Written by Smoak PR

Upstate Forever to Host 2020 ForeverGreen Luncheon

This Year’s Event to Honor Founder Brad Wyche and Conservation Advocates in the Upstate

GREENVILLE, SCJanuary 21, 2020 Upstate Forever is excited to host the annual ForeverGreen Awards Luncheon on Monday, February 24th, 2020 at the Embassy Suites on Verdae Boulevard. The luncheon celebrates individuals for significant contributions in fields related to conservation and sustainable growth. In addition to the awards program, this year’s ForeverGreen Luncheon will feature a celebration to honor Upstate Forever’s founder and conservation hero, Brad Wyche.

Upstate Forever’s Executive Director, Andrea Cooper, is thrilled to celebrate individuals throughout the Upstate, who are actively working to better the environment as a whole. “This year will be very special as we celebrate our fearless founder, Brad Wyche. Without his humble leadership and dedication to finding common ground, Upstate Forever would not be where it is today,” Cooper said.

In 1998, Brad Wyche left a successful law practice and founded Upstate Forever to protect special places and promote responsible growth in our region. During the first year, he worked alone in his home with no funds and no staff. Today, Upstate Forever has 21 staff members and has protected more than 23,000 acres across the Upstate. The positive impact Brad has made on the Upstate — and South Carolina as a whole — is tremendous.

This year’s award recipients are:

  • The Marjorie E. Schmidt Stewardship Award: Tom Kester, for his faithful ongoing support of Upstate Forever and other local conservation efforts
  • The Tommy Wyche Land Conservation Champion: Norman Pulliam, for his visionary leadership as SC Department of Natural Resources board chair
  • Public Servant of the Year: Rep. Bill Sandifer, for his game-changing role in passing the Energy Freedom Act

Upstate Forever’s 2020 ForeverGreen Annual Awards Luncheon

Monday, February 24th at 11:00 am

Embassy Suites, 670 Verdae Boulevard, Greenville

Individual tickets to the ForeverGreen Luncheon are for sale at our Eventbrite page (forevergreen2020.eventbrite.com).

Discounted early bird tickets are available for $35 each until 5 pm on 1/31/20. After that, tickets are $50

Written by Smoak PR

CommunityWorks Welcomes New President & CEO

Greenville, SC | Monday, January 13, 2020 – CommunityWorks, a Greenville based non-profit organization, is excited to welcome Tammie Hoy-Hawkins as the new President & CEO, effective immediately. Hoy-Hawkins has been finalizing her work on the City of Spartanburg’s Northside Initiative since the announcement regarding her new role was made in April of 2019. During that time the Northside Development Group underwent a CEO search for her replacement and has announced Michael Williamson as the new CEO.

With a long history of successful non-profit leadership as President of Together Consulting, Hoy-Hawkins has worked on a variety of projects throughout the Upstate community. She recently served as Project Manager for the Northside Development Group’s Northside Initiative and also as Project Coordinator for the Greenville Housing Fund.

“We have been looking forward to welcoming Tammie to CommunityWorks since the announcement in April,” says Billy McGee, Board Chair of CommunityWorks. “With her proven experience and leadership, we are confident in her ability to maximize the impact that CommunityWorks will have in the Upstate and throughout South Carolina,” says McGee.

Since the inception of CommunityWorks in 2008, over $221 million in economic impact has been made across the state. CommunityWorks focuses on improving the lives of underserved families and communities by providing an array of services including, business loans, financial wellness coaching, home buying assistance and affordable housing.

“I am excited to join the CommunityWorks Team and begin my journey as the new President & CEO of CommunityWorks as we continue to build a brighter future for our communities. I look forward to leading CommunityWorks to have an even greater impact in Greenville, increase our efforts in the Upstate and expand opportunities across South Carolina.” says Tammie Hoy-Hawkins, President & CEO of CommunityWorks.

