Local and statewide business surveys, also used to determine task force goals, noted that statewide, 40% of businesses have laid off or furloughed workers but 90% intend to reel back half of these employees within three months, according to the survey. Additionally, 43% of the workforce transitioned to a home office during the pandemic, while four out of five businesses plan to heighten their focus on employee hygiene, social distancing and cleaning measures in the months to come.
The task force separated members into five committees: Benchmark; Hospitality, Food and Beverage; Resources; Marketing, Education and Promotion; and Back the Burg Fund. Teams and will reconvene on May 28.
David Britt, vice president and general manager of S.C.-based division and the Tindall Corp., and Dr. Kay Woodward, president of J.W. Woodward Funeral Home Inc., will both chair the task force, with additional guidance from Spartanburg County Administrator Chris Story; Wes Lehrer, S.C. commercial real estate manager at Truist Bank; Avi Lawrence, president of Contec; and Allen Smith, president and CEO of the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce.
The chamber’s chief economic development officer, Katherine O’Neill; chief business affairs officer, John Kimbrell; director of special projects, Carter Smith; director of business engagement, Jalitha Moore; and director of administration, Shauna Axelrod, will staff the task force alongside the city of Greenville’s former economic development executive director, Nancy Whitworth.
Task force members include:
Karen Knuckles, president and owner, Express Employment Professionals
Bill Barnet, CEO, Barnet Development Corporation
Alex Powell, commercial real estate manager, John Development Associates Inc.
Halsey Cook, president and CEO, Milliken & Co.
Natasha Pitts, minority business development coordinator, city of Spartanburg
Ann Angermeier, executive director, Upstate Workforce Board
Charlita Atchison, director of financial affairs, Atchison Transportation Services Inc.
Derham Cole, interim chancellor, USC Upstate
Mayor Cornelius Huff, city of Inman
Lee Bailey, city manager, city of Woodruff
Jody Gallagher, president and CEO, AFL
Duffy Baehr, owner, Baehr Feet Shoe Boutique
William Gray, associate principal, McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture
Bruce Holstien, president and CEO, Spartanburg Regional Healthcare Center
Bill Robinson, vice president, accountant, Gosnell Menard Robinson Infante
Max Metcalf, government and community relations manager, BMW Manufacturing Co.
Andy Cajka, founder and president, Southern Hospitality Group
Jamie Fulmer, public affairs senior vice president, Advance America, Cash Advance Centers Inc.
Mary Thomas, chief operating officer, Spartanburg County Foundation
Raj Patel, senior executive, Newburg Management
Chris Patterson, sales manager, Summit Filtration LLC
Scott Talley, attorney, Talley Law Firm PA
Randall Gary, superintendent, District Five Schools of Spartanburg County
Stephen Dunn, senior vice president and chief global development officer, Denny’s Inc.
Bishop Charles Jackson, senior pastor, Cornerstone Baptist Church
Russell Booker, superintendent, Spartanburg School District Seven
Paige Stephenson, president and CEO, United Way of the Piedmont
Molly Metz, president and CEO, Mary Black Foundation
Todd Horne, business development vice president, Clayton Construction Co.
Danielle Gibbs, representative for Sen. Tim Scott’s office