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NOVEMBER 8, 2013


SERN and other visionaries are reshaping the business landscape in Sparkle City


– “Positive momentum” in downtown commercial real estate – Main Street Challenge winner’s bouncing baby boutique – We’re in this together: Why Spartanburg matters to Greenville





At Clemson MBA, experiences and opportunities abound. Network with entrepreneurs, business leaders, professionals and fellow students at events designed to take your degree above and beyond classroom knowledge. And with all of Clemson’s MBA courses located at our beautiful downtown Greenville campus, you can take classes full time, attend classes in the evening after work or even explore turning your entrepreneurial spirit into reality in our new, convenient, online/weekend program, beginning Summer 2014. Clearly, whatever MBA is right for you, there’s one best place to earn an MBA your way. Clemson.

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Apparao Rao (in orange) and members of his lab watch as Ramakrishna Podila loads a photoluminescence spectrometer with quantum dots that “glow” under ultraviolet light and have great potential for biomedical imaging.

Clemson Completes Nanotech Facility By Jennifer Oladipo | senior business writer

Clemson University has completed construction of its 5,000-square-foot Clemson Nanomaterials Center (CNC). The CNC will house interdisciplinary nanotechnology research, including the development of high-energy storage and generation devices and superconducting wires and composites, and gaining new insights into the connections between nanotechnology and biosciences. “The research work has already begun with most of the equipment already under extensive use,” said Apparao Rao, director of the CNC, in a statement. Clemson partnered with the South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA) to plan and design the facilities, which took six months to complete. Projects already underway are funded by the National Science Foundation, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the Department of Energy. Rao’s

“The research work has already begun with most of the equipment already under extensive use.” Apparao Rao

work focuses on translating nanotechnology research to energy generation and storage, thermal management and the nanomedicine industry. The technologies could be used in batteries and capacitors in hybrid and electric vehicles, power tools and various other products. He and collaborators recently won $1.2 million from the National Science Foundation to find ways to make some of their nanomaterials suitable for manufacturing.

~ SINCE 1979 ~

530 Haywood Road • GReenville, SC • 864.297.5610 November 8, 2013 UPSTATE BUSINESS JOURNAL 3

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Volume II, Issue XLV

November 8, 2013


Photo by Greg Beckner

Members of the Spartanburg Entrepreneurial Resource Network at a recent round-table discussion.

TBA Red Fin has asked the city for permission to stay open until 2 a.m. The city zoning appeals board will take up the request on Nov. 21… Next Tuesday is the big reveal of the location for Greenville Tech’s Enterprise Campus. Stay tuned…



On the South Carolina Model…

“We meet once a month and we rotate providing coffee in the coffee maker, and that’s all we need.” SERN’s Steven Hahn, on the group’s low-maintenance infrastructure.

“Successful rural economic development requires the involvement of public and private sector organizations in a collaborative effort ... The South Carolina model provides a framework for how its rural areas can be successful in that effort.”

Dr. Joseph Van Nessen, economics professor at the University of South Carolina, on the Upstate’s recent decline in employment and subsequent slow economic growth.

Fred Gassaway, in an article in Site Selection magazine. South Carolina was recently ranked No. 7 in business climate by Site Selection, up from No. 9 last year.

Hal Johnson, who will resign as president and CEO of the Upstate SC Alliance effective Dec. 31 to take a position created for him at NAI Earle Furman.

“This isn’t a bad thing per se. It was inevitable.”

“Nothing ran me out of the Upstate Alliance. It was a good time for me to take that next step.”


Housing Market Forecast Shows Slow but Steady Growth By Sherry Jackson | staff |

Association of Greenville. “The information presented is valuable not only for those of us in the housing industry, but for anyone who is interested in how housing trends affect our overall economic health.” Dr. Joseph Von Nessen, professor of economics at the University of South Carolina and a research economist at Resh Marketing Consultants, was the featured speaker at the event attended by representatives from area banks, homebuilders and building suppliers.

Von Nessen told the group that South Carolina’s economy is “recovering and rebuilding” and that the economic growth and economic stability are positive even while the rate of economic growth is slowing. Over the past 12 months, the Upstate has seen a decline in employment that has led to the slow economic growth, mostly due to manufacturing job announcements declining. “This isn’t a bad thing per se,” said Von Nessen. “It was inevitable.” The Upstate has a strong automotive and manufacturing cluster and “clusters don’t just pick up and move like individual companies do,” he said.

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Housing in the Upstate had a major turnaround in 2012 and 2013, and construction activity only lags behind that in the leisure and hospitality group, Von Nessen said. In the past year, the Greenville/Spartanburg area has seen a 32.8 percent gain in housing starts. Greenville is actually beginning to build momentum while Spartanburg is seeing a little sharper decline, but overall stability is rising, he said. Von Nessen also pointed out some areas that homebuilders should watch out for. “The labor force has been fairly flat since 2009,” he said, but added that many people who may have given up during the recession may come back into the job market as things pick up. He also said it’s important to keep an eye on the European recession, noting that South Carolina is one of the top exporters to Europe and “their economy impacts South Carolina’s economy.” Most of the top 10 builders contributing to 70 percent of home sales in the Upstate are bigger, national companies that were able to sustain the economic downturn, Von Nessen said.

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The top 10 builders are contributing to 70 percent of home sales in the Upstate and the region is experiencing slow but steady economic growth despite a dip in overall job growth. Those were the major takeaways at the sixth annual Upstate Housing Market Forecast hosted by the Home Builders Association (HBA) of Greenville earlier this week. The HBA annual forecast offers predictions for new home construction and remodeling expenditures locally, regionally and nationally. It also includes economic trends and analysis of the homebuilding industry and consumer preferences, as well as analysis of government policies that affect housing. “This is among the most well attended HBA meetings of the year,” said Rick Quinn, president of the Home Builders


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The extended Nov. 14 deadline for applications for low-power FM (LPFM) radio stations gives organizations a chance to claim a small part of the airwaves. The deadline for filing Form 318 applications for new LPFM stations was extended from Oct. 29, 2013, until 6 p.m. EST Nov. 14 in response to delays and difficulties that may have been caused by last month’s federal government shutdown. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) created the LPFM radio service in 2000 for noncommercial and educational programming. With 10 to 100 watts of power, such stations can broadcast over a radius of about 3.5 miles. Licensing opportunities open up only every few years and competition tends to be stiff. There are seven such stations in the Upstate, including WMXP-LP/95.5 FM Greenville, according to Possible auctions next year of spectrum at lower levels have been a point of concern for businesses and nonprofits that rely on wireless microphones. The Wireless Microphone Users Interference Protection Act was introduced in Congress in August. The bill aims to “expand eligibility for specified licenses authorizing the operation of low-power auxiliary stations to the owners of, and operators of, events and performances” at places including arenas, convention centers, outdoor venues, houses of

worship, museums and lodging facilities. The bill would also establish two “safe haven” channels exclusively for wireless microphone operation in the 470 to 698 MHz range. It would also give microphone operators access to the TV bands databases so that they might protect their operations from interference. Groups from varying interests have been lobbying in favor of the bill, fearing increased costs that could significantly impact their ability to do business.


Johnson Leaves Upstate SC Alliance for NAI Earle Furman By Jennifer Oladipo | senior business writer |

After a brief announcement from the Upstate SC Alliance last week that president and CEO Hal Johnson would resign Dec. 31, Johnson announced Tuesday that he would take on a new position created for him at commercial real estate firm NAI Earle Furman. “Nothing ran me out of the Upstate Alliance,” Johnson said. “It was purely my opportunity to say, ‘Here’s a company that has an incredible family culture and a culture of teamwork, people working together to build relationships.’ … It was a good time for me to take that next step.” Johnson said there is currently no

one under consideration to replace him at the Alliance. “I’ve put a succession plan in place; [Upstate SC Alliance Vice President] Jennifer Miller and I will work on transition until Dec. 31,” he said. “The executive committee will meet and likely put together a search committee after that. I think they really want to take their time to do a proper search because it’s what’s right for our region and for the organization.” Johnson said he first discussed the idea with NAI Earle Furman several years ago, but the timing was not right for either party. He declined to discuss when the deal finally had been made.

the NAI Earle Furman group The newly created position, is this particular organization chief development officer, will involve “connecting the has been recognized for creatdots” among the firm’s ing new and unique opportuvarious commission-based nities inside this office that have been benchmarked services so that clients get a throughout the entire full-service experience inhouse, Johnson said. He network,” Johnson said. “This Hal Johnson plans to build on relation[position], too, will probably ships built while working in econom- be a benchmark for NAI Earle Furman ic development in the Upstate. globally, and we are excited about that.” This marks Johnson’s return to the Johnson said leaving the Alliance private sector after 17 years. He had would be difficult “because it’s been previously worked with the Orangeburg my baby.” “I just can’t explain the honor,” he County Development Commission and said. “I will cherish every moment of the state Department of Commerce. “What really cranks my tractor with my time here.”

