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INSIDE // NEW GATHER GVL TENANTS • MICHELIN’S BIG HONOR • THE FUTURE OF NAFTA

MAY 18, 2018 | VOL. 8 ISSUE 20

it’s quite the yarn

175 years of kentwool

Will Crooks / Upstate Business Journal


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TOP-OF-MIND AND IN THE MIX THIS WEEK

| THE RUNDOWN

VOLUME 8, ISSUE 20 Featured this issue: Tenant updates for Gather GVL....................................................................................4 Coworking space opens in Greer................................................................................. 11 Notes from the GADC annual meeting.....................................................................13

Kentwool’s 135,000-square-foot yarn production plant at 671 Runnymeade Road in Pickens County has been in operation since 1954. It processed 2 million pounds of wool in 2017. Today, Kentwool, which was originally founded in Philadelphia in 1843 as Kent Manufacturing Co., is best known for its performance wool golf socks. Read more on Page 8. Will Crooks/Upstate Business Journal

WORTH REPEATING “Anyone engaged in an economic development project MUST continually maintain confidentiality.” Michael Trotter, Page 14

“NAFTA has always been a pretty easy punching bag.” David Wilkins, Page 15

“Countless HR resources and professionals will tell you: If it’s not documented, it didn’t happen.” Robyn Grable, Page 16

VERBATIM

On paying at the pump “We’re seeing extremely high demand for gasoline. With the economy moving along as strongly as it is, there’s a lot more work, and with work, comes a lot of transportation.” Robert Sinclair, of AAA, on the recent increase in gas prices. According to AAA, gas prices nationwide are up 20 cents in the last month. As of May 13, the national average is $2.87/gallon. 5.18.2018 | upstatebusinessjournal.com

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NEWS |

INFORMATION YOU WANT TO KNOW

The proposed Gather GVL food hall near Fluor Field will be constructed out of shipping containers. Rendering by McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture

RESTAURANTS

New Gather GVL tenants announced ARIEL TURNER | STAFF

aturner@communityjournals.com Gather GVL, the shipping container food hall planned for Greenville’s West End on Augusta Street, now has eight of 13 units under lease with letters of intent (LOI) on four additional units. Current tenant partner concepts include chicken, biscuits, and doughnuts; burgers; pizza; tacos and burritos; poke bowls, sushi, and hibachi; ice cream; coffee; and craft beer. Doug Cross, managing principal of the developer, Four Oaks Property Group, says they are currently negotiating terms with a wine bar and concepts serving cold-pressed juices, vegan fare, desserts, and Philly cheesesteak sandwiches, and are still open to other opportunities. Cross says they have the site permit from the City of Greenville and are expecting site preparation to begin in July with the hope of opening late fall. Recent tenant announcements include the four concepts Hendersonville, N.C.-based HenDough is bringing to Gather GVL. Along with a second slightly scaled back HenDough location serving fried chicken, doughnuts, and biscuits, owners Paul and Sarah Klaassen and Michael Olbrantz will also be bringing authentic-leaning Mexican cuisine in a new concept named Mercado Cantina; Shake Shack-style, crispy, thin, griddled burgers via KO Burger; and Roman-style pizza under the name Al Taglio. Mercado Cantina will include a full-service bar and a rotating menu. Olbrantz, who traveled extensively in Mexico, 4

UBJ | 5.18.2018

says he’s hesitant to use the term “authentic” to describe the culinary direction because that can seem too lofty an aspiration, but the menu will be heavily Mexican-inspired, using South Carolina ingredients. Mole will show up occasionally as a sauce for enchiladas or chilaquiles. The menu will also include a variety of traditional and Americanized versions of tacos, elotes, housemade chips, guacamole, salsas, seafood, ceviche, and aguachile.

The full bar will feature a good mezcal and tequila selection, and cocktails with vodka and hibiscus, rum and tropical fruits, and an Oaxacan-style Manhattan with mezcal and Templeton Rye, Olbrantz says. KO Burger, which stands for “Knock Out,” will be similar in concept to New York City-based Shake Shack with thin griddled crispy burgers, fries, and soft-serve ice cream.

Al Taglio will feature Roman-style pizza, which uses a rectangle shaped, focaccia-type crust. They’ll sell by the slice — firing to order — and get creative with toppings, such as pear, radicchio, and blue cheese, or ranch and asparagus. The toppings available each day will rotate. At each of the concepts vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options will be available. Sarah Klaassen says they’ve been tossing around so many restaurant ideas over the years, and this location is allowing them to dabble in a little bit of everything. Paul Klaassen says they plan to use Gather GVL as somewhat of an incubator for these new concepts that, if they take off, will become the business models for future expansion. The three new concepts will share a common, adjoining kitchen while still maintaining separate front counters in order to streamline the staffing needs, Paul Klaassen says. Additional recently signed tenants also include ice cream sandwich concept Rocky Moo out of Spartanburg, and Saki Saki, a poke bowl concept from downtown Greenville’s Murasaki owner Cheng Yap. Rocky Moo owner Dennis Wong says even though the original location just opened in January of this year, he’s already been looking to expand into the Greenville and the surrounding market with the goal of becoming a regional brand. “It was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up,” Wong says. Other previously signed tenants are West End Coffee Bar and Greenville Beer Exchange.


| NEWS

INFORMATION YOU WANT TO KNOW

C L E M S O N

EDUCATION

M B A

P R O G R A M

Facebook to hold Community Boost program at Greenville ONE Center Social networking giant Facebook will hold its Community Boost program at the Greenville ONE Center on May 29 through June 1. The program, announced in November by Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, aims to provide the nation’s small businesses and workers with the digital skills they need to “compete in the new mobile economy.” Greenville was one of the first five cities chosen to host the program. By the end of this year, 30 other cities across the country will have hosted similar events, according to a news release. Registration is now open online for the free event at https://bit.ly/2rFf9eO. “We are excited that Greenville will be one of the first cities to host Facebook’s Community Boost event. I look forward to working with the Facebook team to help residents develop stronger digital skills, train people how to safely use the internet, and help local businesses and nonprofits operate more successfully online,” Greenville Mayor Knox White said in a statement. The upcoming program will offer training to business owners to help them expand their digital footprint and find new customers “around the corner and around the globe,” according to the release. It will also provide training on digital literacy and online safety. “We’re inspired by what small businesses have been able to do using Facebook, but we want to do more — particularly for those who are transitioning to careers that require more digital skills,” the company said in a statement. As of November, Facebook said it had invested more than $1 billion since 2011 in training, technology,

tools, support, and research to help people and small businesses. A recent report — released by Morning Consult in partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Technology Engagement Center and Facebook — found that small businesses create an estimated 4 out of every 5 new jobs in the United States and that small businesses’ digital usage translates into those jobs. In South Carolina, 46 percent

of small businesses on Facebook said the social media platform is an essential tool for running their business, and that it has helped them hire employees. Sixty-two percent said Facebook allows them to find customers in other cities, states, and countries. And 79 percent said that an individual’s digital and social media skills are an important consideration when hiring, more than where they went to school. “The fact that Facebook has chosen Greenville as one of the first cities to offer its new Community Boost is something that all of South Carolina can be proud of. We see new businesses come to our state and existing ones expand here every day, making it as important as ever that our people are trained and ready to do any job they’re asked to do. The work Facebook will be doing in Greenville is important for the future prosperity of South Carolina, and we look forward to working with them,” South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said in a statement. –Andrew Moore 5.18.2018 | upstatebusinessjournal.com

