a product message image
{' '} {' '}
Limited time offer
SAVE % on your upgrade

Page 1

UPSTATEBUSINESSJOURNAL.COM

|

MARCH 27, 2020 | VOL. 10 | ISSUE 7

Is

CBD the new cash crop


THE OPENING BELL IN THIS ISSUE

18

CREW Upstate celebrates 10th anniversary along with award winners. Manufacturing plants in the Upstate experience shutdowns during the pandemic.

23

March Madness is usually an economic slamdunk for the Upstate. As events are canceled nationwide, Greenville feels the effects.

START Surcee.com helps users find the perfect gift. Read more about this new startup on Page 19

20

THE BIG NUMBERS

$150,000 $2.25M

CBD could be South Carolina’s next big cash crop. Read about the growing CBD industry in the Upstate |

photo PROVIDED

initial capital invested in Surcee.com tech startup. Page 19

brought in by the 2020 SEC Women’s Tournament. Page 23

Staying secure while working remote? Cyber attackers are taking advantage of new vulnerabilities due to the large number of employees working from home. Don’t let your business fall victim to attack. Gain piece of mind while you focus on keeping your workforce productive – let Corsica Technologies handle your cybersecurity.

March 27, 2020

Upstate Business Journal page

16

HOPE IS GREATER THAN FEAR. Learn how you can help at SalvationArmyGreenville.org

Visit us at corsicacyber.com or call us at (877)-659-2261


NEED TO KNOW

|

NEWS

BUSINESS

New to the Street Recently opened businesses in the Upstate

Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute recently held the grand opening of its sevenstory, 191-square-foot expansion. This expanded facility is adjacent to Pelham Medical Center and connected to the Gibbs Cancer Center. A climate-controlled connector bridge allows patients to move between the hospital and cancer center. This medical facility offers centralized registration to allow patients one place to complete paperwork; a 120-seat conference center; a cafe; an outpatient pharmacy; a retail shop featuring wigs, specialty clothing and other items to use during and after treatment; and a chapel. The services available include surgical, medical and radiation oncology, oncology research and rehabilitation services, infusion services, CyberKnife, and genetic counseling. Where: 2759 S. Highway 14, Greer Hours: 8 a.m-5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays For more information: Visit www.spartanburgregional.com/locations/gibbscancer-center-research-institute-pelham or call 864-530-6400

Tacos & Bla Bla Bla recently held a ribbon cutting. This Mexican restaurant offers tacos, gorditas, mulitas, burritos and more. Where: 123 Fountain Inn

N.

Main

St.,

Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. MondaysThursdays and 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays For more information: Visit www.tacos-blablabla.com or www.facebook.com/ pg/BlablablaFtInn, call 864-408-9228 or email tacos.blablabla@gmail.com.

Earn your Master of Business Administration degree in a program created specifically for active professionals. Offered fully online, completed in less than a year, and competitively priced under $20k, the 10-Month MBA at Gardner-Webb University is designed to be completed at the speed of life. The 10-Month MBA will strengthen your leadership skills and increase your knowledge in a wide range of key business functions. Fast, affordable, and worldclass the Gardner-Webb University 10-Month MBA will ignite your career.

John Harris Body Shops recently held a ribbon cutting at its second location in the Upstate. This facility offers collision repairs, auto body work, paintless dent repair, auto body painting and rental car service. Where: 240 Greenville

Feaster

Road,

Hours: 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Mondays-Fridays For more information: Visit www.jhbodyshops.com/locations/greenville-bodyshop/, call 864-469-4148 or email greenville@jhbodyshops.com.

