Written by Smoak PR

Proterra Secures $140M in Series 5 Funding for new High-Growth Phase of Capacity Expansion and Product Development

BURLINGAME, Calif., January 3, 2017 – Proterra, the leading innovator in heavy-duty electric transportation, today announced that it has raised $140 million in a Series 5 round. Proterra partnered with J.P. Morgan to close the equity funding, which was led by $40 million from an undisclosed investor, an additional $60 million from several new investors, and joined by existing board level investors Tao Capital Partners, Kleiner Perkins, GM Ventures, Constellation Technology Ventures, 88 Green Ventures, Edison Energy, Inc. and others. This growth equity financing signals an accelerated manufacturing phase for Proterra, as the company doubles production to meet growing customer demand across the United States.

The investment and increased valuation reflect the recent accomplishments of the Proterra team and its goal to set the gold standard for industry firsts in innovation. In September 2016, its engineering team unveiled what is now the world’s most efficient battery system for heavy-duty transportation, offering a 350-mile nominal range in the new Catalyst E2 Series, capable of executing any typical U.S. mass transit route on a single charge. In addition, the company’s 2016 sales awards more than doubled from 2015.

“2016 was an exceptional year for Proterra, and the future growth of this company looks just as promising as it hits a tipping point with transit agencies who are embracing the pivot from diesel- and CNG-powered buses to zero emission mass transit,” said Rob Johnson, chairman of the Proterra board of directors and a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. “Proterra’s new Catalyst E2 Series represents the first direct replacement for fossil-fueled buses. It is more cost-effective, offers positive public health and environmental benefits and simply outperforms diesel.”

With $140 million of new capital, Proterra will dramatically accelerate production capacity on both coasts, while continuing to develop its next generation of heavy-duty electric vehicle products. Proterra aims to increase production in its East Coast facility, located in Greenville, South Carolina, by 300 percent and initiate production in its City of Industry facility in Los Angeles County. Combined, the facilities will more efficiently serve customers around the U.S. Proterra will hire key personnel in Los Angeles, Silicon Valley and Greenville to support production growth, as well as implement new manufacturing equipment and systems.

“The size of the round and the diversity of our investors reflects what we’re seeing around the world as institutions and businesses divest from fossil fuels,” said Ryan Popple, Proterra CEO. “We thank our existing investors for their support and welcome our new investors as we continue to deliver on the promise of a cleaner future for all communities.”

About Proterra:

Proterra is a leader in the design and manufacture of zero-emission vehicles that enable bus fleet operators to eliminate the dependency on fossil fuels and to significantly reduce operating costs while delivering clean, quiet transportation to the community. Proterra has sold more than 300 vehicles to 35 different municipal, university, and commercial transit agencies throughout North America. Proterra’s configurable EV platform, battery and charging options make its buses well suited for a wide range of transit and campus routes. With unmatched durability and energy efficiency based on rigorous U.S. certification testing, Proterra products are proudly designed, engineered and manufactured in America, with offices in Silicon Valley, South Carolina, and Los Angeles. For more information, visit: and follow us on Twitter @Proterra_Inc.

Written by Smoak PR

Corley Plumbing Air Electric Receives Better Business Bureau Award

GREENVILLE, SC | December 14, 2016 – Better Business Bureau awarded Corley Plumbing Air Electric with the BBB Applause Award for exceeding advertising standards. Each quarter BBB’s Local Advertising Review Program (LARP) recognizes a business in the Upstate for adhering to the BBB Code of Advertising guidelines.

“It is truly an honor to be recognized among the other exceptional businesses in the Upstate,” said founder Chris Corley. “It is certainly an exciting way to end the year. We will continue to uphold these guidelines moving into the new year.”

LARP was created to “promote the truthfulness and accuracy of advertising” in order to give the community the confidence in the businesses they are exposed to. A self-regulated program approved by the American Advertising Federation (AAF) and the Council of Better Business Bureaus, LARP recognized Corley Plumbing Air Electric as its fourth and final Applause Award winner of 2016.


Started 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

Written by Smoak PR

The Greenville Swamp Rabbits hosts International Business Night presented by Elliott Davis

Greenville, S.C. | December 12, 2016 The Greenville Swamp Rabbits hosted their first International Business Night event, presented by Elliott Davis. The event was held on Thursday, December 8th at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena.