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Duke Energy solar rebate program issues $50M to SC customers Almost three years after its launch, the Duke Energy Solar Rebate Program has provided more than $50 million in rebates to its South Carolina customers who have invested in solar power. The rebate program — designed to help defray the upfront cost of solar installation — was launched after the Distributed Energy Resource Program Act (Act 336) passed in 2014, according to a news release. The legislation increased on-site solar production limits and allowed utilities to build solar and regain the costs.  “Act 236 has been a game changer for the growth of solar in the Palmetto State,” said Kodwo Ghartey-Tagoe, Duke Energy’s state president in South Carolina, in the release. “That collaborative effort among solar developers, energy companies, environmentalists, and other stakeholders has created jobs and allowed thousands of customers to participate in the renewable marketplace.” Currently, Duke Energy offers a small and large solar rebate program. Both offer $1 per watt of installed generating capacity direct current. The small rebate is open to residents with solar panel systems producing 20 kilowatts (kW) or less. The large rebate program is open to businesses producing more than 20 kilowatts and less than 1,000 kilowatts. This means a residential customer who installs a 5-kilowatt system could earn rebates of about $5,000 unUBJ | 5.18.2018

der the small solar rebate program. Likewise, a business that installs 50 kilowatts could earn a rebate of $50,000. Customers typically receive rebates a month after the solar installation is online and certified by Duke Energy. More than 675 schools and businesses and 1,400 residential customers are currently receiving solar rebates, according to Duke Energy. In 2017, Glen Raven Inc., a North Carolina-based fabric manufacturing and marketing company, constructed a $2 million solar farm at its Sunbrella manufacturing center in Anderson County. The company should receive a payback in less than five years through the Duke Energy rebate program, said Edmund Gant, sustainable development manager at Glen Raven Custom Fabrics. Furman University also signed up for the program and built a $1.7 million solar farm on about 6 acres along  Poinsett Highway in northern Greenville County. The 743-kilowatt project is the  largest  solar installation on a college campus in South Carolina. Duke Energy plans to issue a $997,000 rebate to the university. Interested residents must be receiving electric service from Duke Energy and own the property where solar is installed. Once the program is fully subscribed, customers can install more solar power using tax credits through the state and federal government. –Andrew Moore


INFORMATION YOU WANT TO KNOW

| NEWS

WORKFORCE

Michelin North America named top large employer Greenville-based Michelin North America has been named the top large employer in the United States by Forbes magazine. In the annual listing from Forbes magazine, “America’s Best Large Employers” are ranked based on an independent survey from a sample of more than 30,000 U.S. employees working for companies with at least 1,000 people. Employees are given the opportunity to openly share anonymous feedback on a series of topics, including working conditions, salary, the potential for development, and company image. This year’s listing included 500 employers across 25 industries, ranging from government agencies and universities to big corporations.  Michelin has been listed in the survey for three consecutive years, according to a news release. “At Michelin, our dedication to our workforce is best defined by two keywords: We care,” David Stafford, chief human resources officer

for Michelin North America, said in a statement. “From candidate to new-hire to long-term employee, Michelin provides experiences that empower its people to make a difference and be proud of where they work. Michelin is honored by this recognition.” With more than 22,000 employees, Michelin operates 19 manufacturing plants across the U.S. The company designs, manufactures, and sells tires for airplanes, automobiles, bicycles, and various other vehicles, according to the release.

Michelin attracts high school and college students with hands-on learning experiences through its Youth Apprenticeship program, Technical Scholars program, and other highvalue internship and cooperative-education opportunities, the release said. “In an increasingly competitive job market, Michelin understands the value of providing training and career development, a culture that also attracts mid-career transfers to Michelin because they are seeking opportunities to grow and advance. In fact, up to 50 percent of managers in Michelin’s manufacturing locations were promoted from hourly positions,” Stafford said. –Andrew Moore

5.18.2018 | upstatebusinessjournal.com

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MILESTONE |

A TRIBUTE TO OUR LONG-LASTING ENTERPRISES

A PERFECT PAIR

WORDS BY TREVOR ANDERSON | PHOTOS BY WILL CROOKS

An Upstate-based textile manufacturer this year has marked a major milestone— its 175th anniversary. Kentwool was founded in 1843 as the Kent Manufacturing Co. in Philadelphia by Thomas Kent, a businessman who emigrated from England. 8

UBJ | 5.18.2018

The company made uniforms for the Union Army during the Civil War, survived the Great Depression, and supplied the U.S. Armed Forces during both world wars. Today, Kentwool is known for its line of performance wool golf socks; a range of socks for men, women, and kids; and its men’s boxer shorts and loungewear. The company employs 81 people, including 65 who work at its 135,000-square-foot yarn production plant at 671 Runnymeade Road in Pickens County. That plant, which has been running since 1954, processed 2 million pounds of wool in 2017. Kentwool’s corporate headquarters is on the ninth floor of Clemson University’s ONE Building off North Main Street in downtown Greenville. The company sells its products directly to pro shops and clothiers across the country, as well as online. A few of its customers include St. John Knits, Wigwam, Smartwool, and Goodhew Lifestyle Performance. “We do not sell to big-box stores,” said Kim Kent, Kentwool’s CEO. “We offer a high-end product at a higher price point. We don’t want our prices to be discounted because that impacts our other customers.” So how has one of the oldest operating textile companies in the country survived for so long in a U.S. industry decimated by cheaper labor overseas and a variety of other hurdles? GENERATIONS OF GROWTH For five generations, Kentwool has been a family-owned business. The company’s fourth-generation owner, the late Tom Kent, made the decision to relocate the business to the Upstate in 1954. In 1992, Tom Kent died suddenly, and his son, the late Greenville business leader and philanthropist Mark Kent, took ownership of the company at age 29. The younger Kent had joined the family business a few years prior to his father’s death. In 2007, the company went through a rebrand, changing its name from Kent Manufacturing Co. to Kentwool.

