Bryant Nixon

Bryant Nixon has served on the Board of Thrive Upstate since 2014.  A native of Clinton, South Carolina, he is married to Stacy and has three children; Emma, Sam, and Mary.  He is a shareholder and Executive Vice President for Triangle Construction Company, Inc. in Greenville, SC.

Bryant has served on the boards of Trees Greenville, Christ Church Episcopal Pre-School, and The Greenville Chamber of Commerce Leadership Development Board of Regents.  He was a member of Leadership Greenville Class 32.  He is also an active member and past vestry member of Christ Church Episcopal in Greenville.

Christy Bright
Vice Chair

Christy Cates Bright has been a community volunteer for more than 11 years. She grew up here in Greenville, went to college and married her husband Jon. After getting married she moved to Pennsylvania and had 4 children, one with special needs. She lived there for about 20 years and moved back to Greenville 6 years ago. Over the years she has helped families who have children with special needs. Christy will bring firsthand knowledge and experience to the Board.

Clyde Baucom

Clyde Baucom 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.

Bob Ariail
Board Member

Robert “Bob” Ariail is a practicing attorney in Greenville, SC.  He has more than 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.

Paul Hamberis, DPT
Board Member

Paul Hamberis, DPT, is a native of Greenville, SC. 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. He has 19 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.

Paul brings business administration experience and medical expertise to the Thrive Upstate Board.


Alex McNair
Board Member

Alex McNair 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.  Alex and his family have lived in Greenville since 2001.

Bern Mebane
Board Member

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.

Bern 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.

Jason Strand
Board Member

Jason Strand is Director of Enterprise Engagement for Galvanize, an education provider of immersive software engineering and data science training programs for professionals. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at Furman University, and has more than ten years of program and project management experience in the private sector.

He has served his community on the Foothills Philharmonic Board and participated in special concerts and fundraising initiatives for autism, food drives, and Toys for Tots. He is also a member and volunteer for the Greenville County Historical Society.

Jason brings administrative and leadership skills to the Board, along with a heart for serving people with disabilities and special needs.

Amanda Walkup
Board Member

Amanda Walkup is a faculty member at Lander University in the College of Education. She previously taught students with disabilities for 17 years in Greenville County Schools. Amanda earned a B.S. in Special Education, an M.A. in Education-Reading, an Ed.S. in Educational Leadership-Special Education, and was a National Board Certified Teacher of Exceptional Needs. She is currently working on her Doctorate in Special Education.

She is very active in South Carolina’s Council for Exceptional Children since 1999 and has served in various officer and board positions.

Amanda lives in Mauldin with her husband, Will, and three dogs, Ginger, Louise, and Evie. She brings knowledge of special education curriculum, strategies, laws, and state and federal policies to the Board.