Please note, hours listed are normal operating hours. These may have changed, please check with the business for current information.

gardner-webb.edu/mba10

March 27, 2020

upstatebusinessjournal.com page

10MBA-Ad1-Print--AfricanAmericanMale-UBJ-v3-2.indd 1

9/20/19 9:16 AM

17


NEWS

|

NEED TO KNOW

BUSINESS

BUSINESS

CREW Upstate celebrates award winners

n story by EVAN PETER SMITH

They were there in spirit, if not in person. CREW Upstate had to cancel its 10th anniversary awards celebration due to restrictions on public gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic, but that didn’t mean the commercial real estate group didn’t celebrate its decade of achievement remotely. The industry networking and advocacy group, which has more than 100 members, continued its mission to advance the achievements of women in real estate through its 2020 CREW Upstate Awards. Winners were announced in lieu of a formal ceremony. The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Debbie McDonough, tax senior manager at Cherry Bekaert and career outreach chair at CREW. Alongside Maurie Lawrence and Meg Scoopmire, McDonough founded CREW Upstate in 2010 and has been a prominent voice in

Upstate manufacturers halt production due to coronavirus n story by ALEX COOPER

CREW commemorative painting | LYNN GREER

the organization ever since. Jennifer Mustar, project manager and Greenville office lead at HDR, received the Distinguished Leader Award. Rounding out the list of winners were: • Mark Cooter, who won the Career Advancement for Women Award. • Chesley White, who won the Rising Star Award. • GSP International Airport air cargo facility, which won the Development Impact Award. In celebration of its 10th anniversary, CREW Upstate commissioned local artist Lynn Greer to create a watercolor print as a commemoration.

Manufacturing in the Upstate has taken a hit as companies work to quell the spread of COVID-19. Late last week, BMW, ZF and Michelin announced they were temporarily suspending production. ZF Transmissions has suspended production at its Gray Court facility due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will likely follow suit at its Duncan facility in light of BMW’s shutdown, the company said on Friday, March 20. “The current situation is of course very dynamic,” said Tony Sapienza, head of communications for ZF North America. “As a just-in-time business, when our auto manufacturer customers shut down, that shuts us down very quickly.” BMW also announced on March 20 that it will temporarily shut down its manufacturing facility in Greer due to the pandemic. In a statement, the company said it expected the suspension of production to last a couple of weeks: “The health and protection of our associates is our

top priority,” the statement said. “At the same time, the dynamic development of the [coronavirus] pandemic is having a major impact on the global demand for cars. BMW Manufacturing is taking a flexible approach and adjusting our production volumes accordingly.” Rounding out the partial shutdown announcements was Michelin, which has its North American headquarters in Greenville. It said on Friday, March 20, that the company would begin a temporary shutdown of its tire manufacturing lines across the U.S. “Michelin has started partial shutdowns at some plants in South Carolina. Each plant will have different partial shutdown situations,” the company said in a statement on Monday, March 23.

CARLTON MERCEDES

March 27, 2020

Upstate Business Journal page

18


START

Surcee gives the gift that keeps on giving

Industry: TECH, SAAS (Software as a Service) Founders: ALLAN SYMONETTE Number of employees: 2 Initial capital invested: $150,000 When Allan Symonette isn’t busy selling medical devices such as pacemakers and defibrillators, he’s pouring his heart into his startup. His startup website also deals with issues of the heart: giving unexpected tokens of affection, known in the South as a “surcee.” “A surcee is a gift that says, ‘I’m thinking of you,’ ‘I love you’ or ‘this reminded me of you,’” says Symonette, 57, who launched Surcee.com two years ago to help others — especially, let’s say, guys — who are, as he is, generally lousy gift-givers. The idea, he says, is to “get more smiles than snarls. Like my kids, for example. I struggle, y’know — I’ll get

them a video game, and they’ll go, ‘Dad, I played that six months ago.’” To solve that problem, create a profile on Surcee.com. Then populate your privacy-protected page with anything your heart desires: that little item you’ve always wanted, a preferred charity to donate to or a gift card to a favorite restaurant or retailer. The user then shares the page with only those family, friends and significant others he or she chooses while also sharing additional details, thus filling another need Symonette sees in our hyper-digital world. “I think we confuse connection with being connected,” he says. Then, as he’s if speaking to more to a target of his affection who isn’t in the room, rather than to an interviewer who is, he adds with a whimsical hint: “I want to know the stuff I used to know about you. It’s not just about me telling the world what I want, it’s about my friends telling me what they

