Committees

Partner Relations Committee

The Columbia Chamber Partner Relations Committee was established to identify and recommend solutions that add value to the Partnership, thereby increasing Partner return on investment. A focus on continual assessment and improvement of Partner development and retention efforts will promote Partnership growth, and support this Committee’s recommendations in its reports to the Executive Committee.

Chris Zimmer, BB&T
Nick Annan, Elliott Davis
Allen Bridgers, McCrory Construction Company, LLC
Peyton Bryant, NAI Columbia
Steve Doyle, CPR
Jeff Reeves, South State Bank

For more information about the Partner Relations Committee or meetings, please call (803) 733-1138 or email Ashleigh Conner.

Public Policy Committee

The Public Policy Committee is responsible for articulating Chamber positions on business-related issues and guiding the Chamber’s advocacy activities, on both the state and local level. Issues impacting regional growth, economic development and the creation of jobs are reviewed by this committee which makes a recommendation to the Executive Committee on the position of the Chamber.

Mark James, Cypress Commercial & Investment Real Estate
Ryan Barnes, First Community Bank
Kristen Beckham, BHE Gas Transmission and Storage
Joe Bernard, Providence Health
John Cadena, Dominion Energy
Ted Creech, SC Department of Transportation
John Durst, South Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association
Patti Embry-Tautenhan, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
Scot Fischer, FN America, LLC
Jean Cecil Frick, NP Strategy
Jennifer Harding, Leading Real Estate Companies
Chris Inabinet, Mungo Homes
Grayson Lambert, McNair Law Firm
David Looper, Wells Fargo
Macon Lovelace, NAI Columbia, LLC
Brooks Owings, Wilson Kibler
Kevin Ross, AFLAC
Nicole B. Scott, Bank of AmericaMerrill Lynch
Benton Williamson, Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, PA
Chris Zimmer, Truist

For more information about the Public Policy Committee or meetings, please call (803) 733-1148 or email Susan McPherson.

Small Business Council

The Small Business Council’s primary mission is to promote growth and enhance community awareness of women, minority and small businesses, primarily through increased partnership participation in the Chamber. Creative effective economic development strategies for existing businesses and the small business community is its focus.

Jared Clary, Splash Omnimedia
Nick Annan, Elliott Davis
David Belton, A. Dowl Knight, PC
Steve Bygott, True Catalyst Agency
Pamela Bynoe-Reed, The COMET
Kiara Cancer, Extraordinary Headhunters
Bryant Davis, Richland County
Ayesha Driggers, City of Columbia Office of Business Opportunities 
Ron Harvey, Global Core Strategies & Consulting
Charlotte Hodge, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
Will Holmes, PNC Bank
Adam Jones, Jones, McAden and Associates
Melissa L. Lindler, City of Columbia
James Shadd, Shadd Law Firm, LLC

For more information about the Small Business Council or its meetings, please email Henri Baskins.

Northeast Connection Committee

This Columbia Chamber program was created to provide a forum for networking and education, to promote growth and to advocate for small businesses in the northeast region. The Columbia Chamber Northeast Connection meets the third Tuesday of each month.

Ann Thomason, Ann Thomason Real Estate
Bart Bartlett, Bartlett Law Firm
Ron Harvey, Global Core Strategies & Consulting
Heather Leigh, Healing with Heather
Anita Murphy, Grow Financial
Ossie Rogers, TD Bank

For more information about the Northeast Connection or its meetings, please email Henri Baskins.

Talent Development Committee

The Chamber Talent Development Committee was established to discover new ways to help address the talent needs of the regions’ business community. Talent Development is also responsible in advocating for Midlands Youth Apprenticeship and meets quarterly.

Ben Green, Insurance Advantage, LLC

For more information about the Talent Development Committee or its meetings, please email Henri Baskins.

Military Affairs Group

This Columbia Chamber Military Affairs Group promotes, enhances and strengthens the relationships between the Midlands and our military community. The Columbia Chamber holds Welcome Receptions for Soldier Support Institute, Chaplain School and National Center for Credibility Assessment students and their families to introduce them the Midlands and help them adjust to the community. The group also works to promote the Midlands as an ideal community for military retirees, partners with the Friends of Forces program and produces a biannual Welcome Guide.

