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Crawford snags seven American Advertising Awards

Crawford, a full-service marketing and communications agency, snared seven silver awards at this weekend’s American Advertising Federation (AAF) Advertising Awards in Greenville, S.C.

The “Addy” Awards recognize creative excellence and art in advertising. It is the industry’s largest and most diverse competition, attracting more than 25,000 entries every year.

Crawford was recognized for its work on behalf of higher education, banking, tourism and not-for-profit clients in the categories of film, video and sound, print and magazine, social media, out-of-home and cross platform.

“We are extremely proud of not just the number of wins, but the breadth of industries, categories and media represented,” said Andy Windham, Crawford president and chief strategy officer. “It is a testament to the clients who entrust us with their brands, and encourage us to express those brands, creatively.”

Crawford won Addy Awards for the following:
• Print and Magazine Advertising (Campaign) – Haywood County (N.C.) Tourism Development Authority – “Hay Now” 2.0 Campaign
• Out-of-Home and Ambient Media (Campaign) – University of West Georgia – “I am West” Kiosk
• Online, Interactive and Social Media (Execution) – FAVOR Upstate – AI “Face-Swap” Campaign
• Film, Video and Sound (Execution) – United Community – “It Takes a Community” TV Campaign
• Film, Video and Sound (Execution) – Brunswick County (N.C.) Tourism Development Authority – “Return to Your Senses” Campaign
• Cross Platform, Integrated (Campaign) – Haywood County (N.C.) Tourism Development Authority – “Hay Now” 2.0 Campaign
• Cross Platform, Integrated (Campaign) – University of West Georgia – “I am West” Campaign

About Crawford
Crawford is a marketing and communications agency that creates holistic and compelling campaigns that connect brands to the heart of decision making. From sound strategic direction to excellence in execution, Crawford provides a full suite of branding, advertising, public relations, social and digital media services. Now in its 14th year of business, the woman-owned agency regularly receives recognition from its clients, community and peers, and was recently named a six-time Best Place to Work in S.C. To learn more visit

Affordable Upstate honored by Greenville Chamber of Commerce

GREENVILLE, S.C. – Leadership programs are designed to engage people in the concept of creating positive change in their communities. Two members of Leadership Greenville’s 2016 class took the concept and ran with it.

Brian Albers and Mario Brown of Affordable Upstate were honored earlier this month by the Greenville Chamber of Commerce for their efforts to create communities where everyone can prosper with the Leadership Greenville Alumni Award.

The two met during the 2016 edition of Leadership Greenville, a year-long program aimed at developing people to take charge and spearhead community change. Class 43 took an intensive look at many pressing issues in Greenville County. They identified the lack of affordable housing as a pressing challenge facing the community.

And that led Brown and Albers to combine their experience in investing and construction to try and meet these community needs. They formed Affordable Upstate in 2017, committing themselves to a positive, people-centric approach.

“We decided to address these issues with a positive, people-centric approach to real estate investing,” Brown said. “Our goal is to impact the community by supplying an affordable housing product superior to what is typically available in this market.”

Affordable Upstate began with the purchase and revitalizing of 63 multifamily units in Greenville/Spartanburg, Albers said. Today, it owns nearly 1,500 units and is actively pursuing new projects throughout the Southeast.

After graduating from Davidson College in 2007, Albers began his career at Raymond James in the marketing department at the firm’s home office in Florida. In 2012, he was promoted to Operations Manager and moved his family to Greenville to oversee administration, operations, compliance, marketing, and financial management in the downtown Greenville and Greer branches. In 2015, Albers earned the Certified Financial Planner designation. He also held Series 7, 9, 10, 31, 66 and life and health insurance licenses. Albers has served on the boards of the Salvation Army Kroc Center, Downtown Symphony Club, and the organizational committee of Opportunity Greenville.

Brown is a former college football All-American, graduating from Gardner-Webb University in 2009 with degrees in English and Political Science. After cutting his teeth in business management and marketing with a national sports training company, Brown decided to go all-in on Greenville in residential construction and brokerage. He spent three years representing a regional production builder. There, using marketing and social media skills crafted at his previous profession, Brown quickly became the company’s top agent. Eager for a more integrated, local work concentration, he joined Milestone Custom Homes, an exclusive luxury home builder, as its director of sales and marketing. The four years Brown spent at Milestone helped him truly understand the creative impact builders and developers have on the residential landscape. The education and exposure he received being a part of best-in-class developments such as Hartness Village stick with him to this day.

In the community, Brown is vice chairman of the Homes of Hope Board of Directors; a member of the YMCA Greenville board; and formerly served on the Fall for Greenville board.

Affordable Upstate will continue to work on strengthening the community through affordable housing, Brown said.

