GREENVILLE, S.C.— Ten at the Top’s signature biennial event, the Upstate Regional Summit presented by BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, took place on Tuesday, September 25. More than 800 business, community and civic leaders convened at the TD Convention Center to engage around issues that impact the economic vitality and quality of life of the ten-county Upstate region. This year’s theme, “Winning the Future,” was centered around how to ensure the Upstate is well-positioned for future success.
Featuring an agenda to spark conversation and connections, the 2018 Upstate Regional Summit began with a Morning Session sponsored by Intelli-NET featuring a panel moderated by John Lummus of Upstate SC Alliance and Amy Wood of WSPA-TV that focused around how the Upstate is positioned in the areas of economic development and job creation. Frank Davis of Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, Beth Land of Site Selection Group, Nelson Lindsay of South Carolina Department of Commerce and Trey Pennington of CBRE, discussed some of the key ingredients the Upstate must continue to focus on if we hope to remain a destination location for new business and industry. Infrastructure, skilled workforce, direct airline flights and a strong business culture were among the elements mentioned as essential to future success.
“A successful region is made up of many communities, organizations and businesses that are all working to achieve individual success, but that also can come together to enhance the collective capacity of the region around some of the larger issues that have impacts beyond the capacity of an individual entity,” said Dean Hybl, Executive Director of Ten at the Top. “This Summit is an opportunity for community and business leaders to learn from each other, discuss how to grow collaborative opportunities and to enhance or create relationships that can lead to future partnerships.”
Continuing on the theme of “Winning the Future”, the event included breakout sessions looking at how the Upstate is positioned for success in the areas of Innovation & Technology, Mobility & Connectivity, Education & Workforce Development and Creating Vibrant Communities. In addition, 20 Upstate leaders coordinated small group discussions around a wide range of topics related to economic vitality and quality of life in the region in the new “Connections Corner”.
Leadership Level Funding Partners Announced
Minor Mickel Shaw of Micco, LLC, who serves as one of Ten at the Top’s Founding Board Members, was joined onstage with the first two founding Chairs of the Board of Ten at the Top, Irv Welling, former CEO of Elliott Davis, and Neal Workman, Founder and Chairman of Trehel Corporation, for a special announcement related to Ten at the Top’s upcoming 10th Anniversary to be celebrated in 2019.
Shaw stated that the Upstate is where it is today because of Ten at the Top: “Ten at the Top convenes partners across the Upstate to build regional partnerships and relationships of leaders across counties. Since Ten at the Top’s beginning, 35,000 people have joined the efforts of this organization. Ten at the Top is seen as a vital part of the livelihood and prosperity of the Upstate.”
She went on to announce that twelve Upstate companies have already committed between $10,000 and $25,000+ to the organization so that it can win its future by sustaining its mission to continue the good work of bringing the Upstate together for its collective betterment. Those organizations include:
- BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
- Clemson University
- Greenville Health System
- Hollingsworth Funds
- Michelin North America
- Hughes Investments
- Piedmont Natural Gas,
- Spartanburg Water, and
- Trehel Corporation
Welling and Workman appealed to the leaders of the audience to “get serious’ about engaging in Ten at the Top, and to reflect on how they could contribute to “the Upstate of tomorrow.”
Ask more questions! – Polly LaBarre
The 2018 Upstate Regional Summit culminated with a luncheon sponsored by Greenville Business Magazine, featuring keynote presenter Polly LaBarre, the co-author of Mavericks at Work, co-founder of MLab (Management Lab) and founding writer of Fast Company. During her remarks, LaBarre strongly encouraged all leaders to ask more questions and reinforced that “practicing innocence [having fresh eyes] takes courage.” LaBarre urged the Summit audience never to shy away from asking questions because “the questions that no one has asked before lead to innovative ideas.”
Directly following her 45-minute presentation, LaBarre was joined onstage by Summit Emcee Amy Wood, Anchor of WSPA-TV, for a question-and-answer session, in which LaBarre received questions live from the Summit’s official hashtag #TATTSummit.
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 www.tenatthetop.org.