August 17, 2018 Upstate Business Journal

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AUGUST 18, 2017 | VOL. 7 ISSUE 32



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The South Carolina Children’s Theatre headquarters on Augusta Street was demolished Wednesday to make room for a new $12.5 million headquarters. Site work for the new headquarters will start within two weeks. Construction is expected to take about 15 months. The theater is still raising funds for the project. Will Crooks / Upstate Business Journal

WORTH REPEATING “We still have a long way to go to get those stigmas removed and to get them to look at these women as professionals, not just someone who left work for their kids or whatever other reasons.” Nichelle Harrison, Page 16

“It’s kind of tougher for companies to take a look at [homeless individuals] because there’s assumed risk that comes along with being homeless, not having a car, not having transportation.” Scott Green, Page 4


On unemployment “For only the eighth time since 1970, the monthly unemployment rate dropped below 4 percent to 3.9 percent in July.” U.S. Labor Department’s official Twitter account, in a tweet on Aug. 8, reporting on the current job market.

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Scott Green


Entrepreneur finds unreached labor pool MELODY WRIGHT | CONTRIBUTOR Photo by Will Crooks / Upstate Business Journal

THE IDEA Upstate entrepreneur Scott Green

ran a successful staffing agency for about five years. Eventually, Green sold his agency and brainstormed for his next business endeavor. “I started the plan to open another staffing company in the Upstate, and I had identified another niche that was going to be a really good business model,” Green says. But, he soon tweaked his business model after a happenstance meeting with a Greenville Rescue Mission guest in search of work. From there, Green took his idea to Miracle Hill, and soon after, BridgeWorks was born. “Being a creationist in business and starting businesses, that’s really where I thrive,” Green says. “I know staffing; I know the model. I’ve drawn on what was very successful before, and I knew I could manipulate those successes to create success again.” BridgeWorks is the first company of Miracle Hill Enterprises, a for-profit arm of Miracle Hill Ministries. All revenue from the staffing agency goes back to support the mission of Miracle Hill. The need to connect people seeking jobs with companies seeking employees is never-ending, and the staffing industry aids in that connection process. According to preliminary data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of unemployed South Carolinians in June was about 87,000. BridgeWorks posts jobs on its website and Facebook page and has an application process common to other staffing agencies.

THE NICHE While operating 90 percent of the

company as a traditional staffing and recruiting firm, BridgeWorks is made unique from competitors by one thing — reaching an underutilized labor pool: the homeless. 4

UBJ | 8.17.2018



unemployed individuals

3.3 percent

unemployment rate Source: June 2018 preliminary data for Greenville, Mauldin, Easley from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Through the Bridge the Gap program, BridgeWorks partners with Greenville Rescue Mission to find meaningful, long-term employment for homeless guests. In the future, Green hopes to expand Bridge the Gap’s services to veterans and other homeless organizations. “There’s a hole in the labor market,” Green says. A lot of negative connotations come with being identified as homeless, which makes finding jobs difficult for homeless individuals, he explains. “It’s kind of tougher for companies to take a look at [homeless individuals] because there’s assumed risk that comes along with being homeless, not having a car, not having transportation,” he says. Green thinks of homelessness as a “situation,” not a “lifelong predisposition.” Homelessness and unemployment create a chicken-and-egg paradox. Bridge the Gap aims to break the seemingly permanent cycle.

THE PROCESS To mitigate the risks for compa-

nies interested in hiring homeless individuals, Bridge the Gap trains applicants with a three-pillar approach. After the interview is conducted and paperwork is processed, appli-

cants enter pillar one to re-instill work ethic. “They come and work under our managed care,” Green says. “So, we’re the supervisors instead of sending them out to our clients.” Working on internal projects at BridgeWorks’ warehouses and facilities, individuals receive coaching and training throughout pillar one. “Then after we feel comfortable making it through that process, we help take them into pillar two which is a temp-to-hire type process,” Green says. With the improved ethics gained from pillar one, the individuals work 90 days as temporary employees at local companies. Upon completing the 90-day work trial, the employees are eligible for full-time hire if the company so desires.

THE IMPACT Homelessness “is just a position

for the moment. It’s not a disposition in their life, and we can help them get out of that,” Green says. “I personally think employment is such an extremely important part of that. It’s not just employment for employment’s sake; it’s gainful employment.” While Miracle Hill provides a strong base for improving homeless individuals’ lives, BridgeWorks provides potential for long-term success and independence. Rick, a Greenville Rescue Mission guest employed through Bridge the Gap who asked that his last name not be used for this article, would never have imagined four months prior that he now would have a chance at full-time employment. “[BridgeWorks] sounded a little bit too good to be true, but I was very wrong,” Rick says. “Everything I was looking for in a job, I’ve found it where I am right now.”



Not your father’s workforce ARIEL GILREATH | STAFF

After the drawn-out demise of textile industries in the United States, shell-shocked baby boomers have been reluctant to encourage their children to pursue jobs they deemed unstable, instead ushering them to more concrete college degrees — to become doctors, nurses, or experts in computer science. Now, economic development leaders are trying to persuade students — and their parents — to consider the oftentimes lucrative opportunities in burgeoning manufacturing careers. Mark Farris, president and CEO of the Greenville Area Development Corp., said that although parent reluctance has lessened in recent years, there still aren’t enough students with manufacturing training to meet the demand.


“I guess I grew up in the textile mill era, and the last thing you wanted to see was your child maybe working in a textile mill, but that’s changed so dramatically now that a well-trained young person can get out with a two-year degree, for example, from Greenville Tech and make $50,000 a year,” Farris said. “Manufacturing is not the unsophisticated, dirty, potentially dangerous work that it used to be — it’s actually quite BMW Scholars undergo robot training at BMW Manufacturing Co. the opposite.” Photo courtesy of BMW Manufacturing Co. Two years ago, Greenville Technical College built its Center graduation through various scholars programs. for Manufacturing Innovation. David Clayton, “Pretty much all the large manufacturers in the center’s director, said the school has been our area have tech-scholar programs,” Whirl working to change that perspective for a while. said. “It would allow you to go to college for half “Students don’t even think about the opporthe day, work at the facility half the day, and tunities because they’ve never been exposed to have the company pay for it all.” it,” Clayton said. Because the positions require students to have Several manufacturing programs at Greenville focused, technical skills, Whirl said many of the Tech offer something many degrees don’t — the job opportunities right after graduation offer opportunity to go to school and work simultamore than $50,000 starting. neously, with industries footing the bill. “[We’re] trying to kill the perception that this Jermaine Whirl, vice president of learning and is bad for students coming out of high school workforce development with Greenville Tech, and making parents much more aware of the said the students have guaranteed jobs after options,” Whirl said.



