Graduation speaker has business perspective
He specializes in bringing people together.
Sometimes that means bringing employees together with employers; other times that means bringing community members together to improve the Upstate. And on Dec. 16, Ray Lattimore will be the featured speaker when hundreds of people come together for Southern Wesleyan University’s two graduation ceremonies.
Lattimore, a Greenville native, is founder and president of Marketplace Staffing Services, a company headquartered in Greenville. He is a community leader, holding leadership positions on numerous boards and foundations.
The university will have two separate graduation ceremonies Dec. 16 at Walden Tysinger Gymnasium on the university’s campus in Central. The 10 a.m. ceremony is for graduating students from the university’s Central and Greenville locations earning associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The 3 p.m. ceremony is for students from the university’s Charleston, Columbia and North Augusta locations earning associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
The university expects to confer approximately 530 degrees, according to Registrar Rock McCaskill.
For details, call Southern Wesleyan University’s Academic Records Department at (864) 644-5530. Tickets, issued through the university, are required for those attending graduation. Overflow seating is available, which will allow guests without tickets to view the ceremony via a closed circuit broadcast.
Other end-of-semester events include Baccalaureate Chapel on Dec. 14. The speaker for the service will be Rev. Steve McEuen, associate teaching pastor at First Wesleyan Church in High Point, N.C.
Lattimore was the first member of his family to attend college. After securing a basketball scholarship, he attended Spartanburg Methodist College, where he was captain of the basketball team and received an A.A. in liberal arts. He later secured a basketball scholarship to attend Southern Wesleyan University, where he earned a B.A. in business administration. He also received a scholarship from the Greenville Technical College and earned two associates degrees in marketing and computer technology from that institution.
After he completed his educational career, Lattimore worked for 15 years as a business analyst for the Information Technology department of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in Greenville. In 1993, he started “Marketplace Services,” a small business that prepared the people of his community for successful entry into the corporate workforce. The company held simple but empowering workshops on interviewing skills, how to write resumes and cover letters, dressing for success and the use of office computer software.
In March of 1996, he became founder, president and CEO of a new venture – Marketplace Staffing. Today, Marketplace Staffing has offices in seven cities throughout Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. The Greater Greenville Chamber of Commerce and other associations have awarded Marketplace numerous honors for its professional and community achievements. Hundreds of Marketplace associates empower corporate clients with professional talent in areas such as light industrial, call center, clerical, accounting and information technology services.
Under Lattimore’s leadership, Marketplace enjoys a client portfolio that is heavy with Fortune 500 and other large companies. Marketplace services enterprises such as Procter & Gamble, Michelin Tires North America, Verizon Wireless, MCI, Hilton Hotels, Marriott Hotels, Embassy Suites and Perrigo, the Greenville City Zoo, the Southern Connector, the Greenville Hospital System and the Greater Greenville Chamber of Commerce.
Lattimore married his high school sweetheart, the former Jacqueline McDaniel. They have one son: Michael Ray Lattimore.
Southern Wesleyan University prepares students for leadership and graduate study in such fields as religion, education, music, business, medicine, law and a variety of civic and social service professions. Southern Wesleyan offers 33 major areas of study for undergraduates and graduate degrees in the areas of business, education and ministry. The university’s main campus is in Central and there are regional learning centers across the state, in locations such as Greenville, Columbia, Charleston and North Augusta.