Clean Air Upstate Announces New Grant Program Honoring Clean Air Advocate

    Upstate, SC [June 14, 2016] – Through a partnership with Duke Energy, Clean Air Upstate is pleased to announce the J. Dan Powell Electric Vehicle Charging Station Matching Grant Program. The program is named in memory of J. Dan Powell, who was a tremendous advocate for clean air in the Upstate and helped encourage Clean Air Upstate to pursue funding for electric vehicle charging stations prior to his passing in November 2015 after a courageous battle against lung cancer.

    There is a total of $15,000 currently available in the program to fund up to five EV charging stations across the Upstate region. Funds will be distributed on a first-come, first-receive, reimbursable basis for applicants that meet the program criteria and agree to install a free public accessible electric vehicle charging station in their community.

    The Clean Air Upstate air quality campaign was started in 2012 by the Upstate Air Quality Advisory Committee, which is coordinated by Ten at the Top and consists of stakeholder representatives from both the public and private sectors across the Upstate region. Through the Clean Air Upstate campaign, the Upstate Air Quality Advisory Committee has been working to educate Upstate residents, businesses, local governments and organizations on how to help reduce emissions across the region. In addition, the campaign has focused on specific voluntary emission-reducing initiatives to help lower the emission levels in the region.

    The J. Dan Powell Electric Vehicle Charging Station Matching Grant Program is the latest emission reduction effort initiated through the Clean Air Upstate campaign. Support of the DHEC Breathe Better No-Idling at Schools program has helped increase the number of Upstate schools participating in the program increase from 14 to 36. Clean Air Upstate also previously helped secure funds for truck stop electrification at the Pilot Gas Station in Duncan and for electric vehicle charging stations in Fountain Inn and Travelers Rest. In addition, a partnership with WSPA-TV, GSA Business, Duke Energy and Bon Secours St. Francis created a public awareness campaign that has been ongoing since 2013.

    “We are very pleased that this grant program is able to recognize the memory of a great community and clean air advocate,” said Dean Hybl, Executive Director of Ten at the Top. “Dan pushed our committee and many others at the local, state and national levels to continue pursuing all opportunities available to make our air cleaner.

    “This grant program will give local communities another level of support in their efforts to provide electric vehicle drivers with the local infrastructure needed to make using clean vehicles easier.”

    For more details about the Clean Air Upstate campaign and tips for how to make our air cleaner, please check out


    Ten at the Top Regional Bus Day Trips Continue, Next Stop Spartanburg County June 22nd

    Upstate, SC [June 7, 2016] – Ten at the Top (TATT) is continuing efforts to bring together leaders and residents from across the Upstate through the “Upstate Bus Tour… Getting to Know Your Neighbors,” a quarterly tour to communities across the region. The first stop of 2016 will be to Spartanburg County on Wednesday, June 22nd. The bus will leave from the TATT office in Greenville at 8:30 am and return by 5:00 pm and is open to anyone interested in learning more about the Upstate region.

    “The Upstate is full of special places that are working to grow their economic vibrancy while also enhancing the quality of life and educational opportunities for their local residents,” said Dean Hybl, Executive Director of Ten at the Top. “There is a lot of positive things happening in Spartanburg County and we are glad to be able to help showcase those initiatives through the regional bus tour.”

    Participants on the bus tour will spend a full day in Spartanburg County. Including stops at the North Spartanburg Sports Complex, driving tour of the revitalized Northside Community and in depth walking tour of Downtown Spartanburg. The group will also take a driving and walking tour through the Spartanburg Manufacturing corridor, including a tour of Kobelco and the Business Incubator at Spartanburg Community College Tiger River Campus.

    The day will also include lunch at The George featuring county education and business leaders. Allen Smith, President and CEO of the Spartanburg Chamber of Commerce, and Todd Horne, Vice President of Clayton Construction, will also share the Spartanburg Vision Project.

    This is a unique opportunity to learn about Spartanburg County in one action-packed, educational, and fun day. The tour is limited to only 33 participants and is filling quickly. The cost for the day is $25, including transportation, program, and lunch. Register today by clicking HERE or contacting Ashley Downing, at 864-283-2317 or Reservation deadline is June 20th.

    About Ten at the Top
    Comprised of public, private and civic leaders from across the ten-county Upstate South Carolina Region, Ten at the Top was created to build regional trust and encourage regional collaboration through data-driven research and regular convening of leaders and citizens to address key issues facing the region. Ten at the Top works with regional partners to foster collaboration and strategic planning to enhance the economic vitality and quality of life for Upstate residents both today and as the region continues to grow. For more information, visit


    How Are You Connecting?

    How Are You Connecting?

    Hank-McCullough-colorBy: Hank McCullough

    I have been giving a bit of thought to my connections across the Upstate. Through our work, family activities, kids activities, and spiritual life it is easy to see that there are many venues in which to share our ideas, thoughts, and concerns about our world.

    Through those interactions we find commonality and differences that have potential to benefit out larger community. Still I question whether we are involving the right people in our work toward a stronger, more prosperous region if we don’t move beyond the polarization and like growing counter productive like mindedness that greets us throughout the day in the latest blog or social media post.

    It is natural for us to operate within our own reality and comfort zone and I am certainly guilty of gravitating toward narrow mindedness at times.

    So I challenge you to think about making a connection outside the stream of your daily routine that is foreign and perhaps uncomfortable. In being inquisitive and vulnerable we broaden our perspective and our opportunity to positively impact the Upstate region.


    Hank McCullough