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Cherry Bekaert’s Growth Continues Upstate CPA firm adds 13 new associates since April businesses with our national platform of accounting and consulting expertise, with middle market pricing delivered with a local presence.” Cooter, who joined the firm in June 2013, was previously a shareholder and chair of the real estate team at Elliott Davis. Another addition to the Greenville practice is Tim Cherry, who joined the firm as a partner in April 2013. Cherry, whose prior experience included working for a venture capital firm, running his own consulting firm, serving as CFO of a real estate company and more than 20 years in public accounting, was previously a partner at Elliott Davis.

“Many people may not realize how widespread Cherry Bekaert’s national footprint is,” said Cooter. “We have significant global connecMark Cooter tions and a great depth of resources firm-wide. My belief is that our commitment to the South Carolina and Upstate market – an area we have served for more than 25 years – will strengthen as more and more businesses realize how our solutions can help them.” Other professionals recently hired

by Cherry Bekaert’s Greenville practice include Donna Millard, Thomas Self, Casey Lewis, Mareena Register, Jordan McClaran, David Grabosky, Jamie Templer, Brandon Robinson, Greg Martin, Jackie Heintzelman, Jessi Upham and Nick Schomisch, who transferred from the firm’s Virginia Beach office. Headquartered in Richmond, Va., Cherry Bekaert is the second-largest certified public accounting firm headquartered in the Southeast. With offices in Florida, Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina, Cherry Bekaert has been ranked in the top 30 U.S. accounting firms by Inside Public Accounting.

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The Upstate office of CPA firm Cherry Bekaert LLP has announced “significant growth” this summer, with 13 new associates joining the firm since April 2013. This growth reflects the rapid growth in the marketplace, company officials say, and the office is actively recruiting entry level and experienced personnel to meet continuing demand. “Our internal expansion is in part due to a growing client base, but even more so, is reflective of our overall investment in South Carolina,” said Mark Cooter, managing partner of the Upstate office. “The state is experiencing growth at a remarkable rate, and we see this as an opportunity to serve


Grow Forward CPAs & Advisors with Your Growth in Mind No matter where you want to take your business, you need a resourceful and innovative partner to steer you in the right direction. Let Cherry Bekaert guide you forward to your growth destination.


The Heartbeat of Change The four principles of Organizational Change Management help businesses keep a healthy rhythm

Find out how we can be your guide forward Mark H. Cooter Managing Partner, Greenville 864.233.3981

Atlanta | Charlotte | Greenville | Hampton Roads | Miami Raleigh | Richmond | Tampa | Washington D.C.


In his 2007 book “Change or Die,” Alan Deutchman wrote, “The reason change [is so difficult] in America’s major corporations isn’t that the people who run them don’t want to change or can’t change, but rather they don’t understand the basic concepts and keys to change or have the right tools to effect it.” Yet, to highlight the potential for every organization to realize success when attempting change, Deutchman concluded that if large multinational companies “with decades of entrenched culture and hundreds of thousands of employees around the world, can pull off a major change, then there’s hope for any company, organization or institution of lesser size and scope.” Despite Deutchman’s optimism for the capacity for change, the vast majority of companies don’t find success easily. And given the statement made by the title of his book, this is not at all good news. Simply put, change is to corporations, organizations and institutions as the heartbeat is to nature. By observing a few very simple features of a heartbeat, we learn a lot about Organizational Change Management (OCM) as well as some of the difficulties that make it elusive for so many organizations. The first observation is that there is a predictable rhythm to a healthy heartbeat. The heart beats consistently, resting between beats. While this rest is

essential, if it persists, death follows quickly. Likewise, the organization must rest between periods of change (beats). By remaining at rest too long, though, it loses its ability to compete, adapt and grow; death eventually occurs. It changes or it dies! In nature, heart rate normally varies based on easily identifiable characteristics. For example, larger animals tend to have slower heart rates, as do those at rest and under no stress or threat.

Change is to corporations, organizations and institutions as the heartbeat is to nature. OCM Principle 1: The rate of effective organizational change is determined by size, activity level, and threats or pressures from outside conditions and/ or events. Larger organizations should plan for slower frequency of change. Their rate is limited by higher levels of activity and energy required for keeping things functioning properly, leaving less capacity for change. Additionally, outside pressure (such as from regulation) and national, regional or local events (natural or man-made di- >>

>> sasters, short term macroeco- loses effectiveness, starving

nomic trends, etc.) tend to slow the rate of planned, strategic change. Interestingly, a final outside factor, external threat (from hostile takeover attempts, disruptive competitive advancement or highly sophisticated market entrants, etc.), tends to demand increased rate of change; the company that does not respond quickly or change significantly enough may find survival unlikely, if not impossible. A sustained excited pace of change, however, can itself cause death. When the heart beats without rest (fibrillation), it never fills with blood, since filling takes place during the rest stage between beats. Though the heart beats much faster than normal, no blood is pumped to the body; soon the brain and lungs are starved, causing death. The remedy is to shock the heart with electricity (defibrillation), forcing it to resume normal rhythm and circulation of blood. In a company, fibrillation results from repeated, uncoordinated change, many times lacking clear strategic intent or governance. Without adequate rest, each successive cycle becomes less effective, and soon no improvement is flowing, despite extreme energy committed and focused toward change. “Organizational Defibrillation,” the jolt that provides a severe enough shock to resume normal rhythm, often requires turnover in leadership, philosophically if not literally. OCM Principle 2: When the pace of organizational change

the organization, the only viable solution for survival is leadership turnover. Finally, in a healthy heartbeat, each cycle is identical in shape; each can be perfectly overlaid on any other as if created from a single mold. In fact, unhealthy activity is often indicated by variations in the shape of beats. OCM Principle 3: There is a repeatable process (pattern) for implementing successful change that, once mastered, results in “muscle memory,” facilitating successive change more naturally, easily and quickly. This repeatability is due, in part, to the heart’s makeup of specialized cells that beat in precise sequence with total independence from outside stimulation. Each individual cell is programmed to repeat its exact and unique activity until something causes it to stop. OCM Principle 4: Effective change is promoted through a culture where individuals understand and relentlessly and collaboratively carry out roles and assignments in support of an overall mission toward improvement. Size defines optimal tempo. Effective leadership establishes manageable pace. Reliable process fuels consistency. Aligned culture drives focus and persistence. Understanding these simple principles, The Heartbeat of Change, is like aerobic exercise, arming companies, organizations and institutions with the concepts, keys and tools needed to improve OCM success rates and ultimately sustain vigorous, vibrant life.

Charles Mention is the president and founding partner of TFM Consulting Group (, a corporate consulting company based in Simpsonville. An author and former corporate executive, he will be the featured speaker at an Executive Strategic Planning Seminar on Nov. 22 at Clemson University’s Center for Corporate Learning in Greenville.


GIFTS FROM THE CLOSET As we approach the Holiday Season and the end of another year, our thoughts and spirit are focused on family and friends. We are planning parties and holiday vacations. We are working on our holiday gift list. It is the season of giving. It is also the season to think of others less fortunate and those who assist and serve those needs in our community and beyond. As I have mentioned before, at the beginning of each season, you should clean out and reorganize your closet. Identify those clothing items you haven’t worn in a year or two, and remove them from the closet. They might be out of style, don’t fit, have some wear on them, or you just don’t like them anymore. Collect these items, clean them and donate them to a local charity where they will be given another “life” by being distributed to those in need, or resold in a thrift shop where the proceeds are then used to fund the charitable organization or given as grants in our community. Each of the charitable organizations that are 501c3 qualified will give you a receipt for your donation and you may deduct the donation from your taxable income if you are itemizing your deductions. Having a well-planned and organized closet will make your life and business wardrobe more efficient, giving you more confidence in everything you do. But it also helps you help others in the community by gifting your clothing to those in need. Now is the perfect time to get into your closets and start that “gift list.”

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HR Turkey Talk

Navigating the Boardroom

Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away. As you prepare for this holiday and come together for this feast; take a look around and try to glean some practical business advice! Even a turkey can provide inspiration! • Be prepared – You can’t make a feast or even one dish without preparation. Make your shopping list, get your dishes ready and allow adequate time. In business, proper preparation is also the key to success.

