Greenville Business Magazine January 2011 : Page 40
most infl uen tial 2010 BY MikaYla sharpe & krisTi keeNaN
50 Most Influential of 2010
Mikayla Sharpe & Kristi Keenan
On the following pages, you’ll meet the people we believe made the most impact on Greenville specific to 2010 in the business, government, education and non-profit categories. As influence is a rather subjective concept, you’ll notice no numbered rankings listed. We consider the contributions of each of these people to be important in shaping Greenville’s business and community landscape in 2010. In the case where several people were integral in making certain deals or events happen, they are grouped together to represent one of our 50 listings.
The Cliffs Communities
As the economic recession hit the real estate market with a powerful force, Jim Anthony and his team at The Cliffs Communities were faced with many challenges as they fought to keep the business as a top real estate location for homeowners and golfers. As of April 2010, Anthony has raised over $60 million in funds for The Cliffs Communities through private investments from homeowners and members. Currently, construction is underway in Travelers Rest at The Cliffs at Mountain Park, which will boast a Gary Player Signature Golf Course, along with Gary Player’s corporate headquarters. The Cliffs at High Carolina, located near Asheville, will feature Tiger Woods’ first and only U.S.-based golf course. Completion for both projects is expected in 2011 and 2012.
President and principal owner Craig Brown has been a “driving” force for the Greenville Drive since its inception 5 years ago. Known for its spectacular success as a unique, high quality and family affordable entertainment venue, the historic West End Fluor Field has once again achieved a new attendance record in 2010. The Greenville Drive and Fluor Field have brought 48 new businesses into the area which have generated over $12.5 million in sales; currently, 67 building permits have been issued for both commercial and residential projects throughout the West End. This year, the Greenville Drive was recognized by the South Atlantic League as Organization of the Year, and won the National Sports Forum Award for Excellence in Sports Marketing, marking a first ever win for a minor league team.
Jody Bryson is no rookie to our 50 Most Influential list. Since he became president and CEO of the South Carolina Technology and Aviation Center in 2007, Bryson has spearheaded efforts to transition SCTAC from a local property management office to a proactive economic development organization bringing technological, industrial and aviation growth to the Upstate. Over the past two years, existing companies at SCTAC have announced over half a billion dollars in expansion. Two new companies have recently invested new facilities at SCTAC including high-tech coatings manufacturer GVD Corp. and Coast Sign, Inc. SCTAC begins construction on a taxiway extension, appropriated by the FAA, which will increase efficiency for air traffic flow.
BE&K Building Group
Mac Carpenter, senior VP for BE&K Building Group in Greenville, is responsible for landing and managing the engineering and construction of The Boeing Company’s new 787 Dreamliner plant in North Charleston this year. Currently the largest construction project in South Carolina, the eight story building will be the largest of its kind in the world and boast one of the world’s largest hangar doors. The Boeing Charleston expansion is the largest single capital investment in South Carolina’s history. In addition to this monumental achievement, Carpenter has contributed to the BE&K Building Group receiving both the ABC of the Carolinas Contractor of the Year, as well as the Southeast Construction’s Contractor of the Year awards in 2010.
Upstate Carolina Angel Network
Under the leadership of managing director Matt Dunbar, the Upstate Carolina Angel Network (UCAN) had a strong 2010 helping industries including advanced materials, software, industrial electronics and medical diagnostics. Most notably, the group made 2010 investments equalling $1.8 million. $1.2 million of that total went into six companies as a first time UCAN investment and $0.4 million went to four companies as a second investment. Of the 10 companies that received investments from the network in 2010, six were in South Carolina — five in Greenville, one in Charleston. UCAN looks to make its first successful exit in the first quarter of 2011.
Taking his position as CEO in 2009, Sam Erwin of The Palmetto Bank is responsible for executing the agreement made in which several institutional investors invested $100 million in the company’s common stock. Such well-respected investors were CapGen Financial Partners, Patriot Financial Partners and Sandler O’Neill Asset Management, among others. With this capital contribution, the bank’s capital adequacy ratios are now categorized as “well capitalized,” far exceeding the minimum capital levels. The Palmetto Bank said the capital raise will further its commitment to serving South Carolina while continuing to provide outstanding customer service.
