Spartanburg Service Center Opens as ‘Community Improvement Enabler’ | Business
SPARTANBURG – The rain outside sprayed the ribbon cut and briefly delayed the invocation, but that didn’t cool the mood when the Robert Hett Chapman III Philanthropy Center was officially unveiled.
The center is part of the Spartanburg County Foundation and is located across from its main office on East Kennedy Street in downtown Spartanburg.
“We envisioned a tech-driven, innovative, bright and collaborative space,” said Mary Thomas, executive director of the center and chief operating officer of the foundation. “We envisioned a space where data would be our guide and enabler of community improvement. What we envisioned, along with our administrators and a host of community members and friends, has become a reality. “
Foundation officials said it was the first philanthropy center in South Carolina, designed to “establish a collaborative and shared space that enhances the foundation’s role as a convener and thought leader in the community. community”.
The opening has been somewhat delayed by the pandemic, and some capacity restrictions will remain in place initially. A crowd of over 100 community leaders, government officials, foundation administrators, donors and media gathered on June 29 to tour the facilities.
The open lobby is bordered by floor-to-ceiling windows and overlooked by two interior balconies leading to the conference rooms and offices on the second floor. On the first floor, flexible space rooms and seating areas offer a wide range of options for meetings and events. Much of the 15,000 square feet of space is available for nonprofits, donors, and the community.
Chapman, a native of Spartanburg, was President and CEO of Spartanburg County-based textile manufacturer Inman Mills at the time of his death in 2017. He has served and led numerous boards and community organizations over the years, including the Foundation. from Spartanburg County, according to his obituary.
“Rob Chapman left a legacy and a life of leadership that will not be forgotten,” said Troy Hanna, President and CEO of the foundation. “The Robert Hett Chapman III Philanthropy Center continues its legacy of community leadership for generations to witness. We remember Rob as a philanthropist with an unprecedented generosity of spirit and passion for people.
Ownership of the center was donated to the foundation in 2017 by Susu and George Dean Johnson, Jr. Construction plans for the center were announced in 2019 on the foundation’s 75th anniversary. Founded in 1943, the stated purpose of the community foundation is to promote philanthropy and meet the needs of the community.
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