Ten at the Top
Upstate News

April 7, 2014 - Vol 5, Issue 4

Economic & Entrepreneurial Vitality Task Force Meeting
April 8th - 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Ten at the Top
124 Verdae Boulevard, Suite 202 Greenville, SC
Register Here 


Ten at the Top Board Meeting

April 10th - 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Greer City Hall

301 East Poinsett Street

Greer, SC 


Community Vibrancy Task Force Meeting
April 21st - 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Ten at the Top
124 Verdae Boulevard, Suite 202 Greenville, SC
Register Here  


Human Potential Task Force Meeting
April 23rd - 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Ten at the Top
124 Verdae Boulevard, Suite 202 Greenville, SC
 Register Here  


Our Upstate Vision Forum

May 20th - 3:00PM - 5:00PM


4 Research Drive

Greenville, SC

Register Here 

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Ten at the Top will be hosting the first Our Upstate Vision Forum of 2014 on May 20th at CU-ICAR. The forum will focus on "Cultivating a Knowledge Based Culture in the Upstate".


It is becoming increasingly clear that regardless of what types of jobs the Upstate works to attract, the economic success of the region will be hampered if we do not cultivate a climate where education and a knowledge based culture are valued and promoted. This Our Upstate Vision Forum will explore some of the potential benefits, challenges and opportunities for the region while also looking at some local and national examples of innovative initiatives that are supporting a culture that taps the human potential of all residents.


The event will be from 3pm-5pm on May 20th with a networking reception to follow. The forum is free and open to the public, but advance registration is requested. Please RSVP here.


Clean Air Upstate The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) recently honored the Upstate Air Quality Advisory Committee with the "Spare the Air" Award in the Outstanding Community Improvement Campaign category for  the Clean Air Upstate (CAU) initiative.  The purpose of the Spare the Air Award is to recognize environmental leaders that have made a voluntary commitment to promote and practice air quality improvement in South Carolina.

Clean Air Upstate is an initiative of the Upstate Air Quality Advisory Committee, a group of diverse stakeholders from the public and private sectors. Ten at the Top coordinates this initiative and engages local governments, businesses, and community organizations from the region in efforts to promote physical health and economic vitality through improved air quality.


The cornerstone of CAU is the Regional Air Quality Pledge. The pledge allows local governments, businesses, community organizations, media outlets, and even individuals to illustrate their commitment to improving air quality. To date, 23 governments, businesses, and community organizations have signed the pledge, each committing one representative to work with UAQAC and the SCDHEC on their strategies.


Another significant piece of CAU is the promotion of SCDHEC's Breathe Better (B2) program, which helps to protect the health and safety of children by reducing harmful vehicle emissions around school campuses. CAU secured funding from Duke Energy and the Hollingsworth Funds to provide grants to schools that participate in the program. The program makes schools a no-idling zone for both school buses and personal vehicles, thus significantly reducing emissions and resulting in a decrease of gasoline usage. The program also includes a student education component that teaches the importance of clean air and how individual actions can make a difference.  Participation in the program has increased by 129% from 14 to 32 schools.


The school-specific B2 program works in tandem with CAU's broader anti-idling campaign, which encourages no-idling zones in shopping centers and other parking areas. A variety of stakeholders - including the Upstate location of GE Energy - have placed CAU's no-idling signs around their parking facilities.  

Rounding out CAU's clean air toolkit are a series of practical, easy-to-implement clean air tips developed by the UAQAC.


These tips are disseminated on promotional materials and through electronic and social media channels. Seven public service announcements, representing an in-kind donation from WSPA, bring the tips to life and were shown for ten weeks on three regional television channels.  The PSAs were also featured for six weeks in the pre-screening reel at over 100 movie theaters across the Upstate.  For more information about the Clean Air Upstate initiative or how to get involved with the Clean Air Advisory Committee, visit www.cleanairupstate.org.



Be sure and mark your calendar for the Upstate Regional Summit: Re-Checking our reality, which will be held on September 16, 2014 at the TD Convention Center. The event will run from 9:00 am-1:30 pm and include morning workshops and a luncheon.  


It has been five years since the Upstate Reality Check event asked Upstate residents for their opinions and insight around projected growth. Over the last five years, much has been done across the Upstate with the intention of ensuring the Upstate is growing (both from a physical and social infrastructure standpoint) in a manner that will help the region reach its full potential and remain a great place to live, learn, do business and raise a family for generations to come.


