MARCH 9, 2018 | VOL. 7 ISSUE 10
KISS SKY THE
THE AVIATION INDUSTRY GIVES THE UPSTATE WINGS
INSIDE H A BUSY YEAR FOR LOCKHEED MARTIN H A BIRD’S-EYE VIEW OF AVIATION IN THE UPSTATE H H WHEELS UP LANDS IN GREENVILLE H JUST AIRCRAFT’S PLANE KITS H ‘
THE RUNDOWN |
TOP-OF-MIND AND IN THE MIX THIS WEEK
VOLUME 7, ISSUE 10 Featured this issue: West End Community Hub, a new self-storage development............................9 Table 301’s Southern Pressed Juicery expands to Austin.................................10 The Village’s Tipsy Music Pub closes........................................................................12
Wheels Up, a membership-based private aviation company, has begun the expansion of its sales and marketing campaign by targeting residents and businesses across the Upstate. Wheels Up currently operates a fleet of 80 aircraft, including 65 Beechcraft King Air 350i turboprops and 15 Cessna Citation Excel XLS business jets. Read more on Page 16. Photo provided by Wheels Up
An announcement is expected March 13 confirming what Greenville Chamber President and CEO Carlos Phillips teased at the chamber’s annual meeting held last month: that a United Soccer League Division III team is coming to Greenville. The Greenville team is among franchise announcements expected across the U.S. this year by the USL, which is already sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation as a Division II Professional League. The planned 2019 launch of a pro D3 league had been previously announced.
WORTH REPEATING “People along Laurens and Gower are starved for things to do.” John Parker, Page 3
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Laura Haight, Page 21
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UBJ | 3.9.2018
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Think Tank Brew Lab will have direct access to the Greenville Health System Swamp Rabbit Trail. Rendering by Keel Concepts Inc.
A No-Brainer New brewery Think Tank Brew Lab planned for 101 Airport Road ARIEL TURNER | STAFF
firstname.lastname@example.org A 21,000-square-foot former industrial space at 101 Airport Road that also housed a film studio will be redeveloped as a new brewery if all goes according to the new tenant’s plans. Ryan Kurlfink, founder, president, and brewmaster of the recently formed Propagate Brewery Development Group, has leased the space from Sykes Workman Leasing LLC to open the group’s inaugural concept, Think Tank Brew Lab, which is named for Kurlfink’s desire for customers to seriously consider the quality of the beer they’re used to drinking and also for the experimental nature of the brewing process he plans to use. John Parker of Broad Street Partners, who also worked with Fireforge Crafted Beer to find their soon-to-open Washington Street location, brokered the transaction. “People along Laurens and Gower are starved for things to do,” Parker says.
The Airport Road location, with high ceilings and enough space to accommodate hundreds of people, has direct access to the expanded Greenville Health System Swamp Rabbit Trail, on which Kurlfink plans to capitalize by providing grab-and-go snacks and drinks. Along with 20-plus brews Kurlfink says Greenville hasn’t yet experienced, Think Tank Brew Lab will offer a full food menu and wine, similar to other larger brewery concepts, such as Sierra Nevada in the Asheville, N.C., area, which he calls his “favorite place in the world.” Included with the property is more than 1 acre of urban forest and green space, which will be used for an expansive biergarten, stage, and outdoor games and events. A second-floor event space with a second bar and stage is planned with views of the trail, biergarten, and brewery. “After more than two decades brewing and traveling the country designing and building craft brewTHINK TANK continued on PAGE 4 3.9.2018 | upstatebusinessjournal.com
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Included with the property is more than 1 acre of urban forest and green space, which will be used for an expansive biergarten, stage, and outdoor games and events. Rendering by Keel Concepts Inc.
THINK TANK continued from PAGE 3
eries, I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to settle down and build the brewery of my dreams,” Kurlfink says. “This property offers everything a community-focused craft brewery could ask for and more. Selecting this site and bringing it back to life as headquarters for Greenville’s homegrown Think Tank Brew Lab was truly a no-brainer.” Kurlfink, a Greenville resident and former Blue Ridge Brewing Co. assistant brewer and eventually brewmaster from 1995-2005, studied brewery science and engineering at the University of California, Davis before medaling in the World Beer Cup in 1998 in the tropical/foreign stout category. He was director of craft brewing systems for SMT Brewery Solutions from 2012-17 and became the business development director for Probrew/Techniblend in 2017. During his time traveling the world, setting up tank systems for breweries, Kurlfink completed more than 54 projects, from the start-up strategy and facility design to installation and brewer training. Propagate Brewery Development Group was formed by Kurlfink to bring like-minded, local investors together who are interested in financially supporting the craft beer movement but cannot operate a brewery themselves. Think Tank Brew Lab is the group’s first project, but Kurlfink hopes there will be many more. Kurlfink says Bob Hiller, owner of Blue Ridge Brewing Co. and his former employer, should receive all the credit for starting the craft beer scene in Greenville, and he plans to continue that legacy at Think Tank Brew Lab.
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An artist’s rendering of United Community Bank’s new headquarters near downtown Spartanburg. Photo courtesy of Equip Studio.
United Community Bank headquarters breaks ground in Spartanburg TREVOR ANDERSON | STAFF
The revitalization of a major gateway to downtown Spartanburg is moving forward. Georgia-based United Community Bank (UCB) broke ground Wednesday, Feb. 28, on its new Spartanburg headquarters on 1.7 acres at the southeast corner of East Main and South Pine streets. “This is going to be great for the bank,” said Dixon Woodward, regional president for UCB’s operations in South Carolina. “It’s also great to be a part of the economic development of downtown Spartanburg and the redevelopment of a prominent corner. We’ve been in this market for a long time, and this is a message that we’re here to stay.” The multimillion-dollar project was initially announced in July 2017. But the most visible progress has been made during the past few weeks as Spartanburg-based Demtek has demolished the cluster of vacant buildings on the property the bank now owns at 449 E. Main St. Those buildings included the iconic Simple Simon restaurant, Sub Station II, and the former Guitar Bar space. In the coming days, Greenville-based Harper Corp., the project’s general contractor, will begin the task of breathing life into the design concept created by the architectural firm Equip Studio, headquartered in Greenville. Officials anticipate construction will be completed during the first quarter of 2019. UCB’s existing headquarters and about 15 employees will relocate from its space at 101 W. Main St. The bank will occupy 7,000 square feet of the new facility, said Kim Mode, president of
UCB’s operations in Spartanburg and Cherokee counties. The multiuse development will have 100 parking spaces, a resource that has become less of a commodity in the city during the past few years.
“We’ve been in this market for a long time, and this is a message that we’re here to stay. –Dixon Woodward, regional president, UCB’s South Carolina operations
UCB will have an on-site automated teller machine, or ATM, and two drive-thru lanes, which is a big improvement from the bank’s current setup that features a remote ATM in a parking garage next door. The bank’s space inside the building will include a large meeting room that will be open to the public for various events. “It’s great for us; it’s great for our clients,” Mode said. “In addition to the normal branch arrangement, the area headquarters will give us the flexibility to house other functions and should enable us to expand our product offering.” The project is the brainchild of Guy Harris, a
developer and broker with Spartanburg-based Spencer/Hines Properties. Harris initially sought out the services of Greenville-based Centennial American Properties to help move the project forward. Woodward said the bank and Centennial mutually agreed that a local developer should spearhead the project. Harris has teamed up with his friend Mark Linkesh to oversee the project via their newly formed development company Willow Flats Development. “I am so excited,” Harris said. “Every day I come to the office, I take that route just so I can see the progress. The feeling of seeing those buildings come down and the anticipation of the new one coming out of the ground is indescribable.” The building’s remaining 9,000 square feet will be available for lease. Officials believe the project will bring new retail, restaurant, or office users to an area that is considered to be the junction between the city’s central business district and busy east side. Woodward and Mode said Harris has already developed a “great” list of prospective tenants. Officials believe the development will spur more revitalization near the eastern gateway to downtown, which has been an area of concern for the city for several years. Three aging hotels, a FedEx Kinko’s, and the Corners of Main and Pine shopping center are located at the other three corners of the intersection.
3.9.2018 | upstatebusinessjournal.com
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Good Things in Upstate Packages Atlantic Packaging to close Duncan distribution center, move to a new facility in Greenville County WORDS BY NEIL COTIAUX | PHOTOS BY WILL CROOKS
Wes Carter (president) and Rusty Carter (CEO) of Atlantic Packaging
It’s a wrap. That’s because Atlantic Packaging is closing its Duncan distribution center and moving to a high-visibility site off I-85 South — expanding its presence in the Upstate. Later this month, the Wilmington, N.C.-based family business will close its facility at 790 Duncan-Reidville Road, move its approximately 40 employees to new Class A space on Frontage Road off Exit 40 in Greenville, and begin the next phase of its growth in the region. “We wanted to put a stake in the ground in Greenville in a big way,” said Wes Carter, 39, Atlantic’s president. “We need more space.” With 14 locations in six states and plants in Honduras and the Dominican Republic, the company is North America’s largest converter of bleached paperboard and fine paper grades, taking in massive rolls of raw material from paper mills and manipulating them to meet the specific needs of each client. 6
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But Atlantic has also enhanced its fortunes by providing Upstate businesses in the automotive, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, and consumer goods sectors with services like stretch wrapping, shrink packaging, protective packaging, printing, graphics, and the installation and servicing of equipment. In February, for example, Atlantic consultants visited Nutra Manufacturing Inc.’s distribution center in Anderson to conduct trial runs on a packaging film that could be used to bundle dietary supplements. “They’re very open to coming in and running some trials when needed,” said Meredith Alexander, Nutra’s packaging engineering manager. “They’ve worked very well with us on new equipment. ... Either they sell it or they have used it before,” she added. While there are 62 packaging companies in the Upstate, according to data from the Upstate SC Alliance, “We have segmented competitors,”
Carter said. “We have no direct competition that can do the breadth of what we do.” Atlantic Packaging doubled its companywide sales from 2006 to 2015, achieving revenues of $500 million — the last period for which the privately held company will confirm figures — and with recent changes in the tax code that will start to benefit it in about a year, the company is now investing in more workspace, people, and equipment. Atlantic, a Subchapter S corporation, will now enjoy a tax rate “down about 8 to 10 percent of what we were,” Carter said. “We have plants investing in more capital equipment,” thanks in part to a provision in the new law that sweetens depreciation, he added.
