Connecting Our Future Idea Exchange on March 19th

By Dean Hybl, Executive Director, Ten at the Top

As the next step of the Connecting Our Future initiative to develop a regional vision and actionable strategies for enhancing mobility, transportation and connectivity across the 10-county Upstate region, Ten at the Top is inviting interested stakeholders to share their ideas during the Connecting Our Future Idea Exchange. The workshop is being held on Monday, March 19th from 1:30-4:30 pm at the Michelin Conference Center (517 Michelin Road, Building 18, Greenville, SC 29605).

Born from the Shaping Our Future Growth Scenarios Analysis, Connecting Our Future was launched last fall as a collaborative effort to bring together the various organizations, businesses and local governments who have been working individually on some component of moving people and goods across the Upstate. The Connecting Our Future partners have contracted with Kimley-Horn to create a regional vision and actionable strategies to enhance current and future mobility in the region.

The Connecting Our Future Idea Exchange will be an opportunity for interested residents and community leaders to share their ideas and insights around a number of topics related to mobility in the Upstate. The topic areas include: commuter travel, bicycle & pedestrian, transit, freight movement, workforce access, strategic infrastructure, land use & development and innovation & technology.

“When we first convened stakeholders around transportation and mobility, it was quickly recognized that everyone is working on important elements of moving people and goods across the region, but that most work was being done in a vacuum when in actuality there was an opportunity and need for greater connectivity and collaboration,” said Dean Hybl, Executive Director of Ten at the Top. “The ultimate goal of Connecting Our Future is to increase access to transportation, reduce congestion and improve connectivity across the Upstate. However, without a clear vision and actionable regional strategies, we would continue to struggle to create clarity and synergy on how to accomplish those goals.

“The Idea Exchange on March 19th is an important step in the process as we want to hear and understand the ideas and concerns of stakeholders from across the Upstate,” Hybl added.

Michelin is serving as the host for the Idea Exchange and is one of four Steering Level partners for Connecting Our Future. The others are Duke Energy, Hollingsworth Funds and the Jolley Foundation. In addition other businesses, local governments and non-profits have come together to support this regional initiative. A full list of the coalition partners as well as more details about the entire initiative can be found on the Connecting Our Future website, www.connectingourfutureupstatesc.org. The final vision and strategies, along with next steps, will be unveiled later this summer.

The Connecting Our Future Idea Exchange is a free event, but advanced registration is requested. For more details and to register, please go to www.connectingourfutureupstatesc.org or www.tenatthetop.org.

Ten at the Top Announces New Programming Managers

GREENVILLE, S.C.— Ten at the Top is pleased to announce the addition of two new staff members, Adelyn Nottingham and Dewey Evans, both of whom will serve as Program Managers for the organization. Ten at the Top is a nonprofit organization focused on promoting collaboration and strategic planning across the Upstate region.

Adelyn joins the TATT team after working for The Haven Homeless Shelter in Spartanburg, South Carolina. She previously served as in the Americorps Vista program through the United Way of the Piedmont working specifically with the Know(2) Program in Cherokee County. Due to her experience in enhancing the quality of life for community members, her efforts will focus on Human Potential, specifically on The Pique, a young professional development initiative, as well as issues facing Upstate seniors. She is also serving as the lead program manager for the Connecting Our Future Transportation, Mobility and Connectivity initiative. Originally from West Virginia, she now makes her home in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Dewey will coordinate the efforts around Economic & Entrepreneurial Vitality, Sustainable Growth and Community Vibrancy. These areas will focus on improving the Upstate’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, encouraging responsible future growth and embracing the cultural heritage of the Upstate. He comes to TATT with a strong desire to make an impact in the economic and community development arena and is excited to contribute to the Upstate’s regional development strategy. A graduate of Appalachian State University and Pickens High School, Evans currently resides in Easley, South Carolina.

“To ensure that Ten at the Top is appropriately structured to continue accomplishing our mission to build the collective capacity of the region around issues that impact economic vitality and quality of life, we felt it was important to focus as much of our staff resources as possible around our programs and initiatives,” Dean Hybl, TATT Executive Director, said. “Thus, we are doubling our staff of program managers and are very fortunate to have two young professionals with a familiarity for the region as well as a passion for making the Upstate a better place to live, learn, do business and raise a family.”

