Written by Smoak PR

Smoak Public Relations Hires New Digital Media Coordinator and Office Manager

Greenville, SC | July 8, 2019 – Smoak Public Relations has hired Hannah Robinson as its Digital Media Coordinator and Leslie Lapointe as Office Manager.

Robinson will strategize, create and publish social media content.  Lapointe will support the staff with general administration and operational duties.

Robinson is a graduate of Furman University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts.  Robinson resides in Greenville and enjoys its vibrant art community and ever-growing attractions.  “Hannah is a great fit to lead our social and digital media efforts because of her professional marketing and social media strategy experience,” said Katherine Smoak Davis. “With Greenville as her long-time home, she has studied what content truly engages our community and has a penchant for establishing connections between businesses and their prospective clients.”

Lapointe’s experiences in accounting, office management, and retail management span over 17 years.  A Greenville resident for over a decade, Lapointe revels in the city’s recreational activities and natural beauty.  “We are impressed with Leslie’s management experience; her role is vital to the functionality of our office and client relationships,” said Katherine Smoak Davis, “We are excited to welcome both women to the Smoak PR team and know they will positively influence the growth of our firm as well as our clients.”


Smoak Public Relations is the Upstate of South Carolina’s premier public relations firm and deeply believes that all companies have untold stories and new opportunities. Drawing on over 25 years of professional experience, Smoak Public Relations focuses on cultivating relationships, creating memorable experiences, developing brands and telling stories that ultimately deliver measurable results. The Smoak PR team combines industry insight and best practices to transform client initiatives into actionable, impactful messages that influence and inform.

For more information about Smoak Public Relations, visit the company’s website at www.smoakpr.com.



Written by Smoak PR

Spinx Raises More Than $360,000 for March of Dimes and Donates Free Gas for a Year to Top Fundraiser

Greenville, S.C. – June 27, 2019 – SPINX, the Greenville, S.C.-based fuel and convenience retail company, is pleased to announce that it raised $362,200.00 for the March of Dimes, surpassing its record last year of $334,451.00.

L-R: Laura Goodwin – Executive Director, March of Dimes; Stan Storti – President, SPINX Co.; Aaron Welter – Territory Manager, SPINX Co.; Katie Peden – Senior Development Manager, March of Dimes

 “I am thrilled with the effort of the entire SPINX team, our loyal customers and business partners for encouraging this year’s campaign and making it a great success,” said SPINX President, Stan Storti, who also served as the 2018 Chairman for the Greenville March of Dimes – March for Babies. “Our job has always been more than simply raising funds to support the March of Dimes, but also to generate awareness to the organization’s efforts in aiding in the overall health and well-being of moms and their babies.”

In addition to the company campaign, SPINX donated a year of free gas to recognize the hard work and dedication of individuals who raised significant funds during the March for Babies. SPINX presented Donna Hammett with a year of free gas in recognition of her passionate work and commitment to the cause. Hammett works for Dixon Hughes Goodman and was a part of one of the March of Dimes top ten teams. She raised over $1,200 for the 2019 campaign.

Throughout the 10 years SPINX has supported March of Dimes, it has raised more than $1,000,000. As a community-centric business, SPINX is dedicated to supporting local organizations that focus on improving the lives of children in the communities they serve. The money raised each year during the March for Babies campaign helps area moms have healthier pregnancies, assists families with newborns in the Intensive Care Units, and helps fund research to fight birth defects and premature birth.


Founded in 1972 in Greenville, S.C., The SPINX Company operates nearly 80 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

Goodwill Industries Announces 1st Annual Champions of Change Luncheon

Greenville, SC | June 4, 2019 –Goodwill Industries of Upstate/Midlands South Carolina is excited to celebrate their mission of helping people become independent through employment at the 1st Annual Champions of Change Luncheon. This celebratory event will take place on Wednesday, October 2nd at 12:00 pm at the Embassy Suites on Verdae Boulevard in Greenville. The luncheon, which replaces Goodwill’s annual Champions Tribute event, will honor those who have served and benefited from the Power of Work through Goodwill Industries of Upstate/Midlands South Carolina.

