INSIDE // FIREWORKS IN A BOX • CHOOSING YOUR PHONE SYSTEM • CURRENT RISKS FACED BY BANKS
JUNE 29, 2018 | VOL. 7 ISSUE 26
Legal issue the
MERL CODE BRAD WYCHE REID SHERARD ANNE ELLEFSON
Greenville attorney and businessman Merl Code. Will Crooks/Upstate Business Journal
THE RUNDOWN |
TOP-OF-MIND AND IN THE MIX THIS WEEK
VOLUME 7, ISSUE 26 Featured this issue: ViViD’s personalized fireworks shows......................................................................10 How economic development and law together shape growth......................... 22 The 411 on your office phone system........................................................................ 24
Yee-Haw Brewing Co. plans a July 2 opening in Keys Court next to CycleBar on McBee Avenue. The taproom and restaurant, with painted exposed brick and an industrial feel in keeping with the style of the building, will seat roughly 100 inside between the large U-shaped bar, booths along the back wall, and tables in the center. The 10,000-square-foot patio will seat as many, if not more, depending on the day. Will Crooks/Upstate Business Journal
WORTH REPEATING “I’ve known since I could talk that I was going to be in the fireworks industry — it’s all I ever really wanted to do.” Jamey Fish, Page 10
“Proper exploitation of patents once acquired separates the novice from the master.” Doug Lineberry, Page 21
“Culture is created by what leaders do every day.” Lynn Harton, Page 23
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On your bike “Increasing international production to alleviate the EU tariff burden is not the company’s preference, but represents the only sustainable option.” Harley-Davidson, in a regulatory filing on Monday, June 25. The American motorcycle manufacturer announced this week that it will move “some production of motorcycles for European customers out of the United States to avoid EU retaliatory tariffs,” reports Nathaniel Meyersohn of CNN Money.
INFORMATION YOU WANT TO KNOW
Priority One Security acquires Georgia-based Fleetwood Security ANDREW MOORE | STAFF
firstname.lastname@example.org Greenville-based Priority One Security has completed the acquisition and merger of Fleetwood Security in Georgia. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. It marks the second acquisition for Priority One Security in the past two years and the fifth major acquisition in the company’s 22-year history, according to a news release. Priority One specializes in integrated security and low voltage systems for residential, small business, and commercial entities. Industry publication SDM magazine recently ranked the firm as the 42nd-largest security integrator in the country. “Priority One Security is committed to supporting our account base. Part of doing so is through controlled growth. We evaluate several
“The acquisition is more like a merger. There were so many similarities between our two great organizations; it just felt like the right move.” Billy Fleetwood
acquisition opportunities each year, but only a handful fit our strategy,” William Francis, president of Priority One, said in the release. “The Fleetwood Security acquisition strengthens our presence in the Atlanta market. It allows us to extend our support to existing clients, and the
opportunity to pick up new customers, but most importantly, it’s an acquisition of talent.” Fleetwood Security has been operated by Billy Fleetwood and other family members for more than 20 years, providing residential and commercial integrated security to the Atlanta metro area, according to the release. All former Fleetwood personnel have been retained and will provide a more specialized role to better support the region, according to the release. Billy Fleetwood has been retained as district manager for Priority One. “The acquisition is more like a merger. There were so many similarities between our two great organizations; it just felt like the right move,” Fleetwood said in the release. “We are excited about the future and our customers will appreciate the new products and services we will bring to the market.”
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INFORMATION YOU WANT TO KNOW
Timken to invest $2.5M in Union County plant expansion ANDREW MOORE | STAFF
email@example.com Timken, a leading manufacturer of bearings and bearing components, announced the $2.5 million expansion at its Tyger River Plant in Union County. New equipment and machinery will be added to the 350,000-square-foot building at 408 Industrial Drive to increase capacity, according to a news release.
International Vitamin Corp. to expand Greenville County operations ANDREW MOORE | STAFF
firstname.lastname@example.org International Vitamin Corp., a New Jersey-based manufacturer of nutraceutical supplements, plans to invest “several million dollars” in an expansion of its Greenville County operations, according to a news release. The company will expand its facilities at 4615 Dairy Road and 4611 Dairy Road, where it employs more than 380 associates, the release said. A specific dollar investment and timeline were not disclosed. The expansion, however, is expected to create “a meaningful number of additional skilled and professional positions in Greenville County over the next several years,” Jill Stambler, vice president of human resources at International Vitamin Corp., said in the release. “This expansion of our Greenville County presence represents an important step in the growth of our business,” said Steven Dai, president and CEO for International Vitamin Corp., in the release. “We have found Greenville County and the Upstate a welcoming and pro-business location to expand our business, 4
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serve our customers, and accelerate IVC’s success as we focus our efforts on meeting growing demand from our customers.” Founded in 1971, International Vitamin Corp. makes vitamins, minerals, and other dietary supplements sold in major retail chains, the release said. The company’s products include vitamins sold under the Spring Valley brand in Walmart stores and under the Kirkland Signature brand in Costco Wholesale stores. International Vitamin Corp. is also a contract manufacturer of over-the-counter and prescription drugs. “Greenville County is pleased with International Vitamin Corporation’s decision to expand its business operations in Greenville County by producing well known dietary supplements and pharmaceutical products to the U.S. and international markets as it has for over 50 years,” said Greenville County Council Chair Butch Kirven in the release. International Vitamin Corp. plans to hire set-up mechanics, material handlers, operators, turret drivers, manufacturing supervisors, and warehouse clerks as part of its upcoming expansion in Greenville. Hiring details will be announced in the near future.
“Investing in our people, the community, and state-of-the-art technology has been critical to the long-term success of our plant in a globally competitive marketplace,” Bob Hart, plant manager at Timken Tyger River Plant, said in the release. “Our plant has been a part of this community for over 52 years, and we sincerely appreciate the leadership, support, and partnership approach to doing business as we all strive to make Union County a strong community to live and work in,” he added. Established in 1899, Timken serves customers and markets all around the world with more than 15,000 employees operating from 33 countries. “The Timken Company continues to be a valuable asset to our community,” Andrea Powell-Baker, interim chair of the Union County Development Board, said in the release. “This new investment demonstrates their confidence in doing business in Union County and we are proud to support these and future endeavors.”
INFORMATION YOU WANT TO KNOW
Monti Inc. announces $2.7M expansion in Greenwood County ANDREW MOORE | STAFF
email@example.com Ohio-based industrial manufacturer Monti Inc. recently announced plans to invest $2.7 million in an expansion of its existing operations in Greenwood County. Located at 104 Airport Industrial Park, the planned 20,000-square-foot facility expansion will include the installation of an automatic powder coating line and other specialized related equipment, according to a news release. The expansion is expected to create 19 new jobs. Hiring should begin in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to the release. Interested applicants should visit the company’s careers page online for more information at www. monti-inc.com/employment. “Monti is excited for the opportunity to grow our operations in Greenwood. We believe that the teams we have in both of our South Caro-
lina facilities have proven that they are capable and deserving of much more opportunity. We are proud to have South Carolina as our home for these two facilities and look forward to more investment and growth in the years to come,” Monti COO Jay Binder said in the release.
Headquartered in Cincinnati, Monti Inc. has specialized in manufacturing and fabricating electrical industry components, including copper and aluminum conductors, insulators, and steel parts, for more than four decades, according to the release.
