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BOOKof EXPERTS

December 25, 2017 | Volume 20, No. 24


A letter from the Publisher

Publisher - Rick Jenkins rjenkins@scbiznews.com • 864.720-1224 CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Associate Publisher - Licia Jackson ljackson@scbiznews.com • 803.726.7546 Associate Editor, Special Projects - Steve McDaniel smcdaniel@scbiznews.com • 843.849.3123 LOWCOUNTRY NEWSROOM Senior Graphic Designer - Jane James jjames@scbiznews.com • 843.849.3118 Assistant Graphic Designer - Jessica Stout jstout@scbiznews.com • 843.849.3113 ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Account Executive - Cheryl Froman cfroman@scbiznews.com • 864-720-1220 Account Executive - Ryan Downing rdowning@scbiznews.com • 864-720-1221

South Carolina’s Media Engine for Economic Growth President and Group Publisher - Grady Johnson gjohnson@scbiznews.com • 843.849.3103 Vice President of Sales - Steve Fields sfields@scbiznews.com • 843.849.3110 Creative Director - Ryan Wilcox rwilcox@scbiznews.com • 843.849.3117 Events Director - Kathy Allen kallen@scbiznews.com • 864.720.1225 Audience Development & IT Manager Kim McManus kmcmanus@scbiznews.com • 843.849.3116

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e are always looking for experts. Have you noticed? We need experts. We search for people with superior skill or knowledge in a particular area, people who can guide us and provide their valuable insight. Sometimes we may simply need a plumber, sometimes a financial consultant or maybe an IT expert. I like to think that we at GSA Business are experts in what we do. We help our clients reach potential customers….in a variety of ways. One such way is our newest business resource guide you now hold in your Rick Jenkins hand – The Book of Experts. Within these pages, 25 experts will provide some advice, share some knowledge and demonstrate why they are among the leaders in their respective fields. Seven experts are pictured on the front cover. But they are more than experts. They each are their company’s founder and its leading executive officer. This publication celebrates their knowledge, their success, their expertise. I hope that the advice given within these pages delivers value to you as you search for information that can help you make wise decisions for your business and personal life. Sincerely, Rick Jenkins Publisher, GSA Business Report

BOOKof EXPERTS

Accounting Manager - Vickie Deadmon vdeadmon@scbiznews.com • 803.726.7541 CUSTOM MEDIA DIVISION Director of Business Development - Mark Wright mwright@scbiznews.com • 843.849.3143 Business Development Executive Elizabeth Hodges lhodges@scbiznews.com • 843.849.3105

December 25, 2017 | Volume 20, No. 24

About the cover: These seven Upstate business executives are not only experts in their field, they also each share the distinction of founding their own companies. The photo was taken at the Commerce Club, located at the top of the One Liberty building in the heart of downtown Greenville. The photo was provided by Ian Curcio, an award-winning professional photographer based in Greenville. One of Ian’s specialties is corporate portrait photography. You can see his work at www.iancurcio.com.

SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION GSA Business Report (USPS 8460) is published twice monthly including three special issues in February, August, and December by SC Biz News. 35 Cessna Court, Suite A Greenville, SC 29607-2700 Periodicals postage paid at Greenville, SC. Mailing address: 35 Cessna Court, Suite A Greenville, SC 29607-2700 Postmaster: Please send address changes to: SC Business Publications 1439 Stuart Engals Blvd, Suite 200 Mount Pleasant, SC 29464.

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Annual subscribers receive 24 issues of GSA Business Report, including Book of Experts, Market Facts, and the Book of Lists. 24 issues for $52.95; 48 issues for $89.95; 72 issues for $125.95. Subscribe, renew, change your address, or pay your invoice online at www.scbiznews.com/subscriber-services or call 864-517-1492.

NWS Company LLC A portfolio company of BridgeTower Media

2017 Book of Experts | Special Advertising Supplement

The entire contents of this newspaper are copyright by NWS Company LLC with all rights reserved. Any reproduction or use of the content within this publication without permission is prohibited. SCBIZ and South Carolina’s Media Engine for Economic Growth are registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. ©2017 NWS Company LLC


Featured Experts 4

A.T. LOCKE

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Bright + Co

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Context Design Group

10 Human Technologies 12 QBS 14 Ranger Aerospace 16 Commerce Club 18 Solar Atmosphere 19 Palmetto Technology

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20 Spirit Communications 22 NAI Earle Furman 24 Stoecklein Consulting 26 Envirosouth 27 Berkshire Hathaway 28 CPM Federal Credit Union 30 Coastal Carolina

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32 Locally Epic 34 Greenville Tech 36 Meals-on-Wheels 38 Ameriprise 39 USC Darla Moore 40 Sherman Construction 42 Ian Curcio Photography 44 Dark Corner Distillery

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46 Rick Erwin’s

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ACCOUNTING

A.T. LOCKE keeps an eye on the changing world of data management Every piece of data tells a story, and more importantly, all of the data tells a different story. B Y A N N A T. L O C K E • F O U N D E R A N D P R E S I D E N T • A . T. L O C K E

Anna Locke, Founder and President, A.T. LOCKE

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n 2002 the Oakland Athletics faced a tough ask – to build a baseball team capable of delivering the club well into the post-season against franchises with monumentally larger budgets. The book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis documents the Athletics’ key management staff as they began to rebuild and rewire. The key wasn’t to get the biggest names with the biggest salaries; it was to approach the data in a way none of their competitors were. Every piece of data tells a story, and more importantly, all of the data tells a different story. How businesses and organizations build their team to interpret data has a significant impact on access to information to drive the decision making process.

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The “Moneyball” approach of team building for data focus also works for businesses and organizations when approaching accounting and financial data – from manufacturers to retailers, professional firms to not-for-profits – in playing fields from emerging markets to mature industries. • Use the data at hand to isolate the symptoms from actual problems so management can focus intently on solving the underlying issues. • What sets of data are undervalued? Or overvalued? • Many times, focus on a particular set of data began as a good idea three to five years ago. How much has the world changed since the original time frame? • Apply external input for the new insight. Internal associates can often be so emotionally attached to

2017 Book of Experts | Special Advertising Supplement

the status quo that they can hinder progress toward mobilizing change. • Think differently (yes, like Apple, Inc.). While it can be easier to just maintain the processes - where receipts come in, invoices go out and taxes are prepared – looking at the complete picture of your business or organizational health allows decision makers to take it to the next level. • Focus on team member strengths that add to the team. There is an inherent temptation to add the “sexy” star player to your business or organization, but you may need a gritty, always-round-out-aground-ball type of player who gets the work done. • Think about gaps in overall team strength. “His knowledge is a mile wide and an inch deep.” Hiring one person gets you one skill set; hiring a team of experienced people helps add depth to the bench in a wide variety of areas for a fraction of the cost. Increasingly, businesses and organizations are turning to outsourced resources with teams of highly trained staff to help them think outside the box – providing the high-level analysis and critical information necessary to gain an “unfair” advantage. Just like in baseball, if you want to win, you can either outspend or outwit the competition – the expertise might be outside your company or organization. As I enter into my tenth year of business ownership, I am ever mindful of the changing world of data management and interpretation. Competition no longer takes the shape of a similar firm in your industry. There are too many challenges in the landscape that threaten the success of a business or organization to focus only on market share and how you stack up to the guy across the street. I’ve seen that demands from customers have a drastic effect on business performance, not always to the positive. Imagine that – the source of sales is the source of problems! Before business owners and organizational leaders start guessing and making shots in the dark, the situation needs to – and increasingly can be – analyzed.


MARKETING

What is your Go to Market Strategy? Developing a strong Go-To Market Strategy transforms the way a company approaches marketing and communications programs. BY J E N N I F E R S U T TO N • F O U N D E R A N D C E O • BR IGH T + C O

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rom our perspective, strategy is an These three areas help analyze an integrated set of choices that uniquely organization’s offerings and will uncover the positions any organization to create a most effective way to communicate benefits and competitive and sustainable advantage and value to specific groups. superior value, relative to its competition. The Segmentation is the process of grouping strategy goes beyond a vision and mission audiences and building personas and profiles statement. These are important elements of to understand how each group relates to the strategy – they provide the destination, but not brand, products or service offerings. Targeting is the road map. the practice of defining which target groups an A Go to Market Strategy includes the organization can focus efforts based on budget, specific choices about where the company will bandwidth, accessibility and success criteria. compete and how it will create Through this process, a company will a sustainable competitive be able to identify niches with specific advantage. Developing needs, or identify mature markets, the strategy is a or to find new audiences and Positioning is “the process that will help customers – which ultimately place a brand occupies bring the company allows the organization to in the mind of its together, all focused deliver more focused and on a common goal. effective marketing messages. audience” This process brings Positioning is one of - JENNIFER SUTTON structure and focus to the most powerful marketing a business, by aligning concepts. Positioning is “the place all resources on the very a brand occupies in the mind of things that will create a its audience” and brings focus to how winning strategy. audiences relate and connect with the brand. The elements that make up the strategic Positioning aims to make a brand  occupy foundation start with an environmental scan. a distinct and differentiated position, relative Companies need to take the time to review the to competing brands. Once a brand is firmly company itself to understand the strengths, positioned, it is very difficult to reposition it weaknesses and threats. It is also important without destroying its credibility – or for a to review the competitive landscape, the competitor to occupy the same space. market landscape,  and any economic trends Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning that may affect the industry or category. The take an audience-focused (or customer-centric environmental scan should include an analysis approach) rather than product-focused in of all factors that have, or could have, an order to deliver more relevant messages to impact on the success or failure of the business appeal to the various audiences. operations. The brand strategy takes the collective After understanding the landscape, the information to develop the brand identity, next phase is to then move into modeling architecture, product taxonomy, positioning the segmentation, targeting and positioning statement, creative platform, tone, voice of the strategies. brand, and messaging framework.

