At its 2023 Annual Celebration, “The ‘Burg’s Bright Future,” OneSpartanburg Inc. celebrated a year’s worth of successes, dedicated community leaders, and exemplary local businesses and looked ahead to Spartanburg’s future.
“Spartanburg’s collaborative spirit is alive and well and is evidenced by the past year’s transformative announcements,” said OneSpartanburg Inc. President and CEO Allen Smith said in a news release “Business, economic, and tourism development all require collaboration between public and private partners. We are grateful for all of those that invest in our work and the partnerships that are literally building our community. We’ve really just begun.”
The 2023 award-winners were:
Neville Holcombe Distinguished Citizenship Award: Russell Booker, CEO of the Spartanburg Academic Movement, was recognized for his leadership in education, and commitment to bettering future outcomes for students and Spartanburg County as a whole.
James B. Thompson Small Business of the Year: Shelley Wildenstein, owner of Signs and Designs, was recognized for growing her business from a one-woman operation to a team of six, and for her work helping other small businesses establish themselves.
Economic Champion Award: The City of Woodruff, including Mayor Kenneth Gist and City Manager Lee Bailey, were recognized for recruiting locally-driven investment as well as major projects, like BMW Plant Woodruff, to the city.
Elaine Harris Tourism Champion Award: Spartanburg County Parks, and Director Jon Woodsby, were recognized for its role in bringing more visitors and sports events to Spartanburg County.
Duke Energy Citizenship and Service Award: Laura Ringo, Executive Director of PAL: Play. Advocate. Live Well! was recognized for her commitment to Spartanburg County’s trail system and improving health outcomes for residents by bolstering the county’s outdoor amenities.
Chairman’s Award: Spartanburg County Administrator Cole Alverson was recognized for his dedicated leadership in making the county a better place to live and do business.
Minority-Owned Businessperson of the Year: Kay Bishop, owner of Sparkle City Balloon Boutique, was recognized for turning a passion for event organization and décor into a successful small business.
Young Professional of the Year: Emma McDaniel, associate at McDaniel & Co., a commercial real estate firm, was recognized for her professional growth and her commitment to helping fellow young professionals better connect to Spartanburg.
Daniel Morgan Business Advocates: The Daniel Morgan Award is given annually to local legislators who have a strong track record of supporting business-friendly legislation. The winners for 2023 were: Sen. Tom Corbin; Sen. Josh Kimbrell; Sen. Scott Talley; Sen. Shane Martin; Sen. Harvey Peeler; Rep. Rosalyn Henderson-Myers; Rep. Max Hyde; Rep. Travis Moore; Rep. Roger Nutt; Rep. Steven Long; Rep. Dennis Moss (also represents Cherokee County);Rep. Brian Lawson (also represents Cherokee County); Speaker of the S.C. House Rep. Murrell Smith; Chairman of the S.C. House Ways and Means Committee Rep. Bruce Bannister
2023-24 Teachers of the Year: Spartanburg District 1: Danielle Floyd; Spartanburg District 2: Sylvia Landrum; Spartanburg District 3: Cynthia Spears; Spartanburg District 4: Laura Matz; Spartanburg District 5: Katie Farr; Spartanburg District 6: Margaret Delaney; Spartanburg District 7: Meredith Jack Burroughs; S.C. School for the Deaf and the Blind: Christine Kincheloe; Spartanburg Day School: Chrissy Roush; High Point Academy: Lauren White; Spartanburg Preparatory School: Lashawnna Camp; Early Education Specialist: JaVona Lipscombg