Written by Smoak PR

J. Francis Builders, CarsonSpeer Builders and Peery Homes Named as Newest Additions to Exclusive Hartness Builder’s Guild

October 22, 2018 | GREENVILLE, SC – Hartness, the iconic Traditional Neighborhood Development, located just minutes from downtown Greenville, is excited to announce J.Francis Builders, CarsonSpeer Builders and Peery Homes as new additions to the exclusive Hartness Builder’s Guild. All three talented builders join forces alongside Hollison Custom Homes, Milestone Custom Homes and Stoneledge Properties.
“On behalf of the entire Hartness community, we are delighted to welcome J.Francis Builders , CarsonSpeer Builders and Peery Homes as the newest additions to our team of talented builders,” stated Sean Hartness, CEO of Hartness. “We are confident that these companies will help us continue bring to Hartness to life, as well as further our vision of creating a lifestyle community that families will enjoy for generations to come.”
J. Francis Builders is owned and operated by Greenville native, Jimmy Francis. With over 20 years’ experience in the Upstate, J. Francis provides homeowners with a positive building experience paralleled with producing a high-quality energy efficient smart home.
“We are extremely honored to be contributing to the development of the Hartness community,” stated Jimmy Francis, Owner of J.Francis Builders. “We are excited to be involved in such a unique building experience.”
CarsonSpeer, also based in Greenville specializes in new home construction and remodeling. Partners Steve Carson and James Speer are nationally recognized with notable awards and honors for quality and service from: Southern Home and Garden “Bridge Awards,” “Best of Houzz” by Houzz, and multiple “Best of Houzz,” Awards for Customer Service.
“We are committed to fostering, maintaining, and exceeding the highest standards of excellence in the home building industry and we look forward to implementing that same attention to detail within every home we build at Hartness” stated James Speer, Partner of CarsonSpeer Builders.
Peery Homes has been serving Greenville and the Upstate of South Carolina since 1984 and focuses on building distinctive custom homes while offering superior service to their clients. Integrity is foundation of their building process and their reputation for quality is firmly established among the community.
“We look forward to building inheritable homes at Hartness and being part of an incredible team of dedicated builders,” stated Jon Peery, Owner of Peery Homes. “As a lifestyle community, we are excited to be a part of making Hartness come to life.”
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


Greenville, South Carolina – October 17, 2018 – Lifestyle brand COAST Apparel is thrilled to announce that it will host a pop-up shop on Thursday, November 1, 2018, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at its downtown Greenville location at 324 South Main Street. The “For Her, By Him” themed event will feature unique offerings from a variety of Greenville based retailers including Monkee’s of the West End, The Greenville Drive Team Store and Drift Spa. The public is invited to stop by the store and shop while enjoying complimentary small bites and beverages, courtesy of The Chocolate Moose. All guests will also be able to enter-to-win a variety of great prizes from local store partners.
“Greenville women have supported COAST from the start and we wanted to do something special to appreciate them. That’s why we decided to team up with some of our favorite boutiques, salons, and spas to create this event. We hope to treat her to a couple of hours of respite and refreshment” stated Amy Garrigan, General Manager of COAST Apparel.
About COAST Apparel
Founded in 2009, COAST Apparel offers a timeless collection of prep-inspired beach apparel, and accessory items that pairs well with an easygoing attitude, confident disposition, and relaxed lifestyle. COAST’s line of premium men’s apparel is grounded in the classics with trends woven into the line seasonally. Superior quality, custom fit, maximum comfort and distinctive detailing are the foundation of COAST products.
COAST Apparel is available online at www.coastapparel.com, at two locations in Greenville, and at select retailers nationwide.
COAST Apparel is an operating division of Delta Apparel, Inc. (NYSE American: DLA). COAST Apparel’s corporate office is located in Greenville, South Carolina.
About Delta Apparel, Inc.
Delta Apparel, Inc., along with its operating subsidiaries M.J. Soffe, LLC, Salt Life, LLC, and DTG2Go, LLC and FunTees and COAST Apparel divisions, is an international design, marketing, manufacturing, and sourcing company that features a diverse portfolio of lifestyle basic and branded activewear apparel, headwear and related accessories. The Company specializes in selling casual and athletic products across distribution tiers, including specialty stores, boutiques,
department stores, mid-tier and mass chains, and the U.S. military. The Company’s products are
made available direct-to-consumer on its websites at www.saltlife.com, www.soffe.com,
www.coastapparel.com and www.deltaapparel.com. The Company’s operations are located
throughout the United States, Honduras, El Salvador, and Mexico, and it employs approximately
7,500 people worldwide. Additional information about the Company is available
at www.deltaapparelinc.com.