For entrepreneurs, the hard work begins after the angel investment has been made Startups. Crowdfunding. Accelerators. Fundraising. The popular press is abuzz these days with the language of entrepreneurship – as well it should be. With transformative shifts in the corporate and career landscape in recent decades, and with the relatively new understanding that all net job growth in the economy comes from startups, it is increasingly important that businesses and communities gain a better understanding of the processes and ecosystems that support and sustain entrepreneurial endeavors. Among today’s literature on entrepreneurship, one of the most prevalent topics of focus is the notoriously difficult task of raising capital for early-stage ventures. But for those fortunate entrepreneurs who are able to convince an angel investor or venture capitalist to make an investment, there seems to be much less written about what happens after the celebratory closing. And of course, that’s the point at which the really hard work of building the company has just begun. One of the most important things that takes place following an investment is the formation or restructuring of the company’s board of directors. The board plays a critical role in the post-funding life of a high-growth company, but many entrepreneurs and early-stage investors have

• Be flexible – Thanksgiving to you may not be complete without sweet potatoes, but Lee Yarborough your spouse’s family prefers wild rice; what do you do? Be willing to try something different. It is fine to make your case on why sweet potatoes are best, but hear out the case on wild rice too. You never know when something new can be just what is needed to get you out of a rut. • Stuffing vs. dressing – The South makes “dressing” and the North cooks “stuffing”. Regardless of the name, it is still the most important side item of a Thanksgiving meal. In the workplace, respect people’s differences and realize that most differences are just based on perspective, not reality. • Family conflicts – It is difficult to get through a large holiday without some tension. The same is true at work. My best advice for both is to take a deep breath, realize that different opinions exist and then get back to work (or eating!). • Find a mentor and mentee – This holiday, take some time to sit next to your dear Aunt Sally and learn from her wisdom. Ask her to teach you the family “dressing” recipe. Also, take time to play with your younger cousins and show them the ropes. In business, we also need the wisdom of our mentors and we need to impart our own knowledge to a younger generation. This is imperative to the success of a business community. Most importantly, count your blessings. Look around your table this month and acknowledge the abundant blessings we have been given. And at work, show thankfulness for your vocation, co-workers, and the ability to contribute to our economy.


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The more entrepreneurs know about how a board operates and their role in it, the more impact they can have on the success of their venture. relatively little experience serving as a director of a startup. Some of the key questions and challenges are straightforward like most other boards, and others are much more difficult to untangle. For example, here is just a sampling of key questions the startup board must tackle: How should the board be structured? Typically, investors will expect a five-member board, comprised of the CEO and possibly another senior team member, two investor representatives and one or two independent directors. What are directors’ key priorities? As with any governing board, startup directors owe the standard fiduciary duties of care and loyalty, and they have the responsibility of hiring (and firing) the CEO. In a startup, however, the directors must also have a laser focus on never letting the company run out of cash >>

For more information about investing in early-stage companies, or questions about the upcoming boardroom workshop, contact Matt Dunbar at


>> and driving strategic value for a buyer of the company. What are the risks directors face? Even with solid directors and officers insurance in place, startup directors should be aware of the potential relational, reputational and financial risks of serving on startup boards. For angel investors serving as directors, and for entrepreneurs who may serve on their own boards, formulating the answers to these questions is critical. For entrepreneurs, the more they know about how a board operates and their role in it, the more

Reminder for Angel Investor Tax Credit While we’re on the topic of startups and investors, we wanted to offer a quick reminder that as of June of this year, South Carolina now has a 35 percent income tax credit for angel investors who invest in qualified startup companies based in South Carolina. If you started a high-growth-potential company after Jan. 1 of this year (or will do so before Dec. 31), you can apply to be a qualified business by completing an application available in the forms section of the S.C. Secretary of State’s website. If you are an accredited investor who invested in a qualified business in 2013, you have until Dec. 31 to submit an application to claim the angel investor tax credit. The form is now available on the S.C. Department of Revenue website in the tax credit section.

impact they can have on the success of their venture. For angel investors, learning to become a strong leader and expert in the boardroom can significantly improve their investment returns. Given the vital importance of these and many other board issues for high-growth startups, UCAN will devote its 2013 annual Angel Education workshop to “Navigating the Boardroom.” The half-day workshop will provide a deep primer on the most important topics a board will face, including board structure, minimizing risks, optimizing returns and the eight most common board events. The workshop is scheduled for the afternoon of Dec. 4 from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Upcountry History Museum, with a reception to follow. The workshop is a program of the Angel Resource Institute, in partnership with the Kauffman Foundation, and the lead instructor for the event will be John May, chairman emeritus of the Angel Capital Association and one of the leading pioneers of angel group investing in the United States. If you are an entrepreneur, investor or startup support professional interested in learning more about how to create value through a startup board of directors, please join us for this highly engaging workshop. You can register today at ucanboardroomworkshop.

f the o t r a p a n e e b e ’v e W y r o t s i h y l i m a f g n o r Armst for over years.

an Stutts and Sharm

Armstrong with

their children

Matt Dunbar is managing director of the Upstate Carolina Angel Network.


D Spartanburg’s Main Street Challenge helps Haute Mama deliver a new boutique for expectant moms By Sherry Jackson | staff


Photo Provided






Devised as a creative way to fill empty storefronts in downtown Spartanburg, the Main Street Challenge was announced in December 2012. Patty Bock, Spartanburg’s economic director, said the turnout for the final business presentations exceeded all expectations: 58 proposals for retail businesses. The field was narrowed to 19 and then to seven finalists. The finalists were then asked to give concluding pitches in front of judges and an overflow crowd at Hub-Bub’s Main Event hall in May. The three winners – Haute Mama, Local Hiker, and Motte & Son – each received $12,000 in subsidized rent and another $8,000-$10,000 in startup services such as legal advice, printing and accounting services. Last week, The Local Hiker celebrated its grand opening at its new location at 173 E. Main St. in downtown Spartanburg. Motte and Sons Bootlegging Co. is planning a March 2014 opening. Across the street from the Local Hiker, Haute Mama, a women’s clothing store for expectant mothers, opened on Nov. 6. The boutique carries maternity clothing and intends to hold pre- and postnatal classes, lactation consulting and special events for expectant and new mothers. Another Main Street Challenge is anticipated to kick off in early 2014. The new challenge will be expanded to a broader area of the













city, providing more options in size and locations for those businesses that are applying, said Bock. UBJ will catch up with all of the Main Street Challenge winners in future issues. This week, we sat down with Haute Mama owner Sara Riddle as she prepared for Wednesday’s opening.

How did the Main Street Challenge help you launch your business? It helped so much because the process forces you to put pen to paper and make an idea into a real business concept. The revisions and selection rounds really helped to refine the business plan, and there were some really helpful folks who were genuinely interested in helping us succeed.

What obstacles/challenges did you have to overcome? I have a toddler who keeps me pretty busy, so starting a business while still being Mom has been a bit of a challenge, but my business is such that he can come to work with me. I have a more creative brain, so some of the logistics I have had to ask for help with. 

What are your plans for the next year? I am very excited to connect with women in town and help them

look and feel their best during pregnancy and afterwards. We will start offering classes and special events geared towards expectant and new mothers in January, and I am so excited to see the response to these!

Of the services and money received from the Main Street Challenge, what have you used so far and what was the most helpful? I have met with the CPA who offered her hours, and she has been very helpful. I also have started on a website with a developer who offered some consulting time. There are more, such as printing and business cards, that I am really looking forward to taking advantage of very soon.

Fast Facts SPARTANBURG MAIN STREET CHALLENGE THE WINNERS: Haute Mama, maternity store (opened Nov. 6) The Local Hiker, outdoor clothing and equipment (opened Oct. 25) Motte & Son, distillers (opening planned for March 2014) WHAT THEY WON: $12,000 in subsidized rent $8,000-$10,000 in startup services

Next Main Street Challenge planned for early 2014













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SPARTANBURG A group of entrepreneurs, government leaders and educators wants to connect business with resources, and grow the Hub City in the process


By Jennifer Oladipo | senior business writer |

If Spartanburg’s business landscape were an amusement park, SERN would be that team of people in the neon-green T-shirts helping you find your way around. But sitting in a conference room at the USC Upstate College of Business & Economics (known as The George), members of the Spartanburg Entrepreneurial Resource Network talked about the serious business they’re after.

