Sean Dogan, Interim CEO of the Urban League of the Upstate
Guest Presentation—Sean Dogan, Interim CEO of the Urban League of the Upstate
Mission: advance equity by empowering black and other underserved communities through advocacy, education and economic stability
Organizational assessments with Stan Davis, helped map out where we were and next steps for where we’re going.
One of 90 affiliates of the national Urban League, HQ in NYC.
Represents Greenville, Spartanburg, Union, and Greenwood Counties
Right Step Juvenile Diversion—98% success rate
Project Ready—high school program to get students ready for college, work, and life
Level Up (foster care students)
21st Century Learning Center
Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program
affordable housing—financial education
We need more about law enforcement doing more – creating friendships and participating. Community policing. Also brought someone to them they would not have met otherwise. Click here for a video of a great example of community policing, with some help from basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal
Eliza Hart, Account Executive, Smoak Public Relations
by Eliza Hart, Account Executive, Smoak Public Relations
With the current circumstances surrounding COVID-19, we are without a doubt experiencing a different time and all businesses have had to pivot. The event world is no exception. COVID-19 has forced all events to come to a halt and determining the next steps has been a challenge.
We reached out to some of our friends in the event industry to gather different expert opinions on what they recommend to best help you move forward with your event. Please find the below pointers on how to navigate the event world during such a unique time.
Perspective from the event planner (Smoak Public Relations): As an event planner and account executive at Smoak PR, I suggest using this time to get organized, work ahead and make your event even better! For starters, reach out to your venue and hold several new event dates—request first right of refusal. With the status of COVID-19 ever changing, it is important to have more than one date option and to consider the possibility of a virtual event. The upside of having a virtual event is that you are able to keep your original date and stay connected with your attendees. In addition, you are saving on the majority of event expenses, such as food & beverage, rentals, event signage, and more. However, hosting a virtual event makes it more difficult for networking opportunities to occur and may also result in lower event attendance. You must be very creative if you are hosting a virtual event!
Perspective from the event rental company (Professional Party Rentals): Janice Mancuso at Professional Party rentals gave us some insight on what they are seeing from an event rentals standpoint. She shared, “With events coming to a stop it has resulted in most event rental companies temporarily shutting down. We are getting small orders here and there, but we are no longer running at full capacity. At PPR, sales representatives are only working one day a week; therefore, response time may be delayed. Be sure to stay organized and make a list of everything you need so you can limit the amount you are contacting vendors. It would also be helpful to visit our website, where you most likely will be able to find the answers to the majority of your questions. The website will give you a good idea of what items we have and hopefully provide some inspiration!”
Perspective from the caterer (Southern Way Catering): The general manager of Southern Way Catering, Mark McCalmont shared, “With event dates being rescheduled, we will be busy when things are back up and running; however, in the meantime we are taking a hit. COVID-19 has affected scheduling, food orders and staffing, so share updates with your caterer as soon as you can. Most people who order food to go are picking up from local restaurants rather than ordering meals through a caterer. Most caterers, Southern Way Catering included, have family meal options for any day of the week and especially options for holidays. Use this time to support your caterer and order food to go so you can sample different menu offerings. This is also a great time to check things off your list and finalize your menu and bar package.”
Perspective from the venue (Bon Secours Wellness Arena): According to Joe Dolan, assistant general manager at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena, “the live event, sports, and entertainment industry has been impacted significantly by COVID-19. Our industry was one of the first to cease operation after the spread of the virus, and will likely be one of the last to return as restrictions are lowered. Customer safety and security is at the forefront of every decision we make, so new best practices will be instituted to ensure each guest is comfortable enjoying the unique experiences our events have always provided. Our industry is familiar with adapting to protect our guests, and just as we did post 9/11 and in the age of violence against mass gatherings, we will overcome these new challenges to create a welcoming and safe atmosphere for fans of sports, events, and live music.”
by Karen Canup, MBA—Chief Operating Officer/Chief Financial Officer, Sherman College of Chiropractic
What happens when a “hands-on” education suddenly becomes impossible? Sherman College in Spartanburg, SC, faced this very question when the COVID-19 pandemic reached a critical point this March.
At Sherman College, the only chiropractic college in the Carolinas, adaptation is a frequent topic of discussion. Doctors of Chiropractic help patients achieve optimal health and function without drugs or surgery, using their hands to gently adjust the spine to facilitate health and healing. Because chiropractic takes a preventative approach to healthcare, the body’s ability to adapt to outside stressors and forces is a central concept.
So when Sherman College leaders made the difficult decision to move to a distance-learning format at the end of spring quarter, adaptation had to happen, and fast. The enormity of shifting an entire face-to-face curriculum to a distance learning model cannot be overstated, but we were determined to continue providing the same top-quality chiropractic education we always have.