The new facility in Greenville County is Atlantic’s first combined manufacturing and distribution center in the Upstate. Modeled after the company’s operations in Atlanta, the
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“We have segmented competitors. We have no direct competition that can do the breadth of what we do.” –Wes Carter, president, Atlantic Packaging
workspace will jump from 75,000 square feet to 140,000 square feet. The company will add 10 to 15 employees including salespeople, customer service representatives, and skilled machine operators. Technicians will now be able to make prototypes locally for customers looking to make a change in packaging, said Stewart Whitmire, an Atlantic vice president. The firm also expects to add several foam-fabricating machines. Foam fabricating is important in automotive supply-chain packaging, and Atlantic is an established provider of protective packaging for wiper arms and blades, drive shafts, and bumpers, Carter noted. The company’s new client solutions center in Charlotte, N.C., opened last July, helps clients in the automotive industry and other market segments take advantage of advanced research and testing. Among other things, Atlantic makes unit load testing equipment available so customers can learn how to avoid damaging packaged goods in transit. “We’re shipping parts into the plant and we need to protect those parts, get them there in the right condition at the right time,” said BMW’s logistical planner, Alan Raville, in a video shot during the Charlotte center’s opening. Other Upstate companies that have visited the solutions center include kraft paper and corrugated packaging company KapStone, Fujifilm Manufacturing USA, and
Nutra Manufacturing, a division of General Nutrition Centers. “It is the most sophisticated lab in the world for what we do,” Carter believes.
RECRUITING AND RETENTION
In addition to sales and service, Atlantic is focusing on cementing relationships with its staff. Those bonds were made stronger in January when management told its approximately 1,000 workers that it was awarding each of them 2018 2018 2018 2018 2018 U PU SUT PUPA SPU STTST PE ATA STATTETE AET E a $1,000 bonus, including those COMMERCIAL COMMERCIAL COMMERCIAL COMMERCIAL COMMERCIAL who work offshore. REAL REAL REAL REAL ESTATE REAL ESTATE ESTATE ESTATE ESTATE With a one-time repatriation of offshore profits at a reduced tax AWARDS AWARDS AWARDS AWARDS AWARDS rate and the possibility of a lower tax hit on foreign profits in the future, Carter said, “We can bring a lot of those dollars back and spend them in America” while still investing in the company’s Caribbean and Central American operations. Local employees were “very, very appreciative” when informed of the bonuses but were not overly surprised given the fact that Atlantic (See(See (See catagories (See (See catagories catagories catagories catagories below) below) below) below) below) has given away a Jeep, boat, and motorcycle to employees in the nd nd ndnd nd past, Whitmire said. Founded in 1946, Atlantic has come a long way from its roots as a small-town newspaper in Tabor City, N.C., where Wes’ grandfather, W. Horace Carter, won a Pulitzer Prize for his impassioned, two-year crusade against the Ku Klux Klan. When the company expanded into printing, paper converting, and CAREER CAREER CAREER CAREER CAREER ADVANCEMENT ADVANCEMENT ADVANCEMENT ADVANCEMENT ADVANCEMENT FORFOR FOR WOMEN FOR FOR WOMEN WOMEN WOMEN WOMEN specialty packaging, other family members joined the business. Wes Carter swept the floor of the DEALMAKER DEALMAKER DEALMAKER DEALMAKER DEALMAKER Wilmington headquarters, drove a forklift, worked the customer RISING RISING RISING RISING RISING STAR STAR STAR STAR STAR service desk, made sales calls, and spent a year at the plant in the DEVELOPMENT DEVELOPMENT DEVELOPMENT DEVELOPMENT DEVELOPMENT IMPACT IMPACT IMPACT IMPACT IMPACT Dominican Republic before being named president in 2016 by his father, Rusty Carter, the current CEO. THANK THANK THANK THANK THANK YOU YOU YOU SPONSORS YOU YOU SPONSORS SPONSORS SPONSORS SPONSORS The younger Carter works out of the company’s expanding Summerville, S.C., office. Carter calls the Upstate “a very vibrant, healthy, growing market.” “It’s important to me that Atlantic continues to be a leader in the industry,” he said.
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Join Join Join Join us Join us for us us for us an for for an for an evening an an evening evening evening evening honoring honoring honoring honoring honoring CREW CREW CREW CREW CREW Upstate Upstate Upstate Upstate Upstate Award Award Award Award Award Recipients. Recipients. Recipients. Recipients. Recipients. THURSDAY, THURSDAY, THURSDAY, THURSDAY, THURSDAY, MARCH MARCH MARCH MARCH MARCH 22 22 22 2222 GENEVIEVE’S GENEVIEVE’S GENEVIEVE’S GENEVIEVE’S GENEVIEVE’S at The at atat The The at Peace The The Peace Peace Peace Peace Center Center Center Center Center 5:30 5:30 5:30 -5:30 7:30PM 5:30 --7:30PM -7:30PM 7:30PM - 7:30PM
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REAL ESTATE DEALS AND DEVELOPMENTS ACROSS THE REGION
ARIEL TURNER | STAFF
March Design Review Board Urban Panel
The March 1 public hearing of the City of Greenville Design Review Board Urban Panel revealed a few new projects in the works for some transitional areas of the city, while other known projects, such as the Wells Fargo signage and proposed renovations of three North Main Street storefronts, received approval. An application by JHM Hotels to modify the rooftop area and previously approved materials on the proposed AC Hotel at 305 S. Main St. was postponed by the applicant.
Rendering by DP3 Architects
NORTH MAIN STREET FACADES DP3 Architects submitted an application for a certificate of appropriateness to renovate the exterior facades of 217 and 219 N. Main St. The renovations to the former Blue Ridge Brewing Co. and Bistro Europa storefronts were approved with conditions: the color of aluminum and the architectural design on the right storefront mirror the color and design used on the Christian Science Reading Room’s storefront two doors down; and the proposed heritage red color for the left storefront be modified to a hue more in line with an art deco red.
Brian Thomas of DP3 Architects said the changes to the store are intended to restore the aesthetics of the building with three storefronts to a more symmetrical appearance. “It’s great that effort is being made with this building,” panel chairwoman Carmella Cioffi said.
WELLS FARGO BUILDING SIGNAGE An application for a certificate of appropriateness to replace the existing handrail and install a canopy with a group sign at 15 S. Main St. was approved. The recommendation was given that the perforated metal from the monument sign and carried over in the awning be considered for the railing in front the ATM on the right side of the entrance to the Wells Fargo Building. This project was previously submitted to the DRB, and after receiving feedback that would result in its denial, the applicant withdrew it in order to work with city staff to revise and resubmit it. “It’s a great resolution that helps us support other projects down the road and doesn’t deviate from our standards that causes problems down the road,” panelist Mitch Lehde said.
INFORMAL ADVICE AND REVIEWS 600 E. Washington St. David Anderson of Johnston Design Group presented for advice before filing for rezoning as Flexible Review District with the city of Greenville a proposed five-story development at 600 E. Washington St. that includes one story of 14,500 square feet of commercial real estate to include retail and four levels of residential above. A two-story building currently at the site will be demolished. The plan includes improvements to the pedestrian sidewalks to improve walkability.
SVN|BlackStream announces new location off Woodruff Road in the Miller Road Center SVN|BlackStream, a commercial real estate LLC, announced March 1 the opening of its new 6,300-square-foot office space located at 1325 Miller Road, Suite S, in Greenville. The location has a new floor plan configured 8
UBJ | 3.9.2018
to promote productivity in a collaborative environment and two conference rooms with advanced technology throughout the space. About 35 SVN|BlackStream team members will regularly occupy the space.
Rendering by DP3 Architects
The panel was generally positive about the development, which will have to return to the DRB before moving forward. The Holbrook at Buncombe Street A high-end senior living development that will include a full spa, indoor saltwater pool, multiple dining venues, sports bar, and wine bar is being proposed for the corner of Buncombe Street and Butler Avenue. The developer from Alpharetta, Ga., Solomon Development Services, specializes in senior living developments with memory care, assisted living, and independent living. They are applying for a zoning change that would allow for more than the 20 independent residences the current zoning allows. The proposed contiguous building will scale from three and a half to six stories along Buncombe. The panel suggested a potential change in design — from English manor style to something more in line with the urban environment — while taking into consideration the architecture of the neighboring Hampton-Pinckney Historic District.
