Written by Smoak PR


GREENVILLE, SC – (Feb. 28, 2017) – Tucanos Brazilian Grill introduces John Ramm as the General Manager in their recently opened Magnolia Point restaurant. Ramm brings extensive restaurant industry experience to the Tucanos leadership team, and will play a key role in implementing and upholding Tucanos Credo, ensuring the genuine care and gratification of every guest through outstanding service and exceptional food.

With over 35 years of restaurant management experience in both the national chain and  independent restaurant segments, Ramm  His career highlights include the successful opening of five chain restaurants as well as three independent restaurants. Ramm has played a key role in developing and implementing multiple made-from-scratch menus, has developed multiple restaurant operations and training systems and has personally lead hundreds of successful restaurant managers.

“I could not be more thrilled to be part of the Tucanos team here in Greenville. We are dedicated to providing an incredible dining experience for all of our guests and I look forward to the exciting things we have planned moving forward,” States Ramm. “My immediate goal at Tucanos is to ensure that the restaurant is a significant part of Greenville–one that the community will be proud of.”

Ramm, who has participated in extensive on and off-site training with Tucanos, will add his experience to leading the community-oriented, experiential dining destination which combines the flavor of traditional Brazilian grilling with the fun and flair of the beaches of Rio de Janeiro. For more information about Tucanos Brazilian Grill, please visit http://www.tucanos.com or Facebook.


ABOUT TUCANOS The award-winning Tucanos Brazilian Grill is a community oriented, experiential dining destination that combines the traditional Brazilian grilling experience with the fun and flair of the beaches of Rio de Janeiro. Founder Steve Oldham and co-founder Joe Heeb opened the first Tucanos in 2000 in Provo, Utah, and have since opened nine more locations in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Salt Lake City, Utah, Boise, Idaho, Colorado Springs, Colorado, Newport News, Virginia, St. Charles, Missouri, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Noblesville, Indiana, and Greenville, South Carolina.

For more information visit, www.tucanos.com

Bell Tower Ball
Written by Smoak PR

Furman University Honors Distinguished Alumni at Bell Tower Ball

Greenville, SC | February 27, 2017 – Furman University recently presented awards at its annual Bell Tower Ball, which took place at the TD Convention Center on February 25.  The event celebrated the accomplishments of the members of the Furman community, honoring several alumni, a corporate partner, and friends of the university for their professional achievements and for generosity, service, and leadership to the University and the community.

David Trone ‘77 received the Carl F. Kohrt Distinguished Alumni Award, which is awarded annually in recognition of significant professional or personal accomplishments and in gratitude for continued loyalty to Furman University.

Trone, the Owner and President of Total Wine & More, launched the company in 1991 with his brother, Robert. Today the company operates 150 retail stores in 21 states, has $2.5 billion in yearly sales and is the largest independent retailer of wine, spirits, and beer in the country. Known for its generous corporate philanthropy, Total Wine & More has a deep commitment to supporting the community. Because of his connection to Furman, Trone has maintained a strong affection for Greenville.  In addition to putting one of his early stores in Greenville, he has steered extensive charitable contributions from Total Wine & More to over 150 non-profits across the Upstate.

At Furman, Trone has been a philanthropic, cultural, and educational leader.  His personal giving to Furman includes $5 million to renovate the student center, which now bears the Trone name, and to help launch intercollegiate lacrosse.  He also made a $500,000 gift to initiate a fundraising campaign for Furman’s Riley Institute, named for his friend and fellow Furman alumnus, Dick Riley.  As a former Trustee, member of the Parents Council, and the Parents Campaign Committee, Trone has played an active role in helping Furman set and achieve goals to benefit students and alumni for years to come.

“Through The Furman Advantage, Furman continues to prove that it’s a private university with a very public mission,” said David Trone.  “The Riley Institute exemplifies that in the work they do to make the quality of life better in South Carolina.  June and I are very proud to support such an effort and to expand Furman’s impact.”