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Bridge City Coffee to use unique employment model in new shop ARIEL TURNER | STAFF Bridge City Coffee, the third new Greenville coffee shop to be announced in the last month, won’t be just your regular coffee stop once it opens later this fall in the 2,000-square-foot former Cuban restaurant space at 1520 Wade Hampton Blvd. It will certainly have the solution to your caffeine needs, especially with roasting done on-site, and plenty of seating. It will also provide a much-needed drive-thru window for specialty coffee on

a stretch of Wade Hampton that doesn’t have any such option. But aside from that, it’s the employment model that will really set it apart. Co-owned by Greg Ward and John Quigg, Bridge City Coffee will employ underprivileged teens and adults who will undergo 12 months of training in more than just working a coffee counter. They’ll learn about their strengths and weaknesses, what types of careers fit within those parameters, and how they can apply their new-found skills and qualifications outside of the coffee shop.

Bridge City Coffee, which will open this fall, will offer a drive-thru window and plans to roast beans on site.

Especially unusual is that while many restaurants are struggling with staff retention and looking for solutions, Bridge City Coffee will be doing the exact opposite. The end-goal is to partner with other local employers and placing the trainees in other jobs once they’ve completed their training. “We want to equip people who

often have been overlooked,” Ward says. Bridge City will also set up a fund for employees that will be managed by an independent third party to assist them with financial needs they may have as they move on from the coffee shop, such as buying a computer or other items they may need for their new jobs.


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“ We want to equip people who often have been overlooked.” Greg Ward

Additionally, they’re partnering with specific coffee growers and farmers who would benefit from Bridge City’s support beyond paying a fair price. These models aren’t unique to Bridge City, but Ward is carrying them over from working in a leadership consulting role with two individual coffee concepts in Denver, Colo.,before moving to Greenville a year ago. Purple Door Coffee in Denver employs previously homeless youth and takes them through a year-long curriculum to teach them job skills and help them with a resume. Also in Denver, Queen

City Collective Coffee employs the relational sourcing model. Ward, who still sits on the board for Purple Door, has brought both of those ideas together into one concept after he made the choice to leave the corporate world to spend more time with his family. His wife is from Greenville, so the choice to move to the Upstate wasn’t a difficult one. Ward met his business partner, Quigg, through Dan Weidenbenner of Mill Community Ministries. Mill Community and local rehabilitation nonprofit Jasmine Road are both exploring a partnership with Bridge City for its employment needs. Quigg is on the coffee roasting side of the operation and spends his days in their current Anderson roasting facility to keep up with the demands of their wholesale accounts around the state. They also supply coffee to The Chocolate Moose on Main Street and have a tent at the TD Saturday Market.


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Lever Gear’s Minimalist Wheels Keep Turning The ‘every-day carry’ manufacturer is launching a new product WORDS BY NEIL COTIAUX


ever Gear, the light-manufacturing transplant from Asheville, N.C., is celebrating its one-year anniversary in Greenville by launching a second easy-carry gadget. Now being introduced as an online crowdfunding offer, Lever Gear’s CLiP System is designed as a way to keep track of personal possessions often left behind in today’s fast-paced world — pills and first-aid items, for instance — and can also store things like hex bits and convert into a small screwdriver. Lever Gear’s CLiP System BitLight option incorporates a rechargeable LED flashlight alongside a miniature slide-out drawer for carrying personal must-haves, while BitVault trades illumination for additional storage space. Both options fit on a keychain but can also be tucked into a bag or pocket. BitLight is being offered on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo for $56 and on BitVault for $39. “We’re just beginning the manufacturing now,” said Mike Scully, Lever Gear’s founder and CEO, who holds engineering and industrial design degrees from North Carolina State University 8

UBJ | 8.17.2018

For Scully, introduction of the CLiP System represents the next logical step in Lever Gear’s product line. Scully and his wife April started the company as a way to commercialize his first easy-carry concept, a miniature tool kit the size of a credit card that fits in a wallet. In 2017, the couple moved to Greenville and became part of Hampton Station’s entrepreneurial beehive. Targeted to a mostly male audience ages 18 to 45 who Scully said are “particular about the gear they carry with them,” the 1-ounce Toolcard Pro (1.3-ounce with a detachable money clip) is made of stainless steel and features 40 tools such as large and small flathead screwdrivers, a bottle opener, cord cutter, box opener, wrenches, and hex bit holder. The Toolcard Pro retails from $29 to $42 based on choice of finish — silver, polish, or black — and money clip option and complies with TSA in-flight rules. Offered on the company’s website and on Amazon and through initial crowdfunding, about 30,000 units of the tool card have been sold to customers on six continents from March 2016 to date.

Scully believes it will find a wider audience. “We just finished the design of our retail packaging so now we’re ready to approach brickand-mortar stores,” Scully said, adding that P squared, a boutique on East Stone Avenue in Greenville, has just picked up the item. The company’s products are also being displayed at trade shows. While men are most likely to buy the tool card, women are buying the cards as gifts, Scully said. The device can also be customized with logos or messaging for affinity groups such as police, firefighters, or EMS crews as well as for corporate clients and employees. With growing sales of the Toolcard Pro and this year’s launch of the CLiP System, Scully thinks the market for his brand of easy-carry, utilitarian products is sustainable because his core customer base is “intentional about the products they buy.” “Part of our strategy is to really have some innovation in our products,” he said. “We want them to be unique and innovative.”



LEVER GEAR Founder: Mike Scully Service: Easy-to-carry gadgets that get the job done Differentiators: Lever Gear offers easy-carry products such as the Toolcard Pro, a credit card-sized toolkit, and the new CLiP System BitLight and BitVault, keychain-sized items for personal storage.


CLiP System: Compact storage, driver and flashlight. Photo by Jennifer Kouyoumjian, provided by Lever Gear

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August Design Review Board Urban Panel

The DRB asked the owner of the future River Street Sweets location to consider a less-neutral color palette for the candy shop. Rendering by Kevin Hyslop of Equip Studio.

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After the annual break in July, the agenda for the city of Greenville Design Review Board Urban panel held Aug. 2 was lengthy, as were discussions about two projects in particular hinging on the historic significance of the original designs. Projects receiving a certificate of appropriateness with little discussion were new signage at the Shoppes at Gower, 1607 Laurens Road; signage for Independence Corporate Park at 1 Independence Blvd.; and improvements to the side entrances and storefront of the Pinky Building at 7 W. North St. The majority of the meeting was spent on the remaining three items — the proposed J.McLaughlin storefront, design of the new River Street Sweets storefront, and a request for an unreasonable hardship exemption for the brick office building at 200 E. Camperdown Way.