want because I don’t know.” Apparently, nobody knows where the term “surcee” comes from. The origin stories of the distinctive Southernism appear as disparate as its spellings, and those thorny issues evidently stump the internet: “Nobody actually knows how to correctly spell the word. Suspected spellings are Sursee, Cercie, Surcie, Circi, Searcy, Sirsee,” a Charlestonian writes. “But since it’s predominantly a spoken tradition, there is no conventional accepted spelling.” “It’s catchy and it has a cool meaning,” Symonette says. “It captures what I’m trying to do.” So far, he has spent about $150,000 trying to capture what he’s trying to make Surcee.com do. He has also chatted with potential investors at VentureSouth, a Greenville-based organization of investor “angels” who venture-capitalize promising earlystage companies.

A surcee is a gift that says, ‘I’m thinking of you,’ ‘I love you’ or ‘this reminded me of you.’ -Allan Symonette, founder, Surcee.com

Stop dreaming the dream. Start driving it.

n story by JOHN JETER | photo PROVIDED

“It certainly saw the need that I face,” Paul Clark, a managing partner at VentureSouth, says of the site. “I think it has some potential. He’s done a good job integrating other platforms to get the products on there, and the platform’s working.” Asked if Surcee.com could help him, say, find just the right surcees, he says, “Pretty much every Christmas. I think it’s kind of a recurring challenge to come up with things that are both thoughtful and appreciated.” Says Symonette, “Gift-giving is a primal connection activity, and you want people to reconnect at that primal level. This gives joy, and it gives a conduit to do that.”

Not Your Average Security Company

The 2020 CLA 250 Coupe It’s the second generation of a seductive original. Its four-door coupe style whispers seductively in your ear. Its industry-advancing voice assistant lets you talk back. And from performance to driver assists, it responds even more eloquently. Starting at $36,650.

CARLTON MOTORCARS www.CarltonMB.com (864) 213-8000 2446 Laurens Road Greenville, SC 29607

Armed & Unarmed Security Officers Event Staff 24/7 coverage available SE-licensed and fully insured

(864)248-6390 www.bravo1protection.com

Certified WomanOwned

SLED License #3154

March 27, 2020

upstatebusinessjournal.com page

19


FEATURED

|

FROM THE COVER

Franny Tacy, co-owner of Franny’s Farmacy, on her North Carolina farms. | photo PROVIDED

CBD

O

n any major road in the Upstate there are signs for stores that sell CBD-oil products. Several local businesses, as well as national retailers, have jumped on the CBD bandwagon to sell it, and more than 100 farmers are licensed to grow hemp in the state — and regulators can barely keep up with the growth. The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 removed hemp with no more than 0.3% THC concentration from the Schedule 1 controlled substance list, which opened the floodgates for CBD retailers to enter the market. CBD — short for cannabidiol — is a compound found in both hemp and marijuana plants, which are cousins in the Cannabis sativa family. It’s the same compound in both plants, but the legality of it depends on whether it’s derived from hemp, which is legal, or marijuana, which is illegal in South Carolina. Legal CBD must have less than 0.3% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) component — that’s the compound responsible for psychoactive effect in users. If CBD has more than that amount, it’s an illegal substance in the state. Farmers who grow hemp must abide by the same rules and cannot grow a hemp plant with THC concentration of more than 0.3% on a dried weight basis.