Right This Way

Organized in 2006, SERN is a mix of conventional small-business organizations, government agencies and higher-education-driven innovations you find elsewhere, but the way they work in concert in Spartanburg is unique. SERN wants to make sure doing business in Spartanburg doesn’t have to include hours of figuring


“Just as entrepreneurs have to search out the best fit for their company, we as organizers are in the same boat.” Frank Rudisill

out the right resources. That’s SERN’s job, and it’s not uncommon for a young company to engage with three or four different SERN groups as its needs evolve. Businesses that have knocked on the wrong door will be led – not

just pointed – to the right one, or two. “When you truly care and you really know what’s at stake, you have to follow up,” said Patty Bock, economic development director for the City of Spartanburg. >>










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Spartanburg Economic Futures Group (Spartanburg Chamber): Steven Hahn

Hwy. 215

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>> Beth Smith, area manager for the Spartanburg Small Business Development Center (SBDC), said SERN works at all stages, from companies looking to relocate to Spartanburg to local executives who need to connect with others. Everyone needs something.

Let’s Get Together

The City of Spartanburg Economic Development Department: Patty Bock

Ave .

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96 y. 2 w H

Hw y. 9





Iron Yard:


Piedmont SCORE:


Center for Business and Entrepreneurial Development (Incubator):


City of Spartanburg Economic Development:

E Spartanburg Economic Futures Group: There’s no funding behind SERN. “We meet once a month and we rotate providing coffee in the coffee maker, and that’s all we need,” said Steven Hahn, head F Spartanburg SBDC: of entrepreneurial services at the Spartanburg G USC Upstate – George Dean Johnson, Jr. Chamber of Commerce. College of Business and Economics: Still, collaboration is easier said than done, if it’s even said at all. Getting all of the members of SERN in one room simultaneously can be difficult, and Hahn was charged with that task in the beginning. It took about a year. Some SERN members were busy learning Step one was for members to see each other their own jobs at the same time. often in order learn their respective roles, “For many of us, we were new in our roles Hahn said. “We ended up formalizing what then,” said Smith, who had just reopened should be happening in all communities.” It Spartanburg’s SBDC office at the time. “Natgave the group a brand and snappy moniker urally enough, though, if somebody asks you to show that this organization represented a community-wide culture, he said. SERN continued on PAGE 18

Small Business Development Center (SBDC): Beth Smith

USC Upstate – George Dean Johnson, Jr. College of Business and Economics: Frank Rudisill

Spartanburg Community College, Office of Economic Development and Center for Business and Entrepreneurial Development: Mike Forrester

The Space at Mongo Center: Launch (Wofford College): Jeremy Boeh









a question and you don’t know the answer, you’re going to pick up the phone and ask somebody else.”

Making It Work

“Spartanburg just needs people to believe in what they can do.” Jeremy Boeh




“We can proudly claim that any project doesn’t happen without feeding off the other ones.”

SERN continued from PAGE 17

The group created an advisory committee including highly experienced people such as Dan Adams, CEO of The Capital Corporation, and John Bauknight, co-owner at Longleaf Holdings. They took road trips to places like Statesville, N.C., and to the University of South Carolina’s business incubator. “We got a lot of good ideas, but in all that, we never saw anything but silos,” said Mike Forrester, director of economic development at Spartanburg Community College (SCC). “Just as entrepreneurs have to search out the best fit for their company, we as organizers are in


Steven Hahn

the same boat,” said Frank Rudisill, dean at The George. He has recently been busy expanding the school’s business incubator space. Eddie West, chairman at Piedmont SCORE, emphasized that the Spartanburg community is collaborative where other communities might be more competitive. That reality might be as much a result of coincidence as intention. It turns out that although they are all tasked with supporting business, the organizations are just distinct enough that there’s no overlap. At the same time, they fill in each other’s gaps where necessary. Smith, for instance, said the limitations of her job mean she can’t spend too much time with any single client or attend certain meetings with them. But she can call another SERN member at that

SERN at Work

point. What’s more, each one’s success can affect the entire group. The fact that the small-business incubator at SCC is filling up validates the need for more space at The George, Hahn pointed out. “We can proudly claim that any project doesn’t happen without feeding off the other ones,” he said.

The Confidence Factor

SERN has been a factor in most of the business news in Spartanburg in recent years – or even recent months. Ten companies just completed a digital health program, shortly after the Main Street Challenge put a spotlight again on downtown (see page 14). SCC’s incubator was recently named the fourth largest in the nation by square-foot. Still, the community sometimes

needs convincing of its own potential. “Spartanburg just needs people to believe in what they can do,” said Jeremy Boeh, assistant director of The Space at Wofford College. “There are lots of great ideas flowing here. I just think they need a group of people who can do that.” It’s an observation others have made about Spartanburg’s economic development, and SERN sees itself as a catalyst for that mental shift. The group needs to go even further, Forrester said, getting middle-school students excited about entrepreneurship. At that suggestion Hahn piped up to make a small announcement: He had an upcoming meeting scheduled, with a group of fourth-graders.

A tale of two companies helped by the Spartanburg Entrepreneurial Resource Network

Company: Core Care Medical

Company: Junk Matters

Product: Technology firm providing workflow solutions for the medical market

Service: Recycling and composting for cafeterias and restaurants

SERN Experience: Core Care’s founders were already experienced in the industry and wanted to stay and grow in Spartanburg. With guidance from Steven Hahn at the Spartanburg Economic Futures Group, they found operating space at the Center for Business and Entrepreneurial Development at Spartanburg Community College’s Tyger River Campus in Duncan.

SERN Experience: Wofford student Joseph McMillin created a business plan at The Space, which then connected him with Beth Smith at the Spartanburg SBDC to hone it. Smith then introduced him to Steven Hahn at the Spartanburg Chamber, who sharpened the financial portion of the plan.

Payoff: Co-founder Stan McDaniel said being associated with a concerted effort that’s rubber-stamped by some of the most important business-related organizations has helped attract high-quality talent to Core Care. “It’s like two [recruits] jumped in our lap,” McDaniel said. McDaniel said the office space allows flexibility to contract and expand operations without affecting overhead. The space and connection with the larger business community lends Core Care an important veneer of legitimacy. It lets potential employees and business partners know that “we’re not doing stuff out of the trunk of our car,” he said.


Payoff: Having his plan combed through by SBDC helped McMillin win The Space’s business plan contest, with a prize of $5,000 and a year of space at the Iron Yard business accelerator. Operating from there since summer, Junk Matters’ clients include about 40 private businesses and about 60 schools. “Every person [in SERN] has their strengths and their weaknesses, so they all had something that helped that they bring to business as a whole,” McMillin said.












Commercial Real Estate Sparks Spartanburg’s Downtown Renaissance “Positive momentum” attracting retail, restaurant, office and residential attention, officials say By Sherry Jackson | staff |

The “Sparkle City” has been enjoying a downtown renaissance with more than 20 new businesses opening in 2013. Retail is going strong in the central business district, and the city has also been successful in attracting new companies to the city. According to Brian Nash, director of business development with the Spartanburg Economic Futures Group, Spartanburg has received more than $1.6 billion in capital improvement and seen the creation of 5,943 new jobs since 2009. Spartanburg County also has four new speculative industrial projects either under construction or in the design phase, said Nash. All four are being funded by private developers “who realize the opportunity and value in bringing speculative industrial buildings to market,” he said. “No other county in S.C. has this level of privately funded speculative development in the pipeline,” he said. “We are proud of that because we’ve worked very hard to recruit this type of development to Spartanburg.” Here’s a look at some of the new Spartanburg businesses: Pure Barre, a fast-growing fitness franchise, built its training facility downtown earlier this year. The new facility serves as the eastern training center and the company’s headquarters. The owner of Cribb’s Kitchen opened The Speakeasy, a classic 1920s-inspired bar, complete with Prohibition-era cocktails, fine wines and rare ales. Chef William Cribb also just opened his third restaurant, Willy Taco, a Mexican cocina on Main Street. Wild Ace Pizza and Pub opened its second location (the first one is

Company Investment in Spartanburg (2009-2013 TYD)

in Greer) in Morgan Square, and local favorite Renato’s Italian Restaurant has plans to relocate into an expanded space in downtown Spartanburg. Dottie’s Toffee, a family-run confectioner, moved into new digs on Spring Street. The company sells toffee worldwide in retailers like Dean and DeLuca and Whole Foods. Retailers have also been moving into downtown Spartanburg with Olive and Then Some, an olive oil retailer; Herbal Renewal, a medicinal herbs store; the Growler Haus, a craft beer store; and The Greene Canary, a prom, pageant and wedding gown store, all opening up shop in the past few months. Only a few new downtown residential options have popped up so far. Magnolia Street Lofts has 27 units in the old Oregon Hotel, and the Schuyler Building Apartments is getting a multimillion makeover with 88 units currently under construction. Sixteen new townhomes, called 314 South Townhomes, are also under construction near the Mary Black Rail Trail.

