Ten at the Top Celebrates Successes at Annual Event

On November 16th, Ten at the Top will once again host a celebration of Upstate successes, with Hughes Investments Elevate Upstate Community Vibrancy Grants awarded, the Welling Award for Regional Collaboration and The Burdette Leadership Award presented, and companies celebrating milestone anniversaries recognized. It is the 6th year of the event, and the 5th year to include the Elevate Upstate grant recipients.

“We started the Celebrating Successes event as a way to recognize people, organizations, and businesses that have been doing things to make the Upstate a special region because we tend to get too caught up in looking at what we need to improve, instead of taking a step back on occasion and recognizing some of the people and groups that have helped us get to where we are,” says Ten at the Top executive director Dean Hybl.

This year, for the first time, the event will be a brunch held at the Greenville Marriot on November 16th (register here).

Elevate Upstate Grants

The Elevate Upstate finalists this year come from five counties and represent a variety of ways that communities can create vibrancy as a reflection of who they are. The city of Landrum is seeking the grant in order to pay for a life-sized fiberglass horse as a public art installation, and the city of Seneca and the Blue Ridge Arts Council likewise want to fund a 3-dimensional butterfly art installation for a student art wall at Monarch Park; Abbeville County Farmers Market seeks to finance a farm-to-table dinner that showcases local food producers; Main Street Laurens hopes to construct a food truck plaza to bring residents downtown and have varied food options in one place; and finally, Greenwood Arts Center hopes to create educational programming and interactive art that builds on its designation last year as Bee City USA. Presentations from all five finalists will be heard at the Celebrating Successes brunch.

“The Elevate Upstate Grants were created by Phil Hughes to help provide seed money for community vibrancy initiatives in the Upstate,” says Hybl. “It is a neat part of the Celebrating Successes event each year because not only do we hear about some great initiatives, but several of them also get checks right on the spot that day.”

Landmark Anniversaries

It’s great to celebrate new businesses coming into our area, but businesses and organizations that have managed to stay around for 20 or 50 or 100 years deserve special recognition. A wide range of organizations from all over the Upstate are celebrating milestones of 20 years or more, from educational institutions (Lander University, 145 years; Bob Jones University, 90 years; Spartanburg Day School, 60 years; and others) to law firms (long-timer Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd P.A., 130 years, and many others), insurance companies (including Brown and Brown of South Carolina, Inc., 100 years), and medical establishments (New Horizon Family Health Services, 25 years; AnMed Health Cannon, 70 years; Bon Secour St. Francis Health System, 85 years, and others)—not to mention nonprofits, construction companies, and more.

For an organization to survive for 50, 75, 100 years, or more, adaptation is key. If a business wanted to do business the same way in 2017 that it did in 1917, it wouldn’t stay around for very long. The need being met in 1917 may not even exist in 2017!

G. F. League company, which celebrates 100 years this year, is a great example of adapting to industry needs in order to thrive for a century and position itself to continue on into the next 100 years.

Fraser League says, “The survival of our company over the last 100 years has been the result of our keen ability to adapt to changing industrial requirements. During the first 60 years, we primarily machined wooden replacement parts for the textile industry.  At the outbreak of WWII, we shifted gears and supplied the US Navy with wooden mop handles. During the decline of the textile industry in the 1980s we purchased our first CNC (computer controlled) machinery and began processing close tolerance plastic components for mining, agriculture and conveyor equipment. We quickly realized that the same machinery could be used to make plastic products for playground equipment and the boating industry. Despite our success, we were still a job shop making component parts for other customers. After 80 years working as a job shop, we decided to launch our own product line and introduced Quick-Crate, a collapsible, reusable shipping crate system. The Quick-Crate division experienced rapid growth in the defense, automotive, and aerospace sectors.  Many of these applications required complex dunnage or cradles inside the crates, so the ‘job shop’ side of our business invested in new technologies to 3-D machine wood and foam assemblies to better protect the parts during shipping. Armed with these new capabilities, we now provide large-scale 3-D surfacing and 3-D modeling to power generation and aerospace companies. The evolution from machining simple wooden textile parts to complex wind turbine blade components has positioned our company for success well into the future.”