The following year, Mark Kent was competing in the BMW Charity Pro-Am golf tournament when he hatched a plan to develop a high-quality golf sock. “That was really his entree into [the sock market],” said Kim Kent, Mark’s widow. Kim Kent said her husband had to do some convincing because wool has gotten a bad rap as hot and itchy fabric. “He used to tell people that they had to try them on,” she said. “Once they tried them on, they didn’t want to take them off.” And that’s still one of the company’s mantras today — “World’s Best Golf Sock.” Kim Kent said the resurgence of wool has also been a positive for the company. For several years, wool has been making a comeback, particularly in the performance fabric market. Now, it’s also making its way into the lifestyle market in the form of wool blankets, mattress tops, and other products. “The wool industry is really benefiting from that change as people are looking at wools as a performance fabric because of its wicking properties and comfort,” Kim Kent said. “We’ve always promoted the properties of wool because that’s our bread and butter.” A renewed focus on American-made goods, particularly textiles and other related products, has also been a boon for the company, she said. All of its suppliers are domestic, and more than 90 percent of the wool Kentwool purchases is sourced from ranches in the U.S. “There is no question that the foundation that Mark and those before him laid out is strong,” Kim Kent said. “We are comfortable in the marketplace as a company. I can’t today tell you what I think the future is for us. I’m new in this job. I do know we will continue to deliver a high-quality product, and continue to be innovative, responsible, and nimble in the market just as the company has always.”


A TRIBUTE TO OUR LONG-LASTING ENTERPRISES

| MILESTONE

A STITCH IN TIME 1843

Thomas Kent, a businessman who emigrated from England, founds Kent Manufacturing Co. in Philadelphia.

1954

The company’s fourth-generation owner, the late Tom Kent, opens a production facility in Pickens County.

1965

Kent Manufacturing Co. shuts down operations in Philadelphia.

1970

Company headquarters moves to South Carolina.

1992

Tom Kent dies, and his son, the late Greenville business leader and philanthropist Mark Kent, takes ownership at age 29.

2007

Kent Manufacturing Co. undergoes a rebrand, changing its name to Kentwool.

2010

Kentwool introduces consumer products. They debut their wool golf sock at the 2010 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando.

2017

Mark Kent dies of cardiac arrest. At the time, his wife, Kim Kent, is serving on the company’s advisory board and manages its in-house counsel. She assumes her husband’s role shortly after his death.

2018

Kentwool celebrates its 175th anniversary.

Although many associate wool with being hot and itchy, it’s become popular in the performance fabric market due to its wicking properties and comfort.

5.18.2018 | upstatebusinessjournal.com

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MILESTONE |

A TRIBUTE TO OUR LONG-LASTING ENTERPRISES

His example of service is something that is still a big part of Kentwool’s corporate DNA. For instance, Kim Kent said the company plans to donate 30,000 pairs of socks, a value of about $600,000, to charitable organizations across the Upstate. Most of them will be for children. SHAPING THE FUTURE

Kentwool employs 81 people, including 65 who work at its 135,000-square-foot yarn production plant at 671 Runnymeade Road in Pickens County. The plant, which has been running since 1954, processed 2 million pounds of wool in 2017.

A ‘BITTERSWEET’ ANNIVERSARY In late 2017, Mark Kent died unexpectedly from cardiac arrest at age 55. Kim Kent, who was serving on the company’s advisory board and managed its in-house counsel, assumed her husband’s role shortly after his death. She grew up in Thomson, a small town just outside Augusta, Ga. She attended Converse College and then went to law school at the University of South Carolina. After law school, she established a lobbying business in Columbia. She met Mark Kent at a political fundraiser in the state capitol. The couple married and had twins, a boy, Henry, and a girl, Amelia, who are now 10. “Mark really wanted me to get involved in the business,” Kim Kent said. “I didn’t want to do that. He finally talked me into it. … Looking back on it, he was right. His reason all along was, ‘I want you to know what’s going on in case anything ever happens to me.’ You always have those conversations, but you never think it’s going to happen. I’m glad that it happened that way. “He was an amazing man and is very missed,” she added. 10

UBJ | 5.18.2018

She described the company’s 175th anniversary as “bittersweet,” because of what Mark meant to his family, his employees, and the community. For example, in the late 1990s he purchased the historic American Cigar Factory on East Court Street in downtown Greenville. He also bought the old Chamber of Commerce building, also known as the Liberty building, off South Main Street. Mark Kent invested millions in breathing new life into structures that helped pave the way for two decades of growth in Greenville’s urban center. That legacy lives on through Kentwool Development, the commercial property arm of the textile company. “He had a real passion for historic preservation,” Kim Kent said. “He would have done another one [had he survived].” Mark Kent served as the board chair of the American Textile Export Co. and on the boards of the American Textile Manufacturers’ Institute and the American Red Cross. He had served on the boards of the Greenville Chamber of Commerce and the Historic Greenville Foundation. He also had served as the chair of the S.C. Manufacturers Alliance.

Kim Kent wants to expand the company’s presence in Pickens. The CEO said Kentwool is hiring for about eight to 10 positions at the Runnymeade facility. She said the company offers generous healthcare, retirement, and life insurance benefits, as well as competitive wages. Kentwool also strongly encourages its employees to get involved in their communities, she said. “Mark truly built a team here in Greenville and in Pickens of people who not only care about what they’re doing professionally, but they care about each other,” Kim Kent said. “The environment here is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. We’re like a family.” She said the company is also very environmentally conscious. “Mark used to joke that we are so green even PETA likes us,” she said. “Sheep need to be sheared. We buy [their wool], process it, and sell it. Our process is very clean. There’s not a lot of waste or water discharge.” Kim Kent said she anticipates one of the company’s biggest challenges will be attracting talented employees to its workforce. Part of the problem is convincing younger generations that they can have successful careers in manufacturing. The other part is the inevitable retirement of some of the company’s longest-serving, most knowledgeable employees. “It was interesting to me as I looked through our demographics,” she said. “Almost one-third of our workforce has been with us for at least 15 years. Three employees have been with us for 40 years or more. They bring consistency, continuity, and experience. If these individuals decide they want to retire, we’d be hard-pressed to replace them. … I don’t know how we make that cultural shift. We need to do a better job of reaching out [to younger generations]. But Kent said she is optimistic about the company’s future. “To say I’m excited about celebrating [the 175th anniversary] is very hard. But I’m really proud of the company, and Mark, and the work that his family has put it into it. We fully anticipate that in 25 years we will still be here to celebrate our 200th anniversary.”


