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OCTOBER 26, 2018 | VOL. 7 ISSUE 37


CONNECTION UCW Logistics earns spot on Inc. 500 list

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VOLUME 7, ISSUE 37 Featured this issue: McMillan Pazdan Smith celebrates 25 years...........................................................4 Redevelopment projects in Spartanburg’s northside.........................................12 Havana Kitchen to bring Cuban food, culture.......................................................16

Carol’s Ice Cream, from chef Alex George of Golden Brown & Delicious, opened quietly this summer at 1260 Pendleton St., offering homemade ice cream, frozen to order with liquid nitrogen. The shop is now expanding its hours and offerings. Read more in this week’s Feast section of the Greenville Journal.

WORTH REPEATING “Nobody was really thinking of doing things in a way that would bring attention to themselves within our profession. So we were a little bit of a game-changer there in the community.” Joe Pazdan, managing principal, McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture | Page 6

“We were able to pop it up and pop up the ‘126’ on the screen and what was neat is we had people in that dinner… taking pictures of the screen and posting it to social media right then and there.” Evan Cramer, president, UCW Logistics | Page 10

“[We] facilitated the development of a community that will allow hundreds of seniors the opportunity to enjoy downtown Greenville, while generating millions in future tax dollars for the city to build parks and improve transit – things that everyone benefits from.” Willz Tolbert, Tolbert Property Advisors | Page 21 10.26.2018 |


McMillan Pazdan Smith 25 years of community commitment S TOR Y

Friends and business partners of 25 years, Joe Pazdan, left, and Brad Smith created an architect and design firm that helped shape downtown Greenville. PHOTO BY WILL CROOKS






Photo by Marc Lamkin

Joe Pazdan and Brad Smith at the start – 25 years ago. PHOTO PROVIDED

Kent Court Photo by Marc Lamkin


c M i l la n Pa z d a n Smith Architecture of Greenville and downtown Greenville share a 25-year journey of growth and success. Meet i ng i n c ol lege a nd working together through the years, Joe Pazdan and Brad Smith decided to open their own a rchitec t f ir m in 1993 — Pazdan-Smith Group of Greenville. The two business partners ref lected on their successes and expressed gratitude for having one another to share ideas, visions, trust, and growth over the past 25 years and in the years to come.

Beginning Growth Starting out in a small office on North East Street with a handful of employees, the firm grew into what it is today — an architect and design firm with six offices and about 260 employees. As their f irm grew, so did downtown Greenville. “The grow th of downtown over the past 25 years has been significant and has provided a

lot of opportunity for growth,” managing principal Smith said. In the early ’90s, downtown was sparse and the West End was essentially nonexistent, Pazdan and Smith said. Having worked on more than 100 downtown projects to date, the firm’s roots were established in those first community-based projects. “I think we were allowed to have that contribution by the growth and the infusion of development downtown,” Smith said. “The city has always been very supportive of downtown and Greenville’s development.”

Soby’s Entrance Photo by Derrick Simpson


Early Relationships Loyal clients that became friends have contributed to the longevity of McMillan Pazdan Smith. “We had people that really respected us and trusted us to not only be thoughtful in our design but thoughtful in our approach,” managing principal Pazdan said. “Because of that, it also opened up a lot opportunities within the community.” The Warehouse Theatre on

Photo by Marc Lamkin

100 East Broad St. 10.26.2018 |




community and downtown,” Smith said. Some of the early projects that produced longtime clients were the original Soby’s on Main Street and the St. Mary’s campus on West Washington Street. “We really are trying to be community-based in all of our firms and what we do,” Smith said. “It is important to us that we do feel like we’re part of the community and we’re totally engrained into what’s going on. And I think that helps us to have the best interest in making sure the projects we do are

Smith made a big business move to prepare for the upcoming five-year recession. They decided to join forces w ith friendly competitor McMillan Smith & Par tners of Spar tanburg in 2009. The combined firm then began operating under the name McMillan Pazdan Smith. “We made ourselves stronger and deeper in our expertise and our diversity in terms of type of work that we did and markets that we served,” Smith said. “The ability to grow and cultivate those markets was really important.”


UBJ | 10.26.2018

Future Strategy Establishing a strong foundation for future company leaders to build upon, Pazdan and Smith’s plan for MPS is simple — continue growing. As Greenville grows, MPS wants to help guide that growth in the right direction, keeping those elements that make Greenville unique. “We have to be concerned about the future of Greenville,

SIFT GALLERY 2nd Floor at 400 Augusta St. Sift is a curated gallery created from a collaboration of Hampton III Gallery and McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture. Occupying 1,700 square feet in the second-floor lobby of the Claussen Bakery building on Augusta Street, Sift features works from a variety of media such as canvas, photography, and sculptures. The gallery hosts opening parties for each quarterly exhibit.

An Ideal Time & Place successful.” Pazdan and Smith a lso credit their success to good location and timing. With the economy gaining speed i n 1 993, t he f irm was off to a good start. “ The timing of us starting the f irm was RiverWalk good for the local arc h it e c t u r e b e c a u s e Photo by Kris Decker there seemed to be the oppor tunity for another f irm to come in and star t to make this mark at that point in time,” Smith said. Augusta Street was one of their Going outside of the norm for first major projects. professional service firms at the “At the time, it was the only time, Pazdan and Smith adverthing going on at the West End,” tised their firm to the public. Pazdan said. “Even to this day it “Nobody was really thinking has a nice creative touch.” of doing things in a way that Smith also mentioned the would bring attention to themUpcountry History Museum as selves within our profession,” another notable project that Pazdan said. “So we were a little helped establish their firm in the bit of a game-changer there in early years. the community.” “I think one of the proudest things about what we’ve been Business Preparation able to do is the contributions we’ve been able to make to the In the late 2000s, Pazdan and

catalyst for change,” Pazdan said.

Photo by Derrick Simpson Calling it their best decision, Pazdan and Smith feel they came out on the forefront of the recession. Like most, they suffered some losses but began to see things greatly improve in 2012.

