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.

Arnold L. Hill “Al”
Chief Operations Officer

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.

Dale Thompson
Director of Employment Services

Dale comes to Thrive Upstate with thirty seven years of experience serving individuals with disabilities and special needs at a state agency.  For the last twenty seven years of his career in Anderson he held the Executive Director position until retiring in 2015.

In his current role, he applies his experience working with companies such as Walgreens Distribution, UPS, Best Buy, Proctor and Gamble, and Colgate Palmolive to develop specialized hiring initiatives for people with disabilities.

Dale holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education from the University of South Carolina.

Anne Arrington, LMSW
Director of Family Supports

Anne is a Licensed Master Social Worker, and also has a Masters degree in Education in Personnel Services. She has spent her career working in the disabilities and special needs field. She began at Whitten Center in 1974, before moving on the Child Find and Early Intervention program at Oconee County DSN. She joined Thrive Upstate in 1979 as a social worker for the Hollis Center. During her time with the agency, Anne has shared her talents in Service Coordination and Family Supports since 1985, in addition to serving as Interim Executive Director and Deputy Executive Director.

Anne is married to John Arrington and they have three adult daughters and seven grandchildren. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Julie Valentine Center. Anne is an active member at Christ Church Episcopal.

Elise W. Hardin
Director of Day Services

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 Services

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.

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.

Alicia Grubel
Director of Quality Assurance

Alicia began working in the disabilities community in 1997 as a Direct Support Professional in New York. During that time, she earned a B.A. in Psychology from Stony Brook University. Alicia joined Thrive Upstate in 2005 and diligently works to support staff and resident safety.

When she isn’t involved in Thrive Upstate safety and wellness activities, Alicia loves to spend time with her 4-year-old daughter. She has a passion for travel and hopes to visit Italy in the near future.

Jennifer Sperry
Associate Director of Respite Services

Jennifer graduated in 2001 from Winthrop University with a Bachelors of Social Work. She worked in geriatric long-term care before coming to Thrive Upstate in August 2002 as a Service Coordinator. Jennifer advanced to the Respite Associate Director position in January 2005. She supports individuals with disabilities living at home with their families in the Greenville community. She also works with self-advocates to be engaged in disabilities awareness events.

In her time off, Jennifer enjoys reading, gardening and spending time with family and friends.

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.

Feldon Roberts
Associate Director of Residential Services

Feldon started working with Thrive Upstate in 1985 as Counselor/Recreation Coordinator. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Southern Wesleyan University in 2005. During his career, he has also served as Program Manager of Edgefield ICF and as Director of High Management. He was promoted to Associate Director of Residential Services in 2002.

Feldon is married to Angela and they’ve celebrated 33 years together. They have a daughter, Michelle, and son, Jermaine, as well as 2 grandchildren and 1 on the way. His greatest passion is his family.

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.

Doreen “Dee” DiCarlo
Contract Services Accounts Manager

Dee comes to Thrive Upstate with a varied background. She has a Bachelors of Science degree in Environmental Resources Analysis/Geographical Information Systems from Florida Atlantic University.

Dee worked at the Center for Environmental Studies ( for over thirteen years. While at CES she was responsible for managing federal and state contracts and grants as well as environmental symposia and conferences until 2009 when she moved to Asheville, NC. There she produced a national campaign and worked on the Federal Climate Program at the Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites (

As the Accounts Manager, Dee is responsible for outsourced work services with companies throughout Greenville County.

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).

Thomas Leonard
Farm & Greenhouse Manager

Thomas Leonard graduated from Eckerd College with a BA in Sustainability Studies and a minor is Sociology. He brings diverse experience working in agriculture with an emphasis on sustainable production methods and educational horticulture. Over the past decade Thomas has participated in developing well over a dozen educational and community gardens including the Edible Peace Patch Project in St. Petersburg FL, numerous gardens at Eckerd College.

Peggy White
Accounting 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.

Gina Abrams
Volunteer Coordinator

Biography coming soon.