NOVEMBER 9, 2012
J O U R N A L
The $15.6 million project to bring broadband to the county’s rural residents is on track for completion in 2013
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Bullish on the Upstate
n your hands is our newest venture here at Community Journals: the Upstate Business Journal, a weekly business publication that will arrive with your Greenville Journal and be available in additional locations across the Upstate. This is our biggest venture since we launched the Greenville Journal in May 1999 – and just like the Journals in Greenville and Spartanburg and every other product we publish, UBJ is reader- and advertiser-inspired. We examined expanding into other markets, but quickly realized that we already sit at the epicenter of the fastest-growing megaregion in the United States – the Piedmont Atlantic, which stretches from Birmingham through Charlotte to Raleigh with a population expected to surge 38 percent by 2025. The 10-county Upstate has created more than 6,000 new jobs in the past five years and $1.1 billion in new capital investments. Greenville has more corporate headquarters than anywhere else in the state and is busy nurturing a new generation of businesses (think SC Launch and NEXT) – a major reason Portfolio.com ranked South Carolina fourth in the nation for small business vitality. We want to report on that excitement and vitality every week, bringing you comprehensive coverage of the week’s business news
and trends in a unique format that looks like a magazine, reads like a newspaper, and will be available on your iPhone, too. Our audience consists of the Upstate’s most powerful, influential, sophisticated and educated readers, and we want to communicate with them in partnership with you. From the first issue on May 28, 1999, our commitment has been to bring you in-depth local news, written by a top-flight group of journalists with the talent to give you the 360-degree view. Readers know they will find stories in the Journal they won’t read anywhere else, even in today’s digital age of online websites, bloggers, tweets and news alerts delivering headlines 24 hours a day. That’s the Journal model, and it will be with the Upstate Business Journal, too. If there’s anything I don’t have to remind you, it’s that Greenville is a great place to live. First-class restaurants, unique shopping venues, a thriving arts community and a business community so great fDiIntelligence.com named Greenville the top micro-city of the future – twice. Like the headline says, we’re bullish on Greenville and the Upstate. Now, with the Upstate Business Journal, we promise to deliver more of those 360-degree stories you won’t read anywhere but in the Journal, week after week.
Mark B. Johnston, publisher email@example.com
the piedmont atlantic region
The fastest growing mega region in the United States runs from Birmingham, AL, north through Charlotte, up to Raleigh, NC. Population is projected to increase 38 percent by 2025, and 78 percent by 2050. NOVEMBER 9, 2012 | Upstate business 3
A good time to consign
LEED certification: Is it worth it?
Focus: Where are they now?
By Jennifer Oladipo | contributor
By Charles Sowell | staff
By Leigh Savage | contributor
When retail is down, resale goes up
By Dick Hughes | senior business writer
26 Greg Beckner/Staff
Dr. Virginia Uldrick, left, talks with television personalty Jane Robelot at the Greenville Chamber's Business Women in Action group's luncheon celebrating past ATHENA Leadership Award winners at the Poinsett Club.
Fresh under 40
On the move
The fine print
By Jennifer Oladipo | contributor
By Dick Hughes | senior business writer
Jeanne Putnam | contributor
By Dick Hughes | senior business writer
Entrepreneurship is everywhere
4 Upstate business | NOVEMBER 9, 2012
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Working their way to wellness With health care and insurance costs rising, interest in employee wellness programs increases By Cindy Landrum | staff
When workers for the City of Greenville received their health insurance enrollment package for next year, they were shocked at the rates. They’ll pay less for health insurance while their benefits are staying the same. “That’s unheard of in these times,” said Athena Miller, the city’s human resources director. City officials are crediting the rate reduction in part to its employee wellness program, allowing the city to buck a national trend where workers often see double-digit premium increases, higher deductibles and shrinking benefits as companies and governmental agencies struggle with the rising cost of health care.
“The wellness program is a win-win. Employees save money and are healthier and the city pays less for insurance.” – Athena Miller, City of Greenville’s director of human resources
Miller said the city has had some component of a wellness program for years, but placed greater emphasis
on it four years ago after the city had to raise deductibles and copays. The wellness component is financed by a health insurance premium surcharge paid by city workers who smoke. Miller said Blue Cross Blue Shield, the city’s medical insurance provider, has paid out fewer large claims of $100,000 or more and the city’s utilization rate has also fallen, both of which allowed the city to negotiate lower rates for the insurance year that begins in January. The city added a nurse practitioner and provides free physicals for employees, Miller said. The nurse practitioner allows employees to receive treatment for episodic illnesses such as sinus infections, ear infections, cold symptoms and minor non-work related injuries without having to leave work. In addition, the city offers programs such as Weight Watchers at Work, a smoking cessation program and a city version of “The Biggest Loser.” A three-part diabetic education series is offered as well as a stipend for a fitness facility membership for 150 employees on a first-come first-served basis. Series on healthy eating and cooking and stress management are also regularly provided. And, this year for the first time, the city is offering a medical plan premium holiday for employees who earn at least 100 points by participating in
Registered nurse Valentina Love, health clinic administrator with the human resources department of the City of Greenville, takes the blood pressure of a city employee at the health clinic
wellness activities. “The wellness program is a win-win. Employees save money and are healthier and the city pays less for insurance,” she said. Add another win to that – it saves taxpayers’ money as well. For 2013, the city’s insurance premiums decreased by 3.5 percent, or about $350,000. A Harvard University study found that medical costs fall by about $3.27 for every dollar spent on wellness
programs and absenteeism costs fall by about $2.73 for every dollar spent, suggesting that the wider adoption of such programs could prove beneficial for private businesses’ budgets, worker productivity and employee health outcomes. Successful employee wellness programs require management commitment, solid research and planning and employee buy-in and participation, according to Greg
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UBJ $2.73 how much absentee day costs fall per dollar spent on wellness programs $3.27 how much medical costs decrease per dollar spent on wellness programs 16
percentage of private sector companies with one to 49 employees that have wellness programs
percentage of private sector companies with 50 to 99 employees that have wellness programs
percentage of all workers employed by private sector companies that offer wellness programs
percentage of local governments that offer wellness programs
percentage of private sector companies with 500 or more employees that offer wellness programs
percentage of state governments that offer wellness programs
(Sources: Harvard University study on employee wellness program returns and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012)
Justice, a corporate wellness program expert who has written articles on the subject for Corporate Wellness Magazine. To be effective, a company needs to understand the needs of its employee population and employees need to understand how the program will benefit them. Incentives often help increase employee participation, Justice said. Justice said periodic evaluations
of the program are required. If participation is low, communication methods may need to be changed and incentives examined. If participation is good, the evaluation may take a look at progress being made toward goals. Wellness programs need to be updated and offerings adjusted as employees get healthier, Justice said. Contact Cindy Landrum at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amy’s Kitchen still on hiatus By Jennifer Oladipo | contributor
After announcing last December that it would have to delay the opening of its organic food manufacturing facility in Greenville, Amy’s Kitchen has yet to occupy the former Sara Lee baking factory it purchased at Piedmont Highway. The project is still alive, however, according to Tavia Gaddy, project manager with the Greenville Area Development Corporation. She said no work has yet been done to the site, but Amy’s new vice president of manufacturing visited the site and things are still set to move forward. Amy’s offered only a brief comment in response to a recent interview request. “Amy’s is committed to the facility in Greenville. The facility is part of the long-term plan to support Amy’s
as the business expands,” wrote public relations representative Debby Fortune in an email. The project was supposed to have started in January. In May 2011 news that the California-based company would begin operations in Greenville and employ 700 people was welcomed by potential employees, as well as local organic farmers who could supply Amy’s with produce. The Greenville plant will be the company’s fourth, and will have a significant effect on organic food growing in the Upstate and the larger region. By December, however, the company announced in a press release that reconfiguring existing operations to more quickly meet demand had to take precedence, and it could be up to two years before the Greenville plant would open. At present, the timeline remains indefinite. Contact Jennifer Oladipo at email@example.com
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by the numbers
UBJ guest column
Upstate can learn important steps from China growth I’ve just returned from my eighth trip to China in the past seven years and I am always amazed at how a city’s skyline can change in less than 12 months. Over 11 days, I was part of a group that started in Tianjin, a city of 14 million and a sister city to Greenville; then on to Tokyo for the South East U.S. Japan (SEUS Japan) Conference; then back to China to visit Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Xiaoshan and Dalian. As I traveled this amazing country, it crossed my mind that China is one of the greatest case studies of “fastforward” economic development. I wanted to know how and why development could grow so quickly. What I learned was that the growth is focused and intentional. The very land that is being developed is so precious it is sold by the square meter, but it is always planned in not only what it will look like, but how it will affect the value of what is around it. This is done mainly through a series of 12 five-year social and economic development plans the Chinese have implemented for the past 60 years. Each plan builds on the success of the other and at times makes very difficult decisions to develop specific areas of the country over others. The five-year plans have guided cities and provinces for economic growth and development mainly focused on producing significant infrastructure development, which in turn supports both public and private investment. Industrial parks are 48,000 to 60,000 acres and typically are measured in square kilometers instead of acres (SCTAC in Greenville, by comparison, is only 1,300 acres. Walt Disney World in Florida is only 30,080 acres). These massive developments all sport intricate three-dimensional models, which include utility corridors and multiuse property development strategies and financing
By Hal Johnson
packages. The effect is that each of these parks becomes a full-fledged, self-supporting city. This is an economic developer’s dream, but there are challenges with growth on this scale, and these challenges make it a great place for us to find prospects. First, the middle class is growing at an incredible rate and wages have risen from $0.25 per day to almost $5 per hour, and show no signs of slowing. Second, electric rates are three to four times more expensive than rates in the Southeast. More importantly, electricity in China is unreliable and power can be shut down without notice due to significant demand and the need for additional power production plants. Third, the cost of fuel is influencing the cost of shipping, causing companies to look at producing goods closer to the end user. These factors have given rise to the term “re-shoring.” I wonder how the Upstate can use this form of planning to find success. How many of us have created a fiveyear plan? How many of us have implemented that plan? How many of us have to pull it off the shelf and dust it off? How many of us have created multiple five-year plans? I truly have to say what impresses me most about China is not necessarily the grandeur of all the spectacular buildings and the massive ports, interstate highways, rail and airport facilities, but the clarity of the five-year plans and the follow-through to implementation of each. Hal Johnson is president and CEO of the Upstate SC Alliance, a public/ private regional economic development organization designed to market the 10 counties in South Carolina’s Upstate. Additional information is available through the Alliance’s website, www.upstatescalliance.com.
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8 Upstate business | NOVEMBER 9, 2012
Upstate business Journal
A good time to consign When retail is down, resale goes up By Leigh Savage | contributor
Photos by Randy Hadaway
More than a year ago, Kidz Korner Consignment moved to a new, more spacious location, but owner Laura TimmsCable says growth has continued to the point that she has converted a former storage room into additional shopping space for customers. “This business is almost recessionproof,” says Timms-Cable, who opened her shop almost 10 years ago. “I feel that I am only constrained by my square footage. Every year I turn away consignors, and we’ve seen an increase in the number of people who want to come in.” That backs up national research, which shows growth in net sales for resale and consignment at 12.7 percent from 2008 to 2009, the most recent data available from the National Association of Resale and Thrift Shops. During that same period, overall retail sales were down 7.3 percent, according to U.S. Department of Commerce statistics. Adele Meyer, executive director of NARTS, says her organization completes an operating survey of their 1,200 members once every five years, but she expects the next survey to show similar growth. “Everything has continued to grow,” she says. “If anything, it has increased more since that survey was done.” The U.S. resale industry includes about 25,000 stores bringing in annual revenues of approximately $16 billion, according to First Research. Timms-Cable also owns Footloose, a retail shoe store located next to her
consignment shop on Woodruff Road, and says she has watched her consignment numbers go up while regular retail went down. Sales at Kidz Korner were up 8 percent this spring compared to spring 2011, she says, and she hopes to see similar numbers for the year overall. “We’re tracking above last year’s numbers for fall,” she said. A key reason for the boost, according to Meyer, is that those who would typically keep items around the house or donate them instead attempt to consign as a way to bring in extra income. “People who had never thought about it decide maybe they’ll cash in on their crowded closet,” she said. After surveying its members, NARTS reports that the fastest growing segment of the resale industry is furniture. Neil Avery, manager at Feather Your Nest, a furniture and accessories consignment shop in Taylors, said his store opened almost five years ago, when the recession was just beginning. “Months have been up and down, but we’ve done pretty well,” he said. While he hasn’t seen dramatic sales increases due to the economy, he has noticed a steady uptick in the number of people wanting to consign. “We have to turn some away because we don’t have the space,” he said. Will Dickens, who sells upscale furnishings at Carolina Consignment, says sales have increased in the three years since the shop opened its doors. “Based on the economy, we’ve been floored by how many people are still updating their homes, out with the old and in with the new,” he said. “We’ve seen a few people who come in and want to sell something to generate a little cash flow, but mostly we’ve seen people wanting to buy good
Dana Christopher with Kidz Korner Consignment on Woodruff Road puts clothing back on one of the racks.
