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FEBRUARY 16, 2018 | VOL. 7 ISSUE 7

TAJH TOUCHES DOWN Clemson’s son returns to the Upstate in pursuit of his next passion: real estate

Will Crooks / Upstate Business Journal

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VOLUME 7, ISSUE 7 Featured this issue: Jump Start: Make Greenville Yours.............................................................................8 To hire or not to hire a PR firm...................................................................................17 The new targets of email compromise: small and mid-sized businesses......19

Indigo Flow & Art, a yoga studio at 1270 Pendleton St. in the Village of West Greenville, is scheduled to open Saturday, Feb. 17. The studio will offer vinyasa yoga classes seven days a week, with children’s classes offered on Saturday. A portion of class proceeds will be used to offer free classes to at-risk children. Read more on Page 6.

WORTH REPEATING “When we moved here, Greenville was nothing to take note of.” Mike Cruice, Page 8

“It kind of sells itself, because it’s such a unique project on its own.” Tajh Boyd, Page 14


On Winter Olympics ads “We look forward to adding to this milestone as the drama of the Games unfolds over the next few weeks.” Dan Lovinger, executive vice president of advertising sales for NBC Sports Group, on the broadcaster’s Feb. 8 announcement that national advertising sales for the Olympics in Pyeongchang surpassed $900M – a new record for the Winter Games




Spirits in the Sky Anderson-based Palmetto Distillery, SC’s first legal moonshine distillery, opens retail shop at GSP TREVOR ANDERSON | STAFF

The new retail space features seven of Palmetto Distillery’s brews available for sale or tasting. Photo by Trevor Anderson

Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport passengers will be able to take some Upstate spirit, or rather spirits, home with them when they fly. Anderson-based Palmetto Distillery has opened a 500-square-foot retail shop on the second floor of the airport’s main terminal just beyond the Transportation Security Administration’s centralized security checkpoint. Store manager Zach Taylor said the space is

designed to give flyers a mini version of the experience at Palmetto Distillery’s headquarters in Anderson and to expand the fan base of the brand’s craft moonshine and whiskey. “When GSP called us and asked if we’d like to be a part of the new retail mix in the renovated terminal, it was a true honor,” said Trey Boggs, who founded Palmetto Distillery in January 2011 with his brother, Bryan Boggs. “We knew it would be a unique opportunity. As South Car-

olina’s first legal moonshine distillery, it’s truly special to be a part of what’s going on at GSP.” “I can’t think of anything better than a jar of moonshine to bring back and share with your friends and family,” Trey Boggs added. The space features seven of Palmetto Distillery’s brews that are available for sale or for tasting. That list includes two of the distillery’s clear moonshine staples, a 105-proof White Lighting

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UBJ | 2.16.2018


and a new 130-proof Bootlegger variety, which Boggs said is the highest proof moonshine legally produced in South Carolina. For customers who prefer a fruitier note, the space offers four of the brand’s 44- to 45-proof flavored shines — peach, blackberry, apple pie, and strawberry. The distillery’s 89-proof Palmetto Whiskey, a 21 percent rye matured in new French oak with an amber hue and notes of caramel and vanilla, is also available in the space. Customers can also grab a four-pack of sample size portions of moonshine. Prices range from $19.99 to about $75. The space has a tasting counter made from large, wavy-edge slabs of oak. It features a range of rustic accents, such as exposed brick, weathered tin, distressed wood, and metalwork. Cocktails featuring Palmetto Distillery’s liquors are available at the Thomas Creek Grill, RJ Rockers Flight Room, and Wolfgang Puck’s The Kitchen inside the newly renovated main terminal at GSP. Other Palmetto Distillery collectibles, such as candles, shot glasses, jams, and soaps, are available for purchase in the airport’s Hudson News stores. “We are very excited about Palmetto Distillery’s new location at GSP,” said airport spokeswoman Rosylin Weston. “When we set out to revamp the retail, food, and beverage options to improve the passenger experience as part of our main terminal renovation, we very much wanted to have a local flair. Palmetto Distillery is unique to the Upstate and to South Carolina, and we are very happy to have them here.”

The Boggs brothers got into the moonshine business two years after the state legislature passed a bill that provided a legal path for micro-distilleries to set up shop in South Carolina. But Trey Boggs said the craft is a part of their family’s heritage that dates back to their late relative Moran Lee “Dock” Boggs, who started as a coal miner and became a moonshiner and bootlegger before carving out a career as a musician. The brothers opened their distillery in 2012. Their earliest legal runs were made on a 35gallon copper still, which is on display in the new space at GSP. “It’s the first still to make a legal run of moonshine in South Carolina,” Trey Boggs said. “It’s a piece of history.” As their operation grew, the Boggs brothers upgraded to a 250gallon still. They now brew on a 1,000-gallon copper still. In addition to its headquarters in Anderson and the space at GSP, Palmetto Distillery has a retail store in Myrtle Beach. The company’s distribution has grown to include 26 states, and it can legally ship to 40 states. Palmetto Distillery’s liquors have been sold as far away as Canada, Scotland, and Sweden, Trey Boggs said. Taylor said the GSP store will be manned by six to seven employees. It will operate from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. He said the company is in the process of getting a variance to be able to operate the space on Sunday.

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Indigo Flow & Art New yoga studio opens in Village of West Greenville this weekend

The left side of Indigo Flow & Art’s space is an art studio, while the right side is a designated yoga studio.

WORDS BY ARIEL TURNER | PHOTOS BY WILL CROOKS A light-bulb moment during a meditation conference gave Katie Hughes the inspiration to renovate the building at 1270 Pendleton St., Greenville, she owned into Indigo Flow & Art, which opens Saturday, Feb. 17. “I bought it in 2014 but didn’t know what to do with it,” Hughes says. Next door, at 1272 Pendleton St., Hughes’ mother, Julie Hughes Shabkie, had owned her art studio since 2007. Now, the completely renovated buildings are combined into one contiguous space with an art studio at the rear. The left side of the two storefronts totals 1,100 square feet with the art studio, and the right side, the designated yoga studio, is 1,200 square feet, with an additional approximately 1,700 square-foot patio off the back, bringing the total to 4,000 square feet. Hughes, who trained for her yoga instructor certification from 2016 to 2017, says she plans to use the studio to give back to the Village of West Greenville community in which she’s organized events since 2015. Her desire to include nearby residents in the local events and help underpriv6

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ileged children has led her to commit a portion of class proceeds to offering free classes for at-risk children. “Anytime you take a class, you pay it forward,” she says. This new venture will allow Hughes to combine her background in dance (she attended the Fine Arts Center in high school) and desire to work with people in need. “This is allowing me to be in dance and movement and do humanitarian work,” she says. The studio is sparsely decorated, by design. Concrete floors, white-washed brick walls, and wooden benches are accented by pieces of local art hung along the walls. The art will rotate four times a year, each time featuring a few local artists. The back patio will serve as an event space and be used for classes when the weather cooperates. Indigo, which comes from the color of the third eye of the chakra spiritual system used in Indian religions, will offer classes in vinyasa yoga as opposed to hot yoga seven days a week, with children’s classes offered on Saturdays.