Greenville Downtown Airport
The Greenville Downtown Airport, under the leadership of director Joe Frasher, is the busiest general aviation airport in South Carolina and home to more than 25 aviation-related businesses that employ 453 people collectively. The airport made seven parcels of land available for lease in early 2010, looking to expand the business presence on the campus. The Runway Cafe opened in the summer, offering a place for pilots and passengers to stop and eat between flights; and the airport launched a new website in December featuring the history of the airport and a section of aviation links for kids. Plans are currently underway to include a park near the cafe so that the public can enjoy watching planes.
Last year, Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR), located in Greenville, was named the top emerging technologies research campus in North America, and houses the nation’s first automotive engineering Ph.D. program. This year, under the direction of Bob Geolas, Proterra Inc., which develops and assembles fuel cell hybrid-powered transit vehicles, decided to build a facility at ICAR that will host research and development, as well as a product assembly line. ICAR is currently building a new Center for Emerging Technologies building that will host new and existing companies, as the demand for such needs, fortunately, far exceeds the current amenities. To date, ICAR has generated more than $215 million in funding commitments.
Wyche, Burgess, Freeman & Parham, PA
A member of the Wyche, Burgess, Freeman & Parham law firm, Hackl tirelessly uses her professional knowledge and talent to take on many active roles in the Greenville community. As vice-chair of the Community Foundation of Greenville, she chairs the Grants Review Committee, leading the Foundation’s effort to support the Greenville Early College and the Reedy River Park. As chair of the Greenville Area Development Corporation (GADC), she has helped GADC bring in capital investment of over $2.2 million in 2010, and worked with businesses to create 1,904 jobs this year alone. In addition, Hackl currently serves on the Campaign Cabinet of United Way GC and as a board member for EMRYS and Camperdown Academy.
Coldwell Banker Caine
Brad Halter, president of both Coldwell Banker Caine and Coldwell Banker Commercial Caine, has led the Caine real estate affiliate through another successful year. Personally, Halter was re-elected in January by Mayor Knox White for a second term on the City of Greenville Board of Zoning Appeals. In May of 2010 Coldwell Banker Commercial Caine was ranked the No. 1 Coldwell Banker Commercial affiliate in South Carolina for 2009, and also earned the Coldwell Banker Commercial Elite award. Coldwell Banker Caine has opened two Real Estate Galleries this year in downtown Greenville and on Butler Road in Mauldin. These state-of-the-art facilities provide private office space, sitting areas and conference rooms for sales associates, staff and clients.
Bobby Hitt, manager of public affairs at BMW Manufacturing Co. has helped put a public face on the 2010 expansion of BMW to its 1.2 million square foot manufacturing facility and its annoncement to implement a new alternative fuel platform to use Hydrogen Fuel Cells to power its material handling equipment. Serving in 2010 as chairman of the state’s Manufacturers Alliance, Hitt was recently chosen by Governor-elect Nikki Haley to lead the state’s job recruitment agency — the SC Department of Commerce. Many state insiders say his knowledge of the State Ports Authority and valuable national and international connections are vital to attracting industry to the state.
This year, the Hughes Agency, led by owner and president Velda Hughes, added two international accounts to its list of clients, including TD Bank and Synnex. Her team will lead the transition of Carolina First to TD Bank and will head all PR efforts and media buying for Synnex. She coordinated the Governor’s School’s largest fund raising campaign to date and raised record amounts of funding for both the Peace Center and the Children’s Museum, which by itself was a $20 million campaign. Hughes was responsible for coordinating major efforts for Clements Kindness, which resulted in a $500,000 dormitory building located at Camp Courage. Used for special programs and camp activities for children with cancer, the facility opened in July and was respectively named “Velda’s Village.”
C. Dan Joyner
Prudential C. Dan Joyner, Co. REALTORS
Keeping on top of technology, Prudential launched its 24/7 INFOLINE with voice and text telephone services that provide potential home buyers instant recorded information about a home’s features on any listed property in the Greenville, Spartanburg and Anderson areas. The company also launched a mobile version of the cdanjoyner.com website for smart phone users. The company received “Best in the Upstate” by The Greenville News and ranked as the #1 realtor in the Upstate and #3 in South Carolina. Dan Joyner placed in the top eight nominees for the 2010 Business Integrity Award by the national Better Business Bureau and currently serves on the boards for the Commerce Club, Furman University’s Board of Trustees and Boy Scouts of America.