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2017 Book of Experts | Special Advertising Supplement

Jennifer Sutton, Founder and CEO, Bright+Co

And lastly, the Go to Market Strategic Plan formalizes all of the information, where communication strategies and tactics are clear, purposeful and intentional to achieve the goals. Working with the right marketing partner is critical in developing a strong strategy and marketing framework. Look for an agency with significant big brand, small business and startup experience. And look for one that shares your passion for finding your unique position in the marketplace. That very much defines BRIGHT+CO, and we’ll be happy to share our thoughts with you about your business.


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ARCHITECTURE

The Key to Capital Project Success … DESIGN before you BUILD The success of any capital project revolves around a triangular scope: Quality + Cost + Schedule. B Y D AV I D W. L E W I S , A I A • P R E S I D E N T • C O N T E X T D E S I G N G R O U P

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iring an expert to perform planning and design services prior to commencing a construction project is critical to experiencing successful capital projects. When BMW set off to build a one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art facility in the United States, they relied on proven methods and proper sequences. Key factors necessary to achieve this success and the stages in the process are outlined as follows: Programming comprises the primary element required to plan and organize the many factors required to achieve customized Design Solution Thinking. Well-planned programming efforts establish success factors needed to achieve project goals and objectives, allowing the design team an opportunity to fully understand client requirements and how critical decisions are made. An effective project program identifies Goals, Facts, Concepts, Needs and Issues related to all aspects of a project, recording input from all project stakeholders. The design team is now able to comprehend the problems to be solved during the conceptual development process prior to leading into full design activities. Building on the data gathering process, the design team may now shift into a site and “big picture” view of the project. After gaining a clear understanding of the client’s problems to be solved, selection of a site and working through the overall flows associated with the project’s needs should take place. Emphasis should be placed on realizing overall logistics (pedestrians, vehicles, utilities and many other specifics to the client), how they interact with one another as well as the surrounding environment. Factoring in future plans and flows should also

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2017 Book of Experts | Special Advertising Supplement

David W. Lewis, AIA, President, Context Design Group


ARCHITECTURE be addressed during the planning phase. discussions between the client and design Development of an overall conceptual scheme team may now lead into review of the multiple and long-range master planning is critical prior contractors. A contractor should be selected to moving into more focused design efforts. based on qualifications related to the specific You cannot create a solution until you project type, their proposed management understand the problem to solve. This adage team, and competitiveness to accomplish the correlates perfectly with a building project. work. This ability should be analyzed on much After having a clear view of the requirements more than simply cost; capability to meet the and issues, and having dealt with the large- client’s quality and schedule requirements is scale solution for the project, the design team also paramount to the project’s success. can move to more detailed requirements in Upon a contract award and construction development of the facility and surroundings. commencement, the design team should be Direct interaction with the client provides the the catalyst between the client and contractor necessary communication channels in order to to ensure there are no discrepancies and the fine-tune the design solutions implemented. design intent is met throughout construction Coordination between the different activities. When the client has a full set of trades (architectural, mechanical, contract documents to rely on electrical, etc.) takes place at through the construction the front end of the design process, expectations for process, avoiding pitfalls all parties are clear. This You cannot create of conflicts later in allows for no surprises a solution until you construction. In this during construction understand the problem manner, the process and when the client to solve. outcome reflects the takes over and utilizes data gathered and the space. - DAVID LEWIS follows through on the The success of any initial concepts developed. capital project revolves Upon completion of around a triangular scope: the design phases, a detailed bid Quality + Cost + Schedule. package should be prepared and released to Each of these three areas must be balanced contractors for competitive proposals. This in order to meet the client’s priorities and package will provide bidders a clear, detailed realize an effective solution. Going through set of requirements to complete the project a proper sequence allows the design team – leaving no opportunities for discrepancies to create a scope that balances these three or misunderstandings on the expectations factors in the client’s best interests without of the client. There are a number of manners having to make sacrifices. In summary, in which the bid process may follow – the design is a discovery process, construction client and design team may discuss these is an implementation process. Not going and narrow in on the correct path forward through the proper sequence can be a specific to the project. critical mistake resulting in significant Upon receipt of proposals for construction, money invested in the wrong place.

Exterior and Interior of North American Headquarters & Manufacturing Facility for Draexlmaier Automotive of America, Duncan, South Carolina

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RECRUITMENT

Developing employees from the start can bring big payoff Retention starts with a great company culture that is developed from the top down. Communication is the centerpiece of building great morale. B Y H E R B E R T W. D E W, I I I • C H I E F E X E C U T I V E O F F I C E R • H U M A N T E C H N O L O G I E S

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company’s employees, in most cases, are their largest and most expensive resource. Yet most companies spend a minimal amount of time nurturing this asset to its fullest potential. Companies that have figured this out and have invested in all stages of an employee’s life-cycle are those companies that lead in their respective industries. From hiring through on-boarding, training and transition with the company, the employee life cycle is an evolutionary process that keeps employers on their toes. Recruitment, retention, and development are three areas of focus that are critical in maximizing the potential of this important asset … people. Hiring a new person into a company costs as much as $20k to $30k per placement. Sometimes with larger relocation packages this number is higher. Then factor in all the time it takes to train and familiarize a new person into their role. Most companies will say it takes 30 to 90 days for a person to get productive. Plus, factor in the cost of every employee who spends their work time getting the new person up to speed. And yet, only one-third of the time this investment pays off. Two-thirds of the time it provides average or below average results. Now factor in a poor hire. What damage does this person do before they are separated? It’s a huge potential cost if you lose a customer or if you face a big quality mistake. Hiring “the right person” starts with understanding what is “right” for your company, team and role you are filling.

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2017 Book of Experts | Special Advertising Supplement

Herbert W. Dew, III , Chief Executive Officer, Human Technologies


RECRUITMENT Start with looking at high performers you have simply been led by open-minded already have in your company. Benchmark people who were good listeners. They their work habits and personality. By asking discussed the company’s challenges with questions related to internal, strong players, their employees. They asked (genuinely) you are far more equipped to evaluate the what the company could do better and best candidate for not only the position but often received great ideas that could be for your company. implemented. Employees and leaders But it doesn’t stop there. What does felt like partners. When a company can a company do to get their ROI once a hire reach that level... where management and has been made? Recruitment is the jump off employees are working together, great the starter’s blocks rather than the endgame. things happen. Retaining and developing a workforce is In the same vein, great companies where the payoff from those great hires can develop their existing employees into be realized. Think that it’s not that big of leaders rather than always hiring in a deal? It has been shown that companies externally for managerial roles. There’s a that invest in developing their employees slew of statistics out there that showcase the statistically have a 24% higher profit benefit from developing leadership margin over those that don’t.1 from within, but I can tell you Retention starts with from my own experience In survey a great company culture that the companies we that is developed work with, including after survey, from the top down. our own, have communication is cited Communication seen increases in as a top reason that is the centerpiece innovation, employee employees are dissatisfied. of building great buy-in, morale, and morale. You can be the bottom line with - HERBERT DEW a company that has homegrown talent. great compensation and Making an investment in benefits, a great looking these emerging leaders gives work place, awesome clients, strong you a leg up on retaining the very integrity and good job advancement. But, if best so that you don’t have to find the “best you have poor top to bottom/bottom to top for now” in a lurch. communication, inevitably a disconnect will Like any good asset management grow and employees will not feel engaged. strategy, human resources requires a plan that In survey after survey, communication is encompasses recruitment through the end of cited as a top reason that employees are an employee’s life cycle within the company. dissatisfied. In the end, employees want to It’s when this happens that a company starts feel like they know what they are working to see positive changes in a big way. towards and they want to be heard. 1. Ritzkalla, E. (8/30/2014) Not Effective communication should not Investing in Employee Training Is Risky be thought of as opening an unwarranted Business Retrieved from https://www. dialogue. Companies that I have worked huffingtonpost.com/emad-rizkalla/notwith that maintained great company energy investing-in-employee_b_5545222.html

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BUSINESS SERVICES

QBS provides payroll and HR solutions to empower clients We offer a unique range of integrated business services tailored to meet each company’s individual needs. B Y PA M E L A E V E T T E • P R E S I D E N T / C E O • Q U A L I T Y B U S I N E S S S O L U T I O N S , I N C .