SVN is part of the BlackStream organization, which also encompasses Christie’s International, a luxury residential real estate brokerage. The proximity to Woodruff Road I-385 and I-85 make this location easily accessible, with standard operating hours of 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday. -Ariel Turner
REAL ESTATE DEALS AND DEVELOPMENTS ACROSS THE REGION
ARIEL TURNER | STAFF
| SQUARE FEET @arielhturner
West End Community Hub to bring more co-work spaces, restaurants, and retail to the West End A new self-storage development proposed for 101 O’Neal St., Greenville, named the West End Community Hub by TD, is a convergence of six interrelated different uses, five of which will surround 107,000 square feet of climate-controlled self-storage. This new mixed-use project by TD Self Storage, an offshoot of JHM Hotels, will feature iShare co-work space, a new brand of co-working similar to WeWork developed just for the project that TD Storage plans to integrate into future projects; a 2,000-square-foot West End Music Hub that will be available for musicians to use for band or individual instrumental practice; street-level retail and restaurants that total 11,297 square feet; a 19,309-square-foot rooftop event venue with a fully equipped stage, kitchen, and bar; and 50 parking spaces on the ground level. Currently, a one-story Piedmont Electrical Distribution building sits on the property at 101 O’Neal St. Roger Burgin, senior vice president of business development and acquisitions with TD Self Storage, said the goal with this project, taking into account the surrounding neighborhood’s and the city’s feedback, is to create something that people really love. In terms of restaurants, Burgin says they are considering a coffee bar, juice bar, something similar to Five Guys Burger and Fries, and potential franchises JHM Hotels already works with. Burgin says the co-work space in conjunction with the on-site self-storage is ideal for traveling salespeople who don’t have a brick-and-mortar office but need storage and a professional meeting environment equipped with Wi-Fi and other office amenities. The West End Music Hub portion of the project is kicking the typical garage or basement band practice up a notch. It was developed after listening to feedback from the surrounding neighborhood and designed
The proposed West End Community Hub by TD will include a self-storage facility, an iShare co-work space, a 2,000-square-foot West End Music Hub, street-level retail and restaurants, a 19,309-square foot rooftop event venue, and 50 ground-level parking spaces. Rendering by Designhaus Architecture.
for those living in multifamily buildings who, as a courtesy to the neighbors, cannot practice their musical instruments in their apartments. The 2,000-square-foot facility is also ideal for those who want to hold band practice with full sound capabilities in the same location they store their equipment and instruments. The rooftop venue will be capable of hosting a range of events from large indoor and outdoor weddings to smaller cocktail hours. Burgin says it will be managed by the hotel group and will be available only for event rental purposes and not for general use as a rooftop bar or restaurant. The scope of the development also includes enhancements to promote walkability along the developing Rhett Street streetscape. The project received positive reviews from an informal presentation at the March 1 City of Greenville Design Review Board Urban Panel public hearing but will need official approval at a future DRB public hearing before moving forward.
The Community Foundation of Greenville bridges philanthropy and purpose by offering planned giving services, donor-advised funds and administering charitable endowment funds in support of a better community.
3.9.2018 | upstatebusinessjournal.com
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Greenville entrepreneurs take Southern Pressed Juicery to Austin Historical photo courtesy of Greenville County Historical Society & Photographs from the Coxe Collection. Historical photo courtesy of Greenville County Historical Society & Photographs from the Coxe Collection.
ARIEL TURNER | STAFF
Three well-known Greenville entrepreneurs have joined forces to expand a popular local restaurant brand into the growing Austin, Texas, market. Carl Sobocinski, founder of restaurant group Table 301; Olivia Esquivel, co-owner and founding partner of Southern Pressed Juicery; and Krish Patel, CEO of Wireless Communications Inc. and owner of Soul Yoga, have combined their various unique
The store will open in partnership with Austin’s second Wanderlust Yoga studio, with Southern Pressed Juicery on the left and the yoga studio entrance on the right. “We’ve been looking at other Southeastern cities for some time now, but Austin is definitely the next right move for us,” Sobocinski says. When Esquivel initially approached Sobocinski about partnering with her vision for the first location, it didn’t take long for him to recognize the benefits of adding the raw, vegan concept to the Table
areas of expertise to take Southern Pressed Juicery — and by extension, the Table 301 brand — to Austin this month, marking the local restaurant group’s first foray outside of the Greenville market. “We never intended to open just one,” says Esquivel of the plan for Southern Pressed Juicery that opened at 2 W. Washington St. in Greenville under the Table 301 banner in 2015. And, she adds, they certainly didn’t expect Austin to be home to the second store, which will be located in an expansive mixed-use development called The Domain — a mixture of national retail giants and local Austin brands.
301 portfolio alongside local mainstays such as Soby’s and The Lazy Goat. “The restaurant industry is continuing to move in this direction, and so it made sense for us to be part of that shift as well.” SPJ, as it’s often referred to, with its 100 percent organic, raw, coldpressed juices; superfood smoothies; energy bowls; and other plant-based foods, became a success in Greenville quickly, and Esquivel and Sobocinski have been scouting new markets for months. “I’m even more confident than I was initially. Now that we have a firm brand established in Greenville, I feel prepared to bring SPJ
Historical photo courtesy of Greenville County Historical Society & Photographs from the Coxe Collection. Historical photo courtesy of Greenville County Historical Society & Photographs from the Coxe Collection. Historical photo courtesy of Greenville County Historical Society & Photographs from the Coxe Collection.
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to other markets,” Sobocinski says. How Patel came to fit into the partnership is serendipitous, Esquivel says. Patel, who founded Wireless Communications in Greenville that previously owned Verizon Wireless stores in the Upstate and now has several stores in Texas, also owns Soul Yoga in Greenville and is managing partner of Wanderlust Yoga in Austin. Wanderlust is a nationally recognized yoga studio, and before Esquivel knew of Patel’s involvement in it, she recommended he look at its model of combining a yoga practice with a smoothie café concept. After recognizing their similar goals for business growth, the partnership became a no-brainer. “Personally, the decision to grow or not grow has been about relationships,” Sobocinski says. “Having a trusted partnership with Krish to grow outside this market into Austin makes it much easier to navigate a new city. I’m lucky to have a few other industry colleagues in Austin as well who are helping us get connected and become a part of that community as well.” The Austin location will open with the same menu as Greenville, but as SPJ partners with local farmers, the offerings may differ based on Austin’s growing seasons. Esquivel says she and Patel are continuing to talk about future dual stores in the Texas market. “This is the first time in bed together, so we’ll see if we get married,” she says. Esquivel and Sobocinski are continuing to look locally and around the Southeast for additional location options, but Greenville is still home regardless of the future growth. “We’re proud to be a Greenville company,” Esquivel says. “We’re creating jobs and supporting Texas farmers and being a part of a community there. Austin is fun and exciting, but there’s no place like home. Home base is Greenville.” 3.9.2018 | upstatebusinessjournal.com
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Tipsy Music Pub, located at 1237 Pendleton St., Greenville, closed Feb. 25. Photo by Will Crooks
Tipsy Taco expands; Common Cure closes; and Tipsy Music Pub may revamp ARIEL TURNER | STAFF
email@example.com A few local restaurant owners are playing a sort of musical chairs that will result in the closure of a neighborhood bar, two new locations for Tipsy Taco, and a potential revamp for the music pub in the Village of West Greenville. Tipsy Music Pub at 1237 Pendleton St., Greenville, which was operated by CHASS Productions co-owners Steven Scott and longtime Upstate musician Charles Hedgepath, along with Tipsy Taco co-owners Roger Carlton and Trish Balentine, closed Feb. 25. Almost simultaneously, The Common Cure at 15 Conestee Ave., the former Local Taco location that reopened in the Augusta Road area as a neighborhood bar and grill at the end of March 2017, closed. Owner John Ko says he and the Tipsy Taco owners have an agreement for Tipsy to buy the restaurant and open a second location of the popular taco shop in April. Tipsy Taco has also announced plans to open a Simpsonville location in May at 702 Fairview Road, Suite 104. The first Tipsy Taco opened in June 2016 at 215 Pelham Road, and the owners recently began 12
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working toward franchising the concept. Scott and Hedgepath say they are still considering their options following the Tipsy Music Pub closure but will continue to promote the local live music scene through CHASS Productions. The 4,200-square-foot building that for many years was Dr. Mac Arnold’s Blues Restaurant is owned by Wingspan Properties LLC, registered to Michael Watts, who owns several properties in the Village of West Greenville, including the buildings that house The Village Grind and Golden Brown & Delicious a few doors down. Watts’ brother, Kemp Watts, is also part owner. “That space has been a music venue from day one,” Kemp Watts says. “The situation with Tipsy Music Pub, it simply didn’t work out. As far as I’m concerned, it’s still going to be a music venue. The Village of West Greenville is the place that it needs to be.” Ko says Carlton and Balentine had approached him several times about buying The Common Cure building since the kitchen was already set up for a taco line, but he wasn’t quite ready to let it go until staffing issues, which plagued the restaurant since it opened, came to a head.