Patricia C. Hughes (seated, left); Julie Hughes Shabkie (standing, center); and Katie Hughes (sitting, right)


Architect: AWHS Architects General contractor: Intercon Construction Carpentry: Josh Bagwell Logo design: Rooted Media Exterior artist: Sunny Mullarkey Art installation: Frameworks


By design, the studio is sparsely decorated, with concrete floors, white-washed brick walls, and pieces of local art.


The storefront’s large windows allow in plenty of natural light.


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Through Make Greenville Yours, Mike Cruice is showing potential residents what the city has to offer WORDS BY ROBERT HULL | PHOTO BY WILL CROOKS


UBJ | 2.16.2018


magine that you’ve spent a lot of time I living in your old town and have decided to move somewhere new, somewhere fresh. You hear about a city called Greenville in South Carolina and decide to check it out. You pull into town, get out of your car, take a fresh breath of air, and … now what? Where do you start? Well, Mike Cruice is the man who has made getting to know Greenville his business. Cruice is the founder of Make Greenville Yours, a company that offers tours of the city and its surrounding areas to potential residents looking to relocate. Cruice provides the inside look into Greenville and what makes it tick. Cruice is a part-time pastor at Hampton Park Baptist Church, located on State Park Road, and a member of the Greenville Historical Society. He knows many city leaders and business owners, and just about everything to do with Greenville – its past, present, and future. But Cruice is not a Greenville native.

Coming to Greenville

In 1986, Cruice moved to Greenville from Philadelphia with his wife and four children to attend seminary at Bob Jones University. “When we moved here, Greenville was nothing to take note of,” Cruice said. But he felt called to stay in Greenville and grew to love it. Cruice then became a pastor at Hampton Park Baptist Church. He served with the church full time until 2014 when he developed heart problems and was diagnosed with cancer. “My wife, who is a nurse, said I needed to step down from ministry or else it would take me out,” Cruice said. “But you can take me outta ministry, but you can’t take ministry outta me.” Cruice ended up working part time with his church, but he still craved connecting with people. He would hang out around downtown Greenville just to be surrounded by constant interaction. “So, I would go down to Sully’s Steamers, where I had connected with the owner there,” Cruice said. One day, while in Sully’s, Cruice witnessed an interaction between a couple and the cashier. Cruice said the couple asked the cashier about Greenville and wanted to know where they could find information on the city. The cashier didn’t know what to tell them. As the couple was walking out, Cruice saw an opportunity and stopped them, offering his services. Cruice ended up taking them on a tour of Greenville and its surrounding areas such as Greer and Taylors. Cruice said the couple absolutely loved the tour — and Greenville itself.

From then on, Cruice knew he had a calling. With help from his daughter, Bonnie Cruice, he launched his new business of showing people the potential of moving to Greenville “Bonnie’s the one that stirred me on to start the business,” Cruice said. He had told her about encounters with people who came to Greenville and wished they had known more about the area prior to moving so they could have picked a better location. “And when I gave that first informal tour, that confirmed what I had already observed,” Cruice added.

“My tour’s an overview. I give [potential residents] a flavor for different aspects of the city. If you just take a walk around downtown, you don’t get an appreciation for the city.” –Mike Cruice

First-class Tour

Make Greenville Yours offers two types of tours. The first one, the Get Acquainted Tour, is a one-hour, 30-minute walking and driving tour of downtown Greenville. The second one, the Get Moving Tour, is a three-hour tour of downtown Greenville and the surrounding areas of Mauldin, Simpsonville, Greer, Taylors, and Travelers Rest. “I’ve given around 200 tours over the last two years,” Cruice said. On both tours, Cruice focuses on two major aspects of Greenville: its natural beauty and its businesses. “My tour’s an overview,” he said. “I give [potential residents] a flavor for different aspects of the city. If you just take a walk around downtown, you don’t get an appreciation for the city.” First, Cruice takes people to Falls Park. As a member of the Greenville Historical Society, he’s full of information on the history of Greenville — and he shows it, as he flawlessly recounts how Falls Park went from being hidden away


MAKE GREENVILLE YOURS Founder: Mike Cruice Service: Provides tours of the city of Greenville and/or its surrounding areas to potential residents looking to relocate Market: Tourism, residential Offerings: Get Moving Tour (a three-hour tour of downtown Greenville and five surrounding areas), $50/person; Get Acquainted Tour (a 1-hour, 30-minute driving and walking tour of downtown Greenville), $25/person. Customized tours are priced based on request.

to one of Greenville’s most recognizable landmarks. Cruice said he feels the park is the most significant part of Greenville and the reason why the city has earned its numerous accolades and stellar reputation over the years. From there, Cruice will drive his clients around Greenville, showing them other famous monuments, such as the airplane memorial in Cleveland Park dedicated to Air Force Major Rudolph Anderson Jr., the only American casualty of the Cuban missile crisis; the Vietnam War memorial; and numerous shuttered textile mills. While driving, Cruice will point out various locations, explaining what the city has planned for them. He gathers most of this knowledge through the relationships he’s gradually built with city leaders, such as mayors, business owners, and real estate agents. “I would tell them, ‘Help me put your best foot forward,’” Cruice said. Those connections have helped maximize the tour experience for clients.

Paying It Forward

Ultimately, Cruice hopes that by sharing his love for Greenville, others will fall for the city, too, and choose to call it home. “It has big-city amenities while also having that small-city feel,” he said. For Cruice, giving tours is just another part of his vocation to serve others. “In ministry, I’m interested in trying to help people,” he said. “And at the end of every tour, I tell them they’re welcome to call me, email me, [or] text me, if there’s any way I can help them.” For more information, visit

2.16.2018 |





Greenville Country Club announces 2018 board of governors The Greenville Country Club recently named Matthew Smith, director at Elliott Davis LLC, its club president. The 2018 board of governors were also elected at the annual meeting. Club officers serve under the president for a one-year term, while new at-large members of the board serve a three-year term. Prior to becoming president, Smith served as the club’s vice president and treasurer. He provides operations and financial management to various clients as part of the consulting and advisory at Elliott Davis. Smith earned a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting at Wake Forest University, and he is a licensed CPA in South Carolina. “I am honored to be trusted with this responsibility as Greenville Country Club’s new president,” Smith says. “I look forward to serving the GCC community and continuing the club’s expansion and progression unrivaled by any other club in South Carolina.”