REAL ESTATE DEALS AND DEVELOPMENTS ACROSS THE REGION

ARIEL TURNER | STAFF

aturner@communityjournals.com |

Coworking space opens in downtown Greer Insight Onsite Coworking (IOC) opened recently at 228 Trade St. in downtown Greer, catering toward creative professionals, freelancers, writers, startups, and others in need of collaborative workspace. The two-story, 3,800-squarefoot office space provides unlimited high-speed internet, printing, scanning, a full kitchen, conference rooms, and a lounge area. Membership options range from shared and dedicated desks to daily or nights and weekends passes. “I’m very excited to be a part of the downtown Greer community,” said Frank Condon, owner of Insight Onsite Coworking.

“Our hope is that we can create a space where people can connect, create, and collaborate with others.” IOC will also be the home to Condon’s website and software development company, DevObal. “Greer is excited to have Insight Onsite Coworking open on Trade Street,” said City of Greer Mayor Rick Danner. “I think the success of downtown has created an environment that will be perfect for a cowork space. I feel sure the freelancers, independent agencies, entrepreneurs, and professionals that will use the space will bring a new level of creative energy to downtown.”

| SQUARE FEET @arielhturner

Filling up More than 14,000 square feet leased so far in 2018 at Pelham at Hyland More than 14,000 square feet at Pelham at Hyland has been leased in the first half of 2018, increasing the occupancy from 42 percent leased to more than 70 percent. Since obtaining the listing eight months ago, Colliers International’s Brantley Anderson and Taylor Allen have represented the landlord in the leasing of three suites to new tenants. Mahr Inc., a provider of dimensional measurement solutions and equipment for manufacturers, will occupy 5,500 square feet at 7001 Pelham Road. CPI Security Systems, which offers alarm supplies and

installations, CCTV, and access control for homes and businesses, will occupy 6,350 square feet at 7003 Pelham Road. Delicatessen food producer Dietz & Watson, headquartered in Philadelphia, is relocating to 7003 Pelham Road, occupying 2,200 square feet. “With so much availability in the Greenville market, we see the challenge of competing for quality tenants,” Allen said. “We are very proud of how we have been able to position and market Pelham at Hyland. It shows what a strong space it is and how committed the landlord is to taking care of tenants.

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SQUARE FEET |

REAL ESTATE DEALS AND DEVELOPMENTS ACROSS THE REGION

ARIEL TURNER | STAFF

aturner@communityjournals.com |

@arielhturner

Milliken Packaging Corp. acquired by Greenville-based Adelphos Capital Adelphos Capital, an institutional investor headquartered in Greenville, announced May 7 that it has acquired the stock of Milliken Packaging Corp., a subsidiary of Milliken & Company, a global innovation company with performance and protective textile, specialty chemical, and floor covering manufacturing expertise. Effective immediately, Milliken Packaging Corp. will be known as Par Packaging Company and will continue the production, sale, and distribution of Milliken’s line of flexible packaging products, which includes the MPak™ and KPak® designs. This line of products produced at the plant located at 190 Pin Oak Lane, White Stone, is not currently aligned with the three major manufacturing divisions of Milliken & Company. “This acquisition by Adelphos Capital is a result of Milliken’s ongoing strategic business review process and continued commitment to invest in our core competencies,” says J. Harold Chandler, Milliken & Company president, CEO, and chairman. “We will assist Adelphos Capital during the transition in all areas possible to support the associates and the community of White Stone.” The Par Packaging management team will be led by Jake Cahill, a 30-year veteran of the packaging industry.

Milliken Packaging Corporation will now be known as Par Packaging Company. photo provided

“We are excited about the opportunity to work and reinvest alongside the great people at the White Stone plant,” Cahill says. “Our priority will be providing long-term stability and success to the business and the community. The acquisition includes the manufacturing plant, located in the White Stone community of Spartanburg County, and the current 16 associates.” David Moody, president of Milliken’s Chemical Division says, “Our foremost consideration was the future of our packaging associates, who are integral to this business. While continuing in this space was not the right fit for Milliken,

we are excited to see Par Packaging purposefully invest and grow what we began. Under their vision and management, the packaging business is poised to thrive in the marketplace, and we are confident our outgoing associates will do the same.” Led by the principals of Greenville-based RealOp Investments, Adelphos Capital collaborates with proven operating partners to invest in lower-middle market companies with revenues of $1 million to $100 million to facilitate management buyouts, accelerate growth plans, and recapitalizations.

New Investment Ziff Properties Inc. plans improvements for Garlington Business Park Ziff Properties Inc., a commercial investment group that recently acquired Garlington Business Park, has announced plans for a major investment in improvements of the four-building, 119,734-square-foot multitenant complex that includes office, flex, and warehouse space at 319 Garlington Road, Greenville. Planned improvements include painting, landscaping, and repaving that will better position the park, which benefits from a central location next to GE, Woodruff Road, and Interstates 85 and 385. Colliers International’s Richard Barrett and Brannan Hudson have been selected to represent the owner in the leasing of the property. Current major tenants include Grey Eagle Traders, Pompeii Motorsports, and Fabrico Inc. An additional 11 spaces ranging from 800-5,800 square feet were available at the time of Ziff Properties' acquisition. “We were very excited to acquire Garlington Business Park, as we see a lot of potential in the Greenville market,” said Kevin Beringer, direc-

12

UBJ | 5.18.2018

tor of leasing and property management with Ziff Properties. “The expertise of Richard and Brannan, as well as the Colliers International platform, will help us to better position and market such a great flex property in an already tight market.” Ziff Properties Inc. is a commercial real estate investment firm with a focus on the Southeast. Previously known for their investment in self-storage and retail properties, their recent acquisition of Garlington Business Park was a foray into the Upstate market, as well as into industrial/flex properties. “Garlington Business Park is a great property,” said Barrett, senior brokerage associate with Colliers. “It meets a critical need for flex space in a tight market, and its central location makes it optimal for a wide variety of users. We look forward to using our local and regional contacts, as well as the global reach and platform of Colliers International, to optimize Ziff Properties’ investment.” -Ariel Turner


