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.

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

The PIQUE Brings Upstate Young Professionals Together

The PIQUE Brings Upstate Young Professionals Together

PIQUE: (verb) to stimulate (interest or curiosity)

As the millennial generation replaces the boomer generation in the workforce, it is important to give those young professionals their own millennial-style networking groups—and Ten at the Top has created the PIQUE, an annual event for personal and professional development opportunities.

In the spirit of collaboration, the PIQUE brings together existing young professional organizations in the Upstate. Organizations promote the event to members and in return $5 of each ticket sold to a partner organization is given back to help fund their programming and events. 2018 partner young professional organizations include: AFL Young Professionals, Clemson Young Professionals,Connect Young Professionals (Greenwood), PULSE (Greenville), Spartanburg Young Professionals, Young Professionals of Anderson County, and United Way of the Piedmont Young Leaders.

The annual event focuses on the collaboration and connection of young professionals (ages 21-40) in the ten county Upstate. The 2019 event, to be held in the spring at the Greenville One Center in Greenville, will feature four workshops, an opportunity to network with Upstate business and community leaders, a wrap-up panel hosted by the Upstate SC Alliance, and a networking reception.

The 2019 PIQUE planning committee has been hard at work planning the event for our Upstate young professionals. The committee is made up of young leaders from across the Upstate region. This year’s committee members include:

  • Rebecca Albert, Anderson University
  • Christina Auckland, Denny’s
  • Rachel Baker, Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System
  • Evan Carr, EC Media
  • Virginia Cebe, Scansource
  • Laura Cox, Anderson County Economic Development
  • Michael McCarthy, Greenwood County Indicators Project
  • Elizabeth Miller, SYNNEX Corp.
  • Christopher Nicholas, Ethan Rivers, LLC
  • Leigh Ann Puryear, Duke Energy
  • Britton Rodgers, Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Sam Sloan, USC Upstate
  • Mary Pat Smith, Anderson United Way
  • Tiffany Tate, Upstate SC Alliance

If you represent a young professional organization and would like to become a partner, please contact Adelyn Nottingham ( or 864-283-2313). The event is being held from 1:00 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. on Monday, March 25th at the Greenville One Center (1 N Main St, Greenville, SC 29301). Registration opens in early 2019, so mark your calendars now! Click here for more information.

Ten at the Top Promotes Tiffany Tate to Assistant Director

Upstate, SC [December 12, 2016] – Ten at the Top, a non-profit organization focused on promoting collaboration and strategic planning across the Upstate region, has promoted Tiffany Tate to the role of Assistant Director. She has served in the position of Program Manager since joining TATT in October 2014.

Since joining the organization, Tate has overseen the doubling of TATT committees and committee volunteers to more than 20 committees and 500 active committee participants. She has also led the development of regional inventories in a number of areas including child well-being, non-traditional entrepreneurial funders, senior issues and outdoor recreation activities. In her new role, Tate will continue to oversee TATT programs and committees while taking on additional responsibilities in administration and outreach.

“Tiffany has done an amazing job increasing the involvement and impact of Ten at the Top’s committees and task forces,” said TATT Executive Director Dean Hybl. “In her expanded role, I expect Tiffany to continue having a positive impact not just on this organization, but also the Upstate region.”

A graduate of Liberty High School and Clemson University, Tate currently resides near Inman, SC.

About Ten at the Top
Formed in 2009, Ten at the Top envisions an Upstate region where collaboration, coordination and cooperation across communities and business sectors are hallmarks. It fosters partnerships and cooperation amongst the ten counties that form South Carolina’s Upstate, and encourages these diverse communities and stakeholder groups to work together to enhance the Upstate’s economic vitality and quality of life. To date, Ten at the Top has hosted more than 600 meetings, programs, workshops and forums that have informed and engaged 30,000+ participants. To learn more, visit


Get Involved!

Get Involved!

Ashley Smaller Feathered


By: Ashley Downing

The PIQUE on March 7th brought together more than 300 young professionals from across the Upstate region and common theme to the day was GET INVOLVED!

That’s all well and good but… how?

The Upstate is full of opportunities for young professionals to get engaged now to use their talents to make a difference in their community and in our region – we just have to find them. Whether you want to volunteer, enter into local government, focus on economic development, or the arts, the opportunity to make an impact is yours for the taking. Chances are, what you are looking for is already out there, it may just take some homework and a willingness to step out.

