Urban Land Institute Fellow Ed McMahon to Speak on “The Economics of Uniqueness”

Upstate, SC [August 17, 2015] – Ten at the Top (TATT) will focus the third Our Upstate Vision Forum of 2015 on the topic of Growing Economic Vibrancy in Downtowns and Rural Communities. The September 22nd forum, to be held at USC Upstate in Spartanburg, will feature Ed McMahon, Senior Fellow for Sustainable Development with the Urban Land Institute (ULI), as the keynote speaker.

McMahon leads ULI’s worldwide efforts to conduct research and educational activities related to environmentally sensitive development policies and practices. He is also a senior staff adviser for ULI’s Building Healthy Places Initiative, and is a sought-after speaker and thinker on health and real estate.

McMahon’s presentation “The Economics of Uniqueness” will focus on the idea that communities who are not able to differentiate and distinguish themselves from others have no competitive advantage. The forum will also include presentations from the Lower Savannah Council of Governments and the town of Pendleton to highlight work being done to use built environment and community initiatives to increase vibrancy and sense of place to better set the region apart.

This forum is 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 is 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.

The forum is being held from 3:00-5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 22nd at USC Upstate – Sansbury Campus Life Center (800 University Way, Spartanburg, SC 29303) with a networking reception to immediately follow the forum. The cost to attend is $10 and advance registration is required. Register at www.tenatthetop.org. For more information call 864.283.2313.

Greenlink Transit will also be providing complimentary transportation for any interested guests to and from Greenville. The bus will depart from Greenville County Square (301 University Ridge, Greenville, SC) at 2PM and return at approximately 6:30PM.

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 www.tenatthetop.org.
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Ten at the Top to Host Forum on Innovation and the Changing Landscape of Healthcare

Upstate, SC [May 26, 2015] – Ten at the Top (TATT) will focus the second Our Upstate Vision Forum of 2015 on the topic of Innovation and the Changing Landscape of Healthcare. The June 2nd forum will feature the President and CEO of the South Carolina Hospital Association, Thornton Kirby, as the keynote speaker. In addition, the session will
include panel discussions focused on “Advances and Changes in Care Process” and “Innovations in Medical Sciences”.

Thornton Kirby has served as the President and CEO of the South Carolina Hospital Association since 2005. In that role he interacts with hospital CEO’s, physicians, state and federal legislators, agency heads, business leaders, and educators to represent our state’s hospital community.

The Upstate region is focused on being recognized today and into the future as a leading place for healthcare and innovation. Panelists who will share on some of the things happening across the region include:

Advances and Changes in Care Process:
Howard Einstein: Principal, Rosenfeld Einstein
Dr. David Isenhower: Chief Medical Informatics Officer, Self Regional Health System
Dr. Saria Saccocio: Chief Medical Officer, Senior Vice President/Medical Affairs, Bon Secours St. Francis Health System
Dr. Angelo Sinopoli: Vice President of Clinical Integration and Chief Medical Officer, Greenville Health System

Innovations in Medical Sciences:
Michael Bolick: Chief Executive Officer, Selah Genomics
Matt Gevaert: Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Kiyatec, Inc.
Dr. Melanie Thomas: Associate Center Director for Experimental Therapeutics, Gibbs Cancer Center

The forum is being held from 3:00-5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 2nd at The Crowne Plaza (851 Congaree Road, Greenville, SC 29607) with a networking reception to immediately follow the forum. The cost to attend is $10 and advance registration is required. Register at www.tenatthetop.org. For more information call 864.283.2313.

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 www.tenatthetop.org.
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Ten at the Top Forum on Transportation and Infrastructure To Feature Former Governor Ed Rendell

Upstate, SC [March 25, 2015] – Ten at the Top (TATT) will focus the first Our Upstate Vision Forum of 2015 on the topic of Transportation and Infrastructure. The April 9th forum will feature former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell to discuss how and why it is crucial for regions across the country to overcome the failure to act when it comes to investing in transportation and infrastructure.

After 34 years of public service, including 24 as an elected official, Governor Rendell continues to pursue many of the same issues he was passionate about while serving as Mayor of the City of Philadelphia (1992-2000) and Governor of the State of Pennsylvania (2003-2011). His commitment to making America a cleaner, more efficient place and to fostering investment in our nation’s crumbling infrastructure remains strong. Among his current endeavors, Governor Rendell serves along with former Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger as co-chairs of Building America’s Future, a bipartisan coalition of elected officials dedicated to bringing about a new era of U.S. investment in infrastructure that enhances our nation’s prosperity and quality of life.

The program will also include Greg DiLoreto, former chairman of the American Society of Civil Engineers, who will share some examples of communities across the country who are working collaboratively to address their transportation challenges. In addition, Keith Scott from Electric City Transit and Mark Rickards from Greenlink will provide a local view on transit opportunities and challenges here in the Upstate.