Noelle Robinson with Kidz Korner Consignment on Woodruff Road looks over a top before putting it back on the rack.
products at good prices.” Larger numbers of interested consignors allow the stores to be more selective about what they sell. Bentley Mitchell, owner of Labels, an upscale clothing consignment shop, said she has 2,000 consignors, not just from Greenville but from Charleston, Georgia and New York. The influx means “we just get pickier,” she said. While Mitchell agrees that the consignment business is largely recession-proof, she says there have been a few downsides, such as fewer people shopping at top-ofthe-line stores like Neiman-Marcus and some manufacturers cutting corners on items. “But we’ve done well,” she said. “We’ve definitely done better than if we were starting a brand-new women’s boutique.” She has noticed that tougher economic times help open customers’ minds to the idea of shopping consignment. “It does help us break through that barrier. There’s a whole cultural movement in fashion opening up to a broader range,” mixing high-end with low-end, new with vintage or consignment. Feather Your Nest focuses on midrange furnishings, though they put some higher-end items on display as well. “We have a lot of consignors who come in and become customers,” Avery said. “They never thought about shopping consignment until they saw our space.” While Timms-Cable has had to trim inventory at her shoe store, she has not had that problem with the consignment shop. At the end of each season, items are marked down 50 percent and 75 percent, and any remaining pieces are donated to charity. “It’s so nice having a business where I don’t own the inventory,” she said. Contact Leigh Savage at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NOVEMBER 9, 2012 | Upstate business 9
LEED certification: Is it worth it? By Jennifer Oladipo | contributor
Companies doing renovations or new building are increasingly considering sustainable or “green building” as part of their options, often using the industry-leading LEED standard. However, many say it can be difficult to know how “going green” will affect a company’s bottom line initially and in the long term – or where to even begin. For just over a decade, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, method has been the most popular way of assessing how environmentally responsible and resource-efficient a building is. A program of the nonprofit US Green Building Council (USGBC), there is now a certain amount of cache attached to having a LEED gold, silver or platinum plaque on the front of one’s building. About 150 buildings in South Carolina are LEED-certified. Another 100 could have sought LEED gold or silver but didn’t want to go through the paperwork, said Melissa Le Roy, president of the South Carolina Chapter of USGBC. She said consumer demand is moving the green-building trend, and an increasing number of businesses are responding. “The buying audience is really driving the green and sustainable movement right now because they’re only wanting to do business with people who are being good stewards of Mother Earth and being responsible,”
Le Roy said. But many companies are also seeking a payoff through reduced operating costs that supposedly come from more energy-efficient construction. Le Roy said restaurants, for instance, are switching to solar panels for hot water and others are using low-flow faucets and toilets to lower the water bill. Weighing the benefits of green construction is like deciding what kind of car to buy, Le Roy said. Generally, a bigger initial cash outlay for energy conservation features will mean better performance over a longer period of time, and often reduce operating costs right away. The price of engaging in the LEED process itself is also a factor. According to the online price list from the Green Building Certification Institute, which administers the LEED program, registration is $1,200. Standard review ranges from $2,250 to $22,500. Certifications are based on the type of construction being done, ranging from new builds and major renovations to
“LEED is a little more complex perhaps, and more integrated into the whole building envelope. It’s a little harder to achieve and there’s a reason for that.” Melissa Le Roy, president of the South Carolina Chapter of USGBC
core and shell or just interiors. Pricing also depends on the building’s size. While LEED is the dominant green building rating system in the world, it’s not the only one. Other options include Green Globes and Energy Star, the group that rates household appliances. Some have more stringent energy efficiency requirements and focus more on a building’s longer-term performance where LEED evaluates the design. Also some depend more heavily on self-reported data. “LEED is a little more complex perhaps, and more integrated into the
whole building envelope. It’s a little harder to achieve and there’s a reason for that,” Le Roy said. LEED proponents argue that proprietary research and an extensive review and verification process justify the higher cost. Before enrolling in any program, companies can become greener by simply doing an energy audit to see where resources are currently being wasted. Experts say turning off computers at night and turning down the thermostat when buildings are empty are practically free ways to make a difference. From there, it may be easier to weigh the benefits of going green, or choose which improvements best suit the business. Contact Jennifer Oladipo at email@example.com.
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UBJ statehouse report
16 days? Really, Gov. Haley, really? NOV. 4, 2012 – South Carolina GOP Gov. Nikki Haley could learn a thing or two about leadership from Batman. “When the average citizen on the street is in peril, something must be done, and quickly,” Batman said in 1967 in episode 109 of the classic television show. But when the private information of South Carolinians – some 3.6 million Social Security numbers, almost 400,000 credit card numbers and business information on 657,000 businesses – was in peril this fall thanks to a hacker who invaded the state’s surprisingly vulnerable Department of Revenue computer system, what did Haley and company do? Wait. Not one day. Not two. Not a week. Not even two weeks. They waited 16 days to let people know their private information was at risk. That’s longer than the entire Cuban Missile Crisis. If you want to get some perspective about what went on from when Haley was notified on Oct. 10 that the Revenue computer system had been hacked until Oct. 26 when she and law enforcement officials came clean, take a look at a timeline that marries the chronology of what officials did after discovering the hack to Haley’s public schedule. From Oct. 10 to Oct. 26, the hyperambitious governor had ample opportunities to let people know they were victims of identity theft:
By Andy Brack
• Haley attended four political events, including a three-day weekend in Napa, Calif., with fellow Republican governors. Instead of staying at home to warn people about identity theft, she left the state to politick.
vulnerable to identity thieves was a crucial test of Haley’s leadership. Quite simply, she failed. She left the whole situation up to the law enforcement community instead of taking control. Had the media not finally caught on that something was up, we still might not know. More disturbing: When Haley’s abysmal response to the Great Hacking of 2012 was questioned, she blamed the media, a pot-calling-the-kettle-black response if there ever were one. U.S. Sen. Fritz Hollings, D-S.C., taught a long time ago how public officials work for the public, not for law enforcement who are investigating a problem or other government officials looking for more time. Think back to February 1993. At that time, Hollings discovered that the Base Realignment and Closure Commission quietly had targeted his hometown of Charleston’s naval facilities for closure. The official report wasn’t due for about six weeks. What did Hollings do – wait for the report to come out? No, he got on a plane to Charleston, held a press conference and warned Charlestonians of the impending economic blow. He got criticized for letting the cat out of the bag early and lots of local officials didn’t believe him. But he was right on the money. And he let people know quickly because he knew his duty was to the citizens of South Carolina. He let them know because it was the right thing to do. As a result, a couple of things happened. First, Hollings’ early warning forced Charleston to start dealing with the situation more quickly than other communities and they were better prepared to fight. Also, the early warning forced the Navy to back down a little, which resulted in Charleston keeping the Naval Electronic Systems Engineering Center, the highlytechnological complex of engineers today known as SPAWAR. Nikki Haley talks a lot about transparency. But the 16 days of secrecy involving private information of hundreds of thousands of businesses and 3.6 million people is about as transparent as a blindfold. She should be held accountable – now, not just at the ballot box two years from now.
Bottom line: The hacking episode that has left 3.6 million South Carolinians
Andy Brack, publisher of Statehouse Report, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
• Haley had nine media interactions in the 16-day period – from press conferences to interviews to scheduled media availabilities. At no point did she warn people that something was awry with their private information. Instead, she said, “It’s a great day in South Carolina” time and again. • Haley made 54 posts to her Facebook account, including lots of political posts about the presidential debates and one open 50-minute chat in which she interacted with dozens of people. Again: No word about the hack.
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NOVEMBER 9, 2012 | Upstate business 11
Nonprofit helps boost minority businesses By Jennifer Oladipo | contributor
S.T. Peden wants to see more capital flowing in the direction of minorityowned businesses. He remembers a time when the downtown building that houses Erwin Penland ad agency was full of profitable black-owned businesses. Yet the landscape began to change as racial integration broke down unjust barriers, but also led to fractured and diminished support for minority-owned businesses. Today, there are many opportunities for African American and other minority businesses to increase their share of the market, so Peden created the nonprofit Minority Economic Development Institute (MEDI) to help them gain access. The work is two-fold: building capacity in minority businesses, and targeting private and public agencies and companies that do a lot of spending with the message that those businesses should be on their go-to lists. Near the end of a 30-year career with General Electric, Peden moved from human resources to supplier diversity. In that position, he came to better understand the gap between large companies and the minority businesses with which they could be doing business, but weren’t. After early retirement, Peden helped a contractor identify minority subcontractors, engineers, suppliers and others for a large building initiative in Greenville County Schools. That project led him to wonder about how that need could be fulfilled in a more comprehensive way, and the creation of MEDI seemed like the answer. The organization launched in 2007. MEDI so far has focused on building
S.T. Peden, president of the Minority Economic Development Institute.
projects because of the large amounts of capital often involved. Helping small firms grow is one way to make them more competitive for contracts. Peden said too many minority firms can take only one job at a time, and the owner is often too tied up with work to do the outreach that would foster growth, or the research that would turn up more lucrative opportunities. “They don’t get a chance to go to the chamber or go to other networking events that occur during the day because they can’t leave a job, since
they’re the expert on site,” he said. So Peden goes knocking on doors in their stead. When a job is announced, he contacts the owner or lead on the project who can then send word from the top that contractors should be seeking diversity. Although few of the companies MEDI works with can tackle an entire job, the effort helps contractors see how jobs can be broken down into pieces they could handle. For taxpayer-funded projects, Peden said diversity should be a given. “We (minorities) are taxpayers. The
total community pays taxes, so it’s a reasonable expectation that we should be able to participate.” On the private side, conversations vary. Peden said some see the value of having a labor pool that reflects their diverse customer base in the Upstate, while others “just pay lip service.” Some welcome the chance to see if they are getting the best pricing after working with contractors who have been using the same subcontractors for years. Peden said most who do consider minority businesses think only of construction – after millions might have been spent on design and engineering. MEDI has worked with more than 40 minority contractors and other business owners so far. Through those efforts, Greenville now has an official Minority Enterprise Week in September, part of the federal Commerce Department initiative. A monthly contractors’ group meeting bolsters networking, and this year a CEO roundtable for minorities was added for CEOs to support each other and eventually mentor those newer to business. The focus is certainly on businesses’ bottom line, but Peden can’t seem to help but reference community when discussing his work. His mission to grow minority enterprises is clearly driven by a desire to strengthen minority communities, which in turn strengthens the entire community. He said there is no need to return to the days of minority business operating in segregated pockets. Today they serve the entire community, and the entire community can serve them, he said. Contact Jennifer Oladipo at email@example.com.