THE SPARK

| COLUMN

The Spark

Happenings in Upstate Biz with Trevor Anderson

A few quick notes just in case you happened to miss the Greenville Area Development Corp.’s annual meeting May 9. GADC, the entity responsible for promoting economic development in Greenville County, said the county netted 21 projects in 2017 worth $336,464,251 in capital investment and 1,842 new jobs. That’s down a little bit from $425,906,565 and 2,639 jobs in 2016, and $394,735,000 and 2,118 jobs in 2015. By comparison, Spartanburg County also landed 21 projects in 2017 worth $885 million and 1,789 new jobs, meaning Spartanburg had the edge this past year in investment and Greenville in jobs. Of the 157 projects completed in South Carolina in 2017 worth $5.24 billion in investment and 18,445 jobs, Greenville accounted for more than 13 percent of the projects, more than 6 percent of the total investment, and almost 10 percent of the jobs. Greenville has averaged $268,377,983 in investment and 1,394 jobs annually since 2001. Two-thirds of the projects completed in Greenville in 2017 were expansions. The rest were new companies, according to GADC. For the year, GADC said it was contacted by 126 companies. Manufacturers made up the bulk of those contacts (76 percent). Office/IT companies comprised 16 percent, and warehouse/distribution accounted for 6 percent. Research and development and unknown companies both accounted for 1 percent. Fifty of the contacts, almost 40 percent of the total group, were Greenville’s target industry companies, GADC said. Fifteen were in the headquarters, office, and R&D category (30 percent); 13 were automotive (26 percent); six were each in the advanced materials, life sciences, and aviation categories (12 percent); and four were in logistics/distribution (8 percent). Mark Farris, GADC’s president and CEO, acknowledged that the county’s economic development has begun to “soften” a little bit. He said that trend could be due to a lack of inventory in terms of available sites or buildings, and the ongoing competition for labor that has been exacerbated by the region’s growth since the Great Recession. “We still have a significant number of projects [in the pipeline],” Farris said. “We’re working on some bigger projects right now. There’s not a lack of activity. Not having a good inventory of available buildings has been an issue. But there are some spec buildings in the works that will really help. For us, the biggest factor is labor and if we can supply that labor.” Farris said he is pleased with the types of manufacturers that are interested in Greenville. “This isn’t your father’s manufacturing,” he said. “The automation and technology involved has completely changed the environment. The pay scales and skill sets have improved. These are environmentally conscious companies that are heavily focused on technology.” While Greenville’s annual numbers might be on a downward swing, it’s important to remember that economic development is about playing the long game. Companies like GE and Michelin North America don’t invest hundreds of millions of dollars every year, so fresh blood is paramount. Quality of life — a huge factor that companies look at when deciding on a future home for their employees — in Greenville continues to improve. It’s an encouraging sign that more advanced industrial and office firms are taking a good, long look at the county. Provided the national and global economies remain stable, it should mean even more opportunities for Greenville and Upstate residents in the years to come. | upstatebusinessjournal.com

The Startup Mentality When you think of a startup company, you immediately think of passion. You envision a founder who may be penniless but who is consumed by a passion to follow his or her dreams. The entrepreneur enthusiastically communicates her vision and creates the energy to sustain it. Others jump on the bandwagon and work tirelessly to help the dream become a reality. A company in the infant stages has a naturally high energy level with an engaged workforce who believe in the vision. But as the company matures and becomes more established, that early sense of passion can decrease as the grind of just staying ahead becomes the focus. How do you continue to energize employees and maintain a startup mentality? • Clarify The Purpose – Passion without purpose is wasted energy. A startup organization has a clear sense of purpose imbedded with passion. Make sure that as the company matures, the mission and purpose still serves as the guiding light. Communicate successes, failures, and where the organization is headed as well as how employees can contribute to the plan. • Lead With Passion – Passion must start from the top for it to flow to all employees. Who wants to work for someone who is just going through the motions? Leaders need to provide a purpose and instill a sense of passion in their team. • Weed Out Toxic Employees – Do you have a whiner on your team, someone who relentlessly complains but is not willing to be part of a solution? One toxic employee can compromise a culture of passion. Identify these people and replace them. • Create Collaborative Space – Innovative ideas are bred from diverse groups working together towards a common mission. If possible, your work space should reflect this intentional collaboration. If you can’t physically have your marketing department next to your operations team, then create events or virtual spaces to encourage collaborative thinking. • Celebrate Accomplishments – Employees need to feel that their contributions make a difference. Take the time to recognize and celebrate exemplary service and innovation. Passionate people have strong work ethics and aren’t afraid to burn the midnight oil for a purpose they believe in. Celebrate hard work and reward employees for the sacrifices they make. No matter where your company is on the life cycle of a business, you can still foster the energy that is typically associated with a startup. If you stick to your mission, clearly communicate the objectives, hire engaged individuals, and encourage innovative collaboration, then you will be able to harness the power of the startup and take your business to the next level.

Lee Yarborough President

669 N. Academy St. Greenville, SC 29601 propelHR.com Info@propelHR.com 800–446–6567


FORWARD |

WHAT ’S NEXT FOR THE UPSTATE, AND HOW WE’LL GET THERE

Performance accountability will set up newly hired veterans for success This is the final piece in a three-part series on founder, hiring veterans. In the Service to Civilian first installment, we looked at defining job responsibilities, interviewing candidates, and offering the job. Then we looked at how to successfully integrate new hires into the company — from the first day through the first several months. This week, we’ll look at how performance accountability and management can ensure success for newly hired veteran employees. Veterans are very accustomed to being reviewed, held accountable, and measured for performance. Like with civilian employees, knowing you’ve completed a task and how well you did is vitally important in the fulfillment of your employment. Ensuring the smooth transition and early success of new hires, especially veterans, in the first 90 days is a key responsibility for managers. Managers should check in with new hires on a regular basis. Your newly hired employees will have been exposed to plenty of information, people, and experiences once they’ve completed their first month on the job. This can be an overwhelming time and is the best opportunity to check in. Ensure the environment is set for questions. Provide meaningful insights about any contributions they’ve made on the job to recognize that you see the work they’ve done, and to give them a sense of how they’ve performed, based on expectations. Employer feedback should be given throughout the year as performance issues, good or bad, arise. A formal evaluation is ideally a recap of things that have been addressed during the year. Be as clear and direct as possible about shortcomings or mistakes, but also take the time to provide solutions to those problems. DO set goals. Focus on improving or sustaining performance in the future, rather than dwelling on past mistakes. Negative feedback should include steps for improvement. Therefore, the third foundational pillar is your performance management process By ROBYN GRABLE

DOCUMENTATION Documentation allows the employer or employee to preserve a written record of the happenings and discussions surrounding a specific event. Documentation of the employment relationship provides a record that may be necessary to support such actions as employee promotion, employee pay raises, and disciplinary action including employment termination. Countless HR resources and professionals will tell you: If it’s not documented, it didn’t happen. Veterans live this each day. From their orders to a new duty station to mission plans and sitreps (situation reports), everything is documented. It is factual and not judgmental. It describes events as they occur, not according to the beholder’s opinions and thoughts. The documentation also describes the actions that were taken in notable instances such as when you formally recognize or discipline an employee. EVALUATION PROCESS Performance expectations serve as a foundation for communicating about performance throughout the year. When you and an employee set clear expectations about the results that must be achieved, and the methods or approaches needed to achieve them, you establish a path to success. For veterans, clear expectations about the mission and the desired result are vital. They will expect this as civilians 14

