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Friday, August 24, 2012

SCC Free Manufacturing Training Programs

Posted by: Site Administrator on Friday, August 24, 2012 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

Spartanburg, S.C. – Spartanburg Community College Corporate & Community Education Division (SCC CCE) is offering two free Manufacturing Skills Standards Council (MSSC) certification programs: Certified Logistics Technician (CLT) and Certified Production Technician (CPT). Funding for these programs is made possible through grants provided by AdvanceSC and covers all tuition, books, materials and testing fees.
“In an effort to provide local manufacturers the skilled employees they need to fill positions, the nationwide MSSC System is a nationally recognized certificate that is based on industry-defined and federally endorsed national standards. It offers both entry-level and incumbent workers the opportunity to demonstrate that they have acquired the skills increasingly needed in the technology-intensive jobs of the 21st century,” explains Ty Wright, SCC CCE operations administrator.
The MSSC Certified Logistics Technician Program is accepting 35 students into the 78-hour course. These students will gain foundational knowledge to be competent entry-level, front-line material handlers in facilities such as factories, warehouses, distribution centers and transporters.  Upon completion of this course and successful passing of course assessments, students will earn the CLT credential plus a forklift certification.
The MSSC Certified Production Technician Program certifies that an individual has both the technical and academic skills needed to work in manufacturing. The 26 individuals accepted into the program will receive training in quality practices and measurement; safety awareness; maintenance awareness; and manufacturing processes and production. They will also gain the credentials, foundational skills and core competencies needed to be a trainable worker who can keep pace with technological changes.
Both MSSC programs provide individuals with increased potential for hiring, career advancement opportunities and earnings, and improved job security through documented certification of proven skills. Well known manufacturing companies like The Timken Company, Hamrick Mills, SEW-Eurodrive Inc., Schaeffler Group USA, Inc., Benteler Automotive, and Rochling Automotive are all seeking to recruit candidates who are MSSC certified.
“Earning these MSSC credentials document an individuals skills with a national certificate that is recognized by industry,” said Rebecca Clusserath, SCC CCE program manager. “We have tremendous support for this training from area manufacturers, and logistics and distribution companies, and look forward to offering this training opportunity.”
Individuals seeking to enter these programs are required to register online and attend the program’s orientation session listed below:

MSSC Certified Production Technician Orientation
A high school diploma or GED is required for participation. Attending the orientation does not guarantee acceptance into the program and qualification will be determined after orientation.
Thursday, September 6, 2012, 10am – 12pm
BMW Center Room 311, SCC Tyger River Campus -1875 East Main Street (HWY 290), Duncan, SC
Register online at www.gonetoclass.com/mssc. Registration is required to attend orientation.

MSSC Certified Logistics Technician Orientation
A high school diploma or GED is required for participation. Attending the orientation does not guarantee acceptance into the program and qualification will be determined after orientation.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012, 2 – 3:30pm
Room 354, SCC Tyger River Campus - 1875 East Main Street (HWY 290), Duncan, SC
Register online at www.gonetoclass.com/logistics. Registration is required to attend orientation.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Women in Business Conference Resounding Success

Posted by: Site Administrator on Friday, August 10, 2012 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

The annual Women in Business Conference – presented by Spartanburg Water and conducted on the beautiful campus of Converse College on Tuesday, August 7th  – was an outstanding success with the largest number of attendees in the event’s history. The conference, organized by the Diversity Committee of the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce, was established to celebrate, recognize, educate and encourage the roles of women in business, entrepreneurship, government and civic organizations. In addition to Spartanburg Water, sponsors of the event recognizing and encouraging women’s leadership roles included: Nexsen Pruet, Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, Converse College and Denny’s.

Highlights of this year’s conference included inspiring words from a wide variety of guest speakers, including: Pamela Lackey, President, AT&T South Carolina Operations; Jennifer Noel, Director, Global Business Development Division, South Carolina Department of Commerce; Janet Christy, SC Women's Business Center; Andrea Wilcox, Senior Manager, PricewaterhouseCoopers; Representative Rita Allison, SC House District 36; Linda Dogan, Spartanburg City Council Member; Donna Wood, GOP Candidate for SC House District 37; Stephanie Monroe Tillerson, Woodruff City Manager; Jessica Coggins, Program Manager NC/SC, Greater Women's Business Council ; Kim Nelson, Owner, Daisy Cakes; and Elizabeth A. Fleming, Ph.D., President, Converse College. In addition to the guest speakers, participants were welcomed by Sue Schneider, General Manager, Spartanburg Water, and Karen Knuckles, Owner, Express Employment Professionals. As an added treat participants enjoyed selections of spoken-word artist Markeisha Nesbitt (also known as "One Love") a poet from Spartanburg, SC. Additionally, Kim Day with Spartanburg Methodist College, Beth Cecil with First Presbyterian Church and retired educator Mary Ann Deku were recognized with “Noise Maker” awards for the work they do in the community.

Evaluations from participants indicated an overwhelming positive response to the event and included such comments as:

"I love how empowering today was!"

 "Every speaker engaged the group and spoke about topics that each person here could relate to and apply in their lives."

"Loved the networking! So many inspiring women."

Liked "everything! Awesome event. Great presenters and topics - need more of these types of forums. Kim Nelson/Daisy Cakes was a great treat...VERY inspiring and empowering."

"Very inspiring day...especially for young women!"

"Lively. Informative. Wonderful topics. Excellent useful information."

"Real life examples of women supporting women."

"Fresh new ideas. I LOVED it!"

"Very impressed with all of the speakers; enjoyed diversity of topics."

"Speakers were relative and entertaining."

The Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce extends its sincere appreciation to all of the sponsors, Board of Directors, speakers, facilitators, Diversity Committee, volunteers and conference attendees for an outstanding event. With the great turnout of attendees, inspiring speakers and networking connections, the Chamber looks forward to building on this foundation in the year ahead and for next year’s event.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

2012 Legislative Session Recap

Posted by: Site Administrator on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)
2012 Legislative Session Recap from the Upstate Chamber Coalition
Historically, whenever every member of the General Assembly is up for reelection, not a tremendous amount gets done. While several important issues were resolved this legislative year, election year politics once again played a role at the statehouse. Here’s a brief overview of what happened to impact Upstate businesses:
Elections: Statewide turnout was less than 12% for the June primaries. Many blame the confusion of nearly 200 can¬didates being kicked off the ballots as a reason for the dismal turnout. The Upstate will have at least three new Senators in 2013. Statewide, the Senate will look much different next year with six Senators retiring. The House will see changes, but with the GOP holding 75 out of 124 seats, not much should change in terms of power.
Budget: After a month-long stalemate over a small business tax cut proposal, the legislature finally passed a $6.7 billion budget on June 28th.

Bill Wylie Entrepreneurship Act: 26 states, including North Carolina and Georgia, currently have angel in¬vestment programs to help provide necessary capital to startups within their states. This bill would have provided a tax credit to accredited SC investors investing in qualified SC startup companies. It stalled in the Senate and time ran out before it was given third reading. It will be reintroduced early in 2013.

Comprehensive Tax Reform: Seven pieces of legislation were drafted from the recommendations of the House GOP Caucus Tax Study Committee (chaired by Rep. Tommy Stringer of Greer). Three of the seven bills passed the House, but none made it through the Senate. It is likely that comprehensive tax reform will be revisited in 2013.

Data Center Incentives: More than 25 data centers located to North Carolina over the past few years, creating high-paying jobs and large capital investments. This bill was approved to provide sales tax exemptions on electricity, computer equipment and software, enabling us to better compete with both North Carolina and Georgia.

Department of Administration: Proposed legislation would have eliminated the SC Budget and Control Board and created a new Department of Administration. The bill did not make it through the Senate in time and will be revisited again next year.
Pollution Control Act: This initiative was one of the top business priorities of the legislative session. As a result of a 2011 SC Supreme Court ruling (Smith Land Case), any emission or discharge into the environ¬ment would require a permit, even if one did not exist. The ruling also created a private right of action for any citizen or group of citizens to file suit against anyone deemed in “violation” of the Pollution Control Act. Advocates for the business community worked together to find a solution to protect our businesses from frivolous lawsuits as a result of this ruling by allowing environmental groups to petition SCDHEC rather than allowing private right of action. Governor Haley has signed the legislation.
Port Funding: Sending the message that deepening the Port of Charleston is our state’s top economic development priority, both the House and Senate agreed to put $300 million in the 2012-13 budget for the creation of a Harbor Deepening Reserve Fund. This exceeds the state’s share of the project cost, and if the federal government stalls in paying its portion, SC is will still be prepared to move forward quickly.

Right to Work Act 2012: This legislation clarifies language in SC’s existing Right to Work Act. The bill pro¬hibits state and local governments from requiring or prohibiting contractual union worker quotas when awarding government contracts, incentives or tax credits, ensuring a level playing field.

Small Business Tax Relief: This tax cut agreement gives $20 million in tax relief each year until the 2014- 15 fiscal year, reaching the $60 million that the House wanted. Small business owners who report their earnings as personal income will see their tax rate reduced from five to three percent.

