Jacqueline Gilchrest, Greenwood Chamber of Commerce— The Greenwood Chamber of Commerce is actively promoting public transportation with a pilot vanpool program, working with Enterprise and Upstate Mobility Alliance. They are also working to address the urgent need for workers to fill openpositions, launching a new software programcalled JobsEQ, which lists all open positions in Greenwood County. They continue to plan job fairs including oneinJune. Upcoming is a HousingSummit, in partnership with Greenwood Together, to look at pocket neighborhoods to bring to the city. They recently held the annual Women’sLeadership UpstateConference with 200 women in attendance.
Alice Hodges, Meg’s House— The goal of Meg’s House is to respond to the emotional and physical needs of those experiencing domestic violence and chronic homelessness. They offer residential services (an emergency shelter with 26 beds), a 24/7 crisis line, legal advocacy, support groups/ counseling, homeless services, and a prevention program.
Save the Date!
TATT CHAT June 9, 2022 | 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Guest Speaker: Chad Hardaway from the University of South Carolina
Come out and join us at the BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by TD SYNNEX tournament taking place June 9-12 at Thornblade Club in Greer and The Carolina Country Club in Spartanburg. We will have a fun line up of celebrities ranging from professional athletes, actors, golf influencers, and musicians. Some of the celebrities attending include Country Music Artist George Birge as well as Country Pop Musician Jay DeMarcus from the Rascal Flatts, Comedian Larry the Cable Guy, Television Actors Andy Buckley and Brian Baumgarter from the Office, and Anthony Anderson from Black-ish, as well as Professional Boxer Canelo Álvarez, and LPGA Hall of Famer, Amy Alcott. So even if golf is not your thing, come out to see your favorite celebrities, and/or sign up to volunteer at the Carolina Country club!
The tournament will include many fun events for the community such as A Night with The Marshall Tucker Band presented by The Johnson Group in Daniel Morgan Square on Tuesday, June 7th. There will also be many other exciting events to engage with during and leading up to the tournament such as the First Tee of the Upstate Junior Golf Clinic presented by Pacolet Milliken at The Carolina Country Club driving range on Monday, June 6th from 4:00 until 7:00 p.m. The South Carolina Junior Golf Association Junior Golf Clinic presented by Pacolet Milliken on Tuesday, June 7th at 5:00 p.m at Thornblade Country club. As well as the Spanish Speaking Junior Golf Clinic presented by Pacolet Milliken at The Carolina Country Club driving range on Wednesday, June 8th at 3:00 p.m. Wednesday there will also be a Women’s Golf Clinic and Luncheon at The Carolina Country Club with Amy Alcott and Friends from 10:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m which will include all of the tournament’s female celebrities, a golf clinic, lunch, speakers, and lots of awesome local shops and vendors.
June 9th from 7:30-10:30 p.m. there will be a Thursday Night Shootout with live music and entertainment at 3’s Greenville Golf & Grill. And June 10th there will be the Friday Night Concert presented by MAGNA featuring Generation Radio: Deen Castronovo (Journey), Jay DeMarcus (Rascal Flatts) and Jason Scheff (Chicago) at Camperdown Plaza in Greenville.
If you are interested there are a limited number of VIP ticket experiences and sponsorship opportunities are available for purchase for the Tuesday, Thursday and Friday evening events and the Wednesday Ladies Clinic. Please visit www.bmwcharitygolf.com or contact the tournament office to reserve tickets or inquire about sponsorships.
All the funds raised during the 2022 BMW Charity Pro-Am will benefit our incredible five featured charities: Mobile Meals of Spartanburg, Roper Mountain Science Center, Cancer Society of Greenville County, Meyer Center for Special Children and Gibbs Cancer Center and Research Institute. The community is also invited to take part in the tournament’s annual Birdies for Charity program, which will continue to raise dollars by enabling individual donors to make a one-time flat donation or pledge one cent or more per birdie during the tournament.
We would love for you to come out and join in on all the fun community events, sign up to volunteer, and contribute to the incredible local charities that do so much for the Upstate area. To learn more about this year’s volunteer opportunities visit here or email email@example.com. To learn more or to purchase tickets to the 2022 tournament, visit BMWCharityGolf.com.