Supported by the four officers listed below, Smith will be responsible for leading GCC’s board of governors. • Vice President: Hamilton E. “Bo” Russell III, partner with Nelson, Mullins, Riley & Scarborough LLP • Secretary: Dr. W. Keith Walker, Piedmont Oral Surgery P.A. • Treasurer: Frank R. Wrenn III, president, Crescent Capital Partners • Past President: John R. Reynolds, vice president and managing general counsel, Fluor Corporation The following nine governors were named as the rest of the GCC board of governors: George A. Campbell Jr., Marion R. Crawford, Howard L. Einstein, Michael D. Fletcher, Dr. J. Wesley Harden, Brian L. Hungerford, Jonathan E. Miller, Kelly L. Odom, and Jeff S. Powell.

Established in 1905, GCC is one of the South’s most historic and prestigious country clubs. GCC features two 18-hole golf courses, 17 lighted tennis courts, a three-pool aquatic center, and a 45,000-square-foot clubhouse with a fitness and wellness center. –Melody Wright

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Tail Lights Dogs to expand Greenville dog-training facility

Electrolux to move Frigidaire production to Anderson

Tail Lights Dogs is planning to add more than 3,000 additional square feet to their current dog-training facility in early spring. A growing dog community in Greenville prompted the upcoming expansion. Owner Stephanie Brooks said that Tail Lights Dogs’ fun training classes received an overwhelming response last year. “With the additional space, we will be able to provide new and different classes for dogs that need more space, such as reactive pups,” Brooks said. The updated facility will hold private consultations for dogs with behavioral concerns. With the larger indoor space, Tail Lights Dogs will be able to apply to host trials for Nose Work, a scent detection program for search and detection teams. “We have a program for puppies between their critical socialization age

Leading global appliance company Electrolux recently announced its $250 million investment to expand production at its refrigeration facility in Anderson. Electrolux employs 2,000 people at the Anderson plant, making it one of the county’s largest employers. As of now, jobs will not be added as a result of this expansion, but the production in the Anderson plant will increase. Electrolux plans to expand production and warehousing space by 800,000 square feet. Construction began in 2017 and should be completed in 2019. The Anderson plant is

of 8 and 14 weeks that helps facilitate socialization and habituation to different people, novel objects, dogs, sights, smells, and helps new owners with common puppy problems.” Brooks said. Also, pups can become certified Canine Good Citizens. The new classes will help train pups and their handlers who aim to specialize in therapy dog work. “Greenville is such a dog-friendly city, and our goal has always been to help people raise well-rounded adult dogs who are able to take full advantage of all the wonderful, dog-friendly small businesses in the area and enjoy a full life with their families,” Brooks said. Tail Lights Dogs is a state-of-the-art dog training, dog day care, and dog-boarding facility located at 284-E Rocky Creek Road in Greenville. –Melody Wright



located at 101 Masters Blvd. Electrolux also announced its $250 million expansion of manufacturing in Springfield, Tenn., which includes a new line of cooking products. Construction for the expansion will begin late 2018 and should be completed in 2020. The plant will have an added 400,000 square feet after construction. The two investments in Anderson and Springfield are part of Electrolux’s plan to increase its level of capital expenditure investments to drive targeted growth in North America and Latin America. –Melody Wright

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Greenville’s Hulsey McCormick & Wallace announces new office in downtown Spartanburg Several new white-collar jobs are headed for downtown Spartanburg. Greenville County-based civil and environmental engineering firm Hulsey McCormick & Wallace has announced it will open a new office in Spartanburgbased Johnson Development’s 101 Pine building beside the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce. Wes Hulsey, the firm’s president and CEO, said the 1,700-square-foot office will house eight employees, including David DePratter, division manager, and Hal Morris, senior project manager and chief financial officer. Hulsey said the office will enable the firm to better serve its clients in Spartanburg and North Carolina, including the city of Spartanburg, Spartanburg Water, and some industrial customers. “We just reached a point where we felt we needed to have a presence there,” Hulsey said. “It helps shorten the distance between our offices in Greenville County and Hickory, N.C.” “It’s important that we continue to provide responsive service to our private and public clients,”

Hulsey added. “It benefits them and helps us to accomplish our vision.” Johnson Development acquired the building at 101 N. Pine St. positioned at the city’s eastern gateway to downtown in 2012 via foreclosure sale. To meet a growing need for office space in downtown Spartanburg, the company has spent more than a year breathing new life into the facility, including recently rebranding it as 101 Pine. Geordy Johnson, CEO of Johnson Development, said Alex Powell, leasing and development manager for Johnson Development, has led the company’s effort to reenergize the facility, taking it from about 40 percent to 65 percent occupancy during the past few months. Powell represented Johnson Development in the transaction. “We are thrilled to welcome another meaningful employer to downtown Spartanburg,” Johnson said. “We are excited about the jobs HMW will create. Their selection of Spartanburg further validates the market as a destination for highly skilled professional

firms. Additionally, we have seen significant interest in 101 Pine for office users.” Tim Satterfield, with Coldwell Banker Commercial Caine, represented HMW in the site selection process. “HMW’s move into the Spartanburg market shows that there is a need and opportunity for their services to be provided to local businesses and government agencies,” Satterfield said. “We are starting to see more highly skilled professionals look at the Spartanburg market, and HMW is a reflection of that.” Spartanburg’s new Downtown Development Partnership (DDP), an entity launched through the county’s cultural and economic vision plan OneSpartanburg, assisted HMW with the selection process. “We are seeing the business community take note of Spartanburg’s momentum,” said Jansen Tidmore, executive vice president of DDP, in a statement. “They understand that now is the time to invest in downtown Spartanburg.” –Trevor Anderson

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Mark B Clary and Thomas L Willcox Jr use McBee Avenue Wealth Advisors as a marketing name for doing business as representatives of Northwestern Mutual. McBee Avenue Wealth Advisors is not a registered investment adviser, broker-dealer, insurance agency or federal savings bank. Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Milwaukee, WI (NM) (life and disability insurance, annuities, and life insurance with long-term care benefits) and its subsidiaries. Mark B Clary and Thomas L Willcox Jr are Representatives of Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company® (NMWMC), Milwaukee, WI (fiduciary and feebased financial planning services), a subsidiary of NM and limited purpose federal savings bank. All NMWMC products and services are offered only by properly credentialed Representatives who operate from agency offices of NMWMC. Mark B Clary and Thomas L Willcox Jr are Agents of Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company, Milwaukee, WI, (long-term care insurance) a subsidiary of NM. Mark B Clary and Thomas L Willcox Jr are Registered Representatives of Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC (NMIS) (securities), a subsidiary of NM, registered investment adviser, broker-dealer and member FINRA ( and SIPC ( Mark B Clary and Thomas L Willcox Jr are Insurance Agents of NM. Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.