This is the first of the Ten at the Top/Our Upstate Vision Forums for 2015 and also is serving as the kickoff of a four-part Shaping Our Future Series that is being coordinated through a partnership that includes Upstate Forever, the Upstate SC Alliance, the Riley Institute at Furman University, the Greater Greenville Association of Realtors, Ten at the Top and other organizations, serving as partners for specific programs within the series, to look at issues impacting current and future growth in the Upstate.

The forum, which is open to the public, is being held from 3:00-5:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 9th at The Greenville Marriott (1 Parkway East, Greenville, SC 29615) with a networking reception to immediately follow the forum. The cost to attend is $10 and advance registration is required. Register at www.tenatthetop.org Registration deadline is April 7th. For more information contact Ten at the Top at 864.283.2313.

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 www.tenatthetop.org.

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Ten at the Top Announces 2014 Recipients of the Hughes Investments Elevate Upstate Community Vibrancy Grants

Ten at the Top Announces 2014 Recipients of the Hughes Investments Elevate Upstate Community Vibrancy Grants

Upstate, SC [November 17, 2014] – Ten at the Top (TATT), an organization created to foster collaboration, partnerships and strategic planning across the Upstate, has announced the 2014 recipients for the Hughes Investments Elevate Upstate Community Vibrancy Grants.

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There were five finalists chosen from a total of 22 applications that were submitted for the two grants available in 2014. Hughes Investments is contributing $10,000 per year to the program with two recipients each year receiving $5,000 to support a new vibrancy initiative in the Upstate.

During the Our Upstate Vision/Ten at the Top Forum on November 13th the five finalists provided a brief overview of their initiative. After all presentations were given, Phil Hughes, President of Hughes Investments and a member of the Ten at the Top Community Vibrancy Task Force, announced the two recipients of the grants.

The recipients are:

Let’s Keep Travelers Rest Beautiful – Before I Die Wall – The ‘Before I Die’ wall concept has been implemented all over the world to encourage healthy discussions regarding dreams and hopes. Travelers Rest will construct several different walls to spark discussion and actions across the community.

Main Street Laurens – Finally Friday on the Square – Finally Friday on the Square will be a monthly celebration of all things Laurens with live music hosted in the historic downtown.

“I was absolutely amazed by the number of great ideas submitted for the program. It was a real challenge to narrow the field from 22 applications to five finalists, to two winners”, said Hughes. “While we cannot fund all of the finalists, I would like to provide $1,000 to the other three projects in the hopes that this will allow your projects to come to fruition.”

The other three finalists that will each receive $1,000 towards their project are:

City of Gaffney – Unforgettable Gaffney – The Unforgettable Gaffney project will create a coherent and engaging system for communicating the esthetic and historic value of properties in two historic districts in the city.

City of Clinton – Rhythm of the Rails – Rhythm of the Rails will be an annual celebration to be held the last Saturday of April as a finale of the Celebrate Clinton Month.

Pickens Revitalization Association – Pickens Main Street Challenge – The Pickens Main Street Challenge is designed to attract new businesses into downtown Pickens by providing reduced rent in currently vacant storefronts.

“The Elevate Upstate Community Vibrancy Grants are a great opportunity to provide seed funds to help communities increase the vibrancy and sense of place within their community,” said Ten at the Top Executive Director Dean Hybl. “Phil Hughes has been a great champion of the community vibrancy task force since the beginning and the idea for the grant program was his.

“Last year he surprised everyone by presenting a third grant and this year he decided to give all of the other finalists $1,000 to help get their projects started. It just illustrates how committed he is to helping our local communities grow their vibrancy and sense of place”

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Ten at the Top Passes 400 Regional Engagements

Upstate, SC [October 27, 2014] – Ten at the Top (TATT), an organization created to foster collaboration, partnerships and strategic planning across the Upstate, recently conducted the 400th regional engagement (presentations, forums, meetings, surveys) since the organization began its current phase in January 2010. The activities have included more than 22,500 participants from across the Upstate region.

Ranging from issue-based task force meetings to presentations for community organizations or gatherings of hundreds of elected officials, community & business leaders and Upstate residents discussing key issues around the economic vitality or quality of life in the Upstate, each session has helped grow the spirit of collaboration and partnerships across the Upstate region.

The issues on which TATT has convened regional meetings and encouraged collaboration focus around the five driver areas of the Our Upstate Vision (which TATT developed through feedback from more than 10,000 Upstate residents). The specific topics on which TATT has convened meetings and forums include the value of education, supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses, senior issues, air quality attainment, water planning, transportation & infrastructure, workforce & skill development and local community vibrancy.

In September, Ten at the Top hosted its largest event, the Upstate Regional Forum, which brought together more than 800 leaders and interested residents from across the Upstate to look at where we have been as a region, where we are now and where we are going.

“Ten at the Top has strived to elevate the conversation about how working collaboratively across the Upstate region isn’t just a ‘good idea’, but is crucial if our local communities are all going to reach their full potential,” said current TATT Chairperson Carol Burdette. “Reaching 400 meetings and activities is significant because it illustrates that TATT is actively engaging stakeholders from across the Upstate to build regional trust and grow the capacity of the region to strategically address key issues that impact our economic vitality and quality of life.”