“We are committed to safeguarding the preservation efforts we’ve undertaken thus far,” he said. “To achieve this, we aim to establish a fund through local impact investors and businesses contributions.”

Albers said this strategy will enable Affordable Upstate to retain ownership of its assets and prevent their sale to external parties who may not appreciate the affordability housing needs of the community.

“It will allow us to maintain stable rental rates for our residents despite the properties incurring higher interest rates,” he said.

About Affordable Upstate:
Affordable Upstate is a real estate investment firm focused on redeveloping and redefining naturally occurring affordable housing in the Upstate of South Carolina. Since 2017 they have placed over $50 million of investor equity into socially responsible, environmentally enhanced workforce housing assets, resulting in a diverse and thriving portfolio with over 1,450 apartment units that satisfy the expectations of residents, investors, and communities. Learn more at Affordable Upstate.

Countybank Foundation Donates $5,000 to Anderson Interfaith Ministries

Pictured (left to right) are Whitney Henderson, Customer Relations Manager for Countybank; Peggy Chamblee, Financial Center Manager for Countybank; Kristi King-Brock, Executive Director for AIM; Jimmy Fowler, Anderson Market Executive for Countybank; and Susan Anderson, Vice President of Development for AIM.

The Countybank Foundation, established in 1971 representing Countybank and Greenwood Capital, donated $5,000 to Anderson Interfaith Ministries (AIM), a non-profit organization that meets the needs of under-resourced individuals and families in Anderson County.

This most recent donation represents a long-standing partnership between the organizations and will go toward supporting the many programs AIM provides to support community members in need. “We are so thankful for the support we received from Countybank and Greenwood Capital,” said Kristi King-Brock, Executive Director for AIM. “Because of their investment in AIM we’re able to continue to give hope and change lives in our community.”

Countybank and Greenwood Capital associates have been actively involved in supporting AIM’s events and fundraising activities over the past five years. Countybank supports AIM’s annual Hats Off to Women event. Associates at Countybank’s Anderson financial center also participate in AIM’s annual Hearts for Helping fundraiser every February.

“The Hearts for Helping fundraiser is just one of many opportunities for our associates, and the community, to come together in support of a great cause that can positively impact someone’s life,” said Peggy Chamblee, Financial Center Manager for Countybank who is also on the Board of Advisors for AIM’s financial stability program, which includes the Volunteer Assistance (VITA) Program and X-Factor employment training. The Financial Stability Center is located at AIM and is a joint venture between AIM and United Way of Anderson County.

AIM’s programs focus on several areas, including financial stability, hunger ministries, housing rehabilitation, pivotal support, and the Women and Children Succeeding program. According to William Coxe, Private Client Advisor at Greenwood Capital, “We prioritize supporting local organizations that improve the lives of our neighbors. AIM provides that help to so many that are in need, and we value their presence in our community.”

AIM is a non-profit organization in Anderson, SC. Their mission is to connect people in the Anderson community with the support, resources, and education so they can empower themselves to become self-sufficient.

For more information about Anderson Interfaith Ministries, visit

Eric Monteiro Joins OTO Development as Corporate Director of Marketing & Digital Strategies

Eric Monteiro, Corporate Director of Marketing & Digital Strategies at OTO Development

Eric Monteiro has joined OTO Development as Corporate Director of Marketing & Digital Strategies, bringing more than 20 years of experience, including significant time in the hospitality sector.

OTO Development, part of The Johnson Group, owns and/or operates 60 select-service and lifestyle hotels around the country.

Monteiro will guide the company’s digital marketing, creative services, and public relations teams.

“The quality of OTO’s property portfolio and the company’s commitment to practice an inspiring set of Guiding Principles sets it apart,” says Monteiro. “It’s very powerful and I am excited to be part of that.”

Monteiro was drawn to the hospitality industry early in his career after he accepted a job with Carnival Cruise Lines in 2001. He was hooked.

“I always loved to travel, going to places like the Caribbean and Paris when I was younger, and now it is something my family and I still love to do. Working in hospitality is a chance to combine passion and work. It’s a happy business,” says Monteiro.

“Eric Monteiro has built a tremendous reputation in hospitality marketing during more than two decades in the business,” says Lara Stabell-Gibb, OTO’s Vice President of Revenue & Digital Strategies. “Our in-house marketing team is critical to our success, and Eric’s addition supports our commitment to driving strategy and results.”

Monteiro grew up in Port St. Joe, Florida, and earned a degree in marketing from the University of Florida. He has worked with high-level regional, national, and international brands, including Belmond Ltd. from 2009-2022. Monteiro most recently served as director of marketing and communications for the popular Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum in Charleston, South Carolina.

