Chris Lewis was named president of Greenville’s professional soccer team on March 13, 2018 as a part of the official announcement naming the Upstate South Carolina city as a Founding Member of the USL’s newly formed Division 3 league. Lewis has more than 20 years of experience in professional and NCAA sports and most recently served as the president and general manager of the Greenville Swamp Rabbits professional hockey team. During his more than five years at the helm of the New York Rangers ECHL affiliate, Lewis led efforts that resulted in double digit revenue and attendance growth. In addition, he oversaw the team’s 2015 re-brand that helped propel the organization to new heights within the Greenville community. During his tenure as the Swamp Rabbits president, Lewis oversaw the organization’s business operations and managed the team’s affiliate relationships with the NHL’s New York Rangers and the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack. Prior to coming to Greenville, Chris spent 16 years working in business development, sales and marketing roles in major league and minor league professional sports as well as NCAA Division I athletics. Lewis served on the ECHL’s Board of Governors and was a member of the League’s Marketing and Rules Committees. Lewis’ pro sports experience includes stints at the NHL, AHL and ECHL levels and encompasses both team and league positions. Chris worked with the Washington Capitals from 1999-2007 and as Director of Marketing, led marketing, promotional, fan development, special event, partnership marketing, media partnership, advertising and grassroots marketing initiatives that resulted in marked increases in ticket and sponsorship sales as well as increased brand presence and media exposure. Before his time in the NHL, Lewis served as the ECHL’s Assistant Director of Marketing from 1997-1999 and led the League’s team services efforts and on-ice licensing program. Chris also worked on the sponsorship sales effort that resulted in record growth in revenue and corporate partner affiliations. During his time with the Philadelphia Phantoms (AHL, 1996-97), Chris was the lead ticket sales account executive. He created and implemented various corporate ticket sales programs and helped the team draw numerous crowds of over 17,000 during its inaugural season. Chris also spent time with the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles corporate sales and service team and worked on numerous presentations aimed at increasing the club’s sponsorship and premium seat sales revenues. From 2007-2012, Lewis led the business development efforts for Binghamton University’s NCAA Division I Athletics program, setting new benchmarks for development revenue and donor participation during his tenure with the program. Chris is active in the Greenville community serving as Vice Chairman for the Greenville Zoo Foundation Board. Lewis is also a member of the board for the Blue Ridge Council of the Boy Scouts of America and has been selected as a member of Leadership Greenville’s Class 44. Chris spent three years as a member of the VisitGreenvilleSC Board of Directors and has also served as an Ambassador for the Children’s Museum of the Upstate. Chris and his wife, Diane, are active members of Covenant United Methodist Church and serve in a variety of capacities. Born and raised on Long Island, Chris holds a Bachelor’s degree from Villanova University, and a Master’s degree from Springfield College. Chris and Diane spend many of their weekends watching their children play youth soccer for United FC and CESA.
Entrepreneur Joe Erwin is the co-founder and former President of national marketing agency Erwin Penland, the co-founder of Clemson University's Erwin Center for Brand Communications, and as President of Erwin Creates, operates Endeavor, is active as a business coach and speaker, and is involved in a range of development initiatives. A Clemson University graduate, Joe began his career in Greenville but soon moved to New York to join DMB&B, one of the largest marketing agencies of that time. He and his wife Gretchen – also a marketing professional – returned to Greenville in 1986 to open Erwin Penland with one account and two employees, and over the next 30 years grew it to more than 400 people, with offices in Greenville and New York and a client roster that included Verizon Wireless, L.L. Bean, Denny's and DisneyXD. Joe has served on numerous boards and commissions, including the South Carolina Special Olympics, the Governor’s Commission on Teacher Quality, the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, the American Association of Advertising Agencies and the 4A's Foundation (which he currently chairs). Through Erwin Creates, Joe is actively involved with day-to-day activities at Endeavor, manages a variety of development projects, provides business consulting services to agency leaders, Chairs the Board of Advisors for Clemson’s Erwin Center for Brand Communications, and is a member of the Board at UGA’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.
After overseeing Endeavor’s build out of their unique space from the ground up, Doug “runs the shop” day-to-day, managing Office Member moves, technology, operations, logistics – and a range of support services to deliver a great experience for everyone at Greenville’s creative coworking community. He is also a key member of the Erwin Creates venture creation and development team. Doug started his career with Vornado Realty Trust in Washington, DC, a preeminent developer with more than 30 million square feet of LEED-certified office and retail space. He returned to Greenville to join Erwin Penland, where he worked on accounts including Verizon, Sears Auto Center and the Greenville Drive before becoming part of the Erwin Creates/Endeavor team in 2016.
Shannon’s role with Erwin Creates encompasses all current initiatives – including working closely with Endeavor’s core team and members, managing business coaching relationships and speaking requests, and serving on The Erwin Center’s Board of Advisors. She began her career with U.S. Senator Ernest F. Hollings, and moved from Capitol Hill to work with the Greenville Chamber’s President and Board before becoming a member of Joe’s team at Erwin Penland. There, she spent 15 years as SVP Business Development, leading the new business “courtship” process and managing the internal teams whose work would grow the agency’s headcount from 65 to nearly 400.