Preview of the Global Fluency Forum at BMW: Insights from Ten at the Top's Executive Director Dean Hybl

Mollee D. Harper

Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

South Carolina CEO met with Executive Director Dean Hybl of Ten at the Top to preview the upcoming Global Fluency Forum at the BMW Zentrum in Greer, SC later this week. The focus of the Global Fluency Forum is on building, retaining and nurturing relationships with the 500 foreign-businesses representing 34 countries that are headquartered or have offices in the upstate SC region. Hybl previews the focus, experts and best practices for this  forum in order to maintain and grow the welcoming and diversified, business-ready community.

Dean Hybl has served as Executive Director for Ten at the Top since January 2010. Ten at the Top is a non-profit organization, representing the ten counties in upstate South Carolina, designed to promote regional collaboration and economic vitality across the region.

Hybl offered, “South Carolina is one of the leaders in global investments. SC per capita is among the top capitol investments in foreign businesses in the U.S. This is not something that is new. This is longstanding with our state. We have a region with roughly 500 foreign owned companies that represent 34 countries.” 

“We started our forum series in 2012.  The purpose of those forums is to talk about issues impacting economic vitality and quality of life in Upstate SC. Each quarter we have a different topic around issues from workforce development to infrastructure investment, making our communities great destinations to raise a family and so on.”

“The Global Fluency Forum is our first forum in 2017 and touches on a topic that is a critical part of the Upstate’s past and future success. The focus of the forum is to make sure that our local business leaders, workers and community are creating a culture that makes people feel welcome and part of our community.”

Ten at the Top is co-hosting the forum with The World Affairs Council Upstate, which is a program of Upstate International. Prior to the afternoon Forum, The World Affairs Council and the Global Fluency Institute of Columbus, Ohio are hosting a workshop to provide Upstate leaders with  skills to interact effectively with people from different cultures. This workshop is limited to only 25 people and there are only a couple spots remaining.  

Following the morning workshop, the afternoon Regional Forum will look at how the Upstate economy is developing a culture that embraces Global Fluency. The Forum will feature a keynote presentation as well as a local panel discussion sharing first-hand experience in international business and the dos and don’ts that come through years of experience at the top of their fields.

Hybl continued, “This event is more holistic and educational on cultural diversities. We are a place that is already globally fluent and we have a welcoming and open mindset as a community. Our focus for this event is to make sure our local businesses are plugged in and ready to take advantage of the new opportunities and build new relationships.”

“We are partnering with Upstate International, which has the mission of helping folks that come to the region from other countries to feel comfortable in the community. This is a great partnership with companies from all cultures working together for the good of the community. This is really our ongoing message.”

“We have been successful in recent years to bring in people who have different perspectives on issues that are important to us. We have had folks in to talk about infrastructure, transportation, and other areas. We were excited to bring in an expert in Global Fluency from Columbus, Ohio to share his insight. We also have local panelists to talk about how to make people feel comfortable in the community. We think this is a very critical topic for this region.”

Hybl shared, “We are excited to have Brad Gosche here as our Workshop Host and Keynote Speaker. I think Brad will do a great job of sharing what’s worked in Columbus that we can apply here in our region and help us to increase our competency and messaging as a community to welcome businesses from everywhere.”

Brad Gosche, Senior Director of the Global Fluency Institute in Columbus, Ohio, is leading the morning workshop and serving as keynote speaker of the forum. Gosche has trained organizations such as Chase, Honda, Nationwide Insurance, and many others to improve their international business acumen.

Hybl added, “We also have other folks from local companies speaking to share their success stories that we can learn from and apply to our work in this area in Upstate SC.”

The 2017 Global Fluency Forum expert panel includes:

  • Patrick Terrien, President and CEO of the Columbus Council on World Affairs.

  • Brad Gosche, Senior Director of the Global Fluency Institute

  • Herrin Hood, Global Product Line Manager at Milliken

  • Reid Lohr, Senior Managing Director of EDI Group

  • Susan Simmons, Director of Career Management at Michelin

“It’s critical for businesses from other parts of the world to recognize that SC is a very fertile place for them to come and have success. We have built a pipeline of workers, infrastructure, and locations with port access, and more to support this. Foreign businesses that are coming here are welcomed to a community with resources available to help them succeed. When they come here they become part of our community and are valued as such.”

“We value businesses in the Upstate whether from another state or another country. We have the ingredients necessary for them to be successful here. This forum is another example to remind ourselves to continue to work on this. The forum allows us to find out other areas where we may need to improve and grow.”

Hybl concluded, “Upstate SC is global and welcoming. We want to position ourselves for more opportunities for global investments and trades. Relationships require purposeful focus. The Upstate continually focuses on building and retaining relationships. We must be doing something right with 500 foreign companies here and we want to see that component of our economy continue to grow and thrive.”   

Hybl has an extensive background as a communications professional with more than 25 years of experience in sports, community and private sector communications, event organization and engagement. Prior to joining Ten at the Top, Hybl served as Creator for Sports Then and Now; Communications Specialist for Curley & Pynn PR; Program Manager for; Assistant Director of Athletics at Rollins College; and Sports Information Director at Hampden-Sydney College. Hybl received his formal education from James Madison University.

For more information and to register for the Global Fluency Forum, visit: