The Stories of the Upstate™ #289: (Tricia Eichhorn) "I make any excuse to wear costumes throughout October because I am obsessed with Halloween."

                Greenville Bariatric Surgeon and Zumba instructor, Dr. Tricia Eichhorn shares Story # 289


"Basically, I operate with chopsticks," is how GHS Bariatric Surgeon Dr. Tricia Eichhorn described her work.  Ok, so it's not really chopsticks, but she told us how they use very long instruments inserted into plastic tubes while being guided by cameras.  Tricia told us that the loss of that third dimension makes these minimally invasive surgeries all the more challenging. The path to becoming this skilled surgeon includes 5 yrs of intense residency, 80 hr work weeks , 30 hr shifts and 1 year of specialty training.  Being a straight A student and burying herself in her schoolwork growing up; as well as working two jobs as a senior in high school, including a job as a certified nursing assistant show Dr. Eichhorn was well on her way to be the talented surgeon she is today.

                                                To learn more about Bariatric Surgery, click here.

The Downtown Jam™ #29: Charles Hedgepath and Kyle Rowland

Once a month, 3 to 6 local singer songwriters walk into a secret location in downtown Greenville.  They only bring their guitars, their stories and their original songs.  They play an entire free concert.  We record it and play it back for you on-demand 24/7 beginning the second Wednesday every month.  We call it "The Downtown Jam™" and it's another way to thank you for listening and subscribing to "The Stories of the Upstate™  #gvlmusic


                                           Follow Stories of the Upstate™ on Facebook

The Stories of the Upstate™ #288: (John DeWorken) "I wanted to be a fireman when I was a kid."

      Our 288th story comes from John DeWorken, owner/partner with The Sunnie & DeWorken Group.


"I wanted to help people," was how John DeWorken described the motivation he had as a kid to be a fireman.  Firefighting didn't become John's career, but helping people remains his motivation.  As one half of The Sunnie & DeWorken Group, John helps small businesses through government relations and advocacy.  He describes what he does as being project managers for his clients focusing on the SC Legislature.  John says their focus is two-fold; helping legislators known when bills they propose would be harmful to small businesses and encouraging legislators to create an environment in SC that is conducive to growing local small businesses.  

                                                   To learn more about John DeWorken, click here.

The Stories of the Upstate™ #287: (Biz City) "I once slept in a graveyard."

                                  Greenville Christian Hip-Hop artist, Biz City brings us our 287th story.


"Make a joyful noise unto the Lord."  For Greenville's Biz City, these words are more than just some verse he's read in the Bible.  They describe what he does; Christian Hip-Hop and why he does it; to glorify God and show others there is hope.  With God's help, Biz overcame some dark times as a teen: the loss of the loving grandparents that raised him, depression, homelessness and drugs.  Now, his music honors God and brings a positive message of hope to everyone, esp. his passion, young people. 

                                                                    Follow Biz City on Facebook.

The Stories of the Upstate™ #286: (Meredith Rigdon) "My older brother kicked out my teeth on Christmas Eve when I was seven."

Story #286 comes from the founder of Narratives Strategic Communications and Women's Advocate for Trek Bicycles, Meredith Rigdon.


How does not getting the job you desperately want and running, swimming and cycling get you prepared to have the career you love?  Meredith Rigdon can tell us.  Armed with a marketing degree from Clemson University, Meredith was eager to be the person behind a brand telling their story, but Michelin wanted her in sales.  In her five years in sales, she learned a vital lesson, network, build your network.  Meredith says that it was the network she had built that eventually landed her the marketing job she desired at Michelin and then at Sealed Air.  Meredith tells us that triathlon's have taught her that things will happen along the way, to make your goal difficult to reach, but if you remember that you are strong, remain calm and persevere, you will succeed.  

                                                To learn more about Meredith Rigdon, click here
                                                              and follow Meredith on Facebook.

The Stories of the Upstate™ #285: (Chase Michaels) "I was kind of a prankster as a teen."

                                   Greenville's Locally Epic CEO, Chase Michaels, gives us our 285th story.


Chase Michaels grew up in a town of 210 people in Nebraska.  His dad ranched Herford cattle, was the town mailman, ran the town's Mobile gas station and built barns.  Chase's mom ran a local restaurant and his brother ran the town's meat packing plant. Chase told us that everyone in town was providing services for everyone else and if there was something that wasn't being provided, well, someone just stepped up and did it.  Is it any wonder that Chase Michaels created an app that helps small local businesses connect with consumers and consumers find local businesses that can fill the needs they have when they're having them; an app called Locally Epic.  Chase wants us all to remember that the uniqueness of the Upstate depends on our small local businesses and it's up to us, the consumer, to make them thrive.

