Economic Visionaries Annual Event

Honoring Businesses, Innovators and Leaders Transforming the Upstate South Carolina Economy

Economic Visionaries image  

The Upstate is the engine driving South Carolina’s new economy. During the past ten years (2008-2018), companies have invested more than $19.5 billion in capital in the Upstate, creating nearly 60,000 jobs. More than 500 international companies, representing 41 countries, call this area home, fueling South Carolina’s reputation as a global economic leader. 

From the automotive industry to carbon fiber, healthcare to distribution, the Upstate manufactures, exports and innovates - and, in the process, changes the world. That level of investment and economic success, however, would not be possible without partnerships - people moving in the same direction to achieve common goals.

To that end, SCC hosts the annual Economic Visionaries event, providing an ideal opportunity to join together and celebrate our collective accomplishments.

On March 12, 2020 SCC held its fourth annual Economic Visionaries celebration this evening, honoring four businesses who have transformed the upstate economy in Spartanburg, Union and Cherokee counties. The 2020 Economic Visionaries award winners include Bank of America, Piedmont Natural Gas, Toray Composite Materials America and Milliken & Company.

The event keynote speaker was David N. Edwards, Jr., A.A.E., president and CEO of the Greenville-Spartanburg Airport District. Following Edwards’ remarks, Pres. Giles and Amy Wood, event emcee and WSPA TV anchor, presented awards to the following 2020 Economic Visionaries.

Proceeds from SCC's Economic Visionaries event support student emergency funds, student book fund requests and general scholarships administered by the SCC Foundation.“This signature event has many components to its success - award applications, company sponsorships, a strong keynote speaker, but the most important component to the success is the participation of President Giles and SCC colleagues,” shares Bea Walters Smith, executive director, SCC Foundation.

Congratulations, 2020 Winners

Piedmont Natural Gas

Category 1: 1-50 employees: A provider of natural gas distribution services since the early 1950s, PNG today is a business unit of Duke Energy, serving more than one million customers in Upstate South Carolina, North Carolina and metropolitan Nashville, Tennessee. The company was recognized for its initiatives in workforce development and environmental awareness and its philanthropy.
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EV20 Award winners Piedmont Natural GasShown from left: Hank McCullough, Piedmont Natural Gas; SCC President Henry C. Giles, Jr.; and Terry Marcum, Piedmont Natural Gas

Toray Composite Materials America

Category 2: 51-150 employees: Toray Composite Materials America is a producer of highly technical carbon fiber used in aerospace, defense, rocket ships/satellites, automotive and other high technical areas.
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EV20 award winners Toray group photo

Shown from left: Mary Willard, Toray; SCC President Henry C. Giles, Jr.; and Tom Hinrich, Toray. 

Bank of America

In Category 3: 151-400 employees: Bank of America began serving South Carolina more than 120 years ago with a commitment to help grow local economies and strengthen local communities. The company was honored for innovative initiatives to improve customer interaction and employee recruitment and retention.
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EV20 award winners Bank of America groupShown from left: Stacy Brandon, Bank of America, with SCC President Henry C. Giles, Jr.

Milliken & Company

Category 4: 401+ employees: With 153 years of storied history in the upstate, Milliken seeks to solve everyday problems with innovative solutions, many of which are brought to life from its Spartanburg headquarters. An advocate for workforce development and empowerment, Milliken was named to America’s Best Mid-Sized Employers list by Forbes magazine for the second time in 2019.
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EV20 award winner Milliken photoSCC 2020 Economic Visionary Award winners from left: Rich Gibson, Milliken; SCC President Henry C. Giles, Jr.; Ottilia Scanlon, Milliken.

View photos on SCC Flickr Account