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MARCH 16, 2018 | VOL. 8 ISSUE 11



INSIDE // GBX TO GATHER GVL • CHESTNUT LIVING’S SIMPLE WAY OF LIFE • TABLE 301 CATERING & KITCHEN Ryan Oates of Tyger River Smart Farm. Will Crooks/Upstate Business Journal

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VOLUME 8, ISSUE 11 Featured this issue: Greenville lands a United Soccer League DIII team.............................................4 Greenville Beer Exchange joins Gather GVL..........................................................8 Responding to workplace sexual harassment in the #MeToo era................ 23


Luna Rosa’s Return to the Green Lemonade and Mango Sorbetto

Neo Burrito in the Village of West Greenville at 1268 Pendleton St. got its certificate of occupancy this week and will open Monday, March 19, 14 months after singing the lease. Neo president Walter Godfrey says they’ll open without their liquor license, which will take another four to five weeks, and hold a grand opening during First Friday on April 6.

After nearly 10 years in its location at 9 W. Washington St., Luna Rosa Gelato Cafe will relocate to 123 S. Main St., formerly home to Bellacino’s Pizza & Grinders. The additional space with a full kitchen will allow for a menu increase of about 35 percent. The new Luna Rosa will continue with counter service for house-made gelato and seated lunch and dinner service. Read more about Luna Rosa’s move in this week’s Greenville Journal. Photo by Will Crooks

WORTH REPEATING “It feels more like a mission than a business.” Joe Erwin, Page 4

“I always enjoyed creating a space that people enjoyed coming to.” Brandi Ward, Page 6

“To attract the best candidates, especially military, the first foundational pillar is your hiring process.” Robyn Grable, Page 22


On tariffs “The magnitude of the reductions is likely significantly less than the market assumes.” JPMorgan analyst Ryan Brinkman on how President Trump’s proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum will affect Ford’s and GM’s earnings. Goldman Sachs analysts last week projected the tariffs could cost both automakers $1 billion this year, but Brinkman estimates that Ford’s earnings will decline by $200 million in 2018 and $400 million in 2019, while GM will take a $300 million hit in 2019 with profits unaffected in 2018.

3.16.2018 |







United Soccer League awards Greenville with Division III franchise

TREVOR ANDERSON | STAFF The Upstate has scored a professional soccer franchise. Alec Papadakis, CEO of the United Soccer League (USL), announced Tuesday, March 13, Greenville has been awarded the third team in its new Division III league that will begin play in 2019. Greenville advertising guru Joe Erwin will lead the team’s ownership group through his company Erwin Creates. The group includes Shannon Wilbanks, managing partner of Erwin Creates, and Doug Erwin, Erwin’s son and operating partner of Erwin Creates. The company said it has hired veteran sports manager Chris Lewis, who previously served as team president of the Greenville Swamp Rabbits hockey team, to serve as president of the new soccer team. “We are honored to have Greenville ... as a founding member of USL Division III, as the team provides more than 1.4 million people in the Upstate region with a professional team to call their own,” Papadakis said in a statement. Papadakis called Greenville an “incredible addition” to the league, which was announced in April 2017 and has already landed two teams that include South Georgia Tormenta FC out of Statesboro, Ga.; and FC Tucson in Tucson, Ariz. USL said the league anticipates it will launch eight to 12 teams for the inaugural season. League officials have visited cities across the Southeast, Midwest, and Northeast, and more team announcements are expected in the coming weeks, USL said. “We have no doubt the ownership group led by Joe Erwin will develop a successful and passionate team for our growing Southeast contingent as we aim to develop regional rivalries across the United States,” Papadakis said. Joe Erwin, a Clemson University graduate 4

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“I’m willing to bet on Greenville. This is a multimillion-dollar commitment. We wouldn’t do it if we didn’t believe we could create, not just a successful team, but a movement.” –Joe Erwin

and founder of Erwin Penland, said he played for the first soccer team at Eastside High School and has loved the sport ever since. As the game has continued to grow across the region and the country, Erwin said he decided about eight months ago it was time to bring a professional franchise to the Upstate. “It feels more like a mission than a business,” Erwin said. “Thousands of kids in our region are playing soccer. … The Upstate is an international community. Soccer is the world’s game. It enhances the quality of life for so many young people. If we can create an environment and show them what quality soccer is, maybe they will aspire to play at that level someday.” Erwin said a site for the team’s permanent home, as well as its name, colors, and logo, will be announced later this year. He said he expects the team will play its first season at a temporary venue that should be secured sometime in the months ahead. Erwin said the ownership is committed to building a “first-class facility” from scratch, if need be, for its permanent home.

He said seven sites are being considered for the stadium. The sites include downtown Greenville, Greenville County, and multiple municipalities. “What matters to us is that we have a site that allows us to offer our fans a great experience, and we are also looking at some ideas for complementary things near the stadium that would make it a true destination experience,” Erwin said. “I’m willing to bet on Greenville,” he added. “This is a multimillion-dollar commitment. We wouldn’t do it if we didn’t believe we could create, not just a successful team, but a movement.” Erwin said the success and economic impact of the Greenville Drive’s baseball operation is something he believes can be replicated by a professional soccer team in the community. “I heard a statistic that the average age of a baseball fan is 53, while the average age of a soccer fan is 36,” he said. “That tells me there are opportunities out there. … We’re just at the beginnings of soccer becoming great in America.”


With the country’s top soccer officials mulling the possibility of adopting a promotion/relegation model, Erwin said it’s conceivable that the Upstate might someday field a team in Major League Soccer (MLS), the nation’s highest league. The promotion/relegation approach stipulates that the last-place teams, typically three, in a league are demoted, or relegated, to a lower league for the next season, while the best-ranked teams are promoted to a higher division for next season.


League, or U.S. Independent Soccer League. The team’s franchise rights were revoked by USL before the 2000 season due to financial performance issues. In 2001 and 2002, the Greenville Lions played in the USL D3 Pro League. The Lions competed in the USL’s amateur Premier Development League in 2003 and then folded due to financial issues. “I don’t think the growth was organic enough; the market just wasn’t there yet,” Erwin said. “A decade and a half later, thousands

Greenville advertising guru Joe Erwin will lead the team’s ownership group through his company Erwin Creates. Photo by Will Crooks

“We know we have to build a fan base. We know it’s going to take time. We feel lucky and blessed to be the ones who get to do this.” –Joe Erwin


“I would love for the U.S. to adopt that model,” Erwin said. “If this country wants to develop teams that can go seriously compete and win World Cups, then it’s something I think we need to do.” Erwin said he is well aware of the fact that several past attempts to bring professional soccer to the region have failed. The most notable efforts to launch and then fizzle after a few years include the South Carolina Shamrocks and the Greenville Lions. The Shamrocks, owned by Spartanburg businessman Sean McMahon, competed from 1996 through 1999 in the USL’s D3 Pro

more kids are playing, and the quality of play has improved at every level. We have several colleges that boast programs that compete at the national level. This is the piece that has been missing.” Erwin said he doesn’t expect instant success the likes of an Atlanta United FC, an MLS expansion franchise that averaged 48,200 fans per game during its inaugural season in 2017. “USL has been great about letting us talk to successful teams in other markets,” he said. “We know we have to build a fan base. We know it’s going to take time. We feel lucky and blessed to be the ones who get to do this.” 3.16.2018 |