Creative Workspaces Most of McMillan Pazdan Smith’s off ices are located in reclaimed buildings. “It’s important to give back to those communities by continuing to use those old buildings,” Smith said. “It creates an atmosphere that people seem to like to work in, and it’s good for retaining folks.” The Greenville office, located in the old Claussen Baker y building, speaks to MPS’s dedication to bringing life back to forgotten communities. “I think it’s part of our investment in our community to move into an area that is ripe for redevelopment and help be the

and I think we have to be cognizant of the recent growth of downtown,” Pazdan said. “We don’t necessarily want to stymie that growth, but I do think as a communit y we have to be thoughtful in how we continue to handle that growth.” Dealing w ith clients on a personal level will be a continued practice at MPS, Smith said, a s w ill producing thought leaders within the firm, raising awareness of relevant issues among the public, and making positive changes through environments designed and created by MPS. “I think being willing to do the little things for [our clients] is important to make sure they know you value them and that it’s not about size or the type of project you’re doing,” he said. “It’s about the relationship.”


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10.26.2018 |




MOVIN’ UP UCW Logistics president Evan Cramer has led the company to 3,116 percent revenue growth since 2014.



TRUCKIN’ UCW Logistics earns spot in the Inc. 500 listing



he week of Sept. 16, 2018 stands as a pivotal one on the calendar at UCW Logistics, the full-load freight broker that helps businesses ship, track, and deliver over-the-road merchandise across North America. Hurricane Florence had slammed the Carolinas and the company’s Greenville headquarters was operating at a very brisk pace, remembers Evan Cramer, president of the third-party logistics firm, who said the slow-moving threat posed by the hurricane prompted his firm to “treat it like it’s going to have a big impact … so we were moving shipments up, pushing


UBJ | 10.26.2018

shipments back” even before Florence came ashore, he said. After landfall, as flooding blocked roads and as cotton warehouses, some textile mills and other businesses remained closed, Cramer and his team rescheduled deliveries and helped some of the company’s 254 shipping clients avoid unexpected storage charges. As all that was happening, UCW held a series of meetings with McLeod Software, an industry vendor that was helping the firm go live with its new transportation management system. Among other things, the system ag-

gregates industry rates, tracks shipments, helps carriers keep loads full, and generates automated, granular reports of interest to customers. Transitioning customer data to the new system while addressing issues stemming from the hurricane created “double work” that left the staff “scrambling,” Cramer said. By that point, the Aug. 15 announcement that UCW had placed 126th on this year’s Inc. 5000 list may have seemed like a distant memory. Yet the recognition – a bit of a surprise to UCW’s management – still gives off a reassuring glow.





To qualify for the Inc. 5000, companies must be privately held, for-profit, and for this year’s list were ranked according to percentage revenue growth from 2014 to 2017. Four Upstate firms made it into the Inc. 500, the most coveted group within the full list.


UCW LOGISTICS Logisitics Company in Greenville 3-YEAR GROWTH



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THE HIRING GROUP Human Resources Company in Greer 3-YEAR GROWTH



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OTHER UPSTATE COMPANIES LISTED ON THE INC 5000 INCLUDE: Fusion Web Clinic (#686), Integrated Biometrics (#940), Green Cloud Technologies (#1190), 9Round (#1649), The Haro Group of Keller Williams Realty (#1784), National Land Realty (#2118), Equip Studio (#2194), Global Lending Services (#2500), Ob Hospitalist Group (#2582), Call Experts (#3939), Hope Power & Industrial (#3995), DOM360 (#4784), Intellectual Capitol (#4796)


UCW Logistics, president

“It gives us a lot of credibility, for a lot of people” and will help the firm attract talent, forge closer ties with the carriers it hires, and strengthen its already strong relationships with shippers, Cramer said. To qualify for the Inc. 5000, companies must be privately held, for-profit, and for this year’s list were ranked according to percentage revenue growth from 2014 to 2017. UCW’s three-year growth stood at 3,116 percent. A total of 17 companies in the Upstate made the list, with UCW leading the field.

Formed in late 2013, UCW owns no trucks or warehouses but focuses on solving “pain points” experienced by shippers, including their need to find safe and reliable carriers that can handle specific types of cargo, locate warehouses, and handle import-export issues. “We made a decision, a strategic decision as a group, we would be really, really good at domestic truckload business and not just giving the best rates, but g iv ing the best service with competitive rates,” Cramer said. 10.26.2018 |




Toward that end, UCW has upwards of 7,000 trucking companies in its database from which to choose, based on a shipper’s specific needs. “The best truck, the best carrier to handle that business is not likely to be somebody knocking on their door,” Cramer said. “It might be a sole proprietor who has one truck. It might be somebody who has five trucks, or 10 trucks, on up to the big guys. Our relationship base is very broad, and that’s part of the value that we bring to our customers.” To help carriers meet expenses, especially smaller ones, they are paid within 48 hours or 15 days. Further, UCW asks carriers which routes they prefer so that

ables. That’s going nuts,” Kitterman added. Other key clients whose loads are increasing include Milliken, the diversified industrial manufacturer, and Hubbell Lighting. With impressive three-year growth, UCW is committed to expanding, Cramer and Kitterman said. The company currently employs five people at its headquarters at 325 West McBee Avenue and 17 at its Winston-Salem office. “Expect the Winston-Salem office to be probably twice that big, probably in the 30 to 35 range, in the next two years,” Cramer predicted. The Greenville office will at least double in size, he said. And during the next five

“WE DID $400,000 THAT FIRST YEAR AND THEN IN 2017 WE DID ABOUT $12 MILLION. THAT’S WHERE THAT PERCENTAGE GROWTH COMES FROM.” Evan Cramer, president “we can plug that business into them and they can retain and recruit drivers because they have consistency and reliability,” Cramer explained. Through a text-to-phone system and with a driver’s consent, UCW can also shadow a truck’s current whereabouts up to the point of delivery, reducing any concerns felt by shippers. Over the past five years, carriers partnering with UCW have hauled everything from electrical transmission equipment to flavored cigars from the Dominican Republic, said Steve Kitterman, the firm’s chief commercial officer. “We pick them up in Miami and move them into Jacksonville, about six or seven loads a day, they’re coming up,” he said. “We have some companies that do packaging for retail consum10

UBJ | 10.26.2018

years, the company expects to add two more offices, most likely in the Southeast. On Aug. 16, one day after Inc. magazine announced the country’s fastest-growing companies, a long-planned dinner was held in Winston-Salem to discuss UCW’s mission, its 10-year plan, and core values. At the last minute, a final slide was added to the presentation. “We were able to pop it up and pop up the ‘126’ on the screen and what was neat is we had people in that dinner … taking pictures of the screen and posting it to social media right then and there,” Cramer said. “We did $400,000 that first year and then in 2017 we did about $12 million. That’s where that percentage growth comes from,” Cramer said of UCW’s superior Inc. 5000 ranking.