About CommunityWorks

CommunityWorks was established in 2008 as a local housing trust fund through a partnership between the City of Greenville, United Way of Greenville County and Greenville County Redevelopment Authority. CommunityWorks’ mission is to build a brighter future for underserved families and communities through financial education, lending, and investing. In 2011 CommunityWorks was certified by U.S. Treasury as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) which operates a community loan fund that supports community economic development.

Since its inception, CW has generated over $221 million in local economic impact and has provided 33,900 hours of training and coaching, served 4,008 families, provided over $3.9 million loans to startups and existing small businesses, and deployed over $6.3 million in affordable housing and community loans that have created or preserved over 662 affordable housing units.

Written by Smoak PR

Caldwell Constructors Welcomes Four Employees to Team of Industry Experts

GREENVILLE – Jan. 7, 2020 – Caldwell Constructors is proud to add Ben Chubb, Bill Jordan, Tre Kennemore, and Holly Wood to their team. All four new employees will bring their expertise and experience to Caldwell Constructors in addition to sharing the company’s core value and mission to bring exceptional service to all clients.

Ben Chubb will serve as an Assistant Project Manager on the Caldwell Constructors team. As a recent graduate from Mississippi State University’s Building Construction Science program, Ben brings two years of construction experience in both private and commercial projects to this role. Bill Jordan joins Caldwell Constructors as an Estimator and provides nearly 30 years of relevant construction experience. Since 1992, Bill has gained extensive knowledge after working in different roles for multiple construction companies. Caldwell also welcomes Tre Kennemore to serve as Superintendent. Tre brings over eight years of experience to the team and has worked on many projects holding positions ranging from Framer and Machine Operator to Assistant Manager. Lastly, Caldwell Constructors is thrilled to welcome Holly Wood as Contract Administrator. Holly has over 30 years of professional experience and provides expertise in federal and state regulatory requirements, budget, and financial management.

“We are so excited to welcome our four newest employees to the Caldwell Constructors family,” says Gary Caldwell, President of Caldwell Constructors. “They are each experienced, driven, and committed to providing remarkable service and value to our clients.”

About Caldwell Constructors

Caldwell Constructors is a full-service construction company that focuses on building relationships and providing exceptional service to clients across the Upstate of South Carolina. Caldwell Constructors has extensive experience in commercial, industrial, institutional and medical market segments. Their approach to delivering projects with unwavering integrity, creative problem solving, and tireless work ethic has earned Caldwell Constructors an excellent reputation in the Upstate. For more information, please visit the Caldwell Constructors website at www.caldwellconstructors.com/.

Written by Smoak PR

Real Life Lessons Learned Outside of the Classroom

As my internship with Smoak Public Relations comes to a close, I am able to reflect on the valuable lessons I have learned and the relationships I have built over the past four months; all of which I would not have been able to experience in the classroom. Smoak PR has taught me everything from the details of event planning and effective PR writing, to the creativity behind social media. Most importantly, I have learned the value of real-world experience and this reassured my passion for this industry.

Before my internship with Smoak PR, I had little experience with event planning. From booking a vendor and a venue, providing all the correct credentials, and maintaining a close relationship with the client, I have been able to see the amazing value and organization that goes into event planning first-hand. Watching all the women of Smoak PR help and collaborate with each other for every event has been an inspiring example of teamwork that I think any intern would be lucky to experience.

Smoak PR also provided me the skills and knowledge to be able to draft and write professional press releases and company newsletters. Each client has a different voice, tone, and story to tell. That said, I now fully understand how to cater each client’s content to their brand in order to share their message most effectively. In addition, I was given the opportunity to assist in caption and copy writing for social media which has provided great insight into understanding each client. I am confident this is a skill that will benefit me in my future career tremendously.

Something I especially enjoyed during my semester with Smoak PR was getting to watch and work with Hannah on social media and graphic design. As a graphic design minor in school, Smoak PR has given me the perfect opportunity to utilize my prior knowledge, while learning fresh skills and techniques in graphic design, digital media and social media. I now fully understand what a significant influence a social media presence has, and how you can really express your creativity within this role. The creative freedom I was given through my internship is something I find particularly lucky to have experienced this fall.