New service-oriented and white-collar businesses are bringing in younger professionals said Patty Bock, economic development director for the city of Spartanburg. “We’ve got the ball rolling, and there is positive momentum that is helping to attract more local and outside interest in the retail, restaurant, office and residential sectors.” Bock emphasized the city isn’t “doing this alone. We have to

applaud our existing businesses that have continued to work their tails off day and night to provide the services and needs of our downtown visitors, residents and workforce. They are partners in making our city as a success.” Bock also praised the city’s educational institutions for sticking with downtown. “USC Upstate, VCOM, Spartanburg Community College, Wofford College and Converse College have each made significant investments in the past five years,” she said. “This, coupled with private and public partnerships in the downtown, have all contributed to laying the groundwork for what is to come.” Bock said that the city’s creative and innovative programs such as the Main Street Challenge, seasonal ice rink and 90-foot Wheel of Lights and Inspiration (WOLI) Ferris wheel continue to attract those who are curious and maybe haven’t been to downtown in a while. “When they get here, it’s even greater than what they expected,” she said.


EXCEPTIONAL SALES PROFESSONALS. Full Time / Part Time If you meet this standard, we look forward to meeting you. Email cover letter and resume to




Why Spartanburg Matters With Nancy Whitworth, director of economic development for the City of Greenville By Jennifer Oladipo | senior business writer


the Upstate’s two largest cities, Greenville and Spartanburg. Others laugh at the idea. Either way, their histories have been similar, even if their trajectories in recent years have not. Greenville is now the sixth-largest city in population in the state and Spartanburg has dropped to 12th.

Yet Whitworth says what happens in Sparkle City doesn’t just stay in Sparkle City. Its issues are Nancy Whitworth Greenville’s issues, too, and Greenville has an opportunity to help foster solutions that work for everyone. She shared her thoughts with UBJ. COMMON TIES The two cities (and counties) share a workforce and industry base. They share a history as textile communities that have transitioned into an international investment focus. The counties continue to expand in population, but the cities of Greenville and Spartanburg have not grown commensurately. Population does not necessarily indicate vibrancy, but it does indicate relevancy in the market, and the two cities combined have a population lower than 100,000. The counties are growing and that is important, but the identity of an area is often associated with the central cities. It is cities that provide the sense of place and even 20 UPSTATE BUSINESS JOURNAL November 8, 2013

more so in the global marketplace.

COMPETITION? Whether there is a perceived or real competitiveness between Greenville and Spartanburg, it is ill placed. Our futures really depend on each other. The real competition is not among cities in the Upstate or even in the rest of the state; we are just too small for that. The real competition is nationally and globally. We need Upstate cities to be strong.

GOOD FOR GREENVILLE Greenville needs Spartanburg to be the very best it can be, and it is in our interest to assist whenever we can. Spartanburg >>


of high unemployment – and concentrate on revitalizing our downtowns and commercial areas and facing structural issues.

DOING IT While we realize the importance of working together, the challenge is focusing on doing it. We are all so busy keeping up with our own issues it’s hard to devote time to developing the relationships that lead to sustained results. We also struggle with how to differentiate ourselves and capi-

talize on our uniqueness, yet continue to work as a unit. To some extent this is already happening since local economic developers and planners do share ideas, support and information. One great example of coming together was the work on recruiting Southwest. Spartanburg and Greenville worked as a unit along with other cities in the Upstate to bring them to GSP. We need to identify other opportunities where the two communities can pursue a common goal.





Our futures really depend on each other. We need Upstate cities to be strong.


cessful, too. We can both help to attract investment to our region, and Greenville and Spartanburg both share a sister city, Greer. A vibrant Greer is just as important and provides the link between us! Greenville should be reaching out to Spartanburg (and others) to share best practices (Greenville can learn as well) and look at how we can support initiatives that can strengthen the other. This can be at the government and business levels. We also need to make sure that we are addressing the unique challenges that face a number of our cities in the Upstate – higher poverty rates than we would desire, pockets


>> needs Greenville to be suc-




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Book now for the holidays! Overlooking Downtown Greenville

17th Floor One Liberty Square 55 Beattie Place 864-232-5600 November 8, 2013 UPSTATE BUSINESS JOURNAL 21

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Learn more about the 2% solution today. Contact us at solutions@amedisys. com or visit to learn how we can help you improve your readmissions performance.

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By Candice Good, Greer State Bank

‘It’s Slow, but We’re Getting There’


Economist Bruce Yandle sees the light at the end of the economic tunnel market. The housing market is getting better, but still below the norm. Private sector employment is healthier than before with a slow and steady recovery.

THE ECONOMIC DARK CLOUD that loomed large over nearly every aspect of our lives the past several years has finally begun to clear. Everyone is looking for good news – whether for businesses or consumers. Slowly but surely, we are seeing small slivers of favorable economic light that are once again igniting activity in areas that were hit hard. The recovery is slow, but experts remain optimistic about the near term and what we can expect in commerce and industry.

In a breakfast presentation before local business leaders, Dr. Bruce Yandle painted a picture of the economy from a nationwide, statewide and Upstate perspective. As an expert and highly acclaimed economist, Yandle gave attendees a true perspective on where we’ve been on this economic journey and where our opportunities exist. RECESSION OPPRESSION We’ve all experienced the impact of the economic dip that started EVENT: An economic outlook breakfast presentation hosted by Greer State Bank WHO WAS THERE: Business leaders from Greer, Greenville and the Upstate SPEAKER: Dr. Bruce Yandle, Alumni Distinguished Professor of Economics Emeritus, Clemson University TOPIC: “Why is the United States economy operating like a three-lane highway with one lane closed?”

with negative growth during 2008. The changes felt across the nation were common: job losses, wage reductions, the housing market collapse and general uncertainty. With a 60-year U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) average of 3.2 percent, the drop to the negative 8 percent range shook our economy at the national and local levels. CRAWLING BACK TO LIFE It has been a slow but steady return over the past five years. The U.S. commercial and industrial loan activity is experiencing an increase. Banking system excess reserves have seen marked improvement with increases over the past couple of years. The uptick in housing starts since 2010 is another positive sign of recovery. GOOD NEWS AND BAD NEWS “Federal government receipts have increased and are recovering back to pre-recession levels,” said Yandle. “These are good enough that some debt is being paid off for the first time in several years.” We are seeing this activity due to increases in housing starts and the construction industry, which are generating revenue with their market growth and providing good


cash flow to the Treasury. “It’s slow, but we’re getting there,” Yandle said. On the flip side of this picture, federal expenditures are continuing to increase; thus, our prevailing gap between growing expenses and revenue. WHAT’S HOT? Several hot market sectors are contributing to our recovery. Retail sales are way up with expanded activity and players returning to this market. Wholesale shipments for machinery, equipment and supplies are expanding the export

“The third lane is opening slightly and will be running again in 2014.” Dr. Bruce Yandle

SOUTH CAROLINA LOOKS STRONG In the Southeast, South Carolina has the second-strongest economy behind leader Tennessee. South Carolina is the No. 1 exporter of automobiles and tires in the U.S. Manufacturing output has increased 18 percent since 2011. Within South Carolina, Charleston has a very strong economy and the Upstate remains favorable. “South Carolina has turned the corner, but with a mixed bag of opportunities,” Yandle said. EMPLOYMENT COMEBACK – WITH A DIFFERENT LOOK Upstate employment is slowly recovering from 2010 lows. Manufacturing employment isn’t the same due to the advancements in robotics that offer cost advantages to manufacturers. At BMW, 25 percent of production is handled by robotics, while the remaining 75 percent of the labor is performed by employees. GREER’S INLAND PORT CAN BE A CATALYST The Inland Port in Greer represents much economic opportunity and can be a major player within the state. The opportunities it provides for logistics options, reduced traffic, and lower cost of freight are tremendous. “The Inland Port will feed the Greer and local economy, and will be a powerful economic entity,” said Yandle. “The third lane is opening slightly and will be running again in 2014.”



