Young Professionals Gather for Fourth Annual PIQUE

    Ten at the Top hosted over 300 young professionals at the Greenville ONE Center on Monday for the fourth annual PIQUE: Young Leaders Elevating the Upstate, presented by ScanSource and emceed by WSPA-TV’s Jamarcus Gaston. From discussions about the spoken and unspoken generational differences in the workplace and the steps needed to take to moving up the career ladder, attendees were engaged, alert, and ready to ask their burning questions throughout the entire event. Following the wrap-up panel, young professionals enjoyed food and beverages thanks to Coffee Underground, Cribbs Catering, and Growler Haus as well as a live art demonstration by Clemson-based artist Peter Barry sponsored by the Melting Pot Music Society. (All photos courtesy of Bart Boatwright.)

    WSPA-TV’s Jamarcus Gaston welcomes attendees to the 4th annual PIQUE.

    Chunsta Miller, General Manager of the Anderson Mall, gave a presentation on Developing Executive Courage.




    Young professionals had the chance to talk with executives from a variety of fields in the Executive Networking Roundtables.


    Networking is a time for making new connections, but also finding a familiar face.

    Sessions were engaging and interactive, with plenty of audience participation.

    In a panel session on Moving up the Ladder, West Pelzer Mayor Blake Sanders (left), Leesa Owens, Director of Government and Community Relations at Michelin (center), and Dr. Jermaine Whirl, Vice President of Learning and Workforce Development at Greenville Tech (right) shared steps young professionals can make to prepare themselves for advancement.

    A Triumph for Greenville: Professional Soccer

    A Triumph for Greenville: Professional Soccer

    by Sharon Purvis

    In addition to baseball and hockey, sports lovers in the Upstate will soon have a new professional team to cheer for: The Greenville Triumph, part of the United Soccer League One.

    On Saturday, March 23rd at 11:30 a.m., soccer fans will have an opportunity to see the team play for free in a scrimmage against the Furman University team at Eugene Stone Stadium.

    Following the scrimmage, the first home game will be on April 6th, against the Lansing Ignite—and “home” for the home games is the Legacy Early College stadium on the west side of Greenville. The season lasts through early October, with the final home game being on September 27th against Orlando City B. Single game tickets are on sale now.

    League One soccer is roughly analogous to AA baseball, although not all teams are farm teams for the major league—some, like the Greenville Triumph, are independent teams that are unaffiliated with another team.

    As this is a new league, most of the teams, like Greenville, are playing in borrowed space for now, with some of the feeder teams playing temporarily at the major league soccer stadium, and a couple playing in baseball stadiums. There are currently ten teams in the league, with a couple of expansion teams in the works.

    Looking towards a permanent playing facility, the Triumph front office is looking at three or four sites, some closer to downtown, and some out in the suburbs of Greenville. “We’re hoping that sometime this year we can announce that a site has been selected,” says Doug Erwin, Chief Brand Officer for the Triumph.

    Until then, temporary stadium seating, much like what is used at golf tournaments, gives the Legacy Early College soccer field a capacity for about 4,000. While that won’t be left behind for the school, a new, permanent scoreboard will, along with some other amenities around the stadium.

    The team is committed to being involved in the community around Legacy, which is a somewhat underserved community within Greenville. Free soccer clinics in the neighborhood are one way of giving back to the community, giving those students some exposure to the game that they might not have had before, Erwin says.

    Recruitment for the team pulls from three groups of players: those coming straight out of college, those who have played professionally before and have either had their careers derailed by injury or decide to make the move to League One in order to increase their playing time, and international players who want an opportunity to play in the U.S.

    “The soccer world is one where coaches know where to find players,” Erwin says, and the Triumph’s recruitment strategy involved a smart coaching hire in head coach John Harkes. “Three or four of our players have played for our coach at his previous coaching posts.”

    “Much like with college athletic recruitment, you are recruiting to a place,” he continues, and the Upstate is attractive to players. There is one player on the team who is originally from the Upstate, but other than that, they come from all over.

