Ten Counties. One Upstate. Stronger Together

Our Upstate Vision Forums

The Our Upstate Vision Forum Series began in 2012 with TATT hosting forums across the Upstate on issues of regional significance.

Thank you to our Forum Premier Sponsor

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2017 Forum Series

April 27th - Building Global Fluency in the Upstate

Upstate Regional Forum: Building Global Fluency in the Upstate

Ten at the Top and Upstate International are co-hosting Building Global Fluency in the Upstate on April 27, 2017, at BMW Zentrum. The day will be broken up into two different components - Global Fluency Workshop (limited to 25 participants) from 10 am to 2 pm and the Upstate Regional Forum (networking reception to follow) from 2:30 to 4:30 pm.

Global Fluency is the ability to understand and collaborate across the complexities of language and culture. With nearly 600 companies representing 36 countries, the Upstate has long been recognized as a national leader in attracting and retaining international companies. This thriving global market is critical to the economic success and overall quality of life for the Upstate region.

Global Fluency allows a metropolitan area to maximize the benefits of globalization and minimize the negative consequences. The more global fluent the Upstate is collectively, the smoother the trajectory into the globalized economy to ensure success and sustainability. Maintaining a culture that is supportive of residents from all cultures is essential to the continued success of the Upstate.

Registration for the Global Fluency Workshop is $150 and includes 4-hour training, lunch, and admission to the Upstate Regional Forum and Networking Reception. Brad Gosche, Senior Director at the Global Fluency Institute in Columbus, Ohio, will lead the Workshop, which is a premier training resource for professionals of all trades and backgrounds. Global Fluency Training develops cross-cultural competence and provides tools for effectively and successfully working across cultures. Register here.

Admission into the Upstate Regional Forum is $10 per person. The Forum will look at the Global Economy in the Upstate and how the region is developing a culture that embraces Global Fluency. Brad Gosche will serve as the keynote speaker and also be joined for a panel discussion by Upstate leaders who are among those building Global Fluency in the region such as Reid Lohr, Senior Managing Director of the EDI Group, and Susan Simmons, Director of Career Management Worldwide for Michelin. Register here.

Sponsorship opportunities are available. Click here for pricing and benefits. If interested please contact Megan Zapf, Partner Relations & Communications Manager, at mzapf@tenatthetop.org or (864) 283-2317. Thank you for your interest!

May 25th - Shaping Our Future

Upstate Regional Forum: Shaping Our Future

Ten at the Top, Upstate Forever, and The Riley Institute at Furman University will report on the Shaping Our Future Consortium on May 25, 2017, from 2:30 to 4:30 pm (networking reception to follow) at BMW Zentrum.

2016 Forum Series

April 26th - The Upstate's Untapped Workforce

Our Upstate Vision Forum: The Upstate's Untapped Workforce

With a growing economy, the Upstate region is now facing the potential reality of not having enough of an available workforce to meet employee needs. This dilemma calls for collaborative efforts to ensure that some of the previously untapped and underutilized groups of potential employees are identified and engaged. These include veterans, individuals with some type of disability, and people with nonviolent criminal backgrounds.

The Our Upstate Vision Forum on April 26, 2016 looked at how the Upstate can and is working to tap into this important labor pool. The primary focus was on individuals with disabilities. There were also representatives from multiple underutilized workforce groups in attendance and available to provided material on the various workforce opportunities currently available in the Upstate.

Keynote Speaker, Randy Lewis, former Senior Vice President of Logistics and Supply Chain of Walgreens lead this revolutionary model of employment inclusion. Lewis will discuss why Walgreens is viewed by many as the global leader in hiring people with disabilities.

Visit Ten at the Top on YouTube to watch the forum in its entirety.

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November 29th - Celebrating Successes

Our Upstate Vision Forum: Celebrating Our Successes - Great Things Happening in the Upstate

While it is critical to look at areas where we must continue to work to make the Upstate an even better place for generations to come, it is also important that we take opportunities to recognize and understand some of the great things from our past and that are happening today in our region.

