On Wednesday, November 18th, Ten at the Top hosted the Celebrating Upstate Unsung Heroes Virtual Event in place of their annual Celebrating Successes Luncheon. This event focused on honoring the many individuals throughout the Upstate who have devoted their time and selflessly served their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Over 130 nominees were recognized during the event as “Upstate Unsung Heroes.” You can read the full list here.

    One individual per county was selected to receive special recognition during the event. Below are the 10 county representatives that were present for this special presentation:

    Abbeville: Ethan Cornick – Dreams with Open Arms, Volunteer
    Anderson: David Baker – Anderson County, Emergency Services Director
    Cherokee: Dr. Carol McFadden – Know(2) Neighborhood Association, Volunteer Director Greenville: Marina Lewis – Mauldin High School, Social Worker
    Greenwood: George McKinney – Greenwood County, Emergency Management Director
    Laurens: Joey Avery – Laurens County, Emergency Management Director
    Oconee: Vanessa Earle – Prisma Health, Community Health Worker
    Pickens: Lesa Howard – 5 Point Church Food Pantry, Director
    Spartanburg: Charlene Cheeks – Big Brothers, Big Sisters of the Upstate, CEO
    Union: Shanna “Nikki” Burgess – SC Works Greater Upstate, Talent Development Specialist Supervisor

    “To adapt to these unprecedented times, Ten at the Top felt it was necessary to change both the format and focus of this annual event. We decided to bring the upstate together by recognizing the hundreds of individuals who have remained committed to serving others amidst the many unfortunate circumstances this pandemic has brought our way,” said Dean Hybl, Executive Director of Ten at the Top.

    “We hope that our event has not only shown great appreciation to these 132 nominees, but also highlighted the number of heroes we have living amongst us in the 10-county Upstate region that we encounter daily.”



    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.