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NAIEarleFurman.com 12 Upstate business | NOVEMBER 9, 2012
Joyner sees new opportunities in Brookfield-HomeServices merger By Dick Hughes | senior business writer
Executives of Prudential C. Dan Joyner Real Estate in the Upstate say that the combination of two national real estate franchises, including one owned by Warren Buffett, offers “new opportunities” for their company. The combination, which includes C. Dan Joyner as a Prudential affiliate, is between Brookfield Residential Ser-
“We are excited about the announcement as to who the players are,” said David Crigler, executive vice president, in an interview. “We don’t know anything more than that in terms of what business services the new franchise brand is going to offer. If they continue down the road Brookfield was going on its own, we think it will be pretty exciting and innovative, and the value proposition will be very strong.” “We are excited about what lies ahead with Brookfield and the new brand, and we are confident that what is being created will be something that will be unparalleled in the real estate industry,” said Danny Joyner, president. The combination of the affiliates of Brookfield’s Prudential and those of HomeServices will create a national network of more than 53,000 agents, the companies said. “HomeServices is the second largest real estate brokerage company in the country, and they are the largest holder of Prudential franchises, along with some very strong independents like Harry Norman of Atlanta and real big groups like that,” Crigler said. He said C. Dan Joyner would continue operating under the Prudential name while it awaits “more information before we start the decision-making process, but you have to admit that’s a pretty strong joint venture between
vices, which acquired the Prudential franchise late last year, and Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. The combination, which will not take operational shape until late 2013, also includes Real Living Real Estate, a Brookfield affiliate based in Ohio. Ownership and control of C. Dan Joyner is not affected, but the merger of the two companies could prompt a change in Joyner’s branding.
Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer David Crigler, left, and President Danny Joyner of Prudential C. Dan Joyner Company Realtors.
Contact Dick Hughes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NOVEMBER 9, 2012
The $15.6 million project to bring broadband to the county’s rural residents is on track for completion in 2013
J O U R N A L
NOVEMBER 9, 2012
J O U R N A L
The $15.6 million project to bring broadband to the county’s rural residents is on track for completion in 2013
WORKING THEIR WAY TO WELLNESS
NONPROFIT HELPS BOOST BUSINESSES
NONPROFIT HELPS BOOST BUSINESSES
NOVEMBER 9, 2012
J O U R N A L
BACK IN THE NEWSPAPER GAME
WORKING THEIR WAY TO WELLNESS
WORKING THEIR WAY TO WELLNESS
Brookfield and HomeServices.” Under the merged operation, the franchise brand will be called Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices with Berkshire Hathaway having majority ownership. “As we understand it, it is the only time Warren Buffett has allowed the Berkshire Hathaway name to be used in a consumer-type environment,” said Crigler. C. Dan Joyner expects to have more details on the services the new franchise will provide and what would be expected in terms of brand identity by March when Prudential franchisees hold a business conference, he said. Joyner has been affiliated with Prudential since the Newark, N.J., insurance and financial company entered the real estate business more than 20 years ago. Prudential sold the real estate division to Brookfield, a Toronto company, last December. Affiliates were able to retain Prudential branding. HomeServices has grown from 4,000 agents in three markets to 16,000 agents in 21 states since Berkshire acquired it in 1998, according to news accounts. Prudential C. Dan Joyner is the Upstate’s largest Realtor.
NONPROFIT HELPS BOOST BUSINESSES
BACK IN THE NEWSPAPER GAME
BACK IN THE NEWSPAPER GAME
THE business news for the upstate’s most powerful, influential, sophisticated & educated – ANYTIME… ANYWHERE… EVERYWHERE. NOVEMBER 9, 2012 | Upstate business 13
InnoVision Awards honor Upstate visionaries
CEO Connection featuring Businessman & Educator
Dr. Nido Qubein
Awards in several categories were presented at the 14th annual InnoVision Awards Dinner held Wednesday at the TD Convention Center. The program “recognizes and honors Upstate and Greater Midlands businesses, individuals and organizations that have demonstrated significant advancements in communication, education and recognition of the spirit of innovation and technological progress.” InnoVision was founded in 1999 by Deloitte and is presented by the McNair Law firm. Jason Berns, director of Open Innovation at Under Armour, was the keynote speaker at Wednesday’s dinner. The award winners are: Southside High School’s SAMteam received the Ibrahim Janajreh Young Innovate Program award sponsored by Michelin. Clemson University’s Social Media Listening Center received the Innovation in Education Award sponsored by Techtronic Industries.
Tuesday, November 13th 5:30 to 8:30 pm at the new
USC School of Medicine
Greenville Hospital System University Medical Center 701 Grove Road | Greenville, SC 29605
Produced by the
Learn more and register at www.GreenvilleChamber.org or call 864-242-1050 for details. 14 Upstate business | NOVEMBER 9, 2012
Milliken & Co. was named Technology Application winner for its cement-impregnated cloth sponsored by Michelin that uses 95 percent less concrete than traditional applications. Immedion sponsored the award. Vidistar received the Small Enterprise Award for a new approach “to processing cardiac nuclear stress studies by allowing users the ability to remotely process, interpret and read them over the Internet.” SCRA Technology Ventures sponsored the award. Climax
the Sustainability Award for an environmentally friendly technology “to convert non-recyclable waste plastics into a premium synthetic oil product.” Sealed Air Corp. sponsored the award. Proterra received the Technology Development Award for its EcoRide electric bus that charges in 10 minutes, can operate 300 miles a day and achieves the equivalent of 22 miles per gallon if it were a diesel. St. Jude Medical sponsored the award. Greenville County Library System won the Community Service Award for becoming the first library in the state “to provide a fully integrated suite of products that include the most complete discovery solution available.” Steve Johnson, CEO of CreatiVasc, received the Dr. Charles Townes Individual Achievement Award for helping “address the overwhelming need for innovative and easy to use vascular technologies that address the universal problems of kidney dialysis.” A.T. Locke sponsored the award.
THINK BIG TOWN
UBJ focus: where are they now?
Bern Mebane is back in the newspaper game By Charles Sowell | staff
In January of 1999, Bern Mebane folded up his signature bow tie and walked out of the offices of Gannett and into retirement at age 50. The longtime Greenville News publisher’s retirement lasted about two months. “I was bored. I guess I outgrew golf,” said Mebane, sitting in the well-appointed conference room of the office space he rents at the intersection of Stone Avenue and Interstate 385. Working with a local venture capitalist, Mebane put together Crescent Publications and quickly
at a glance
“Bern was passionate about quality journalism, understood the importance of watchdog reporting and always backed us up on the tough stories through the years.”
Born and lived in Rutherfordton, N.C.
Graduates University of North Carolina and starts work with Multimedia
John Pittman , Greenville News executive editor purchased several local weekly newspapers as well as papers from the Gulf Coast to Maine. Working with the small weeklies was a big change for the former Gannett regional publisher. “The hardest thing for me to get used to was no longer having a staff,” he said. “I spent most of my career in dailies,
through some of the best times and some of the worst.” Mebane came to the Greenville News right out of the University of North Carolina in 1971. “I came here with a temporary full-time job and left 28 years later,” he said. “It was a great time to work in the newspaper industry.” The launch of Multimedia brought the News from family ownership and into the corporate newspaper model. “Kelly Sisk and later Wilson Wern brought in television and with that entertainment in the form of Phil Donahue when we bought Cincinnati (WLWT-TV),” he said. Cable TV came next and then the Gannett takeover, Mebane said. “That was when we crossed over in the big leagues,” he said. “We found out Gannett’s model was just like ours, just on a far bigger scale. They were into everything we were, except for cable and when they bought us they got that, too.” Mebane considers himself more of a trader in newspaper companies than a publisher these days. When he was publisher at the News, Mebane was always nattily dressed in suit and bow tie. He still pulls out his old uniform when the occasion calls for it, but today seems far more comfortable in an open-collared shirt and slacks.
Gannett purchases News from Multimedia
Mebane retires from News at age 50
Starts Crescent Publications
He’s 63 with six children and a half-dozen grandchildren now. He likes what he does, even though the industry overall has declined sharply. “Right now at our properties on the Gulf Coast, we’re emphasizing online content,” he said. “I know there are a lot of people who really like the feel of a newspaper in their hands. I’m one of them.” Online content saves the evergrowing cost of printing, and helps hold down staff costs, he said. Mebane splits his time between his duties at Crescent and his farm in North Carolina. “I love that place,” he said. He also spends a lot of time plying a hobby that hasn’t bored him yet: He regularly fly-fishes regional streams and is just back from a salmon fishing trip to Eastern Canada. Contact Charles Sowell at email@example.com.
they said it
“Bern Mebane taught me much of what I know about the newspaper business. I was fortunate to have worked for him for many years.” Steve Brandt, Greenville News Publisher
NOVEMBER 9, 2012 | Upstate business 15
The $15.6 million project to bring broadband to Oconee County’s rural residents is on track for completion in 2013 By Dick Hughes | senior business writer
conee County’s rural residents and businesses have been in the slow lane or no lane in broadband access and data speed. Come next year, they will have one of the fastest, most robust and most complete fiber-optic broadband networks of any county in South Carolina, although Abbeville’s local telephone co-op has laid the most miles of fiber: 1,400. Network Controls of Greenville, the primary Oconee contractor, is close to having installed 200 underground miles along roads, fields and rocky mountain terrain and is on schedule to complete the final 40 miles in the second quarter of 2013. The $15.6 million, three-year project is being paid for with $9.6 million in federal stimulus funds and $6 million from county bonding, to be repaid with revenue from companies that link up to extend fiber to homes and businesses. The network will provide a ring, like an interstate highway with ramps, around 90 percent of the 626-square-mile county.
AT&T wins restrictions
That taxpayer dollars were being used reverberated in Columbia, where AT&T lobbied successfully for a bill (H. 3508)
Rand Watson with Network Controls of Greer operates a machine used to run fiber optic cable through conduit buried underground in Oconee County.
requiring Oconee County to charge rates as if it were a private-sector company. The law also unfairly restricts future public fiber-optic projects, critics say. AT&T said it supported the act “because it updated existing law to make clear that fairness provisions enacted in 2002 also apply to more recent communications technologies, such as broadband.” The regulations reflect “a good, balanced approach to government-owned networks in South Carolina,” an AT&T spokesman said. Oconee’s so-called middle-mile network links the county to the high-speed, high-capacity World Wide Web at one end and access for Internet service providers (ISPs) to connect users at the other end. The federal money was awarded to the county under an Obama administration stimulus program that set aside $7.2 billion to expand broadband access, primarily to rural areas underserved by private-sector carriers who see scant return justifying the cost of replacing copper wires with fiber optics.
Some have no access at all
The only other county in South Carolina to receive funding is rural Orangeburg, which is building an $18.6 million network to provide not only the middle mile but also the last mile to homes, businesses and institutions, effectively creating a public utility. As it is now, only a small fraction of Oconee has access to high-speed broadband. AT&T, the dominant carrier in the county, provides Internet through far slower and far less capable copper wires. “There still is a lot of the county that is on dial-up,” said Kim Wilbanks, Oconee’s broadband project manager. “I know there are places where they don’t have access at all.” Even satellite access is intermittent. When complete, the Oconee network will have brought fiber to all county facilities, all 24 K-12 schools, Tri-County Technical College, Oconee Medical Center, 26 public safety entities, 150 anchor institutions and four libraries. Moreover, it will be available to 27,800 households and 2,400 businesses, though that does not mean everyone will be able to connect. The final miles to households and
16 Upstate business | NOVEMBER 9, 2012
Photos by Greg Beckner
The end of a fiber optic cable that will be spliced onto the end of another cable to make a continuous connection along miles of cable being run in Oconee County.
business will be bridged by privatesector ISP companies buying into the county’s backbone.
A tool for recruitment
“The system is not designed to be a retail system,” explained Scott Moulder, county administrator. “It is a wholesale product. We are not going to be selling video or voice communications to John Smith for $39.90 per month.” Moulder and Richard Blackwell, economic director, see the fiber network as bolstering the county’s ability to attract industry and businesses. “It is certainly another tool in the toolbox,” said Blackwell. “You talk about access to sewer and water, and this is another selling point. We have phenomenal access to the internet, broadband, the fiber optic network.” Without high-speed broadband, rural counties have difficulty competing with “the Greenvilles, Atlantas, Charlottes, Spartanburgs,” Moulder said. “That’s the only place you can get that type of complete utility access.” But with its true 4G network, he added, “we now have the same infrastructure the big cities have, and now it is a choice of how you want to live – rural quality of life or big-city quality of life?”
