INSIDE // REVIVED AESTHETICS IV BAR OPENS • HELPING ADULT CHILDREN FINANCIALLY • ROFA NORTH AMERICA HQ MOVES
JULY 13, 2018 | VOL. 7 ISSUE 27
Angels in the Market OVER THE LAST DECADE, VENTURESOUTH HAS EVOLVED INTO ONE OF THE LARGEST ANGEL INVESTMENT GROUPS IN THE COUNTRY
Paul Clark, Matt Dunbar, and Charlie Banks of VentureSouth Will Crooks/Upstate Business Journal
THE RUNDOWN |
TOP-OF-MIND AND IN THE MIX THIS WEEK
VOLUME 7, ISSUE 27 Featured this issue: South Carolina’s manufacturing report card...........................................................3 Hotel in Clemson to support ClemsonLIFE program......................................... 11 Setting up your tech: do it right the first time…………............................................15
The newly opened Revived Aesthetics, located at 700 Garlington Road, offers intravenous vitamin infusions that deliver replenishing fluids, vitamins, and minerals directly to the bloodstream, along with other treatments. Read more on Page 5. Will Crooks/Upstate Business Journal
WORTH REPEATING “If you’re a baby boomer in or near retirement, remember that this question will affect both you and your children.” Rob DeHollander, Page 12
“Because the Upstate has a manufacturing-focused economy, staying within EPA attainment levels is critical not just to the physical health of our residents, but also to our economic well-being.” Dean Hybl, Page 13 2
UBJ | 7.13.2018
On your coffee “To eliminate straws, Starbucks is transitioning from the flat, plastic lids that require them, to ones that feature a raised lip you can drink from. The new designs have drawn comparisons to an adult ‘sippy cup.’” Danielle Wiener-Bronner, of CNNMoney, on Starbucks’ Monday announcement that it will phase out plastic straws at its stores by 2020, a move that could eliminate more than 1 billion plastic straws per year, according to company estimates.
INFORMATION YOU WANT TO KNOW
South Carolina is one of five states to receive an A grade in manufacturing industry health.
South Carolina’s manufacturing industry health is above average, report says ANDREW MOORE | STAFF
email@example.com South Carolina’s manufacturing industry remains above average, receiving an A grade on the 2018 Manufacturing & Logistics Report Card last month. The annual report, which was published by Ball State University’s Center for Business and Economic Research and Conexus Indiana, ranks states in categories “most likely to be considered by site-selection experts for manufacturing and logistics firms” and those used for research on economic growth, according to a news release. Industry health was measured by “the share of total income earned by manufacturing employees in each state, the wage premium paid to manufacturing workers relative to the other states’ employees, and the share of manufacturing employment per capita.” According to the report, South Carolina received a C grade in logistics and declined from a C to C-minus in its productivity and innovation. The Palmetto State also experienced a decline in manufac-
turing growth between 2014 and 2016. On a more positive note, South Carolina improved from a B to B-plus in diversification, from a C-minus to C in tax climate, and from an F to D-minus in human capital. The state maintained the same grade in global reach, benefits costs, and logistics and liability. South Carolina is one of five states to receive an A grade in manufacturing industry health, according to the report. Other states with above-average manufacturing industries include Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan. “U.S. manufacturing and logistics are in a remarkable period of expansion,” Michael Hicks, executive director of Ball State’s Center for Business and Economic Research, said in a statement. In South Carolina, more than 1,800 manufacturers, including more than 400 foreign companies, call the Upstate region home, according to Upstate SC Alliance. That includes BMW Manufacturing Co., Bosch, GE, Fluor, AFL, and Magna. 7.13.2018 | upstatebusinessjournal.com
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Fujifilm announces $3.9M Chemical company expansion in Greenwood County investing $16M in Spartanburg County facility ARIEL GILREATH | STAFF
firstname.lastname@example.org Fujifilm Manufacturing USA Inc. will invest $3.9 million in its production plant in Greenwood County and add 67 new jobs to the area, the company announced July 2. The Tokyo-based corporation makes industrial and commercial imaging products and has been in Greenwood for 30 years. The expansion will allow production of electrical parts for inkjet printer heads for Fujifilm Dimatix, a sister company. The announcement said hiring for the positions will start at the end of July and beginning of August.
“Fujifilm Manufacturing is celebrating its 30th anniversary in Greenwood this year, and I cannot think of anything better for our associates, the community, and the company than to announce this expansion, which demonstrates Fujifilm’s continued commitment to Greenwood County,” said Todd Croker, president of Fujifilm Manufacturing USA Inc. “We appreciate the support from the state and local governments, as well as the Greenwood Partnership Alliance for facilitating investments in existing industries.” The 2.5 million-square-foot manufacturing plant has five facilities on its campus near Lake Greenwood.
ANDREW MOORE | STAFF
email@example.com An England-based chemical company plans to invest $16 million to expand its existing manufacturing operations in Spartanburg County. Synthomer will expand its operations at 200 Railroad St. in Roebuck by installing a new production reactor and equipment, according to a news release. The upcoming expansion is expected to create 10 jobs, according to the release. Hiring for the new positions is scheduled to begin in 2019.