Written by Smoak PR

Luanne Runge Named COO of Elliott Davis

Greenville, S.C. (October 16, 2018) – Elliott Davis, a leading business solutions firm with nine offices across the Southeast, announces that Luanne Runge has been named chief operating officer. She is based in the Greenville, South Carolina headquarters, and will provide strategic guidance and oversight for the entire company.

“Luanne is a respected visionary who brings a wealth of experience in organizational leadership and operations management,” says Rick Davis, CEO of Elliott Davis. “Her knowledge, passion and drive will help to propel Elliott Davis to even greater heights as we fulfill our mission of making a positive impact on our clients, our people and our communities.”

As COO, Runge will serve on the firm’s executive leadership team and oversee all aspects of day-to-day operations. She will also work to ensure the company achieves objectives that align with the strategic business plan, budget and firm culture. In addition, Runge will serve as Elliott Davis’ human resources team leader and general counsel.

“The chance to join an organization that combines nearly 100 years of service excellence with a forward-leaning, entrepreneurial mindset is an incredible opportunity,” says Runge. “Elliott Davis has progressive plans for the future, and I look forward to helping the company achieve its goals while strengthening its position in the marketplace. I’m equally excited to work with a group that’s committed to making the communities in which it does business better places to live and work.”

Before joining Elliott Davis, Runge served as president and CEO of Liberty Fellowship, a values-based leadership initiative affiliated with The Aspen Institute. For more than four years, she provided the leadership, management and operational oversight of all facets of the organization.

Prior to Liberty Fellowship, Runge practiced law in Greenville with Gallivan, White & Boyd for 21 years, the last 11 of which as a shareholder. She served as lead counsel in trials, while also litigating and arbitrating civil disputes for businesses, professionals and governmental entities.

A native of Virginia, Runge earned a Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, in Politics from Wake Forest University and a juris doctor from Wake Forest University School of Law. She has been recognized as one of the Best Lawyers in America, a South Carolina Super Lawyer and one of Greenville’s Legal Elite, as well as one of Greenville’s 50 Most Influential for 2016.

About Elliott Davis LLC
Elliott Davis LLC, is a leading business solutions firm offering a full spectrum of services in the areas of tax, comprehensive assurance, and consulting services to diverse businesses, organizations, and individuals. With a network of more than 700 forward-thinking professionals in major U.S. markets and alliance resources across the globe, the organization ranks among the Top 40 and fastest-growing accounting firms in the United States. Elliott Davis has been providing innovative solutions since its founding in 1920. Visit elliottdavis.com for more information.


Written by Smoak PR

Why is Engagement So Important?

In a world that is constantly connected, some may wonder, how do you do it? By “it” I mean manage multiple social media platforms on a day to day basis and stay engaged with different audiences. So, one may ask, what exactly is engagement? Engagement is simply getting your followers to do something in response to your post. Whether it is liking, sharing, or commenting, it is getting followers to see, read and interact with your content. Now that you have an idea of what engagement is you may wonder, well why is it so important and how do I increase my engagement?
Engagement is more important than just getting likes and comments. The primary reason we prioritize engagement is because it generates relationships and builds brand awareness. We always strive to be thought leaders and to do so, a recognizable brand and interactive presence is key. When you engage and show interest, you increase trust which leads to new business, brand exposure and top-of-mind awareness. To make the most of your social media content and engagement, I have a few tips for you to keep in mind:
1) Numbers-First things first, let me address this. Numbers are NOT everything. For example, it is much more useful to have an organic following that is interested in your brand, than to pay for random followers. Follow people that make sense and when someone follows you make sure to follow them back. The number rule also applies to likes, comments and shares. Yes, it is a great feeling to get more likes than usual, however, do not solely focus on this number. If you are posting consistently and staying relevant, your numbers will naturally begin to increase.
2) Photos- Visuals are everything! On average, people spend no more than 3 seconds per post while scrolling through their Instagram feed. It is important to realize that colorful, high quality photos are going to make someone stop and look. Consistency with photos and graphics is key-use your brand colors, fonts, etc. that people will begin to recognize overtime.
3) Personality- Your brand has a personality. Whether it is professional, funny, or a mix of both, make sure that your content is a reflection on your company’s personality. Create posts that captivate for your audience. Make sure you are posting content that is helpful, entertaining or interesting to your followers. I have found that people want to know what you do on a day-to-day basis. Give your audience a behind the scenes view of what you do, this will spark their curiosity.
4) Strategy- Make sure to have a strategy behind your content and don’t just post to post. Mix up your posts. If you are posting an informative tip one day, make sure to post something different the next day. Always have goals and objectives that you are trying to meet through social media. It is hard to directly measure success through social media but take advantage of platform analytics to see what is working and what is not. As you probably know, there are times of day that are recommended for posting, but social media is 24/7. Engage with your audience when they are plugged in and when you are more likely to get a response from them.

