The Upstate SC Alliance provides a full spectrum of support for our clients and investment partners. Our full-time professional staff serves as a confidential, single point of contact for companies considering the Upstate SC region for a competitive business expansion or location.
John Lummus, President & CEO
John Lummus serves as the President & CEO for the Upstate SC Alliance. In this role, he is responsible for driving the overall direction of the Alliance as well as developing relationships and supporting collaboration throughout the region.
Prior to his current position at the Upstate SC Alliance, Lummus served as vice president of Economic and Institutional Advancement at Tri-County Technical College, a position he held for eight years. Lummus also served as director of the Anderson County Office of Economic Development and worked to recruit new industry while supporting existing industry throughout the county.
A native of Anderson, John is a graduate of Wake Forest University and received his master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of South Carolina (USC). He is also a graduate of the South Carolina Economic Developer’s School, USC’s Higher Education Leadership Program, and the national Executive Leadership Institute conducted by the League for Innovation in Community Colleges. In May of 2015, John received his SCCED (South Carolina Certified Economic Developer) certification.
Lauren Scoggins, COO / Director of Investor Relations
Lauren Scoggins serves as the Chief Operating Officer / Director of Investor Relations. In her role, Lauren provides leadership in the Alliance’s daily operations and financial management. She leads the annual budgeting process, produces financial reports, serves as a liaison to the executive and finance committees, manages special operations projects, and supports ongoing administration. Lauren also leads the Alliance’s Investor Relations program, implementing a strategic fundraising program and developing a meaningful program of benefits and services that bring value to our 180+ public and private investor companies. She also serves as the primary contact for The Upstate South Carolina Educational Foundation.
Previously she has worked at the South Carolina State House, as a community director for the March of Dimes, and then as the director of development and communications for Pendleton Place. Lauren joined the Alliance team in January 2015. In 2018, Lauren received her CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive) credential. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with minors in Business Administration and Sociology from Presbyterian College, and she is a graduate of Opportunity Greenville and the Women’s Leadership Institute of Furman University. Lauren is an active member of CREW Upstate, the Rotary Club of Greenville, and the Piedmont Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). She also serves on the community advisory Board for the Prisma Health’s Patewood Campus.
Annie Caggiano, Director of Business Recruitment
As Director of Business Recruitment, Annie Caggiano is responsible for creating and implementing the Upstate SC Alliance’s global business recruitment strategy. She works closely with partners at the state and local levels to showcase the Upstate as an ideal business location.
Entering her 19th year of a career in economic development, Annie brings a knowledge base informed by utility, university, state and county perspectives. In that time, she has worked with companies from many industries, with emphasis on automotive manufacturing and corporate headquarters, helping to bring more than $2.1 billion and 10,000 jobs to the state.
Previous roles include Central SC Alliance, where she served as Director of Research; Santee Cooper, as Senior Project Manager; Richland County, as Assistant Director of Economic Development; the SC Department of Commerce, as Project Manager; and the Oconee Economic Alliance, where she served as President for two years.
Annie holds a BS in Marketing from Clemson University and has continued her education with professional development earning a South Carolina Certified Economic Developer (SCCED) designation and completing her course work at the Oklahoma University Economic Development Institute.
Aimee Redick, Director of Global Engagement
Aimee Redick serves as Director of Global Engagement for the Upstate SC Alliance and is responsible for the development and execution of the organization’s global marketing strategy. In her role, she serves to increase awareness of the region through UA marketing initiatives directed to both domestic and international audiences and by building supportive relationships with centers of influence.
Aimee is a native to Upstate South Carolina. She joined the Upstate SC Alliance in 2012 after working for The Cliffs Communities in their sales and marketing department. Previously, she practiced law for more than seven years. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of South Carolina and her Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law.
Elizabeth Watson, Director of Research & Strategic Initiatives
Elizabeth Watson serves as Director of Research & Strategic Initiatives for the Upstate SC Alliance. She is responsible for directing and executing the research efforts for the Upstate SC Alliance team and positioning the organization as the go-to resource for information, which includes compiling data and reports for prospects and investors, as well as working with industry partners to provide the most up to date information about the Upstate. Watson is also an integral part of the Upstate’s participation with the Global Cities Exchange, a joint partnership of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase. Watson joined the Upstate SC Alliance in 2011 after 11 years with GSA Business Report.
Watson graduated from the Honors College at the College of Charleston with a BA in English, a BA in French and a minor in Arts Administration.
Danielle Besser, Communications & Engagement Manager
As Communications & Engagement Manager for the Upstate SC Alliance, Danielle Besser leads the Alliance’s messaging and storytelling initiatives, providing strategic direction to the Investor Relations and in-region stakeholder communications in addition to crafting content for the organization’s marketing initiatives. She spearheads the Alliance’s media relations and multimedia storytelling programs in addition to developing engaging Alliance events, such as the Annual Meetings where #TeamUpstate and Move Up initiatives have launched. She joined the Alliance team in April 2016.
Previously, Danielle worked in Georgia as Director of Marketing & Communications for the Liberty County Development Authority and as a reporter for Coastal Courier. Danielle has a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from the University of Florida and is a graduate of the Georgia Academy for Economic Development, the South Carolina Economic Development Institute and the IEDC Economic Development Marketing & Attraction course.
Addyson Cooper, Research Specialist
As Research Specialist, Addyson Cooper assists in the creation and maintenance of regional databases, the collection and publication of statistical data and research, and the compilation of requests and other support services for the Alliance, investors, and other economic development partners. She works directly with Elizabeth Watson in positioning the Alliance as the go-to resource for research in the Upstate. Addyson is an Upstate native, with a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Wofford.
Prior to joining the Alliance team in 2021, Addyson served as a Community Coordinator at Little Steps, a non-profit organization that provides services to teen and young parents. In that role, she worked with donors and managed volunteers and community service programs. Her internship experiences include serving as a legal intern in Spartanburg and as a marketing intern in Washington, D.C., for the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, in addition to studying abroad in Freiburg, Germany. She loves to travel, enjoy a dog-friendly brewery and spend time with her rescue pups, Annie and Lady.
Tiffany Tate, Talent & Strategic Projects Manager
Tiffany Tate serves as the Talent & Strategic Projects Manager for the Upstate SC Alliance. Tiffany plays a key role in supporting the Alliance’s talent recruitment and workforce initiatives, Move Up and Skill Up. Additionally, she coordinates the Global Competitiveness Council, an investor-led collaborative that develops programming, policy ideas, and networks needed to help the Upstate become more globally connected and competitive. She also provides support on projects and events that build relationships with domestic and international centers of influence.
Tiffany previously served as Assistant Director of Ten at the Top, where she supported collaborative task forces, events, and initiatives with a regional focus. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Clemson University and is a graduate of the South Carolina Economic Development Institute.
Melody Watson, Office Manager & Executive Administrator
As Office Manager & Executive Administrator for the Upstate SC Alliance, Melody Watson manages office operations and procedures in order to ensure organizational effectiveness and efficiency. She supports the Alliance’s finance and budgeting areas, manages vendor relationships and serves as the executive administrator to the President & CEO.
Prior to joining the Alliance, Melody was the Office Manager at Pendleton Place for Children and Families for 10 years. She also served as a Legal Secretary at Haynsworth, Sinkler, Boyd, P.A. for 17 years before entering the nonprofit field. Melody and her husband live in Powdersville, and they have three children and six grandchildren.