INSIDE // 11.11 TRAINING • CREATING FUNDABLE COMPANIES • SECOND SHOT FOR CAROLINA AWNING CO. BUILDING
JUNE 1, 2018 | VOL. 7 ISSUE 22
GREEN CLOUD HABITAT FOR HUMANITY PLASTICS IN AEROSPACE PAYING FOR PATENTS MARKETING IN THE DIGITAL ERA
Can you spot the differences at your NBSC branch?
In the coming weeks, you will see some new things at NBSC. While you may not notice them all right now, banking with us across the Southeast will be easier than ever. There is one difference we think you’ll notice right away. Can you spot it in the pictures above?
is now ANSWER: It’s your banker’s nametag, because soon NBSC will become Synovus. Banking products are provided by Synovus Bank, Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
THE RUNDOWN |
TOP-OF-MIND AND IN THE MIX THIS WEEK
VOLUME 8, ISSUE 22 Featured this issue: Greenville gets state’s first SBIC................................................................................10 Former Carolina Awning Co. building to be developed...................................... 11 Opportunities for innovation in marketing............................................................19
Former professional soccer players Blakely Mattern and India Trotter (pictured, right) hope that their concept 11.11 Training, located at 125 Industrial Drive in Greenville, will serve as a point of confluence for confidence, drive, ability, skill, experience, and opportunity for young athletes. Read more on Page 5. Photo by Will Crooks/Upstate Business Journal
WORTH REPEATING “Everyone is trying to become the next unicorn and create a billion-dollar company.” Eric Hester, Page 12
“We have to dig a little deeper and think a little harder to help the families.” Monroe Free, Page 14
“The mistake or miscalculation that businesses often make is assuming that consumer demand will keep pace with manufacturing innovation.” Meredith Kinsey, Page 19 4
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On tariffs “The Trump administration is clearly signaling, ahead of Wilbur Ross’ trip to Beijing, that the gloves are off given China’s unwillingness to agree to a trade deficit reduction target or to make broader trade concessions.” Eswar Prasad, a Cornell University professor of international trade, in the Wall Street Journal. On Tuesday, May 29, the White House announced it would impose a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion of Chinese goods.
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Practice Makes Perfect 11.11 Training adds another layer to Upstate’s booming soccer scene WORDS BY TREVOR ANDERSON PHOTOS BY WILL CROOKS
India Trotter and Blakely Mattern know soccer is a game that thrives on passion. In the rapidly growing world of competitive women’s soccer, however, passion is a trait that will take aspiring footballers only so far. That’s why the two former professional players created their concept 11.11 Training at 125 Industrial Drive in Greenville. They hope it will serve as a point of confluence for confidence, drive, ability, skill, experience, and opportunity — all of the attributes that will help their young customers become successful on the field, as well as off. “The pure enjoyment for us is when we see players succeed,” said Trotter, 33, a former U.S. Women’s National Team player and second-team All-American at Florida State University. “For example, we had a kid come in and we were going over and over something with her. One day, she was doing it. I turned to her mom and said, ‘I think she’s got it!’ That’s what’s so exciting.” What exactly is 11.11 Training?
Let’s start with its leaders: Trotter, the owner, and Mattern, her head trainer. Trotter grew up in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and after a standout youth career, she decided to take her game up a level to the collegiate ranks. She said she had an offer to play at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a perennial women’s powerhouse. Trotter also considered offers from the University of Georgia and University of Texas at Austin. While her parents pushed for Texas, Trotter said Florida State grabbed her attention because the program was growing and she wanted to “play for the program that was going to beat [UNC].” As a Lady Seminole, she started and played nearly every position on the field and led the team to the Final Four of the NCAA Division I tournament three out of four years. Her proudest memory from college is from her junior year when the team had graduated seven of its 11 starters. “We weren’t supposed to be any good,” Trotter
Former professional soccer players Blakely Mattern (left) and India Trotter (right) founded 11.11 Training to provide players with supplementary, high-quality training focused on speed, strength, and agility.
said. “But we came together and played really well as a team. … It was a great experience. We had a lot of players from overseas, so I got to learn about a lot of different cultures.” After college, Trotter became a resident of the U.S. Women’s National team during the 2007 World Cup and the 2008 Olympics. From there, her career took off as she played professionally for teams in Germany, Missouri, New Jersey, Atlanta, Sweden, and New York. During her stint in New York, Trotter got her first taste of coaching when she served as a volunteer assistant at Syracuse University, where she met the program’s then-assistant coach Abby Minihan. Trotter decided to retire from pro soccer in 2011. It wasn’t long before she got a call from Minihan, who had just been named head coach of the women’s team at the University of South Carolina Upstate. Minihan, who eventually left USC Upstate, asked Trotter to be her assistant coach. 6.1.2018 | upstatebusinessjournal.com
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“I thought she meant the University of South Carolina, like in Columbia,” Trotter said. “I didn’t know there was more than one. But it was all good. I moved up here and started coaching with her.” Trotter spent three seasons with the Lady Spartans. Minihan’s husband, Paul Minihan, is a coach at Carolina Elite Soccer Academy (CESA). The couple’s ties to soccer in the Upstate are what led to Trotter’s introduction to Mattern. Mattern, 29, is originally from Greenville. During her youth career, she played club soccer for St. Giles and Greenville Football Club, the predecessors to CESA, and for J.L. Mann High School. Mattern played collegiate soccer at the University of South Carolina. “When I chose South Carolina, I knew I wanted to stay close to home,” she said. “I knew they needed my position. We were trying to get better as a program.” Mattern was a stalwart defender for the Lady Gamecocks. She started and played all four years. One of the highlights from her college days was a 1-0 win against UNC in a season opener during her sophomore year. The other big one was an equalizer (game-tying goal) she scored
When Trotter and Mattern launched 11.11 in 2016, they had 20 students to start. In just more than two years, their numbers have increased to about 75 players from as far away as Columbia. They also have a waiting list.
in the Southeastern Conference championship game her senior year. After college, Mattern played professionally in Atlanta, the Netherlands, and Sweden. Mattern returned to the U.S. and lived in Columbia while she was receiving treatment after tearing her anterior cruciate ligament.
She decided to move back to the Upstate, and the Minihans introduced her to Trotter. The two women quickly became friends. In 2015, they began formulating a plan to parlay their collective soccer experiences into a business. And that’s where the idea for 11.11 took root.