Interested in boosting your career? Below are just a few ways to get started…

• Find out if your community already has a young professionals group. It’s an easy way to get plugged in to yps and professional opportunities in your area.
• Get your name out there and attend business networking events, it’s KEY. Make a point to meet the business leaders in your area, they won’t bite! They can also help  mentor, guide, and give recommendations to help you in your career.
• Stay up-to-date on what’s happening in the news. Both in your area and surrounding areas. Sign up for newsletters from reputable outlets and actually read them! It’s amazing what you’ll learn.
• Be willing to invest in yourself. Read books and articles, take courses that will provide you more information or qualifications, go to lunch with one of those leaders you connected with and pick their brain.

Want to give back? Some tips to get you thinking…

• Figure out how much time you have to dedicate to getting involved. This will vary and there is no set amount that you should aim for, it’s up to you.
• Find your passion. Sometimes this is easier said than done but think about it; what you are interested in? What did you love to do as a kid/teen/student? Start there, then branch out. If you know your passion, seek out individuals and organizations that support that. Guaranteed, nonprofits will always welcome your interest and readiness to help out.
• Where do you want to give back? In your direct community or maybe a neighboring city?
• How do you want to serve? What about mentoring or working within a group, children or adults, animals, natural resources, etc. – how can your unique set of skills be best used?

The above is by no means a comprehensive list on how to get engaged, just a few things that I’ve picked up along the way. To get your wheels turning. Know that it is possible, people are generally nice and easy to talk to, and you have the wherewithal to do something that matters; for your career and/or your community.


Ashley is the Communications Manager for Ten at the Top and an Upstate native.

Ten at the Top Hosted the PIQUE, Young Leaders Elevating the Upstate on March 7th

Greenville, SC [March 8, 2016] – Ten at the Top (TATT) hosted the PIQUE: Young Leaders Elevating the Upstate on March 7th. More than 300 young professionals and executives from across the Upstate participated in this inaugural event that focused on the collaboration and connection of young professionals in the ten county Upstate. The March 7th program, was held in downtown Greenville and featured both personal and professional development workshops and panel discussions.
The millennial generation (ages 21-39) is quickly surpassing the Baby-Boomer generation and they will soon be our leaders. The PIQUE opened the doors of opportunity for future leaders of the Upstate to gather in one place to share ideas and discuss how to work collaboratively for the future.

The “Executive Networking” workshop allowed attendees to gain valuable knowledge and wisdom to better their personal careers from more than thirty (30) of the Upstate’s most well-known executives. The “How to Market Yourself on Social Media” workshop, led by the team at Engenius, taught attendees the importance of creating a personal brand and sticking to it. “How to Serve on a Board of Directors,” led by Chris Steed, Executive Director of the Fullerton Foundation, shared with attendees the value they could bring to a board of directors for an Upstate nonprofit organization. To close out the day, the Elevating the Upstate Panel Discussion allowed for an interactive look into where the Upstate region has been, where it is going, and how young professionals can make a difference by getting involved now.

Following the workshops and panel discussion, attendees were invited to stay for a reception that featured an exceptional craft beer tasting, provided by the Growler Haus featuring five of the Upstate’s breweries, Brewery 85, Birds Fly South, RJ Rockers, Thomas Creek Brewery, and Quest Brewing Co. A whiskey tasting provided by Dark Corner Distillery featured four of their most popular whiskey’s. Hors d’oeuvres were catered by Feed & Seed, a local organization dedicated to providing the Upstate with fresh and local goods. Papi’s Tacos also provided traveling tacos. The reception allowed for continued networking and collaboration for the future leaders of the Upstate.

The PIQUE would not have been successful without the dedication and hard work of many individuals and businesses. Ten at the Top would like to extend a grateful thank you to our sponsors, Piedmont Natural Gas, Greenville Technical College, The Fullerton Foundation, Engenius, The Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce, The Greenwood Chamber of Commerce, Seamon Whiteside & Associates, Baptist Easley Hospital, WGTK-FM, Growler Haus, and Feed & Seed.

The event is planned to be annual and in different counties across the Upstate.

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