March 27, 2020

Upstate Business Journal page

20

$24.4 BILLION BY 2025

The Brightfield Group, a marketresearch company, estimated the

CBD industry made $4 billion in 2019, a 562% increase over 2018, and is on track to be a $24.4 billion industry by 2025. Only 14% of adults in the U.S. use CBD products, according to Gallup, so the market has plenty of room to grow. In the Gallup Poll, of those who said they use CBD, 40% take the

SC's new cash crop? n story by KRISTINA HERNANDEZ | photos PROVIDED

product for pain relief. This tracks with what local retailers are saying is a big reason for its popularity. “I believe CBD became so popular so quickly because it does work for so many people,” said Christy Britt, owner of CBD Farmacy in Greenville. “We can only inform customers what CBD has done for

CBD Farmacy in Greenville stocks a number of cannabidiol-derived products. | photo PROVIDED

us personally and how customers have received many benefits for a variety of issues they have.” People who have had success with CBD oil claim it helps reduce anxiety and chronic pain, cramps associated with menstrual cycles, insomnia, arthritis, and depression. It has only been proven to be effective in treating severe epilepsy, hence the only FDA-approved drug containing CBD is the seizure-reducing medicine Epidiolex. Federal regulations prohibit CBD retailers from making blanket claims about the effectiveness of treating medical conditions. In November 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sent warning letters to 15 companies for illegally selling CBD in ways that violated the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, such as claiming it is a dietary supplement or that it treats certain diseases. Even so, the FDA recognizes that consumer interest is significant in CBD and states that it needs to work together with “the industry to fill in the knowledge gaps about the science, safety and quality of many of these products.”

‘A BETTER ALTERNATIVE’

I believe CBD became so popular so quickly because it does work for so many people. -Christy Britt, owner, CBD Farmacy

Britt and her husband became interested in CBD oil products after using it themselves and seeing positive results with their health. They opened their first store in 2017 in Taylors, which they sold as an affiliate after opening a second store in Greenville and a third in Columbia.


FROM THE COVER

“Our customers are looking for a natural, nonaddictive alternative to their prescription pain medicine,” Britt said. “With the huge opioid epidemic that has a grip on our country, people are looking for answers and a better alternative.”

There are huge differences between people [and] companies that are simply reselling CBD products and those of us who are growing hemp, processing and manufacturing our own products, and providing details throughout distribution. -Franny Tacy, co-owner, Franny's Farmacy

CBD Farmacy isn’t alone in its quick expansion. Purely CBD, a company that opened in the fall of 2018 with a storefront in Arlington, Texas, has exploded in growth. According to a map on the company website, Purely CBD now has 53

stores nationally, including three in the Upstate in Greer, Greenville and Easley. Franny’s Farmacy is an Asheville, North Carolina-based farm and small business that produces seed-to-shelf CBD products. Franny Tacy, who co-owns the farm with her husband, Jeff Tacy, opened Franny’s Farmacy in late 2018 in Asheville, and is currently poised to open her eighth and ninth stores early this year, including one in Clemson. A Greenville location already exists. “[CBD products are] certainly trending, but there will be fallout since so many tried to enter the industry,” Franny Tacy said. “There are huge differences between people [and] companies that are simply reselling CBD products and those of us who are growing hemp, processing and manufacturing our own products, and providing details throughout distribution.”

“Comparatively, growing an acre of strawberries may run a farmer $6,000,” said David DeWitt, hemp program coordinator at the Clemson Cooperative Extension Service. Hemp has the potential to be a cash crop that is not only used for the CBD oil industry. It can also be used to produce textiles, clothes, rope, paper and more, according to the South Carolina Department of Agriculture website. Even though prices for CBD products are holding or ticking up, DeWitt said farmers are struggling with selling their current crops because of the lack of processors in the state and the abundance of hemp. “In 2018, hemp was selling for $40 to $50 a pound, and just in the last couple weeks, I’ve had farmers tell me they were offered less than $10 a pound,” DeWitt said. “If we can grow, process and sell it here, that’s the ticket. It just takes time.” Both farmers and CBD manufactures are looking ahead to potential regulations coming from both state and federal governments as they try to catch up. “The CBD industry continues to grow and will have to become regulated for consumer safety and to establish rules for operating business,” Franny Tacy said. “Big business is waiting for federal regulations to come down by Oct. 31 when the farm bill expires. Expect to see wellknown companies entering the CBD scene next year [and] also buy-outs, consolidation and closings of many existing CBD companies.”

