Get to Know Us


Tracie Frese

Executive Director

What drives a person’s curiosity towards places of the world? For Tracie it was her parents’ old movies of the Taj Mahal and pictures of Europe. It was the arrival of National Geographic in the mailbox each month.

Directing UI gives Tracie the chance to channel that childhood wonder and help the community engage in cultures and opportunities they may not otherwise experience. Previously the Director of the Columbia World Affairs Council, and an alumni of Clemson University,Tracie brings nonprofit leadership as well as a drive to advocate for global awareness in the Upstate.  Married to Chris Frese, Tracie has 3 sons: Thomas, Harry, and Cole. Born in Ohio, raised in Alaska and South Carolina, and having lived in Malaysia, she believes that “The most interesting people in the world are interested in the world around them.”


Evelyn Hargett

Office and Membership Coordinator

Evelyn Hargett recently joined Upstate International, and serves the organization in accounting, membership, and other administrative duties. She holds an A.A. degree in Business Administration from Northern State University. Her business career includes managerial accounting functions in various organizations, including more than 12 years at another local nonprofit. She volunteers at several Greenville area venues, including her church, Greenville Theatre, and Greenville Literacy Association.

Evelyn has lived in the Greenville area since 2001. Born and raised in New Jersey, and having lived in South Dakota and Iowa, she is happiest when exploring all that the Southeast has to offer. She enjoys traveling with her husband throughout the U.S., hiking, camping, working out, reading, and caring for her cat.


Linley Crocker

Programs and Events Coordinator

Linley Crocker became a part of Upstate International(UI) as the Programs & Events Coordinator in November 2021. In this role, Linley will initiate, implement and manage key programs and events that are essential in fulfilling UI’s regional mission. She will also govern the development and coordination of the Upstate International Language School. No stranger to event planning, Linley has more than 8 years of experience in the industry.
A native to the Upstate, Linley was born and raised in Campobello, SC. She spends her free time painting, dancing, writing poetry and living in the woods with her four-legged baby, Ace.


Blake Whittaker

Upstate International Board Chair

Blake Whittaker joined Pinnacle Financial Partners as the office leader for the firm’s Greenville location in 2018.

Our Board

T. Blake Whitaker

Pinnacle Financial Partners

Carmen Gallagher

Relocation specialist; UI Volunteer

Chloe Buffalino

Campbell Teague

Christian O. Herrmann

Ogletree Deakins

Courtney Meeks

Milliken & Company

Maggi Whinston

Milliken & Company

Marion Grier

SC Governor’s School

Monique Glass

Alliance Française

Neelu Matai

Matai Investments, LLC

Nisha Godbole


Sanjay Tellur


Stacey Laurin

Milliken & Company

Terri C. Antley

Cherry Bekaert

Yuji Kishimoto

Clemson University