J.MCLAUGHLIN The storefront renovations for 207 N. Main St. where clothing retailer J.McLaughlin has signed a lease were approved with conditions. The proposed plans presented previously in an informal review were revised as follows: Rather than replacing the entire metal-and-glass storefront, the current framing from the former Ten Thousand Villages location will now be painted blue with a durable, long-lasting paint, and signage will be installed above the awning over the entrance rather than painted on the awning itself. The applicant, Ted Pronel with J.McLaughlin, said the owner may decide to change the color of the proposed blue awning to a turquoise. Approval was granted with the condition that if the awning color changes, it will need to be approved by two members of the DRB.


“Happy to see the addition of color on Main Street,” panelist Danielle Fontaine said. She also recommended the applicant observe other light-colored awnings along Main Street to see how dirty they get because of tree debris.

RIVER STREET SWEETS The second proposed renovation for the restaurant at 12. S. Main St. in less than a year, this newest plan is for the River Street Sweets franchise Lisa Warriner plans to open in the fall. In this instance, the tenant is taking on the renovations with no financial assistance from the landlord, which was key in helping the panel come to a decision to approve the application for a certificate of appropriateness with conditions. After being presented with photos of the original storefront, the panelists were conflicted as to whether or not the proposed design, which is not returning the


storefront to the original, should be approved. The proposed design will remove the current stone façade and paint over the existing mustard color with a lighter, less-jarring tan. Fontaine expressed concern that for a candy shop, the color palette seemed so neutral. “I’m happy to see the mustard go away but not all the color,” she said. Panelist Robert Benedict reminded the panel of the previously approved Ottaray Seafood restaurant design, which was closer to the original storefront. “This seems like a step back,” he said. Ultimately, the design was approved with the conditions that a different color scheme be considered, the front window sill be lowered as far as possible to match neighboring storefronts, the cornices above the entrance be widened to provide more balance, and the applicant return with changes for approval by two DRB members.

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Rendering by Larson Retail Studio.


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Having previously been denied permission to paint the existing brick on the office building, the applicant, Leah Buttry, on behalf of the building’s owner, Jural Partners LLC, submitted an application for an unreasonable hardship exemption. City planning staff recommended denial of the application, and ultimately, the panelists followed suit in a 3-2 vote, with the three architects on the panel voting no. Buttry explained, with photos as evidence, that the 50 years of water stains on the light brick could be remediated only with painting it. The current appearance of the building was a deterrent to landing long-term tenants, she said, and with the proximity to the future Grand Bohemian Hotel, it could become an eyesore at one of the main gateways to Falls Park on the Reedy. Panelists Benedict and Bogue Wallin were more sympathetic to the applicant’s plans, while panel chairwoman Carmella Cioffi and Fontaine recommended pressure washing as a means to clean up the current staining. Cioffi said the current problems are likely a result of deferred maintenance that painting would not fix. Fontaine was adamant that the brick and style of the building be preserved for historic reasons. Panelist Mitch Lehde was doubtful as to whether or not the applicant had demonstrated an unreasonable hardship and was the third dissenting vote. Wallin argued that the building needs to be repositioned in the marketplace and the image of the building has to be brought up to be competitive in the market. Benedict echoed those sentiments acknowledging that the office market in Greenville is tough right now and pointed out other examples of painted brick buildings nearby. “It’s arbitrary given the number of buildings that have been painted in the CBD,” he said. UBJ | 8.17.2018



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Restaurant tenants announced for Markley Station After two years of curating tenants for the Markley Station redevelopment in the West End, owners RealOp Investments are ready to unveil the three restaurant tenants that will be joining existing and future office users at 116-120 N. Markley St. Located in the spaces facing the courtyard of the 43,000-square-foot development will be Hoppin’, a modern self-serve tap room out of Charlotte; Urban Wren, a new Greenville-based urban winery; and Todaro Pizza from Clemson. Current office users are Fortis Riders with 16,676 square feet, Beau Welling Design and Aluma Connect with 4,398 square feet, and an additional 4,300 square feet is under contract with an engineering firm. The remaining 10 percent of office space should be signed within the next 60 days, says RealOp managing partner Paul Sparks. Sparks says the length of time it took to land on the restaurant users was due to RealOp’s desire to create a community experience for families and residents within walking distance and have the right office to restaurant ratio balance daytime and evening parking needs. “We are very pleased with the leasing activity and momentum at Markley Station,” says Blaine Hart, first vice president, CBRE, who is handling leasing efforts along with Tommy Molin. “We commend the ownership group, RealOp Investments, for having the vision and sticking to their plan to create a true urban mixed-use project.”


Hoppin’ has signed a lease for the 4,773-square-foot space to the left of the courtyard that also has a 2,990-square-foot rooftop. Co-owner Drew Nesemeier, originally from Greenville, says when they were opening the Charlotte location in 2017 they always had it in the back of their minds that they’d eventually open one in Greenville as well, but they wanted to see how a similar concept, Pour Taproom on Falls Park Drive, would be received. Seeing the success of that pay-by-wristband concept, Nesemeier says they decided to start looking for the right location. The Charlotte location is white from floor to ceiling with green and gray-toned accents. Nesemeier says they’ll keep the integrity of the rustic industrial aesthetic at Markley but still keep it on-brand with their colors and high-end feel. The main taproom will have 40 taps. A 1,200-square-foot back room that can be used for private events will have 15 taps. About 15 taps total will have wine, as well. The rooftop that can be reached by a central stairwell will have the same taps and be an all-weather, covered, heated space with yard games. Nesemeier says they hope to be open in spring 2019.

Urban Wren

In the rear 6,100-square-foot space on the right of the courtyard, a new-to-Greenville concept — an urban winery and tasting room — will be taking shape over the next several months with a spring 2019 proposed opening. A family-owned business, whose owners have chosen to remain anonymous for now, Urban Wren will be equal parts educational and social, says Chip Hunt, RealOp senior vice president, director of leasing. He says the owners’ plan for the urban winery is to source grapes from the Sangiovese region of Italy to make their own branded wine

in Greenville within two years of beginning the fermentation process locally. The fermenting process will be visible in the restaurant to give customers an experience like a brewery. The tasting room will also feature wines from California’s Napa Valley and Argentina as well as Italian wines, focusing on the DOCG label, the highest quality rating for Italian wines. Italian cheeses and meats, including tableside sliced prosciutto, will be served along with small plates designed to be paired with wines. The taproom will also feature a large selection of bourbon. Since wine barrels are often used to age bourbon, it’s an obvious pairing, Hunt says. The restaurant will have an open kitchen and bar, comfortable seating, and will maintain the rustic industrial feel of the exposed brick and beams in the space.