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.

Sue Schneider Leads New Officers for Ten at the Top

Sue Schneider Leads New Officers for Ten at the Top

Sue Schneider, Spartanburg Water

GREENVILLE, S.C.—Sue Schneider, the Executive Director of Spartanburg Water, has been selected as the 2018-2019 Board of Directors Chair for Ten at the Top (TATT). Schneider joined the Board of Directors in 2012 and previously served as the Vice Chair. She follows Hank McCullough of Piedmont Natural Gas, who was the 2016-2017 Chair and will serve as Immediate Past Chair.

Terence Roberts, the Mayor of Anderson, is moving from his role as Board Secretary to Vice Chair. Roberts is also a founding Board Member for Ten at the Top.

Pamela Christopher, the President of the Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce, is assuming the Board Secretary/Treasurer role. Christopher joined the Ten at the Top Board of Directors in 2015.

John Verreault from T.D. Bank and David Feild from Colliers International are serving as Development Co-Chairs. Verreault has been a Ten at the Top Board Member since 2014 and Feild joined the board in 2016.

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.

Becky Campbell and Carol Burdette Receive Regional Awards at Celebrating Successes Brunch

Becky Campbell and Carol Burdette Receive Regional Awards at Celebrating Successes Brunch

Upstate, SC [November 21, 2017] – During Ten at the Top’s Celebrating Successes Brunch presented by Fluor on Thursday, November 16, Dr. Becky Campbell, former Region 1 Health Director at South Carolina DHEC, and Carol Burdette, Chief Executive Officer at the United Way of Anderson County, respectively received the Burdette Leadership Award and the Welling Award for Regional Collaboration.

This marks the second year of the Burdette Leadership Award and is given in recognition of Carol Burdette, the first female chair of Ten at the Top. It honors women who have both served and led across the Upstate. The Welling Award for Regional Collaboration, named after Ten at the Top founding board member Irv Welling, recognizes individuals who have demonstrated longstanding involvement in encouraging collaboration across jurisdictional and stakeholder boundaries. Last year Minor Michel Shaw was the recipient of both awards. Other previous recipients of the Welling Award include Erwin Maddrey, Phil Hughes, GSP International Airport, Dean Hybl, and Bobby Hitt.

In addition, Ten at the Top recognized companies and organizations celebrating milestone anniversaries in 2017 by issuing a celebratory toast sponsored by Blue Ridge Electric Co-op during Thursday’s event. These companies and organizations are an integral part of the Upstate’s rich history and have each played a role in making our regional community a great place to live, learn, do business, and raise a family.

Celebrating Successes is an annual event as part of the Our Upstate Vision Forum Series presented by BlueCross and BlueShield of South Carolina. Ten at the Top hosts public forums and events across the Upstate on issues of regional significance with the overarching goal of building consensus, encouraging regional thinking, and enabling leaders to set aside parochial priorities in order to address critical challenges and visualize opportunities for the future.

Ten at the Top to Host Celebrating Successes Brunch presented by Fluor on Thursday, November 16th

Upstate, SC [November 6, 2017] – Ten at the Top (TATT) is hosting the Celebrating Successes Brunch presented by Fluor on November 16, 2017, from 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Greenville Marriott. Registration will open at 11:00 a.m. with networking and coffee. The event is part of TATT’s annual Our Upstate Vision Forum Series presented by BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina.

During the Celebrating Successes Brunch, attendees will hear from each of the finalists for the Hughes Investments ELEVATE UPSTATE Community Vibrancy Grants. After the presentations the recipients of two grants of $5,000 each will be announced. Additionally, Upstate companies and organizations celebrating milestone anniversaries in 2017 will be recognized in a special fashion and both The Welling Award for Regional Collaboration and The Burdette Leadership Award will be presented.

“The goal of the ELEVATE UPSTATE program is to get communities thinking about what types of initiatives or programs might help spark vibrancy within their area and then provide seed money to get some of them started,” said Hughes Investments President Phil Hughes. “In the four years we have done this program, I have been amazed by the great ideas and passion for communities across the region to grow their vibrancy and sense of place.”