Tigers quarterback Tajh Boyd prepares to advance the next stage of his post-football career back in the Upstate, blending a tireless work ethic and ‘team player’ mentality on behalf of a new Clemson-based real estate development



UBJ | 2.16.2018

Last September, when Greenville developers Leighton Cubbage and Stephen Mudge of Serrus Capital Partners began contemplating who would lead the sales team for Lakeside Lodge, a resort condo complex on Lake Hartwell just minutes from the Clemson University campus, they had the same person in mind: former Tigers quarterback Tajh Boyd. Unbeknownst to them, Boyd was preparing for a career change and looking for a new opportunity. After spending a year working as a business development manager for a regional distributor of packaging material and solutions, Boyd was ready to find something more aligned with his long-term professional goals. “I’ve always had this affection for people,” he says. “I like spending time with people, striking up conversations and really getting a feel for who they are as a person and how I may be able to help them, just in the course of the interaction. One of the things I thought I could do outside of being in the sports realm was getting into real estate, so I was taking my classes and getting everything squared away for that.” One day, Boyd says, he was sitting outside of Nose Dive in downtown Greenville with one of his mentors, former Clemson University linebacker Patrick Sapp, discussing his next move. That’s when Mudge and Cubbage happened to leave the restaurant and notice the pair. Boyd told them about getting his real estate license, and the conversation quickly turned to Lakeside Lodge. For Boyd, his involvement was an easy decision. “I was like, ‘Sign me up. We’ll make it happen,’” he says. Lakeside Lodge includes 116 units — a mix of studio, two-, and three-bedroom condos — and incorporates the amenities of an upscale hotel: concierge service, housekeeping and maintenance, a lobby, restaurant/bar, pool, fire pit, fitness center, and conference space. Owners will have the opportunity to rent out their units when they’re not in use. Construction is set to begin this spring and projected to be completed in time for the 2019 college football season. The project is still in the reservation phase, and potential buyers now have the opportunity to put down a refundable deposit to reserve a spot to ultimately purchase a condo. That’s where Boyd comes in. “I don’t have to sell this. It kind of sells itself, because it’s such a unique project on its own,” he says. “But to be that buffer, that middleman between point A and point B, that’s kind of what I am — more of a facilitator than anything. … At the end of the day, I’m dealing with people, and that’s all I really wanted to do.”

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Boyd’s involvement and the property’s proximity to Clemson Memorial Stadium aren’t the only connections Lakeside Lodge has to Clemson athletics. Cubbage and Mudge both played football for the Tigers in the 1970s. Among the 30 investors are former offensive lineman Jeff Bostic; former tight end Jim Riggs and his wife, Liz; and Julie Ibrahim, president and CEO of the Tiger Sports Shop and wife of the late Dr. I. M. Ibrahim, former Clemson men’s soccer coach. “You look at the initial investors and the people involved at the start of this project … they just want their own little piece of Clemson,” Boyd says.

“When I was up in New York or up in Pittsburgh, when I was out in LA [Los Angeles] for a few weeks … I’m going to all these places, and I’m like, ‘It’s cool, but it isn’t Greenville.’” -Tajh Boyd

Home Sweet Home Although Boyd is not originally from South Carolina, he’s made Greenville his home following his days at Clemson and time playing professional football. “I always wanted to find somewhere where I can leave my imprint, where I can call home, where I can potentially raise my family. I haven’t found a better place than this,” he says. “When I was up in New York or up in Pittsburgh, when I was out in LA [Los Angeles] for a few weeks … I’m going to all these places, and I’m like, ‘It’s cool, but it isn’t Greenville.’ And that’s a true statement; that’s not just propaganda right there. That’s just how I feel about the situation. And I think it’s because the people are so genuine and because they have such huge hearts.” For Boyd, claiming Greenville as home also means investing in the community and giving back. The Tajh Boyd Foundation, which benefits underprivileged and at-risk youth through education, mentoring, and character development, is ultimately about “leaving this place better than we found it,” Boyd says. “Everything that happened up until this point helped me become Tajh, you know, and I think that’s just the case for everybody, that if they looked back at the history of their life and the course of it from elementary school up, you get to a point where you realize that everything that 16

UBJ | 2.16.2018

Lakeside Lodge includes 116 units — a mix of studio, two-, and threebedroom condos — and incorporates the amenities of an upscale hotel: concierge service, housekeeping and maintenance, a lobby, restaurant/bar, pool, fire pit, fitness center, and conference space. Rendering by Goodwyn Mills and Cawood

happened to you happened because of, you know,” he adds. “In that situation, I’m a product of my environment. I was fortunate to have both of my parents. I was fortunate for them to take time and cater to what I wanted to do and aspire to be, and they took all the effort to try to make that happen for me. So, it’s not necessarily the norm for a lot of the kids in … underprivileged areas, really and truly. I just want them to know that I believe in them, that we as a community believe in them.” Currently, Boyd’s philanthropic efforts are concentrated in the Nicholtown area of Greenville, about 1.5 miles from downtown’s central business district, south of Laurens Road. At the beginning of the school year, the Tajh Boyd Foundation distributed hundreds of book bags to children at the Phillis Wheatley Center. The foundation also recently partnered with Academy Sports to distribute 75 bicycles and held a Christmas toy drive. On March 23, the Tajh Boyd Foundation will hold its annual gala at The Loom in Simpsonville. “It just kind of gives a breakdown to all the people of what we are, what we try to do, and how we’re going to accomplish it,” Boyd says. “It’s a nice event. Last year, we had about 200 people, so we’re growing steadily.” Boyd also plans on holding a career-day program this summer in the Nicholtown area, where once a week children ages 7 to 15 will have the opportunity to hear about various occupations and professions. “It’s going to be like a show-and-tell type deal,” Boyd says. “Whether these kids want to be a doctor, a lawyer, an engineer, a plumber, or an artist or architect, I want them to be able to see it. Because then it comes attainable. Seeing it on TV doesn’t make it real, but you see the person, and it makes it real. So I’m excited to get the community involved in that way, as well.”