Sponsorship opportunities for the Goodwill Industries Champions of Change Luncheon are as follows:

  • Presenting Sponsor (2 of 3 available) $5,000
  • Award Sponsor (3 available) $3,000
  • Honoree Tables Sponsor (1 available) $2,000
  • Friend of Goodwill Sponsor $500

“The Champions Tribute ran for ten great years, but we are excited to refresh this event and continue to celebrate our mission and program recipients at the upcoming Champions of Change Luncheon,” stated the President and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Upstate/Midlands South Carolina, Patrick Michaels. “We are beyond grateful for a community that is motivated by the Power of Work and determined to improve the lives of others in our region.”

To learn more about the Goodwill Champions of Change Luncheon, or to inquire about sponsorship opportunities, please call (864) 235-8330 or email murray@smoakpr.com.


Goodwill Industries of Upstate/Midlands South Carolina (GIUMSC) is a not-for-profit organization committed to helping people become independent through education and training leading to employment. GIUMSC’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 12,152 people into employment through its job training programs and Goodwill Job Connection services.

Written by Smoak PR

Spinx Named One of the Best Places to Work in S.C.

Company to be honored at awards ceremony in Columbia

Greenville, S.C. – June 20, 2019 – The Spinx Company, the Greenville S.C.-based fuel and convenience retail company with more than 80 locations, 45 car washes and 1,400 associates statewide, was recently names as one of the Best Places to Work in South Carolina. The 14th annual program was created by SC Biz News in partnership with the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce and Best Companies Group.

This survey-and-awards program was designed to identify, recognize, and honor the best employers in the state of South Carolina, benefiting the state’s economy, workforce, and businesses. The list is made up of 75 total companies, and Spinx has been named one of this year’s Best Places to Work in South Carolina.

“We are honored to be named one of the Best Places to Work in South Carolina,” said Stan Storti, Spinx President. “Spinx teammates are the key to the service we provide to our customers each and every day, and we take pride in cultivating a culture where our teammates feel supported, appreciated and are given ample opportunities to grow and develop their careers.”

To be considered for participation, companies had to fulfill the following eligibility requirements:

  • be a for-profit or not-for-profit business or government entity;
  • be a publicly or privately held business;
  • have a facility in the state of South Carolina;
  • have a minimum of 15 employees working in the state of South Carolina; and
  • be in business a minimum of 1 year

Companies from across the state entered the two-part survey process to determine the Best Places to Work in South Carolina. The first part consisted of evaluating each nominated company’s workplace policies, practices, philosophy, systems, and demographics. The second part consisted of an employee survey to measure the employee experience. The combined scores determined the top companies and the final ranking. Best Companies Group managed the overall registration and survey process, analyzed the data, and determined the final rankings. The ranked companies will be recognized at a reception and dinner, presented by Colonial Life, on August 1, 2019, and the rankings will be published in the August 2019 issue of SCBIZ magazine.

For more information on the Best Places to Work in South Carolina program, visit www.BestPlacesToWorkSC.com.

Written by Smoak PR

Fulcrum BioEnergy Selects Office Space in Patrick Square as They Expand to Clemson

Bioenergy Company Chooses Mixed-Use Development in Clemson, SC for New Office Location

Clemson, SC | June 20, 2019 – Fulcrum BioEnergy, Inc., a clean energy company that develops, owns and operates plants that convert household waste into clean, renewable transportation fuels, including diesel and jet fuel, has signed a seven-year lease for a new 6,300 square foot office space in Patrick Square. Fulcrum’s engineering and technology team will occupy the mixed-use building at 107 Market Street located above SunnySide Café. The office space is currently undergoing construction by general contractor, Hogan Construction, and is expected to open by September 2019.