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Each year, the final Our Upstate Forum provides a chance to celebrate some of the people, organizations and businesses that have been working for generations to make the Upstate a special place. Please click here to view of list of Upstate businesses and organizations celebrating anniversaries.

During the forum Hughes Investments ELEVATE UPSTATE Community Vibrancy Grant finalists gave presentations and winners were awarded at the end of the forum. To view who won the 2016 ELEVATE UPSTATE grants please click here.

During the forum Ten at the Top also recognized the twenty individuals who volunteer their time to chair a task force or committee. These individuals devote their time and expertise to Ten at the Top in order to further the organization's mission and ensure the Upstate is a great place to live, learn, do business, and raise a family. Please click here to view a list of currently serving task force and committee chairs.

To view videos of the entire forum please visit the Ten at the Top YouTube channel.



The Welling Award for Regional Collaboration

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The Welling Award is given to recognize individuals, businesses, or organizations whose actions have demonstrated a sustained commitment and effort to developing and fostering regional collaboration(s) that work strategically to make the Upstate one of the best places to live, learn, do business, and raise a family. Previous recipients include: Erwin Maddrey, GSP International Airport, Bobby Hitt, and Phil Hughes.

The 2016 Welling Award was given to two recipients: Minor Mickel Shaw and Dean Hybl. To learn more about the award and the recipients click here.



Burdette Leadership Award

Given in recognition of Carol Burdette, the first female chairperson of Ten at the Top, the Burdette Leadership Award is given to a woman who serves and leads in the Upstate.

The inaugural Burdette Leadership Award was given to Minor Mickel Shaw.

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2015 Forum Series

April 9th - Overcoming the Failure to Act: Investing in Transportation & Infrastructure

As the Upstate region continues to grow from 1.4 million residents today to a projected 1.62 million in 2030, ensuring proper transportation and infrastructure that supports business and employment growth while continuing to get people and freight from place to place is crucial.

Like many areas across the country, the Upstate region has struggled with the challenges associated with maintaining and improving transportation and infrastructure programs. How to Overcome the Failure to Act is a topic being debated not just here in South Carolina, but in communities all over the country.

During the first Our Upstate Vision Forum of 2015, Ed Rendell, the former two-term Governor of the State of Pennsylvania and co-chair of the national organization Building America's Future, provided insight into why it is crucial to move past the politics and work collaboratively to ensure that South Carolina and the rest of the United States is positioned to maintain and grow its place as a global economic power.

The forum also included a presentation from the American Society of Civil Engineers focused on the benefits of investing in a robust multimodal infrastructure network, including roads, bridges, and public transportation, and the ramifications of not doing so. Completing the program were examples of current Upstate efforts that are working to reduce traffic congestion and support transportation programs in the region.

This Regional Forum is also served as the first in the Shaping Our Future Speaker Series, a regional collaboration between Ten at the Top, Upstate Forever, the Riley Institute at Furman University, the Greater Greenville Association of Realtors, and the Upstate SC Alliance. The goal of the series is to inspire dialogue regarding the connections between land use decisions, transportation options, housing choices and quality of life.

Watch Rendell's Presentation Here

Visit Ten at the Top on YouTube to watch the forum in its entirety.

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June 2nd - Innovation and the Changing Landscape of Healthcare

The Upstate is fortunate to have a number of nationally recognized health systems that provide Upstate residents with valuable services that promote personal health. In addition, as the landscape around providing health services has changed, providers and local communities across the Upstate have developed innovative mechanisms designed to help make it easier for all residents to receive needed health services and participate in innovative programs designed to support personal health.

During the Second Our Upstate Vision Forum on we heard from Thornton Kirby, President & CEO of the South Carolina Hospital Association to learn about the changing healthcare landscape and how those challenges are being addressed across South Carolina. We will also learn about some of the innovative programs being initiated here in the Upstate focused on ensuring that this region is recognized both today and into the future as a leading place for health care and innovation.