Game of Life Although Boyd’s days of playing football are behind him, he remains connected to the sport that he says helped shape who he is today. Back in December, he and former University of South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore ran a youth fundamentals football camp at the Kroc Center in Greenville. In addition to spending time with current Clemson football players, Boyd also helps mentor a handful of college quarterbacks across the country at programs including Louisiana State University, Arizona State University, University of Utah, and Boston College. “[They’re] just guys that either reached out to me or I reached out to them … and we just developed that relationship there. And I find nothing more joyful than that right there,” he says. For Boyd, football and life will always be intertwined. “For me, it directly correlates to life — the integrity you have to have, the camaraderie with your teammates, the grind, the work ethic. You don’t necessarily miss playing; you miss everything else that was involved. And I think that’s what a lot of us former players feel. It’s not the touchdowns; it’s the locker room. … It’s that accountability, whether it’s Marcus [Lattimore] or Connor [Shaw, former USC quarterback and current Furman University tight ends coach] or some of my guys that live here. “What you see is accountability partners.” And that also includes his new business partners in Mudge and Cubbage as Boyd navigates the ins and outs of real estate. Says Boyd: “They’re helping push me to that next level that I couldn’t do without them in that realm.” Tickets for the Tajh Boyd Foundation annual gala will be available at



Help Not Wanted 5 times you shouldn’t hire a PR firm

This is going to sound strange, but I am about owner, Complete to tell you why you Public Relations shouldn’t hire me or my business. As a guy who runs a public relations firm, I can honestly say that not everyone needs a public relations firm on retainer all the time. Or even some of the time. Not saying a PR firm can’t be a great asset to a small business or a large business or a nonprofit group or anything in between. Actually, a good firm can be an amazing asset for building brand goodwill, sharing a story with potential clients and investors, or working you through a crisis. Those are the reasons people hire public relations firms. They have something worth talking about and want to share it. By JOHN BOYANOSKI

However, there are many times that hiring a public relations firm is the last thing you need.

5. 4.

 ou’re looking to increase sales: A good public relations plan Y will raise awareness but won’t necessarily get people through the door like targeted advertising does. I wish that were different, but it isn’t. Now, a good PR plan on top of an advertising plan can do wonders, but announcing a sale just through a press release isn’t going to get you much ROI. PR people are not sales people. That is the main reason we chose public relations. We prefer writing over cold calling.  ou don’t like talking to the media: Believe it or not, we have set Y up interviews for people who have hired us to set up interviews and then they completely froze at the idea of doing an interview. I just set a record for using “interview” in one sentence. I’m not proud of that, but I needed to make the point. A PR firm’s No. 1 goal is to get you in the media. That means talking to all kinds of media members. A good firm can work with you on overcoming fears, but if you simply won’t talk to the media, then using a public relations firm is not a good use of your money or time.

3. 2. 1.

 ou’re not ready: A public relations firm can do a lot besides Y handle media calls. It can create content for blogs and websites, plan events, write newsletters, host events, and do all the fun stuff that goes along with social media. What it can’t do is make your business ready to handle that. If your website is out of date or your sales protocols aren’t in place or you can’t ship your product, don’t bring in a team to announce any of it.  ou have nothing to say: Public relations is a tool to help build Y credibility and goodwill in the public. We often say it is fire insurance for when things go bad. If you have good publicity and people have a favorable view of you, things tend to go better when a crisis comes your way. And crises do come. However, if you aren’t doing anything that good or it’s not very often, public relations isn’t going to change that. A firm can help you change that, but unless you are willing to change, then nothing changes. Just set another record. Most times using the word “change” in a sentence. Again, not proud.  ou saw your rival do it: We often hear this from our clients. They Y tell us their rival company or another business in their field hired a public relations firm after seeing our client in the media. While imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, revenge and self-satisfaction are not reasons to hire a firm. Make your own destiny and choices.

The takeaway from all of this is that public relations can be a valuable tool. Public relations for the sake of public relations isn’t really worth your time. John Boyanoski is the president and owner of Complete Public Relations, a media relations firm based in Greenville and serving the Southeast. Learn more at



Thursday, March 22 • 2.16.2018 |





Team Building


Veteran Resource Groups can engage all employees – not just those who served By ROBYN GRABLE founder, Service to Civilian

Caring for the Ones Who Cared for You Knowing when to step in for parents and get them extra help can be difficult, especially if you’re not living in the same town or city and aren’t in a position to help them yourself. That’s when you need to find someone you can trust. • Companionship • Meal preparation • Laundry & light housekeeping • Incidental transportation • Grocery shopping • Errand services • 24-hour care 26 Rushmore Drive, Greenville, SC 29615 • Respite care or relief for family


Did you know that only 33 percent of employees in the United States are engaged in their jobs, according to Gallup’s 2017 State of the American Workplace report? In fact, employee engagement increased only 3 percent from 2012 to 2016. Yet employee engagement is critical to a company’s success. After all, an engaged employee is a productive one. An organization’s biggest and most precious investment is its employees. So why aren’t more organizations investing in the development of their employees? A career advancement program helps sustain employee engagement, as employees are given the opportunity to progress both personally and professionally. When military service members transition to the civilian workforce, they often miss the camaraderie and closeness of the military culture. During their service, there is a shared purpose, focus on mission, and bond that often remains between veterans for a lifetime. There is something you and your company can do, with very little outlay: Create a veteran resource group. No matter how big or small, you can start and build a successful VRG. A successful VRG will provide: • Veteran employees with a place to meet up, collaborate, and learn • Support and camaraderie for veteran employees with others with shared experiences • A mentoring platform to help veteran employees learn how to build a career and navigate their professional life • Insight for nonveterans in the company, about the valuable assets veterans bring to the workforce, help dispel myths around the military experience, and elevate the company’s brand as a veteran-friendly employer Building a VRG starts by identifying people in the company who are former military and/or have a passion for helping veterans. Often, civilian employees see a VRG as a great way to connect to their colleagues who served and learn more about their experience. You’ll also want to include veterans in the company who identify as former military and have an interest in developing the group. However, don’t assume that every veteran employee wants to be part of the VRG. And make sure the group is open to all employees, even if they aren’t veterans.



26 Rushmore Drive

945 E. Main Street

A VRG should have the following:



A LEADER. Choose someone who will champion the issues,

needs, and opportunities of the group, as well as iden-

UBJ | 2.16.2018

tify gaps in resources. This person should be passionate about helping bridge the military-to-civilian divide at the company. Whether or not they served in the military is not as important as their commitment, passion, and access to resources. A CLEAR PURPOSE. Why are you forming the group? Are you looking to elevate awareness of veterans’ issues, provide mentoring and support to veteran employees, or offer discounts and services to veterans? GOALS. Set tangible goals against which you will measure the effectiveness and impact of your group. While meeting and getting together will have its benefits, the VRG should have goals that tie and contribute to the purpose. This will resonate with the members, especially veterans. FEEDBACK. Have mechanisms for feedback and support, which will create a culture of inclusivity and commitment in your veteran employees. Periodically check in to ensure the company is meeting their needs and vice versa. You can start your VRG small and let it build. Use the VRG to make sure veterans are well informed about potential opportunities and benefits. Pass along information from the Veterans Administration and the Department of Defense. Inform members about job and career opportunities within your company. These are all great ways to build engagement and career advancement knowledge, which lead to long-term employment. Most American workers will switch jobs 10 to 15 times between the ages of 18 and 48. And with the unemployment rate at the lowest it has been in years, hiring managers are scrambling to retain the best talent. Veterans are looking for their next career, not just a job after the military. Regarding career opportunities, VRGs also help veterans continue their development as leaders. Participating in a VRG gets them involved with planning, management, communication, and the execution of programs and events. By working with top leadership and people from across all areas and levels of the company, the VRG can provide a level of professional development that may not be available in their everyday job. If your company doesn’t have a VRG, contact us. Service to Civilian will work with you at no charge to set up the group and connect your VRG to other groups here in the Upstate. Coming soon: a Golden Career Strategy class just for veterans. Companies can sponsor veterans to attend. The class will focus on helping veterans transition, finding a civilian career, and targeting their search. To learn more about this opportunity, inquire about hiring veterans, or create a veteran initiative at your company, please call 864-580-6289 or email Do a great thing for your company and your community – hire a veteran, start a veteran resource group.