Columbia Chamber CEO Ike McLeese Dies Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce CEO Donald “Ike” McLeese died Oct. 29 at age 69. He had led the Chamber for nearly two decades, serving as president and CEO. He suffered a heart attack Sept. 5 and underwent follow-up heart surgery two weeks prior to his death. McLeese had planned to retire as Chamber CEO in December and transition into consulting for military affairs. He was also serving his fourth term as a civilian aide to the Secretary of the Army. During his time in the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce, he raised

money to monitor Pentagon proceedings and organized trips to Washington, D.C., for local officials to meet with the state’s congressional delegations and key civilian staffers to save and promote Fort Jackson and McEntire Joint National Guard Base. McLeese also rallied support for the city of Columbia’s agreement with Greenville developer Bob Hughes to transform the decaying, 181-acre former state mental hospital campus into a community of homes, shops, offices, hiking trails, and maybe even a baseball park. He also served on the

Environmental Express Acquires Daniels Scientific Environmental Express Inc. recently announced that it has acquired Daniels Scientific, a leading supplier of certified environmental sample collection containers. The company produces glass and plastic sample containers and vials, pre-preserved sample

bottles, chromatography vials and related accessories. The new partnership will allow customers to continue to streamline their operations in sample collection and sample prep and promises new innovations to the environmental testing market, Environmental Express said.


boards of the Veterans Policy Academy, Midlands Technical College Foundation, Midlands Business Leadership Group and the Midlands Housing Alliance and on the Board of Visitors of Anderson University. He was a graduate of Anderson University and the University of South Carolina, and served on the staff of former Sen. Fritz Hollings and Gov. John West. Prior to joining the chamber, McLeese served as a political consultant for the public relations firms of Cook & Reuf and Newman Saylor & Gregory.

Mergon Corporation Expands in Anderson County Mergon Corporaand to the excellent tion, an internaassociates we’ve tional plastic been able to attract blowing and injecand train to the high tion molding standard required to company, recently supply our demandannounced that it ing customers,” said would invest $4.4 Pat Beirne, CEO of million to expand its Mergon Group, in a current Anderson statement. “Mergon County facility, has been very which will generate pleased with the de22 jobs. cision to locate and The company supin Anderson • $4.4 million to expand grow plies solutions and County and appreproducts to the autociate the support • Generating 22 jobs motive, industrial we’ve received.” and health care As part of the markets. Irish-owned Mergon Group, Mergon “This latest expansion investment Corporation is part of a chain of fais testament to the business opportu- cilities in Ireland and the Czech Renities for manufacturing in this area public and Anderson.


Finalists Announced for Elevate Upstate Community Vibrancy Grants Ten at the Top (TATT) recently announced the finalists for the first-ever Hughes Investments Elevate Upstate Community Vibrancy Grants. The finalists were chosen from 30 applications submitted for the two grants available in 2013. Two recipients each year will receive $5,000 to support a new vibrancy initiative in the Upstate, funded by $10,000 per year over the next five years, which will be contributed by Hughes Investments. The finalists are: the City of Anderson for transforming utility and traffic signal boxes and crosswalks into public art based

around the book “Little Wren Lost and the Teakettle Call”; the Town of Calhoun Falls for the lighting project in the Blue Hole Recreational Area on Lake Russell; Greenville County Parks, Recreation and Tourism for the Swamp Rabbit Trail Mural project; City of Greer Parks and Recreation for “Greer: An International Destination Festival,” a proposed one-day event in downtown Greer as part of Upstate International Month; and the Blue Ridge Arts Council for the “3 Part Public Art” project, which includes murals, custom and hand-built street furniture and

interactive sculptures in downtown Seneca. The five finalists will provide a brief overview of their initiatives at the Our Upstate Vision/TATT

Forum on Nov. 19 from 3-5 p.m. at the Embassy Suites in Greenville. The two 2013 recipients will be announced at the forum, which is free and open to public.

SCRLA Names First Upstate Hospitality Award Winners The Greater Greenville Chapter of the South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association recently announced the winners of the inaugural Upstate Hospitality Awards. The event recognized 13 winners for their work and efforts in the hospitality industry and also served as a fundraiser for students’ education in the hospitality industry. The winners in the Restaurant Category were: Chuck Thompson,

Rick Erwin’s Dining Group, for Front of the House Employee of the Year; Decha Tangkitkietikul, Roost, for Heart of the House Employee of the Year; Harley Iverson, Stella’s Southern Bistro, for Manager of the Year; Paul Hrabovsky, Bimini’s Oyster Bar & Seafood Café, for Restaurateur of the Year; Teryi Youngblood, Passerelle Bistro, for Outstanding Chef of the Year; and Douglas Tallarico, Greenville Marriott, for

Outstanding Bartender of the Year. Winners in the Lodging category were: Elisabeth Amador, Holiday Inn Express, Simpsonville, for Front of the House Employee of the Year; Ruth Ann Dawkins, Hyatt Regency, for Heart of the House Employee of the Year; McLean Hicklin, Hampton Inn Duncan/Clinton, for Manager of the Year; and Yatish Deean, Holiday Inn Express, Downtown, for Hotelier of the Year. Other winners included: Project Host for Outstanding Community Service; Ballentine Equipment Company for Hospitality Supplier of the Year; and Debbie Taylor, Donaldson Career & Technology Center, for Educator of the Year.


UBJ SQUARE FEET Carbures Announces Expansion By Sherry Jackson | staff |

Carbures, a company that engineers and manufacture carbon fiber structures for the defense, aerospace and automotive industries, announced expansion plans last week for its production facility at the S.C. Technology and Aviation Center in Greenville. Based in Spain, the company designs and develops products, materials and composites and provides comprehensive related services to meet the demands of industry through a proprietary process technology utilizing carbon fiber to create structures that are lighter, stronger and more durable, according to the company’s website. Carbures opened the 40,000-square-foot Greenville location in July 2011. During an International Center of the Upstate’s Global Professionals event series

tour last week, Carbures USA CEO Ivan Contreras announced plans to add an additional 50,000 square feet to its current Greenville facility to accommodate expansion in the aerospace market. Carbures will be making a decision no later than second quarter 2014 on whether the company will add on 55,000 square feet to its existing facility or look at other space already available near their current location. “We need a minimum of 40,000 square feet,” said spokeswoman Kristin Cannon-Roach. Cannon-Roach also said Carbures expects to “hire a minimum of 50 new employees over the next year,” and will work with ReadySC to find qualified applicants.

FOR SALE: Savoury Corner LISTED FOR: $562,000

LOCATION: 99 Cleveland St., Greenville

INCLUDES: 2,000-square-foot building on approx. .25 acre, and all equipment

LISTING AGENT: Matt Carter at Prudential C. Dan Joyner

A downtown Greenville lunchtime favorite has been listed for sale. The Savoury Corner, a family-owned business since 1987, is listed for $562,000. The selling price includes the 2,000-square-foot building on approximately a quarter acre, along with all equipment. The property currently has seating for 50 people plus outdoor seating. Equipment included in the sale includes a grille, hood, walk-in refrigerator and a walk-in freezer. Matt Carter at Prudential C. Dan Joyner is the listing agent. The property is located at 99 Cleveland St. Attempts to contact the Savoury Corner for comment were unsuccessful.


KI Plans $11.5M HQ in Greenville County By Sherry Jackson | staff

KI Logistics recently announced plans for a new $11.5 million, 206,000-square-foot North American headquarters at The Matrix Business and Technology Park at U.S. Highway 25 (Augusta Road) and Interstate 185 in southern Greenville County. The logistics company is a subsidiary of Kimura Inc., a manufacturer of steel containers and racks for the automotive market, which already operates a 70,000-square-foot facility in Laurens. KI Logistics is expected to generate as many as 149 new jobs over the next few years and will provide logistics support to its manufacturing customers such as Drive Automotive, JTEKT and Toyota. “Our mission is to provide leading-edge logistics capabilities, superior customer service, operational excellence and rapid delivery to support manufacturing customers in industries including automotive, pharmaceuticals, consumer goods and general industry arenas,” said Harry Chase, vice president of logistics. “KI Logistics is a wonderful example of an international business that is using world-class technol-

ogies and lean processes to expand their brand in the Upstate,” said Dr. Bob Taylor, board member of the Greenville Area Development Corporation and chairman of Greenville County Council. “The company is a globally respected business focused on innovation and known for its community involvement, and we welcome them to Greenville County.” Chase said that KI’s systems “are based on a culture of continuous improvement to enhance results while lowering costs for customers” and that the company intends “to make this facility a showcase of our expertise, efficiently assisting clients in optimizing their supply chain and operations while teaching and training a new generation of associates to embrace the lean tools and processes we embrace organizationally.”  Chase added that he “believes Upstate South Carolina is the ideal location to attract and retain the workforce, and the customers, that we want.” The company will hold a private groundbreaking at the site on Nov. 12 and expects to begin operations at the completed facility in July 2014.