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n 2017, Quality Business Solutions (QBS) benefits – even for smaller organizations – continued to innovate and improve our helping with retention and recruiting. We also offerings — implementing a new web- shoulder some of the burden and liability in based, browser-friendly payroll, HR and benefits terms of compliance and reporting for taxes system. This new platform empowers clients and the ACA (Affordable Care Act). Beyond with direct access to tools, reports, employee attraction and retention, we offer an extremely details and much more. Not to mention, by high level of security. Unlike many of our providing a fully integrated solution, the risk for competitors, QBS has a SOC 1 Type II system user-error in entering sensitive data into multiple certification which provides clients with an systems is greatly reduced. extremely high level of security as it relates to the In addition to fully-integrated, single processing integrity, confidentiality and privacy sign-on capabilities, we’ve added of their data. new services including HR At QBS, we work with Cloud Onboarding, organizations ranging in Applicant Tracking/Job size from 5 to 57,000 Posting, Performance employees in 49 QBS’ greatest desire is Evaluation, Time states across the U.S. to enable and empower and Attendance, and serve a broad business leaders and Leadership and range of industries Team Development. from hospitality to -PAMELA EVETTE By offering a manufacturing to health comprehensive suite of care. We also solve the services, QBS helps clients unique challenge in meeting streamline their operations – Diversity Spend goals. It can saving time, money and the headache of oftentimes be difficult to achieve set managing multiple vendors. goals of utilizing services from women- or Our QBS team strives to develop true minority-owned businesses. But with payroll partnerships with clients to protect their being one of the largest company expenses, interests and help them grow by staying utilizing QBS (a certified WBE) can provide a current, while also anticipating the needs of significant impact on achieving sourcing goals. their business. In fact, each client is provided At the end of the day, QBS’ greatest desire is to with a specific point of contact. If clients run enable and empower business leaders and into issues or have additional needs, they never owners to devote the proper focus on what’s have to maneuver or deal with a call center or most important to their businesses – growing talk to a stranger. Every QBS client has direct and leading their teams to success. access to someone they know, who also knows Beyond business, QBS believes strongly them, their company and their particular in supporting the community. David and challenges. I are focused on improving educational Under the PEO/ASO model, QBS performance in the community and have can make your company more attractive to led many fundraising efforts in support of potential employees through access to better education. I serve as a mentor for other small

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2017 Book of Experts | Special Advertising Supplement

Pamela Evette (President and CEO) and David Evette (COO), Quality Business Solutions

business leaders and women-owned businesses locally and through membership in the Women Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) and Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO). I currently serve as a board member of St. Francis Foundation and NAPEO and was appointed to the SC Small Business Regulatory Review Committee in 2017. David is a member of the St. Francis Forum. QBS leadership and employees give both time and financial support to multiple charities including St. Jude Children’s Hospital, St. Francis Foundation, Loaves & Fishes, Pendleton Place, American Red Cross, Family Footprint, Greenville Humane Society, Julie Valentine Center, Greenville’s Center for Developmental Services and more.


AEROSPACE

Ranger Aerospace transforms companies with quality-centered management style Ranger adds value by bringing accomplished leaders to bear on operational improvements and accelerated growth. B Y S T E V E N T O W N E S • C E O • R A N G E R A E R O S PA C E

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anger Aerospace is an aviationspecialized private equity holding company that partners with institutional co-investors to acquire, grow, and positively transform aerospace services companies. In its colorful 20-year history, Ranger has built three separate platform companies to over $100 million revenues each and has managed as many as 4,250 personnel at 56 airports. How do we do it? Here are Ranger’s Value Creation Methods: • Begin with a good platform, acquired at a reasonable valuation. • Boost growth aggressively through marketing, new channels, diversification. • Invest internally — significantly more capital spending than previous owners. • Enhance quality, branding and performance metrics. • Numerous relentless operational improvements. • Be excellent employers — our People Initiatives cost money, but yield great results. • Promote brand(s) heavily with customers and strategic buyer audiences.

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Steven Townes, Ceo, Ranger Aerospace

• Strategic multiples as a result at exit — timing is everything! Ranger adds value by bringing accomplished leaders to bear on operational improvements and accelerated growth. The company focuses heavily on operations, marketing, quality and people,

2017 Book of Experts | Special Advertising Supplement

with a “Good to Great” incremental approach to business transformations. Since its inception in March 1997 as a “kitchen table startup,” Ranger’s previous largescale multi-year and multi-acquisition successes have included ASIG, Keystone Helicopter, Skytanking GmbH, Composite Technology,


AEROSPACE Ranger Rotorcraft Group, Ranger International, Ranger Saudia, the Keystone HeliPlex, and related ventures under Ranger’s quality-centered management style. Each large platform with a successful exit was sold to huge strategic buyers, who then kept growing the business. Ranger’s latest holdings are ACL Airshop, which provides air cargo products and services to airlines clients at more than half of the world’s Top 50 cargo airports; and InTech Aerospace, which performs MRO and retrofit services on commercial airliner interiors. The pivotal investment in ACL Airshop won the Deal of the Year award for 2016 from M&A Advisor magazine, an international financial publication.

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Ranger’s Value Proposition includes: • Strong reputation and brand equity • Our “signature” techniques such as Metrics Dashboards, Ops Reviews, and People Initiatives • Management experts who think and perform like owners • Value-oriented strategy for buy-and-build acquisitions • Recognition in the capital markets and business press as an accomplished group • Robust underlying industry fundamentals in a large and steadily growing global sector • Consolidation trends in highly fragmented sub-sectors • Deal pipeline and industry “reach” • A real knack for accelerated growth through aggressive marketing and teaming • “Good to Great” leadership techniques • Staying in one giant industry (aerospace, aviation services) where we are deeply experienced bona fide experts. Ranger Aerospace has been the management stewardship team for over $490 million in various buying, selling, and investing transactions over the past two decades. Our excellent results, value creation, and sustained performance are due to outstanding teams of people. We manage for Quality—Safety—FAA Compliance, and we have always strived to be a positive, principled employer for motivated aviation professionals with the Right Stuff. Our quality awards and workforce expansions are as important to us as financial kudos, because it is those fundamentals that create lasting and growing enterprises.

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HOSPITALITY

Commerce Club showcases the best of Greenville As a pillar of the Upstate for 33 years, the Commerce Club takes pride in its strong ties to community organizations. B Y J O H N W E LT E R • G E N E R A L M A N A G E R • C O M M E R C E C L U B

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ounded in 1984, the Commerce are at the club for a quick lunch meeting Club is a fixture of the Upstate or a gourmet four-course wine dinner, business community where civic Chef Doliget will ensure that your leaders and entrepreneurs connect, host, culinary experience is nothing short of work and play. Personalized service, excellent. stunning views and exceptional cuisine Commerce Club is a home away from are the pillars upon which the Club home to the Upstate’s business leaders, stands. from C-suite executives to budding Positioned 17 stories high above entrepreneurs. The Commerce Club downtown Greenville, the picturesque celebrates the diversity of the Upstate, backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains striking a balance of inclusiveness within showcases the best of what an exclusive environment. Greenville has to offer. This balance creates a The Commerce Club unique environment ...indulge in a provides the ideal that positions its setting to entertain, members to grow beautiful dinner with build friendships their personal friends, where you are and foster family and professional welcomed with a smile and traditions. From network. greeted by name. networking events As a pillar of to wine dinners, the Upstate for 33 -JOHN WELTER corporate retreats and years, the Commerce birthday celebrations, Club takes pride in its each experience is uniquely strong ties to community created to build relationships and organizations. Through the annual enrich lives. charity gala, networking events and A commitment to the culinary arts toy drives, Commerce Club staff and is synonymous with the Commerce members continue to partner with Club name. The excellence of the cuisine charitable organizations and give back to is overseen by Executive Chef Steve the Upstate. Doliget. Classically trained in France, While Greenville’s downtown has Chef Doliget relocated to Chicago after radically changed since the Commerce perfecting his skills at a Michelin star Club was first established, the Club still restaurant. Discovering the burgeoning remains the premier business club in culinary scene of Greenville, Chef Greenville. It remains the place to host Doliget moved from Chicago to the a corporate meeting, celebrate a special Upstate in early 2017. The Commerce occasion and indulge in a beautiful Club has always been recognized for its dinner with friends, where you are outstanding cuisine and Chef Doliget is welcomed with a smile and greeted by continuing this tradition. Whether you name.

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2017 Book of Experts | Special Advertising Supplement

John Welter (left), General Manager, Shannon Kelly, Membership Director, Steve Doliget, Executive Chef, Commerce Club


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HEAT TREATING

Solar Atmospheres, Quality Vacuum Heat Treating Visit www.solaratm.com for more information on Solar Atmospheres’ Greenville facility. B Y S T E V E P R O U T • P R E S I D E N T, S O U T H E A S T • S O L A R AT M O S P H E R E S

Solar Atmospheres facility for vacuum heat-treating services.