AT&T won’t participate
Hal Johnson, president of the Upstate SC Alliance, the public-private agency
that recruits and promotes the 10 counties of the region for economic development, agrees. “Having high-speed communications when it comes to fiber optics is very important when it comes to particular recruitment strategies, whether it is recruitment of data centers or recruitment of companies that transfer large digital files,” he said. “To be able to have that type of business structure is going to keep you in the ball game. If you didn’t have it you would be eliminated.” But just because Oconee is making fiber available to 90 percent of the county, doesn’t necessarily mean every citizen and every business will be able to use it. AT&T thus far has refused to link its customers to the Oconee network. “Why would AT&T use the Oconee Project’s network or anyone else’s network when we already have a network in place providing services to customers such as schools and municipal buildings, locations that we understand the Oconee network intends to connect to?” said Clifton Metcalf, director of public affairs. Wilbanks said there have been signs AT&T may be upgrading to fiber in reaction to the county initiative. “We have noticed that since we started this project they have put real fiber in the ground throughout the county, but no one I have spoken to has had any luck getting service even after the fiber has been put into the ground,” she said.
UBJ Contrary views on the law
The law AT&T lobbied successfully to enact does not prevent a “government from owning and operating networks, or receiving federal funds” for their construction, Metcalf said. “It simply provides that if a government entity competes with a private-sector provider of broadband service, it must do so on a fair basis.” Further, he said, AT&T does not oppose “government-owned broadband networks that do not compete with the private sector, and we do not oppose governmentowned networks that compete with the private sector in compliance with fair competitions that apply to all providers.” Others see it differently, arguing that while the compromise version allowed the Oconee and Orangeburg projects to go forward, the act effectively prevents any other South Carolina rural county from using federal money for similar projects. The SouthEast Association of Telecommunications Offices and Advisors (SEATOA), which represents local government broadband planners in South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee, is one of the critics of the law. “It effectively prohibits municipalities from operating their own broadband systems through a series of regulatory and reporting requirements,” said Catharine Rice, president of SEATOA, in an article published by the National Association of Counties. “These practically guarantee municipalities could never find financing because the requirements would render even a private sector broadband company inoperable.”
Oconee adds ‘fictitious charges’
In Oconee’s case, Moulder does not
see any “limitation to our network as to how it is used or how we operate it,” except the county, acting as a wholesaler for private companies to connect, must charge as if it were a taxpaying company. “With the new rules, we have to impute fictitious charges on our books as a means to show our rate covers those same private sector fees; charges and taxes that we otherwise would not have to pay.”
For e x ample, he said, the county has to build in what it would pay for property taxes as if it were AT&T. Moulder said the county will operate “like any business, an evolution of the system after buildup for repair and replacement. It’s not just $6 million I’ve got to generate for the payback. I’ve got millions I have to generate to fund the system to keep it operable.” Still, he said, Oconee is offering an alternative to AT&T with “a wholesale product so companies have a choice at reasonable rates rather than inflated rates. That is not to say, we intend to undercut. We intend to hurt.” Wilbanks, the project manager, said the county has been visited by five or six ISPs interested in hooking into the system, and Moulder said Charter, the second-largest communication carrier in the county, “is on line to be a partner.” Northland Communications in Seneca is also a potential customer. Moulder said he expects DukeNet, an Internet and telecommunications subsidiary of Duke Energy, to be “a partner in utilizing the system.” The county has not given up on AT&T, Moulder said. “We would love for AT&T to come in and say, ‘We want to partner, we want to take advantage of your system. We even want to buy your system.’ The more involvement we get and the bigger companies we get involved, the stronger it is going to be.”
Provided by ConnectSC.org
Technicians with Network Controls of Greer Troy Crisp, left, and Al Salis prepare to splice fiber optic cable in their work trailer in Oconee County. Joining the ends of two fiber optic cables thousands of feet long is a meticulous process with very little room for error.
Broadband Service Inventory FOR SC
Contact Dick Hughes at firstname.lastname@example.org. Fiber Broadband Cable Broadband DSL Broadband Fixed Wireless Broadband Mobile Wireless Broadband
Co-op puts western counties in fast lane What stands out on a state map of availability of fiber-optic broadband are not urban and relatively affluent counties like Greenville, Spartanburg, Richland and Charleston. Nor do the areas served by AT&T, Veri-
zon, Frontier or other corporate providers of Internet services pop up. What jumps out as the territory most covered with highspeed broadband is one that is rural, sparsely populated and low-income – Abbeville and McCormick counties and the Starr, Iva and Gluck areas of Anderson County. It is the work of West Carolina Rural Telephone Cooperative. The coop was formed 60 years ago because no one else was willing to provide adequate phone service to rural residents surrounding the towns of Abbeville, McCormick and Calhoun Falls, which were added in 2001 as a competitive service to Verizon. In June of last year, West Carolina completed installation of 1,400 miles of fiber optic cabling to the doorsteps of 11,000 customers in an investment of $70 million over three years. Copper still links customers in the towns of Abbeville, McCormick and Calhoun Falls, but because the loops are short, the bandwidth provides 50 megabits, which is “pretty darn good,” said David Herron, CEO and general manager of West Carolina. “There is not one” customer who does not have high-speed broadband, he said. To put it into perspective, Abbeville County is 80 percent covered with fiber optic cabling with a population of 25,197 – 76 people per square mile – and a per capita income of $16,653,
about $7,000 below the state average. The FCC’s inventory of broadband access shows Greenville County with zero fiber cabling with a population of 462,075 – 2,177 people per square mile – and a per capita income of $25,931. In presentations, Herron has been promoting the fiber network as enabling “our members to engage in the global economy” and as a way to spur economic development and job creation. “We’ve been trying to tell our story, but it is hard to get people to really realize the value of this network, how to use it and how to promote industry, create jobs and promote entrepreneurship,” Herron said in an interview. “In areas like ours, we’re not going to land a BMW. Most of our job growth will come from existing businesses. We have to teach these small businesses how they can use this broadband network to open their businesses up to a global economy.” Areas such as those served by West Carolina would not have modern communications if they had to rely on private-sector companies. That is why Oconee and Orangeburg counties turned to the federal government to help pay for their fiber optic networks. “If the local company was providing broadband service for everyone, there would be no need for a county or municipality to build a fiber network,” Herron said. “But the problem is that the service is not available in Oconee and Orangeburg counties.” Herron said WestCarolina was able to fund the $70 million project because of support from the government’s Universal Service Fund. The co-op put up $20 million of its own money and borrowed, at low interest, $50 million from USF. The USF was created in 1934 to pay for telephone service in rural America, primarily through co-ops created by the Rural Electrification Administration. Congress has since amended it to add broadband for underserved areas, libraries and health services. USF fees are assessed on telecommunication companies. They pass the charge on to consumers.
Unserved Areas NOVEMBER 9, 2012 | Upstate business 17
CertusBank to buy another lender By Dick Hughes senior business writer
Company’s shift in focus leads to fiber optic wins Greg Beckner/Staff
By Dick Hughes | senior business writer
When Brad Cunningham bought Network Controls & Electric in early 2008, the company was “very reliant” on electrical wiring of commercial buildings. While 2008 was a “good year,” business slowed as the recession and its aftermath took a toll on commercial building construction. As CEO, Cunningham looked for something more recession-proof. “We didn’t have much work so one of the things I did was shift our focus,” Cunningham said in an interview from his office on the Greer-Greenville border. “I dropped the electrical wiring business and concentrated totally on the technology side, and we started going after industrial and public sector work, as well as hospitals.” That shift in focus led to winning bids as managing contractor for the Oconee fiber optics project, the company’s “biggest project to that scale,” and work at “three of the top five job sites in South Carolina as far as industrial goes,” Cunningham said. Network Controls had revenue of $11 million in 2011 and expects to top $12 million this year. It has an office in Columbia and in March started soliciting business in Charlotte, where it anticipated opening an office with about 10 people. It has been listed as one of the fastest-growing companies in the state the last two years. It was a fortunate – but not surprising – decision for
Cunningham, who prior to acquiring Network Controls, had built three technology companies, including eBridge Solutions, which won InnoVision awards in 2003 and 2006. Cunningham sold eBridge to a public company in 2006. Prior to eBridge, Cunningham had a technology consulting and training company. Network Controls got involved with the Oconee project early on when another contractor that had planned to bid on the government project was “looking for a partner to do the actual fiber and splitting and all of that.” But when the bid requirements came out, that contractor realized it did not have the “capacity or expertise, so we took on the project,” Cunningham said. The Oconee County Council chose Network Control’s bid of $2.7 million for the first phase of installation of 95 miles of fiber and subsequently won the contract for the second phase of 96 miles for $3.4 million. That phase is near completion. In addition, the company was awarded a $953,337 contract to connect schools, public buildings and fire, police and emergency centers to the network – installing the so-called last mile of the middlemile system. Network Controls manages the project and does all the fiber, but subs out “the digging and the boring.” Since the Oconee project is funded in large part with a federal stimulus dollars to create jobs, as well as bring fiber optic technology
18 Upstate business | NOVEMBER 9, 2012
to underserved areas of the country, Network Controls added “upwards of 35 people” between the company and its subcontractor doing the digging, Cunningham said. “These are jobs at the upper end of the range. It is fairly skilled, not like a helper pulling wires, paying $19-20 per hour.” The big payoff will come, Cunningham said, when “the plants come in and locate here because of this broadband. That’s where the jobs come in. “What we are doing is nice for me, the company and the few people getting employed, but that’s not the real job-creation. The job creation will come once this is in the ground, the amount of industries that will come. They will create thousands of jobs out of this.” Having high-speed, high-capacity broadband is “probably on the top scale of factors companies weigh when they are coming into an area,” he said, echoing what development recruiters say. “If you build a data center, if you build a manufacturing plant but can’t communicate except through satellite or DSL connection, that’s not good enough.” Cunningham is majority owner of Network Control. Ed Miles, who had been with the company under the prior ownership, is president and minority owner. Cunningham has a B.A. from Furman and an MBA from Clemson. He lives in Simpsonville. Contact Dick Hughes at email@example.com.
CertusBank has agreed to the acquisition of Quadrant Financial Inc. of Louisville, Ky., a lender specializing in Small Business Administration and Department of Agriculture loans. “It positions us perfectly to expand our small to midsize business platform in the Southeast, especially in our headquartered state of South Carolina,” said Walter L. Davis, co-chief executive officer of CertusBank, which is based in Greenville. The acquisition will enable CertusBank to become the 22nd-largest SBA 7A lender by dollar volume in the nation and the No. 1 SBA lender based in the state, the bank said. It is CertusBank’s second major acquisition of a lender this year. In August, it came to terms for the purchase of Myers Park Mortgage, one of the largest independent mortgage companies in Charlotte, N.C. CertusBank is purchasing 100 percent of the business of Quadrant, which has originated in excess of $750 million in loans, CertusBank said. The purchase price was not disclosed. Quadrant was founded in 2001 as a mortgage broker and lender by John Handmaker and George Vredeveld. It later became a subsidiary of First Chatham Bank of Savannah, Ga., which is part of the FCB Financial Corp. Quadrant has offices in Kentucky, Florida, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia, according to its website. Davis said Handmaker and Vredeveld “are proven leaders in the industry” and have built a team with a passion for small business lending. “We believe that with their continued leadership and our strong capital position we’ll grow stronger moving us forward to becoming the most admired financial institution in the country,” Davis said. Handmaker and Vredeveld said they “are excited and honored to be part of CertusBank.” Regulatory approval is required for the purchase. Contact Dick Hughes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Denny’s income dips
Denny’s reported net income of $5.3 million, or 6 cents per share, in the third quarter on revenue of $121 million. That’s down from net of $8 million on revenue of $136 million in the same period a year ago. The company said net income was negatively affected by an impairment expense of $2.4 million and $1.3 million for an “unfavorable workers’ compensation claims development.” John Miller, president and CEO, told analysts in a conference call that restaurant traffic in “July and September were actually positive, then we had a tough August” around the time of the Olympics. He said the company has seen an “improving fourth quarter, but at the same time we see some tough headwinds” in measuring performance against the same period of last year because mild weather last December helped produce a strong quarter. The company said same-store sales grew 0.4 percent in the third quarter, the sixth consecutive month increase. The company opened 12 new franchise diners and signed an agreement for 10 franchise restaurants in Chile. “As Denny’s approaches its 60th anniversary and 1,700th location, we believe Denny’s will grow its position as one of the largest American fullservice brands in the world,” Miller said. Denny’s also announced it will be the exclusive restaurant sponsor of the Warner Brothers film “The Hobbit,” which it believes will be a blockbuster. “The producers thought Denny’s as an appropriate fit for the family audience, and we do, too. One of our primary audiences is families out with their kids,” said Walt Kincaid, senior director of investor relations, in the conference call.