UBJ SQUARE FEET Repairing the Gadgets That Keep Us Mobile Staymobile opens franchise location in Spartanburg


By Sherry Jackson | staff |

Staymobile, a service franchise providing electronic repair, accessories and protection for businesses and consumers, opened in Spartanburg last week, providing those who are dependent on handheld devices, smartphones and tablets a quick, local place to get them repaired. “Our devices are extensions of ourselves,” says Brian Hammond, co-owner of the new Staymobile location. “Think about your daily routine. You lose or break your smartphone or tablet, and you’re derailed. How much time can you afford to waste to get back on track? This issue touches just about everybody, and that’s why we’ve invested in opening Staymobile in Spartanburg.” Customers may bring their devices (tablets, smartphones, and computers) in for repair at 179 N. Church St. Hammond says most devices can be repaired in about an hour and 90 percent within the same day. This is Staymobile’s sixth location and first in the Upstate. The business, formerly called SmartPhoneMD, was launched in 2010 out of the “back of a mattress store in Five Points in Columbia,” says Chuck Morrison, president and COO. But with a rapid growth plan (the parent company plans to have 100 locations by 2015), management thought it would be a good time to rebrand, not

knowing how long the smartphone reference would be around. Hammond believes the new name “has a broader reach,” and Morrison says the company intends to spread organically throughout the southeast from its Spartanburg launching pad. To that end, Hammond and his business partners, Eliot Stone and Kevin Crowley, have purchased the franchise rights for not only Spartanburg, but also Greenville, Charlotte, Anderson, Asheville and Johnson City, Tenn. The partners already own seven Firehouse Subs locations and Bob’s Car Wash in Spartanburg. Hammond says the partners saw an opening Staymobile could fill by observing family and friends needing a place to go to get their phones fixed quickly, with no such place available. “We’re in the service business and in the trust business,” Morrison said. “It helps to have great franchisees like Brian, Eliot and Kevin, who all grew up in Spartanburg. It’s also a great location coupled with their great business relationships in the community.” Hammond said customers can expect to pay around $90 to repair an iPhone 4 with a cracked screen and $180 for a cracked iPhone 5 screen. Other repairs such as a broken button or camera are usually less expensive. Staymobile pro-


GO FIGURE There are more than

326 million

wireless subscribers in the U.S. That figure should

increase 17% Hundreds of thousands over the next four years

of wireless devices sold each day Source: CTIA – The Wireless Association

vides a lifetime warranty on all of their repairs and their technicians are trained and go through background checks to ensure data privacy, Hammond said. In addition to selling accessories such as cases, earbuds and local college logo accessories, Staymobile also will purchase old and broken phones. “We’ll buy an iPhone 4 right now for about $40-$75,” Hammond said. Staymobile is also working with area schools and businesses to be their preferred repair provider. The company plans to open the Greenville and Anderson locations early next year.

John Gray and Drew Stamm recently represented the Greenville County Library System in the purchase of a 10-acre site located at the intersection of Sunnydale Drive and Woodruff Road in the Five Forks area of Simpsonville. LANGSTON-BLACK REAL ESTATE, INC. ANNOUNCED: Jim Griffin recently represented Christopher Brock in the sale of his property located at 4318 E. North St., Greenville, which consists of a 3,000 SF office situated on 0.69 acre. The property was listed, sold and closed in less than 60 days by Griffin. This will be the new location for a local audiology company. COLLIERS INTERNATIONAL ANNOUNCED: Givens Stewart and Richard Jackson brokered the sale of a 528,000 SF industrial building to Colgate Palmolive. Stewart and Jackson represented the seller in this transaction. The building is located at 5421 U.S. Hwy. 25, Hodges.

Decades of Trust. Confidence in the Future. 1993




2003 2006

864.467.0085 WWW .M ARCHANT C O . COM


The Marchant Company and Marchant Property Management would like to thank everyone for supporting our companies over the last 20 years. We look forward to the next 20 and more!



New hires, promotions & award winners can be featured in On The Move. Send information & photos to onthemove@upstatebusiness






Nicole Viscome

Teresa Medlin

Robb Brown

Sharon Hasty

Claude Robinson

Named an account executive at VantagePoint Marketing. Viscome is a graduate of Northeastern University in Boston, where she majored in communications. She was most recently at Think Up Consulting.

Welcomed as vice president of human resources at Ob Hospitalist Group. Medlin was most recently employed with Bradshaw Automotive Group and has more than 20 years’ experience in all facets of HR.

Joined law firm Clawson and Staubes LLC. Brown is a member and former chairman of the South Carolina Bar’s Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee. He is a 2013 Super Lawyers Rising Star and attained the peer review rating of AV by Martindale-Hubbell.

Joined Coldwell Banker Caine as a residential sales agent at its Spartanburg office. Previously, Hasty served as senior tax advisor for Hills & Frank Financial Group. She also has experience as an interior design consultant.

Joined Park Sterling Bank as South Carolina Community Markets president. Robinson most recently served as Upstate president for Countybank in Greenville. Prior to that, he held various leadership roles, primarily in the Greenwood area.

ACCOUNTING/FINANCIAL SERVICES: Scott and Company LLC recently promoted Kelly Damiano and Chelsea Shoolbred to in-charge accountants on the Assurance and Advisory Services team, and Ryan LaBrooy to in-charge accountant on the firm’s Tax and Advisory Services team. Damiano joined Scott and Company in 2012 and is a graduate of the University of South Carolina with a B.S. in retail management and a Master of Accountancy degree. Shoolbred is a graduate of University of South Carolina Upstate with a B.S. in business administration who earned her Master of Public Accountancy from Clemson Univer-

sity. LaBrooy joined Scott and Company LLC in late 2012. He has more than three years of experience dealing with individual, corporate and partnership taxation needs of clients. MEDICAL: Bon Secours St. Francis Health System recently welcomed physician John S. Minasi MD to Carolina Surgical Associates and to the Bon Secours Medical Group (BSMG). Minasi’s specialty is general surgery and he is board-certified by the American Board of Surgery. Greenville Health System recently announced that Jan Lienau, an infection pre-

VIP ANDY DOUGLAS Promoted to managing director and private client advisor at U.S. Trust. Douglas previously served as U.S. Trust’s managing director of strategic risk associates. Prior to joining U.S. Trust, he was vice chairman; president and chief retail officer; and executive vice president at the Palmetto Bank. He also worked for Carolina First, Interstate Johnson and Rock Hill National Bank.


ventionist at the Greer Memorial Hospital, has been named Infection Preventionist of the Year by the Palmetto Chapter of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC). NONPROFIT: The American Cancer Society recently welcomed DeLisa Simon-Dawkins as senior representative, community engagement. Simon-Dawkins began her career in healthcare more than 20 years ago in various capacities. Prior to joining ACS, she worked for The Blood Connection and most recently the Gibbs Cancer Center and Research Institute. She is a graduate of Medical University of South Carolina and Strayer University. The Humanities Council recently announced that L. Andrew Westboork III has been elected as the new chairman. Westbrook is regional president of South Carolina Bank and Trust, located in Easley. He joined the board of directors of the Council in 2010. PUBLIC RELATIONS/MARKETING: Infinity Marketing recently promoted Bo Rogers to client services manager; Shelley Willner, Chris Sweeney, and Melissa Burkhamer to media buyers; and

Cassie Palacino to senior graphic designer. Rogers previously worked for Spinx in the marketing department and is a graduate of the University of South Carolina Upstate with a bachelor’s in communications. Willner is an alumna of Lander University in Greenwood with a degree in business administration and an emphasis in marketing and management. Previously, she worked at Verizon Wireless as an apprentice and at Eaton Chemical as a marketing assistant. Sweeney is a graduate of Clemson University, where he earned a bachelor’s in marketing with a minor in advertising. Burkhamer is an alumna of Lander University in Greenwood. She has a degree in business administration with an emphasis in marketing and management and previously worked for the Marriott in Spartanburg. Palacino is a graduate of Anderson University with a degree in graphic design. TRANSPORTATION: Southeastern Freight Lines recently announced that John Greene has been promoted from an A-class technician to fleet services manager. Greene has more than 20 years of fleet service experience with 18 of those years at Southeastern. He started working part-time at Southeastern while attending Greenville Technical College.




1. Arthur Rutenberg Homes recently opened at 46 Parkway Commons Way in Greer. The business is a joint venture between custom builder Bruce Pasquarella and Prudential C. Dan Joyner Realtors. It will allow customers access to a streamlined approach to custom building, as architects and interior designers are on staff. For more information, visit or call 864-879-8081.

2. Habitat for Humanity of Greenville County recently opened its first ReStore in the Golden Strip community at 10017 Pelham Pointe in Simpsonville. The 12,000-square-foot store is Habitat’s third location in Greenville County.