Monteiro, admittedly a left-brain thinker, points to strategic planning as his initial draw to marketing.

“I love being a part of the process: taking a product and making it shine with words, pictures, sounds, and strategies,” says Monteiro. “The business is evolving, and it keeps me on my toes and continuously learning. It gets better and better over time.”

Monteiro will be based out of OTO Development’s corporate headquarters in downtown Spartanburg, South Carolina. He and his wife, Bren, have two children: Stella, 16, and Ezra, 10.

Hughes Agency Welcomes Two New Team Members

Angie Jelley

Greenville, S.C. – Hughes Agency, a full-service public relations, marketing, advertising and event management firm, is pleased to welcome Angie Jelley as media/buyer planner and Moriah Fair as senior events manager.

With more than 10 years of industry experience, Jelley’s areas of expertise include media planning and buying, email and text marketing, social media management and advertising, and marketing communications and advertising design. She previously worked as senior marketing associate and media buyer for Marleylilly, where she was responsible for developing and executing marketing strategies and designs across paid and organic channels. At Hughes Agency, Jelley will help manage media buying and planning services for a number of clients. Jelley is a graduate of Clemson University with a Bachelor of Science in Graphic Communications.

Fair previously led teams of event creators to plan and execute large-scale events for High

Moriah Fair

Spirits Hospitality. She brings experience in project management, event planning, logistics and execution, having supported clients across a range of sectors and industries including corporate, nonprofit, weddings and festivals. Fair will support and manage events for Hughes Agency clients ranging from large corporate events to smaller gatherings. With more than six years of industry experience, Fair holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Sociology from Clemson University.

About Hughes Agency
Hughes Agency is a full-service public relations, marketing, advertising and event management agency that embodies more than thirty years of marketing and communications expertise for a wide variety of local, regional, national and international clients. To learn more, please visit or find us on Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn.

The YoPro Know adds Samantha Zimmerschied as new Associate Consultant

 The YoPro Know has added Samantha Zimmerschied to its team as an Associate Consultant.

Zimmerschied has a bachelor’s degree from East Carolina University and a master’s degree from the University of South Carolina. Before joining The YoPro Know, she was the Executive Director at the Advanced Institute for Development and Learning, and before that she was an Account Manager at Beach Re (now Acrisure Re). She’s also a graduate of Greenville Chamber of Commerce’s Pacesetters class of 2023, the Inaugural Morning Brew Leadership Accelerator Cohort of 2022, and Together SC’s Carolina Leadership Seminar class of 2021.

“We’re so excited to have Samantha join us,” said Kamber Parker Bowden, founder of The YoPro Know . “Someone with her leadership skills and experience will be an asset to our team.”

About The YoPro Know:

The YoPro Know’s mission is to maximize young professionals’ careers by preparing them today to be the business leaders of tomorrow. Based in Greenville (SC) with a national community, The YoPro Know promotes your success in the workplace by being a bridge between ambitious young professionals and progressive businesses who want to recruit, engage, and retain them. Visit to learn more.

AgentOwned Realty’s Anderson Office Welcomes Jo Massey

Jo Massey, AgentOwned Realty Anderson

ANDERSON, S.C. —Jo Massey has placed her license with AgentOwned Realty’s Anderson office at 2008 North Main Street. Jo has been in real estate for over 32 years. Her business philosophy is rooted in treating her clients as she would want to be treated. She is grateful for her clients’ trust over the years and notes that she always enjoys working for them.

To learn more about Jo Massey, go to:

About AgentOwned Realty:
Liz and Boyd Loadholt launched AgentOwned Realty in 1992. Serving South Carolina from the Upstate to the Lowcountry, AgentOwned Realty is 100 percent owned by its sales associates. The company works to streamline the real estate transaction process by bringing under one roof all the services needed to complete the purchase or sale of a home. This cooperative approach leads to high levels of customer satisfaction and better value. Further, when they select AgentOwned Realty, customers have the assurance of working with Agent-Owners who are personally vested in the business.

Greenville Tech Foundation Receives $26,500 Gift from Strategic Development Group to Support Manufacturing Scholarships

Preston Berger, Mark Williams, Addy Cullum, and Jeannette Goldsmith with students and instructors from Greenville Technical College.

The Greenville Tech Foundation is pleased to announce the generous support of Strategic Development Group (SDG), with donations of $12,000 in 2023 and $14,500 in 2024. The funds will be utilized for scholarships aimed at supporting Greenville Technical College students pursuing an education in manufacturing.

SDG, a corporate site selection and incentive negotiation firm specializing in helping companies find and develop new locations, has a strong track record of success in the manufacturing sector. Committed to supporting the development of a skilled workforce in the Greenville area, SDG aims to pave the way for success and contribute to the growth of the local manufacturing industry.

