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MAY 1, 2015 | VOL. 4 ISSUE 18

The VERDAE Decade Ten years ago, 1,100 acres in Greenville became the nucleus of a master-planned community and the rebirth of Laurens Road. So what’s next for Verdae? Page 16



Concepts to Companies launched as ‘startup factory’ SATISFACTION

ASHLEY BONCIMINO | STAFF It might seem like a no-brainer to commercialize a product that’s 20 times cheaper than a competitor’s, but Clemson Bioengineering Associate Professor Delphine Dean says her research could just as well languish on the shelf. “I’m an expert in my field and I’m a great engineer and researcher,” wrote the MIT Ph.D. graduate in an email from her sabbatical in England. “What I am not is a business leader, and I really don’t know what the steps are to successfully commercialize a product.” Her research—a diabetes test strip that costs a nickel, 95 cents cheaper than the market leader—doesn’t simply lack seed funding, it lacks business acumen, said previous Sage Automotive Interiors COO Brian McSharry. “The easy path is to take an idea that a researcher has and license it to big pharma or a big chemical company or something similar,” he said. “The hard part is to take an idea that really needs a business built around it and go from there.” Enter Concepts to Companies, a “startup factory” that offers early investment and business development expertise to university research startups, said McSharry, a cofounder with business partner John Warner. The investment firm takes aim at the state’s problem with early-stage capital investment and entrepreneur mentorship as well as access to business development resources, said Warner, an Upstate entrepreneur who cofounded angel investment fund Capital Insight. All have been a problem for startups in the state since existing investment groups prefer to back startups that already have business plans and revenue streams, Warner said. “They say, ‘Call me back when you have some success to show.’” Warner said raising $1 million for Concepts to Companies—which, as a startup, required seed capital for itself—demonstrated the difficulty other entrepreneurs face when trying to get their ideas off the ground in the Southeast. “Getting from an idea to there is the problem,” he said. Investors may not want to invest in startups because of their high failure

John Warner and Brian McSharry Greg Beckner/Staff

rate, said McSharry. Concepts to Companies plans to minimize the risk by building a diverse portfolio of several startups based on the idea that while you “can’t pick a winner,” the success of just one or two can more than offset losses. The company currently has two portfolio companies, both of which will receive incremental investments that will hopefully allow them to realize as early as possible which companies will make it and which won’t, he said. The company’s portfolio currently includes Dean’s company—Accessible Diagnostics—as well as Recovr, which develops therapist-designed rehabilitation exercises that help patients through interactive games. Recovr was also born out of Clemson University research, but has made it through The Iron Yard accelerator program, is a South Carolina Research Authority company and is funded in part by National Institute of Health grants, said Recovr cofounder and COO Larry Hodges, also a Clemson professor. “A lot of other companies want to wait until you’re further along,” Hodges said, and he’s found it difficult to raise early capital despite winning pitch and business contests, grants and other accolades. Concepts to Companies represents an “earlier investor than a lot of these other guys who might be hedging their bets for another year or so,” he said. The challenge for Concepts to Companies going forward will be finding funding for subsequent rounds. The company’s existing portfolio—which McSharry hopes to expand to between five and seven companies by the end of 2016—needs to show progress in order for both previous and potential investors to want to put in more. “We’ve got to have some wins,” he said.

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VOLUME 4, ISSUE 18 Featured this issue: Palmetto acquisition illustrates smaller banks’ challenges 6 Emediagroup co-owner Bill Bishop’s marathon success 14 Office townhomes coming to Pendleton Street 22

MONEY SHOT: Students at the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) prepare to unveil its newest concept vehicle, Deep Orange 5, at the GM Renaissance Center in Detroit. For a look under the veil, see page 5. Photo provided by Clemson University.



“That is tremendous overhead for an organization of this size. And how do you handle it? You just absorb it. You don’t have a choice.” Page 14

Look for a new restaurant, Masala Curry, to open soon at Haywood Mall.

“A 20-story condo building overlooking I-85 wouldn’t be out of the scope o f possibilities.” Page 16 “How many bridges have to collapse and people have to die before we finally roll up our sleeves and do something about it?” Page 20

Local businessmen are actively working on a large new music venue downtown. Stay tuned for details. A new food truck will be hitting the streets of Greenville. Expect to see Automatic Taco serving up gourmet tacos soon at Community Tap and the Swamp Rabbit Café, among other locations.


On mistakes “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” Albert Einstein



Deep Orange 5 aimed at millennials in megacities STAFF REPORT

Clemson University students unveiled Deep Orange 5, the fifth iteration of their concept vehicle design project at the GM Renaissance Center in Detroit, a car aimed at “young adults who live in megacities in 2020,” according to the university.

Double-hinged doors for easy access in tight urban parking

A two-piece rear hatch for easy access in tight parking spaces

Color display in both front doors facing outwards for digital messages

Digital cockpit display for both drivers and passengers

Reconfigurable seating for driving, working, relaxing and storage

Spartanburg restaurateurs open Koi in Greenville SHERRY JACKSON | STAFF Koi, a new Asian bistro, opened for business this week. The restaurant is situated in the back of a small shopping center along Pelham Road near East North Street, adjacent to the Armed Forces recruiting center. This will be the third restaurant for owner Canas Lam and her husband, David Cheng, a chef. The couple also owns the popular Spartanburg restaurants Lime Leaf and Monsoon Noodle House, both of which are highly rated on Yelp and Urbanspoon and have won several awards. Lam said they decided to open the Greenville location after seeing the space, although it was a bit run-down. The previous tenants, who had operated a Thai restaurant, had not taken care of the space. Lam has been renovating since the beginning of the year, even painting some of the wall murals herself. She went to China to have custom-designed fixtures

made such as the bathroom sinks, some of the wall art, lighting and chairs. Lam said they use local ingredients when possible and everything is made fresh and from scratch, including sauces. “I care about every detail,” said Lam. The lunch and dinner menu includes stir-fried rice and noodle dishes, curries and soups. Dinner-on-

ly options include items such as duck pannag, volcano beef and butterfly shrimp. The restaurant will seat about 99 people and has a separate large party room. It also has a full bar, large wine selection and will be open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. Canas Lam, owner of Koi Lunch will be an “express casual service,” said Lam. Food will still be cooked fresh; they’re just cognizant of people’s lunch hours. The restaurant will be closed each day from 3 to 5 p.m. Diners will be able to look out at a large koi pond outside, which inspired the restaurant’s name. For more information, visit Koi is located at 115 Pelham Road, Suite 15.