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In 2005, the company opened its Greenwood facility, making it the third Monti plant in the United States. Monti also operates facilities in Sumter and Riverview, Mich. The company’s Greenwood facility initially focused on offering machining and fabrication services. It later added laser cutting services and CNC lathe capabilities. “We are extremely proud of all our employees at our Greenwood location. Their efforts and hard work are critical to successfully responding to our customers’ needs. Our commitment to growth in our internal capabilities, as well as our continual improvement of the Monti Quality System, puts us in a position to deliver the fastest turnaround times. This investment in a fully automated powder coating line will provide our customers with one of the most advanced systems in our local area,” Nick LaVigne, manager of Monti’s Greenwood facility, in a statement.
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SQUARE FEET |
REAL ESTATE DEALS AND DEVELOPMENTS ACROSS THE REGION
ARIEL TURNER | STAFF
RealOp expands RaleighDurham footprint with a $30.6M acquisition
Greenville-based Griffin Partners joins Sperry Commercial Global Affiliates
RealOp Investments, a commercial-real-estate-focused private equity firm headquartered in Greenville, announced the purchase of a seven-building, 223,118-square-foot office portfolio for $30.6 million in the Raleigh-Durham Research Triangle and near the RDU International Airport in North Carolina. “The acquisition is a perfect fit with our expansion strategy, as we rapidly grow our footprint across the Southeast,” said Julian Nexsen, RealOp vice president of acquisitions. The portfolio includes RDU Center I, located in the I-40/Research Triangle Park submarket; Horizon I, II, and IV, located in the
Sperry Commercial Global Affiliates announced that Griffin Partners (formerly Griffin Property Solutions), a commercial and investment real estate company based in Greenville, has joined as an affiliate to help with the company’s expansion in the Carolinas and international markets. Led by president and CEO Mark Griffin, SperryCGA-Griffin Partners specializes in office, retail, and industrial properties, as well as land brokerage. “We have been contemplating a national affiliation for a while,” Griffin said. “It didn’t take long for us to determine that Sperry
UBJ | 6.29.2018
Six Forks Road submarket; and Franklin Park, located in Chapel Hill. Together, these properties are occupied by a diverse tenant mix. “We are excited to be expanding our asset base within the Triangle and pleased to be a part of its continued growth,” said Reggie Bell, CEO of RealOp Investments. “We look forward to enhancing the tenant experience with property improvements that will begin immediately, and to future investment across the region.” So far in 2018, RealOp has added assets in Nashville, Tenn., and Charlotte, N.C. to its growing Southeastern portfolio.
Commercial was the right fit. Our motto at Griffin Property Solutions has always been local roots, global reach — and Sperry offers that. Our region is becoming an international and global market. With national and international contacts available throughout the Sperry Global Affiliate network, we plan to capitalize on international investments in our region.” Sperry Commercial Global Affiliates LLC is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and combines more than 200 sales professionals and 32 affiliate operations across 34 offices throughout the United States.
INFORMATION YOU WANT TO KNOW
ACL Airshop to invest $7.2M in new Greenville facility ANDREW MOORE | STAFF
email@example.com ACL Airshop, a subsidiary of Greenville- based Ranger Aerospace, is investing $7.2 million in a new air cargo products factory. Located in Park West Commerce Park, the 60,000-square-foot facility will feature high bay manufacturing spaces for air cargo nets, transportation straps, and other products, according to a news release form the S.C. Department of Commerce. Amenities for employees will include indoor and outdoor gathering spaces and a future workout center for fitness and health, the release said. The expansion is expected to create 32 jobs. “At ACL Airshop, we are proud of what we have accomplished in the last 35 years and could not be more excited to continue our positive
ACL Airshop leases, sells, repairs, and manages unit-load devices and cargo-net straps for the aviation industry.
growth at a new facility in Greenville County,” said Wes Tucker, ACL Airshop executive vice president, in the release. Founded in 2007, ACL Airshop leases, sells, repairs, and manages unit load devices and cargo net strap manufacturing for the aviation industry, according to the release. The company also manufactures cargo control products, operating on six continents and serving nearly all of the world’s top 50 air cargo hub airports. “ACL Airshop has been growing for 35 years. This, along with many other growth investments, will propel us to an even stronger future. Avia-
tion’s fastest-growing region in the world is the Southeastern United States, and ACL Airshop is at the center of its multistate crossroads in the Upstate of South Carolina,” said Ranger Aerospace founder and CEO Steve Townes. “We are growing. We are hiring. This new factory is one of many improvements we are making globally on behalf of our customers and our employees.” The Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved a $100,000 Set Aside grant to assist with the costs of site work and infrastructure improvements.
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Can you spot the differences at your NBSC branch? 8
UBJ | 6.29.2018
In the coming weeks, you will see some new things at NBSC. While you may not notice them all right now, banking with us across the Southeast will be easier than ever. There is one difference we think you’ll notice right away. Can you spot it in the pictures above?
is now ANSWER: It’s your banker’s nametag, because soon NBSC will become Synovus. upstatebusinessjournal.com Banking products are provided by Synovus Bank, 6.29.2018 Member FDIC.| Equal Housing Lender.
COMPANIES BLAZING A TRAIL IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Explosions in the Sky ViViD Fireworks delivers magical memories with customized fireworks shows WORDS BY MELODY WRIGHT
ViViD Fireworks eliminates the five main concerns of consumers: the danger associated with fireworks, the noise, the aftermath/cleanup, the selection or appropriate fireworks, and state laws. Photo provided by ViViD Fireworks 10
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COMPANIES BLAZING A TRAIL IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP
amey Fish has devised a way to safely bring all the excitement, color, and spectacle of a professional fireworks display to personal celebrations such as birthdays, weddings, and private parties. Fish is the founder and CEO of Simpsonville-based ViViD Fireworks, which offers a customized fireworks show in a box to virtually anyone who wants to easily add extra excitement to family celebrations. The company touts these pre-packaged pyrotechnics as “custom designed for private parties in smaller spaces.” With years of experience in the global consumer-products industry and having worked in the fireworks industry since he was 15, Fish paired his marketing and product-development knowledge with his fireworks passion to pursue his lifelong dream. “I’ve known since I could talk that I was going to be in the fireworks industry — it’s all I ever really wanted to do,” he says. Fish’s resume includes work for national and international professional fireworks companies on shows such as New Year’s Eve in Times Square, Super Bowl halftimes, and FIFA World Cups. He also worked in a consultant role for Disney, particularly in Buenos Aires, Argentina. At age 30, Fish decided to jump into corporate America and relocated to Greenville in 2010. “It was actually a very valuable educational jump because I learned so much more about product development and business strategy,” he said, “but I never lost the passion and this big idea that I’d had since I was a kid for this company that I started.” With his wife’s encouragement, the small startup produced a crude prototype in 2015. “Just the prototype itself has taken off way faster than I had anticipated,” Fish says. “We went from one year of a couple of tests here to four states, and then the last few months the demand has actually grown nationally to almost 24 states now across the U.S.”
Jamey Fish, founder and CEO of ViViD Fireworks, has worked for national and international professional fireworks companies on shows such as New Year’s Eve in Times Square, Super Bowl halftimes, and FIFA World Cups. Irina Rice/Upstate Business Journal
Fish explains that to incorporate fireworks into personal celebrations, he worked to eliminate the five main concerns of consumers — the danger associated with fireworks, the noise, the aftermath/cleanup, the selection of appropriate fireworks, and the state laws. ViViD offers its customers a stress-free way to celebrate their events with fireworks. Through the first-ever online show-creator tool, people can visit the website and enter their event details to get a recommended, worry-free fireworks show in a box that’s designed specifically for them.