Since 1922 South Carolinians have been coming together to serve the Palmetto State through Lions Clubs, first in Columbia, Spartanburg, Orangeburg, Anderson, and Greenville, then in communities statewide. In 1925 their focus became vision and hearing services following Helen Keller’s challenge to be “Knights of the Blind” in the crusade against darkness at the International Convention in Cedar Point, Ohio. For over a century Lions have continued to help the blind and visually impaired in South Carolina and advocate for them at a time when public perception and prejudices viewed them as incapable, but there was a need to do more.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of South Carolina’s first Lions Clubs, including three in the Upstate: Anderson, Greenville, and Spartanburg. The Anderson and Spartanburg Clubs have announced plans to celebrate the milestone with a commemorative event in their respective communities. The Spartanburg Lions Club will host Lions Club International President Douglas X. Alexander of Brooklyn, New York at the 1881 Event Hall on Saturday, May 14, 2022. One of South Carolina’s own Upstate members is presently serving on the International Board of Directors, Dr. Dianne J. Pitts of the Greenwood Lions Club. The Spartanburg Lions Club is also home to Past International Director Dr. Eugene Spiess, who is a retired college administrator and instructor.
Through the years South Carolina Lions have helped respond to countless natural disasters by securing funding from the Lions Clubs International Foundation, managed an annual International Youth Exchange with students from dozens of foreign countries, provided hundreds of affordable eye surgeries to low-income families through their state charity known as Lions Vision Services, built a new accessible playground for the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind, funded two floors of the expanded Storm Eye Institute at MUSC to conduct research on blindness, provided tens of thousands of free vision screenings to South Carolina students, and conduct fishing tournaments and camps for the blind across the state, just to name a few.
Today Lions Clubs serve the community through programs addressing diabetes, the environment, hunger, vision, and childhood cancer. There are more than 3,000 Lions Club members and 124 Clubs across the state, which are part of a global network of more than 1.4 million volunteers worldwide serving in over 200 countries and geographic areas. Visit lionsclubs.org to learn more and to find the local Lions Club in your community today!
VisionGreenwood: Advancing Greenwood as a Community of Choice
VisionGreenwood is a community partner with a proven track record for providing leadership to enhance the quality of life in Greenwood through strategic long-term vision and collaborative community development initiatives. The non-profit, which evolved from the Foundation for a Greater Greenwood County, Inc., created more than 20 years ago to support the former Greenwood Partnership Alliance’s charitable operations. After thoughtful consideration, the board of directors rebranded the foundation last year to better reflect the organization’s purpose.
“By intent and design, VisionGreenwood continues to be a community partner that is focused on Greenwood’s future and its economic growth and development. We are more determined than ever to see that Greenwood emerges as one of the top living and working communities in South Carolina,” said Kay Self, Executive Director for VisionGreenwood.
What is now VisionGreenwood has invested more than $2.9 million into the community by supporting initiatives that provide economic prosperity and enhance the growth and success of Greenwood.
Vision: To make Greenwood the best community to live, work, and raise a family.
Mission: Providing leadership to enhance the quality of life in Greenwood through strategic long-term vision and collaborative community development initiatives.
Above all, VisionGreenwood exists to make Greenwood a community of choice.
What We Do
VisionGreenwood focuses on identifying opportunities and supporting community development initiatives that are not currently being met — championing solutions for the gaps and shortfalls. By leveraging the progress that has been made over the past 20 years with fresh ideas for the future, VisionGreenwood is working to ensure that Greenwood will continue to provide the quality of life and community vibrancy needed to attract and retain residents and businesses.
“Quality of life is the cornerstone of VisionGreenwood’s plan of work,” said Self. “We are committed to supporting the development of neighborhoods that provide entertainment, shopping, and dining, along with quality healthcare, world-class education, and employment – all necessary attributes for a thriving community.”
VisionGreenwood recognizes the importance of positioning Greenwood for continued growth. What is now VisionGreenwood funded the Buxton Retail Study in 2019 to support retail development in Greenwood. VisionGreenwood continues to pursue “matches” generated by the Buxton Retail Study and values its partnership with Uptown Greenwood.
Key Areas of Focus
To carry out its mission, VisionGreenwood’s Board has identified core areas of focus, all of which entail developing alliances, renewing plans, focusing on key opportunities, identifying resources, and investing in the community through distinct initiatives fueled by private-public collaboration. These focus areas are Technology and Innovation, Education, Community Development, Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Medical Innovation District and Site Option Agreements to support economic opportunities in Greenwood. Each area of focus has its own distinct initiatives.
Expanding Broadband Connectivity
VisionGreenwood is leading the way in closing the gap on digital infrastructure — a priority that the Greenwood community cannot afford to fall behind in an ever-changing global economy.