Too big to fail, too small to succeed Palmetto Bancshares’ acquisition by UCB illustrates challenges faced by community banks “Not only do you have more regulatory hoops to and out of market—could crack the top five operatjump through, but you have a little less economic ing in the Upstate today. incentive.” Another factor community Market conditions that reportedly pulled The Palmetto acquisition—the banks face against larger banks is the Upstate’s largest community bank into a $241 second Upstate bank deal for 2015, increased competition, said Greer million acquisition deal last week are all too familiar among several others in 2014—is State Bank CEO George Burdette. challenges for smaller community “More competition—and more only the latest in banks—but that doesn’t mean the Upstate’s competition from bigger competithey’re a dying breed, according to banking market tors—is definitely a challenge,” Upstate bankers. transformation Burdette said. The attractiveness of Last week, leaders of 108-yearthe Upstate market means even more during the last old Greenville-based Palmetto competition than normal, he said. two decades. Bancshares announced an acquiCompared with One way to cut costs with lean sition deal by Blairsville, Ga.-based 20 years ago, the operations is to outsource, or for United Community Bank that market share some banks to share specialists, would make UCB the seventh-largcomposition has Burdette said. Bruce White est financial institution in the shifted dramati“You may see more banks come Upstate. cally, as well as on the scene who are InterUCB Chairman and CEO Jimmy net-based, where there’s no local the size of the Tallent said the deal was a part of branch at all, and that appeals to banks them- “I have three people dedicated to compliance, and that the Georgia bank’s expansion selves, according a lot of people, but I think looking Sam Erwin strategy for high-growth markets, is tremendous overhead for to data from the out into the future of the next few while its Greenville-based PresiFederal Deposit decades … there’s still going to be an organization of this size. dent and COO Lynn Harton said Insurance Corroom for and a call for local banks And how do you handle it? the acquisition would save UCB “We have a much greater cost poration. where you can walk in and see a You just absorb it. You $5 million in infrastructure costs In 1994, for person,” he said. from a compliance standdon’t have a choice.” over the next few years. Art Seaver, CEO of statewide example, 42 point today. … There’s not Bruce White, president of The acquisition also helps Palfinancial instituSouthern First Bank, said while there much else you can do than Bank of Travelers Rest metto Bank reduce the proportiontions were clearly is a size element, banking cut costs, and you can only al cost of one factor that has been comes down to relationships. headquartered cut costs so far.” squeezing most banks for years— “We wake up every morning knowing we have to in the state, while a mere 25 of namely, regulatory costs. Sam Erwin, chairman and those 42 could claim the same in prove the right to be our clients’ banker,” he said. “We have a much greater cost CEO of Palmetto Bancshares “Even large banks have good bankers that call 2014. Not only that, but the bank from a compliance standpoint with the most deposits—both in Greenville home.” today,” said Palmetto Bancshares Chairman and CEO Sam Erwin. “When you think PERCENTAGE OF DEPOSITS IN THE UPSTATE MARKET | SOURCE: FDIC about that environment, there’s not much else you can do than cut costs, and you can only cut costs so 60 far. … This gives us the efficiency and scale that we NATIONAL/OTHER BANKS would not have otherwise.” While regulatory costs have been on the rise ever 50 since the financial crisis, banking has always been a system of increasing complexity and compliance LOCAL BANKS rules, said Bank of Travelers Rest President Bruce 40 White. White remembers when call reports—just one of the periodic financial statements required by regulators—were one page, front and back. Today, he 30 said, the bank turns in call reports with more than 140 pages. “I have three people dedicated to compliance, and 20 that is tremendous overhead for an organization of this size,” he said of the nine-branch community STATE BANKS bank. “And how do you handle it? You just absorb 10 it. You don’t have a choice.” REGIONAL BANKS Regulatory burdens and heightened competition have made mergers and acquisitions more attractive, 0 which leads to larger and fewer banks overall, said White. “With all the regulations, this industry is not quite as profitable as it was 10 years ago,” he said. ASHLEY BONCIMINO | STAFF



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Photo provided

Photo by Lisa Carpenter

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Star time

Investing in top talent will boost state economy By ZORAN FILIPI & SCOTT MASON, Clemson University

The Chicago Bulls won six championships in the 1990s, but the brilliance of Michael Jordan more than any other player drove the team to greatness. While it took an entire company of employees to create the iPad and iPhone, the vision of Steve Jobs pushed Apple to what it is today. It’s hard to overstate the importance of top talent. Leading organizations often have one brightly shining star that guides the rest. The brightest of those stars have a gravitational pull that unites groups like the sun holds together our solar system. The rule applies to states just as easily as it does basketball teams and tech companies. South Carolina has some bright stars, but we could use more. The reason is simple: Top talent enables economic development. Here’s how: South Carolina is shifting to a “knowledge-based economy.” An increasing share of our state’s economic value is based on brains, rather than brawn. Our economic might is no longer determined by how much cotton we pick or how much tobacco we harvest. It’s more important to make new discoveries and invent new products. Hiring top professors for our universities is critical. Their projects are the ones most likely to produce the quality of research that can lead to new jobs. And top professors are the ones who can best prepare students for the increasingly complex demands of the 21st-century workplace. The best part, though, is that hightech means higher pay for all. The jobs created by university research tend to pay well, even for students who don’t get four-year degrees. It all adds up to an improved quality of life for all South Carolinians. While the state has some work to do, we’re off to a great start. For example, consider our colleague, Dr. Marek Urban, who is the J.E. Sirrine Textile Foundation Endowed Chair in Advanced Polymer Fiber-Based Materials.

Urban’s research group at Clemson University is working on polymers that heal themselves like skin. The technology could lead to car paint that fixes its own scratches, military vehicles that patch their own bullet holes and hip replacements that could repair themselves. Urban’s work is the kind of game-changing research that could create an entirely new industry based here in South Carolina. Along the way, he’s creating a new generation of materials scientists and engineers with specialized knowledge. One of Urban’s doctoral students, Ying Yang, co-authored the group’s findings in a journal and on a poster that won an award from the Royal Society of Chemistry. Urban is but one example of a star that is beginning to open South Carolina to a galaxy of economic opportunity. Several others are spread across Clemson University, the Medical University of South Carolina and the University of South Carolina. While the state’s top researchers are too numerous to mention, you’ll want to remember two names: Dr. Eric

Johnson and Dr. Amy Landis. Johnson is doing groundbreaking work in optics and photonics as the PalmettoNet Endowed Chair in Optoelectronics at Clemson. His research could fundamentally change how computers work, allowing them to run faster and use less energy. By working in his lab, Johnson’s graduate students get experience making sophisticated devices on a relatively large scale and go on to work for the likes of Intel and the national labs. Meanwhile, Landis was recently hired at Clemson as the Thomas F. Hash ’69 SmartState Endowed Chair in Sustainable Development. When she begins in July, Landis will coordinate the efforts of several Clemson researchers who are developing new sensors and other technology that collect massive amounts of data. The information could then be used to route transportation, detect structural anomalies, operate electrical grids and enhance emergency response in natural disasters. South Carolina’s knowledge-based economy could use more bright minds like Urban, Johnson and Landis. But top talent doesn’t come

free. Attracting and retaining the best takes investment. While many programs are helping, probably the best example is the South Carolina SmartState Program. It’s what brought both of us to the state. As part of the program, universities raise capital from private donors, businesses and other non-state sources to fund endowments that pay for specialized research professorships. The General Assembly provides dollar-for-dollar state funding through the South Carolina Education Lottery. As “Good to Great” author Jim Collins says, we need to “get the right people on the bus.” The good news: No one has to do it alone. By investing in top talent and working together as one South Carolina, our economy can be the bright shining star of the nation. Zoran Filipi is chairman of the Department of Automotive Engineering and Timken Endowed Chair in Vehicle System Design. Scott Mason is professor and Fluor Endowed Chair in Supply Chain Optimization and Logistics. Both are at Clemson University. Photos provided

This photo: Marek Urban, right, is developing polymers that heal themselves like skin. Left: Two names in research in South Carolina you’ll want to remember: Dr. Eric Johnson (bottom) and Dr. Amy Landis (top)



Are there better ways to manage social media? By LAURA HAIGHT, president, How would you describe your social media management style? Is your approach similar to any of these four? 1. You are hands-off. You don’t understand it, you don’t really want to hear about it. You pay someone to do it and, until you hear otherwise, they are doing their job 2. You lurk. Sure, you’ve got someone doing it, but you watch like a hawk and jump in frequently when you think things are going off-course. 3. You do it yourself. After all, how hard can it be? 4. You don’t do it. No one can tell you this matters. Your clients/customers aren’t tweeting. This would be a waste of your time. You’re a serious business and want to look that way. Almost every business has a social media presence of some kind now. But while big businesses have been building strategies and capitalizing on data, small firms have struggled with the two-edged sword: resources and training. Small business owners face the added challenge of managing an area they may have little knowledge of.

