Bell Tower Ball
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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.

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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


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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


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

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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. 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

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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,

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Ford chosen to head SCBIO Board of Directors

News Release
Wayne Roper
Wayne Roper, SCBIO

Ford chosen to head SCBIO Board of Directors

Erin Ford, an experienced life science executive and economic development professional has been named chair of the Board of Directors for South Carolina Biotechnology Industry Organization (SCBIO) for 2017.

“This year we will be demonstrating the economic impact our community of innovators in advanced medicines, medical devices and diagnostic therapies are bringing to the state,” Ford said. “We have come out of our most successful conference, have a record number of members and are seeing a real growth in our companies and economic development prospects.”

SCBIO has formed a partnership with the South Carolina Department of
Commerce to carry out a life science economic impact study with strategic growth

Ford is director of sales at Poly-Med, Inc., of Anderson, a global innovation
company developing leading edge absorbable polymers and constructs for the
medical device industry. Prior to her role at Poly-Med, Inc. Erin was life science
business recruitment officer at the Upstate SC Alliance.
She formerly served as an ex-officio SCBIO board member from 2013 to 2015 and
led a regional biosciences task force comprised of industry executives from the
Upstate region of South Carolina.

Other new executive officers for 2017 are:
Craig Walker, vice chair and CEO of VidiStar, LLC of Greenville; Michael Rusnak,
treasurer and executive director of MUSC’s Foundation for Research
Development; Kathryn Becker, secretary and principal at Translational Science
Solutions, LLC of Charleston; and Terrell Mills, executive committee and attorney
at Wyche of Greenville.
Other Directors named to the SCBIO board for 2016 include:
Darralyn Alexander, CEO and principal for Reimbursement Strategies, LLC of Myrtle Beach; Rick Brisbin, patent and intellectual property attorney for Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, PA; Jerry Chang, vice president of business development for BioD, LLC of Greenville; Christian Graves, president of Carolina Biotechnology Group, Columbia; Martine LaBerge, chair, of the Clemson Department of Bioengineering; Sam Konduros, principal at SK Strategies of Greenville; Prakash Nagarkatti, vice president of research at the University of South Carolina, Columbia; Phil Vickery, senior director of manufacturing at Capsugel Americas, Greenwood.

SCBIO is a statewide nonprofit trade association representing the innovators and manufacturers of advanced medicines, medical devices, equipment, diagnostics and health care outcomes. Its members are researcher, entrepreneurs, executives and manufacturers who drive discovery, create therapies, relieve suffering and grow great companies.

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The Greenville Swamp Rabbits host 2nd Annual Business Power Play Presented by South State Bank

Greenville, S.C. | January 17, 2017 The Greenville Swamp Rabbits are excited to host the second annual Business Power Play event, presented by South State Bank. The event will be held on Thursday, February 16th at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena.

Business Power Play is a night that will bring together the business community, highlighting the important role local professionals’ play not only in economic development, but in the success of the Upstate. Part of that future success includes the involvement of Pulse Young Professionals a program of the Greenville Chamber’s Leadership Development. The program provides various networking opportunities throughout the year for YP’s to connect with peers and local business leaders. The Greenville Chamber’s Young Professionals will kick-off the year with a reception alongside business leaders before the game starts.

Local businesses provided tremendous support for last season’s event by participating as “Puck Promoters.” Similarly, as a part of their participation in the event, businesses receive a block of lower level tickets for the game, recognition throughout the evening and the opportunity to network among other Greenville businesses.

“We were thrilled with the support of last season’s Business Power Play, and we are excited to build on that success and have a great turnout this season,” said Chris Lewis, President and General Manager of the Swamp Rabbits. “This night provides a fun way for local companies to come together, network, share ideas and potentially create their own partnerships in a fun, exciting setting that provides a unique opportunity for business development.”

“We are excited to return as the presenting sponsor for Business Power Play and look forward to another successful event with the Greenville Swamp Rabbits,” said Mike Coggin, the Upstate regional president of South State Bank. “Business Power Play is a great way to celebrate the Greenville business community.”

For more information on Business Power Play and opportunities for involvement, please contact Emily Peck at or 864-235-8330.




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


South State Corporation is the largest bank holding company headquartered in South Carolina. Founded in 1933, the company’s primary subsidiary, South State Bank, has been serving the financial needs of its local communities in 24 South Carolina counties, 13 Georgia counties and 4 North Carolina counties for over 80 years.  The bank also operates Minis & Co., Inc. and First Southeast 401K Fiduciaries, Inc., both registered investment advisors; and First Southeast Investor Services, Inc., a limited purpose broker-dealer. South State Corporation has assets of approximately $8.6 billion and its stock is traded under the symbol SSB on the NASDAQ Global Select Market. More information can be found at


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SANDLAPPER Securities, LLC raises $40.34 million for Six Land Acquisitions for Webb Creek Management Group, LLC

Greenville, S.C. | January 13, 2017 – SANDLAPPER Securities, LLC (“SANDLAPPER”) raised $40.34 million for six land acquisitions syndications (“Companies”) sponsored by Webb Creek Management Group, LLC (“Webb Creek”) in 2016.  Webb Creek Management Group, LLC, is a Georgia-based firm that provides consultative services to individuals and company landowners seeking alternative uses of their property to maximize return.  Since 2011 they have successfully worked to secure conservation easements on thousands of acres of raw, unimproved land in the Southeast, protecting this land from future development and providing landowners with positive returns in the process.  SANDLAPPER has been the exclusive placement agent for Webb Creek since 2013 and has raised almost $108.6 million in 22 separate land syndications.

