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™ #268: (Russell Stall) "In high school, I knew Greenville wasn't cool and I was getting out and never coming back."

   Russell Stall, organizer of TEDx Greenville and Greenville County Councilman shares our 268th story.


For newly elected Greenville City Councilman, Russell Stall, community and connecting people are his passions and his whole life seems tailor made to inspire and encourage these passions.  When many in his neighborhood fled the public schools as integration became law, Russell's parents insisted he needed the public education experience, learning with and about people that were different from yourself.  As youth coordinator for Mayor Max Heller, he learned by Max's example the importance of talking and listening to people and finding ways to develop coalitions.  His work with Greenville Forward, Leadership Greenville and TEDx were great outlets for his passions and now as a Greenville City Councilman, Russell Stall will be connecting people for the benefit of our community.  

                                                     To learn more about Russell Stall, click here.

The Stories of the Upstate™ #261: (Lynn Pilewski) "I fed chicken to the alligators over the fence in my background growing up."

Story #261 comes from Greenville County Soil and Water Conservation District's Education Program Coordinator, Lynn Pilewski


She's often called "the poop lady" and she likes it.  She likes it because it means that she's doing her job well, at least one part of her job, educating kids about water protection.  Lynn Pilewski, Education Program Coordinator for the Greenville County Soil and Water Conservation District teaches school kids about conservation and about picking up after their dogs as one way to help keep out water supply clean.  

                        To learn more about the Greenville Soil and Water Conservation District, click here.

The Stories of the Upstate™ #255" (Perry J. Williams) "I’m a fanatic about beets and love to cook them in multiple different ways."

Our 255th story, a GSA Business Report Q&A, comes from the Chairman of Greer Commission
  of Public Works, Perry J. Williams.


When we flip on the bedroom light, turn on the kitchen faucet, start the furnace or flush the toilet, we aren't thinking about water pipes, gas lines or waste water treatment, but that's exactly what Perry J. Williams concerns himself with daily as Chairman of Greer Commission of Public Works.  Originally chartered in 1913, Greer Commission of Public Works provides electricity, gas, water and waste water treatment for approx. 80,000 people.  Profit is not what drives the Greer Commission of Public Works.  Perry says that providing reliable and fiscally sound utilities is what drives him and the Commission.  So the next time you flip a switch or turn a faucet in the Greer area, you can rest assured that the power and the water will be there, thanks to Greer Commission of Public Works and it's Chairman, Perry J. Williams.

                                       To learn more about Greer Commission of Public Works, click here
                                                            and follow Perry J. Williams on Facebook.

The Stories of the Upstate™ #250: (Jason Elliott) "From my teen years, I've had a fascination with the weather."

                           Greenville attorney and SC State Representative Jason Elliott brings story #250


Greenville native, Jason Elliott says that if you have a passion to do something, to make a difference, you can't wait around for an invitation or for the perfect opportunity.  He says you need to just take the initiative and go for it.  Jason's life demonstrates that philosophy.  He's been a prosecutor, which he describes as the most fulfilling work he has ever done.  He has his own law practice, Jason Elliot Law Firm.  But he began noticing that while good things were happening for Greenville and our state, little of that was the result of the representation this area had in the South Carolina State House.  He saw a need for better, more active, more effective representation, so he took the initiative, made his own opportunities and ran for SC State House and won.  

                                            To learn more about Jason Elliot, Greenville lawyer, click here
                                   and to learn more about Jason Elliott, SC State Representative, click here.

The Stories of the Upstate™ #234: (Todd Horne) "From birth until now, I've moved 12 times."

Vice President for Business Development for Clayton Construction, Todd Horne delivers our 234th story.


If you have a passion for connecting people, bringing people with needs together with people who can meet those needs, what do you do?  Well, if you're Todd Horne, you find a job that allows you the opportunity to fulfill your passion and use your abilities to connect people, a job like Vice President for Business Development for Clayton Construction.  As VP of business development, he connects people looking to build a building with an architect, someone needing funding with a banker. But if you are really passionate about connecting folks, like Todd Horne, you don't just stop at a job, you look for ways to connect more people across the business community which leads to becoming the Chairman of the Spartanburg Chamber of Commerce. And if you are truly, completely committed to connecting people across your community, you run for mayor, at least that's what Todd Horne is doing, running for Mayor of Spartanburg.

    To learn more about Todd Horne, click here and to learn more about Clayton Construction, click here.

The Stories of Upstate #216: (Amy Doyle) "I had REALLY BIG hair as a teen and my track coach hated it.

                                Our 216th story comes from Greenville City Councilwoman, Amy Doyle.

What leads someone to be a city councilperson?  For Greenville City Councilwoman, Amy Doyle, it started with being from a long line of very active women.  Add a drive that motivates someone to train for and run marathons.  Finally, it was a desire to see the perspective of a mother and her concerns for the city where she is going to raise her children being reflected on that city's governing body.  A decade later and Councilwoman Doyle continues to bring that passion, drive and perspective to the job of making Greenville, #yeahthatGreenville!

                                           To learn more about Greenville and Amy Doyle, click here.

The Stories of the Upstate™ #212: (Ty Houck) "My mom made me hold an egg all the time when I was a kid."

Ty Houck, Director of Greenways, Natural and Historic Resources for Greenville County Recreation District,brings our 212th story

What job has you playing in parks, paddling on local waterways and riding back paths on your bike?  For Ty Houck, the job is the Director of Greenways, Natural and Historic Resources for the Greenville County Recreation District.  There is more to Ty's job than outdoor fun.  Raising funds and building coalitions in the community present Ty with some of his greatest challenge, but it is all worth it when he gets to see folks across Greenville County enjoying our great parks, paths and waterways.

                               To learn more about Greenville County Recreation DIstrict, click here.

The Stories of the Upstate™ #188: (Jim Bannister) "At 6, I drove a big bulldozer, with a little help from Grandpa."

         Criminal Defense Attorney and Greenville Water Commissioner, Jim Bannister delivers our 187th story.

He is a 4th generation criminal defense attorney, partner at Greenville's Bannister, Wyatt and Stalvey and a Greenville Water Commissioner;a man living his passions for defending the innocent and for preparing for the future of our area's quality of life. Oh, and he practice's his passion for cooking on his three daughters' breakfast choices.

                                       To learn more about Bannister, Wyatt and Stalvey, click here
                                       and learn more about the Greenville Water Commission here.

The Stories of the Upstate #141: "I'm an only child AND 1 of 15 siblings."

The City of Greenville Sales and Marketing Coordinator for Special Events, Anna Catherine Thornley brings story #141. 

                                              To learn more about Fall for Greenville, click here
                                          and to learn more about the City of Greenville, click here.

The Stories of the Upstate #119: " I dabbled in break dancing in high school."

                            Kyle Mensing from Greer Development and Greer Station bring story #119.

                                     To learn more about Greer Development Corporation, click here.
                                                    To learn more about Greer Station, click here.             

The Stories of the Upstate #92: "I was a surly, grunge teenager."

   We hear our 92nd story from Spartanburg's Multimedia Communication Specialist, Christopher George.

                                              To learn more about the City of Spartanburg, click here,
                                                    and follow the City of Spartanburg on Facebook.