As Greenville flies into the New Year, several community leaders got to thinking about what resolutions to carry over. Following are their hopes, aspirations and goals for both themselves and their local community.
G.P. McLeer, mayor, Fountain Inn
Resolution: As mayor, my theme for 2020 will be to “Take Time.” The most important thing our community leaders can do is make decisions without rushing or without input, and sometimes that means you have to take your time. I plan on taking time in a lot of ways this coming year, whether it’s learning the ins and outs of each of our city departments, or making sure there is ample time for residents and business owners to talk with me, or simply taking the time to enjoy our community with family and friends. If we want a bright future for the Upstate, we have to take the time to get there responsibly.
Resolution suggestion: I urge others to take a similar approach to the year. We all get so bogged down with the noise of the day, or we feel pressured to do something as fast as possible, that we forget about the simple, important things. I suggest that everyone think about how they can take time out of their day to spend an extra few minutes with their families, friends or neighbors. Whether it’s volunteering together or just sharing a meal — take the time to enjoy everything we do have in these communities that we call home.
Dr. Matteel Knowles, vice president for student services, Greenville Technical College
Resolution: My New Year’s resolution is to find more balance in my reading. I read a lot of self-help and business-management books, but rarely escape into good novels anymore, so I look forward to doing more of that.
Resolution suggestion: I suggest that others commit to a New Year’s resolution that will somehow bring more balance into their fast-paced lives — whatever that means to the individual. For some, that will mean not bringing work home. For others that might mean taking yoga classes, hiking, soaking in a luxurious bath, having game night with the family, date night with your partner, acting in a local theater production or whatever … just find a way to slow … down.
Van Broad, community development, Mauldin
Resolution: I resolve to share that God is alive and well in the lives of people. He wants to provide for our everyday needs which includes the opportunity to be successful. He wants to see us prosper and in doing so share those blessings with our fellow citizens.
Resolution suggestion: Resolve to find common ground with those who may have differing opinions so that our country will be a little kinder and gentler.
Deb Richardson-Moore, pastor of Triune Mercy Center
Resolution: To help our friends at United Housing Connections and SEARCHlight build Church Street Place at Poe Mill, a 36-unit permanent supportive housing project for our most vulnerable homeless citizens.
Resolution suggestion: Jump on board with this housing project. The cost of doing nothing is too high.
Ramón Nieves-Lugo, principal and CEO UniComm Media Group, UMG
Resolution: Faith: Be more active on our support for the mission field Family: Read to my daughter at least three times per week and complete three devotionals with my wife. Friends: Host three house socials Physical and Mental Fitness: Complete two 10ks and decrease my running pace from 11-minute miles to 10-minute miles.
Read three news books on business and growth.
Resolution suggestion: I suggest that you put no more than five things to accomplish and focus your resolutions in the four Fs: Faith, Family, Friends and Fitness. At the end of the day, those are very important to anyone. Those things are at the core of who you are.
Blair Knobel, editor in chief of TOWN magazine
Resolution: To be more intentional with my time, and to be more visionary in my goal-setting.
Resolution suggestion: To live more peacefully is to live more presently.
Burke Royster, superintendent, Greenville County Schools
Resolution: To continue our commitment, in partnership with the community, to ensure our students graduate college, career and citizen ready.
Resolution suggestion: If you are in a position to do so, mentor a student or find some way to show a child in our community that you care about his or her future. If you lead a company, join the Greenville chamber’s LaunchGVL initiative and help develop tomorrow’s workforce by hiring a GCS student in a paid internship today.
Brandy Amidon, mayor of Travelers Rest
Resolution and suggestion: Our city, county and state are experiencing significant growth in every direction. With that comes growing issues like traffic, crowding, planning and constant change from how things used to be. I’d love to see us all resolve to keep an open heart and mind as every day is a new day and new opportunity to be kind, loving and solution minded towards one another. We are all striving to make our home the best place for ourselves, our families and our community and we can only truly do just that if we are united in purpose and grace.