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In June 2017, Jon and Brandi Ward turned their passions for building and design into full-time careers. Their company, Chestnut Living, is a home improvement, interior design, and lifestyle brand. Photo by Jack Robert


‘A Simple Way of Life’ Chestnut Living owners to open home for spring market MELODY WRIGHT | EDITORIAL INTERN

In June 2017, Jon and Brandi Ward took their side job to the next level by turning their modern farmhouse into a full-time design and build company. The husband and wife duo founded Chestnut Living — the fast-growing home improvement, interior design, and lifestyle brand. Brandi designs. Jon builds. But, Brandi says she’s not like the typical interior designer. She also helps Jon with project construction, saying she isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty. 6

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“We have always loved anything to do with homes and designing,” Brandi says. “This has been our dream to do this since we’ve been together.” The “Chestnut” in their brand name comes from Brandi’s grandmother, who named the family property where Jon and Brandi live “Chestnut Oaks.” “Our mission for this company is to create a simpler way of life for folks by helping them create a haven they love, hence the ‘Living,’” Brandi says. “So, Chestnut Living was born. ‘A simple way of life.’” The Greenville natives will open their home

at 6 Hawkins Road to the community for its first spring market. The three-day shopping event will be March 15-17. The home-turned-storefront gives the community a chance to purchase spring decor, home goods, gifts, and other Chestnut Living merchandise. Marketgoers can also gather design inspiration from Jon and Brandi’s decorated home. “Our purpose for hosting [a] spring market is to offer products to our local community that encompass the simplistic lifestyle that we embraced in our own family,” Brandi said. “Pieces available during market have


Jon and Brandi Ward will open their home at 6 Hawkins Road to the community for its first spring market, March 15-17. The event gives the community a chance to purchase spring decor, home goods, gifts, and other Chestnut Living merchandise. Photo by Jack Robert.


been handpicked to craft a well-designed home in a way that brings families together and creates a space for entertaining friends.” The spring market will also offer pieces from Upstate artisans and African-sourced textiles, which support the economic development of African women. The Chestnut Living online shop will also be available after the spring market. The high school sweethearts envisioned Chestnut Living long before it became reality. Looking at homes and watching HGTV for date nights, Jon and Brandi began creating their own ideas for the future. Brandi says she has always been a holiday enthusiast and uses those times to try new things and stretch her design creativity. “I always enjoyed creating a space that people enjoyed coming to,” she says. “I would change my room around all the time,” Brandi says of her younger years spent trying all the new interior design trends. In time, Jon grew his construction skills and passion for woodworking. Meanwhile, Brandi studied interior design at Anderson University. The two were on the right path to becoming the Upstate’s very own version of Chip and Joanna Gaines of HGTV’s “Fixer Upper.” “We have always been DIYers since we dated, but really started doing it as a side job in 2012 by building tables and bed swings,” Brandi says. The switch to full-time designing and creating last summer created a nonstop job for the husband and wife, parents of two daughters, ages 10 and 12. “It’s like living in a store — so you eat, sleep, breathe Chestnut Living,” Brandi says. Constantly thinking about home and work, Jon and Brandi get few hours of sleep, using most of their waking hours to think of new projects. “We do a little of everything, and I think that is what makes it so fun,” Brandi says. “Something different every day. It can be a lot to juggle, but it keeps us going.” They do everything from remodels to personalized things like “she sheds.” Jon recently built a large chicken coop and a pump house, and Brandi is working on many interior design jobs. Together, they are working on a variety of projects, including remodeling a venue in an old cotton mill in Simpsonville. Several kitchen remodels are also in the works. “We have homeowners who just need a little advice to homeowners who need everything. It is fun to help a client dream up something and see it come to pass,” Brandi says. “I really enjoy working with Jon, because as a team we can really achieve the look the client wants.” For more information, visit 3.16.2018 |






Gather GVL names Greenville Beer Exchange as taproom operator Gather GVL, the shipping container food hall planned for the West End at 126 and 128 Augusta St., has signed its taproom operator — Greenville Beer Exchange (GBX). This will be the second location for the retail store and taproom situated behind Barley’s Taproom and Pizzeria at 7 S. Laurens St., Suite A. The shipping container GBX will occupy opens directly onto the grassy center of the development and will offer a variety of craft beer — likely 20 taps, including local, regional, national, and international selections, and possibly a craft soda, cider, or kombucha — without the retail portion of the original store. “We’re going to respond to demand, so the stuff that people want to drink, we’re gonna put it on the menu for them,” says GBX owner Devin Cox. “Whatever the cool, hip, new beer is, we’ll have it.” With this news, Gather GVL now has five of the planned 13 units under lease with commitments from six more, which are in various stages of lease negotiation. The four other signed tenants are concepts by Asheville, N.C.-based fried chicken and doughnut shop Hen8

UBJ | 3.16.2018


Site map provided by Gather GVL

“Whatever the cool, hip, new beer is, we’ll have it.” –Devin Cox, owner, GBX

Dough, which, along with its flagship concept, will include a Roman-style pizza-by-the-slice shop, stacked griddle burger joint, and one yet to be announced. “We are delighted to be partnering with Devin Cox and his GBX team as our craft beer anchor,” says Doug Cross, managing principal of the developer, Four Oaks Property Group LLC. “Devin and his team have unsurpassed craft beer knowledge and will be offering the best craft beer from around the world, featuring a variety of local and regional selections.” Cox says they plan to focus on food pairings as well and work with

the other food providers so they can suggest the best beer to accompany what customers are ordering. Though not a certified cicerone, Cox says he’s well versed in food pairing, having spearheaded the beer program at the former High Cotton, where Halls Chophouse is now. GBX, which Cox took ownership of in 2016, has a reputation for providing some of the best beer selection in town, including beers that aren’t as widely known to the standard palate, and Cox says he plans to continue that service at the new location while also catering to a wider appeal.

“We can take the geeky stuff that we do here, and make it approachable to everybody,” Cox says. “If craft beer is intimidating to you, then you can come to us and tell us the types of things that you like to drink and we will find something for you.” The shipping containers that will make up the Gather GVL structure are designed to house the restaurant kitchens and operations, but some, such as the GBX, will include bar seating as well. Since Gather GVL is designed to be a high-volume food hall, Cox says its unlikely they’ll offer flights like they do in-store. The tap offerings will be displayed on LED screens and will also be viewable on the UnTappd app that GBX already uses. “We’re going to keep it simple,” Cox says. “Do one thing and do it really well.”