Thanks to the college’s iPad initiative, the transition went as smoothly as possible. Launched in 2016, iSherman provides every student with an iPad loaded with tools for success—including video tutorials, e-books, course syllabi, and more—at no additional cost. While iPads and other learning technologies have been part of our classrooms for some time now, their use became key to our online transition this spring.
Sherman College-With school being taught on line, Elizabeth Hodges keeps up with her technique class at her home adjusting area watching a video by Dr. Mitzi. May 14, 2020. (John Byrum photo)
Under the guidance of the department of Teaching and Learning, the Sherman College faculty rallied, recording welcome videos, modifying course plans, creating learning modules, scheduling virtual office hours, and developing discussion boards. We issued iPads to our academic support staff members to facilitate online advising and coaching, and we also moved our counseling services online.
Students took the changes in stride. They organized study spaces at home, and they created schedules and time management plans to ensure their success. They kept their clubs going, and they continued to look for ways to help others by collecting food, making face masks, and connecting with seniors in local care facilities.
Sherman College staff adapted quickly to working from home as well. IT assessed needs, issued laptops, and created training programs, all while completing a successful website launch. We shifted our annual homecoming event to a fully virtual platform, which had never been done before, and attracted more than 600 attendees.
The college quickly designed virtual campus visits and created a video tour, as well as an online virtual orientation for new students. We developed an application for students to apply for aid through the CARES Act and assisted students with scheduling challenges. We also launched the Sherman Pride Student Emergency Fund and have since raised more than $30,000 to support students facing financial difficulties.
Because communications have been paramount during this time, we have shared COVID-related updates, developed a brand guide and several new publications, and initiated some lighthearted social media projects like story time with Sherman (employees reading their favorite children’s books) on Facebook and TikTok.
Dr. Princess Porter-Fowler leads a Palpation l class on campus on Tuesday July 28, 2020.
In mid-March, the college made the difficult decision to temporarily close its on-campus Chiropractic Health Center, which serves the Upstate with more than 25,000 patient visits each year. While closed, the Health Center created new safety procedures and ordered plenty of PPE and sanitizing supplies. Since reopening in June, the clinic has expanded its hours of service (Monday–Friday from 9–12 and 2–5) and has again begun welcoming new patients. The clinic maintains careful procedures to provide the safest environment possible for patients, students, and employees.
Sherman is currently operating at stage three of its four-stage reopening plan with safety, security, and student success at the forefront of all college actions. For summer quarter, we remain in a distance-learning module, but we have begun offering limited (and voluntary) live instruction on campus for certain hands-on courses. Fall plans (stage four) are being finalized as we continue to monitor state, local, and national recommendations, but Sherman aims to take a big step toward normal operations by increasing the number of face-to-face classes meeting on campus to about 50 percent.
So while these are indeed times of great uncertainty, Sherman College has chosen to embrace adaptation. Our successes have required flexibility, teamwork, patience and dedication. Despite the circumstances against us, we haven’t slowed down, and we are excited to continue caring for our local community and educating our country’s next generation of doctors of chiropractic. We look forward with great anticipation to what the future holds for Sherman College of Chiropractic as we approach our 50th anniversary in 2023.
Job Purpose: The mission of Ten at the Top is to foster collaboration and increase collective capacity across the 10-county Upstate SC region around issues that impact economic vitality and quality of life. The Outreach & Communications Coordinator is responsible for coordinating communication, marketing, and community & partner outreach for the organization. In addition, the Program & Events Coordinator will serve a supporting role around TATT events and community initiatives.
Minimum of five years of full-time work experience in a professional setting
Writing and editing proficiency
Experience with online newsletter tools and web site maintenance
Proficiency with Microsoft Office products (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher)
Familiarity with graphic design and desktop publishing tools
Attention to detail and the ability to produce quality work in a timely manner
Ability to manage multiple projects or initiatives at one time
Ability to work independently and accomplish tasks with minimal daily supervision
Strong organizational, customer service, and networking skills
Manage the content and development of TATT weekly & monthly electronic publications
Maintain and regularly update the TATT web site
Coordinate organizational content & outreach on all social media platforms
Build relationships with media, TATT partners and board members
Lead the development of in-house publications
Write business & community features, program summaries, press releases, and support material as needed
Serve as the primary media contact for the organization
Develop & implement an organizational marketing & communications strategy
Represent organization in a professional manner at meetings and community events
Availability to attend occasional early morning or evening events, as well as some travel across the Upstate
Coordinate outreach efforts, including networking events, special projects and one-time events
Full-time 40-hour per week salaried position
Salary Range: $42,000-$50,000 (depending on experience and background)
Benefits include company health insurance, paid vacation, cell phone stipend, and paid holidays
Applications will be accepted until position is filled
Interested candidates should send cover letter, resume, and writing/web site/newsletter samples to:
The InnoVision Awards, established in 1999, recognize innovators in six categories: technology development, technology integration, small enterprise, education, sustainability, and community service, in addition to a young innovators award. This year, in light of the pandemic and the surge of innovation it has produced, a seventh category has been introduced: COVID-19 response.