Develop a strategy and think through what you want to accomplish. There are scores of social media sites, and you can’t be everywhere—nor do you want to be. Here are some dos and don’ts to help small companies make more out of their social media footprint. DO find a resource to work with you on your social media. If you are a business with fewer than 10 employees, you really want to stay focused on your core product. Social media can help here, so you’ll want to layer it in, but you also don’t want to be personally responsible for maintaining it. Hire internally or bring in an independent contractor to help. DON’T think your work is done just because you found someone to handle this “task.” If you hire a freelancer, be

honest about wanting their advice. A great many independents fall back on doing exactly what they are told to do by their client. If you say you want a Facebook page with four posts a day, they’ll do that, regardless of whether it is the right approach for your business. A good partner will develop a strategy and goals with you and should be willing to explain things to you as you go along. DO develop a strategy and think through what you want to accomplish. There are scores of social media sites, and you can’t be everywhere—nor do you want to be. If your business doesn’t lend itself to photography, Instagram isn’t for you. If you are B2B, you may want to focus a lot of efforts toward LinkedIn. DON’T be a slave to any strategy. There’s a fine line between fickle and flexible. Any strategy has to have time to work. By the same token, predictive data over time can illuminate better paths. DO always listen to the voices of your customers/clients/constituents. Replacing a customer is difficult and costly. So hold onto the ones you have. Listen and respond in the most positive way possible. DON’T let anecdotal evidence dissuade you from what your metrics tell you. Facts can be very dangerous things: they often fly in the face of long-held beliefs, and dyed-in-thewool company behaviors. My least favorite phrase—“We have always done it this way”—is not the discussion-stopper it used to be when real evidence takes a seat at the table. DO let your staffer or contractor take your plan and run with it. Develop a calendar and work with them to make sure they’re aware of key events in your business each month. When new products are rolled out,

involve the social media side at the start, not as an afterthought. If there’s a special event in the works, use social media to drive interest, sell tickets and collect names and email addresses of attendees. DON’T let your social media get too far out of your control. Wherever possible, instruct your contractor or employee to open “business accounts.” If accounts have to be set up and associated to an individual’s email address, make sure the address is one used specifically for the social media accounts and that more than one person has access to it in an emergency. All social media access and login information should be in your control at all times. I have had several situations where clients had lost control of their own pages on various social media sites, and regaining access can be a lengthy process. And sometimes you don’t win.

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10 | FORWARD |





Is it time we retire the phrase ‘small business’? Your company’s impact has nothing to do with its size

By CHRIS MANLEY managing partner, Engenius Is a small businessperson tiny? Not in the least, but people insist on using this term when it makes no sense. “Small business” has become a catchall for any business that has fewer than 50 people, no matter what those people do or provide. A one-person company that makes $10 million a year by consulting on rockets is the same as the 49-employee company that could be a key tier-two supplier to BMW or a company like mine that does Web design and marketing and has 10 employees. Each is different, yet they are labeled “small.” It makes sense to compare companies based on things we can measure—employees, sales, revenue and market share. But the things we can count don’t necessarily capture the critical qualities. Indeed, the things we can count often stand in for intangibles, but those measurements can mislead us, misalign priorities and misrepresent the situation. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) defines a small business as one that is independently owned and operated, is organized for

profit, and is not dominant in its field. To me, that doesn’t capture what a small business really is, because I don’t believe any business is small, especially one that has big ideas or is impacting the community in great ways.

A company with 15 people may be doing more than a company with 1,000 when you look at contributions in money and time to nonprofit organizations, responsiveness to clients that goes above and beyond the norms, value to a customer, benefits

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I don’t believe any business is small, especially one that has big ideas or is impacting the community in great ways. A company with 15 people may be doing more than a company with 1,000. provided and the like. There is nothing “small” about that. You do not run a “small”—unimportant, insignificant, forgettable—business. You run a business. The impact of “small” businesses is invaluable to the local and national economy. Given the fierce global competition we face in the 21st century and the years to come, this is our hope for the future. Segments and demographics are for economists and marketers. I know it can be valuable information to reach a certain audience, but the label “small business” (or “midsize,” for that matter) is really a behind-the-scenes technical thing, not a “this is who I am” thing. It is a label, a measurement—it is not a definition and certainly not a judgment.


It’s easy to fall into the trap of what we cannot do because of our size. “If we were bigger we could buy more. If we were bigger we could invest more.” Yet because of your size, maybe you are able to still be engaged in the core of your business, and not just the management of it. Maybe you can respond quickly to an opportunity or a customer’s needs. When was the last time anybody referred to a conglomerate as agile? Maybe you can give your employees the attention they need and deserve to be happy as your employees (rather than somebody else’s). Maybe you can focus on what is important to you rather than what some New York analyst says. Because words matter and sometimes they send messages that don’t reflect important realities. Be a business owner. Make an impact. Don’t think small. Maybe it’s time we retire the phrase “small business” and look at them for what they are. Businesses. Business owners. Innovators. Entrepreneurs. Impactors. Game changers.

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Greenville-based startup TipHive is determined to make information sharing easy AMANDA CORDISCO | CONTRIBUTOR

Wouldn’t it be great if there was an easily searchable, structured, virtual directory made up of all of your coworkers and friends who could collectively share information about anything? Well, there’s an app for that: TipHive. TipHive is both an app and website dedicated to searching for useful information. TipHive is based on the creation of its “hives”—collections of information based on any topic the user would like to post. Every user has a profile that he can use to make hives, comment or follow others. With a commenting option and easily searchable profiles or tips, TipHive has worked toward making its directory extremely interactive. Users can choose to share the information in a hive with everyone, or only with a select group or individuals. Founder Joost Wentink and cofounder Madiken Scholl were determined to make sharing information easier—within a company, a university or users’ own interests. “We wanted to build a tool that’s going to capture that valuable experience of collectively sharing information in an organized way, that’s for your personal use,” Wentink said. “I can start a topic, invite people, and then we can share everything we know together about that topic.” >>


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>> The TipHive team is made up of 12 members in Greenville, and a development team across the globe. TipHive prides itself on its structure, Wentink said. “TipHive organizes ideas into searchable topics and profiles, to eliminate the stream or feed of endless unfiltered, and sometimes promoted, information,” he said. Even though it recently launched its app, TipHive has been growing over the past couple of years. “We have been focusing on our content and our product,” Wentink said. “The biggest challenge for us has been to make the directory social and interactive.” TipHive originally started in Montreal, but after deciding to move to the United States, the company connected with startup accelerator The Iron Yard. Iron Yard CEO Peter Barth suggested that Greenville would provide the support TipHive needed, instead of a Silicon Valley or a New York location. “And we couldn’t be happier,” said Wentink. “The entire Greenville community is so supportive, specifically our amazing investors and customers. And the community is so willing to help. Greenville couldn’t have been a better place for us to do this.” TipHive aims to be especially useful for companies, and offers a free trial for companies wanting to test out the app. “We help them set up a hive and all the information around that,” said Wentink. “It could be focused on customer support, sharing an employee handbook or sending around a piece of software. The company can evaluate it and decide if they want to be a customer or not. The trial is for anyone who wants to use a better, easier way of informing or communicating with employees, partners and suppliers.”

Wentink stands in front of ONE, the future site of TipHive’s new office in downtown Greenville.

Photo by Greg Beckner

Joost Wentink, cofounder of TipHive, with a screenshot from TipHive.









With emediagroup, Bill Bishop has made his mark in Boston and worldwide—but his heart and soul are in the Upstate

Photo by Greg Beckner


Bill Bishop keeps his childhood tricycle and lunchbox inside his office. His workspace doubles as an exhibit to the Greenville native’s life, a collection that includes a pogo stick leaning against a display case near the door. He says years of valuable memories help him understand the value of personal and professional relationships. Co-owner of emediagroup, a professional print and custom-design manufacturing company, Bishop blends values of relationship development and delivering creative responses to unique challenges. This includes custom car wraps, professional football team programs and printed numbers for runners in the Boston Marathon. “If somebody brings a situation, a challenge,

concern or problem, we’re usually going to say yes,” Bishop said. “Everything is under consideration with us.” He and business partner Joel Hogg started emediagroup more than a decade ago. Bishop’s souvenir collection in his office shows an appreciation of creating signs, posters and other materials. Among the memories displayed, a framed medallion and printed race number represent a commitment he made for his 40th birthday in 1998. He ran the Strawberry Mountain Half Marathon in Oregon. The importance represented by that race number compares to the experiences of millions of runners. Emediagroup printed about 10 million race numbers in 2014 for marathons and other events throughout the United States and beyond. “We’ll probably print 15 to 20 million this year,” he said. “Each of those numbers is incredibly special to the runner wearing it.”