Garlington North development Phase I begins; three parcels still available Site work is now underway at Garlington North, the mixed-use development sitting on 77 acres at Interstate 85 and Pelham Road in Greenville, where Topgolf recently announced its newest location. Plans for the site include a two-phase development that incorporates 24 acres of planned green space and preserved wetlands between the north (Phase I) and south sectors. Representing Greenville-based owner and developer RealtyLink LLC, The Shopping Center Group is the exclusive leasing adviser for the development and also represented Topgolf in its negotiations. “There is major potential at Garlington North with its incredible visibility to Interstate 85 that carries the highest interstate traffic count in all of Upstate South Carolina,” says Andy Misiaveg, a partner with The Shopping Center Group, Carolinas. “This region overall is one of the fastest

growing in the United States and has been touted by top media and research outlets for its growth potential and strong job market. The Greenville market continues to evolve due in part to the strong presence of international corporations such as BMW, Fluor engineering, Fuji [in Greenwood], Bosch, and Michelin, as well as the notoriety of its dynamic Main Street. Couple all that with nearly 4 million visitors annually to the market, and it’s no wonder Topgolf selected this interchange and this site for its Greenville venue.” Situated on 13.5 acres in the northwest corner of the site, the Topgolf facility will be adjacent to the interchange alongside the under-construction CubeSmart. Topgolf expects to open in summer 2019. Three additional parcels on 10 acres are still available for sale or ground lease, Misiaveg said. The team of Misiaveg and The Shopping Center









Group’s senior leasing adviser Darrell Palasciano is pursuing restaurants, hotel chains, complementary entertainment venues, retail, and offices to complete Phase I. “Phase II of Garlington North also presents a great opportunity,” said Neil Wilson, principal with RealtyLink. “We’re considering retail, office, industrial, and/or flex space for this 24-acre parcel to determine which use or uses are most complementary and best meet the needs of the region, keeping in mind feasibility and sensibility and how that aligns with our development vision.” Honbarrier Drive, which runs through the property, will be realigned and widened as part of the development.


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KapStone investing $6M in Cherokee County facility ANDREW MOORE | STAFF KapStone Paper and Packaging Corp., an Illinois-based manufacturer that produces unbleached kraft paper and packaging products, is investing $6 million in new equipment at its facility in Cherokee County. The facility, which is located in Cowpens, includes a state-of-the-art paper mill that produces recycled linerboard and medium, according to a news release. The new investment will allow the company to install a new hydraulic dilution control headbox and bottom-ply chain conveyor, increasing the speed, efficiency, and quality of its products. “KapStone team members are proud to contribute to the success of our customers and communities. Investing in our industry-leading recycled paper mill in Cowpens demonstrates

our continued commitment to Cherokee County,” said Steven Leahy, vice president of mill operations at KapStone’s facility in Cowpens. “Working together with our state and local partners, we are excited about the future of our business and the benefits it can provide for all of our stakeholders.” Founded in 2005, KapStone produces and distributes containerboard, corrugated products, and specialty papers, including liner and medium containerboard, kraft paper, and saturating kraft. It employs 6,200 people in its 91 locations in North America. The company also owns Victory Packaging, which operates in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. In January, Atlanta-based WestRock Co., one of the largest packaging companies in the United States, acquired KapStone for a total enterprise value of $4.9 billion. The company plans to assume and refinance $1.36 billion in KapStone’s net debt.

The acquisition, which is contingent upon approval by KapStone’s stockholders, is expected to close in September. It could generate about $200 million in savings for WestRock by the end of fiscal year 2021, according to a news release. “KapStone is a great fit with WestRock. Their complementary corrugated packaging and distribution operations will enhance WestRock’s ability to serve customers across our system, particularly in the western United States, and the addition of their specialty kraft paper products that we do not make enhances our differentiated portfolio of paper and packaging solutions,” said Steve Voorhees, chief executive officer of WestRock.

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Greenville-based investment firm VentureSouth posts record year ANDREW MOORE | STAFF Greenville-based


announced last week that it invested $4.5 million in Southeastern startups in 2017, a record for the early-stage investment firm.

The firm invested in 20 companies last year across South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee, according to a news release. It also closed its second co-investment fund with more than $3 million in committed capital. VentureSouth began in 2008 with the launch of the Upstate Carolina Angel Network in Greenville. Other angel investor groups in the network are located in Spartanburg, Anderson, Clemson, Columbia, Charleston, Rock Hill, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head, Aiken, and Asheville and Charlotte, N.C. The firm also launched VentureSouth Piedmont in 2017. The affiliate, which operates out of North Carolina’s Triad region, is led by Malay Shah and Matt Bailey, both of whom have mas-

ter’s degrees in business administration from Duke University. Collectively, VentureSouth includes more than 250 individual angel investors, making it one of the largest angel groups in the country.

Paul Clark, VentureSouth managing director, said, “2017 was another pivotal, record-breaking year for VentureSouth as we continued to expand our investor base across the Southeast. We are thrilled to add new companies to the portfolio and are excited about the progress many of our portfolio companies made over the last year. They are addressing significant problems across a myriad of industries and gaining national recognition for their innovative solutions.”

VentureSouth has already experienced a busy 2018 with the acquisition of its portfolio company, FarmShots. The North Carolina-based startup was recently acquired by Syngenta in a transaction that met VentureSouth’s return rate target in just 16 months, according to a news release. FarmShots provides a software platform that aids farmers and agronomists by combining satellite imagery analysis with proprietary algorithms to assess the health of crops and soils. Syngenta plans to integrate the FarmShots software into their farm management system to be used by farmers worldwide. “Working with VentureSouth was an incredible experience as an entrepreneur on a number of fronts. Not only was the process professional and well organized, the feedback we received was constructive and helped propel the business forward,” said Josh Miller, founder and CEO of FarmShots.

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Soby’s on the Side rebrands, reopens as Table 301 Catering & Kitchen ARIEL TURNER | STAFF After 16 years as Soby’s on the Side, the made-to-order breakfast and lunch spot at 22 E. Court St., Greenville, has a new name, look, and purpose as Table 301 Catering & Kitchen. It reopens this week after closing at the end of January for renovations. The result is a pared-down menu of mostly grab-and-go items available at the counter and open cooler that allow the expanded catering operations to continue throughout the day largely uninhibited by breakfast and lunch sales. Gina Boulware, Table 301 Restaurant Group director of marketing and public relations, says the rebrand gives Table 301 Catering a place to


UBJ | 3.16.2018

Table 301 Catering & Kitchen’s menu will have mostly grab-and-go items available at the counter and open cooler that allow expanded catering options to continue throughout the day. Photo by Will Crooks

live, rather than using Soby’s for catering tastings, and it also responds to customer feedback that good food but fast was the priority. Chef de cuisine Greg Teal will continue in the role he’s held at Soby’s on the Side and with the catering division since 2015. The streamlined menu includes two hot breakfast items with cheese and protein options (grit bowl and breakfast sandwich), a daily rotation of pastries, three seasonal sandwiches and a daily special, soup of the day, and various salads and snacks in the grab-and-go case. All of the

sandwiches, salads, and snacks will be premade in the morning and available until they sell out. The new décor — the brainchild of Katie Thompson, creative design and direction for Table 301 — is rustic, with dark, reclaimed wooden surfaces made by Treehugger Customs. A sitting area with a couch, two armchairs, and bookshelves create a West Elm-like coffee shop vibe. High top tables and a bar at the front window give the reconfigured dining area as much seating as the former layout. Follow @table301kitchen on social media for a daily list of menu options.