Park Sterling announces buy-back
Park Sterling Bank of Charlotte,
which acquired Community Capital of Greenwood last year, reported net income of $620,000, or 2 cents per share, in the third quarter. The company also announced that the board of directors of Park Sterling Corp., the holding company, approved repurchase of 2.2 million shares, about 5 percent of shares outstanding. “We believe this authorization reflects our directors’ confidence in the financial position and growth outlook for Park Sterling,” the company said in a regulatory filing. The net income for the third quarter is down from net profit of $678,000 in the second quarter and $1.7 million in the first quarter. In the third quarter of 2011, the bank lost $1.4 million. Park Sterling said the decline in net income from the second quarter “reflects higher merger-related expenses related to the acquisitions” of Community Capital and Citizens South Bank of Gastonia, N.C. Park Sterling closed on the Citizens South purchase Oct. 1 and merged them Oct. 10. The acquisition gives Park Sterling 45 branches along the I-85 corridor from Charlotte through the Upstate to Georgia and total assets of more than $2 billion.
Stock repurchase rewards shareholders
World Acceptance Corp. of Greenville said net income in its second fiscal-year quarter slipped 1.7 percent to $22.9 million from $23.3 million in the same quarter last year. Still, earnings per share increased 13.2 percent to $1.72 over the same period a year ago. CEO Sandy McLean said the company’s share repurchase program benefited the growth in earnings per share. “Over the last six months, the company has repurchased approximately 1.1 million shares of World Acceptance’s stock,” he said. World Acceptance added $113 million to its debt to spend $100 million
on the repurchase, the company said. Thus far, it has spent $75 million for that shareholder reward, reducing its weighted average shares outstanding by 12.9 percent. The company said revenue increased 5.5 percent to $139.4 million, loan demand was up 12.7 percent to $1.1 billion and fee income rose 4.8 percent to $121.8 million. World Acceptance makes installment loans to borrowers who either cannot secure loans from conventional banks or prefer not to deal with banks.
Record sales for apparel maker
Delta Apparel said it had record sales of $130.1 million in the first quarter of its fiscal year. In the same period a year ago, revenue was $123.5 million. Net income declined, however, to $3.6 million from $4.4 million as the result of a one-time charge of $1.2 million. The company said net income for the quarter “was affected by a onetime charge of $1.2 million” related to an internal investigation by the company’s audit committee, which reduced earnings 10 cents per share. The company said its firstquarter performance “was primarily driven by strong organic growth
and improved margins in the basics segment as well as the branded segment’s Art Bun business.”
Headwinds hit ScanSource
ScanSource, the Greenville reseller of point-of-sale and barcoding technology and other specialty products, said net sales and income declined in the first fiscal quarter from a year ago. The company reported sales of $733.6 million compared to $770.3 million in the first quarter of 2011. Net income declined to $17.6 million, or 63 cents per share, from $18.4 million, or 67 cents a share. “Challenging market conditions contributed to a sales decline versus last year,” said Mike Baur, CEO. He said, however, that ScanSource had record quarterly sales in its security business in North America, as well as solid growth in its North American communications unit and in the Miami and Mexico-based operations. The company’s forecast for the current quarter is revenue from $745$765 million and earnings per share between 61-63 cents per share.
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NOVEMBER 9, 2012 | Upstate business 19
by the Purveyors of Classic American Style
Jump Start Entrepreneurship is everywhere
Wine business slowly gains ground
A Formal Affair
By Jennifer Oladipo | contributor
We are quickly approaching the formal, social season. Stamped and in the mail go the many invitations to grand events that announce “White Tie” or “Black Tie” or “Black Tie Optional.” References to acceptable attire may be a bit intimidating, but provide clarity to the situation. And remember, formal dress elevates any occasion and increases the special nature of the event. Here’s an abbreviated guide to help you navigate through your sartorial decisions this party season. At the dressiest end of the formal spectrum, “White Tie” denotes full dress tails with Robert Talbott Black Watch Tartan Dinner Jacket matching trousers and all the accoutrements: white wing collar pique shirt, matching pique vest and bowtie, mother-of-pearl stud set, finely polished leather oxfords and white gloves that are not to be removed unless exposing the right hand to receiving line guests. For occasions that suggest “Black Tie,” a black tuxedo is in order. If the event has a serious, elegant theme, such as an evening wedding (after 6:00 p.m.) or formal business dinner, it is necessary to wear a black bowtie and cummerbund in a fabric that matches the lapel of the tuxedo. The idea is to honor your host or hostess with the most elegant correct attire. (A white dinner jacket may be substituted for the black tux jacket during warm weather occasions or at tropical resorts).
As a destination for wineries, the Upstate has a while to catch up to neighbors in Georgia and North Carolina. Yet as enthusiasm grows and laws change, there are increasing opportunities for the Upstate to grow a competitive wine industry. “Every weekend, people from Greenville County get in their cars and they drive over to Yadkin County, just north of Charlotte, and they do nothing but spend the whole day visiting wineries,” said Wayne Tamme, who runs Cityscape Winery in Pelzer with his wife, Anita. Tamme expects that trend to reverse now that a change in the law this year loosened restrictions on wineries. Before, 51 percent of their content had to be sourced from within the state, but that rule has been eliminated. Tamme, who worked toward the change as a member of a wine growers association, said the rule had forced wineries in the less-ideal areas to sell only muscadine, blackberry or peach blends, which are less popular. “So anyone who understood the impact of that simple regulation
would not be willing to spend any money to develop a winery in South Carolina,” Tamme said. Owners say the ability to affirm their wines are South Carolina products is an important selling point, because many of their customers are looking for locally produced wines. There are currently just a handful of wineries in the Upstate. The areas in the foothills are the ones in the state where traditional wine varieties such as merlot or chardonnay can be grown. Everywhere else, muscadines are the go-to variety that can tolerate the climate. Palmetto Pickup Wines in Cowpens grows several varieties of American and European grapes. Cityscape expects to sell about 10,000 bottles this year. They grow about half an acre of muscadine grapes in Pelzer. The vines are fairly young at five years old, and are intended for customers who want to see how wine grapes grow and to pick some of their own. Cityscape relies on outside sources for its grapes, purchasing about 32,000 pounds annually
If the affair has a party theme to it, you have the opportunity to be more adventurous and creative! Choose a colorful bowtie/cummerbund or waistcoat. How about a dinner jacket in a bold color or plaid that departs from the classic tuxedo? During the holiday season, an elegant and memorable Black Watch Tartan dinner jacket would be the touch that tops them all! Finally, if your invitation calls for “Black Tie Optional,” wear your tuxedo. However, you can wear a dark business suit, white shirt and an elegant tie. When in doubt, just remember, the proper thing to do is the most traditional and elegant. When confronted with “clever” dress codes such as “Creative Black Tie,” take the advice of A Gentleman Gets Dressed, by Bridges and Curtis, “A gentleman has every right to dress as traditionally as he chooses.”
Open Mon.-Sat. 9:30am - 5:30pm Wed. 9:30am - 1:00pm 20 Upstate business | NOVEMBER 9, 2012
23 West North Street, Greenville, SC 29601 864.232.2761 | www.rushwilson.com
les jayne, owner of victoria valley vineyards
from growers in Spartanburg, Greenville, Newberry and Oconee counties and surplus from Enoree River Vineyards in Newberry. They also buy juice from grapes that have already been pressed. “Honestly, we purchase grapes for less money per pound than we can grow them,” Tamme said. Just over the Greenville County border in Cleveland, Victoria Valley Vineyards is a more traditional winery, with 17 acres of fields with a view of Table Rock. Because the entire operation is on site, from growing to bottling, owner Les Jayne is not as concerned with sourcing laws as he is about the laws of nature. There are the normal agricultural concerns about rainfall and weather. Then, in order to maintain a consistent product, there is the endless experimenting on the production side in response to those changing factors. New blends must be made each year to get the same results. Victoria Valley produces about 20,000 bottles per year from 17,000 plants. Jayne said it has taken the 10 years since the first vines were planted to figure out which methods and varieties work best. He had been a hobby wine maker since he was a young man in Ontario, Canada, but said the only way to make really great wine is to do it on a commercial scale. “There’s old school technique and new school technique and you have to be willing to go to both to find the best out of each,” Jayne said. Area winery owners say they are seeing an increase in interest in the business. Although the initial costs may be prohibitive, they expect to see more upstate wineries in the future. And they would welcome the competition. They expect a critical mass of wineries to keep Upstate residents at home when they want day-long wine excursions, and make the area a destination for wine lovers throughout the region. Contact Jennifer Oladipo at joladipo@community journals.com.
Are I.T. Managed Services Right for You?
s with many non-core-yetessential services, gone are the days of 100% reliance on in-house resources, especially for IT. Most progressive organizations are moving towards an outsourced IT model, or a balance of in-house and outsourced. It’s simply too difficult, complex and expensive for most companies to keep a team of IT experts on the payroll.
• Key services monitoring (like email)
For many businesses, Managed Services are an idea whose time has come — an ideal way to take a proactive – rather than reactive – stance towards keeping your IT network running smoothly, and getting the most out of your technology investment.
Handling of on-site and after hours support is driven by the needs of each customer, with many preferring an allyou-can-eat model with all support visits included in a service agreement. Other customers prefer to pay a discounted rate on service calls on an a la carte basis. Leading IT organizations will provide both options.
Unfortunately, not all managed services providers are equal, despite claims. In fact, we’ve seen quite a few who might be better off billing themselves as mismanaged services!
• Vulnerability assessments IT engineers typically work remotely to prevent or correct any alerts that arise – server issues, email stoppage, failed backups – and your users have nocharge access to their support engineers for assistance… sort of a virtual help desk.
If issues can’t be corrected remotely, and assuming you are not on an “allinclusive” program, the provider should contact you to seek authorization to dispatch an engineer. Leading Managed Services providers will charge such visits at a reduced rate to help you keep costs down and minimize downtime.
Here are some things to ask yourself to determine if managed services are a good fit for your organization: Why Consider Managed Services? Choosing a managed services partner has many benefits: • Enjoy peace of mind – focus on your core business while professionals keep your network running optimally
Other services that may be appropriate for your organization and which a quality managed services provider should offer include: • Router, firewall and VPN management
• Be more productive – proactively detect and avoid IT issues, and conduct preventative maintenance, to maximize productivity
• Wireless access monitoring and management
• Safeguard your organization – ongoing monitoring and updates reduce vulnerability to viruses, worms, hackers, theft or malicious attacks
• Temp file removal to increase speed, security and hard drive space
• Antivirus and anti-spyware management
• Applications management
• Stabilize your IT spend – budget easier with predictable investment
• Workstation and server optimization
• Access top talent – leverage top talent for far less than hiring your own engineers
Bottom Line: Today, Managed IT Services represent a better way of doing business for many organizations — efficient, proactive, and accessible 24/7. If optimizing your IT spend, ensuring security of data and performance of your network is important to you, talk with a reputable Managed Services provider. You may find that their comprehensive services, reliability, and affordability are a good fit.
• CIO consulting services
What Can I Expect? With leading Managed Services providers, certified network engineers remotely manage and maintain your network from a NOC, or Network Operations Center, providing: • 24/7 monitoring of network and servers • Backup monitoring • Remote workstation and server patch deployment and updates • Spyware and malware removal • Detailed reporting on hardware, software, security and performance
Since 1999, CEO Charles Johnson and EDTS have been providing networking, security and managed services support solutions to Southeastern businesses. The firm provides Experience, Dedication, Technology and Solutions (EDTS) to increase productivity and reduce cost associated with IT.