UBJ | 5.18.2018

For veterans, clear expectations about the mission and the desired result are vital. They will expect this as civilians and excel within these boundaries. In general, veterans want to know what is expected of them in terms of their work and productivity.

and excel within these boundaries. In general, veterans want to know what is expected of them in terms of their work and productivity. Provide feedback to show that you really do care about what these hardworking people are doing for you, and offer constructive criticism when it is warranted. The evaluation process should be meaningful. If you have no plans for following up and holding employees accountable, a formal review process will be meaningless, just a check in the box. If you truly want meaning, the evaluation process should be structured around goals that tie into the organization’s goals, mission, and values. The evaluation process should be measurable and discussed monthly, quarterly, and annually.

DISCIPLINARY PROCESS Progressive discipline policy and procedures are designed to provide structured corrective action to prevent a recurrence of undesirable employee behavior and performance issues. It creates an opportunity for the immediate supervisor to schedule a meeting with an employee to bring attention to the existing performance, conduct, or attendance issue. The supervisor should discuss with the employee the nature of the problem or the violation of company policies and procedures. The supervisor is expected to clearly describe expectations and steps the employee must take to improve performance or resolve the problem. While serving in the military, veterans are constantly in training. They are always learning new skills and perfecting current skills. Without a structured corrective action process, an employee doesn’t know what to improve or why. The process should be progressive. The formal disciplinary process may include a verbal reprimand, a written reprimand, suspension, and termination of employment. For most problems, each step in the complete process is necessary. For more serious problems, the earlier steps may be eliminated. The degree of discipline taken must correlate to the seriousness of the offense and the employee’s record. A clear action plan should accompany each step of the discipline process. Consistency is key here. To learn more about hiring veterans or to create a veterans program at your company, call 864-580-6289 or email info@servicetocivilian.com.


STRATEGIES FOR HONING YOUR PROFESSIONAL SKILLS

| PROFESSIONAL

An explanation for the confidentiality in economic development deals Occasionally, you may be made aware of a particular founder, Bearing Resources Inc. company that’s investigating this area for a new location. In economic development, most typically a code name is assigned to the company’s project, and early on, it might not even be known who the actual business is. Only a handful of people may know the identity of who’s inquiring. A company always has its reasons for wanting to keep its name from becoming widely known. It is NOT due to local and state officials simply wanting to keep something a secret. Because most projects prefer to remain confidential, typically, people that work in the economic development industry err on the safe side and treat all projects as though they’re confidential. Anyone engaged in an economic development project MUST continually maintain confidentiality. A business may not want it known that it’s even looking around. There are numerous reasons for this, all of which are legitimate. As just one example, the company may want confidentiality because otherwise, a labor union that exists at one of its locations could create major problems for the company. South Carolina is a right-to-work state and, as such, is frequently very attractive to businesses wanting to locate in a nonunion environment. As an example of the seriousness of maintaining confidentiality, if it is ever breached, the company may eliminate the area at fault, or in extreme cases, may eliminate the project completely. Therefore, maintaining confidentiality is paramount. Be assured, there isn’t a genie behind the curtain pulling the strings. Another interesting characteristic of the economic development industry is that the people who work within the business may be friends one minute and competitors the next. For example, an economic development person in County A might be good friends, and collaborate on activities unrelated to projects, with an economic development person in County B. However, when both counties are vying for the same project, they’re always friendly and professional competitors, but they certainly don’t share information and secrets. This camaraderie is great for the state and is very refreshing and rare in today’s business environment. One example of how counties work together could be that both locations belong to the same regional alliance. Regions are areas of a state that are typically made up of five to 10 counties. In this part of South Carolina, the regional organization is the Upstate Alliance, which is made up of 10 counties. In South Carolina, regions are referred to as “alliances,” and in North Carolina as “partnerships,” but they’re essentially the same thing. Approaching economic development from a regional perspective is very pragmatic and viable. Early on in a project, many times, a company may be interested in “locating a new facility in the Southeast.” It certainly isn’t yet at the detail level to decide on a specific town or county. Regional alliances are able to market the entire area of a state, and once a company is focused on an area, it can then become more specific about a particular location. Compared with each individual county conducting its own campaign, it’s a much better bang for the buck. By MICHAEL TROTTER

A similar philosophy exists within the Department of Commerce, the organization in Columbia that’s primarily responsible for economic development in South Carolina. First and foremost, its mission is to attract business to the state. It does not steer a project to any particular location and doesn’t play favorites. It simply wants to have companies come to South Carolina. It’s up to the company where it actually locates, not the state Department of Commerce. So the next time you perceive the economic development community is simply being coy, remember there is a reason! Also, you can be proud that your state, region, and county are doing everything they can to win a project Michael Trotter is the founder of Bearing Resources Inc. Prior to founding Bearing, Michael enjoyed a 22-year career at Duke Energy, which included a managerial role within Duke Energy’s Economic Development organization, where he was responsible for economic development efforts in North Carolina’s Charlotte area, the Triad, and the Research Triangle.

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THE TAKEAWAY |

NOTES FROM THE BEST TALKS YOU MISSED

The Future of the North American Free Trade Agreement By DANIELLE BESSER public relations manager, Upstate SC Alliance

What: NAFTA Panel Discussion, presented by the World Affairs Council Upstate and the Clemson University Canada Center and Office of Global Engagement

Where: Clemson ONE Building, 1 N. Main St., Greenville

Who was there: 115 business and

community leaders and individuals with an interest in international affairs

Feature Presentation: A panel featuring

Mexican Consul General Remedios Arnau, Canadian Consul General Nadia Theodore, former United States Ambassador to Canada David Wilkins, and Tim Rogers, chief financial officer of Continental Automotive

Despite your vehicle’s country of origin, it’s likely that its components have traveled across national borders up to eight times before you have the chance to test-drive it. “You really cannot talk right now about an American car or a Mexican car; you better talk about a North American car,” said Remedios Gomez Arnau, Mexican consul general, speaking in an April 30 panel discussion on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The event, presented by the World Affairs Council Upstate (WACU) in association with the Clemson University Canada Center and Office of Global Engagement, centered on the 1994 trade agreement. The talk was moderated by Jason Zacher, senior vice president for business advocacy with the Greater Greenville Chamber of Commerce. In addition to Arnau, panelists included Nadia Theodore, Canadian consul general; David Wilkins, a Clemson University trustee and former U.S. ambassador to Canada; and Tim Rogers, chief financial officer of Continental Automotive. Rogers expanded on Arnau’s statement that vehicle components are world travelers. “Some parts go back and forth across the border eight times. It’s true,” Rogers said. “We experience it, and all of automotive suppliers experience it. You know, you fabricate a part here; you send it to Mexico for a value-add. It comes back to another supplier outside of our company for another value-add, then goes back to Mexico for something else, then comes back here; finally, it’s 16

UBJ | 5.18.2018

David Wilkins, former U.S. ambassador to Canada; Nadia Theodore, Canadian consul general; Remedios Gómez Arnau, Mexican consul general; and Tim Rogers, CFO of Continental Automotive. Photo provided

exported back to Mexico where the original equipment manufacturer [OEM] is located.”