The BMW Manufacturing Plant has had continued growth in 2010 under the leadership of president Josef Kerscher. BMW Manufacturing launched the production of the newest BMW X5 Sports Activity Vehicle series and assembled its one-millionth X5 this past June. In addition, it recently launched the production of the newest BMW X3 series, which will be assembled in the new expansion Assembly Hall. This latest expansion increased the total plant floor to 4 million square feet. Most importantly for the Upstate, BMW Manufacturing created 1,600 jobs in 2010 to drive the need for X5, X6 and X3 production. Its annual 2010 BMW Charity Pro-Am golf tournament raised a total $665,000 for 72 local charities.
Marketplace Staffing, Inc.
President and CEO Ray Lattimore has been a champion of entrepreneurialism and minority business growth throughout the years, in addition to running a highly successful staffing agency which has allowed him to place people in jobs during one of the country’s worst economic downturns. In 2010, Lattimore earned his Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) title and hosted the 2010 Business Opportunity Conference, drawing over 1,000 minority businesses. A staunch advocate for minority business growth, he serves on the board of the Carolinas Minority Supplier Development Council, and chairs the regional Minority Business Enterprise Input Committee for the Upstate and the Foothills Regional Advisory Committee. He also serves on the board of the SC Chamber of Commerce.
With the leadership of CEO HP Rama, JHM Hotels has experienced both domestic and international growth in 2010 despite the significant economic challenges that have taken its toll on many businesses in the Upstate. The addition of new properties in the company portfolio has launched JHM Hotels to #26 on South Carolina’s list of the largest, privately held companies. Recently, Rama added the Hyatt Regency Greenville to the portfolio with plans to renovate the hotel and regain it’s position as the focal point of downtown Greenville, further enhancing future development and growth in the downtown area. The company’s Courtyard by Marriott won a 2010 Hotel Visionary Award for achievement in technology and service innovation.
President & CEO Dick Wilkerson has led Michelin in a series of community projects that have greatly impacted Greenville. Michelin Development Upstate low-interest loan program added a second million-dollar investment in Upstate small businesses in 2010; The Michelin Challenge Education program raised over $175,000 for Greenville County Schools through its “Are You Smarter Than A Greenville County Schools 5th Grader?” event; and Michelin joined Habitat for Humanity to construct and fund a fourth home for a deserving Upstate family. In addition, the National Business Group on Health awarded its highest award to Michelin for its employee wellness program. Wilkerson was named Clemson at the Falls Business Person of the Year by Greenville Business Magazine.
Former Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and former chair of the U.S. Sentencing Commission Billy Wilkins, leads Nexsen Pruet’s White-Collar Crime, Appellate Advocacy, and Corporate Compliance/Crisis Management practices. Praised in February of 2010 in the Greenville News by Senator Glenn McConnell for his leadership and the diligence to help make the $750 million Boeing deal happen in 2009, Wilkins made news later in 2010 with the high-profile representation of Canadian banking giant Toronto-Dominion’s acquisition of The South Financial Group, helping the bank gain a strong foothold in the Southeast.
GSA Technology Council
Known to most as the founder of the GSA Technology Council and the creator of the highly acclaimed “Tech After Five” events, Phil Yanov is one of Greenville’s biggest technological assets. Having established itself as a major source of networking, job placement and industry buzz, his “Tech After Five” programs are statewide in Greenville, Columbia and Charleston, and have recently expanded into Charlotte. Yanov is a leading presence in the social media sphere, actively engaging in the use of blogging, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to generate conversation and creative thinking in the world of technology. He currently does a weekly tech show on SC public radio and writes a tech column in Greenville Business Magazine.
Dean Hybl, Irv Welling, Ingo Angermeier, Steve Navarro, Neal Workman
Ten at the top
Originally known as Upstate Together, Ten at the Top was formalized in 2010 as a non-profit organization comprised of leaders across the Upstate’s 10 county region who work to encourage quality growth and enhance economic vitality, natural and cultural resources and quality of life in the Upstate. Newly appointed executive director Dean Hybl took the initiative to develop a Shared Upstate Growth Vision and gathered input from over 6,000 Upstate residents that was presented in front of over 400 elected officials. Ten at the Top brought together the Upstate elite in a popular series of 12 community forums. Successes thus far were made possible with collaboration from board chair Irv Welling, first vice chair Ingo Angermeier, second vice chair Steve Navarro and third vice chair Neal Workman.
