An Annual Upstate Young Professional Conference

    October 2, 2023

    Pique, Ten at the Top’s signature event for young professionals, will be held on Monday, October 2, 2023 at Milliken in Spartanburg. The event focuses on connecting young professionals across the Upstate, giving them opportunities to network and hear from experts on topics that are relevant to their working lives.

    In this 8th year of Pique, the program will feature three breakout panel sessions and executive roundtables, a LinkedIn Lounge, a keynote speaker, and a networking reception. There will be plenty of opportunities for getting to know each other, sharing ideas, and developing future collaborations.

    For information on becoming a sponsor of Pique, please contact Justine Allen at jallen@tenatthetop.org.


    Monday, October 2

    1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
    Reception 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.


    920 Milliken Road, Spartanburg

    1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. • Check In & Networking • Lobby
    1:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. • Welcome • Reedy River Room

    Session One

    2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. • Workshops – (Attendees Choose One to Attend)

    Executive Networking Roundtables • Broad Street Room

    Negotiating to the Top: Tips on How to Advance Your Career • Reedy River Room

    Investing for Tomorrow • Ramsaur Studio

    Session Two

    2:55 p.m. – 3:40 p.m. • Workshops – (Attendees Choose One to Attend)

    Executive Networking Roundtables • Broad Street Room

    Investing for Tomorrow • Ramsaur Studio

    Doing Good is Good for Business • Reedy River Room

    Session Three

    3:50 p.m. – 4:35 p.m. • Workshops – (Attendees Choose One to Attend)

    Executive Networking Roundtables • Broad Street Room*
    *this room must get flipped in 45 minutes for the reception

    Doing Good is Good for Business • Ramsaur Studio

    Negotiating to the Top: Tips on How to Advance Your Career • Reedy River Room

    4:45 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. • Keynote Speaker • Jonathan Parker • Reedy River Room
    5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. • Networking Reception • Reedy River and Broad Street Rooms

    1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. LinkedIn Lounge (head shots) & Expo Area • Huguenot Conference Room

    Keynote Speaker, Jonathan Parker!

    Jonathan is a visionary leader, thought innovator, and dynamic speaker. He is passionate about sharing his expertise and personal experience in order to help leaders become more self-aware, emotionally attuned, and skilled communicators.

    Jonathan has been leading and speaking professionally for more than 15 years. From delivering keynotes, to conducting workshops and corporate trainings, to presenting at a TEDx event, he has had the privilege of teaching audiences all over the US and abroad. Jonathan is a certified leadership coach through GiANT Worldwide guiding companies and individuals to unlock their potential, grow their influence, and deepen their legacy.

    As a community leader and entrepreneur, Jonathan’s work and life serve the same purpose: to inspire and empower the people he meets. 

    Negotiating to the Top: Tips on How to Advance Your Career

    How to clearly identify where you would like to go with your career, map out a goal plan, and negotiate compensation packages

    Moderator: Giovanni Calise, DBA, SSGB, Associate Dean, Anderson University

    Dr. Giovanni Calise is an International Marketing Scholar and professor at Anderson University. His doctorate is from the University of Liverpool, UK which is part of the prestigious Russell Group, and his research focused on human motivation in digital messaging. Before academia, Dr. Calise was in the media industry working for national print and broadcast organizations.

    Lauren Hurt, Growth Marketer, Skillshare

    Lauren is a growth marketer with 8+ years of experience leading sales-driving influencer marketing programs and teams. Lauren currently leads influencer marketing efforts for Skillshare, an online creative learning community. Prior to Skillshare, Lauren held roles at Equilibria (premium CBD for women), Home Chef (meal kits) and Weber Shandwick, for clients including ALDI and Tracfone Wireless.  Lauren graduated from Wheaton College (IL) with a degree in Interpersonal Communication and relocated to the Greenville area from Chicago last fall. 

    Britton Briley, Founder, Ghost Marketing

    Britton Briley is the owner & founder of the fastest growing digital marketing agency in the SouthEast and has been changing the way companies market their brand since 2010. With Ghost Marketing being featured on Yahoo Finance, US Reporter, Atlanta Wire, NBC, and local publications such as Community Journals, Greenville News, Post & Courier; Britton and his team at Ghost Marketing are changing the advertising industry from behind the scenes. Currently, he is working on his new book about the entrepreneur journey, the hardships and struggles you need to know before opening a business. 

