Meet the Upstarters Making the Most of the Upstate
Abundance of jobs & advancement opportunities drive region’s magnetism
Cherry blossoms blooming, green returning to trees, and temperatures rising combine to make spring one of the best times to live it up in the Upstate.
And our secret’s catching on: with an average of 34 people per day moving to the Upstate and South Carolina ranked the 2nd most popular moving destination in 2020, there’s a magnetism to our region.
So what’s attracting people to move up, make more and build their best lives in the Upstate? Boundless career opportunities — 260,000+ unique job postings from 11,330+ employers — mixed with superb quality of life.
Move Up, an initiative of the Upstate SC Alliance created to connect employers and talent, has a job board to help you tap into Upstate career opportunities from creative services to manufacturing and engineering.
Looking for inspiration or stories to tell your friends? Read on to meet the Upstarters making the most of life in the Upstate.
‘Opportunities to make an impact’: Michael Judice
Michael Judice, a Virginia native, loves the sense of community he’s found in Spartanburg since moving here a few years ago.
It’s a contrast to his 13 years spent in New York City, Philadelphia and Charlotte, where Michael gained experience with world-renowned architecture firms though felt the lifestyle was too expensive and “a hustle all the time.” Today, he works with McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture’s Community Studio, helping to design projects like a parking garage, police operations building and massive redevelopment sites.
Looking for a location to grow their family and make a community impact, Michael and wife Cathryn moved to her native Spartanburg, where Michael’s applied his design love into renovating a craftsman bungalow. And they find life is the right speed here: walkable to downtown Spartanburg and a Happy Hollow Park, where they love to unwind with their three boys.
With the return of farmer’s markets, you can catch him planning recipes at the Hub City Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings — a perfect pairing of hobby and passion, as he serves on the Hub City Farmer’s Market Board of Directors.
“What I really like about the Upstate is that there are better opportunities here to make an impact in the local community. It’s small enough to actually effect change, and to get involved.”
Setting roots in Seneca: Allison Pursley Moran
Allison Pursley Moran, a Seneca native, never imagined building her life in the Upstate.
Six years after returning from the University of Alabama, she’s deepening her roots here and progressing through her company’s ranks.
As branch manager for the Greenville office of ECS Limited, Allison leads a team of 25 engineers, project managers and field technicians who perform due diligence, testing and ongoing code and specification review for construction sites.
“It blows my mind when I think about what I’ve been able to work up to within six years,” she adds, noting that the firm propelled her advancement from field technician through engineering certificate training and pursuing her Professional Engineer license.
“As long as you give back to a company that’s investing in you, you’re going to keep moving up,” she adds.
Allison and her husband, Andrew, welcomed a baby boy in December 2021, and they find the Upstate a perfect place to grow their family.
The pair loves to make the most of the scenic outdoors with their dog Sancho – taking in the dense concentration of waterfalls during hikes in Oconee County, or enjoying days on the water at Lake Keowee or Lake Hartwell.
“We’re so close to the mountains, we could hit anywhere from four to 10 waterfalls in a day,” she says.
A sweet spot for creatives: Jehan Wills
If you put Jehan Willls’ previous residences on a spectrum, you’d find a charming, Southern small Kentucky town at one end and the tree-lined streets of the nation’s capital at the other.
In between, you’ll find Mauldin, South Carolina, the supportive, “right size” atmosphere Jehan now calls home.
And what a journey she’s had: since moving to downtown Greenville in 2019, she and her husband purchased a home and welcomed twin boys. Shortly after, Jehan was promoted to Senior Marketing Manager with McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture.
A marketing and communications pro with diverse experience, Jehan honed her skills working in commercial real estate in Charlotte before moving to Washington, D.C., as a Marketing Coordinator for Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), a global architecture firm known for projects like the Burj Khalifa. There, she handled business development, proposals, and qualification efforts.
A graduate of the University of Kentucky with a B.A. in Corporate Communication, Jehan has always been interested in the intersection of marketing, business development, and communication— the sweet spot where she applies her creative energy today.
“I feel very fortunate to work with an understanding and collaborative team. I look forward to exploring my new role—both professionally and personally.”
In her off time, Jehan and family love to make the most of Greenville’s amenities, from outdoor eateries like Gather GVL to strolling Falls Park to visiting the Greenville Zoo with their one-year-old boys.
Join the Movement
Whether you’re interested in finding a job in Upstate SC or telling all your friends to make the move up and experience more in Upstate SC, you, too can join the movement.
Find a Job: Big names in business, technology and financial services maintain major headquarters operations in the Upstate, which means a range of open positions, including in marketing and sales, human resources, IT and much more. Explore the Move Up job board to find a job in Upstate SC today.
Get Social: share how you’re living your best life in Upstate SC by tagging #MoveUpSC and #UpstateVibe365 on social. Are you up for it?