You seem to live in your own world. How has that worked in business? Pretty good. I don’t think I’m the smartest guy in the world by any means, but I think I’m fairly intuitive. I think I’m a ready-aim-fire kind of guy. I can get into situations and assess the situation pretty quickly.

“If somebody brings a situation, a challenge, concern or problem, we’re usually going to say yes. Everything is under consideration with us.” Bill Bishop How do companies dependent on print avoid imminent doom when we have the Internet? You can only stare at this thing [nods at his computer] so long. Are you getting any less junk mail or catalogues in your mailbox each day? No. >>


>> There are probably more because more people are selling stuff. But if you notice we don’t have “print” in our name.

I think it’s foolish to say it’s not like this in business. We’re all humans. Those same kinds of values or guidelines you have in a marriage or a parenting situation are the same things you have in business, all day and every day. You hate when those things happen, but when they do, you go to the person you’ve got a deep relationship with, like when you’re married, and they help you. Even though they might not be happy with you, they love you. If they love you enough, it’ll be OK.

What does the “e” stand for in your business name? “Electronic”? It could. But it could stand for everything. Exuberance. Enthusiasm. Excellence. It stands for a lot of things. “E” gives that digital connotation, and that was intentional. We don’t do everything, but we don’t shy away from doing much. We’ll take a look at almost everything. I think we’re going to be the world’s largest printer of race numbers. We’re printing numbers for the Boston Marathon right now. All of those bibs that will be worn for all of those people are in this building as we speak. [Note: Bishop was interviewed prior to the Boston Marathon on April 20.]

How do you build trust when you meet people for the first time? I’m the “off” thinker. I want to find out about you. When people understand you’re really empathetic about what they’re doing and have a genuine and caring concern about who they are. I’m really not that book-smart but I’m street-savvy. I like to go in situations and find out what people are doing. The crazy, jumping-aroundness of me is still me. But I think people can see that I really care and am concerned about who they are, what they’re trying to do as a business.

How important are strong relationships in your kind of work? I know we’ve disappointed customers along the way—we’re custom manufacturing. We don’t make the same thing for all of our customers. Everything we do is made specifically for them. However, you find out what you’re made of when you do disappoint somebody. When you have that rough or rocky spot in your marriage, or when your kid is doing what your kid isn’t supposed to do, that’s when you find out what you’re really made of.

BILL BISHOP Company: emediagroup. It provides conventional and digital printing services, vehicle wraps, screenprinting, runners’ numbers and large-format printing.


Photos by Greg Beckner

You donate your time and other resources to Meals on Wheels and other charitable organizations. Why is this an important corporate value? We want to take care of customers, our employees and ourselves. But you must take care of the community you’re living in. I have a Meals on Wheels route personally, and our company has a Meals on Wheels route because that’s people’s grandmothers we’re delivering meals to. I can’t imagine not doing it. Giving will change your life.

Education: Bachelor’s degree in industrial education from Clemson University.

A lot of people choose to work somewhere besides where they grew up. Why is your business based in Greenville? We love this town. It’s inside of Joel and me. We’re not in this town; it’s in us. I used to take the bus from the mill village and ride downtown to go to the old soda shop. We love this town. We do business all over the world, but we want to be housed in this town. We love this place.

Family: Wife, Beth; two daughters, Kelly and Kerry; and two grandkids, Anderson and Mia.

Opposite page: Bill Bishop with emediagroup with one the company’s newest presses used to make racing bibs.

Career: Co-owns emediagroup; former sales manager at Electric City Printing and vice president of sales and marketing at COPAC Global Packaging. Reading now: “The Good and Beautiful Life” by James Bryan Smith, “Zero Day” by David Baldacci, and the Bible.

Weakness: “I get weak around kids and will go to great lengths to help or keep them from hurting,” he said. His children include grandkids, kids at church and those at the Meyer Center for Special Children and others he sponsors in India.

This page: (left) Bill Bishop with emediagroup and the wall at emediagroup where students from the Meyer Center left a lasting mark during a field trip to the company. (top) An assortment of racing bibs on the wall at emediagroup.

16 | COVER




The city within the city Over 10 years, Verdae has gone from a blank piece of paper to a 1,100-acre master-planned neighborhood, with no plans for slowing down SHERRY JACKSON | STAFF When John D. Hollingsworth died in 2000, the former textile magnate had amassed 42,000 acres of land, making him the largest private landowner in South Carolina. The crown jewel of his holdings was a 1,800-acre triangular slice of property at the interchange of I-85 and I-385 in the city of Greenville. Today, 1,100 acres (the other 700 are combined with CU-ICAR and the Millennium Campus) are called Verdae—a new-urbanism, master-planned, traditional neighborhood development celebrating its 10th anniversary this month. AN IMPORTANT JOB Hollingsworth willed his entire fortune, including the 1,800 acres, to a charitable foundation called the Hollingsworth Funds. His will stipulated that all profits from the sale of his land and holdings be divided among local groups that included Furman University, the Greenville YMCA and other Greenville County charities. The foundation’s board members knew they faced a challenge figuring out how best to use the property, manage the holdings and continue giving to the charities as Hollingsworth desired. MASTER PLANNING The 1,100 acres were zoned S-1 (services district), meaning an industrial park or business park would have been acceptable uses. Both were among the options discussed in the early planning stages, said Bill Monroe with WGM Design, who served as project architect for the Verdae master plan. “When we started, it was a blank piece of paper,” said Monroe. The planning team ultimately decided an urban neighborhood environment, with parks, homes, retail and office, was the direction to go. The initial 25-year Verdae master plan envisioned homes for 8,500-10,000 residents, 500 businesses and 15,000 jobs. “There have been some changes, but not to the detriment of the overall game plan,” said Rick Sumerel, president and CEO of Verdae Development. “We’re still within the scope of what was originally released.” Monroe said the hardest sell to board members in the early concept stages “was to do something in Greenville in 2004 that was innovative, and that a traditional neighborhood development in Greenville would work.” He said they looked at similar neighborhoods, such as

I’on in Mount Pleasant, Daniel Island in Charleston and Atlantic Station in Atlanta, when planning Verdae. “The biggest challenge is that we want to make this a signature product,” said Tim Reed, chairman of Verdae Development’s board of directors. “We want something that we can look back on and folks will say, ‘Wow, these people did it right.’” While he wasn’t on the board during the initial planning, Reed says he believes it’s definitely the right direction. EXECUTING THE CONCEPT In 2007, Ruskin Square, the first neighborhood within Verdae, began construction. According to plans, the first phase of Verdae was to get the residential component started, Sumerel said. It was important to get things right and keep a quality look and feel to the development, Monroe said. Guidelines were created that are still followed today; each house built at Verdae goes through an intensive review to ensure it meets the original vision. “Even during the recession we were very deliberate,” Sumerel said. “Our first question is always, ‘What do you want to do on the property?’ Then we talk about land price.” Since 2005, 463 homes have either been built or are under construction at Verdae, with another 559 apartments. “Now, phase 2 is when the neighborhood retail and office components kick in, and we’re right on target,” Sumerel said. Monroe said more and more urban development would appear as the master plan continues to unfold. “We’re barely scratching that surface,” he said. Monroe expects Verdae to start “getting the feel of a small South Carolina downtown.” He remembers once overlaying the Verdae master plan onto the downtown Greenville map, and was surprised to see Verdae is “five to 10 times the size of downVERDAE continued on PAGE 18

Verdae Masterplan : Current Status

Verdae projects developed/ underway since 2005 Infrastructure • Redevelopment of Rocky Slope Road • Design and installation of Legacy Park • Verdae Monuments—at each entrance of Verdae Boulevard

Professional office/retail • Internal Medicine Associates • Upstate Pediatric Dentistry • Parkside Pediatrics • Palmetto Orthodontics • QuikTrip • SC Telco • Bank of Travelers Rest • Legacy Square at Hollingsworth Park, Phase 1 - 40K SF on 2 acres • YMCA of Greenville— Verdae

• NHE Inc.Holliday Dental • Park View • Verdae Development Corporate & Sales Office Residential • Cascades Verdae, CCRC • Hollingsworth Park »» Shadwell Townes, 27 townhomes »» The Townes at Belhaven, 30 townhomes »» Belhaven Village, 147 homes »» Ruskin Square, 109 homes »» Braydon, 96 homes »» The Manor, 54 homes »» Tapestry, 241 apartment homes • Parkside at Verdae, 56 apartment homes • Velo at Verdae, 262 apartment homes Laurens Road Redevelopment Plan • Purchase of former Sam’s Club building • Purchase of former Best Buy building

Photos and renderings provided

18 | COVER




Getting around Verdae—and beyond Transportation corridor along Laurens Road could create sizable economic impact

happening on another parcel down Laurens Road. This first complex bodes well for future development.”