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At the beginning of 2016, Trotter and Mattern launched the business. They had 20 students to start. In just more than two years, their numbers have increased to about 75 players from as far away as Columbia. They also have a waiting list. Trotter and Mattern said their business is basically designed to provide players with supplementary, high-quality training focused on speed, strength, and agility. 11.11 does not seek to compete with any other club, college, or professional teams, Trotter and Mattern said. If anything, they want to help and actively participate with those teams. They said about 65 to 70 percent of the training is done with a soccer ball on the turf field in 3,000 square feet of their 4,500-square-foot facility. Trotter and Mattern have a range of weights, treadmills, and other equipment they use for the training. Sessions are typically 90 minutes and prices vary. The training is meant for girls of every skill level ages 10 through 18, but Trotter and Mattern also have a summer program for women playing in college. Framed versions of the jerseys Mattern and
“11 stands for transition. We are transitioning girls to be the best possible players and people they can be.” Blakely Mattern
Trotter wore during their playing days, as well as collegiate flags from the schools where their students hail, hang throughout the facility. In terms of coaching philosophy, Trotter and Mattern believe in a 6:1 ratio, meaning six players for every coach during each session. And they try to match up players with like skills for each group. Trotter said the business boasts a “99 percent conversion rate,” which means 99 percent of the players who come in the door to test the waters end up becoming paying customers.
11.11’s name is a play on 11-v-11, the traditional formation of a soccer game. The number 11 also has another meaning for the business. “11 stands for transition,” Mattern said. “We are transitioning girls to be the best possible players and people they can be.” Trotter said the business has outgrown its existing space. She is currently looking for about 8,000 square feet and has identified downtown Greenville as an area she’s interested in setting up shop. “We don’t want to lose that intimate feel,” she said. “It would be great to be near other complementary businesses that could help make us more of a destination.” Trotter and Mattern said they believe the future is bright for the business and that the growth in both the numbers and competitiveness of the game in the Upstate and South Carolina is a good thing. That growth includes the addition of the new United Soccer League D3 team in Greenville, two developmental teams in Greenville and Spartanburg, and an independent indoor team in Anderson. “We’re excited to be a part of it,” Trotter said.
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Spartanburg Chamber recognizes businesses, individuals at annual celebration The Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce, presented by Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, held its 2018 Annual Celebration on May 22. Businesses and individuals who have significantly contributed to the successes of Spartanburg were honored at the event.
THE 2018 AWARD WINNERS Ambassador of the Year was awarded to Maddi Currier, development associate at the Hope Center for Children, for her engagement of local businesses. Landon Cohen, president of Light Transportation Company, was named Young Professional of the Year, for his entrepreneurial successes and job creation. The 2017 Teachers of the Year: District 1: Joshua Fowler; District 2: Keri Belue; District 3: Kimberly Goode; District 4: Emily Montjoy; District 5: Laura Brockman; District 6: Janelle
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Courtney Dial; District 7: Dr. Vern Weygandt; Spartanburg Day School: Kim Ballenger; SC School for Deaf and Blind: John Preston Lewis The Duke Energy Citizenship and Service Award posthumously recognized Newt Hardie, founder of The Trees Coalition, for his work to fight kudzu across Spartanburg County. Hardie, 83, died on May 5. Auriga Polymers Inc. received the Economic Futures Award for its 50 years of innovation in Spartanburg. Patti Wetherford, manager for Pinnacle Hospitality, was posthumously named the Elaine Harris Tourism Person of the Year for her contributions to the tourism industry. Wetherford died in 2017. The James B. Thompson Small Business of the Year Award was given to Atlas Organics for its growth and innovation in recycling and composting.
Natasha Pitts, minority business development coordinator with the City of Spartanburg, received the Inclusion Advocate of the Year award for her work advocating for minority- and womenowned businesses. Minority Business Person of the Year was awarded to Charles Atchison, owner and founder of Atchison Transportation, for his work in building the state’s largest full-service ground transportation company. Spartanburg Mayor Junie White and Spartanburg County Council Chairman Jeff Horton received The Chairman’s Award for their collaborative leadership in support of the Penny Referendum. Neville Holcombe Distinguished Citizenship Award honored U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy, representing the state’s 4th Congressional District, for his commitment to Spartanburg during his time of public service. –Melody Wright
2446 Laurens Road Greenville, SC 29607
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Alpha Mode Episode 5: With Richard Hagins Upstate Business Journal is pleased to present the fifth installment of Alpha Mode, its new, digital feature that appears each month on upstatebusinessjournal. com, in partnership with QLI International LLC and Alex LaCasse (MTN LLC). This month’s Alpha Mode, “Conversations with NextLevel Leaders,” features Richard Hagins, founder and CEO of the local business services company US&S Inc. He offers insight into the leadership approach of building a respected brand in a B2B environment with US&S. During the interview, Hagins
ALPHA MODE also offered a glimpse into different aspects of his career as a Navy officer, an AfricanAmerican business leader, and an active contributor to the Upstate community. -Staff Report
$37M Arthrex Inc. facility under construction in Anderson
The $37 million Arthrex Inc. project in Anderson, which includes a 250,000-square-foot medical device manufacturing building and a 30,000-square-foot central services office building, is now under construction. Plans also include a 936-space parking area located on the 200-acre site with room for future growth. General contractor Brasfield & Gorrie is collaborating with Colorado-based architect LAI Design Group on this project, which is slated for completion in early 2019. Arthrex Inc., a global orthopedic medical device company headquartered in Naples, Fla., projects that the manufacturing facility will create more than 1,000 new jobs in Anderson County over the next several years. Brasfield & Gorrie, which established a brick-and-mortar Greenville office in 2013 after working in the county for 30 years, is currently also constructing the Camperdown mixed-use development downtown Greenville and Clemson University Center for Nursing, Health Innovation, and Research. –Ariel Turner C L E M S O N
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State’s first Small Business Investment Company opens in Greenville A privately owned investment firm in Greenville that’s been licensed by the U.S. Small Business Administration will soon start offering mezzanine and equity financing to lower middle-market companies across the Southeast, including the Upstate. As South Carolina’s first Small Business Investment Company (SBIC), Route 2 Capital Partners will make $3 million to $15 million available to individual companies possessing “sustainable business models with high-quality management teams,” said one of the firm’s managing partners, Patrick Weston. By investing private capital that is matched 1-to1 with SBA-guaranteed funds borrowed at low cost by Route 2, the new SBIC will be able to maximize its financing to qualified businesses while reducing the corresponding risk for Route 2’s individual and institutional investors. Route 2 is targeting firms with $10 million to $100 million in annual revenues that generate “predictable and profitable cash flows” and
focusing on opportunities in niche manufacturing, business, and health care services and specialty distribution, with Weston citing automobile or aerospace supply-chain firms and specialty telecom providers as examples. Companies can use investment proceeds for a variety of purposes, including growth and expansion, recapitalization, and a complete or partial sale of the enterprise. Route 2 will not invest in startups or real estate, Weston said, and will be highly selective in its market picks. “We say ‘no’ 95 percent of the time,” he added, and no more than 10 percent of the firm’s total capital will be invested in any one business. After Route 2 was formed last year, it raised $35 million from 29 individual, endowment, banking, and institutional investors, and by its next SEC filing, “We’ll end up in all likelihood with $150 million to $175 million of total capital,” Weston said. Weston sees the state’s first SBIC as an alternative to private investment firms in money
centers that profit from “the lack of indigenous capital” for lower middle-market deals. With a footprint stretching from “Virginia to Texas to Florida,” he said, Route 2 will benefit from the growing popularity of the Upstate as a business location as well as overall economic growth across the Southeast. Route 2’s principals share long-term working relationships and possess diverse operational experience, the firm stated. Located at 110 E. Court St. in Greenville and in Charleston, Route 2’s name derives from “the old colonial road that connects our two offices,” explained Jay White Jr., one of Weston’s Charleston-based partners. “Some of the best investments are off the beaten path,” White quipped. –Neil Cotiaux