Clint Dempsey was awarded the Tom A. Triplitt Outstanding Young Alumni Award, which recognizes an alumnus from the last 15 years who has brought honor or recognition to Furman through individual accomplishments. Dempsey is recognized as one of the greatest American soccer players of all time, with national and international accolades that mark his career as a professional athlete.  Dempsey spent three seasons at Furman, during which he garnered National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-American honors and helped lead the Paladin team to one of its highest national rankings in the program’s history. He was then drafted 8th overall by the Major League Soccer (MLS) club New England Revolution, where he quickly earned his way into the starting lineup. He was named Rookie of the Year in his first season, and stayed with the club until 2006. Between 2007 and 2013, Dempsey played with the Fulham and Tottenham clubs of the English Premier League, where he scored a total of 72 goals in all competition, a record among American players. He then returned to the MLS, joining the Seattle Sounders in 2013, and he remains a member of the club to date.

With the United States National Team, Dempsey has participated in four Gold Cups, winning two, and three FIFA World Cups. Dempsey scored goals in the 2006, 2010, and 2014 World Cup competitions, becoming the first American male to score in three World Cups. Of his many honors, highlights include receiving the U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year distinction in 2007, 2011, and 2012, and serving as captain of the U.S. National Team.

Robin McGary Herrnstein ’98 was presented with the Gordon L. Blackwell Alumni Service Award, which honors an individual who has dedicated extraordinary service to the greater community. Herrnstein is the co-founder of PIVOT, an organization dedicated to bringing quality and accessible health care to those in need. In the remote region of Madagascar where PIVOT works, one in six children dies before reaching the age of five, and 90% of the population lives below the poverty line. PIVOT combines accessible and comprehensive health care services with rigorous scientific research to save lives and break cycles of poverty and disease. To date, PIVOT has provided care for more than 67,000 patients. The organization works to spread the global health movement, but it is also committed to integrating healthcare with a broader agenda for sustainable development, helping to catalyze a new movement of scientific research inspired by the needs of the poor.

Aligning with these ideals, Herrnstein was instrumental in establishing the Global Health Institute at Stony Brook University. She also serves as a board member of Centre ValBio, which promotes conservation and scientific research in Ranomafana National Park, a UNESCO heritage site adjacent to the communities that PIVOT serves.

ScanSource, Inc. was presented the University Partnership Award, which honors an organization or individual who has worked in conjunction with Furman University to meaningfully contribute to the local or broader community by engaging citizens, promoting public scholarship, and working for the betterment of society.  Founded in 1992 and headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina, ScanSource, Inc. is a leading global provider of technology products and solutions. With more than 2,100 employees in 43 locations across North America, Latin America, Brazil, and Europe, ScanSource ranks #685 on the Fortune 1000 and was named one of the 2016 Best Places to Work in South Carolina.

ScanSource’s core values of integrity, innovation, community service, and valuing differences align strongly with The Furman Advantage. ScanSource employees are engaged in a myriad of ways across campus, with service that includes speaking to prospective students and families, attending career fairs, presenting to the Business Block, and participating in Furman’s mock interview program. ScanSource also hosts networking events for Furman students and offers professional internship opportunities.

ScanSource has been instrumental in the development of Furman’s Bridges to a Brighter Future program, and also supports the Spring Break College Tour, and summer internship program.

Brad Merkl ’86 was presented with the Wayne and Rubye Reid Award, which recognizes alumni who have made significant contributions to the career development of Furman students.  Merkl is president and owner of the Atlanta-based Metropolitan Companies, and his considerable service to Furman includes membership in the Furman Football Players Association and a term as Atlanta’s Young Alumni Director. For 15 years, Merkl has offered himself as a mentor and advisor to fellow Furman alumni. He has contributed to the professional success of others through resume consulting, interview coaching, and practice sales calls. He connects young Furman alumni with seasoned professionals in their areas of interest and dedicates himself to the career development of those who seek his guidance.

William and Carroll Flowers were presented the Engaged Parent Award, which is presented to the parents of a Furman student or graduate in appreciation for their commitment to education and leadership as volunteers.  The Flowers’ four children attended Furman and throughout their time as Furman parents, William and Carroll have been active members of the Parents Council.  They are also long-standing members of the Richard Furman Society and loyal ambassadors for Furman admissions.

Paul Scarpa was presented the Honorary Alumni Award, which commends individuals who are not graduates of Furman University but who have made significant contributions to its welfare, reputation, prestige, and pursuit of excellence. Scarpa became Furman University’s men’s tennis coach in 1967 and remained at the helm for 45 seasons, during which he became the winningest NCAA Division I tennis coach in America and longest tenured head coach in any sport in Furman and Southern Conference history. He led his Furman teams to 853 victories, 17 Southern Conference championships, and 14 league tournament championships. For his lifetime of achievements, Scarpa was awarded the Order of the Palmetto, the state of South Carolina’s highest civilian honor.

