Staff

Tyler Rex
Executive Director

Tyler Rex has more than 14 years of leadership experience in the disability field, having served as Executive Director at the Anderson County Disabilities and Special Needs Board since March 2016. He also served at the Oconee County Disabilities and Special Needs Board for six years as Assistant Executive Director and seven years as its Finance Director and Supported Living Coordinator. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from Brigham Young University and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Southern Wesleyan University.

Tyler is married to Heidi, and they have four children.

Elise W. Hardin
Director of Day Programs

A graduate of The College of Charleston, Elise holds a B.A. in Psychology. She has built her career in Human Services (as a Direct Support Professional and later, Service Coordinator and Supervisor) during her time with the Thrive Upstate since 1985. She brings her experiences in management and hands-on support to her new position as Director of Day Services.

When she’s not in the office, Elise spends her time with her husband and three daughters.

Stacy Whitsel
Director of Residential Programs

Stacy has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a strong background in human services. Although new to Thrive Upstate, Stacy is a long time servant in the nonprofit world. She has been a service coordination supervisor, a qualified intellectual disabilities professional, and a CRCF Administrator in multiple DDSN facilities. Additionally, she has worked with the Governor’s Office Continuum of Care for emotionally disturbed children, as a senior options day program director, and opened and managed a for-profit CRCF in Clinton.

Stacy has a daughter in the US Navy, currently stationed in San Diego, CA., and her son attends Broome High School.

David Bright
Director of Human Resources

David has over 20 years of experience in the Human Resources field overall, with more than 11 being in Human Resources Management. David has experience supporting several industries including but limited to Engineering, Construction, Operations and Maintenance, Information Technology and Telecommunications. David is adept in employee relations, program development, recruitment and retention and process improvements. David is a graduate of the University of South Carolina at Spartanburg with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration.

In his free time, David enjoys sports, travelling, working out, fishing and spending time with family and friends.

Arnold L. Hill “Al”
Director of Support Operations

Al holds degrees in Civil Engineering (Registered Professional Engineer), Organizational Management and a Masters in Human Resource Development. Prior to his service in the disabilities community, Al spent over 40 years in construction and engineering or, in his words, “working with bricks and sticks to build buildings and things.” He has brought his technical abilities and development skills to the nonprofit world, and joined Thrive Upstate in 2013. Al is pleased to have spent the last seven years working in the disabilities and special needs field to improve lives.

Alicia Grubel
Director of Quality Assurance

Alicia began her career supporting individuals with intellectual disabilities in 1997 as a Direct Support Professional in New York.  During that time, she earned a B.A. degree in Psychology from Stony Brook University.  Alicia joined the Thrive Upstate team in 2005 as a QIDP.  She is committed to enhancing the quality of services provided in order to achieve the best personal outcomes for the individuals supported.

In her free time, Alicia enjoys traveling with her family and exploring new places.

Peggy White
Finance Manager

Peggy holds a degree in Business Administration and joined Thrive Upstate in 1997 as a Financial Analyst. She was promoted to Accounting Manager in July 2013 and supports Thrive Upstate in our mission to provide services and support to as many individuals and families as possible.

Peggy and her husband celebrated their silver anniversary in 2013 and have two sons. Their family also includes Humphries, a terrier mix, and Deja, a pitbull.

Nicole Lomax
Director of Training

Nicole earned a MBA from Southern Wesleyan University and a MS in Health Administration from the University of the Rockies. Nicole began her career serving individuals with disabilities and special needs in 1996 as a caregiver for Pickens County DSNB. For the past 20 years she has followed her passion to make a difference in the lives of people. Nicole has worked in numerous roles during her career: caregiving, coordinator, manager, QIDP, instructor, and director. She brings diverse knowledge and experience to Thrive Upstate derived from her previous employment with several local area employers such as Pickens County DSNB, Helping Hands, First Choice Financial, First Franklin Financial, and The Charles Lea Center before joining the Thrive Upstate team. As the Director of Training, she oversees training for all new hires and continual additional training for all employees through seminars, webinars, lectures, and online training.

Nicole enjoys spending her quality time on the weekends at Lake Norman in Cornelius NC with her husband, Sam, and their daughter, Ashley, and grandson, Cayden.

Kay Brooks
Director of HASCI Services

Kay has worked with individuals with brain and spinal cord injuries at Thrive Upstate since 1998. She is a certified Brain Injury Specialist Trainer and has special interests in applied behavior analysis and developing treatment materials for individuals with cognitive disabilities. Kay holds a Master of Arts in Psychology from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. She is also an adjunct instructor of psychology at Greenville Technical College, where she has taught since 2003.

Beth Justice
Director of Early Intervention Services

Beth received a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Western Carolina University in 1990. Her career working with children with various abilities began shortly after graduation and she knew immediately that she wanted to work with children with developmental delays

Beth moved to Greenville, SC after getting married and joined Thrive Upstate, where she has diligently contributed in several positions during her 20 year employment with the agency. She is also a member of the Center for Developmental Services Management Team, and a participant on the BabyNet Coordination Team.

Curtis Arrowood
IT Director

Curtis graduated from Phoenix University with an Associates Degree in Technology. He spent 12 years in the Armed Forces and has held positions in the corporate and nonprofit sectors. He is currently hard at work supporting the efforts of everyone at Thrive Upstate as the IT Wizard.

He and his wife Christine are proud parents to their daughter, Anna, three cats (Ozzy, Ringo, and Coco) and two dogs (Jaxon & Khloe).