Born and raised in South Carolina, in 2019 GP was elected Mayor of Fountain Inn, one of the fastest growing cities in the state, at age 31, making him the youngest mayor in the city’s history. As Executive Director of the South Carolina Arts Alliance, the only statewide arts advocacy organization, GP works at the local, state, and federal level to advance the creative industry through public policy, leadership development, and public awareness. In 2021 he founded Pecan Public Relations, LLC which focuses on advocacy, communications, and governance for nonprofits across the state.
GP serves on numerous board and committees, including:
- Municipal Association of South Carolina‘s Legislative Committee
- Greenville-Pickens Area Transportation Study (GPATS) Policy Committee
- Palmetto State Arts Education
- College of Charleston’s School of the Arts Council
- Arts in Basic Curriculum Project
- Creative States Coalition
GP was named one of Greenville’s “Best and Brightest 35 & Under” in 2021 by Greenville Business Magazine. Under his leadership, the SC Arts Alliance was awarded the 2020 Theatre Advocacy Award from the SC Theatre Association.
GP holds a BA in Arts Management from the College of Charleston, where he has been recognized with the university’s 250th Anniversary Young Alumnus Award in 2020, the 2016 School of the Arts Young Alumnus Award, the Julie Jett Arts Management Citizenship Award, and placed in the School of the Arts Hall of Fame. He was also awarded the first-ever Alumni Heart Award by his high school alma mater, St. Joseph’s Catholic School, for his contribution to the arts community.
GP and his wife, Taylor, have one daughter, Albee James. Taylor is an Instructional Coach for a local Charter School, and serves on the board of the Mill Town Players. She earned her undergraduate degree from Coker University, and has two masters degrees in education from Anderson University (MAT) and Clemson University (EdS).
Previously, GP created and led the Office of Cultural Affairs for the City of Mauldin, SC. He developed the Mauldin Cultural Center, the Mauldin Public Art Trail, managed all city-wide marketing, and advised on all economic development projects.
Past positions include: Administrator, City of Mauldin Office of Cultural Affairs; Executive Director, Mauldin Cultural Center; Development Assistant, Charleston Stage Company; Arts Management Intern, Younts Center for the Performing Arts.
Past board / committee service includes: St. Joseph’s Catholic School, Fountain Inn Chamber of Commerce (Past Chair), Fountain Inn Chorale, Mauldin Cultural Council, and Upstate International.