MAY 5, 2017 | VOL. 6 ISSUE 18
4 Years 7 Partners 21 Kids
Stripes BREWING BEER IS NOW THE FAMILY BUSINESS
Clockwise from the top: Jeremy Bailey, Michael Robinson, Aaron Robinson, Robbie Andrews, Jason O’Neal, Kenworth Reeves, Brandon Andrews. Photo by Alex Reynolds/Taylors Mill
THE NEXT BIG TECH BOOM • RICHARD KRAUSE, CHAIRMAN OF THE PADDLEBOARD • SC’S $21 BILLION BUSINESS
THE RUNDOWN |
TOP-OF-MIND AND IN THE MIX THIS WEEK
VOLUME 6, ISSUE 18 Featured this issue: Will SC be the next “wind hub”?.........................................................................................10 First Look: 13 Stripes..............................................................................................................12 Q&A: Confluence Outdoor CEO Richard Krause......................................................14
WORTH REPEATING “This is not our first rodeo.” Page 5
“Now we know how to make the content. The rest should be a piece of cake. Right?” Page 6
“You would not trust your sales effort to ‘Aunt Mary’s son who goes to Clemson,’ and yet many businesses do just that with their technology.” Page 18
On the Aug. 21 eclipse “If it takes a solar eclipse to get you to this cool and outdoorsy South Carolina town, then so be it.” A perspective drawing shows the future Daniel Building in downtown Greenville at its official groundbreaking on June 29, 1964. Photo from the Coxe Collection, Greenville County Historical Society. 2
UBJ | 5.5.2017
Men’s Journal, naming Greenville one of its “19 Best Places to Catch the Great American Solar Eclipse.”
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The Big Green The forestry industry’s surprising $21B impact on the economy ANDREW MOORE | STAFF
The S.C. Forestry Commission celebrated its 90th anniversary by planting a tree on the State House grounds in Columbia. Photo by S.C. Forestry Commission.
South Carolina’s forests contribute over $21 billion annually to the state’s economy and provide more than 84,000 jobs, according to a study recently published by Clemson University. The figures were announced by the S.C. Forestry Commission earlier this week during a “Forest Day” press conference on the State House grounds celebrating the commission’s 90th anniversary. The study, which was commissioned by a group of forestry organizations, was conducted by the university’s department of forestry and environmental conservation. It’s a culmination of a nearly decade-long initiative, according to Gene Kodama, director of the Forestry Commission. In 2009, the Forestry Commission, Forestry Association of South Carolina, and other partners launched the “20-by-15” project to increase the forestry industry’s economic impact from $17.4 billion in 2008 to $20 billion by 2015. “It was designed to help the forestry industry recover as quickly as possible from a recession that was just getting started,” said Kodama. South Carolina’s forests, which represent a $262 million investment, are the state’s most harvested crop, and forestry products are the top export commodity from the Port of Charleston, according to the study. “With forestry having a $21 billion economic impact on South Carolina, it is clear that this growing industry is a major component of the state’s diverse economy,” said S.C. Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt. “South Carolina is a state that is blessed with
a beautiful geography and an abundance of natural resources, and as a result, we’ve been able to cultivate a very successful forestry industry.” The state’s forestry industry covers a wide range of industries that include logging, timber, paper production and conversion, and a diversity of wood and finished or secondary product businesses, such as manufacturers of furniture or trim.
“The size and importance of forestry to our economy is not well known by the public, because a lot of the economic activity occurs at the wholesale level before consumers ever see the finished products. But those forest products are all around us, and we depend on them for many things from paper, packaging, and lumber to diapers, medicine, dyes, and more,” Kodama said.
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All Eyes on Us Canadian Chamber head champions South Carolina TREVOR ANDERSON | STAFF
email@example.com One of Canada’s top business leaders said his nation’s industry and citizens are eyeing the Upstate and South Carolina. Perrin Beatty, president and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, made a stop in Greenville and Spartanburg counties on Monday, April 24. Beatty, a native of Ontario, Canada, and Louise Blais, consul general of Canada based in Atlanta, met with Gov. Henry McMaster and S.C. Sec. of Commerce Bobby Hitt to discuss their country’s trade relationship with the Palmetto State. “The relationship between the U.S. and Canada is kind of like a good
“Our two countries share a lot of the same values. … The last thing you want is investors holding back.” Perrin Beatty
Perrin Beatty marriage, where there are very few, if any, complaints,” Beatty said. “It’s one of the most successful trading relationships in the world. … We don’t
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just sell things to each other. We build things together. We need to not take that relationship for granted.” As part of his visit, Beatty toured BMW Manufacturing Co. and said he was blown away by the technology and expertise in the plant, which is the German automaker’s largest manufacturing facility in the world in terms of volume. Beatty pointed to the success of Canadian automotive supplier Magna, which is constructing a $29 million, 230,000-square-foot plant at Tyger River Industrial Park in Spartanburg County. The plant will build seats for BMW and is expected to create about 480 jobs. “Canadians are made to feel at home here,” Beatty said. “There is great potential for us to work together. We really need to focus on each other.” He said about 750,000 Canadians visit South Carolina each year, which results in a more than $300 million economic impact annually. Canada is South Carolina’s third-largest export market, worth $3.7 billion in 2015. The state imports about $3 billion in goods from Canada each year. Beatty said Canadian companies employ 9 million people in the U.S., including 165,000 in South Carolina. He praised Hitt and McMaster for their interest in strengthening ties with Canada.
“Canada is consistently ranked as a top destination for exported goods, and has a longstanding, successful relationship with South Carolina,” Hitt said in an email. “We appreciate that Canadian companies continue to invest in South Carolina, finding our state to be an ideal business location. I look forward to continuing our work — and further strengthening the state’s partnership — with Canada for many years to come.” Beatty said both countries should work together to develop cutting-edge technologies, particularly in the automotive sector. Beatty expressed some uncertainty about the impact of trade tariffs and the tightening of border security on U.S.-Canada trade relations, but remained optimistic. He said he is excited about the potential for both countries to work together on Keystone XL, a pipeline that would connect oil producers in Canada and North Dakota with refineries along the Gulf Coast. “Our two countries share a lot of the same values,” he said. “We are allies in the war on terrorism. We have the same commitment to border security. … the last thing you want is investors holding back.” According to its website, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce has 200,000 members and is that nation’s largest national business association.
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ANNOUNCING THREE DAILY NONSTOP FLIGHTS TO
Carol Blackburn, left, and her business partner Jane Brainard have opened Scarlett’s High Cotton at 3275 Reidville Road in Spartanburg.