Modeled after Business Power Play, introduced during the 2015-2016 season, International Business Night is another opportunity the Swamp Rabbits are taking to integrate the organization into the fabric of the community. Fostering strong relationships with Upstate businesses and serving as a catalyst for continued economic growth and development are key components to achieving this goal. International Business Night brought together the international business community represented in the Upstate to highlight the important role these local professionals play not only in economic development, but in the overall success of the Upstate.

Local businesses have provided tremendous support for the event by participating as “Puck Promoters.” As part of their participation in the event, Puck Promoters receive a block of lower level tickets for the game and recognition throughout the evening. Before the Swamp Rabbits battled the Orlando Solar Bears, businesses were invited to a pre-game reception held in the arena.

“Business Power Play Night was very successful last season so we wanted to expand that idea to involve international businesses in the Upstate as well,” said Chris Lewis, president of the Swamp Rabbits. “The sport of hockey provides a fun and exciting atmosphere for conducting business and networking. We set out with our partners from Elliott Davis to craft a way for international companies to come together and network in a different kind of environment. ”



The Swamp Rabbits are members of the ECHL, the nation’s premier “AA” hockey league, and are affiliated with the NHL’s New York Rangers and the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack. All home games are played at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena located at 650 N. Academy Street in downtown Greenville. For more information on the team, or to purchase tickets, visit

Written by Smoak PR

Middleburg Launches Local Heroes Recognition Program at Mosby Poinsett

FAIRFAX, VA—Middleburg is pleased to announce that up to 5% of all apartments at Middleburg-developed and owned communities will be set aside for its new Local Heroes Program. Active, full-time law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and public school teachers (pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade) are eligible to participate in the program which offers a 30% discount on base rent of leases twelve months or longer.

The first community to offer the Local Heroes Program will be Mosby Poinsett in Greenville, South Carolina where up to 14 select apartments will be available for program participants. The community is located at the intersection of Poinsett Highway and Old Buncombe Road. Mosby Poinsett is a 288-unit Class A garden-style community that will feature a 6,300 square foot clubhouse, 24-hour fitness center, onsite concierge, saltwater pool, and views of Paris Mountain. The individual residences offer large walk-in closets, EnergyStar® stainless steel appliances, and Nest® thermostats.

To be eligible for the discount, the person applying for it must be the primary income-earner on the lease and maintain their qualifying employment throughout the length of the lease, and is subject to certain other restrictions.

“Those that serve our community should be able to live in our community,” says Austin Knapp, South Carolina Partner at Middleburg and local Greenville resident.

Serving community is paramount to Middleburg:  the company also hosts quarterly community service events for residents and staff at their existing properties and the Managing Partner of Middleburg, Chris Finlay is also the founder of Shelters to Shutters, a nonprofit that provides employment and housing opportunity to ready-to-work individuals experiencing homelessness. Additionally, the company was recently recognized by Multifamily Executive Magazine as the recipient of its 2016 Community Service award.

Mosby Poinsett is now pre-leasing with first move-ins scheduled for April 2017. One bedroom apartments start at a base rent of $1,049. Find out more about the community by visiting or calling 864-302-1517.


About Middleburg: Middleburg is a fully integrated investment, development and management firm specializing in quality multifamily apartment communities in high-growth markets in the mid-Atlantic and southeastern United States. Leveraging the experience and talent of our team and supported by state-of-the-art  technology, we maximize investment performance for our partners and provide high-quality homes to our residents.   All rental applications are subject to availability and screening.  Speak with leasing office for further program details.


Written by Smoak PR

Corley Plumbing Air Electric Hosts Local Food Trucks for Pelham Road Businesses

GREENVILLE, SC – Corley Plumbing Air Electric will host Food Truck Friday, December 9thfrom 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. 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.


Started 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

Written by Smoak PR

Magnolia Park Hosts First Annual Tree Lighting and Holiday Event

GREENVILLE, SC – Magnolia Park shopping center hosted its first annual Tree Lighting Celebration on Sunday, November 20th. The event featured a toy drive benefitting Marine Toys for Tots of Greenville as well as free pictures with Santa, activities and food samples from various businesses as well as local entertainment.

Santa was paraded in with Santa’s helpers by the Greenville High School Drumline and the competition team from Roller Time Academy. With Santa seated under a festive holiday tree for pictures, guests were welcomed to activities provided by several Magnolia Park businesses while performances by local talent groups put everyone in the holiday spirit.