ViViD receives 90 percent of its revenue from events not associated with Fourth of July of New Year’s Eve.
“It’s really beautiful, it’s professionally designed, it’s safer and easier to use, it’s smartphone-controlled, and it’s actually delivered right to your special event,” Fish says. Customers can also choose to have a licensed professional fireworks technician operate the show rather than using the smartphone controller.
VIVID FIREWORKS SHOW IN A BOX! Founder: Jamey Fish Service: Personalized fireworks show in a box Market: Individuals celebrating birthdays, weddings, private parties, and other milestone events Differentiators: ViViD delivers a customized fireworks show in a box to anyone who wants to add extra excitement to an event. The pre-packaged pyrotechnics are “custom designed for private parties in smaller spaces.” Customers can choose to have a licensed professional fireworks technician operate the show, or they can use a controller via smartphone.
“So that allows us to work wherever our customers are and provide their full-service needs,” Fish says, calling it the DFY (we do it for you) method. Most shows have a duration of eight minutes, which Fish says he has found to be an ideal complement to a variety of events. The customer’s event is the focus, not the fireworks show. “Fireworks just make it more magical and memorable,” Fish says. One challenge for Fish is to keep up with the demand created by ViViD, which receives 90 percent of its revenue from events not associated with the Fourth of July or New Year’s Eve. “I really didn’t want to jump in as another competitor into an industry that just thrives and relies on those two dates,” he says. As a young company, ViViD will continue to evolve the core product itself. Fish says they are exploring a wider variety of colors and a “baby box” for gender-reveal parties. “We’re growing like crazy,” he says. “The company was designed to be national when I put it together; I just didn’t anticipate that it would expand that fast.”
For more information, visit vividfireworksbox.com. 6.29.2018 | upstatebusinessjournal.com
MERL CODE |
THE LEGAL ISSUE
An Intent To Grow
Merl Code says parents’ example spurred his community service work WORDS BY CINDY LANDRUM | PHOTO BY WILL CROOKS
reenville attorney and businessman Merl Code is a product of his upbringing. Code’s father, the late Allen Code, was a longtime principal in Seneca and superintendent of the black schools in Oconee County in the days of segregation. “My father was an extraordinary educator, but more importantly, he was a leader who believed in the power of unity of people and attacking and solving a community problem by using the skills and talents of all the people in that community,” Code said. “My daddy was a big inclusion guy, and somehow he was able to parlay that in Oconee County where the leadership there was willing to, and did, invite people of color to be part of the growth in Oconee County, and in particular Seneca.” So when Code, a former professional football player, got involved in community work in Greenville, the city to which he moved in 1971, focusing on diversity and inclusion was natural.
Diversity has been a big focus in your professional life and your community service. Why? I watched my father intermingle with all kinds of folks. I watched the governor of South Carolina and senators all come to visit my dad. I sat in the room, and my daddy would make me introduce myself and ask them if they wanted anything to drink. I’d leave the room and they’d talk. Fifteen or 20 minutes after the governor leaves, a person down on their luck and having a hard time in life would stop by to see my daddy. He’d sit in the same place the governor sat, and I’d have to come out and introduce myself and ask them if they wanted something to drink. From that, I learned to value people. 12
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My father was one of the first few men of color to join the Republican Party back in the 1960s. I questioned him. He said, “Merl, sometimes decisions are made with no intention to harm you. You weren’t thought about. You weren’t in the room. I’m joining the Republican Party because I intend to be in the room. I’m not telling you I’m going to change what the action is going to be, but they can’t say they didn’t know. I’m going to be in the room.” It took me a while to understand what he was talking about. But I came to understand that the problems we have as a community can be best solved if we try to do it together.
Greenville didn’t have the same problems as other Southern cities when it came to integration, and some would say that has continued as far as race relations go today. Why? In the late 1960s, my fraternity, Omega Psi Phi, wanted to hold its district meeting here. The Civil Rights Act had just passed. We had been turned down in a couple of cities. We came to town and we were told we needed to talk to Buck Mickel. We did and he said we’d be welcome in Greenville. We were told he and his cohorts contacted the hotels and said that Greenville will not be on national television and to open the doors. From that point on, Greenville was on the path to becoming the international city we are today. How can you be an international city and not have a relationship with the indigenous folk who live there? How can you invite Germany and Italy and Japan, and you have folks here who can’t sleep in a hotel? You can’t. Look at where we are today. We’ve got the largest foreign investment per capita in the country. At least it was when I was chairman
of the chamber, and I don’t think it’s changed. They fully understood if we’re going to be an international city in 30 years, we better start now. We’re benefiting from the vision of folk before us, and I’m hoping those who come behind us will benefit from our vision of how to build and be an international city. With all of us pulling in the same direction, this is a special place. When people are willing to play their part in the growth of the community, it’s hard to stop.
People now are concerned that we may be growing too fast. You want and you must have growth. In order to have growth, you must have places for folks to live and jobs for them to occupy so they can pay for those places to live. We’re addressing affordable housing. The city is making sure there’s land available. The city and county are working to make sure there’s money available. We’re thinking about it now as we continue to grow and displace. If you have to move out a little further from the downtown, which is very probable, transportation becomes an issue. We’ve got one of the best small transportation systems in the country. We need to enlarge it. We need to make transportation something that isn’t just for folk we call disadvantaged. Transportation means somebody can get on a bus and get to where you need to be at 3:40 and get off. They need to be on time and clean. We’re having the conversations we need to have about transportation. This is not an intent to push anybody out. It’s an intent to grow.
THE LEGAL ISSUE
| MERL CODE
Legal issue the
Firm: Ogletree Deakins Area of practice: Positive employee relations and diversity Education: Law degree, University of South Carolina, 1979; Bachelor of Science degree, North Carolina A&T State University, 1970 Community involvement: Has served on numerous boards; he was the first African-American to chair the Greenville County United Way board, the first African-American to serve as a Greenville Municipal Court judge, and the first African-American to chair the Greater Greenville Chamber of Commerce.
“We’re benefiting from the vision of folk before us, and I’m hoping those who come behind us will benefit from our vision of how to build and be an international city.”
6.29.2018 | upstatebusinessjournal.com
REID SHERARD |
THE LEGAL ISSUE
Eliminate The Cracks
Reid Sherard works for children affected by events out of their control WORDS BY CINDY LANDRUM | PHOTO BY WILL CROOKS
eid Sherard is an advocate for children who are affected by events out of their control — in his professional life as a family law attorney at Nelson Mullins and in his volunteer work on the board of A Child’s Haven, a nonprofit organization that treats children with developmental delays as a result of limited resources, abuse, or neglect. Sherard, who was named to the Jefferson Awards Foundation’s 2018 class of ChangeMakers, is in his third year on A Child’s Haven board’s executive committee. He served as president for one year. “My skill set is well-suited for working on children’s issues,” Sherard said. “For me, it’s very personal. I’ve been so blessed to be raised by loving parents, being given the opportunity to educate myself, and for a job that I enjoy that allows me to support my family. I’m grateful for what I have, but I also realize that a statistically meaningful part of it was luck to whom I was born and where I was born.”
