Ten at the Top
Upstate News

November 3, 2014 - Vol 5, Issue 11

Our Upstate Vision  Forum: "Great Things Happening
 in the Upstate"

November 13th
(Reception to follow)
Marriott - 1 Parkway East, Greenville SC
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Be sure and register today for the final TATT/Our Upstate Vision Forum of 2014, which will be held on Thursday, November 13th from 3-5 pm (reception to follow) at the Greenville Marriott. The forum will focus on celebrating some of the successes and great things happening across the Upstate. 


While it is critical to look at areas where we must continue to work to make the Upstate an even better place for generations to come, it is also important that we take opportunities to recognize and understand some of the great things from our past and that are happening today in our region.


The November 13th forum will highlight some of the people, organizations and businesses that are making the Upstate a great place to live, learn, do business and raise a family.


The forum will also include recognition of companies and organizations celebrating milestone anniversaries (20 years or more) in 2014 (see more information below). BMW will be bringing several historic vehicles representing their 20 years in the Upstate.

In addition, the will include presentations by the five finalists for the Hughes Investments Elevate Upstate Grants (see the list below).

The November 13th forum is free and open to the public, but we ask that you register in advance. The registration deadline is November 11th.


The five finalists for the 2014 Hughes Investments Elevate Upstate Grants have been chosen from a total of 22 applications submitted for the two grants available in 2014. Hughes Investments is contributing $10,000 per year to the program with two recipients each year receiving $5,000 to support a new vibrancy initiative in the Upstate. The program began in 2013 in conjunction with a series of Community Vibrancy Workshops hosted by Ten at the Top.

During the Ten at the Top Regional Forum on November 13th the five finalists will each provide a brief overview of their initiative before the two 2014 recipients are selected and announced. The forum is free and open to the public and will be held from 3-5 pm at the Greenville Marriott. Click here to register now.

Here are the five finalists (applying organization and project name):

City of Gaffney - Unforgettable Gaffney - The Unforgettable Gaffney project will create a coherent and engaging system for communicating the esthetic and historic value of properties in two historic districts in the city.

Let's Keep Travelers Rest Beautiful - Before I Die Wall - The 'Before I Die' wall concept has been implemented all over the world to encourage healthy discussions regarding dreams and hopes. Travelers Rest will construct several different walls to spark discussion and actions across the community.

City of Clinton - Rhythm of the Rails - Rhythm of the Rails will be an annual celebration to be held the last Saturday of April as a finale of the Celebrate Clinton Month.

Main Street Laurens - Finally Friday on the Square - Finally Friday on the Square will be a monthly celebration of all things Laurens with live music hosted in the historic downtown.

Pickens Revitalization Association - Pickens Main Street  Challenge - The Pickens Main Street Challenge is designed
to attract new businesses into downtown Pickens by providing reduced rent in currently vacant storefronts.

The selection committee for the Elevate Upstate Grants Program includes Phil Hughes (President, Hughes Investments), Betsy
Fleming (President, Converse College), and Terence Roberts (Mayor, City of Anderson

For the final forum of 2014, Ten at the Top will be recognizing  organizations and companies across the Upstate that will be celebrating milestone anniversaries of 20 years or more.

More than 70 organizations, business and churches from across the 10 county region are celebrating milestone anniversaries in 2014 and all are invited to attend the forum and be part of a special recognition.

In addition, BMW, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary in the Upstate, will feature some of their historic cars in front of the Marriott to be viewed by the attendees before and after the forum. BMW and the Greenwood Genetics Center, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary, will give brief historic overviews during the program.

For a complete list of companies, click here. If you are celebrating a milestone anniversary (20+ years) and are not currently included, please contact Meredyth Boaz by Friday, November 7th.


Ten at the Top (TATT) has announced the addition of Tiffany Tate as Program Manager. Tiffany will be responsible for coordinating task forces, work groups and regional initiatives around the five driver areas of the Our Upstate Vision.


