The YPs is an initiative launched by Spartanburg Young Professionals in an effort to enhance the visibility of young professionals’ contributions. The ten individuals listed below, age 21-40, are making an impact on Spartanburg through work or service in various industries. Community members submitted more than 300 nominations for the inaugural YPs. SYP’s board of directors identified the top three candidates in each category, and more than 700 community members ranked the finalists to select the awardees.
"The Key to achieving every desire, and reaching every level you hope for, is to make up in your own mind that you will do it."
Geordy leads, shapes, and implements the overall strategy for the Johnson Family portfolio by supporting and developing existing business enterprises while also evaluating opportunities to acquire or develop new business platforms. He is leading a growing family of companies, while simultaneously growing Spartanburg’s young talent pool.
Geordy worked outside of the family-owned business for a number of years and gained valuable external experience and perspective while working for several publicly traded companies. Geordy is most proud of his team. He believes the key to continued success will be the ability to continue to develop and attract a very high level of talent.
"Wake up every day and strive to GO MAD - Go Make A Difference - in your community, family, and business. Never let the fear of failure hold you back. Rather, take calculated risks and be bold."
"The worst thing someone can tell you is no. It took me a while to really take that to heart, but once I learned to not be afraid of the word “no”, all of my uncertainty and professional inhibitions disappeared. So many opportunities are missed when you don’t allow yourself to at least take a chance."
"Look your best always. Never give up. And if you were not born with it, you can go a few more days without it."
As an occupational therapist, Cameron develops and implements evidence-based treatment plans to promote growth, development, and facilitate rehabilitation for clients, birth to adulthood, with a variety of medical diagnoses. As part of the neonatal therapy team, she utilizes advanced training in the screening, evaluation, and treatment of high-risk and premature infants.
Cameron assisted in the development of Spartanburg Regional Medical Center NICU Neonatal Touch and Massage Program, which is particularly beneficial for babies born with drug addictions. She uses creativity to develop individualized treatment plans that help people live their lives in a purposeful and meaningful way.
"Move out of your comfort zone and you will gain many new insights, skills, and a better understanding of who you are and what sustains you."
"Start from the bottom and work up if at all possible. It takes time to learn your craft."
Diana has been instrumental in driving success in new operation and creating tens of thousands of dollars in savings by developing systems for rigorous analysis of data at the Spartanburg Michelin workshop. She leads a team of four quality technicians and supports their efforts to achieve results in the areas of product compliance, customer satisfaction, and machine performance.
Diana promotes a quality-driven environment by coaching and mentoring all members of the department. As an engineer, she is highly motivated by analyzing problems and finding solutions. Diana finds the most inspiration when she reflects upon her day and realizes she took an active role in the making of a product that people can buy and use.
"Being influential doesn’t come with a job title but it is rather earned and recognized by others."
"There are always going to be setbacks and disappointments in life, but how you react to them will make the difference in your overall success or failure. Choose to compete with yourself on a daily basis, each day focus on being better than you were the day before."
"To quote former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, 'When you surround yourself with smart people, they challenge you to think harder and in entirely different ways.'"
Jalitha is being recognized as an avid servant leader, going beyond her professional contributions to better Spartanburg.
Jalitha developed the Let's Unite Community Cookout, a preventive initiative to strengthen relations between law enforcement and community members, and has coordinated several clothing and toy drives for the City of Iman in conjunction with the Inman Police Department. She serves on the boards of Partners for Active Living and Leadership Spartanburg Alumni Association, is a member of the Patron Society for the Hope Center for Children, and assists with the USC Upstate chapter and Epsilon Beta Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Jalitha's inspiration is knowing the sky is the limit. In her professional career, she is most proud of her time at the Solicitor's Office as a Criminal Domestic Violence victim advocate, where she gave a voice to women that believed they did not have one, and of her work in Congressman Trey Gowdy's office, implementing the I am an Achiever program to encourage students to strive for excellence no matter the circumstances.
"Don’t let fear limit your progress or your promise. It is important that you always do what is right for you because you are the only person walking in your shoes. Authenticity is your best asset."