About Furman University

Furman is a private, undergraduate liberal arts university of 2,700 students in Greenville, S.C. The university is noted for its rigorous academic program and strong faculty, and its 750-acre campus is widely recognized as one of the most beautiful in the nation. The university recently unveiled “The Furman Advantage,” a strategic vision that combines a liberal arts and sciences education with immersive experiences outside the classroom, creating a personalized pathway that prepares students for lives of purpose, successful careers and community benefit.

Written by Smoak PR

ForeverGreen Awards Luncheon to Honor Upstate Champions

GREENVILLE, S.C. | February 21, 2017 – Upstate Forever is proud to announce the local champions who will be honored at this year’s ForeverGreen Annual Awards Luncheon. Every year, the ForeverGreen event celebrates individuals and organizations for their significant contributions in the areas of sustainable development, land conservation, clean water, air quality, waste reduction, public service, and volunteer work.

“Every day, Upstate Forever’s staff of 17 works hard on programs and policies to balance development with the protection of our natural resources and special places,” said Upstate Forever Executive Director Andrea Cooper. “We can’t do this work alone. Citizens, local governments, businesses, and institutions must all work together to protect the clean water, healthy air, farm and forest lands, and high quality of life we all enjoy. Fortunately, there are some very important champions of this mission.

This year’s award recipients include:

  • Sustainable Communities Champion:  Homes of Hope, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to rebuild communities and individuals lives through environmentally conscious housing, economic development and job training
  • Clean Water Champion:  ReWa for Project Rx, a successful initiative to ensure our water is kept safe and clean from pharmaceutical pollution
  • Clear Skies Champion: Trees Greenville for their success in planting trees and protecting tree growth in the Upstate for the improvement of our local air quality
  • Public Servant of the Year:  Senator Larry Martin for leading the charge in the Senate to protect his district from the harmful disposal of coal ash
  • Volunteer of the Year: Neil Batavia for his commitment and dedication in making bike-sharing a reality to Greenville through the B-cycle program.
  • Three Rs Champion (Reuse, Reduction, Recycling): Gina McClellan and the Pickens County Traveling Trash Bash for their success in teassching the environmental concepts of recycling, composting, water conservation, air quality and air pollution, litter control and watershed protection/run-off pollution to more than 1300 Pickens County 3rd graders.

This year’s keynote speaker is Josh Dorfman, best known as “The Lazy Environmentalist.”

Josh is an entrepreneur, author and media personality whose focus is launching and leading mission-driven brands, companies and startup ecosystems. Josh currently leads Venture Asheville, a public-private initiative to grow Asheville’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and scale high-growth ventures. He is co-founder and Managing Director of Asheville Angels, an angel investor network active across the Southeast.

Upstate Forever’s 2017 ForeverGreen Annual Awards Luncheon

11:30 a.m., Tuesday, February 21

Embassy Suites, 670 Verdae Boulevard, Greenville


Upstate Forever is a nonprofit, membership-based organization promoting sensible growth and the protection of special places in the Upstate region of South Carolina. Our three program areas are Land Trust, Sustainable Communities, and Clean Air and Water. Founded in 1998, Upstate Forever now has nearly 2,000 members, two offices, and a staff of 18. For more information, visit www.upstateforever.org.


Written by Smoak PR

Magnolia Park Welcomes Kirkland’s Home Store and Elife Nail Spa

February 8, 2017 | GREENVILLE, SC –Magnolia Park, situated off of I-385 and I-85 on Woodruff Road, is the destination for shopping, dining, and entertainment in Greenville.Home to 30 stores, Magnolia Park is thrilled to announce the additions of Kirkland’s and ELife Nail Spa to the property.

Situated between Tin Lizzy’s Cantina and Another Broken Egg Café, Kirkland’s will occupy a 7,330 square foot space. The addition of the home décor store is the second for the franchise in Greenville County, and the first to be located on Woodruff Road. With the addition of Kirkland’s, Magnolia Park will grow its already strong lineup of home décor and furniture offerings, which include Pier One Imports and Select Comfort.

Scottrade and Allen Tate Realtors will also welcome new neighbor ELife Nail Spa, which will settle in the 2,550 square foot storefront later this year and offer a variety of nail and skin care services.