The Spark Happenings in Upstate Biz with Trevor Anderson A busy interchange on the cusp of Spartanburg County’s booming Boiling Springs community should have been a magnet for development. Very little growth, however, has materialized on the southern side of Exit 75 at the juncture of Interstate 85 and Highway 9 since the I-85 bypass opened in 1995. But Spartanburg’s new momentum coupled with the renovation and rebranding of a hotel near the southeast corner of the intersection could pique the interest of investors, local leaders said. “The growth of Boiling Springs has been phenomenal,” said Spartanburg County Councilman David Britt. “Companies and developers look at numbers. And the numbers are certainly there.” As Spartanburg grows in that direction, it could become a hotbed for new restaurants, retail, or office development, Britt said. The tide changed in January 2017 when Simpsonville-based Palmetto State Hospitality (PSH) acquired the former America’s Best Value Inn at 125 Sloane Garden Road. Originally opened in 2000 as a Fairfield Inn, the six-story, nearly 35,000-square-foot hotel has changed hands a few times throughout the years, but has never really made much of an impact on the local economy. The hotel sits on almost 1 acre that is surrounded by about 15 acres of undeveloped land. PSH shuttered the hotel in October to begin renovating it. Except for the few cars that use Sloane Garden Road, which is a quarter-mile frontage road that connects Highway 9 and Parris Bridge Road, as a pass-through, the move was largely unnoticed. PSH is nearing the end of its nearly $3 million overhaul of the 66-room hotel. It will reopen the property as the county’s first Best Western Plus later this month. “We knew it could be a lot more than it was,” said Derrick Norris, who co-owns the hotel with Upstate hotel developer and PSH’s founder Harishyam Singh. Norris said he and Singh, who also owns the Comfort Suites near WestGate Mall, began looking into buying the Boiling Springs property a few years ago. They were finally able to make contact with the hotel’s previous owner, who was out of state and made them an offer. “The Best Western Plus concept really caught our eye,” Norris said. “It’s very hip. Very modern. … Spartanburg’s tourism market is really growing. There are several colleges nearby. The area is increasingly becoming a destination for youth sports events. Despite the current work being done on I-85, I think we’re in a great position to serve business and leisure travelers. It’s very exciting.” The exterior of the hotel sports new stonework, window casings, a new roof, refurbished pool area, and a soon-to-be repaved parking lot. The hotel’s interior features modern furnishings and accents, LED lighting, wireless internet, new fiber optic cabling, and more. A 10-seat boardroom will enable guests to hold meetings and make presentations on a 55-inch screen.


Guests will be able to enjoy a hot breakfast in a new dining area. The hotel has a fitness center with treadmills, a stationary bike, an elliptical machine, free weights, and a yoga station. Gone are the original Jacuzzi-style bathtubs that used to take up valuable space in the hotel’s suites. Each room has been given a clean, contemporary look and feel. Throughout the hotel, the owners have tried to incorporate local flavor, including Spartanburg-based Milliken & Co. carpeting and new windows from Spartanburg’s Kapasi Glass Mart. Norris said he expects the hotel will create 16 to 18 jobs. It has begun booking customers for March 20. Spartanburg’s Creal Family Limited Partnership owns most of the vacant land surrounding the hotel along Sloane Garden Road. A Northern Tool and Equipment store is situated at the eastern end of the thoroughfare. A Denny’s diner and Abbott Farms market occupy the western end. All three businesses moved in after the hotel opened. In contrast, the northern side of the exit has evolved into a beachhead for an explosion of new businesses that run almost contiguously along the nearly 4-mile stretch of Highway 9 between the interstate and the heart of Boiling Springs.

“Spartanburg’s tourism market is really growing. There are several colleges nearby. The area is increasingly becoming a destination for youth sports events. Despite the current work being done on I-85, I think we’re in a great position to serve business and leisure travelers.” –Derrick Norris, co-owner, Best Western Plus

Spartanburg developer Royce Camp, who built the hotel in partnership with the late Tim Cantrell, still owns a nearly 1-acre lot beside it. “We thought that area would really catch fire, but it never did,” Camp said. Camp has focused most of his development efforts on interests in downtown Spartanburg during the past few years. He said he hopes to sell the Boiling Springs property beside the hotel. He has considered building a small strip center on the site that could house amenities for hotel guests, such as a Starbucks and other restaurants or retail shops. “I go out there and I brush hog around my sign every year,” he said. “I think it still has a lot of potential. … I hope the new owners of the hotel will do well and their renovation will trigger more investment.” While it’s no Hyatt, Hilton, or AC Hotel, Spartanburg’s Best Western Plus is ready to claim its share of the market in a county that is in sore need of quality hotel rooms. And it just might attract some new opportunities to an area that has been devoid of development for many years. 3.16.2018 |





Locally Epic encourages local shopping with new campaign Locally Epic is launching the Upstate Shop Local Saturday campaign to support locally owned and operated businesses and grow Greenville’s economy every fourth Saturday of the month. The Shop Local Saturday for this month will be March 24. Offering location-based marketing technology for businesses and consumers, the Locally Epic app connects people with promotions and offers throughout the week to ensure they find the best deals on Shop Local Saturday each month. “We want people to just go and buy local,” said Chase Michaels, the CEO and founder of Locally Epic. “The impact on our local economy can be huge if people do this.” Out of every dollar spent locally in the Upstate, 75 cents stay here to build Greenville’s economy. This growth occurs at a much slower rate when buying online and from big-box retailers.


Upstate offices in: Berea | Easley | Greenville | Powdersville

“Shopping at locally owned stores is essential to keeping the Upstate economy growing. Buy a painting from a local artist. Eat at locally owned restaurants,” Michaels said. “We are not asking people to spend more money. Just take what you are spending now online or at a big-box store and go to a locally owned shop. If Upstate consumers pivot $20 a week away from online or a big-box store to a locally owned store for 52 weeks (1 year), that would increase the local Upstate economy by $300 million.” With more than 35,000 users and 45 categories, Locally Epic helps people find the best local offers with ease. The app can be downloaded for free on iTunes or GooglePlay. “One of the Upstate’s charms is its home-grown businesses,” Michaels said. “They are a backbone of the community, and by supporting them, we support ourselves. Let’s all come together and be stewards of this awesome place we call home. Let’s keep it local!” –Melody Wright

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.


3/7/18 1:41 PM




Ten at the Top to hold idea exchange workshop for enhancing Upstate mobility To improve transportation and connectivity across the 10 counties of the Upstate, Ten at the Top invites residents and community leaders to share ideas on mobility topics during the Connecting Our Future Idea Exchange on Monday, March 19, from 1:30-4:30 p.m. at the Michelin Conference Center in Greenville (517 Michelin Road, Building 18). Topics to be discussed by interested individuals during the workshop include commuter travel, bicycle and pedestrian, transit, freight movement, workforce access, strategic infrastructure, land use and development, and innovation and technology, according to a news release. The Idea Exchange is part of the Connecting Our Future initiative launched last fall to connect organizations, businesses, and local governments to collaborate on moving people and goods in the

Upstate in partnership with KimleyHorn. “When we first convened stakeholders around transportation and mobility, it was quickly recognized that everyone is working on important elements of moving people and goods across the region, but that most work was being done in a vacuum when in actuality there was an opportunity and need for greater connectivity and collaboration,” said Dean Hybl, executive director of Ten at the Top. “The ultimate goal of Connecting Our Future is to increase access to transportation, reduce congestion, and improve connectivity across the Upstate. However, without a clear vision and actionable regional strategies, we would continue to struggle to create clarity and synergy on how to accomplish those goals.” –Melody Wright

Presented by

Conversations with UpstateProfessionals Saskatoon 681 Halton Road, Greenville, SC 29607

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


144-unit Greenville apartment community sold Philadelphia-based PRG Real Estate has acquired Beacon Ridge Apartment Homes, a 144-unit value-add multifamily property at 5 Crystal Springs Road in Greenville. CBRE Capital Markets’ Kevin Kempf, Parker Yates, David Lansbury, and Phil Brosseau represented the seller, Charlotte, N.C.-based Grubb Properties, in this transaction. “Beacon Ridge is located just 1 mile from a major medical corridor with over 13,000 employees, and residents have convenient access to all nearby necessities, a fantastic location with many opportunities for new ownership to continue the

positive rent growth momentum in the area,” said Kempf, first vice president at CBRE Capital Markets. “New ownership will have the opportunity to expand the scope of the value-add program for the remaining classic units and implement next-level finishes to previously upgraded units.” Built in 1988, the property is situated on 9.6 acres and was 96 percent occupied at the time of sale. Amenities include a 24hour fitness center, pool and sundeck, multiple grilling stations, clubhouse, business center, picnic areas, and dog park. -Ariel Turner

3.16.2018 |

Drop in and network…

first drink is on us.