Ten at the Top (TATT) works with regional partners to foster collaboration and strategic planning to enhance the economic vitality, natural and cultural resources and quality of life for Upstate residents both today and as the region continues to grow.  


Tiffany Tate attended Clemson University, where she earned a Bachelor's in Political Science and a minor in Sociology.  


Tiffany is no stranger to the Upstate of South Carolina. As a native of Liberty, she attended Liberty High School before attending Clemson University. She previously worked with Core Financial Resources where she managed social media and client communication campaigns, designed marketing materials and served as the contact for various events, fundraisers, and classes.  


"I'm excited to be able to address the most important issues facing the Upstate today by encouraging the creation and expansion of collaborative relationships in the Upstate," says Tiffany.


Ten at the Top recently conducted the 400th regional engagement (presentations, forums, meetings, surveys) since the organization began its current phase in January 2010. The activities have included more than 22,500 participants from across the Upstate region.


Ranging from issue-based task force meetings to presentations for community organizations or gatherings of hundreds of elected officials, community & business leaders and Upstate residents discussing key issues around the economic vitality or quality of life in the Upstate, each session has helped grow the spirit of collaboration and partnerships across the Upstate region.


The issues on which TATT has convened regional meetings and encouraged collaboration focus around the five driver areas of the Our Upstate Vision (which TATT developed through feedback from more than 10,000 Upstate residents). The specific topics on which TATT has convened meetings and forums include the value of education, supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses, senior issues, air quality attainment, water planning, transportation & infrastructure, workforce & skill development and local community vibrancy.


In September, Ten at the Top hosted its largest event, the Upstate Regional Forum, which brought together more than 800 leaders and interested residents from across the Upstate to look at where we have been as a region, where we are now and where we are going.


Ten at the Top was originally formed under the name Upstate Together in 2005 as an ad hoc regional committee with the goal of encouraging regional discussions on cross-jurisdictional issues. In 2009, the group hosted the Upstate Reality Check event that brought together more than 400 leaders from across the region. It was at that point that the name of the organization was changed to Ten at the Top and it was incorporated as a non-profit.


In 2009, Upstate leaders identified a lack of regional collaboration as a barrier toward future growth and success for the region. Of respondents to a survey conducted in advance of the September 2014 Regional Summit, 94% said that they believe regional collaboration is stronger today than it was in 2009, though 60% said it is still a potential barrier if we do not continue working to build regional capacity and partnerships.


The current work plan of community activities, meetings, forums and presentations began in 2010 following the hiring of Dean Hybl as executive director. Irv Welling served as the chair of Ten at the Top through 2011, followed by Neal Workman for 2012-2013 and Carol Burdette for the current two year term. The board of directors includes more than 50 leaders from across the ten counties of the Upstate region.



Many worthwhile organizations in our area address significant community needs such as homelessness, domestic violence, child abuse and families in crisis.  Since Ten at the Top supports many of these helpful organizations, we were asked to share the following survey related to various social issues that significantly impact our community.  


We would appreciate your participation in the survey as your confidential and anonymous responses will provide valuable insight that will aid community service organizations in meeting the needs of those they serve. It will take less than 10 minutes to complete. Ten at the Top values our relationship with you and we believe that as an organization that is committed to improving the quality of life in our community, we should support others who are doing good work in the Upstate.


How to access the survey:


1. Click on the URL listed below. If clicking the link does not take you to the survey, you may need to copy and paste the URL into your web browser.


2. Answer all questions, and then click the Submit button at the end of the survey. It's that easy!



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: Diversity Leadership Initiative Builds Bridges, Leaf Peeping in the Upstate, Erskine Celebrates 175th Anniversary with Erskinefest, Fall Family Fun on the Farm: Denver Downs, and Haunted Bridges in the Upstate.

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 120 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 our Regional Forum Sponsors:


Presenting Sponsor: Blue Cross Blue Shield SC


Visionary Sponsor: Greenville Health System


Supporting Sponsors: Brown Mackie College, Community Works Carolina, GSP Airport, Regions Bank, Rutland Institute of Ethics Clemson University   

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.