Conference Agenda

Each session of our conference reveals the effective tools, savvy strategies, and proven building blocks needed to revitalize your own community. A day filled with inspiration and ideas!

Thursday, May 11th

12:30-1:00 p.m.


Clemson Center for Corporate Learning
Greenville ONE Building
1 North Main Street
Greenville, SC 29601

Parking: At hotel (2 blocks away) or Richardson Street Garage

1:00-1:15 p.m.

Welcome and Introduction
Associate Dean Greg Pickett and Director of the Center for Corporate Learning Nan Johnston

1:15-2:30 p.m.

Greenville Mayor Knox White: The Elements of Success in Mixed Use, Public Space, and Personality
Discover the secret sauce of how Greenville successfully implemented a mixed-use policy that allows downtown spaces to remain vibrant 24/7. You'll walk away with a good grasp of how Greenville revitalized its public spaces using public private partnerships and how it used public art initiatives along Main Street to enhance the city's personality.

2:30-3:30 p.m.

City Planner Tee Coker: Holistic, community-driven approach to City Planning
Tee has worked with numerous communities across the US on a variety of planning-related projects, including downtown and neighborhood master plans, economic development and strategic plans, community participation and outreach initiatives, and community branding and wayfinding charrettes. He currently works with the City of Greenville as the Alignment Consultant responsible for coordinating efforts for the $1.8 million Connections for Sustainability project. At his keynote, Tee will share insights on his broad experience managing projects throughout the Southeast and from Louisiana to California.

3:30-2:45 p.m.


3:45-4:30 p.m.

Enabling businesses to grow, thrive and remain relevant and forward-thinking
Carlos Phillips, Greenville Chamber President and CEO

4:30-5:30 p.m.

Affordable Housing and Community Development
Ginny Stroud, Community Development Administrator, City of Greenville

5:30 p.m.

Closing remarks

6:30 p.m.

Southern Dining Experience
Find out why Greenville's dining experience is a draw for both visitors and locals. This dinner will showcase the contemporary southern flavors people are raving about.

Sassafras Southern Bistro
103 North Main Street, Suite 107

6:30-8:30 p.m.

Downtown Alive (optional)
A fundraiser for the Metropolitan Arts Council, this FREE weekly concert series sponsored by Piedmont Natural Gas and presented by Clemson MBA, features a mix of pop, blues, acoustic and reggae performances. (Learn More)

Friday, May 12th

8:00-8:30 a.m.


8:30-9:30 a.m.

Greenville County Director of Greenways, Natural and Historic Resources Ty Houck: Swamp Rabbit Trail Blazer
You may not have a waterfall, but does your city have a trail that exists or could be developed to impact quality of life, economic development and tourism growth? Learn how the Greenville Health System Swamp Rabbit Trail resulted in a $6.7 million economic impact and increased sales of businesses located near the trail by as much as 85%. The GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail boasts over 501,000 users annually, generating over $5 million in tourism revenue for the county and supporting 111 jobs annually.

9:30 -11:30 a.m. Tours

Participants will split into a couple smaller groups and do a walking tour of downtown with the Mayor and city leaders. A printed guide will be provided for a driving tour of the affordable housing areas and along with a map Swamp Rabbit Trail (if they’d like to stay and explore by bike or foot).


Greenville's signature art and music festival (Optional)

Meet our Speakers

Knox White

Knox White

Mayor of Greenville

Knox White has served as Mayor of Greenville since December 1995. As Mayor he has the goal of making the city of Greenville “the most beautiful and livable city in America, and champions neighborhood revitalization and transformational projects for downtown.

Key strategic projects include: removal of the Camperdown Bridge and creation of Falls Park, the restoration of the Poinsett Hotel and Court Street, new retail, a downtown baseball stadium, riverfront development and initiation of The Swamp Rabbit Trail bike and walking system throughout the City.

Carlos Phillips

Carlos Phillips

President/CEO, Greenville Chamber of Commerce

Carlos Phillips serves as President / CEO of the Greenville (South Carolina) Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber has over 2,200 investors supporting the vision of continually improving the quality of life in the community by inspiring and facilitating business success.

Phillips served as the Senior Vice President of Operations at the Greater Louisville Inc., The Metro Chamber of Commerce of Louisville, KY. He helped to lead Greater Louisville Inc. (GLI) to be recognized as “Chamber of the Year” in 2007, and the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce to be recognized as an industry leader in membership growth and programmatic excellence.

Ty Houck

Ty Houck

Greenville County Director of Greenways, Natural and Historic Resources

Ty grew up with a passion for Parks and Recreation in the footsteps of his mother who was a Parks and Recreation Program Director in Palm Beach. Ty Graduated from Furman University with a Geology degree, became a volunteer coordinator for the Great Smokey Mountain National Park then started a career with the South Carolina State Park Service where he served 12 years as a Park Ranger.

Ty currently serves as the Greenville County Director of Greenways where he works actively in the community to create and expand a pedestrian network through the Greenville Hospital System Swamp Rabbit Trail network. The GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail has over 501,000 users annually, generating over $5 million in Tourism revenue for the county and supporting 111 jobs.

Tee Coker

Tee Coker


Tee is a certified planner who has managed or contributed to over one hundred projects in twenty states. His projects have included downtown and neighborhood master plans, community wayfinding plans, regional tourism strategies, marketing and branding charrettes, community education and outreach initiatives, and more. He has extensive community planning experience, with a particular emphasis on small-town and downtown economic development and placemaking. He is passionate about helping places become vibrant, thriving, healthy places using a holistic, community-driven approach with a focus on real-world solutions.

Ginny Stroud

Ginny Stroud

Community Development Administrator, City of Greenville

Ginny Stroud heads up the city department that partners with non-profit and for-profit developers on the development of affordable and workforce housing. Residential developers utilize federal community development block grants to leverage other local, state and federal funding in the development of appropriate housing in the city's Special Emphasis neighborhoods.

Nan Johnston

Nan Johnston

Director, Clemson Center for Corporate Learning

Nan manages CCL's continuing education programs all course and is often involved in innovative program development. Her priority is finding the best business speakers, the best industry trainers, the best talent to train today's business leaders. She facilitates seminars and advanced certificate programs like the Clemson/Life Cycle Engineering Reliability Engineering Certificate program, and The Clemson Mini-MBA.

Greg Pickett

Greg Pickett

Associate Dean, CBBS

Greg holds a Ph.D., and is now Senior Associate Dean and chair of the Clemson MBA programs the downtown GreenvilleONE campus. In this role, he is responsible for the continued development and operation of the college's initiatives in downtown Greenville including the MBA program, the Spiro Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership, and Center for Corporate Learning. Prior to this appointment, Pickett served as professor and chair of the University's Department of Marketing for 10 years. In this role, Pickett was instrumental in developing a variety of innovative programs, which, in part, have led to departmental recognition by Clemson students three times as “best major on campus.” Pickett helped developed a unique leadership program for its students and several challenging undergraduate research experiences funded by external sources that linked communities, nonprofit organizations and businesses to faculty and student talent.