    Facebook: @GhostMarketingAgency

    Instagram: @GhostMarketingAgency

    LinkedIn: @GhostMarketingAgency

    Website: www.GhostMarketing.org

    Stinson Ferguson, Of Counsel, Anthony Law Firm; Assistant Municipal Court Judge, City of Greenville; Funeral Director at J.W. Woodward Funeral Home 

    Stinson Woodward Ferguson is Of Counsel for the Anthony Law Firm in Spartanburg; an Assistant Municipal Court Judge for the City of Greenville; and a Licensed Funeral Director at J.W. Woodward Funeral Home in Spartanburg.  She is a Certified Sustainability Consultant and ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) Practitioner with a background in environmental law and policy and a history of community engagement.

    Investing for Tomorrow

    Now that you have some savings, what should you do with it? How can you ensure your financial planner is the right person for you? Learn the best long-term methods for investing and how to avoid trends with the experts.

    Moderator: AJ Gladney, Partner, New York Life Insurance Company

    Anthony J. Gladney, better known as A.J., is a native of Greenville, SC. Anthony began his career as a Financial Professional and licensed agent with New York Life Insurance company in 2016.  Anthony has since transitioned into leadership as the Partner of New York Life’s flagship Greater Greenville office. In this role, he supports a team of financial professionals in growing their individual practices. While offering unique career leadership opportunities. 

    Anthony also serves as one of the leaders of New York Life’s Diversity and Inclusion Empowerment Initiative-the $50B African American Market Unit. This initiative serves to improve the financial trajectory of the Black community in the Upstate. Exposing individuals and families to the financial rules, tools, and strategies that have been used to create, protect, and maintain financial legacies for generations. 

    Anthony previously served as a Board Member for the Urban League of the Upstate, and the President of the Urban League of the Upstate Young Professionals. Currently Anthony serves on the board for United Ministries and Multiplying Good. Anthony was a 2022 recipient for Black Pages 20 Under 40, 2021 Jefferson Award Winner for ChangeMakers, and a mentor for Greenville Tech’s African American Male Scholars Initiative. 

    Through his professional leadership and personal influence, Anthony intends to advance the mission of empowering the culture as they enter the economic and social mainstream.





    Luis Martinez, Vice President, Commercial Lender, South State Bank

    Luis is an experienced Commercial Lender covering the Anderson Market. Graduate of Anderson University as well as a former baseball student athlete. Luis joined SouthState Bank in 2021 with 11 years of banking experience in the Upstate Region. Luis has a passion for leadership and serving in the community, He was elected on April 5th, 2022, as Anderson’s newest City Councilman for District II. Luis has been married to his college sweetheart Hollins for 11 years; they have 3 children Sophia (8), Elaine (8) and Lillian (4). 

    Luis has been recognized by Anderson Independent 20 under 40 (2020), GSA Business Magazine as a Top 40 under 40 professionals (2021), Anderson Chamber of Commerce Young Rising Professional award (2022) . Luis is also a graduate of Leadership Anderson Class 33.

    Ashton Lawrence, Partner, Goldfinch Wealth Management

    As a Financial Advisor at Goldfinch Wealth Management, Ashton aims to deliver personalized client care and an array of services to create financial independence, planning for client’s short-term needs and long-term goals. A native of Greenville, South Carolina, Ashton began his career working for a major national firm in 2010. He has extensive experience working with small business owners, executives of large corporations, and other high-net-worth individuals to develop and implement comprehensive financial plans and investment strategies.

    In his spare time, you can most likely find Ashton on the basketball court, spending time with friends and family, losing his golf balls on the golf course, or reading a novel. One of his secret talents is writing, and he is currently working on a book about espionage, romance, and murder.

    Doing Good is Good for Business

    Getting involved in your community is about more than just doing good. It can provide networking and professional development opportunities. And in the modern workplace, Corporate Social Responsibility is no longer optional. Both employees and customers care about a company’s philanthropic giving and community involvement. How are companies engaging their employees through volunteerism and why is it important? And how can YOU get more involved?