“About four to five weeks ago I had just lost my sixth general manager,” Ko says. Ko, who admits he’s not a chef or manager, says as a restaurant owner, he relied completely on his staff to operate the Augusta Road hangout, and after making some initial mistakes in the firsts few months, he had a difficult time recovering. Ko also owned Oakblue Kitchen at 109 N. Main St. that closed in August 2017 because of a staffing shortage. That space remains vacant, though it has garnered interest from other potential restaurant tenants. Ko moved to Greenville in 2015 to open two Local Taco locations, a chain that he started in Nashville in 2009. He eventually sold the Local Taco chain to Halo Restaurant Group, which closed both Greenville locations in 2016. The other location was on Pelham Road where Clean Eatz is now located in the Pelham@85 development. Wanting to open up a restaurant in his own neighborhood, Ko managed to work out a deal to get the Augusta Road-area restaurant back to give the bar-and-grill concept a go. Ko says he plans to take a break from restaurants for the foreseeable future.
NOTES FROM THE BEST TALKS YOU MISSED
| THE TAKEAWAY
Tangled Web Employee behavior on social media: how your company can respond from a PR and legal perspective By JULIE GODSHALL BROWN president & owner, Godshall Professional Recruiting and Staffing
What: Panel discussion on Employees and Social Media: What to do when they trash you, reveal your secrets, or otherwise act badly online Where: Godshall Professional Recruiting and Staffing Who Was There: Speakers: Marion Crawford, president and CEO of Crawford Strategy, and Stephen R. Woods, shareholder at Ogletree Deakins. Audience was 50+ business leaders and professionals
Anyone and everyone can voice their opinions on social media, and it could become viral instantly. But what do you do when a current or former employee trashes your organization, reveals confidential information, or just plain out acts badly online? Too many companies today have experienced a situation like this: an employee complaining about their job or supervisor, a former employee posting a negative review on a job application site, or a prospective employee trashing the company after not receiving an offer. At a panel discussion hosted by our team, we invited Marion Crawford, president & CEO of Crawford Strategy, along with Stephen R. Woods, shareholder at Ogletree Deakins, to discuss actions your organization can take from a public relations and reputation management perspective to a legal perspective. Here’s what we learned. FROM A PUBLIC RELATIONS AND REPUTATION PERSPECTIVE 1 When it comes to reputation, a strong defense is your best offense. Develop your brand identity by proactively cultivating an open and ongoing dialogue with your employees from the recruiting and interview process to the everyday work life. This will create a positive employee experience and will encourage your employees to be representatives of your brand. Step one in developing your brand identity is defining who you are as a company. Ask: Who are we? What do we stand for? How do we behave? Why do we do what we do? What are our brand promises?
Step two is establishing core values that are a set of agreed-upon behaviors that every employee at every level should know, embrace, and deliver every day. Core values help provide guidelines for what is expected from a behavior and deliverables perspective for your team. How do we want to behave as a group? Defining your values gets to the heart of living the brand because a brand is only as strong as the people who deliver it each day. Every employee is a company spokesperson, so it is best to equip them to be the best spokesperson they can be. 2 Control the message before it controls you. Establish a social media policy based on your company’s core values and mission statement. Social media is simply a form of communication — like speaking, carrying a sign, writing a letter, etc. It is a behavior. The question is, does the employee’s behavior (in person or online) align with the values of your organization? This is where a social media policy comes into place. 3 Be proactive, not reactive. Establish a presence on social media where your audience spends time. Update content regularly, share your brand identity through your content, and use a consistent voice throughout. Create an identity that is harder to destroy. Listen on social media to understand what is being said about your organization. Actively monitor mentions of your brand. FROM A LEGAL PERSPECTIVE 1 Can’t this all be considered free speech? The First Amendment prohibits the government — not private employers — from interfering with citizens’ freedom of speech; meaning, free speech does not apply to private employees unless you are a government entity. Employees do not have the right to trash their organization publicly, but there are limits. As an employer, you cannot control every little detail of your employee’s social media activity or meddle… until they give you a reason to do so. For example, if an employee calls out sick, but posts a picture on social media of them partying the night before, you as an employer have the right to address this.
Godshall Professional Recruiting and Staffing hosted a panel on how companies can respond to their employees’ detrimental social media use.
2 But there are legal restrictions and requirements. The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) gives non-supervisor employees the right to engage in protected concerted activity (PCA) — either in person or online. Concerted is defined as something that must be published to/shared with other non-supervisor employees. Social media poster may be acting on behalf of other non-supervisor employees — which must be obvious. Protected references the topic. If the comments are about wages, hours, or other terms and conditions of employment, the comments are considered protected. Shockingly, using profane language does not change the law either. It’s also crucial to understand the difference in legality between a supervisor and a non-supervisor. Type of employee
Able to Engage in PCA?
Protected by NLRA?
However, the NLRA does draw the line at a certain point. Employees are not protected when they make a sharp, public, disparaging attack upon the quality of the company’s product and its business policies, in a manner reasonably calculated to harm the company’s reputation. BOTTOM LINE: REPUTATION IS EVERYTHING. Your brand reputation is a compilation of everything the brand does along with what your employees do. If you don’t take the time to cultivate your company’s reputation, your current, former, and prospective employees will do it for you. 3.9.2018 | upstatebusinessjournal.com
AVIATION IN THE UPSTATE
A C-5M Super Galaxy (center) and T-50A trainer jet (front) sit on the tarmac at Lockheed’s Greenville facility. Photo provided.
ince 1984, Lockheed Martin, a Maryland-based aerospace and defense company, has provided modification, maintenance, repair, and overhaul services for both military and civil aircraft from its 16-hangar facility at the S.C. Technology and Aviation Center in southern Greenville County. Now the company’s local operation is gearing up for another busy year. Here are four of the facility’s biggest projects so far in 2018:
Supporting the C-5M Super Galaxy Lockheed has been awarded a $7.6 million contract from the U.S. Air Force to perform “supply chain management, repair, and technical support services” on two C-5M Super Galaxies. The project will be managed by the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia, but some of the work will be performed at Lockheed’s Greenville facility. Leslie Farmer, a spokesperson for Lockheed’s Greenville operations, said crews would spend several months installing upgraded communication and navigation systems in the two aircraft. 14
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LOCKHEED MARTIN’S GREENVILLE FACILITY GEARS UP FOR MAJOR PROJECTS IN 2018
The work is expected to last through July. It won’t, however, create any jobs. “The support contracts we receive for the C-5 don’t have a tremendous impact on our bottom line, but they keep our workforce stable and showcase our capabilities with large aircraft,” said Don Erickson, site director for Lockheed’s Greenville operations. Refurbished recently with more powerful engines and enhanced cockpit computers, the C-5Ms are the only U.S. transport planes that can make a nonstop transcontinental flight while carrying military cargo and personnel. The Air Force currently operates 52 C-5Ms, which are stationed at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware and Travis Air Force Base in California. Erickson said the upcoming work at Lockheed’s facility in Greenville is part of the Air Force’s plan to bring eight C-5Ms out of retirement. In 2015, senior officials grounded the planes and placed them in the service’s “backup inventory” to save $60 million in operating costs. But now they want to return the aircraft to active duty by the end of 2021. “We’re going to buy back two a year for four years, if we’re able to have a predictable budget to get the fleet back to a higher quality,” Lt. Gen.
WORDS BY ANDREW MOORE Jerry Harris, the Air Force deputy chief of staff for strategic plans and requirements, told the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces subcommittee during a Congressional hearing in May 2017. The Air Force’s budget for 2018 includes a combination of transportation working capital funds and operations and maintenance funds to upgrade two C-5Ms, according to a news release from the Department of Defense. When modifications to the aircraft are complete, Lockheed’s pilots in Greenville will perform check flights and deliver them to Travis Air Force Base. Erickson said Lockheed’s facility in Greenville would likely conduct future contract work on the remaining C-5Ms. “Our crews have proven themselves to the Air Force time and time again. And we have the space to accommodate the work,” he said.
Storing the Black Hawk Helicopter Lockheed’s Greenville facility is also working to become a hub for helicopter work. The facility recently entered into an “inner-company work transfer agreement” with
AVIATION IN THE UPSTATE
Sikorsky, a Lockheed company, to temporarily store 25 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters before they’re sent to a facility in West Palm Beach, Fla., according to Erickson. Crews will also perform preservation work. “When you store aircraft, you can’t just put them away for six months and dust them off,” Erickson said. “You have to occasionally run the engines and make repairs.” Erickson said the agreement with Sikorsky positions Lockheed’s facility in Greenville to win additional helicopter work in the future. Last year, Lockheed announced that Sikorsky’s production headquarters in Connecticut had beaten Greenville and other facilities across the country for a contract with the Defense Department to build a fleet of CH-53 King Stallion helicopters for the Marine Corps. The Greenville facility was widely considered the strongest competitor, as it provides a number of services for military aircraft, including the Navy’s P-3 Orion. But it ultimately lost out on the $300 million contract because it lacked a helicopter production line and a workforce skilled in helicopter manufacturing, according to Sikorsky spokesperson Paul Jackson. Lockheed’s facility in Greenville has since submitted a bid for a contract with Sikorsky to keep Black Hawk helicopters in the Upstate through 2023, according to Erickson. “We’re relatively unique in what we can do, so I don’t think we’re going to have any problems securing the work,” he said. Erickson added that Lockheed would announce the contract’s winner later this year.