Lastly, and what I found to be the most valuable aspect of my internship is the real-world experience I was provided. Having an internship with an organization like Smoak PR has given me the skills, knowledge, and experience that I would not have been able to acquire in a classroom. I was exposed to real-world clients, meetings, events, and everything behind the scenes showing me how a successful public relations firm really runs. Not only did this experience provide me with the skills and confidence to move forward with my career, but Smoak PR truly cares about their interns. I enjoyed the relationships built with all the women of Smoak PR, each of which made it a priority to be helpful, friendly, and supportive. I encourage anyone seeking an experience-filled, hands on, creative internship in the PR industry to apply!

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Written by Smoak PR

Spinx Celebrates Store #378 Opening in Summerville

New store featuring full kitchen opens at 930 W. 5th North St.

Greenville, S.C. – Dec. 16, 2019 – The Spinx Company, the Greenville-based fuel and convenience retail company with more than 80 locations and 50 car washes statewide, celebrated the opening of the Spinx #378 store in Summerville, SC on Thursday, Dec. 12th. Located at 930 W. 5th North St., Summerville, SC, the new store will feature a full-service kitchen and a Ride ‘N Shine Tunnel Wash, which is set to open early next year.

“We are thrilled to celebrate the opening of another Spinx store in Summerville, SC. This location will provide our customers with a full-service kitchen and of course, all of our other Spinx amenities to make the lives of this community that much easier,” stated Stewart Spinks. “We look forward to welcoming the community through these doors, as well as celebrate with some exciting special offers for a limited time.”

As part of the grand opening, a variety of in-store specials will be available for a limited time:

  • Soft Serve Ice Cream Cones – 50¢
  • 16 oz. Frozen Coffee, Smoothies and Shakes – $1.50
  • Legendary Chicken Biscuit – $2.00
  • 2 Tenders/2 Wedges – $3.00
  • 8-Piece Fried Chicken – $8.00

The new store provides another convenient location for the community to fill their gas tanks and enjoy Spinx’s legendary fried chicken, breakfast biscuits and chicken sandwiches served fresh all day. Also, at this location, Spinx is serving made-to-order milkshakes, smoothies and soft serve ice cream in addition to its wide offering of ice-cold fountain drinks, lemonade, iced tea, slushies and the popular “chewy ice.” Hot beverages, including bean-to-cup fresh coffee will also be available for purchase.

Learn more at www.SpinxCarWash.com or www.Spinx.com.

ABOUT SPINX – Founded in 1972 in Greenville, S.C., The Spinx Company operates 82 convenience retail stores throughout South Carolina, and with approximately 1,400 employees, it is the largest privately-held retailer headquartered in the state. Spinx is committed to making life easier by fulfilling people’s everyday needs with fresh, on-the-go food, beverages and other convenience products delivered in a safe, clean and friendly environment. Through the Spinx Xtras Loyalty program and the Spinx mobile app, the company offers its loyal customers savings on fuel and special promotions.

For more information about Spinx or the Spinx Xtras program, visit the company’s website at www.spinx.com.

Written by Smoak PR

Favor Greenville Receives Generous Gift from Motiva/Shell Oil

Spinx and Shell Oil Continue to Give Back to the Greenville Community

GREENVILLE, SC | Dec. 10, 2019- FAVOR Greenville is pleased to announce a generous donation from Motiva/Shell Oil Company. This gift was made possible because of the relationship Stewart and Martha Spinks and The Spinx Company have with Motiva/Shell. Thanks to their generosity, FAVOR Greenville will be able to continue to provide the lifesaving, transformational work that has impacted over 30,000 participants and their families.

“The Spinks family has been a cornerstone of the FAVOR program from the very beginning.  Stewart and Martha have been unwavering in their support of individuals and families in need of support as they cope with addiction,” said Rich Jones, CEO of FAVOR Greenville.

Stewart Spinks was employed by Shell after graduating from college. Shell then moved Spinks to Greenville where he later began The Spinx Company. Giving back to the Greenville community has always been a priority to Spinks and his family.