Ten at the Top was originally formed under the name Upstate Together in 2005 as an ad hoc regional committee with the goal of encouraging regional discussions on cross-jurisdictional issues. In 2009, the group hosted the Upstate Reality Check event that brought together more than 400 leaders from across the region. It was at that point that the name of the organization was changed to Ten at the Top and it was incorporated as a non-profit.

In 2009, Upstate leaders identified a lack of regional collaboration as a barrier toward future growth and success for the region. Of respondents to a survey conducted in advance of the September 2014 Regional Summit, 94% said that they believe regional collaboration is stronger today than it was in 2009, though 60% said it is still a potential barrier if we do not continue working to build regional capacity and partnerships.

The current work plan of community activities, meetings, forums and presentations began in 2010 following the hiring of Dean Hybl as executive director. Irv Welling served as the chair of Ten at the Top through 2011, followed by Neal Workman for 2012-2013 and Burdette for the current two year term. The board of directors includes more than 50 leaders from across the ten counties of the Upstate region.

Outreach Highlights:

• TATT has hosted three Regional Summits and nine Regional Forums on topics including: regional communications, senior issues, workforce & skill development, transportation & infrastructure and natural resources. The most recent summit, in September 2014, included more than 800 participants from across the Upstate.

• In partnership with other regional organizations, TATT has convened eleven Upstate Elected Officials Meetings that bring together city, county and state elected officials as well as business and community leaders to discuss key regional issues. Among the topics that have been addressed are: economic development, transportation, city/county/state/federal communications and water resources.

• Within the five driver areas of the our Upstate Vision (Human Potential, Economic & Entrepreneurial Vitality, Sustainable Growth, Natural Beauty & Resources and Community Vibrancy), TATT has convened meetings of stakeholders from across the Upstate on many topics including: identifying barriers to educational success, supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses, senior issues, air quality attainment, water planning, workforce & skill development, tourism and preventive health care.

• TATT helped facilitate the development of the first long-term regional transportation partnership in the Upstate between GPATS (Greenville-Pickens Area Transportation Study) and SPATS (Spartanburg Area Transportation Study).

• TATT convened the seven United Ways in the region in an effort that has led to a region-wide messaging campaign around early childhood education. This marks the first-ever region-wide partnership by all the United Ways in the Upstate.

• In partnership with the Barbara Stone Foundation, TATT convened the first meeting of organizations that work with individuals with disabilities and special needs. The result has been a year-long effort to enhance communications amongst organizations and to increase programs available for individuals with disabilities and special needs.

• In 2010 TATT held a community workshop in every county in the region. In 2013 it held four Community Vibrancy Workshops across the region. Presentations have been made to organizations in every county in the region.

TATT to Host Regional Forum on Cultivating a Knowledge Based Culture in the Upstate

Upstate, SC [May 5, 2014] – Ten at the Top, an organization created to foster collaboration, partnerships and strategic planning across the Upstate, will focus the first Our Upstate Vision Forum of 2014 on the topic of Cultivating a Knowledge Based Culture in the Upstate. The forum, which is free and open to the public, is being held from 3:00-5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 20, 2014 in the AT&T Auditorium at CU-ICAR (4 Research Drive Greenville, SC 20607). A networking reception will immediately follow the forum.

The overall theme for the 2014 Forum Series is “Destination 2030: Thinking BIG and BOLD About the Future of the Upstate.” Each forum will focus on a different topic and look at short, middle and long term opportunities that can help ensure that the Upstate in 2030 is universally recognized as a leader in that particular area. During this forum, we will explore the importance of creating a knowledge based culture in the Upstate.

The featured speaker will be Lynne Scott Safrit. Ms. Safrit serves as President of Castle and Cooke North Carolina and oversees the development of the North Carolina Research Campus as well as other real estate development opportunities in North Carolina. The North Carolina Research Campus is a research community of 300 scientists and support staff focused on treating and preventing the most prevalent diseases of our times including cancer, diabetes, obesity and Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers find connections and support by participating in associations like Catalyst, Faculty Staff, the Administrative Forum and the Cabarrus Chinese American Association. Ms. Safrit will discuss how the NC Research Campus has successfully created a knowledge based culture in a traditional mill community.

There will also be a group discussion, led by Dr. Tom Moore, Chancellor of USC Upstate, where the audience and subject experts will discuss some of the current initiatives in the Upstate and what can continue to be done to grow this culture.

The Our Upstate Vision Forum Series began in 2012 with TATT hosting forums across the Upstate on issues of regional significance. The series continues in 2014 with BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina serving as the Series Premier Sponsor.

There is no cost to attend the forum, but attendees are asked to register in advance at www.tenatthetop.org. Registration deadline is May 16th. For more information contact Ten at the Top at 864.283.2313.