Scarlett’s High Cotton seizes the plus-size, consignment market TREVOR ANDERSON | STAFF
firstname.lastname@example.org Two entrepreneurs in Spartanburg have taken their boutique concept to another level. Carol Blackburn and Jane Brainard have opened Scarlett’s High Cotton in a 4,000-square-foot space at 3275 Reidville Road beside Carolina Traditions. The store is an expanded version of the one the owners opened in Cowpens in 2015. That venture was a combination of Blackburn’s plus-size women’s consignment business, Scarlett’s Consignment, with Brainard’s Liza Jane antique store and homemade desserts. With this version, the owners have added some new items and opened up the space to a variety of local vendors. They hope it will become a retail destination on Spartanburg’s west side. “We are really excited about this store,” said Blackburn, who started her consignment business after she was laid off a manufacturing company in 2009. “We plan on building it up one day at a time.” On the clothing side, Scarlett’s High Cotton carries Magna, a clothing line from the Netherlands. Sizes range from 1X to 3X. Blackburn said she has plans to attend AmericasMart in Atlanta every six weeks to buy new merchandise for
the store, although she is still consigning clothing, shoes, and handbags from local residents. Brainard has brought in a selection of her vintage and antique furniture, and other repurposed items from Liza Jane’s. The store also has a line of soy candles. “This is not our first rodeo,” Brainard said. “We have done this before, and we’re hoping that it works again in our new locations.” Blackburn cut her teeth in clothing while she was in college. She worked at JCPenney at WestGate Mall in Spartanburg as a senior merchandising manager. Brainard is a former EMT. She moved to Spartanburg from Atlanta in 2003. The two women met in 2010 when Jane asked a friend where she could buy plus sizes. Blackburn operated a store off Reidville Road and then later moved to Oak Grove Road in the Country Corners shopping center. Brainard eventually moved her business Junk Whisperer into Blackburn’s old space off Oak Grove Road. Both women said they love people and building relationships. Blackburn said there are very few options for plussize women who want to buy fashionable clothing at a reasonable price. The owners said they plan to host a grand opening on May 6. 5.5.2017
CHICAGO! STARTING JULY 5, 2017
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Spartanburg couple sharpens focus on mental health tech company TREVOR ANDERSON | STAFF
email@example.com Sharpen, a technology company started in 2014 at The Iron Yard’s digital health accelerator in downtown Spartanburg, celebrated its official launch last week. Founded by CEO Robyn Hussa Farrell and her husband and COO, Tim Farrell, the software platform seeks to help individuals suffering from mental illness and their families. Sharpen can trace its roots back to 2006, when Robyn walked away from a career as a producer and performer in New York City. The reason: She produced a rock
musical that encouraged several of her closest friends and family members to seek treatment for addictions, depression, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and other mental illnesses. Farrell decided to found Mental Fitness, a national nonprofit that focuses on building overall health and resilience in youth through arts-based initiatives. She said her collaborations with national experts, researchers, and clinicians to build “evidence-based” programs eventually led her to The Iron Yard in Spartanburg, where she started the venture Resiliency Technologies. In 2015, their company was accepted into the S.C. Research Authority’s SC
Sharpen, which is a platform founded by Robyn Hussa Farrell and her husband, Tim Farrell, seeks to help individuals suffering from mental illness and their families. Launch Program. The Farrells were able to get some grant funding, but the company really began to pick up a head of steam after the couple participated in the public art project Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light in 2016. Through their video production company, White Elephant Enterprises, the couple co-directed the Video Village
installation at the Cammie Clagett Apartments in the Highland neighborhood. It was there that they met Brian Painter, a software engineer from Spartanburg, who helped them build the platform. The couple said they decided to change the company’s name to Sharpen. They will soon begin beta testing the
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mobile app. “Now we know how to make the content,” said Tim Farrell, an experienced filmmaker, television producer, and director of off-Broadway and regional productions. “The rest should be a piece of cake, right?” As part of the company’s launch, the Farrells announced a partnership with Upstate Warrior Solution (UWS), a nonprofit that works to improve the quality of life of U.S. military veterans and their families in Greenville, Spartanburg, Anderson, Oconee, and Pickens counties. The couple introduced the Sharpen Warrior app, which is a “white label” version of their Sharpen mobile and desktop app. It has been tailored to meet the specific needs of area veterans and their families. Robyn said the partnership was sparked in 2016 when she met UWS founder Craig Burnette. The couple said Burnette recognized how veterans could benefit from Sharpen’s method of developing tools and training. Sharpen Warrior includes lifesaving
training and tools to educate veterans, their families, educators, and clinical staff about post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, addiction, depression, and other conditions that impact veterans. The app will be available to the local veteran community at no cost. The couple said Sharpen will produce income from the sale of content via license keys to organizations that want to distribute the information to their employees or patrons. An organization can choose to offer the Sharpen app, or choose to create a white label platform. Organizations can also purchase training suites and tools in a variety of mental health or resiliency subject areas and offer them to their clients. The company is based in The GreenHouse Business Incubator on the third floor of the University of South Carolina Upstate’s George Dean Johnson Jr. College of Business and Economics at 160 E. St. John St.
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Detroit-style pizzeria will open in August at Drayton Mills Marketplace TREVOR ANDERSON | STAFF
firstname.lastname@example.org Drayton Mills Marketplace has landed a pizza joint. Karen Rampey, owner of Hendersonville, N.C.-based Pi-Squared Pizza, announced last Wednesday she has signed a lease on a 3,300-square-foot space behind a space that will soon house Melotte Enterprises, Mozza Roasters, and Bella Latte. Rampey, who opened the flagship location of her Detroit-style pizzeria in February at 1972 Haywood Road in Hendersonville, said the Drayton eatery is scheduled to open in August. It will be the company’s third store in addition to a second Spartanburg
County location that is expected to open in July at 2634 Highway 9 behind the freestanding Subway restaurant in Boiling Springs. “I’m so pumped,” Rampey said. “The partnership and support [from the developers] has been amazing. They have a vested interest in our success, as we do theirs. If one of us does well, that means we all do well.” The Marketplace is the commercial portion of the renovation of the 115-year-old textile mill that shuttered in 1994, but was reopened for redevelopment by Greenville-based Pacolet Milliken Enterprises in 2013. John Montgomery, principal of Spartanburg-based Montgomery
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Karen Rampey, owner of Hendersonville, N.C.-based Pi-Squared Pizza, announced Wednesday she has signed a lease on a 3,300-square-foot space at Drayton Mills Marketplace in Spartanburg. Development Group, is the majority owner of the Marketplace with Tara Sherbert, managing partner of Charlotte, N.C.-based TMS Development. The owner described her brand of pizza as square-shaped with a thick crust, cooked in a steel pan. She said the style was inspired by American servicemen who developed a taste for deep-dish pizza while in Europe during World War II. The Marketplace is located within
60,000 square feet of warehouses built between 1902 and the 1950s. It also includes the mill’s former 10,000-square-foot Romanesque revival-style company store. In addition to Pi-Squared, several other tenants have signed leases at the Marketplace, including developer Agracel Inc., Rick Erwin’s The Standard restaurant, and Burn Boot Camp.