Guests were encouraged to visit a minimum of 12 retailers and restaurants opened on Sunday to be entered into the drawing to win $100 gift card to Cabela’s, $100 gift card to Grimaldi’s or the $1,000 shopping spree to Magnolia Park.


Magnolia Park is the ultimate destination for shopping, dining and entertainment located off of Woodruff Rd. of Greenville, South Carolina. A M&J Wilkow property, Magnolia Park is anchored by Costco, Cabela’s, Nordstrom Rack, Toys ‘R’ Us, Dave & Buster’s and Regal Cinemas Hollywood 20.

For more information on Magnolia Park, visit

Written by Smoak PR

Hartness Family Hosts Groundbreaking for New Community

The Hartness family hosted the groundbreaking for the new Hartness Community situated in Greenville’s eastside. The new walkable village encompasses 400 pristine acres, 180 of which will be permanently preserved green space, including 15 miles of trails connecting neighbors to woodlands, lakes, streams, wildlife and shared recreational areas. Also included will be a state of the art clubhouse and wellness center, resort styled swimming pool and a sports garden

Homes will be situated within a short walk of restaurants, coffee shops, specialized retail and small businesses. Residents will benefit not only from an easy five mile drive to Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport, but also from the shopping and dining attractions on Main Street in Greenville’s award-winning downtown, accessible in a 15 minute drive. Lew Oliver, world renowned planner and designer, created the Hartness Community plan.

“We are excited to be unveiling Hartness to the Upstate,” said Sean Hartness, CEO of Hartness Real Estate. “From the vast recreational opportunities Hartness affords, the beautifully crafted variety of homes, to its intentional design that encourages chance social interaction, we believe that the Hartness community provides a unique residential experience to the Upstate.”


Hartness, located in Greenville, SC, is a Traditional Neighborhood Development designed with walkable blocks kept close to daily conveniences, public spaces and nature. Situated on 400 pristine acres, Hartness offers an array of thoughtfully crafted home types ranging from cottages to estate and manor homes.

For more information, visit

Written by Smoak PR

Sandlapper Capital Investments, LLC Recognized for Major Growth

Sandlapper Capital Investments, LLC was recently honored with several awards and has topped several lists as a  rapidly growing and expanding company in South Carolina and nationwide.

SC Biz News recently named Sandlapper Capital as the number one large business on their list of Fastest Growing Companies in South Carolina.  Each year, SC Biz News recognizes the 20 largest and 20 smallest companies in the state at their Roaring 20s awards.

Sandlapper Capital Investments was also named the number one Fastest Growing Company in South Carolina by Integrated Media, the publisher of Greenville Business Magazine, Columbia Business Magazine and the Greater Pee Dee Business Journal.  This is the third time the company has placed in the top 5 on the list of fastest growing companies in the state.

Also this year, Sandlapper Capital Investments was named the Fastest Growing Small Firm nationally as ranked Real Estate Forum Magazine in addition to making its debut on the Inc. 500 list, coming in at number 62 nationally.  With 4,229% growth over the preceding three year reporting period, Sandlapper Capital Investments ranked seventh in the financial services category, and first for companies based in South Carolina on the Inc. 500 list.

“Sandlapper Capital Investments continues its great trajectory by staying focused on listening to our core customers and spending our time only seeking those acquisition and investment opportunities they are looking for,” said Trevor Gordon, Founder and CEO of Sandlapper Capital Investments.  “Our growth over the past few years has been dynamic and we look forward to continuing the growth in 2016 and beyond. We are honored to receive these awards and accolades.”

About Sandlapper Capital Investments, LLC

Sandlapper Capital Investments, LLC (Sandlapper) is an award winning investment firm created to take advantage of opportunities brought about through the dynamic and ever-changing economic landscape, and one of the diverse divisions of the SANDLAPPER family of investment companies. Our experienced team has the skills, tools and resources necessary to identify, analyze and act upon timely opportunities across a vast universe of industries as an investor, manager or investment program sponsor.

Sandlapper principals collectively have decades of experience across a broad range of industries and investment vehicles covering both the public and private markets including packaged product analysis, commercial real estate equity and debt, tax credits and shelter programs, oil and gas and related industries, equipment leasing, corporate and municipal debt as well as other debt obligations and portfolio management.

