Ten at the Top Upstate News
August 3, 2020 - Volume 11, Issue 8
Missing Your Regional Friends?
Join TATT Board Members & Local Leaders for a TATT CHAT
Though we have been unable to physically gather since March, Ten at the Top has fostered continued regional conversations by hosting a regular Zoom "TATT CHAT" to share updates on COVID-19 as well as other things happening across the Upstate.

In July, TATT hosted a pair of interesting sessions. During the first one, Jeff Brown, Vice President of Marketing for the Greenville Drive, discussed the recent decision that minor league baseball would not be taking place in 2020..

The July 30th session featured Sara Hazzard, CEO of the South Carolina Manufacturers Association providing an overview on the current status of manufacturing across the state and how the sector has been impacted by the pandemic.

You can read the summaries and watch the video from all 12 TATT CHAT sessions that have occurred since April through this direct link. In addition to guest speakers, each session also includes updates from counties across the Upstate region.

In August, there will be a pair of sessions on August 13th and August 27th; both virtual sessions will be held from 3:00-4:00 pm.

The August 13th TATT CHAT will feature Sam Konduros, CEO of SCBIO, to discuss how that organization has supported the procurement of PPE as well as other ways they have supported medical efforts during the pandemic. You can click here to register for the August 13th TATT CHAT.

On August 27th, Sean Dogan, the Interim CEO of the Urban League of the Upstate, will provide an update on how the Urban League has been engaging with multiple stakeholders to support vulnerable populations during the pandemic as well as their recent efforts to support social equity initiatives. You can click here to register for the August 27th TATT CHAT.
PIQUE Young Professionals Event Moved to 2021;
Monthly Virtual "Sneak Pique" Starts in September
Due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19, Ten at the Top (TATT) will not hold Pique, its signature young professional event, in 2020, but will plan to hold the event in 2021. In the months leading up to the in-person event, a series of free virtual events will be held for young professionals. 

It was originally scheduled for March 23rd and most recently was planned for September 14th as an in-person event to be held at the Huguenot Mill and Loft in downtown Greenville, with ScanSource as the presenting sponsor, and local author Sallie Holder as the keynote speaker. A new date has not been set, but both the original venue and the keynote speaker have confirmed.

“As September gets closer, it seems unlikely that an in-person event for 300 people will be possible, and there are challenges to moving an event such as Pique to a virtual platform,” says Pique planning committee chair Jessica Miserendino. “With networking being such a big part of the event as well as the executive roundtables providing valuable interaction with high-level executives from a variety of fields, we didn’t see a way to recreate that experience online.”

Instead, Ten at the Top will be hosting a series of monthly “Sneak Pique” virtual events leading up to an in-person event to be held in the spring of 2021. The Sneak Pique events will be free one-hour virtual meetings designed to convene young professionals in an informal setting, with a variety of content provided and led by the Pique planning committee members, who are themselves young professionals.

Part of the “sneak” element is that the content will not be revealed ahead of time. The first one will be held on September 14th, on the date Pique was scheduled to be held. Subsequent dates will be released at the end of each event.

Ticket holders have been refunded for the 2020 tickets purchased, and they will be informed when ticket sales resume for the 2021 event. For more information, contact Sharon Purvis.
Sneak Pique! A Conversation with Pique Planning Committee Chair Jessica Miserendino

Jessica Miserendino, Import Manager at AFL, Ten at the Top board member, and chair of the Pique planning committee, answered some questions about Sneak Pique, while keeping some of the “sneak” parts under wraps.

Staying On Top:
Upstate Leaders Share Sector Insights During the COVID-19 Crisis
Q&A with Mike Fox from Lockheed Martin

In April of 2019, Lockheed Martin Greenville announced the launch of a new F-16 production line, and a ceremony marking the construction of the first F-16 Block 70 aircraft was held in December. Just a few months later, COVID-19 hit, impacting industries in different ways, so we wanted to hear what was happening now at the company. Mike Fox, site director and general manager of the Greenville Operations of Lockheed Martin, answered some of our questions.


The Really Good, Really Big, Really Cheap Book Sale—Now Really Online

by John Jaraczewski, Executive Director, Greenville Literacy Association, with Sharon Purvis

For book lovers across the Upstate and beyond, the Greenville Literacy Association’s annual used book sale— the Really Good, Really Big, Really Cheap Book Sale—yields a treasure trove of bargains, from recent hardcover releases for $8 down to mass market paperbacks that are two for $1. For teachers and homeschooling families, it’s a great way to stock up on books for the classroom. It’s generally one of the highlights of my summer, with my sister driving down from Asheville to go with me—our little joke is that we get free books in exchange for a donation to the Greenville Literacy Association. But in addition to the bargains, the other thing you can count on at the sale is a huge crowd of people—you’re shoulder to shoulder with strangers, and that’s just not safe this year.



Possible Employer Liability for an Employee’s Contraction of COVID-19

by Michael Nail, Associate—Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.

Data suggests the potential for a wave of employment litigation springing from the pandemic. At this early stage, it is difficult to fully anticipate all the types of claims that may be brought by employees and how those claims will be handled by courts or administrative agencies. Through June 2020, a review of national court filings reveals numerous employment lawsuits based on COVID-19–related claims.

A survey of South Carolina court filings also reveals a variety of employment-related lawsuits based on COVID-19–related claims that fall into the broad categories of FMLA/FFCRA interference/retaliation, wage and hour violations, retaliation/wrongful discharge, discrimination, and unsafe working conditions.