The September Summit will look at some of the challenges and successes faced by the Upstate over the last five years and then gather input and insight from participants on what priorities need to be addressed over the next five years as we continue working collectively to ensure future success across the Upstate.


More details, including keynote speakers, the full program and registration information will be announced in the coming months, but please be sure and block the date on your calendar today.


A limited number of top level sponsorships are available for the summit. You can download the sponsorship package for more information. 



The City of Greer Parks and Recreation Department hosted a one day festival to celebrate international culture in the Upstate. The festival was titled "The City of Greer International Festival: Greer Goes Global". It was held on March 29, 2014, at Greer City Hall. 

This festival was one of the three recipients of the 2013 Elevate Upstate Grants.


The festival was free to the public, and offered entertainment (dancing, singing, etc.), children's crafts and inflatables, visual arts and sports demonstrations. There was an art show displayed during the entire festival, and reception that concluded the festival activities. All festival activities, events and entertainment were produced and influenced by the variety of cultures in and around the Greer area.  


The City of Greer Parks and Recreation Department's goal was to provide a festival that celebrated international culture, strengthened community image, created a sense of place for diverse cultures and allowed local members of the international community to share their customs with others. The festival not only provided an educational experience to those attending by exposing them to international culture, but it also allowed attendees to interact and take part in certain activities, such as the sports demonstrations, inflatables and crafts.


The hope is that "Greer Goes Global" will becoming an annual event, growing each year. The Mayor of Greer, Rick Danner, presented the creator of the Elevate Upstate Grants, Phil Hughes, with a key to the city. 


The 2014 Elevate Upstate Grants application will be available on June 1st and applications will be accepted through September 15th. More information will be available in upcoming issues of the TATT e-newsletter. 



Clean Air Upstate

Hunt Meadows Elementary School and Pickens Middle School have been selected as the first recipients of a Clean Air Upstate Sustainable Schools Grant. Each school will receive a $1,000 grant through the Clean Air Upstate initiative, which is being coordinated by Ten at the Top. Funding for the grants was provided as part of a grant from Duke Energy to the Clean Air Upstate effort.


These two schools were awarded grants as part of a competitive process amongst schools from across the Upstate that have previously demonstrated a commitment to supporting a sustainable environment by participating in the Breathe Better (B2) anti-idling program. The B2 program is an anti-idling/clean air campaign sponsored by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) which educates about the harmful effects of vehicle idling and encourages developing anti-idling zones to reduce toxic emissions around schools.


Hunt Meadows Elementary School, located in Anderson County, will use their grant to start a composting program using worm bins. As part of the project, each grade level within the school will have its own worm bin for composting food waste. This project will involve students of all age levels, and the composted soil produced from the bins will be used for the school flower garden and ecobottles, along with other school projects.   


Pickens Middle School will use their grant to create sustainable ozone bio-indicator gardens and to establish a Conservation Gallery. The ozone bio-indicator gardens will feature ozone sensitive native plants in raised beds, to be monitored by students, while the Conservation Gallery will educate visitors about the three main areas on our Earth that need protecting: Air, water and land. The projects will include students from the sixth, seventh, and eighth grades, with each grade level responsible for a particular aspect of the project.      


Through such initiatives, Hunt Meadows Elementary and Pickens Middle School are doing their part to promote sustainability education within Upstate schools, thus promoting a culture that values living and growing in a sustainable manner. Additional grants will be awarded during the 2014-2015 school year to other Upstate schools.


Clean Air Upstate is an initiative developed by the Upstate Air Quality Advisory Committee to promote the importance that having clean air can play for both the physical health and economic vitality of Upstate residents. The effort includes a combination of specific on-the-ground emission reduction programs and an awareness & education campaign that highlights ways Upstate residents can help reduce emission levels in the region, thus helping ensure that the Upstate remains within compliance with EPA Clean Air Act standards.
Barry Nocks

Barry Nocks, professor emeritus of city and regional planning at Clemson University, has been named to the College of Fellows by the American Institute for Certified Planners in recognition of his outstanding achievements in urban planning, community service and leadership.

Nocks has 40 years of experience as a practicing planner, educator, administrator, consultant and citizen planner. He directed the master planning process for the Reedy River Corridor in Greenville that provided the framework for the area's redevelopment and the creation of the Swamp Rabbit trail.


