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Ten at the Top Update
Moving from Reality Check to Regional Vision
March, 2010 - Vol 1, Issue 1
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Dean Hybl
Executive Director

Jacquelyn Fehler
Program Manager

Dear Upstate Reality Check Participants and Friends
Dean Hybl

It's been a while since our great Upstate Reality Check event last April, but Ten at the Top has had a lot going on and I'm very excited to have gotten to the point where we can update you with good tangible progress and plans for our impending Next Steps. So here goes!

First, we have now hired an Executive Director - Dean Hybl!!! Dean (pictured) joined us in mid January. He comes to us from Orlando where he worked with myregion.org, the regional organization of Central Florida, over the past five years and served as the number two person for their regional implementation efforts.


So he has been living for five years what we are now attempting to do for the Upstate! Dean came to us with high recommendations from his boss, who Steve Navarro has known and worked with for some time through ULI.

As a point of interest, Dean was previously involved with college athletics - as a Sports Information director with Hampden-Sydney College and Rollins College and as an Assistant athletic director at Rollins. He and his wife and two young children have now moved to the Upstate and have just closed on a new home in the Greer area.


In addition to hiring Dean, we have done a number of other things over the last nine months to ensure that Ten at the Top is a viable and valuable long-term organization within the Upstate. Here are some of what we have been doing:

· Incorporation of Ten at the Top

· Development and adoption of organization by-laws and mission statement

· Filing of 501c(3) application for tax-exempt status

· Formation of an Executive Committee structure with representatives from each of the 10 counties

· Creation of the Ten at the Top web site (www.tenatthetop.org)

· Completion of a video about the Upstate Reality Check event and how we are moving from Reality Check to Regional Vision

· Developed a solid, ambitious budget for 2010-2012.

· Securing of a $75,000 grant from Advance South Carolina to help us fund our first year of activities and initiatives. Additionally, we ended up with approximately $30,000 excess from the Reality Check exercise - as planned and hoped! - and we're already off to a positive start for TATT fundraising.



But, the biggest thing we have done is to take the valuable work that was done by the 500 participants during Upstate Reality Check and outline a strategy for how we can use that information to ensure a positive future impact on our 10-county region.

We came out of Reality Check with the identification of five clear consensus areas where we should begin looking at opportunities to think and act as a region. These are:


  • Regional Vision/Values
  • Regional Collaboration/Leadership
  • Regional Transportation/Infrastructure
  • Regional Sustainability
  • Vibrant Competitive Regional Economy

Based on this, Reality Check Project Director Jacki Martin and the Executive Committee forged a draft structure and work plan specifically tied to these five priorities. The eventual goal is to identify issues and projects within the five areas where working together regionally can have identifiable impact on enhancing the competitiveness and quality of life within the Upstate.

As Dean has come on board and had a chance to get acclimated, he has been in full concurrence with this platform and has felt strongly that our first emphasis needs to be the development of a Shared Regional Vision for the Upstate. This then becomes the foundation for all that we do going forward and provides rationale and momentum for identifying and prioritizing initiatives and activities.


During Upstate Reality Check, participants identified four potential themes for how future growth should be patterned:


  • Dispersed Growth (the current trend for sprawling development)


  • Corridor Development (with growth primarily around transportation corridors)


  • Compact Development (with growth focused around current urban areas)


  • Rural Village (with growth not only in current urban areas, but also in rural communities)


In developing a Shared Upstate Vision, we will provide more information about each of these specific growth related themes and then through a regional survey will ask residents across the region to tell us which elements of these themes are important to them as we look at future growth.


But our regional survey is not focused only on growth. Leaders across the Upstate have called for a Shared Upstate Vision that also encompasses economic vitality, preserving natural and cultural resources, education and quality of life.


As part of the regional survey we will ask residents "What Matters Most" to them as we look at each of these areas of interest.


The input received during an intense three-week survey period (tentatively scheduled for May 10-31) will become the basis for creating the Shared Upstate Vision.


To ensure that as many people as possible participate in this opportunity to "Voice Your Choice", we will be asking businesses, municipalities and organizations across the region to help us spread the word about how everyone can help us shape the future of the Upstate.


In coming weeks we will be sending you additional information about this exciting regional outreach and hope you will participate in the survey and also help us spread the word across the region.


I am very pleased with the direction in which we are moving with Ten at the Top and hope you will join me as we continue moving down this road toward ensuring that the Upstate Region reaches its full potential and remains a great place to live, learn, work and play.




Irv Welling

Chair, Ten at the Top

Ten at the Top Web Site is Now Live
TATT-snapshotAs part of our outreach strategy for 2010, the Ten at the Top web site is now live and will have information about the region as well as serve as a tool for community outreach.
E-Newsletter and Regular Correspondence
This is the first of regular correspondence from Ten at the Top as we move forward in creating a Shared Upstate Vision. Please feel free to share this material with friends and colleagues. Anyone can sign up for our mailing list either through this newsletter or on our web site. We will also be regularly communicating information about the region through the TATT web site as well as Twitter and Facebook.