Ten at the Top
Upstate News

July 6, 2015 - Vol 6. Issue 7

57 Regional Engagements in 2015              475 Regional Engagements Since 2010

2,004 Participants in 2015                           25,081 Participants Since 2010
Contact Us:

Executive Director 864-283-2315

Program Manager

Communications Manager

Administrative Associate
2015 Mid-Year Report
Ten at the Top Mid-Year Update

The first six months of 2015 have been the busiest since Ten at the Top began regular operations in 2010. We believe they have also been the most impactful in terms of building connections and regional initiatives, networks and actions that are growing partnerships and capacity around key issues that impact economic vitality and quality of life in the Upstate.


The 2015 Mid-Year Report provides snapshots of some of the efforts that have been spearheaded by Ten at the Top volunteers and staff and are building the collective capacity and connections across the Upstate region. This continued moving of the needle would not be possible without the dedicated efforts of more than 500 regional stakeholders who are currently participating in Ten at the Top committees, task forces or on the board of directors. The funding support of more than 70 businesses, organizations and individuals from across the region is also vital. We thank all of you for playing a key role in continuing to enhance collaboration, coordination and cooperation across the Upstate region.


Maintaining the momentum over the remainder of 2015 and into 2016 will be crucial as we continue efforts to ensure the Upstate is universally recognized as a leading place to live, learn, do business and raise a family.

Upcoming Events

July 8, 2-3:30: Regional Food System - Market Work Group Meeting 

July 21, 9-2: American with Disabilities Act Training for Local Governments 

September 22, 3-5: Our Upstate Vision Forum: Growing Economic Vibrancy in Downtowns and Rural Communities 
featuring Ed McMahon, Urban Land Institute 

October 20, 3-5: Shaping Our Future Speaker Series: The Economic Benefits of Conservation & Open Space featuring Jessica Sargent, Trust for Public Land 
November 19, 3-5: Our Upstate Vision Forum: 
Celebrating Successes - Great Things Happening Across the Upstate 

Click Here for the Full Upcoming Schedule

Save the Date:
September 13, 2016

In 2014 more than 800 Upstate stakeholders attended the TATT Upstate Regional Summit. Mark your calendar for the next Summit, which will be held on September 13, 2016. More details will be available soon.

American with Disabilities Act Training for Local Governments 

Local Government and School System leaders should plan on participating in this training on July 21st to further the goal of making the Upstate a great place to live, work, learn, play, and participate for people with disabilities.

State of the Upstate 2015

Stories from across the region on what communities, organizations and individuals are doing to help the the Upstate reach its full potential.


The Ten at the Top "Getting to Know Our Neighbors" bus tour made its second stop in Union County on June 18th with more than 20 participants enjoying a great day in Union.  

Torance Inman, Director of the Union County Chamber of Commerce, and Andrena Powell-Baker, CEO of the Union Economic Development Council, provided a great driving tour of economic development sites across the County. Participants also received a tour of the Advance Technology Center from center director Kathy Jo Lancaster.

Union County has a beautiful downtown that is bursting with history. The Union County Museum holds many unique Union treasures from the battles fought, to the jailhouse front door, to fashion designs. Museum Director Ola Jean Kelly highlighted many special treasures during a museum tour.  

Along with the history from many years past, Union is moving forward. Amber Ivey, Coordinator at the Union County Arts Council, has been making strides in bringing the arts and new culture into downtown. A community that did not have a formal arts program now has a booming gallery that holds classes and receptions. 

The unemployment rate in Union County has dramatically declined in recent years, but is still above the state average. Katherine Pendergrass shared the efforts of SC Works and the Upstate Workforce Investment Board to help place Union County residents in local jobs. 
Union is also home to USC Union. Nicknamed "The Corner" because of its location has been a branch of University of South Carolina since 1965. Dr. Alice Taylor-Colbert, Campus Dean, gave the group a history lesson and update on how USC Union is growing and looking to the future. Originally USC Union had 51 enrolled students, today more than 500 students attend the University.

The group was also welcomed by many community and political leaders throughout the day including Harold Thompson, Mayor of Union; Frank Hart, Union County Supervisor, and Mary Ferguson Glenn, the Mayor of Carlisle. All of these individuals and more are a part of making Union County what it is today... and they say they aren't done yet!

Later this year, Ten at the Top will get to know Laurens County and Oconee County. You don't want to miss either trip. Stay tuned for more details!

Ten  at the Top (TATT), hosted the second Our Upstate Vision Forum of 2015 on June 2nd on the widely popular topic of Healthcare and how as time goes on, the picture of what healthcare looks like and how patients are treated continues to develop.


Keynote speaker, Thronton Kirby, President & CEO of the South Carolina Hospital Association clearly laid out the healthcare system and how we can continue to adapt and change.

We have to know where we have been in order to know where we are going. Kirby provided a brief history of how the healthcare system was formed following the Second World War. 