Nocks retired from Clemson in 2013, having served as professor, director of the Master of City and Regional Planning program, associate dean for research and graduate studies in the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities, and director of the Center for Community Growth and Change.

During his 35 years at Clemson, he taught graduate courses in planning theory and process, quantitative methods, social and health planning, local planning administration, planning practice studio and negotiation.


He currently serves on the Planning Accreditation Board, the organization that accredits professional planning programs in the U.S., as well as the Board of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning. In Greenville, he has served on the City Planning Commission, is currently chair of the city's Design Review Board and has been active in regional planning efforts in the Upstate since 2006, currently serving on the Ten at the Top Board of Directors. He has also been engaged as a consultant and volunteer with a variety of public and private organizations in the Carolinas and throughout the country.


Nocks earned a B.S. degree in industrial engineering/operations research from Cornell University and a Master of Regional Planning and Ph.D. degree in planning from UNC-Chapel Hill. He has lived in Greenville since 1974. His wife Elaine retired from the faculty at Furman University. They have a son and two granddaughters who also live in Greenville.


The 40 honorees will be inducted into the College of Fellows April 27 at a ceremony in Atlanta during the second day of the American Planning Association's 2014 National Planning Conference. With this year's induction, about 400 of the approximately 15,000 Certified planners have become Fellows. Barry Nocks is the fifth planner in S.C. to become a Fellow in the organization.




GWU Planet Forward is partnering with Second Nature to recognize 20 colleges and universities that exemplify the mission of the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) of addressing sustainability through education, research, and community engagement.  


Furman has been selected as one of four finalists among baccalaureate universities in the 2014 Climate Leadership Awards.  The Shi Center for Sustainability, under the leadership of Dr. Angela Halfacre, continues to be a leader in this field. 


All of Second Nature's Climate Leadership Award Finalists were asked to create a 1-3 minute video highlighting climate innovations on campus.  The video competition will run from April 1st - 15th.


To watch the video and vote for Furman each day until the 15th, click here 


Ten at the Top is looking for a summer intern to be involved in a number of TATT initiatives including TATT task forces around Human Potential, Economic & Entrepreneurial Vitality, Sustainable Growth, Natural Beauty & Resources and Community Vibrancy as well as specific committees focused on air quality, workforce & skill development, senior issues and land use planning. For more information, click here


The Upstate Information Hub continues to offer a "one-stop" internet location to find links to resources and events from across the Upstate.

Overall, the Information Hub has listings of hundreds of local calendar events and more than a thousand local community resources from across the 10 counties of South Carolina's Upstate. 

In addition to the events and resources available on the web site, you can also sign up  for the weekly "Uniquely Upstate" e-newsletter, which highlights the "hot events" happening across the region that weekend and also includes a feature story that showcases something unique about the Upstate.

Recent feature stories include: It's Spring: Time for Festivals, Dancing with the Upstate's Stars, Cycle to Farm: Combining Fitness and Local Food, and Greer Goes Global.

If you have calendar events, resources or feature stories that you would like to see added to the Information Hub, please contact Meredyth Boaz


Over the last five years, more than 80 organizations and individuals from across the Upstate have helped support the mission of Ten at the Top to promote collaboration and planning in the Upstate by donating funds or services as either a continuing funding partner (commitment of at least three years), annual funding partner or event sponsor.
Each month we will be highlighting some of these organizations that recognize the value of regional collaboration, planning and partnerships across the 10-county Upstate region as we work together to ensure that the Upstate remains a great place to live, learn, do business and raise a family for generations to come.

This month we want to thank some of our Annual Funding Partners (2013 & 2014):


Charter Business

Interested in becoming a Ten at the Top funding partner? Contact Meredyth Boaz or call 864-283-2317 


Click here to view 2014 Sponsor Opportunities 


Latest News
If your city, county or organization has news you want to share or an event you want to promote with people across the 10-county Upstate Region, send it to us and we will include it in the next Ten at the Top e-newsletter.
The TATT newsletter is typically distributed the first Monday of each month (except for when there is a holiday) to more than 6,500 residents across the Upstate. The deadline for submitting information is the Thursday prior to the first Monday of the month.

Send information about an upcoming event, special recognition or anything else you think is of regional interest to Meredyth Boaz.