An Automotive Manufacturer’s Take

While tires come to mind when you hear “Continental,” the company manufactures electronic automotive components like radios, brakes, and lane departure warning systems. Within the NAFTA region, the company has more than 300 locations with more than 80 distribution or manufacturing sites and more than 50,000 employees. In South Carolina, the company employs 1,600. “We support free trade; we think NAFTA is a really wonderful thing. We’ve been establishing a footprint in NAFTA for over 25 years that makes us globally competitive and competitive within the region,” Rogers said. Long-term stability and a steady regulatory environment are what companies depend upon, as they are planning investments and job creation on 20- and 30-year horizons, Rogers added.

A Call for Modernization

Wilkins — who formerly served as the U.S. ambassador to Canada — offered insights into the trade agreement’s history and its renegotiation process. Currently, negotiations between trade officials are underway, with a number of deadlines factoring into negotiations: a July 1 presidential election in Mexico, the United States midterm elections, and looming trade issues with China. Once a deal is reached, each member country must seek approval from its governing bodies. Within the United States, the Office of the United States Trade Representative must submit the

agreement to Congress on fast-track legislation, where a simple majority is required for approval. “NAFTA has always been a pretty easy punching bag,” Wilkins said. “It’s not perfect, and it needs to be updated, but I think it did live up to the objectives of the original negotiation.” Since its enactment, trade between the three member countries has quadrupled, boosting economic growth, creating jobs, and lowered consumer prices, he added. The agreement was written before the rise of e-commerce and online communications, however, realities of the modern business environment that should be reflected in the agreement, Wilkins said. “When NAFTA became a reality in 1994, emails were still a new thing, no one ever heard of a blockchain, never heard of a tweet,” he said. “Getting your news fast meant the guy who delivered your morning newspaper didn’t oversleep the night before.”

About People at the Core

In looking at the agreement’s future, Theodore said, it’s important to consider its original goals: to provide the stability that allows companies to create jobs, and to ensure North America is poised for success in an increasingly global economy. “The whole point of trade and trade agreements is really about setting up a framework so that companies can help create jobs so that people, communities, and families can be better off,” Theodore said. Theodore expressed optimism that the renegotiation will be a success for all parties, and that the countries will continue their relationship as “friends, partners, neighbors, and allies” who benefit from affiliation.


| ON THE MOVE

PLAY-BY-PLAY OF UPSTATE CAREERS

HIRED

HIRED

HIRED

HIRED

NAMED

MICHAEL ESTES

JOE FARMER

TONY CALVIN

MELISSA MORALES

TREY INGRAM

Has joined Jeter Hrubala Wealth Strategies LLC as financial adviser. Estes has been a financial adviser for 18 years. He attended James Madison University and earned a bachelor’s degree in media arts and design with a concentration in corporate communications.

Has been hired as community relations director at Thrive Senior Living. Farmer is a Greer native and a Furman University graduate. He has more than 25 years of experience in the local medical community.

Has been hired as director of sales at Ballentine Food Service Equipment. Calvin brings extensive experience in the industry and worked at the Omni Grove Park Inn for 15 years, and then worked at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort for 13 years, among other employers. He is a graduate of Montreat College in North Carolina.

Has joined Southern Community Services as chief financial officer. Morales has more than 20 years of operations and accounting experience. She previously worked for Southern Community Services from 2008 to 2012.

Has been named partner at Holliday Law Firm. Ingram is a graduate of the University of South Carolina School of Law and brings more than a decade of legal experience to the firm. Ingram focuses on real estate law, but also practices adoption law and legislative foster care reform.

MANUFACTURING

Because we don’t just know taxes, we KNOW our customers!

Milliken & Co. has been named one of the country’s best midsize employers in 2018. The list is compiled by Forbes magazine. The list recognizes highly rated employers with 1,000 to 5,000 U.S.-based employers each year.

MARKETING Crawford Strategy was awarded four Mercury awards and one Silver Wing award at the annual Mercury Awards ceremony held by the South Carolina chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. Crawford Strategy received two Mercury Awards of Excellence for the team’s work for Southern Wesleyan University (marketing consumer services category) and North Myrtle Beach (crisis communication and issues management category). They received two Mercury Awards of Merit for their work on the Greenville Tech Foundation’s event with automotive executive Carlos Ghosn and their work on United Community Bank Ice on Main. Lastly, they received a Silver Wing Award of Merit for the 2017 United Community Bank Ice on Main opening ceremony invitation.

HOUSING The HBA of Greenville has honored U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan with the Defender of Housing Award, acknowledging him as a federal legislator who recognizes housing’s significant role within the U.S. economy.

LAW The Don Pilzer Law Firm has announced that it has changed its name to Pilzer/ Klein PC.  Attorneys Don Pilzer and Kevin Klein have decades of experience in Social Security disability law and will continue to provide the same legal services to the community.

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

We’re not just a great accounting firm; We’re a great partner. 30 Years Experience with only ONE goal … helping our clients navigate difficult accounting and tax decisions and building life-long relationships

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BRADSHAW, GORDON & CLINKSCALES CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS

bgcllc.com | 864-233-0590 | 630 E. Washington St., Greenville 5.18.2018 | upstatebusinessjournal.com

17


#TRENDING |

INFORMATION YOU WANT TO KNOW

THE WATERCOOLER Social Chatter

RE: GREENVILLE STARTUP TO OPEN $10M CRYPTOCURRENCY MINING FARM “Wow, don’t know a lot about crypto mining but doesn’t energy cost in the U.S. exceed any possible returns?”

Ed Sutton

RE: THE 9-ACRE FORMER SOUTHERN BLEACHERY SITE AT TAYLORS MILL TO BE TRANSFORMED

FROM THE GREENVILLE JOURNAL, RE: GREENVILLE CITY MANAGER JOHN CASTILE IS LEAVING POST “John Castile has done a great deal to enhance economic vitality and quality of life in the Upstate throughout his career with the City of Greenville, but most notably in eight years as City Manager. We wish him much success in his future endeavors.”