Todaro Pizza

Previously announced, but still not widely known, Clemson favorite Todaro Pizza, often called Todaro’s, will be taking over the front-facing 2,414-square-foot space. The menu has a full range of pizza options, including stuffed and specialty toppings; calzones and strombolis; salads; and a variety of wings and other appetizers. The New York-style pizza shop and deli, in addition to the neighboring taproom and tasting room, will provide a casual dining option for families, Sparks says.

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Details announced for new Poinsett corridor Spinx station Details have been announced about the newest Spinx store at the corner of Rutherford and Shaw streets that will sit on the same site as the Greenville-based company’s first gas station, which opened in 1976. The new convenience store and gas station, which is currently under construction and planned to open at 625 Rutherford St. before the end of the year, sits on 5 acres purchased in December 2017 by Enigma Corp., a subsidiary of Spinx, from Orders Realty Co. Inc. for $2.8 million, according to Greenville County property records. The redevelopment will include a 6,612-squarefoot store with a fresh-to-order kitchen featuring Spinx’s fried chicken and new soft-serve ice cream and milkshake offerings. Outside, the station will feature eight fuel dispensers, and a 72-foot tunnel car wash. With the car wash, Spinx is also rolling out a membership plan that will give members access to any of the company’s 48 car washes throughout the state for a monthly fee, ranging from $19.99-$34.99.

The redevelopment will include a 6,612-square-foot store with a fresh-to-order kitchen featuring Spinx’s fried chicken and new soft-serve ice cream and milkshake offerings. Outside, the station will feature eight fuel dispensers, and a 72-foot tunnel car wash.

Stewart Spinks formed Spinx in 1972 with a home heating oil delivery service and one convenience store in Greenville. Photo by Will Crooks/Upstate Busines Journal The renovated 10,000-square-foot Ballentine Food Service Equipment location at 105 Shaw St. also sits on the rear of the property. Ballentine leases the property from Enigma Corp.

When announcing the new location, founder Stewart Spinks recalled how the original kiosk and gas station, called “BoJo” then, took about a year to construct on the property owned by Orders Realty Co. Inc. and how he and an employee dug the holes for the tanks only a few feet from the street with a backhoe.


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“The reason it took me so long was, literally, I didn’t have any money,” Spinks said. He was able to scrape together a $33,000 loan for the original project. “So I had to make $33,000 produce everything,” he said. Now, in a total of 150-170 days, this largest and most technologically advanced Spinx location to date will be complete. Spinks declined to give a dollar amount for the project, saying it is “a lot.” “This is where I started, and it’s so ironic that the property became available for me and affordable for me to buy it,” he says. Doug Dent with Greenville Revitalization Corp. said the revitalization of the Poinsett corridor has been a priority for three years, and this project will give the area the boost it needs for continued redevelopment.

“It’s taken a while, but it’s finally happening,” he said. “Stewart’s project is just huge. It’s the gateway to the corridor.” He said Greenville County is planning streetscaping nearby with central plantings and sidewalk lighting to help further improve the area. “I can tell you this: In 1976 when we took an old Union Pure Oil station and built this, it enlivened the neighborhood,” Spinks said. “It’s like when we did it at East Washington Street. You’re going to every week, or more often, you’re going to buy gasoline, you’re going to buy something at a convenience store stop like this. This is going to be a big spirit lifter in the neighborhood. I’ve seen it happen when I remodel a store like at Academy and Pendleton.”


The newest Spinx store will be built at the corner of Rutherford and Shaw streets — the same site as the Greenville-based company’s first gas station, shown in this photo.


Features Fresh-to-order kitchen featuring fried chicken, soft serve ice cream and milkshakes

Where 625 Rutherford Road, same address as the first Spinx station (above)

8 fuel pumps

Square footage 6,612 squre feet

72-foot tunnel car wash

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MINDING THE GAP MAP Agency works to bring women back into workforce Words by Sara Pearce | Photo by Will Crooks


ichelle Harrison is all too familiar with the obstacles women face when trying to enter the workforce after taking time off. Harrison left her job as marketing director after her husband was relocated for his job. Like many women, her time off lasted longer than anticipated, and when it was time to return to work, she wasn’t getting called back or even invited for initial interviews. Harrison realized there was a serious problem with qualified women applicants returning to work due to their “gap,” as she refers to it, and so she decided to start the MAP Agency. The MAP Agency works to pair qualified women returning to the workforce with jobs that suit their needs and interests. Harrison realized this need through her own experiences. “I was applying for things that I was very well-qualified for. I started talking to other women and I started hearing my story from other women,” she says. “They were applying and not hearing back, even though they were intelligent, qualified women.” Women who try to return to the workforce after being away are often turned down because of a perceived change in priorities or inability to catch back up with the working world, Harrison says. She explains that many employers overlook very qualified candidates because they assume they won’t be as driven or have lost ground in terms of technology. “I think anytime companies see that gap on the resume, they see it as a red flag. They think, ‘It’s going to take too much time to bring her up to speed,’ or ‘We don’t have the time or 16