“Our new production unit will give us the capability we need to achieve greater efficiency and volume. In turn, this will allow us to meet the growing demand for our products,” Kimberly Grimm, Synthomer’s site manager in Spartanburg, said in the release. “We are very fortunate to be located in such a business-friendly state that supports job creation and growth.” Founded in 1863, Synthomer is a supplier of acrylic and vinyl emulsion, latex, and specialty polymers, according to the release. The company has more than 24 manufacturing facilities in 14 countries around the world.
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te e d iS it g m re ! Li g w in n o at Se r
September 25, 2018 8:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. IV therapy is used for sports recovery, hydration, cold and flu recovery, migraine treatment, and as a hangover cure, among other uses. Will Crooks / Upstate Business Journal
RETAIL AND HOSPITALITY
Revived Aesthetics IV bar to hold grand opening July 19 ARIEL TURNER | STAFF
firstname.lastname@example.org Revived Aesthetics, the IV bar at 700 Garlington Road, Greenville, quietly opened a month ago and will celebrate its grand opening July 19. Revived Aesthetics, which is a partnership between Greenville attorney John Mussetto and pediatric registered nurse Jennifer Valentine, offers intravenous vitamin infusions that deliver replenishing fluids, vitamins, and minerals directly to the bloodstream, along with other treatments, such as microblading, a semi-permanent eyebrow tattooing procedure. IV therapy is a growing trend among athletes and those who may have partied a little too hard the night before. It is used for sports recovery, hydration, cold and flu recovery, migraine treatment, and as a hangover cure, among other uses. Mussetto says the planned fall 2017 opening was delayed due to
construction hang-ups and the shortage of IV bags, which are manufactured in Puerto Rico. When Hurricane Maria hit the island, the ongoing damage and lack of infrastructure caused an international medical crisis as Puerto Rico is a leading manufacturer of the bags used to deliver fluids and drugs in hospitals and wellness clinics. The bags became available later this spring, allowing Revived Aesthetics to open after its staff of registered nurses was trained, Valentine says. A medical doctor, Dr. Tonya Washington, an internal medicine physician, is also available for consultation and will check in regularly on the clinic. Mussetto says future expansion plans include opening additional locations in the area. “We want to bring hydration to the Upstate,” he says. Hours of operation are Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; and Sunday by appointment only. 7.13.2018 | upstatebusinessjournal.com
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Platter will lead ROFA North America in move to new facility NEIL COTIAUX | CONTRIBUTOR
When Alexander Platter joined the ROFA Industrial Automation Group in his native Germany five years ago, little did he know that he would wind up making the Upstate his home. Now the chief operating officer at Greer-based ROFA North America, Platter manages a team of six in juggling a heavy calendar of warehousing, assembling, installing, and servicing various types of automated conveyor systems for auto manufacturers in the Southeast. Platter’s latest challenge will be to shutter ROFA’s U.S. headquarters on state Highway 101 and move it to a purchased space at 1630 Duncan Reidville Road by Labor Day. Platter said the 21,300-square-foot facility will more than double the company’s capacity, providing additional space for warehousing and new hires. “My plan is by the end of the year to have 10, and by the end of next year up to 20,” including a designer, project managers, and site supervi-
UBJ | 7.13.2018
ROFA North America’s Greer operation works with BMW in Spartanburg County, among other vehicle manufacturers. Will Crooks/Upstate Business Journal
sors, Platter said. He said he also hopes to add fabricating work. “We want to have U.S. people. That’s important to us,” Platter said. “Right now we have 50-50.” ROFA North America is one of 11 subsidiaries of ROFA Industrial Automation AG, headquar-
tered in Kolbermoor, Germany. The company, which recently marked its 50th anniversary, has at one time or another designed, fabricated, installed, or replaced customized station-to-station conveyor systems for more than a dozen big-name vehicle manufacturers around the globe.
INFORMATION YOU WANT TO KNOW
Currently, ROFA’s Greer operation — the company’s only U.S. office — works with BMW in Spartanburg, Daimler Mercedes-Benz in Alabama, and Volkswagen in Tennessee. Platter has plenty of other work on his plate this summer, including a trip to Chattanooga, Tenn., to discuss additional work for VW. “We are completely booked out … until the end of the year,” he said. “If we get that VW project, then I’d say the middle of next year.” Over the past two years, ROFA has completed projects for BMW and VW totaling $50 million. Most assembly lines contain up to 10 different sections, Platter said. “We are here, at this BMW facility, around the clock all year long.” Currently, conveyor parts are designed and fabricated by ROFA in Europe and mostly shipped into the Port of Charleston and then carried by truck or rail to Spartan-
burg, Chattanooga, and Tuscaloosa, Ala. Adding design and fabricating functions in the Upstate will help shorten the supply chain and reduce costs as ROFA eyes more clients in the automotive sector, Platter said. ROFA equips automakers with a range of multimillion-dollar automated equipment, including electrified monorail systems, overhead wire rope conveyors, roller and belt conveyors, and pusher systems. Each system is designed to bear the weight of heavy loads; overheads are designed to support cargo up to three tons. The company also supplies spare parts. Jordan Skellie, a brokerage associate at Lyons Industrial Properties in Spartanburg, represented Ronnie Hopkins Enterprises in the sale of the Duncan Reidville Road property.