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olar Atmospheres is no stranger to the Southeastern U.S., serving customers here in Upstate South Carolina for many years. But in 2013, the decision was made to establish a site within the region. Within a year, Solar Atmospheres acquired a 57,000-square-foot building located on 14 acres along I-85 in Greenville, SC. Since that time, Solar has invested the necessary equipment and resources, along with AS9100 and Nadcap

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accreditation, to provide customers with a regional option for vacuum heat-treating services. Today, 15 full-time employees help Solar Atmospheres’ Greenville facility provide vacuum heat treating services for the aerospace, defense, power-generation and medical industries. These services include annealing, hardening/tempering, stress relieving, aging, low-pressure carburizing, brazing, sintering, homogenizing, hydriding/

2017 Book of Experts | Special Advertising Supplement

dehydriding, degassing, diffusion bonding and creep forming. Solar Atmospheres offers these thermal processes in a vacuum environment – coupled with uniform heating and cooling with inert gas – in an effort to provide clean, bright work with minimal distortion. Solar has an array of equipment to help serve our customers; the most impressive piece of equipment, however, is the 24-foot vacuum furnace with a 50,000-pound capacity. Designed and built by sister company Solar Manufacturing, it is the largest vacuum furnace situated in the Southeastern U.S. With a maximum operating process temperature of 2650°F, the furnace has up to 2-bar nitrogen or argon quenching capability. Solar Atmospheres’ unique relationship with Solar Manufacturing allows it to develop processes and/or modify equipment to best suit customer requirements. This affiliation gives Solar a distinct advantage over its competition. What makes this facility stand out from other heat treaters in the region is its commitment to aerospace quality and operating systems, research and development, and the provision of low pressure vacuum carburizing services. Working alongside customers that range from material producers to industry prime manufacturers has led to unique applications of existing technologies, as well as the development of new processes and materials. Perhaps the most exciting aspect of establishing a site in Greenville is future potential. Solar Atmospheres has experienced continued growth in the region, gaining Boeing-approved supplier status to support the growth of the aerospace industry, as well as approvals that will allow Solar to support the many other manufacturing sectors that have been drawn to Upstate South Carolina and the Southeastern U.S. But one thing is definite: Solar Atmospheres will always be looking for ways to present more value to its customer base and the region.


TECHNOLOGY

Don’t shortchange technology in your small business At PTG, we’ve had the benefit of working with small businesses all over the U.S. While I don’t have empirical data, my hunch is that those who outperform their peers pay attention to three key areas when it comes to technology in their businesses. B Y R E E D W I L S O N • C E O • PA L M E T T O T E C H N O L O G Y G R O U P

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echnology can be an awesome recruiting and retention tool, especially among younger generations. Equally important, employees who must use outdated technology are frequently unhappy. (Ever had to wait 10 minutes for your PC to boot up in the morning? It doesn’t set the tone for a productive day!) You don’t have to break the bank to have good, reliable technology. Survey your staff and ask for their feedback on how technology is helping (or hindering!) their work. Along the lines of afterthoughts, many small businesses don’t think much about cybersecurity until after data is lost to ransomware or incorrectly configured backups. There are two types of companies: Those who have been hacked and those who have been hacked but just don’t know it yet. Get in front of your technology security before it’s too late! You wouldn’t buy workers compensation insurance after an employee is hurt on the job – think of technology in the same light! Along the same lines as the first point, I am amazed at how hard bad tech habits are to break. I see companies who have access to cloud tools (perhaps under an Office 365 or Google suite subscription), but still, use on-premise file shares versus cloud storage. Why not use those cloud options for greater productivity? There are other areas where small changes can have a big impact. Are you still doing paper-based expense reports? What about tracking employee time off requests? Using simple, cloudbased work flow tools like Microsoft Flow can automate these tasks and give your team anywhere, anytime access to the tools they need to stay productive. This falls a little under the vein of treating technology as an afterthought, but you would never run your business without a business plan, right? Technology should be a key part of that business plan. The highest performing companies have technology budget plans, security response plans, and backup and disaster recovery plans. Just because you are classified as a small business doesn’t mean that your work is less important or less impactful as a large enterprise. For many companies, this is the hard part. Unless you’re dealing with it every day, it can be difficult to know what to include in your plan (and how much to budget for it). If you need help planning, managing your technology, or just want to get a gut check on what you’re doing now, please reach out to us.

Reed Wilson, CEO, Palmetto Technology Group

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TELECOMMUNICATIONS

A Culture of Innovation At Spirit Communications, we’ve built our culture around Innovation. B Y G R E G G U E R R A • C H I E F O P E R AT I O N S O F F I C E R • S P I R I T C O M M U N I C AT I O N S

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s a business-to-business voice, data, we have developed products and services that Internet, and managed services help our customers minimize these threats. provider, our mission is to provide Our security solutions offer industry a comprehensive suite of services that allow leading DDoS mitigation, email security, and our customers to focus on their core business firewall services, all on our dedicated private while leaving the burden of keeping pace MPLS network. Products like our DDoS with technology to us. Setting an aggressive Protect effectively defend against the most product road map each year, including at least damaging types of DDoS attacks. Our Spirit one major product launch per quarter, keeps firewall service provides an industry leading us internally focused on rapid innovation. comprehensive, multi-layered, approach to As the cost and complexity of technology security that works to eliminate or reduce continues to climb, businesses are the risks associated with blended faced with decisions regarding attacks while coordinating major technology security alerting, logging, Cybersecurity investments that are often reporting, compliance attacks happen daunting, cumbersome, and response. Through frequently and can have and expensive. our Spirit Domains Additionally, most Email service, we a devastating impact businesses today rely have a product if not prevented or on multiple providers suite, designed with contained. for their voice, data, businesses in mind, Internet, Cloud, and that is reliable, well- GREG GUERRA IT services. Spirit’s robust established, and extensive. portfolio of services helps Our email security package customers reduce their total cost of offers anti-virus, antispam filtering, ownership and provides them with a single quarantine message centers, and multiple source to help alleviate the strain of vendor levels of email encryption and archiving. management. With more than 9,000 fiber route miles Technology solutions need to be fast, and 35,000 on-net or near-net buildings, flexible, and mobile. With Spirit’s high speed Spirit Communications provides voice, data, fiber optic network, robust SD-WAN Internet and fiber-optic solutions, along with offering, cloud based services, and complete a full suite of Cloud and managed services, unified communications platform, Spirit to commercial businesses and government ensures that our customers are seamlessly agencies across the Southeast. The company’s connected in the office, on the road, or at mission is to enable customers to transform home. their operations through fast, stable and secure Security is of great concern for most offerings that flex with business demand. businesses. Cybersecurity attacks happen Ranked among the top 30 privately held firms frequently and can have a devastating impact in South Carolina, Spirit serves thousands if not prevented or contained. We understand of customers in over 17 markets throughout how important security is to our customers so South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia.

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2017 Book of Experts | Special Advertising Supplement

Greg Guerra, COO, Spirit Communications


ELITE.

INNOVATIVE.

UNRIVALED.

Other providers may have similar phones, but when you cross the best IP phones with Spirit’s Hosted Voice solutions, you get crystal clear HD Voice quality that cannot be matched.

Powered by the nation’s largest 4G LTE network, Spirit’s 4G LTE Secure Access safeguards all voice, data & Internet traffic & keeps your sensitive information off the public Internet.

Configure security policies, filtering & reporting, maintain complete control of the level of security & what is available on your network. Tailoring your firewall to suit the needs of your company from one secure portal.

Spirit Unify is a suite of fully integrated multimedia messaging services for any size business. This single application provides a unified communications experience across tablets, mobile phones, PCs and laptops including Windows, Mac, iOS and Android.

Spirit’s fully managed SD-WAN (Software-Defined Wide Area Networking) solution simplifies branch office networking by providing security, fail-over, application prioritization, and diverse connectivity options.

Any organization is in danger of risks associated with DDoS attacks. You need protection before traffic reaches your network, to stop threats before they can cause outages & service degradation.

Spirit is uniquely qualified to provide powerful single-source solutions for ALL of your communications. This single network empowers the maximum flexibility with the highest quality to converge your voice, data & Internet services.

Expanding coverage with Fiber-to-the-Tower builds to over 2,400 towers in NC, SC & GA ensuring the progression of expansion, scalability & network capacity to give your business the connection needed for tomorrow, TODAY.

With a local, Carolina-based Network Operations Center you are greeted with personal service & technical support. Your network is monitored 24/7/365 with knowledgable staff who react before most realize they’re having problems.

Our Carolinas focused fiber network extends 9,100 route miles, providing fiber-based connectivity between major data centers, 177 carrier PoPs, 2,400 cell towers, 35,240 enterprise buildings, and more. Spirit has a digital fiber-optic network in the Carolinas and serves areas unreachable by other carriers.

Special Advertising Supplement | 2017 Book of Experts

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COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

Why to Invest in Commercial Real Estate It’s important to have an investment plan and a good team to help achieve your goals and successfully navigate the many nuances of making the right commercial real estate investment decisions.

