Ones to Watch


The judge’s panel was able to choose only a handful of winners from the nearly 150 nominees (see the full list at the bottom of this page). Here are 27 more who have made considerable contributions to the Upstate – and whose work in the future will be well worth keeping an eye on.

Mario Brown

Realtor, Eastwood Homes; BuildGREENville

“What sets me apart is my desire to promote the industry,” Brown says. “I saw a huge disconnect between the construction and homebuilding industries and millennial homebuyers.” Mario set out to forge that gap through social media integration and content-driven marketing. His website,, is a hyperlocal site focused on new construction and green building and averages 6,000 unique visitors per month.

Jon-Michial Cartier

Co-Founder and CEO, ChartSpan Medical Technologies

ChartSpan, a mobile consumer health platform for patients, is the No. 1 most downloaded medical app in the U.S., with 200,000 downloads. It has been named one of the Top 10 most innovative health care companies in the U.S. And Cartier now plans to stake a claim in downtown Greenville with a 100,000-square-foot space and 300 new jobs. “It was a love affair between ChartSpan and the leaders of Greenville,” he says. “And we can’t wait to give back to them.”

Scott Dobson

Co-Owner and Pediatrician, Parkside Pediatrics

Dobson co-created Parkside Pediatrics in 2006, and grew it from four employees to 150 today. He aimed to create a more personalized customer service approach to health care. “We are creating this umbrella company that provides administration for health care providers, along with a consistent culture,” Dobson said. “We’re planning to offer another choice for medical care that’s not a huge corporation.”

Zach Eikenberry

Founding CEO, NEXT High School

Eikenberry committed himself to building the most innovative school in the Southeast right here in Greenville. With the opening last year of NEXT High School in its brick-and-mortar location on Wade Hampton Boulevard, his vision is now reality and continuing to grow. NEXT is powered by the business and entrepreneurial community and seeks to empower high school students to begin their life, business and impact today, instead of when they graduate college.

Jon Good

CEO and Broker-in-Charge, NAI Earle Furman

When Good was named president of the firm at 36, real estate was struggling under the recession and the older partners saw Jon’s generation as the key to keeping Earle Furman on the cutting edge of the industry. He became broker-in-charge in 2014, and led the relocation of the Anderson office and doubled the size of its staff. He also led the merger of NAI Earle Furman and Orion Properties, forming the firm’s first official Spartanburg location.

Brad Halter

Chairman, The Caine Company

Halter is responsible for the strategic direction of the company and leads community outreach and business development initiatives for the firm. Coworkers and clients have said Halter is honest, fair and reasonable. He says professionalism and customer service are the cornerstones of the business.

Lacey Hennessey

Account Executive, Crawford Strategy

Through her role with Crawford Strategy, Hennessey works directly with business owners and those in leadership positions to help the business community become more collaborative and join forces over common interests. Her impact on the events she runs is mostly behind the scenes, but between the many public and private events she has planned, managed and executed, she has helped host thousands of guests and participants.

Kurt Herwald

President, Tech-24

Herwald, a certified turnaround professional who has won several Turnaround of the Year awards, worked on a financial turnaround at Commercial Foodservice Repair beginning in 2004, and became owner in 2009. The company had been focused on internal growth and operations, and he started looking at acquisitions. “I wanted us to grow faster than we could organically,” he said. In 2014, he oversaw a merger with Tech-24, and completed acquisition of Service Solutions Group.

Shay Houser

Founder and CEO, Green Cloud Technologies

From the very beginning, Green Cloud has been an employee-owned company. Every employee is a shareholder and has a stake in the business. Employees choose to work there not for the salary, but rather for the long-term value creation each employee is building. Shay Houser is building a legacy as a serial entrepreneur providing tremendous opportunities to those employees who choose to build companies with him.

Rob Howell

Principal, Avison Young

While it may seem contrary to his job as a real estate broker, Rob is a strong advocate for land preservation, expansion of public greenspace, and development of robust bike and pedestrian transportation alternatives for the region. He sees it as his responsibility to help Greenville develop in a thoughtful way, and to help protect special areas that add to the quality of life and appeal of the Upstate, such as Paris Mountain State Park and the Mountain Bridge Wilderness areas.

Seabrook Marchant

Founder, The Marchant Company

Marchant genuinely cares about people. He is invested in the success of the people who work for him, and has a sense of compassion for the needs of the community his company serves. “Twenty years from now I hope to look back and see we’ve left a reputation of being a company that is trustworthy and reputable – that we did things the right way,” he says.

Allison McGarity

President and CEO, Simpsonville Area Chamber of Commerce

The Simpsonville Area Chamber of Commerce is the lead business organization that promotes the Simpsonville area and the local business community. It is comprised of businesses and individuals who band together to advance the commercial, financial, industrial and civic interests of the community. The Chamber fosters programs, events and initiatives designed to create more business, better living conditions, and a more attractive and desirable community in which to live, work and visit.

John Moore

President and CEO, NEXT

2015 was a watershed year for NEXT as the organization “added major new elements to the region’s entrepreneur ecosystem, saw a continued dramatic rise in the number of startup ventures engaging with us and created a new entity, NEXT LLC,” which is an affiliate of the Greenville Chamber, Moore says. “So our growth was not only in numbers of companies being supported and breadth of support services and facilities provided, but we also grew in terms of maturation of the NEXT effort itself which should provide for greater impact and sustainability long term..

