Community Joins Together to "Recheck Our Reality"

In 2009, community leaders met to discuss key issues that affect the Upstate region of South Carolina. This original Upstate Reality Check identified opportunities to foster collaboration and strategic planning to increase our region's economic vitality and quality of life.

Five year later, Ten at the Top is doing it again! On September 16, more than 800 people will attend to review the work that has been done and the improvements that have yet to come. The 2014 Upstate Regional Summit, made possible by more than 65 community sponsors and partners, will focus on "Rechecking Our Reality."

Dean Hybl, Executive Director of Ten at the Top, shared, "It is a testament to collaboration to have so many sponsors and partners supporting this effort. They see the value of how we can come together to work and grow in a strategic manner in the Upstate. This event is a great example of our efforts to build partnerships, and the community's support speaks volumes."

The morning will open up with "Where Have We Been, Where Are We Now and Where Are We Going?" before participants will breakout into smaller groups that focus on five critical areas:

Human potential focuses on creating opportunities that allow Upstate residents to succeed.

Economic and Entrepreneurial Vitality aims to build an Upstate economy that is competitive in a global market.

Sustainable Growth encourages long-term growth to enhance the lifestyle the Upstate can offer.

Natural Beauty and Resources builds stewardship programs to protect our natural environment in the Upstate region.

Community Vibrancy embraces the past, present, and future of the cities and small towns throughout the Upstate.

Following the breakout sessions, The Honorable Glenda Hood will present "Why Building Regional Capacity is Crucial to Our Economic Vitality and Quality of Life" over lunch. Hood will highlight how other regions are developing their economies and communities for lasting impact. Through Hood's experience as Mayor of the City of Orlando and Florida Secretary of State, she has become an expert on uniting public and private sectors.

Carol Burdette, Chairperson of the Upstate Regional Summit and President and Chief Professional Office of United Way of Anderson County, offered her insight. "Ten At The Top takes a long-term view to see where the Upstate region will be in the next 25 years. This Summit allows attendees to offer input that will shape this future and express where our region is going next."

The event is nearing capacity and likely to sell out before the event. For more information about the 2014 Upstate Regional Summit or to register to attend, visit

Jamie Gillenwater works as a technical communication consultant for Transcend Text, LLC. Her writing focuses on her Upstate community, technical communication, and corporate training. She is an active member of the Society for Technical Communication's Carolina chapter, Connect Young Professionals, and the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce Women's Leadership Council.