UBJ | 8.17.2018

money to invest in that,’ or ‘She’s going to always Dammers, in the program, and has a working put her family first and probably take more relationship with Michelin to continue the time off,’” Harrison says. “They don’t want to program. invest the time or the money or they think that “As Forbes’ No.1 large employer in 2018, her priorities will be askew. They can be a mom Michelin is proud to support pathways for and a great worker.” parents, like [Amy] Dammers, to return to the Unlike many staffing workforce,” said Janet Krupka, agencies, Harrison works director of recruiting for Miclosely with all of her clients chelin North America, “At “ I was applying for things that to ensure that each one Michelin, the value of gender I was very well-qualified for. finds the right fit. Somediversity is widely acknowlI started talking to other times that includes a career edged and is a priority. We women and I started hearing change, and it can mean a look forward to building on part- or full-time position. Michelin’s relationship with my story from other women. She also works to ensure the MAP Agency as a way to that each client has ample connect with parents, espeThey were applying and resources to achieve her cially mothers, in our communot hearing back, even career goals. The MAP nity who are interested in rethough they were intelligent, Agency also organizes turning to the workforce.” workshops, seminars, and Dammers was Harrison’s qualified women.” community partnerships to first client success story, and Nichelle Harrison help create a network of Dammers’ story resonated resources for each client. with her, like the many others. Thus far, Harrison has organized a transition “Life kind of moves forward and you’re always workshop to help deal with the reality of rewanting to go back, but then another move would turning to work, and several resume-building happen, and it just didn’t work out until now. seminars. She plans a partnership with the local The intent was always to go back, but sometimes branch of Women Who Code to offer technolit just takes a little longer than you expect,” ogy classes for all experience levels. Dammers says. Harrison also helped launch a return to work Dammers says the experience has been inprogram at Michelin that is organized like an valuable. She has updated valuable skills, learned internship, to aid adults returning to the workfrom her colleagues, and re-acclimated to the force after an extended absence. The program office environment. has a definitive end in which clients have an “She’s been a great source and helpful in netupdated resume and more experience, as well working with other women,” Dammers says of as a possible offer to continue working with Harrison, and she is grateful for the opportunities Michelin. Harrison has placed one client, Amy and resources that she now has access to.


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Nichelle Harrison 8.17.2018 |


THE WORKFORCE ISSUE MAP AGENCY Harrison isn’t slowing down anytime soon. In the past months, her membership has grown and she has had more success placing clients than ever. She is planning a women’s conference in the fall to help women returning to the workforce have up-to-date tools to feel confident about their return. She says she hopes to grow her geographic reach throughout the Upstate, plan more seminars and workshops, and continue to work with women, and even men, who are dealing with adversity in their career searches. Harrison stresses the importance of support from other local women who are in positions to help. “One of my favorite sayings is, ‘Empowered women empower other women,’” Harrison says. “I am so thankful for my circle of empowered women who are coming forward and helping me to spread the mission of highlighting the value and overall importance of keeping and helping women return to the workforce.” Harrison knows she is taking only a small step in changing the way that recruiters look at women, or even men, who have taken an extended absence from work. “We still have a long way to go to get those stigmas removed and to get them to look at these women as professionals, not just someone who left work


South Carolina has the ninth largest gender-gap in the nation



If women here worked at the same rate as women nationwide, the state could add another 38,000 jobs

for their kids or whatever other reasons,” she says. “Now everyone, both men and women, wants to spend time with their families and it shouldn’t be choosing between success at home and success in work. You can have both,” Harrison says. “It isn’t just a women’s problem anymore, it’s an everybody problem.” “We still have a long way to go to get those stigmas removed and to get them to look at these women


If South Carolina closed the gender gap fully, it would unlock the potential for almost 150,000 jobs.

as professionals, not just someone who left work for their kids or whatever other reasons,” she says. “Now everyone, both men and women, wants to spend time with their families and it shouldn’t be choosing between success at home and success in work. You can have both,” Harrison says. “It isn’t just a women’s problem anymore, it’s an everybody problem.”

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UBJ | 8.17.2018

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The war for retention in the Upstate effect forces companies to take a proactive stance to keep their skilled employees from considering leaving. How do you stop deficit recruiting? Here are a few best practices.

By CHRIS YARROW co-founder and managing partner, The Hiring Group

Across the country, the war for talent for IT and engineering jobs is forcing companies to rethink their hiring and recruiting strategies. But here in the Upstate, there’s a different type of employment challenge. The biggest challenge facing South Carolina enterprises is retention. Because of the ultracompetitive IT and engineering job markets, key employees leave to take positions that offer new opportunities, better management, richer compensation and benefits, or better work-life balance. Deficit recruiting occurs when any position that is filled creates a deficit at another company. The domino

Management training should be a top priority Employees most-often leave their current jobs because of ineffective managers. In many cases, managers aren’t properly trained or are ill-suited for a management role. Management training is also important when it comes to performance development across your company. Every employee isn’t an A player — but turning your C players into B players offers more value than replacing them. In addition to coaching underperformers, consider offering them a chance to work in a different de-

partment. An employee that underperforms in one area might excel in another. Health and wellness benefits Are you providing the best health-benefits package possible to your employees? Health care costs continue to rise, but providing these benefits to employees is critical. The cost is negligible compared with the cost of recruiting, hiring, and training/retraining employees. Paid time off Most companies provide their full-time employees some type of paid time off package. Companies that stand out in terms of employee engagement have embraced a culture where PTO is encouraged. Explore what similar companies offer their employees and see how you could implement a more-generous time-off policy.

Wealth opportunities If you are not factoring a 401(k) offering and additional wealth opportunities into your retention strategy, you risk losing top employees and potential candidates. Providing employees a means to prepare for retirement through a company-sponsored 401(k) is an excellent way to help build loyalty and gain buy-in to the company’s mission. In summary These recommendations might seem to carry a hefty price tag, but the cost of losing your best talent in the war for retention could have far greater financial consequences. The organizations that creatively adapt their hiring and employee-retention strategies and adopt aggressive approaches to train, engage, motivate, and retain employees will be the companies that achieve the most success.

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Good jobs are there, if you know where to look By ERYKA CAZENAVE marketing and communications specialist, MAU Workplace Solutions

Looking for a new career or seeking a career change may seem like a challenge. Many believe that going back to school would be the best option. However, there are four jobs available throughout the Upstate that offer not only competitive pay, but on-the-job training. The most sought-after jobs with immediate openings are forklift operators, logistics trainees, mechanics, and production associates. Technical schools provide excellent classes that prepare students for all kinds of career paths. However, major corporations such as MAU at BMW and BASF are one step ahead of the tech schools, offering paid, on-the-job training to potential employees as well as great benefits including major medical insurance and paid vacation time. Another reason to consider one of these four career paths is that most of the


UBJ | 8.17.2018

companies do not require a college degree. The only things applicants need are a high school diploma or GED and one year of stable work history. Some may be thinking that this sounds like a great opportunity, but what exactly do the jobs entail? While the main focus of all four jobs is ensuring that production runs as smoothly as possible, each position holds different responsibilities. Mechanics, sometimes known as automotive technicians, have long-term opportunities with great potential for growth within the company. Employees are constantly being proactive in learning the new processes while on the job in order to improve the technical skill set. These positions are also considered the troubleshooters with employees that have backgrounds in a mechanical or electrical field. While mechanics may require more experience than the three other positions, that does not mean that any job is less significant or valuable to the company. Logistics trainees do a little bit of everything. These positions are considered

the problem solvers and require exceptional multitasking and critical-thinking skills. Employees may work within the stockroom, warehouse, or shipping and receiving, or help with the inventory. Logistics trainees should also be prepared to learn to operate a forklift or other powered industrial vehicles. Forklift operators as well as production associates are two key jobs in the manufacturing industry. Forklift operators require a lot of the same skills as logistics trainees; however, those interested in forklift operations should have a keen eye for safety as well as organization skills. Production associates, on the other hand, are constantly ensuring that the company has the correct quality of materials and products from the manufacturer. Employees in this position oversee not only the quantity of products being produced, but the quality of production materials. Looking through the jobs, you may assume that these companies are simply trying to fill spots and do not truly care for their employees.