Jerry Howard & Kevin Landmesser
Greenville Area Development Council
In economic development, Greenville County enjoyed another banner year marked by big wins (Proterra) and major announcements (Southwest Airlines). Led by the efforts of GADC president Jerry Howard and vice president Kevin Landmesser, Greenville County’s 18 announcements in 2010 — which included GE Aviation ($100 million capital investment); Proterra ($65 million+); and Sage Automotive Interiors ($20 million) — are expected to generate over 2,000 new jobs and $225 million in new capital investment. From an investment perspective, the county’s financial contribution to GADC has recouped more than $6 in taxes paid to Greenville County for every dollar invested in GADC initiatives.
Bob Hughes & Phil Hughes
Hughes Development & Hughes Investments
Real estate development and investment in Greenville has no stronger proponents than brothers Bob and Phil Hughes of Hughes Development and Hughes Investments, respectively, whose wise investments can be seen throughout the downtown landscape. Recent news noted Phil Hughes is planning a seven-story building downtown next to Riverplace, a multi-use complex the brothers also developed. Even more recent news noted that Bob Hughes may be expanding his real estate interests to Columbia, agreeing to buy a 165-acre Bull Street tract from the S.C. Department of Mental Health for $15 million plus a share of future profits. Bob was also notable in the 2010 recruitment of Lab 21 to the NEXT Innovation Center.
John Warner & Aaron von Frank
Google in Greenville Event
In March of 2010, John Warner was asked to lead an effort to respond to Google’s request for proposal to pick a city to build a high speed, high bandwidth fiber to the home network. He pulled together a team of 30 technology entrepreneurs and local government officials to discuss how to put Greenville on the map and grab Google’s attention. Aaron von Frank led a small group of entrepreneurs to quickly generate the public support necessary to bring more than 2000 people together for the Falls Park event. The organizers also created www.wearefeelinglucky.com, a web site devoted to courting Google Fiber to come to the Greenville area, and urged residents to get out and vote to keep Greenville alive in the tight competition.
Hal Johnson & Eric Miller
Upstate SC Alliance
The Upstate Alliance, working with SC Commerce and local economic developers and led by president and CEO Hal Johnson and business development manager Eric Miller, had a tremendous year with over $1.9 billion in capital investment announced and over 6,500 new jobs recruited to the 10 county Upstate region in 2010. They were also a part of the team that recruited Southwest Airlines. They ushered in a newly designed website and GIS property navigator to aid in the efforts of making the region attractive to prospective companies and corporate decision-makers by displaying the advantages of the area. These improved tools will continue to shine the spotlight on the innovative and dynamic business climate in the Upstate.
Dave Edwards, Minor Shaw, Sam Konduros & Joe Erwin
Southwest Airlines Deal
The near decade-long fight to woo Southwest Airlines — currently the largest domestic passenger carrier airline in the US — to Greenville was championed most notably by GSP airport executive director Dave Edwards; SK Strategies president and chairman of Upstate SC Air Service Partnership Committee Sam Konduros; vice chair of the GSP Airport Commission Minor Shaw; and president and co-founder of Erwin-Penland Joe Erwin. As Greenville’s lack of affordable air travel has been an impediment for many businesses looking to locate to the Upstate, the airline’s decision to bring its low-cost air service to Greenville is heralded as a “game changer,” that will allow Greenville to become even more competitive on the economic development front.
George Acker, Cathryn Heigel, Steve West & Hank McCullough
Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas
Greenville has no greater allies in helping recruit new business to the area than local utilities. The incentives provided by Duke Energy under the direction of Duke Energy South Carolina president Cathryn Heigel, government and community relations director for Duke Energy Carolinas George Acker and economic development manager Steve West; and from Piedmont Natural Gas under the direction of senior community relations manager Hank McCullough, sweetened the pot in 2010 to help local economic development arms like the GADC, Greenville Chamber and Upstate SC Alliance successfully court businesses like Proterra and Saint-Gobain Abrasives, whose relocations to Greenville were made possible in part from a substantial grant from Duke Energy’s AdvanceSC program.