State Retirement System Reform: Because SC’s current system has over $13 billion in unfunded liabilities, the General Assembly passed reform legislation this year that will require state workers to pay more for their retirement benefits, and work more years before claiming them.

State Unemployment Tax (SUTA): There is currently $77 million allocated in the budget for SUTA relief to all SC businesses. The General Assembly has now provided $223 million in tax relief to employers over the last two fiscal years to help pay down the federal debt that nearly reached $1 billion in 2010.

Unemployment Benefits: Almost $50 million was paid to workers who were fired for misconduct in 2011. New legislation passed will eliminate state unemployment benefits if a worker is fired for misconduct.

For more information on these issues or the 2012 legislative session, please contact Jim Thomas with Government Relations athe the Spartanburg Area Chamber at 864-594-5020.
Thursday, April 19, 2012

Veteran CVB Staffer Earns Professional Certification

Posted by: Site Administrator on Thursday, April 19, 2012 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

ATLANTA, Ga. (March 27, 2012)  Amy Phillips, Marketing & Communications Manager for the Spartanburg Convention & Visitors Bureau (SCVB) has earned certification as a “Travel Marketing Professional” (TMP) after completing the three-year program of the Southeast Tourism Society (STS) Marketing College.

Phillips was one of 78 new TMPs recognized at the STS spring meeting in Tunica, Miss.  STS Marketing College started in 1992, and 706 people have earned TMP certification.   The STS Marketing College is a professional development program that for one week each summer turns the facilities of North Georgia College and State University in Dahlonega, Ga., into a laboratory to teach tourism marketing.   Instructors are working professionals in the travel industry such as convention and visitors bureau executives, public relations practitioners, sales and marketing consultants and research experts.

“This is not another program like ours in the country; we are the envy of travel professionals in other regions,” said Bill Hardman, president and chief executive officer of STS.

Tourism ranks as the first, second or third-largest industry in the 12 STS states that stretch from Virginia to Louisiana.

Course topics include special events marketing, media relations, tourism advertising, vacation research, crisis management, heritage tourism and community/rural tourism. After the classroom work, students also must complete a project that relates to their employment.

“We are very proud of Amy’s achievement,” said Chris Jennings, executive director of the SCVB.  “Her marketing and communications work is being recognized by one of the top tourism groups in the U.S.  And now Amy is making Spartanburg a revolutionary tourism destination!”

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Spartanburg to Host Homeschooling Convention

Posted by: Site Administrator on Tuesday, March 13, 2012 at 12:00:00 am Comments (2)

SPARTANBURG, SC--- The Spartanburg Convention and Visitors Bureau (SCVB) proudly announces that Spartanburg will be hosting the Teach Them Diligently Convention March 15-17, 2012. The convention will be held at the Spartanburg Expo & Event Center off I-26 at New Cut Road.

According to the event’s organizer, David Nunnery, this will be the first year the convention has been held. The Teach Them Diligently Convention came from a recognized need for more events celebrating the focus of Christian home school families.  The convention will focus on missions, discipleship, and parenting, as well as the normal home school focus on teaching techniques and use of curriculum.

“Our company has an international platform and voice, and we chose Spartanburg for several reasons:  a nice concentration of homeschooling families in the area, plus ideal weather in March, and also because Spartanburg has really opened their arms to our convention.  Spartanburg has made it known that they want us here,” said Nunnery.  He said they are expecting over 2,000 homeschooling families from all over the country to attend.

The convention will bring noted speakers such as Ken Ham of Answer in Genesis, Voddie Baucham, Jr., of Voddie Baucham Ministries, Doug Phillips of Vision Forum, Stephen Kendrick, writer and producer of such films as Fireproof, Facing the Giants, and Courageous, as well as notable legislative leaders on the local, state, and federal level.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to host this inaugural convention here in Spartanburg,” said Patricia Byrd, Sales Manager for the SCVB.  “We expect more than 900 room nights from this convention, and we look forward to welcoming people from across the country to our community.”


If you are interested in attending the event or would like more information, visit www.teachthemdiligently.net.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Adidas Group Executive to Speak at 94th Chamber Annual Meeting

Posted by: Jessica Riddle on Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

SPARTANBURG, SC-February 2, 2012— Karen Parkin, Vice President of Logistics and Supply Chain Management (North America) for the adidas group is scheduled to speak at the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Meeting on Monday, March 5, 2012 at the Spartanburg Marriott.  The Annual Meeting, presented by Denny’s, is the Chamber’s most prestigious event of the year, celebrating the many accomplishments of the Upstate business community.

Karen Parkin began her career with the adidas-Group 15 years ago in the United Kingdom, within the Sales division.  Throughout her adidas career Karen has worked in many different functions of the business, including; Sales, Marketing, Logistics Operations and Supply Chain Management.  Prior to her 2005 arrival to the United States as the VP of Business Development, Karen served in offices around the world including the adidas global headquarters of Herzogenaurach, Germany.  In 2008 Karen moved into her current role as VP of Supply Chain for North America; where she is responsible for all logistical operations for the adidas-Group North America. 

The recent recipient of adidas CEO Herbert Heiner’s Chairman’s Award, Karen is a noted role model for effective project management and team effort within the adidas Group.  Mrs. Parkin currently resides in Portland, OR (home to the adidas US headquarters) with her husband and daughter. 

About the 94th Annual Meeting of the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce
A cocktail reception will be held from 5:00-6:15pm in the Azalea Ballroom of the Spartanburg Marriott.  The dinner meeting and awards reception will begin at 6:30pm in the Heritage Ballroom.  Tickets are $75 per person, with reserved tables of 10 available for $750.  

To register, contact Chris Shealy at (864)594-5014 or at cshealy@spartanburgchamber.com or click here for secure online registration.

Introducing a New Way to Take Advantage of Your Chamber Membership

Posted by: Jessica Riddle on Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)
We know that many Chamber members join our Chamber to meet other members and expand their professional networks. As you know, word-of-mouth is one of the least expensive, easiest and most effective ways to grow your business.

And that's why we're excited to introduce a new Chamber program: ConnectForLunch. It's a unique opportunity to build personal business relationships which will give you more influence and recognition in your business community, and more access to new clients and referrals.

As often as each week, you can have a private lunch with just two or three different Chamber members at a local Chamber restaurant – one group per restaurant.  You'll be the only person in your profession, and you'll be able to create new business relationships and deepen existing relationships with up to 100 business people over the course of a year!

Our ConnectForLunch program takes care of everything for you: Just click "Yes" in an email when you want to go to lunch, and the program selects your lunch partners, selects the restaurant, provides you with directions to the restaurant, and even makes the restaurant reservations for you. All you have to do is show up at the restaurant.  How's that for easy relationship-building!

For the next two months, the Chamber is offering you a free introductory subscription to try out this new program (you pay only for your lunch). During that time, you can attend up to 3 lunches and see for yourself how effective it is. After your introductory period, you can continue at the nominal fee of only $11.95 for 2 lunches per month.

To learn more, simply go to: www.ConnectForLunch.com/spartanburgchamber.

And here's something else to consider: As you make more and more personal connections using ConnectForLunch, you'll become even more comfortable and effective at other Chamber events.

Your first ConnectForLunch invitation will be arriving Tuesday, February 7th. We hope you enjoy the program and look forward to your feedback.
Friday, January 20, 2012

SSD Gives New Meaning to the Word "Workshop"

Posted by: Jessica Riddle on Friday, January 20, 2012 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

Often times when salespeople hear the word “workshop” the same images come to mind….lots of people sitting at tables and taking notes while a speaker goes on and on through a powerpoint presentation.  Many times events that are billed as “workshops” are anything but…with no work required of participants they should be called “listening and absorption opportunities” instead.

On February 15th (that’s right, the day after Valentine’s Day) the Chamber’s Strategic Sales Development Committee invites Chamber members to a different kind of workshop…one in which everyone is expected to work together for the benefit of all that attend.  By far, one of the greatest benefits of Chamber membership is the opportunity to meet and work alongside fellow businesspeople.  The commaradery shared between small business owners, business development representatives and even technicians has a value that cannot be quantified.  To be able to share ideas and best practices, stories of past experiences and even pitfalls can make a huge difference in whether or not a business can weather a tough economy and stay diligent in tough times.  At the SSD’s first ever Idea Exchange Workshop, Chamber members will have an opportunity to do just that.

Upon registration, all attendees will be asked to bring with them their best practices, tips and advice for tackling some of the toughest stages of the sales process, including: prospecting, qualifying leads, closing the sale and follow-up.  At the event, each participant will be assigned to a group to share these ideas where they can take notes, ask questions and engage in purposeful discussion with fellow attendees.  At the end of the discussion time, each group will be asked to have a representative share the “best of the best” with all attendees so that everyone can come away with great tangible ideas and action steps to improving their sales efforts.