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Seven diversity leaders to be honored
NEXT: 275 jobs added last year NEXT, the Greenville Chamber’s organization for high-impact entrepreneurs, says the 180 area companies that it supports added 275 full-time jobs in 2016. NEXT also says in its latest annual report that the companies together employ 902 people earning an average wage of more than $70,000 a year and raised $42.5 million in new capital last year. Among other accomplishments in 2016, NEXT says it hosted seven venture capital investors and that its volunteer mentors spent 1,245 hours giving free advice to 22 entrepreneurs. The 11-year-old organization and some of the companies that it supports occupy about 100,000 square feet of office space at three locations in Greenville. The locations are the NEXT Innovation Centerthe NEXT Innovation Center at 411 University Ridge, NEXT on Main at 101 N. Main St., and NEXT Manufacturing at 400 Birnie St. —Rudolph Bell
The Greenville Chamber and the Riley Institute at Furman will honor seven diversity leaders at the 13th Annual Upstate Diversity Leadership Awards next week. The event, hosted in partnership with the Anderson Area and Greater Greer Chambers of Commerce, recognizes “organizations and individuals for outstanding achievement in promoting diversity and inclusion in the Upstate.” The honorees are: William “Bill” T. Wylie Valued Lives Award for School Excellence in Diversity: St. Joseph’s Catholic School, for creating “a culture of understanding, dialogue, and respect among its students.” Outstanding High School Student Award: Ingrid Ramos, for being “passionate about helping provide an equal opportunity to all students in the community.” Outstanding College Student Award: Drew Copeland, a Wofford student who “took it upon himself to create a series of diversity programming that would bring awareness to racism.” Outstanding Nonprofit Organization Award: Speaking Down Barriers, which “aims to heal racial and social division by facilitating community dialogue, training, performances, and consultation for the community to learn how differences can be used as a source of collective strength.” Outstanding Business Award: Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., who “has focused on empowering their diverse workforce and providing best practice development opportunities that embrace diversity and foster inclusion.” Outstanding Contribution to International Diversity Award: Anju Saxena, a senior at Riverside High School who will attend Furman University this fall. Calder D. Ehrmann Outstanding Individual Award: Darian Blue, the senior pastor of Nicholtown Missionary Baptist Church and executive director of the Phillis Wheatley Association. The awards dinner will take place Wednesday, May 10, at the Hyatt Regency, starting with a 5 p.m. reception. —Staff Report
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Gain with the Wind The next big technology boom in the Upstate could come from a simple force of nature RUDOLPH BELL | STAFF
A construction crew erects a prototype wind turbine in Hooker, Okla., designed by Greenville inventor Jerry Barber. Photo provided by BarberWind Turbines
reenville has never been home to much of the energy industry, compared with cities such as Houston; Tulsa, Okla.; or Anchorage, Alaska. Turns out, though, Greenville beats every other metro area in the country in one narrow aspect of the industry: wind energy innovation. According to a new study from the Brookings Institution, a Washington, D.C., think tank, inventors in Greenville were responsible for 172 wind energy patents over the past five years, more than any other metro area in the country. Not bad for an area that isn’t windy enough for wind turbines to pay for themselves.
Big and Small Businesses
The biggest reason Greenville leads the nation in wind energy patents is because it’s home to General Electric Co.’s wind energy engineering team. The Boston-based conglomerate is the nation’s No. 2 maker of wind turbines. About 300 employees at its Greenville complex, most of them engineers, are constantly calculating and tinkering in an effort to improve the machines that resemble giant outdoor fans. But GE isn’t the only reason Greenville ranks high in wind patents. Local inventor Jerry Barber filed six of the wind 10
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energy patents that Brookings found originated in the Greenville area during the 2012–2016 period, according to his patent lawyer. Barber, who claims a total of 12 wind energy patents, founded and ran an amusement ride company in Greenville before turning his attention to wind energy seven years ago. His novel wind turbine design borrows features of a Ferris wheel. It uses five blades inside of a ring instead of the usual three blades with no ring. As the turbine wheel turns in the wind, it turns rubber tires along the rim of the wheel that are connected to a shaft that turns a generator. The arrangement is similar to how rubber tires along the rim of a Ferris wheel are used to turn it. Barber’s fledgling wind energy company, BarberWind Turbines, hasn’t yet begun manufacturing turbines, but it has erected a prototype in the Oklahoma panhandle for testing.
The fact that Greenville ranks No. 1 in wind energy patents is more than simply an interesting bit of trivia. According to the Brookings Institution, “Patenting activity has been shown to be positively correlated with regional economic health, as high rates of patent creation are geographically associated with
higher-than-average wages, lower regional unemployment, and more startup company activities.” Doug Kim, a local patent attorney who counts Barber among his clients, said Greenville could benefit economically if it establishes a reputation for innovation in wind energy. “If we become known as the place where all the smart people are for wind energy, we could create a wind energy hub,” Kim said. “Universities get involved, companies get involved, and it builds an ecosystem. Asheville and breweries. Silicon Valley and software companies. When an area gets a niche, the economy tends to thrive.”
A Missing Piece
So far, however, South Carolina doesn’t have much of what would be a key element of any wind energy industry cluster: manufacturing. The state Commerce Department lists just one wind energy manufacturer in the Upstate: A South Korean company called Iljin makes wind turbine bearings at a plant in Greer. Elsewhere in South Carolina, two other companies make wind turbine parts at factories in Sumter and North Charleston. GE used to manufacture wind turbine “machine heads” in Greenville, but moved that activity back to its main wind turbine plant in Pensacola, Fla.
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North Charleston, Too
Greenville isn’t the only place in South Carolina where GE conducts wind energy research. The company is the biggest user of Clemson University’s wind turbine drivetrain test facility in North Charleston, the SCE&G Energy Innovation Center, according to Ed Hall, general manager of engineering for GE’s onshore wind energy business. Hall, who is based in Greenville, said GE is currently taking 100 percent of the available time on one of two wind turbine test stands at the research facility, which was paid for in part by a $45 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy and which Clemson says is the most advanced facility of its kind in the world. GE also conducts wind energy research in Schenectady, N.Y., which is headquarters for its onshore wind energy business. The Brookings study found that area to be the nation’s No. 2 metro area for wind energy patents, with 109 over the five-year period.