Rep. Dan Cooper
Anderson District 10
The Anderson District 10 representative, Dan Cooper, has been quite an asset to the Upstate community in 2010. Re-elected as the House seat for District 10 this year, Cooper is known for his outstanding commitment to public service and to make South Carolina a better place to live and work. Cooper serves as Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and played a partial role in helping bring Southwest Airlines to Greenville in March 2011. He was also the 2010 recipient of the prestigious David Wilkins Award for Legislative Excellence which recognizes a state lawmaker who embodies the highest principles of leadership. He was elected this year to serve on Goodwill’s Board of Directors.
Rep. Chandra Dillard
Greenville County Dist. 23
A reoccurring name in Greenville County, Chandra Dillard was re-elected this year to serve as the Representative for District 23 and is a strong advocate for the improvement of local, underserved neighborhoods in the Greenville area. Most notably, she received the 2010 Elected Official of the Year award from the SC State Housing Finance and Development Authority for her work on the Jesse Jackson Hope IV project in Greenville and her continued efforts to promote affordable housing. In addition to her public service, she currently serves on the boards of the Bank of Travelers Rest, United Way of Greenville County, Greenville Forward, Genesis Homes CDC, the Greenville Housing Fund and the Phyllis Wheatley Association.
Greenville County Recreation
Executive Director Gene Smith has led Greenville County Recreation through the development and completion of several large projects throughout 2010. Under Smith’s direction, completed projects include: Berea/Travelers Rest Sports Complex, Pleasant Ridge Retreat Center for Camp Spearhead, David Jackson Park, Lake Conestee Nature Park and its “Swamp Rabbit” Tram-Trail Line (Phase 1), MESA Soccer Complex, Southside Waterpark expansion and Northside Waterpark, Sterling Center, Pavillion Center upgrades, Taylors Area Baseball Complex and Slater Hall. Currently, projects in the works are Pelham Mill Falls Park, Piedmont Athletic Complex, Municipal Stadium redevelopment and the redevelopment of Travelers Rest High School.
City of Greenville
Mayor Knox White had his hands full in 2010 helping push Greenville to the top of the list for companies like Proterra and Southwest Airlines, both game changers for the city’s future economic development. Downtown’s skyline continued to grow with the addition of the Marriott Hotel complex, and Main Street became and even more vibrant scene for both social and business pursuits. The Mayor championed many quality of life improvements, including adding bike lanes along a growing number of streets to make Greenville a more bike-friendly community. He was most proud the completion of Phase 1 of the Swamp Rabbit Tram Trail, which had profound effects on the physical health of the thousands of residents using the trail system each week.
Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP
A partner at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough of Greenville and chair of its Public Policy and International Law practice group, former House speaker and U.S. Ambassador to Canada David Wilkins was asked in November to serve as Chairman of Governor-Elect Nikki Haley’s transition team, helping to form her new administration and work through the more than 2,000 applications for the available cabinet positions and board appointments. In addition, Wilkins recently joined Global Public Affairs as a special advisor to strengthen the U.S./Canada relationship. He also serves as the chairman of the Clemson University board of trustees.
City of Greenville
Nancy P. Whitworth, director of economic development for the City of Greenville, has been in the center of the many deals and investments made in Greenville in 2010. In her role, Whitworth is responsible for urban planning, business retention and recruitment, commercial revitalization, neighborhood planning and downtown development. Under her watch, the city has continued a strong effort to revitalize blighted neighborhoods in partnership with groups like Homes of Hope and Genesis Homes. Notable progress has been made on housing construction in the Haynie-Sirrine neighborhood and West Greenville, as well as with the launch of community infrastructure improvements to support new residential development in the Green Avenue area.
Russell Hawes & Dennis Waldrop
City of Simpsonville
Recently named one of the ten best towns for families by Family Circle Magazine because of its exceptional quality of life, Simpsonville saw a successful 2010 under the direction of city administrator Russell Hawes and Mayor Dennis Waldrop. The early 2010 announcement of O’Neal getting the contract to construct FitesaFiberweb’s new plant set in motion an eventual $100 milion dollar investment by the company over five years. More recently, KEMET announced an expansion and Century Plastics, Inc., a manufacturer of plastics used in numerous commercial applications, announced a new 93,000-square-foot, $3.5 million expansion facility, adding 25 jobs. The construction of the new building should finish by March 2011.