“We are very excited to expand the Magnolia Park shopping center with the additions of Kirkland’s, ELife Nail Spa and the soon to be open Wild Wing Café” said, John Wiechart, Senior Vice President at M & J Wilkow. “These new tenants will enhance the Magnolia Park experience for our new and returning customers.”

Kirkland’s and ELife Nail Spa are expected to open spring 2017, following the much anticipated opening of Wild Wing Café in late March. For more information, visit www.magnoliapark.com.


About M & J Wilkow

M & J Wilkow is a leading commercial real estate owner and operator dedicated to creating value for its investors.  The Company’s approach to real estate emerged distinctively from an owner’s perspective and has evolved over 77 years in the real estate business. M & J Wilkow’s portfolio consists of 29 properties, which includes 11 office buildings and 18 retail properties consisting of approximately 7.2 million square feet. The aggregate market value of the portfolio is estimated to be in excess of $1.3 billion. For more information, visit www.wilkow.com.

Written by Smoak PR

Corley Plumbing Air Electric Host Food Trucks for Pelham Road Businesses

GREENVILLE, SC – Corley Plumbing Air Electric will host Food Truck Friday, February 10thfrom 11:30am – 1:30pm. In an effort to bring the downtown Greenville food scene to the Pelham Road area, Corley will be hosting local food trucks for lunch on the second Friday of every month.

Businesses in the area often face heavy traffic during lunch hour. The food trucks provide an easy, unique place for employees to have lunch. The food trucks will be set-up in the Corley parking lot. Businesses can plan ahead as Corley has listed a line-up of the various food trucks on their website that will be featured over the next five months. www.corleypro.com.Pelham Road area businesses are invited and encouraged to attend with Corley and their staff.

“We are excited to continue Food Truck Fridays,” said Chris Corley, who founded Corley in 1986. “It’s a great way for businesses to get out of the office at lunchtime and meet neighboring businesses while also supporting local business.”

Corley is located at 8501 Pelham Road. For more information or to view Corley’s Food Truck Line-Up, visit their Facebook page.


ABOUT CORLEY: Started locally in 1986 by Chris Corley, the company focuses on service and repair for both residential and commercial clients in the Greenville, Spartanburg and Easley markets. Corley currently offers service in Greenville, Greer, Spartanburg, Boiling Springs, Duncan, Lyman, Moore, Wellford, Woodruff, Mauldin, Simpsonville, Travelers Rest, Easley, and Piedmont.

For more information on Corley, visit www.corleypro.com.

Written by Smoak PR


Greenville, S.C.Feb. 7th, 2017– Spinx has chosen five charities that will benefit from its 17thAnnual Charity Classic Golf Tournament. The tournament will be held on Wednesday, May 10th. The beneficiaries are the American Red Cross of the Upstate, American Red Cross of the Lowcountry, Safe Harbor, Ronald McDonald House of the Carolinas and Harvest Hope Food Bank.

The tournament will take place at the Cliffs at Mountain Park and Cliffs Valley courses. Since 2000, Spinx has raised nearly one million dollars for local charities with proceeds from the tournament. Spinx chose beneficiaries that are aligned with its corporate charitable mission, “Spinx & Kids: Mind, Body, Spirit. Growing healthy kids where we live, work and play.”

“17% of our fellow South Carolinians live in poverty,” said Jane Daniel, Director of Donor Relations at Harvest Hope Food Bank. “This gracious donation from Spinx can help us fight off hunger, which affects the twenty counties we serve in the state of South Carolina and we look forward to another successful event this year.”

“We are so grateful for Spinx’s support and partnership. These funds will assist us in providing services for children and families who have been affected by domestic violence” stated Becky Callaham, Executive Director for Safe Harbor. “Investing in these children will not only provide them with safety and healing now, but will provide prevention for potential domestic violence in their own future relationships.”




Founded in 1972 in Greenville, SC, Spinx aims to always be the friendly company that makes people’s lives easier. Driven by a passion for fulfilling people’s everyday needs, Spinx provides quality fresh food and products in a clean, safe and convenient environment. As an employee owned company, Spinx always strives to operate in a respectful manner that balances profit, community involvement and environmental awareness, all while valuing on-the-go customers, partners, and team members. Spinx operates 81 convenience retail stores in South Carolina and is the largest privately held retailer headquartered in the state.


For more information visit, www.myspinx.com