Along with discussing the differences between healthcare in the United States versus other nations, Kirby mentioned the three things that Americans want from their healthcare system:

  1. American's want the best care in the world
  2. American's want someone else to pay for it
  3. American's do not want to have to change their behavior

Because of these three desires and other factors the healthcare system in America has structural flaws like affordability, access, reliability, and behavior and rural health challenges. Fundamentally, there are struggles but South Carolina is making strides to change the trends of healthcare. The quality of patient care is the highest priority, SC has gone from 46th to 42nd in the health status and continues to advance, and our hospitals and physicians are focusing more on keeping patients healthy. 


With change comes feelings of uncertainty but why should we be optimistic about the future of healthcare? Kirby reminded us that the leaders of South Carolina are focused on driving healthcare forward to be better and the current generation is jumping at the opportunity to reshape the system and provide better care. The most exciting way, collaboration. Hospitals, physicians and many other partners are working together to increase services and provide quality care.

In addition to Thronton Kirby, two expert panels including physicians form many of the Upstate's leading hospital systems, medical technology innovators, and researchers came together to discuss the care process and innovation.


The first panel, moderated by Jim Shew from BlueCross BlueShield of SC discussed the improvement of medical care and the recent advances in the process of treating patients. The second panel, moderated by Angel Rodriguez from Genesis Surgical Solutions - a company in the Upstate devoted to innovation of technology, discussed many advances in medical sciences from technology to genetics research.


If you missed the forum, check out the video recap to the left and then visit our YouTube Channel to stream the whole discussion.


Ten  at the Top (TATT), through a funding commitment from Phil Hughes and Hughes Investments Inc., is now accepting applications for the 2015 Hughes Investments ELEVATE UPSTATE (EU) Community Vibrancy Grants. 


The purpose of the ELEVATE UPSTATE Grants is to identify and provide initial funding support for community based programs that promote community and economic vibrancy in local areas across the Upstate. 


The initiative started in 2013 and annually awards two grants of up to $5,000 each to entities including neighborhood associations, civic or community based organizations, non-profit organizations or local governments that are committed to developing and implementing programs designed to increase local vibrancy in communities within the Upstate.


The 2015 Application is available now. Interest forms due by August 1st and completed applications due September 15th

Info Hub Button
Call to Volunteers!

We are looking for volunteers to assist in a variety of ways  throughout the year. 
Is Your Company/Organization Celebrating a Milestone in 2015? 
We Want to Know!   


The Upstate Info Hub

The "one-stop-shop" for all things Upstate. Find a regional events calendar and resources



Habitat for Humanity of Greenville County's 30th Anniversary:  MORE THAN HOUSES!


This year, Habitat Greenville is celebrating its 30th anniversary.  As part of the celebration, construction of our 330th home will begin on June 25.  The ministry's mission statement sums up its goal:  Putting God's love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope. Habitat's fundamental belief is that affordable homeownership is foundational for creating family stability, ensuring academic success for children and eliminating generational poverty. 


The zero-interest home mortgages provided by Habitat, along with volunteer-based home construction, enable families with low income to attain homeownership.  The Habitat model provides an opportunity for people to help themselves and has been designed to ensure successful outcomes.  As they pay their mortgage, each family develops equity in their home. This helps to change their financial trajectory, breaks the generational cycle of poverty, and creates more secure families and responsible citizens. 


What began as a grassroots organization has become one of the largest non-profit organizations in Greenville.  Habitat supporters - donors and volunteers - continue to be the backbone of the organization. 2014 saw 2,060 volunteers contribute 22,146 hours to build Habitat homes, including hundreds of companies, organizations, churches and individuals in Greenville County. The work of Habitat Greenville was recognized with the 2015 Nonprofit Excellence Award, given by the SC Association of Nonprofit Organizations (SCANPO). The award recognizes Habitat Greenville for exemplary governance and management and excellence in implementation of SCANPO's Guiding Principles and Best Practices. In addition, Habitat also received the 2015 Max Heller Neighborhood Improvement Award at the annual meeting of the Greenville Chamber of Commerce.


Habitat Greenville will continue the celebration of its 30th anniversary and showcase its accomplishments at its 3rd Annual "No Place like Home- a Ruby Slipper Event" on Monday, September 14, at TD Convention Center.  The evening will include a silent auction, seated dinner and entertainment by the Phillis Wheatley Repertory Theatre as well as a guest appearance by the Edwin McCain Acoustic Trio.  Individual tickets are $75.  A table for ten is $500, and sponsorship is available.  For complete information, visit habitatgreenville.org or call 864-370-1458.

In addition to the events and resources available on OurUpstateSC.info, the weekly "Uniquely Upstate" 
e-newsletter highlights "hot events" happening across the region and a feature story that showcases something unique about the Upstate.
Latest NewsIf 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 
Send information to Ashley Downing