If you’ve spent the time we hope you have with this week’s special issue of UBJ, you will have learned something new about the seven winners of our 2015 Who’s Who awards – and been reminded again of their influence on the Greenville community.
Be it a journalist-turned-pastor who works with the homeless to a retired CEO now pouring his energies into young leaders destined to take our state to new heights, this year’s eight winners wear the title because they take service far beyond their professional roles.
The Who’s Who judges were given a specific set of criteria when they prepared to select this year’s class. We wanted to recognize unsung heroes who have made an economic impact on the Upstate, and who have gone far beyond their job descriptions to make a tangible difference in our community. Who’s Who winners would never be off the clock. When they’re not in the office, we look for them to be out in the community, making connections and doing whatever they can to make the Upstate a better place to live, work and play.
Greenville is an entrepreneurial city, with an unparalleled gift for pairing government and private enterprise in progressive ways that have won the city national acclaim and turned downtown into a showcase. This year’s winners have helped spread this spirit across the Upstate.
These seven are not afraid to walk outside the well-worn trails others have worn down before them. To make positive change, they know we have to get a conversation going between people who aren’t ordinarily in the same room. How do we get the Poinsett Club crowd brainstorming with the millennial professionals in PULSE, for example? How do we create the synergy required to make Greenville, Spartanburg and Anderson the kind of catalyst we know works much better together than alone? That’s where we learn. That’s where we grow.
So who will be in the Who’s Who class of 2016? That’s up to you. Keep your eyes and ears open for those who are always out there, putting their resources and time behind making their town greater – walking the walk, not just talking the talk. Better yet, get out and do it yourself. We’ll see you here next year.