From Wall Street Goliaths to Main-street Businesses Small and mid-sized companies are the new targets of business email compromise By BELTON ZEIGLER partner, Womble Bond Dickinson

Meet Peter — a longtime employee and the backbone of your business’s day-to-day finance and accounting operations. Today he got an email from the CEO, Meredith: “Peter, I hope Joyce is doing better; I know her illness has been a strain on your family. As you know, I am traveling in Germany but need your help. I need you to make an immediate payment on the instructions of our West Coast attorneys to lock in the Cerulean deal. Please call the following lawyer for instructions. It is critical that the earnest money be paid before noon tomorrow. All the best, Meredith.” Peter calls the number listed for the attorney, who gives him instructions for wiring $375,000 to the specified bank account. The entire transaction is a fraud. Months before, hackers had broken into the company’s email domains. They had monitored email traffic to and from the CEO. They had identified when and where the CEO would be traveling. They had noticed that the CEO had been working on a deal to acquire Cerulean and earnest money would be required shortly. They had identified Peter as the person who would execute instructions from the CEO for wiring money. They had learned from Peter’s email account that his wife, Joyce, was ill and that the CEO had expressed her sympathy to him in past emails. Using this information, cybercriminals carefully engineered an email request to appear to come from the CEO. The Democratization of Cybercrime Peter was the intended victim of business email compromise, one of the fastest growing of the new breed

of cyber threat. The FBI reported that 40,000 business email compromise attempts were made in 2016 and determined that identified losses increased by 2,370 percent over the previous year. Globally, this scam has netted about $5 billion. Business email compromise represents part of a significant shift in the cybercriminal business model — part of the new democratization of cybercrime. Small- and medium-size businesses are the heart of this new danger zone. Until recently, cybercrime victims were dominated by big targets like Target, Home Depot, and Equifax. But cybercrime is now becoming more democratic as the focus shifts to smaller data-dependent entities who can be tricked into fraudulent banking transactions or whose data can be held hostage for payment. Business email compromise is particularly threatening to small and medium-size businesses because — absent very specific insurance coverage for this kind of loss — there is no one to look to for compensation. Increasingly, targets are real estate agents, title companies, and law firms involved in routine but high-dollar transactions. In the case described above, if Peter had complied with the instructions fraudulently conveyed to him by the pretended lawyer on the West Coast, the bank would not have been at fault. The company would have been left holding the entire loss.

individual at a known number that was obtained independently from the email chain that includes the request. • Never click on any email attachments that are unanticipated or where there is anything unusual or suspicious about the request. • Never use a website link that is provided in an unexpected email to update information or to check an account. Instead, go through the company’s public web address to its customer service page. Corporate Protections Against BEC • Ensure that there are multiple lines of defense within the firm’s information systems so that hackers who get into one part of a system cannot freely

move to other parts. • Secure the most valuable data in the area of the system that is the hardest to reach. • Protect administrative rights with two-factor authentication. The internet has given us freedom to navigate the world of commerce without borders and practically without restraint. But the price of freedom is risk. Cybercriminals, those who use the interconnected world to rob and steal, are increasingly turning their attention from Wall Street Goliaths to main-street businesses. Firms of all sizes should consider that risk, look for cybersecurity insurance appropriate to their operations and risk profile, train their people to be vigilant and informed, and configure their systems to withstand the democratization of cybercrime.



100 OVER




Personal Protections Against Business Email Compromise • First, train yourself or your employees to spot the red flags that often indicate an email is fraudulent. • Confirm any request to wire funds or to change payment addresses through a phone call to a known individual or an *Average one way fare plus Passenger Facility Charge in each of GSP’s top 50 markets per USDOT for 12 months ending June 30, 2017.

2.16.2018 |




Jefferson Awards Foundation names 2018 Change Makers The Jefferson Awards Foundation recently announced its 2018 class of Change Makers. The Jefferson Awards Foundation recognizes national public figures for their significant contributions to the country and its communities. Nationally, the Jefferson Award is the country’s highest honor for service and volunteerism, and past honorees include former First Lady Barbara Bush, Oprah Winfrey, and Bill and Melinda Gates. The Jefferson Awards Foundation in South Carolina has selected its first class of Change Makers, 10 individuals in the Upstate ages 40 and under who have demonstrated a commitment to service and the potential to help move the region forward. The honorees are Ansel Sanders, president and CEO, Public Education Partners; Blair Dobson Miller, Realtor, Wilson Associates; Blair Knobel, editor-in-chief, TOWN magazine; Brad Cline, global leadership program, Michelin North America; Ebony Austin, events and special programs director, Greenville Chamber of Commerce; Jason Richards, COO and shareholder, NAI Earle Furman;

Laura Bauld Turner, Upstate director, United States Senate; Lindsey McMillion Stemann, owner and principal, McMillion Consulting; Reid Sherard, partner, Nelson Mullins; and Yasha Patel, owner, the Rutherford Event Venue. A reception and networking event for the 10 honorees and their guests will be held later this month to kick off the 2018 Change Makers program. This spring, the Change Makers will work to raise financial support for Students In Action, the Jefferson Awards Foundation’s leadership development program that uses service-learning to help high schoolers develop the life skills needed to be successful in college and the workforce. The Change Makers will also engage in various volunteer, community, and networking events. In May, there will be a celebration event to recognize the work each Change Maker has done throughout the duration of the program. –Robert Hull Blair Knobel, editor-in-chief of TOWN magazine. Photo by Eli Warren

50 5

Celebrating Celebrating 20

UBJ | 2.16.2018













Has been hired as an associate by the Burgess Company. Snellings graduated from the Terry School of Business at the University of Georgia with a degree in real estate. Snellings is new to Greenville and originally from Atlanta.

Has been hired as development and communications director at A Child’s Haven. Beaver previously worked for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, where he specialized in event planning, event management, donor relations, and volunteer management.