Preparing for the F-16 Viper Meanwhile, Lockheed is modifying a 110,000-square-foot hangar in Greenville to house the production of the F-16 Viper, a fourth-generation, multi-role fighter jet. Lockheed announced plans last year to relocate the fighter jets from Fort Worth, Texas, to Greenville to make room for the production of the F-35, a fifth-generation fighter jet with stealth capabilities. The U.S. State Department has since approved the sale of 19 Lockheed F-16 Vipers to the government of Bahrain. Lockheed plans to hire at least 160 people at its Greenville facility in the third quarter of 2018 to support production, according to Erickson. Erickson said production would begin with one aircraft a month. The facility’s modified hangar, however, will be able to support the production of two aircraft a month should Lockheed sell the aircraft to other countries. Lockheed is currently anticipating orders from Indonesia and Colombia.
The company is also working to secure a contract with the Indian government that would reportedly involve the purchase of 200 fighter jets. Lockheed’s facility in Greenville would assemble some of the initial aircraft sold to India if the deal happens, according to spokesperson John Losinger. But most of the work would occur in India thanks to a partnership between Lockheed and the aerospace and defense arm of the Tata Group, India’s leading global enterprise. The contract would also allow India to export its F-16s, which means India could be competing with Lockheed’s Greenville operations for any work to upgrade about 3,200 F-16s currently in use by various countries.
refueling receptacle on its dorsal and a groundbased training system for pilots. It also features a fifth-generation cockpit similar to what’s installed in the F-35 Lightning II and open-systems architecture, which allows for a faster integration of new sensors, weapons, and other capabilities. Lockheed submitted the design to the Pentagon for consideration in June. In October, Air Force Undersecretary Matt Donovan said he expects the contract, which is valued up to $16 billion, to be awarded this spring. If awarded the contract, Lockheed plans to produce four aircraft a month at its Greenville facility, creating between 200 and 250 jobs. Lockheed, however, isn’t the only company competing for the contract.
“When you store aircraft, you can’t just put them away for six months and dust them off. You have to occasionally run the engines and make repairs.” –Don Erickson, site director, Lockheed Martin
Richard Aboulafia, an analyst with Teal Group, an aerospace consultancy in Fairfax, Va., told the Upstate Business Journal last year he doesn’t expect Greenville to produce many of the supersonic jets. “The F-16’s only real hope for a sustainable line is an India order, and that means building in India,” he said, adding that Lockheed’s deal to make F-16s in India with Tata was “an inevitable agreement, and Greenville was always going to be an interim site, at best.”
Securing the Air Force’s T-X Contract Lockheed’s Greenville facility, however, remains a potential location for the assembly of a different supersonic military aircraft — the T-50A. The Air Force announced in 2016 that it wants 350 new aircraft for undergraduate pilot training. Instead of submitting a clean-sheet design, Lockheed Martin partnered with Korean Aerospace Industries to offer a modified version of the T-50 Golden Eagle, a supersonic advanced trainer jet that was developed by the two companies in the 1990s. The upgraded aircraft design features an aerial
A UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter flies above the Afghan countryside. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Andrew Smith/Released.
Boeing, for instance, partnered with Swedish aerospace firm Saab to develop a twin-seat, single-engine trainer jet that features a glass cockpit modeled to resemble that of the Lockheed F-35 Lightning II, and an open-systems architecture. The aircraft, known as the BTX, includes elements of the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and Saab Gripen combat aircraft. Meanwhile, DRS, the U.S. subsidiary of Italian aerospace firm Leonardo, has submitted its T-100, which is based on the M-346 Master advanced jet trainer. Textron AirLand, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon canceled their plans to enter the competition last year. Aboulafia said Lockheed has a 55 percent chance of winning the contract since the T-50A doesn’t involve a lot of upfront development costs that add to the price. “This entire competition comes down to the costs,” he said. “Boeing has a good aircraft, but Lockheed has the upper-hand because there’s less risk involved with their design. It’s been demonstrated.” Lockheed’s Greenville facility has conducted more than 90 test flights of the T-50A since two of the aircraft arrived from South Korea last year, according to Farmer.
3.9.2018 | upstatebusinessjournal.com
AVIATION IN THE UPSTATE
Your Ride is Here Wheels Up brings membership-based aviation service to the Upstate
fter raising more than $100 million in funding, Wheels Up, a membership-based private aviation company, has begun the expansion of its sales and marketing campaign by targeting residents and businesses across the Upstate. The New York-based startup, which was founded by serial entrepreneur Kenny Dichter in 2013, offers members access to a private fleet of aircraft with as little as 24-hours notice, according to Jim Bundren, vice president of regional sales at Wheels Up. Bundren, a Clemson graduate and former sales representative for the Florida-based orthopedic medical device developer Arthrex, joined Wheels Up and relocated to Greenville in October to boost the company’s presence and sales efforts in the Upstate. “More and more people across the country are looking into private aviation as big airlines continue to reduce their services and increased security makes commercial flying more stressful,” said Bundren. “We’re working to make it more attainable.” Individuals and families interested in joining Wheels Up pay an initiation fee of $17,500 plus $8,500 in annual dues after the first year, according to Bundren. Corporate members, however, pay an upfront cost of $29,500 plus $14,500 in annual dues. Wheels Up also offers a “pay-as-you-fly” membership that allows individuals, families, and businesses to pay by the hour. Pricing per hour ranges from $3,950 to $6,950 depending 16
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on the aircraft, and members pay no additional fuel costs or fees per flight. Jamie Jaffe, senior vice president of marketing at Wheels Up, said the company has earned about $300 million in annual revenue and added more than 5,000 members since 2013. About 80 percent of those members are individuals and 20 percent are corporate. During last year’s National Business Aviation Association conference in Las Vegas, Dichter said the company expects membership to reach 10,000 by 2020. “I think we can be a $5-10 billion company,” he said. “There’s no reason by 2025 into 2030 we shouldn’t have 25,000 or 30,000 members. We should be every year taking more airplanes than we took the year before.” In October, Wheels Up announced it had closed an equity-based fundraising round of $117.5 million. The funds will be used for a number of growth initiatives, including the purchase of additional aircraft and expansion of sales and marketing. Bundren, who was hired after the announcement, said the continued growth of the Upstate’s aviation industry is one of the many reasons why Wheels Up is now targeting the region, which is home to nine general aviation airports and one commercial airport. The Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport, for instance, serves more than 1.8 million passengers per year, with five major airlines offering 49 nonstop daily departures to 14 major cities and 18 airports across the United States,
Wheels Up currently operates a fleet of 80 aircraft, including 65 Beechcraft King Air 350i turboprops and 15 Cessna Citation Excel XLS business jets. Photo provided by Wheels Up.
according to the South Carolina Aeronautics Commission. In 2017, the airport had an economic impact of $1.2 billion. Wheels Up has access to Greenville-Spartanburg International and other commercial airports across South Carolina, according to Bundren. But the company is also targeting individuals and businesses that use the Upstate’s general aviation airports, which had a combined economic impact of more than $600 million in 2017, according to the S.C. Aeronautics Commission. The Upstate’s nine general aviation airports include the Greenville Downtown Airport, Anderson Regional Airport, Spartanburg Downtown Memorial Airport, Oconee Regional Airport, Pickens County Airport, Greenwood County Airport, Laurens County Airport, Union County Airport, and Donaldson Field. General aviation activity throughout South Carolina and the rest of the U.S. decreased between 2007 and 2014 due to an increasing costs for fuel and aircraft insurance. But recent tower activity shows that demand is growing in the Palmetto State thanks to business aviation, which is the fastest growing segment of the general aviation industry. The Greenville Downtown Airport, for instance, had more air traffic than all other general aviation airports last year. It was topped by only three commercial airports — Myrtle Beach International, Charleston International/Air Force Base, and Columbia Metropolitan. “We’re not targeting a specific demographic,
AVIATION IN THE UPSTATE
but I think we’re going to see a lot of interest from local businesses that already fly commercially or own private planes,” said Bundren. “Many of our corporate members like the fact that we can accommodate a Jim Bundren, VP of wide range of flying regional sales, Wheels Up behaviors and provide supplemental lift. It doesn’t matter if your plane is under maintenance or your flight is cancelled, we’re always available.” Wheels Up, however, faces hefty competition from several other fractional jet and charter companies in the Upstate. That includes Spartanburg-based Fenix Air Charter, which offers both cargo and individual charter flights across the continental U.S., as well as Greenville-based Venture Aviation, which offers private flights to more than 5,400 airports nationwide.
Unlike some of its competitors, Wheels Up has been able to lower the cost of private flying by purchasing a pre-owned fleet of turbo prop airplanes as opposed to traditional jets, which are more expensive to operate, according to Bundren. Wheels Up currently operates a fleet of 80 aircraft, including 65 Beechcraft King Air 350i turboprops and 15 Cessna Citation Excel XLS business jets. The company is also looking to purchase between eight and 10 Citation X jets by the end of 2018. Although Wheels Up owns its fleet of aircraft, the company partners with UK-based Gama Aviation to source FAA-certified pilots who train at Flight Safety International twice a year, according to Jaffe. Wheels Up currently has more than 145 pilots. Bundren said Wheels Up has differentiated itself from other private aviation companies by putting a larger focus on digital capabilities. In 2015, for instance, the company launched an app that allows members to book flights, manage
their accounts, estimate flight times, and select one-way flights that are posted daily and updated in real-time. The app also allows members to share flights. As an example, a member who commutes from Greenville to Charleston every week could post their commute on the app and find other members who pay for the same flight. They can then agree to share the flight and cost. Members can also take advantage of the “Wheels Down” program, which offers exclusive access to concierge services and major sporting events, according to Jaffe. As for the future, Wheels Up plans to not only purchase more aircraft but also grow its membership by establishing additional sales and marketing teams across the country, according to Jaffe. The company also plans to expand into Western Europe. For more information, visit www.wheelsup.com.