Watch Kirby's Presentation Here

The program included subject experts providing insight on two key components that include:

Advances and Changes in Care Process

Moderated by Jim Shew
Dr. Angelo Sinopoli - Greenville Health System
Dr. David Isenhower - Self Regional Health System
Dr. Saria Saccocio - Bon Secours St. Francis
Howard Einstein - Rosenfield Einstein

Watch the panel discussion Here

Innovations in Medical Sciences

Moderated by Angel Rodriguez
Dr. Melanie Thomas - Gibbs Cancer Center
Michael Bolick - Selah Genomics
Matt Gevart - Kiyatec

Watch the Panel Discussion Here

Thornton Kirby Panel 1

September 22nd - Growing Economic Vibrancy in Downtowns and Rural Communities

The third Our Upstate Vision Forum of 2015 welcomed Urban Land Institute fellow Ed McMahon. McMahon's presentation "The Economics of Uniqueness" focused on the idea that communities who are not able to differentiate and distinguish themselves from others have no competitive advantage.

Watch McMahon's presentation Here

Download McMahon's presentation by clicking on the images below. The presentation is broken into three parts.
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Jennifer Tinsley from the Lower Savannah Council of Governments discussed the sustainable growth strategies in rural Orangeburg County. See Tinsley's presentation Here

Download Tinsley's Presentation by clicking on the image below.
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The forum also featured a presentation from the Mayor of Pendleton, Frank Crenshaw. Pendleton is celebrating its 225th year in 2015. Watch as the Mayor discusses the great things happening in Pendleton Here

Download the Pendleton presentation by clicking on the image below.
Pendleton Presentation powerpoint - Ten At The Top






This forum was a part of the Shaping Our Future Speaker Series in partnership with Upstate Forever, Ten at the Top, the Riley Institute at Furman University, the Greater Greenville Association of Realtors and the Upstate SC Alliance. The goal of the series is to inspire dialogue regarding the connections between land use decisions, transportation options, housing choices and quality of life. This was also the third event in Upstate Forever's 2015 Active Living Event Series sponsored primarily by the Mary Black Foundation. The series is designed to encourage community dialog about policies and infrastructure to support active, healthy communities.

Miss the forum, check out the Highlights

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November 19th - Celebrating Successes: Great Things Happening Across the Upstate

The first three sessions of the 2015 Our Upstate Vision Forum had specific focus on the issues of transportation, healthcare and economic vibrancy in local communities. The series looked at issues that are crucial as the region strives to be universally recognized as a leading place to live, learn, do business and raise a family.

While it is critical to look at areas where we must continue to work to make the Upstate an even better place for generations to come, it is also important that we take opportunities to recognize and understand some of the great things from our past and that are happening today in our region.

For the final Our Upstate Forum of 2015 we celebrated some of the people, organizations and businesses that have been working for generations to make the Upstate a special place.

The forum also included recognition of companies and organizations celebrating Milestone Anniversaries (20 years or more) in 2015. Ten at the Top also announced the recipients of the 2015 ELEVATE UPSTATE Grants.

Check out the highlights Here

Visit Ten at the Top on YouTube to watch the forum in its entirety.

Click below for presentations:
Ten at the Top Presentation 11-19-15 2015 Elevate Upstate Grant 5 Finalists Feed&Seed Presentation






The Welling Award for Regional Collaboration

The Welling Award is given to recognize individuals, businesses, or organizations whose actions have demonstrated a sustained commitment and effort to developing and fostering regional collaboration(s) that work strategically to make the Upstate one of the best places to live, learn, do business, and raise a family. Previous recipients include: Erwin Maddrey, GSP International Airport, and Bobby Hitt

The 2015 Welling Award recipient is Phil Hughes for his incredible dedication to making the Upstate great. Congratulations, Phil!

Welling Award with Phil Hughes











2015 Anniversarys Marriott Giveaway - recipient gifted to Laurie Rovin with Pendleton Place 2015 Elevate Upstate Grant Recipients Neal, Irv, Carol, Hank