An Annual Upstate Young Professional Conference

2021 Pique | September 27, 2021

Huguenot Mill and Loft



pique: stimulate (interest or curiosity)
Join other young professionals from across the Upstate as we pique your interest for impacting our community and region.

The ten county Upstate—Abbeville, Anderson, Cherokee, Greenville, Greenwood, Laurens, Oconee, Pickens, Spartanburg, and Union counties—are home to numerous young professionals. Young professionals are 23–38 years old and will make up more than half of the workforce, with Generation X making up most of the other half. Giving this particular group the ability to connect, network and come together is critical for the future of the Upstate.

For this reason, Ten at the Top realized the importance of creating an opportunity for young professionals from across the Upstate to connect with each other, meet Upstate business and community leaders, and have access to valuable personal and professional development opportunities. Five years ago, Ten at the Top began hosting an annual regional young leaders event called Pique, with the goal of bringing together existing young professional groups from across the Upstate.

Ten at the Top is a nonprofit that promotes regional collaboration to improve quality of life and economic vitality in the Upstate of South Carolina.

Approximately 300 young leaders from across the ten counties of the Upstate are expected to attend. Ten at the Top board members and executives representing Upstate businesses and organizations will also be in attendance.

Pique Planning Committee

Sarah Butler, Johnson College of Business & Economics at USC Upstate

Evan Carr, EC Media

Natalie Jones, Anderson County Chamber of Commerce

Jessica  Miserendino (co-chair), AFL

Alex Moore, United Way of the Piedmont

Christopher Nicholas, Ethan Rivers

Britton  Rodgers, United Way of Anderson County

Mary Pat Smith, United Way of Anderson County

Reah Smith, Lake Keowee Real Estate

Jason Weidman (co-chair), ScanSource

Pique is scheduled to take place September 27, 2021, but in the meantime, we’ll be hosting Sneak Pique events, which are virtual, hour-long opportunities for you to interact with your peers while we wait until it’s safe to meet in person.

April 21, 2021: Upstate Mayors Panel with panelists mayor Brandy Amidon of Travelers Rest, Mayor Terence Roberts of Anderson and Mayor Brandon Smith of Greenwood. You can watch a video recap of the meeting here. You can view a written recap of the meeting here.

January 27, 2021: Networking in a Digital Age. You can watch a video recap of the meeting here. You can view a written recap of the meeting here. You can view the presentation here.

November 12, 2020: Virtual Volunteerism: The Importance of Staying Plugged in with Boards, Your Community, and Local Non-Profits During a Pandemic. You can watch a video recap of the meeting here. You can view the presentation here.

October 19, 2020: Scary Situations in the Office That Don’t Have to be So Scary. You can watch a video recap of the meeting here. You can view the presentation here.

September 14, 2020: Trivia Happy Hour!

1:00 p.m.: Registration & Networking | Jamarcus Gaston

2:00 p.m.: Introduction to the Upstate | Jessica Miserendino and Tiffany Tate

2:30 – 4:30 p.m.: LinkedIn Lounge | lower conference room

2:30 – 3:00 p.m.: Workshops – Session One (Attendees Choose One to Attend)

  • Executive Networking Roundtables | Reedy River Room
  • Community Engagement: Building Your Career Outside of Your Office | Broad Street Room
  • Conflict Management: Effective Communication for a Peaceful Workplace | Ramsaur Studio

3:10 – 3:40 p.m.: Workshops – Session Two (Attendees Choose One to Attend)

  • Executive Networking Roundtables | Reedy River Room
  • Conflict Management: Effective Communication for a Peaceful Workplace | Ramsaur Studio
  • Negotiating Your Best Career | Broad Street Room

3:50 – 4:20 p.m.: Workshops – Session Three (Attendees Choose One to Attend)

  • Executive Networking Roundtables | Reedy River Room
  • Negotiating Your Best Career | Broad Street Room
  • Community Engagement: Building Your Career Outside of Your Office | Ramsaur Studio

4:30 p.m.: Keynote Speaker Sallie Holder | Reedy River Room

5:30 p.m.: Networking Reception | Reedy River and Broad Street Rooms

Executive Networking Roundtables (Repeated)

Young leaders have a thirst for knowledge, advice and mentorship. This workshop will feature an interactive session of roundtable networking. Established business and community  leaders (executives) from all sectors, regardless of age, will be invited to lead a discussion about how they got where they are, how they found what they needed to successful and the barriers they have overcome to reach success

Negotiating Your Best Career

You know where you are now, and you know where you want to go in your career (or have a general idea, anyway), but do you know how to get there? Whether it’s more money, more leadership, or more work-life balance, it’s important to know what to ask for and how to ask for it in order to reach your goals, and the panelists will talk you through those negotiations.

Moderator: Virginia Cebe, Corporate Communications Project Manager, ScanSource


Steve Hall, Vice President of Business Development, Find Great People

Ken Peterson, Senior Director of Human Resources, ScanSource

Melissa Walker, President, Heyday Coaching

Community Engagement: Building Your Career Outside of Your Office

One of the best ways to enhance your resume that has nothing to do with the actual work you do is to be actively engaged in your community. Volunteering, sitting on boards and committees, and other forms of community engagement make you a well-rounded and outward-thinking individual, which is attractive to employers as you move up in your career. But more than that, it’s a great way to grow as a person!

Moderator: Reah Smith, Realtor, Lake Keowee Real Estate


Alan Ethridge, Executive Director, Metropolitan Arts Council

Corie Culp, Community and Public Relations Manager, AFL

Adela Mendoza, Executive Director, Hispanic Alliance

Conflict Management: Effective Communication for a Peaceful Workplace

Workplace communication can be tricky business—differing personalities, personal and professional competition, and conflicting priorities lead to unproductive communication and sometimes conflict and strained relationships. The professionals on this panel will talk about strategies for navigating those challenges and creating a peaceful workplace for yourself and your co-workers.