    Moderator: Alexandra Moore, Vice President of Brand Experience, United Way of the Piedmont

    Alex Moore is the Vice President of Brand Experience for United Way of the Piedmont, overseeing the day to day and long term strategic marketing of the organization. She develops innovative ways to communicate the important work of nonprofits to the Upstate community. Alex is also a small business consultant, helping local micro-businesses and entrepreneurs grow their passions through marketing. Alex has been in the nonprofit sector for most of her career and has also worked in business development for a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), in addition to helping establish a Community Development Credit Union. Alex is a graduate of Wofford College and originally from Knoxville, Tennessee. She is passionate about helping others have “aha!” moments, when they can discover something new or think of something in a new way. 

    Angie Myers, Director of Benefits and Wellness, AFL

    Angie Myers is the Director of Benefits & Community Engagement at AFL, an international manufacturer for energy, service provider, enterprise and industrial markets headquartered in Duncan SC. In her 12 years at AFL Angie has responsibilities for the extended health and wellness benefits for more than 3000 associates located in the US and Canada.  In addition, she leads their Community Outreach Program consisting of grants, volunteer projects including Month of Service, sponsorships, disaster relief and more.

    Antonette Montalvo, MSN,PNP-BC, BSN, RN, BA, Owner, Antonette Montalvo Consulting and Coaching: Founder/Author, Visionary Nurse®: Co-Founder, Montalvo International Community Health Initiative

    Antonette Montalvo is owner of Antonette Montalvo Consulting and Coaching Services, where she serves as a community health consultant and coach/mentor for nurses. She is also a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, educator, and co-founder of a community-focused grassroots effort committed to addressing health disparities in vulnerable communities. Antonette is most passionate about being the founder of Visionary Nurse®, an inspirational platfom and philosophy focused on visionary leadership, personal development, and holistic wellness, as well as author of Visionary Nurse®: 90 Days of Inspirational Musing on being Influentially Visionary, a compilation of inspirational thoughts, reflections, and ideas to aid you in your own journey to being influentially visionary.

    Todd Horne, President, Clayton Construction Company, Inc.

    As President of Clayton Construction Company, Inc., Todd Horne is responsible for leading a team of skilled and seasoned professionals who embrace an unmatched culture driven by a simple mission statement: Plan, Build, Finish Strong, Follow Up, Have Fun. Prior to serving as President of CCC, Horne spent 14 years as Vice President of Business Development where he identified and developed relationships with industry professionals to generate new opportunities. Clayton Construction Company is a commercial general contractor that specializes in turn-key construction projects across the Southeast. Exceeding expectations for over 40 years, CCC has been named one of SC’s Fastest Growing Companies and recognized as one of the Best Places to Work in SC.

    In addition to his role with CCC, Horne enjoys serving the Spartanburg community. He actively serves on the boards of One Spartanburg Inc., United Way, Ten at the Top, and the USC Upstate Foundation Board. Horne has received numerous awards including the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce Volunteer of the Year, Leadership Spartanburg Emerging Leader Award, Leadership Spartanburg Alumnus of the Year, Who’s Who of the Upstate, and the University of South Carolina Upstate Distinguished Alumni of the Year.

    Born in Columbia and raised in Greenville, Todd is a proud graduate of USC Upstate where he met his wife, Stephanie and earned a BA in Communications. The Hornes have been married for 15 years and have two children, Harper (9) and Holton (7).

    PIQUE Committee 

    Giovanni Calise, Anderson University

    Evan Carr, EC Media

    Rebecca Dhanarine, Anderson University

    AJ Gladney, New York Life

    Peyton Hoppes, Parallel Financial

    Rivers Hughes, Hughes Investments

    Lacie Brown, United Christian Ministries

    Nikoya Shaw, Upstate Workforce Board

    Revis Butler, Proterra

    Heath Flood, Loop Recruiting

    Julia Levi, Habitat for Humanity Greenille

    Jessica Miserendino (co-chair), AFL

    Alex Moore, United Way of the Piedmont

    Britton Rodgers, United Way of Anderson County

    Cesar Salas, Hispanic Alliance

    Reah Smith, Lake Keowee Real Estate

    Jason Weidman (co-chair), ScanSource

    Natalie Jones, Anderson County Chamber of Commerce

    Executive Networking Roundtable Sponsor

    Workshop Sponsors

    Leadership Maker Sponsor

    Sustainable Sponsors

    Partner Young Professional Groups

    Catering Sponsor