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.

David Looper, FSI Rentals
Dana Austin, SC Forestry Commission
Jennifer Blackhurst, Synovus
Eleanor Dreher Boyd, Midlands Fatherhood Coalition
Fran Boyd
Daniel Branham, W.O. Blackstone
Chris Brownlee, Lowry Insurance
Murray Coleman, United Way of the Midlands
Nic Collins, Wolseley Industrial Group
Bryant Davis, Richland County Government
Maggie Dittmar, M.B. Kahn Construction, Co., Inc.
Tammie C. Epps, Prisma Health
Kenneth Givens II, Miller-Valentine Construction
Hamilton Grant, Grant Business Advisors, LLC
Kayla Hildreth Gupton, Colonial Life
Teosha Harrison, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
Todd Hudak, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
Kristin Hudson, Prisma Health Midlands Foundation
Leah G. Johnson, CAE, Association Consultant
Thomas Kilpatrick, Murphy & Kilpatrick, P.A.
Bryanta “Bre” Maxwell, Indigo Consulting, LLC
Courtney Melendez, Riggs Partners
Shayla Merritt, Cyberwoven
Megan Newbold, Garvin Design Group
David Palkovitz, Apollon Wealth Management
Punam Patel, MUSC Health
Matthew Pollard, Colliers International
Kassy Alia Ray, Serve & Connect
Brad Shell, Peach Properties
Kara Simmons, KP Connects
Charles Stuart, Hood Construction
Brian F. Taylor, Miller Valentine Construction 
Holly West, Priority Inc.

For more information about the Leadership Columbia Advisory Board or meetings, please call (803) 733-1146 or email Leah Kelly.

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.

Frank Mundy, Stewart Engineering, Inc.
DeAnna Bookert, National Youth Advocate Program
Jarrett Dowling, Riddle and Bloom
Ashley Graham, Dominion Energy
Maureen Grewe, University of South Carolina
Elizabeth Hutton, Dominion Energy
Ebony Kelly, City of Columbia
Kim McMahon, University of South Carolina
Lindsay Medlin, Bauknight Pietras & Stormer, P.A.
Shayla Merritt, Cyberwoven
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) 733-1146 or email Leah Kelly.

Midlands Minority Business Accelerator Advisory Board

The Midlands Minority Business Accelerator (MMBA) is a program of the Columbia Chamber in partnership with the South Carolina Minority Business Accelerator. The South Carolina Minority Business Accelerator is a statewide initiative formed by Greenville Chamber, Charleston Metro Chamber and the Columbia Chamber.

Funded with a seed grant from Bank of America, the initiative was designed to advance economic inclusion across the state of South Carolina by helping to reduce the economic disparities experienced by minority owned businesses. The initiative provides opportunities for economic growth and prosperity for high-potential minority owned firms. MMBA is a major economic development tool of the Columbia Chamber and is designed to make minority businesses more competitive.

Karen Jenkins, KRJ Consulting
Sonja Barkley, SC Commerce
Ti Barnes, Allen University
John Cadena, Dominion Energy
Charles Griffin, Bank of America
Ron Harvey, Global Core Strategies & Consulting
Lasenta Lewis-Ellis, LLE Construction Group, LLC
Jemie Meachum, Bank of America
Dominik Mjartan, Optus Bank
Michael Murphy, Synovus
Bob Quinn, SCRA
Diana Stevenson, Grace Outdoor Advertising

For more information about the Midlands Minority Accelerator program, please call (803) 733-1113 or email Naomi Walton.

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.

Brian Taylor, Miller-Valentine Construction

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

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.

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.

Nick Annan, Elliott Davis
Keith Bogart, Zero Gravity
Allen Bridgers, McCrory Construction Company, LLC
Peyton Bryant, Trinity Partners
Margaret Clarkson, LS3P
Steve Doyle, CPR
Nicole Hendricks Woods, Encompass Health
Catherine Nates, Halls Chophouse

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.

Macon Lovelace, NAI Columbia, LLC
Ryan Barnes, First Community Bank
Kristen Beckham, BHE Gas Transmission and Storage
Joe Bernard, Providence Health
John Cadena, Dominion Energy
Susan Cohen, South Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association
Ted Creech, SC Department of Transportation
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
Mark James, Cypress Commercial & Investment Real Estate
Grayson Lambert, McNair Law Firm
David Looper, Wells Fargo
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.

Adam Jones, Jones, McAden and Associates
Nick Annan, Elliott Davis
David Belton, A. Dowl Knight, PC
Steve Bygott, True Catalyst Agency
Pamela Bynoe-Reed, The COMET
Kiara Cancer, Extraordinary Headhunters
Jared Clary, AMAROK
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, First Carolina Bank
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 Susan McPherson.

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.

Laura McKinney, First Community Bank

For more information about the Talent Development Committee or its meetings, please email Susan McPherson.