    The team hopes to be an Upstate team, not just a Greenville team, Erwin says. With the ever-increasing popularity of soccer for kids of all ages, having a professional team in Greenville will give soccer fans all over the Upstate reason to cheer.

    Workshops and Speakers Announced for 2019 PIQUE  Young Professionals Summit

    Workshops and Speakers Announced for 2019 PIQUE Young Professionals Summit

    GREENVILLE, S.C.– Ten at the Top’s (TATT) fourth annual PIQUE: Young Professionals Elevating the Upstate Summit, presented by ScanSource, is set to include many regional business leaders for its workshops and roundtables. This event focuses on the collaboration and connection of young professionals (ages 21-40) in the ten counties comprising the Upstate community.

    “There are many dynamic young professionals as well as a number of young professional groups located here in the Upstate,” said Ten at the Top Executive Director Dean Hybl. “We started this event in 2016 as a way for young professionals from across our region to connect with each other and also with executives and community leaders who are engaged today in shaping the Upstate. The young professionals of today are the executives and decision-makers of tomorrow and PIQUE is a great annual opportunity for our young leaders to grow their engagement and connections around issues that are impacting the Upstate.”

    Event workshops will feature the following:

    Executive Networking Roundtables

    Young leaders have a thirst for knowledge, advice, and mentorship. This workshop will feature an interactive session of roundtable networking. Established business and community leaders (executives) from all sectors, regardless of age, will be invited to lead a discussion about how they got where they are, how they found what they needed to successful and the barriers they have overcome to reach success. Due to the popularity of this workshop, it will be offered during both workshop sessions.

    • Carol Burdette, CEO, United Way of Anderson County
    • Karen Burgess, Campus President, ECPI University
    • Tracey Boucher, Vice President, Supplier Service Networking & Security, ScanSource
    • Val Carolin, President & CEO, Salem Media Group
    • Chris Corley, Owner, Corley Plumbing Air & Electric
    • Roy Costner, Chairman, Pickens County Council
    • David Feild, Market President, Colliers International
    • Danielle Gibbs, Regional Director, U.S. Senator Tim Scott
    • Angelle LaBorde, President & CEO, Greenwood SC Chamber of Commerce
    • Hank McCullough, Senior Manager of Government Relations, Piedmont Natural Gas Company
    • Mark McKinney, General Manager, Cintas Corporation
    • Ken Peterson, Senior Director Human Resources, ScanSource
    • Laurie Rovin, Executive Director, A Child’s Haven
    • Allen Smith, President & CEO, Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce
    • Walker Smith, Director, Advocacy & Community Relations, Bon Secours St. Francis Health System
    • Paige Stephenson, President & CEO, United Way of the Piedmont
    • Brian Ziegelheafer, Executive Director, BGEN

    Developing Executive Courage
    Most young leaders aspire to reach the executive level within their careers, which takes courage and resilience along the way. In this workshop, Chunsta Miller, General Manager of the Anderson Mall, will share her 20 years of retail experience and journey to becoming an executive. Miller will discuss the challenges and opportunities she has dealt with at her current position and how she stays courageous when faced with tough decisions.

    Lions, Tigers, Millennials – Oh My!
    A panel consisted of a Baby Boomer (1944-1964), a Gen-Xer (1965-1979), and a Millennial (1980-1994) will be discussing the spoken and unspoken generational differences in the workplace. This group of professionals will focus on sharing the positives and negatives of working alongside other generations with the goal of learning that people may be more alike than they realize.

    Speakers are set to include:

    • Daja Dial, Marketing and Communications Manager, Oconee Economic Alliance
    • Stacey Flax, Senior Strategic Communications Coordinator, Renewable Water Resources (Re-Wa)
    • Barry Nocks, PhD, FAICP, Graduate Professor in City & Regional Planning, Clemson University
    • Moderator: Alex Moore, Director of Marketing and Communications, United Way of the Piedmont

    Moving up the Ladder
    Young professionals constantly think about the “next step,” whether that be a promotion, pay increase or increase of responsibility within the workplace. There is no right or wrong way to move up the career ladder, but steps can be taken to be ready for that next big opportunity. This panel will address the steps young professionals can take to prepare for moving up the ladder and flourishing within positions of higher leadership.