The mixed-used community will allow Fulcrum to continue to expand in a location that is vibrant, connected and convenient. CBRE’s, Shelby Dodson and Tommy Molin, arranged the lease on behalf of Patrick Square’s Owner and Developer, JMC Communities.  Fulcrum was represented by Sorrel Hoover of Keller Williams Western Upstate.

“We are honored to have the opportunity to work with Fulcrum, a well-respected company, aiming to make a difference in leading the way to a clean and sustainable future,” said Shelby Dodson, Listing Agent at CBRE. “We feel Patrick Square is a perfect fit for Fulcrum and are pleased to help bring these two parties together and facilitate this transaction.”

“Ultimately, Fulcrum chose Patrick Square because of the convenience and ease of having everything we need for our employees, clients and strategic partners,” said Rick Barraza, Vice President of Fulcrum. “As we continue to grow our engineering and technology team, the quality of life, natural resources, amenities and availability of first-class engineering talent make both Clemson and Patrick Square the perfect location for Fulcrum’s engineering office.”

Patrick Square is a unique Traditional Neighborhood Development located in Clemson, SC that boasts a walkable and interactive community. From restaurants and retailers to professional and medical services, this community has a variety of tenants that make up their dynamic Town Center. Fulcrum’s commitment to Patrick Square illustrates a strategic investment into employee well-being in this tight labor market.

“Patrick Square’s mission to provide an interactive, friendly and sustainable community aligns seamlessly with Fulcrum’s goals as they strive to make an impact through their unique waste to fuels process,” said Mike Cheezem, CEO of JMC Communities. “We hope that our varied amenities and dynamic location will maximize Fulcrum’s experience in Clemson and enhance their employee recruitment and retainment, as they continue to grow.”


Patrick Square is a traditional neighborhood development (TND) in Clemson, South Carolina. The 173- acre community includes single-family homes, townhomes, a Town Center featuring restaurants, retail and office space, centers for education and a vibrant social culture. Patrick Square’s authentic TND features include traditional town planning principles and added design features to create a charming, hometown feel. Models are open daily. For more information, please visit http://www.patricksquare.com/.

Written by Smoak PR

Harness to Host Family Friendly Fourth of July Event

June 12, 2019, Greenville, S.C. – Hartness is excited to invite the Upstate community to celebrate the Independence Day holiday in patriotic style on Wednesday, July 3rd from 7:00 – 10:00 P.M. The event will take place on the Grand Lawn, located just minutes from downtown off on Highway 14, inside the Hartness community.

This event is open to the general public and free to attend. It will feature a gourmet food truck, family-friendly live entertainment, and yard games, followed by a spectacular fireworks display scheduled to take place at dusk.

“We are excited to host an event that is sure to create lasting memories for families and the community alike” said Sean Hartness, Hartness CEO. “This will be one of our signature holiday events and we look forward to sharing Hartness with those who join us for this exciting celebration. It will truly be a fun event for all!”

The event will also allow guests to catch a glimpse of this iconic new Traditional Neighborhood Development as well as experience what makes Hartness unique. Those interested in learning more are encouraged to visit the community’s Discovery Center seven days a week, located at 103 Alester Square, or call 864-626-0618.


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 444 pristine acres, Hartness offers an array of thoughtfully crafted home types ranging from cottages to estate and manor homes.


For more information, visit www.hartnessliving.com.

Written by Smoak PR

Over $11,000 Raised for a Child’s Haven at Recent Hartness Showcase of Homes

June 5, 2019 – Greenville, S.C. – Hartness, one of Greenville’s most desirable new home communities, hosted the Hartness Showcase of Homes over the course of three weekends in April and May. The showcase featured five custom homes crafted by several of Greenville’s premier builders, including the 2019 Inspiration Home by Milestone Custom Homes, along with residences from Hollison Custom Homes, Stoneledge Properties and Hartness Construction. With an abundance of tickets purchased, the event raised $11,191 for local nonprofit, A Child’s Haven.