Financial Expectations for Entrepreneurs: A Consultant’s Responsibility to Raise the Bar

by Earl Gregorich, Area Manager & Business Consultant, Greenville Area Small Business Development Centers

Anyone who has worked with small business owners and entrepreneurs has witnessed the good, bad and ugly side of how they track the financial aspects of their operations. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of business owners actually keep financial records and review them to make proactive decisions about the future of their business. The rest are somewhere between overly-reliant-on-their-bookkeeper and just-winging-it. The current COVID-19 disaster has, unfortunately, brought poor financial literacy to the forefront. So, how do we fix this? Well, it takes a concerted effort by all of us to raise the bar and set higher expectations for clients we are working with.


Down, But Definitely Not Out

by Jeff Brown, VP of Marketing and Sponsorships, Greenville Drive

The 15th anniversary season of Drive baseball was set to be our best ever. The events were planned. The promotions were ready. Fluor Field looked as good as ever with recent updates and fan experience enhancements. The Drive staff and the Upstate community was once again ready for a summer of family fun, high-quality entertainment, and as always, great Drive baseball. And then all of a sudden, in early March, everything changed. In the blink of an eye, instead of wearing Drive caps and Drive jerseys and sharing high-fives after a home run, we were all donning masks and staying six feet apart from each other. Nobody knew what the future held, and the best and most loyal fans in the country were left wondering if the Drive would have any kind of season.

Now we know. There will be no baseball this summer at Fluor Field; the Drive’s 15th anniversary season will have to wait until 2021. It goes without saying that the season cancellation is devastating for the Drive staff and the entire Upstate community. But in the end, the health and safety of our fans, players, and staff must always come first.



Libraries: So Much More Than Books

by Rieta Drinkwine, Union County Library & Susan Myers, Spartanburg County Public Libraries

Libraries are a great place to get books, movies, magazines, and music, but the services they offer go well beyond reading materials. They also offer free internet service and printing; local historical archives; programs for children, teens, and adults; a place to gather for meetings and classes—and much more.
Rieta Drinkwine, Executive Director of the Union County Libraries, and Susan Myers, Director of Teen Services at Spartanburg County Public Libraries, answered some questions about how their libraries have found ways to continue serving during the pandemic.


Upstate Entrepreneur Ecosystem Holding Monthly Virtual Workshops
On July 22nd the Upstate Entrepreneur Ecosystem gathered on Zoom for part two of their quarterly meeting.
Earl Gregorich, Area Manager and Business Consultant at Greenville Area Small Business Development Center discussed best practices for maintaining financial documents and the importance of building a healthy financial foundation to maximize profitability and support decision-making during disruption. Please see Earl’s article in Staying on Top about making financial transparency and review a standard practice to better support entrepreneurs.

Michael Nail of Ogletree Deakins discussed legal issues around protecting employees as they return to the workplace.

As always, the workshop served as a great connection point for the individuals and organizations in our region that support entrepreneurs and small businesses. The next virtual meeting of the Upstate Entrepreneur Ecosystem will be announced soon.
Connect to the Latest Information & Resources for the
Upstate COVID-19 Response
Over the last three months, while the pandemic has curtailed our ability to physically gather, it has only increased our realization that collaboration and working together are critical to our individual and collective success. We are blessed in the Upstate to have so many different organizations, businesses and communities that are overcoming the limitations this crisis is placing on all of us to work together to ensure that all Upstate residents are able to withstand this crisis.

At Ten at the Top, we have recognized that the most impactful way we can support organizations, businesses and local communities during this challenging time is to serve as an information collector and connector.

As the crisis started to grow in mid-March, Ten at the Top launched the Upstate COVID-19 Information Repository with links to local government, health organizations, K-12 and higher education, utilities, non-profits and other COVID-19 related resources. The site now also includes links to the latest government and community information, ways you can help, positive community stories and a calendar of virtual meetings & events.

If you have a regional resource or updated information to add to the repository or for us to share through social media, please contact Sharon Purvis, TATT Outreach & Special Projects Director.
Leadership Level Partners
Ten at the Top is fortunate to have many great funding supporters and appreciate all who help ensure the current and future success of the organization. Our highest partnership level is the Leadership Level, with companies or organizations investing $10,000 or more annually to support TATT. If your company or organization is interested in joining TATT's Leadership Level Supporters, please contact Dean Hybl today.
Stay Connected with Upstate Initiatives & Resources

Check out the TATT YouTube Channel for archives from meetings, presentations and events hosted by Ten at the Top. The channel also includes videos of the Elevate Upstate Grant recipients and other TATT initiatives.

TATT volunteers have developed a number of interactive regional asset maps. Check out links to regional resources below.










There is something interesting, educational or entertaining happening in the Upstate 365 days a year.

Be sure to post your Upstate experiences using the hashtag #UpstateVibe365 and check out the regional calendar for what is happening across the region.

Ten at the Top
55 Regional Engagements in 2020
1,320 Participants in 2020
965 Regional Engagements since 2010
43,290 Participants since 2010
On the Calendar

Be sure and put these TATT events on your calendar:

TATT CHAT Virtual Meeting
Special Guest:
Sam Konduros, CEO SC Bio
August 13 | 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.



TATT CHAT Virtual Meeting
Special Guest:
Sean Dogan, Interim CEO,
Urban League of the Upstate
August 27 | 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.



Become a TATT Supporter

Ten at the Top funding partners and event sponsors are the backbone of the organization.

We are very grateful for all the companies and organizations that annually support TATT. Check out the list of current partners .

We hope you will continue your TATT support or become a new partner in 2020.


If you have questions about TATT partnership and sponsorship opportunities or would like to set up a personal meeting, please contact Dean Hybl for questions or more information.

Ten at the Top is a regional non-profit organization with the mission of fostering collaboration and partnerships across the Upstate around issues that impact economic vitality and quality of life.
Ten at the Top | 864-283-0346 | info@tenatthetop.org| www.tenatthetop.org