In a normal year, there are regional forums that culminate in an awards event in November—but this is not a normal year, so we asked Amy Robichaud, founding chair of InnoVision Awards, to tell us about how they are embracing this new world of virtual events.
Q: Your awards event is late in the year (November), which means you’ve had some time to anticipate changes you’ll need to make in order to honor your finalists and winners. Can you talk about how you’ve pivoted to a virtual format for your forums as well as the main event?
The pandemic accelerated innovation for us just as it has for many. The first challenge was presentation of our Forum Series, which has historically consisted of live, in-person events. We successfully transitioned to a live webinar series and changed the focus of the series to “Leadership Beyond the Crisis.” The series explores the challenges and opportunities presented by COVID-19 and the resulting successful pivots executed by some of our 2019 finalists and winners. The stories are impressive and instructive for any time of rapid change and cover numerous types of innovation across the entirety of business functions. (Click here to watch a video of Contec’s pivot story. Upcoming webinars will feature Humimic, Prisma Health and ZVerse.)
Transitioning to a webinar series has actually increased participation for the forum events. Time to travel to live events limited attendance and reach of forums of prior years. Also, we record these webinars and provide replays on our website, increasing the reach of the insights shared by the featured innovators.
Q: The awards event is the culminating event of the year. How are you approaching that in this environment?
Van Robotics was the 2019 InnoVision Award winner for their adaptive robot tutors.
We have been talking with long-time sponsors, former finalists and winners, and those who attended the awards event for the first time last year to understand the value of the experience to them. All left the event with high energy and enthusiasm, inspiration and encouragement, networking and new connections, and valuable connections within the InnoVision community.
We are working on creative approaches to facilitate targeted connections and “organic” virtual networking as naturally as possible—isn’t everyone? Fortunately, several of our board members are attending other virtual events within the next month, so we will have experienced a number of different networking approaches and can combine best practices.
I have often referred to the InnoVision awards event as “watching magic happen”—seeing former winners, board members, or finalists seek each other out after the event to learn more about their innovation, offer guidance or introductions, or talk about potential collaboration. We will likely have to do more homework and orchestrate introductions in advance of the event, but that again will increase the value of the InnoVision experience.
Q: Have you used this time to make other organizational and procedural changes, or to reach new audiences?
This crisis has accelerated change and innovation for all organizations, including InnoVision Awards. Holding virtual events enables us to reach a broader audience. One of our board members has taken on the charge of building our visibility and activity on social media to reach new audiences. In addition to visiting the InnoVision Awards website, you can now follow InnoVision Awards on LinkedIn, Facebook and EventBrite.
We are also collaborating with other local, regional and state organizations to build visibility of, and access to, available resources within the entrepreneurial and innovator ecosystem.
Q: You have a bit of a head start on taking your awards event to a virtual platform in that you already use well-produced videos to introduce the finalists, and those will translate well to an online event. Do you see other advantages to a virtual awards event?
You are so right. The finalists’ and winners’ videos are the backbone and highlight of the event. They provide the energy, the enthusiasm and optimism that everyone carries away with them.
The biggest advantage of a virtual awards event is the ability to deliver that energy, enthusiasm and optimism to a larger, more diverse, more far-reaching audience, and for a longer period of time—on demand.
With the barriers of travel, as well as cost to attend, now removed, students can “attend” and be inspired; a larger number of employees of the honored organizations can participate and celebrate; more family members can join in honoring the value and contributions made by their loved ones; and more communities can take pride in the accomplishments of their local businesses and organizations. The visibility and acknowledgement of the innovators and level of innovation within SC will be greatly increased.
Q: The program is really about the innovators, and innovation is going to be the thing that helps us to beat this virus and get us back to normal—or usher in a new normal. Can you talk about the new COVID-19 category that you’ve introduced this year?
We saw SC companies and organizations rising to the challenges and needs generated by this pandemic. The stories were inspiring and impressive. We wanted to acknowledge organizations that pivoted to assist our communities.
Knowing that the innovations might span a wide swath of needs, we created a COVID-19 Response Award and received close to 20 applications. The range of entries is wide and the independent judges, who reside outside of SC, will likely acknowledge winners in subcategories that could encompass research, new products or services, community support and education.