer” is one of by autom Clemson University’ otive researcherseveral collaborat Will Crook s/Upstate s Vehicle Assemblys and students at ive Business Journal Center in Greenville.


ee )

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.

Drop in and network…

first drink is on us.

ORDER A PRINT SUBSCRIPTION Style & substance are not mutually exclusive. Order a year of UBJ in no time, and we’ll deliver every week.


We’re great at networking.




Mark B. Johnston


Ryan L. Johnston



Emily Pietras


Heidi Coryell Williams







Greenville Chamber of Commerce’s Human Resources Law Update

Hyatt Regency 220 N. Main St. 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Cost: $295 For more info:;; 864-239-3714


SCBIO Life Sciences Boot Camp

University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health 921 Assembly St., Columbia 8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Cost: Free to SCBIO members and employees of SCBIO member companies. Available for $75 to nonmembers. For more info:



Greenville Chamber of Commerce’s Small-Business Owners Forum

Greenville Chamber 24 Cleveland St. 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.

Cost: Free For more info:;; 864-239-3728



Greenville Chamber of Commerce’s Netnight

Peace Center Huguenot Loft 300 S. Main St. 5:30–8 p.m.

Cost: $25 investors, $50 general admission For more info:; 864-631-6596;


Greenville Chamber of Commerce’s Gubernatorial Series Lunch feat. Catherine Templeton (R)

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

Cost: $40 investors, $80 general admission For more info:;


Ten at the Top’s PIQUE Young Professionals Summit

Southern Bleachery 250 Mill St., Taylors 1:15–6:30 p.m.

Cost: $25. Advanced registration required. Space limited. For more info:

TD Convention Center 1 Exposition Drive April 12: 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. April 13: 8 a.m.-3 p.m.

Cost: $179/general, $100/chaperones, $50/high school and Clemson University students For more info: summit/;

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

Cost: $40 investors, $80 general admission For more info:;

3/13 Wednesday

COPY EDITOR Rebecca Strelow


Trevor Anderson, Cindy Landrum, Andrew Moore, Sara Pearce, Ariel Turner


3/19 3/22

MARKETING REPRESENTATIVES John Clark, Donna Johnston, Jonathan Maney, Heather Propp, Meredith Rice, Caroline Spivey, Liz Tew


Thursday-Friday Clemson University’s Men of Color National Summit


Anita Harley | Rosie Peck | Jane Rogers




Gubernatorial Lunch series feat. Gov. Henry McMaster (R)


Bo Leslie | Tammy Smith



Kristy Adair | Michael Allen








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.



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

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

JUNE 29 LEGAL ISSUE Got any thoughts? Care to contribute? Let us know at

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 managing 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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3.2.2018 |



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March 2, 2018 Upstate Business Journal  

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

March 2, 2018 Upstate Business Journal  

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

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