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Motherly Advice As the mother of two daughters, our household is full of “girl power.” My daughters believe they can do anything and that they are not limited by their gender. So, how do I explain to them that in 2017, women earned 82% as much as men? My husband and I focus on education and the benefits it provides for a lifetime; how do I explain to my high school daughter that she will most likely make less than her male peers right out of college? There are many reasons that pay disparity still exists: training, negotiation skills, caregiving roles, and unconscious biases. Men, women, and businesses have all been a part of creating this inequality in our workplaces, yet most people believe that men and women should receive equal pay for equal work. According to Lean In, 75% of Americans think the gender pay gap is unfair and only 16% think companies are doing enough to close the gap. Many aspects of this issue are cultural and will take time to resolve, yet there are specific things that companies can do now to help close the pay equity gap. • Perform a wage analysis – It is possible to have a wage gap problem and not even know it. Best practice is to hire an outside firm who specializes in compensation review. Senior leadership should be involved and committed to act if disparity exists. • Establish pay ranges for each job description – Before interviewing candidates for a job, a pay range should be determined and posted along with the requirements. This will help curb any unconscious bias and help both the candidates and company know the parameters surrounding wages. • Avoid salary history questions – The average woman will lose more than $530,000 over the course of her lifetime because of the wage gap, according to the Economic Policy Institute. If women start off their career being paid less and with each new job they are asked about their salary history to determine future compensation, then they can never catch up. Nine states have adopted laws that prohibit employers from requesting salary history from candidates. Best practice is to avoid this question and base salary on the established pay range of the job. • Consider work flexibility - Women are often financially penalized for being the primary caregivers in their family. If feasible in your work environment, consider more flexibility so that all employees can perform their job successfully and still maintain a work-life balance. The burden to narrow the gender wage gap does not fall on businesses alone. Women have a responsibility as well to not only fight for equal rights but to be a part of the solution. The pay gap won’t change overnight and I realize that my daughters will also have to work towards equity. When it is time to begin their careers, I hope they will remember my motherly advice: negotiate salary with skill and confidence; know what your job is worth in the marketplace; find a mentor; don’t be afraid to use your voice; and most importantly, Work Hard.
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Venture On Angel network marks its 10th anniversary in the Upstate Words By Neil Cotiaux | Photos by Will Crooks
“Nothing ventured, nothing gained” may be a shopworn adage, but it’s entirely applicable to the founding, growth, and regional impact of the Upstate Carolina Angel Network — now known as VentureSouth — during the past 10 years. Launched in the dark days of 2008 just before the markets crashed, the private-equity network was founded by Greenville businessmen J.B. Holeman and Tim Reed, who saw a significant funding gap facing early-stage companies and decided to fill it. Holeman and Reed brought in Matt Dunbar, a chemical engineer and management consultant, to serve as managing director of the new operation, and the three began building an infrastructure of accredited member-investors across the Upstate who possessed diverse professional experience. “The group was formed just before the financial crisis, not as a result of it,” Dunbar said recently. “However, the fact that we didn’t have a legacy portfolio of companies that might have failed during the crisis gave us some time to figure out our model, and while investments were slow early on given all the uncertainty in the economy, the fact that some people were looking for alternatives to the public markets … helped us find a critical mass of investors that enabled us to survive early on.” Investments started slowly and picked up in 2010. In 2014, Charlie Banks and Paul Clark joined Dunbar as managing directors and the trio launched the South Carolina Angel Network, which incorporated the original Upstate network and some newer chapters elsewhere. The combined group then rebranded as VentureSouth in 2016. Now, 10 years after the recessionary meltdown and in a climate of robust economic 8
UBJ | 7.13.2018
growth, the angel network — 12 affiliates across both Carolinas — continues to infuse companies with sorely needed capital out of its new headquarters at Greenville’s McAlister Square. During its life, the network has attracted more than 400 past and present members and currently works with 270 participants, Dunbar said during a conversation at the new offices.
“We’re swinging for the fences, but you can hit the ball out of the park.” Matt Dunbar To date, he said, members have invested more than $28 million in 61 young companies, with about 60 percent of the dollars deployed in South Carolina. Those five dozen companies also attracted $350 million from other sources and have employed more than 1,000 people. In 2017, VentureSouth invested a record $4.5 million in 20 firms across South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee, Dunbar said, and closed its second investment fund after committing more than $3 million in member capital. VentureSouth’s “sweet spot” is an investment of $250,000 to $750,000 in an early-stage company possessing strong leadership, some initial revenue, and a business
model that can scale up quickly, Dunbar said. The goal, he explained, is to generate a 50 percent annualized rate of return over three to five years, leading to a strategic exit. Dunbar said he is less concerned about profitability during scale-up. “We want all the available cash flow invested in growth,” he said. Because of the risks inherent in early-stage firms, VentureSouth’s three principals typically ask for a preferred equity stake before committing to a deal. “We want to own a significant minority piece of the business,” generally from 20 percent to 30 percent, Dunbar said, with other investors serving as co-owners. While member investors are generally “industry agnostic,” he said, the network’s “three big buckets of interest” are technology and software, life sciences, and industrial and energy firms. A variety of companies within these market segments present capital-efficient, high-growth potential, the principals believe.