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BY RO BE RT S C H M I DT • I N V E S T M E N T BRO K E R F U R M A N C A P I TA L A D V I S O R S A D I V I S I O N O F N A I E A R L E F U R M A N

ave you found yourself thinking opportunity to make informed decisions about how to generate wealth and that will increase income, property value increase your quality of life? Do and net worth. Using the example above, by you want the freedom to plan for college, early increasing rent and/or decreasing expenses, retirement, and dream of one day watching assume you’re able to increase the property’s waves break from your porch? Everyone knows net operating income by 10%. Based on the someone who has accomplished these things same capitalization rate of 8%, your property by investing in commercial real estate but rarely value just increased by $100K ($88K ÷ 8% = discussed are the reasons why commercial real $1.1M). That’s a 50% increase of your initial estate is often favored by the wealthy over other $200K investment! investment strategies. While this gain isn’t realized until a sale Debt is a powerful tool that or refinance it’s a powerful way to allows the average investor to increase wealth through smart buy properties that would management or buying otherwise be out of reach properties with upside. Put yourself in and greatly increases Not to mention, the the driver’s seat as a the overall return additional 10% of commercial real estate by having someone income growth goes else (the tenants) straight to the bottom investor. pay down the debt. line, growing your - ROBERT SCHMIDT This is called leverage. annual pre-tax cash-onLet’s break it down with cash return from 10% to a simple example: You 14%. purchase a $1M commercial Okay, you’ve made a profit property with a net rental income of and it’s time to write a large check to Uncle $80K, or an 8% annual return if you pay all Sam, right? Not so fast! Even though a property cash. Assume a typical financing scenario: The is most likely appreciating, the IRS allows an power of leverage could allow you to invest only owner to depreciate a commercial building $200K by borrowing the remaining $800K (not land) over its useful life of 39 years (and in from a bank. With a 4.25% interest rate and many cases faster through a process called cost a 20-year amortization period, the mortgage segregation) and deduct the “loss” from rental payment is roughly $60K ($34K interest + income. If we allocate 70% of the purchase price $26K principal). Now you find yourself with to the depreciable building value, that’s $18K of $20K of cash flow on your initial investment of annual depreciation. Additionally, mortgage $200k, a pre-tax cash-on-cash return of 10%, interest is also a deductible expense against and your debt is reduced by $26K in the first rental income. If you’re doing the math, that’s year, thus creating an additional pre-tax return an annual deduction of $52K on rental income. on debt reduction of 13% for a total first-year Finally, if you sell the property for a profit, pre-tax return of 23%. you can roll the profit forward by deferring all Put yourself in the driver’s seat as a tax into one or more “like-kind” investment commercial real estate investor. You have the properties. This is called the 1031 Exchange.

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2017 Book of Experts | Special Advertising Supplement

Robert Schmidt, Investment Broker, Furman Capital Advisors a Division of NAI Earle Furman

So let’s assume you’ve increased the net operating income by 10% and the property sells after five years for $1.1M. Your loan payoff and closing costs leave you with around $375K of equity. Based on the same assumptions above, you could now “exchange” into another property worth up to $1.875M. If all remains the same, your new cash flow is $43K, a 21.5% annual cash-on-cash return on the original $200k investment. Just like any investment, planning, risk tolerance, and market knowledge are important factors in making smart investment decisions. It’s important to have an investment plan and a good team to help achieve your goals and successfully navigate the many nuances of making the right commercial real estate investment decisions.


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PERSONAL & PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

What have you done today that is unfamiliar, inconvenient and uncomfortable? You Are Just One Decision Away...

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want to talk about something that we’re potential and that seems like a natural thing to all familiar with and that is just how do. We look at what we are currently achieving comfortable is the “comfort zone”? It and we accept, consciously or unconsciously, might be comfortable but it’s a really bad that those results reflect not just what we are spot. It really is, because our comfort zone is currently achieving but ALL that we are ever far and away the single biggest dream killer CAPABLE of achieving. So if we find ourselves and productivity killer of modern day life. And slipping into that thinking trap, we have to ask as we look at this, the context I want to place ourselves “and how’s that working for me?” around it is results. And as a test, to bring Think about it for yourself now. What sort of everything back to our results, the question I life would you ideally like? How many people think we need to ask ourselves is “and how’s that do you know living like that? How many are working for you?” living that dream? Settling for the It’s a great question isn’t it? comfort zone means we stop And how’s that working for stretching, reaching, seeking you? See, we can all spin and risking. We actually Don’t Fear Failure... a good story but that stop growing. And if Fear being in the exact question cuts through we’re not growing, then same place next year as our story. Right to the we’re shrinking. truth of it, our results. Many of you will you are today. Because our results have heard of Abraham - CHRIS STOECKLEIN don’t lie! Andrew Maslow and his famous Carnegie said “As I grow hierarchy of needs. He older I pay less attention came to the conclusion that to what people say and more we all have INFINITE potential attention to what they do.” Actions lead and that means that from where we are to results, don’t they? Talk is cheap but getting today, wherever that may be, but from where busy is what separates the winners from the we are today, we can keep growing in any rest. So, results is the name of the game. We direction that we want to grow and that we can all want to be happier, healthier and wealthier keep growing for the rest of our lives. Every day don’t we? We all want to change the results we can become more than we were yesterday. we’re getting in some area of our life. If we want something different to what we’ve Now, this is going to be different for been getting, then it’s our responsibility to everyone. It could be money, business results, change our paradigm. NO ONE is going to do relationships, the health of our physical body, that for us. If we are going to change, then WE our spiritual development that we are after. need to accept full responsibility for changing Whatever it may be, I think most people would our paradigm. agree, we all have areas of our life that we would Here’s a simple formula for success. Get like to get better results in. So why don’t we get outside your comfort zone and stay there until better results, then? It’s an interesting thing, you get comfortable again. Then repeat. Keep on but when many of us look at our results we repeating and keep on growing into a bigger and tend to see our results as a reflection of our better, more capable and more productive you!

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2017 Book of Experts | Special Advertising Supplement

Chris Stoecklein, President and Owner, Stoecklein Consulting


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ENVIRONMENTAL HOSPITALITY

Transforming Upstate Properties for a New Era EnviroSouth assists investors and owners with overcoming regulatory and technical challenges at commercial and industrial properties BY T H O M A S D O N N • P R E S I D E N T • E N V I RO S O U T H

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nviroSouth’s team of scientists and engineers provides a complete range of environmental consulting services including: Phase I and II real estate environmental site assessments, Brownfield property restorations, soil and groundwater assessment and remediation, asbestos and lead-paint testing, and soil vapor and indoor air testing. EnviroSouth’s entire focus is strictly on environmental concerns. This allows them to maintain a high level of expertise regarding the rapidly changing technical and regulatory issues facing their profession. The EnviroSouth team specializes in explaining technical and regulatory matters in a clear and concise manner. They understand that a common problem clients have with technical consultants is that they do not receive a clear explanation of the facts in an easy to understand manner. Whether the scope of work involves environmental due diligence or complex groundwater remediation, EnviroSouth knows that clients need to know exactly what they are paying for and what the results mean. From their beginnings in 2001, EnviroSouth has built its foundation on integrity, depth of knowledge, and outstanding service. EnviroSouth’s reputation has resulted in many of the Upstate’s top commercial and industrial real estate professionals recommending EnviroSouth because they are “a problem solver as opposed to a problem creator.”

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Thomas Donn, President, EnviroSouth

“Our biggest impact on the region has been assisting property owners with re-developing properties with environmental challenges,” states Thomas Donn, EnviroSouth’s president. “By assisting land purchasers and developers with addressing environmental concerns at Brownfield sites, we have played a key role in putting idle properties back to productive use.” EnviroSouth has completed environmental

2017 Book of Experts | Special Advertising Supplement

remediation projects for numerous properties that were impacted by petroleum or chemical products. These projects in the Carolinas, Tennessee and Georgia include manufacturing facilities, petroleum terminals, dry cleaning plants, and gas stations. They also collaborate with researchers such as Clemson University’s Environmental Engineering professors to develop innovative groundwater remediation methods.


REAL ESTATE HOSPITALITY

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices C. Dan Joyner, REALTORS® knows the Upstate real estate market. Be prepared to take on a few tasks before placing an FSBO sign in your yard. B Y D A N N Y J O Y N E R • P R E S I D E N T & C E O • B E R K S H I R E H AT H AWAY H O M E S E RV I C E S C . D A N J O Y N E R , R E A LT O R S ®

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n a fast-paced real estate market like the one the Upstate has seen over the past 24 months, it is easy for home buyers and sellers to think they can go it alone. However, most are ill-prepared to plan, execute and dedicate the time and resources to make the most of a DIY real estate experience. The primary reason “For Sale by Owners,” or FSBOs, cite for not selecting a real estate professional is cost savings. However, that assumption is not substantiated by research. In fact the National Association of REALTORS® 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers indicates the average price for sales unassisted by an agent was $185,000. Conversely, the average price for a home represented by an agent was $245,000, a margin of $60,000. Assuming a six percent commission rate, an agent-assisted sale typically yields a greater net return than that of an unassisted sale. Another reason some FSBOs choose to go it alone is a perception that they do not need a professional involved to garner a successful sale. Even in a perfect scenario, there are many details, legalities and tasks to tend to. Home sellers going it alone need to be prepared to take on the following tasks before placing a sign in their yard: • Research sales activity for the past 18 months from both public and non-public sources; • Research comparable properties currently on the market, and “average days on market;” • Use this research to develop a pricing strategy based

Danny Joyner, President and CEO, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices C. Dan Joyner, REALTORS®

on current market conditions, including competition; • Develop a strategic marketing plan that includes relationship, print and digital messages geared to the target buyer. And the work doesn’t stop there. During the listing period a real estate professional will handle a multitude of time-consuming activities on a seller’s behalf. From coordinating showings and screening qualified buyers to handling necessary disclosures and negotiating terms, the benefits of using a professional to sell a home are both practical and judicious. When you are ready to sell your home, or look for

your next one, consider hiring a professional. Specifically, hire a REALTOR®, a real estate professional that is a member of the National Association of REALTORS®. These select professionals have chosen to align themselves with the largest trade group in the U.S., affording them a higher opportunity for training and certifications, as well as binding them to NAR’s Code of Ethics, a higher ethical standard than licensure alone. You don’t expect to retire without a plan, and chances are you engaged a trained professional to help you develop it. Employ the same strategy when making decisions regarding your largest investment.