Butch Kirven & Bob Taylor
Greenville County Council
Chairman Butch Kirven and vice chair Bob Taylor have diligently worked as County Councilmen to ensure that Greenville’s economic future is bright and successful. By partnering with its non-profit organization, Greenville Area Development Corporation (GADC), County Council has worked to bring several large corporations such as Proterra and Eberspaecher North America to the area this year. To ensure that Greenville remains a growing leader in technology and business development, Kirven and Taylor worked to bring innovative projects to the area, as well, such as the Matrix Technology Park that hosts GE Aviation, JTEKT, Gordon Food Service and The Blood Connection.
Van Broad, Eddie Case & Gary Long
City of Fountain Inn
Under the direction of economic development/Civic Center director Van Broad, city administrator Eddie Case and Mayor Gary Long, the city of Fountain Inn saw a great deal of success in 2010 in both the welcoming of new industry and the ongoing revitalization of its popular downtown. The Bosch Rexroth $10 million, 50 job expansion from Texas to Fountain Inn made economic development news early in 2010, as did the integration of three foodservice packaging companies owned by Mid Oaks Investments LLC to Fountain Inn-headquartered D&W Fine Pack. The Fountain Inn Civic Center has created a huge buzz for the city with the Art Haven School of the arts located on site, Fountain Inn Repertory Experience (F.I.R.E.), Fountain Inn Chorale and newest addition, Fountain Inn Community Orchestra.
Wryley Bettis, Rick Danner, Reno Deaton & Ed Driggers
City of Greer
Greer has seen a positive year in 2010 thanks in large part to the work of chairman of Greer Development Corporation and city councilman Wryley Bettis, Mayor Rick Danner, Greer Development Corporation executive director Reno Deaton and city administrator Ed Driggers. Topping the city’s list of accomplishments was the expansion of American Truetzschler Inc., BMW’s Assembly North expansion, Vac-U-Loc’s relocation to Greer, the opening of Greer Recycling Center and the free trade zone status of Velocity Park industrial park. The city’s 2010 Comprehensive Plan was adopted by City Council, and Greer’s Highway 29 corridor saw the continued effects of revitalization with the recent announcement of a buyer for the Allen Bennett Hospital property.
Joe Kernell, John Hansley & Paula Gucker
Greenville county administrator Joe Kernell, responsible for the day-to-day operation of Greenville County government, is accountable for carrying out the policies, directives and legislative actions of County Council, and is responsible for an annual budget that exceeds $195 million. Kernell was cited for “creative vision and incentive support of the GE Aviation and Proterra projects” in particular. Kernell’s office helps support the work of the Greenville Area Development Council, providing the infrastructure necessary to help the agency bring millions in investment and thousands of jobs to the county in 2010. Successes were achieved with the help of assistant county administrator for public works Paula Gucker who handles code enforcement, property management, stormwater issues and more, and deputy county administrator John Hansley, who handles, among others, the tax and real property services divisions.
Dr. Fred Baus
University Center of Greenville
Leading the University Center of Greenville (UCG) since 2006, president and CEO Fred Baus has dedicated himself to the growth and redirection of the institute as a non-profit organization with focus on responding to the education demand of the community. His mission is to bring increased awareness to Greenville’s educational environment, and to increase Greenville’s educational competitiveness and degree attainment. Baus is responsible for leading the development of SimHub at UCG, an immersive technology center, expanding the Upstate’s access to cutting-edge technology. Currently, he is leading a taskforce in partnership with the National Association of Consortium Leadership to connect a national network of growing university centers, while highlighting Greenville as a leader within its field.
Dr. Phinnize J. Fisher
Greenville County Schools
A lifelong champion for education, Dr. Penny Fisher has served as superintendent of Greenville County Schools since 2004. Her peers are quick to praise her strong focus on children as her driving force in making difficult decisions, and believe that her greatest asset is her superb ability to connect with others on a human and personal level. The South Carolina Association of School Administrators awarded her the 2010 South Carolina Superintendent of the Year award. She will compete for National Superintendent of the Year later in 2011. Also this year, Dr. Fisher led the school district to complete and open the A.J. Whittenburg School of Engineering, the first engineering elementary school in the state.