UBJ | 3.16.2018




This local agtech startup wants you to forget everything you know about farming



Words by Andrew Moore | Photos by Will Crooks

ndustrial agriculture has allowed farmers to maximize the potential yield of their crops for centuries. But it has done so at a major cost to the environment — a cost characterized by a steady decline in soil productivity, reduced water quality, elevated levels of carbon dioxide, habitat loss, and more. Unfortunately, the negative consequences of industrial agriculture are set to worsen in the coming decades as the national population grows and urban sprawl continues to swallow large swaths of productive farmland. The American Farmland Trust, a group working to promote healthier farming practices, estimates that 24 million acres of agricultural land have been developed since 1982.  As a solution, an increasing number of entrepreneurs are turning to controlled-environment agriculture (a combination of engineering, plant science, and computer-managed greenhouse control technologies) to optimize plant growing systems, plant quality, and production efficiency. One company that’s leveraging the power of CEA is Tyger River Smart Farm. The Greer-based operation grows a variety of lettuces, chard, kale, and basil through the use of hydroponics — the method of cultivating plants without soil by instead using a nutrient-rich solution to deliver water and minerals to their roots. “I don’t have a problem with people who adhere to conventional farming methods,” said Ryan Oates, owner and founder of Tyger River Smart Farm. “But I do think growing crops with hydroponics is more beneficial to both the consumer and the environment.” GROWING A BUSINESS Despite being the first person in his family to farm, Oates is no stranger to plants. Oates studied plant biology at Clemson University and conducted numerous research projects at the Genomics Institute. He then enrolled at Miami University in Ohio to pursue a graduate degree in plant molecular biology but decided to drop out after becoming disenchanted with academia. Upon his return to the Palmetto State, Oates spent several years as a financial planner in his father’s business. He then worked in commercial cabinetry for nearly a

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vendor at the Greer Farmers Market and Hub City Farmers Market in Spartanburg, according to Oates. The farm also sells fresh produce to a variety of local restaurants and grocers, including the Swamp Rabbit Café and Grocery in Greenville, Tandem Creperie and Coffeehouse in Travelers Rest, The Farmer’s Table in Spartanburg, Stella’s Southern Bistro in Simpsonville, Cribbs Kitchen in Spartanburg, Restaurant 17 in Travelers Rest, Adam’s Mobile Market in Easley, and GB&D in the Village of West Greenville. FARMING AS A SCIENCE As the farm’s reputation and customer base continued to grow over the years, Oates realized that Tyger River Smart Farm would need to scale to survive. In November 2016, Oates expanded his operation by constructing a 13,000-square-foot greenhouse and 3,500-square-foot harvesting facility on 30 acres in Greer. The expansion has increased the farm’s production capacity tenfold, according to Oates. Oates said the new greenhouse relies heavily on automation. The facility features natural gas heaters, recirculating fans, exhaust fans, mechanical vents, and an evaporative cooler that aids in controlling the temperature and

Despite being the first person in his family to farm, Tyger River Smart Farm owner and founder Ryan Oates is no stranger to plants, having studied plant biology at Clemson University.

decade. In 2012, Oates stumbled onto the concept of hydroponic farming and decided to install a system in an existing greenhouse behind his parents’ home in Duncan. “My mom loves to garden, so she built the greenhouse as a hobby,” Oates said. “But she was no longer using it, so I thought I would give hydroponics a try. It just seemed like something I would enjoy doing as a full-time job.” Oates eventually outfitted his mother’s 1,300-square-foot greenhouse with fans, an evaporative cooling system, a propane heater, overhead LED lights, and hydroponics equipment. He officially launched Tyger River Smart Farm in August 2013. But the new venture didn’t come without challenges, according to Oates. A power outage, for instance, stopped the flow of water for about two hours and decimated about 70 percent of his crop. Oates outfitted the


UBJ | 3.16.2018

greenhouse with a generator shortly after. Following the first harvest in February 2013, Oates had to give away most of his produce to neighbors due to a lack of customers. But then Tyger River Smart Farm was accepted into the TD Saturday Market in downtown Greenville. The market, which runs on Main Street on Saturday mornings from May 6 through Oct. 28, has become a signature event since its launch in 2002 and typically features more than 75 vendors that sell farm-fresh produce, baked goods, meats, cheeses, seafood, and other specialty foods. “We owe a lot of our success to the TD Saturday Market,” Oates said. “The market not only helped us sell our produce that summer. It also helped us get our name out there and gain new customers.” Tyger River Smart Farm has since become a


The number of LED lights used at Tyger River Smart Farm to provide plants with supplemental lighting during the winter months when solar light levels are too low for growing crops.



After basking in the pink glow of LED lights for one to two weeks, seedlings are relocated into nursery channels in the greenhouse, which sits on a well and 600-gallon underground tank.

humidity. It also features a retracting shade system that helps with temperature control and light levels. “Traditional farming isn’t easy,” Oates said. “But our CEA system requires us to monitor our plants on a real-time basis and watch how they react to different conditions. It’s much more process-oriented, so all the automation really helps.” He added that the farm’s greenhouse uses carbon dioxide generators, which enrich the surrounding air if the levels become low, and more than 100 LED lights, which provide supplemental lighting during the winter months when solar light levels are too low for growing crops. It also uses an environmental controller, which is responsible for sensing environmental conditions and integrating all of the equipment through computer logic to produce a consistent environment year round. As for growing the produce, Tyger River Smart Farm employs a Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) system, a soilless technique that bathes the roots of the plants in water infused with carefully monitored nutrients. Oates typically begins the process by purchasing seeds from Johnny’s Selected Seeds in Maine or Paramount Seeds in Florida. The seeds are then germinated in a propagation room, which is completely enclosed and controlled with central heat and air. After basking in the pink glow of LED lights for one to two weeks, the seedlings are relocated into nursery channels in the greenhouse, which sits on a well and 600-gallon underground tank. The water from the tank is then mixed with nutrients and sent down the channel, where it flows over the roots of the plants. Excess water is then collected at the end of the channels and returned to the water tank. The nutrient water is then pumped from the

main storage tanks back into the plastic channels, according to Oates. Thus, no water or nutrients is ever wasted. The same environmental controller in the greenhouse is responsible for maintaining optimum nutrient and pH levels in the storage tanks. When the produce is harvested, it is packaged and sold with the roots in order to maintain the plant’s lifespan and nutritional value. During the peak of the season, Oates harvests between 8,000 and 9,000 plants a week, but he continues to produce plants all year round. “The best part about hydroponics is that I get to harvest plants during the winter months when other farms are buried under the snow,” Oates said. “It definitely helps me stay ahead of the competition.” The farm’s hydroponic system also has various environmental benefits, according to Oates. About 1,500 square feet of the greenhouse, for instance, is dead space reserved for an insect screen, which allows the farm to not use any toxic pesticides, insecticides, or herbicides during the growing process. And the recirculation process from the farm’s NFT system uses about one-tenth of the water a traditional farm usually uses. And since soil is not used, there is no chance of contamination through runoff. Tyger River Smart Farm also utilizes various methods to conserve energy. Last year, for instance, Oates purchased and installed a large solar array behind the greenhouse that’s capable of producing enough electricity to power the entire operation. PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE While hydroponic farming can be more lucrative than traditional farming and beneficial to the environment, it can also be challenging. Plants, for instance, require over a dozen essential nutrients that must be administered accord-