Josh Morris

Assistant Vice President and Division Director, Robert Half Technology

Morris is a rising business and civic leader who helps to lead growth in his community as well as driving programs like the Red Shoe Society. In his work with Robert Half, he is responsible for establishing relationships with local technology decision makers. He has consistently surpassed revenue expectations. He has always valued volunteering, beginning with the YMCA’s Camp Greenville while he was still in college.

Grier Mullins

Executive Director, Public Education Partners of Greenville County

Public Education Partners is a local education fund dedicated to improving student achievement in Greenville County public schools. The group collaborates with the community, educators and elected officials to craft initiatives, celebrate progress and address challenges. They currently focus their effort on quality teaching, early grades reading success and public policy.

Chad Odom

CEO, Encore Container

The Greenville native grew up working afternoons and weekends at The Pickwick, the historic Greenville pharmacy that has been in his family for three generations. Chad and his brothers purchased the pharmacy from their father in 2007. Today Encore Container is a leading manufacturer and reconditioner of industrial containers headquartered in Greenville, and is the only company in the industry that offers container manufacturing and reconditioning under one roof.

Krish Patel

President and CEO, Wireless Communications

In 2015, around the time of his 30th birthday, Patel negotiated the sale of roughly 20 of the Wireless Communications-operated Verizon retail locations in South Carolina (approximately 10 of which are located in the Upstate) to one of the largest Verizon Premium Retailer operators in the U.S. Following the streamlining of his retail holdings, Patel partnered with William Timmons to launch Soul Yoga Studio off the Swamp Rabbit Trail, and the two are currently working on a proposed cafe/event venue.

Beth Paul

General Manager, Bon Secours Wellness Arena

Last year, Paul was appointed General Manager of the Bon Secours Wellness Arena after more than nine years as its assistant general manager and director of finance. “I’m honored to have the opportunity to lead this great organization. I look forward to contributing to the expansion of event programming and continuing to work with the dedicated arena staff to provide exciting entertainment options and excellent customer service,” Paul says.

Robbin Phillips

Co-Founder and President, Brains on Fire

Brains on Fire is committed to the belief that marketing has the power to touch lives. Phillips blends the creativity of a designer with the keen business sense to facilitate strategy. They strive to deliver innovative, impactful solutions that elevate and celebrate a diverse range of clients, including Anytime Fitness, Bon Secours St. Francis Health System, BMW, Perception Kayaks, Ryobi Tools and Best Buy. They assisted in the Yeah, That Greenville campaign for VisitGreenvilleSC that led to thousands of user-generated images on social media using the hashtag.

Allen Smith

President, Spartanburg Chamber of Commerce

Smith was named president and CEO of the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce in June 2014. Prior to that he served as president and CEO of the Greater Greer Chamber of Commerce for four years, preceded by five years with the Greenville-Pitt County Chamber of Commerce in North Carolina. He graduated from East Carolina University in 2003, earning a B.S. in Political Science and Government.

Jim Sobeck

President and CEO, New South Construction Supply

New South has grown from one location in Columbia to nine branches. Sobeck led an investment group that bought the company in 2001. He helped unveil the new slogan, “Know how. Can do” to make clear that the associates at the company can offer expert advice and have a can-do attitude. New South was featured on the cover of Contractor Supply magazine because of the company’s business practices. “We’ve been featured in many other trade magazines for our business practices and embrace of IT,” Sobeck says.

Wade Wallace

President, Tietex International

During his time as president and COO of the world’s largest producer of Stitchbond fabrics, Wade has worked hard to cultivate a diverse, innovative workforce and to make the company a world-class manufacturing operation. He also works to dispel the notion that his industry is mired in an old way of thinking. “There is no reason we can’t be just as innovative and forward thinking as any other industry,” he says, noting that very few textile companies are led by young people such as himself.

Phil Yanov

Executive Producer, Tech After Five

Most networking events “are terrible,” says Yanov. “You have the wrong people bumping into each other not making the right things happen. They can’t; the recipe is wrong.” Yanov’s recipe involves asking attendees “What is it you’re looking for tonight?” and adding that information to the name tags. “Look, you can come hang out with us, but you’re going to have to tell us what you want,” he says.



Boyd Cycling

Boyd Cycling is a high-performance, high-tech bicycle wheel manufacturer that designs and engineers products in the United States and is beginning to bring all manufacturing to the Upstate. Devoted to “the handcrafted revolution,” the company produces carbon and alloy bicycle wheels.

Creative Builders

Founded in 1971 by William H. “Billy” McCauley II, Creative Builders “has committed to consistently deliver hands-on, quality-conscious work at a reasonable cost.” Today, Creative Builders is one of the fastest–growing commercial builders in the region.

Condrey Corp.

Condrey Corporation software is employed by millions of users in over 30 countries around the world. Its customers represent major commercial and Fortune 1000 organizations, as well as a wide range of vertical markets such as government, military, financial, health care, K-12 and higher education.

RealOp Investments

RealOp Investments is a commercial real estate investment firm focused on acquiring value-add and opportunistic properties in the Southeast. The company is “committed to building long-term relationships with our investors and assisting them in creating and sustaining wealth through strategic real estate investments.”



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