David White, CEO and founder of Fostering Great Ideas
Resolution: To work for a cause larger than myself, with renewed diligence. For me, to work for improved outcomes of children in foster care.
Resolution suggestion: Begin with being kind to all. Continued kindness to those outside our “tribe” is the greatest resolution of all. Oh, and get a gym membership!
Lynn Greenlaw, editor-in-chief, atHome Magazine
Resolution: In 2020 I’m pledging to myself to keep in better contact with members of my family and personal friends who live outside of South Carolina. Memories created with family and friends are essential to a happy life and I intend to keep those memories alive a bit longer by reconnecting to those who helped create them.
Resolution suggestion: Pick a resolution that you know is doable so as not to disappoint or frustrate yourself when you don’t fulfill it.
Brad Wyche, founder and senior advisor, Upstate Forever
Resolution: The greatest challenge of our time is climate change with its massive impacts — rising sea levels, more intense and frequent storms, devastating economic losses and widespread destruction of habitat for plants and animals. The good news is that there are win-win solutions, such as the proposed carbon fee and dividend, that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and boost our economy. My resolution for 2020 (and beyond) is to be more active in promoting and supporting these solutions.
Resolution suggestion: Support Upstate Forever, Naturaland Trust and the Citizens’ Climate Lobby.
Mary Walsh, co-owner of Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery
Resolution: This year I plan to ride my bike to work more.
Resolution suggestion: Challenge yourself to eat local more. Get out of the car and try walking or biking to places more often. Call on our community leaders to make our streets safer for walking and biking. Reduce our use of disposables. Give up packaged foods for a week. This by default will mean healthier eating, as you’ll be forced to eat and prepare fresh foods from scratch.
John Tripoli, managing director, Northwestern Mutual
Resolution: Less carbs, more bacon$.
Resolution suggestion: Save more to play more. Spend your life living!
Tony McDade, executive director at United Ministries
Resolution: My personal and professional resolution for 2020 is to foster opportunities that provide home, haven, health and hope for our Greenville neighbors in need.
Resolution suggestion: In 2020 let’s resolve to differentiate between adjectives and nouns. “Homeless,” “poor” and “impoverished” are merely descriptive. “Person,” “human being” and “family” carry the weight of agency, equity and worth.
Sherry Jackson, associate business editor, Community Journals
Resolution: I recently moved back to the Upstate. There were many reasons, but the sense of community, friendliness and willingness to help each other in Greenville is simply unparalleled in other areas of the country. In 2020, in my role as associate business editor for the Upstate Business Journal, I plan to highlight our business community — the leaders, the entrepreneurs and the companies that are moving the Upstate forward.
Resolution suggestion: Don’t be afraid to take chances and make big changes. They may not always work out, but at least you won’t look back and wonder “what if?”
Rick Danner, mayor, Greer
Resolution: Love more than I’m loved. Forgive more than I’m forgiven. Listen more than I speak. Learn more than I teach.
Resolution suggestion: Engage in more civil, problem solving democratic discourse and less political rhetoric.
Vee Popat, Director of Fine Arts Center
Resolution: As the new year approaches, we are often asked to state our resolutions…things that we will change in our life from the past year, goals like…working out, reading more or going on a diet. To me, this practice has diminished the meaning of the word, “resolution.” The root is resolute – defined by Mr./Mrs. Webster as, “admirably purposeful, determined and unwavering.” But most resolutions fail. Diets are unsustainable, gym memberships go by the wayside. So, let’s frame it this way – what will we sustainably commit to?
Here is my list:
- Gratitude – for health, family, friends, students and the FAC. Gratitude is the key to the ever-elusive state of happiness.
- Tenacity – towards the pursuit of excellence in everything, even the most trivial of activities.
- Focus – on others. Co-workers, family, friends. Commit to always lifting others up.
- Failure – taking risks and failing forward. Working on attainable tasks that so far have eluded me.
Resolution suggestion: Whatever you choose, may it be something that you can commit to. Something sustainable that makes you and others around you better!