The Companies acquired approximately 3,077 of raw, unimproved land in Polk County, FL, Roane County, TN and Benton County, TN.  Geological testing of the Florida properties determined the highest economic use for the owners would be to quarry/mine limestone from the land.  The Tennessee properties are optimally placed for residential development.  Instead of developing these properties, the owners have all chosen to give up ALL development rights on each parcel of land, thus preserving the land for future generations placing the properties into a Conservation Easement.

“Conservations easements are voluntary encumbrances on land that create a permanent and legally enforceable land preservation agreement between a landowner and a qualified conservation organization,” said SANDLAPPER Securities Founder and CEO, Trevor Gordon.  “Making this donation to conservancy provides a significant charitable contribution individuals can take against their AGI when filing their taxes on the amount of value between the ‘conservation land value’ and the ‘highest and best use value’ of the land.  Conservation easements are a great win-win situation for the high income earner.  Land is preserved for future generations and the donor receives a significant write off, making this a great tool for the community and for an individual’s tax planning.”

“We were thrilled with the success of these deals in 2016,” said Bryan Kelley, CEO of Webb Creek Management Group.  “We are proud to partner with the SANDLAPPER Securities team to provide the opportunity to make larger investments in land than many may be able to accomplish alone.  We look forward to continued success in 2017.”

Founded in 2005, SANDLAPPER Securities is a full service independent broker dealer and dealer manager of alternative investment products.  For more information on SANDLAPPER Securities, LLC visit


SANDLAPPER Securities, LLC (Member FINRA/SIPC), is an award winning independent securities brokerage firm with registered representatives located throughout the United States. SANDLAPPER principals and founders Trevor Gordon and Jack Bixler, along with their senior management team bring more than 100 years of financial service, advisory, and management experience to the organization. In 2013, the company was named the #1 small business in South Carolina by SC Biz News. In 2016, for the fourth year in a row, the company was named one of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in America and number one Financial Services Company based in South Carolina by Inc. magazine. For more information visit

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SANDLAPPER Securities, LLC raises over $3 million for Trenton Black River I, LP

Greenville, S.C. | January 11, 2017 – SANDLAPPER Securities, LLC (“SANDLAPPER”) raised more than $3 million for the Trenton-Black River I, LP (“Trenton-Black River”) a 40 Well Drilling Program sponsored by John Henry Oil Corporation (“John Henry”).  John Henry, a Kentucky-based corporation and the Managing General Partner of Trenton-Black River, has deep roots in the oil fields of Appalachia specializing in hydrocarbon exploration and development and over 90 years of highly successful regional experience.

Since breaking initial impounds and putting investment dollars to work, Trenton-Black River has drilled 14 test holes and six wells with two showing to be in very good oil zones and are scheduled to be completed for production to begin.  John Henry is currently running 25% ahead of budget on Trenton-Black River.

“Looking to shore up some year end tax deductions, drilling programs have often been highly sought out investment vehicles,” said SANDLAPPER Securities Founder and CEO, Trevor Gordon.  “With recent weakness in oil prices caused many to pull back from the sector in 2016, but those who see the continued strength on the sector stand to make sizable gains in oil as we have seen significant rebounds from market bottoms as of late.”

“We are thrilled with what SANDLAPPER was able to achieve for us in 2016,” said Connie Love, President and CEO of John Henry Oil Corporation.  “They understood the intrinsic value in the sector and really pushed hard for their clients to see beyond recent weakness in the space and look at the longer-term potential as oil prices rise.” Love continues, “Having these capital dollars to deploy in 2016 we were able to maximize our investments in equipment that had been repriced during the oil bottoming period and allowed us to exploit certain market conditions to ultimately create greater value for our partners and hopefully maximize profits.”

Founded in 2005, SANDLAPPER Securities is a full service independent broker dealer and dealer manager of alternative investment products.  For more information on SANDLAPPER Securities, LLC visit


SANDLAPPER Securities, LLC (Member FINRA/SIPC), is an award winning independent securities brokerage firm with registered representatives located throughout the United States. SANDLAPPER principals and founders Trevor Gordon and Jack Bixler, along with their senior management team bring more than 100 years of financial service, advisory, and management experience to the organization. In 2013, the company was named the #1 small business in South Carolina by SC Biz News. In 2016, for the fourth year in a row, the company was named one of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in America and number one Financial Services Company based in South Carolina by Inc. magazine. For more information visit

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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.

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