Written by Smoak PR


Greenville, S.C. – October 8, 2018 – The SPINX Company, the Greenville S.C.-based fuel and convenience retail company with more than 80 locations and 45 car washes statewide, is excited to present the 19th Annual Spinx Run Fest on Saturday, October 27, 2018. This year, the Spinx Run Fest will feature five different races providing fun and entertainment for all ages and skill levels. Registration is now open at www.spinxrunfest.com. Those planning to participate are encouraged to sign up online prior to the day of the event.

“I could not be more thrilled to participate in the 19th Annual Spinx Run Fest this year and hand out the awards following the event.” said Stewart Spinks, founder and chairman of The SPINX Company. “This is such a great event for the entire Greenville community and something we look forward to hosting all year long!”

All races will start and finish at Fluor Field in downtown Greenville. This year’s races include the Swamp Rabbit Marathon, the USA Half Marathon, the Downtown 10k, the Big Punkin 5K and the Spunky’s Kids Run. A refreshment and fresh food area, with post-race snacks provided by Spinx, will be available for participants in addition to prizes and giveaways following the event.

Sponsors of the 19th Annual Spinx Run Fest include the Greenville Track Club, Bon Secours and Flying Melon Production.

For more information or to sign up online, you can visit www.spinxrunfest.com or www.runsignup.com

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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.myspinx.com.

Written by Smoak PR


October 3, 2018, Greenville, S.C. – Hartness is excited to announce the second annual Hartness Half Marathon and 5K Trail Run, presented by Milestone Custom Homes will take place on Saturday, November 10, 2018 at 9 AM. The race will benefit A Child’s Haven, a local nonprofit organization that provides care and education for children with developmental delays due to limited resources, abuse, or neglect.

Registration is now open and currently costs $80 for the half marathon and $30 for the 5k trail run, per runner. To register today, visit www.hartnesshalf.com.

The race will be held on the iconic Hartness property, home to the new traditional neighborhood development being built only 15 minutes from downtown Greenville. Runners will race on pavement, trails, dirt roads, gravel roads and grass fields throughout the property. This event is perfect for first-timers or Elite athletes alike. The Hartness Half Marathon & 5K presented by Milestone Custom Homes and is partnered with Set Up Events to ensure the racing experience is first-class.

“The Hartness Half Marathon & 5k Trail Run is a great event that allows all those who participate the opportunity to experience our incredible nature preserve” says Sean Hartness, Hartness CEO. “It is great to be able to host an event our community of homeowners and the Upstate can enjoy together, while supporting such a deserving local organization like A Child’s Haven.”


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


Greenville, S.C. – September 26, 2018 – The SPINX Company, a Greenville, S.C.-based fuel and convenience retail company with more than 80 locations throughout S.C., is hosting a leadership career event from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 5th and 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 6th at The Hilton, 45 W Orchard Park Dr. off of Haywood Rd in Greenville. The company is searching for qualified talent in the Upstate to join its team of nearly 1,400 associates and is offering substantial growth and advancement opportunities. All attendees will be guaranteed interviews for available positions and are encouraged to bring a copy of their resume, although it is not required.
Members of the SPINX human resources department will be interviewing for various leadership positions, including General Managers, Assistant Store Managers, Food & Beverage Managers, Car Wash Managers and other positions. SPINX offers a competitive compensation plan, including, monthly incentives, medical insurance, 401(k), an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), paid vacation and tuition reimbursement with entry-level store leadership positions salaries from $45,000 to $60,000.
A local company in its 45th year of business, SPINX is a successful and growing company offering excellent advancement opportunities. The company is guided by its core values, which include being community centric, passionate, customer focused, committed to quality, accountable and team oriented.
For more information on leadership opportunities and current job positions available at SPINX, visit www.myspinx.com/careers.
# # #
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.myspinx.com.

