Leadership SC Board Members
Kristen Beckham is the external affairs manager for Dominion Energy Carolina Gas. She represents the company with state lawmakers, local elected officials and the public on issues of importance to the company which operates 1,500 miles of transmission pipelines that provide gas to wholesale and industrial customers statewide. The firm’s parent company, Dominion Energy, provides electricity and natural gas to nearly 7.5 million customers in 18 states.
Kristen, a 2017 graduate of Leadership South Carolina, has a bachelor’s degree from the College of Charleston and an MBA from the University of Georgia. She previously worked as finance director of the South Carolina Republican Party, a field director for the Republican National Committee and at Pruitt Health.
She is participating in Dominion Energy’s Emerging Leaders Program and has served on the board of the Central South Carolina Region of the American Red Cross. She is active in the Junior League, Rotary and the United Way of the Midlands.
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’s 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.
Jason Bristol, Chair
Jason Bristol is the area executive for TD Bank in the Midlands of South Carolina. TD bank, with more than 1,200 locations serving 9 million customers on the East Coast, is a subsidiary of The Toronto-Dominion Bank of Canada, one of the top 10 financial services companies in North America.
Jason’s develops new commercial relationships for the bank and provides leadership for bank’s commercial and small business bankers. He manages a diverse portfolio of commercial, treasury, and wealth relationships.
A 2016 graduate of Leadership South Carolina, Jason earned a bachelor’s in finance and accounting from the University of Michigan-Flint. A veteran of more than two decades in banking, he previously worked as a senior portfolio officer at Bank of America and as a commercial banker at Citizens Republic Bancorp.
A past as vice chairman of the board of Leadership South Carolina, Jason volunteers with several non-profit organizations including serving on the board of the Children’s Trust of South Carolina. He is a past chairman of the Financial Stability Council for United Way of the Midlands.
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 2002 graduate of Leadership South Carolina 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.
Chris Christiansen is the president of the business division 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.
Long involved in community affairs, Chris has served on the board of Healthy Learners, a non-profit that works to connect impoverished children with medical screenings so that poor health is not a bar to their education. Healthy Learners has programs in 150 schools across South Carolina. Chris has also served on the board of the Indian Waters Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
Carter Deupree, Secretary
Carter Deupree is a shareholder in the Charleston office of the Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd law firm. The Park Hills, Kentucky, native represents individuals, businesses and institutions in real estate and corporate transactions, governance issues and financing. The law firm has about 120 attorneys in offices across the state of South Carolina and roots dating to the late 1800s.
Carter, who earned his bachelor’s and law degrees from Washington and Lee University, is a 2018 graduate of Leadership South Carolina. Prior to joining Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, Carter interned for the Senior U.S. District Judge Sol. Blatt Jr. in Charleston.
In addition to service on the Leadership South Carolina Board, Carter also serves on the board of the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce. He is a graduate of Leadership Charleston, Leadership Greenville, the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce LeadSC program and served on the board of the Greenville Chautauqua Society. He is also active in the Urban Land Institute.
Dr. Richard Gough
Richard Gough is the president of the Technical College of the Lowcountry in Beaufort, one of 16 colleges in South Carolina’s statewide technical college system. Richard provides leadership for a college with three campuses serving four counties as well as two Marine installations in southern South Carolina. The Technical College of the Lowcountry has 2,300 students pursuing 80 courses of study.
Richard, a 2016 graduate of Leadership South Carolina, has a bachelor’s degrees from Michigan State and master’s degrees from both Pepperdine University and the Naval Postgraduate School. He has Ph.Ds. in higher education from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro and East Carolina University.
Following a 25-year career in the Marine Corps as an aviation logistics officer, Richard worked in executive positions at Montgomery Community College and Sandhills Community College, both in North Carolina, before coming to Beaufort.
Dr. Tim Hardee, SC Technical College System
Dr. Tim Hardee is president of the South Carolina Technical College System, the largest higher education sector in the state. South Carolina’s Technical colleges have 160,000 students enrolled in degree, diploma, certificate and continuing education programs at 16 campuses and 64 satellite campuses statewide.
Tim has more than 30 years of educational experience including working as a teacher, coach, counselor, and principal in public schools. Tim has a bachelor’s degree from Coastal Carolina University and a master’s and Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina where he earned his doctorate in higher education administration. He previously served as President of Central Carolina Technical College.
A 2002 graduate of Leadership South Carolina, Tim serves on the State Workforce Development Board, the Coordinating Council for Workforce Development and the South Carolina Council on Competitiveness. He is also agraduate of South Carolina Economic Development Institute and the Furman Diversity Leaders Institute.
Shiva Hodges is a magistrate judge sitting on the U.S. District Court of South Carolina.Magistrate judges are assigned duties by federal judges and preside over most federal proceedings, except criminal felony trials. Shiva was one of the youngest federal judges in the country when appointed to the bench in 2010.
A 2019 graduate of the Leadership South Carolina, Shiva attended the University of South Carolina where she earned a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree in international business and her law degree.
Shiva widely lectures on legal issues and is a member of the Federal Bar Association, the South Carolina Women in Law Society and a former member of alumni board of the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics.
Before her appointment to the federal bench, Shiva was a commercial law attorney for Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein and later was law clerk for Joseph Anderson, then chief judge of the U.S. District Court in South Carolina.