Capital, contacts spur growth
For Atlas Organics, a vertically integrated composting business founded in 2015 and based in Spartanburg County, continued investment by the angel group may make it easier to do business with municipalities. Working with local angel affiliates, “VentureSouth has contributed over $1 million dollars in total across the [funding] rounds,” said Joseph McMillin, the company’s chief executive officer. Atlas Organics’ goal is to “build a comprehensive organics recycling platform” alongside municipal partners in the Carolinas and elsewhere, processing both food waste and
VentureSouth By The Numbers 12 affiliates across the Carolinas >400 past and present members 270 current participants $28M invested in 61 companies ~60% of dollars deployed in South Carolina
investment “sweet spot” in an early-stage company
20-30% The typical preferred
equity stake from VentureSouth’s three principals prior to committing to a deal
Matt Dunbar of VentureSouth
7.13.2018 | upstatebusinessjournal.com
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yard waste in leased space at public landfills and processing it into high-quality compost sold into the agricultural, landscaping, and home-gardening markets. Atlas received its first funding from VentureSouth when it struck a deal to lease 9 acres at Greenville County’s Twin Chimneys landfill. It also operates a pilot processing facility in Chattanooga, Tenn., and on May 14 opened a facility at a landfill in Durham, N.C., that the city says Paul Clark will reduce its carbon footprint. The company also intends to grow its food-waste collection service across the seven markets it now serves: grocery, hospitality, industrial, corporate, health care, educational, and residential. “VentureSouth definitely has a pretty rigorous process,” McMillin said, including requiring a company to make an initial pitch to a small group of angels, share a detailed dossier as part of due diligence, and — if invited back — go before a much larger group to make a final pitch. ”It allowed us to really know different investors,” he added. “VentureSouth has really been professional, open, and transparent with their process,” said Charlie Banks Justin Rothwell, CEO of Raleigh, N.C.-based ProAxion, which is using proceeds from the fund to build a market for its Tactix system, a new “internet of things” plug-and-play predictive-maintenance technology that allows industry to anticipate equipment failures, avoid downtime and expenses, and maintain productivity. “We did kind of a quick screening call” with VentureSouth before visiting Greenville, Rothwell said, but soon after “did a two-week tour of South Carolina … pitching their individual groups.” While angel funding is important, Rothwell said, “having access to customers is honestly our No. 1 priority every day” and more of that could occur given the manufacturing contacts embedded within the Upstate angel network. Dunbar is optimistic about the group’s prospects over the next 10 years. At VentureSouth, the pace of strategic exits is now expected to accelerate due to the age and maturity of the 98 funding rounds remaining in the group’s portfolio, Dunbar said. “The market is very active and multiples are good,” he said. According to a 2016 study of 245 angel groups nationally, the overall cash-on-cash multiple stood at 2.5 times a member’s initial investment, on investments held an average of 4.5 years. “We’re swinging for the fences,” Dunbar said of working on behalf of angels, “but you can hit the ball out of the park.” UBJ | 7.13.2018
REAL ESTATE DEALS AND DEVELOPMENTS ACROSS THE REGION
ARIEL TURNER | STAFF
| SQUARE FEET @arielhturner
New Clemson hotel to employ students and alumni of ClemsonLIFE program Good Shepherd Pavilion LLC is introducing a new hotel concept to Clemson with plans to open in summer 2020 at 389 College Ave. The currently unnamed hotel will be Clemson’s first downtown hospitality option, and its guest experience will be provided by students and alumni of the ClemsonLIFE program, the Clemson University program designed for students with intellectual disabilities who desire a postsecondary experience on a college campus. These real-world jobs will help young adults with intellectual disabilities learn applicable skills, build resumes, and prepare for their futures. “Clemson is the ideal community to open an upscale, downtown hotel staffed with special-needs individuals,” said Rick Hayduk, principal of Good Shepherd Hospitality, the hotel’s operating company. “The city, the uni-
versity, and the ClemsonLIFE program have an extraordinary culture of caring, which will assist our workforce to thrive in all of their life endeavors.”
The six-story, 56,000-square-foot hotel will include a private third-floor terrace bar overlooking College Avenue, 72 rooms and suites, and a restaurant on the lobby level. Charles-
ton-based Goff D’Antonio architects are designing the “3.5-star” upscale hotel. Led by Hayduk, multigenerational Clemson families are partnering to own the hotel longterm with plans to build a sustainable for-profit platform that will support the ClemsonLIFE program and its students. Good Shepherd Hospitality has been formed to oversee 389 College Ave.’s operations while facilitating the ClemsonLIFE partnership. Hayduk has more than 30 years of luxury hotel management experience, having previously managed the hospitality operations of the Cliffs Communities and The Breakers, Palm Beach. He has employed staff with special needs from Goodwill Industries while serving as president of the Boca Raton Resort & Club and regional managing director of South Seas Island Resort and The Inns of Sanibel in Florida.
