Ten at the Top Upstate News
July 6, 2020 - Volume 11, Issue 7
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 June, TATT hosted a pair of interesting sessions. During the first one, Charlie Hall from Upstate Warrior Solutions provided an overview of some of the challenges facing Upstate veterans during this unique time.

The June 25th session featured an opportunity to hear from Congressman William Timmons about how he and his colleagues in Washington are working to address the challenges of a public health crisis that has now led to an economic crisis.

You can read the summaries and watch the video from all ten 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 July, there will be a pair of sessions on July 16th and July 30th; both virtual sessions will be held from 3:00-4:00 pm.

The July 16th TATT CHAT will feature Jeff Brown from the Greenville Drive to discuss the plans for the Drive given that the 2020 Minor League Baseball season has now been officially canceled. You can click here to register for the July 16th TATT CHAT.

On July 30th, Sara Hazzard from the South Carolina Manufacturers Association will discuss how the pandemic has impacted manufacturing in South Carolina and what is being done to support our manufacturing companies. You can click here to register for the July 30th TATT CHAT.
Staying On Top:
Upstate Leaders Share Sector Insights During the COVID-19 Crisis
Looking at the Future of Trade Shows: A Conversation with Steve Hoffman, President of Skyline Exhibits and Design


Skyline Exhibits and Design is a one-stop shop for trade show exhibit materials, from signage to custom booth design. Like many industries that revolve around a lot of people being in the same place at once, the trade show industry will need to adapt to a post-COVID world, with social distancing, masks, hybrid virtual/in-person meetings, and increased sanitation, among other considerations. Steve Hoffman is the president of Skyline Exhibits and Design in Greenville, and he answered some questions about the future of trade shows.


Q&A with William Munley, Administrator of Shriners Hospital for Children of Greenville


Q: What is one challenge that you’ve faced during the pandemic that’s the same as other hospitals?

A: Even as a hospital specializing exclusively in pediatric orthopaedics, we faced great uncertainty regarding how the virus would play out. It was unknown whether or not our assistance would be necessary for other hospitals facing capacity issues; for that reason, like other hospitals, we postponed elective surgeries. However, while most surgical procedures at our hospital are not emergent—there were those that were time sensitive. For instance, our Mehta casting program helps children facing progressive infantile scoliosis—an aggressive curvature of the spine. Treatment is time sensitive, as infants and toddlers grow quickly, and the casting procedure is an involved process requiring the patient to go under anesthesia. Like other hospitals, it was important we identified surgeries that could wait and—equally important—those that could not.



Working Toward a Safer Upstate for Everyone


by Terence Roberts, Mayor of the City of Anderson and 2020-2021 Chairman of Ten at the Top

I was born in 1959 and was the oldest son of William and Linda Roberts. They were black educators at Westside High school in Anderson. As a little black boy growing up in the segregated south, I have vague memories of watching on television the civil rights protests, Vietnam War, the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and John F. Kennedy. So for me there were moments that I could sense my parents’ uncertainty about the future.

Although we have come so far in the last sixty years, our country continues to struggle with the issue of safety. We all want to live in communities that are safe and vibrant. We still have many neighborhoods in the Upstate in which this is not the case. Over the last few months I have often wondered what will be the vague memories of my grandchildren.

I believe it is time to speak up. If deeply cherished values are not to degenerate beyond all recall, apathy must cease. People are aware, of course, that harmful changes are taking place in our society both in attitudes and values. But nobody wants to talk about it. We see the greed and materialism going on in so many aspects of our daily lives and we say nothing. We hear about and see on television the extreme violence and protests that are taking place in large cities and in our small towns. The public outcry in the Upstate will continue unless we take immediate action.



Main Street Upstate: Keeping Downtown Alive (part 1)


There are eight towns across the Upstate that have Main Street associations, which exist to encourage economic development as well as historic preservation of downtowns. Those associations, working in tandem with local Chambers of Commerce and their city officials, have worked hard to support their downtown businesses during the shutdown and as things have begun to open up. We asked them to tell us about some specific ways that their businesses have engaged the community, supported each other, and have been successful in spite of the tremendous hardship of the pandemic.

Here are some of their responses.


Masks: The 2020 Wardrobe Accessory


by Sharon Purvis, Director of Outreach and Special Projects, Ten at the Top

The accessory we never knew we needed is the thing that will help keep the spread of COVID-19 at bay as we go back to work and other activities that require us to be around people: the mask. Nobody really loves to wear them, but masks will be part of our lives for the foreseeable future.

In the beginning of the outbreak, there was a huge need for masks at hospitals, and people hauled out their sewing machines to make masks for hospitals, in addition to numerous Upstate manufacturers pivoting to PPE assembly for frontline workers.



A Conversation with Davelyn Hill of Speaking Down Barriers


Speaking Down Barriers is a Spartanburg-based non-profit that seeks to foster dialogue and trust among people of different racial backgrounds as well as those from different genders, orientations, and ethnicities. The group builds community through affinity groups, offers workshops on diversity and inclusion, and hosts a monthly book club, Reading for Transformation, that selects challenging texts and encourages honest conversations about the ideas presented. The following is a conversation with Davelyn Hill, Program Director at Speaking Down Barriers.

Q: Can you tell us a bit about the impetus for starting Speaking Down Barriers and how long the organization has been in existence?

It began in 2013 as an ongoing community dialogue called “Poetry and Conversation,” which offered a unique opportunity for residents of Spartanburg to share stories and art with one another, building community with people who were different from them. There is no expert in this kind of dialogue. People can learn from the person sitting next to them instead of simply looking to the person who is facilitating the conversation. Many of the poems shared were and still are autobiographical. It is difficult to argue with somebody’s lived experience. This kind of sharing often brings forth empathy instead of division.



Urban Forestry During a Global Pandemic


by Joelle Teachey, Executive Director and Arborist, TreesUpstate

We have all felt the impact of COVID-19 in various ways.

TreesUpstate, formerly known as TreesGreenville, was founded in 2005. Our mission is simple: to plant, promote, and protect trees. All of our work is mission based and the direct services we provide to the Upstate are rooted in planting and maintaining a healthy tree canopy.

We plant trees in parks, schools, and neighborhoods.

We promote the public health, social, economic and environmental benefits of trees. 

We protect trees through forest restoration, by providing technical support, and by training industry professionals on best management practices.


Upstate Entrepreneur Ecosystem Holding Monthly Virtual Workshops
On June 25th, the Upstate Entrepreneur Ecosystem gathered through zoom for their June quarterly meeting.

Amanda Munyan, President and CEO of the Laurens County Chamber of Commerce, and Jonathan Irick, Executive Director of Main Street Laurens, shared how they support their entrepreneurs’ use of digital tools to communicate with their customers. Michael Nail of Ogletree Deakins discussed legal issues around protecting employees as they return to the workplace. Here is a direct link to the video from the session.

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 network will hold the next virtual session on July 22 to hear from Earl Gregorich, Area Manager and Business Consultant at Greenville Area Small Business Development Center on best practices in maintaining up-to-date financial documents. Click here for more details and to register.
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
51 Regional Engagements in 2020
1,180 Participants in 2020
961 Regional Engagements since 2010
43,150 Participants since 2010
On the Calendar

Be sure and put these TATT events on your calendar:

TATT CHAT Virtual Meeting
July 16 | 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.


Upstate Entrepreneur Ecosystem Workshop
July 22 | 11:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.


TATT CHAT Virtual Meeting
July 30 | 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