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Trio of economic wins being worked into Greenwood Partnership Alliance marketing material

James Bateman

James Bateman

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Index Journal, Adam Benson

Three economic development wins that have come to fruition in the past year are being rolled into Greenwood Partnership Alliance marketing materials in a move officials hope will separate the county from its peers in attracting new investors.

On Wednesday, Greenwood Partnership Alliance Business Development Manager James Bateman said The Greenwood Promise campaign, adoption of a penny sales tax to pay for 27 capital improvement projects across the county and Teijin’s arrival are being viewed as catalysts for even more growth.

“Teijin’s consumption of utilities is now a factor in our response to these RFIs (requests for information), as is the capital project initiative and The Greenwood Promise and how it ties into other educational initiatives.” Bateman told the alliance’s board of directors. “We want them to hear that message.”

Bateman said the Alliance – which serves as the county’s economic development arm – has 53 total projects in the pipeline, up from 48 in September.

Bateman said several projects included in the capital projects sales tax portfolio – particularly construction of the Upstate Center for Manufacturing Excellence at Piedmont Technical College, the widening of Highway 246 and implementation of a fire services master plan – should have favorable, long-term benefits for the county’s economy.


“Whether it be the fire master plan to widening of 246 and improving that truck corridor for existing industries and prospective industries,” Bateman said. “On these prospect visits, (Greenwood Partnership Alliance CEO) Heather (Simmons Jones) or myself will be asked, ‘what’s the labor force like? That’s one of the first questions out of the gate.”

Jones said the alliance is also using its marketing resources to interface with site management firms and other entities that have direct contact with potential business leads.

“As much as we want to have that conversation with the companies and the prospects, it’s important to have that conversation with those that are meeting with those companies in that decision-making process,” she said.

Earlier this month, Teijin, a Japanese chemical technology company, announced it was making the largest single-day investment in the county’s history, spending $600 million to build a facility on more than 454 acres of land off Highway 246 that will create 220 jobs.

Contact staff writer Adam Benson at 864-943-5650 or on Twitter@ABensonIJ.

Evacuees settle in at The Greenwood Building

Wednesday October 5, 2016

The Index Journal, Damian Dominguez


Swarming around a box of pizzas, a hungry group of international interns were settling in Wednesday night at The Greenwood Building after finishing an evacuation bus ride that lasted more than four hours.

“We had to leave everything behind — even our shoes, even my PS4,” Vhon San Miguel said with a chuckle. “But now I don’t care. My life is more important.”

Among those fleeing the coast as Hurricane Matthew approaches were interns who work for Greenwood Communities and Resorts at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resorts in Hilton Head. The parent company is housed in The Greenwood Building, and staff frantically worked to ensure the evacuating interns had a place to stay.

“They live on company property there, and all of their families are overseas,” said Lesley Lane, an executive assistant at Greenwood Communities and resorts. “Hopefully it’ll be more like a vacation than some sort of evacuation.”

At 2 p.m. Wednesday, they boarded buses provided and driven by volunteers from the Bradley-based company Wright Travel and drove for about 4 hours on country roads — avoiding the congestion on I-26. Aileen Acosta — from the Philippines — said she enjoyed seeing the farmlands and smaller cities they passed through. She, along with fellow Philippines-natives Audrey Tacaldo and San Miguel, were eating the pizza provided by staff at the temporary shelter.

Deborah Gould, corpor18446883-1ate director of human resources with Greenwood Communities and Resorts, gave the interns a rundown of the area — advising them that the nearby Mill House had plenty of beer if they wanted to grab a drink. She told them to stay within a few blocks for their safety, and let the group know they’d be driven around Greenwood in the coming days to get out of the shelter for a while.

Some in the group dined while others checked out their living quarters: rooms outfitted with donated air mattresses and bedding. Jovan Tanasijevic and the other four Serbian interns he was with Wednesday night had never had to evacuate an area before.

“It doesn’t seem real, you know,” he said. “We don’t have the feeling it’s going to hit us. Back home we don’t have any hurricanes.”

Contact Damian Dominguez at 864-634-7548 or follow on Twitter @IJDDOMINGUEZ.

Lander Journalism Professor Among Top 25 Named to National Communicators List

September 26, 2016

While delivering his State of the University address, Lander President Richard Cosentino said, “Our secret is our faculty, but they’re no longer a secret.”


Dr. Robert F. Stevenson, professor of journalism at Lander, has been recognized as one of the Top 25 Communications Professors You Should Know.

That sentiment is reflected by the news that Dr. Robert F. Stevenson, professor of journalism at Lander, has been named to the Top 25 Communications Professors You Should Know list.

The national listing is compiled by the editorial staff of the site, an online resource for communications students. Honorees were selected based upon their research, past and present teaching engagements, awards and published work.

Joining Stevenson on the list are Pulitzer Prize finalists, political advisors, social media experts, published authors, distinguished journalists and researchers.