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YOUR MONEY |
NEWS AND TIPS FOR YOUR PERSONAL BOT TOM LINE
Helping your adult children with money By ROB DeHOLLANDER managing principal, DeHollander & Janse Financial Group
As parents, we want the best for our children. Our goals are usually noble and well-intentioned: “I want my kids to have more than I had,” or “I want to give them a head start.” This is typically the rationale for helping out financially, but will it lead to financial success later? If you’re a baby boomer in or near retirement, remember that this question will affect both you and your children. When you’re considering helping your adult children financially, ask yourself the following questions: 1. CAN I AFFORD IT? If you have enough money, you might decide to help. If, however, it places your finances in jeopardy, consider saying no. I see this a lot, and sometimes your head will need to tell your heart no. (This can be tough!)
off financially or enabling bad habits is a fine line to tread. I’ve seen numerous instances where providing financial resources to adult children actually harmed them rather than helped them. If you’re struggling with this situation, here are some compromises you might consider: Charge rent. This seems like an easy place to start, but it can be difficult to determine an amount and stand firm on collecting it; if they can’t afford it and end up months behind, your kids won’t perceive any impact if they feel like they can owe you indefinitely. Don’t necessarily expect market value for the room, but you have the right to set boundaries that keep both parties feeling comfortable with the arrangement.
2. WILL THIS HELP THEM LONG TERM? Is this a short-term crisis or a recurring pattern? Is the need temporary or permanent? 3. ARE MY CHILDREN FINANCIALLY RESPONSIBLE? Is this something they need or something they want? Have your kids established a budget? If the money will not be spent responsibly, say no but see question No. 4. 4. IS THERE ANOTHER WAY I CAN HELP? Sometimes, you’ll want to find another solution instead of just giving money. This is a great life skill, and it will foster problem-solving and resourcefulness. Remember when you were short on money? What did you do? 5. IS THIS A GIFT OR IS IT A LOAN? It’s important that both of you set clear expectations and agree to the arrangement. You may expect to be repaid while your adult child is secretly hoping you’ll forget all about it. Communication is key. Don’t get into an unspoken ongoing financial agreement. Have explicit discussions about your financial expectations, and consider putting it in writing. 6. IS THIS A PATTERN? If you’ve been helping your adult child financially over and over, it may not be healthy or sustainable. Consider stepping back, breaking the cycle of dependence, and finding other ways to help him succeed.
Solutions to consider Learning to live within our means can be a challenge at any income bracket, and cutting your kids UBJ | 7.13.2018
If not rent, pick an expense and be consistent. Between utilities, groceries, insurance, and other expenses, there are many different ways your millennial can be accountable for at least some household needs. Set boundaries. Separate the wants from the needs. It’s OK to want to help your kids relieve the stress from crushing debt, such as student loan debt, but you don’t need to finance their vacations or spa visits. Live within your own means. Lest you want to end up on their doorstep someday when your retirement funds run out, be disciplined about sticking to your budget and savings plan. Above all, make sure you discuss your actual spending needs as a family. If you need help, seek out your financial and tax professionals. You’ve put a lifetime of effort toward building a secure retirement. Don’t jeopardize it, no matter how well-intended your actions may be. In my experience, financial success is a learned skill taught usually by responsible parents — pass it on! Robert DeHollander is a managing partner and co-founder of the DeHollander & Janse Financial Group in Greenville.
WHAT ’S NEXT FOR THE UPSTATE, AND HOW WE’LL GET THERE
Improving air quality in the Upstate is an environmental and economic priority
IN-HOME CARE SERVICES
By DEAN HYBL executive director, Ten at the Top
Imagine a scenario where for significant parts of the year your family was unable to spend extended time outside enjoying parks, lakes, and mountains like those we are blessed with here in the Upstate because the air was unsafe to breathe. Sound like something that could never happen here? Well, the reality is that, prior to the passage of the Clean Air Act of 1970, there were many places across the United States where air pollution made it difficult for people to safely spend extended periods outside. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that since 1970, national emissions for the six primary air pollutants have declined by more than 70 percent. The EPA also estimates that because of the Clean Air Act more than 200,000 early deaths have been prevented annually in the United States and that the number of asthmatic episodes, cases of acute bronchitis, and hospitalizations due to breathing problems have been significantly reduced. Even with all the strides that have been made, air pollutants can still negatively impact public health. A new study conducted by researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis estimated that air pollutants play a role in more than 3.2 million new cases of diabetes annually (150,000 in the United States). The American Lung Association reports that more than 110,000 people in the Upstate are living with some form of asthma, a number that has declined slightly in recent years but still represents about 7.5 percent of Upstate residents. Because the Upstate has a manufacturing-focused economy, staying within EPA attainment levels is critical not just to the physical health of our residents, but also to our economic well-being. If the Upstate were labeled a nonattainment area for air pollutants, the additional costs to our manufacturers would likely negatively impact their willingness to invest — or reinvest — here. Thanks in large part to collaborative efforts by local governments, businesses, and community organizations, our region has seen a significant reduction over the past two decades in overall air-pollutant levels. Once annually at risk of being recognized as a nonattainment area by the EPA and regularly receiving poor grades in the ALA’s annual ratings, the Upstate has seen a positive impact from a combination of primarily voluntary actions to reduce emissions.
