Celebrating Upstate Unsung Heroes Virtual Event

The Purpose of Celebrating Unsung Heroes

The Celebrating Unsung Heroes Virtual Event recognizes and honors Unsung Heroes from across the 10-county Upstate region. Traditionally known as the annual Celebrating Successes Luncheon, this event typically recognizes businesses, organizations and individuals who help make the Upstate a leading place to live, learn, do business and raise a family. Given the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the TATT Board of Directors felt that it was not only necessary to host this event virtually, but to take the opportunity to honor those who have remained committed to serving others throughout this pandemic. 

Watch the Celebrating Upstate Unsung Heroes Virtual Event

Presented by BlueCross BlueShield, the Celebrating Upstate Unsung Heroes Virtual Event was a one-of-a-kind special event! Traditionally known as the annual Celebrating Successes Luncheon, this event typically recognizes businesses, organizations and individuals who help make the Upstate a leading place to live, learn, do business and raise a family.


As an organization that focuses on bringing the Upstate together, TATT felt this event was important to honor the individuals, organizations and businesses who have worked tirelessly during the pandemic to keep our community healthy, safe, and strong. We were honored to have Amy Wood, Anchor for 7 News – WSPA, as our event emcee and had safe ways for attendees to participate in this virtual celebration.

You can watch the full virtual event here!

Upstate Unsung Heroes Nominee List



Ethan Cornick, Dreams with Open Arms – Ambassador

Mary Ann Nickles, Bags of Blessings – Creator

Robert Gustafson, Erkine College and Theological Seminary – President



David Baker, Anderson County Emergency Services – Emergency Services Director

John Boone & Hollie Harrell, Anderson Career & Technology Center – My Pulse Radio

Bill Campbell, Purple Heart Homes (Golden Corner Chapter) – Volunteer Chairperson

Jack Ellenburg, Anderson County Government – Volunteer Historian, Photographer, Social Media Ambassador

Patrick Elswick, WLS Foundation – President

Zoe Hale & Dave Phillips– Community Volunteers

Tom Haren, New Spring Church – Discipleship Coordinator

Caitlin Herrington, Seneca Journal – Governmental & Investigative Reporter

Holt Hopkins, Anderson County Government – Public Works Director/Deputy Administrator

Brad Maness, Belton Fire Department – Fire Chief

Chunsta Miller, Anderson Mall – General Manager



Yolanda Adams-Kennedy, Academic Technology & Wellness Academy – Director

Libbie Cheek, United Way of the Piedmont – Community Resource Coordinator (Spartanburg & Union Counties)

Christina Cody, Cherokee  School District – Teacher & Healthy Living Advocate

Nikki Dula, Blacksburg High School – Custodian

Minerva Horn, SRHS-Gibbs Cancer Center Gaffney – Nurse

Wendy Kincaid, Spartanburg Regional EMS – First Responder

Dr. Carol McFadden, Know(2) Neighborhood Ambassadors – Volunteer Director

Summer Parker, Cherokee County Family YMCA – Senior Program Director

Christie Rogers-Lake, Outside of the Box Therapy – Clinical Director

Chris Steed, Fullerton Foundation & Hamrick Mill Foundation – Executive Director



Josh Albin, Bryson Elementary School – Assistant Principal

Russell Alexander, City of Fountain Inn – Assistant Fire Chief

Rachelle Andino, Monaview Elementary School – Innovation Lab Instructor

Michael Black, Brushy Creek Elementary School – Custodian

Bright Horizons Children’s Center/Greenville Memorial Childcare Center Faculty & Staff

Teri Brinkman, Greenville Country Schools – Director of Community Engagement

Terence Brister, Greenville Police Department – City Policeman, Unified Self Defense – Founder

Jamie Cato, McLane – Truck Driver

Kay Clifton, Edward Jones – Financial Advisor

Todd Cook, Sterling School – Plant Engineer

Dr. Deanna Cotter, New Horizon Family Health Services – Chief Medical Officer

Timbre Cruz, BI-LO Grocery – Store Worker

Leasa Dacus, Greenville County Schools – Instructional Coach

Sean Dogan, Urban League of the Upstate – Interim CEO

Judy Dyer, Phoenix Center – RN

Dina Estrada, Hispanic Alliance – Programs & Outreach Coordinator

Ushamani (Kitty) Fleetwood, Skylyn Pacifica – Director of Rehab

Kate Franch, Greenville County Democratic Party – Secretary; Camperdown Academy – Outreach & Grants Coordinator

Ann Finch, Brushy Creek Elementary School – Custodian

Jessica Gallman, United Community Bank – Director of Project & Change Management

Christina Gartner, Prisma Health – Clinical Nurse Educator

Keri Geary, Grace Church – Outreach Director

Shannon Hudson, 9Round Fitness

Patricia Idarraga-Quiros, Simpsonville Elementary – K4 Aide

Kourtney Jones, Bon Secours St. Francis Health System – ICU Registered Nurse

Laura King, New Horizon Family Health Services – Nurse Educator

Erika Klimkowski, Eastside High School – Front Office Clerk

Rev. Bridget Kokolis, Augusta Road Baptist Church – Minister to Families

Marina Lewis, Mauldin High School – Social Worker

Joey Loman, Synergy Mill

Charmain Madison, Simpsonville Elementary School – Special Education Teacher

John McCall, Fusion Audio & Video – Lead Technician

Meals on Wheels of Greenville County Staff

Shannon Miller, Simpsonville Elementary School – Special Education Teacher

Kitty Morgan, Greenlink – Paratransit Coordinator

Bob Morris, Community Foundation of Greenville – President

Alan Max Myers, Berea Fire Department – Assistant Fire Chief

Jessica Owens, The Phoenix Center – Director of Adult Services

Katy Pugh Smith, Piedmont Health Foundation & Greenville Partnership for Philanthropy – Executive Director