Major manufacturing plants bring employees together through interdisciplinary and international projects, customer events, and social commitment, as well as a wide range of additional initiatives. A main goal for corporations such as BASF, however, is to bring people together and create solidarity throughout the company. Building strong relationships within the workplace as well as gaining those relationships with customers is vital to a company’s success. Major manufacturing plants bring employees together through interdisciplinary and international projects, customer events, and social commitment, as well as a wide range of additional

initiatives. Offering these incentives and providing a safe yet inspiring work environment helps motivate employees to excel at each job function. While a career change may sound scary and uncertain at first, there are companies out there willing to make that transition a little bit smoother. MAU at BMW is helping interested applicants learn more about all four positions by hosting hiring events throughout the summer and fall months.

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What to consider when job candidates disclose a DUI on their applications By MARCELO TORRICOS attorney, Bannister Wyatt & Stalvey

Author’s note: Before diving into this column, I would like to clearly establish that I believe driving under the influence is a serious, reckless, and selfish offense. With that being said, I do believe there are inequalities in the legal system surrounding DUIs. DUIs are like broken glass — they shatter, and the effects are far-reaching, especially in regards to employment. As the labor pool continues to shrink, business owners should rethink hiring policies if they strictly do not hire folks with a DUI on their records. While I am not an employment attorney, I am a criminal defense attorney and have dealt with cases involving decisions like this before.

Employers have every right not to hire candidates who disclose a DUI on their applications. But, since the job market is incredibly competitive, business owners have much else to consider if they have a job candidate who discloses a DUI on his application, lest they make an uneducated decision. Mistakes can be made in DUI cases. And these mistakes can make a nonimpaired person come across as impaired and can exacerbate the situation. There is a difference between someone who blows a 0.08 percent blood alcohol content and someone who blows a 0.12 or 0.18. The latter most likely made poor decisions despite knowing what his body was capable of and what could potentially be a dangerous decision. Allow candidates the chance to prove their innocence. Candidates are often removed from consideration before they have a chance to prove they have not committed a crime. Through professional, thorough interviews, employers

will become familiar with who the candidate is as a person and will be in a good position to decide whether the candidate would be a quality employee. Request references. Calling candidates’ references and inquiring about their character and work ethic is another good tactic in determining whether they will be good employees, regardless of their records. Candidates with strong histories of production who are first-time criminal offenders should be given the benefit of the doubt. DUIs don’t discriminate. While a DUI charge involves arrest and is a crime, it can happen to anyone, at any time and place. This is one of the few charges out there that does not require intent to commit the crime. People are often charged and even convicted of a DUI when they did not have internal indications that they were under the influence. There are people who do not feel the effects of a 0.08 blood alcohol content; there are some who do.

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Employers have every right not to hire candidates who disclose a DUI on their applications. If employers do not hire a candidate based on a DUI arrest, no one is going to bat an eye. However, from my legal perspective, the issue should not be black and white. The candidate’s character and history should outweigh the immediate prejudice of the charge. If I am ever tasked with hiring and firing decisions at my firm, a person would not automatically be disqualified due to a DUI or automatically terminated because of one, either. I am not saying it would not be a part of my consideration and a part of my decision-making process; however, it would not be the sole factor in my decision.

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Pregnancies raise many questions in the workplace By JAMES E. COX JR. Counsel, Wyche P.A.

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It’s a situation that plays out every year in countless small businesses in the state: A valued employee is delighted to learn that she is pregnant, but unsure of how this development will affect her job. The questions she faces are numerous, difficult, and of the utmost importance to her entire family. When does she tell her boss? What workplace accommodations is she entitled to receive? Do the accommodations depend on the difficulty of her pregnancy? Do the accommodations depend on the nature of her job or the size of the company? Oftentimes (but certainly not always), the employer is genuinely happy for the employee, but is also unsure of the answers to these very same questions. These questions are often even more difficult for small businesses for several reasons. First, small businesses are less likely to have formal policies in place to address the issues. Second, small businesses are less likely to have dealt with similar situations in the past. Third, small businesses may find it more difficult to meet their legal obligations due to a relative lack of resources as compared to larger businesses. These factors all too often lead to ad hoc decision-making that is based more on stereotypes about pregnancy and individual experiences or beliefs than sound management practices. The mutual uncertainty that employees and employers often face in this situation is why a new state law — the South Carolina

Pregnancy Accommodations Act — is a welcome development for both employees and employers in the state. The law, which went UBJ | 8.17.2018

into effect in May, does not significantly change pre-existing requirements for employers in accommodating pregnant workers, but it does provide important guidance that should result in a reduction in the incidence of discrimination against pregnant workers in the state. The new state law does not materially change employer requirements because a federal law — the

Pregnancy Discrimination Act — that prohibits discrimination against pregnant employees has been in place for 40 years. In general, the PDA mandates that employers with at least 15 employees must treat pregnant women in the same manner as other applicants or employees with similar ability to work. The Americans with Disabilities Act also provides protections to pregnant employees who have impairments related to their pregnancies that qualify as disabilities under the ADA. Given these federal laws, why is the South Carolina Pregnancy Accommodations Act important? There are several reasons. First, the mere existence of the law should create greater awareness of legal obligations among employers in the state. South Carolina is only the 24th state to require employers to offer reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers and among the first Southern states to do so. As our General Assembly recognized in passing the law: “Current workplace laws are inadequate to protect pregnant women from being forced out or fired when they need a simple, reasonable accommodation in order to stay on the job. Second, the SCPAA includes specific notice requirements that go beyond the requirements of federal law. Covered employers are required to (1) provide employees with written notice of their right to be free from discrimination on the


basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions (new employees are to receive this notice upon hiring, and existing employees are to receive it no later than Sept. 14); and (2) post this notice in a conspicuous place. This notice requirement not only benefits pregnant employees and new mothers, it also benefits employers by reminding managers of SCPAA’s obligations.