3.9.2018 | upstatebusinessjournal.com
AVIATION IN THE UPSTATE
IN FLIGHT F
Aviation is poised to take off as the next Upstate industry powerhouse WORDS BY TREVOR ANDERSON
rom the sky, the Upstate is a quilt of greens, browns, and patches of blue. Lightly colored rectangular shapes dot the landscape. They are, for the most part, castles belonging to the monarchs of the region’s economic might — its automotive manufacturers. But a new source of investment, job growth, and international notoriety has appeared on the horizon. Since 2009, the aviation industry has been making a comeback in the Upstate after eight years of decline following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Coincidentally, or maybe not, the positive trend began the year aerospace giant Boeing acquired Vought Aircraft Industries’ North Charleston plant and announced it would be the second final assembly site for its 787 Dreamliner program. As of the fourth quarter of 2017, labor market data provided by Upstate SC Alliance showed the number of jobs related to aerospace and defense in the region increased more than 27 percent from 2013 to 2017. The national rate declined more than 3 percent during that period. Upstate SC Alliance, which is an economic development organization founded in 2000 to position the 10-county region of the Upstate for global success, showed that the average wage for these jobs was more than $103,000 per year, compared with about $127,000 nationally. John Lummus, president and CEO of Upstate SC Alliance, said there are currently 400 aviation-related companies in South Carolina. He said 150 of them, almost 38 percent, are located in this region. There are aviation-related companies in each of the 10 counties of the Upstate, Lummus said. “I think it’s a natural fit for us,” Lummus said. “Of course, having Lockheed Martin and GE [in Greenville] and Boeing in Charleston is a positive, but [the Upstate] is really at the center of a pretty good aerospace cluster.” Lummus mentioned Airbus in Alabama, Honda Aircraft Co. in North Carolina, Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. in Georgia, and several other original equipment manufacturers of aircraft within a couple hours drive of the Upstate.
UBJ | 3.9.2018
“This is really a good area for aviation-related suppliers,” he said. “I think our base of manufacturing knowledge matches up well. There are a lot of synergies.” Lummus explained that the nature of aircraft manufacturing is different than automotive manufacturing. For example, Spartanburg County-based BMW Manufacturing Co. produces about 1,500 cars per day. Boeing produces about a dozen 787s per month. “With aviation, it’s not so much of a just-intime situation,” Lummus said. “That means suppliers don’t have to be located right there around the plant. It allows suppliers here to serve aircraft manufacturers in Charleston and other areas.” In addition to manufacturing expertise and a growing cluster of aviation-related companies, officials said the Upstate has a few other ad-
vantages they believe will provide for future growth. The Upstate is home to Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP), Donaldson Field, and Greenville Downtown Airport, which are three of the state’s top 10 airports in terms of employment, payroll, spending, economic activity, and tax revenue. S.C. Aeronautics Commission data showed those three airports account for more than $1.8 billion in economic activity annually. That’s more than 11 percent of the nearly $16 billion of total annual economic activity generated by South Carolina’s top 10 airports. GSP, Donaldson Field, and Greenville Downtown Airport employ a combined 12,736 people, or nearly 11 percent of the jobs provided by that group of airports. In terms of tax revenue, those three Upstate airports create nearly $70 million annually,
AVIATION IN THE UPSTATE
which is about 11 percent of the more than $6.4 billion generated by the state’s top 10 airports. “Statewide, there is a big push in aviation,” Lummus said. “We have been working to get the buzz out that [the Upstate] is an aviation hub.” Another positive for the region’s aviation industry is the shift of Lockheed Martin’s F-16 fighter and T-50A trainer jets production to its Greenville Operations Center at the S.C. Technology and Aviation Center, or SCTAC, beside Donaldson Field. “These are two developments that have changed the landscape of Lockheed’s Upstate operations,” said Jody Bryson, president and CEO of SCTAC. “They will create
aviation industry growth. “When I first heard about [CMI], I was immediately excited,” Farris said. “The workforce requirement is the No. 1 concern for companies [seeking to expand or relocate]. … It will put us in a position to compete for advanced manufacturing jobs.” Leaders said there are efforts being made across the region to land manufacturing companies that are more advanced. Generally speaking, this means attracting jobs that demand higher skills but pay higher wages. “It makes perfect sense for us to look at aviation as an evolving option for us,” Farris said. “A lot of this has to do with our manufacturing history and textiles evolved
“When BMW came to South Carolina, we didn’t really know what kind of impact it would have on our region. I think it’s the same thing with Boeing. … We’re creating a conglomeration of companies that support [the aviation] industry — an economy of scale.”
t the Village of West Greenville r o p p u S
SAVE THE DATE FRIDAY, MARCH 16 2-6 pm LOCATION: Pace Jewelers parking lot (1250 Pendleton St.)
–Mark Ferris, president and CEO, Greenville Area Development Corp.
jobs and investment.” In addition to Lockheed Martin, SCTAC is home to 110 other “technologically advanced companies,” according to its website. Bryson said Greenville Technical College’s Aircraft Maintenance Technology program, which is housed at SCTAC, will have a critical role to play in the development of the region’s workforce. The S.C. Army National Guard, in partnership with Greenville Tech, is increasing its investment in facilities at SCTAC that will increase training capabilities and student capacity. Mark Farris, president and CEO of the Greenville Area Development Corp., said he believes Greenville Tech’s Center for Manufacturing Innovation (CMI) next to Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research will eventually contribute to the region’s
into automotive manufacturing. Auto could evolve into something even greater.” For example, when Japan-based Toray broke ground on its $1.4 billion plant in Spartanburg County, a company official said the facility would supply carbon fiber for Boeing’s operation in North Charleston. And Teijin Ltd., another Japanese carbon fiber manufacturer, said its new $600 million plant in Greenwood County will supply several industries, including aerospace. “When BMW came to South Carolina, we didn’t really know what kind of impact it would have on our region,” Farris said. “I think it’s the same thing with Boeing. … We’re creating a conglomeration of companies that support [the aviation] industry — an economy of scale.” 3.9.2018 | upstatebusinessjournal.com
St. Patrick's Day BLOOD DRIVE Join the Village people in an afternoon of life-saving and fun! The Blood Connection will be on-site accepting blood donations. All donors will receive a Village Goodie Bag and a Walmart gift card. Reserve your spot today!
AVIATION IN THE UPSTATE
IN-HOME CARE SERVICES
Build-a-plane Dementia Care For seniors with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, living at home in a familiar environment can be helpful because it surrounds them with memory cues that can reduce confusion and enhance mental engagement. • Companionship • Meal preparation • Laundry & light housekeeping • Incidental transportation • Grocery shopping • Errand services • 24-hour care • Respite relief for family 26 Rushmore care Drive, or Greenville, SC 29615
26 Rushmore Drive
945 E. Main Street
Oconee County-based Just Aircraft LLC is a manufacturer of light aircraft, such as the SuperSTOL XL planes pictured here. Photo courtesy of Just Aircraft.
Oconee County-based Just Aircraft LLC continues to soar WORDS BY TREVOR ANDERSON
n a quiet corner of the Upstate, far removed from the region’s bustling industrial parks and urban centers, an entrepreneurial dream shared by aircraft enthusiasts Troy Woodland and Gary Schmitt has taken flight. Woodland and Schmitt are co-founders of Just Aircraft LLC, a manufacturer of kits for the company’s popular short takeoff and landing (STOL) light plane models. Just Aircraft is based in a 32,000-square-foot facility at 170 Duck Pond Road in Oconee County, about 2.5 miles south of Walhalla. Woodland, an aircraft designer, founded the company in 2002 in Caldwell, Idaho. He met Schmitt, a builder and pilot, at an air show. Schmitt, originally of Highlands, N.C., said the two men “did some business together” and then began talking about becoming partners. Schmitt joined the venture in 2003. UBJ | 3.9.2018
Two years later, the partners decided to relocate their company nearly 2,500 miles to the picturesque property that has a vantage of where the Blue Ridge Mountains begin to transition into rolling hills. “We were selling more aircraft on the East Coast,” Schmitt said. “We decided we needed to be closer to where all the action was.” Since its inception, Just Aircraft has shipped hundreds of its kits worldwide to markets that include Australia, England, France, Spain, New Zealand, Canada, and Ecuador. About 70 percent of the company’s sales are domestic, while the remaining 30 percent is international. According to its website, the company offers its customers a factory build program that allows them to construct their own plan in the factory. The company will also build 100 percent of the plane “in accordance to the customers’ specifications.”
Schmitt said the company has 12 employees. Its aircraft include the Escapade, the Highlander, SuperSTOL, SuperSTOL XL, and the Just 103. Schmitt said he believes the company is the second-largest aircraft manufacturer in South Carolina behind Boeing’s operation in North Charleston. “It’s just like any other business,” he said. “You can’t just rest on your laurels. You have to continue to innovate and take care of your customers.” “The future looks bright,” Schmitt added. “We’ve experienced our fair share of ups and downs, but the economy is improving and we’re optimistic. … The move [to South Carolina] has been good for us. The aviation industry here is growing and I hope it can become a larger part of [the] Upstate’s economy.”