Michelin releases first diversity report and honors former SC governor for World Diversity Day In honor of United Nations World Cultural Diversity Day on May 21, Michelin North America published its first diversity and inclusion report. The 16-page report includes employees’ voices and Michelin’s work in creating a diverse and inclusive environment for more than 20,000 employees in the U.S. and Canada. The tire company also awarded former U.S. Secretary of Education and South Carolina Gov. Richard W. Riley with the Michelin Award for Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion during a celebratory event at Michelin headquarters in Greenville. “For more than 50 years, Dick Riley has been a driving force behind positive change in South Carolina, where Michelin North America began U.S. operations in 1975,” said Herb Johnson, chief diversity and inclusion officer of Michelin North America. Riley was honored for promoting workplace equality, encouraging inclusivity within dialogue, and training leaders for diverse team management. “Michelin has been a consistent leader for workplace diversity and inclusion among corporate employers across the communities its workforce serves,” Riley said. “This award honors all 2,000 graduates of the Riley Institute’s Diversity Leadership Initiative, where success is 10
UBJ | 6.1.2018
Photo provided by Michelin
measured by one’s ability to lead effectively in an increasingly diverse environment.” The company ranked first on Forbes magazine’s annual survey of Best Large Employers in America for 2018. Michelin offers a Youth Apprenticeship program, Technical Scholars program, and other internships and cooperative-education opportunities. “Michelin prioritizes diversity and inclusion, enabling us to better serve customers while continuing to compete in an ever-changing global marketplace,” said Scott Clark, chairman and president of Michelin North America. –Melody Wright
REAL ESTATE DEALS AND DEVELOPMENTS ACROSS THE REGION
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Former Carolina Awning Co. building gets second shot at redevelopment
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Grant Station will have room for six to eight retail or office tenants. Photo provided by Avison Young
A new 21,000-square-foot flex redevelopment at 325 New Neely Ferry Road, Mauldin, has hit the market, with opportunities for six to eight retail or office tenants with the possibility of up to 5,473 square feet as the largest footprint. The former Carolina Awning Co. building, often referred to as “the space shuttle building” by locals, has been renamed Grant Station and is being developed by Hunter Howard of H2E Construction, who is also acting as the general contractor. Grant Station has more than 740 feet of frontage on Highway 276 and New Neely Ferry Road, along with new hardscaping/landscaping, on-site parking that meets city requirements, the potential for patio/ outdoor space located behind unit F, and warehouse storage options. Units A-F range in size from 1,790 to 3,348 square feet. Lease rates are listed at $7-8 triple net. John Odom and Rakan Draz of Avison Young are responsible for leasing efforts.
Potential retail tenants could include a brewery, Howard says. Howard’s father and a business partner, Ward Kellett, previously owned the property but lost interest in the redevelopment they had named My Space at Mauldin. Upstate Business Journal reported on their previous plans for the property in 2014. Howard made an offer this year and purchased it in the first quarter and plans to have unit A show-worthy by November. Howard says a main goal is to get the side of the building facing Highway 276 as presentable as the New Neely Ferry Road-facing side. “I see a lot more potential in it,” Howard says.
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CHANGING THE GAME BY EDUCATING NEXT-GEN MSPs ON THE PROMISE OF CLOUD TECH WORDS BY LAURA HAIGHT | PHOTO BY WILL CROOKS hen the founders of 7-year-old Green Cloud first started thinking of cloud infrastructure and services, they thought they would be late to the party. Already, people were talking about “the cloud” as if it was an established, mature technology and “everyone was doing it,” recalls Eric Hester, co-founder and chief innovation officer of the Greenville-based cloud technology provider. “We expected everyone would adapt immediately,” he says. It didn’t happen that way, he says “because businesses didn’t have to change.” They saw the cloud as a technology they didn’t need, not as a solution to a problem they already had. Recognizing this challenge, the company took a different approach. “We used other parts of what the cloud is — backups and disaster recovery — to solve problems that were right in front of them,” Hester says. While other companies were touting the new technology, Green Cloud focused on “solution-based problem-solving instead of tech-based problem-solving.” The real innovation and risk came in two decisions: First, to sell only to managed service providers (MSPs), who already had the direct customer relationship if not the technical skill set; and second, to own all their own equipment rather than leasing from the already built-out giants like Amazon and Azure. Green Cloud also made the conscious decision to work with legacy vendors to create familiarity with existing software and help evolve its customers from fixers to solution providers. “Innovation for us has to be moving our partners to a place where they can be innovative and not just being able to talk about it but create solutions,” Hester says. “That’s our whole business model. ... A huge part of that is educating them and being a resource to them so they have value to their customers.” The gamble paid off, and today Green Cloud is the “largest independent, channel-only cloud provider of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) in the country,” according to a company spokesman.
UBJ | 6.1.2018
They’re also in their second year of hitting the Inc. 5000 list and service more than 500 resellers across the country. In the process of achieving this growth, the company also contributed to the education and development of the next generation of IT, an evolution from break-fix specialists to proactive business partners. Hester is a technologist with more than two decades of experience designing and developing technologies with a “cool” factor. “Everyone is trying to become the next unicorn and create a billion-dollar company,” Hester admits. But Green Cloud knew it couldn’t compete with Amazon and Microsoft, the two giants of cloud infrastructure. “It’s less about having the coolest new product, and more about making current products more accessible, solution-oriented, and problem-solving.” To ensure a transparent and reliable service, Green Cloud invested in their own infrastructure with space in six facilities from coast to coast. They also “very intentionally” selected vendors their partners were already familiar with like VMWare and Cisco. “We didn’t want to have to introduce partners to a whole new version of the cloud,” Hester recalls. “We wanted them to be able to reuse relationships and familiarity with existing technologies.” But the small- and medium-sized IT providers were still break-fix focused, so along with the technology, Green Cloud had to layer in training and development. In fact, Hester doesn’t even want you to think about your technology. Think about your business. “We are trying to move technology into the background. Businesses don’t make proactive IT decisions,” he says. “But we have those conversations. We refresh our equipment every three years because our customers’ customers need that, even if they wouldn’t have done it themselves.” “Somebody is thinking about your business every day,” Hester says. “It just isn’t you.” But there is a problem with that. “That’s been the education we’ve had to do with our partners
... how to show the value,” Hester explains. “The promise of the cloud is that nothing ever goes wrong.” But things are going wrong. All the time. “It’s just that you have hundreds of people watching your back.” To facilitate the elevation of IT providers, Green Cloud provides a lot of information to their MSP customers. Dashboards, reports, analysis, and advocating for quarterly business reviews with clients are all part of the tools and information the company puts in the hands of MSPs so they can prove and enhance their value. “It helps them renew their contracts and maintain their relationships,” he says. That, right there, relationships. “That’s our secret sauce,” Hester says. Mike Windey, CEO of Birdseye Technical Services in Mauldin, has been a Green Cloud customer for four years. They are, in many ways, the quintessential client: small-business focused and experienced in technology, but solution-focused. They can take full advantage of what the company offers. Windey praises Green Cloud’s technical expertise and customer service. “They will bend over backwards,” he says, offering several examples of challenging customer issues that required creative solutions. He turned to Green Cloud for those, and the company delivered. “They have local expertise and are willing to roll up their sleeves and help you figure things out.” Windey says he has called in the middle of the night and gotten Hester out of bed for help. “You’re not going to get that from Microsoft [Azure] or Amazon,” he says. This customer-centric culture, accountable and transparent, is a demarcation point for Green Cloud. “We deliver good news fast and bad news faster,” Hester notes. “We tell you exactly what’s happened, and why it’s not going to happen again. We couldn’t have had that level of accountability and control if we outsourced. … We can actually make sure it’s going to be OK, not just say its OK.”