How did you get involved with A Child’s Haven? Was it a result of your work in family law? My involvement did not stem from that. Frankly, I was asked. I was aware of the organization, and Nelson Mullins has a long history with A Child’s Haven. Secretary [of Education Dick] Riley is a very well-known advocate for education and the less fortunate. We’ve had several lawyers over the years serve as board 14
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members, and I was prepared and willing to serve. Certainly, my skill set as a family lawyer brought a unique perspective to the organization. I am certainly cognizant there are situations where children slip through the cracks, and that is something I work very hard both in my profession and through A Child’s Haven to eliminate.
You have been appointed receiver for serial killer Todd Kohlhepp’s assets. You wrote in a newspaper column that you think if he had received services like those that A Child’s Haven offers that his life may have turned out differently. How? I think that if he had received some of the services A Child’s Haven offers, the outcome may have been different. In my opinion, the need for A Child’s Haven services is non-negotiable and increasing every day. I can recall being in Columbia and hearing a fair bit of political debate about taxes and funding public schools. It is now my belief that by waiting until a child is in the first grade and is 7 years old, we’ve missed it by years in terms of seeking early intervention and getting these children some assistance at the first warning sign to give them the best chance for success in life. Certainly, we all benefit from that, even if people don’t think there is an emotional reason or religious reason. Anybody who’s a taxpayer benefits from all citizens being well-adjusted, able to provide for themselves, and contribute
to the good of society. It’s never too early. A Child’s Haven is well-suited in past, present, and future to be at the leading edge of that fight.
Why do you think the need is growing? In my personal opinion, and this is counterintuitive to somebody who represents people who are ending their marriages, a marriage is the building block for raising of children. It doesn’t mean you cannot raise children and not be married. But I have two young children. My wife is also a lawyer, and we’re blessed to have jobs, educations, and our health. It is really hard to raise children, no way around it. If you do not have your health, if you don’t have resources, if you don’t have an education and you’re on your own trying to do that, how can we possibly be surprised that it didn’t go very well statistically? It doesn’t mean that any individual child can’t be a superstar. That doesn’t mean there can’t be people who beat the odds. But the protections inside of a marriage from a legal perspective and a practical perspective, in my opinion, makes it statistically more likely that a child is going to be able to meet the benchmarks they need to meet. I plainly recognize that is not the case, that will never be the case, for everybody. That’s why I’m proud to be involved in an organization like A Child’s Haven that says, “OK, if Plan A didn’t work, we’ll be Plan B and do the best we can to get Plan A back on track.”
THE LEGAL ISSUE
| REID SHERARD
Legal issue the
Firm: Nelson Mullins Area of practice: Family law, appellate practice and legal strategies, litigation Education: University of South Carolina School of Law Community involvement: Jefferson Awards Foundation ChangeMakers class of 2018, A Child’s Haven board of directors, YMCA Camp Greenville board of advisers, South Carolina Historical Society board of managers, youth basketball coach, University of South Carolina board of visitors
“I am certainly cognizant there are situations where children slip through the cracks, and that is something I work very hard both in my profession and through A Child’s Haven to eliminate.”
6.29.2018 | upstatebusinessjournal.com
BRAD WYCHE |
THE LEGAL ISSUE
Conservation Is Key
Brad Wyche left his law firm behind 20 years ago to preserve the Upstate WORDS BY ANDREW MOORE | PHOTO BY WILL CROOKS
fter practicing as an attorney in Greenville for nearly two decades, Brad Wyche decided to leave his family’s law firm to launch Upstate Forever, a nonprofit organization. Wyche, who served as executive director of Upstate Forever until 2015, has since become one of the state’s most influential conservationists, working to develop the Swamp Rabbit Trail and preserving countless natural resources throughout the region. He now serves as senior adviser to Upstate Forever and as a board member of Naturaland Trust, a nonprofit launched by his father, Tommy Wyche, in 1973 to preserve the region’s natural resources. The Upstate Business Journal recently sat down with Wyche to discuss his love of nature and his legacy. The following transcription has been edited for brevity and clarity.
How did you develop your passion for conservation? I developed it at an early age while hiking, backpacking, and canoeing with my father. Our favorite river was the Chattooga, which turned out to be the focus of our very first environmental advocacy effort. In the late 1960s, [my] dad and I joined forces with many others in advocating for the river’s inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. We submitted an article about the Chattooga to National Geographic magazine. The article wasn’t accepted, but we used it and the photos in the campaign. Congress named the Chattooga a National Wild and Scenic River in 1974. 16
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What prompted you to leave Wyche Law Firm and launch Upstate Forever? At the time there was no serious discussion about growth and land use issues in the Upstate region. Continued growth was inevitable, but we had — and still have — a real choice about where and how growth occurs. Do we want to become the next Atlanta, or a different type of region with plenty of green space, productive farmlands, clean rivers, vibrant communities, and a high quality of life for all? I saw a real need for an organization like Upstate Forever to focus attention on this key question and on the policies and incentives that would avoid the “Atlantification” of our region. Also, at the time, there was no regional land trust program for conservation-minded landowners in the Upstate. Naturaland Trust was working in the mountains, and there were a few small land trusts. But there was no regional program. So, from the very beginning, Upstate Forever has had a broad mission that includes both a land trust program and advocacy work for clean water, land-use planning, balanced growth, and sustainable development.
What are some conservation projects you oversaw at Upstate Forever? The Swamp Rabbit Trail was our very first project. I had just left the law firm when I heard the news that the railroad had decided to sell the entire rail corridor from Greenville to Travelers Rest. I immediately got involved and was raising private funds for Upstate Forever
to purchase the corridor in case Greenville County decided not to acquire it. But to its great credit, the county stepped up and purchased it. Then we spent several years working with the county, the city of Greenville, Furman University, the city of Travelers Rest, Greenville Health System, and other stakeholders in making the trail a reality. The trail is a spectacular example of how we can have it both ways — conservation and economic prosperity. I’m very proud of our work in permanently protecting over 20,000 acres of special places across the region, such as Stumphouse Mountain, Nine Times, Greenbrier Farms, Timber Creek Farm, Lake Conestee Nature Park, and lands adjoining Jones Gap and Paris Mountain state parks, to name just a few. Many more exciting projects are in the pipeline.
What do you love most about the conservation work you do? I really love all of the work, but not every project or initiative is a success. But when you do succeed, it’s so gratifying, whether it’s working with a family in protecting their beloved farm, seeing the removal of the dams on Twelve Mile River, opening the Swamp Rabbit Trail, or having a government body enact an important law or ordinance. When that happens, you forget all of the stress, setbacks, and disappointments and are eager to start work on the next project.
THE LEGAL ISSUE
| BRAD WYCHE
Legal issue the
Firm: Wyche Law Firm (1979 to 1998) Area of practice: Environmental law Education: Holds a bachelor’s degree in geology and environmental studies from Princeton University and earned his law degree from the University of Virginia. Also has a master’s degree in natural resource management from Yale University. Community involvement: Founder and former executive director of Upstate Forever, a Greenville-based conservation organization that “protects critical lands, waters, and the unique character” of the region. Also served on Gov. Dick Riley’s Council on Natural Resources and the Environment, Gov. Mark Sanford’s Climate Change, Energy, and Commerce Advisory Committee, the South Carolina Coastal Council, and as chair of the South Carolina Board of Health and Environmental Control.
“Do we want to become the next Atlanta, or a different type of region with plenty of green space, productive farmlands, clean rivers, vibrant communities, and a high quality of life for all?”