“Cannot wait for the Taylors, Greer bike trail!”

Ethan James Price

“Hopefully they have a pretty substantial solar array to offset the energy costs.”

Ten at the Top – Upstate South Carolina

Chris Coker

1. Greenville startup to open $10M data center for cryptocurrency mining

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EVENTS YOU SHOULD HAVE ON YOUR CALENDAR

| PLANNER

DATE

EVENT INFO

WHERE DO I GO?

HOW DO I GO?

Thursday UBJ PUBLISHER

5/24

Greenville Chamber of Commerce’s Upstate Diversity Leadership Awards Dinner

TD Convention Center 1 Exposition Drive 5–8 p.m.

Cost: $85, $60 student admission For more info: www.bit.ly/2FVD3I7; katies@hughes-agency.com; 864-271-0718

EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT

Friday

5/25

Venture Carolina’s Lunch & Learn: Pitching to Angels in the Upstate

Venture Carolina Pitch Lab 225 S. Pleasantburg Drive, Ste. C15 noon–1 p.m.

Cost: Free For more info: www.bit.ly/2HLEhXj

Tuesday

Greenville Chamber of Commerce’s Upstate Chamber Coalition Republican Gubernatorial Debate

Furman University 3300 Poinsett Highway 7–9 p.m.

For more info: www.bit.ly/2FT5KW0; 864-239-3748; kbusbee@greenvillechamber.org

STAFF WRITERS

Wednesday

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

5/30

Greenville Chamber of Commerce’s 4th Congressional District Candidate Forum

Hughes Library 25 Heritage Green Place 6:30–8 p.m.

Cost: Free For more info: www.bit.ly/2Kvn7Pr; 864-239-3748; kbusbee@greenvillechamber.org

MARKETING & ADVERTISING DIRECTOR OF SALES

Wednesday

5/30

Upstate Business Journal’s Business on Tap

The Standard 1800 Drayton Road, Spartanburg 5:30–7 p.m.

Tuesday

6/12

USC Darla Moore School of Business Information Session

USC Moore School Greenville Classrooms 201 Riverplace, #300 12:30–1:30 p.m.

Cost: Free For more info: www.bit.ly/2IcVcFS

Tuesday

Greenville Chamber of Commerce’s Netnight (nonprofit community)

Avenue 110 E. Court St., Suite 600 5:30–8 p.m.

Cost: $25 investors, $50 general For more info: www.bit.ly/2JQfIct; 864-631-6596; nikawhiteconsulting@greenvillechamber.org

Mark B. Johnston mjohnston@communityjournals.com Susan Schwartzkopf susans@communityjournals.com

MANAGING EDITOR

Emily Pietras epietras@communityjournals.com

ADMINISTRATIVE EDITOR

Heidi Coryell Williams hwilliams@communityjournals.com

5/29

COPY EDITOR Rebecca Strelow

Emily Yepes

DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Cost: Free For more info: https://goo.gl/WAa1VA

Donna Johnston

MARKETING REPRESENTATIVES Heather Propp,Meredith Rice, Caroline Spivey, Liz Tew

CLIENT SERVICES

Anita Harley | Rosie Peck | Jane Rogers

ART & PRODUCTION VISUAL DIRECTOR Will Crooks

7/10

LAYOUT

Bo Leslie | Tammy Smith

VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS

UP NEXT

ADVERTISING DESIGN

JUNE 1 INNOVATION ISSUE

Holly Hardin

Kristy Adair | Michael Allen

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Kristi Fortner

HOW TO CONTRIBUTE STORY IDEAS:

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EVENTS:

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NEW HIRES, PROMOTIONS, AND AWARDS:

onthemove@upstatebusinessjournal.com UBJ welcomes expert commentary from business leaders on timely news topics related to their specialties. Guest columns run 700-800 words. Contact managing editor Emily Pietras at epietras@communityjournals.com to submit an article for consideration. Circulation Audit by

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

UBJ milestone

UBJ milestone jackson Marketing Group’s 25 Years 1988 Jackson Dawson opens in Greenville at Downtown Airport

JUNE 29 LEGAL ISSUE

1988

>>

JULY 27 COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE ISSUE Got any thoughts? Care to contribute? Let us know at upstatebusinessjournal.com/submit.

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

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

1998

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

1998 Jackson Dawson moves to task industrial Court

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

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

him going and growing his business over the years. He is passionate about giving back and outreach to non-profits. The company was recently awarded the Community Foundation Spirit Award. The company reaffirmed its commitment to serving the community last week by celebrating its 25th anniversary with a birthday party and a 25-hour Serve-A-Thon partnership with Hands on Greenville and Habitat for Humanity. JMG’s 103 full-time employees worked in shifts around the clock on October 22 and 23 to help construct a house for a deserving family. As Jackson inches towards retirement, he says he hasn’t quite figured out his succession plan yet, but sees the companies staying under the same umbrella. He wants to continue to strategically grow the business. “From the beginning, my father has taught me that this business is all about our people – both our clients and our associates,” said his son, Darrell. “We have created a focus and a culture that strives to solve problems, serve people and grow careers.” Darrell Jackson said he wants to “continue helping lead a culture where we solve, serve and grow. If we are successful, we will continue to grow towards our ultimate goal of becoming the leading integrated marketing communications brand in the Southeast.”

2011 Jackson marketing Group/Jackson motorsports Group employee base reaches 100 people

2008 2012 Jackson marketing Group recognized by Community Foundation with Creative spirit Award

pro-bono/non-proFit Clients American Red Cross of Western Carolinas Metropolitan Arts Council Artisphere Big League World Series The Wilds Advance SC South Carolina Charities, Inc. Aloft Hidden Treasure Christian School

CoMMUnitY inVolVeMent & boarD positions lArry JACkson (ChAirmAn): Bob Jones University Board chairman, The Wilds Christian Camp and Conference Center board member, Gospel Fellowship Association board member, Past Greenville Area Development Corporation board member, Past Chamber of Commerce Headquarters Recruiting Committee member, Past Greenville Tech Foundation board member David Jones (Vice President Client services, Chief marketing officer): Hands on Greenville board chairman mike Zeller (Vice President, Brand marketing): Artisphere Board, Metropolitan Arts Council Board, American Red Cross Board, Greenville Tech Foundation Board, South Carolina Chamber Board eric Jackson (Jackson motorsports Group sales specialist): Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club Advisory Board

November 1, 2013 Upstate bUsiness joUrnal 21

20 Upstate bUsiness joUrnal November 1, 2013

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