ing to species, growth stage, and local conditions, such as water hardness. “Hydroponic farmers have to understand how plants and nutrients interact in order to be successful,” Oates said. “We use a lot of automation, but we’re still dealing with living things that react to the environment. Luckily, I have a background in plants and can tell pretty quickly whether or not I need to make an adjustment to the system.” Oates has hired three full-time employees since launching the farm in 2012, but he still spends up to 70 hours a week tending to plants in the greenhouse. “Hydroponics is a double-edged sword,” he said. “We get to farm year-round, which gives us a leg-up on the competition. But we don’t really get vacations or holidays because we have to get the work done when the plants demand it.” The industry forecast, however, makes all the hard work worthwhile, according to Oates. The U.S. hydroponic industry has grown consistently the past five years and is projected to continue into 2022, according to market research group IBISWorld. Industry revenue rose 3.4 percent to a total of $848 million the past five years ending 2017. Its outlook declined to a yearly rate of 0.2 percent until 2022. Oates hopes to reach new customers in the coming years by selling produce through local distributors. The farm has already partnered with a wholesale distributor to sell basil at numerous Ingles supermarkets across the Upstate and Western North Carolina. He also plans to expand the farm by constructing another 13,000-square-foot greenhouse in 2019. “It will just be an addition to what we have now,” Oates said. “We really want to become an industrial operation, and we’re pretty close to that now, but this addition will pretty much complete that transition.”  3.16.2018 |




Cultivating the next generation of Upstate leaders By TODD HORNE & MADISON SKINNER Clayton Construction and ScanSource Inc.

The Upstate has become a great place to work because it has established itself as a great place to play. People are inclined to seek a job in an area with cultural assets and a booming social scene. Greenville has proven itself to be a powerhouse of economic and social prosperity over the past decade, showcasing how when a region grows, its job market grows. Young professionals are drawn to the Upstate and the many diverse opportunities the region offers. With this, our job market has become increasingly more competitive — just ask recent graduates — but that doesn’t mean young professionals aren’t being welcomed with open arms by those rooted in the community. Upstate companies are not only seeking out candidates with the technical skills required for any specific position. They’re looking for tomorrow’s leaders — individuals who possess the ability to communicate effectively through various methods, as well as candidates who demonstrate a willingness to learn and progress in their careers. Young professionals are the future of our region, and the ones who display a desire to gain knowledge and experience are the same individuals who will continue to make the Upstate a great place to work and play for generations to come. It’s important this next generation of Upstate leaders begins to get involved in the community early on in their careers. So many young professionals — whether they are just entering the workforce or are less tenured employees in their respective companies — want to work for orga-


nizations that are making a difference in the community. They want to volunteer on a regular basis. They want to be involved on boards and with social organizations. In this, we have something to learn from young professionals. As a generation, millennials are more centered around regionalism than any other generation, recognizing the benefits of connecting businesses across county lines. Thinking with a regional mindset, a win for one county is a win for all. Inspired by regional engagement, Ten at the Top (TATT) is dedicated to fostering trust and collaboration through partnerships and cooperation that impact economic vitality and quality of life across Upstate South Carolina. To accomplish this, Ten at the Top’s three primary objectives include the following: • Growing trust and partnerships among elected officials, business and community leaders, and residents by initiating, convening, and facilitating discussions around key regional issues, challenges, and opportunities. • Identifying and promoting collaborative efforts that enhance the Upstate’s physical and social infrastructure by encouraging quality growth and supporting economic vitality, natural and cultural resources, and quality of life in the region. • Measure, analyze, and report information on the needs and progress of the region on key cross-jurisdictional issues. In order to promote regionalism, TATT hosts a biannual Upstate Regional Summit in September that brings together our communities’ leaders in different industries with unique backgrounds

to address issues that affect us all. But what about the leaders of tomorrow? Looking to the future, the idea for an event called PIQUE came to fruition as TATT’s board members recognized that while each Upstate community has young professional organizations, there is a need for an event that allows for collaboration, networking, and professional and personal growth at the regional level. Organizations like Ten at the Top and events such as PIQUE allow candidates and regional companies to network and connect in an atmosphere where they may not have met otherwise. It’s important for young professionals to take the additional effort to attend events that promote professional growth and leadership, and it’s equally as important for companies to encourage their young employees to get involved. Our future leaders are eager to grow, and by continuing to foster and encourage professional development and networking opportunities, Upstate companies empower our young professionals from all 10 counties to collaborate and cultivate new relationships, turning today’s contacts into tomorrow’s business partnerships. Todd Horne is vice president of business development at Spartanburg-based Clayton Construction Company Inc. He serves on the board for Ten at the Top. For more details about the upcoming PIQUE event, visit Madison Skinner is human resources manager at Greenville-based ScanSource Inc., presenting sponsor of PIQUE.


Thursday, March 22 • 20

UBJ | 3.16.2018



SC patent grants higher than the national trends By DOUG KIM attorney, Douglas Kim Law Firm LLC

From 2008 to 2017, patents granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office that have at least one inventor living in South Carolina outpaced the national trend. South Carolina had on average 9 percent more patents granted year over year, while the United States, in the same time period, increased by only 7 percent. This is a positive sign as patent activity is one indicator of innovation. Intellectual property protection, including patent protection, has grown in the past decades as the importance of IP becomes more valued by companies and inventors. In a 2012 report, the United States Patent and Trademark Office concluded that IP intensive industries contributed $5 trillion and 40 million jobs to the U.S. economy. Not surprising, companies with a South Carolina presence that applied for and received patent grants include General Electric, Milliken, Clemson, Kemet, Hubbell Lighting, Techtronic, and AVX. What is not that well known is that from 2008 to 2015, individual inventors (presumably entrepreneurs) ranked first or second in the number of patents granted. While innovation is certainly a key component to a strong economy, combining innovation with entrepreneurship can produce a synergistic effect that both stimulates existing business and furthers economic development by creating new businesses and jobs. After all, established companies not only innovate but also acquire innovation through merger and acquisitions. The benefits of IP, however, depend upon a solid IP national protection structure. The Global Intellectual Property Center of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce reported in 2017 that the United States was closely ranked with the U.K., Japan, and the European Union in its International IP Index. This index is based upon the belief by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that economies with strong IP systems tend to enjoy the most economic benefits from commercial activity. However, the United States fell to 10th place behind the U.K., Switzerland, Sweden, Germany, France, Japan, Spain, and Singapore for the protection of patent rights in the same report. Work to improve the IP protection system of the United States is still needed, especially in improving patent protection. A discussion of innovation as it relates to global economic growth is not complete without a discussion of the software industry. As reported by IP Watchdog, in 1991 the percentage of patents granted that were software related was 26.5 percent. Ten years later, it was 33.2 percent. From 2008 to the present, software patents were about 50 percent of all patents granted in the United States. This trend is expected to increase with improvements and innovation in artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and new technologies such as blockchain. So, for 2018 and beyond, make an effort to develop and apply ideas and technologies that can improve our goods and services or make their production more efficient — engage in innovation. Doug Kim is an intellectual property attorney with Douglas Kim Law Firm LLC. He develops IP strategies, manages IP portfolios, and creates IP protection plans to complement companies’ business goals and to build intellectual capital. He can be reached at 864-616-9095 or 3.16.2018 |