Amanda Sopko, Greenville County Schools – 4th Grade Virtual Teacher

Mende Taylor, Hollis Academy – Food Services Director

Paula Valencia, Greenville County Schools – Assistant

Samantha Wallace, Think Up Consulting – Director of Business Development

Laura Wedell-Jenkins, Fountain Inn Community Police Fund – Volunteer

Kristen Wellbaum, Sterling School – Food & Nutrition Services Manager

Susan Whitmire, Stone Academy – 1st Grade Teacher



Lara Hudson, City of Greenwood – Uptown Manager

George McKinney, Greenwood County – Emergency Management Coordinator

Steve Riley, Emerald Ink & Stitching – Owner

Amy Stabler, Greenwood School District 50 – Director of Child Nutrition



Joey Avery, Laurens County – Emergency Management Director

Connie Daniels, Laurens County Museum Association – Volunteer

Lynn Finley, Laurens County Development Corporation – Vice President

Walter Hughes, Jr., Sadler Hughes Apothecary – Owner

Cindy Jacobs, Laurens County School District 56 – Director of Child Nutrition

Tim Kansky, Kountry Fresh Meats – Owner

Allen Lawson, South Carolina Empowerment Center – Executive Director

Michael Morris, ZF Transmissions Gray Court – Director of Human Resources

Patricia Sadler, Hospice of Laurens County – Medical Director

Bob Staton, Presbyterian College – President



Dreama Clay, Ripple of One – Program Director

Vanessa Earle, Prisma Health – Client Manager

Jessica Fry & Janine Hartley, Wild Hearts Equine Therapy Center – Managers

Sati Glenn, Rows & Roses – Owner

Jane Harlin, Community Volunteer

LaShauna Harrison, United Way of Oconee County – CEO

Libby Imbody, Main Street Walhalla – Director

Carolyn Maddox, Community Volunteer

Lynn McClain, McClains Custom Silks – Owner

Kevin McCracken, Keowee Key Property Owners Association – Community General Manager

Sherry McLaughlin, School District of Oconee County – Lead Nurse

Christie Ross, Foothills YMCA – Director

Julia-ann Shannon, Graces Closet – Director

Michael Teramano, Seneca Police Department – Investigator

Hal Welch, The Journal Newspaper – General Manager



Dan Bracken, Stephanie King, & Charlie Crumpton – Community Volunteers

Chad Carson, Green Crescent Trail – Board Member

Neal Collins, SC House of Representatives

David Harrison, Greenville County – Master Deputy

Lesa Howard, Five Points Church Food Pantry – Director

Adraine Jackson-Garner, Littlejohn Community Center – Executive Director

Felicia Leese, Prisma Health – COVID Unit Nurse

Kelly Norton, Fresenius – Pendleton Clinic

Carlos Salinas, Pickens County Airport – Administrator

Ben Smith, Clemson Small Business Development Center

Angela Watson, School District of Pickens County – Coordinator of Health Services



Charlene Cheeks, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Upstate – CEO

Dr. David Church, Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System – VP of Oncology & Support Services

Nora Curiel-Munoz, PASOs – Spartanburg Office Coordinator

Mary Deku, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority – Volunteer

Nancy Kenney, Hub City Bookstore – Volunteer

Janae O’Shields, Lawson Academy – Director

Carroll Owings, Spartanburg American Legion Post 28 – Commander

Douglas Stephenson, SC Works Greater Upstate – Project Director

Paige Stephenson, United Way of the Piedmont – CEO (Cherokee & Union Counties)

Robbie Swofford, Spartanburg County – Emergency Management Assistant Director

Hope Waters – Substitute Teacher & Community Volunteer



DeAnn Barnett, Belmont Farm Bake Shoppe – Founder

Shanna “Nikki” Burgess, SC Works Greater Upstate – Talent Development Specialist Supervisor

Grady Evans, Union County Disabilities & Special Needs Board – Director

Tina Fowler, Primary Care of Union – Nurse Practitioner

Eric Harold, Union County – EMS Director

Katie Henderson, Union Medical Center – Chief Nursing Officer

Rhonda Hollingsworth, Union County School District – Elementary Education Coordinator

Elizabeth Ireton, Union County School District – Instructional Coach & Transition Coordinator

Drake Jackson, Dollar General Distribution Center – HR Manager

Brook Valentine, Secret Santa of Grace United Methodist Church – Chairperson


Sponsorship Opportunities

If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities for Celebrating Unsung Heroes, please contact sponsor@tenatthetop.org or 864-672-8600.


Presenting Sponsor

Welcome Sponsor

Technology Sponsor

Regional Connector Sponsors

Benefactor Sponsors

Advocate Sponsors

Anderson Joint Water District
Barnet Development Corporation
Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative
Broad River Electric Cooperative
City of Anderson   

City of Easley                                City of Greer
Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM)
Greenwood County                        Irv Welling
Lockheed Martin 

Supporting Sponsors

Lockheed Martin                Ogletree-Deakins                    Parker Poe
Sherman College of Chiropractic Spartanburg Community College Tri-County Technical College
Upstate Home Care Solutions
Upstate Better Business Bureau

Anderson Chamber of Commerce
Cherokee Chamber of Commerce
Clayton Construction
Colliers International
Easley Chamber of Commerce
First National Bank
Greenville Technical College 


Greer Chamber of Commerce
GSP International Airport
Johnson Controls, Inc.
Nate Lipscomb
Marsh McLennan Agency
Hank McCullough
Seamon Whiteside
Hal & Minor Shaw                    South State Bank 

Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce
Standard Capital Partners
Tri-County Entrepreneurial Development Corporation
Western Upstate Association of Realtors