It could be a personal rapid transit (PRT), driverless taxi, golf cart or bus that zips along the abandoned rail bed that parallels Laurens Road in Greenville, but whatever form it takes, a transportation corridor could create substantial changes in development, the economy and connectivity. In three years, the Greenville Health System Swamp Rabbit Trail used by walkers and cyclists created an estimated $6.7 million economic impact just from non-local users, according to a 2014 report. Verdae president and CEO Rick Sumerel said the Verdae master plan has always assumed that the rail corridor would become a multi-modal transportation thoroughfare connecting CU-ICAR, the Millennium Campus and downtown Greenville, passing right past the development. Like the renaissance in Travelers Rest after the Swamp Rabbit Trail connected the small town with downtown Greenville, Sumerel predicts a similar trend for the new corridor. “I think the economic development is going to be exponential to what we’re seeing in the northern part of the county,” he said. “We are beyond the ‘could it happen’ stage and we are into the first phases of what’s going to happen.” Sumerel pointed to Velo at Verdae, a new housing complex in the works that will offer 262 apartments on 25 acres. The project is deliberately sited to face the trail in progress, he said. “The apartment developers have already designed their complex with multiple access points [to the Swamp Rabbit] so that their residents can take advantage of it. We see that

DOING BUSINESS ON THE TRAIL Greenville County Councilman Fred Payne is an advocate of on-demand PRT (sometimes called podcars) along the corridor, along with Green Villages, multiple mixed-use developments that allow residents to live, work, shop and play. He predicts the economic impact of this type of development could be as much as $1 billion and divert thousands of cars from congested roadways. Sumerel said he envisions the corridor populated with users similar to those on the northern portion of the Swamp Rabbit Trail, initially used by cyclists and pedestrians. “We think that corridor should not be limited to walking, bicycling and maybe golf carts. We think the potential there is significant,” he added, saying motorized transportation will come, too. Greenville County Councilman H.G. “Butch” Kirven said that the first step is to get the trail established along the corridor. As far as economic impact,“it would certainly improve opportunities in the Pleasantburg area—whatever that entails,” he said. When the city of Greenville and Greenville County announced they would contribute to the corridor development, “that increased the number of calls we’ve had from folks asking us about the availability of sites to do businesses on the trail,” Kirven said. “I think as long as this momentum continues and the city and county continue to work together to get the initial phase done, that’s going to be the classic momentum-builder for the first project and a whole series to connect downtown to Verdae to ICAR and even further.”


“The biggest challenge is that we want to make this a signature product. We want something that we can look back on and folks will say, ‘Wow, these people did it right.’” Tim Reed, chairman of Verdae Development’s board of directors VERDAE continued from PAGE 16

town Greenville. It could be a whole other city within the city.” The addition of the GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail will also be a huge asset, said Reed. “It will tie into the wellness of Greenville.” Monroe said he anticipates specialty shops and further development along I-85 and Verdae along the lines of a Phillips Place in Charlotte. “That’s where we’re pushing for next,” he said. “A 20-story condo building overlooking I-85 wouldn’t be out of the scope of possibilities.” RESHAPING LAURENS ROAD “One of the top things we’d like to see most is to execute the redevelopment of Laurens Road,” said Sumerel. Just this week, Verdae released a statement announcing plans to demolish three former retail buildings along the Motor Mile this summer. As soon as the required permitting is obtained, the former Best Buy, Sam’s Club and Jack in the Box on Laurens Road will be removed to make

way for new development. “Since the redevelopment announcement last year, Verdae has finalized an agreement to sell 25 acres of the residential portion of the project”—the Velo at Verdae apartment complex announced in February, Sumerel said. “Taking down the old buildings is the next step to move 30 acres of the project’s retail segment forward. Marketing the raw site will be the best way to showcase the property and location.” Verdae Development announced the redevelopment of Laurens Road a year ago, projecting a $100 million redevelopment effort with 30 acres of retail, 70 acres of residential and a new park and trails connecting to the GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail. The 100-acre project is one of the city’s largest commercial enhancement projects in years and will stretch between Laurens and Woodruff roads—radically changing the look and feel of one of Greenville’s oldest commercial corridors.

Existing projects within the Verdae Master Plan prior to 2005 • Bonaventure Office Buildings • Azalea Hill Apartments • Embassy Suites Hotel, now Embassy Suites Greenville Golf Resort & Conference Center *268 rooms, 20K SF of conference space

• Verdae Greens, now The Preserve at Verdae *18 holes, open to the public • Verdae Village Shopping Center • Verdae Marketplace Shopping Center

WHAT’S NEXT? Sumerel said he hopes to sign a restaurant soon at Legacy Square, Verdae’s current retail hub, that will serve as a catalyst for even more neighborhood retail and office. “Then we can start moving up on the radar screen for major corporate office uses to the area,” Sumerel said. The 60 acres located along I-85 behind the two

current office buildings have always been designed to handle a large office headquarters, similar to the TD campus or Hubbell Lighting headquarters. “The ideas and thoughts put down years ago planted the seeds; we’re just harvesting them,” said Reed. “It is now a well-oiled machine that keeps churning out quality developments.”

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CWIBenefits The Upstate of South Carolina is a beautiful area home to many businesses. It is also home to severe thunderstorms in the summer and ice storms in the winter. As the weather warms up, as memories of recent winter storms Scott Kelly melt President Carolina Heating Service away, it’s tempting Serving Greenville to forget since 1981 the cold, hard dread that the lights might go out. Most of the Upstate felt the effects of no power due to ice and wind. But the potential for storm related power outages is a year-round sleeping trigger. While you cannot prevent power outages, you can prepare for them. As a business owner I know just how important having power is to stay profitable and keep that competitive edge, so do the folks at CWIBenefits here in the Upstate. CWIBenefits is a third party administrator of employee health benefits serving clients across the country. Today’s benefits world is 24/7 and the need to obtain employee benefit services around the clock is extremely important. In a competitive world, assuring their clients continued continuity of operations provides CWIBenefits an advantage over many of their competitors who would be at the mercy of their local power grid. Virtually every function of their business is dependent in some way on a power source. From the call center to the employee access to web tools, from the service bureau that mails out benefit cards to tracking benefit enrollments on the web or over the phone, everything needs power. And power is needed to keep computer servers up and running. Any loss of power takes them out of communication with their clients and their employees. As peace of mind Carolina Generators installed an 80KW Generac Generator on location.

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Overcoming the failure to act Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell on investing in transportation and infrastructure By ASHLEY DOWNING, communications manager, Ten at the Top

Since 2012, Ten at the Top has been hosting regular regional forums looking at issues that impact economic vitality and quality of life across the Upstate region both today and as we look towards future growth in the region. For the first forum of 2015, former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, who is one of the founders of the nonpartisan organization Building America’s Future, made the trek to South Carolina to offer insight into how and why it is important for the region, state and nation to get past the longtime failure to act and move forward on investing in transportation and infrastructure.