Barber, the Greenville inventor, said his company has interested customers, but it can’t set prices yet because it can’t accurately calculate production costs and can’t say when product would be delivered. Unlike conventional wind turbines, Barber’s turbines don’t have a nacelle and gearbox mounted at the top of a tower, a difference he says makes them less expensive to buy, install, and maintain. Earlier this year, his company erected its 800-kilowatt model on the grounds of Tri-County Electric Cooperative in Hooker, Okla., as part of a demonstration project. Barber said the turbine with a wheel 170 feet in diameter is not yet connected to the electrical grid. “We’ve probably got another month of testing yet before we turn the switch on,” the 78-year-old Ohio native said. He’s also designed an offshore wind energy system that consists of two 1-megawatt turbines mounted on a barge. To help bring that system to market,
Barber said he’s struck an alliance with Keystone Engineering, a Louisiana company that designs platforms for offshore oil rigs and wind farms. Barber said he thinks a good market for his turbines is any place where diesel is used to generate electricity — such as islands in the Caribbean. It’s impractical to generate electricity with coal or natural gas on small island nations, he said. Barber said BarberWind has identified a factory in Concordia, Kan., to make its onshore turbine and the wheels of its offshore system. But there’s no agreement to make the products exclusively at the Kansas plant, he said. The manufacturing process does not involve sophisticated equipment, Barber said, adding, “There’s a dozen towns in South Carolina that have shops that could build our wind turbines.”
U.S. wind turbine market share (by installed capacity, 2016)
GE------------------41.6% Siemens------------10% All others----------5.4% Source: American Wind Energy Association
Wind energy patents by metro area of inventor, 2011-2016 Greenville-Mauldin-Anderson, S.C. -- 172.01 Albany-Schenectady-Troy, N.Y. -- 109.74 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, Calif. -- 76.48 San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif. -- 71.89 Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas -- 50.83 Source: Brookings Institution
Greenville is home to GE’s wind energy engineering team. Photo by Will Crooks.
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The 10-barrel brewing system, pictured above, was manufactured specifically for 13 Stripes by Deutsche Beverage Technology in Charlotte, N.C. Photo by Will Crooks
Lucky 13 After months of anticipation, Taylors Mill’s 13 Stripes Brewery is set to open ARIEL TURNER | STAFF
email@example.com When 13 Stripes Brewery opens May 13 at Taylors Mill, the four-year process of bringing a brewery from concept to reality has been a family affair for the seven partners. Aside from being related to each other by blood or law, as some of them are, the partners have been busy creating the next generation of brewers before this one even got off the ground: As of June, their collective number of children will reach 21. It was 16 when they started. “We are incredibly family-friendly,” says Kenworth Reeves, co-founder and partner responsible for sales and marketing, and a father of two boys, two girls, and one surprise on the way. “We want this to be a place for kids to come, too.” The evidence supports that sentiment. On the same day the brewery received its certificate of occupancy, tricycles and a red plastic kiddie bucket swing accessorized the rustic industrial aesthetic. 12
UBJ | 5.5.2017
Those additions are clearly not the norm for brewery décor, but they’re perfectly representative of these seven friends and business partners whose children have spent nearly as much time in the construction zone as they have. It’s easy to imagine toddlers pedaling around on the wide-open concrete floor while their parents quite literally built out the 8,000-square-foot warehouse space by hand. Hand-built and varnished wooden tables branded with the 13 Stripes logo now fill up much of that open space, with leather sofas and a bar faced with salvaged corrugated metal sheets taking up the rest. Robbie Andrews, partner and project manager, designed and built the tables and bar, along with many other features in the building. The 10-barrel brewing system lining the exterior wall was manufactured specifically for 13 Stripes by Deutsche Beverage Technology in Charlotte, N.C. For opening day, the customized system will brew and ferment five varietals if everything goes according to plan: a milk stout, IPA, pale ale, wheat ale, and pub
ale with another four within a few weeks. The menu will also include what they’re terming a “Rations Board” with locally sourced meats and cheeses and bread from SC Bakeroom. Three of the seven partners are now full-time employees — Aaron Robinson, director of operations; Jeremy Bailey, head brewer; and Michael Robinson, co-founder and brewer. As business ramps up, they plan to add to that number. Other partners include Jason O’Neil, “master of many trades,” and Brandon Andrews, CFO. In keeping with the emphasis on family, the members of 13 Stripes view their foray into the Upstate’s growing brewery scene as joining a close-knit community rather than a competitive industry. “They’re all super friendly,” Reeves says, referring to their comrades who own other local breweries. “It’s not typically dog-eat-dog.” Aaron Robinson says, for example, he’s spent time with other breweries discussing their recipes and asking what could be seen as proprietary information. “Any brewery will share their recipes,” Robinson
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A family-friendly brewery environment wasn’t just a preference for the seven partners as they planned out the space. With 21 children in the mix, it became a necessity. Photo by Alex Reynolds/Taylors Mill says of the local players. “We’ve asked many of them every aspect with no problem.” Reeves says they’ve discovered breweries to be a fun peer network where everyone supports each other. “It’s like an arts village, like [Taylors Mill],” Reeves says. “One artist’s studio wouldn’t be nearly as cool
as if you had 40.” Head brewer Jeremy Bailey chimes in, “The more people that start drinking craft beer the better.” Opening festivities on May 13 will include six food trucks (three each for lunch and dinner), a ceremony with the Sons of the American Revolution at 11 a.m.,
1. In addition to hand-built wooden tables that bear the brewery’s logo, the space also includes leather sofas.
live music from local musicians, a family-friendly DJ, and the The Wünderbus photo booth, along with caricature artists. Planned hours of operations are Monday–Thursday, noon–10 p.m.; Friday–Saturday, noon–midnight; and Sunday, 1–8 p.m. `
2. Bringing 13 Stripes Brewery to Taylors Mill has been a four-year process from concept to reality. 3. On opening day, 13 Stripes plans to serve a milk stout, IPA, pale ale, wheat ale, and pub ale.
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QUESTION AND ANSWER
Chairman of the Paddleboard A Q&A with Richard Krause, the new CEO of Confluence Outdoor RUDOLPH BELL | STAFF
ichard Krause became CEO of Greenville-based Confluence Outdoor in mid-February, replacing Sue Rechner, who ran the homegrown firm for nearly a decade. Confluence employs about 400 people making eight brands of kayak, canoe, surfboards, stand-up paddleboards, and paddle sports accessories. It distributes the product through about 900 dealers in the United States and Canada, from independent retailers such as Sunrift Adventures in Travelers Rest to big chains such as REI and Dick’s Sporting Goods. And while Confluence does business overseas, it does not operate online. UBJ interviewed Krause at the company’s 480,000 square-foot factory along Mauldin Road.
