Ten Counties. One Upstate. Stronger Together

Connecting Our Future

An effort to create a regional vision for transportation, mobility, and connectivity in the ten county Upstate, led by Ten at the Top.

Connecting Our Future is a year long effort with a goal of creating a regional vision for improving mobility and connectivity in the ten county Upstate of South Carolina.
The Connecting Our Future effort is led by a coalition of Upstate stakeholders representing education, transit systems, local governments, economic development organizations, healthcare, conservation groups, and Upstate businesses.
Connecting Our Future Goals:

Reduce Congestion
Increase Connectivity & Mobility in the Upstate
Move People & Freight Across the Region Safely
Improve Quality of Life & Health of Upstate residents by Reducing Emissions

The South Carolina Department of Transportation - Office of Public Transit (SCDOT – OPT) is conducting a study to determine the level of intercity bus demand in the State of South Carolina. This information will be used to update the 2012 South Carolina Intercity and Regional Bus Network Plan, with particular focus on the State’s intercity bus needs and how SCDOT can best utilize its annual apportionment of Federal Section 5311(f) Intercity Bus Program funds. Click here to take the survey!
Upcoming Input Opportunity:

Stakeholder Symposium

March 19, 2o18


The Michelin Conference Center

517 Michelin Road, Bldg. 18

Greenville, SC 29605

Registration Coming Soon!

Project Rollout: TBD

July 2017 - October 2017

Discovery & Understanding: The initial component of this step will be a Connecting Our Future Kick Off Event to be held on October 18, 2017. The program will include discussions around the current transportation/mobility landscape in the Upstate as well as challenges, opportunities and future technology and innovation trends. The keynote speaker for the event will be Carla Bailo, Assistant Vice President, Mobility Research and Business Development, The Ohio State University.

October 2017 - May 2018

Development of Regional Mobility & Connectivity Vision: This step will include the hiring of a transportation consultant to help answer the questions of “What do we need? What do we want? How do we get it? and Who needs to be involved?” This document should become the “playbook” for local and regional efforts moving forward.

May 2018 - June 2018

Rollout & Initial Implementation: Following the completion of the regional vision and the public rollout, the real work will begin as stakeholders begin implementation of the strategies. This step will lead into the long-term effort that will include both local efforts focused around specific areas and modes of transportation and more regional efforts that focus on connectivity and growing the collective capacity.

To jump start this regional initiative, Ten at the Top hosted a Kick Off Event on October 18th at the TD Convention Center.

Event Program

8:45AM-9:30AM | Check-in, Coffee, & Networking

9:30AM - 10:45AM | General Session: Where is the Upstate Right Now?
Population & Land Use | Dean Hybl, Executive Director, Ten at the Top Click Here for Presentation | Click Here for Video
Planning for Transportation Infrastructure | Steve Pelissier, Executive Director, Appalachian Council of Governments Click Here for Presentation | Click Here for Video
Transportation Funding | Brian Keys, Deputy Secretary for Finance & Administration, South Carolina Department of Transportation Click Here for Presentation | Click Here for Video
Technology Trends | Fred Cartwright, Executive Director, Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) Click Here for Presentation | Click Here for Video

10:55AM - 11:35AM | Breakout Session One (Attendees Choose One to Attend)
The Mobility Challenges of Our Growing & Sprawling Upstate Click Here for Presentation | Click Here for Video
Session panelists:
Dr. Cliff Ellis, Professor of City & Regional Planning, Clemson University
Tee Coker, AICP, Planning Associate, Alta + Planning and Design
Frank Mansbach, Executive Director, Bike Walk Greenville & Project Manager for Global Autonomous Vehicle Partnership & Carolinas Alliance 4 Innovation
Panel moderated by Barry Nocks, FAICP, Professor Emeritus of City & Regional Planning, Clemson University

The Intersection of Public Transportation, Economic Vitality & Healthy Communities Click Here for Video
Session panelists:
Jon-Michial Carter, CEO & Founder, ChartSpan Medical Technologies
J. Mark Farris, President & CEO, Greenville Area Development Corporation
Gary Shepard, Director of Public Transit, Greenlink (City of Greenville)
Panel moderated by Katy Pugh Smith, Executive Director, Piedmont Health Foundation & Greenville Partnership for Philanthropy

Connecting Communities Sustainably Click Here for Presentation | Click Here for Video
Session presenters:
Jon Batson, Storm Water Manager, Anderson County
Lisa Hallo, Land Policy Director, Upstate Forever
Eric McCarthy, Senior Vice President of Government Relations, Public Policy, & Legal Affairs, Proterra

11:40AM - 12:20PM | Breakout Session Two (Attendees Choose One to Attend)
Disappearing Boundaries: How Disruptive Technologies Will Change Mobility Click Here for Video
Session panelists:
Dr. Mashrur "Ronnie" Chowdhury, Professor of Civil Engineering, Clemson University - Intelligent Transportation Systems
George Fletcher, Councilmember, City of Greenville
Dr. Venkat Krovi, Michelin Endowed Chair of Vehicle Automation, Clemson University
Art Shulman, Executive Director, Global Autonomous Vehicle Partnership
Panel moderated by Doug Webster, Chair, Carolinas Alliance 4 Innovation

