Upstate Venture Connect (UVC) has appointed Jonathan Grutka as its director of growth initiatives across the upstate New York region. UVC says it is an entrepreneur-led not-for-profit helping to grow a new generation of businesses in upstate New York. Grutka, a 2012 “40 under Forty” honoree, spent 2.5 years in a pure-play, start-up environment in the world of social commerce with LivingSocial. As a regional sales manager in the Northeast, he played a crucial role in scaling the organization and also launched Amazon Local for the cities of Pittsburgh, Pa., and Jacksonville Fla. In January 2013, Grutka co-founded a Syracuse–based social-media management company, called Advenio. It was a CNY 2013 “Economic Champion” honoree and grew to 30 clients in nine different states in one year.