“We are thrilled to have affiliated with Hartness and their beautiful community to raise money and awareness for A Childs Haven,” said Laurie Rovin, Executive Director of A Child’s Haven. “Funds raised from the Showcase of Homes will support our efforts to ensure infant early childhood mental health treatment is provided to young children and their families throughout our community. To learn more about our work or to set up a tour, go to www.achildshaven.org.”

A Child’s Haven is a 501(c)(3) organization that treats children with developmental delays as a result of limited resources, abuse, or neglect, and provides support and education for both the child and their families.

“To share our community with so many others, in support of A Child’s Haven was an extremely rewarding experience. We were honored that we were able to showcase our beautiful homes, while raising money and spreading awareness of an organization that strives to improve the quality of life for so many children and families in the Upstate,” stated Sean Hartness, Hartness CEO.

Those interested in learning more about the Hartness community are encouraged to visit the community’s Discovery Center seven days a week, located at 103 Alester Square, or call 864-626-0618.

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 444 pristine acres, Hartness offers an array of thoughtfully crafted home types ranging from cottages to estate and manor homes.

For more information, visit www.hartnessliving.com.

Written by Smoak PR

CommunityWorks Announces New President & CEO

Greenville, SC | April 1, 2019– CommunityWorks, a non-profit financial organization, is excited to announce Tammie Hoy-Hawkins as the new President & CEO, beginning in January 2020. Hoy-Hawkins is replacing Deborah McKetty, former founding President & CEO of CommunityWorks, who led the organization since 2008.

As President of Together Consulting, Hoy-Hawkins has worked in community economic development for over 20 years, providing leadership and guidance to non-profit, for profit and government entities. Most recently, she has been serving as the Project Manager for the Northside Development Group’s Northside Initiative in Spartanburg. Additionally, she has been working as the Project Coordinator for the Greenville Housing Fund (GHF), a wholly-owned LLC under CommunityWorks that supports the production and preservation of quality affordable and workforce housing.

“Tammie was the top candidate in our search for the next President & CEO of CommunityWorks. With a long history of successful non-profit leadership and a deep passion for community development, she is the ideal person to assume the helm of CommunityWorks”, says Billy McGee, Board Chair of CommunityWorks. Hoy-Hawkins will officially join CommunityWorks in January of 2020 once she concludes her work with the Northside Development Group. “We have a remarkable leadership team at CommunityWorks and are confident that this will be a smooth transition. Under Tammie’s leadership, we are looking forward to serving our community for years to come”, says McGee.

“I am excited for the opportunity to serve CommunityWorks as the President & CEO”, says Tammie Hoy-Hawkins. “I have worked in partnership with CommunityWorks and its team through various roles in my community development career, both on the Northside Initiative and with the Greenville Housing Fund. In addition, have been a longtime colleague of Deborah McKetty, whom I admire greatly. I am excited for the opportunity to be the next leader of CommunityWorks and work with the team to envision the next 10 years of the organization’s community and economic development impact”, says Hoy-Hawkins.

“Having worked with Tammie on Spartanburg’s Northside Initiative, I have seen her expertise in action. Tammie truly cares about the work she does and consistently advocates for community development and is passionate about affordable housing. I am confident that she will bring the same enthusiasm and knowledge to her new role as President & CEO of CommunityWorks”, says Bill Barnet, Board Chair of Northside Development Group and former Mayor of Spartanburg. The goal of Northside Development Group is to encourage and manage the redevelopment of the City of Spartanburg’s Northside community, honoring its past and expanding the opportunities for a mix of affordable and market rate housing, economic, educational, recreational, health and social opportunities for its residents.

Prior to founding Together Consulting, Hoy-Hawkins worked for the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond where she was responsible for community economic development outreach and education for North and South Carolina. Before working for the Federal Reserve Bank, she spent six years as the Director of the SC Lowcountry Housing Trust where she led the organization to over $10M in assets.