With the help of a dedicated Broadband Task Force, VisionGreenwood rolled out an initiative in 2021 to expand broadband connectivity to the rural and underserved areas in Greenwood County. This started with the introduction of a “Closing the Gap” Speed Test accessible from VisionGreenwood’s website. Real-time internet speed data is being collected from Greenwood County residents and VisionGreenwood continues to encourage residents from across the county to take the Speed Test. With enough data in hand, VisionGreenwood will be able to apply for state and federal grants to help fund local internet infrastructure improvements.
Expanded broadband capacity will foster technology innovation through educational outreach into the community. Broadband connectivity will provide rural entrepreneurship to flourish. Tapping into areas that have potential is where VisionGreenwood sees opportunities for entrepreneurism growth. The organization is deeply involved with Technology education.
Cultivating an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
In 2021 VisionGreenwood implemented a new entrepreneurial program called “The Brew” to bring new business ideas that will provide economic development opportunities for Greenwood. Part of a larger Upstate program developed to promote job growth through entrepreneurism, The Brew provides a venue for entrepreneurs, start-up businesses, and craftsmen to get community feedback about their business plans, challenges, and accomplishments. Some entrepreneurs already have something in motion, others are just thinking about starting a venture. VisionGreenwood launched the Greenwood chapter of “The Brew” in collaboration with Uptown Greenwood and the Greenwood Area Small Business Development Center.
The Brew is free and open to the public – and is ideal for networking. The Brew provides entrepreneurs a community platform to interact with the community. This builds interest, creates excitement, and also gives them visibility. Having a formal, established program provides a springboard for creativity.
“One idea may turn into something cool and unique. I want to see Greenwood tap into that creativity. The question is: How do we reach and encourage people who have ideas for a business or an invention to take that next step or leap of faith and turn their idea into a reality? Entrepreneurs create businesses that create jobs, that fill empty buildings and provide a strong tax base for our local government,” said Self.
Before launching The Brew last May, many conversations in the entrepreneurial ecosystem helped VisionGreenwood lay the foundation for the program. Now it’s a part of a regional program that includes Anderson, Greenville, Spartanburg, Greer. Since Greenwood’s launch of The Brew, community leaders in Laurens and Abbeville have started their own “Brews.”
Closing Education Gaps for Career Advancement
VisionGreenwood is leading several key educational initiatives that support career advancement opportunities in our community through partnerships. For example, the organization is partnering with SC Codes to serve as a partner site location, providing FREE coding classes and mentoring for those interested in exploring a career in programming.
Most recently, VisionGreenwood hosted an outreach program to 10th grade high school students to show how robotics, artificial intelligence and quantum computing will impact their futures.
VisionGreenwood is enhancing construction workforce education through a Tiny House project to address the critical shortage of experienced workers in nearly every tier of the construction industry. High school students are learning skilled trades by building a Tiny House with the goal of increasing the number of construction students at the G. Frank Russell Technology Center.
Additionally, VisionGreenwood is providing gap funding for “stop-out students” at Lander University to complete their degrees. These are students in good academic standing who have discontinued their education due to financial reasons.
Greenwood Genetic Center & SCBIO
Helping strategic partnerships continue to flourish is central to VisionGreenwood’s vision. From an entrepreneurial perspective, there is so much potential for growth in this arena.
VisionGreenwood is involved in helping the community capitalize on this competitive edge by continuing its support the Greenwood Genetic Center and by identifying opportunities through its relationship with SCBIO and other centers of influence in the life sciences.
How You Can Help VisionGreenwood Make a Difference
Last year, VisionGreenwood rolled out a refreshed website showcasing the many ways in which the organization is working to better the community. To learn more, visit www.VisionGreenwood.org and be sure to follow @VisionGreenwoodSC on Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn.
How’s Business…Really? – The Story Behind the Numbers
The “How’s Business…Really” series continued with The Story Behind the Numbers: Translating Numbers into Financial Goals, presented by Jerry Smith of Piedmont SCORE. This is part the 2002 virtual Upstate Entrepreneur Ecosystem Partner Workshop Series.
Jerry discussed what financial goals are, why business owners set goals, the importance of development a written plan, and covered setting up a start-up budget, sales forecasts, break-even analysis, profit and loss statement, balance sheet, and the importance of making a plan so that your goals drive your numbers.
The SC Small Business Development Center, the Women’s Business Center of CommunityWorks, and Piedmont SCORE are offering this series to provide tools and tips for you to assess the financial health of your small business. See previous workshops from the series below:
Workshop #1 – Show Me the Paper Trail! Identifying Important Financial Data with Ana Parra of Community Works Women’s Business Center – recap, video and presentation.
Workshop #2 – Numbers Don’t Lie – Organizing the Numbers with Earl Gregorich of SC Small Business Development Center – recap, video, and presentation.