|

FEATURED

CBD in SC Epidiolex, which is used to treat severe epilepsy, is the only FDA-approved CBD drug product Sixteen hemp farming permits were issued in 2019 to Upstate farmers Source: South Carolina Department of Agriculture

According to a 2019 Gallup Poll, 13% of Americans in the South say they use CBD products CBD hemp-derived products will not give users a high because of their low THC level Source: Molecules, a monthly peer-reviewed scientific journal

A NEW CASH CROP

Helping the boom of the CBD market in South Carolina are the farmers growing hemp plants. In 2017, the state legalized hemp farming and initially gave 20 permits to grow the crop over a total of 256 acres. In 2019, the South Carolina Department of Agriculture granted 114 farmers permits. According to Vanessa Elsalah, outreach specialist at the South Carolina Department of Agriculture, hemp was grown on 3,300 acres in South Carolina. It’s a labor-intensive, expensive crop that can cost upward of $15,000 an acre to grow, yet has the potential to be profitable given the explosion of the CBD oil industry, says the South Carolina Department of Agriculture.

A field on Franny’s Farm in North Carolina is prepared for a new crop. | photo PROVIDED

page

21


NEWS

Our community is our business. Thank you for shopping local for 70 years and counting.

|

NEED TO KNOW

BUSINESS

On the Move Some of the Upstate’s most recent hires, promotions, awards and appointments ELECTED: Joanie Martin was recently named to the Community

Foundation of Greenville’s board of directors for a threeyear term. Martin is the chief administrative officer of Michelin North America. She is a graduate of Furman University and the Georgia Institute of Technology.

HIRED: Christine DeMint was recently named development

director for the Greenville Symphony Orchestra. DeMint has previously worked in sales, product management and market management roles. She has also served as the co-chair of the GSO endowment campaign and is a graduate of the University of South Carolina.

HIRED: Echo Bostrom was recently named assistant general

manager of Lakeside Lodge Clemson. Bostrom previously has worked for Southern Resort Group for the last six years and has held front office, group sales and rooms division manager positions at The Residences at Biltmore in Asheville.

NAMED: Carlos Phillips was recently named to the U.S.

Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100. Phillips is the president and CEO of the Greenville Chamber. He is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and Western Kentucky University.

PROMOTED: Tanya Camunas was recently promoted to executive

director of A Child’s Haven. Camunas previously served as director of quality assurance and program evaluation, and senior director of program and strategy at ACH. She holds degrees in human services and business economics.

“Purveyors of Classic American Style”

PROMOTED: Bo Rogers was recently promoted to senior vice

March 27, 2020

Upstate Business Journal page

22

864.232.2761 | rushwilson.com 23 West North St., Downtown Greenville

president of client services at Infinity Marketing. Rogers started at Infinity in 2011 as a media specialist. He is a graduate of the University of South Carolina Upstate.


NEED TO KNOW

|

NEWS

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

March Madness: Usually a slam-dunk for downtown businesses, merchants n story by JOHN JETER | photo PROVIDED

Things change in just a day.” -Suzanne Coe, owner, Connolly’s Irish Pub Talk about tipping the scales, here’s an even bigger fish: The 2018 Bassmaster Classic reeled in $11.5 million, he said, noting that while the women’s tourney played from March 4-8, the Bassmaster event ran eight days and jammed The Well, as well as a trade show at the TD Convention Center [now the Greenville Convention Center]. By comparison, he said, 2017’s NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament lured the likes of such fan magnets Duke, South Carolina and North Carolina, the latter two of which moved onto the Final Four. “We were a pretty good launching pad for all those schools,” he said, adding that their marquee status also boosted attendance and opened wallets — to the tune of $3.3 million. Then the coronavirus epidemic showed up, putting an end to the