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5. Doyle Chiropractic recently cut the ribbon at 684-A Fairview Road in Simpsonville. For more information, call 864-881-4221 or visit

6. Greenhill Pharmacy recently opened at 2351 Woodruff Road, Suite 107, in Simpsonville. For more information, call 864-520-1550.


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4. Ollie’s Bargain Outlet recently opened at 2100 Wade Hampton Boulevard (site of the old Kmart) in Greenville. For more information, visit

3. Upstate Eye Care recently held a ribbon-cutting at 429 Roper Mountain Road, Building 200, in Greenville. For more information, call 864-372-2020.

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UBJ PLANNER MONDAY NOVEMBER 11 GCS ROUNDTABLE The Office Center at the Point, 33 Market Point Drive, Greenville; 8:309:30 a.m. Speaker: Rich Witowski Topic: Behavioral Event Interviews Request an invitation from Golden Career Strategies at 864-527-0425 CLEMSON MBA WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP ROUNDTABLE Clemson at the Falls, 55 E. Camperdown Way, Greenville; noon-1 p.m. For information: Contact Amy Burka at burka2@ Register at: WLRT_Nov2013 MAC USERS GROUP Grace Baptist Church, 5020 Old Spartanburg Rd., Taylors; 6:30-8:30 p.m. Attendees share tips, discuss the latest news and enjoy the company of other Macintosh users.

TUESDAY NOVEMBER 12 BUSINESS BEFORE HOURS Commerce Club, 55 Beattie Place, Greenville; 7:30-9 a.m.

Cost: $8.50 for those who pre-register or $12 at the door. Open only to Chamber members. Contact: Lorraine Woodward at 864239-3742. If you are a Commerce Club member, contact Dot Drennon at ddrennon@ ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES COMMITTEE UPDATE Greenville Chamber of Commerce, 24 Cleveland St., Greenville; 8-9 a.m. Speaker: Catherine Templeton, director of SC DHEC For information: Contact Elizabeth Edwards at eedwards@ SHINE THE LIGHT ON YOUR NONPROFIT MARKETING & PUBLIC RELATIONS WORKSHOP Mary Black Foundation Assembly Room, 349 E. Main St., Spartanburg; 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Cost: $25, includes lunch Register with: Cece Brown at cbrown@ with the name and title

Contribute to our Planner by submitting event information for consideration to of person attending, the nonprofit organization, email address & phone number. LUNCH AND LEARN Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce, 105 N. Pine St., Spartanburg; noon-1 p.m. Speaker: Lindsey Stemann, Intero Advisory



Topic: Leverage LinkedIn to Create Your Competitive Advantage Cost: Free to attend with drinks provided. Attendees are asked to bring lunch.

Register at: 864-594-5023 or

Open to Chamber members only. Contact: Meric Gambel at mgambel@ spartanburgchamber. com or 864-594-5030 if non-member GREENVILLE (DOWNTOWN) ROTARY MEETING Westin Poinsett Hotel, 120 S. Main St., Greenville; noon For information: BUSINESS AFTER HOURS Thomas McAfee Funeral Homes Southeast, 1604 NE Main St., Simpsonville; 5:30-7:30 p.m.

STAFF WRITERS Sherry Jackson, Cindy Landrum, April A. Morris



Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce, 105 N. Pine St., Spartanburg; 8-9:30 a.m.



RSVP to: Judy Harris at info2@mauldinchamber. org or 864-297-1323

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Dick Hughes, Jenny Munro, Jeanne Putnam, Leigh Savage

Contact: Joy Owens at jowens@

Cost: $25 for members, $26.62 for non-members Register at: GSATC_Nov2013

CityRange Steakhouse Grill, 774 Spartan Blvd., Spartanburg; noon-1:30 p.m. Speaker: Dana Knight, SC Works Upstate The event is open to all members and guests Register at: 864-594-5000 or GREENVILLE ROTARACT CLUB Saffron’s, 31 Augusta St., Greenville; 5:30-7 p.m.

Piedmont Natural Gas, 100 Woodruff Industrial Lane, Greenville; 8-9:30 a.m.

Contact: Lindsey Stemann at

GSA TECHNOLOGY COUNCIL LEARNING LUNCH Embassy Suites Hotel, 670 Verdae Blvd., Greenville; 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

ENTREPRENEURIAL READINESS TD Bank, 104 S. Main St., Second Floor, Greenville; 5:30-7:30 p.m. Cost: $20 with refreshments provided Register at: events/upstate

Speaker: Jerry Barber, founder and CEO, Barber Wind


Topic: Lessons in Entrepreneurship

Commerce Club, 55 Beattie Place,

MARKETING & ADVERTISING SALES REPRESENTATIVES Lori Burney, Kristi Jennings, Donna Johnston, Annie Langston, Pam Putman MARKETING & EVENTS Kate Banner DIGITAL STRATEGIST Emily Price

INTERN Benjamin Jeffers PHOTOGRAPHER Greg Beckner ART & PRODUCTION ART DIRECTOR Kristy M. Adair PRODUCTION MANAGER Holly Hardin ADVERTISING DESIGN Michael Allen, Whitney Fincannon


Copyright @2013 BY COMMUNITY JOURNALS LLC. All rights reserved. Upstate Business Journal is published weekly by Community Journals LLC. 148 River Street, Suite 120, Greenville, South Carolina, 29601. Upstate Business Journal is a free publication. Annual subscriptions (52 issues) can be purchased for $65. Postmaster: Send address changes to Upstate Business, 148 River St., Ste 120, Greenville, SC 29601. Printed in the USA.

Cost: $5 to cover meeting space and one drink at the bar For information: visit



For information: visit

Greenville; 6 p.m.

THURSDAY NOVEMBER 14 LUNCH AND LEARN City Range, 615 Haywood Rd., Greenville; 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Speaker: Nancy Kuppich, senior product manager from Customer Effective Topic: CRM and Becoming Mobile: How It Helps Your Business Cost: $20 in advance through or $25 at the door For information: visit WOMEN’S BUSINESS NETWORK Events at Sapphire Creek, 401 N. Main St., Simpsonville; 6-7:30 p.m. Featuring: CityScape Winery for an evening of wine tasting and social networking Cost: $15 for Simpsonville Chamber members, $25 for non-members Contact: Jennifer Richardson at jrichardson@


EVENTS: events@


UBJ SNAPSHOT City Fire Department. The fire department was located on the McBee Avenue side of the 1879 City Hall. The tower bell was used to warn residents of fires. First the bell would ring for about one minute. After a brief pause, the bell would ring the number of the city ward where a fire was burning. Volunteer firemen would then scramble to their station and on to the scene of the fire.


Today the 1879 City Hall and the fire department are gone. Office and retail space, the Bubbly Blow Dry Bar and the Cazbah Restaurant now stand where the Greenville City Hall once stood on McBee Avenue. From “Remembering Greenville: Photographs from the Cox Collection” by Jeffrey R. Willis. Historic photo available from the Greenville Historical Society.


Giving Thanks

Join us for our November salon where we will examine the role of gratitude in our lives. Tues., Nov. 19th, 6:00-7:30 pm TED Videos followed by an interactive group discussion. Thank you to our sponsors!

Admission is free, but registration is required. Visit to register or for more information.

Spartanburg Rehabilitation Institute (SRI) is now ready to serve your community.

Come by and meet the newNeighbors We’d love to give you a tour of the place

Call us today to take a tour of our brand new, state-of-the-art facility. You will have the opportunity to meet our friendly staff and get a special behind-the-scenes look at how we work hard every day to offer a highlevel of specialized care for those recovering from a stroke, brain, spinal cord or orthopedic injury and other impairments. 864.594.9600

SRI is part of the Ernest Health network of facilities. Eight of Ernest’s rehabilitation hospitals have consistently ranked in the top 10% of Inpatient Rehab Facilities in the United States by UDSMR®. Ernest Health strives for all their hospitals to receive this recognition.

To learn more about SRI and our services, visit our website at

160 Harold Fleming Court • Spartanburg, SC 29303 • ph: 864.594.9600


Supporting small business is part of who we are. It isn’t just talk. We also walk the walk. No other lender has funded more SBA loans in South Carolina than CertusBank. Supporting small business is, quite simply, just part of who we are. CertusBank, N.A. Member FDIC.

Equal Housing Lender Š2013 CertusHoldings, Inc. All rights reserved. CertusBank, N.A. is a trademark of CertusHoldings, Inc. #1 ranking by loan volume as reported by the U.S. Small Business Administration FY2013.

Nov. 8, 2013 UBJ  

Upstate Business Journal published for the Upstate of South Carolina.

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