The Stories of the Upstate™ #334: (Travis Wharton) "All the people who lived on the street where I grew up were related to me."

               Our 334th story comes from the Urban League of the Upstate's Spartanburg Education
               Coordinator, Travis Wharton


Travis Wharton told us,"I like to be there to teach, to educate and to be beneficial to my community."  This former high school principle gets to do exactly this in his role with the Urban League of the Upstate.  He is their Education Coordinator for Spartanburg.  What excites him about the Urban League is how they are able to find creative ways to use the funds they raise to bring education to the community, to bring knowledge of economic mobility, to provide housing and resources for community members.  

                                                                          To learn more, click here.

The Stories of the Upstate™ #333: (Moody Black) "I was always drawing and painting when I was a teen."

                                Upstate poet and spoken word artist, Moody Black shares story #333.


According to Upstate poet and spoken word artist, Moody Black," Poetry is an opportunity to set yourself free.  It's a therapeutic release."  Moody told us that poetry gives him the opportunity to release his thoughts and feelings and whatever he is going through and he is committed to helping others have the same opportunity.  With his initiative, Making Words Move, he goes into schools helping students learn to write poetry.  Another way that Moody helps other enjoy the opportunities of poetry is with his work with Greenville's Coffee Underground.  Every Sunday at Coffee Underground, he hosts poetry open mics and once a month, they have a Poetry Slam.

                                                                     To learn more, click here.

The Stories of the Upstate™ #332: (Jeremy Theall) "I was one of the best runners in South Carolina while in high school."

                                 Story #332 comes from the founder of Future Chord, Jeremy Theall

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"The really unsexy part of my job is sending tons of emails," is what Jeremy Theall, artist manager and music publicist said when we asked about the behind scenes of his work.  Jeremy told us that his company, Future Chord, a Greenville artist management company, began as a music blog when he was a student at Clemson University, but he traces his deep commitment to music to his brother's influence.  Jeremy told that his brother encouraged him to find real music and introduced him to bands like O.A.R., the Doors and the Beatles. His number one piece of advice to the artists that seek out Future Chord is to make certain they have good press photos, a good web presence and great music.   

                                                                       To learn more, click here.

The Stories of the Upstate™ #331: (Ben Bounds) "I once interviewed Bo and Luke Duke."

                          The owner of Follywood Productions, Ben Bounds shares our 331st story


"I love bringing all the moving parts together to create something no one else has done," is how Ben Bounds describes his job.  The one time journalist, music touring and booking agent said that he has always loved helping people as well as entertaining people and now, with his company, Follywood Productions, an event planning and fund raising company, he gets to do both.  Ben also told us that when he sees things come together and he pulls the event/fund raiser off, he gets a sense of accomplishment that rivals hitting the game winning homerun.

                                                                  To learn more, click here 
                                                               and follow them on Facebook.

The Downtown Jam™ #34: Charles Hedgepath, Karl Lauber, Zac Kellum and David Sims

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


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The Stories of the Upstate™ #330: (Pamela Evette) "I'm the youngest of 35 cousins."

   Our 330th story comes from the President and CEO of Quality Business Solutions, Pamela Evette.


When describing her work, Pamela Evette said, "We live in a state of panic at Quality Business Solutions."  Pamela went on to explain that in the payroll, HR, benefits administration business, there is always a new regulation, a new rule, a change in HR, but they handle it because they understand that this kind of ever changing environment.  As President and CEO of Travelers Rest's Quality Business Solutions, Pamela prides herself that they always get their client's employees paid on time and correctly every week.  

                                                                  To learn more, click here.

The Stories of the Upstate™ #329: (Lindsey Dixon) "My childhood was sand between your toes, salt water in your hair and PB&J for lunch."

                    The manager of Downtown Greenville's Chicora Alley, Lindsey Dixon shares Story #329.


When we asked the manager of Downtown Greenville's Chicora Alley, Lindsey Dixon, what it's like to manage a place like Chicora Alley, she told us, "It's putting your hands in anything that needs to be done: stocking beer, cleaning coolers, holding on to an employee who's having a  bad day, going to the bank to get change, and the list goes on."  This Laguna Beach, CA native told us that the best part of Chicora Alley was the sense of family.  Lindsey said it was the customers and the staff that make Chicora a great place.  The Caribbean/Southern Fusion cuisine and live music help too.

                                                                   To learn more, click here.

The Stories of the Upstate™ #328: (Larry Stuart) "I was an opening act for Phyllis Diller for 8 years."

                                      Story #328 comes from Upstate author and speaker, Larry Stuart


Upstate author, Larry Stuart tell us that his new book, "The Spirit of Hospitality" is all about doing the right thing.  He learned this lesson of doing the right thing, esp. in how you treat people, from his father, Enzo Stuarti.  When his father took him and the whole family on tour, he saw both the right way to treat people and the wrong way.  Harnessing his 40 yrs in the hotel and restaurant business, Larry attempts to rekindle the love of customer and spirit of gracious service that used to be the hallmarks of a good business. 

                                                                       To learn more, click here.

The Stories of the Upstate™ #327: (Sharon Phillips) "Growing up, I couldn’t wait for the church doors to open."

    The co-founder of The Homeless Period Project, Sharon Phillips shares our 327th story.


"If something you find, draws you in, feels like a calling, or you are really passionate about it , then do something about it." is how Sharon Phillips describes being an activist. Her statement also describes her passion, The Homeless Period Project, a non-profit that provides feminine hygiene products to  homeless ladies and women in shelters.  Sharon and her sister-in-law saw a need, a need that is widely overlooked when folks reach out to help the homeless and stepped in to help.  What started out as a one time get together to raise money to provide these products has become a non-profit organization reaching out across the Upstate.

                                                             To learn more, click here.

A Downtown Jam™ Exclusive Single: "You Are My Sunshine"

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 July 11, 2018 Downtown Jam™ featuring Charles Hedgepath, Andrew Oliver, Stephen Oliver and Morgan Riley.

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™ #326: (Hugo Montanez) "My friends and I would skip class in high school,climb palm trees and eat coconuts."

                          Story #326 comes from the owner of Spartanburg's Burrito Hub, Hugo Montanez.


His mother is an amazing cook.  His brother, the person who's like a mentor to him,  owns two restaurants in Pittsburgh, so it should come as no surprise that Hugo Montanez makes his living bringing Mexican cuisine to Spartanburg.  As the owner of Spartanburg's Burrito Hub, Hugo serves traditional Mexican fare, but he does so with his own take on the classics.  Knowing that more customers are eating healthy, Hugo has created vegan and vegetable forward versions of the Mexican foods we all love.  He even has three different guacamole, including with bacon and blue cheese. 

                                                                   Follow Burrito Hub on Facebook.

The Stories of the Upstate™ #325: (Emily Henning) "I modeled on QVC and interned with the Philadelphia Eagles."

                              WSPA, Channel 7 traffic anchor, Emily Henning brings us our 325th story.


Emily Hennig spends her mornings scanning 40-50 different screens and cameras to help us navigate the Upstate's roadways, as the traffic anchor for WSPA, Channel 7.  While she didn't find her way to this job through the traditional path, a college degree in journalism, her life experiences definitely pointed to a career on TV.  She did local TV commercial spots growing up; modeled on QVC; hosted a couple sports shows for Comcast and interned with the legendary Philadelphia Eagles sportcaster, Merrill Reese.

                                                                   To learn more click here 
                                                               and follow Emily on Facebook.