WHO’S TALKING ABOUT GREEN CLOUD? CRN, an information service for technology integrators, named Green Cloud one of its 100 Coolest Cloud Computing Vendors of 2018. The South Carolina Business Awards named Green Cloud Fastest Growing Company in the state in 2015. Energage, an employee engagement system provider, named the company as a “Top Workplace” in SC in 2017 and 2018. The Business Intelligence Group, a national awards program, named Green Cloud as a “Best Places to Work” winner in 2017.
GREEN CLOUD Company size: 75 employees 2017 Revenues: $19,737,771 Partner/clients: 554 Data centers: The company has space in six Tier 3 data centers located in Greenville, Atlanta, Houston, Nashville, Minneapolis, and Phoenix Inc. 5000 - 2017: No. 649, 54th out of 589 in IT Services
Eric Hester, co-founder and chief innovation officer, Green Cloud 6.1.2018 | upstatebusinessjournal.com
Monroe Free, president and CEO, Habitat for Humanity of Greenville County
HABITAT FOR HUMANITY OF GREENVILLE COUNTY BUILDING A FIREWALL TO BLUNT RISING COSTS WORDS BY NEIL COTIAUX | PHOTO BY WILL CROOKS
UBJ | 6.1.2018
t’s a busy spring for the volunteers and staff of Habitat for Humanity of Greenville County: an all-female crew at a Women Build event sheathing walls and setting trusses, closings on the final three properties in its Grace Point neighborhood off White Horse Road, and the dedication of the nonprofit’s 350th home. But beyond the sounds of construction and out of range of photo-ops, there’s a quieter, more methodical task at hand. With a growing number of families who earn 30 percent to 60 percent of median area income needing affordable housing and with “down-ladder” demand for such housing increasing among those making 60 percent to 120 percent of the median, the local Habitat chapter needs to “step up our game for the community,” believes Monroe Free, its president and CEO. In Greenville County, the median sales price of a home stood at $180,000, a 13 percent year-over-year increase, said ATTOM Data Solutions, a property database firm, in its first-quarter 2018 U.S. Home Affordability Report. At 3 percent down and with a 28 percent debt-to-income ratio, the income needed to buy a home in Greenville County was $48,288, making the county one of 304 in which housing was not affordable for average wage earners. Last year, the average income of a Habitat family was $22,000, Free said. “The lady who cut my hair … that’s the group we’re going to always be after,” he emphasized. Habitat Greenville’s next Strategy Plan, effective July 1 with the start of its fiscal year, commits the nonprofit to serving 300 families with affordable housing through FY 2023, more than double the 144 families served by the current plan. But with land becoming scarcer and more costly, the cost of public infrastructure and supplies rising, and federal dollars diminishing, Free and his staff know they’ll have to wring more value from their finances. That, in turn, has prompted a series of initiatives within the new five-year plan to achieve the greatest cost efficiencies possible. “In some ways, it’s a perfect storm for Habitat,” Free said. “We have to dig a little deeper and think a little harder to help the families.”
To help tame rising infrastructure costs — road, water, sewer — the Strategy Plan calls for a new capital campaign. A recent federal grant covers only one-fifth of Habitat’s current infrastructure costs, Free said. The new campaign will be conducted independently of other fundraising. On its last Form 990, Habitat reported raising more than $1.8 million in contributions and government grants, a 12-month record. In December, Habitat Greenville opened a second ReStore at 3033 Wade Hampton Blvd. The store accepts donations of furniture, home accessories, appliances, and other items and sells them to the public at discount, with the proceeds used to help fund Habitat’s operations. After a slow start, the outlet is now “exceeding our expectations,” Free said. To accelerate cash flow, Habitat will move its other ReStore, at Pelham Pointe in Simpsonville, to a new location on Woodruff Road, a move expected to increase drive-by traffic count by 35,000.
TWEAKING THE BLUEPRINT
As part of Habitat’s new game plan, everything from the kinds of homes being built to Habitat’s retail stores is under scrutiny. The plan calls for getting 300 families into housing by building 80 new homes and by rehabbing, weatherizing, and repairing 220 existing ones. In a first, Free has asked his staff to be ready to build some multifamily housing within the first 24 months of the plan. By placing some families on one lot in one structure, multifamily housing addresses the rising costs that Habitat is trying to overcome. And by choosing the right site, a multifamily approach also enables Habitat to place a cluster of low-wage earners close to mass transit. “We need to congregate our people near transportation systems,” Free said. In another first, the nonprofit is starting to prefabricate building materials off-site. A build site is “less controlled” and more prone to mistakes, Free noted. By prefabbing at a warehouse, Habitat will “be able to buy material in bulk for a larger number of houses” and reduce waste, saving as much as 8 percent in construction costs based on the experience of a program at Habitat’s Raleigh, N.C., affiliate, Free said. “Sticks and bricks cost is about $72,000” per home, he added.
UP-FRONT CASH In addition to its raft of new initiatives, Habitat Greenville will continue its recent practice of placing zero-percent mortgages on the books of two of its partners, SC Telco Federal Credit Union and Carolina Foothills FCU, instead of booking mortgages in-house. The change, which Free suggested several years ago in a break with the traditional Habitat model, provides the nonprofit with large chunks of cash at closing rather than recouping the sales price over the life of the loan. At closing, “We give them 100 percent of each mortgage,” said Steve Harkins, SC Telco’s president and CEO. “It’s a commitment to help improve the community.” Further, Habitat no longer has to deal with mortgage servicing. At Carolina Foothills, a total of $1.4 million in Habitat mortgages has been booked so far and “we’ll possibly put more in” when the current $2 million cap on them is reached, said Scott Weaver, president and CEO. With a foreclosure rate of 0.45 percent, “We’re a pretty safe investment for them,” Free said, with the up-front cash received mostly applied to land and infrastructure.