In the Upstate, call 864.250.9112 or visit us at www.EDTSolutions.com
NOVEMBER 9, 2012 | Upstate business 21
The Markets and You The markets have had a positive year yet the news reﬂects a lot of negative sentiments. Equities have rebounded from desperate lows in March 2009 as we slowly pull out of the worst economic downturn since the great depression. There is still a lot of fear and uncertainty creating indecision and inaction. Corporations and investors are sitting on huge piles of cash waiting for some sign of direction in the markets. Housing raised us up when it boomed, and brought us crashing down as prices fell. Housing is showing strength and American consumers are buying things again. Interest rates are low and forecast to remain that way for some time. New drilling techniques are creating opportunities to access resources once thought unavailable. With the build out of shale oil drilling, America could become energy independent and even export excess capacity to the rest of the world. Manufacturing is showing renewed strength in America. Some commentators are predicting a manufacturing renaissance. The ﬁscal cliff looms on January 1, 2013. This ominous event refers to the expiration of the Bush era tax cuts and mandatory spending cuts enacted during the debt ceiling debate last year. Most think resolution and compromise are probable. Global risks continue with Middle East challenges, trade disputes with China, and European debt fears. Things are constantly changing and new problems will arise as old ones calm down. There are always macro-economic risks and opportunities, and in reality none of us have any control over these. We do, however, control our actions and will have the opportunity to live with their results. A reasonable argument may be made that the greatest determining factor to one’s personal wealth are the actions one takes to prepare for the future. Are you saving adequately to fund your future? Have you taken steps to address debt in a responsible manner? If you are concerned about your portfolio or your ﬁnancial plan, it may be time to reassess your goals and your situation. Creating a written plan that takes into account your opportunities and risks is integral to achieving your objectives. We all are growing older. What is happening in your ﬁnancial world? Have you taken care of you and your spouse for retirement? Are you growing and increasing wealth while paying off debt or are you increasing lifestyle? Positive cash ﬂow is where most of us begin the journey towards ﬁnancial independence. If you are spending more than you earn, you are going the wrong way and creating ﬁnancial obligations for your future self that you may not intend. Saving money is hard for most of us because it entails setting aside a portion of our spending ability for future use. Saving money is like deferring happiness or choosing not to eat dessert. Saving money creates opportunity for you later and will open up options for travel, education, gifting, or following an important personal goal. Generating a family plan with your partner and a shared sense of goals and vision is important to your success. If one wants to live like a rock star, it’s a little hard on a family when the other is seeking to embrace austerity. When we have kids, there are larger expenses to consider. When the kids leave, there are deferred goals and opportunities we may have put off. It is possible to ﬁnd an appropriate level of balance. Markets will do what markets will do, and prudent, sound investing is a key to any successful ﬁnancial plan. A sound foundation of savings and good habits that helps you accomplish your goals is just as important to creating the opportunity for you in the future. Christopher A. Brown, CPA, PFS is the COO of Family Legacy, Inc. and has been helping people plan and save for the future since 1995. You may visit us online at www.falegacy.com or call us at 864-233-0808.
22 Upstate business | NOVEMBER 9, 2012
9Round franchise packs a punch Greenville fitness company sells 70 locations in 4 years By Leigh Savage | contributor
You know your business model is a knockout when your year-end growth doesn’t just exceed your goals, but doubles them. 9Round, a Greenville-based fitness franchise, has experienced just that, according to Heather Hudson, co-founder and chief operating officer. “Our goal was to sell 20 this year, and we’ve sold more than 40,” she said. That brings the total number of sold franchises to 70 locations in 17 states, with 33 open for business. She expects about 60 to be open within the next six months. Hudson and her husband Shannon Hudson, co-founder and CEO, opened the first 9Round location on Butler Road in 2008. They started franchising in 2009, with plans for 1,000 locations by 2017. “Based on our numbers, we think we are on track to do it,” Heather Hudson said. “We have some big deals in development, so we’re moving out there.” She said low startup costs and minimal requirements for square footage, equipment and staffing lead to quick profit margins for franchisees. The company also provides training, marketing materials, workout tutorials and more. “We just say, ‘These are the tools; use them, they work,’” Hudson said. 9Round is a specialized fitness center that teaches kickboxing and boxing techniques to people of all ages, abilities and fitness levels. They have created a nine-circuit system that offers a full-body workout in 30 minutes. Despite opening in 2008 during the early stages of the recession, the Hudsons saw immediate success at their first location. “It was s c a r y , ” Hudson said. “I wasn’t watching the news. But we knew this
was it for us.” The couple’s passion for the business began with their interest in martial arts and fitness. Shannon Hudson is an IKF light middleweight kickboxing champion and 5th-degree black belt in Japanese Shotokan karate. After competing for years, he wanted to turn the training tricks and techniques he had learned into a non-intimidating but effective workout. Heather Hudson is also a black belt in Shotokan karate and has always had a passion for exercise, but said the 9Round circuit has taken her fitness to a new level. There are now Upstate locations in Taylors, Spartanburg, Simpsonville, Greer, North Greenville and Easley, as well as outposts as far away as New Mexico, Texas and Connecticut. Many franchisees are former clients who fell in love with the workout and wanted to become a part of the team, Hudson said. They also advertise for franchisees, with Tom Sagehorn on board as president and director of franchise sales. Sagehorn said he has more than 150 franchises “under development,” with a long list of qualified candidates in the pipeline. On December 10, 9Round is hosting a Discovery Day, bringing franchise candidates from as far away as California to visit the Greenville headquarters, try a workout and decide if they are ready to join the “9Round nation.” Contact Leigh Savage at email@example.com.
UBJ professional How do you manage all this? I work Monday through Sunday, mornings and nights, to stay on top of all my work. It’s not uncommon for me to be sending emails at midnight on a Saturday. However, if I work every day, it’s all pretty manageable. What do you do to relax? I love to go down to Clemson’s main campus to visit my brother, who is a freshman there, and a friend. It’s a great way for me to relax and remove myself from shoulder braces for a few hours. I am not going to lie: I also like to take naps. Tell us about the shoulder brace. The shoulder brace project came out of a senior class project in bioengineering. We received the idea from interviewing Dr. Chuck Thigpen, a clinical research scientist at Proaxis physical therapy in Greenville.
After coming up with our first design, we received enthusiastic responses form many people in Clemson. One of the co-designers of the brace, Chelsea ExLubeskie, is still working with me to develop the brace design further. We also are looking to add Dr. Thigpen as co-inventor of the brace patent and of using his clinical expertise to perfect the design.
riley csernica, co-inventor of brace to prevent shoulder dislocations
Fresh Under 40 Riley Csernica races to get her revolutionary new athletic shoulder brace to market, juggles two master’s programs – and still finds time for the occasional nap By Dick Hughes | senior business writer
“Young people are fitter to invent than to judge; fitter for execution than for counsel; and more fit for new projects than for settled business.” – Francis Bacon, 1561-1626
Here then, Mr. Bacon, is Riley Csernica: • Hometown: Mount Pleasant • Age: 22 • Double master’s student in business at Clemson at the Falls and in bioengineering at Clemson • Business/Science Entrepreneur
• Co-inventor of brace to prevent shoulder dislocations • Recipient of $50,000 grant from National Science Foundation • Finalist (with team) in national collegiate design competition
What does the brace do? The brace was designed to prevent shoulder dislocations in athletes playing high-impact sports. Current braces on the market are rather cumbersome to apply and wear. This product aims to be a self-applicable, comfortable brace that provides compressive support to the joint without drastically limiting range of motion and thereby affecting athletic performance. What are you working on now? We are now investigating other types of shoulder injuries and patients for which this brace could be useful in order to broaden our market Tell us about the grant. The $50,000 came from the NSF’s Innovation Corps program to aid engineers and scientists in commercializing technology created in academic institutions with the ultimate goal of sparking economic growth. My bioengineering advisor, John DesJardins, is serving as the grant PI (principal investigator). David Orr, co-founder of Kiyatec, a Greenville medical device company, is volunteering as our I-Corps team mentor. Just another example of two people who are dedicating their time for the sole
reason of wanting to see me and this project succeed. What’s the other competition your team is in? Our undergraduate brace design team (me, Chelsea Ex-Lubeskie, Kaitlin Grove and Meredith Donaldson) is a finalist in a national collegiate design competition sponsored by invent.org. We will be in Washington, D.C., to compete against six other teams for the top prize of $12,000. How much will you need to take the brace to market? I’m not sure yet. My guess is the biggest expenses will come from licensing the patent from the Clemson Research Foundation, which filed the provisional application for patent Aug. 22, and for employee salaries. I need to further develop my business plan to determine how lean I can make the business while still accomplishing my goals effectively. What’s your timeline? As of today, I plan on finishing my MBA courses the end of May 2013 and graduating in August. I plan on finishing MS course work and graduating in December 2013. As far as business plans go, my team hopes to finish the brace design in early 2013. I would like to have a strong business plan developed by that time as well, so that I can look for more funding options. But that could all change tomorrow. Welcome to entrepreneurship! Do you anticipate staying in Greenville? I have the fullest intention to stay in South Carolina. A couple of months before graduation, I realized that to enter the biomedical industry with only a bachelor’s degree, my best chances of finding employment were either up north or out west. I found out about Clemson’s MBA entrepreneurial program just weeks before graduation and realized this was my ticket to stay in the state. How has it worked out? People at Clemson in every department have been reaching out to help me. At this point, I have received help from Clemson’s bioengineering, MBA and athletics departments. They have contributed everything from industry expertise, access to resources, mentorship and PR opportunities. Without Clemson, there is no way in heck I could have made as much progress in my entrepreneurial endeavors in the short amount of time that I have. Seriously, no way!
NOVEMBER 9, 2012 | Upstate business 23
UBJ digital maven
Cyberattacks and cyberterrorism South Carolina taxpayers and businesses are facing a lifetime of vigilance to protect themselves and their clients following the major data breach of the state Department of Revenue. Although the state has provided a year of monitoring protection for individuals and other business-specific services for companies via Dun & Bradstreet, the responsibility for monitoring your credit, your identity and – for small businesses – your clients’ sensitive information will fall squarely on your shoulders. Cyberattacks and cyberterrorism are a huge risk for businesses and government. A 2012 survey by Deloitte and the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) found that 92 percent of state CIOs feel that cybersecurity is critical to their state, but only 24 percent are confident that they can protect against
external threats. Part of the reason for that low level of confidence is that only 14 percent say that they get the appropriate commitment and funding. (View the full report at http://goo.gl/B5lDz.) So here are five areas that your business – no matter how big or small – should be addressing right now. 1. Authenticated Users. Access to the
state’s database came because the hacker had stolen credentials of an authenticated state employee. Your users are the last line of defense. Users will complain bitterly about the intrusive demands of IT, but
The number of Americans’ files in which personal information has been exposed to potential identity theft through data breaches at government agencies since 2009.*
When buying or selling your home... relationships matter.
those demands are a By Laura Haight critical part of your protection. If you are big enough to have an authentication server – such as Microsoft Exchange – either onsite or via an online service, you can implement a requirement that users must have strong passwords, and that those passwords be changed frequently – every 30 days is not extreme in today’s environment. A strong password should be at least 8 characters, make no Englishlanguage word and contain numbers, letters in both upper and lower case. It appears that the first breach of the state database was back in August; had the state enforced this very basic requirement of changing passwords every 30 days, the hack wouldn’t have been prevented, but it would have been curtailed two months sooner. 2. Division of responsibility. Once the credentials were stolen, the hackers had the keys to the kingdom because the user had access to everything. Divide access and responsibility as much as you can. If your business is small and one person does everything and that can’t be helped, then enforce even more frequent password changes and consider having an independent consultant come in and review your operations at least once a year. 3. Encrypt sensitive data. There are
www.marchantco.com 100 W. Stone Ave. • Greenville • 864.467.0085 24 Upstate business | NOVEMBER 9, 2012
many layers of encryption that you can consider. Does your company take credit cards? If so, make sure the credit card information is maintained on your merchant gateway account NOT your computers. Credit card companies and those that provide merchant accounts are subject to PCI compliance that requires that a credit card number be encrypted, that only the last four digits are visible and that the entire card number never resides in the same database in an unencrypted state. Unless you are a health provider, you should have no reason to have your clients’ Social Security number, so don’t ask for it. Why burden yourself with the responsibility of protecting it? Do not ever send or receive unencrypted credit card numbers via email. Even the smallest business can purchase PGP – a public key encryption program – that will protect files like spreadsheets or documents with a dual key encryption. If you have to send files over email use a program like this to encrypt it on both sides and, of course, never send the encryption key
by the numbers
The increase in significant cybersecurity threats against U.S. government systems from 2006 to 2011.**
Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) feel that they receive appropriate executive commitment and adequate funding for cybersecurity.^
CISOs have reported a breach.^
*”Rapid7 Report: Data Breaches in the Government Sector.” Rapid7. Sept. 6, 2012. **Gregory Wilshusen. Testimony before the House Homeland Security Committee’s subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations and Management. April 2012. ^2012 Deloitte-NASCIO Cybersecurity Study.
in the same email with the file itself. 4. Maintain your hardware and software.
