Staff

Tyler Rex
Executive Director

Tyler Rex has extensive leadership experience in the disability field, having previously served as Executive Director at the Anderson County Disabilities and Special Needs Board. He also served at the Oconee County Disabilities and Special Needs Board as Assistant Executive Director and as its Finance Director. 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.

Angie Ballenger
Director of Day Services

Angie has been with Thrive Upstate (formerly Greenville County Disabilities and Special Needs Board) since September, 1997.  She held positions as Vocational Trainer, Payroll Clerk, Rehabilitation Support Lead Clinical Staff, Day Program Manager, Associate Director of Day Services, and is currently Director of Day Services.

Angie holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC.

Angie enjoys spending time with her son Christopher, traveling, cooking, cuddling with her Maltese Chloe and her cat Gracie, and reading a good book in her spare time.

David Bright
Director of Human Resources

David has 20 plus years of experience in the Human Resources field overall, with more than 14 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, employment law 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, he enjoys sports, travelling, fishing and spending time with family and friends.

David is married to Ashley and they have three children.

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.

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.

Arnold L. Hill
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 more than 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 13 years working in the disabilities and special needs field to improve lives.

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.

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.

Peggy White
Director of Finance

Peggy holds a degree in Business Administration and is a Certified Government Finance Officer (CGFO).  She joined Thrive Upstate in 1997 as a Financial Analyst and is now serving as the Finance Director. She 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.  One son is a concept artist who graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2020.  The other son is a budding auto mechanic currently attending Greenville Tech. Peggy loves dogs, and her fur babies includes Humphries, a terrier mix, and two pit bulls named Deja and Luna.

Stacy Whitsel
Director of Residential Programs

Stacy has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a strong background in human services. She 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, Stacy 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.