THE TECHNICAL SIDE OF BUSINESS
| DIGITAL MAVEN
Do you know where all the banana peels are in your company? By LAURA HAIGHT president, portfoliosc.com
Once a year, you go to the doctor. You get an EKG and some other tests; the doc listens to your heart, peers into your throat, and tells you to lose weight, and you go home with a general feeling of well-being. Why don’t you do the same thing for your company? Public companies have Sarbanes-Oxley anti-fraud law, utilities have SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition), nonprofits often have requirements to meet to maintain eligibility for positive ratings. While small and medium-sized businesses — and especially startups — do not labor under onerous audit requirements, they should still be building an annual risk assessment into business plans. Here are some areas all businesses should review annually, either through internal processes or with outside assistance. You can’t fix what you don’t know about. And it’s those things that will — always — hurt you.
Policies and procedures. All departments may have them, but the big three are information technology, human resources, and finance. Every year, your business changes — in big and small ways — but policies and procedures seem to live forever. Not always in a good way. Usually in a big, dusty book on the top shelf somewhere. To be effective, they need to adapt as your business evolves. This is especially true of technology where every new system, software, or online service has the potential to affect existing procedures. Are your policies keeping up with business changes? Do procedures line up with the operational environment? Access. Best practice is to give the lowest possible access for an employee to do his job. But over time, well-thought-out access often becomes a gerrymandered mess. How? Here’s a common scenario: Someone goes on vacation and a backup person is given additional access so he can fill in. When the staffer returns, the additional authorities given to the backup are rarely removed. Advanced systems can give authorities for a specific function during specific time ranges, but for many businesses, maintaining authorities is a manual process that can be backstopped as part of the risk assessment.
Internal controls. The heart of secure and efficient financial operations, this is another place where small businesses and startups are often lax. It may be due to understaffing, or it may be a problem that grows organically over time as well-meaning employees pitch in to help and end up picking up tasks on a permanent basis. Certified fraud examiner and forensic accountant Kelly Wessel of Wessel Forensic Accounting says believing that your annual accountant review will catch fraud is a dangerous assumption. “It doesn’t and it is not designed to,” says Wessel, the former director of internal audit for Greenville Health System. “Internal controls protect a company from fraud. That is not what your accountant’s review of your books is designed to do.”
Employee management. Outsourcing of IT and HR is cost-effective, but the silos they create require more proactive intervention. When staff leave, more than payroll needs to be adjusted. IT has a significant role in making sure that access to company systems like email, customer relationship management, documents, or databases are removed immediately — even if they have left on good terms. Even promotions should involve an access review. IT and HR must work together on employee management. Reviewing those procedures should be part of your risk assessment. Former employees with access to company resources represent a potentially significant security risk. Ask yourself if you are absolutely certain that the last employee to leave your company no longer has access to any of your systems, data, or services.
There is no substitute for walking around, seeing what people do, and talking to them about why they do it that way. Sometimes it’s a training issue, but sometimes they have found a better way.
Social media. Who set up your Facebook account? Or Twitter? Or Instagram? Social media platforms are social systems evolved into marketing and communication platforms for businesses and brands. But at their core, they still revolve around individuals. So the nice marketing staffer who set up your Facebook account may still be the administrator. Recently, I’ve had clients who lost control of their social media accounts because no one currently on staff was an admin. Whoever set up your account is the owner, NOT you. Access to those accounts should be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure they are current. Even if you aren’t using them today.
Think that’s not an issue for you? The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners says small businesses are at greater risk because they have a “significantly lower implementation rate of anti-fraud controls. ... This gap in fraud prevention and detection coverage leaves small organizations extremely susceptible to frauds that can cause significant damage to their limited resources.”
BCP/DR. I write about business continuity planning and disaster recovery a lot so I’m not going to belabor the point. Do you have a plan for how to continue business or recover from a natural disaster (like a hurricane or tornado), an accident (toxic spill, major power outage), or a significant hack? Don’t worry. I’m afraid I know the answer. But consider this: Hurricane Matthew in October 2016 cost our state $64 million. As bad as that sounds, it dwarfs the estimated $10 billion in losses for businesses from North Carolina to Florida.
Employees. Want to know if a procedure is being followed? Just ask employees how they do something. Too often risk assessments/audits/ annual reviews are clinical processes with lots of documents dropped off in a conference room and a group of serious-looking people poring over them. That is certainly an important part of the process, but not the end. There is no substitute for walking around, seeing what people do, and talking to them about why they do it that way. Sometimes it’s a training issue, but sometimes they have found a better way. That’s something you may want to add to keep the policies and procedures vibrant and useful.
3.9.2018 | upstatebusinessjournal.com
WHAT ’S NEXT FOR THE UPSTATE, AND HOW WE’LL GET THERE
Better Together How the education and business sectors can connect at a greater scale in the Upstate By DEAN HYBL executive director, Ten at the Top
The word “coherence” is defined as “the quality of forming a unified whole” or
being “logically connected and intelligible.” When we think about building an Upstate that is economically strong, a good steward of its resources, and a place where all residents can grow and succeed, it seems logical that creating coherence among stakeholders working toward those goals would help make each partner and the entire region stronger. Certainly, when you have multiple people, interests, and other factors involved, creating coherence is a challenge for any business, community, or endeavor. But imagine trying to create coherence when looking at the educational and future economic success of our children. Just within the Upstate, we have 23 public school districts, plus more than 20 technical colleges, two- and four-year colleges and universities, and post-graduate schools and programs. If you add to that mix thousands of businesses, all with their own specific employment needs, that rely on the students produced through the education system, and then top it off with local and state governments who play varying roles in creating policies or setting spending rates, the result is a system where creating any level of coherence or connectivity can seem incredibly daunting. Yet, studies have shown that regions that develop connectivity and collaborative opportunities that include all levels of education are able to provide valuable experiences to enhance the overall success of students. In a region like the Upstate where the educational success and economic success of our communities are very clearly connected, creating meaningful coherence and connectivity could provide even greater value for students and businesses. It was with this backdrop that Ten at the Top and Public Education Partners recently convened the first meeting of Upstate superintendents and college/university presidents at Tri-County Technical College in Easley. With more than 40 representatives from K-12, post-secondary education, and the business community in attendance, the participants clearly recognized both the opportunities for and the barriers toward creating coherence and greater regional connectivity. Fortunately, in the Upstate we have a number of individual district, county, or multicounty examples of programs where the various sectors within education and business have connected to create opportunities for students as they move through the K-12 system, graduate high school, and move into post-secondary opportunities. The question in the room was whether we could possibly create a framework for developing similar partnerships and initiatives at a greater regional scale. While many different values and opportunities were discussed throughout the meeting, a few themes kept bubbling to the top.
• Intentional communication and dialogue are critical. The fact that this was the first meeting at the regional scale of K-12 and post-secondary superintendents, presidents, and provosts illustrates a deficiency and why there often seems to be a disconnect among teachers at different stages of students’ education. Developing some type of consistent dialogue across the education spectrum could eliminate some of the 22
UBJ | 3.9.2018
Studies have shown that regions that develop connectivity and collaborative opportunities that include all levels of education are able to provide valuable experiences to enhance the overall success of students.
“inaccurate perceptions” that seem to exist among the various stakeholders as well as create a more seamless transition from one level of education to another. Then engaging the business community to be part of that larger dialogue would go even further in creating a coherent system that supports students through their entire path from the beginning of their education through entering the workforce.
• Adaptability and commonality of curriculum is enhanced by collaboration. There are a number of Upstate examples where individual school districts, businesses, and colleges have worked together to develop a curriculum that supports their collective needs. Developing a system where those collaborative opportunities can be done on a larger, regional scale would increase productivity at all levels and also help deal with the reality that the needs of our businesses are ever-changing based on technology and other factors and our school systems struggle to adjust quickly.
• Challenges are often similar, so why not learn from each other?
It was clear from the dialogue that whether it is state and federal mandates or ever-changing real-world dynamics (like student health and safety), each educational entity is dealing with many of the same challenges. Rather than having to figure it out on their own, developing a platform for sharing of ideas, best practices, and ways to address consistent issues would alleviate repetitiveness and help grow the collective capacity. Creating a culture of coherence, connectivity, and collaboration across the education and business spectrums in the Upstate will not be easy or happen overnight. However, often the first step in any pursuit is the hardest, so now that it has been taken, moving toward a “unified whole” is a pursuit that I hope and believe our education and business leaders are ready to tackle. For more information about Ten at the Top’s efforts to build collaboration and collective capacity across the region, go to www. tenatthetop.org. For more information about Public Education Partners’ collaborative efforts with schools and the community to strengthen public education in Greenville, go to www.pepgc.org.
NEWS AND TIPS FOR YOUR PERSONAL BOTTOM LINE
| YOUR MONEY
Do you have an estate plan for your digital assets? By ROB DEHOLLANDER CFP®, AIF®, CRPC® Managing Principal, DeHollander & Janse Financial Group
“Being famous on Instagram is basically the same thing as being rich in Monopoly.” I’m not sure who is credited with this, but it is clever. We live in an ever-expanding, dynamic digital world. According to the Pew Research Center, 87 percent of Americans use the internet. This statistic makes you wonder about the other 13 percent. Regardless, most of us maintain at least some personal and financial information online. We pay bills online, keep contact records digitally, and rarely print a photo — because it’s in our online photo album. Although this digitizing of information makes it easier to store and recall, it also presents some concerns when it comes to accounting for all of these “assets” in your estate.