6.29.2018 | upstatebusinessjournal.com
ANNE ELLEFSON |
THE LEGAL ISSUE
In Service Of Others
Anne Ellefeson works to help Upstate families, children WORDS BY SARA PEARCE | PHOTO BY WILL CROOKS
uring Anne Ellefson’s nearly 40-year career, she has touched many aspects of Greenville. She began her legal work at Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, P.A., where she focused on commercial real estate development and was a part of many iconic Greenville developments such as RiverPlace and the ONE building. She now serves as general counsel for academics and community affairs for the Greenville Health System, where she is working with universities in South Carolina to better the community’s health. She has served in leadership positions at numerous organizations and groups in the Upstate, including Junior League of Greenville, where she was one of the first to fund the initiative for a performing arts center downtown, now the Peace Center. She was also the chair of the first United Way campaign in South Carolina to raise more than $10 million. Ellefson is a former president of the South Carolina Bar Association. Despite her countless commitments and leadership positions, Ellefson makes time to ensure that she is doing good in the Upstate community. She has worked with these groups to create better legislation for children, victims of abuse, at-risk-after-school students, and substance abuse victims. Ellefson is a recipient of the Lifetime of Charitable Giving Award, which further solidifies all she has done for the community.
What is the importance of public service to you? I grew up in a family where public service was important, so I learned that lesson very early. We are fortunate to live in a great community, and I strongly believe I should do my part to help keep it that way and to help improve it here needed. And, I enjoy it!
You have worked to pass legislation including penny-taxes to fund daylong kindergarten and other child-focused issues. Why are children and family issues important to you? I am not normally very political, but where I can join in to advocate for initiatives that will help to better the education of our children I feel I should. To be trite, our children are the future for Greenville — we need to do everything that we can to help educate them properly and to help them lead healthy, stable lives.
How has working on family and children’s legislation impacted your work in the community? I have been drawn to work with nonprofit organizations that are impacting the lives of children and families in the Greenville area.
You have also focused on real estate development law for much of your career and touched many core pieces of Greenville development. How do you feel that your work in development has affected the Greenville community? It was exciting to be involved in projects that provided economic development advancements in the area. I’m amazed at how much develop-
UBJ | 6.29.2018
ment has occurred in Greenville during my career.
You have served on the board of countless groups and organizations such as United Way of Greenville County, the Junior League of Greenville, the South Carolina Bar Association, and more. What is the importance of giving back to the community through leadership? I am lucky enough to have the things in life I need: a stable and wonderful family; education; economic stability; and a great job, to name the big ones. It seems only right that I should work with organizations who are trying to better the lives of those who are not so lucky.
How does your work as deputy general counsel for academics and community affairs benefit the community of GHS? I am working on the development of a shared health sciences center where GHS is partnering with Furman, Clemson, and USC to work toward improving the health of our community. We will be working hard at workforce development to meet the health care needs of the area, as well as innovation and economic development.
You have received a lot of recognition for your efforts in the community. How do you stay grounded and focused on the issues you are passionate about without getting caught up in the politics? As I said before, I am not very political and try to keep the big picture in mind; trying to focus on what is good for our community.
THE LEGAL ISSUE
| ANNE ELLEFESON
Legal issue the
Current position: Deputy general counsel for academics and community affairs for the Greenville Health System Area of practice: Formerly commercial real estate; now in-house with health care institution Education: Salem College, University of South Carolina Bachelor of Arts (English), University of South Carolina School of Law JD Community involvement: Currently on board at Hollingsworth Funds, Verdae Development, SCTAC and its subsidiary ITIC, Greenville Local Development Corporation, Southern First Bank, and South Carolina Education Communications Inc. (related entity to SCETV Endowment)
“Our children are the future for Greenville — we need to do everything that we can to help educate them properly and to help them lead healthy, stable lives.”
6.29.2018 | upstatebusinessjournal.com
Making IT and Cybersecurity Decisions? There is no shortage of headlines about ransomware, hackers, phishing, and security breaches. The FBI is warning us that Russians have infected many thousands of routers. Known international groups from North Korea, China, Iran, and others constantly attempt to disrupt networks.
Also, protect your home network by setting up a personal account with OpenDNS. (www.opendns. com) This free service protects your web surfing by filtering out internet traffic to malicious places, and you can customize your settings. For example, it’s easy to ensure that pornography, gambling, and other broad categories of sites are blocked.
In 2018, the Internet is so ubiquitous and access so critical that there is panic when there is a problem.
OpenDNS does offer paid subscriptions and businesses can’t use it for free. An additional benefit is that your internet surfing is actually faster, but you will need a router to make this work.
Being in the technology business, I am often asked by frustrated acquaintances how to stay safe, Next, Backup. At the risk of sounding repetitive, protect their identity, and keep from becoming Backup. Backup. Backup. You have probably a victim. I empathize with folks because the heard IT folks saying this for years – so in 2018, DEREK DAVIS answers can sound incredibly complicated and there is NO EXCUSE not to have your systems Principal | Managing Partner expensive. But burying your head in the sand backed up. and hoping you are safe is not a good strategy. That’s what the bad Lastly, keep current. If your equipment is several years old, it’s likely guys hope for. that there are vulnerabilities that can be exploited. This is certainly Here is some of the advice that I tell people: First, treat every electronic transaction with suspicion. This means texts, emails, social media, online shopping, etc. If you don’t think defensively, you are certainly vulnerable. Socially engineered threats today make spoofed / phishing emails and websites look incredibly authentic. If anyone asks you to identify yourself online – PLEASE STOP and recheck to make sure. Don’t give away the keys to your (online) castle. For example, If I can scan your Facebook page and learn just a few facts about you, it’s possible I can hack into your online account and use the information from Facebook to answer password reset questions. Typical password reset questions are things like “What is your mother’s maiden name?”, “What elementary school did you attend?”, etc. Next, layer your protection. Use a throw-away email address for non-critical communications. I give people I don’t want to interact with a Gmail address that I rarely look at. In that account, there are thousands of useless emails that I never have to deal with.
the case with the home routers the FBI warned about recently. Your computer updates are often inconvenient, but important. Do them. Make sure your AntiVirus programs are up-to-date, and are working. Install a free copy of MalwareBytes (www.malwarebytes.com) and scan your system periodically. These tools, along with others can help keep your computers operating well. However, there are also some products that appear to be helpful, but actually install malware onto your systems. Don’t just blindly download and install a product on your computer without checking it out. Look at the Bleeping Computer site for helpful suggestions (www.bleepingcomputer.com) Most of these things sound like common sense. And, to a large degree, they are. However, there has never been a better time to use some common sense and protect yourself. 703 Laurens Road Greenville, SC 29607
THE LEGAL ISSUE
| FROM THE EXPERTS
Advanced intellectual property considerations: patent portfolio exploitation and joint development etiquette By DOUGLAS L. LINEBERRY shareholder, McNair Law Firm
Like the lucky dog that has finally managed to latch onto a car, patent owners sometimes face the question of “We have patents; what do we do now?” While having the bumper, or patent, in your grasp seems like the end goal, it really is a growth opportunity. By properly leveraging your patent portfolio and using your patents to work with others in industry, you can expand your business. A valuable and strong patent portfolio is developed by tracking and aligning patent filings to secure rights in your technology segment via protecting your product lines and innovation streams. The strength of a patent portfolio is based on the probability of use in the industry; ease of proof of the claims; and perceived risk of uncovering prior art/prior use that undermines the patent(s). Exploitation of a patent portfolio involves a multifaceted approach. Four general exploitation rules apply: (1) keep high-value patents that impact your desired business sector(s); (2) license high-value patents that apply outside of your desired business sector(s); (3) sell low-value patents that apply outside of your desired business sector(s); and (4) dispose of low-value patents with little applicability. A portfolio may be defensive in nature. It can help a company level the business playing field with competitors, provide leverage for warding off lawsuits, or increase bargaining power for negotiating royalty rates. A portfolio may also be offensive in nature. It can be the basis for alleging infringement against third parties. It can increase licensing revenues by allowing third parties partial or exclusive rights to certain technology segments in certain business areas. A portfolio may also be created, or purchased, to enable entry into a new technology segment discrete from your existing business. Portfolio exploitation is not limited to direct business applications. Instead, strategic use of patent filings enables companies to direct claims to a specific competitor or field of use, drafting narrow claims to avoid newly discovered prior art, as well as pursuing broader claims to provide more comprehensive coverage of new developments and innovations. Further,
active portfolio exploitation may be used not only to obtain patents but to provide a competitive edge. This can be done by patenting both the owner’s technology as well as technology relevant to competitors’ businesses. Robust exploitation not only looks at the product being protected but how the protection fits within its technological ecosystem and how to exploit the patent’s impact on
the patented invention without the consent of, and without accounting to, the other joint owner(s). The joint owners may also freely license to any third party without the other joint owners’ consent. Further, enforcement is complex, as all owners must join in a lawsuit to enforce the patent. Thus, expectations of how the parties respective portfolios will function long after the JDA has terminated should be negotiated up front.