Bradley Nivens wishes Habitat Greenville all the best as it begins the next five years of its mission. Determined not to buy a home until he was ready, Nivens kicked his drug habit, cleaned up his debt, finalized a divorce, participated in 25 hours of required homebuyer education, and worked alongside Habitat volunteers building a home at Grace Point. “Habitat actually set it up with me to do my closing exactly five years from being clean,” he said. Nivens, 41, pays off his monthly $493, no-interest mortgage through a job at another nonprofit. He remarried after becoming “more secure and self-confident,” he said, and lets his two autistic sons play inside a fence built by Habitat. A 2016 study reported that after moving in, 96 percent of Habitat homeowners felt their families were more stable, 70 percent had completed a training or degree program, and 67 percent said their children’s grades had improved. “They’re just such courageous and strong people,” Free said of the “working poor” who will be helped by Habitat’s redoubled commitment to affordable housing.
6.1.2018 | upstatebusinessjournal.com
ISSUE The Right Value With patents, manufacturers and other innovative businesses should pay for quality, not quantity
By AMY ALLEN HINSON partner, Parker Poe
For small to midsize manufacturers and other innovative companies in the Upstate, including patents in their overall business strategy is critically important to long-term success. The reality is that in todayâ€™s tech-driven marketplace if an organization is not protecting its technology, it is putting itself at risk. But simply having a patent â€” or even a war chest of them â€” does not necessarily add value to your bottom line. Instead, the price of maintaining such a war chest can quickly detract from it. For that reason, the attempts by some businesses to commoditize patent work are short-sighted.
We understand the initial draw: Protecting your intellectual property can be expensive, and treating patents like a commodity appears to be a way to control costs. This commoditization generally happens through fixed fees, where the company pays a set price to a law firm for a set task, such as a completed utility application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Be wary, however â€” you will get what you pay for. For example, letâ€™s say you want to patent an inventive coating composition, so you enlist patent counsel to draft and file a utility patent application. With fixed fees, there is no motivation on the attorneyâ€™s end to fight hard and get the broadest, best, and most effective protection for a client. Instead, that attorney is incentivized to spend as little time on the application as possible, get it filed, and take his or her fee. Further, that attorney is incentivized to create as much downflow work from that application filing as possible,
which results in additional fixed fees paid by you and delays in obtaining important patent protection. No business would want to incentivize that kind of work by their own employees, so why would you do it for your outside patent counsel? In addition, fixed fees for patent work cause companies to apply a one-size-fits-all approach to their intellectual property. Yet all inventions are not the same, and neither is the value of all patents. Businesses should decide which inventions or technology are most important to protect and strategize with their patent counsel to prioritize filings and allocate spending accordingly. After all, you hired patent counsel â€” not patent scribes â€” for a reason. Prioritizing filings and spending is the type of strategic thinking that comes from a true partnership between innovative companies and their outside patent counsel. In tandem, they can effectively focus on the quality of a patent portfolio
Greenville County Property Sale Call for Highest and Best Offers
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Greenville County is seeking the highest and best offers from interested parties to purchase County-owned real property located in the northern area of Greenville County. At this time, the County has four distinct tracts of property as described in the map to the left (in the Travelers Rest and Slater Marietta communities). Responders should submit offers for each property separately. Responders could submit an offer on one, two, three, or all four of the tracks, but each property offer will be considered separately. Offers should be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 21, 2018, and should demonstrate the ability to close within 60 days of notice of success.
Visit GreenvilleCounty.org for all the details. If you have any questions, please call (864) 467-7408 or email email@example.com.
UBJ | 6.1.2018
MOVERS, SHAKERS AND DISRUP TORS SHAPING OUR FUTURE
rather than its quantity. This means going beyond a narrow patent for a product today and instead thinking through how to future-proof it, ensuring that it will still be valuable â€” and enforceable â€” when competitors adapt and technology changes. This type of analysis may cost more on the front end, but it pays off down the road. Maintenance costs are one reason why. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office charges fees to patent owners approximately every four years,
and those fees grow progressively larger. Most foreign patent offices have even higher fees, which are typically charged annually. Thus, the more patents you have, the more you pay. By partnering with outside patent counsel to assess how to write the broadest and most effective single patent, you can save significantly in the long run compared to using a fixed-fee arrangement that incentivizes as many patents as possible. A strategic approach also pays off when it
becomes necessary to enforce intellectual property rights. Quality patent counsel should always, on the front end, include a discussion concerning the defensive use of a patent. That will result in a better-written application because it factors in possible enforcement situations and potential design-around tactics by competitors, and it prepares you to take immediate action when a competitor infringes on your rights. In sum, the commoditization of patent work incentivizes attorneys to do the bare minimum rather than to strategically partner with clients on protecting what really matters. Yes, using fixed fees may save manufacturers and other Upstate businesses money in the short-term. For some extremely large companies that care primarily about patent numbers, that approach may make sense. But in the long-term, paying for patent strategy and planning is an investment that will deliver more value to the corporate bottom line. Amy Allen Hinson is a registered U.S. patent attorney in Parker Poeâ€™s Greenville office. She serves as a strategic business partner to clients in a variety of industries. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
6.1.2018 | upstatebusinessjournal.com
ISSUE The rising need for plastics in aerospace By MARK MCCLURE VP of operations, International Plastics
Much like its mounting use in automotive innovation and assembly, plastics applications in aircraft construction is experiencing a mounting increase in demand and use. Within three years, nearly 800 pounds of any contemporary car on the road will be plastic, and now that the material is being used for structural loads, safety, and fuel efficiency in the air, the sky’s the limit, right? Could the wing or tail assembly be next? Plastics applications already speckle the interiors of any commercial jet, airplane, or helicopter, from the tray table at your arm, the windows on your right and left, or the canopy fixed overhead. And this what you can see. Fasteners, valve seats, pump gears, electrical standoffs, and insulators for the endless array of cables and wires are hidden under each wing, beneath your feet, or behind the panels along the cabin walls. Although fluctuating prices in raw material remain one of the market’s biggest obstacles, perhaps another facing the use of plastics in the air is the material’s “perceived” inability to withstand loads or extreme temperatures. High-performance plastics are heat- and flame-resistant, and the advanced plastics used in aerospace are resistant to chemicals, won’t corrode, and have very little smoke emission. Following the 2013 crash of Asiana Flight 214 in San Francisco, Plastics News published an article outlining how the addition of advanced plastics helped to save more than 300 lives that day. According to the article, the Federal Aviation Administration wanted to reduce the number of aviation fatalities and injuries by two-thirds because 40 percent of fatalities during impact-survivable incidents were due to fire and smoke. The report highlighted a sequence of relative incidents spanning 20 years that led to the inclusion of high-performance thermoplastics like DuPont’s Tedlar polyvinyl fluoride (PVF) and Victrex polyetheretherketone (PEEK). As 18
UBJ | 6.1.2018
a result, the Asiana Flight had these materials installed in thermal acoustic insulation blankets behind the airplane’s interior panels, preventing a wall of flames and impassable smoke from costing more lives and slowing the evacuation. In addtion, PEEK is used in exterior conditions where the material is open to atmospheric particles and very low temperatures. PEEK is also strong enough to handle some of the tougher jobs. Airbus helicopters began using the thermoplastic to replace metal in their door fittings back in 2015. When selecting materials for structural applications, Paul Kumler, the president of KTM Solutions and former director of engineering at both Lockheed and Boeing, said, “The reliability of process to produce consistent mechanical properties is paramount.” “For a long time, even carbon reinforced structures were avoided because the process was not stable enough to render constant results,” he said. “A firm development process of plastic materials could result in additional structural applications, barring the strength to weight ratio was achieved.” As plastics material becomes stronger and capable of handling more, its mounting use in the ground-up construction of an aircraft will continue to make them lighter, more fuel efficient, and much, much cheaper. Perhaps we will begin to see this pull down our ticket prices? Manufacturing professionals here in South Carolina are hopeful. With a key driver being the high cost of fuel and a market push for cheaper flights, Brian Kuney, a regional vice president at the South Carolina Extension Partnership, said light weighting an aircraft with engineering plastics makes it the right choice over traditional metal alloys. “The inclusion of plastics materials impacts the bottom line,” he said. And the numbers support this claim. Did you know some plastic components are 10 times lighter than their metal versions? Did you know an airplane saves $1,000 in fuel over its lifetime for each pound of weight reduced? Did you know the chief material being used to build the airframes for Boeing’s new Dreamliner are plastic composites?