When the most recent EPA ozone emission standards were announced in 2015, it marked the first time that the Upstate did not need any mitigation to stay within attainment levels. In addition, the 2018 ALA air quality rankings gave every Upstate county an A or B for ozone emission levels (compared with primarily C and D ratings in 2012). Another component that has played an important role in reducing our air pollutants has been the continuing evolution of technology. The elimination of coal-fired electric plants in the region, the continued improvements in vehicle tailpipe emissions, and numerous other technology innovations have been critical to the reduction of air pollutants in the Upstate. Over the past several years, the Upstate Air Quality Advisory Committee, which includes local governments, businesses, and nonprofit organizations, has spearheaded the Clean Air Upstate campaign to help grow awareness of things that can be done to make our air cleaner and safer for everyone. On Aug. 17, the Air Quality Advisory Committee, Ten at the Top, and presenting sponsor Bon Secours St. Francis Health System will hold a workshop titled “A Cleaner Future: Air Quality, Sustainability and Energy Innovation” from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. at the T.D. Convention Center in Greenville. This informative and interactive workshop will feature keynote discussions and breakout sessions focused on innovations that are helping improve air quality while in many cases also providing financial 945 E. Main Street, Spartanburg, SC 29302 benefits for an individual, business, or local government. After an opening session,864-573-2353 attendees will choose the breakout sessions that best fit their interests: home, car/travel, or business; each breakout session will be held twice to provide an opportunity to attend the two sessions of greatest interest. The workshop will conclude with lunch and a keynote program. If you are interested in learning more about how you can help make the air we breathe in the Upstate safer through the use of emerging and innovative technologies, I hope you will join us. 7.13.2018 | upstatebusinessjournal.com
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STRATEGIES FOR HONING YOUR PROFESSIONAL SKILLS
Hiring veterans can be beneficial for employers, too By ROBYN GRABLE
percentage of first-year wages is 25 percent for those who worked at least 120 hours but fewer than 400 hours; it is 40 percent for those who worked at least 400 hours.
founder, Service to Civilian
As we’ve just celebrated the 242nd birthday of the United States and the freedom that comes with that, we must take a moment to set down our hot dogs and apple pie and thank those who have ensured that freedom. Military servicewomen and servicemen are selfless. None of them raised their right hands and swore to protect and defend this country thinking, “What’s in it for me?” They raised their hands to serve a higher purpose. In today’s military, less than 1 percent of the U.S. population steps forward, compared with 12 percent during World War II, according to The New York Times. So what’s in it for you as an employer if you hire a veteran? In addition to the multitude of skills, dedication, and work ethics each veteran brings to your organization, your company may qualify for several tax credits or incentive programs.
FEDERAL WOTC (WORK OPPORTUNITY TAX CREDIT)
The maximum credit for a veteran working at least 400 hours is: • Service-related disability and unemployed at least six months in the year ending in the hiring year: $9,600 ($24,000 in wages times 40 percent). • Service-related disability and hired within one year of discharge or release from active duty: $4,800 ($12,000 in wages times 40 percent). • Unemployed at least six months: $5,600 ($14,000 in wages times 40 percent). • Unemployed at least four weeks: $2,400 ($6,000 in wages times 40 percent).
have been in receipt of unemployment insurance or compensation for longer than six months (whether or not consecutive) in the one-year period ending on the hiring date.
WOUNDED WARRIOR TAX CREDIT
• Veterans who have been unemployed for a total of at least four weeks or at least six months during the one-year period prior to the date of hire (the incentive amount varies depending on the length of unemployment). • Veterans entitled to compensation for a service-related disability hired within one year of the date of discharge or release from active duty. WOTC can reduce an employer’s federal income tax liability by as much as $9,600 per veteran hired.
• Veterans with service-connected disabilities hired within one year of being discharged from the military: The credit is 40 percent of the first $12,000 of wages (up to $4,800). • Long-term unemployed veterans with service-connected disabilities: a credit of 40 percent of the first $24,000 of wages (up to $9,600) for firms that hire veterans with service-connected disabilities who have been in receipt of unemployment insurance or compensation for longer than six months.