Obtaining a patent is just the beginning. Proper exploitation of patents once acquired separates the novice from the master. distribution channels and markets. Key technical components that are necessary to compete in certain markets may be protected and then exploited. With respect to Joint Development Agreements (JDAs), a patent portfolio enables a party to bring pre-existing intellectual property to a project. Careful use of the portfolio via licensing the pre-existing intellectual property may allow the other party to help jointly develop new and exotic innovations. However, be sure to consider how the license of pre-existing intellectual property will apply to commercializing the results of the JDA. Importantly, how the newly developed intellectual property will be folded into an existing patent portfolio should be addressed. While it may seem a simple matter to jointly own any developed patents, one must consider that joint owners may make, use, sell, offer to sell, and import
Obtaining a patent is just the beginning. Proper exploitation of patents once acquired separates the novice from the master. Further, JDAs revolving around pre-existing portfolios can help lead to significant joint development opportunities, as long as the limitations of the parties’ uses of the other’s portfolio are considered and negotiated beforehand. Indeed, entering into a JDA may open a company’s view as to how to best apply their portfolio in their current and future markets. Doug’s practice focuses on intellectual property representation and assists clients with protecting intellectual property through patent, trademark, and copyright prosecution, as well as intellectual-property litigation. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. 6.29.2018 | upstatebusinessjournal.com
FROM THE EXPERTS |
THE LEGAL ISSUE
Upstate’s growth showcases the intersection of economic development and law By MICHAEL KOZLAREK attorney, Parker Poe
The Upstate is a huge economic-development engine for not only South Carolina but also the entire Interstate 85 corridor in the Southeast. There are many pieces that help to power that engine, and one of them is the strong partnership in our region between economic developers and lawyers. “Legal services are a key component to any economic-development project,” says John Lummus, CEO of Upstate SC Alliance, the economic-development organization representing the 10-county region. “Throughout our discussions, we call upon the expertise of lawyers and other private-sector partners to help answer companies’ questions, mitigate risk, and convey our state’s laws and standard practices.” Risk management is a big part of the equation — it helps drive sustainable development. One simple way to think about the role of lawyers in the process is that they take two or more parties and create a set of private laws that essentially control the relationship between those parties. Fundamentally, that kind of counsel is forward-looking; prospective rather than retrospective. Done well, it can keep the parties from getting into a dispute 10 years later. This is win-win law, where each party gets something out of it and the community benefits. Another area where economic development and law intersect is navigating complexity. There are myriad federal, state, and local regulations that impact deals. They govern environmental impacts, tax structures, curb cuts, and everything in between. In addition, they are constantly evolving. “From an economic development perspective, it can be rather complex to initiate development agreements with various projects,” says Ed Driggers, city administrator of Greer. “There’s a number of regulations out there. We’re familiar with those, but we may not know all the legal intricacies. It’s extremely important when we’re looking at development agreements that we have that expert advice.” Driggers says lawyers can also help break down all the tools available to accomplish a project, including different types of bonds and 22
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“Throughout our discussions, we call upon the expertise of lawyers and other private-sector partners to help answer companies’ questions, mitigate risk, and convey our state’s laws and standard practices.” –John Lummus, CEO, Upstate SC Alliance tax credits. He says that gives local governments the ability to “look in the toolbox and handpick those things that would work best for us.” “And the complete opposite of that is when we have a project that comes to us and they’re proposing using certain tools — there may be parts of that we’re not completely familiar with,” Driggers says. “We have to rely on legal expertise to wade through that and determine if it is in our best interest.” An example is a fee-in-lieu of taxes (FILOT) agreement. Todd Lumpkin, the chief financial officer of Anderson Hydra Platforms in York, says it was “absolutely critical” to have legal assistance navigating a FILOT agreement as part of his company’s expansion. “When you’re a small, growing business, you don’t have time to try to figure out all the ins and outs and nuances of something like a feein-lieu agreement,” Lumpkin says. “The requirements to even start this process are so large that you need legal guidance just to know what parts to pull together, let alone navigate it. You need the legal knowledge to be able to attain the economic benefits.” Upstate SC Alliance’s Lummus says there are a variety of additional reasons his organization will link prospects with legal counsel. “Incentive agreements in South Carolina between companies and state and local gov-
ernments require significant legal work,” Lummus says. “Also, many international companies need help with visas, incorporation, and other questions that law firms can assist with.” In sum, he says law firms are “an integral part of the economic-development landscape in the Upstate.” City Administrator Driggers agrees, and he says that role — at its best — goes beyond the purely legal aspects of crossing all the t’s and dotting all the i’s. “The other side of this component is developing a partnership like we believe we’ve developed with some of our outside counsel,” Driggers says. “In working with that team, they immerse themselves and get to know us. There’s a relationship that develops there. And by knowing us and understanding what we’re trying to accomplish, it helps us bring the right people to the table.” That is where the intersection of economic development and law is at its best. Michael Kozlarek is a public finance attorney and a South Carolina Certified Economic Developer (SCCED). He can be reached at 864-729-1931.
NOTES FROM THE BEST TALKS YOU MISSED
| THE TAKEAWAY
Risk Management Association CEO Panel: Culture is essential when confronting institutional risk By ANNEMARIE MURPHY
Lynn Harton, Bryan Jordan, Kessel Stelling, and Allen Gillespie spoke at the Upper South Carolina Chapter of the Risk Management Association’s third annual CEO Panel. Photo provided
president, SBA at United Community Bank, and member of advisory board for the Upper South Carolina Chapter of RMA
What: The Upper South Carolina Chapter of the Risk Management Association’s third annual CEO Panel Where: The Gunter Theatre Who Was There: Upstate banking and finance professionals Presenter(s): Lynn Harton, president and CEO of United Community Bank; Bryan Jordan, president and CEO of First Horizon National Corporation; Kessel Stelling, chairman and CEO of Synovus; and Allen Gillespie, chief compliance officer and chief investment officer of FinTrust Investment Advisors
Nine years after the end of the Great Recession, businesses are thriving in the ever-shifting economy. Unemployment levels are plummeting, especially in the Southeast. But across industries, there are potential risks that companies must anticipate, prepare for, and confront. Financial institutions have a heightened awareness of these risks. The Upper South Carolina Chapter of the Risk Management Association hosted a panel discussion on Wednesday, June 20, to get insight from three top-tier Southeastern CEOs about various types of risks typically faced by banks, including cultural risk, advancements in technology, and cyberthreats. The panelists, including Greenville-based Lynn Harton, president and incoming CEO of United Community Banks Inc.; Bryan Jordan, president and CEO of First Horizon National Corporation; and Kessel Stelling, chairman and chief executive officer of Synovus, expanded on the future of the industry and how their companies are facing today’s challenges.
