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 hiking in the woods with her border collie, Remi.


Lauren Zabel

Marketing Intern

Lauren Zabel recently joined UI as a marketing intern. She attends Clemson University and is majoring in Graphic Communications and minoring in Business Administrations.
Lauren has done graphic design work for a variety of companies such as the Sonoco Institute of Packaging Design and Graphics at Clemson University, Loaves and Fishes/Friendship Trays Inc., and Brother Wolf Animal Rescue. During her time at Clemson University Lauren has joined a variety of clubs and organizations, one of which being Women of Flexo. She is currently enrolled as a student mentee in their program. She is also a member of the Technical Association of Graphic Artistry at Clemson University.
In her free time Lauren enjoys hiking and paddle-boarding in and around Lake Hartwell. She also enjoys reading novels, camping, and working out.


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

Abigail Trujillo

Crane Instrumentation & Sampling

T. Blake Whitaker

Pinnacle Financial Partners

Carmen Gallagher

Relocation specialist; UI Volunteer

Casey Minor

Furman University

Christian O. Herrmann

Ogletree Deakins

Courtney Meeks

Milliken & Company

Holly Lee

BDV Solutions

Jonathan Valadez

Betsy Tanner Law LLC

Maggi Whiston

Milliken & Company

Marion Grier

SC Governor’s School

Melinda Davis Lux

United Community Bank

Monique Glass

Alliance Française

Pam Carroll

Elliott Davis

Sanjay Tellur


Stacey Laurin

Milliken & Company

Terri C. Antley

Cherry Bekaert

Yuji Kishimoto

Clemson University