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 is a member of the South Carolina Bankers Association and has served on the boards of the chambers of commerce in both Fairfield and Georgetown counties. He has also served on the board of Vital Connections of the Midlands, which operates three childcare centers and works to provide early childhood services to families living in poverty.
Neil Jones, Treasurer
Neil Jones is senior vice president and chief financial officer for Colliers International / South Carolina, handling accounting and financial reporting for the company’s three South Carolina offices. Colliers is a worldwide real estate and investment management company with 18,000 employees.
Neil received his bachelor’s in corporate financial management from Clemson University and did post-graduate work at the University of South Carolina.
A certified public accountant and certified information technology professional, Neil is a 2014 graduate of Leadership South Carolina and a graduate of Leadership Columbia where he served on the executive board. He previously worked at Bauknight Pietras & Stormer, a Columbia accounting firm.
Neil is on the board of South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities and has served on the boards of the Lexington County Sheriff’s Foundation and Columbia Opportunity Resource, a non-profit leadership organization. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the South Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants, the South Carolina Captive Insurance Association and the Information Systems Audit and Control Association.
Rep. Jay Jordan, General Assembly
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.
Grayson Kelly, Vice Chair
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 communicationsas 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 director of development 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.
Hamid Reza Mohsseni, Past Chair
Hamid Reza Mohsseni is president and CEO of the Anderson Restaurant Group in Anderson, S.C. The company operates two full-service restaurants – Tucker’s Restaurant and Bar and Carson’s Steakhouse – and a restaurant management and commercial leasing operation.
A native of Tehran, Iran, Hamid came to the United States in 1977, earning a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Clemson University. He previously was general operating partner of Kelsey’s Restaurant in Hendersonville, N.C.
A 2005 graduate of Leadership South Carolina, Hamid served as chairman of the LSC board for two years and is a graduate of Leadership Anderson.
A member and former chairman of the Anderson County Economic Development Board, he has participated in overseas economic development missions, including missions to China and Ireland.
He serves on the boards of Anderson University, the Tri-County Foundation and the local Salvation Army. He has also served on the boards of Region’s Bank, the Anderson Chamber of Commerce, the Anderson YMCA, United Way of Anderson County and the Anmed Hospital Foundation.
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 digital advertising company. She also was a co-founder of the Upstate Upscale Resale consignment business.
Her community activities include Spartanburg Young Professionals, the Junior League of Spartanburg and serving in her church vestry.
Sue Schneider is the chief executive officer of Spartanburg Water, overseeing a public water utility that provides retail and wholesale services to about 180,000 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 Ohio State University, a bachelor’s in environmental engineering from the University of Cincinnati and an MBA from Wake Forest University. Sue previously worked as a manager at West Valley Nuclear Services.
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.
Tim Self is the executive director of the AnMed Health Foundation. The AnMed Health system serves residents of eight counties in upstate South Carolina and northeast Georgia and employs about 3,600 people. The health system is the largest employer in Anderson County. Tim administers the system’s not-for-profit foundation that each year raises millions of dollars for community and AnMed Health programs.
Tim, a 2019 graduate of Leadership South Carolina, has a degree in political science and nonprofit management from Maryville College in Tennessee and a master’s in health care administration from Southern Wesleyan University. He earned professional certificates from the University of Wisconsin and Central Missouri State University. He previously worked in business development roles at the University of Tennessee Medical Center and Dale Carnegie Training andworked for the National Kidney Foundation.
Tim is a graduate both East Tennessee Regional Leadership and Leadership Blount County in Tennessee.
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.
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.
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.
Dr. Evans Whitaker, Anderson University
Dr. 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.
Evans 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.
Dr. Louis Whitesides, SC State University
Dr. Louis Whitesides is the executive director for 1890 Research and Extension Program at South Carolina State University. A university vice president, Louis oversees all aspects of the university’s extension program including community engagement and campus research. The program helps needy South Carolinians in rural areas with best agricultural practices while helping those in urban areas with everything from financial management, business development and health and nutrition to computer skills.
Louis, a 2011 graduate of Leadership South Carolina, was previously research director and a senior extension director at the university in Orangeburg where he earned his bachelor’s degree. Louis has a master’s from Southern Wesleyan University and a doctorate from Argosy University Sarasota.
He is a graduate of the Management Development Program at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education and earned a certificate in executive leadership from Cornell University.
Leadership SC Executive Team
Helen Munnerlyn is the executive director of Leadership South Carolina, the state’s oldest and most-respected leadership development program. During her tenure she has built the organization’s endowment so that what once was a government entity is now a thriving, self-sustaining, independent non-profit.
Class projects in the past decade have provided more than a half million dollars to worthy causes. More than 80 percent of LSC alumni serve the state whether it be in the General Assembly, local government or on the boards ofnon-profits, schools and faith-based organizations.
Helen, a 2005 graduate of Leadership South Carolina, and has a bachelor’s in Journalism from the University of South Carolina. She directed communications for the South Carolina Department of Commerce during the Campbell, Beasley and Hodges administrations and served on the Gov. Mark Sanford’s Management Accountability and Performance Commission. She has also worked for the South Carolina Press Association and The Associated Press.
Helen is a graduate of the Governor’s EXCEL Leadership Institute, Leadership Columbia, and the Riley Institute Diversity Leaders Institute. Amember of the state Economic Developers Association, she is former president of the South Carolina Organization of Government Information Officers and Media Women of South Carolina. She is on the board of Sustaining Our Seniors and serves on the Columbia Municipal Election Commission.