Create a company culture that is consistent with your organization’s values, and stick to it “Culture is created by what leaders do every day,” Harton said. “It’s easy to come up with a list of words that describe the culture you’d like
for your company, but it’s not created by what you say; it’s created by what you do.” And that culture starts at the top with the CEO. Through internal recognition or reinforced actions, culture is represented in the everyday actions of an organization. Harton cited United’s incentive programs and quarterly all-employee calls, when employees from across its four-state footprint are recognized for outstanding service, as an example. Stelling added that culture will also guide a company through tough times. By sticking to his company’s core values of kindness and service, Stelling was able to guide his team through a financial downturn that resulted in the loss of 1,000 jobs. “Culture is an asset, or an ally, when you’re making tough decisions that involve displacing people,” Stelling said. “But we treat people with the same amount of dignity when they come in the door as we do when they’re leaving.”
Evolving technology changes the customer’s experience, but the focus must remain the same At the core of banking is the principle of service, but as more and more customers shift to digital channels to complete transactions, banks must ensure that they are delivering the same great experience. And they have to do so in a timely manner. The result? Adapting to the customers’ desire for convenience while also maintaining a strong, capable employee base. The worry is no longer centered around what improvements to invest in, but rather who. Instead of customers looking elsewhere for a
solution, banks should be staffed with people from a variety of backgrounds. All three CEOs discussed the need to evaluate candidates based not on just their financial background, but their experience with technology. And that includes not just bankers, but directors and board members as well. Harton said United had recently added two board members that have significant technical expertise.
Banks are aware of the need for increased cybersecurity With thousands of cyberattacks every day, banks are vigilant when it comes to cybersecurity. That’s why they are investing in advanced security technology and recruiting executives with technology experience. But according to Jordan, the issue is not stopping people from compromising a system. “The reality is that there are attacks on systems all the time, but only about 10 to 15 real threats,” Jordan said. “But the most important piece may not be keeping people out, but if people happen to get in, you have to minimize what they can do.” Gillespie wrapped up the conversation by asking the bankers their thoughts about the economic cycle. None were ready to place an exact date and time to the next financial downturn, but Jordan reminded the audience that the next recession would be more than likely a result of a poor policy decision that would have consequences beyond its original intent. And as a result, financial institutions must be prepared as much as possible to adapt to unpredictable changes when they inevitably happen. 6.29.2018 | upstatebusinessjournal.com
DIGITAL MAVEN |
THE TECHNICAL SIDE OF BUSINESS
Phone Systems 101: Is it time to upgrade to 21st-century capabilities? By LAURA HAIGHT president, portfoliosc.com
Throughout the 20th century, phones were the perfect technology: nearly indestructible, understandable to anyone who could reach the handset, and reliable at doing the one thing we asked them to do. Things don’t seem that simple anymore. It’s probably one reason that we don’t move to replace clunky and outdated phone systems with anywhere near the frequency of other technologies, despite technology improvements. We stick with what we’ve got because the risk (and just the hassle of it all) seems to outweigh the benefits.
get a system with “10 times the features” for the same monthly cost — possibly less. Businesses with a large number of phones but a smaller number of lines — like many in manufacturing — may find the cost/benefit equation tilts more toward an on-premise system.
FACTORS TO CONSIDER Bandwidth. Most businesses have more than sufficient bandwidth. But if your signal is spotty and you have periods where the signal strength drops, you need to address that. A few companies will run stress tests in advance to be certain your network can support the service and features you’re buying. If in doubt, look for a provider that offers this level of up-front support.
Like all tech projects, success depends on staff adaptation. With phone systems, many features are not readily visible, so training that includes practice sessions is important.
To help shed some light, I turned to Mike Windey, owner of Birdseye Technology in Mauldin. Windey grew up working side by side with his dad in his communications company, Action Communications, which became Birdseye Tech just last year. Working with phone systems for decades gives Windey the experience and perspective to make sense of a complex world where acronyms run amok and its terminology fills an entire 1,035-page dictionary. Phone systems, it turns out, are still pretty hardy, according to Windey, who estimates 10 years useful life. So the first step is to evaluate if you are ready for a new system and, if so, what type of system suits your company. Digital phone systems come in two flavors: hosted cloud-based systems and on-premise server-based systems. Which is right for you will depend primarily on your size. “For businesses under 20 phones, hosted systems are a no-brainer,” Windey says. Doing a little basic math on the cost of phone lines versus a per-seat price for a hosted system, Windey says most businesses at this level will 24
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Network. Windey says a 10/100 megabit network is fine, although a gigabit network will be better if you have it. If your network includes hubs, they will need to be replaced with managed switches. One enhancement is power-over-ethernet (POE) switches so the phones can be plugged directly into the network without the need for a power brick, which is “clunky.” Special needs. Phone system providers like to promote “plug and play” and easy installation. But, Windey says, there are some gotchas. Businesses with overhead paging systems or call boxes on gates or doors will have a special set of challenges that will almost certainly require professional installation. Firewalls also need to be properly configured. Make sure you have someone who knows how to do that properly. Firewall errors made by well-meaning non-tech staff can cause innumerable headaches and lost productivity. Local support. Windey says the majority of on-premise systems are proprietary and require little — if any — intervention locally. But some are Windows server-based. No business
should have a Windows server running without either an IT person on staff or an outsourcing contract with a managed service provider (MSP) that will maintain and support it. Servers. What is the redundancy and reliability of the company’s servers? If they have an outage, how long will it take for them to switch over to your backup and get you up and running? What is their historical uptime record? Training. Like all tech projects, success depends on staff adaptation. With phone systems, many features are not readily visible, so training that includes practice sessions is important. New employees also need an introduction to the system as part of onboarding. Customer Service: Windey says that breakdowns are pretty rare, but when something does happen, it’s an urgent business issue. You want 24/7 year-round service with a person to talk to on the other end.
FEATURES TO LOOK FOR Basic things most everyone will give you include online management through a web portal, voicemail and voicemail-to-email, speed dialing, and custom set up on the handset, among others, Windey says. But depending on your business needs, there are some differentiating features to look for as well. Those include call forwarding to cell phones, Bluetooth connections for headsets, equipment replacement (some warrant their phones for the life of your system and will replace for free; not all do), automatic or on-demand call recording, call reporting detail, and a smartphone app that lets you make calls that will use the caller ID of your business (medical practices, Windey notes, “love this feature”). Some systems also integrate with applications, such as customer relationship management systems. During a client call, the phone system will automatically enter call info in the CRM system and, if the feature is enabled, attach a recording of the call to the client record. The system Windey sells, ESI Communications, currently integrates with Salesforce; Zoho is on the drawing board.
TOP FIVE CHOICES An online search brings up a ton of providers. From Windey’s perspective, the top five systems worth considering are ESI, 8X8, Mitel, Packet8, and Vonage.
