Luncheon: Demystifying Public-Private Partnerships Banner

Luncheon: Demystifying Public-Private Partnerships

Thursday, February 10, 2022

11:30 AM - 01:00 PM

Greenville Country Club

Greenville Country Club, 239 Byrd Boulevard, Greenville, SC, USA

CREW Upstate: February Luncheon (Open to Members & Non-Members)



Demystifying Public-Private Partnerships


Public-private partnerships are helping to improve communities throughout the United States. Here in the Upstate, these partnerships have profound impacts on local economies, placemaking efforts, and community revitalization. Come find out what public-private partnerships are, why this tool is effective, and what some lessons learned are. Attendees will hear about several large and small scale projects in Spartanburg and Greenville and how they were structured.  

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About Mary Douglas Hirsch:

Mary Douglas Hirsch is the Real Estate Development Manager for the City of Greenville Economic Development Department. She works with business owners, developers, residents, and other stakeholders to promote a viable downtown district and city. She represents the City on a variety of mixed-use developments, strategic plans, streetscape projects, and business recruitment and retention initiatives. She is a graduate of Presbyterian College with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Clemson University with a Masters of City and Regional Planning. She received her AICP certification from the American Institute of Certified Planners in 2007.  


She is an active member in the Urban Land Institute, the American Planning Association, the South Carolina Chapter of the American Planning Association, and CREW Upstate. Greenville Business Magazine named her to their “Best & Brightest 35 & Under” list in 2009. In 2011, she received the “Young Professional of the Year Award” from the Greenville Chamber of Commerce and the Rising Star Award from CREW Upstate. She is a graduate of Leadership Greenville Class 42 and enjoys spending time with her husband, two daughters, and chocolate lab, Holden.


About Katherine O'Neill:

Katherine O’Neill serves as the Chief Economic Development Officer for OneSpartanburg, Inc, Spartanburg’s headquarters for countywide business, economic and tourism development. Originally from Washington DC, Katherine retired in 2018 as Spartanburg County’s Administrator following a thirty-year career in SC local government which included leadership positions in Darlington, Lexington and Spartanburg Counties. A nationally certified planner, she has a BA in economics from Mary Washington College and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of South Carolina. Fun facts about Katherine include that she is related to Ignace Paderewski, spent a lot of time as a child at the Pentagon with her dad, loves gardening and travel, and is a beekeeper! 


About Nancy Whitworth:

Nancy retired after a long tenure with the City of Greenville serving as the director of economic and community development, deputy city manager and interim city manager. She was instrumental in establishing public private partnerships resulting in Greenville’s successful downtown and city-wide redevelopment. She has been an expert panelist and presenter throughout the country advising communities on entrepreneurial and collaborative approaches to economic and community development.

She received her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science degrees from Clemson University and serves on the boards of Clemson’s Advancement for Real Estate Development and The Rutland Institute for Ethics. Throughout the years she served on numerous boards in the community including the Greenville Chamber of Commerce, Community Foundation of Greenville, Greenville Local Development Corporation, The Innovate Fund and the University Center of Greenville. She is currently board member of Prisma Upstate and is a South Carolina Department of Transportation Commissioner. She is a member of CREW, Urban Land Institute and Greenville Professional Women’s Forum.  

Nancy has received numerous awards throughout her career including the Order of the Palmetto recognizing her exemplary vision and leadership as well as her achievements in economic development.  

She is currently an advisor with OneSpartanburg, Inc. focusing on economic development within the City of Spartanburg. She resides in Greenville with her husband Jeff.  



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