But it’s not just commercial and private aircraft experiencing a growing demand for lighter weight material; the addition of plastics in the military arsenal applies a unique advantage as well. Much like the use of lightweight plastics in automotive construction helps reduce fuel consumption and extend time between fill-ups, the application is providing the same advantage to military aircraft — although the consequences for a fighter jet not having enough fuel to make it home or complete its mission has much grimmer consequences than an uncomfortable wait along the interstate until help arrives. And if that weren’t enough, the use of plastics can also help a fighter jet avoid radar detection. As it stands, Bob Browning, a former vice president of business development for Lockheed Martin and senior director of business development at Boeing, said the amount of plastics in aircraft construction is predicted to increase about 5 percent each year through 2021. “With general aviation trailing at 15 percent, nearly 70 percent of plastics are found in commercial and freighter aircraft, while almost 60 percent of those plastics are found in their interiors,” he said. Although the bulk of plastics materials are found on the inside of nonmilitary aircraft, innovation in advanced and composite plastics has increased their needs exponentially. The use of plastics in aerospace has already quadrupled over the last 50 years. Can you imagine what your commercial or regional aircraft will look and feel like in another five decades? Mark McClure is the vice president of operations at International Plastics, with more than 30 years of experience in the flexible packaging industry. Mark has a vast resume of experience and knowledge from stocking product in the warehouse to overseeing all aspects of the family business. He has played an intricate role in business success at International Plastics by helping plant the vision of the future back in 1998 and seeing it come to fruition.
ISSUE Why marketing is critical to the age of innovation By MEREDITH KINSEY senior VP and COO, FUEL
“Innovation and entrepreneurship are critical components to the success of our economy. We want to enable and support a stronger innovation ecosystem in South Carolina and help the state become a top place in the nation to start and build high-growth businesses.” –Bobby Hitt, South Carolina Secretary of Commerce
Innovation drives South Carolina’s economy. This former “Textile Capital of the World” is now a hotbed for knowledge-based research and advanced manufacturing. The last decade has proved to be quite a boon for the state’s economy, which has enjoyed unprecedented growth, primarily through the foreign investment of major international corporations committed to technological innovation. According to the S.C. Department of Commerce, “more than 1,200 operations of international firms (and growing) call South Carolina home.” Booming industries include automotive, aerospace, health care, technology, medical device makers, and home appliances, to name but a few. In fact, from 2011 to 2016, advanced manufacturing job growth increased 16 percent, accounting for 11 percent of the state’s total employment.
Commitment to Innovation The point of all these numbers is to demonstrate how big a part innovation plays in South Carolina’s economy. Clemson University, located in Upstate South Carolina, recently announced its creation of the Center for Advanced Manufacturing, which is dedicated to education, research, and innovation. The University of South Carolina, in partnership with Boeing, has established a permanent $2 million aerospace research endowment to support practice-based innovative research in material architecture and integrated intelligent manufacturing systems. In addition, the South Carolina Department of Commerce has awarded $2.6 million in funding to 19 organizations across the state to further innovation,
entrepreneurship, and technology-based economic development. However, with organizations and brands so dedicated to innovation, it presupposes that there will be a consumer need and desire for new breakthrough products and services created in this milieu. The mistake or miscalculation that businesses often make is assuming that consumer demand will keep pace with manufacturing innovation. So, companies think, “If I create a brand new innovative widget or car or cleaning product, consumers will be falling over themselves to buy it.” But as we know, that’s not always the case. Companies often focus so heavily and intently on product innovation that they forget about marketing that product to the right audiences in the right way. And if you don’t do that, you end up with a great, innovative product that no one knows about.
Having the most innovative product or service in the world does you no good if people aren’t aware, or, worse, if they don’t believe you.
Marketing Innovation Must Keep Pace With Product Innovation With the global economy and so many brands and businesses clamoring for attention, marketing is more important than ever. Innovation may be the name of the game, but finding your audience(s) and getting your messages heard or seen using the proper channels and platforms is critical to success. To create, design, and build a breakthrough product takes tremendous vision, planning, and execution. Brands owe it to their new product to market it effectively to maximize exposure and encourage adoption in the marketplace. Of course, the advent and continuing evolution of digital marketing, mobile technology, and myriad social platforms have changed the face of advertising and marketing and how people consume information. Merely being present online is not enough. Marketers must be more savvy and innovative in their tactics, as most customers — across all industries, B2B as well as B2C — are receiving information through various interactive media sources and social outlets. So
in order for brands and businesses to successfully introduce their new, innovative products to market, it often requires equally innovative and preemptive marketing tactics.
Companies often focus so heavily and intently on product innovation that they forget about marketing that product to the right audiences in the right way. The good news is, marketing presents more opportunities than ever before. Thanks to digital technology, brands are able to reach audiences when and where they consume information, while they’re on the go, in real time. And it’s all “trackable.” Marketers are able to retrieve and analyze data like never before to determine precisely what’s working and what’s not, and adjust accordingly. This enables businesses to be in step with consumers, which is particularly relevant when launching a new product or innovative service. Instead of reacting, brands can deliver highly relevant, customer-centric messaging — an ongoing, fluid stream of messages that is both anticipatory and responsive to ever-changing customer needs. And that, of course, builds consumer adoption, trust, and loyalty over the long haul, which ultimately is the end goal for any kind of innovation in the marketplace.