“My teaching philosophy is learning-centered as opposed to teaching-centered,” said Stevenson. “I’m mindful of the fact that in today’s multicultural classroom, students possess vastly different experiences, values and attributes, which specifically affect their learning preferences, abilities and potential.”

Published Works at Lander
His published works have appeared in The New York Times, College Media Advisor Review, The South Carolina Historical Magazine, College Media Advisor Review and The Historian, among others.

Stevenson’s commitment to teaching is reflected by his being awarded three of Lander’s faculty awards; Faculty Scholar of the Year (2005), Distinguished Faculty of the Year (2007) and Monica Stranch Endowed Professorship (2008-2011).

Beyond the Classroom: Getting Students Involved
While serving as chair of Lander’s American Democracy Project (ADP), Stevenson urged all Lander students to become civically engaged in their communities and to make volunteering an integral part of their lives.

Because of his work with ADP, Lander was featured in the New York Times and recognized on the American Association of State Colleges and Universities website. Stevenson received an award for registering more students to vote than any of the other 77 participating colleges and universities.

Leading by example, Stevenson has organized a host of campus-wide events, including Lander’s tsunami relief effort (2005), a humanitarian campaign for providing supplies to victims of Hurricane Katrina, a mock presidential debate and Lander’s annual celebration of Constitution Day.

The Creation of Greenwood Calendar
In 2013, Stevenson created Greenwood Calendar, an online hub for upcoming Greenwood events, news and videos. He has produced a host of video productions for a variety of community offices for the site, including:

  • Mayor of Greenwood
  • City and County Managers
  • Sheriff’s Office
  • Chamber of Commerce
  • Greenwood Humane Society
  • School District 50

Partnership Alliance welcomes new team member

Thursday, August 24, 2016


Janice Coffey

Index Journal

Greenwood Partnership Alliance has named Janice Coffey its new office manager. Her past employment spans county, state and municipal governments in Maryland.

Coffey moved to Greenwood from Walkersville, Maryland, where she served for 11 years as town manager and she played a major role in economic development. She graduated from Hood College, with a bachelor’s in business management and a minor in marketing.

Coffey and husband Ken resides at Lake Greenwood with their daughter, Karla, and two cats. Their son, Ken Coffey III, lives in Maryland.

Shelter Cove hires new fireworks vendor for HarbourFest, adds additional show

 Island Packet, Mandy Matney

Main and Maxwell showcasing art made by hand

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Index Journal, St. Claire Donaghy

Handmade art, by local and regional artists, gets prime real estate with Main and Maxwell, a new gallery opening Wednesday at 210 Maxwell Ave. in Greenwood.


From left, gallery manager Debbie Britt Tackett and artist Rebecca Harrison check out progress inside Main and Maxwell as work is done to get ready for its grand opening Wednesday.

The concept is the brainchild of two friends, local potter and owner of the gallery, Laura Bachinski, and Debbie Britt Tackett, who has a background in retail, the restaurant business and specialty food sales. Britt Tackett will manage the gallery.

The space is 2,300 square feet and Main and Maxwell is renting it.

Main and Maxwell will be open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, with the possibility of extended hours during special events.

“I have been thinking for a very long time that Greenwood needed a place for local artists to be able to sell their work,” Bachinski said. “When Uptown Pizzazz closed, there was not a place for me to sell my work, except my home studio.”

Britt Tackett, who worked at Uptown Pizzazz, said she knew local artists who sold their works in that store would need a place to continue to do so.

“When that store closed, I also needed a job and I wanted something where I could be surrounded by things that I loved,” Britt Tackett said. “I had a vision, but I wasn’t the money person. I contacted Laura and asked what artists were going to do.”

The two friends and two other artists met during lunch to talk about a tentative business plan. They later met with local business professionals to hash everything out, including the late George Nolan.

Bachinski said they are not the first to try such a venture here. The artists’ collective Meridian, formerly next to Sundance Gallery on Maxwell Avenue, and Scrambled Egg artists’ market on Main Street, preceded Main and Maxwell.


From left, Brooks Bennett with Carolina Retail Packaging meets with Main and Maxwell owner Laura Bachinski to review bag logos.

“Those places were right about what they were doing, but it was too soon for Greenwood,” Bachinski said. “This is the time. There is this underlying art vibe, with visual arts and music that’s been happening.

“A lot of it has to do with new people moving into the community, what photographer Jon Holloway continues to do, the Lander art department faculty and growth Uptown,” Bachinski added, noting Main and Maxwell will have original art at a variety of price points, some as low as $10 or less.

With her years in retail, Britt Tackett said she’s encountered many a shopper from out of town during big festival weekends here, as well as other times, looking for a one-of-a-kind gift or souvenir.

At Main and Maxwell, find paintings, wood carvings, jewelry, hand-painted scarves, pottery and more.

Rebecca Harrison, with Greenwood-based Fine Art Finishing, is among founding member artists for this new venture.