IT’S A HAUL Steve Kitterman, UCW’s chief commercial officer, says the company moves anything from to electrical transmission equipment to flavored cigars. PHOTO BY WILL CROOKS

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Redevelopment projects accelerate in Spartanburg’s Northside

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After years of planning, a spate of community-development projects is coming to life this fall in Spartanburg’s Northside neighborhood. Positioned along a half-mile stretch of Howard Street, the projects carry a combined price tag of $56 million and aim to ensure that residents of the historically underserved area have greater access to cradle-to-career education, affordable housing, health care, and recreation. Challenged over the years by limited resources and blight, Northside’s poverty rate hovers around 50 percent. Nearly 90 percent of its 1,800 residents are black. But tangible signs of progress are accelerating. This fall’s burst of activity comes as Northside Development Group, the nonprofit that oversees the neighborhood’s 400-acre master plan, continues to coordinate a variety of revitalization projects

full-bore. The organization is chaired by former Spartanburg mayor Bill Barnet. Tammie Hoy Hawkins, the nonprofit’s project manager, works with public, private, and philanthropic partners who began committing time and resources to the neighborhood after Spartan International shuttered its textile mill in 2001. At the height of the mill’s operations, 5,000 people lived in the area. As the population declined, the question became “how do you support existing residents so they’re successful and they stay in the neighborhood?” Hawkins said. When Virginia-based Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine announced in 2008 that it would open a campus on the former mill site, interest in transforming the neighborhood spiked. The master plan for renewal was adopted in 2014. “We want people to move to the Northside,” said Tony Thomas, a barber and president of the Northside Voyagers, a group of residents who serve as a sounding board for all


proposals affecting the neighborhood. “And we want a community that supports that, with the schools, the recreation, the job opportunities, job training, homeownership opportunities.” The work underway this fall at multiple sites along Howard Street will help achieve those objectives, Thomas said.

THE FRANKLIN SCHOOL Across from the nonprofit’s offices, landscape work is wrapping up at the site of The Franklin School, scheduled to open Jan. 9. The fullday, full-year early-learning center will serve at least 160 children ages 6 weeks through 5 years and employ a curriculum focused on science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics. The mixed-income learning center will enroll both Head Start and private-pay students, with children from Northside given priority. The school is being funded by philanthropic contributions and $10 million in New Markets Tax Credit


allocations, said Tammy Propst, operating officer at The Innovate Fund, a Greenville-based community-development catalyst that supports projects in areas deemed “distressed” by the Appalachian Regional Commission. Propst calls the Northside one of the state’s most impoverished neighborhoods. “We’re trying to make a bigger impact in smaller geographic areas,” she said.

MIXED-USE DEVELOPMENT At the corner of Howard and College streets, site work is beginning on the first of two phases of mixed-use development. With a price tag of $14.5 million, Phase I will consist of three buildings and encompass 20 units of mixed-income apartments; seven additional units of housing for Wofford College students pursuing neighborhood-based studies; new offices for the Neighborhood Development Group; a teaching clinic for VCOM that will serve the community; and

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space for AccessHealth, a nonprofit affiliated with Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System that will provide medical services to the uninsured and underinsured. “Over 45 percent of our residents were going to the emergency room for all of their services” but AccessHealth will now be able to deliver primary care services in the heart of the neighborhood, Hawkins said. Phase I is being funded through New Markets Tax Credits and debt financing provided by Low-Income Investment Fund, a California group; federal HUD funding in partnership with the city of Spartanburg; the Neighborhood Development Group; and Wofford College. Completion of Phase I is scheduled for January 2020. Phase II, across the street, is a $16 million project consisting of 90 units of mixed-income multifamily housing. Work will begin during the first quarter of 2019 and conclude 12 months later. The project team includes Spartanburg Housing Partners, the city of Spartanburg, Spartanburg Housing Authority, and the Neighborhood Development Group. Funding comes from HUD, the South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority, Spartanburg Housing Authority, and $3 million raised by Northside

Development. Prospective tenants for both phases of housing include VCOM students now living throughout Spartanburg, low- and moderate-income workers employed in service industries, and residents who left the neighborhood and who are now looking to return, Hawkins said. Nearby, at College and Brawley streets, additional housing will come on the market by mid-December in the form of seven stand-alone properties built by Homes of Hope, a Greenville-based developer. Rents for families who fall within 50 percent to 120 percent of area median income range from $595 to $950, Hawkins said. The seven models bring to 21 the number of Homes of Hope units in the Northside.

T.K. GREGG COMMUNITY CENTER Site-grading for the T.K. Gregg Community Center, a $16 million city-led project, is scheduled to get underway this fall at Howard and Preston streets, said city spokesperson Christopher George. “Between Franklin School and T.K. Gregg, it’s really going to have an important impact on the community,” said Liberty Canzater, who oversees Monarch Café, which opened on Howard Street in 2014 alongside an urban farm and has

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UBJ | 10.26.2018

Tammie Hoy Hawkins, Northside Development Group project manager | Photo by Will Crooks



seen business grow steadily. “So hearing that Howard Street now is going to be creating all this activity … people are going to be more intrigued to see what all this buzz is about.” The new project, designed with considerable community input, will feature two indoor swimming pools, a gymnasium, community rooms, a multipurpose room, and other amenities. “The objective for the Voyagers is to have an inclusive community that provides the amenities and the suppor t systems that will provide for people wanting to come here a nd ra ise their fa milies,” Thomas said. “We have a great team of people to help us do that.” Added Hawkins, “What we’re trying to do is to be a model for other communities.” Tony Thomas and Tammie Hoy Hawkins are both working to improve Spartanburg’s Northside area. Photo by Will Crooks

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Havana Kitchen to open in former Mimi’s Cafe location on Woodruff Road ARIEL TURNER | STAFF A taste of Cuban food and culture is coming to Woodruff Road. Havana Kitchen, from the owners of Tropical Grille, is slated to open in December in the 7,200-square-foot restaurant at 1133 Woodruff Road left vacant since Mimi’s Cafe closed in 2014. Lazaro Montoto, co-owner of the Tropical Grille chain which will soon expand from six to 10 locations, and his partner on the project, Frank Roman, had been eyeing the Mimi’s location for the last few years with the thought of doing a full, authentic Cuban-style restaurant to fully showcase their heritage.