Written by Smoak PR

Extra, Extra! Where to Read All About It

There was a time in the not-so-distant past when local, national and international news arrived via two daily publications, The Greenville News and The Greenville News Piedmont. These publications hit the newsstands in the morning and afternoon, respectively. We also stayed abreast of events through news broadcasts that aired at specific times, usually as viewers prepared for the work day and shortly after they arrived home in the evenings. All that changed in 1980 with the launch of Ted Turner’s 24-hour cable news, CNN. In the nearly four decades since, every news outlet, both print and broadcast, is as close as your cell phone.
News aggregation services and applications abound in the digital age. With the click of just a few buttons, readers have access to local, national and international news. Many sites are free, while others charge subscription or membership fees. Below are just a few examples of news aggregation services, most of which will enable you to tailor the news you see to your specific individual interests.
• Apple, Google and Microsoft all offer customizable news services that feature articles from a variety of news outlets. The stories published are selected based on factors such as relevance, reliability, newsworthiness, authority, originality, and readability.
• Flipboard is a magazine-style platform that allows readers to “flip” through more than 34,000 topics curated from a variety of sources including social networks, news publications, and blogs. Readers can create personal magazines based on their individual interests. The app also enables readers to share stories through email and social media.
• The Skimm is a free daily email newsletter that provides subscribers with a digest of quick reads written in a conversational format. Readers have access to short blurbs about current news with links to reputable news sources for more in depth reading.
• Inkl is an ad-free, click-bait free news aggregator that displays stories based on regional relevance based on the reader’s location. Coverage of news stories comes from diverse news sources, delivering multiple perspectives on current issues. It enables readers to bookmark stories for reading offline at a later date/time.
• Zinio’s focus is on digital magazines – offering access to more than 5,500 magazines. Readers have the option of paying for a monthly subscription or purchasing a single issue of highly reputable magazines such as The New Yorker, Better Homes & Gardens, The Economist, and The Hollywood Reporter.
Regardless of your interests, the digital age provides instant access to the latest news, fashion and home décor trends, travel destinations, entertainment news and more. So, the next time you find yourself standing in the DMV line or fidgeting in a physician’s waiting room, consider picking up a digital version of your favorite magazine, national news outlet or local newspaper.

Written by Smoak PR

Small Agency vs. Large Agency

Ah, its September. A new school year has started, cooler weather is coming (we hope), and football season is in full swing. But it’s also a perfect time for another activity, according to hiring professionals. September/October is one of two perfect times in which to job hunt – with the other falling in January and February. Companies often slow or discontinue hiring during the summer months and holiday season to avoid onboarding new employees during peak vacation seasons. So, if you’ve been considering a career change, you may want to start that search now.
Depending on your field, one thing you may be weighing is whether or work for a small company or a large corporation. While there are benefits to both, here are some thoughts to ponder as you contemplate your next career move.
• Company structure: Corporate environments are generally more structured and have training protocols in place to ensure that employees are capable in their specified role. Also, there may be more opportunities to grow. Small businesses generally offer more flexibility in an environment that is less complex. Work/life balance is often better but there may not be as many opportunities to climb the ladder.
• Your role: Large corporations offer employees more opportunities to collaborate in a team environment with clearly delineated roles and responsibilities. As a result, you may be accountable for a small part of a bigger project. As an employee of a small business, you may be called on to fill a variety of roles. While this allows you to wear many different hats, mistakes may have a significant impact on the overall business success.
• Your Future: Your career success will be highly dependent on your career goals and how driven you are to accomplish them. In a corporate environment, it’s easy to become the proverbial “small fish in a big pond”, which isn’t an issue if you are confident in your ability to be heard above the collective voice of the crowd. Also, in an economic downturn or change in leadership, terminating you likely be an impersonal business decision made for the benefit of the company. A small business environment is often more intimate and involving more personal relationships. Termination will often be a last resort with a significant concern for how the event will affect you and your family’s future.
The choice between a small company and larger corporation is one that should be evaluated carefully, taking into account your lifestyle, personality, and aspirations for your career.

Written by Smoak PR

FUEL Adds to Senior-level Team

Greenville, SC (September 24, 2018) – FUEL, a marketing agency headquartered in downtown Greenville, SC, specializing in both digital and traditional services, has hired Ed Forić as Senior Art Director. Ed brings more than a decade of design experience working with regional, national, and international accounts across various industries. He comes to FUEL from Launch Something in Spartanburg, where he was a senior graphic designer and art director.

“We are excited to welcome Ed to the FUEL team,” says FUEL Creative Director Joe Gilman. “Not only is he a gifted designer with a wealth of experience but he also brings another strategic, collaborative mindset that is key to our team’s creative process. His advanced skill set will help our clients visually capture the essence of their brands.”

As Senior Art Director, Ed will lead the development, execution, and maintenance of creative concepts and designs for clients and direct the graphic design that is integral to effective brand positioning.

Ed has a proven record of success in conceptualizing and delivering visually stimulating, high-impact campaigns for clients including Denny’s, Volkswagen, Clemson University, Marriott, Red Bull, and Carlsberg. At FUEL, he will join a senior-level creative team with a reputation for producing engaging visual content that helps brands effectively communicate their story and values.

Located in Greenville, South Carolina’s historic downtown district, FUEL is a dynamic group of industry-leading experts in branding, sales strategy, lead generation, web development, Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Search Engine Optimization (SEO), content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, and more—all under one roof. They have extensive B2B and B2C experience that spans a wide cross-section of industries, including advanced manufacturing, real estate, technology, health care, retail, franchises, and more.

FUEL Facebook Page:

For more information, please contact:
Warren Griffith / President

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