PLAY-BY-PLAY OF UPSTATE CAREERS
| ON THE MOVE
Has joined the Salvation Army of Greenville as the director of the new Salvation Army Oconee Service Center. Andrews brings more than 20 years of experience in nonprofits to the Salvation Army. She has previously worked with the American Cancer Society, the American Diabetes Association, and the National Dropout Prevention Center.
Has joined UniComm Media Group (UMG) as an account coordinator. UMG is a Hispanic advertising agency based in Greenville. Lopez has a degree in humanities from Boyce College and several years of experience in customer service, including roles specifically focused on bilingual communication.
Has been promoted to vice president of client services at Infinity Marketing. Rogers previously served as business development manager. Rogers is a graduate of the University of South Carolina Upstate, where he earned a degree in communications with an emphasis on electronic media. He also previously worked in the Spinx marketing department.
Has joined Jackson Marketing, Motorsports & Events. Cummings will assist with warehouse maintenance and operations. He previously worked at Hobby Lobby, where he served as a lead stockman. He also previously worked as a technician for Duke Energy.
Has joined Complete Public Relations as a summer intern. Rice graduated from Clemson University in the spring with a degree in visual arts and a minor in communications. Rice served as the editor-in-chief of the Taps yearbook for two years while at Clemson, as well as working on yearbook design for three years.
LAW Ogletree Deakins has announced that three lawyers from the firm’s Greenville office, Rebecca Sigmund, Mark Stubley, and Stephen Woods, have been recommended in the 2018 U.S. edition of The Legal 500, a guide to the best lawyers. Sigmund was recommended in the category of immigration. Stubley was recommended in the category of labor and employment disputes defense. Woods was recommended in the category of labor and employment — workplace and employment counseling. Ogletree Deakins and 27 of the firm’s attorneys are recommended in four categories in the guide: labor and employment — immigration; labor and employment — labor and employment disputes (including collective actions) defense; labor and employment — labor-management relations; and labor and employment — workplace and employment counseling.
CO-WORKING Endeavor has announced its newest private office member, Actian, a company that provides hybrid data management, cloud integrations, and analytics solutions to customers in retail, health care, oil and gas, software, and financial services industries.
JULY TOWN HAS ARRIVED! AVAILABLE IN GREENVILLE: Barnes & Noble - 735 Hawyood Rd. Barnes & Noble - 1125 Woodruff Rd. Contribute: New hires, promotions, & award winners may be featured in On the Move. Send information and photos to email@example.com.
Community Journals - 581Perry Ave., Village of West Greenville OR ONLINE: towncarolina.com 6.29.2018 | upstatebusinessjournal.com
INFORMATION YOU WANT TO KNOW / NEW FACES OF BUSINESS
THE WATERCOOLER 1. River Street Sweets – Savannah’s Candy Kitchen is headed to Main Street
GET THE INBOX RGE LIGHTS N • FIREFO SLOWDOW SUMMER FIGHT THE INSIDE //
2. Fireforge Crafted Beer to open June 28
VOL. 7 ISSUE 2018 |
Follow up on the Upstate’s workweek. The Inbox – our weekly rundown of the top 10 local biz stories you need to know. upstatebusinessjournal.com/email
HAS LANDED LE ZONE • THE EAG
ORDER A PRINT SUBSCRIPTION 3. ACL Airshop to invest $7.2M in new Greenville facility
ED D IMPROV E NEW ANTHE UPSTATE IN VEILS TH BMW UN BE PRODUCED TO E CL HI VE ACTIVITY SPORTS
4. Timken to invest $2.5M in Union County plant expansion
5. Greenville area shopping center sells for nearly $8M
*The Top 5 stories from last week ranked by Facebook reach
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EVENTS YOU SHOULD HAVE ON YOUR CALENDAR
WHERE DO I GO?
HOW DO I GO?
Greenville Chamber of Commerce’s Netnight (nonprofit community)
Avenue 110 E. Court St., Suite 600 5:30–8 p.m.
Cost: $25 investors, $50 general For more info: www.bit.ly/2JQfIct; 864-631-6596; firstname.lastname@example.org
Clemson MBA Info Session
Clemson MBA at Greenville ONE 1 N. Main St., 5th floor 5:30–7 p.m.
Cost: Free. Registration required. For more info: www.bit.ly/2M4YvxV
Greenville Chamber of Commerce’s Small-Business Owners Forum
Greenville Chamber 24 Cleveland St. 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.
Cost: Free. Registration required. For more info: www.bit.ly/2Je7nU1; email@example.com; 864-239-3728
Endeavor’s Collaborators & Cockails: Peter Mullen of The Variable
Endeavor 1 N. Main St., 4th floor 5 p.m.
Cost: Free for members. Limited guest tickets available for $30. Registration required. No walk-ins. For more info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Clemson MBA Program’s Innovative Leadership Series: Jonathan Parker
Clemson MBA at Greenville ONE 1 N. Main St., 5th floor noon–1:30 p.m.
Cost: Free and open to the public For more info: www.bit.ly/2Ltt1QC
Ten at the Top’s Connecting Our Future
TD Convention Center 1 Exposition Drive 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
Cost: $25 For more info: www.conta.cc/2kPv2LX; email@example.com
Greenville Chamber of Commerce’s Business Growth Expo
TD Convention Center 1 Exposition Drive 11:30 a.m.–7 p.m.
Cost: See registration for details. For more info: www.bit.ly/2H4jHQS; firstname.lastname@example.org
Ogletree Building (Aug. 28) & TD Convention The Greenville Chapter of the Society Center (Aug. 29) - 300 N. Main St., 500 (Oglefor Human Resource Management’s tree); 1 Exposition Drive (TD Convention Center) REthinkHR 7:30 a.m.–4:45 p.m.
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT
Mark B. Johnston email@example.com Susan Schwartzkopf firstname.lastname@example.org
Emily Pietras email@example.com Heidi Coryell Williams firstname.lastname@example.org Rebecca Strelow
Cindy Landrum, Andrew Moore, Sara Pearce, Ariel Turner
MARKETING & ADVERTISING DIRECTOR OF SALES Emily Yepes
MANAGER OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Donna Johnston
MARKETING REPRESENTATIVES Heather Propp, Meredith Rice, Caroline Spivey, Liz Tew
Anita Harley | Rosie Peck
ART & PRODUCTION VISUAL DIRECTOR Will Crooks
Bo Leslie | Tammy Smith
GRAPHIC DESIGNER Amanda Walker
ADVERTISING DESIGN Michael Allen
VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS Holly Hardin
EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Kristi Fortner
8/28-8/29 UP NEXT
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JULY 27 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
AUGUST 3 FINANCE 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
AUGUST 17 WORKFORCE ISSUE
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firstname.lastname@example.org UBJ welcomes expert commentary from business leaders on timely news topics related to their specialties. Guest columns run 700-800 words. Contact managing editor Emily Pietras at email@example.com to submit an article for consideration. Circulation Audit by
1997 Jackson Dawson launches motorsports Division 1993
1990 Jackson Dawson acquires therapon marketing Group and moves to Piedmont office Center on Villa.
HOW TO CONTRIBUTE STORY IDEAS:
Cost: Aug. 28: $100 members/nonmembers; Aug. 29: to July 1: $150 members/$175 nonmembers; to Aug. 15: $175 members/$200 nonmembers For more info: www.greenvillehr.org/meetinginfo.php
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
AS SEEN IN
NOVEMBER 1, 2013
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