“It’s something we wanted to do for a long time,” says Montoto, who moved to Greenville with his family from Miami, Florida, about a decade ago. “This is a passion. Tropical Grille was a necessity.” The property has been owned since 2014 by Kairos of Greenville LLC, which is registered to Spero T.H. Elipoulous. Montoto says many other potential tenants prior to them were planning on razing the building, and the owners weren’t comfortable with that. Montoto says the design was perfect for their concept so most of the changes they are making are cosmetic. The restaurant is segmented into four distinct areas, Montoto says. To the right of the entryway is a

The owners of Tropical Grille are opening Havana Kitchen in the former Mimi's Cafe space on Woodruff Road. Photo by Ariel Turner large dining room that will feel like a “Cuban grandma’s living room” with dozens of photos of colorful Cuban scenes on the wall and tiled floors. A second connected space with an arched brick ceiling will have a patio-like feel. To the left of the entrance is the bar, which will feature an extensive bourbon and

scotch list at “reasonable” prices, along with a “real mojito” and wines. The final dining area to the left with high ceilings and brightly colored walls will have a courtyard feel complete with a palm tree in the center. After 9 p.m. on weekend nights, the tables will be cleared from the center to make room


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Spartanburg Community College launches new speaker series with First Citizens Bank ANDREW MOORE | STAFF Spartanburg Community College has partnered with First Citizens Bank to host a Professional Speaker Series at the college’s downtown campus. Designed to introduce students and community residents to local business professionals active in the Spartanburg community, the first event will be from noon-1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24, in the Evans Academic Center auditorium. It will feature local entrepreneur John Bauknight, according to a news release. Bauknight, a graduate of Wofford College, is the president and co-founder of Longleaf Holdings USA, a Spartanburg-based investment firm that oversees several business ventures including the 2007 acquisition of RJ Rockers Brewing Co., the release said.  Bauknight is also an active community member, serving as a trustee to the Spartanburg County Foundation, a founding member of the Spartanburg Angel Network, a member of the Spartanburg for dancing and salsa lessons. «“The vibe will be, you’re walking into Havana,” Montoto says. The restaurant will seat about 200 guests. Havana Kitchen will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, complete with a full bakery and coffee counter for the morning to-go rush. Montoto and Roman have hired a chef from Miami with decades of experience cooking Cuban food. He moved to Greenville Oct. 18 to begin working on the menu, which will

Community College Incubator Advisory Board, and a graduate of the Liberty Fellow Class 2010, among many other professional associations and designations. “Since the college's School of Business relocated to the SCC downtown campus in January 2017, we are continuously searching for opportunities to strengthen business relationships and broaden professional experiences for our students,” said Witney Fisher, executive director of the Spartanburg Community College downtown campus, in the release. “The First Citizens Speaker Series provides our students and community residents who attend a first-hand opportunity to learn more about careers, professional pathways and an opportunity to meet 'movers and shakers' in our community.” Community members who would like to attend the first session of the First Citizens Bank Professional Speakers Series can purchase a $10 ticket at https:// A boxed lunch is included in the ticket price. For more information, visit

include oxtail, skirt steak, yucca, tostones, shrimp, and whole fried snapper. Fish will be flown in daily. The two partners, while expanding Tropical Grille and keeping the current stores operational, are also working on the new building. “We’re doing a lot of the work ourselves,” Montoto says. “We believe in having something more than just [putting] money into a building. There's something [about] a hard day’s work that makes you appreciate something more.”

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Duke Energy announces plans for new renewable energy program in South Carolina Duke Energy Corp. is looking

to expand renewable energy options for its commercial and industrial customers in South Carolina. The Charlotte-based utility recently proposed a program to the South Carolina Public Service Commission that would allow its large business customers in the Palmetto State to receive “bill credits” for electricity generated by a solar site not located on their premises, according to a news release. If approved by the Public Service Commision, the Green Source Advantage program would also enable participating customers to retain renewable energy certifi-

cates produced by their facility, the release said. "We've received significant interest from our large commercial and industrial customers in offering programs that help them meet their sustainability goals," said Kodwo Ghartey-Tagoe, Duke Energy's South Carolina president, in the release. "The Green Source Advantage program will leverage renewable energy options to do just that." Duke’s proposed program will be offered to customers with large-scale power demands — 3 megawatts worth of demand for a single facility or a total of 5 megawatts of demand for multiple sites, according to the release.

The program, if approved, would provide up to a total of 150 megawatts (MW) of reserved renewable energy capacity statewide — 113 MW to customers of Duke Energy Carolinas, which primarily serves the Upstate, and 37 MW for customers of Duke Energy Progress, which primarily serves the Pee Dee region including Florence and Sumter counties, the release said. Under the program, participating customers would be required to negotiate power-purchase agreements with independent solar developers to buy energy from facilities within the same utility service. Duke would then buy the power

and distribute bill credits onto the customer, while ensuring “other customers are held financially neutral,” according to the company’s filing with the Public Service Commission. The Green Source Advantage program builds on policy efforts to expand renewable energy in South Carolina, the release said. South Carolina’s solar industry, for instance, has experienced rapid growth in recent years, largely due to the Distributed Energy Resource Program Act. The act, which was passed by the House and Senate in 2014, allows the state’s electric utility companies to recover expenses


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incurred to install solar panels. In 2015, Duke announced that it was offering rebates to South Carolina customers to help offset the initial costs of installing solar on their property. The program offers $1 per watt for customers who install systems up to 20 kilowatts on their property and for businesses that install systems up to 1 megawatt. More than 750 residential customers and 35 businesses have applied for solar rebates since 2015, creating more than 30 megawatts of solar power and $5 million in rebates. Duke hit the state’s 2 percent net metering cap for residential solar earlier this year but has since filed a petition with the Public Service Commission to extend that cap through March 15, 2019. For more information, visit — staff reports