The state’s servers and network infrastructure have been reported to be several generations old, but upgraded. While you can add storage and RAM to older hardware, you cannot add processing speed and the disk access capabilities required of new software. You certainly don’t have to buy new servers every time a new Windows Server version comes out, but if you are running 10-year-old servers it is probably time to upgrade. As new software is written to combat the threats to your databases and systems, it often must run on newer, faster hardware and operating systems. If your systems aren’t capable, you may be stuck with less effective software. 5. Test and Verify. No doubt, this is the most often overlooked step in any plan. The only way to be sure the steps you put in place are working is to test them, to make sure they are actually being done, to ask questions, and review security reports on a monthly basis as part of your regular close procedures. If you think that’s unnecessary, ask yourself if you are certain that the last person who left your employ – whether you let them go or they resigned – still has an account on your system. Laura Haight is the managing partner of Portfolio (www.portfoliosc.com), a communications company based in Greenville. She is a former IT executive, journalist and newspaper editor. We want your comments, ideas and suggestions, too. So connect with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thedigitalmaven.
UBJ new to the street
Certus builds model branch By Cindy Landrum | staff
The branch CertusBank is building at Church and Augusta streets in Greenville is a model for what it intends to build at its headquarters and for other branches, according to K. Angela Webb, president. “Our brand is new, special and different,” and the design, inside and out, along with use of “technology in
ways this market has not seen before,” is intended to reflect that, she said. The office will feature media walls and touch-screen technology to offer “more solutions for the customer. It is different than anything you’ve seen before.” The branch on Augusta Street is the first one Certus has built from the ground up. Its existing branches were inherited in acquisitions of CommunitySouth bank of Easley and
two banks in Georgia. Webb said the prototype “design uses a lot of glass to represent transparency in what we’re doing.” A small version of the concept was built for an office in Charlotte, N.C., and customers have said it is more like a hotel lobby than a bank branch, she said. The same design will be used for CertusBank’s main retail branch on the plaza level of the high-rise mixed-use ONE complex being built at Main and Washington streets in
Swamp Rabbit CrossFit offers classes seven days a week, including kids classes. Learn more at www. swamprabbitcrossfit.com.
After working together many years ago, the husband-and-wife real estate team of Rex and Kary Galloway are joining forces again to form a new
Swamp Rabbit CrossFit officially opened its 28,000-square-foot (16,000 indoor and 12,000 outdoor) location at 25 Peden St., Greenville, on Nov. 3. An official CrossFit affiliate, the facility features Rogue equipment, an infinity rig with 10 lifting stations, vertical climbing ropes, rowing machines, a
gymnastics floor area and showers – all just off the Swamp Rabbit Trail. Owner William Timmons is a Greenville native and former college athlete who discovered CrossFit about five years ago and calls it “lifechanging.” Timmons says he’s not only interested in his health, but that of his friends, family and the community. Swamp Rabbit CrossFit is the largest CrossFit gym in the world, he says, and “the workouts are always fun and always different.”
downtown Greenville. Certus also will be occupying more than 26,000 square feet of office space in ONE for its headquarters. Webb said the Augusta Street branch design also will be used for a branch to be built on Pelham Road near Michelin and next to Chick-Fil-A. Chicago-based 4240 Architects, which was involved in the architecture of ONE, designed the CertusBank office. Contact Cindy Landrum at firstname.lastname@example.org.
company called Greenville Team. The duo is specializing in Greenville-area residential real estate and has nearly 50 years of real estate experience between them. Rex comes from working in the luxury and resort market while Kary has been working in the area since 1989. In addition to residential properties in all price ranges, the Galloways can handle rural, farm, luxury, commercial and acreage properties. Rex Galloway says the two-person team ensures personal service and clients can always reach a team member. For more information, visit www.greenvilleteam.com or call 864331-3107.
Have the inside scoop on what’s “New To The Street”? Drop us a line at Business@CommunityJournals.com
READ IT. KNOW IT. GROW IT.
Upstate business Journal
NOVEMBER 9, 2012 | Upstate business 25
PLANNER Tuesday November
BB&T CEO Connection GHS University Medical Center, 701 Grove Rd., Greenville; 5:30-8:30 p.m. Featuring Dr. Nido Qubein. Open to CEOs or business owners only. Cost: $65 per person for Chamber members; $125 per person for non-members. Contact Claudia Wise at 864-239-3728 or www.greenvillechamber.org
Business Before Hours Commerce Club of Greenville, 55 Beattie Place, Ste. 1700; 7:30-9 a.m. Chamber members only. Cost: $5 for dual Chamber & Commerce Club members; $7 to pre-register online; $10 at the door. www.greenvillechamber.org Non-Profit Alliance on Compensation Greenville Chamber of Commerce, 24 Cleveland St., 12-1:30 p.m. Open to all Chamber member executive directors of area non-profits or their designates. Cost: members, no cost; nonmembers $20. Lunch will be provided. Contact Claudia Wise at 864-239-3728 or www.greenvillechamber.org Wednesday November
Photos by Greg Beckner
Herring Center for Continuing Education
(Images, clockwise from left) People gather at Furman University for the dedication of the new Herring Center for Continuing Education. Construction on the building was completed last month. Dr. Rod Smolla, Furman University president, speaks at the dedication of the Herring Center for Continuing Education. The $6.4 million, 23,000-square-foot Herring Center houses Furman’s Division of Continuing Education. Here, Furman University President Rod Smolla, Gordon Herring and Sarah Herring cut the ribbon at the dedication of the Herring Center for Continuing Education, joined by Dr. Brad Bechtold, Furman’s director of continuing education. The Herrings, Furman graduates and Greenville residents, provided the naming gift for the center. Dr. Brad Bechtold (below), Furman University’s director of continuing education, addresses the crowd at the dedication of the new Herring Center for Continuing Education.
What’s Next? SCBIO Annual Conference (14th & 15th) Hyatt Downtown Greenville, 220 North Main Street; 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Cost to register: members, $250; non-members, $280. Advancing S.C.’s life science industry: collaboration, business opportunities, innovation, advocacy and support. www.scbio.org
Diversity Connections CityRange Steakhouse, 774 Spartan Boulevard, Spartanburg, 12-1:30 p.m. Cost: Dutch treat. Guest speaker Erna Bloome of Allianz Insurance will discuss “Investing in the Market with a Guarantee.” Contact Doug Gregory at 864-594-5062 or www.spartanburgchamber.com. Sales Roundtable Greenville Chamber of Commerce 24 Cleveland St.; 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m Cost: $7.50 for box lunch from Jason’s Deli or bring your own. Beverages provided. Contact Claudia Wise at 864-239-3728 or www.greenvillechamber.org. Manufacturers Roundtable Greenville Chamber of Commerce, 124 Cleveland St.; 12:30-1:30 p.m. Open to top leaders in regional manufacturing facilities. Cost: Free for members of Chamber Manufacturers Roundtable; guest fee, $10. Contact Darlene Parker at 864-239-3706 or www.greenvillechamber.org Thursday November
Our Upstate Vision Forum J. Verne Smith Technical Center Auditorium, 506 S. Pleasantburg Drive; Greenville Tech.-Barton Campus; 2:30-5 p.m. Reception to follow. Forum on key issues facing the Upstate region & celebration of Upstate businesses, organizations & local communities. www.tenatthetop.org BuildU Educational Seminar Events at Sapphire Creek, 401 N. Main Street, Simpsonville; 11:45 a.m.-1:30 p.m Cost: $15 Chamber members, $25 future Chamber members. David Rich of Rich Ideas. will discuss “Turn A One Time Connection Into a Life-Long Relationship.” To register call 864-963-3781 or email email@example.com.
Submit your event: firstname.lastname@example.org
Greenville Chamber’s Business Women in Action (Images, from left) Members of the Business Women in Action group listen to a conversation between 2011 ATHENA award recipient Dr. Virginia Uldrick and television personalty Jane Robelot. President and CEO of the Greenville Chamber of Commerce Ben Haskew speaks at the Greenville Chamber’s Business Women in Action group luncheon celebrating past ATHENA Leadership Award winners. Lynn Skidmore with the Greenville Chamber’s Business Women in Action group asks people attending the luncheon celebrating past ATHENA Leadership Award winners to complete a 2013 ATHENA award nomination form. Incoming 2013 Greenville Chamber Board Chairwoman Luanne Runge makes a few comments during the luncheon celebrating past ATHENA Leadership Award winners at the Poinsett Club. Women mingle prior to the start of the Greenville Chamber’s Business Women in Action group luncheon.
UBJ nonprofit matters
Find your nonprofit passion My goal in writing this column is to share my passion for nonprofits by bringing to light relevant information and success stories. This column will be presented in a question-and-answer format. So whether you are a nonprofit professional, an active community volunteer or someone just looking for a way to get involved, I want to hear from you. My inaugural question is one I am asked frequently by newcomers to our community. Recently, at a Metropolitan Arts Council Open Studios event, I met Steve and Sara. Here is how our conversation began:
We are recent retirees who just moved to Greenville. How do we get involved in the nonprofit community in the Upstate?
– Steve and Sara P.
This is a tricky, yet important question. We are all busy people and time is so precious so we want to choose wisely. There are virtually hundreds of nonprofit organizations in our area, each with a different focus – children, education, housing, hunger, health care, animals, the environment, the elderly and the arts, just to name a few. First decide where your passion lies. Then the work begins. I suggest visiting the following websites to survey some of the opportunities that are available within a variety of interest areas. Each site showcases their partner agencies. • United Way of Greenville County – unitedwaygc.org • United Way of the Piedmont – uwpiedmont.org • Metropolitan Arts Council – greenvillearts.com • The Arts Partnership of Greater Spartanburg – chapmancultluralcenter.org
By Debbie Nelson
• Community Foundation of Greenville – cfgreenvillle.org
By Jenny Munro | contributor
• The Spartanburg Foundation – spcf.org
Greenville County builders are busier than they’ve been in the last six years, but the residential permits issued for the 2011-2012 year are far from the 12,447 residential housing permits issued from July of 2005 to 2006 – a watershed year for the county.
• Greenville Women Giving – greenvillewomengiving.org I also suggest that you and Sara get your feet wet by volunteering. There are numerous opportunities to do this. A great way to get started is with a group like Hands on Greenville (www. handsongreenville.org). I encourage all of my nonprofit friends to be ready, willing and able to receive that unsolicited call or email from Steve and Sara. What a great opportunity to open the door to recruit them as volunteers, donors or board members. Be prepared with a list of volunteer opportunities, a calendar of upcoming special events and a personal invitation to visit your facility or to share a cup of coffee with an ambassador of your organization. Steve and Sara, spend time doing your homework first and you will soon be integrated into the volunteer-rich fabric of our community. Until next time, Debbie (email@example.com)
Debbie Nelson is the president and founder of DNA Creative Communications, a public relations firm that partners with nonprofit and government organizations in the education, human services and sustainability sectors. Each year DNA offers its Live Here Give Here pro bono program and Shine the Light on Your Nonprofit workshop series. Debbie is the recipient of the Greenville Chamber’s 2005 Small Business of the Year Award and the Community Foundation of Greenville’s 2011 Creative Spirit Award. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 864-235-0959, ext. 2.
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County residential permits climbing steadily – finally
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Dey said that Greenville County might occasionally meet the levels of more than 12,000 housing starts annually, but that is not a normal rate for Greenville County. And “I think the industry has learned a lesson and will be more attuned to demand,” he said. The public has also learned a lesson.
“We’re not back to normal,” said Michael Dey, executive vice president of the Greenville Homebuilders Association. But Greenville should see an increase of 50 percent to 60 percent above last year’s building starts.
“Some of the 1980s generation probably have been scared and are a little slower to move into homeownership,” he said. But “you’ve got to live somewhere. In many cases, it makes sense to buy in a strong, stable market.”
That’s true not only of residential housing permits but also commercial and all other permits. In 2005-2006, the county reported a total of 20,353 total construction permits. In 2010-2011, it recorded a total of 15,997.