• Create a new position, including a light-duty position for the employee, unless a light-duty position would be provided for another equivalent employee. • Compensate an employee for more-frequent or longer break periods, unless the employee uses a break period which would otherwise be compensated.

The mutual uncertainty that employees and employers often face in this situation is why a new state law — the South Carolina Pregnancy Accommodations Act — is a welcome development for both employees and employers in the state. Finally, the SCPAA contains specific guidance regarding the requirements for accommodating workers with medical needs arising from pregnancy that should be particularly helpful for small businesses. Some of the required accommodations for such workers include: • Providing more-frequent bathroom breaks and longer break periods. • Providing seating or allowing the employee to sit more frequently if the job requires the employee to stand. • Providing assistance with manual labor and limits on lifting. • Temporarily transferring the employee to a less strenuous or hazardous vacant position, if qualified. • Providing job restructuring or light duty, if available. The SCPAA also clarifies that an employer is not required to take any of the following steps to accommodate a pregnant employee, unless the employer does or would do so for other employees who need reasonable accommodations: • Hire new employees that the employer would not have otherwise hired. • Discharge an employee, transfer another employee with more seniority, or promote another employee who is not qualified to perform the new job.

It is also important to note that discrimination on the basis of pregnancy is illegal even if the employer thinks it is acting in the pregnant person’s best interests. Thus, the SCPAA also bars an employer from requiring a pregnant employee or applicant to: • Accept an accommodation not of her choosing, if the applicant or employee does not have a known limitation related to pregnancy or the accommodation is unnecessary for her to perform essential job functions. • Take leave under any leave law or policy if another reasonable accommodation can be provided. A pregnant employee can enforce her rights under the SCPAA by filing a complaint with the state Human Affairs Commission within 180 days of the alleged discrimination. The commission will then conduct an investigation that may lead to relief for the employee in the form of damages or a return to work. Of course, the SCPAA will not eliminate pregnancy discrimination, but it may result in more pregnant workers being aware of their rights and managers being aware of their responsibilities when faced with questions about accommodating the pregnant worker’s role in the workplace. And that is a development that all workers and managers can cheer. 8.17.2018 |

The Importance of Hydration for Seniors Seniors are at greater risk of dehydration than other adults for a number of reasons. They can have electrolyte imbalances, their sense of thirst can diminish, and certain prescribed medications or some medical conditions can affect the ability to retain fluids. It is important to make sure that seniors are staying hydrated, especially in the warmer months of the year when there are greater chances of becoming overheated, dehydrated, and the increased risk of falling and urinary tract infections (UTIs). Ways to Stay Hydrated To ensure that seniors are staying hydrated they should drink plenty of fluids. Because our bodies are 60% water, it makes sense to drink as much water as possible. But sometimes this can lack nutrition and flavor. There are many water enhancers available in stores, or they can create fruitinfused water. They can also stay hydrated and healthy by drinking broths (chicken, vegetable, or beef) and by eating hydrating foods. Here are a few foods with high water content: • Tomatoes • Cucumbers • Watermelons • Bell peppers • Grapes • Cantaloupes • Oranges • Blueberries • Apples Comfort Keepers® Can Help At Comfort Keepers®, our compassionate, professional caregivers can provide seniors with the assistance they need to stay hydrated in the warm months-and year round. With in-home care services, our Comfort Keepers can help prepare hydrating foods or create a large pitcher of fruit-infused water for senior clients to enjoy. For more information on how our caregivers can help seniors stay hydrated, and to learn more about our other in-home care services, contact us. SERVING GREENVILLE AND SPARTANBURG 1200 Haywood Road • Greenville

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Network Power! When I first started my career, my father talked to me about networking and the importance of surrounding yourself with the right people. He advised me to make connections in the community, not just for my own benefit, but also to help others with their success. At that time, I thought “networking” meant going to events and handing out cards. However, over the years, I have realized what my father told me was correct; business is about relationships. Success is not defined solely by my own abilities. It is created by the combination of my talents, my drive, and my connections. I recently encountered a few problems both at work and at a non-profit I run. These issues had the potential to cause real turmoil and possibly a crisis if they went unsolved. Ten years ago, these events would have caused me great stress and feelings of isolation. But today, I am calmer and better able to solve problems. The first thing I did when the issues arose was to determine who in my network could help me solve these problems. My network stepped up and immediately began to offer help and solutions. With a few phone calls, the major problems were reduced to mere challenges which could easily be solved. Over the years, I have benefited from the power of the people in my network. My father has taught me many lessons which have helped me cultivate these relationships and form new ones. Here are some lessons I’ve learned: • Don’t burn bridges – This adage is worth repeating. The world is small, and connections are bridges. It is important to never sever a connection with people or organizations when your situation changes, such as leaving a job or losing a client. In the future, you may need help from the people or businesses you leave behind, and it’s better when their last transaction with you was positive. • Your word is everything – Relationships are built on trust and trust is built by following through with your commitments. My father always emphasizes that a simple handshake can be more powerful than a legal document, and he always taught me that no matter what, you must live up to your word. • Give and Take – You cannot expect to receive something if you don’t offer something in return. All relationships, including business relationships, need a proper balance of give and take. Remember that building your network is not just about who can help you but is very much about what you can do to help others. I have found throughout life, the more I give, the more I receive. • Show gratitude – In our busy working worlds, it is important to slow down enough and thank those who help us succeed. Whether a shout out on social media or a handwritten note, people have a desire to feel appreciated and a simple “thank you” should never be overlooked. • Never stop connecting – No matter where you are in your career path, building your network is still just as important. Your needs evolve, and your network must as well. Be open to expanding your network in multiple ways. In today’s world, there are many ways to broaden your reach including LinkedIn, business events, and non-work activities. Of course, there is nothing more powerful than sitting down with a new acquaintance and getting to know each other. When I was in my 20’s and my father advised me on the values of networking, I focused on the action of cultivating my network for business purposes rather than focusing on the actual relationships. As I’ve grown older, I appreciate my father’s advice so much more. My network is more than just contacts on my computer. It is a wonderful group of individuals who have helped me throughout my career both professionally and personally. I am grateful for each person and the benefits and lessons I have learned along the way.