“As a local company that was born and raised here, we feel it is not only important, but vital to support our community,” said Stewart Spinks, Chairman of The Spinx Company.

Photo (left to right): Richard L. “Rich” Jones, CEO FAVOR Greenville; Steve Spinks, President, The Spinx Company Inc.; Jacob Hubbard, Territory Manager, Motiva Enterprise LLC; Stewart Spinks, Chairman, The Spinx Company Inc.

ABOUT FAVOR

FAVOR (Faces and Voices of Recovery) Greenville provides an innovate response to the suffering caused by Substance Use Disorders for over 5,000 new individuals in the Upstate every year: Rebuilding Lives, Empowering Families, and Changing the World. www.favorgreenville.org

ABOUT SPINX

Founded in 1972 in Greenville, S.C., The Spinx Company operates 82 convenience retail stores throughout South Carolina, and with approximately 1,400 employees, it is the largest privately-held retailer headquartered in the state. Spinx is committed to making life easier by fulfilling people’s everyday needs with fresh, on-the-go food, beverages and other convenience products delivered in a safe, clean and friendly environment. Through the Spinx Xtras Loyalty program and the Spinx mobile app, the company offers its loyal customers savings on fuel and special promotions.

For more information about Spinx or the Spinx Xtras program, visit the company’s website at www.spinx.com.

Written by Smoak PR

‘Tis the Season for Building and Maintaining Relationships with Local Media

As PR professionals, it is imperative that we consistently focus on building and maintaining relationships with the local media. This time of year provides great opportunities to do just that! Below are just a few tips that will prove to be helpful as we look towards 2020.

Holiday cards – Dropping a handwritten holiday card into the mail to simply say hello is a great way to stay top of mind. Everyone enjoys receiving a holiday card this time of year, and the media is no exception! This is an easy way to stay in touch during this busy time of year.

Holiday treats – Delivering festive pastries to the local station newsroom or community newspaper is a great way to spread holiday cheer. This also provides an opportunity for valuable face to face time with those who you hope will cover your stories in the future. Including a few business cards with your treat is always a good idea!

Festive coffee or lunch meeting – People tend to enjoy getting out of the office and heading to the local coffee shop or lunch café to take advantage of the holiday atmosphere.  What better time to invite local media you have a relationship with as a way to thank them for a great 2019. It can also serve as an opportunity to reconnect regarding how you might support their work in the new year. This can be a great time to talk business, but also enjoy the company of a valuable media contact during this festive time of year! Lunches or coffee dates also provide a great opportunity for follow up after the holiday glow has faded.

Building relationships with the media is important to continue year-round however, the holiday season tends to make doing this a bit easier.

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Written by Smoak PR

Spinx Donates $225,000 to the American Cancer Society

Greenville, S.C. – Dec. 3, 2019 – The Spinx Company founder, Stewart Spinks, recently presented a check for $225,000 to Kelly Jamerson, corporate relations manager for the American Cancer Society. For 11 years now, Spinx has held an annual store campaign collecting donations from communities all over South Carolina, in support of The American Cancer Society.

“The American Cancer Society is a cause that hits close to home, as I am a cancer survivor myself,” Stewart Spinks said. “I am so proud of both our Spinx team, and our selfless customers for their generosity and dedication to the American Cancer Society for the 11th year in a row. The Spinx Company is honored to support their mission and its efforts in education, treatment, and research to discover more successful treatments, and ultimately a cure for cancer.”

All 82 Spinx stores in South Carolina participated in the campaign.

ABOUT SPINX – Founded in 1972 in Greenville, S.C., The Spinx Company operates 82 convenience retail stores throughout South Carolina, and with approximately 1,400 employees, it is the largest privately-held retailer headquartered in the state. Spinx is committed to making life easier by fulfilling people’s everyday needs with fresh, on-the-go food, beverages and other convenience products delivered in a safe, clean and friendly environment. Through the Spinx Xtras Loyalty program and the Spinx mobile app, the company offers its loyal customers savings on fuel and special promotions. For more information about Spinx or the Spinx Xtras program, visit the company’s website at www.spinx.com.