    Speakers are set to include:

    • Leesa Owens, Director of Government and Community Relations, Michelin North America
    • Blake Sanders, Planning & Projects Manager City of Easley/Mayor of West Pelzer
    • Jermaine Whirl, Vice President of Learning and Workforce Development, Greenville Tech
    • Moderator: Todd Horne, VP of Business Development, Clayton Construction

    Reading Between the Lines: Creating a Positive Conversation Within the Workplace
    Creating a culture of open and positive communication is a priority for employers. Miscommunication between bosses, peers, and subordinates can often be stressful for all parties involved and detrimental to overall productivity. This panel seeks to address communication challenges that often arise in the workplace and give tips on how all parties can work together to create a positive open dialogue.

    Speakers are set to include:

    • Chris Corley, Owner, Corley Plumbing Air and Electric
    • Madison Skinner, Human Resources Manager, ScanSource
    • Sharon Wilson, Director of Conscious Leadership Development in the Academy of Leadership and Professional Development, Prisma Health–Upstate
    • Moderator:Chad Lawson, Communications Manager, Spartanburg Water

    “Young professionals are entering the workplace looking for a culture of growth and development, volunteerism, collaboration, and inclusion,” said John Harvey, Vice President of Worldwide Human Resources at ScanSource. “Companies throughout the Upstate share these values, and through events like PIQUE, employees and regional leaders alike have an opportunity to come together from across county lines, learn about what’s working for neighboring organizations, and create a dialogue around how we can continue to make the Upstate such a great place to live and work.”

    Attendees will have the opportunity to choose their personal agenda between multiple workshops as well as coordinated networking opportunities to meet with an executive in their respective industry or interest area to discuss relevant insights and the attendee’s professional goals. PIQUE tickets cost $25 and may be purchased here. Advanced registration is required, and space is limited.

    The 2019 PIQUE Young Professionals Summit will be on Monday, March 25 from 1:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. at the Greenville ONE Center with a networking reception to follow, featuring live art demonstrations from various Upstate art professionals.

    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 connect 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

    Greer Streetscaping Project

    Greer Streetscaping Project

    by Savannah Higgins, Ten at the Top Intern

    Big changes are happening in Greer. One of South Carolina’s fastest growing cities is getting a major makeover. The project is known as “CenterG” for the synergy it will bring to Greer. Greer CPW has worked since the summer of 2017 to replace or rehabilitate sewer and water lines prior to the city’s work, giving much of the area known as Greer Station new underground utilities now.

    In a recent article from the city of Greer, Greer City Administrator Ed Driggers mentioned, “This is one of those projects that we do about every 75 to 100 years and it just happens to be the time to do it,” he continued to mention that, “It is aging infrastructure and it will be a very complex project on which we are partnering with Greer CPW. We’ve been working with our downtown merchants for a couple of years now, advising and preparing them for this.”

    In hopes of enhancing people’s experience downtown, the city is taking a design that is very unique. This new infrastructure will not be traditional—the design is called a shared street design. It has no curb and gutter and is a paver street rather than an asphalt street. Their goal is also to maintain two-way traffic for vehicles and pedestrian access in that area as well as parallel parking.

    The streetscape will be funded by city resources. The $10.8 million-dollar project will include a shared street design, brick pavers, landscaping, new curb and gutters, ADA accessibility, and new lighting on Trade Street.

    Matt Sossamon, Project Manager at Sossamon Construction Company, Inc., stated to Nickelle Smith of WSPA, “We’ve done a number of streetscapes throughout the Upstate —Daniel Morgan Square in Spartanburg, Fountain Inn, Abbeville, we’ve done a number of them.” He continued, “We understand the concern that the business owners have in the downtown and we’re going to do our best to minimize the inconvenience as much as possible.”

    The city of Greer is encouraging folks to follow the construction process at and is working to communicate that despite the construction, all businesses are open and we need to continue supporting them.