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

THURSDAY, MARCH 22nd GENEVIEVE’S at The Peace Center 5:30 - 7:30PM





First Steps How your company’s hiring process can help recruit military veterans By ROBYN GRABLE founder, Service to Civilian

President Donald Trump has recently signed an executive order called “Supporting Our Veterans During Their Transition

From Uniformed Service to Civilian Life.” “We must ensure that our veterans are given the care and support they so richly deserve. That is our unwavering commitment to those who served under the flag of the United States,” Trump said. The executive order addresses the mental health and overall health care of veterans. Military servicemen and women certainly need and deserve the best health-care options. They also need new careers — civilian careers. A career, like their military service, provides long-term meaning, not just a paycheck. The good news? According to, there are more than 9,065 open jobs in Greenville County, 6,335 open jobs in Spartanburg County, and everywhere you turn, “we are hiring” signs. So, what can you do if you are hiring? To attract the best candidates, especially military, the first foundational pillar is your hiring process.

JOB DESCRIPTION: Every open position needs an effective job description. How can you ask an employee to do a job that hasn’t been properly defined? How can you set expectations for performance if you don’t outline what

We’ll Help You Feel At Home From Contract To Close Residential Real Estate Team, Griffin Bell and Annah Toates

864-272-0556 | 408 EAST NORTH STREET, GREENVILLE, SC 29601


UBJ | 3.16.2018

is truly necessary to fulfill the role? According to a 2016 survey conducted by the Allegis Group, 72 percent of hiring managers say they create clear job descriptions, but only 36 percent of candidates agree. The reason? Job descriptions have become unrealistic wish lists that have very little to do with the actual skills necessary to do the job. Additionally, there is a discrepancy between the skills listed in a job description and the skills questioned during an interview. Two things are at play here, the wish list as mentioned and the lack of behavioral interview questions. This is problematic for veterans. How can they translate their skills to match your open job if your organization hasn’t clearly defined the skills you are looking for? How can they demonstrate those skills in an interview that doesn’t ask the right questions? So, fully qualified candidates might not apply because they don’t have an arbitrary number of years of experience, the right degree, or some other detail that’s ultimately unimportant. And should they make it to an interview, it will be the second opportunity to lose them.

INTERVIEWS: The three key goals of employment interviews are to find out as much as possible about what the candidates know, to learn how they have applied and tested work skills, and to determine where their aptitudes lie, thereby defining the path of future growth and development. Scrutinizing interview questions before using them can help improve their strength and effectiveness as well as ensure that interviewers and interviewees get more out of the valuable, albeit limited, time. Talent-based interviews are a powerful way to assess employee fit. What makes them effective is that they require on-the-spot thinking and responses to real-life events. This basically tells you how a candidate thinks and solves problems before he is hired. Veterans are exceptional at many things. Demonstrating their well-honed skills is one of them when asked in the right way in an interview. Veterans aren’t used to talking about themselves. After all, in serving their country, their mission was never about them. NEW-HIRE PROCESS: The offer letter is an opportunity to manage some very real risks such as the protection of confidential information, protection of business interests, and employee termination. An explanation of “at-will” employment must appear on a job application or in an employee handbook. Its inclusion in an offer letter is essential because employees can sue for wrongful termination if it is not included or not clearly defined. Veterans are attuned to receiving written orders. The orders tell them what duty station to report to and outline any other details necessary for their next role. Another essential of the new-hire process is a checklist to ensure that everything the new hire needs to be productive on the first day is in place. Computer, phone, materials, schedule, keys to the building, badge or door code to get in. Veterans don’t like to waste time. They want to contribute from the minute they accept the offer. The checklist allows your organization to prepare the welcome mat. Next month, we will cover the onboarding process. Hiring great employees — veterans — is only the first step in the foundation. Service to Civilian is working on a new project and would appreciate your feedback. Please fill out this survey: To learn more about hiring veterans or to create a veterans program at your company, call 864-580-6289 or email



#YouToo Wyche hosts roundtable on responding to workplace sexual harassment claims

By TED GENTRY attorney, Wyche P.A.

What: Wyche P.A. 2018 Ethics Roundtable — #YouToo: Legal Ethics and Responding to Sexual Harassment Reports in the Weinstein Era Where: Feb. 20 at Studio 220, downtown Greenville Who Was There: Clients, colleagues, and friends of Wyche P.A.

Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Terry Richardson. All famous. All implicated in the recent focus on sexual misconduct. #MeToo. A social media movement started in 2017 to highlight and encourage the reporting of sexual assault and harassment in the workplace. #YouToo. An event hosted by Wyche P.A. to educate business leaders and in-house counsel on preventing harassment and responding to harassment claims. The event was moderated by Meliah Bowers Jefferson, and presenters included Wade Kolb III of Wyche; Katie Deuben, SYNNEX Corp. senior director, corporate counsel; and Camden Navarro Massingill, also of Wyche. According to Kolb, “As many as 75 percent of incidents never result in a complaint. Surprisingly to many, complaints by men have seen a steady rise, accounting for 16.5 percent of reports in 2017.” Kolb highlighted some common sexual harassment misconceptions: • Harassment comes in many forms. Harassment can be verbal or nonverbal. It can be face-to-face or online. It can involve physical conduct or the display of images. • Both men and women can be harassers or the victims of harassment. • Harassment does not have to be repeated to be improper. A single incident can be enough if severe. Kolb emphasized that employers must have policies and programs in place to inform their employees of prohibited conduct, and to give them a way to report that conduct if it occurs.

Shauna Galloway-Williams, Ted Gentry, Meliah Bowers Jefferson, Brian Murphy, and Katie Deuben participated in an informal panel discussion after presentations. Photo provided

RESPONDING TO A REPORT When an employer receives a report of sexual misconduct, the employer must investigate swiftly and thoroughly. Massingill explained that when a report is received, “It’s essential to work with investigators to identify the most efficient and reliable way to gather relevant evidence.” She offered some other suggestions for conducting a workplace investigation: • Promptly and thoroughly investigate every complaint; never hope the matter will just “go away.” • Consult with legal counsel to plan the investigation and responses. • Create a plan to analyze the claims. • Remain fair to all sides. PANEL DISCUSSION After the presentations, Jefferson was joined for a wide-ranging, informal panel discussion among Shauna Galloway-Williams, executive director of the Julie Valentine Center, which works to stop sexual violence and child abuse; Ted Gentry of Wyche; Brian Murphy, an attorney with Stephenson and Murphy who primarily handles claims by employees; and Deuben. The panelists discussed topics such as the prevalence of harassment incidents, the impact of the

Employers must have policies and programs in place to inform their employees of prohibited conduct, and to give them a way to report that conduct if it occurs.

