Robert “Bob” Ariail is a practicing attorney in Greenville, SC, and is our Chairman of the Board. He has over 41 years of experience in the practice of Law, is a member of the South Carolina and Greenville County Bar Associations, and has received a Martindale-Hubbell – AV Rating. Bob served as Solicitor of the 13th Judicial Circuit of South Carolina from 1997-2011, managing 120 employees and a budget of over $8 million.
Bob is an active member of the Greenville community and has served as a chairman for the Upstate Heart Walk, Wofford College Annual Fund, Christ Church School Annual Fund, Davidson College Athletic Foundation, and as a member of many other organizations. In addition to his financial and legal expertise, Bob brings significant management and negotiation skills to the Thrive Upstate board.
Bryant Nixon is a stockholder and Executive Vice President for Triangle Construction Company, Inc. in Greenville, SC where he has been employed since 1998. Bryant is our Vice-Chairman of the Board and has served on the boards of Trees Greenville, Christ Church Episcopal Pre-School, The Greenville Chamber of Commerce Leadership Development Board of Regents, and Triangle Construction Company, Inc.
He is a LEED Accredited Professional with the US Green Building Council and a Graduate of Leadership Greenville Class 32. He is a Clemson University Graduate with a BS in Civil Engineering. A native of Clinton, South Carolina, he is married and has three children, and lives and works in Greenville, SC.
Clyde Baucom is our Board Treasurer. He is a retired human resources executive who grew up in Charlotte, NC and subsequently resided in Greenville, SC (1980 – 1997), and Montgomery, AL (1997 – 2014). Clyde maintained his Greenville residence while in Montgomery, and returned here upon retirement in 2014.
His professional activities have included serving as President and Board Member of the Southern Employee Benefits Conference, HR Committee Chair of the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association, Board Member of the South Carolina Textile Manufacturers Association, and Life Member of the Society of Human Resource Managers.
In the Greenville community, Clyde has been President of the Roper Mountain Science Center, Board Chair of Junior Achievement, Board Member of the Eastside YMCA, Budget Review Panel Chair for the United Way, Advisory Board Member to the Junior League, and YMCA baseball and soccer coach.
Clyde and his wife Elizabeth have 3 children and 2 grandchildren.
Cynthia Baughan, Ph.D.
Cynthia Baughan, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Special Education and Child Development at UNC – Charlotte, NC. Cynthia has over 20 years of experience in the field of special education, and is a member of the Council for Exceptional Children and the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
In addition to teaching, Cynthia leads professional development workshops for teachers, and serves as a reviewer for NCATE/CAEP for national recognition of teacher preparation programs in special education.
Dr. Baughan contributes valuable insights and skills related to developing programs that will effectively serve individuals and families.
Jade Cox is an Education Specialist with the Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP) which is funded by a grant through the US Department of Education. In her current role, she is tasked with evaluating and securing educational media that can be successfully integrated in the classroom for students with sensory disabilities. Prior to her tenure at DCMP, she served as a High School Social Studies Teacher in North Carolina and South Carolina.
She is a graduate of the Educational Leadership Program at UNCC and the Women’s Leadership Institute at Furman University. When she is not working, Jade enjoys volunteering in her community and reading historical fiction. She is married with two children.
Board Member & Special Needs Parent
Peggy is a loving parent of an individual formerly served by Thrive Upstate. She has over 50 years of experience with the Greenville County disabilities community and is a strong supporter of integrating individuals with disabilities into their home communities. She is a speaker for the Barbara Stone Foundation, and has completed over 200 courses at Furman University during her retirement.
She brings extensive community service history with her. Peggy plans to “serve with love and sincerity” using her skills as a public speaker, and disabilities community leader.
Paul Hamberis, DPT
Paul Hamberis, DPT, is a native of Greenville, SC. He currently lives in Greenville, SC, with his wife and two children. Paul practices at Palmetto Physical Therapy, specializing in treating balance/vestibular deficits, stroke and brain injury conditions.
Paul has volunteered with A.H.E.P.A. – scholarships, HUD housing, and is an active member at St. George Cathedral. Paul has 12 years of experience working with individuals with disabilities, including a year at Roger C. Peace – TBI. He has a personal connection with the disabilities community through a relative with severe autism.
Hamberis brings business administration experience and medical expertise to the Thrive Upstate board.
Alex McNair is the Director of Lender Finance at Lima One Capital. He and his family have lived in Greenville since 2001.
Alex is heavily invested in the Greenville community and has a long history of community service. He brings business acumen, vision, and board governance experience to the Thrive Upstate Board.
Bern Mebane, President and CEO of Crescent Publishing Co., LLC, in Greenville, SC, a company he founded in 1999 after he retired from Gannett, Inc. where he served as senior group president of the company’s Piedmont Newspaper Group and as president and publisher of The Greenville News since the acquisition of Multimedia, Inc. by Gannett in 1995.
Mebane has been active in industry and community affairs. He currently serves on the board of the Greenville Health Corporation and on the Endowment of Christ Church. He has been active on numerous other charitable boards. He is married to the former Catharine Frampton McGee of Charleston, SC, and they have six children and seven grandchildren.