Photo by Will Crooks 14
UBJ | 5.5.2017
WHAT YOU WANT TO KNOW ABOUT PEOPLE YOU NEED TO KNOW
Did you know about Greenville before you took the job? I did, but my wife and I came down here to visit right before I took the job, and we both fell in love with the town. We actually moved this weekend.
You’ve run some other companies before? I’ve been a general manager since I was in my early 30s. Worked for Newell Brands for 13, 14 years. Worked at Fiskars brands as the global chief marketing officer and as the EVP of the international operations. Ran a big piece of business for ConAgra Foods. … I led a management team that built the world’s largest platform in bowhunting and archery accessories. It’s called FeraDyne Outdoors, and we sold that business.
Didn’t I also see something about you running a confectionary company? Yes. I ran the New England Confectionary Company. Necco candy. It was a massive turnaround. Necco wafers. Clark bars. Mary Janes. Really iconic brands. That was in Boston. So I did that for several years. … It was having difficulties. We got it into position where it was doing very well.
What is Conﬂuence’s market position as we speak? We are the No. 1 branded manufacturer and marketer of premium kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddleboards. So we’re a global player. We have business in Europe and Asia. We obviously have a significant amount of business in the States. But we are No. 1 in the category.
What are your biggest challenges in running Conﬂuence, and your biggest opportunities? The biggest opportunity is that the business can become, I believe, a lot bigger than it is. There’s a lot of white space potential that we’re going to begin to go after. … These brands are very powerful brands to consumers, and we think we can make them even more powerful. The biggest challenges we have are we’re in a very dynamic manufacturing environment in Greenville. … Getting the right people in the plant has been — not difficult, but it’s challenging. There’s a lot of options down here for different manufacturing companies, different types of positions. So we have to provide a good environment. We have to be on top of our game to retain good people.
You mention that you want to grow the company. How does that happen? It happens in a couple of ways. No. 1, it’s innovation, new product development. We’ve always been really good at that. We’re taking that up to the next level. The other area is to expand our distribution around the country, which we’re working on. … We do a lot of work with the big chain stores. We do work with REI, Dick’s Sporting Goods, those types of accounts. And to make sure that we’re doing everything we can to sell as much product through them, help them with merchandising and displays, inspire consumers at the store. So it’s really kind of a multi-prong attack, how we’re going to do this.
How much of Conﬂuence’s annual production occurs in Greenville? About 80 percent. We are a U.S.based company. We’re very proud of that. Greenville is in one of the big paddling sport areas of the country. We like being here. We like doing it here. We like controlling our quality. So it’s about 80, 90 percent occurs here.
So there’s no plan except to do the best we can with the company. … The job that they want done from the executive team is for us to optimize value and create value for our employees, our consumers, our customers, and our shareholders. And that’s our mission here. That’s a great environment to operate under instead of “I’ve got to get this thing ready to go to market in vwthree years.” So they’re a good firm.
Will you be able to continue that? Are there pressures on the company to go overseas with production? You know what, I’ve run a lot of manufacturing businesses. And if you do it right, you can manufacture in the U.S. If we took the premium kayaks overseas, we wouldn’t have the control over the quality, the innovation, what we want to do with the product. So we will make sure that we’re running this business in a way that allows us to continue to manufacture and grow jobs here and grow the business right here.
How long does J.H. Whitney & Co., the private equity ﬁrm that owns Conﬂuence, typically hold a company in its portfolio? Are they anywhere close to looking at an exit? No. … I’ve done private equity for the last 12 years, and unlike many other firms, they don’t have a set hold date. … They’re very positive in running their businesses. So what they want to do is grow the business and optimize it. They have businesses that they haven’t exited because they’re doing so well they hang on to them.
RICHARD KRAUSE Age: 54 | Hometown: Northbrook, Ill. | Education: Bachelor’s degree in industrial technology, Illinois State University, 1983 | Family: Wife, Kathleen Guetschoff | Together they have seven children.
BEST ADVICE EVER RECEIVED:
LAST TWO CEO JOBS:
Cycling, hunting, archery, and tennis. Just took his first lesson in whitewater kayaking at the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, N.C.
FeraDyne Outdoors, a manufacturer and marketer of archery and bowhunting accessories based in Superior, Wisc., 2011–2016. New England Confectionary Co., maker of NECCO wafers, Sweethearts, Clark Bars, and other candies, based in Revere, Mass., 2008-2011.
“It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to make businesses run.”
FAVORITE OUTDOOR PLACE: His farm in northern Wisconsin.
WHAT ’S NEXT FOR THE UPSTATE, AND HOW WE’LL GET THERE
Oconee County Isn’t Standing Still By RICHARD K. BLACKWELL Executive Director, Oconee Economic Alliance
When you think of Oconee County, your first
There’s a saying in business that pretty much sums up the way the world works; you’ve probably heard it:
“What have you done for me lately?”
• Oconee County is home to more than 60 industry-related companies and boasts a labor shed of over 630,000 people.
In the case of my home, Oconee County, I’d like to rephrase it:
• Oconee County’s unemployment rate at the end of 2016 stood at 4.1 percent, its lowest point since 2001.
“Have you seen what we’re doing lately”? When you think of Oconee County, your first thoughts might well turn thoughts might well turn to memorable hikes in the foothills of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, a fun-filled day on Lake Jocassee or Keowee, or maybe a brush with history at Stumphouse Tunnel and Issaqueena Falls. Oconee County is filled with natural beauty that will always make it a wonderful destination. But lately, there’s been a lot more going on in our destination county. Think about this: When you see a Honda as you’re driving along Scenic Highway 11 to make the challenging hike to Lee Falls, consider that its engine valves were likely produced just down the road in Westminster. And when you come upon a Ford F-150 4x4 while you’re out admiring the fall foliage, don’t forget that it likely wouldn’t 16
be on the road without a transfer case that was manufactured in Seneca. That’s what we’ve been doing in Oconee County — lately. And those are really only two pieces of a much larger, ongoing effort to recruit industry and commerce to our county. Did you know:
UBJ | 5.5.2017
• Oconee County was named the Top-Performing Micropolitan Area in South Carolina by Site Selection magazine — not once, but for the past two years. There are many other statistics I could bring up; one I am particularly proud of is that, at the end of 2016, we had more Oconee County residents employed than at any other time in the county’s history. When you’re trying to attract top-tier businesses, these results look as good in boardrooms around the world as our mountain vistas do in person. To make sure these business leaders see our growing economic clout, we at the Oconee Economic Alliance are working hard to spread the word about what’s been going on here lately. We launched the Destination Oconee and Think Oconee initiatives to generate more awareness of what the county has to offer and to emphasize all the intangibles that make Oconee County great, and we are working
with the School District of Oconee County to deepen the messaging around our Made in Oconee campaign. At the high-school level, we’ve also introduced the NOW program. It’s not surprising that we’ve had success, and I think I speak for all of us at the OEA when I say I am humbled by the amount of success we’ve had. The OEA has ushered in $279 million in new capital investment since 2012, not to mention the accompanying 1,100 new jobs. Speaking of jobs, during 2016 Oconee County added an average of 106 people each month to companies’ payrolls — a remarkable feat. It’s not just what we’ve been doing lately, it’s what we’ll keep doing to stoke the engine. Among the projects on the drawing board now, and also in cooperation with SDOC, are plans for the construction of a new workforce campus within the industrial park; that facility is slated to open in late-summer 2018. We were honored when the OEA’s success was recognized by Global Trade magazine, which named us one of the Top Economic Development Corporations in the United States, a recognition that is likely to draw attention to our corner of the world. So maybe you grew up in the Upstate and have fond memories of family outings in our picturesque county; I invite you to take another look and see what’s been going on in Oconee County — lately.
