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Innovation and Competitveness Hand in Hand for Pickett

June 18, 2018
As a continuation of our work with the Global Cities Initiative, the Upstate Global Competitiveness Council (GCC) was formed in July 2017 to implement the strategies and tactics named in the Upstate Regional Export and Foreign-Direct Investment Plans. This area of work relies upon collaboration and communication between public and private sector investors and economic development stakeholders, with working groups led by private sector representatives. Through this Q&A series, we can learn more about these leaders and how their day jobs align with the GCC. 

Greg PIckettName: Dr. Gregory Pickett
Job: Senior Associate Dean & Director, Clemson MBA & Clemson ONE
Global Competitiveness Council Role: Steering Committee Member
Tell us a little about your background: I was born in Arkansas and obtained my undergraduate degree from Oklahoma State University in marketing, as well as my MBA and a PhD in marketing. I currently live in Greenville and have also lived in Clemson and Pickens.
I oversee business functions for the College of Business, including marketing and public relations. As part of my role with Clemson University, I helped move the MBA program to the ONE Building in downtown Greenville and oversee its operations.
How long have you been in your current job? I have worked for Clemson University since 1991. Prior to my current role, I was a professor and chair of the Department of Marketing for Clemson.
What would someone be surprised to learn about you?
I attended Oklahoma State University on a scholarship for pole vaulting, and from time-to-time I assist area high schools as a pole vaulting coach. Participating in athletics taught me that competition can be motivating, but it’s also good to step back and realize not everything is a competition and there is value in working as a team.
Why did you decide to become involved with the Global Competitiveness Council?
In 2012, the Clemson MBA Program began rethinking what the program should be and increased the program’s focus on innovation and entrepreneurship. With innovation being a major component of the Global Competitiveness Council, I was drawn in and saw it as an opportunity to contribute and also learn new things that I could bring back to the MBA program.

Greg Pickett pull quote

How does your job relate to the objectives of the Global Competitiveness Council?
In my role, I’m passionate about finding innovative approaches to business and entrepreneurship. Globalism creates competition and provides opportunities to raise the bar of excellence for Upstate middle market companies.
Many of the students — approximately 30 percent of them — go on to start a business. By preparing students to think globally, we are setting them up for success in their future endeavors.
Why would you encourage others to become involved?
I am unashamed to trumpet the importance of economic development, and the Global Competitiveness Council is a method in which that can be accomplished. A global Upstate means better quality of life, higher paying jobs, and the ability to attract, train, and retain talent.
It is easy to support the initiative because we’re not where we need to be yet, but the Alliance is pushing us in that direction through the work of the GCC.
TOPICS: Existing Industry, Global Competitiveness, International, Global Cities Initiative