“Many sales professionals have certain techniques that work for them, says Meric Gambel, Director of Business Develop­ment for the Spartan­burg Area Chamber. “The idea exchange workshop is an interactive and fun way to learn these techniques in various aspects of the sales process.”

The greatest part about this first-time event is that is it ABSOLUTELY FREE and open to any Chamber members.  Boxed lunches will be available (as always) on site for $7.50 per person on a first-come, first-served basis and lunch and networking will begin prior to the event in order to avoid any food flying around when the discussion gets underway.  Seating is limited so all registrations must be received no later than Friday, February 10th

For details and to register online, click here.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Spartanburg Chamber Launches Entrepreneurial Support Program

Posted by: Site Administrator on Wednesday, December 14, 2011 at 12:00:00 am Comments (1)

SPARTANBURG—The Economic Futures Group, a division of the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce, announced today in a press conference the formation of an Entrepreneurial Systems Program for all of Spartanburg County.

The program is designed to utilize the area’s best assets towards assisting start-up businesses launch successful ventures through the partnership of the newly formed Spartanburg Area Entrepreneurial Council.  John Bauknight, one of Spartanburg’s most successful entrepreneurs, will serve as Chairman of the Council. 

“The Spartanburg Entrepreneurial Partnership (SEP) is the result of my Liberty Fellows project, and would not have been made possible without a collaborative effort between The Chamber, Spartanburg Community College, USC Upstate and many of our wonderful business leaders in Spartanburg,” says Bauknight, President of Longleaf Holdings, USA.  “This is an effort that has taken three years to bring to this point. By combining the resources and facilities of each organization we have an opportunity to put Spartanburg on the map for Entrepreneurship.”

The Entrepreneurial Council is comprised of successful business leaders in corporate, legal, accounting and educational fields, offering expert advice, mentoring, funding and strategic planning pro bono providing a complete support structure for fledgling entrepreneurs.  These services are offered directly through Steven Hahn, the Economic Futures Group’s Director of Entrepreneurial Systems.

Steven Hahn has several years of business consulting experience in many industries and has started two successful businesses—GudFud, a marshmallow candy company with distribution in all 50 states and MXT Golf, a global industry leader in the field of custom golf club fitting technology.  His expertise in both corporate and entrepreneurial arenas will prove valuable in guiding startups from inception to launch in the Upstate market.

“I am extremely honored to have been asked to help build a proactive entrepreneurial development program for Spartanburg County,” says Hahn.  “I am confident that with the assets our county has in place and the support we have been given by the business community we can achieve our goals.”

“This collaborative effort we’re announcing today between the Chamber, The George, Spartanburg Community College and the Economic Futures Group (EFG), continues our focus on promoting and expanding economic development,” says Russ Weber, President of Integral Solutions Group and Chairman of the Economic Futures Group’s Board of Directors. “The EFG will continue to concentrate our efforts and resources on economic development opportunities for ALL of the citizens of Spartanburg County.”

The program is actively involved with more than 20 entrepreneurial projects to date.  Anyone interested in learning more about the program or becoming involved with the Entrepreneurial Council is encouraged to contact Steven Hahn at (864)594-5040 or by email at shahn@spartanburgchamber.com.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

2011 Economic Champions Announced

Posted by: Site Administrator on Wednesday, October 26, 2011 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

It is with great pleasure that the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Futures Group have announced the following businesses to be recognized as an Economic Champion at the 2011 Economic Champion Luncheon, presented by Wells Fargo Bank.   The Awards Luncheon will be held from Noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Marriott Spartanburg at Renaissance Park in downtown Spartanburg on Friday, November 11th, 2011.

Departing from the format of the Economic Champion Luncheons of the past four years, this year’s Luncheon will only celebrate 10 outstanding companieswhose confidence and collective investments are providing a healthy economic climate for the Upstate. This year’s Economic Champions are as follows:

American Credit Acceptance  The Corporate Headquarters for American Credit Acceptance in Spartanburg is a subprime automotive finance company that has quickly established itself as a lender of choice for deep subprime automobile lending needs in franchise and independent dealerships nationwide.  As ACA continues to grow its market share they continue to reinvest and expand their workforce in Spartanburg. 

BMW Manufacturing BMW Manufacturing is an integral cog in BMW’s global manufacturing network and continues to meet the global demand for their product.   The Spartanburg location is the exclusive global manufacturing facility for all X3 and X5 Sports Activity Vehicles and the X6 Sports Activity Coupe. 

DAA Dräxlmaier AutomotiveDAA Draxlmaier Automotive of America is a supplier of electronic systems and components for upscale passenger cars and luxury sports cars.  The parent company markets products to several automakers, including BMW, Daimler-Benz, Audi, Volkswagen, Porsche, General Motors and Toyota. 

Eaton Corporation  Eaton Corporation recently selected its Duncan facility for a major expansion and solidified Spartanburg County as one of three key U.S. distribution centers to service both their international and domestic customers.  Eaton receives stocks and ships electrical components, as well as logistics consolidation, product modification and assembly, and returns processing.   

Fehrer  Fehrer is an international developer and series supplier for the automobile industry, whose product range comprises of molded seat pads for car seats, arm rests, center consoles, side bolsters, headrests and inner trim panels as well as structural parts for cars.  Fehrer recently selected Spartanburg County to accommodate their continued growth in the Upstate of South Carolina.

Frigoglass North America Ltd.  Athens, Greece based Frigoglass selected Spartanburg for its first US manufacturing location and is a leading player in the design, manufacturing and marketing of ice-cold merchandisers (beverage coolers), and the production of glass containers for the beverage industry. 

Huntington Foam  Huntington Foam LLC is a molder of polystyrene and polypropylene shapes for the appliance, furniture, consumer electronics and automotive industries.  Using advanced computer modeling techniques with finite element analysis, Huntington Foam can specially design and test custom-made packaging for any client.  The City of Greer and Spartanburg County are pleased to have Huntington Foam select us for their newest U.S. based manufacturing facility.

Indorama/Auriga Polymers, Inc.  The Spartanburg, South Carolina facility produces polyester resins and polyester staple currently used in bottles for carbonated soft drinks, water, beer, juice, and wine; food and custom-container applications, and fibers and specialty polymers for a variety of applications.

MMS Medical As one of the largest independent medical supply distributors, MMS Medical prides itself in being a “Regional Distributor with a National Presence” allowing them to provide dedication and commitment to their customers along with a broad array of products.  MMS serves all of the specialized and diverse needs of the medical community with divisions dedicated to hospitals, nursing homes, physician practices, home care Providers and Dealers, hospices, EMS, government facilities, and a retail division.

TMKG Inc.  TMKG Inc. recently opened a manufacturing facility in the City of Greer and Spartanburg County where it produces electric panels for conveyor systems.          

Special thanks to Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System (Gold sponsor), Gosnell Menard Robinson Infante, CPA’s, P.A. (Silver sponsor), Kusters Zima Corporation (SIlver Sponsor) and Southwest Airlines (Silver sponsor) for their financial investment and assistance in presenting this luncheon.

 As a special bonus for all attendees, Southwest Airlines will be giving away 2 FREE ROUND-TRIP TICKETS in a special drawing!

Tickets are $30 each, or a table of 8, for $240. For more information, or to inquire about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Yvonne Harper at 864-594-5032 or yharper@spartanburgchamber.com

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

CEO of Spartanburg Regional to Speak at Fall CEO Social

Posted by: Site Administrator on Wednesday, October 12, 2011 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

SPARTANBURG, SC-October 12, 2011—The Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce that Bruce Holstien, CEO of Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System is the featured speaker at the 2011 Fall CEO Social presented by Dixon Hughes Goodman, LLP on Monday, October 17th at 5:30pm at the Piedmont Club.  The Chamber’s CEO Socials are held in the fall and spring of each year and provide an opportunity for Upstate business leaders to come together in a forum specifically for CEOs and high-level business leadership. 

Bruce Holstien, President and CEO of Spartanburg Regional, has experienced nearly every facet of health care.  He began his career as a high school student working part time in a hospital kitchen, and continued with positions in medical services, ambulatory care, health insurance and hospital administration.  Prior to coming to Spartanburg, Bruce held senior executive positions with Sentara Healthcare in Norfolk Virginia and the Spohn Health System in Corpus Christi, Texas. Bruce has an undergraduate degree in business administration and a Master of Science degree in Business Administration. 

“There is always excitement in meeting individuals whose impact on one of our most important community institutions will be profound,” says David Cordeau, President and CEO of the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce.  “Bruce Holstein has already demonstrated his participation, interest, and involvement in the Spartanburg agenda.” 

Bruce has recently moved to Spartanburg and enjoys golf, fishing and hunting.  His South Carolina ties date back to the late 1700s, when his family emigrated from their native Germany.  Bruce is looking forward to strengthening those South Carolina roots and is appreciative of the warm welcome he has received from our community.

“As the new CEO of Spartanburg Regional Health System, his perspectives will be shaped by his experience, knowledge and background, and also by the quality of his interactions with business and governmental leaders,” adds Cordeau.  “The Fall CEO Social will facilitate the development of collaborations and partnerships which will influence healthcare in our region.”