MOVERS, SHAKERS, AND DISRUP TORS SHAPING OUR FUTURE
The Power of a Case Study MBA students can help the expectations of the business community By PRASHANT PRABHU Lecturer, Clemson University MBA Program
& GAIL DEPRIEST Director of Executive Leadership & Corporate Relations, Clemson University MBA Program
By locating the Clemson MBA program in downtown Greenville, Clemson has clearly signaled its intention to foster closer working opportunities with the Upstate business community. Any such opportunities will be viewed as being attractive only if they simultaneously meet the expectations of the business community, the students in the program, and the university faculty and administration. One such opportunity that is currently being explored consists of creating a forum where MBA students can work on real business projects connected to the business community. Since it is standard pedagogical fare in business school for courses to include case studies for learning, what if the MBA program proposed that its students look at concluded projects from the business community to study all the various business components of the project and summarize the findings in the form of a written case study? In a new MBA executive class that will launch this fall, corporate case study development, student teams construct their own case studies, tapping into the powerful industries in South Carolina. Producing these documents will require inquiry, writing, research, and analysis. Students in the class, which we will instruct, will document the success of organizations as well as make recommendations for further actions. Included in the case will be: • The purpose of the case study • The client’s statement of the business problem • The desired outcome — what were the stakeholders hoping for?
• The critical issues in the case and why each issue was important • The solution — clearly stating the solution that was adopted • A list of stakeholders and what is at stake for each of them • A list of possible solutions to the problem • The original plan for implementing and communicating the optimal solutions • The results The ambition is high in that it seeks to provide MBA students with a more comprehensive experience that covers multiple business disciplines — much as they would be called to do in the real business world, which they aspire to join upon graduation. In their MBA curriculum, this kind of work is typified by the variety of case studies they discover and from which they are expected to extract valuable and relevant learning for use later in their professional life. For the students, such an exercise will provide them the opportunity to apply what they are learning in the MBA program. For the business community, such an exercise will provide them with an opportunity to have an unbiased and objective view of its concluded project(s) delivered as a written case study, which could serve as a lesson to instruct future projects. It is sometimes lamented that businesses do not always do a good job of learning lessons from their work — only to end up repeating previous mistakes. It is well known and sometimes lamented that students today are insufficiently prepared to communicate effectively in the business world.
The ambition is high in that it seeks to provide MBA students with a more comprehensive experience that covers multiple business disciplines — much as they would be called to do in the real business world. By providing a platform in which the business community can receive an output and documentation it often does not generate on its own, while giving MBA students an opportunity to examine and study projects, apply-
ing the skills they are acquiring to real-world projects under the guidance of Clemson’s MBA faculty, we will be able to meet the expectations and needs of all the stakeholders.
every saturday May - October from 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
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DIGITAL MAVEN |
THE TECHNICAL SIDE OF BUSINESS
Three places not to cheap out on technology By LAURA HAIGHT president, portfoliosc.com
Every “yes” has an equal “no.” Sure, we have all been inculcated with trite positivism like “Never say never,” “Have a can-do attitude,” and “There’s no such word as ‘No.’” But those are slogans, and business is real life. Choosing to spend time on one aspect of the business means a reactive decision not to spend time on another. This awkward balancing act is just part of each business’ daily juggle. A lot of small businesses find a Solomon-like way of splitting the baby when it comes to technology: Use free stuff. I am a big fan of free stuff. But there are places where, as a business, free is not such a good deal.
Here are three places where the decision to cheap out could be hurting your business.
Virus and malware software
While virus and malware software don’t seem expensive on the face of it ($28 per year? Big deal), the cost adds up when you have multiple computers to protect. But this is not a good place to look to cut a few bucks out of the operating budget. Free versions offer the bare bones of protection with no company capabilities. And what you gain from a cost basis, you pay back in a level of uncertainty. Free software is a standalone product for each machine. The only way to know it’s running, that downloads are occurring as expected, and whether or not there have been any viruses or malware found, is to sit down at that machine and look. Given the state of security today and the mobility of the workforce, those limitations leave companies very exposed. In business-class versions, you have the ability to manage the software, see results at a glance, and configure policies that can make the virus software work effectively in diverse departments with different schedules. In its 2017 report on cybersecurity, Cisco noted that 95 percent of all the malware it analyzed was less than 24 hours old. That makes advanced detection capabilities available in some business-class versions even more significant. Free versions are based on known viruses or malware. Behavior-based malware detection, on the other hand, evaluates an object based on its potential.
Internet routers You could make a case for not even using a consumer-level router in your home, but you definitely don’t want one as the primary line of defense for your
UBJ | 5.5.2017
business. A consumer router has limited configuration options and is used primarily to distribute a Wi-Fi signal. There are probably three available ports to connect a network hub or switch, or other peripheral device. But few controls. Your business needs more. The biggest difference here, again, is management and the ability to control access to certain ports or services, to create virtual local networks (VLANS) so traffic can flow freely within workgroups while securing unrelated groups, to create and manage network identifiers (SSIDs), and to provide reports of attempted incursions. A big part of IT management is reviewing security logs. These can tell you if your network is being “pinged” or tested. Sometimes this is a normal function, but an abnormal amount of network activity is often a sign of hackers testing your security. Security logs can identify these efforts, so you can proactively monitor and potentially prevent an exposure.