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BANKING

CPM Credit Union’s focus is on meeting consumers’ needs Since 1955 CPM Federal Credit Union has served manufacturing employees in South Carolina B Y K I M B E R LY R O G E R S • B U S I N E S S R E L AT I O N S H I P M A N A G E R CPM FEDERAL CREDIT UNION

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ince 1955 CPM Federal Credit operated, not-for-profit organizations Union has served manufacturing generally managed by volunteer boards employees in South Carolina with of directors and because they have the affordable financial products and services specified mission of meeting the credit designed to improve the financial well-being and savings needs of consumers, especially of our members, not make a large profit persons of modest means.” for stockholders. Yes, you read that right! The employees of the Westvaco Credit unions are very different from banks. Paper Mill pooled their savings to help A credit union offers a complete menu of fellow employees in need of a loan and financial products and services just like a CPM (Charleston Paper Mill) Federal bank would offer, but the internal structure Credit Union was born. From our and philosophy of a credit union humble beginning as a oneis very different. All credit room operation inside the unions exemplify an Westvaco Paper Mill in industry-wide motto North Charleston, of “not-for-profit, not our federal charter for charity, but for now allows CPM to We truly believe that service”. serve more than 450 Carolina People Matter! Banks have employers and three - KIMBERLY ROGERS stockholders and the defined geographical purpose of the bank communities in South is to make profits to Carolina. During the pay dividends to those last 62 years CPM has stockholders. Instead of never lost sight of doing what’s stockholders, credit unions have good for the members. shareholders. Each individual member of Fast-forward to 2017 and we continue the credit union owns one equal share. to specialize in providing affordable financial Another difference is the board of directors services to now thousands of workers in that govern a credit union are volunteers; manufacturing plants across the state. they are not paid for their service to the CPM is proud to serve as the credit union credit union. But perhaps the biggest for the employees of companies like BMW difference is the fact that a credit union is Manufacturing and ZF Transmissions a not-for-profit organization. Credit unions Gray Court. Our continued growth is are tax-exempt. a direct result of our ability to take our As stated in the Credit Union services to employees at their jobsite. With Membership Access Act, “Credit unions, more than 350 corporate relationships in unlike many other participants in the the Upstate region, the manufacturers of financial services market, are exempt from SC are the cornerstone of our economy and federal and most state taxes because credit the foundation of business at CPM. We unions are member-owned, democratically truly believe that Carolina People Matter!

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2017 Book of Experts | Special Advertising Supplement

Kimberly Rogers Business Relationship Manager, CPM Federal Credit Union


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BANKING

Your most important banking asset: a personal relationship with your banker Receiving exceptional customer service that consistently exceeds your expectations. B Y J I M M Y K I M B E L L • S R . V I C E P R E S I D E N T, U P S TAT E M A R K E T E X E C U T I V E C O A S TA L C A R O L I N A N AT I O N A L B A N K

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question I’m often asked when speaking to a prospective client for the first time is, “What makes your bank different from any other bank?” My answer is simple. It’s the people that make the difference. The needs of today’s businesses are unique, and regulations are ever-changing.   It’s important to work with a knowledgeable banker who is willing to spend the time to get to know you and understand the complexities of your business or lending needs.  Since banks have similar product offerings and technology tools, it’s the relationship with your banker that sets one bank apart from all the rest. Although cutting edge products and state-of-the-art technology allow for transactions to be conducted quickly,   it’s your banker that advocates on your behalf when you’re faced with a challenge.   A dedicated banker looks for innovative solutions, suggests ways you can save time and money and offers advice to help your business succeed. Working with a community banker provides you with additional flexibility so you can bank the way you want to while receiving exceptional customer service through local market insight that consistently exceeds your expectations. You are provided prompt responses to your requests when that is what you need most. Having the ability to establish a relationship that best complements your financial needs allows a bank to stand out from all the rest.  While products and the technology are essential, the most valuable banking asset you have is your relationship with a local banker who works hard to maintain your confidence and trust and who wants you to be as successful and prosperous as you want for yourself. Cultivating a deep relationship built on mutual trust and respect takes time, but the value this longlasting bond provides is priceless.

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Jimmy Kimbell Sr. Vice President, Upstate Market Executive Coastal Carolina National Bank

2017 Book of Experts | Special Advertising Supplement


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TECHNOLOGY

Don’t Underestimate Your Role in Making Greenville Great Locally Epic’s primary function is to enable local businesses to offer mobile promo offers in real time to consumers in the market area using geo fencing and push technology along with meaningful ROI metrics for each promotion. B Y C H A S E M I C H A E L S • F O U N D E R A N D C E O • L O C A L LY E P I C

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ow much difference does a dollar Upstate consumers pivot $20 a week, for a year, really make these days? Maybe away from online or big box stores to a locally more than you think, when it comes owned store, that would increase the local to spending it to help our local economy. Upstate economy by $300 million. Take the Upstate for example: We’re Compare that scenario to this: For every fortunate to live in such a thriving region that’s dollar you spend with non-local online earned well-deserved national recognition businesses, only one cent remains in the as being a true gem of the Southeast. Now local economy. One penny vs. the 99 that go granted, part of that is because of our elsewhere. So in the bigger picture, what’s your geographic location, and since that’s priceless, buck worth online vs. locally – what’s it worth where does your buck fit in? to you? Think about taking a stroll But we all value convenience, and the along Main Street Greenville, internet does make it easy to find or antiquing in Anderson, deals. Fortunately, the internet or grabbing lunch in is an open playing field, and the Spartanburg there are ways that local What’s your buck worth district. What if businesses can participate. those businesses Take Yelp – which has online vs. locally didn’t have local become successful because - CHASE MICHAELS support? Would it’s all about local food and Main Street be as local folks’ opinions. And warm and inviting while Yelp probably takes without as many occupied a lot of our bucks home to storefronts? Would there be San Francisco, the company also The Shops at Greenridge? Would understands and believes in the value of we want to spend money there? local businesses, to the point that Yelp even There’s no denying the convenience of provides training to help local small businesses the internet – it is, after all, in your phone, learn how to make the most of social media. and your phone’s in your pocket or purse (or That type of help is critical, because more likely, your hand) right now. But about while the internet is open to all, it isn’t always that buck: For every dollar you spend in a cheap or easy. In truth, there’s no shortage Greenville business, a whopping 75 cents of barriers that keep small businesses from stays right here in Greenville. Even if you’re taking full advantage of the internet’s power. shopping at a Woodruff Road big box (and we For a business owner, joining the online world all do, right?), 35 cents of every buck you spend represents a substantial investment, often with stays local. In either case, that’s cash that flows seemingly few tangible results. through local employees, managers and owners And value takes us back to those concepts and into other local businesses like grocery of quality of life, being fortunate enough to stores and gas stations. It buys cars from local live in the Upstate, and that buck that I hope dealerships. It buys homes constructed by is still burning a hole in your pocket. It’s your local builders. It is our economic lifeblood. If buck, and it’s your choice, but before you

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2017 Book of Experts | Special Advertising Supplement

Chase Michaels, founder and CEO, Locally Epic

spend it, I hope you’ll consider that every dollar you spend represents your opportunity to have a positive economic impact on our region and the Greenville lifestyle we’ve come to enjoy and, yes, value. Chase Michaels is the founder and CEO of Locally Epic, which is the next generation of real-time location-based marketing technology for business and consumers. Locally Epic leverages time, space and message deployment with real-time aspects of engagement, implementation, customer loyalty and consumer acquisition metrics. Learn more at www. locallyepic.com.