Scot Fischer, FN America, LLC

To learn more about the Military Affairs Group or its meetings, please call (803) 733-1148 or email Susan McPherson.

Leadership Columbia Advisory Board

The Leadership Columbia Advisory Board is responsible for maintaining the rich legacy of the Columbia Chamber’s Leadership Columbia program. The Advisory Board shapes and implements the curriculum for the year, including the orientation, retreat, class days, and project process. The
Advisory Board is also responsible for selecting candidates for each incoming class.

Shayla Merritt, SSOE | Stevens & Wilkinson
Chad Bacote, Thompson Turner Construction
Jennifer Blackhurst, Synovus
Eleanor Dreher Boyd, Midlands Fatherhood Coalition
Jesse Bullard, Southern Way Catering
Patrick Cleary, Bowman and Brooke 
Murray Coleman, United Way of the Midlands
Bryant Davis, Richland County Government
Maggie Dittmar, M.B. Kahn Construction, Co., Inc.
Tammie C. Epps, Prisma Health
Anna Gray Fender, Alfred Williams & Company
Kenneth Givens II, Miller-Valentine Construction
Hamilton Grant, Grant Business Advisors, LLC
Kayla Hildreth Gupton, Colonial Life
Meredith K Horton, McGriff Insurance Services
Todd Hudak, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
Kristin Hudson, Prisma Health Midlands Foundation
Rania Jamison, Purpose Promotions
Kristen Jerome, Bauknight Pietras & Stormer
Leah G. Johnson, Association Consultant
Allison Lee, Systemtec
David Looper, Wells Fargo
Bryanta “Bre” Maxwell, Indigo Consulting, LLC
Zach Minton, K2 Tech
Megan Newbold, Garvin Design Group
David Palkovitz, Apollon Wealth Management
Punam Patel, PwC
Matthew Pollard, First Citizens Bank 
Derrek Pugh, Richland County Councilman District 2 
Brad Shell, Peach Properties
Kara Simmons, KP Connects
Charles Stuart, Hood Construction
Brian F. Taylor, Miller Valentine Construction 
Megan Thomas, Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of SC

For more information about the Leadership Columbia Advisory Board or meetings, please call (803) 733-1115 or email Hilary Bell.

Leadership Columbia Association Alumni Advisory Board

The Leadership Columbia Alumni Association (LCAA) Advisory Board is tasked with creating programming for the Alumni Association, a program serving over 46 years of graduates and 2,000 alumni of the Leadership Columbia program. The mission of LCAA is to develop skills introduced
during the program, while connecting alumni from over four decades of graduates.

Kim McMahon, University of South Carolina
DeAnna Bookert, National Youth Advocate Program
Terry Buchmann, Garvin Design Group
Kyle Carlson, Rogers Townsend Law
Renee Chow, Historic Columbia
Patrick Cleary, Bowman and Brooke, LLP
Jarrett Dowling, Riddle and Bloom
Ashley Graham, Dominion Energy
Elizabeth Hutton, Dominion Energy
Lindsay Medlin, Bauknight Pietras & Stormer, P.A.
Frank Mundy, Stewart Engineering, Inc.
Jonilynn Reyes, South Carolina Air National Guard
Henry Simmons, City of Columbia
Elizabeth Wynn, Chernoff Newman

For more information about the Leadership Columbia Alumni Association Advisory Board or meetings, please call (803) 733-1115 or email Hilary Bell.

Public Leadership Institute (PLI) Committee

PLI is nonpartisan and aims to emphasize the necessity of responsible decision-making and the ethical imperatives of leadership. This program provides participants education by local leaders and educators from the surrounding area, offering real-life examples of what communities face and
specific policy decisions that impact businesses. Public Leadership Institute meets quarterly.

Will Holmes, PNC Bank

For more information about the Public Leadership Institute (PLI) Committee or meetings, please call (803) 733-1149 or email Henri Baskins.

Governance Committee

The Columbia Chamber Governance Committee was established to ensure that the Chamber operates efficiently and effectively, implementing best practices through adoption of a proven methodology provided by the U.S. Chamber for elite accreditation. This framework provides support for this Committee’s recommendations in its reports to the Executive Committee.

For more information about the Governance Committee or meetings, please call (803) 733-1149 or email Henri Baskins.