March 24-29 women’s tournament. Up until the NCAA’s nationwide March Madness cancellations, bookings had been brisk at Residence Inn by Marriott Greenville Downtown and SpringHill Suites by Marriott Greenville Downtown, according to Jonathan Brashier, the general manager of the dual-branded properties that served as the host destination for the SEC event. Moments after the NCAA announcement, he texted: “We are allowing cancellations with no penalty.” Suzanne Coe, sole owner of Connolly’s Irish Pub just off Main Street, was busy enough planning for St. Patrick’s Day, also a cash-green machine. At the same time, she said she was keeping an eye on the oncoming pandemic. March is usually when the madness begins there, she said, because people have paid off their holiday credit-card bills and New Year’s temperance resolutions have dried up. “Things change in just a day,” she said, with some omniscience and, at the time, little optimism. Connolly’s prides itself on its location, along with the fact that, at 23, the pub now bills itself as the oldest bar downtown. “We’re an original, old, traditional drinking place.” At the same time, though, she said that while major sporting events and concerts add plenty to other businesses’ coffers, many tend to draw families or, at least, soberer types. “The NCAA crowd doesn’t appear to be as hard-drinking as, like, a Super Bowl crowd would be, so we don’t see an unbelievable crush,” she said, “but we would see a little bit of an up-

REVENUE BROUGHT IN BY THE WELL

Just days before the NCAA sidelined March Madness, Greenville’s hotels, bars and restaurants were looking forward to a full-court press of wallet-wielding crowds flocking to the Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament. Like other such marquee events, the tourney looked to be another easy layup for merchants to net hefty revenues. Were it not for COVID-19 and the subsequent shutdown of public spaces, the games’ economic impact would again have scored big points for downtown businesses, according to the city’s #yeahTHATgreenville office that keeps score of such things. Take the Southeastern Conference women’s basketball games held just two weeks before at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena. The event hauled in some $2.25 million, according to David Montgomery, vice president of sales at VisitGreenvilleSC.

tick when there’s a big game like that here.” Likewise, Bill Smith, who’s known as “den mother” at the iconoclastically irreverent Café and Then Some, doesn’t see as much of a bump as some of his merchant neighbors do. That’s because folks are coming to see another event, while others know downtown will be packed “Usually big events at The Well affect us in the opposite direction because parking becomes scarce and people hip enough to know that it’s actually going on downtown and who are not going to the event will avoid coming out,” he said. Although Cafe and Then Some does enjoy the city’s rising tourist trade, he said, “If you’re coming to Greenville for a sporting event or a concert, you’re probably not going to take the time to do something that’s an entire evening. You might go somewhere for a quick bite to eat, but you’d be less likely to see us or go to an event at the Peace Center.”

2020 SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament

Above: The winners of the 2019 SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament celebrate at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena. photo provided by BON SECOURS WELLNESS ARENA

$2.25M

2018 Bassmaster Classic 2017 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament

That’s where downtown restaurants such as Trio: A Brick Oven Café would, on any other normal day, fill the bill on Main Street. The eatery in the heart of downtown, open until 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, typically generates revenues between $15,000 and $20,000 on an average weekend. The SEC tourney scored an additional $6,000 over a similar time frame, according to general manager Brian Pittman. “We enjoy it,” he said of the bigtime basketball events and shows. “We love that we’re able to prepare for it. We love the fact that we get to meet new people, and it brings a lot of business into town.” The restaurant even sees return business from out-of-town visitors, who often dine there more than once when they’re in town, he said. Giving kudos to the arena, he added, “The Well changing and upgrading and bringing a lot of big names and big concerts and sporting events has really helped a lot.”