#MeToo movement on societal and juror perceptions, the impacts of technology and social media on investigations, and interesting responses such as Vice President Mike Pence’s policy of never being alone in a social setting with a female employee or co-worker. Panelists and attendees alike seemed to agree that the #MeToo movement has the potential to change the workplace. More victims may be emboldened to report misconduct. But there is reason to hope that the new climate of awareness will mean that there will be less misconduct to report. 3.16.2018 |




Open for business

1. The Children’s Medical Center Verdae recently opened at 703 Verdae Blvd. on Monday, Feb. 26.



2. Blackstream International recently opened a Greenville location at 7C Brendan Way. Learn more at 3. Jordan Construction Company recently opened a new headquarters at 24 Vardry St. Learn more at 4. Southern Girl Chic just opened 2815 Woodruff Road, Suite 106. Learn more at southerngirlchic. com/2017/08/12/Greenville/.


5. Marla Rogers State Farm recently opened at 1099 E. Bulter Blvd. in Greenville. Learn more at


6. Club Pilates recently opened a Greenville location at 2107-A Augusta St.

CONTRIBUTE: Know of a business opening soon? Email information to




UBJ | 3.16.2018













Has been promoted to production manager of Infinity Marketing. Collins previously served as production supervisor. Collins is a graduate of Clemson University where he received a degree in graphic communications. Collins has over 10 years of experience in the commercial printing industry.

Has joined Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP as a member of the firm’s transportation and logistics team. Chase brings over 25 years of experience of front-line litigation experience in state and federal appellate courts. Chase is a graduate of Furman University and University of South Carolina School of Law. He previously worked as an assistant attorney general in the South Carolina Attorney General’s office.

Has joined SVN BlackStream as an associate advisor. Littlefield was previously a parts department manager for Toyota, which gives him a strong background in both sales and the transportation industry.

Has been elected to the Board of Greenville Revitalization Corporation by South Carolina Legal Services. Osmer currently serves as vice chair of the Greenville County Redevelopment Authority. Osmer is also the staff attorney of South Carolina Legal Services.

Has begun as a graphic design intern at Jackson Marketing for the spring. Brown is currently a senior at Bob Jones University, pursuing a degree in graphic design.

HEALTH CARE Jay Blankenship has received the 2018 South Carolina AHEC Gateway Award from Upstate AHEC, the Health Careers Program Department. LEADERSHIP Tindall Corporation’s President and CEO, Greg Force, was awarded the 2017 Mario J. Bertolini Leadership & Innovation Award at the 2018 PCI Convention. The award recognizes an individual who exhibits the personal and professional traits exemplified by Bertolini while serving in senior management roles of PCI Producer Member Firms. Chris Manley, the founder and CEO of local nonprofit Rebuild Upstate, recently received the Fred Sheheen Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Leadership from Together SC.

SERVICES UPS has announced 25 elite drivers from the state of South Carolina among 1,582 newly inducted worldwide into the Circle of Honor, which is an honorary organization for UPS drivers who have achieved 25 years of accident-free driving. The elite drivers from the Upstate include: James Abercrombie Jr., Danny Branch, Allen Donnahoo, Thomas Haeg, Darren Hewitt, Milton Johnson, John Park III, Gregory Robinson, and Randall Turner. NONPROFIT Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Carolinas has appointed four new board members: Sophie Clayton (CEO of Clayton Construction Company), Bill Guzick (Michelin North America), Daniel Lock (director of sales for Courtyard Greenville Downtown), and Jimmy Swiger (general product manager for Baldor Electric Company/ABB).

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

Epic team building @

the newest & largest track in sc

Rev Up Your Next Team Outing! The Upstate’s ideal meeting facility for groups of 10 to 500

Ready to race? Exit 60 off I-85 961 Berry Shoals Rd., Duncan 864-207-4255 3.16.2018 |




THE WATERCOOLER 1. Three Greenville entrepreneurs take Southern Pressed Juicery to Austin

Passionate Employees

The National Archives is a beautiful and formidable building that houses the three most important documents of our democracy: The Declaration of Independence; the Constitution; and the Bill of Rights. The Rotunda houses all three in an awe-inspiring and reverent fashion. The building is open to the public but only a certain number of guests are allowed into the Rotunda at a time to allow everyone to see the documents. The area is guarded as one would expect, yet we met a security guard that defied all expectations. Officer Williams was the security personnel monitoring the number of visitors in the Rotunda on the day of our visit. Before letting us into the area, he quizzed us on history and talked to the children about the foundation of our government. As we entered, he pointed out fun facts about each document and the building. He made it feel like a game and our children hung on his every word. When we left the area, he offered the children advice on the other exhibits and instilled a sense of curiosity. We thanked him graciously and he replied with a big smile, “I love my job.” Officer Williams was different than the other guards in the room. He did not stand in the corner observing and reminding guests not to touch; he engaged with the visitors enthusiastically and shared his knowledge with pride. He was a guard and a teacher. He had a passion for what he was protecting. Officer Williams realized that he was protecting more than priceless documents; in his own special way, he was protecting our democracy. Home from vacation and back in the office, I keep thinking about Officer Williams and the value he provided to his employer. How do businesses recruit employees who are passionate? How do organizations motivate their workforce? How much more successful could a company be if all employees had the spirit of Officer Williams? How can business leaders encourage employees to strive for this level of engagement? Answers to these questions vary among businesses and individuals and require an honest, in-depth review of your industry, culture, and employment practices. Many factors, such as hiring processes, communication styles, and HR policies, play a role in the establishment of an engaged culture. A passionate workforce can have a direct impact to a company’s bottom line. Unfortunately, we were not able to take a photo with Officer Williams since there is no photography in the Rotunda, but I don’t need a photo to remember his contagious spirit, his passion for U.S. history, and his love for his country and his job. He made an impression on me and his positive attitude will serve as an inspiration in the exploration of passion.

2. West End Community Hub to bring more co-work spaces, restaurants, and retail to the West End

3. The Spark: Happenings in Upstate Biz with Trevor Anderson

4. Michelin and Greenville County schools celebrate launch of youth apprenticeship program

5. New brewery Think Tank Brew Lab planned for 101 Airport Road

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


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



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

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UBJ | 3.16.2018





CONNECT Lee Yarborough

2018 | VOL. 7 ISSUE

I recently traveled with my daughter and friends to Washington, D.C. Every time I visit that city, I am overwhelmed with patriotism and pride. This trip was extra special because I watched history literally come to life in the eyes of my 11-year-old daughter. There were so many special moments on this trip, yet one individual we met has been in my thoughts at work this week.

UBJ | 3.16.2018



Mark B. Johnston







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:


Wells Fargo Speaking Series: Kodwo Ghartey-Tagoe, South Carolina president of Duke Energy

George Dean Johnson Jr. College of Business and Economics BMW Classroom at the George 160 E. St. John St. 12:05–12:55 p.m.

Cost: Free for USC Upstate students, staff, and faculty; $12 general admission For more info:, register at, 864-503-5593


Greenville Chamber of Commerce’s Pulse Breakout Breakfast

Aloft Greenville Downtown 5 N. Laurens St. 7:30–9 a.m.

Cost: Free for members, $25 for nonmembers For more info:; eaustin@; 864-239-3730

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:;



Ryan L. Johnston



Emily Pietras


Heidi Coryell Williams


COPY EDITOR Rebecca Strelow


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



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


Anita Harley | Rosie Peck | Jane Rogers


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

4/12-4/13 Monday


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

Will Crooks


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

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March 16, 2018 UBJ  

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

March 16, 2018 UBJ  

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