Dr. Keith Miller
It wasn’t long ago that Dr. Keith Miller took the reigns as President of Greenville Technical College in 2008. Two years later, his leadership skills and innovative thinking have helped him progressively transition Greenville Tech into a premier learning institute. Miller and his leadership team have learned from the down economy and created programs and courses that allow students, both undergraduate and continuing education, to focus on bettering their skills and talents in specific professions in 90 days through the Quick Jobs program. In addition, Miller is focused on catering to high school seniors and motivating them to take college courses in pursuit of higher education. Dr. Miller’s most important task is to allow students at Greenville Tech to pursue dreams they never thought possible.
James Barker and Claude Lilly
Clemson at the Falls
Both President Jim Barker and Dean Claude Lilly of the College of Business and Behavioral Science helped make an impact in Greenville in 2010 with the newly located MBA and entrepreneurial programs at Clemson at the Falls. Located in the Bowater Building overlooking the Reedy River in downtown Greenville, Clemson at the Falls hosts the MBA program, the Arthur M. Spiro Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership, the Small Business Development Center and the Professional Advancement and Continuing Education (PACE) program. The new location is key to establishing professional development and continuing education for students looking to further their careers and gain professional experience in a thriving environment. Barker also had a hand in bringing Proterra to Greenville — CEO Jeff Granato cited CU-ICAR as key to Proterra’s decision.
A major player in all the big economic development projects — like Proterra — that boosted the Greeenville economy in 2010, Greenville Chamber president Ben Haskew is heavily relied on for his business climate expertise. Haskew also made news in 2010 with a $4 million campaign to fund a five-year initiative — Accelerate — aimed at raising the per-capita income in Greenville County. Initially consulting with 60 local CEOs and community leaders about the program, the Chamber plans to add 15,000 jobs and $800 million in annual income to the Greenville economy, assist startup companies at the Next Innovation Center in downtown Greenville and boost legislative efforts.
American Cancer Society
Evelyn Lugo is noted for her leadership as Hispanic Outreach Coordinator for the American Cancer Society. Her goal is to gain the trust and respect of the Hispanic and Latino population in an effort to create awareness, educate the community and provide services to Spanish-speaking people living in the Upstate and throughout SC. Since becoming Hispanic Outreach Coordinator, Lugo has seen the Best Chance Network, a program that provides free breast and cervical cancer screening for medically underserved SC women, grow from 8 to 800 screenings. Currently, she is the only Hispanic bilingual serving the Cancer Society’s state operation. Lugo hs also been noted for her role as president for the SC Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and her efforts to help Hispanic businesses.
Under the leadership of president Bob Morris, the Community Foundation of Greenville announced in 2010 that it would contribute over $135,000 in Community Enrichment Grants to 22 local non-profit organizations. 80% of these funds will support social services and health programs in the area. The Foundation has been instrumental in its support of the Kroc Center as one of its Leadership Initiatives. Providing a $1 million dollar commitment to this project over several years has enabled the Kroc Center to leverage other financial support from the community. In addition to his role as president, Morris also serves as a member of the Community Impact Cabinet of the United Way, the Greenville Downtown Rotary Club and the Greenville Estate Planning Council.
Bon Secours St. Francis Health System
Mark Nantz has made an enormous impact at St. Francis since filling the position as CEO in early 2010. Most recently, for the second consecutive year, premier healthcare purchasers The LeapFrog Group announced St. Francis as one of the nation’s Top Hospitals in patient safety, quality of care and operational efficiency. In addition, the hospital was listed in a HealthGrades report as #1 in South Carolina for joint replacement, nationally ranking in the top 5%. With Nantz in the lead, St. Francis formalized the Bon Secours Medical Group that has partnerships with over 200 medical providers across the Upstate. As a growing leader in the Upstate community, Nantz was named Chairman for The March of Dimes SC Chapter’s 2010 Signature Chefs Auction in November.
GHS University Medical Center
According to U.S. News’ America’s Best Hospitals for 2010-2011, GHS, under the leadership of president and CEO Michael Riordan, is ranked among the top 50 U.S. hospitals for heart care & heart surgery, diabetes & endocrinology and gastroenterology. A long-time medical education hub, it’s now pursuing an expanded medical education campus with USC and recently announced the formation of an Institute for Translational Oncology Research. GHS collaborated in 2010 on health outreach initiatives such as the GHS Swamp Rabbit Tram Trail, Minority Health Summit, new YMCA, SC Mission 2010 and programs to tackle childhood obesity. It has also established a program to help local businesses improve employee health and contain costs. Riordan was named county Economic Development Ambassador by the GADC.