Tickets are $35 each and can be purchased online by visiting www.tenatthetop.org. The Celebrating Successes Brunch is made possible thanks to the generosity of Fluor Corporation, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, Greenville Health System, JHM Hotels, Piedmont Natural Gas, Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative, Denny’s, GSP International Airport, Laurens Electric Cooperative, Maddrey & Associates, Spartanburg Water, SynTerra, Upstate Workforce Board, John & Charlotte Verreault, GSA Business Report, and 94.5 The Answer.

To register or to find out more information, please visit. www.tenatthetop.org.

About Ten at the Top
Comprised of public, private and civic leaders across the ten-county Upstate South Carolina Region, Ten at the Top was created to build regional trust and consensus 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 encourage quality growth and enhance the economic vitality, natural and cultural resources and quality of life for Upstate residents both today and as the region continues to grow. www.tenatthetop.org.

Time Is Now For Addressing Mobility and Connectivity in the Upstate

Time Is Now For Addressing Mobility and Connectivity in the Upstate

By Dean Hybl, Executive Director Ten at the Top

Whether hosted by Ten at the Top or another Upstate organization, over the last eight years I have participated in many events and meetings to discuss various issues that are impacting current and future growth in our region. Most of the time I leave feeling like it was a good use of my time and quality discussion, but knowing that the primary outcome will be more meetings and more discussions as part of a long process to enact change in the Upstate.

I had a very different feeling throughout the October 18th Connecting Our Future Kickoff event. Instead of being another event where the general mindset is that we have 20-30 years to strategically address our issues, there was a very different tone and sense of urgency cast by speakers and participants.

Whether related to an increase in traffic congestion on many of our roads, growth in previously undeveloped areas, potential disruptive technologies that have the ability to radically change how we think about transportation, that we have jobs going unfilled because we have potential workers who don’t have access to dependable transportation, or perhaps all of the above as well as several other factors, the message throughout the event was very clear, we have to move from discussion to action and do it now.

So, the key question is what do we do and how do we do it?

According to Carla Bailo, who was our keynote speaker and has been active in efforts to advance transportation and mobility in Columbus, Ohio, one key component is to have a business community that is willing to not only talk about how to move forward, but will also invest in making it happen.

Columbus recently received a $40 million Smart Cities grant from USDOT. Through public-private investment they have parlayed that grant into nearly a half a billion dollars in funding and in-kind support that eventually should turn Columbus into a model for using smart technology to move people and goods across a region.

In the Upstate, groups like Ten at the Top, the Upstate SC Alliance, Upstate Forever, the Riley Institute at Furman, the Upstate Chamber Coalition and many others have spent the last decade working to cultivate a spirit of collaboration and regionalism as we look at how to tackle major growth issues.

In addition, our region is fortunate to have Clemson’s International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) actively engaged in understanding and developing the future technologies that will forever change mobility. We also have companies including BMW, Michelin and many others who are major players in shaping the transportation future for our country and world.

With so many positive assets, it is imperative that we leverage them in a way that positions the Upstate for success around mobility and moving people and goods.

For many years, a common mantra in the Upstate has been “we don’t want to be Charlotte and we don’t want to be Atlanta” when talking about sprawling growth, traffic congestion and increased pollution. However, most of our current policies and investments around those issues are actually pushing us in the Charlotte or Atlanta direction instead of towards something else.

If we truly want to be a region where all residents can easily and affordably get from place to place and we do not have the negative impacts of sprawling growth and congestion, then we have to decide collectively what we want and how we are going to work together and invest our resources to create a different future.

We have many of the ingredients needed, but do we have the willingness amongst our residents, elected officials and business leaders to actually start making different choices and investments towards the future of our region?

The Connecting Our Future initiative is designed to help create a vision for what we want as a region and then develop strategies for how to get there.

Not every effort needs to be done collectively, in fact future success will require local initiatives and investments. However, if we are all working from the same playbook and moving towards the same goals, then collective success is surely obtainable.

What will be critical for the outcomes of Connecting Our Future to truly be impactful in changing the trajectory for future growth in the Upstate is that every stakeholder group must be at the table and willing to play a role in making a difference. It is not someone else’s problem or something someone else will fix for us.

The time to impact our collective future is now and it is up to all of us who call the Upstate home to play a role in ensuring that our region is a great place to live, learn, do business and raise a family for generations to come.

If you are interested in being involved with Connecting Our Future please contact us through www.connectingourfutureupstatesc.org.