• A credit of up to $4,000 for employers who pay Reserve and National Guard employees while they are away on active duty for more than 30 days and have been employed for more than 90 days. • Formerly available only to small businesses in 2015, now permanently available to all employers. • The credits are based on the amount of wages paid to an eligible veteran in the first year of employment. The maximum tax credit is based on a set percentage of maximum first-year wages, which is fixed by law, and the number of hours worked. For example, for veterans, the basic
• Short-term unemployed: A credit of 40 percent of the first $6,000 of wages (up to $2,400) for employers who hire veterans who have been in receipt of unemployment insurance or compensation for at least four weeks or who have received assistance from a supplemental nutrition assistance program under the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 for at least a threemonth period during the 15-month period ending on the hiring date. • Long-term unemployed: A credit of 40 percent of the first $14,000 of wages (up to $5,600) for employers who hire veterans who 14
UBJ | 7.13.2018
DIFFERENTIAL WAGE PAYMENT CREDIT
There is no limit on the number of eligible employees you can hire for the credit. For example, if you hire three veterans with service-related disabilities who are unemployed at least six months, your credit is $28,800 (three times $9,600). The WOTC is set to run through 2019, and you can take the credit year after year as you continue to hire veterans. Thus, even if you take a tax credit for hiring a veteran in 2018, you can do so again next year. To take the tax credit, you must submit the proper IRS forms, which are easily available on the IRS or Veterans Affairs websites.
SPECIAL EMPLOYER INCENTIVES FOR HIRING VETERANS The Special Employer Incentives program provides assistance to employers who hire veterans. The SEI program connects qualified veterans with a specific role at your organization. Veterans who successfully complete the hiring program are expected to stay on at your organization. With this program, you can hire a qualified trainee at an apprenticeship wage. This program is offered through Vocational Rehab. See https://www.benefits.va.gov/VOCREHAB/ docs/SpecialEmployerIncentive.pdf for additional information. VeteransASCEND, a system that matches veterans to employers, will launch soon. To learn more, go to www.servicetocivilian. com, call 864-580-6289, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE TECHNICAL SIDE OF BUSINESS
| DIGITAL MAVEN
Tech at the Start: It’s easier if you do it right from the beginning By LAURA HAIGHT president, portfoliosc.com
Congratulations, you’re starting a small business. If you are a fairly typical entrepreneur, odds are you are over 30, went to business school, spent just 2.5 years in your last job, and will start only one business (the LinkedIn analysis of 120 million profiles notes that less than 2 percent of entrepreneurs will start more than one business). Also fairly typical: the advisers that most people wouldn’t go into business without. It’s a good bet you started with a lawyer and got an accountant or business manager. Assuming you aren’t also independently wealthy, you also developed a business plan because the bank, Small Business Administration, or other funders would require it as a prerequisite for getting a business loan. And, of course, you’d have hired someone to handle your marketing, sales, and website.
We all think we are pretty good at “computing” because we are pretty good users of our home and work computers.
Let’s see, what are we missing? Oh yes, technology. And why isn’t that in the top five? There are a lot of factors, but to me, the overriding issue is a combination of the three worst words in tech — plug and play — coupled with an inexplicable trust of online service providers. We all think we are pretty good at “computing” because we are pretty good users of our home and work computers. This overestimation of our own capabilities is unique to technology. People don’t think they can be their own lawyers because they’ve watched a lot of “Law & Order.” And then there’s trust. We may find it necessary to use any number of online services and software, but trust should never be a factor. Just a few headlines should get our skepticism radar pinging:
• Microsoft Azure users hit by 300 percent rise in cyberattacks (Computer Business Review) • 273 million passwords stolen from Google, Yahoo, Microsoft in major security breach (Komando.com) • Tech-support scammers revive bug that sends Chrome users into a panic (Ars Technica) • Tesla hackers hijacked Amazon Cloud account to mine cryptocurrency (Fortune)
Do not fall victim to the “everybody knows that” theory of security.
Technology is the central gear that enables the rest of the business engine to turn. That makes it just as important as having a business plan or a marketing department. It’s also — as my mom and yours always said — easier to do things right the first time. Technology is composed of a lot of complex systems working together to make an even more complex system. There are many considerations, but here are a few that are both extremely important yet often overlooked.
Build your technology on a solid foundation. That means putting in a properly configured hardware-based firewall and switches to put solid security at the front door to your network.
Find a tech Sherpa. You’re going to need a technology partner. You might not need a contracted service provider at these early stages, but it doesn’t hurt to start looking for a trusted partner. As you grow, a technology partner will be a very important part of your team. Look for someone who is curious about your business and about how you do things, not just trying to pigeonhole you into a standard portfolio of services and hardware.
Security. Establish it. Right from the beginning. This is as important to your business success as locking the front door. Set up strong user policies for personal devices, for email, for home computer use, for having copies of work data at home (don’t), and for having to earn permission to access the work network from home by having a secure and up-to-date personal network (do). Once you have policies, it’s crucial to train users. Do not fall victim to the “everybody knows that” theory of security. If that were the case, we would not be having this particular conversation.
Know the best practices for hardware, software, communications, and user access. And follow them right from the beginning. Business cultures are hard to change once lax practices have become acceptable. Every exposure, hack, and ransomware incident from Equifax to the state of South Carolina happened because a single employee did something he or she shouldn’t have done — or had access he or she shouldn’t have had. Users must be engaged, involved, and empowered for your business to be truly secure. You also have to understand, model, and reinforce the importance of security. Without those two things, no security expense can protect you.