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

Momentum Bike Clubs Announces Tony Elliott as Keynote Speaker for Resilience Awards Dinner

Clemson Football Co-Offensive Coordinator to Speak at 2019 Resilience Awards Dinner  

Greenville, SC | February 22, 2019 – Momentum Bike Clubs (MBC), a community mentoring initiative of the Institute on Family and Neighborhood Life at Clemson University, is proud to announce that Tony Elliott, Co-Offensive Coordinator for Clemson Football, will deliver the keynote address at their first annual Resilience Awards Dinner. The event will take place from 6:00 to 8:00 pm on Thursday, April 11, 2019 at First Baptist Church in Greenville. Coach Elliott will share his story of overcoming childhood trauma to becoming a significant part of Clemson’s rise to the top of college football.

MBC operates 19 bike clubs across Greenville County that offer middle and high school students the opportunity to engage in the vigorous exercise of cycling among caring mentors and peers.  MBC promotes positive outcomes for youth by providing opportunities, fostering positive relationships, and offering consistent support to build on their leadership potential. Since its inception in 2010, MBC has served over 800 youth and have collectively ridden over 90,000 miles.

At this event, we will honor a number of our MBC students in recognition of their exceptional commitment and personal growth through Momentum Bike Clubs. Most importantly, this fundraising event will provide critical financial support to expand our reach to support students who are equally talented, but lack support and opportunity.

Sponsorship opportunities for the Resilience Awards Dinner are as follows:

  • Title Sponsor- $5,000
  • Climb Sponsor- $2,500
  • Table Sponsor $1,000
  • Ride Sponsor- $500

“We look forward to honoring our students at this event and know that Coach Elliott’s personal story will resonate with many attendees in the room,” stated Executive Director of Momentum Bike Clubs, David Taylor. “The mission of Momentum Bike Clubs is to lift students and maximize their potential and we hope that you can come experience this special event first hand on Thursday, April 11th.”

To learn more about the Resilience Awards Dinner or to inquire about sponsorship opportunities, please visit our Eventbrite Page or contact David Taylor at dtaylor@clemson.edu.


Written by Smoak PR

Smoak PR’s Instagram Insider Tips

Both the beauty and the blight of social media is how quickly it changes. Most recently, Instagram has taken over the social media market. Due to the fast-paced nature of social media and its effectiveness of sharing information, it is important to have a few tips and tricks up your sleeve to attract quality followers that help build and accurately represent your brand.

  1. Beautiful Photos

Perhaps the most logical suggestion on our list of Instagram hacks, is to post unique photographs that attract people to your page and establish an online presence to keep people re-visiting. The average user spends about three seconds viewing your post, therefore, post graphics that make them stop and engage!  If you don’t have easy access to a professional photographer or high-quality photographs, try using a consistent filter on all of your photos to establish visual continuity throughout your page. Websites such as pexels.com are full of free stock photos you can use when creating your social media content.

  1. Instagram Stories

Recent studies have shown that people are more likely to watch Instagram stories than they are to take the time to scroll through their Instagram feed. Creating an Instagram story takes very little time and is a fun way to give followers a peek inside your typical workday. It can be as easy as taking a behind the scenes photo or Boomerang of your next team meeting.

  1. Calculated Representation of Your Brand

Social media accounts have become the medium through which customers generate their first impressions of companies and brands. Take a minute to sit down with your team and discuss how you want your brand to be perceived via Instagram. Are you silly or serious? What are your goals? Who are the individuals that make your brand unique? Thinking critically about how you want to present your brand on social media platforms can help establish a more consistent image between your online and offline presence.

  1. Engagement is Key

Make sure to actively like and comment on your follower’s posts. This shows your loyalty to them and will garner engagement back to your page! This is an easy to task to forget, so we recommend setting a reminder every day on your phone to actively interact. You will be surprised at how much a few minutes of engagement can pay off in the long run.

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