Our SYP members come from many different backgrounds and work in a variety of industries (business, nonprofit, education, healthcare, etc). Young Professionals are the future of the Upstate and Spartanburg is a dynamic piece to the puzzle.

Watch the video below to find out the impact SYP has on its members.

Meet SYP's Members, and find out what they have to say about us.

"We are a strong group of people who want to make a difference in this community, and it shows.”

I grew up in Spartanburg, where I went to Dorman High School before heading to Columbia, SC, to spend six years as a Gamecock attending the University of South Carolina Honors College (SCHC) and graduate school. I have a degree in Journalism and a Masters in Mass Communication with a focus on Integrated Marketing Communications. In graduate school, I completed my practicum as a Corporate Communications Associate at Plant Spartanburg with BMW Manufacturing Co., which influenced my pursuit of a corporate career. I applied for a position at Milliken and accepted it shortly before graduating in December 2017. Truthfully, I did not see myself returning to Spartanburg, but more than two years later, I am still loving my career and where I live. I work closely with Textile Division senior leadership on internal and external communications to associates, partners and customers. I am responsible for representing the Division during the planning and management of internal and external events, as well as recently joining the Diversity and Inclusion Council, Women's and New Hires Associate Networks and the Health & Wellness Committee, to broaden my network of associates and continue Milliken's mission of making a global positive impact.

When I'm not at work, you can probably find me taking a class at the Orangetheory Spartanburg or Pure Barre Spartanburg studios. I love a post-workout meal at either Willy Taco or having Pi-Squared delivered to Holliday Brewing during Music Bingo. If I can make it on Tuesdays, look for me running alongside other Spartanburgers at RJ Rockers Run Club and enjoying a cold Son of a Peach afterwards. Some weekends, you can find my fiancé and I at Ciclops Cyderi and Brewery, where we had our first date!

SYP was the first organization I joined when I moved back to Spartanburg and it's led to me finding many more opportunities to get involved in the community. I love that when I go to meetings for these other organizations, I see members of SYP there as well. We are a strong group of people who want to make a difference in this community, and it shows. I love the opportunities to network at events like our Membership Drives at Paradise Lanes or FR8Yard, or at SYP n' Santa and the 1831 Gala, but I also value the professional LeaderSYP development opportunities we receive, like the CEO Roundtables or financial advice seminars. SYP is not just another organization for me, it's a safe space where I can meet and befriend like-minded people who are passionate about this community.

Spartanburg is beginning to receive more recognition as a successful (and affordable) city for YP’s, and it's showing! I enjoy knowing that my involvement in this community is part of the reason change is happening and that my voice is heard as a member of SYP and as a Spartanburger.

-- Natalie Swift , Marketing and Communications Specialist, Milliken & Co. Textile Division

Natalie is an active leader of SYP’s Membership Committee


"SYP provides a means to make new connections and develop lasting friendships while allowing the opportunity to be involved in the growth taking place within our community."

I was born and raised in Spartanburg, where I attended Spartanburg High School.  I went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Financial Management from Clemson University, and began my career as a financial advisor with Merrill Lynch in Jacksonville, Florida in 2013.  Two years later I moved back to Spartanburg to join the local Merrill Lynch Wealth Management team of Mauney & Associates.


In my spare time, I enjoy volunteering in the community, golfing, and spending time with my family and friends.

Upon moving back to Spartanburg in 2015, I realized that an astounding amount of growth within the town had occured since leaving for college.  SYP provides a means to make new connections and develop lasting friendships while allowing the opportunity to be involved in the growth taking place within our community.
Spartanburg is a unique community in the sense that young professionals have the ability to play a major role in the direction our town is headed.  The ability to be a part of something bigger than myself while also allowing me to maintain the comforting feel of home were the main attractions that drove my decision to move back home from North Florida.  In the three years since moving back, I do not have a single regret about returning home to work and one day raise a family in this wonderful town."
-- John Mauney, CFP®, CRPC® 
Financial Advisor at Mauney & Associates - Merrill Lynch Wealth Management
Member of SYP since 2015 and serves on our Membership Committee

"I joined SYP to connect with local, like-minded professionals and to get more involved in our community.

I'm Chad Cooke, and I am the Business Development Manager for Express Employment Professionals. I develop relationships with local businesses in Spartanburg to establish strategies to retain current employees, as well as connect them with my recruiters to assist in searching for talent for their open positions.

I'm originally from Spartanburg and after traveling the world in the military, I had several options as for where I wanted to live and attend college.  Ultimately, after seeing the rise in economic development, I decided that Spartanburg was the perfect place to be.

I most love spending time with my twin four year-old daughters and newborn son.  Otherwise, you will see me reading or if it's a nice weekend, riding my motorcycle."

-- Chad Cooke, Business Development Manager at Express Employment Professionals
Chad is a newly involved member of SYP and serves on our Membership Committee

"Moving from place to place, it is nice to meet people with like minds and aspirations, thus why I joined SYP. The diversity and multitude of the members is exciting as I am always meeting new people.

I am the Clinical Education Coordinator and faculty member for the Athletic Training Program at Gardner-Webb University. I moved to Spartanburg in August 2015 after having most recently served the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga as the Associate Director of Sports Medicine and the Assistant On-Campus Clinical Coordinator of the Graduate Athletic Training Program. 

I enjoy building and making new things, roaming around outdoors, animals, and finding new things to enjoy!"

-- Sarah Rabe, clinical education coordinator and faculty member at Gardner-Webb University
Sarah serves on SYP's social committee, and launched Spartanburg's Go Kickball league


"I’m a Spartanburg native and graduate of Spartanburg Day School. I received my Bachelor’s degree from Georgia Southern University in Sport Management.

After working in the Community Relations Department for the Gwinnett Braves and Indianapolis Indians, I moved back to Spartanburg to run Palmetto Vermiculite, a company started by my family 27 years ago. I’m Vice President and oversee all of our plant operations, as well as, our sales staff. When not working, I enjoy spending time with my wife Megan, our son Walton, and two hounds Beau and Ethel.

I became a member of SYP this year as a way to meet young professionals like myself and decided to jump right in by joining the Program Committee. It’s been great working with everyone and seeing how many young people are making a difference in this growing community. There are a lot of unique voices in this town and still so many opportunities for them to be heard."

-- Hunter Brown, Vice President of Palmetto Vermiculite Company 
Hunter is an involved member of SYP, and serves on the Program Committee

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