Spartanburg Chamber Celebrates 2016 Successes

Annual Celebration

Monday, March 6, 2017

by Brooke Robertson, Director of Marketing


SPARTANBURG, SC – March 6, 2017 –

Teacher of the Year Awards, sponsored by USC Upstate:
District 1 – Lana O’Shields, Inman Elementary School
District 2 – Amy Dherit, Boiling Springs Middle School
District 3 – Pam Flynn, Broome High School
District 4 – Nikki Culbertson, Woodruff Elementary School
District 5 – Katie Henderson, Wellford Academy
District 6 – Mollie Suits, Anderson Mill Elementary
District 7 – Typhani Littlejohn, Cleveland Acadmy of Leadership
Spartanburg Day School – Nancy Corbin
SC School for the Deaf and the Blind – Gabrille Wriborg
Spartanburg Preparatory School – Lynnell Lawson


Young Professional of the Year sponsored by Ogletree Deakins – MEREDITH LINDSEY
Meredith joined SYP’s social committee in 2016. Months later, she eagerly stepped up to fill a void, transitioning from committee member to social chair. In her new role, Meredith runs full-speed ahead, ensuring every social event advances SYP’s mission by offering unique and engaging opportunities for young professionals to grow friendships and explore Spartanburg. We’ve heard a lot about the need to develop Spartanburg’s homegrown talent and retain our young talent. Not only is Meredith helping to create a more connected community of young professionals, she is also an ideal example of the type of young professional we need to cultivate. A 26-year-old Spartanburg native, Meredith is a thoughtful leader and an engaged community member. Her service to Spartanburg reaches well beyond SYP. Meredith is Volunteer Chair for the Hub City Hog Fest, incoming Co-Chair of the Hope Center’s Tinis and Tapas committee, and a member of Mobile Meal’s Land Cruise Auction Committee. In her professional capacity, Meredith is a project manager for A-LINE interactive.



Elaine Harris Tourism Person of the Year Award Sponsored by Clayton Construction Company – JENNIFER EVINS
The Elaine Harris Tourism Person of the Year Award was established by the Spartanburg Convention & Visitors Bureau to recognize those that have made noteworthy contributions and have a positive impact on the visitor economy of Spartanburg County for the past several years. In 2016, this recognition was renamed the Elaine Harris Tourism Person of the Year Award: “For the person who exemplifies the vision, vitality and persistence of Mayor Elaine Harris in developing, promoting and implementing a sustainable tourism culture in Spartanburg County.”

Jennifer Evins brings a significant experience in facilitating and leading successful community-wide projects, including the $42 million planning process, capital campaign, and project management to build Chapman Cultural Center, and has served as its President and CEO since 2011. She coordinated and facilitated the Spartanburg Downtown Cultural District--a specific geographical area that has a concentration of cultural facilities, activities, and assets. Almost two years in the making, the Spartanburg Downtown Cultural District was launched last November. This area includes hundreds of indoor and outdoor venues, galleries and exhibit spaces, museums, studios, historic sites, and events and festivals open to the public. Jennifer pursued and secured a $1 million grant from the Bloomberg Philanthropies for the Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light project, which brings nine temporary art installations to public spaces in 10 neighborhoods throughout the city. The project is a partnership among the City of Spartanburg Police and Community Relations Departments, internationally renowned light and digital media artist Erwin Redl, the Chapman Cultural Center, and neighborhood associations in the City of Spartanburg. Her enthusiasm is contagious and her success speaks for itself. Our community is flourishing and growing under her leadership, and Spartanburg County is blessed to call her one of our own.


Duke Energy Citizenship and Service Award – CONTEC INC. & PARTNERS FOR ACTIVE LIVING
The Duke Energy Citizenship and Service was established to honor individuals or groups who make a difference in their community or places they work by using their time, talents and compassion to positively impact the lives of others.

From a team of 2 in a small rented office in 1988, Contec has grown to 683 employees, with 3 locations in Spartanburg, a distribution center in Toledo, OH, manufacturing facilities on 3 continents, and a network of sales representatives and technical specialists all around the world. Contec manufactures and exports specialty-cleaning products for controlled environments and critical cleaning applications in a wide variety of industries. Contec takes community service very seriously. Spartanburg associates have been avid supporters of Ballet Spartanburg, The Charles Lea Center, Healthy Smiles, Hollywild Animal Park, The Hope Center for Children, Hope Remains Ranch, the March of Dimes, the Northside Initiative, the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce, Spartanburg Regional Foundation, Mobile Meals, Partners for Active Living, The Walker Foundation, and many other worthy organizations, both large and small. Their core value statement reads, “We understand there is life outside of work. Giving back to our community makes our corner of the world better and brings personal satisfaction. Everyone can contribute something, whether a little or a lot, as his or her circumstances allow. Together, we have and will continue to make an impact on Spartanburg.”