For more information on the Sandlapper Companies please visit

Written by Smoak PR

Goodwill Industries Celebrates at 8th Annual Champions Tribute

Every year since 2009, Goodwill Industries of Upstate/Midlands SC has celebrated successes of South Carolina residents whose lives have changed as a result of Goodwill’s education and training initiatives with an awards dinner. The Goodwill Champions Tribute was held on Thursday, October 20 at the TD Convention Center. Joe Theismann, entrepreneur and former star quarterback for the Washington Redskins, delivered an inspirational keynote address for the evening.

Honored were four individuals who have overcome adversity and found employment through various job placement programs offered by Goodwill, as well as one national company and one family who support the mission of Goodwill. Award recipients for 2016 were:

Taciyona Duckett – James E. Jones Healthcare Excellence Award, sponsored by Bon Secours St. Francis Health System

Julie Nelson – William Wylie Job Connection Success Award, sponsored by J. Smith Lanier & Co.

Matthew Allen – Ralph Walker Graduate of the Year Award, sponsored by GPN Architecture

Pamela McAbee – Lloyd Auten Achiever of the Year Award, sponsored by Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.

Thomas & Vivian Wong – Goodwill Industries Champion of the Year Award, sponsored by KeenanSuggs Insurance | HUB International

MS Companies – Bill Hummers Employer of the Year Award, sponsored by TD Bank

“It is amazing to see the transformation that our participants go through,” said Pat Michaels, CEO of Goodwill Industries of Upstate/Midlands SC. “Some of these individuals have faced various hardships, or just didn’t have the means to get where they wanted to go. They took major strides to improve their circumstances, and that’s cause for celebration!”

For more information on Goodwill Industries of Upstate/Midlands SC, please visit For information on how you can be involved in the 2017 Champions Tribute, call 864-351-0150.


Goodwill is a private not-for-profit organization committed to helping people become independent through education and training leading to employment. Goodwill’s service area includes Abbeville, Anderson, Cherokee, Fairfield, Greenville, Greenwood, Kershaw, Laurens, Lexington, Newberry, Oconee, Pickens, Richland, Saluda, Spartanburg and Union counties. Last year, Goodwill placed 10,596 people into employment through its job training programs and Goodwill Job Connection services.

Written by Smoak PR

2016 Designer Showcase Home Tour of Hope to take place this fall

The Cancer Society of Greenville County and Stoneledge Properties are proud to announce the 2016 Designer Showcase Home Tour of Hope, benefitting the Cancer Society of Greenville County.  For three weekends this fall, attendees will enjoy exclusive access to the beautiful 6 bedroom, 6 bathroom estate which includes more than 9,300 square feet of living space.

Located within the gates of the Southampton community in Five Forks, the estate represents the best of the best in custom home design, quality, comfort and luxury. Over three weekends (October 21-23, October 28-30 and November 4-6), guests will be wowed by each and every room on the tour, which also features a separate guest house, pool and outdoor living areas.

“It is truly a grand estate home built with a vision of quality, pride and aesthetics as the driving focus,” says Stoneledge Properties Founder Chris Bailey. “The outdoor living spaces are unlike anything else in the area. We look forward to inviting the community to enjoy the incredible results of this project while we support such a worthy cause.”

All proceeds from the 2016 Designer Showcase Home Tour of Hope will go to the Cancer Society of Greenville County, a group that provides services, funding and education to local cancer patients and their families. The organization serves more than a 4,000 patients a year, delivering on their mission to create new HOPE and improve the quality of life of people in the Greenville community.

“We are honored to partner with Stoneledge Properties,” says Cancer Society of Greenville County Executive Director Lisa Green. “We are the only local organization providing direct service to those battling cancer here at home. Every dime we raise remains local to help cancer patients and their families. We hope this event will also provide further exposure and support of our mission.”

The Designer Showcase Home Tour is a returning event. In 2011, Stoneledge Properties partnered with Greenville Health System to raise significant funds for ITOR, the Institute for Translational Oncology Research. Stoneledge Properties looks forward to building a better future for cancer services in Greenville County by providing a similar donation from this year’s tour to the Cancer Society of Greenville County.

The 2016 Designer Showcase Home Tour of Hope will be open October 21-23, October 28-30 and November 4-6 from 1:00 to 4:00 pm on Fridays, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm on Saturdays and 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm on Sundays.

Tickets are on sale now for $20.00 in advance of the event. After October 20th, they will be available for $25.00 online or at the door. Children 17 and under are free. Cancer patients and survivors are invited to tour free of charge on Sundays. For more information, including a special tour event schedule featuring special demonstrations and speakers, please visit

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