EVENT: Ten at the Top/Our Upstate Vision Regional Forum WHERE: Greenville Marriott WHO WAS THERE: 150+ leaders from across the Upstate region KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Ed Rendell, former governor of Pennsylvania

IGNORING THE WARNING SIGNS According to Rendell, Washington and state governments have ignored the warning signs, whether they be the D+ grade that the American Society of Civil Engineers assigned to the nation’s infrastructure or that 25 percent of all bridges in the country are in need of repair. “Ten years ago, the World Economic Forum rated the United States infrastructure the best in the world,” Rendell said. “Today we rank 12th and are

regularly getting beat by countries like France, Iceland and Singapore.”




the Upstate, the estimate is 27 hours of unnecessary idling time per year and a cost of $570 per driver in lost time and wasted fuel. 3. Economic competitiveness: “Economic competitiveness is hurt dramatically by our inability to move goods quickly and efficiently,” Rendell said. 4. Jobs: “Everyone talks about needing good middle-class, family-sustaining jobs,” Rendell said. Investing in roads and infrastructure can not only impact safety, quality of life and economic competitiveness, but “according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, for every $1 billion spent on transportation infrastructure, it produces 25,000 jobs—well-paying jobs that pay $50,000$80,000 per year—and not just in construction, but also U.S. manufacturing jobs.” >>

4 IMPACTS OF INVESTING (OR NOT) IN INFRASTRUCTURE Rendell highlighted four areas that are specifically impacted when adequate investments are not made in transportation and infrastructure, whether at the local, state or national level. 1. Jeopardizing of public safety: “How many bridges have to collapse and people have “How many bridges have to collapse and people have to die to die before we finally roll before we finally roll up our sleeves and do something about it?” up our sleeves and do Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell something about it?” Rendell asked. “When the bridge in Minnesota or in Washington collapsed, it was a big hubbub for 30 days, and then everyone forgot about it and moved on to other issues. And it isn’t just bridges. Roughly one-third of all traffic fatalities in the United States are caused by poor road conditions.” 2. Negatively impacting quality of life: Rendell pointed out that according to the 2012 Urban Mobility Report, traffic congestion that results in sitting in traffic and unneeded idling wastes 2.9 billion gallons of fuel per year while keeping Americans from being able to attend family activities or from getting to work. For Greenville and





Ten at the Top/Our Upstate Vision Regional Forum

Wednesday, June 2, 3–5 p.m. “Innovation and the Changing Landscape of Healthcare” Crowne Plaza, Greenville “There is government spending that is wasteful,” Rendell said, “but there is also government spending that is vitally important. Investing in transportation and infrastructure is critical to maintaining the United States as the greatest country in the world.”

Former S.C. Gov. Richard Riley (left) with former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell Photos provided


INVESTING IN GROWTH Successful companies are those that invest in their own growth, Rendell said. He said one of the problems in the United States is that our elected leaders are not fulfilling their obligation to invest in infrastructure. He pointed to the Federal Highway Trust

Fund, which has been funded in recent years by short funding measures and is currently scheduled to go broke later this year. South Carolina receives roughly 80 percent of the funding for transportation programs from federal funds.

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COUNTRY OF RISK-TAKERS Rendell pointed to history for lessons on how the United States has taken risks and done what was needed to keep the country great. “Every time we needed strong courageous action, we have done it,” Rendell said. He pointed to the building of the Erie Canal, the Transcontinental Railroad and the interstate highway system as examples of when our leaders have ignored those who said it couldn’t be done or that it was too expensive to do what was necessary to grow the economic vitality and quality of life for Americans. “We cannot be afraid to make the investments that are necessary,” Rendell said. “The consequences are too high.”






Rendering Provided.

Office townhomes slated for Pendleton Street tte





ARCHITECT: Thomas Croft, Croft Architecture SALES/MARKETING: Drew Parker, The Parker Group

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DEVELOPER: JDI Holdings, Inc.





Pendleton Street in the Village of West Greenville may bring much-needed boutique office space for those wishing to be in a downtown location but without the higher price tag and with available parking. Pendleton Street Office Townhomes will consist of eight two-story office/retail commercial townhomes at the intersection of Pendleton and Aiken streets on a one-acre parcel. Each unit will be approximately 2,400 square feet and will be sold in a shell condition with owners responsible for their own interior build-out. There will be about 43 parking spaces for the development. “We have considered several options for this site, but ultimately let the market dictate what should go


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New office townhomes planned along



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there,” said Drew Parker of The Parker Group, which is handling the sales and marketing. “The Village is one of the most exciting and rapidly developing areas of town. There is a huge demand for retail and office space in that area, but the demand has outpaced the supply.” Aggressive financing is currently being offered, said Parker. Prices will begin around $300,000 per unit. Construction is expected to begin this fall.





Construction underway at City Homes at Markley Construction is underway on the first two homes at City Homes at Markley by Cole Properties, located on the corner of North Markley and Calhoun streets, near the Kroc Center in Greenville. The 14 single-family homes will be three-story “row homes” featuring large outdoor living areas with small yards, two-car garages and views of downtown. Some plans include private elevators and an optional solar package. Homes will be energy-efficient with sprayfoam insulation, tankless water heaters, energy-

efficient windows, a highefficiency HVAC system and water-efficient fixtures, said designer/ builder Trey Cole. Each city home will have an “urban loft feel” and have three or four bedrooms and 2.5-3.5 bathrooms in 2,400-3,000 square feet. Homes are priced from $540,000-$757,000 and will be built as they are sold. Cole is offering a one-year guarantee that gas and electric costs will not exceed $150 per month. A May 17 open house is planned on the site from 2 to 4 p.m.


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3. ALLOWS ACCESS TO ALL FAMILY MEMBERS AT HOME AND WHEN TRAVELING. Telemedicine will cover everyone under 26 years old in your household, whether or not they are on the company health plan. For times when you are traveling or for college age children that are not living at home, telemedicine offers an easy way to access care without having to go to an out of network doctor, urgent care or the emergency room.

4. ELECTRONIC MANAGEMENT OF MEDICAL RECORDS. According to Express Scripts, the nation’s largest pharmacy benefits manager, Pharmacy costs rose 13% last year and Specialty Pharmaceutical costs rose 31%. As consumers are faced with these escalating drug prices and higher out of pocket costs, they will need to familiarize themselves with the different types of pharmacy programs to help them control their pharmacy spending. As costs continue to rise, we will see more drugs fall into prior authorization, step therapy, and quantity limit programs in an effort to slow the increases.

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National parks generate $103.1M for SC A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 1,519,746 visitors to national parks in South Carolina spent $81.1 million in the state in 2014. That spending resulted in 1,275 jobs and had a cumulative benefit to the state economy of $103.1 million, according to the report. “This new report shows that national park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy—returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service—and a big factor in our state’s economy as well, a result we can all support,” regional director Stan Austin said in a release. The national parks sites in South Carolina are Charles Pinckney National Historic Site, Congaree National Park, Cowpens National Battlefield, Fort Sumter National Monument, Kings Mountain National Military Park and Ninety Six National Historic Site. The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Christopher Huber and National Park Service economist Lynne Koontz. The report shows $15.7 billion of direct spending by 292.8 million park visitors occurred in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 277,000 jobs nationally; 235,600 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $29.7 billion. According to the 2014 report, most park visitor spending was for lodging (30.6 percent) followed by food and beverages (20.3 percent), gas and oil (11.9 percent), admissions and fees (10.2 percent) and souvenirs and other expenses (9.9 percent).



creating an eight-sided object similar to a compass. McKay said the simultaneous launch of the new website represents a commitment to expand the company’s visibility and reach. “We wanted to make it easy for our members to go where they need to, get the relevant information and not lose time scouring page after page. We recognize they are busy people,” he said. The site features a responsive design to accommodate the viewing requirements on mobile devices, tablets and computers. The new brand look will be rolled out across all locations and touch points of the credit union over the next several months, he added.

Mechanical Systems acquires Thompson Construction Mechanical Systems & Services Inc. (MSS), a specialist in HVAC systems with operations in the Upstate, acquired the HVAC division of Sumter, S.C.-based Thompson Construction Group Inc. The acquisition enables MSS to reach commercial and industrial clients in the coastal region of the state and expands the company’s footprint to all South Carolina markets. “MSS is extremely proud of our association with Thompson Construction Group and CEO Greg Thompson, and we are excited about the opportunity to combine our best-in-class HVAC expertise with Thompson’s exceptional reputation and understanding of its clients’ needs,” Hunter Edwards, president of MSS, said in a release. With the acquisition of Thompson HVAC, MSS now has offices in Charlotte, Asheville, Raleigh, and Winston-Salem, N.C., as well as Greenville, Charleston and Myrtle Beach, S.C.

