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Columbia Business Monthly

The Business Narrative: Haley's Next Move

Apr 17, 2024 10:00AM ● By Donna Walker

Photo: Ambassador Nikki R. Haley at Hudson Institute on Feb. 26, 2020. (Jessica Latos)


The Hudson Institute announced that Nikki Haley, former governor of South Carolina and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, will be the next Walter P. Stern Chair.


“When our policymakers fail to call out our enemies or acknowledge the importance of our alliances, the world is less safe. That is why Hudson’s work is so critical,” Haley said.


She added, “They believe the American people should have the facts and policymakers should have the solutions to support a secure, free, and prosperous future. I look forward to partnering with them to defend the principles that make America the greatest country in the world.”


“Nikki is a proven, effective leader on both foreign and domestic policy,” Hudson President and CEO John P. Walters said.


Walters added, “In an era of worldwide political upheaval, she has remained a steadfast defender of freedom and an effective advocate for American security and prosperity. We are honored to have her join the Hudson team.”


Hudson inaugurated the Walter P. Stern Chair in 2020 to commemorate the achievements of former Chairman Walter “Wally” Stern, who was instrumental in making Hudson one of Washington’s most respected research organizations.


“It is fitting that Nikki has taken on this title,” Sarah May Stern, chair of Hudson’s board of trustees, said.


Stern added, “She is a courageous and insightful policymaker and these qualities are vital in making Hudson the powerhouse policy organization it is today, and I am extremely proud that she has joined the Institute.”


Haley received Hudson’s Global Leadership Award in 2018.


Founded in 1961 by strategist Herman Kahn, Hudson Institute challenges conventional thinking and helps manage strategic transitions through interdisciplinary studies in defense, international relations, economics, energy, technology, culture, and law.


Hudson seeks to guide policymakers and global leaders in government and business through a robust program of publications, conferences, policy briefings, and recommendations.

Blackbaud to Review Unsolicited Proposal from Clearlake Capital Group

Charleston, South Carolina-based Blackbaud (NASDAQ: BLKB), a provider of software for powering social impact, confirmed April 15, 2024, it had received an unsolicited, non-binding proposal from Clearlake Capital Group, L.P., a current stockholder of the company, to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Blackbaud for $80.00 per share in cash.


Consistent with its fiduciary duties and in consultation with its independent financial and legal advisors, Blackbaud said its board of directors would carefully evaluate the proposal to determine the course of action that it believes is in the best interest of the company and all Blackbaud stockholders.


Blackbaud officials said stockholders weren’t required to take any action at this time.


Serving the nonprofit and education sectors, companies committed to social responsibility and individual change makers, Blackbaud says its software is built to accelerate impact in fundraising, nonprofit financial management, digital giving, grantmaking, corporate social responsibility and education management. 


A remote-first company, Blackbaud has operations in the United States, Australia, Canada, Costa Rica and the United Kingdom, supporting users in 100+ countries. 

Trident Technical College Names New President

The Trident Technical College Area Commission selected Vicky Wood to be the college’s sixth president. Wood will begin her presidency on July 1, 2024.


Wood is president of Washington State College of Ohio in Marietta, Ohio, a position she has held since 2017.


College officials said that during her time as president, she transformed WSCO by enhancing community partnerships, strengthening academic programs and student support services, increasing both the WSCO Foundation and college’s financial position, and investing in personnel and facilities to advance student success.


“In accepting the presidency of Trident Technical College, I am honored for this opportunity to lead this highly valued, high-impact institution into the future,” said Wood.


She added, “I look forward to working with the Area Commission, TTC Foundation, and the college’s dedicated faculty and staff to increase student success, expand economic growth and prosperity, and advance Trident’s legacy of excellence.”


Trident Tech’s governing board, led by Chair Anita Zucker, started a national search for a new president after the college’s longtime president, Mary Thornley, announced her retirement in September 2023.


The college received more than 70 applications for the position. The committee selected eight semifinalists, then narrowed the search to four finalists who visited the college in early April to tour the campus and meet with students, employees, TTC Foundation board members and the Area Commission.


Wood led WSCO through a mission transformation from a community college to a baccalaureate degree-granting institution and a name change.


College officials said she strengthened academics by adding multiple new programs and attracted investments of millions of dollars in facility and technology upgrades to support student learning.


The officials said she strengthened the student experience through the successful implementation of Career Guided Pathways that included the creation of the Center for Student Success to expand support services and the establishment of a Student OneStop to enhance the student experience throughout the entry phases of enrollment.


Wood’s political advocacy helped implement a state policy change to enable Ohio community colleges to offer a bachelor's degree in nursing, and WSCO was one of the first Ohio community colleges to offer the BSN.


The officials said Wood helped strengthen the community through leadership and service to support economic development.


She is a member of the Southeastern Ohio Port Authority economic development board, Frontier Local Economic Development Association, Marietta Area Chamber of Commerce board, and Marietta Noon Rotary.


Her state and national engagement includes serving as vice chair elect of the Ohio Community College Presidents’ Council, advisory board and coach for the Ohio Association of Community College’s Leadership Academy, member of the National Center for Inquiry and Improvement’s Rural Guided Pathways Initiative, and advisory board for the Aspen Presidential Fellowship.


Wood formerly was provost and vice president of academic affairs and student services at Marion Technical College.


She is a first-generation community college graduate who holds a doctorate in higher education leadership from The University of Toledo, a master’s in education from Bowling Green State University, a bachelor’s in business education from Ashland University, and an associate in business from Marion Technical College.


She and her husband, Rodney, have three children (Morgan, Colin and Ryan) and three grandchildren.

Pickleball Kingdom Location Announced in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

Pickleball Kingdom, the nation's indoor pickleball franchise, announced the opening of its newest location in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, at 680 Long Point Road, Mt Pleasant, SC 29464.


Chris and Kelly Ogden, franchisees of Pickleball Kingdom, are spearheading the Mount Pleasant endeavor. 


The Mount Pleasant North location has state-of-the-art indoor courts designed to accommodate players of all ages and skill levels. The venue will offer leagues, open play sessions, tournaments, and professional instruction.


"Pickleball is more than just a sport; it's a community builder," Chris Ogden said. "Our aim is to create a welcoming environment where people of all backgrounds can come together to enjoy this exciting sport.”

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