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Midlands Leaders Selected to Become Riley Diversity Fellows

Feb 02, 2018 09:00AM ● Published by Emily Stevenson

Forty-two leaders from the Midlands and surrounding area have been selected to participate in the Riley Institute at Furman’s Diversity Leaders Initiative (DLI) this spring.

“Though we are a diverse population, discovering ways in which differences can be a strength in our organizations is of utmost importance as we seek to grow and support a thriving economy and rich culture,” said Donald Gordon, executive director of the Riley Institute.

DLI class members are identified through a rigorous process including a nomination, application and interview. Individuals are selected to join the class based on their capacity to impact their organizations and communities. 

Over the course of five months, participants will learn about diversity and inclusion “blind spots” and how to suspend assumptions. Participants will also work in small, cross-sector groups to respond to real issues and opportunities in their communities through service projects.  The classes are facilitated by Juan Johnson, an independent consultant and former Coca-Cola vice president.

“DLI is unique among South Carolina’s leadership programs. In addition to the opportunity to develop new relationships and take part in positive action in their communities, participants gain deep knowledge of how to effectively manage and lead diverse workers, clients and constituents,” said Johnson.

In addition to the Midlands, DLI classes are selected annually in the Upstate and Lowcountry. Each class is crafted to reflect the diverse demographics in South Carolina.

“We now have more than 1,900 Riley Fellows statewide. Each new class further extends the reach and impact of leaders willing to work together to make South Carolina a better place to live and work for all its residents,” said Gordon.

DLI graduates become Riley Fellows, members of a powerful, cross-sector, statewide leadership network that includes CEOs of corporations, mayors, city and county council members, legislators, school superintendents, pastors and rabbis, non-profit heads, chamber of commerce directors, and community leaders.

The full roster of Riley Fellows is available online at riley.furman.edu. The leaders selected for the 11th Midlands DLI class are:

 

Graham Adams

CEO

SC Office of Rural Health

Lexington

 

April Allen

Director, State Government Relations

Continental

Sumter

 

LaJoia Broughton

Director of External Communications

Retirement System Investment Commission

Columbia

 

Chris Burkett

Director, Office of Clinical Experiences

University of South Carolina

College of Education

Columbia

 

Lisa Cotten

Attorney/Partner

Mike Kelly Law Group, LLC

Columbia

 

Christine Crawford

Owner/Operator

D&G Management

North Augusta

 

Beth De Santis

CEO

SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy

Columbia

 

Mildred Douglas

Community Leader

Rock Hill

 

Debbie Elmore

Governmental Relations and Communications Director

South Carolina School Boards Association

Columbia

 

William Freeman

Attorney

Duff & Childs, LLC

Columbia

 

Randall Gary

Superintendent

Lexington School District Three

Batesburg-Leesville

 

Tijuana Hudson

Vice President for Fiscal Affairs

Claflin University

Orangeburg

 

Melanie Huggins

Executive Director

Richland Library

Columbia

 

Cathy Jamieson

Columbia District Superintendent

SC Conference of the United Methodist Church

Columbia

 

Melron Kelly

Deputy Chief of Police

Columbia Police Department

Columbia

 

Bobbi Kennedy

Special Projects Director, Office of the President

SCETV

Columbia

 

John Lane

Director of Academic Affairs

South Carolina Commission on Higher Education

Columbia

 

Naomi Lett

Senior Director, Public Policy

United Way Association of South Carolina

Columbia

 

John Loveday

Principal

SC Whitmore School

Columbia

 

Mitch Lucas

Town Administrator

Town of Kershaw

Kershaw

 

Virgil Miller

President, Aflac Group Insurance, EVP-COO Aflac US

Aflac

Columbia

 

Eric Mollo

Rabbi

Tree of Life Congregation

Columbia

 

Katarina Moyon

Co-Director; Director

John C. West Forum; The Human Experience

Rock Hill

 

Karen Nichols

Executive Director

Upper Midlands Rural Health Network

Chester

 

Steve Parham

Vice President

BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina

Columbia

 

Kevin Patten

Vice President for Finance and Administration

Central Carolina Community Foundation

Columbia

 

Kelly Pew

Superintendent

Rock Hill Schools

Rock Hill

 

Mike Reichenbach

Owner and President

Mike Reichenbach Ford Lincoln, Volkswagen and Chevrolet

Okatie

 

Beth Ruffin

D&I Consultant

Colonial Life

Columbia

 

Lila Anna Sauls

President/CEO; Commissioner

Homeless No More; Richland School District One

Columbia

 

Jim Shank

Shop Manager: Preparation

Michelin

Lexington

 

Heather Sherwin

Vice President for Advancement

Central Carolina Community Foundation

Columbia

 

Byron Snellgrove

Director of Public Safety

City of Cayce

Cayce

 

Dave Solano

Vice President/General Manager

Enterprise Holdings

Columbia

 

Stephen Suggs

Associate

Stewart Law Firm

Columbia

 

Lynn Teague

Vice President for Issues and Action

League of Women Voters of South Carolina

Columbia

 

Robert Thomas

Executive Director

SC Regional Housing Authority #3

Barnwell

 

Bhavna Maker Vasudeva

Realtor

United Realty

Columbia

 

Tim Veeck

Executive Director

Habitat for Humanity of York County

Rock Hill

 

Ann Warner

CEO

Women's Rights and Empowerment Network

Columbia

 

Dan Wuori

Deputy Director

SC First Steps to School Readiness

Columbia

 

Dana Yow

Director of Public Education and Communications

SC Education Oversight Committee

Columbia

 

For more information about the Riley Institute and its programs, visit riley.furman.edu

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