 Additional sponsors for the 2011 Fall CEO Social include: Ford & Harrison, LLP; JM Smith Corporation and Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System (Gold Sponsors) and Michelin North America, Corporate Center I-85, Cintas Corporation and AFL (Silver Sponsors).  For registration information for the Fall CEO Social and updates on all Chamber events, visit the event calendar at www.spartanburgchamber.com.

2011 Minority Enterprise Development Awards Winners Announced

Posted by: Site Administrator on Wednesday, October 12, 2011 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

The Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce’s 2011 Minority Enterprise Development Awards Banquet, presented by RR Donnelley, will be held on Tuesday, October 25, 2011 in the Azalea Ballroom, Spartanburg Marriott.  A Reception, sponsored by AT&T, will begin at 5:30 p.m. followed by Dinner at 6:30 p.m.    The evening will focus on recognizing the contributions of minority men and women and how their accomplishments have impacted our economy and community.  The Chamber of Commerce’s Diversity Committee is pleased to announce this year’s winners are as follows:

The 2011 Rising Star Award winners are  Christopher Cooper, a Senior at Boiling Springs High School and Jordyn Fox, a Spartanburg High School student.

The 2011 Minority Advocate of the Year is Carver Middle School in Spartanburg District 7.  Under the direction of Principal Raashad  Fitzpatrick, Carver Middle School has a vision and a plan for the students of Spartanburg that will allow them to excel in tomorrow's world of business.  Carver represents excellence in education and is the county’s first secondary STEM school (STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). As a STEM school, Carver focuses on these subjects to help youth gain the skills required to succeed in today’s challenging world.

2011 Minority Business of the Year is ReGenesis Health CareReGenesis Health Care is dedicated to providing health care for the entire family.  They offer services in Family Practice, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Geriatrics, Immunizations, Women’s Health, Family Planning, Diabetes Care, Laboratory Services, X-Ray Services, Behavioral Counseling, and in 2010 introduced Oral Health and a Pharmacy .

The 2011 Rising Star Award winner is Christopher Cooper, a Senior at Boiling Springs High School.  Christopher, the grandson of Gene and Sherry Cooper, is a member of the Boiling Springs High Student Council; a 2010-2011 graduate of the Junior Leadership Spartanburg program; a member of the March of Dimes Spartanburg Youth Council; and has won several scholarships for piano education at The Lawson Academy of the Arts.  Christopher can play the piano, violin, guitar as well as the 7 string electric violin and has superior ratings in both concert festivals as well as solo and ensemble.  He has attended honors and region orchestra; has composed 7 original compositions and has conducted orchestra and ensembles in several concerts and events.  In addition to music and school, Christopher works for All-American Martial Arts, in Boiling Springs, as an office manager, camp counselor and a former assistant instructor.

A second 2011 Rising Star Award will be presented to Jordyn Fox, a Spartanburg High School student and a 2011 participant in the Spartanburg Black Legislative Youth Conference at the State House in Columbia.  Jordyn, the daughter of Karen Fox, has been active in the Student Council throughout middle and high school, serving as Class President of her Freshman, Sophomore, and Junior class; and is currently serving as Student Body President.  A 2010-11 graduated of the Junior Leadership Spartanburg program; Jordyn is also an Advisory Board Member and a cast member of the Imagine That  Improvisational Theatre;  All State Choir Selection 2010; Spartanburg. High School Honors Choir; and a member of Corporation  (Spartanburg High School’s premier show choir).  Jordyn is an active athlete, participating in Track freshman through her senior year / Varsity Letter; Volleyball her freshman and sophomore years and Swimming during her sophomore year.  In her spare time, Jordan volunteers with the Children’s Shelter.

The 2011 Minority Advocate of the Year is Carver Middle School in Spartanburg District 7.  Under the direction of Principal Raashad Fitzpatrick, Carver Middle School has a vision and a plan for the students of Spartanburg that will allow them to excel in tomorrow's world of business.  Carver represents excellence in education and is the county’s first secondary STEM school (STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). As a STEM school, Carver focuses on these subjects to help youth gain the skills required to succeed in today’s challenging world. High-quality science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education can unleash the creativity and curiosity of their students, motivate them to understand their world, and provide them with tools to think critically, solve complex problems, communicate effectively, and drive advancements in science and technology. The school program offers small class sizes, increased technology, and also diverse course offerings including leadership and character education programs to supplement and enrich the classroom learning experience.

2011 Minority Business of the Year is ReGenesis Health Care.  ReGenesis Health Care is dedicated to providing health care for the entire family.  They offer services in Family Practice, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Geriatrics, Immunizations, Women’s Health, Family Planning, Diabetes Care, Laboratory Services, X-Ray Services, Behavioral Counseling, and in 2010 introduced Oral Health and a Pharmacy .  In addition, ReGenesis offers a variety of programs to serve the family, such as Birth Matters, Breast Health, Diabetes Education, Migrant Health, Outreach Services and Health Screenings, as well as their Back to School Health Fair – where this past August they served 2300 children in Spartanburg (thanks to over 400 volunteers) and over 1200 children (150 volunteers) in Gaffney.  ReGenesis is a strong believer of the power of partnerships – partnering with Spartanburg Regional, the Gibbs Cancer Center, First Baptist Church of Spartanburg, Restoration Church of Gaffney as well as local school districts.  



Thursday, September 29, 2011

Chairman's Cup Golf Tournament Celebrates 10th Year

Posted by: Site Administrator on Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

This year, the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce celebrates the tenth anniversary of the Chairman’s Cup Golf Tournament and Annual Past Chairmen’s Reception, presented by Integral Solutions Group. 

On Tuesday, October 4th, past Chairmen of the Chamber’s Board of Directors will gather at the Piedmont Club for dinner, drinks and plenty of stories and memory-sharing about their time at the Chamber.  This event is held to honor these special individuals for their years of service and leadership of the Spartanburg business community.   Additional sponsors for the Past Chairmen’s Reception include Contec, Inc. and The Piedmont Club. 

On Wednesday, October 5th at Woodfin Ridge Golf Club, 35 teams will hit the greens to compete for the coveted championship trophy that remains on display in the Chamber lobby.  In past years, winners have included teams representing Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, the Spartanburg Marriott at Renaissance Park and Duke Energy.  One of the Chamber’s largest events of the year, the Chairman’s Cup Tournament would not be possible without the gracious support of several member sponsors.  Sponsorship support for this year’s event was provided by:  Spartanburg Water (Golf Luncheon Sponsor), Founders Federal Credit Union (Awards Reception Sponsor), Fancy Terry, Inc. (Golf Towels), South Carolina Bank & Trust (Hole in One Sponsors); BMW Manufacturing, Jocassee Designs and ServPro of North Spartanburg (Eagle Sponsors);  Bondtex, Inc., Spartanburg Coca-Cola Bottling, Budweiser of Spartanburg, Marriott, Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, Duke Energy, Spartanburg Herald-Journal, BB&T, Gosnell, Menard, Robinson & Infante, P.A., Ford & Harrison, LLP, Cintas, Parker, Poe, Adams & Bernstein, Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce, ServiceMaster, ARC Southern, Duer/Carolina Coil, CWS Insurance, First Piedmont Bank, Spartanburg Community College, Clayton Construction Co., Dixon Hughes Goodman, Piedmont Natural Gas, TD Bank, Upstate WIB, USC Upstate and Vaughan & Melton (Eagle Sponsors).  For more information about the Annual Chairman’s Cup Golf Tournament, visit www.spartanburgchamber.com.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Jim Thomas Joins Chamber Staff

Posted by: Site Administrator on Wednesday, August 31, 2011 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

Jim Thomas, retired Regional Director for AT&T has recently been hired as a new addition to the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce staff. Thomas will be heading up Public Policy and Government Relations for the Chamber in partnership with the Upstate Chamber Coalition and will serve as the staff liaison for the Spartanburg Tomorrow Political Action committee.  Thomas has been a public servant and a leader in the Spartanburg business community for many years. He has served as Chairman of the Board for the Urban League, Palmetto Council for the Boyscouts of America, the Downtown Rotary Club, Junior Achievement and recently served as Chairman of the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors.  Thomas has also served Upstate non-profit organizations, serving on the Boards of The Arts Partnership, United Way of the Piedmont, Spartanburg Development Association, the Urban League Regional Board, South Carolina Arts Alliance, The American Red Cross, Spartanburg Little Theatre and Founding Chairman Cities in Schools.

“After a long career in the telephone industry that allowed me the flexibility to be involved in many facets of the community, I am delighted to be able to be a part of the Spartanburg Chamber team,” says Thomas. “I look forward to being able to contribute to the life of Spartanburg and support for the business agenda.”