Moderator: Alex Moore, Director of Marketing and Communications, United Way of the Piedmont


Stephanie Tarbet, Director of Internal Communication, Michelin North America

George Shira, Vice President of Human Resources, Chemical Division at Milliken & Company

Margot Shaffer, General Manager, Corley Plumbing | Air | Electric

Virginia CebeProject Manager, Corporate CommunicationsScansource
Angie MyersDirector of Wellness and BenefitsAFL
Alan EthridgeExecutive DirectorMetropolitan Arts Council
Steve HallVice President of Business DevelopmentFind Great People
Adela MendozaExecutive DirectorHispanic Alliance
Alex MooreSenior Director of Marketing and CommunicationsUnited Way of the Piedmont
Ken PetersonSenior Director of Human ResourcesScanSource
Margot ShafferGeneral ManagerCorley Plumbing Air Electric
George ShiraVice President of Human Resources, Chemical DivisionMilliken
Reah SmithRealtorLake Keowee Real Estate
Stephanie TarbetDirector, Internal CommunicationMichelin
Melissa WalkerPresidentHeyday Coaching


Sallie Holder

Rock Middle: When Success Doesn’t Feel Like Success

Ever checked all the boxes on the road to success, only to discover the destination wasn’t what you’d hoped? So, you’re asking, “Now what? Where do I go from here?” You’ve achieved a certain level of success, but the truth is…you feel miserable. All you want is to love what you do, but you just aren’t sure how get “there” without someone showing you the path. Through the “BE BOLDER” framework you will find your path.

Sallie Holder is a nationally recognized public speaker and trainer and has spent the last fifteen years speaking and training on a variety of topics to help businesses, employees, & entrepreneurs achieve their highest level of success. Sallie is an energetic and dynamic speaker who leaves her audience
feeling motivated to take action. Her presentations are filled with tactical tools that can immediately be incorporated into your business to produce results. These tools come from her years of experience in both the corporate and entrepreneurial world and are not simply abstract theories.

She began her speaking/training career while practicing law, where she quickly became a sought-after speaker by human resource practitioners, companies, and others interested in topics related to bettering the employer/employee relationship. After ten years in practice (and hundreds of speeches later), Sallie became an entrepreneur, starting her own business in sales and coaching. She has trained more than 300 women around the world on sales strategies & how to effectively build their own business. She
has led workshops, weekend retreats, and breakout sessions and given keynote speeches on topics such as time management, business development, leadership, and how to sell. Now Sallie is dedicated to using her unique skills & understanding of business, entrepreneurship & sales to provide speeches and training those looking to achieve a greater level of success in their business.

Executive Networking Roundtables

For many young leaders who want to make an impact on their local community, one major barrier is having access to current decision makers who are helping shape the region. For this reason, we are asking executives of any age to participate in the PIQUE to network, answer questions and make connections with future leaders of the Upstate.

2021 Executives:

  • Justin Benfield, COO, Upstate Southern Region, Prisma Health
  • Carol Burdette, CEO, United Way of Anderson County
  • Karen Burgess, Campus President, ECPI
  • Catriona Carlisle, Executive Director, Meals on Wheels Greenville
  • Pam Christopher, President, Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Michael Cunningham, VP for Advancement, AnMed Health
  • Stinson Ferguson, Special Counsel, Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd
  • Lillian Brock Fleming, City Council Member, City of Greenville
  • Nalisha Henry, Director of Community and Partner Relations, United Way of Greenville
  • Cindy Hopkins, President, Greater Easley Chamber of Commerce
  • Todd Horne, VP of Business Development, Clayton Construction
  • Angelle LaBorde, President & CEO, Greenwood SC Chamber of Commerce
  • Mark McKinney, General Manager, Cintas Corporation
  • Steve Nail, Dean of the College of Business, Anderson University
  • Terence Roberts, Mayor, City of Anderson
  • Minor Shaw, President, Micco LLC
  • Walker Smith, Director of Advocacy and Community Relations, Bon Secours St. Francis Health System
  • Paige Stephenson, President & CEO, United Way of the Piedmont
  • Irv Welling, Retired
  • Brian Ziegelheafer, Executive Director, BGEN Business Incubator
Why should you consider sponsoring #thePIQUE2021?

Our past sponsors were able to support a great event while gaining exposure to a large audience of motivated young leaders. We have sponsorship packages that fit everyone’s budget and need your help to put on a great event. Click here to see all of the sponsorship opportunities available.

Do I have to be a member of one of the partner organizations to attend?

No, we welcome anyone that is interested in attending.

I represent a young professional organization. How do I sign on as a partner organization?

Please email Justine Allen (jallen@tenatthetop.org) for information about becoming a partner organization. Becoming a partner organization will allow your members to select your group in the registration process, allowing your group to receive $5 for each ticket sold to one of your members. It’s an easy process to sign on, so what are you waiting for?

How do I make sure my young professional group gets their $5 kickback?

When you register, select the name of your YP group. We’ll do all the other work behind the scenes.

What if my YP group isn’t listed?

If you don’t see your YP group listed, then they haven’t signed on as a partner organization. Let us know they’re missing so we can get them signed on for next year.

Where do I register?

Registration link coming soon!

Who can attend the event?

Anyone! You don’t need to be part of a young professional group to attend. We consider young professionals to be aged 22–40, but if you feel young, you’re welcome!

Presenting Sponsor

Executive Networking Roundtable Sponsor

Workshop Sponsors

Leadership Maker Sponsors

Sustainable Sponsors

Partner Young Professional Groups