Workshops and Speakers Announced for PIQUE Young Professionals Summit

TAYLORS, S.C.—Ten at the Top’s third annual PIQUE: Young Professionals Elevating the Upstate Summit presented by ScanSource is set to include many regional business leaders for its workshops and roundtables. This event focuses on the collaboration and connection of young professionals (ages 21-40) in the ten counties comprising the Upstate community.

“This event has continued to grow each year and we are honored to have such great leaders participating,” Dean Hybl, TATT’s executive director, said. “It is wonderful to see our regional leaders investing in the leaders of tomorrow.”

Event workshops will feature the following:

Networking and Building Professional Relationships

Many young leaders have the skills, talent, and willingness to learn that makes them ideal employees. However, young leaders sometimes have difficulties finding opportunities in their career field. Networking and building meaningful relationships aids young professionals in their endeavors to solidify employment and grow their professional network. This workshop seeks to give young professionals an in-depth insight on how to effectively network and establish mutually beneficial relationships, like mentors, throughout their career. Speakers are set to include:

  • Todd Horne, Vice President of Business Development of Clayton Construction
  • Velda Hughes, Owner and CEO of Hughes Agency
  • Tammy Johnson, President and CEO of High Spirits Hospitality
  • Keaton Stroud, Editor-in-Chief of The Scout Guide Greenville
  • Moderator: Chad Lawson, Communications Manager of Spartanburg Water

Driving Innovation Through Engagement & Inclusion

Diversity is a key driver in innovation and is a critical component of being successful on a local and global scale. Diverse experiences, backgrounds and perspectives help young leaders develop new ideas and understand the importance of collaboration. This workshop will help young leaders gain understanding on how they can drive innovation through engagement and inclusion throughout their career. Speakers are set to include:

  • Marion Crawford, President and CEO of Crawford Strategies
  • Deborah McKetty, President and CEO of Community Works, Inc.
  • Erica Powell, President and CEO of Erica Powell Enterprises
  • Moderator: Betsy Neely Sikma, Vice President of Talent and Economic Inclusion at Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce

Navigating Workplace Politics, Structures and Cultures

Navigating your workplace can often be tricky, especially as a young professional. It is important to be aware and understand workplace politics, structures and cultures. Not all workplaces are the same, therefore, it is important to know how to navigate your work environment in a professional manner. This workshop seeks to prepare young leaders with tools and information to succeed in any structure, culture, no matter the politics. Speakers are set to include:

  • Ann Angermeier, Executive Director of Upstate Workforce
  • Ingo Angermeier, Former President and CEO of Spartanburg Regional Health Services District, Inc.
  • Gerald Hubbard Smalls, Attorney at Gerald Hubbard Smalls
  • Brad Smith, Managing Principal of McMillian Pazdan Smith
  • Moderator: Emily Cox, Senior Account Representative at WESCO International, Inc.

Young Professionals Development and Success

Most young leaders seek to be the employee of choice and separate themselves from the pack. An important aspect of one’s early career is learning to distinguish one’s self and transition a job into a career. There are many industry challenges in the workplace, but young professionals can grow to be the most talented and prepared professionals. This workshop discusses the importance of young professional development and methods to achieve success within your early career. Attendees will learn how to be seen as professional colleague and start shaping career paths early. Speakers are set to include:

  • Pam G. Batson, First Vice President of Investments & Senior PIM Portfolio Manager of Weinkle Batson Financial Consulting Group
  • Madison Skinner, Human Resource Manager of ScanSource
  • Moderator: Shannon Creighton, Director of Master of Business Administration program at Limestone College

The Executive Networking Roundtables

These executive networking roundtables will feature established, high-level business and community leaders (executives) from all sectors, regardless of age, to lead a discussion about how they got where they are, how they found what they needed to be successful and the barriers they’ve overcome to get where they are. Each executive will be seated at a table with seven young leaders and will lead a ten-minute conversation. After ten minutes are up the executives will rotate, allowing each table of young leaders to meet three executives. Due to the anticipated popularity this workshop will be offered during both workshop sessions. Participating executives to be announced soon.

The PIQUE Young Professionals Summit will be on March 22 from 1:15 p.m. to 5 p.m., at the Southern Bleachery in Taylors, South Carolina with a networking reception to follow at 13 Stripes Brewery.

Wrap-Up Panel: Globalism in the Upstate

Rounding out PIQUE will be a panel discussion between public and private business leaders whose work spans the globe, sponsored by the Upstate SC Alliance. Speakers include:

  • Anita Patel, International Trade Manager at South Carolina Department of Commerce
  • Nicole Johnson, Director of Sales of Boyd Cycling
  • Gabriel Montauti, International Culinary Project Manager of Denny’s
  • Moderator: Morgan Crapps, Special Counsel at Nexsen Pruet

“PIQUE is a place where young professionals engage in meaningful dialogue about how to join in building the region through professional, volunteer and civic engagement,” John Lummus, President & CEO of Upstate SC Alliance, said. “It’s a great forum for discussion about the Upstate’s global economy – our region has nearly 500 international companies representing 34 countries, and our panelists will share how their work intersects with the global economy on a daily basis.”

Attendees will have the opportunity to choose their personal agenda between multiple workshops as well as coordinated networking opportunities to meet with an executive in their respective industry or interest area to discuss relevant insights and the attendee’s professional goals. Following the event programming, 13 Stripes Brewery will host the networking reception sponsored by Denny’s.  Cribb’s Catering will cater the reception and provide a nacho bar for guests. Tickets include two drinks at 13 Stripes Brewery for attendees 21 and older.

PIQUE tickets cost $25 and may be purchased here. Advanced registration is required, and space is limited.

About Ten at the Top

Comprised of public, private and civic leaders from across the ten-county Upstate South Carolina Region, Ten at the Top was created to connect and encourage regional collaboration 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 foster collaboration and strategic planning to enhance the economic vitality and quality of life for Upstate residents both today and as the region continues to grow. For more information, visit

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