In addition to his work with the Chamber’s legislative advocacy, Jim Thomas will be heading up a new membership initiative, partnering with existing member firms. The new program is to be rolled out this fall and with years of experience to call upon, Thomas will certainly be up to the task. Most recently, Jim Thomas was responsible for the PAC reception for SC House Ways & Means Chair Rep. Brian White and the Chamber Issues Forum held last week with US Senator Lindsey Graham.

“We are very proud to have Jim Thomas on board at the Spartanburg Area Chamber,” says David Cordeau, President and CEO of the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce. “His proven leadership and experience in working with several community organizations make him a great addition to the Chamber team.”

Jim Thomas can be reached at the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce at (864)594-5020 or by email at jthomas@spartanburgchamber.com.

NFL Star to Speak at 2011 Minority Enterprise Development Awards

Posted by: Site Administrator on Wednesday, August 31, 2011 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

The 2011 Minority Enterprise Development Awards Banquet, presented by RR Donnelley, will be held on Tuesday, October 25, 2011 in the Azalea Ballroom, Spartanburg Marriott at Renaissance Park.  A Reception, sponsored by AT&T, will begin at 5:30 p.m. followed by Dinner at 6:30 p.m.   

The evening’s keynote speaker this year will be Levon Kirkland, who instilled fear into the hearts of quarterbacks around the NFL as a linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks and Philadelphia Eagles following his college career at Clemson University.  Kirkland was a two-time MVP with the Steelers in 1998 and 1999, played in the Pro Bowl in 1996 and 1997, and was voted to the NFL All-Decade 1990's Team. As a player, he's tallied over 1000 tackles in his career, 19.5 sacks and 12 interceptions.

In 1996, Kirkland was named to Clemson University's All-Centennial team and was inducted into the University's Hall of Fame in 2001.  He was inducted into the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008.  Retiring after 11 years in the NFL, Kirkland returned to Clemson and focused his goal on finishing his college degree in Sociology. He graduated in 2004, and continues to work with Clemson, coordinating minority recruitment in their admissions office for the University.

Kirkland also educates student-athletes across the country on the college recruiting process as an Educational Speaker for the National Collegiate Scouting Association and lends his talents to Woodmont High School as a linebacker coach.

Minority Enterprise Development Awards Celebrations and Banquets are held nationwide to recognize the contributions that minority business owners have made in our global economy. The Spartanburg Area Chamber’s celebration, like the national celebration, recognizes the accomplishments of the minority business men and women in our community.

"The numerous contributions of our diverse minority businesses and members create opportunities of business growth and development today for the future, says Rebecca West. This year's MED Awards Celebration highlights such accomplishments within our community."


During the evening, the 2011 Minority Advocate of the Year, the 2011 Minority Business Person of the Year, and the 2011 Rising Star Award (presented to an area high school student) will be awarded. 


Additional sponsors for this year’s event include:

Spartanburg Water, Platinum Sponsor | Hospice Care of South Carolina, Gold Sponsor | Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, Gold Sponsor | Michelin North American, Inc., Silver Sponsor


Make plans to attend the 2011 Minority Development Enterprise Celebration.  Tickets are $40 each.  Register online here


For sponsorship opportunities or more information, please contact Yvonne Harper, (864)594-5032 or yharper@spartanburgchamber.com

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Upstate Employers to Learn the Impact of E-Verify at September Brown Bag Lunch

Posted by: Site Administrator on Wednesday, August 17, 2011 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

The South Carolina legislature has amended the state’s “Illegal Aliens and Private Employment” law to require that every employer verify their new hires through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s E-Verify system beginning January 1, 2012. Employers who fail to comply can lose their business licenses.

E-Verify is a free Internet based system that compares the information an employee provides on the Form I-9 — Employment Eligibility Verification — against millions of government records maintained by the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration.

It generally provides results in 3 to 5 seconds. If the information matches, the employee is eligible to work in the United States. If there’s a mismatch, E-Verify will alert the employer and the employee will be allowed to work while he or she resolves the problem.  The South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation is charged with conducting random audits of employers to assure compliance.

James E. Knight, administrator of the Office of Immigrant Worker Compliance within the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation, will brief Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce members on September 21st at a special Brown Bag Lunch on the changes in the law, and the E-Verify system.

Knight said it’s important for business owners to learn exactly what’s required of them, and he encouraged all employers to attend.

The immigration law passed by the state legislature in 2008 gave employers options in verifying their new hires, said Knight. They could either use the federal database, E-Verify, or get a valid driver’s license from South Carolina or one of 26 other approved states. 

A U.S. Supreme Court decision in May determined that states could mandate that employers verify new hires, but they could only require employers to do so using the E-Verify system, he said.

“To make the South Carolina immigration law constitutional, the state legislature had to amend the law in June to require that all employers use the E-Verify system to verify new hires. The legislature wanted to give employers time to come into compliance, so they set an effective date of January 1, 2012, for compliance,” Knight said.

After January 1, 2012, employers who fail to verify all new hires through E-Verify risk losing their business licenses. 

Click Here for more information about this important Brown Bag Lunch Event.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Fehrer Automotive North America LLC Announces Expansion in Spartanburg County

Posted by: Site Administrator on Wednesday, August 3, 2011 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

COLUMBIA, S.C. – August 2, 2011 – Gov. Nikki Haley, the South Carolina Department of Commerce and the Economic Futures Group of Spartanburg County today announced that Fehrer Automotive North America LLC will expand its production operations to a site in Spartanburg County. The company expects to make a capital investment exceeding $14 million and to generate 130 new jobs over the next five years.

“Fehrer Automotive is very excited to partner with state and county agencies and its advisors on this project.  The Duncan site is a good fit and allows us to position ourselves for future business opportunities,” said company spokeswoman Robin Mathis. “We are excited to become part of the Spartanburg County business community and look forward to continued growth, as well as our ability to add additional jobs in the local community.”

Fehrer Automotive’s strategic successes over the last several years have resulted in the company outgrowing its current 80,000 square feet of combined manufacturing and warehouse facilities in Fountain Inn, South Carolina. The new Duncan site has 100,000 square feet with room to expand.

“Fehrer Automotive has been part of the South Carolina’s business community for several years and we are excited to see the company expand its presence here with a $14 million investment and 130 new jobs. We love when new companies come to South Carolina, but it’s a celebration when the ones we already have expand,” said Gov. Nikki Haley.

Automotive continues to be a leading sector in South Carolina. Commerce has been involved in recruiting more than $2 billion in investment and more than 9,800 jobs since the beginning of 2008. 

“Our state’s standing in the automotive club continues to grow. When a company like Fehrer chooses to expand in South Carolina, it not only indicates the vigor of our automotive sector, but the strength of our state’s business climate as well,” said Bobby Hitt, Secretary of Commerce.

“We are extremely pleased that Fehrer Automotive has chosen Spartanburg County to expand its production operations.  We appreciate the efforts of our economic development team, public and private, in securing this business venture in Spartanburg County. We welcome them to our business community and wish them much success,” said David Britt, chairman of Economic Recruitment Committee of Spartanburg County Council and member of the Economic Futures Group Board.

Lewis F. Gossett, president and CEO of the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance added that Fehrer Automotive’s investment is another strong endorsement of South Carolina’s growing international leadership role in the automotive industry. “Fehrer is a world class company that has a history of doing business in our state, and with this investment, Fehrer expressed not only satisfaction with its South Carolina experience but also confidence in its ability to continue to be successful here.”

The company plans to begin hiring for the new positions in September. Anyone interested in job opportunities with the company can send a resume to Robin Mathis, Human Resources, Fehrer Automotive North America LLC, 385 South Woods Drive, Fountain Inn, S.C. 29644.

The state will provide job development credits approved by the Coordinating Council for Economic Development when the company reaches its hiring commitments. The county is providing a Fee-in-Lieu-of-Taxes agreement and special source revenue credits.

Fehrer Automotive North America is a subsidiary of F.S. Fehrer Automotive GmbH. Fehrer is an international developer and series supplier for the automobile industry. The product range comprises moulded seat pads for car seats, arm rests, centre consoles, side bolsters, headrests and inner trim panels as well as structural parts for cars. Founded in 1875 in Kitzingen, Germany the family-owned enterprise has 22 production facilities in countries like Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary, United States, South Africa, India and China today. For more information on the company, please visit www.fehrer.com.

Tourism Staff Completes Marketing College

Posted by: Site Administrator on Wednesday, August 3, 2011 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

SPARTANBURG, SC--- After three years of specialized summer classes, Amy Phillips, Marketing and Communications Manager for the Spartanburg Convention and Visitors Bureau, is nearing certification as a Travel Marketing Professional (TMP).  Amy Phillips has two projects to complete to earn TMP certification from the Southeast Tourism Society Marketing College. Her third year of classes was last month at North Georgia College and State University in Dahlonega.

Phillips was one of 232 tourism professionals enrolled at the Southeast Tourism Society (STS) Marketing College last month.  The week-long program turns the facilities of North Georgia College and State University in Dahlonega, Ga., into a laboratory to teach tourism marketing each summer.