Current & Future Trends in Moving Freight Click Here for Presentation | Click Here for Video
Session panelists:
Kevin Howell, Vice President & COO, GSP International Airport
Byron Miller, Director of Marketing & Sales Administration, South Carolina Ports Authority
Rick Todd, President, South Carolina Trucking Association
Panel moderated by Suzanne Dickerson, Director of Logistics Industry Initiative, South Carolina Council on Competitiveness

Current & Future Trends in Moving People Click here for Video
Session panelists:
Doug Frate, South Carolina Department of Transportation
Brett Edwards, Director of Business Rental Sales, Enterprise
Addy Matney, Chair, Greenville Transit Authority
Laura Ringo, Executive Director, Partners for Active Living
Panel moderated by Keith Scott, Chairman, Transportation Association of South Carolina & Director, Electric City Transit

12:30PM -1:30PM | Luncheon Featuring Keynote Speaker Click Here for Presentation | Click Here for Video PART ONE | Video PART TWO
Carla Bailo
Assistant Vice President for Mobility Research & Business Development, Ohio State University

Carla helps coordinate Ohio State's involvement as the primary research partner for Smart Columbus,
a $140 million grant program to transform central Ohio into the nation's premier transportation innovation region.
Click here to read Carla's full bio.

1:40PM - 2:30PM |Interactive Q&A Session with Carla Bailo

Event speakers, panelists, consultant(s), and other initiative specific items are subject to change at the discretion of Ten at the Top and the Connecting Our Future Coalition.

Anderson Area Transportation Study (ANATS) represented by Michael Gay Anderson County represented by Michael Forman
Appalachian Council of Governments represented by Lance Estep
Bike Walk Greenville represented by Frank Mansbach
Broadmoor Planning represented by Alissa Duncan
Carolinas Alliance 4 Innovation represented by Doug Webster
CATbus represented by Keith Moody
CBRE represented by Doug Webster
City of Anderson represented by Maurice McKenzie
Clemson University represented by Barry Nocks
CUICAR represented by Fred Cartwright, Venkat Krovi, & Rob Krulac
Duke Energy represented by Lang Reynolds
Electric City Transit represented by Keith Scott
Global Autonomous Vehicle Partnership
Greenlink represented by James Keel & Nicole McAden
Greenville County represented by Fred Payne
Greenville Pickens Area Transportation Study (GPATS) represented by Keith Brockington
Greenwood County represented by Phil Lindler
Mavin Construction represented by DJ Doherty
Michelin represented by John Tully
Mustang Consulting represented by Frank Curtis
Piedmont Health Foundation represented by Katy Smith
Project Hub represented by Laney Alverson
Proterra represented by Eric McCarthy
South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) represented by Mike Holden
South Carolina Technology & Aviation Center
Spartanburg Area Transportation Study (SPATS) represented by Kelley Shippey Gilbert and Sherry Dull
Transportation Association of South Carolina represented by Keith Scott
Upstate SC Alliance
Upstate Forever represented by Shelley Robbins

Bolded coalition members are also financial supporters of Connecting Our Future.

Adam Artigliere McNair Law Firm

Fred Cartwright Former CU-ICAR

Andrea Cooper Upstate Forever

Mike Davidson JTEKT

Suzanne Dickerson SC Council of Competitiveness

Joe Dill Greenville City Council

Dj Doherty Mavin Construction

Dave Edwards GSP International Airport

Terrance Ford AT&T

Doug Frate SCDOT

Michael Gay ANATS/City of Anderson

Linda Hannon Duke Energy

John Lummus Upstate SC Alliace

Joanie Martin Michelin

Stacey Mills USC Upstate Greenville Campus

Janice Moss Redi-Group

Sue Schneider  Spartanburg Water, TATT Board Chairman

Gary Shepard Greenlink

Carter Smith Spartanburg Economics Futures Group

Katy Smith Piedmont Health Foundation

Chris Sparrow Able SC

Vicki Turner Michelin

Doug Webster CBRE 

Irv Welling Welling Strategic

Jason Zacher Upstate Chamber Coalition


Connecting Our Future Advisory Committee Meetings:


Team Meeting #1

February 15, 2018

124 Verdae Blvd, Greenville, SC 29607

5th Floor Conference Room


Team Meeting #2

April 19, 2018

124 Verdae Blvd, Greenville, SC 29607

5th Floor Conference Room


Team Meeting #3

May 24, 2018

124 Verdae Blvd, Greenville, SC 29607

5th Floor Conference Room

Financial supporters of Connecting Our Future understand the importance of addressing the Upstate's transportation, mobility, and connectivity challenges.

Financial supporters of Connecting Our Future have the unique opportunity to support a year long project resulting in a regional vision for transportation, mobility, and connectivity. Financial supporters will also have visibility at the Kick Off and Roll Out events associated with Connecting Our Future.

Please click here for more information about becoming a financial supporter.

Steering Level Supporters


Luncheon/Kick-off Event Supporters


Business Supporters

 JTEKT North America Corporation           Mavin Construction                   Proterra

    Government/Non-Profit Level Supporters


    ANATS/Electric City Transit

    Anderson County Planning | Carolinas Alliance 4 Innovation| Catbus

   Global Autonomous Vehicle Partnership |GPATS | Piedmont Health Foundation

     SC Technology & Aviation Center | SPATS |Transportation Association of South Carolina|  Upstate Forever

Media Supporters