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EDUCATION

Are workforce issues keeping you up at night? Local workforce agencies, technical colleges can also explore whether your organization qualifies for state workforce funding BY D R . J E R M A I N E W H I R L V P, E C O N O M I C D E V E L O P M E N T A N D C O R P O R AT E T R A I N I N G GREENVILLE TECHNICAL COLLEGE

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usiness managers know that the number A company’s ability to grow depends one asset of any organization is human upon solving problems and developing its capital. In a tight labor market, it becomes incumbent workforce – a workforce that may imperative for employers to retain and develop benefit from additional skills and leadership employees, while intentionally searching for the tools to operate at the level needed to advance best talent available to grow the organization. both career and company success. At GTC, We are seeing and will continue to experience we have found that a strong business solutions an aging workforce combined with an increase training unit can offer an added partnership to in job openings in skilled positions. This will both the human resources director and training lead to an unprecedented workforce demand in manager in “upfitting” the incumbent workforce. manufacturing and other STEM-related fields Our Economic Development and Corporate including healthcare and information Training (EDCT) division reaches 350technology. plus companies a year and provides The good news is each organization with a free that the technical assessment of its unique college system offers workforce needs, creating Greenville Technical many options for a customized solution College provides training employers to access package to solve business solutions. the next generation problems. of employees. As local workforce -DR. JERMAINE WHIRL For those seeking agencies, technical colleges employees immediately, can help you explore apprenticeships, tech scholar qualifying for state workforce programs, internships, and cofunding to offset the training costs. ops are options to recruit talent before Options include E-Zone, SCAI Grant, students graduate. Offsetting the cost of students’ and Incumbent Worker Training Grant funding. education through tuition reimbursement is a Also, at GTC, you’ll gain access to our worldgreat return on your investment, allowing you class trainers and faculty members who have to mold students into employees who fit your specialties in a variety of industry occupations. organization. Greenville Technical College provides Career services departments can provide training solutions in the areas of access to graduates who complete associate Quality and business management: ISO degrees, diplomas, certificates, and short-term 9000, IAFT, Mini-Tab, Lean Six Sigma (Greencredentialing in a variety of in-demand areas Black Belt), APICS, SHRM Prep, PMP® such as healthcare, business, IT, advanced Prep, APQP, MSA, leadership & management manufacturing/skill trades, and public services. certificate, supervisory certificate, Ken Blanchard At Greenville Technical College (GTC), those Situational Leadership Training, and OHSAS graduates are, on average, in their mid-20s, 18001 providing a level of maturity that’s attractive to Environmental occupational safety: many employers looking for soft-skills gained Building Operator Certification, Solar Energy through life experiences. Technology, Wastewater Physical/Chemical

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2017 Book of Experts | Special Advertising Supplement

By Dr. Jermaine Whirl, Vice President, Economic Development and Corporate Training, Greenville Technical College

Operator, ISO 140000, Asbestos and Lead Removal, Silica Removal, Fire Brigade Training, Hazmat and Hazwoper Training, OSHA 10- & 30-hour Training, and CPR/BLS and First Aid Training Advanced manufacturing: forklift training, HVAC/R training, mechatronics, CNC machine training, welding, and construction training Employers can also take advantage of the 3D printers, rapid-prototyping, robotics, and other advanced technologies at our Center for Manufacturing Innovation adjacent to Clemson’s I-CAR Campus. In addition, the EDCT division can provide strategic planning facilitation, team building activities, classrooms, boardrooms, and conference hall spaces to rent for your next planning session. Through these opportunities, we hope you’ll turn to Greenville Technical College or a technical college in your local area to be your first choice for sustainable training solutions to maximize your competitive advantage.


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PHILANTHROPY

Volunteers keep Meals on Wheels deliveries rolling Please consider getting involved and making a difference in the lives of our homebound clients. Email volunteer@mowgvl.org or call 864.233.6565. B Y C AT R I O N A C A R L I S L E EXECU TIVE DIRECTOR • MEALS ON WHEELS OF GREE NVILLE

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olunteers are critical to the mission individuals and seniors in Greenville County of Meals on Wheels of Greenville. by providing nutritious meals, personal While other agencies in Greenville interaction and independence. County address hunger from a congregate Meals on Wheels of Greenville is a unique dining or food bank perspective, only Meals community program for many reasons: on Wheels combines the personal contact All of our clients are referred by a physician of a caring volunteer with the life-sustaining or a social service agency.  Meals are provided delivery of a hot meal. This daily, personal free of charge and there are no criteria with interaction allows Meals on Wheels to be regards to income, age, race or religion. more than a meal to our clients. Our clients are homebound and On average, 150 volunteers are needed physically or mentally challenged to the point every day to package and deliver where meal preparation is nearly meals, provide a personal visit impossible.  Most clients live and wellness check to the alone or with another homebound, and serve incapacitated person. The Meals on as a lifeline back to Vo l u n t e e r s Wheels mission is to Meals on Wheels so monitor the welfare enhance the quality of life we can connect clients of the clients on of homebound individuals to other organizations their routes and when additional help serve as a link to - CATRIONA CARLISLE is needed. Meals on other communityWheels is always looking based services such for volunteers, whether it is as transportation, home a business providing community health services, financial service opportunities for employees, services and even home repair and a family with small children who want to handicap accessible modifications. brighten someone’s day or a local service group Meals on Wheels has a specialty meal looking for a way to get involved. Everyone can program that addresses specific health care make a difference. needs for clients. Specialty meals include Meals on Wheels of Greenville was renal, chopped, pureed and vegetarian. founded in 1968 as a community mission Meals on Wheels celebrates client birthdays project housed at Westminster Presbyterian by preparing a homemade cake that is delivered Church.  Since that time, it has been a by a volunteer on the client’s special day. community-wide program utilizing church, Meals on Wheels provides frozen meals corporate and individual volunteers to fulfill to our most vulnerable clients who have little our mission of serving the homebound.  Every or no support system. Monday through Friday, Meals on Wheels This year, Meals on Wheels is celebrating prepares, packages and delivers approximately 50 years of serving the homebound and will 1,500 meals in our community. deliver our 12 millionth meal. It’s only with the The Meals on Wheels mission is to continued support of our community that we enhance the quality of life of homebound are able to mark this milestone.

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Catriona Carlisle, Executive Director, Meals on Wheels of Greenville Volunteers deliver to community residents of all ages


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FINANCIAL ADVISEMENT

From SIMPLE to Sophisticated: Small Business Retirement Plans Helping your employees save for retirement is good for your business. BY J E F F R EY B. F RO M A N, C F P ® • F I NA N C I AL ADV I S O R • Thomp s on a nd From a n A f i n a nc i a l adv i s or y prac t ice of Ame ri pri s e Fi n a nc i a l S e r v ice s , Inc.

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mall businesses represent 99% of U.S. employers and employ half of the population in the private sector. Unfortunately, most small businesses don’t sponsor a retirement plan for employees. Employer-sponsored plans are a primary driver for retirement savings and can help business owners be more competitive in recruiting and retaining top talent. There are two types of plans for retirement savings: The two types of IRA-based plans are SEP (Simplified Employee Pension) and SIMPLE (Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees). These plans offer lower administrative costs, do not require special government reporting, have no bonding requirements, and reduce the employer’s fiduciary responsibility because each employee has control over their own funds. Qualified plans are typically more costly than IRA-based plans but have more features and larger potential deductions. Also, the employer has more control, which results in greater fiduciary responsibility. They are typically subject to annual nondiscrimination and coverage tests that can limit contributions of highly compensated employees. However, with proper plan design, these tests can be sidestepped. One type of qualified plan is a defined contribution plan or 401(k). These plans feature increased flexibility, the ability for employees and the employer to make contributions, potentially higher contribution limits, the availability of vesting, and a Roth 401(k) deferral option. Increasing use of technology has driven the administrative costs of small business 401(k) plans down yet maintained the plan features.

J​ effrey B. Froman, CFP ®, Financial Advisor 3441 Pelham Road, Suite 102| Greenville, SC 29615 O: 864.451.7890 | F: 864.451.7892 | C: 864.630.3528​

The other type of qualified plan is a defined benefit plan. Unlike defined contribution plans, the employer bears the risk of investment performance. Because sponsoring a defined benefit plan typically requires the services of an actuary, these plans are usually more costly to administer. Employees are guaranteed a specific benefit at retirement age based on the plan benefit

accrual formula and the employer funds the plan based on actuarial assumptions. If the plan’s investments do not perform as anticipated, the employer may have to make additional contributions. With the myriad of choices, a business owner should seek guidance from a financial professional and a tax professional when selecting a plan.

Ameriprise Financial and its representatives do not provide tax or legal advice. Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and federally registered CFP (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements. Consult your tax advisor or attorney regarding specific tax issues. Investment advisory products and services are made available through Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., Member FINRA and SIPC. ©2010 - 2017 Ameriprise Financial, Inc. All rights reserved.

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EDUCATION

Earn an MBA without interrupting your career Darla More School of Business leading the way in educating working professionals BY L I BBY H E N D L EY • M A NAG I N G DI R E C TO R OF THE PROFESSIONAL MBA PRO GRAM U N I V E R S I T Y O F S O U T H C A R O L I N A’ S D A R L A M O O R E S C H O O L O F B U S I N E S S

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ach year, the number of people earning an Who do you want to be in your class? To be MBA degree quadruples, with the trend admitted to the Moore School’s PMBA program, toward working on the degree while a student must have at least two years work continuing one’s career. The USC program that experience, but the 2017 class has an average of allows a student to work on an MBA part-time nine years. This professional experience results in while on the job is known as the Professional enhanced class conversation and discussion. MBA program. Another aspect to consider is accreditation. Here are some important considerations in The Moore School is accredited by the highly choosing an MBA program: regarded Association to Advance Collegiate What is your learning style in Schools of Business (AACSB the classroom and in course International). Known Our goal is to attendance? The Moore worldwide for its programs School Professional in international business, offer the quality MBA offers a distance the Moore School is and flexibility working based format using home to a world-class professionals are looking video conferencing with faculty and eight major for without interrupting regional classrooms research centers. their careers. and on-demand course Professional MBA capture. Among the class students attend classes - LIBBY HENDLEY locations are: 201 Riverplace six seven-week terms a year. in Greenville and USC Each term consists of a class Upstate’s George Dean Johnson Jr. meeting one night per week from College of Business and Economics. 6-9 p.m. A few courses meet one Saturday per What are you interested in getting out of month for three months in Columbia. the experience? Do you want a general MBA The Professional MBA program provides or an area of specialization? The Moore School students the opportunity to collaborate and learn program offers specializations in international with other working professionals with a wealth business, finance, entrepreneurship/innovation of business experience. Our goal is to offer the and marketing. An optional graduate certificate quality and flexibility working professionals are in business analytics is also available. looking for without interrupting their careers.