“We’re obviously very proud of Amy’s accomplishment,” said CVB Executive Director Chris Jennings.  “Her dedication and hard work for Spartanburg is unparalleled.”

There is no other professional development program like STS Marketing College, and it is recognized nationally for its training of tourism leaders. 626 people have earned TMP certification.

“In the tourism industry, TMP certification carries a lot of weight,” said Bill Hardman, president and CEO of the Southeast Tourism Society, a 12-state organization that promotes travel and tourism in the Southeast.

The STS Marketing College began in 1992 to provide continuing education for tourism professionals and feted its 20th anniversary this year.  Tourism ranks as the first-, second- or third-largest industry in each STS member state. Students come from convention and visitors bureaus, chambers of commerce, attractions, hotels and other segments of the tourism industry.   The curriculum covers topics such as branding, social media, packaging and sports marketing.  Heritage tourism and research are courses that have attracted special interest in recent years.

“Southeast Tourism Society is recognized nationwide for the cohesiveness and camaraderie it fosters in the region.  No other region in the U.S. has a similar organization.  STS Marketing College is a major project to build skills and professionalism in the tourism industry,” Hardman said. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

NFL Commissioner Visit Spartanburg

Posted by: Site Administrator on Tuesday, August 2, 2011 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

SPARTANBURG-August 2, 2011-The Carolina Panthers Training Camp at Wofford College will be the site of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s first 2011 Training Camp visit Wednesday, August 3 when he participates in a Fan Forum prior to the team’s 6:00 practice.  The forum will take place on the bank overlooking the lighted practice field at Wofford at approximately 5:15 Wednesday and fans are invited to participate.

It will be Goodell’s first visit to Spartanburg since he became Commissioner and comes following the successful negotiation of an unprecedented 10-year Collective Bargaining Agreement for the League and its players.  The Commissioner will arrive in Spartanburg Wednesday afternoon and attend practice after the forum.  Goodell has conducted numerous forums since becoming Commissioner, but Wednesday will be his first since ratification of the CBA by both the owners and players.

During the negotiations, Goodell worked closely with Carolina Panthers Owner/Founder Jerry Richardson, who served as co-chair of the League’s 10-owner executive committee.  The CBA allows the NFL to maintain competitive balance while providing economic support to past players and focusing on the health and safety of our current players.  Wofford College is the alma mater of Richardson and has been the home of the Panthers training camp since the team’s inaugural season in 1995.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Heavy Hitters Come to the Upstate for Get Motivated Seminar August 10th

Posted by: Site Administrator on Tuesday, July 19, 2011 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

The Get Motivated Business Seminar featuring world famous soldier-statesman General Colin Powell, America’s Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former First Lady Laura Bush, acclaimed CEO of Southwest Airlines Howard Putnam and renowned Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz is coming to the BI-LO Center. The day-long presentation will take place on Wednesday, August 10 from 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

Additional speakers will include President and CEO of Forbes, Inc. Steve Forbes, America’s favorite comedian Bill Cosby, sales and negotiation expert Brian Tracy, America’s most inspirational speaker Dr. Robert Schuller and other renowned teachers and motivators. The seminar takes place in about 30 cities annually and has for more than 37 years.

Among the speakers' topics will be "Take-Charge Leadership” (Powell); “The Tenacity to Persevere: How to Make it Through Any Crisis”
(Giuliani); “ The Keys to Stability in Uncertain Times” (Bush); "Success Strategies for Turbulent Times“ (Putnam); “How to Lead Your Team to Victory“ (Holtz); “America’s Promise: Your Keys to Growth and Prosperity” (Forbes); “Humor at Work: the Secret Success Factor” (Cosby); “How to Strengthen Your Sales and Negotiation Skills” (Tracy) and “Tough Times Never Last, But Tough People Do” (Schuller).

An entire office of people can attend this seminar of a day of training, inspiration and motivation for a total investment of only $9.95 - not per person, but per office. To take advantage of this very limited-time offer, call 1-800-217-1339. For more information, view the flyer here.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Launch Something to Produce 2012 Spartanburg Visitor Guide

Posted by: Amy Phillips on Wednesday, July 6, 2011 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

SPARTANBURG, SC--- The Spartanburg Convention & Visitors Bureau (SCVB) has awarded Launch Something of Spartanburg, a contract to produce the 2012 Official Spartanburg Visitors Guide.  Launch Something was awarded the contract from a competitive bid process, and also produced the 2011 edition. The new contract is for one year, with two one-year options to renew.

The guide highlights Spartanburg County’s hotels, attractions, and other traveler services. This will be the fourth annual comprehensive guide to Spartanburg’s travel and tourism offerings.
The guides will be distributed at state welcome centers, AAA travel agencies, local hotels, attractions, and tourism businesses, and will be available online as a downloadable PDF and e-book, as well as through mail and phone requests for Spartanburg County information.

“We are excited about working with Launch Something on this project again this year. They exceeded our expectations for the 2011 guide and produced an impressive piece that truly showcases the assets of our county,” says Amy Phillips, Marketing and Communications Manager for the SCVB.

Launch Something will be responsible for design, layout and printing of the 2012 Spartanburg Visitors Guide.  Amy Phillips will supervise the project for the SCVB and will also be handling all ad sales.  For advertising opportunities in the 2012 Spartanburg Visitor Guide, contact Amy Phillips at 864-594-5050 or aphillips@visitspartanburg.com.

Draexlmaier Automotive of America Announces Expansion in Spartanburg County

Posted by: Site Administrator on Wednesday, July 6, 2011 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

COLUMBIA, S.C. – June 22, 2011 – Gov. Nikki Haley, the South Carolina Department of Commerce and the Economic Futures Group of Spartanburg County today announced that Draexlmaier Automotive of America LLC, an affiliate of the Dräxlmaier Group, will expand its current facility in Spartanburg County. The $22.35 million investment is expected to generate 150 new jobs over the next five years.

“This investment will allow Dräxlmaier to grow and remain competitive,” said Stefan Bude, chief financial officer for Dräxlmaier Group, North America region. “It also shows our commitment to the Upstate and South Carolina as a long-term production site.”

Dräxlmaier will upgrade its facility, located at 1751 East Main Street in Duncan, to accommodate increased production. The investment includes the previously announced addition of a $10 million, 64,500-square-foot production building to the existing facility, as well as upgrades to the plant infrastructure and equipment. Earlier today, Gov. Haley met with executives at the Dräxlmaier headquarters in Germany.

“We are on a roll creating jobs for the people of South Carolina,” Gov. Haley said. “Please join me in thanking Draexlmaier Automotive of America for their commitment to the people of our great state.”

“South Carolina’s automotive sector continues to grow, and this expansion announcement by Dräxlmaier is another indication of that fact. Our state’s business-friendly climate and skilled workforce continue to attract investment and help our existing businesses grow. We appreciate Dräxlmaier’s decision to continue to do business in the Palmetto State,” said Bobby Hitt, Secretary of Commerce.

The new production hall will expand the plant’s capacity by more than a third and house state-of-the-art equipment and cutting-edge technology for the assembly of vehicle interiors and components, including instrument panels, center consoles and door panels.

“We are extremely delighted that Dräxlmaier has chosen to expand their Duncan facility. We are always excited when existing companies grow, verifying Spartanburg County as an excellent location to do business.  We appreciate their continued commitment to our corporate community and their ongoing investment of operations and job opportunities,” said David Britt, chairman of Economic Development Committee of Spartanburg County Council and board member of the Economic Futures Group.

A Tier I supplier to the international automotive industry, Dräxlmaier manufactures premium interiors and plastic components at its Duncan site, which is also home to the company’s U.S. headquarters. Built in 1998, the facility has been expanded twice since then, the last time in 2005 when a new R&D wing was added to the existing building.

“Our Duncan plant plays an important strategic role for our North America business,” said Karl Wallner, board member of the Germany-based Dräxlmaier Group. “The expansion shows that we are committed to a steady growth in this region. The well-trained and highly-skilled workforce in South Carolina will help us to design and manufacture high-quality products for the international automotive industry.”

“As the demand for our products increases, this expansion will help us meet the needs of our customers and position us for future growth,” Ulrich Eichler, chief operating officer for Dräxlmaier Group, North America region.

Construction of the building addition has been underway since early March and is expected to be completed by mid-September. The addition was designed by Germany-based DELTA ImmoTec GmbH. Local contractors include Context Design Group PLLC of Greenville, S.C.; MB Kahn Construction Company of Greenville, S.C.; Paragon Engineering & Geosciences LLC of Greenville, S.C.; and Collins Hammett Construction LLC of Greer, S.C.

The company will begin hiring for the positions in July. Anyone interested in job opportunities with the company should submit his or her resume to JDUN@draexlmaier.us or contact Dräxlmaier Corporate Recruiter Lisa Alexander at alexander.lisa@draexlmaier.us.