Choose your partners carefully. “Trust but verify” applies pretty much to all of our endeavors. In business, partnerships have proved to be a big hole for technology security. We are quick, it seems, to give vendors access to our systems, to not monitor how it is used, to forget they have it, to never ask about the security on their end, and — far too often — to regret all of that. This is the Cambridge Analytica-Facebook debacle. But smaller-scale problems happen all the time to businesses just like yours. Develop a vetting procedure for outside access into your systems. Monitor it regularly and take away what is no longer needed. Technology is a complex system. Its tendrils reach into every aspect of your business. That can be a key to empowering growth or a big problem. It’s just like Mom said: Do it right the first time. It saves a whole lot of hand-wringing and yelling later on. 7.13.2018 | upstatebusinessjournal.com
ON THE MOVE |
PLAY-BY-PLAY OF UPSTATE CAREERS
Has joined The Hiring Group as a technical recruiter. Nicklaus has worked in the staffing and recruiting industry for more than three years and recently earned his MBA from Anderson University.
Has joined Flagship Properties as a sales and leasing broker. Brown is a Greenville native and graduated from the University of South Carolina before serving in the Army. He has been in the real estate industry in the Upstate for more than 20 years.
Has joined Buncombe Street United Methodist Church as communications director. Galbreath graduated from Sewanee in 2005 with a degree in global studies. Her career has been focused on community development, destination promotion, and hospitality.
Has been named branch leader of Allen Tate Cos. Greenville-Woodruff Road office. Poole has more than 25 years of real estate experience and has served in leadership roles at Allen Tate since 2000.
Has joined Tri-County Technical College as its assistant vice president for human resources. She previously worked with Aimco, a Fortune 500 company, where she served in a variety of roles, and Charter Communications.
John Riddle Professional Recruiter
We’ve already met your next employee.
Godshall Professional Recruiting and Staffing specializes in executive recruiting, career placement, and consulting for businesses and independent job seekers in South Carolina. Our team of recruiters brings a combined 124 years of experience placing candidates in the financial, technical, healthcare and professional industries. Let us find the perfect fit for your employment needs. Professional • Finance • Technical • Healthcare sccareersearch.com • 864-242-3491
Celebrating Celebrating 16
UBJ | 7.13.2018
PLAY-BY-PLAY OF UPSTATE CAREERS / NEW FACES OF BUSINESS
| ON THE MOVE / NEW TO THE STREET
Open for business
MIKE SPITZMILLER Mike Spitzmiller has been named the South Carolina commercial sales leader and executive vice president of South State Bank. Most of Spitzmiller’s 35-year career in the bank industry has been spent in commercial banking. He earned a bachelor’s degree in financial management from Clemson University. At South State Bank, Spitzmiller will be responsible for developing relationships with middle-market companies across the state. He will remain in his current role as the bank’s commercial banking executive for the Upstate. Spitzmiller serves on the board of directors for Coaches 4 Character.
WORKFORCE ScanSource Inc., Crawford Strategy, and Carolina Power were recently named among the 2018 Best Places to Work in South Carolina. This 13th annual program was created by SC Biz News in partnership with the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce and Best Companies Group. This year’s list is made up of 75 companies. The ranked companies will be recognized at a reception and dinner, presented by Colonial Life, on Aug. 2, and the rankings will be published in the August issue of SCBIZ magazine.
HEALTH CARE Interim HealthCare of the Upstate has announced that its founder, Ray Schroeder, has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Interim HealthCare. Schroeder is only the second person to receive this award. Schroeder left his career more than 40 years ago to start Interim HealthCare of the Upstate.
1. T he Ronald McDonald House at 706 Grove Road has finished its new renovation and is ready to take in more families. Learn more at rmhc-carolinas.org.
2. C ountybank recently opened a new location in downtown Greer at 300 Trade St. Learn more at ecountybank.com.
3. D an Joyner Berkshire Hathaway Home Services has just opened a new downtown location at 110 N. Main St., Greenville. Learn more at www.cdanjoyner.com.
7.13.2018 | upstatebusinessjournal.com
INFORMATION YOU WANT TO KNOW
THE WATERCOOLER 1. Wu’s Cajun Seafood closes in downtown Greenville after 7 months
2. Lockheed Martin to produce new F-16 fighter jets in Greenville
3. Y ee-Haw Brewing Co. set to open by end of June in Keys Court
4. Bloomberg Businessweek touts Greenville’s rising, successful startup scene
5. Dominion Realty Partners closes on the Ogletree Building downtown Greenville
*The Top 5 stories from last week ranked by Facebook reach
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JULY 27 COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE ISSUE
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
1997 Jackson Dawson launches motorsports Division 1993
1990 Jackson Dawson acquires therapon marketing Group and moves to Piedmont office Center on Villa.
AUGUST 3 FINANCE ISSUE
Chairman larry Jackson, Jackson marketing Group. Photos by Greg Beckner / Staff
Jackson Marketing Group celebrates 25 years By sherry Jackson | staff | firstname.lastname@example.org
AUGUST 17 WORKFORCE ISSUE Got any thoughts? Care to contribute? Let us know at upstatebusinessjournal.com/submit.
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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