Has joined NAI Earle Furman as operations manager. Rounsville will provide support to the CEO and COO, as well as facilitate growth within the firm. Rounsville previously taught first grade at Sara Collins Elementary School and went on to earn her law degree. She graduated from Clemson University and went to law school at Charleston School of Law.

Has been hired as a senior project manager at Caldwell Constructors Inc. Norris has more than 20 years of experience in construction in the Carolinas. His recent experience includes multiple higher education and medical and senior living projects ranging from $20 million to $60 million.

Has been hired by Lima One Capital as chief executive officer. Tennyson brings over 30 years of experience to this position. He was previously president at Clayton Holdings, CEO of B2R Finance, and CEO of EquiFirst.

LEADERSHIP Forty-two leaders  from the  Upstate  and surrounding area have been  selected  to participate in the  Riley  Institute at  Furman’s  Diversity Leaders Initiative (DLI) this spring. The following leaders are from Greenville: John Barker (assistant vice president of Furman University), Jerry Blassingame (executive director of Soteria Community Development Corporation), Luis Caicedo (branch manager at New American Funding), Daja Dial (marketing and communications manager of the Oconee Economic Alliance), Dennis Dunn (chief information officer of Michelin North America), Jennifer Dusso (chief operating officer of Bon Secours Medical Group), Anthony Esquivel (owner of COPA Indoor Soccer), Jill Fuson (director of the Center of Critical Issues at The Riley Institute at Furman), Mike Gatchell (senior executive director of The Furman Advantage Network at Furman University), Chris Giacomaro (director of executive operations at United Way of Greenville County), Neal Guthrie (department manager of quality and quality systems at BMW Manufacturing), Steve Hairston (public policy and advocacy director at Public Education Partners), Sally Hammond (chief communications officer of Spartanburg School District 7), John Humphries (president and general manager of WYFF 4), Paul Hyde (education writer at the Greenville News), Jamie Inman (chief mission advancement officer of YMCA of Greenville), Steve Jahries (vice president of purchasing at Michelin North

America), Cynthia King (associate professor/chair at Furman University), Tanisha Latimer (dean of enrollment Services at Greenville Technical College), Ivory Matthews (executive director of Greenville Housing Authority), Susan McLarty (mission outreach coordinator at Westminster Presbyterian Church), Andrea Meade (president of Raise Craze), Paul Newhouse (president of Union Medical Center), Anna Padaetz (facility personnel manager at Michelin North America), Jennifer Parker (director of the Child Protection Training Center and professor of psychology at USC Upstate), Cory Patterson (attorney at Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd P.A.), Trung Phan (manager of production waste water treatment, process, material at BMW Manufacturing), Joseph Provenzano (manager at BMW Manufacturing), Susan Riordan (community volunteer), Felicia Sanders (rubber preparation production manager at Michelin North America), Bill Schmidt (vice president of development for the Health Sciences Center at Greenville Health System), Bubba Self (president/CEO of Greenwood Communities and Resorts Inc.), Tim Self (executive director of AnMed Health Foundation), Caroline Sexton (executive director of Hub City Farmers Market), Thessa Smith (director of economic development of McCormick County), Nikki Stafford (administrator at the Children’s Hospital and Neurosci-

ences at Greenville Health System), Ed Stein (Upstate regional president at Pinnacle Financial Partners), Nathan Stock (principal of CRD Connect LLC), Anton Thomas (regional technical partner at Michelin North America), Lamont Thomas (lieutenant at Greenville City Police), Samantha Wallace (publisher of Edible Upcountry), and Mike Winiski (interim executive director of community-engaged learning at Furman University).


The Old Cigar Warehouse has been named Couple’s Choice Award Winner for Ceremony and Reception Space in South Carolina for the fourth year in a row by WeddingWire. The annual awards program recognizes the top 5 percent of wedding professionals in the WeddingWire Network who demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness, value, and flexibility.

LAW Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP Partner Thomas W. Epting has been recognized by South Carolina Lawyers Weekly as a Leadership in Law award winner. He will be honored at an awards ceremony on March 23 at the Francis Marion Hotel in Charleston.  

CONTRIBUTE: New hires, promotions, & award winners may be featured in On the Move. Send information and photos to 2.16.2018 |




THE WATERCOOLER 1. Foxcroft Wine Co. inks deal for former Brazwells location

Your Professional Association: A Good Investment Last week, I was honored by a group of peers for my individual contribution to my industry’s professional organization. Having colleagues speak about my service was a humbling experience and it really made me think about what this organization has meant to me over the years. I have been involved with the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO) since I first entered this business twenty years ago. I have worked on committees at the state level, advocated for changing federal and state legislation, and served on the national board. Being a part of NAPEO has been an investment of both time and resources, but I assure you, the dividends have been high. I am surprised by how many people choose not to belong to a professional or trade association. While membership costs may be expensive, the benefits that you and your company receive are worth the investment. Here are several of the benefits that I have experienced by joining an association: • Networking – Throughout my years with NAPEO, I have met many people in the industry and leveraged their knowledge to better my company. I have been introduced to vendors who understand our industry and I have formed friendships with competitors who understand life in the trenches of our business. To have the ability to call a fellow business owner and ask for advice on specific issues is worth the price of membership. • Education – Professional associations are a source of education to their members offering webinars, large conferences, and online resources. As a business that focuses on the ever-changing area of human resources, the education provided by our professional association is invaluable. As a member of NAPEO, Propel HR has access to top practitioners who focus on best practices and current regulations. Our employees are exposed to NAPEO training, which ultimately elevates our service to our clients. • Research – Most trade and professional associations conduct research and publish statistics on their industry and related topics. This is a valuable service that most companies can’t afford to fund on their own. The data compiled by the associations can be very beneficial to the marketing and organizational structure of their members. As a business owner, I know the value of our service, but it is often anecdotal. NAPEO’s market research has given me real statistics to support the positive stories surrounding our service model. • Advocacy – Trade and professional associations are dedicated to protecting and advancing the needs of the industry. This includes lobbying on behalf of the industry at local, state, and national levels. Our business does not have the resources to hire a lobbyist to advocate for our needs, but through our membership with NAPEO, our voice is still being heard. I strongly encourage all business owners and professionals to consider joining and getting involved in business associations. As with all things in life, what you put in, is what you get out. For me, it was not enough to just join NAPEO, I knew that the real value came from being involved and making the most of the organization. The friendships I have formed and the lessons I have learned through the membership have been critical in the success of my business, as well as my personal development. Last week’s honor was very special and gave me a chance to reflect on what NAPEO means to me. Although being a part of a professional association is a commitment of time and resources, it is all well worth the investment.