Executive director Russell Stall and his team at Greenville Forward continued to bring about highly successful and innovative ideas to the Greenville community in 2010. Not only did the company publish an updated Vision 2025 report that highlights the progress on local area projects, it also released two studies that explored the Greenville community’s feelings towards learning and education and, separately, how many college students in SC planned to leave or stay in the state after graduation and why. The organization sold out its 11 Momentum Series events, one of its most successful forums about community issues, and its popular Pecha Kucha events. Greenville Forward has also gained a phenomenal social media presence online, including over 1,000 Twitter followers.
Dr. Courtney Tollison
Upcountry History Museum
As both an associate professor at Furman University and Museum Historian for the Upcountry History Museum, Tollison has made tremendous efforts to preserve the history of the Upstate. Recently, her exhibit “Weaving Our Survival: Upcountry South Carolina and World War II” won the top exhibit award for the Southeast at the 2010 Southeastern Museums Conference. Her documentary “Threads of Victory: Upcountry South Carolina During World War II” won a national award from the American Association for State and Local History and has been placed in every social studies and history classroom in Greenville County, and aired on SCETV. In addition, her book on WWII and the Upcountry is the first published history of any area in SC during WWII.
Brad Wyche leads Upstate Forever (UF), a growing non-profit organization dedicated to land preservation and sustainable growth throughout the Upstate. Since its inception, Upstate Forever has preserved more than 14,200 acres of farms, fields and forests, and plans to preserve an additional 100,000 acres in the next ten years. Currently, UF is promoting the removal of a third dam on Twelve Mile River which will allow it to be restored to its free-flowing nature; this push is accompanied by UF’s involvement in ridding both Twelve Mile River and Lake Hartwell of PCB contamination. A life-long champion of environmental education and protection, Wyche currently serves on the Governor’s Climate Change, Energy and Commerce Advisory Committee.
Darrin Goss and Ted Hendry
United Way of Greenville County
Under the direction of executive director Ted Hendry and vp for Community Impact Darrin Goss, the United Way of Greenville County made a big impact in 2010 with the implementation of the Financial Stability hub. The organization was awarded a $287,000 federal grant to place 27 AmeriCorps members in approximately 30 community agencies that will assist people with income tax preparation, first-time home purchases, graduation from high school and obtaining additional financial resources for working families. They are forming partnerships on the state level with agencies like the Department of Social Service sand Workforce Investment to leverage resources and build better systems of non-profit collaboration for efficient and effective client outcomes.
PEOPLE TO WATCH IN 2011
John Castile was appointed Greenville’s city manager earlier this year. In addition to closing the fiscal year with a $1.6 million surplus, Castile is most noted for his leadership role in Main at Broad and the completion and opening of the Greenville Downtown Courtyard Marriott.
Public Education Partners executive director Grier Mullins led her staff in developing the “Enough is enough!” rally in April 2010. As part of a state-wide campaign, Mullins collected more than 500 cards from rally participants, and an additional 1, 500 from the Greenville community that were sent to state legislation asking to prevent further funding cuts in public education, oppose new mandates and find new revenue outlets to increase school funding. Mullins is a devout supporter of public education and actively engages with the community to revolutionize commitment to public education in Greenville.
Under the direction of Don Oglesby, Homes of Hope has helped transform neighborhoods high in crime and poverty into assets to the city of Greenville. The organization’s most recent project, Kings View Pointe, brought 20 Charleston-style duplexes and seven new single family homes to a neighborhood in West Greenville formerly overrun with drug activity.
His passion for the arts and arts education has allowed Greenville Symphony Orchestra executive director Ken Johnson to successfully raise funds for Greenville Symphony Orchestra (GSO), a rare feat in the down economy. GSO was able to spend more than 10% of its annual budget this year on music education and appreciation programs.
Rodney Smolla became Furman University’s 11th president in 2010. He is a top American scholar on issues relating to freedom of speech, academic freedom and freedom of the press. The former Dean of Washington and Lee University School of Law is expected to lead Furman to an increasingly successful future.
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