South State to purchase 13 banks South State Corporation has entered into an agreement to purchase 12 South Carolina branch locations and one Georgia branch location from Bank of America. The acquired branches are located in Florence, Greenwood, Orangeburg, Sumter, Newberry, Batesburg-Leesville, Abbeville and Hartsville, S.C., as well as Hartwell, Ga. South State anticipates assuming approximately $580 million in deposits and purchasing approximately $3 million in loans from the acquisition. Pending regulatory approval, the closing is scheduled to occur in the third quarter. South State will hire all current employees at each of the acquired branches. “I am pleased to announce this expansion of South State in South Carolina and Georgia. These offices are a great addition to our existing banking network,” said CEO Robert Hill Jr. “We look forward to growing and investing in these communities and to welcoming these customers and employees to South State.”

SC Telco updates its brand SC Telco Federal Credit Union refreshed its logo, branding and website, “Over time, every brand freshens its presentation to reflect evolving tastes of customers, whether McDonald’s iconic golden arches or Coca Cola’s famous script lettering, as they work to remain relevant to members and customers, and SC Telco is no exception,” Brian McKay, COO of SC Telco, said in a release. The logo icon has been rotated and overlays the square of the prior logo design,

Scio Diamond set to double capacity Scio Diamond Technology Corporation will complete a manufacturing expansion in May to more than double its capacity to create lab-grown diamonds. The company is refitting its current diamond-growing reactors with larger growing platforms and also adding new reactors. Scio Diamond produces single-crystal, Type IIa lab-grown diamonds for jewelry and industrial applications. The company produces 3-5 carat rough gems that are finished into 1-2 carat stones and polished for jewelry or sliced and shaped for industrial applications. Plans to double production capacity at the company’s facility in Greenville began when the company closed $2.5 million in growth funding from Heritage Gemstone Investors (HGI) in December 2014. HGI is a group of investors in Greenville that includes Vivian Wong, William Coleman, and Sudhirkumar C. Patel, M.D. “We had already committed our production levels to existing customers, while demand for our lab-grown diamonds was growing quickly,” CEO Gerald McGuire said in a release. “This expansion will let us produce more than twice the amount of diamonds we were producing just three months ago.”

Upstate Michelin plants win safety awards The Michelin Tweel plant in Greenville and US10 plant in Starr-Anderson won awards from the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) for >>


>> excellence in worker health and safety. Additionally, the US1 facility in Greenville won an award for significant improvement in worker health and safety. Two categories of awards were presented to companies that demonstrate workplace safety improvements, which are measured by the incidence rate for lost workday cases. The excellence category is for facilities that achieve an incidence rate that is 75 percent better than the

14,000 people attended iMAGINE Upstate The 2015 iMAGINE Upstate Festival drew more than 14,000 attendees in its inaugural year, according to results released by the organization. “When we set out to plan the festival we wanted to create an experience that would impact a broad range of ages and interests,” said Ryan Heafy, executive director of iMAGINE Upstate. “In order for this program to make a lasting impact, we knew that we needed to showcase a variety of organizations on Main Street combined with a series of live shows throughout the day.” The festival was created to inspire Upstate students to pursue studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The festival hosted 61 organizations from across the Upstate that gave attendees handson experiences with science and technology.  “Beyond the festival, we want iMAGINE Upstate to help foster student conversations around their futures,” said Sarah Arbogast, director of marketing and events. “An ongoing goal for iMAGINE Upstate programming is to help facilitate peer-to-peer sharing and learning.” 

average achieved by plants that provide data to RMA. The improvement award is for plants that achieve an incidence rate that is both 10 percent better than its rate in the previous year and the same or better than the RMA average incidence rate. For 2015, four excellence awards and 16 improvement awards were presented at the RMA’s annual meeting.












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26 | ON THE MOVE |










Bill Donohue

Michelle Dodge

Claude Robinson

David Charne

Michael O’Boyle,

Named vice president, director of creative services by Crawford Strategy. Donohue has 25 years of experience in branding, marketing and agencies. His previous experience includes working with Home Depot, BMW, Electrolux, Ryobi and Maxfli Golf. He was founder and chief creative director at Fuel for nearly 20 years.

Named vice president and business relationship manager for the Upstate area at Regions Financial Corporation. Dodge has more than 19 years of banking experience. She will develop business client relationships and partner with wealth and consumer teammates to provide comprehensive financial solutions.

Named leader of the Private Wealth Management initiative by Regions Financial Corporation. Robinson has more than 35 years of experience in the financial services industry. He most recently served as director of private banking for South Carolina at Park Sterling Bank.

Named to the board of directors at Aunt Fannie’s Inc. Charne most recently served as interim COO and CFO at Talbots. He was formerly managing director at Alvarez & Marsal in San Francisco. He received TMA’s Large Company Turnaround of the Year Award in 2012 for his work with Harry & David.

Received the Lewis W. Blackman Patient Safety Champion Award. O’Boyle is a fellowship-trained orthopedic trauma surgeon with the Bon Secours Medical Group. Under his leadership, Bon Secours St. Francis developed an innovative, patient-centered Osteoporotic Fracture Center (OFC) program.

DEVELOPMENT O’Neal Inc. hired Juan Sanchez as senior structural designer and Nick Gentile as senior piping designer. Sanchez has more than 30 years of structural design experience, working with HOK Architects, Metromont Prestress Company and CH2MHill.

Gentile has more than 15 years of piping design experience, including 10 years of PDMS. He has worked with DuPont and Jacobs Engineering, and joins O’Neal from AMEC. GMK Associates Inc. hired Joni L. James as a construction project manager in the interiors divi-

Rebecca Faulk Professional Recruiter

sion. James most recently served as the director of security and facilities for South Carolina State Credit Union where she was responsible for the planning, development, budgeting and on-time completion of facility construction projects. >>

We’ve already met your next employee.

Godshall Professional Recruiting and Staffing specializes in executive recruiting, career placement and consulting for businesses and job seekers in South Carolina. Our professional services team has more than 40 years of combined experience recruiting in the following areas: Sales, HR, Administrative, Legal and Insurance. Let us find the perfect fit for your employment needs.

Professional • Finance • Technical • Healthcare • 864-242-3491

GODSHALL Professional Recruiting Staffing Consulting



| ON THE MOVE | 27

Mobile Payments It’s the way of the future . . . the very near future . . . And it’s coming faster everyday. Your customer’s walking-around-money is about to grow some legs. The number of customers with smartphones already exceeds the number who carry cash. Will your business stay in stride?

Matt Babb Named vice president, commercial relationship manager for Greenwood and Abbeville counties for The Palmetto Bank. Babb is responsible for loan and deposit production, providing qualified referrals to other lines of business, maintaining asset quality and business development. He was most recently a business banker.


The number of Nelson Mullins attorneys in the firm’s Mobile Payments practice group.





The number of virtual currencies that have been launched in the last several years (one of which is Bitcoin).


The number of consumers who used mobile payments to pay for purchases during the 2014 holiday shopping season.

The Furman University board of trustees elected the following seven new trustees and one trustee emeritus: Kevin Bryant, Kevin Byrne, Richard Cullen, Randy Eaddy, David Ellison, James Ney, Peace Sullivan and Robert Buckman.

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

The projected volume of mobile payments in 2015.

The number of federal agencies that regulate mobile payments. Many of these regulations apply not only to banks and money service businesses, but also to merchants and third party vendors.

Tommy Bobo accepted the role of director of athletics at Christ Church Episcopal School. Bobo has served as athletic director at Wren High School and assistant athletic director at Dorman High School. He has been working as an administrator in the Upper School, an assistant football coach and physical education teacher.