2. Former Goodyear facilities in Spartanburg sold for $2.2M

3. The number of women-owned businesses has more than doubled in the last decade. Meet three Upstate women who are part of the trend

4. Burrito Hub will bring modern Mexican fare to downtown Spartanburg’s dining scene

5. Across South Carolina and the Upstate, the arts not only provide a cultural outlet; they are a key driver of economic development

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


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. past-issues

9, 2018







Main Stre Bank of et Greenville’s America Building a series of to undergo including renovations, an updated lobby







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

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USC Upstate’s Wells Fargo Speaking Series: Katherine Pancak, “Commercial Real Estate Markets: Where are We Now, Where are We Headed?”

The George, BMW Classroom (Rm 15) 160 E. St. John St. noon–12:55 p.m.

Cost: $12. Must be purchased in advanced. For more info:; 864-503-5593

Better Business Bureau of the Upstate’s Power Breakfast Series: Award-Winning Business of Integrity Winners Take the Stage

Greenville Water “Community Room” 517 W. Washington St. 8–9:30 a.m.

Cost: $20 For more info:;



Greenville Chamber of Commerce’s Netnight

Peace Center Huguenot Loft 300 S. Main St. 5:30–8 p.m.

Cost: $25 investors, $50 general admission For more info:; 864-631-6596;


Greenville Chamber of Commerce’s Gubernatorial Series Lunch feat. Catherine Templeton (R)

Greenville Marriott 1 Parkway E 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.

Cost: $40 investors, $80 general admission For more info: kbusbee@greenvillechamber. org;



Ten at the Top’s PIQUE Young Professionals Summit

Southern Bleachery 250 Mill St., Taylors 1:15–6:30 p.m.

Cost: $25. Advanced registration required. Space limited. For more info:


Gubernatorial Lunch series feat. Gov. Henry McMaster (R)

Save the date. More information to come.


Mark B. Johnston



Ryan L. Johnston





Emily Pietras


Heidi Coryell Williams


COPY EDITOR Rebecca Strelow


Trevor Anderson, Cindy Landrum, Andrew Moore, Sara Pearce, Ariel Turner



MARKETING REPRESENTATIVES John Clark, Donna Johnston, Jonathan Maney, Heather Propp, Meredith Rice, Caroline Spivey, Liz Tew


Anita Harley | Rosie Peck | Jane Rogers



Will Crooks


Bo Leslie | Tammy Smith



Kristy Adair | Michael Allen





1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011

UBJ milestone

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




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

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




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

1997 Jackson Dawson launches motorsports Division 1993

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

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

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

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

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


with a majority of them utilizing the general aviation airport as a “corporate gateway to the city.” In 1997, Jackson and his son, Darrell, launched Jackson Motorsports Group. The new division was designed to sell race tires and go to racetracks to sell and mount the tires. Darrell Jackson now serves as president of the motorsports group and Larry Jackson has two other children and a son-in-law who work there. Jackson said all his children started at the bottom and “earned their way up.” Jackson kept the Jackson-Dawson branches in Detroit and others in Los Angeles and New York until he sold his portion of that partnership in 2009 as part of his estate planning. The company now operates a small office in Charlotte, but its main headquarters are in Greenville in a large office space off Woodruff Road, complete with a vision gallery that displays local artwork and an auditorium Jackson makes available for non-profit use. The Motorsports Group is housed in an additional 26,000 square feet building just down the street, and the agency is currently looking for another 20,000 square feet. Jackson said JMG has expanded into other verticals such as financial, healthcare, manufacturing and pro-bono work, but still has a strong focus on the auto industry and transportation. It’s

2003 motorsports Division acquires an additional 26,000 sq. ft. of warehouse space


2009 Jackson Dawson changes name to Jackson marketing Group when larry sells his partnership in Detroit and lA 2003

1998 Jackson Dawson moves to task industrial Court

also one of the few marketing companies in South Carolina to handle all aspects of a project in-house, with four suites handling video production, copywriting, media and research and web design. Clients include heavyweights such as BMW, Bob Jones University, the Peace Center, Michelin and Sage Automotive. Recent projects have included an interactive mobile application for Milliken’s arboretum and 600-acre Spartanburg campus and a marketing campaign for the 2013 Big League World Series. “In my opinion, our greatest single achievement is the longevity of our client relationships,” said Darrell Jackson. “Our first client from back in 1988 is still a client today. I can count on one hand the number of clients who have gone elsewhere in the past decade.” Larry Jackson says his Christian faith and belief in service to others, coupled with business values rooted in solving clients’ problems, have kept

2009-2012 Jackson marketing Group named a top BtoB agency by BtoB magazine 4 years running

him going and growing his business over the years. He is passionate about giving back and outreach to non-profits. The company was recently awarded the Community Foundation Spirit Award. The company reaffirmed its commitment to serving the community last week by celebrating its 25th anniversary with a birthday party and a 25-hour Serve-A-Thon partnership with Hands on Greenville and Habitat for Humanity. JMG’s 103 full-time employees worked in shifts around the clock on October 22 and 23 to help construct a house for a deserving family. As Jackson inches towards retirement, he says he hasn’t quite figured out his succession plan yet, but sees the companies staying under the same umbrella. He wants to continue to strategically grow the business. “From the beginning, my father has taught me that this business is all about our people – both our clients and our associates,” said his son, Darrell. “We have created a focus and a culture that strives to solve problems, serve people and grow careers.” Darrell Jackson said he wants to “continue helping lead a culture where we solve, serve and grow. If we are successful, we will continue to grow towards our ultimate goal of becoming the leading integrated marketing communications brand in the Southeast.”

2011 Jackson marketing Group/Jackson motorsports Group employee base reaches 100 people

2008 2012 Jackson marketing Group recognized by Community Foundation with Creative spirit Award

pro-bono/non-proFit Clients American Red Cross of Western Carolinas Metropolitan Arts Council Artisphere Big League World Series The Wilds Advance SC South Carolina Charities, Inc. Aloft Hidden Treasure Christian School

CoMMUnitY inVolVeMent & boarD positions lArry JACkson (ChAirmAn): Bob Jones University Board chairman, The Wilds Christian Camp and Conference Center board member, Gospel Fellowship Association board member, Past Greenville Area Development Corporation board member, Past Chamber of Commerce Headquarters Recruiting Committee member, Past Greenville Tech Foundation board member David Jones (Vice President Client services, Chief marketing officer): Hands on Greenville board chairman mike Zeller (Vice President, Brand marketing): Artisphere Board, Metropolitan Arts Council Board, American Red Cross Board, Greenville Tech Foundation Board, South Carolina Chamber Board eric Jackson (Jackson motorsports Group sales specialist): Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club Advisory Board

November 1, 2013 Upstate bUsiness joUrnal 21

20 Upstate bUsiness joUrnal November 1, 2013


NOVEMBER 1, 2013


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February 16, 2018 Upstate Business Journal  

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