Draexlmaier Automotive of America is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Dräxlmaier Group of Germany. Dräxlmaier currently operates at 57 plant sites in 21 countries. The company’s main lines of business include interior components, cockpits, wiring harness and electrical management systems. Customers in North America include BMW, General Motors/Cadillac and Volkswagen. For more information about the company, please visit www.draexlmaier.de/index_en.htm.

Spartanburg to Host North American Ethnic Ministries Summit

Posted by: Amy Phillips on Wednesday, July 6, 2011 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

SPARTANBURG, SC--- The Spartanburg Convention and Visitors Bureau (SCVB) proudly announces Spartanburg as host of the North American Ethnic Ministries Summit on April 19-21, 2012. The summit will be held at Evangel Cathedral.

“Ethnic America Network (EAN) has sponsored the annual summit since 2001, but the conference has always been held in much bigger cities, with major league sports teams,” according to Dr. Jim Goodroe, co-chair of the 2012 summit. The 2010 summit was held in Boston and the summit will be held in Chicago in 2013.

EAN, headquartered in Wheaton, IL at the Billy Graham Center, promotes cross-cultural advancement of the gospel and intercultural unity in Jesus Christ. Summit attendance is typically two-thirds from the local region and a third from across the nation. This is the first summit which has had three years to prepare, and a large multi-ethnic, interdenominational coalition staffs its twenty task forces. Conference organizers expect over a thousand registrations and over 3,000 in the evening services.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to host this event and be able to showcase Spartanburg to people from around the nation,” says Chris Jennings, Executive Director of the SCVB. 

Summit evening sessions at Evangel Cathedral are free & open to the public. Plenary speakers for these multi-ethnic worship services are announced on the summit Website (www.interculturalnetworkcarolina.org). Friday & Saturday daytime sessions, by paid registration, include affinity groups and four seminar periods (choice of fifty topics).

For more information, email 2012summit@bellsouth.net or call 864-582-2564.

New Community Website Promotes Select Tourism Activities

Posted by: Steve Wong, Chapman Cultural Center on Wednesday, July 6, 2011 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)
Spartanburg, SC—The Chapman Cultural Center has launched a new website that highlights select cultural, artistic, and entertainment activities in Spartanburg—activities that might be appealing to tourists and local citizens alike. SpartanburgCulture.com is now live and available for public use. It was developed as an adjunct website to the Spartanburg Convention and Visitors Bureau’s website, VisitSpartanburg.com, which is directly linked to the new site. SpartanburgCulture.com is not meant to be a comprehensive calendar of events. Rather, it promotes selected activities that are considered of high interest to out-of-town visitors. On the site, 10 activities are listed with descriptive information, a photo or graphic, and follow-up information, such linking websites and telephone numbers. The new site also has a blogging feature that allows people to comment on activities. SpartanburgCulture.com was paid for by a matching grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information, please call 542-ARTS or email to sWong@SpartanArts.org.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

BMW Makes Major Announcement at Chamber Annual Meeting

Posted by: Site Administrator on Wednesday, March 2, 2011 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

Amidst all of the wining and dining, discussion of accomplishments and award recognition of Monday night’s sold out Annual Meeting, a single collective gasp was heard as keynote speaker Josef Kercher, announced the company’s plans to add another $100 million investment at the company’s Spartanburg County factory as well as a new X3 program to further streamline the company’s export operation. 

“This new investment in our BMW Spartanburg facility will increase our efficiency, make us more flexible and environmentally friendly,” said Kerscher, President of BMW Manufacturing Company. “In addition, with our new export business model, we can open up new markets for the X3.”

The company is currently putting the finishing touches on a new $750 million assembly line and paint shop alongside the original plant it built 18 years ago at the junction of S.C. highway 101 and Interstate 85.

As part of BMW’s commitment to sustainable, continuous improvement, the new investment will support a variety of new programs, technology and infrastructure, Kerscher said.

BMW’s new X3 “semi-knocked down” operation is based in Duncan, S.C. During the speech, Kerscher said the company’s new logistics partner, Syncreon, will manage the warehousing, kitting and logistics operation to prepare vehicle kits for export to emerging markets.

BMW Manufacturing Co. is a subsidiary of BMW AG in Munich, Germany and is the global producer of the BMW X3 and X5 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 Sports Activity Coupe. In addition to the South Carolina manufacturing facility, BMW North American subsidiaries include sales, marketing and financial services operations in the United States, Canada and throughout Latin America; and a design firm and technology office in California. For more information on BMW Manufacturing, visit www.bmwusfactory.com.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Business Start-Up Workshop to be Held February 24, 2011

Posted by: Site Administrator on Thursday, February 10, 2011 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

Aspiring Upstate entrepreneurs have an exciting resource to help them achieve their dream of business ownership.  The Clemson University Small Business Development Center is conducting an interactive workshop designed to supply the information needed before taking the plunge.  “JumpStart Your Business, Tips for Start Up Success” will explore the basics of what it takes to go into business, how to set-up a business, forms of business organization, legal requirements, the elements of an effective business plan, how to obtain financing and improve the odds of success, and the most important information to make informed business decisions. 

Pre-registration is required:  http://workgroups.clemson.edu/SBDC_Workshops/form.php


Thursday, February 24, 2011;   11:30 am – 1:00 pm

A box lunch will be provided.


Clemson at the Falls, 55 East Camperdown Way, Greenville, SC 29601

Classroom 2B



If you have any questions, please call (864) 370-1545 or email sbostic@clemson.edu.


The South Carolina Small Business Development Center (SBDC) operates in partnership and is partially funded under a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. The support given by the U.S. Small Business Administration through such funding does not constitute an express or implied endorsement of the cosponsor(s) or participants’ opinions, products or services. All SBDC programs are nondiscriminatory and available to individuals with disabilities.

2011 USC Upstate Career Fair Details

Posted by: Site Administrator on Thursday, February 10, 2011 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

The University of South Carolina Upstate located in Spartanburg, South Carolina is pleased to announce that Registration Information for Spring 2011 recruitment events is now available online. Click on the following link to peruse the events and to download the registration form for the event you plan to attend. http://www.uscupstate.edu/studentsuccess/careercenter/Default.aspx?id=2630


February 23, 2011       DIVERSITY FAIR –CAMPUS LIFE CENTER (12:00 pm  - 2:00 pm)

*Free for Employers, Students and Alums

March 3, 2011           INTERNSHIP FAIR-CAMPUS LIFE CENTER BALLROOM (12:00 PM - 3:00 PM)

*Free for Employers, Students and Alums

March 16, 2011          Education Recruitment Day – Health Education Complex Gym (11:30am –1:00pm )
                        Registration Fee $75.00/School District

*Free for Students and Alums

March 21, 2011          Nurse Recruitment Day-Health Education Complex Gymnasium (12:00 pm - 3:00 pm)
        Registration Fee $100.00/Healthcare Facility, 50% of the registration goes toward nursing scholarship

*Free for Students and Alums

April 13, 2011          Career and Summer Job Fair-Campus Life Center Ballroom (12:00 pm - 3:00 pm)

*Free for Employers, Students and Alums

For more information, please call Sherry at 864 503 5393.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

President of BMW Manufacturing to Speak at Chamber’s Annual Meeting

Posted by: Site Administrator on Tuesday, December 14, 2010 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

Josef Kerscher, President of BMW Manufacturing is to be the featured speaker at the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Meeting on Monday, February 28, 2011 at the Spartanburg Marriott at Renaissance Park.  A reception presented by Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System will be held from 5:30-6:30pm with the business meeting beginning at 6:30pm in the heritage ballroom.

Josef Kerscher began his career with BMW in 1979 and has served in management positions across the company from group leader to department head at the company’s Landshut plant to Managing Director of the Munich plant. He is a graduate of the Technical University Munich with a mechanical engineering degree with an emphasis on environmental engineering. 

Mr. Kerscher serves as a board member for South Carolina Chamber of Commerce and serves as Chairman of the Manufacturing Committee.   He also serves a member of The Clemson President’s Advisory Board.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce Recognizes 2010 Economic Champions

Posted by: Jessica Osborne on Monday, November 15, 2010 at 10:22:58 am Comments (0)

On Thursday, November 11th, 200 business leaders and entrepreneurs from around the Upstate joined us at the Spartanburg Marriott at Renaissance Park to celebrate the many accomplishments of Upstate businesses in 2010.  Awards were given to over 220 firms, each qualifying for at least one of the following criteria:

  • Adding or updating equipment in 2010
  • Adding employees in 2010
  • Weathering the economic storm
  • Opening a new business or expanding an existing business in 2010
  • Doing something great for employees or for the community
  • Receiving a special award or recognition (locally/regionally/or nationally) in 2010
  • Developing a new product or process in 2010
  • Going green in 2010 (became more environmentally friendly)

The Following are the 2010 Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce Economic Champions:

5th Pixel Media LLC

Aaron’s Sales & Lease

Abrasive Blasting and Coating Services

Action Printing


Advanced Business Equipment, Inc.

AFL Telecommunications

Airmiltaire LLC

Allstate Insurance – Rockie Bull Agency

Always Best Care of Spartanburg


BASF Corporation

Benore Logistics

Bi-Lingual Secretary

Black Diamond Concierge

BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC

Bondtex Inc.

