Pamela Benjamin

Pamela Benjamin is the Chief of Staff for the City of Columbia which is the state’s second-largest with a population of about 132,000 people. She is responsible for managing the Human Resources Department, the Safety & Risk Department, and the Municipal Court for the City with approximately 2,500 employees.

Pamela, a native of Rock Hill, is a 2018 graduate of Leadership South Carolina and has a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Carolina. She is also a graduate of the South Carolina Certified Public Manager Program. She has over 23 years of experience working in government for several state agencies including SC Law Enforcement Division, Probation, Parole & Pardon Services, The Department of Administration (formerly the SC Budget & Control Board) and the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism.

Pamela professional activities include membership in the International Public Management Association for Human Resources, the South Carolina Society for Human Resource Management and the South Carolina Society of Certified Public Managers. She is also active in the Richland County alumnae chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

Grayson Kelly

Grayson Kelly is vice president for institutional advancement and business relations at Tri-County Technical College in Pendleton. He also serves as executive director of the Tri-County Technical College Foundation.

Grayson oversees the college’s strategic marketing and communications as well as developing relationships with donors and alumni as well as community, corporate and business partners. He is also in charge of operations of the foundation which has subsidiaries including a real estate holding company and research foundation.

Grayson, a 2017 graduate of Leadership South Carolina, earned a bachelor’s in political science from Lander University and an MBA from Anderson University. He previously served as Chief Development Officer for the Blue Ridge Council of the Boy Scouts of America, serving 10,000 young people in eight counties in upstate South Carolina. He also worked on the staff of U.S. Rep. Gresham Barrett.

Grayson serves on the board of the Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce and the Anderson County Transportation Committee. He is active in Rotary and has previously served on the board of the Anderson-Oconee-Pickens Mental Health Center.

Sue Schneider

Sue Schneider is the chief executive officer of Spartanburg Water, overseeing a public water and wastewater utility that provides retail and wholesale services to about 200,000 residents in northwest South Carolina. Spartanburg Water serves residential customers in the city, as well as in Pacolet, Cowpens and Landrum and has wholesale customers in three counties. The company also has a retail ice operation.

Sue, a 2010 graduate of Leadership South Carolina, holds a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture from The Ohio State University, a master’s degree in environmental engineering from the University of Cincinnati and an MBA from Wake Forest University. Sue previously worked as a manager at Westinghouse locations in Ohio and New York.

Sue’s extensive community involvement includes serving as board chairman of the United Way of the Piedmont and service on the board of the United Way Association of South Carolina. In addition to other activities, she is a past chair of the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce and has served on the board of the Urban League of the Upstate.

Brent Weaver

Brent Weaver is Wells Fargo & Co.’s vice president for government banking in South Carolina and Georgia. He oversees accounts and maintains relationships with the bank’s government clients in the two states. The bank, which has 7,400 locations around the globe and is the 10th-largest public company in the world, has more than a quarter-million employees serving one in every three households in the United States.

Brent who has also worked as a financial consultant and investment advisor, has a bachelor’s degree from Newberry College is a certified treasury professional, and has previously served as deputy treasurer for Richland County.

Brent is a 2010 graduate of Leadership South Carolina and is a member of the board of South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities. He also has served as a commissioner for the Lexington Soil and Water Conservation District.

Evans Whitaker

Evans Whitaker is the twelfth president of Anderson University. Since he arrived in 2002, the university in Anderson, S.C., has doubled its enrollment to 3,500 students while the school has added 23 graduate programs and quadrupled the size of its campus, adding nine new buildings. Evans also founded the South Carolina School of the Arts and the Undergraduate Center for Cancer Research.

A native of Shelby, N.C., Evans earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Gardner-Webb University and a master’s degree from Vanderbilt University, where he also earned his Ph.D.

Tim has served as chairman of the Presidents’ Council of the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, on the board of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities and has chaired the of the International Association of Baptist Colleges and Universities, among other positions. He has served on the boards of Brookgreen Gardens, the South Carolina Tuition Grants Commission and the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education.

Rep. Jay Jordan

Jay Jordan represents South Carolina House District 63, which includes sections of downtown Florence and areas of the city’s western suburbs. Jay is an attorney with his own practice in Florence and handles cases throughout the Pee Dee region of the state.

A 2017 graduate of Leadership South Carolina, Jay earned his bachelor’s degree from the College of Charleston and his law degree from the Charleston School of Law. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 2015.

Jay has served as chairman of the Florence County Election Commission and Voter Registration Board, on the City of Florence Planning Commission and is active with Family Promise of the Pee Dee, a nonprofit that works to address homelessness. He is active as a youth football and baseball coach and as a deacon and Sunday school teacher at Florence Baptist Temple.