Libby Hendley, managing director of the Professional MBA program, University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business

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CONSTRUCTION

Sherman Construction uses alternate delivery methods for excellent results Picking the right construction manager BY A N DY S H E R M A N • P R E S I D E N T • S H E R M A N C O N S T RU C T IO N

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he traditional method of use and change performance, a Construction constructing a new building, Industry Institute study found “…collaborative Design-Bid-Build, has been the project delivery systems produce a more primary contract type for decades. But that reliable cost outcome for public owners.” has changed over the last few years and With those outcomes in mind, continues to evolve. The general premise is selecting the right construction manager that competition drives down cost. However, becomes very important. The ability of it creates a scenario where the lowest bidding the GC to bring value, drive down cost, general contractor uses the lowest price and manage the schedule is a major subcontractors and lowest cost component in determining the materials to win the bid. This long-term success of the does not always equal the project. best value and experience At Sherman Collaborative project for the owner of the Construction, we delivery systems building. It is also have been a part of inherently adversarial, AEC teams that produce a more reliable frequently pitting the have completed more cost outcome for public owner, architects and than $300 million in owners. general contractors construction over the (GCs) against each other past few years using these if issues arise. alternate delivery methods. As both private and public owners look for a better outcome, Among recent examples: alternate delivery methods such as Design• Athletic facilities in South Carolina, Build and Construction Management Georgia, North Carolina and at Risk, have risen to the top. These Virginia, including the Football delivery methods allow for a competitive Operations Building at Clemson selection process. However, they allow for • Office and Classroom buildings a collaborative integration among designer, such as One Research Drive on the owner, constructor and end-user. Early CU-ICAR Campus in the design process, the GC is engaged • Private developers of multifamily to give feedback about pricing, feasibility, apartment complexes. schedule and other aspects of the project. • Industrial clients This results in fewer surprises. In fact, a No matter which delivery method study by Penn State found that compared you choose, the result depends greatly to D-B-B, D-B yielded a 6% reduction in on the strengths of the people working change orders, delivered 33% faster overall, on your project. Since 1949, Sherman and cost 6% less. Construction has been providing When compared on factors including excellent construction services and high constructibility, team building, zero accident quality workmanship on time and within technique, design/information technology budget.

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2017 Book of Experts | Special Advertising Supplement

Andy Sherman, President, Sherman Construction Clemson University Football Operations Complex


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COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHY

Creating an inspiring image requires a level of trust Corporate, editorial and advertising portraiture. BY I A N C U RC IO • OW N E R , L E AD P H OTO GR AP H E R & DI R E C TO R • I A N C U RC IO, L LC

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strong photograph can with people so that being photographed immediately communicate becomes an afterthought to them. It’s at emotion without using words. that moment I can start creating truly It can tell an instant story to the person inspiring images. who is flipping through a magazine, In order to be creative and bring my looking at a website or driving past a ideas to life, I have to think on my feet billboard. A large part of what I do each during each shot. I have to quickly make day is guide people towards that level of decisions such as: is this photograph unspoken communication as they sit in going to be made indoors or outdoors; front of my camera. is it going to be an environmental or It takes trust to get to this point and a studio photograph;  should I use building that trust can take natural light or a flash. In each time. Unfortunately, many situation, the answers top-level professionals can create a different In order to be don’t have that kind outcome and it’s up of time. Being able to me to choose the creative and bring my to build that trust most creative and ideas to life, I have to in a short amount appropriate answer. think on my feet during of time becomes an And then each shot. invaluable skill set there’s the technical for a photographer knowledge that I - IAN CURCIO to have and, thanks bring to each shoot. It to my understanding seems counterintuitive, of the craft, I have been but I’ve spent my career able to develop it. It’s equal parts forgetting about the equipment I’m psychology, creativity and technique.   using. I don’t want it in the way when Being photographed is I’m working. I like to work in advance uncomfortable for many people. Even when possible setting up gear and CEOs of Fortune 500 companies lighting so that when someone walks in, can get nervous in front of a camera. and I’m standing with my camera in my Dealing with this discomfort is one of hand, I can focus all of my attention on the many challenges a photographer them and together we can start making must work through in order to capture strong photographs. dynamic portraits for their clients. My Over 20 years of experience job is to help people get to a place where has brought me to this point as a they feel comfortable and are willing to photographer and I’m grateful for the explore their expressions and their body opportunity to continue doing what I language in front of my camera. The love: documenting people doing what goal for me is to engage and connect they love.

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Ian Curcio, Owner, Lead Photographer and Director, iancurcio, Inc.


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DISTILLERY & SPIRITS

Dark Corner Distillery finds success through love of spirit-making Turning moonshine into money is a time-honored tradition in the Appalachians, one that spans generations and more than a few run-ins with the law. B Y J O E F E N T E N • O W N E R , C O - F O U N D E R • D A R K C O R N E R D I S T I L L E RY

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Joe Fenten , Owner and founder of Dark Corner Distillery

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native of the northern section of Greenville County known as the Dark Corner, Joe Fenten has embraced his roots and that tradition in a legal version of his Scots-Irish forebears’ craft. The Dark Corner Distillery in downtown Greenville is the state’s first federally licensed whiskey distillery since before Prohibition, and it is the result of Fenten’s love of spirit-making and its unique blend of art and science. Fenten, who was an electrical engineer in his earlier career, said he became fascinated by the spirits industry while doing contract work at a facility operated by global spirits producer Diageo. He and his wife, Roxy, started Dark Corner in 2011, and they have steadily grown and expanded to add an operation on Hilton Head Island. “Moonshine is in my blood,” Joe Fenten said.“I am fascinated by the art of spirit-making and all of the nuance that goes into each product we make, and I’m equally fascinated by the technical aspects of the distillation process. That’s the engineer in me.” Fenten said this was his first venture into starting up a business. He and Roxy have learned from both their successes and failures. “One important thing to understand is when to say yes or no to an opportunity,” he said. “I might have been a little too opportunistic in the early years, but we’ve learned how to recognize real opportunities from those that distract us from our real purpose.” Fenten said there are several key pieces to consider when deciding whether to embark on a business in craft distilled spirits: • Don’t spend too much time crafting the perfect business plan — you need to get out of the building and talk to real people about their wants, needs, pain points and interests. • This industry, like many others, is all about relationships. The best-tasting spirit in the world means nothing unless you know how to reach the right consumer. • Invest your time and money wisely. If you can get by with less, then do it. It will pay off in the long run. • Just because you love your product doesn’t mean that everyone else does. Keep a customer-focused mindset. • There are plenty of opportunities for creative freedom in this line of work, but don’t let the coffers run dry — it’s still a business; it needs money to survive.


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HOSPITALITY

Rick Erwin’s restaurants grow along with Greenville People only care that you were one of the first if you are continually dedicated to being one of the best B Y R I C K E RW I N • O W N E R • R I C K E RW I N ’ S

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here were only a handful of our little town has developed into one restaurants in downtown of the most desirable cities to visit and Greenville in 2005 when I live in the entire country. bought 648 S. Main St. and opened my With all of the new restaurants in first restaurant, Rick Erwin’s West End Greenville, on any given night, people Grille. have over 100 places to choose from. Business in Greenville was starting That is what keeps us on our toes and to grow and there weren’t many “white what keeps us striving for perfection. tablecloth” restaurants in town for I think, as a business owner, this is people to go when they needed to true for every business. Competition is impress. I had been in the restaurant necessary to keep us humble, growing, business for 25 years and knew and continually looking at what I wanted to open a place we do and how we can do where business people it better. The growth Since 2005, our and families could that Greenville have an exceptional has experienced company has added experience so over the last seven other concepts and they could focus decade has taught a team of around 350 on what really me one of the people mattered -- the greatest business person across the principles that many - RICK ERWIN table. This had its established leaders own challenges with just miss: People only care one restaurant; however, that you were one of the first as we added new concepts to our if you are continually dedicated to brand we knew the challenges would being one of the best.   just get tougher. The new restaurants that have In order for us to continue to grow, filled our city are not only accepted, I knew I had to build a team of people we welcome them.   They keep us on around me that excelled in the areas our game, keep us focused, and they that we needed to succeed. Since 2005, broaden the palate of our community. our company has added seven other Growth in a city or an industry always concepts and a team of around 350 brings more players to the table. As a people. Our dining group, now with business owner, we can choose to see eight locations, still has one goal: to them as competition or we can embrace create an exceptional dining experience them as collaborators. Every new idea, for every person that walks in our doors. flavor, and concept is helping to grow Our company isn’t the only thing our imagination and our dedication to that’s grown, though. We’ve watched as being the very best.

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Rick Erwin, Owner, Rick Erwin’s Rick’s Signature Surf and Turf


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THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR SPONSORS

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2017 Book of Experts | Special Advertising Supplement

2017 GSA Book of Experts  
2017 GSA Book of Experts