MARKETING BENEFITS OF THE DIGITAL ERA • Immediate, real-time communication • More precise, targeted solutions • Flexible, expansive reach • More efficient and cost-effective • Responsive, or adaptive, to multiple devices • More engaging, two-way communication (with an audience) • Helpful and educational, customer-benefit focused 6.1.2018 | upstatebusinessjournal.com
THE TAKEAWAY |
NOTES FROM THE BEST TALKS YOU MISSED
Ecosystem Exchange Creating fundable companies By DANIEL NATAL author, and owner of Natal Videography Services
What: NEXT Ecosystem Exchange – How to Create Fundable Companies: From Seed to Exit (an educational event for entrepreneurs, startups, and those interested in investing in startups. Venture capitalists from D.C, New York, and Silicon Valley spoke to guests on what they look for in companies seeking funding)
“You don’t have to leave Greenville to build something big; you just have to think big.” Paul Singh
Where: Clemson ONE Auditorium, downtown Greenville Who was there: Community leaders, business leaders, startup founders, angel investors, aspiring entrepreneurs, and those interested in venture capital
On Thursday, May 17, in downtown Greenville, the NEXT organization sponsored an evening with Paul Singh, of ResultsJunkies. com, as well as Brooke Navarro and Ben Freeland, both of whom are investment bankers at Barclay’s. All three came to share their thoughts about what makes companies attractive to investors. As the assembly subsided into an attentive silence, Paul Singh took the stage. A native of India, he shared many valuable insights into the decentralizing effects of technology and the opportunities that this was opening up to people around the world. Now with the ability to do business anywhere, he said, “You don’t have to leave Greenville to build something big; you just have to think big.” After sharing the success stories of many daring startups, Singh said, “In building your company, don’t look to attract entrepreneurs; look to attract ‘entrepreneurish.’” Ben Freeland, of Barclay’s, echoed this point when he took the stage. He said that the single most important criterion in a company’s ability to attract outside investment is their corporate culture. Freeland’s colleague, Brooke Navarro, endorsed his remarks by adding, “Many successful companies stall out at the $30 million level. Once they hit that plateau, they can’t seem to get much higher; and, when you examine it, it’s invariably because they failed to create an effective corporate culture.” 20
UBJ | 6.1.2018
Freeland would return to this theme later, when asked by emcee Alex Estevez what advice he had for entrepreneurs in the room. He said simply, “Team-building is the most important thing you can do. It’s the first thing that outsiders see when coming into your company. Just walking into a business, you can feel the vibe in the air.” Freeland added that “corporate culture” was a sort of barometer that venture capitalists use to assess the future prospects of a company. And it was at this juncture that the two guest speakers from Barclay’s Bank presented their most pronounced contrast to fellow speaker Singh. Whereas Singh stressed the triumph of the individual entrepreneur, Freeland and Navarro stressed the importance of process. The two messages were not contradictory. Rather, Singh’s perspective was that of the small nimble startup of the 21st century (where more emphasis was placed on innovation than size), whereas the two investment bankers from Barclay’s were harking back to an older 21st-century industrial conception of operations of scale.
The official theme of the evening was “Creating Fundable Companies: From Seed To Exit,” so the two perspectives complement each other perfectly, as they both cast light on how companies attract capital when they’re young and small, and, by contrast, how they elicit the interest of financiers after they’ve attained a certain size and prestige. The event put on by the organizers of NEXT presented a well-rounded perspective of businesses at all stages of their development and how those companies (at their respective evolutionary junctures) might best attract capital. The audience in attendance was, needless to say, intellectually engaged by every minute of the keen discourse. Their engagement was less intellectual than emotional, however, when, at the end of the evening, Venture South’s Matt Dunbar received the Phyfer Innovation Award for his many years of work in the Upstate regarding economic development and his extensive angel investment activities.
PLAY-BY-PLAY OF UPSTATE CAREERS
| ON THE MOVE
DANIEL P. JOHNSON
Has joined Infinity Marketing as digital media director. Broadus has an extensive background in digital marketing. He earned his bachelor’s degree in management information systems and a Master in Arts in mass communications from the University of Southern Mississippi.
Has joined BRIGHT+CO as a project lead. Yongue previously worked as a senior account executive at EP+CO. Yongue holds a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing from Clemson University and currently serves as president of the American Advertising Federation (AAF) – Greenville Chapter.
Has joined Crawford Strategy as office administrator. Guin has a Bachelor of Science in marketing from Clemson University. Guin will be responsible for managing the daily workflow of the office and serving as the first point of contact when clients arrive.
Has joined Renewable Water Resources (ReWa) as director of information technology. Johnson has served extensively in both the public and private sectors. Johnson is a certified project management professional and holds an ITIL Foundations certification. Johnson has more than 25 years of experience in IT.
Has joined Vista Capital Management Group as director of marketing and new business development. Davidson graduated from Georgia Tech with a Bachelor of Science in industrial engineering. She previously worked for Milliken & Company as an industrial engineer manager.
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Zandr Tesolowski Technical Recruiter
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Celebrating Celebrating 6.1.2018 | upstatebusinessjournal.com
INFORMATION YOU WANT TO KNOW / NEW FACES OF BUSINESS
THE WATERCOOLER 1. New Village of West Greenville retail locations set to open in June
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2. Yee Haw Brewing Co. set to open in Keys Court
3. Daniel plans Legacy Haywood luxury apartments for Haywood Road area
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UBJ | 6.1.2018
The Upstate SC Alliance is an economic development organization that draws on the shared wisdom of universities, technical colleges, and Local Economic Developers who bridge the gap between industry and education. Working together as a team, we have the drive and the institutional support to create opportunities for today and tomorrow.
UpstateSCAlliance Because TOGETHER, WE Can.
EVENTS YOU SHOULD HAVE ON YOUR CALENDAR
Mark B. Johnston firstname.lastname@example.org
WHERE DO I GO?
HOW DO I GO?
NEXT’s Do’s & Don’ts for Attracting Investment
The NEXT Innovation Center 411 University Ridge noon–1:30 p.m.
Cost: Free. Registration required For more info: www.bit.ly/2s6BYaQ
Clemson MBA Info Section
Greenville ONE 1 N. Main St., fifth floor 5:30–7 p.m.
Cost: Free. Registration required For more info: www.bit.ly/2IEPyJo
Clemson MBAe Innovation at Work Competition
Greenville ONE 1 N. Main St., fifth floor 3–5 p.m.
Cost: Free. Registration required For more info: www.bit.ly/2kiH14g
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
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; email@example.com
Ogletree Building (Aug. 28) & The Greenville Chapter of the Society TD Convention Center (Aug. 29) for Human Resource Management’s 300 N. Main St., 500 (Ogletree); 1 REthinkHR Exposition Drive (TD Convention Center) 7:30 a.m.–4:45 p.m.