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669 N. Academy St. Greenville, SC 29601 800–446–6567

Cryptocurrency and the blockchain: A primer for dummies Cryptocurrency is not a term that falls president, trippingly off the tongue, nor does it have a place in most of our conversations. But it did have a significant role in the recent indictment of 12 Russian military officers accused of infiltrating and attempting to hack the 2016 election. That cemented for me the idea that Bitcoin — the only cryptocurrency I was aware of — was a product of the Dark Web, reserved for underground transactions, ransomware, and other black-hat hacker activities. But a different picture evolved after a few hours with David Pence, one of three managing directors of Treis Blockchain LLC and the founder/CEO of AcumenIT. We’re standing in a relatively small room in an office suite alongside the Acumen offices. We’re straining to hear each other as two 25-ton air conditioning units drown out our voices. That roar is the only sound in this 21st-century mine where 150 super-fast processing units work 24 hours a day to validate cryptocurrency transactions, earning a percentage of the cut. But this is just a starter set for Pence. The real deal is a mile or two away in a facility where workers manned manufacturing equipment, supervisors managed processes and employees, and a business chugged along. In contrast, its Cryptocurrencies are geopolitically new tenants will be 4,000 small, agnostic. They can be used across rectangular, application-specific borders without being subject to any integrated circuits (ASICs), comcountry’s currency manipulation. monly called miners. They work They can be held as an investment at unprecedented speeds to valiwith all the risks and rewards. date Bitcoin transactions and log Advocates call it the first global the data into mined “blocks” in an currency. Opponents, like Warren unbreakable “chain” forged by the Buffet, call it “rat poison squared.” validating processors. If you’re a geek, it’s just cool. These miners become part of the global chain gang that is working to approve Bitcoin transactions. Bitcoin’s security comes from this blockchain, which requires that 30 distributed systems validate each transaction. If any one system’s data appears different, it is dropped from the chain and another validating system picks up the task. Continuously, 24/7/365, these miners dig out transactions from the air all in search of the rewards, a small percentage of a big number — the number of Bitcoin transactions processed. Pence says these can break down anywhere from $1 to $5 per unit per day, depending on the speed. In the original facility, there’s a mixture of processors from graphical processing units (GPUs) to ASICs. The new facility will be totally ASIC. You do this math: $5 times 4,000 times 365. The upside is huge, as is the investment. Pence is putting about $10 million into this venture. Although there are few real employees — the processors’ activities are monitored remotely by software — the electrical costs are astronomical. In fact, the new facility will fully max out Duke Energy’s capabilBy LAURA HAIGHT


UBJ | 8.17.2018



NGU - Tim Brashier Campus Greer, SC


Total in circulation 17.2 million Total that will ever exist 21 million Market capitalization $141 billion ity at that site while using only about half the available space. Pence is energized and excited. The darkness in this mine doesn’t concern him. The unknown is greeted with a shrug and a matterof-fact “I don’t know.” So now I understand what cryptocurrency mining is at a fairly high level, and I get the very real profit potential. But I’m still not clear about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Is it transactional money or an investment? Turns out it’s both. There are cryptocurrency ETFs that are publicly traded, and there are apps for everyday people and businesses.

How did Bitcoin come to be? A group of developers wrote

code to create a truly agnostic monetary system, tied to no country, no ideology. That code is upgraded and maintained by the Bitcoin Core Developers group. Says Pence: “Geeks rule the world!”

Are there actual physical Bitcoins? You bet; you can buy

pretty ones on Amazon for $3.99, but they have no real value. Bitcoin is fully digital.

If there’s nothing there, how can I use it? There are a surprising number of apps to trade Bitcoin and to purchase with Bitcoin using a virtual wallet — just like Venmo and PayPal.

Bitcoins created each day 1,800 The last Bitcoin will drop in 2040

Where can I use Bitcoin? Want to buy a Tesla? You can use Bitcoin. You can buy furniture at In 2016, Japan became the first country to recognize Bitcoin as legal tender, so if you are paying taxes there, yes, you can use Bitcoin. But the cryptocurrency universe is a lot more than Bitcoin. There are more than 1,000 cryptocurrencies, many valued as low as a few cents. The top ones include EOS, which Pence also mines, Litecoin, and Ethereum. In December, Bitcoin reached a high-value mark of $13,860; today as I write this, it’s at $8,123. If it’s an investment, it’s been dropping steadily since the heady days of late 2017. That volatility doesn’t bother Pence, who is banking on increased adoption of cryptocurrency. “All it will take,” he says, “is Walmart or Amazon to start accepting Bitcoin” to give legitimacy to the cryptocurrency universe. Although cryptocurrencies are steadily swimming to the mainstream, some see its validation technology – the blockchain – as the real innovation, with the potential to disrupt many industries and systems.

Coming Up: What the same blockchain that drives cryptocurrency can do for small 4 | NGU.EDU businesses. 8.17.2018 |

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Has joined CBRE as associate and member of CBRE’s local Advisory & Transaction Services Team, specializing in office services in the Upstate. She brings extensive marketing and customerservice experience to the firm. Farrar previously worked at News America Marketing, a subsidiary of News Corp., a marketing services firm that offers multichannel media capabilities to connect retailers and brands to consumers.

Has been hired as account supervisor at FerebeeLane, a full-service marketing and branding agency in downtown Greenville, where she will be responsible for overseeing Visit Beaufort SC and Blackberry Farm. Verdi comes to FL with more than seven years of agency experience building relationships and managing national brand campaigns. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in integrated marketing communication at Winthrop University.

Has been named chair of Keep Greenville County Beautiful, which is led by a board of 15 involved citizens who value the environment and protecting Greenville County’s natural resources. Hunter is the associate of public affairs at Greater Greenville Sanitation working with communities and schools to minimize waste. He also volunteers with many nonprofits throughout the Upstate to offer graphic design and marketing counsel.

Has been promoted to membership director of Greenville Country Club. Bankert was formerly the club’s private events director. She achieves sales plans and enjoys assisting prospective members in the membership process.

Has been promoted to East Coast event manager of Jackson Marketing, Motorsports & Events. Manor will be responsible for planning and implementing client-activation programs in the Eastern region. Since joining Jackson in 2007, he has worked as a performance service specialist and in warehouse operations.

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THE WATERCOOLER 1. Eagle Mountain Winery to open in early 2019 in northern Greenville County

2. Rick Erwin Dining Group announces new seafood restaurant at Haywood Mall

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3. Mountain Goat café and bike shop opens


4. A note from the publisher

5. U pstate opposition to tariffs remains strong despite a thaw in relations with European Union

*The Top 5 stories from last week ranked by Facebook reach

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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

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




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

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

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

Got any thoughts? Care to contribute? Let us know at

1997 Jackson Dawson launches motorsports Division 1993

1990 Jackson Dawson acquires therapon marketing Group and moves to Piedmont office Center on Villa.

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


NOVEMBER 1, 2013

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