T&S Brass named finalist for manufacturing award T&S Brass and Bronze Works,

a Travelers Rest-based commercial food service and plumbing-product manufacturer, has been named named a finalist in IndustryWeek magazine’s 2018 Best Plants competition. Established in 1990, the IndustryWeek Best Plants Awards program recognizes North American plants that are on the leading edge of efforts to increase competitiveness, enhance customer satisfaction, and create stimulating and rewarding work environments, according to a news release. T&S is one of three South Carolina plants to be named to this year’s list of 12 fi-

nalists. The winner will be announced next year. “T&S is honored to be named a Best Plants finalist. We are dedicated to creating an environment of innovation and excellence, one where our employees are proud to come to work every day,” said Claude Theisen, T&S Brass president and CEO, in the release. “This recognition reflects the kind of manufacturing leadership we have been committed to providing since we opened our doors more than 70 years ago.” Criteria for the IndustryWeek Best Plants award include demonstrating a comprehensive effort to achieve world-class manufacturing capability, extensive employee

involvement and empowerment programs, a strong customer focus, a commitment to quality control and continuous improvement, and management practices that cultivate breakthroughs in performance and customer satisfaction, according to the release. T&S was previously named an IndustryWeek Best Plants winner in 2015. The company, which was founded in 1947, employs more than 200 people and produces faucets, fittings, and specialty products and accessories for the food service, industrial, commercial plumbing, and laboratory markets. For more information, visit — staff reports

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Greenville Tech partners with The Citadel to offer online degree program for business students A new partnership will allow

students at Greenville Technical College to pursue a bachelor’s degree in business administration at The Citadel in Charleston. The two schools have signed an articulation agreement that allows GTC students to enroll online at The Citadel’s Tommy and Victoria Baker School of Business, according to a news release. Under the agreement, students who earn an associate degree will have the opportunity to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration with four semesters of study. “We are pleased to offer our graduates a clear path to a bachelor’s degree from The Citadel,” said

Dr. Jermaine Whirl, vice president of learning and workforce development with Greenville Technical College, in a statement. “Our mission is to transform lives through education, and this agreement allows us to partner to build on a strong academic foundation and extend the transformation that students begin with us.” The Tommy & Victoria Baker School of Business at The Citadel is accredited by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, which represents the highest standard of achievement for business schools worldwide. Institutions that earn accreditation confirm their commitment to

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“Students studying business online receive the same high-quality content from the same expert faculty as those attending the Tommy and Victoria Baker School of Business in person on The Citadel campus.” Michael Weeks, chairman of business administration for the Tommy and Victoria Baker School of Business

quality and continuous improvement through a rigorous and comprehensive peer review, the release said. “Students studying business online receive the same high-quality content from the same expert faculty as those attending the Tommy and

Victoria Baker School of Business in person on The Citadel campus,” said Michael Weeks, chairman of business administration for the Tommy and Victoria Baker School of Business, in a statement. For more information, visit — staff reports

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Academy Street property sells to developer for $5.1M A 2.25-acre property bordered by Academy and Wardlaw streets, and the Norfolk Southern Railroad has sold for $5.1 million to Second Fifty Communities, a developer of master planned, senior living communities. The seller of the property was Mill Village LLC, a partnership between Willz Tolbert of Tolbert Property Advisors and two unnamed investors. The property transfer was completed on Aug. 28. Alex Mozingo of Second Fifty, has confirmed the company’s intent to build a senior living development on the property in Greenville’s West End near Markley Station and 400 Rhett apartment complex. He said they have chosen not to disclose more details at this time. This is the second senior living community in the calendar year to be proposed for downtown Greenville. As of June 2018, a senior living community by Solomon Development Services was still proposed for Butler Avenue and Buncombe Street, but that project has not yet received final approval from the city. Second Fifty’s other projects include Merrill Gardens at Carolina Park in Mount Pleasant, and Merrill Gardens at BullStreet in Columbia. In terms of the type of development Second Fifty could build in Greenville, the Columbia project, for instance, is currently still under construction and will eventually have 196 units with full kitchens, expansive common areas, a rooftop deck, and sports bar and pub. Residents will have access to 24-hour dining and staffing, active wellness programs, and scheduled transportation. From Second Fifty’s website,, they have partnered with “Merrill Gardens and Pillar Properties to

create communities that embrace the resident and work for the whole family. The partnership believes that isolation is the enemy of aging well, and that connectedness, especially during one’s second fifty years, is an essential aspect of health, career, family life, and community life.” Also taken from the Second Fifty’s website, their “mission is to be the place for proactive and forward-thinking seniors who want to embrace life and live connected to others who share their hope, commitment and desire for a more healthy, rewarding and fulfilling retirement experience.” Tolbert, who is also a partner in the nearby proposed Falls Walk townhomes at 102 Oneal, says the process of piecing together the 1.3-acre and 0.74-acre parcels to create the final property that sold began more than two years ago, in July of 2016. During the 25 months that followed, the properties traded hands under different limited liability corporation names, multiple environmental studies were completed, various approvals from the City of Greenville were needed in order to demolish the dilapidated residences on Payne and Crook streets, and the city abandoned the end of Crook Street to be included in the property. Tolbert says the 12 residents previously living on the property were in “unlivable” conditions when the property was first acquired and they were relocated to better housing. “[We] facilitated the development of a community that will allow hundreds of seniors the opportunity to enjoy downtown Greenville, while generating millions in future tax dollars for the city to build parks, and improve transit – things that everyone benefits from,” Tolbert says.


« JULY 2016

Home Adventures LLC put 1.30 AC under contract (field on Academy and Crook Street) for $1,790,000. Tolbert Commercial LLC put 0.74 AC under contract on Payne Street for $888,000.


Willz Tolbert and two investors create Mill Village LLC on September 7. Home Adventures, LLC assigned the contract to Mill Village LLC and Tolbert Commercial LLC assigned the contract to Mill Village LLC.

« OCTOBER 26, 2016 « DECEMBER 31, 2016

Mill Village LLC closed on both properties. The last residential lease expired. Tinsley Real Estate helped find better living situations for the tenants.

« MAY 18, 2017

The City of Greenville granted demo permit for the residences. Vaughn Excavating handled the demolition quickly thereafter.

« JULY 13, 2017

Willz Tolbert forms Tolbert Property Advisors and lists the property for sale for $55 per square foot.

« DECEMBER 22, 2017

Mill Village LLC and Second50Communities LLC execute a Letter of Intent to purchase the property for $5,150,000.

« JUNE 20, 2018

City of Greenville abandons approximately 6,000 square feet of real roperty that was a portion of Crook Street.