Partners For Active Living seek to transform Spartanburg County into a vibrant, healthy, connected community where we live and grow, focusing on the two root causes of cardiovascular disease: physical inactivity and poor nutrition. In 2016, Partners for Active Living facilitated: 3,196 BCycle trips which was launched in 2011 as the first bicycle sharing system in the Southeast. 1,600+ runners and walkers for the annual Turkey Day Trot. Partners for Active Living also convened: 93 administrators; partners and teachers for the 2016 Healthy Schools Forum; 29 community partners for the Childhood Obesity; 14 school partners for the Healthy Schools; 5 childcare centers focused on improving outdoor play space for more active children. Partners for Active Living increased support for active living by securing: $1.6 million for new trails; $657,820 for the park on the Mary Black Foundation Rail Trail.


Economic Futures Award Sponsored by Wells Fargo – Michelin North America

Michelin North America is a true corporate citizen. Michelin is a generous supporter of Spartanburg through its people and its resources. As David Griffin, the Site Director at Michelin North America's Spartanburg Plant, makes his way to the podium to receive this award, we would like to express our deepest and most sincere appreciation to Michelin for their continued investment and belief in Spartanburg County. Michelin’s US3 plant, in Spartanburg, SC came on line in 1978, producing radial truck tires for the rapidly growing radial market in the trucking industry. Along with several other plants in South Carolina and the southeastern region, a research and development center was opened in South Carolina, because Michelin has always believed in developing products exclusively for a North American market where huge geographical distances demanded different tires than established European markets. Through expansions, joint ventures, and acquisitions

in the 1980’s, Michelin became the largest tire company in the world. September 2016 Michelin announced its plans to establish a distribution center in Spartanburg County. The new development is projected to bring more than $270 million in new capital investment and lead to the creation of 350 new jobs. The site will feature five buildings comprising a total of approximately 3.3 million square-feet and will support distribution of tires under Michelin, BFGoodrich and Uniroyal brands for passenger vehicles, heavy trucks and agricultural equipment. Michelin North America employs more than 22,650 associates and operates 20 major manufacturing plants in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. 8,520 of those associates work in South Carolina.


Ambassador of the Year Sponsored by Spartanburg Marriott – ALLISON OWENS

These important volunteers help share the mission of the Chamber and work diligently to communicate the organization’s value to the community. This year, we are delighted to recognize one of the Ambassadors who attends everything and is always promoting the relevance of the Chamber within our community. Allison Owens is currently participating in Leadership Spartanburg and is employed by Founders Federal Credit Union.



The effort, referred to as OneSpartanburg, created a plan that was data driven, involved 52 steering committee members, 3,180 people and a year’s worth of meetings. These three community leaders were recognized with their involvement in the entire process, for without their leadership, we would not be where we are today.



James B. Thompson Small Business of the Year Award Sponsored by Allegra Marketing, Print and Mail

Formed in 2012 by brothers Drew and Charles Refshauge, A-LINE Interactive helps brands create and maintain successful web presences, and is dedicated to elevating the online impact of businesses and organizations in Upstate South Carolina, Western North Carolina, and throughout the Southeast. Together, we work on a shared goal—to help clients create online experiences that share stories, engage audiences and convert visitors into loyal customers. A-LINE partners with clients to manage their online and digital presence from the ground up. From designing and building websites that are unique, to crafting integrated strategies and marketing plans, A-LINE helps clients broadcast their stories to the world, and in doing so, makes an undeniable impact on their bottom line. A-LINE is proud to call Spartanburg home.



Neville Holcombe Distinguished Citizenship Award Sponsored by Harper Corporation and McMillan Pazdan Smith

Sue G. Schneider is the Chief Executive Officer of Spartanburg Water System in Spartanburg, South Carolina. She joined Spartanburg Water in 1998 as the Assistant General Manager and was promoted to Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in 2007. Sue has more than 30 years in the environmental remediation, public utilities and environmental management fields. Prior to coming to Spartanburg Water, Sue worked for Westinghouse Electric at Department of Energy sites in New York and Ohio. Prior to her time at Westinghouse she was involved in hazardous waste site remediation activities at a subsidiary of Browning-Ferris Industries in Ohio.

As the Past Chair of the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce, she distinguished herself as the first woman to lead that organization. In addition, she is currently an executive board member of Ten at the Top and the Urban League of the Upstate, and serves on the board of the South Carolina Associations of United Way and the Rotary Club of Spartanburg.

Her leadership also extends to the global water industry. She has served a number of roles for the Water Environment Federation. Her leadership within the American Water Works Association, or AWWA, includes her role as Chair of the South Carolina section. She was a past member of AWWA’s Executive Board.

Sue received her Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from The Ohio State University, a Master of Science in Environmental Science from the University of Cincinnati and a Master of Business Administration from Wake Forest University.

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