$11.5M $3.3M

March 27, 2020

upstatebusinessjournal.com page

23


UP NEXT GOT ANY THOUGHTS? PUBLISHER

CARE TO CONTRIBUTE?

Mark B. Johnston mjohnston@communityjournals.com

LET US KNOW AT

sherry@communityjournals.com.

EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT

Master of Business Administration

Susan Schwartzkopf

EXECUTIVE EDITOR Sherry Jackson

STAFF WRITERS

SET THE STAGE FOR ADVANCEMENT

Alex Cooper, Anna Lee, Evan Peter Smith

IN THIS WEEK’S ISSUE OF UBJ? WANT A COPY FOR YOUR LOBBY?

MARKETING & ADVERTISING MANAGER OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

ENTREPRENEURSHIP

& INNOVATION

Whether you want to launch a start-up or innovate in the workplace, the Clemson MBA in Entrepreneurship & Innovation will expand your business knowledge and help you reach your career goals.

jackson Marketing Group’s 25 Years

MARKETING REPRESENTATIVES Heather Propp | Mary Hill |Michelle Fleury

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 | sjackson@communityjournals.com

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

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

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

1998 1998 Jackson Dawson moves to task industrial Court

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

2003 2009-2012 Jackson marketing Group named a top BtoB agency by BtoB magazine 4 years running

him going and growing his business over the years. He is passionate about giving back and outreach to non-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

AS SEEN IN

NOVEMBER 1, 2013

SALES OPERATIONS MANAGER Meredith Rice

RELATIONSHIP MANAGER Anita Harley

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

ACCOUNT MANAGER Callie Michalak

CLIENT SERVICES Lizzie Campbell | Georgia Gay John Olson

ART & PRODUCTION GRAPHIC DESIGN

ANALYTICS

UBJ milestone

1988 Jackson Dawson opens in Greenville at Downtown Airport

1988

Donna Johnston

DIGITAL CONTENT MANAGER

BUSINESS

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 welcomes expert commentary from business leaders on timely news topics related to their specialties. Guest columns run 500 words. Contact the editor at editor@communityjournals.com to submit an article for consideration.

Laura Allshouse, Kimberly Collier

ADVERTISING DESIGN Michael Allen

Data-driven companies treat their data as a corporate asset and leverage it for competitive advantage. Gain exposure to software and programs like SPSS, SAS, R, Python, and Tableau to maximize strategic decisionmaking through Clemson’s MBA in Business Analytics.

Circulation Audit by

VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS Holly Hardin

ACCOUNTING AND HR MANAGER Kristi Fortner

HOW TO CONTRIBUTE Have a recently opened business in the Upstate? Submit photo and details to newtothestreet@communityjournals.com

For new hires, promotions, awards and appointments, send to

DEADLINE EXTENDED Apply by May 1

st

March 27, 2020

Upstate Business Journal page

24

WWW.CLEMSON.EDU/MBA

onthemove@upstatebusinessjournal.com

For quarterly commercial real estate transactions, send to dealmakers@communityjournals.com

Have a business event to submit to our networking and business events planner? Send to events@upstatebusinessjournal.com

publishers of GREENVILLE JOURNAL 581 Perry Avenue, Greenville, SC 29611 864-679-1200 | communityjournals.com For subscriptions, call 864-679-1240 or visit UpstateBusinessJournal.com Copyright ©2020 BY COMMUNITY JOURNALS LLC. All rights reserved. Upstate Business Journal is published biweekly by Community Journals LLC. 581 Perry Ave., Greenville, South Carolina, 29611. Upstate Business Journal is a free publication. Annual subscriptions (26 issues) can be purchased for $50. Postmaster: Send address changes to Upstate Business, 581 Perry Ave., Greenville, South Carolina, 29611. Printed in the USA.

Profile for Community Journals

March 27, 2020 Upstate Business Journal  

March 27, 2020 Upstate Business Journal  

Profile for cjdesigns