« AUGUST 28, 2018 Official closing date

10.26.2018 |





Greenville County Schools considers applied math course to help graduates pass hiring tests ARIEL GILREATH | STAFF

tions in order to take a skills test and be considered for a job. Michelin has already partnered with Greenville County Schools to share the hiring test with high school guidance counselors and teachers to help them understand learning gaps and opportunities for improvement. But McCoy said the district also hopes to par tner w ith Greenville Technical College on

Applicants are having trouble passing the math portion of the required hiring tests at many manufacturing jobs, so Greenville County Schools wants to offer an applied math course to refresh their memories. Jeff McCoy, associate superintendent for academics, said by the time many students graduate, it’s been a “It’s not to say they while since don’t know how they’ve taken a to do it, or haven’t basic math course. Some been taught, it’s st udent s t a ke just been so a lgebra I in seventh or eighth long ago.” grade to get ahead Jeff McCoy, associate superintendent for academics in high school. “It’s not to say they don’t know how to do it, or haven’t been a short refresher course for taught, it’s just been so long would-be applicants. ago,” McCoy said. “We’re even toying with the McCoy said the district also idea of looking at a prep course doesn’t have an applied math during their senior year of high class for students who know school that they could take they want to go into a trade either for credit or just as a prep after graduation. course,” McCoy said. Only 10 to 30 percent of apGreenville Tech already has plicants pass the math portion math software to help students of Michelin’s hiring test for remediate, McCoy said, but it’s reliability technicians, accordfor students enrolled at the ing to David Stafford, chief college. human resources officer with “So we’re looking at that and Michelin. Michelin’s hiring test some of the options we have, for reliability technicians conwhether it be a remedial class sists of a 20 -minute math we do after school or even a portion and a 30-minute mecourse that we get approval for chanical aptitude portion. An to do during the day,” McCoy applicant must pass both porsaid. 22

UBJ | 10.26.2018



Spartanburg Regional to acquire Mary Black Health System Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System has reached a definitive agreement with Tennessee-based Community Health Systems to acquire Mary Black Health System. The acquisition, which includes the 207-bed Mary Black Memorial Hospital in Spartanburg and 125-bed Mary Black Hospital in Gaffney, is expected to close by the end of the fourth quarter of 2018, pending regulatory approvals and closing conditions, according to a news release. The acquisition includes all physician clinics and outpatient services associated with the two hospitals, according to the release. All employees in good standing are expected to be hired. In a statement, Spartanburg Regional trustees said the health care system acknowledges Mary

Black’s “longstanding contributions to the community and looks forward to working with its stakeholders and leadership to ensure a smooth transition for the patients, associates and community.” Once the acquisition is finalized, Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System will employ more than 8,000 people and operate six hospitals in Spartanburg, Union, and Cherokee counties. Spartanburg Regional currently operates Spartanburg Medical System, Pelham Medical Center, Spartanburg Hospital for Restorative Care, and Union Medical Center. The system also operates Ellen Sagar Nursing Center and Woodruff Manor, both of which offer long-term nursing home care, and the Medical Group of the Carolinas, a network of more than 350 physicians.– staff reports

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Build organizations where team members feel like they belong By MEGAN CAMPBELL Marketing and communications director Greenville Chamber of Commerce

What: The second annual Greenville Chamber Diversity & Inclusion Summit Where: Greenville Convention Center Who was there: Business leaders, diversity and inclusion practitioners, and those just getting started in their journeys to building inclusive environments

THE BRAIN IS HARDWIRED TO BELONG The second annual Greenville Chamber Diversity & Inclusion Summit, held Oct. 16 at the Greenville Convention Center, brought more than 600 people together to discuss best practices in the field. The event catered to business leaders, diversity and inclusion practitioners, and those just getting started in their journeys to building inclusive environments. The full-day summit included three keynote sessions and 11 workshops. Topics covered included: Building inclusive environments for people with disabilities. Women’s leadership. Global fluency. Building better relationships. Diversity in leadership styles. The three keynotes included Steve L. Robbins, “Your Brain is Good at Inclusion Except When it’s Not”; Joe Gerstandt, “The Value of Difference”; and Kelley Cornish for a conversation with David Lominack on TD Bank’s national diversity and inclusion strategy. Throughout the summit, presenters narrowed in on the true meaning of diversity. So often, diversity is associated with race or gender. We broadened that scope to encompass anything that makes us different from one another. Elements of diversity within the workplace range from department to educational background and age and abilities. When approaching diversity with that lens, we begin to understand the full impact of creating teams that celebrate difference. The top takeaways from these diversity and inclusion experts included the following: 24

UBJ | 10.26.2018

“For no other reason, that’s why you should address inclusion,” Robbins said. The cognitive neuroscientist says it goes back to the tribal days — belonging to the tribe meant a better chance of survival. When we feel cared for and valued, our brain performance is optimized. According to Robbins, the area of the brain activated when we feel as though we do not belong is the same area that reacts to physical pain. In the work environment, this huge distraction results in decreased focus and productivity.

BUILD INCLUSIVE CONTAINERS Gerstandt helps teams across the nation build inclusive “containers.” He said, “Diversity is the ingredients, inclusion is the container. You need the right inclusion.” Robbins concurred. “I value diversity and inclusion, but I am an inclusion guy first,” he said. “If you don’t build an inclusive environment first, the diverse others will feel physical pain.” For Gerstandt, an inclusive container looks like an environment that values difference in opinion. He says those teams that excel in this area set clear expectations for meetings and include open-mindedness to disagreement.

MEASURE SUCCESS When Kelley Cornish arrived at TD Bank as the head of U.S. diversity and inclusion, diversity and inclusion was “nothing new”; however, she said her team has helped the organization grow from tactical to strategic. “It’s the first conversation they are having with great data,” she said. One initiative was setting clear goals and

giving executives scorecards. The scorecards provide a snapshot of performance, help them thread diversity and inclusion practices throughout the entire organization, and add a level of accountability.Cornish said the scorecards often take common human resources metrics and layer a diversity lens on them. One example: turnover plus turnover amongst women. For Cornish, it’s not a focus on the numbers for numbers’ sake, but an emphasis on changes in behavior. “My hope is we will see gaps close. … Hopefully, if our behaviors change, our numbers will change,” she said. Gerstandt also advised that “the more clarity you have on the final product or outcome, the easier it is. The more language you can capture, the easier to get there and figure out what to measure.”

GIVE YOURSELF A CHANCE According to Robbins, we are often told that in our encounters with difference we need to give others a chance. While that’s true, he added, “In our encounters with difference, we need to give ourselves a chance.” Gerstandt recommended “biting off smaller chunks of work” and simply displaying “a spirit of inquiry.” He said we won’t get it perfect every time, but we can commit to giving ourselves a chance to be diversity and inclusiveness champions within each of our organizations. The field of diversity and inclusion isn’t going anywhere. In fact, Cornish said that eventually “it will be the key role in organizations.” “Conversations have to be had,” she said.