The strategic gift from SDG will provide financial assistance to students enrolled in Mechatronics, CNC Machining, Machine Tool Technology, and the Bachelor of Applied Science in Advanced Manufacturing Technology programs. By supporting these students, SDG is playing a crucial role in meeting the critical need for skilled workers in the manufacturing sector.

“Our clients tell us every day that finding well-trained employees is the number one factor in identifying a suitable location for their manufacturing facility. We know how important it is for communities to have access to excellent training programs and facilities like Greenville Tech’s Center for Manufacturing Innovation. We are so pleased to help people in our own community access these training opportunities, learn new skills, find challenging and meaningful work, and improve their quality of life.”- Jeannette T. Goldsmith, Vice President.

The Greenville Technical College Center for Manufacturing Innovation (CMI) is renowned for its comprehensive programs that equip students with the necessary knowledge and tools for success in advanced manufacturing careers. Their innovative curriculum incorporates integrated, project-based learning experiences specifically designed to simulate real-world scenarios.

“We are grateful to Strategic Development Group for their generous gift to our manufacturing students,” said Ann Wright, vice president for advancement with the Greenville Tech Foundation. “This gift will help to ensure that our students have the resources they need to succeed in their studies and prepare for careers in high-demand manufacturing jobs.”

The Greenville Tech Foundation extends its deepest appreciation to SDG for their commitment to empowering students and driving the growth of the manufacturing industry in the Greenville area through their generous donations. With SDG’s continued support, Greenville Technical College remains dedicated to providing exceptional educational opportunities for students pursuing careers in manufacturing.

Countybank Foundation Donates $2,500 to Multiplying Good

Pictured (left to right) are Walter Todd, President and CIO for Greenwood Capital; Dan Hoppe, Executive Director for Multiplying Good; and Crystal Peterson, Treasury Services Advisor for Countybank.

The Countybank Foundation, established in 1971 representing Countybank and Greenwood Capital, donated $2,500 to Multiplying Good, an organization that helps people reach their full potential and discover their power to deliver impact and bring about meaningful change.

This donation will go toward the organization’s Students in Action (SIA) program, which teaches students to harness their passion, identify a related community need, and meet that need through fundraising and awareness efforts. The program currently has 18 participating schools across the Upstate. “Through donations from organizations like Countybank and Greenwood Capital, students are able to participate in the program for free,” said Dan Hoppe, Executive Director for Multiplying Good.

“It’s rewarding to have Countybank and Greenwood Capital support Multiplying Good, an organization I joined as an Upstate ChangeMaker in 2020 and later as a member of the Board of Advisors,” said Crystal Peterson, Treasury Services Advisor for Countybank. “Through this donation from the Countybank Foundation, we are able to put 100 students through the program.”

The overall goal of SIA is to address student preparedness for college and the workforce by the time they graduate. Each school’s SIA team works as a group toward reaching the six goals of the program: investigate, prepare, execute, reflect, share, and celebrate.

Teams meet on a regular schedule to access online curriculum covering topics that help students reach the program’s goals and complete actions such as conducting a community needs assessment, planning and executing a service project, and tracking impact. The program includes a bi-annual leadership training conference to help reinforce the skills students are learning.

“One of our core values is to serve each other with respect,” said Brian Disher, Director of Wealth Management for Greenwood Capital. “The Students in Action Program embodies that principle and helps these students—our future leaders—learn to approach their work with diligence and compassion.”

For more information about Multiplying Good, visit

Ben Urueta Featured in SAY IT LOUD South Carolina Exhibition

Principal and Chief Design Officer, Ben Urueta, AIA is one of the 4.9% of registered architects who are Hispanic and Latino in the country (NCARB). As an advocate for diversity and equity within our firm and the field of architecture, Ben has been selected as a “Diverse Design Professional” of the SAY IT LOUD South Carolina Exhibition. The exhibit is presented by AIA South Carolina in collaboration with Beyond the Built Environment and the newly established SC Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects (SCNOMA). SAY IT LOUD South Carolina highlights the contributions of BIPOC and women designers, architects, engineers, planners, and students from around the state.

During this month-long exhibition, Ben’s work on the Easley Fire Department Headquarters will be on display at the new Center for Architecture in downtown Columbia, SC, and will be open to the public. Visitors can share in the stories and accomplishments of this year’s featured designers through lectures, events, and K-12 programming and help further the discussion on equity and diversity in the architecture profession and South Carolina’s built environment. This exhibit will start at the Center of Architecture in Columbia and will then become a traveling exhibit to the Lowcountry and Upstate. To learn more about SAY IT LOUD and to follow where the exhibit will be headed next, click HERE.