Support Does your “yes” to hiring a new salesperson mean “no” to finding a good IT provider? Most of us have been led down a garden path by slogans like “plug
and play.” We’ve come to believe that running computers in your business is just like having a home computer or network. (In reality, a good number of those computers and networks may have been hacked already.) You would not trust your sales effort to “Aunt Mary’s son who goes to Clemson,” and yet many businesses do just that with their technology. All IT providers are not created equal, and one is not “just as good” as another. Your security suite and network hardware require management. More importantly, they require proactive review and action on the part of experience and responsible IT provider. Technology is integral to your business: Sales can’t happen without it, fulfillment can’t happen without it, and accounting can’t happen without it. Say “yes” to valuing its importance.
INSIDE THE UPSTATE’S NETWORKING AND SOCIAL SCENE
| SOCIAL SNAPSHOT
FYI FIDAY At last Friday’s Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce FYI Friday, officials from the Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System gave an update on the master plan and new technology. Photos provided
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ON THE MOVE |
PLAY-BY-PLAY OF UPSTATE CAREERS
Hired as a commercial relationship manager at United Community Bank. Hodge brings more than 15 years of experience in the commercial banking industry to her new role. Hodge has worked in a variety of industries including commercial and technical sales in recycling and chemicals and commercial real estate banking. Prior to joining United Community Bank, Hodge served as a commercial banking analyst for the commercial real estate team for BB&T.
Joined Southern First Bancshares Inc. as executive vice president, human resources. Prior to joining Southern First, Watrous worked at Fluor Corporation for 15 years in multiple human resource and talent development leadership positions, working in South Carolina, Georgia, California, and Texas. Earlier in her career, she worked as vice president at Bank of America for ﬁve years.
Joined SVN BlackStream as an associate advisor serving the Greenville market. After graduating from Wofford College in 2012, Cannon spent four years as a member of the management team for Wafﬂe House Inc. His previous experience as a division manager allows John to excel in client relations, negotiations, and prospecting.
Joined Gallivan, White & Boyd, P.A. as marketing director. Springett has over a decade of experience in marketing, event planning, and public relations with such companies as American Red Cross Southern California, Twentieth Century Fox, and Lexus Division of Toyota Motor Sales USA. Early in her career, Springett worked on consumer accounts for Disney Online, eBay, and Nike, and represented the famed Got Milk? creator, Jeff Manning, on several marketing campaigns.
Named a 2017 Distinguished Alumnus by the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). As senior clinical geneticist in the Greenville ofﬁce of the Greenwood Genetic Center (GGC), Rogers was recognized for his dedication and commitment to families impacted by a wide range of genetic disorders, as well as his scholarship, particularly in the identiﬁcation and study of Phelan-McDermid syndrome and the founding of the Phelan McDermid Syndrome Foundation (PMSF).
VIP JAMES G. TZOUVELEKAS Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices C. Dan Joyner, Realtors announced that it recently appointed James G. Tzouvelekas, CPA, CGMA, as chief financial officer. He will oversee financial activities, budgeting, bank/lender relationships, agent commission schedules, accounting, and financial strategic planning for C. Dan Joyner, Realtors. Tzouvelekas holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of South Carolina. He is a CPA and Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA).
MARKETING DX Marketing has been named a finalist in the 2017 Oracle Markie Awards. Established in 2006, the Markie Award recognizes innovation in data-driven marketing and highlights organizations that deliver the best of their brand using Oracle Marketing Cloud solutions. DX Marketing was selected as a finalist in the “best use of data” category, which recognizes organizations that use data in innovative and strategic ways and have seen their efforts pay off with improved customer experiences and Return on Investment (ROI). Infinity Marketing, a full-service marketing agency based in Greenville, has been named a winner in the 37th Annual Telly Awards for its “Food 20
UBJ | 5.5.2017
Speaks” video campaign for Fatz Cafe. With over 13,000 entries from all 50 states and numerous countries, this is truly an honor. Infinity won a Bronze Award for their short-form social media video entry, “Fatz Baby Back Ribs: Food Speaks,” created for Fatz Cafe, a subsidiary of Cafe Enterprises. The “Food Speaks” campaign leveraged the Fatz brand persona and the relatability of their Southern-style fare and restaurant culture.
ARCHITECTURE Craig Gaulden Davis has recently appointed five new shareholders. Andrea Kuhfuss, Charles Gunning, Gwinn Harvey, John Hansen, and Stuart Stenger have each taken on part ownership of the firm. With nearly three quarters of a century of combined experience at CGD, all five of these associates have the knowledge and good rapport necessary to lead CGD into its subsequent chapter. O’Neal Inc., a Greenville-based integrated design and construction firm, has recently hired Jason Smith as construction manager, Travis Ramsey as preconstruction manager, and Tim McMurray as construction manager. Smith has more than 20 years of construction management experience. He previously worked for Fluor, the United States Army Corps of Engineers, and Dow Chemical. Ramsey has more than 13 years of project management experience, previously working for IMOCO, MSS Solutions, and Industrial Piping Inc. McMurray has more than 25 years of construction management experience. He previously worked for Yates, BE&K, and Fluor.
CONTRIBUTE: New hires, promotions, & award winners may be featured in On the Move. Send information and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE FRESHEST FACES ON THE BUSINESS LANDSCAPE
Wyche launches online platform for intellectual inspiration
Wyche, P.A. has recently introduced its brainchild, Storytellers, an online platform for intellectual inspiration. Over the years, Wyche has developed a legacy of engaging with their clients about ideas and events outside the law. Some of these topics are monumentally important. Some are simply fun. All speak to an important part of the human spirit – curiosity and the desire to grow. It is with this shared appreciation for learning that Wyche has launched Storytellers. In the form of books, articles, and videos, Storytellers provides opportunities to think and to look at the world from a different point of view.
Southern First announces pricing of public offering of common stock
Southern First Bancshares Inc. (NASDAQ: SFST), holding company for Southern First Bank, announced on April 27 it priced its previously announced public offering of 700,000 shares of common stock at $32.75 per share for gross proceeds of $22.9 million. The company expects to close the sale of the shares of common stock on or about May 2, subject to customary closing conditions. Southern First has also reported net income available to the common shareholders of $3.1 million, or $0.46 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2017. In comparison, net income available to common shareholders was $3.0 million, or $0.45 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2016. Gross loans increased 17 percent to $1.22 billion at Q1 2017, compared with $1.04 billion at Q1 2016. Total deposits increased 21 percent to $1.21 billion at Q1 2017, compared with $1 billion at Q1 2016. Core deposits increased 17 percent to $1 billion for Q1 2017, compared with $854 million for Q1 2016.