WHAT ARE DIGITAL ASSETS? Digital assets include your online financial accounts, your personal email accounts, and your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts. The assets may or may not have a value. For example, you might own a domain name for your small business, which would have value, but the photos you uploaded to Shutterfly have sentimental value only.
THE PROBLEM WITH DIGITAL ASSETS IN ESTATE PLANNING With traditional estate planning, you take steps to ensure that your executor or personal representative can access the information needed to gather and safeguard your assets, contact creditors, and, if necessary, oversee your business after your passing. This can be especially challenging with digital assets, however, if you do not arrange the proper authorization ahead of time. The key consideration is privacy. Imagine if someone were able to impersonate the account holder, share private communications, or access valuable digital assets of the estate. Hence, legislation has been created to address some of the concerns.
NEW LEGAL STATUTE MAY EASE ACCESS CONCERNS The new statute is called the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (RUFADAA). I know what you’re thinking — lousy acronym. I agree. Basically, RUFADAA
addresses whether and how a family member, executor, attorney-in-fact, or trustee can access digital assets. RUFADAA is different from state laws governing estate administration, powers of attorney, and trusts. It doesn’t presume that family members and fiduciaries can access digital assets because of their relationship with the account owner. Instead, the statute requires express authorization before anyone — family member or fiduciary — may access the content of a digital asset.
HOW CAN YOU ENSURE THAT FIDUCIARIES AND FAMILY MEMBERS HAVE ACCESS TO YOUR ASSETS?
SO WHAT CAN YOU DO NOW TO START ORGANIZING YOUR DIGITAL ASSETS?
• If you have assets in a trust, ask your attorney about the possibility of amending the trust agreement with language that will allow the trustee access to digital assets and accounts.
• Decide how you want your online life handled after your death. Facebook, for example, allows a personal administrator or immediate family member to close the account or “memorialize” it. This may help ease your loved ones’ pain during a time of grief. Consider creating instructions for a family member to do this, or something similar, on your social media accounts. You may also assign different roles to different people. • Create a comprehensive inventory of your digital assets. Be sure to store this inventory somewhere other than an email account. Some email providers, like Yahoo!, will close an account that has been inactive for several months and delete the email history. Even if an executor promptly contacts the email provider, he may not be able to copy important emails or contact lists before the account is deactivated. Back up important information elsewhere and update it regularly. • Don’t assume your digital estate has no value. Some frequent-flyer points are transferable after your death. Credit cards offering cash back generally allow redemption after your death, but only if it is claimed. Internet domain names are potentially sellable, and blogs are a form of intellectual property.
• Ask your attorney about inserting provisions into your will that grant your executor the authority to access your nonfinancial digital assets and accounts. • Talk to your attorney about adding language to grant your power-of-attorney agent authority to act on your behalf with your digital accounts and assets.
• Check online service providers’ policies on death or disability. Each provider has its own access-authorization tools, and the terms vary, so be sure you understand who can and can’t access information. If the provider allows access to your executor, trustee, or power-of-attorney agent, inform these individuals where important information is stored.
IN SUMMARY Digital assets need to become a part of the conversation with regard to estate planning. While recent legislation helps provide some guidance when it comes to access to these assets, it is still a good idea to create an inventory and list of usernames and passwords in a safe place where your fiduciary has access upon your death or incapacity. Robert DeHollander is a managing partner and co-founder of the DeHollander & Janse Financial Group located at 3515 Pelham Road, Suite 100, Greenville. Contact him at 864-770-0220. Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®, member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser.
• Consider investing in a password manager. Sites such as LastPass and Dashlane maintain a record of your online accounts and passwords in a digital safe. You can set them up to transfer the passwords to your representative at a specific event, such as your death or incapacity. 3.9.2018 | upstatebusinessjournal.com
ON THE MOVE |
PLAY-BY-PLAY OF UPSTATE CAREERS
Has been named market executive for the newly created South Carolina market for U.S. Trust, Bank of America private wealth management. Wilkerson has over 37 years of experience, which includes many leadership roles within Bank of America. Wilkerson attended Clemson University and is the first female successor member of the Clemson University board of trustees.
Has been named interim dean of Bob Jones University’s newly announced School of Health Professions. Minor joined the BJU health sciences faculty in 2014. Minor holds a BS in biology from BJU, an MA in bioethics from Trinity International University, and a Ph.D. in health care ethics from Duquesne University. Minor currently serves as a member of the Bon Secours St. Francis Health System ethics committee.
Has been appointed to ReWa board of commissioners by Gov. Henry McMaster. DeRoberts is a graduate of Greenville Technical College and Southern Wesleyan University. DeRoberts currently serves as the district manager for government and community relations for Duke Energy in South Carolina.
Has been hired as senior director of projects for Jack Porter. King has over 26 years of experience in the industry to bring to future projects with the company. King is a graduate of the University of Maryland, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in technical theater. He is a Dale Carnegie Course graduate.
Has been recognized by the South Carolina Supreme Court as a certified specialist in estate planning and probate law. Sinclair is an attorney at Thomas, Fisher, Sinclair & Edwards, P.A., and is a graduate of the University of South Carolina School of Law and New York University School of Law.
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UBJ | 3.9.2018
PLAY-BY-PLAY OF UPSTATE CAREERS
| ON THE MOVE
VIP RICK DAVIS Rick Davis, chief executive officer of Elliott Davis, was recently elected vice chair of the board of directors of Moore Stephens NorthAmerica (MSNA). Moore Stephens is a large, global network of independent accounting firms with over 300 member firms in 100 countries. Elliott Davis is an active member firm. Members of the executive board are elected by their peers to set the direction for MSNA and provide high professional standards for accounting firms across the world.
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SYNNEX Corporation has announced five executives who were named to CRN Channel Chiefs. The executives are Steve Jow, senior vice president of sales (honored five years); Rob Moyer, vice president of cloud, motility, and IoT (honored two years); Gary Palenbaum, senior vice president of product management; Bob Stegner, senior vice president of marketing for North America; and Reyna Thompson, vice president of CONVERGESolvSecure Networking Group. EDUCATION Furman University Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost George Shields is one of three professors from across the country to be named a 2018 Cottrell Scholar Transformational Research and Excellence in Education (TREE) Award recipient. The award is presented by Research Corporation and recognizes outstanding research and educational accomplishments. FINANCE South State Bank announces that it has earned the 2017 Greenwich Excellence Award in five categories for small-business banking. South State received two national awards for “overall satisfaction” and “likelihood to recommend,” in addition to receiving three regional awards for “overall satisfaction,” “likelihood to recommend,” and “cash management - overall satisfaction.” VENUE The Bon Secours Wellness Arena has announced that it has entered a three-year partnership with The SPINX Company, who will have entitlement rights to the Guest Services program at the arena.
The Cliffs at Mountain Park was awarded “Best New Course of 2013” by GOLF Magazine and was recognized within the Top 100 Residential Courses of 2015 by Golfweek. Contact Samantha Bauer at 864-235-0506 or firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your foursome and book your rooms today.
CONTRIBUTE: New hires, promotions, & award winners may be featured in On the Move. Send information and photos to onthemove@ upstatebusinessjournal.com.
3.9.2018 | upstatebusinessjournal.com
INFORMATION YOU WANT TO KNOW
THE WATERCOOLER 1. Greer-based North American Rescue acquires JTM Training Group
2. BMW Group unveils next-generation X4 that will be built in the Upstate
3. New CU-ICAR executive director aims to strengthen industry relationships, workforce development initiatives
Conversations with UpstateProfessionals Saskatoon 681 Halton Road, Greenville, SC 29607
Wednesday, March 21 5:30pm to 7:00pm Network, Network, Network
4. Goal setting and evaluating analytics are keys to solving the social media puzzle
5. The recent market correction feels different, but is it?
*The Top 5 stories from last week ranked by Facebook reach
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Greenville Chamber of Commerce’s Human Resources Law Update
Hyatt Regency 220 N. Main St. 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Cost: $295 For more info: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.bit.ly/2sBbMbB; 864-239-3714
SCBIO Life Sciences Boot Camp
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MAY 4 COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE ISSUE
1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
UBJ milestone jackson Marketing Group’s 25 Years 1988 Jackson Dawson opens in Greenville at Downtown Airport
1997 Jackson Dawson launches motorsports Division 1993
1990 Jackson Dawson acquires therapon marketing Group and moves to Piedmont office Center on Villa.
JUNE 1 INNOVATION ISSUE
Chairman larry Jackson, Jackson marketing Group. Photos by Greg Beckner / Staff
Jackson Marketing Group celebrates 25 years By sherry Jackson | staff | email@example.com
JUNE 29 LEGAL ISSUE Got any thoughts? Care to contribute? Let us know at upstatebusinessjournal.com/submit.
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
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INK AND TONE
improve your bottom line overnight.
ALU: 25OFF100 *Good on any Cartridge World-brand products. Limit coupon per customer, household or business. Valid at participating sto only. Not valid with any other offer. Expires 02/28/15
1140 Woodruff Rd (next to Whole Foods)
1140 Woodruff Rd (next to Whole Foods) Cartridge World-Greenville • 864-286-6300 • 1140 Woodruff Rd (next to Whole Foods)
Upstate Business Journal published for the Upstate of South Carolina. Designed and created by Community Journals. www.communityjournals.com...
Published on Mar 8, 2018
Upstate Business Journal published for the Upstate of South Carolina. Designed and created by Community Journals. www.communityjournals.com...