Blue Moon Café

Bragg Waste Services

Budweiser of Spartanburg

Dr. Andy Butcher, DDS

Café Valley

Carey Moving & Storage, Inc.

Carolina Alliance Bank

Carolina Automatic Sprinkler Co., Inc.

Carolina Country Club

Carolina FC

Carolina Hearth & Patio

Carolina Horse & Carriage

Carolina Roofing

Celebrity’s Deli and Pub

City of Spartanburg

Clarion Hotel

Climb Upstate

Colonial Life/Upstate Team

Comfort Suites Westgate               

Communications Management, Inc.

Contract Electric Inc.

Converse College

Converse Deli

Cook-Out Restaurant

Cooper Standard Automotive

Coop’s Health & Fitness

Corporate Connection

COSTCO Wholesale

CPI Security

Cribbs Kitchen & Catering

Cross Cultural Institute of America, Inc.

Crossfit Spartanburg

CT&T United

Custom Chemical Corporation

Cullum Interests, Inc.

Cunningham R.V. Park

Dell Corning Corporation

DC Motor and Controls, Inc.

Dick Brooks Honda

Dick Brooks Suzuki of Greer

Dixon Hughes, PLLC

Dixie Crane & Equipment Corp.

DK Bost Construction

Draexlmaier Automotive of America LLC


Eastside Animal Hospital, LLC

Economic Futures Group

ECO Group International

Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine – Carolinas Campus

Elauwit Media

Environmental Management Specialists, LLC

Express Employment Professionals

Fairway Outdoors Advertising


First National Bank of the South

ForceOne Soluntions Inc.

Ford & Harrison LLP

Fratello’s Restaurant

Frigoglass North America LTD, Co.

George Dean Johnson, Jr.

College of Business & Economics USC Upstate

Glenworth Financial Securities Corp.

Golden Corral

Goodwill Industries of the Upstate/Midlands South Carolina


Grace Presbyterian Church

H General Contractors, LLC

Jeff Haulbrook Inc. – Safeguard Business Systems

Healthy Smiles of Spartanburg

Hockey Greenville

Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites

Hospice Care of South Carolina

Hospice of the Carolina Foothills

HVM L.L.C. dba Extended Stay Hotels

Hyde Law Firm

InChem Corporation

Infrastructure Engineers, Inc.

Inman-Campobello Water District

Inman Mills

Integral Solutions Group

Jankel Tactical Systems, LLC

Jason’s Deli

JM Smith Corporation

Jocassee Designs, Inc.

Johnson Development Associates

Kalahari Cigar Bar & Lounge


Kusters Zima Corporation

Labor Finders

Labor Ready

Last Day Healing & Deliverance Center

Leigh Fibers

Les Duggins Photography

Liberty Tax Service

Dr. Caleb Loring, IV

Magna Innertech

Mail Solutions, LLC

Market Link Promotions

Mary Black Foundation

Mary Black Health System, LLC

Martex Fiber Southern Corp.

Matthew Ten

MCM Associates


of North & South Spartanburg Co.

Michelin North America

Milliken & Company

Minority Economic Development Institute, Inc.

Morgan Keegan & Co., Inc.

MullenHalstead, LLC

Nautilus Fitness Center, Inc.

NBSC a division of Synova Bank

NWS Technologies

O’Reilly Auto Parts

Oakbrook Preparatory School

Odermath USA, Inc.

Office Depot

Old WWWorld Cafe

OnSite Health

Pacolet Milliken Enterprises, Inc.

Palmetto Spirits of South Carolina, Inc.

Panera Bread

Piedmont Club

Pine Street Elementary School

Polydeck Screen Corp.

Prym Consumer USA, Inc.


Quality Roofing & Home Repairs

RJ Rockers Brewing Co.

A Longleaf Holdings USA Company

Residence Inn by Marriott

ResMed Inc.

Rhino Outdoors LLC

Röechling Automotive Duncan, L.L.P.

Rogers, Townsend and Thomas

Roland Management, Inc.

ROME Event Center

Rothschild & Maultsby Media


Sandler Training

SAGE Automotive Interiors, Inc.

Sam’s Club

ServiceMaster Janitorial Partners

ServiceMaster of Sparkle City

Sherwin Williams

Siemens Industries

Sign Designs Inc.

Sign-A-Rama of Spartanburg

Silpada Designs

Sinclair Marketing Group & Partners (SMG&P)


South Carolina Bank & Trust

Southern States Packaging

Southern Wesleyan University

Southwest Airlines

Spartan Industrial Supply Company

Spartan Photo Center

Spartanburg Area

Chamber of Commerce

Spartanburg Athletic Club

Spartanburg Chrysler Dodge Jeep

Spartanburg Coca-Cola

Spartanburg Community College

Spartanburg Community College Tyger River Campus

Spartanburg Convention and Visitors Burea (??)

Spartanburg County Foundation

Spartanburg County Coroner’s Office

Spartanburg County Government

Spartanburg County Medical Society

Spartanburg County Tourism Action Plan Steering Committee

Spartanburg Downtown Memorial Airport

Spartan Industrial Supply, Inc.

Spartanburg Jaycees

Spartanburg Marriott at Renaissance Park

Spartanburg Meat Processing

Spartanburg Methodist College

Spartanburg Regional Federal Credit Union

Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System

Spartanburg Repertory Company

Spartanburg Sanitary Sewer District

Spartanburg Water System

Spencer Insulation, Inc.

Spencer Pest Control

Spherion Staffing

Sprinkle Prosthetics

Sticky Fingers

Sun Paper Company

Swift Business Solutions

Symtech, Inc.



The Ad House

The Blood Connection

The Dent Man

The Duncan Estate

The Finishing Works

The Frame Shop and Gallery

The Haven at River Falls

The Home Depot


TMD Technologies Group, LLC

Toast Creative Group

Toney Accounting & Financial Consulting

Trimite USA

TW Telecom

U.S. Army Recruiting Station - Spartanburg

United Way of the Piedmont

University of South Carolina Upstate

Upstate Workforce Investment Bd.

Valley Creek Apartments

Virginia College

Vision 2 Destiny, Inc.

Vision 2 Destiny Transportation Services LLC

VR Business Sales/Mergers & Acquisitions

WQUL Radio

Wachovia Bank

Waldrop Inc.


Wise Chiropractic & Wellness

Wofford College

Wolf Technology Group

Wolverine Coatings Corporation

Young Office

ZF Lemforder Corporation


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Spartanburg Economy is on an Upswing, Thanks to Local Entrepreneurs

Posted by: Jessica Osborne on Thursday, November 4, 2010 at 3:26:24 pm Comments (0)

Spartanburg’s economy shows huge signs of great improvement with the recent boom in new business and expansions.  In October and November alone, the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce has facilitated over 7 Grand Openings, Ribbon Cuttings and Open House events.  Once again, empty store-fronts are being filled with new businesses built upon the dreams and ambitions of entrepreneurs determined to push forward in spite of the bleak outlook that many saw in the beginning of 2010.  With their “can do” attitudes and their willingness and desire to become involved in the Spartanburg business community, they are the cornerstone and the beginning of a major upswing in our local economy.   Show your support for these new and expanded local businesses:

November 12th, 12:00pm: Climb Upstate

Spartanburg's first indoor rock climbing gym, Climb Upstate, will officially open on November 12th at 12pm with free admission, free drinks and light hors d'ouvres.   The address is 208 E. Daniel Morgan Ave, Spartanburg, SC 29301 and the phone number is 864-699-9967.  Ribbon cutting will be at 12noon with all activities following.  Check out our website at www.climbupstate.com for additional information, pricing and hours.

November 12th, 4:00pm: Kalahari Cigar Bar & Lounge

Come out and visit the largest humidor in the Southeast and celebrate the opening of Spartanburg's newest upscale cigar bar at 1925 Hwy 101 off of I-85 near BMW.  The grand opening celebration begins at 4pm with the kick off of happy hour which lasts daily from 4-7pm featuring 25% off drink specials.  From 4-9pm there will be free cigar, wine and beer tasting and live entertainment by "Rockwell Blues" band.  Enjoy a full bar, smoke-eater ventilation system, hi-def TVs, finger foods and dessert.


November 16th, 5:30pm: Upstate Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork
Join us as we celebrate the Open House of Upstate Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork on the campus of Mary Black Hospital in Spartanburg.  Linda Goulart, Licensed Massage Therapist and one of only TWO Structural Energetic Therapists (S.E.T. Therapists) in the state of South Carolina is opening the doors to her thriving practice to give us an inside glimpse at the broad scope of these revolutionary therapies.  Join us for great hors d'ouvres, drinks and great giveaways!



All Members are encouraged to attend these events and welcome these new businesses to the community and to the Chamber.
If you have an opportunity to attend any of these grand opening celebrations, leave a comment and tell us about it!  Let's encourage and support these local entrepreneurs!