Open for business
| NEW TO THE STREET
1. Tropical Smoothie Café recently opened at Five Forks, 1118B Woodruff Road, in Greenville. Learn more at tropicalsmoothiecafe.com. Photo provided
Managed I.T. leader launches EDTS Cyber
EDTS is a nationally acclaimed and globally ranked I.T. provider that specializes in providing managed I.T. services, business continuity, and advanced infrastructure solutions to organizations across the United States. EDTS has recently launched EDTS Cyber LLC, a dedicated business unit focused exclusively on delivering advanced cyber security solutions, including network threat analysis and remediation, advanced cyber security monitoring, and cyber incident response. EDTS Cyber delivers SOC 2 Type 2 certified managed security services, supported by a state-of-the-art and PCI-compliant security operations center manned 24-7-365 by certified security professionals.
2. Earth Design recently moved to 1309 Grove Road in Greenville. Learn more about the landscape architecture and environmental design firm at earthdesignsc.com.
Immedion celebrates 10 years with new website launch
Immedion LLC, a premier provider of data center services including cloud, colocation, and managed services, recently celebrated 10 years of keeping its customers’ mission-critical data and systems safe, secure, and always on. In honor of this milestone, Immedion has launched a new, user-friendly website (immedion.com) featuring improved navigation and functionality throughout the site.
Carolina Alliance reports results for first quarter 2017
Carolina Alliance Bank (OTCQX: CRLN) has reported its first-quarter 2017 financial results. For the quarter ended March 31, 2017, net income available to common shareholders was $973,816, or $0.14 per diluted common share, compared to net income available to common shareholders of $918,743, or $0.14 per diluted common share, for the quarter ended March 31, 2016. This increase of approximately $55,000 in net income was largely attributable to increased non-interest income and a decrease in the current quarter’s income tax provision, partially offset by lower net interest income and an increase in the provision for loan losses.
3. Ellison on Broad is now open at 212 E. Broad St. in downtown Greenville. Learn more about the new apartments at ellisononbroad.com. CONTRIBUTE: Know of a business opening soon? Email information to email@example.com. 5.5.2017
INFORMATION YOU WANT TO KNOW
THE WATERCOOLER Social Chatter RE: TOPSIDE POOL CLUB OPENS MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND ON 7TH FLOOR OF FALLS PARK PLACE
RE: WOFFORD STUDENTS PITCH BUSINESS VENTURES IN TERRIER STARTUP CHALLENGE
“Another cool win for Greenville.”
“I’m so excited about the future of the Wofford Wrap! This extra money is going to help out A LOT!”
Greenville Vs. The World “And this place just gets better and better.”
Kat Terry “This looks like fun! Anyone have plans for Memorial Day weekend?”
Jessica Cox, Upstate Real Estate Agent
RE: DETROIT-STYLE PIZZERIA WILL OPEN IN AUGUST AT DRAYTON MILLS MARKETPLACE “I have remained hopeful that *someday* there will be good pizza available in Spartanburg. Looking forward to trying it.”
Scottie Kay Auton
RE: CANADIAN CHAMBER PRESIDENT AND CEO HOPES TO STRENGTHEN TIES TO SOUTH CAROLINA “As long as they are required to pay taxes, fine.”
“I am hearing so much about Spartanburg these days!”
Shannon Kelly “What a great story about our town! Exciting times for Sparkle City!”
Ken Fisher “Great seeing all the new businesses coming to Spartanburg.”
Bluestone Building Solutions “Love seeing such a vibrant city making a name for itself! Thanks @UpstateBiz for a great article!”
RE: HUB CITY ON THE CUSP
Chris VanDyke Pernot
“Saw this really nice and charming downtown yesterday at Spring Fling with the car show. This building looks really interesting.”
“Detroit-style pizza in S.C.? That’s awesome.”
Lori Toro Finger
“@SpartanburgCity has an amazing trajectory. If you haven’t checked it out lately (for business or for fun), you are missing out. #CRE”
2017 APRIL 28,
E 17 | VOL. 6 ISSU
DIGITAL FLIPBOOK ARCHIVE
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. upstatebusinessjournal.com/past-issues
1. Topside Pool Club opens Memorial Day weekend on 7th floor of Falls Park Place
2. Hub City on the Cusp
3. Detroit-style pizzeria will open in August at Drayton Mills Marketplace
G R U B N A T R SPA E CROSSROADS AT THE
t brings lopmen ty own deve b Ci of downt to the Hu A flurry sparkle back the
ST UDEN TS
’ VISION FO
• QU AR E VIL LA GE
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SA CT IONS
GET THE INBOX 4. Greenville becomes nerve center for growing United Community Bank
CONNECT We’re great at networking.
5. South State Bank cuts deal to absorb Park Sterling Bank
*The top 5 stories from the past week ranked by shareability score
UBJ | 5.5.2017
Follow up on the Upstate’s workweek. The Inbox – our weekly rundown of the top 10 local biz stories you need to know. upstatebusinessjournal.com/email
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WHERE DO I GO?
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Millennials in the Workforce
HTI’s Corporate Ofﬁce Training Room 105 N. Spring St. 8:30–9:15 a.m.
Cost: Free For more info: bit.ly/2oDLnHW
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Greenville County Library, Hughes Branch 25 Heritage Green Place 9:30 a.m.–4 p.m.
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MAY 19 THE INTERNATIONAL ISSUE Upstate, meet the world. World, meet the Upstate.
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jackson Marketing Group’s 25 Years
Chairman larry Jackson, Jackson marketing Group. Photos by Greg Beckner / Staff
Jackson Marketing Group celebrates 25 years
Kristy Adair | Michael Allen Anita Harley | Jane Rogers
EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Kristi Fortner
By sherry Jackson | staff | firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW HIRES, PROMOTIONS, AND AWARDS: email@example.com UBJ welcomes expert commentary from business leaders on timely news topics related to their specialties. Guest columns run 700-800 words. Contact managing editor Jerry Salley at jsalley@communityjournals. com to submit an article for consideration. Circulation Audit by
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.
JUNE 2 THE BUSINESS OF FOOD Good eats mean good profits.
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
1998 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 Jackson Dawson changes name to Jackson marketing Group when larry sells his partnership in Detroit and lA 2003
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-profnon-prof its. 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 lients 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 nit inVolVeMent nitY in ol inV olV V Ve eMent & 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
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HOW TO CONTRIBUTE STORY IDEAS:
1997 Jackson Dawson launches motorsports Division 1993
1990 Jackson Dawson
acquires therapon marketing Group and moves to Piedmont office Center on Villa.
ADVERTISING DESIGN CLIENT SERVICES
1988 Jackson Dawson opens in Greenville at Downtown Airport
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