Quenton Tompkins

Quenton Tompkins is the government affairs manager for the Medical University of South Carolina. Quenton represents the university in working with lawmakers, local officials and community leaders across the state on legislation and other issues that affect MUSC. The university in Charleston has a student body of almost 4,000, including doctors is residency, and has more than 17,000 employees.

Quenton, a 2019 graduate of Leadership South Carolina, is also on the planning committee for MUSC’s annual Inclusion to Innovation Summit. The summit works to strengthen the network of diversity leaders across the state and throughout the Southeast.

Quenton holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in public health, both from the University of South Carolina.

Prior to coming to MUSC, Quenton served as executive director of the Salvation Army Community Center in Greenville, senior vice president of the United Way of Anderson County and chief executive of Partners for a Healthy Community in Anderson.

Jaime Nash

Jaime Nash is the director of marketing at Roebuck Buildings in Spartanburg County. The 70-year-old general contracting company builds everything from offices and industrial buildings to churches and hospitals in communities throughout the Southeast. Jaime handles marketing and business development efforts for the firm.

Jaime, a 2019 graduate of Leadership South Carolina, has a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Carolina Upstate. She is also a graduate of the South Carolina Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Institute.

Prior to coming to Roebuck Buildings, Jaime was an account manager for Launch Something, a marketing agency in Spartanburg. She also was a co-founder of the Upstate Upscale Resale women’s consignment sale.

Her community activities include Spartanburg Young Professionals, the Junior League of Spartanburg and serving in her church vestry.

Chris Christiansen

Chris Christiansen is the CEO of the R.L. Bryan Company, which dates to 1844 and is considered the oldest company in Columbia. The company began as a modest newsstand and over the decades expanded into printing, office furniture and equipment and with providing educational materials and textbooks to schools across the state.

Chris is a 2007 graduate of Leadership South Carolina and earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Carolina-Aiken.

Chris has served on numerous Boards with most affiliated in Education or the betterment of children. He has served on the Boards of: Boy Scouts Indian Waters Council, Junior Achievement, Healthy Learners, SCASA, South Carolina Future Minds, CERRA, and Leadership South Carolina

Will Howard

Will Howard is market executive for First Citizens bank, overseeing the bank’s retail and commercial banking operations in Georgetown and Horry counties on the South Carolina coast. First Citizens, which has it roots in rural North Carolina in the 1890s, has 500 banks in 19 states and is one of the nation’s largest family-controlled banks. Will coaches and trains bank managers and employees, manages commercial accounts and leads community involvement efforts.

Will, a 2012 graduate of Leadership South Carolina, earned a bachelor’s in business administration from the University of South Carolina. He previously worked for Community Resource Bank which was later acquired by First Citizens.

Will also serves on the Board of Directors for the Alliance for Economic Development for Georgetown County where he holds the office of Treasurer. In addition, will serves as Senior Warden of the Vestry at his Church, The Abbey at Pawley’s Island.

Tiger Wells

Tiger Wells is the South Carolina government affairs director for Duke Energy. Duke provides electricity to 7.7 million retail customers is six states, 760,000 of them in the Greenville and Myrtle Beach areas of South Carolina. Tiger works with state lawmakers, local leaders and community groups on issues and legislation concerning energy and the power company.

A graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta and of the University of Virginia School of Law, Tiger is a 2016 graduate of Leadership South Carolina.

He worked previously at the Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd law firm and as director of governmental affairs for the Municipal Association of South Carolina.

Tiger is a graduate of the Riley Institute at Furman University and is the board chairman of Academic Angels, a non-profit helping at-risk students achieve academic success. He is also active in the 20/20 Bipartisan Justice Center, a bipartisan coalition of Republicans, Democrats and independents working for criminal justice reform

Carol Burdette

Carol Burdette is the chief executive officer for the United Way of Anderson County, which provides services for almost 60,000 people in the county in northwest South Carolina. Although the area is rapidly growing, 30,000 people in the county live in poverty including almost a quarter of the children under 18. The organization helps fund 31 programs and about 2,000 people volunteer more than 12,000 hours a year for various efforts.

Carol is a graduate of Southern Wesleyan University, a graduate of Leadership South Carolina class of 2000, and a former mayor of Pendleton, South Carolina.

She has served on the boards of Anderson University, Spartanburg Methodist College, Sister Cities International and the Anderson Oconee Pickens Mental Health Board. Her long resume of community service includes work with, among other groups, the South Carolina Municipal Association, AdvanceSC, the YMCA, Rotary and the South Carolina Association of Nonprofits.

 

As the oldest state organization dedicated to leadership development, Leadership SC nurtures a deeper sense of service and civic engagement for the betterment of all South Carolinians.

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