SAVE THE DATE The third annual Greenville Chamber Diversity & Inclusion Summit is Oct. 8, 2019.



Alpha Mode: The five most important success factors for employee retention By MANFRED GOLLENT certified business coach and founder, QLI International LLC

Recently, I participated in a roundtable discussion with a

group of 12 business owners and executives to talk about pressing business challenges. My first question was “What keeps you currently awake at night?” I expected to hear about issues like health care cost or the impact of tariffs. Nine out of 12 participants, however, stated either retaining the best people or finding and acquiring promising talent. My second question was “What do you consider the biggest challenge within your organization?” The top-two answers were people engagement and communication. The common thread is leadership — or lack thereof. Consider an underappreciated fact: People hire into a company, but they perform for their leader. What are the important contributors to a strong culture of engagement and performance?

BENEVOLENT LEADERSHIP PRESENCE The effective leader must master how to project mature self-confidence, poise under pressure, authenticity, empathy, warmth, and strength. It helps to acquire a blend of persuasive leadership competencies that inspire trust, enthusiasm and, most importantly, buy-in.

AUTHENTIC COMMUNICATION AND INTERACTION Whether it’s a high-stakes meeting or a hallway chat with a colleague, failure to get the right message across can be costly in many ways. Effective leaders need

to communicate clearly and confidently at every level of the organization.

PROACTIVE CONFLICT RESOLUTION Effective leaders recognize and manage conflict constructively, resolve disputes quickly, and maximize employee engagement, productivity and retention.

MAXIMIZING EMOTIONAL AND SOCIAL INTELLIGENCE Acquiring and implementing the skill sets that drive success — like team leadership and collaboration, trust-building, influencing skills, and conflict management — are essential in achieving organizational results in a sustainable fashion.

CREATING A RESULT FOCUSED CULTURE OF ACCOUNTABILITY Effective leaders use their skills to consistently challenge the status quo, establish meaningful objectives, define clear key results and follow through with the right conversations, feedback and recognition. When the leadership of an organization becomes consistently attentive to these contributors, ideally on all hierarchical levels, and manages them well, everyone in the company wins. Manfred Gollent is a certified business coach with QLI International LLC. Alpha Mode is a monthly feature in Upstate Business Journal and on that provides insights into building foundations for successful, sustainable businesses. 10.26.2018 |




Bad Things Happen

Every business needs a tested disaster recovery plan in place By LAURA HAIGHT president,

It’s fairly common for businesses

to think short term, and to not worry about what isn’t right in front of them. That’s one reason it’s a struggle to focus on disaster recovery or business resumption planning, or to build up stronger security practices to firewall against cybercrime. Take hurricanes. Over a 165year period from 1851 to 2016, a total of 24 hurricanes hit South Carolina. In the last two years, we’ve had three, going

from roughly one every seven years to one every eight months. There’s no getting around it: Bad things will happen. When they do, it is the 3Ps you’ll have to rely on to get through: policies, procedures, and planning. Many businesses don’t have a formal disaster recovery plan. Those that do often don’t take the time to fully test the plan to find the vulnerabilities or the critical function that was overlooked. Regardless of which of

those buckets your business is in, a dry run — a tabletop test — of how you would handle a disaster will give you visibility into your strengths, weaknesses, and risks. Here are 10 steps for setting up a tabletop test. Define key players. Identify the key players and note that they may not always be department heads. Depending upon the type of incident you’re dealing with, the payroll clerk or shipping manager may be a critical player. Who is tested? There are different schools of thought about doing tests of individual

departments versus larger units (in a big firm) or the whole company (in smaller businesses). My view is that, for most small businesses, the whole company has to respond together, so it should be tested together. No department is an island. Determine the goal for your disaster recovery plan. This will depend on your type of business. If you are a 24X7X365, like a newspaper, hospital, or law enforcement agency, you have to prepare for all scenarios. If you are a service business — law firm, marketing company, consultant — you may be able to just shut your doors for a day

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or two. But you may need to plan for continuing operations, including access to records, files, contacts, if your offices are severely damaged or destroyed. Establish a scenario. Disasters come in many forms and the impact on your company could vary, requiring different responses. Consider situations that happen at night, or on weekends, as well. Pick a place for the test. If you choose to do this in your office conference room, establish a no-interruption rule. You need the same undivided focus on the test, as you do during the real thing. Decide what to bring to the test. Whatever materials people bring with them, make sure that these are things they would have access to regardless where they are, the time, or the day of the week a disaster strikes. Test your response. Walk through each step — don’t just say “we need to call everybody.”


Instead, pull up the disaster recovery calling list and make sure it is current. Don’t forget new systems. Depending on the age of your plan, you might find there are new systems or vendors in place — such as VOIP phone systems or cloud-hosted applications — that are not included in the plan. In many cases, that makes emergency preparedness easier, but only if critical users are aware of how to access these systems offsite. Build a list of action steps. Record all observations on updates needed, missing data, or overlooked steps, and assign a member of the team to prepare a complete list of action steps to be distributed to team members. Yes, test again. Ultimately, the tabletop test is a few hours out of your day to determine if you are as ready as you think you are for the next unexpected hurricane.


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Criminals elicit feelings of fear, uncertainty and pressure to access our personal information By ROB DeHOLLANDER managing principal, DeHollander & Janse Financial Group

I’ve written in the past about

identity theft and senior fraud. The bad guys’ goals are to gain access to our sensitive information and take advantage of us for financial gain. I’ve spoken at numerous educational events this year and it’s clear that criminals’ techniques are evolving. Increasingly, they’re using social engineering techniques to elicit feelings of fear, uncertainty, and pressure in the hope that we’ll let our guard down. Let’s explore three approaches I’ve seen used this year and tips to avoid becoming a victim.

IMPERSONATE AN AUTHORITY FIGURE People tend to comply with requests from those in authority, and hackers exploit this to pressure you to take a specific action. For example, he or she may pretend to be a law enforcement agent and send an

email that claims illegal content was found on your computer. You’re told to click on a link to obtain additional details. But when you click on the link, malware is installed on your machine.


A sense of urgency may cause us to rush into making decisions that we wouldn’t usually make. Those IRS scams are great examples of using urgency to trick people into taking ill- advised action. A con artist poses as an IRS representative and reports that, if the intended victim doesn’t immediately provide payment information for back taxes owed, a warrant will be issued for the person’s arrest. In haste, victims of this scam often comply with the request.