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT Susan Schwartzkopf firstname.lastname@example.org
Emily Pietras email@example.com
Heidi Coryell Williams firstname.lastname@example.org
COPY EDITOR Rebecca Strelow
Cindy Landrum, Andrew Moore, Sara Pearce, Ariel Turner
MARKETING & ADVERTISING DIRECTOR OF SALES Emily Yepes
DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Donna Johnston
MARKETING REPRESENTATIVES Heather Propp, Meredith Rice, Caroline Spivey, Liz Tew
Anita Harley | Rosie Peck | Jane Rogers
ART & PRODUCTION VISUAL DIRECTOR Will Crooks
Cost: Aug. 28: $100 members/nonmembers; Aug. 29: to July 1: $150 members/$175 nonmembers; to Aug. 15: $175 members/$200 nonmembers For more info: www.greenvillehr.org/meetinginfo.php
Bo Leslie | Tammy Smith
VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS
JUNE 29 LEGAL ISSUE
Kristy Adair | Michael Allen
EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Kristi Fortner
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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 jackson Marketing Group’s 25 Years 1988 Jackson Dawson opens in Greenville at Downtown Airport
JULY 27 COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE ISSUE
Chairman larry Jackson, Jackson marketing Group. Photos by Greg Beckner / Staff
Jackson Marketing Group celebrates 25 years By sherry Jackson | staff | email@example.com
AUGUST 3 FINANCE 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.
Solve. Serve. Grow. Those three words summarize Jackson Marketing Group’s guiding principles, and according to owner Larry Jackson, form the motivation that has kept the firm thriving for the past 25 years.
Jackson graduated from Bob Jones University with a degree in video and film production and started his 41-year career in the communications industry with the U.S. Army’s Public Information Office. He served during
Vietnam, where he said he was “luckily” stationed in the middle of Texas at Fort Hood. He left the service and went to work in public affairs and motorsports at Ford Motor Company in Detroit. After a stint at Bell and Howell, where he was responsible for managing Ford’s dealer marketing and training, the entrepreneurial bug hit and he co-founded Jackson-Dawson Marketing Communications, a company specializing in dealer training and product launches for the auto industry in 1980. In 1987, Jackson wanted to move back south and thought Greenville would be a good fit. An avid pilot, he
learned of an opportunity to purchase Cornerstone Aviation, a fixed base operation (FBO) that served as a service station for the Greenville Downtown Airport, providing fuel, maintenance and storage. In fact, when he started the Greenville office of what is now Jackson Marketing Group (JMG) in 1988, the offices were housed on the second floor in an airport hangar. “Clients would get distracted by the airplanes in the hangars and we’d have to corral them to get back upstairs to the meeting,” Jackson said. Jackson sold the FBO in 1993, but says it was a great way to get to know Greenville’s fathers and leaders
with a majority of them utilizing the general aviation airport as a “corporate gateway to the city.” In 1997, Jackson and his son, Darrell, launched Jackson Motorsports Group. The new division was designed to sell race tires and go to racetracks to sell and mount the tires. Darrell Jackson now serves as president of the motorsports group and Larry Jackson has two other children and a son-in-law who work there. Jackson said all his children started at the bottom and “earned their way up.” Jackson kept the Jackson-Dawson branches in Detroit and others in Los Angeles and New York until he sold his portion of that partnership in 2009 as part of his estate planning. The company now operates a small office in Charlotte, but its main headquarters are in Greenville in a large office space off Woodruff Road, complete with a vision gallery that displays local artwork and an auditorium Jackson makes available for non-profit use. The Motorsports Group is housed in an additional 26,000 square feet building just down the street, and the agency is currently looking for another 20,000 square feet. Jackson said JMG has expanded into other verticals such as financial, healthcare, manufacturing and pro-bono work, but still has a strong focus on the auto industry and transportation. It’s
2003 motorsports Division acquires an additional 26,000 sq. ft. of warehouse space
2009 Jackson Dawson changes name to Jackson marketing Group when larry sells his partnership in Detroit and lA 2003
1998 Jackson Dawson moves to task industrial Court
also one of the few marketing companies in South Carolina to handle all aspects of a project in-house, with four suites handling video production, copywriting, media and research and web design. Clients include heavyweights such as BMW, Bob Jones University, the Peace Center, Michelin and Sage Automotive. Recent projects have included an interactive mobile application for Milliken’s arboretum and 600-acre Spartanburg campus and a marketing campaign for the 2013 Big League World Series. “In my opinion, our greatest single achievement is the longevity of our client relationships,” said Darrell Jackson. “Our first client from back in 1988 is still a client today. I can count on one hand the number of clients who have gone elsewhere in the past decade.” Larry Jackson says his Christian faith and belief in service to others, coupled with business values rooted in solving clients’ problems, have kept
2009-2012 Jackson marketing Group named a top BtoB agency by BtoB magazine 4 years running
him going and growing his business over the years. He is passionate about giving back and outreach to non-profits. The company was recently awarded the Community Foundation Spirit Award. The company reaffirmed its commitment to serving the community last week by celebrating its 25th anniversary with a birthday party and a 25-hour Serve-A-Thon partnership with Hands on Greenville and Habitat for Humanity. JMG’s 103 full-time employees worked in shifts around the clock on October 22 and 23 to help construct a house for a deserving family. As Jackson inches towards retirement, he says he hasn’t quite figured out his succession plan yet, but sees the companies staying under the same umbrella. He wants to continue to strategically grow the business. “From the beginning, my father has taught me that this business is all about our people – both our clients and our associates,” said his son, Darrell. “We have created a focus and a culture that strives to solve problems, serve people and grow careers.” Darrell Jackson said he wants to “continue helping lead a culture where we solve, serve and grow. If we are successful, we will continue to grow towards our ultimate goal of becoming the leading integrated marketing communications brand in the Southeast.”
2011 Jackson marketing Group/Jackson motorsports Group employee base reaches 100 people
2008 2012 Jackson marketing Group recognized by Community Foundation with Creative spirit Award
pro-bono/non-proFit Clients American Red Cross of Western Carolinas Metropolitan Arts Council Artisphere Big League World Series The Wilds Advance SC South Carolina Charities, Inc. Aloft Hidden Treasure Christian School
CoMMUnitY inVolVeMent & boarD positions lArry JACkson (ChAirmAn): Bob Jones University Board chairman, The Wilds Christian Camp and Conference Center board member, Gospel Fellowship Association board member, Past Greenville Area Development Corporation board member, Past Chamber of Commerce Headquarters Recruiting Committee member, Past Greenville Tech Foundation board member David Jones (Vice President Client services, Chief marketing officer): Hands on Greenville board chairman mike Zeller (Vice President, Brand marketing): Artisphere Board, Metropolitan Arts Council Board, American Red Cross Board, Greenville Tech Foundation Board, South Carolina Chamber Board eric Jackson (Jackson motorsports Group sales specialist): Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club Advisory Board
November 1, 2013 Upstate bUsiness joUrnal 21
20 Upstate bUsiness joUrnal November 1, 2013
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