Currently, Greenville-area housing prices are “affordable,” he said, and interest rates are “incredibly low,” Dey said. With the growing demand, Greenville is home to a mix of primarily local builders with a number of national builders here also. Some of the national builders remained during the housing bust, but a couple of new Atlanta builders have moved to the county.
“Because of the way credit is now, everyone who gets a permit is building. The numbers are more meaningful than when there’s a lot of speculation going on,” said Bob Milhalic, Greenville County spokesman. “We’ve probably got another year or two of less than 75 percent of the normal rate,” Dey said of the residential permits, adding that the number of housing permits from 2005 to 2007 were abnormally high, primarily because credit was easy to get and that attracted building companies to the area. Those companies built housing, stimulating the inventory. Milhalic said that about five years ago, the county had 21 building inspectors. It now has six on any given day. The employees filling the terminated positions were given the option to be reassigned elsewhere in county government. “We definitely overbuilt in those years,” Dey said, but Greenville fortunately has “never been a boom-or-bust market.” That meant that while Greenville never soared like Florida markets, it never plummeted as those markets did.
“We’re here in town to check out housing,” said Martina Kingsley, who now lives outside Atlanta. “My husband’s job might bring him to Greenville in a couple of months. We wanted to check out the market. We like what we see so far.” Custom building was the first to recover in Greenville County, Dey said, while starter homes improved next. Existing houses are selling well and those owners are beginning to want houses in the $200,000 to $400,000 move-up range, so that sector is now improving. Multifamily housing also has picked up over the past two to three years. “In the last eight to 10 months, we’ve seen a significant pattern of growth,” Milhalic said. “It’s improving. We’re watching it” and will decide during March 2013 budget discussions if more building inspectors are needed to keep up with growth. Contact Jenny Munro at email@example.com.
NOVEMBER 9, 2012 | Upstate business 27
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UBJ on the move
Eric K. Englebardt
Executive vice president of Prudential C. Dan Joyner; was elected to a three-year term on the South Carolina Real Estate Commission, which is responsible for licensing real estate practitioners and enforcing standards required by law.
Currently a lawyer with Turner Padget Graham & Laney; has been chosen to serve as a member of the Executive Committee of S.C. Chapter of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Upstate Community Mediation Center.
A certified financial planner; has joined Nachman Norwood & Parrott Wealth Management Consultancy of Greenville as vice president. He has six years experience in wealth management, most recently with Merrill Lynch.
Formerly worked as a marketing manager at Intermatic; has joined Progress Lighting, a Hubbell Lighting brand, as commercial product manager.
Founder and principal of DNA Creative Communications; has been appointed to the board of trustees of the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (SCICU).
Accounting • Donald J. Mobley has been named managing member of Scott and Company, an accounting firm, to succeed the late Randy Scott, founding partner, and John M. Price Jr. will serve as chief financial officer.
Banking • David M. Carpenter joined Palmetto Bank as senior vice president of corporate banking. He has had senior positions with Greenville banks, including Fifth Third, BB&T, Bank of America and Central Carolina Bank since 1997. • Kelly Gillespie joined Palmetto Bank as corporate banking specialist. Gillespie previously was with SunTrust for 15 years. • Greer State Bank promoted Linda Oliver, who has been with the bank for 15 years, as assistant vice president in load administration and Lisa Wiles, who was been with the bank for five years, as assistant vice president for finance and accounting. • Kristi Farmer has joined the mortgage lending team as a Mortgage Loan Officer at Pinnacle Bank in Greenville. Previously, she has worked at PNC Mortgage, General Electric and First National Bank of the South.
ENGINEERing • Rob Hendricks rejoined O’Neal Inc. as procurement manager. Previously, he was project manager at Tire Centers in Duncan. He had worked for O’Neal from 2006-2008.
• Heath Smith joined Dillard-Jones builders as project manager. Most recently, he was a superintendent for Distinguished Design, LLC.
of Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd in Greenville was named as an American College of Bond Counsel member.
• Brian Shealy joined Global PTM as business development manager. Previously, he held business development responsibilities at Computer Sciences Corp.
• The Greenville County Council reappointed Jim Wall to another three-year term on the Greenville Airport Commission. • The Spartanburg Convention & Visitors Bureau has Courtney Thompson as its new Assistant Sales & Marketing Manager, responsible for helping to promote Spartanburg County as a tourism destination.
HOSPITALITY • Raman P. Rama was recently installed as global president of Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), a global professional association for financial and technology personnel working in hotels, clubs and other hospitalityrelated businesses. Rama is Principal, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer/Chief Information Officer for JHM Hotels based in Greenville.
INSURANCE • Mary Hernadez has joined Herlong Bates Burnett Insurance, a fullservice independent agency, as a Bilingual Commercial Lines Account Manager. Her responsibilities include marketing and servicing commercial insurance accounts.
LEGAL • Kathleen “Kathy” Crum McKinney
Manufacturing • Bern Koenigsbruegge returned to BMW’s Spartanburg plant as vice president for painted body. He was vice president for the body shop from 2004-2008 before transferring back to Germany. He replaces Heinz Brunner, who returned to Munich to oversee power train and chassis systems. • Bill Hanrahan joined Sealevel Systems in Liberty as vice president of business development. He has 20 years of experience in sales and marketing in original equipment manufacturing, most recently as vice president for Planar Systems.
MARKETING • Crawford Strategy added Dixie Dulin as junior account executive, Jessie Kendall as graphic designer, Billie Young as account executive, Dorothy Self as account executive, Madison Blincoe as junior account executive and Caitlin Covington as public relations strategist.
movers and shakers Business@ CommunityJournals.com
• VantagePoint Marketing hired John Flynn as copywriter for foodservice, transportation and packaging clients and Ben Kammer as lead Web designer.
NON-PROFIT • Marti Spencer has served as interim Chief Executive Officer of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Carolinas before being voted into the Executive Director position by the board of directors. Spencer has been involved with Ronald McDonald House for over nine years in the volunteer/ donor position and most recently, Chief Development Officer of the organization.
REAL ESTATE • Kyle Putnam, broker-in-charge of Colonial Commercial, received the certified commercial investment member designation, an earned curriculum achievement held by 10 percent of commercial Realtors. • Scott Newton has been named project manager at Paul Davis Restoration and Remodeling of the Upstate in Greer.
TECHNOLOGY • EDTS has added Tony Roessler as sales executive in the Greenville office, Michelle Caruthers as marketing and administrative assistant in Augusta, Ga., and Karly Brown as billing assistant in Augusta.
If you have new hires, promotions, award-winners, or any stand-out employees that you would like to feature in On The Move... just send us the information & a photo. NOVEMBER 9, 2012 | Upstate business 29
how it was The Altamont Hotel
how it is Communications towers
The picture shows the three-story, 28-room summer resort hotel called the Altamont on the summit of Paris Mountain during the teachers’ convention of 1897. The two-hour trip from Greenville and lack of amenities, including running water, led to its demise. It was bought by the Rev. N.J. Holmes in 1898 and became a Bible institute until 1915. It passed through several owners until it burned in 1920. – Photo courtesy of the Greenville Historical Society
Communications towers for Greenville television and radio stations are now on the site.
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UBJ the fine print More people at teller windows
The number of households in South Carolina not using or under-using banks dropped in the last three years, according a recent FDIC study. The decline in unbanked households in the state is in contrast with increases regionally and nationally, the South Carolina Bankers Association said. According to the FDIC survey, 9.3 percent of South Carolina households were unbanked, down from 10.3 percent in 2009. Under-banked households fell to 20.6 percent from 24.3 percent. Fred Green III, president and CEO of the SCBA, said programs to promote financial literacy in the state are “at least partially responsible” for the higher use of banking. “In many cases, our bankers are reaching people who never realized there were financial accounts available to them, and helping them to take advantage of those opportunities,” Green said. However, the FDIC report shows that South Carolina still lags behind the national average of unbanked households. It is slightly higher than the national average in under-banked households. The national unbanked average increased to 8.2 percent from 7.6 percent. The under-banked percentage nationally rose to 20.4 percent from 18.2 percent For the South as a region, the unbanked households increased to 10 percent from 9 percent and underbanked households rose to 23.2 percent from 20.8 percent.
Robotics trainer joins SCC
Motion Mekanix Institute of Automation of Clinton Township, Mich., has joined Spartanburg Community College to offer classes in robotics at SCC’s Tyger River campus in Duncan. Motion opened a new “state-of-theart training facility” in the BMW Center on campus, SCC said. “This training will provide advanced skills that are in high demand and offer well above average wages for the citizens in our service area of Cherokee, Spartanburg and Union counties,” said Mike Forrester, interim director of the college’s corporate and community education division. Beginning in January, Motion will offer classes in basic and advanced automation and robotics using Fanuc equipment and systems. Fanuc, a Japanese company, is a leading manu facturer of automation equipment. SCC said its training center has some of the “most recent generation of Fanuc robots.” Other classes using other automation equipment will be offered in the future, SCC said.
The classes at Duncan will be the first Motion has conducted outside Michigan. Michael Wylie, general manager, said “making a geographical expansion to the South following the manufacturing trends only made sense. The workforce in the South will need the same skill-set as our customers here in Michigan receive.” BMW is one of Motion’s largest customers, the company said.
Earth-friendly home honored
Addison Homes received an EarthCraft House Gold Project of the Year award from the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association and Southface, a green building certification program Addison was recognized for Punctatum Place, a mountain retreat built atop Caesars Head in 2011. Todd Usher, president of Addison Homes, said the project presented a challenge because the owners wanted the look of the site’s former 80-year-old cabin “but also wanted the comfort, durability and efficiency of a high-performance home.”
SiMT workshop scheduled
The Southeastern Institute of Manufacturing & Technology (SiMT) will hold The Business Innovation Masterclass Workshop on Nov. 14 at 9 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center located at 424 Westfield St. in Greenville. This half-day workshop will teach how to implement a sustainable system to introduce new products or services, expand into to new markets or launch new messaging campaigns. The cost is $30 and lunch will be provided. For more information, contact Teresa Kirby at tkirby@scmep. org or 803-252-6796, ext. 4.
Fox opens shopping center
Fox Commercial Properties of Greenville has opened a groceryanchored shopping center in the Stoney
Point community of Hope Mills, which is near Fayetteville, N.C. Tom Fox, lead By Dick Hughes principal of the firm, said Harris Teeter, the supermarket chain, is occupying 53,365 square feet of the 76,325-square-foot center. “We have 22,960 square feet earmarked for retail space and nine tenants ready to move in and open, with three more in line,” Fox said.
Marsh/Bell completes projects
Marsh/Bell Construction Co. of Easley announced completion of the new Anderson University School of Nursing building in Anderson and of the Big ‘O’ Dodge facility on Laurens Road in Greenville. Marsh/Bell also recently completed the D&D Ford dealership, which opened on E. Wade Hampton Road in Greer on Oct. 25. The nursing school building was dedicated Oct. 27. The Big ‘O’ Dodge project included a renovated showroom, lounges and a new tire and service center.
Textile firm adds a line
Graniteville Specialty Fabrics, which traces roots in textiles to 1845 in Graniteville, said it had purchased a modern technical coating line from Zimmer America and Mascoe. The high-speed line expands Graniteville’s ability for “a broad range of width options in woven knit and nonwoven textiles, as well as films,” the company said. Jim Eagan, president, said the new equipment and other recent investments puts Graniteville “at the top of the coated fabrics supply chain.” The company has its origins in the town’s first cotton mill. It is now owned by Woodhead LLC.
Upstate dominates Top 20
Upstate companies dominated a list of fastest-growing large companies compiled by SC Biz News. Of the top 10 companies ranked as large with more than $10 million in annual revenue, the top eight are based in the Upstate. They are: Yeargin Potter Shackelford Construction of Greenville, Wireless Communications of Greenville, Sealevel Systems of Liberty, OTO Development of Spartanburg, Day & Zimmermann of Greenville, Infinity Marketing of Greenville, Human Technologies of Greenville and Clayton Construction of Spartanburg. AFL of Duncan was No. 11, JHM Hotels was 12 and J. Grady Randolph of Gaffney was 20. In the small category of companies with less than $10 million in annual revenue, EDTS was No. 8, Sandlapper Securities No. 12 and Immedion was 14. All are of Greenville.
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