Social engineers sometimes try to exploit a sense of trust in

others, causing potential victims to feel guilty enough to provide the scammers with what they need. These crimes usually result in bigger, immediate payoffs. For example, a scammer could pose as a friend traveling overseas and email you that he or she has been mugged and needs money to return to the U.S. In a situation like this, you might trust that the sender is your actual friend and feel guilty if you don’t lend a hand. The result? You wire the money without verifying the recipient’s identity.


Here are a few tips to help navigate the most common threats I’ve seen this year: 1 Be wary of any email or phone call that comes with a heightened sense of urgency and that claims to require an immediate response. 2 If you get an unsolicited message or call from a familiar organization, hang up and confirm the phone number using Google or another search engine before

calling them back. Remember, if it’s a bad guy, they probably gave you a false number to call. Someone else has likely already been a victim and documented this online. 3 If someone calls claiming to be from Microsoft or another tech company requesting access to your computer to fix a supposed problem, it is almost always a scam.


Because our trusting nature often prevails over our common sense, we all need to stay vigilant. By understanding the human tendencies that scammers try to exploit — and the red flags that signal a potential scam — you’ll be better positioned to protect yourself from this growing threat. Robert DeHollander is a certified financial planner, managing partner and co-founder of the DeHollander & Janse Financial Group in Greenville. Find out more:

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UBJ | 10.26.2018













has been promoted to senior vice president of sales at Green Cloud Technologies. In his new role, he is responsible for managing Green Cloud’s channel partner program. Previously, Philipsen was the company’s vice president of sales for five years.

has been elected to the board of directors of the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel. Johnsen is a partner of Gallivan White Boyd, where she’s practiced law for 27 years. The FDCC is an exclusive, invitation–only international organization for defense attorneys, corporate in-house counsel, and industry insurance executives.

has joined Crawford Strategy as an account supervisor. In her new role, Wiegle collaborates with multiple account teams, and manages client communications, advertising, and planning. She brings more than 20 years of industry experience to the Crawford team.

has joined Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Carolinas as the Events and Social Media Coordinator. Stoffelen will be responsible for coordinating all aspects of event management for RMHC of the Carolinas’ six signature events.

has joined Pinnacle Financial Partners as a financial advisor assistant for the client advisory team. Based in the Greenville location, Deaton brings 13 years of financial services experience to Pinnacle.

Open for business



1. Experience Clemson, located in the ground-floor space of the One Building on Main Street in Greenville, was recently renovated and revamped. The glass-fronted space reopened as a welcome center for visitors to connect with and learn more about Clemson University.

3. Human Technologies Inc. celebrated the grand opening for its Job Mobile. The mobile application center extends HTI’s recruiting capabilities beyond its 12 physical locations, making job searches more convenient for job-seekers in the Southeast. 4


2. Green Cloud Technologies recently opened the company’s new Greenville headquarters. Located at 510 Airport Road, the 14,470-square-foot headquarters feature semiprivate workspaces, a meeting space, a multimedia studio, and a security system with smartphone-controlled entry.

4. Halycon Hospice opened its new space at 5 Century Drive, Suite 21, in Greenville. The hospice organization’s mission is to provide compassionate, quality, personal service to patients. CONTRIBUTE: Know of a business opening soon? Email information to 10.26.2018 |




THE WATERCOOLER 1. Taking a mulligan: Crosswinds Golf Course gets a new owner and a major do-over

2. H  avana Kitchen to open in former Mimi’s Cafe location on Woodruff Road


Inside this



3. L  ockheed Martin loses bid for $9.2B contract to build trainer jets in Greenville

4. N  on-traditional hotel and restaurant development proposed for 821 S. Main St.

12, 2018




Follow up on the Upstate’s workweek. The Inbox – our weekly rundown of the top 10 local biz stories you need to know.


36 | VOL. 7 ISSUE


ORDER A PRINT SUBSCRIPTION Style & substance are not mutually exclusive. Order a year of UBJ in no time, and we’ll deliver every week.


We’re great at networking.

DIGITAL FLIPBOOK ARCHIVE 5. E  scape Lounge opening at GSP chooses Rick Erwin Dining Group to design menu *The Top 5 stories from last week ranked by Facebook reach


The layout of print meets the convenience of the web. Flip through the digital editions of any of our print issues, and see them all in one place.


As we come into the giving season, make a lasting impact by giving the gift of life. When you donate blood, you give a piece of yourself.

You give Life.


UBJ | 10.26.2018




Mark B. Johnston


Jeff Dezen Public Relations of Greenville was chosen by Jobe’s Co. to be its public relations agencyof-record for North America.


Claire Billingsley

COPY EDITOR Rebecca Strelow


Ariel Gilreath, Cindy Landrum, Andrew Moore, Sara Pearce, Ariel Turner



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


Anita Harley | Rosie Peck



Tammy Smith | Stephanie Orr


Michael Allen | Amanda Walker

THS Constructors

was named one of the 40 fastest-growing companies in South Carolina for 2018 by SC Biz News.

“It’s something we wanted to do for a long time. This is a passion. Tropical Grille was a necessity.” – Lazaro Montoto, co-owner of Tropical Grille on their newest project,

Havana Kitchen

Three managing partners of Bannister,

Stalvey LLC,

Wyatt &

Bravo1 Protection

along with three other firm associates, have been named to Greenville Business Magazine’s Legal Elite for the fourth consecutive year. • Criminal Law: Jim Banister (managing partner), Alex Stalvey (firm partner), and Marcelo Torricos III (associate) • Family Law: Bruce Bannister (managing partner), Elizabeth McCool (associate) • Residential Law: Jack McDonald (associate)

has earned a small and minority-owned business certification from South Carolina for being 100 percent women owned.





NEW HIRES, PROMOTIONS, AND AWARDS: UBJ welcomes expert commentary from business leaders on timely news topics related to their specialties. Guest columns run 500 words. Contact the editor at to submit an article for consideration.




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


1997 Jackson Dawson launches motorsports Division 1993

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


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

Jackson Marketing Group celebrates 25 years

DEC. 7 FINANCE ISSUE Got any thoughts? Care to contribute? Let us know at

UBJ milestone

1988 Jackson Dawson opens in Greenville at Downtown Airport


By sherry Jackson | staff |

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

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

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

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


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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October 26, 2018 Upstate Business Journal  

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

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