“I’ve been dreaming and waiting for something like this since my family and I moved to Greenwood,” Harrison said. “It’s a great way to support local business and art. A T-shirt as a memento might be gone in a few years, but art lasts.”

Seventy artists from the community were invited to a launch for Main and Maxwell.

“Right now, we have 43 member artists,” Bachinski said. “I don’t know how many there will be, but we will keep going until we feel like we have enough representation and different forms of art. Forty-one artists are from the Greenwood area and we have one from Hilton Head and one from Atlanta, both with Greenwood connections. There are so many creative people here.”

Member artists pay monthly membership fees that go toward rent.

Part of profits from Main and Maxwell will go toward grants to be awarded to member artists, Bachinski said.

“We want to support them in workshops they want to go to, ideas and materials,” Bachinski said.


More than 2,000 square feet of space that formerly housed a bank will soon be a new art gallery and retail shop, Main and Maxwell, in Greenwood.

Lesley Lane, executive assistant to the president of Greenwood Communities and Resorts said the property at 210 Main St. is owned by that entity and is part of the Greenwood Building, which also houses a number of professional offices and businesses, large and small.

“In 2010, Countybank moved out of this particular space, after being in this location for 75 years,” Lane said. “In early 2015, we decided to do something with it and we knew we wanted store-front windows and to open it up. Several people looked at it before Laura (Bachinski) and Debbie (Britt Tackett). Main and Maxwell is the first retail space in the building in a number of years.”

Britt Tackett said a goal of the gallery is to “expose the community to art in any form.”

Before opening, a number of artists’ pieces were stored in what used to be a bank vault.

“We’ve got some funky stuff back there,” Britt Tackett said. “I’m so energized when I come in here.”

HarbourFest returns with plenty of family fun, fireworks

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Island Packet, Mindy Lucas

Hilton Head’s annual HarbourFest summer long celebration kicks off this weekend with performances by family entertainer Shannon Tanner.

neptune during harbourfest

Fireworks explode in the sky in the background behind the statue of Neptune at Shelter Cove on Hilton Head Island in this photo from the 2011 HarbourFest. Credit: The Island Packet

Tanner will perform at 7 and 8:30 p.m. Saturday May 28 and Sunday May 29, at Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina and beginning Memorial Day, Tanner will play 7 and 8:30 p.m. shows Monday through Friday through Sept. 3.

Then, beginning June 16, Tanner and the Oyster Reefers will play an island-inspired live concert as part of “Parrot Palooza” a Jimmy Buffet-styled performance. Those performances take place at 7 p.m. Thursdays through Aug. 18.

Last, but certainly not least, are fireworks. Fireworks, weather permitting, will go off at 9:30 p.m. on Tuesdays June 14, 21 and 28, Monday, July 4, and Tuesdays July 12, 19 and 26; August 2, 9 and 16.

HarbourFest also will feature nightly activities for kids including Cappy the Clown, arts and crafts and other activities.

For details visit for more information.

Hilton Head arts festival returns with more arts and crafts

Friday, May 20, 2016

Island Packet, Mindy Lucas


Scenes from the 2015 festival. Credit: Howard Alan Events

One of the area’s largest arts festivals will return to Hilton Head Memorial Day weekend.

Organized by Howard Alan Events, a Florida-based company which develops and produces large-scale, outdoor juried art shows across the country, the 8th annual Hilton Head Island Art Festival is May 28-29.

The two-day event will feature more than 100 artists working in variety of mediums from painting to sculpture, fiber arts, jewelry and more. And, for those looking for that unique find, the festival offers a range of price points.

“People look forward to it every year,” said Karen Kozemchak, Director of Marketing at Palmetto Dunes who works with the company to coordinate Hilton Head’s festival. “And I’ve noticed a lot of people will walk around on Saturday and then come back on Sunday and buy.”

In fact, the festival will see about 20,000 people during the course of the weekend, organizers for the company said.

Kozemchak said the festival’s scale and a variety of work is what makes the festival unique.

“And it’s Memorial Day weekend so people are in town just to chill out, so it’s very well attended,” she said.

Carol Joy Shannon, a Beaufort-based painter and mixed media artist who participated in the show for the first time last year, said she was surprised to see where all the people came from to shop at the show.

“There are a lot of people who attend locally,” she said. “And I met a number of people from the Savannah area.”

Shannon, who paints cityscapes and places she visits from her travels to other shows, said it’s also interesting to meet other artists and craftsmen.

“This is an art show that’s bringing in local and national artists,” she said. “At the very least (visitors) will see a wide array of artists from around the country.”

If You Go

The 8th annual Hilton Head Island Art Festival is from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. May 28-29, at Shelter Cove Harbour and Marina, 1 Harbourside Lane, Shelter Cove Harbour.

Admission and parking are free.

Patron parking lots are located at the adjacent lot behind the HS1 building and the lot across from the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina. Shuttle service from parking lots will be provided during show hours.

For details call 561-746-6615 or visit

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