                                                        To learn more about Locally Epic, click here.

A Downtown Jam™ Exclusive Single: "Tactic Talk"

On the second Wednesday of each month on Stories Of The Upstate™ we launch a free concert, the Downtown Jam, for your smartphone, computer or tablet with local singer-songwriters and their original songs.  #gvlmusic

Here’s a JAM Extra™ Bonus Exclusive from the February 14, 2017 Downtown Jam™ with Charles Hedgepath and Keith Davis.

Subscribe to “Stories Of The Upstate™ on or the Stitcher app to get free access to all episodes – interviews and free concerts known as “The Downtown Jam™” - from “Stories Of The Upstate™” now.

The Stories of the Upstate™ #284: (Elizabeth LaFleur) "Reading was my thing as a kid; reading multiple books at the same time."

            Story #284 comes from Greenville News reporter and column writer, Elizabeth LaFleur.


A television news producer seeking a job in Public Relations becoming a newspaper reporter and column writer might seem unusual, but that's Elizabeth LaFleur's story.  We really shouldn't be surprised that Elizabeth's a writer.  She was a voracious reader growing up; reading multiple books at the same time.  She read so much that her teachers often expressed concern that she was reading too much.  Imagine that.  Elizabeth enjoys her work as a reporter for the Greenville News and she loves her column, Ask LaFleur, where people ask her questions on almost any topic and she gets to have fun finding the correct answers.

                                 To check out Elizabeth LaFleur's work at the Greenville News, click here 
                                                                     and follow her on Facebook.

The Stories of the Upstate™ #283: (Matthew Kay) "To be me as a kid was weird."

                           Matthew Kay, singer-songwriter and guitarist for The Hustle brings Story #283


He plays classical and jazz guitar. John Coltrane, Beethoven, Garth Brooks and Prince are inspirations for him.   The guitarist for The Hustle, Matthew Kay, tells us that his band plays funk because he sat with a friend down the street who played David Bowie's Fame.  When we asked him where he gets inspiration, he told us that  after spending a lot of time by himself, he came to the realization that other people are the point of existence and they are the source for his lyrical content.

                                                          To learn more Matthew Kay, click here.

The Stories of the Upstate™ #282: (Dan Hamilton) "As a kid, my family nickname was Prince Choosy."

            Story #282 comes from Keller Williams Upstate realtor, SC State Representative Dan Hamilton.


You could say that Keller Williams Upstate realtor, Dan Hamilton was destined to be in public service since his interest and activities in the field of politics started early, really early.  Dan got involved in campaigns when he was in 6th grade.  He worked on Mayor Knox White's first campaign to Greenville City Council and on his mayoral campaign.  Dan worked on the campaigns of Bob Inglis and Jim DeMint.  He also served on Jim DeMInt's staff.  With influence like these Upstate public servants, it is no surprise that Dan is now, SC State Representative Dan Hamilton.

                                               To learn more about Dan Hamilton, realtor, click here
                                         and to contact SC State Representative Dan Hamilton, click here.

The Stories of the Upstate™ #281: (Stephen Grant) "I was a risk taker as a teen."

            The founder of The Chris and Kelly's Hope Foundation, Stephen Grant, brings our 281st story.


Christopher Grant was a gifted athlete and was a genuinely warm person; never met a stranger.  Kelly Grant was more reclusive and was a gifted drummer and musician.  They were just two typical American teenagers; but in the space of 5 years,  Stephen Grant lost both his sons to accidental drug overdoses.  Thirty days after Kelly died, Stephen was in a three day boot camp for his work with Northwestern Mutual.  The last thing on his mind was charity or being charitable, but one of the speakers challenged the group with this question, "What will your legacy be once your gone?"  Stephen was inspired and determined to do everything he could to help adolescents who struggle with addiction and mental illness.  He put feet to his commitment by reaching out to the Community Foundation of Greenville, who helped him start The Chris and Kelly's Hope Foundation.  The Foundation has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in 5 years, as well as raising awareness of mental illness and addiction in children and adolescents; a fitting legacy for two young men loved and missed dearly by their father, Stephen Grant. 

                                  To learn more about the Chris and Kelly's Hope Foundation, click here.