Lawrence R. Allen received the Governor and Mrs. Richard W. Riley Award of Excellence in Dropout Prevention from the National Dropout Prevention Center. Allen is professor and dean emeritus of the College of Health, Education and Human Development (HEHD) at Clemson University. A professor in the parks, recreation and tourism management department, Allen served as dean 13 years until he stepped down in 2014.

1 trillion

The number of corporate clients that Nelson Mullins attorneys have assisted in creating or implementing mobile payments solutions, including by addressing data privacy and security issues.



The number of consumers who cited data security as their number one concern when using a mobile payments platform in a recent Federal Reserve study.

“The foundation is in place — are you going to let it happen or are you going to make it happen.” (Mike Abbot, CEO if Softcard at Money 2020)

Merchants say they are investing in mobile apps, and 74% of those merchants say they will invest in apps that enhance the consumer’s shopping journey in some way. “Merchants will be focused over the next decade on how what they do and with whom they do it can deliver incremental revenue.” (Karen Webster, CEO, Market Platform Dynamics)


Why pay extra for the inconvenience of out-of-state attorneys, when we have brought so much large market experience home to the Upstate? For further information, contact NEIL GRAYSON (864) 250-2235

BRAD RUSTIN (864) 250-2320 104 S. Main St., #900, Greenville






Open for business 1

Photos provided

CLOSE MORE DEALS. Over 100,000 readers look to the UBJ every week to help them close more business.

DRINK UP! NOSE DIVE @ NOON. Daily Features. GF & Healthy Options. Timely, Full-Service Lunch.

1. Lebo’s recently opened at 1450 W.O. Ezell Blvd., Spartanburg. The store specializes in footwear, Western wear and dancewear. Hours are Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m., and Sunday, 1-6 p.m. For more information, visit


2. Palmetto Prosthodontics recently opened at 145 Woodruff Place Circle, Simpsonville. The business specializes in oral rehabilitation. Hours are MondayThursday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information, visit


The “Southerner” - Fried Green Tomato Rings, Spiced Pecans, Goat Cheese, Apple Cider Vinaigrette 116 South Main Street | Greenville, SC 29601 | 864.373.7300 | Lunch & Dinner, Monday - Friday | Brunch & Dinner, Saturday | Sunday Brunch

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



ARCHITECTS’ OPEN HOUSE Last week, McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture held an open house to introduce the community to its new space in the old Claussen Bakery building on Augusta Street in Greenville. The firm now occupies 16,000 square feet on the second floor of the newly renovated 1930s building. Photos by Greg Beckner/Staff

CONTRIBUTE: Got high-resolution photos of your networking or social events? Send photos and information for consideration to









Reedy River Duck Derby

Falls Park on the Reedy River, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

More info:

Upstate Diversity Leadership Awards

TD Convention Center, 1 Exposition Drive, Greenville, 6-8 p.m.

Cost: $75 Info:

DesignThinkers Design Talk Topic: The Best Story Wins: Storytelling as a Solution Design Tool

OpenWorks, 2 N. Main Street, Suite 400, Greenville, noon-1 p.m.

Cost: $10 Register:

InnoVision Series Topic: Data Breaches and Cyber Security

McNair Law Firm, P.A., 104 S. Main St., Suite 700, Greenville, 3:30-5 p.m.

Register: or 864-271-4940

Upstate Chamber Coalition Presidential Series Speaker: Gov. Mike Huckabee

Embassy Suites 670 Verdae Blvd., Greenville, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m

Cost: Chamber member $35, Nonmember $50 Register:

Workplace Law Breakfast Series Topic: Daily Decisions: Best Practices For Managing Your Existing Workforce

Westin Poinsett Hotel, 120 S. Main St., Greenville, 8-10 a.m.

Cost: Free Register:

Small Business Success Series Topic: Using Social Media to Build Your Business

Comfort Suites, 3971 Grandview Drive, Simpsonville, 8-9:30 a.m.

Cost: Chamber member $39, Nonmember $49 Register: 864-862-2586

NETnight A quarterly networking opportunity for business professionals

Commerce Club, 55 Beattie Place, 17th Floor, Greenville, 6-8 p.m.

Cost: $10 Register:


High Performance Leadership Series Topic: Powers of Persuasion

Commerce Club, 55 Beattie Place, 17th Floor, Greenville, 7:30-11 a.m.

Register: 248-766-6926


Shaping Our Future Speaker Series Topic:The Dollars and Sense of Development Patterns Speaker: Joseph Minicozzi, principal of Urban3

The Crowne Plaza, 851 Congaree Rd., Greenville, 3-5 p.m.

Cost: $10 Register:

Tech After Five Networking for technology professionals

Pour Lounge, 221 N. Main St., Greenville, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Cost: Free Register:


InnoVision Series Topic: Data Breaches and Cyber Security

McNair Law Firm, P.A., 104 S. Main St., Suite 700, Greenville, 3:30-5 p.m.

Register: or 864-271-4940


Our Upstate Vision Forum Topic: Innovation and the Changing Landscape of Healthcare Speaker: Kirby Thornton, South Carolina Hospital Association CEO

The Crowne Plaza, 851 Congaree Rd., Greenville, 3-5 p.m.

Cost: $10 Register:


Talented Tenth Conference Young minority professionals from the Upstate connect with business and civic leaders across the Southeast

Hyatt Regency, 220 N. Main St., Greenville

Cost: $50 Register and more info:


5/2 Tuesday

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Upstate Business Journal





Historic photo provide d

Today the site of the old Deluxe Diner is a construction zone. A Homes2 Suites is going up next to the Ogletree Building, on right. The new hotel will have 117 rooms, a three-story parking garage and an outdoor pool. The Carolina Theater, Mackey Mortuary and Ottaray Hotel buildings are gone.

Located at 336 N. Main St. and operated by James A. Tzouvelekas, the Deluxe Diner was between the Carolina Theater and Mackey’s Mortuary. In this photo from the 1940s, the Carolina parking lot is to the right of the diner, with the Ottaray Hotel in the background. Serving complete lunches and dinners, the Deluxe advertised itself as the “Home of the World’s Best.”

Historic photograph available from the Greenville Historical Society.​ From “Remembering Greenville: Photographs from the Coxe Collection” by Jeffrey R. Willis DIGITAL STRATEGIST Emily Price

IN THIS WEEK’S ISSUE OF UBJ? WANT A COPY FOR YOUR LOBBY? 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011


Mark B. Johnston


ADVERTISING DESIGN Kristy Adair, Michael Allen






Ashley Boncimino, Sherry Jackson, Benjamin Jeffers, Cindy Landrum, April A. Morris


Amanda Cordisco, Natalie Walters

PHOTOGRAPHER Greg Beckner MARKETING & ADVERTISING SALES REPRESENTATIVES Kristi Jennings, Donna Johnston, Annie Langston, Lindsay Oehman, Emily Yepes


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.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

1998 1998 Jackson Dawson moves to task industrial Court

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

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

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

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

JUNE 19: THE ENTERTAINMENT ISSUE A look at the business of leisure.

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

Anita Harley, Jane Rogers

Susan Clary Simmons


jackson Marketing Group’s 25 Years


Ryan L. Johnston

Jerry Salley

UBJ milestone




NEW HIRES, PROMOTIONS, AND AWARDS: UBJ welcomes expert commentary from business leaders on timely news topics related to their specialties. Guest columns run 700-800 words. Contact Executive Editor Susan Clary Simmons at to submit an article for consideration.

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UP NEXT MAY 15: THE DESIGN ISSUE Drawing up the Upstate’s future.


Recent photo by Greg Beckner

JULY 17: TRAVELERS REST The small town making big waves.

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Copyright ©2015 BY COMMUNITY JOURNALS LLC. All rights reserved. Upstate Business Journal is published weekly by Community Journals LLC. P.O. Box 2266, Greenville, South Carolina, 29602. Upstate Business Journal is a free publication. Annual subscriptions (52 issues) can be purchased for $50. Postmaster: Send address changes to Upstate Business, P.O. Box 2266, Greenville, SC 29602. Printed in the USA.

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

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

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