ABOUT THE AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY – The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of 2 million volunteers saving lives in every community. As the largest voluntary health organization, the Society’s efforts have contributed to a 25 percent decline in the cancer death rate in the U.S. since 1991, driven by less smoking, better treatments, and earlier detection. We’re finding cures as the nation’s largest private, not-for-profit investor in cancer research, ensuring people facing cancer have the help they need and continuing the fight for access to quality health care, lifesaving screenings and more. For more information, to get help, or to join the fight, call us anytime, day or night, at (800) 227-2345 or visit cancer.org.

Written by Smoak PR

Stewart Spinks Honored for Community Contributions During National Philanthropy Day

Greenville, S.C. – Nov. 26, 2019 – The Spinx Company founder, Stewart Spinks, and his wife Martha, were recently awarded “Individual Philanthropist of the Year” on National Philanthropy Day. The Spinks were given the honor by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), an association dedicated to generating philanthropic support for a wide variety of charitable institutions. Since 1986, Nov. 15th has been recognized as National Philanthropy Day, to honor donors, volunteers, leaders, foundations and others who participate in philanthropy.

“We are so honored to accept the award for Individual Philanthropist of the Year,” Stewart Spinks said. “Being a good neighbor and supporting the communities that help support us is extremely important to my family and the Spinx Company.”

Stewart Spinks is heavily involved in a variety of philanthropic organizations including the American Cancer Society, FAVOR Greenville, March of Dimes and others.  He also founded his own charitable organization, The Spinks Family Foundation, which focuses on growing healthy kids where we live, work and play, by partnering with programs that focus on improving health, education, wellness, and moral growth for the children of South Carolina.

ABOUT SPINX – Founded in 1972 in Greenville, S.C., The Spinx Company operates 82 convenience retail stores throughout South Carolina, and with approximately 1,400 employees, it is the largest privately-held retailer headquartered in the state. Spinx is committed to making life easier by fulfilling people’s everyday needs with fresh, on-the-go food, beverages and other convenience products delivered in a safe, clean and friendly environment. Through the Spinx Xtras Loyalty program and the Spinx mobile app, the company offers its loyal customers savings on fuel and special promotions. For more information about Spinx or the Spinx Xtras program, visit the company’s website at www.spinx.com.

Written by Smoak PR

Navigating Fundraising for Political Campaigns

Navigating the political world when it comes to fundraisers can be tricky. When working on behalf of a candidate, it is of utmost importance to know their positions on the issues when asking for financial contributions.

  1. Determine your goals and set strategies with your candidate

Make it a priority to set goals with your candidate and decide how frequently you should meet. As a true extension of your candidate, you must work together to determine how much you must raise in order to run a successful campaign. Set consistent meetings to refine the campaign strategy and expectations.

  1. Organize your lists and gather correct contact information

Your list is the key to a successful political fundraiser. Making calls and sending personalized emails takes a great deal of time, so you should prioritize compiling your contacts to ensure you maximize reach. This is where a small team completing research can make this effort more effective, keeping in mind that your candidate will want to connect to prospective donors in addition to maintaining their relationships with previous supporters.

  1. Reach out to potential host committee sponsors the moment a date is set

First and foremost, set the date for your fundraiser. This will give you time to reach out to potential donors and provide the candidate the opportunity to get ahead of filing their quarterly report. At this event, supporters old and new will be able to hear the candidate’s position and offer additional funds.

  1. Personalize communication

Know your candidate’s platform! It is wise to personalize phone calls to each and every prospective donor, beginning with those who have been supportive of your candidate in the past. When you speak knowledgeably on your candidate’s positioning and express gratitude for potential supporter’s interest, you stand to raise more donations and strengthen your client’s campaign and event attendance.

The steps above are meant to serve as a starting point for a political fundraiser, keeping in mind that a lot goes into supporting a successful campaign. Dedicating time, developing a deep understanding of your candidate’s platform and getting creative will set your candidate above the rest.

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