The Riley Institute’s Diversity Leaders Initiative announced Dec. 17 that 46 leaders from across the state, including CEOs, legislators and nonprofit heads, graduated from its inaugural statewide class.
Program participants took part in scenario analyses and intensive discussions related to diversity and inclusion with each other, gained tools to develop diversity strategies within their own organizations and explored blind spots. Classes are typically organized by region, but the COVID-19 pandemic allowed participants from around the state to easily meet in a virtual setting.
“While this difficult moment in history is one marked by physical distance and isolation, we must rise as one South Carolina to meet the challenges our communities face,” said Riley Institute Executive Director Donald Gordon. “This statewide class is prepared to bring forth real-world solutions for social and economic divisions exacerbated by the pandemic.”
During the program facilitated by Juan Johnson, an independent consultant who was The Coca-Cola Company’s first-ever vice president for diversity strategy, participants worked together to develop awareness programs for five South Carolina-based nonprofits such as Appleseed Justice, Engaging Creative Minds, Family Connection, PASOs and United Ministries.
The inaugural participants were selected for this program following being nominated by existing Riley Fellows as well as a rigorous application and interview process.
The fall 2020 graduates include:
- Edward Anderson of OnTrack Greenville, United Way of Greenville County
- Amy Barrett of Urban Land Institute, North Charleston
- Neil Batavia of Dority & Manning P.A., Greenville
- Jody Bedenbaugh of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP, Columbia
- Karl Brady of Carolina Youth Development Center, North Charleston
- Ivette Burgess of city of Beaufort
- Willis Cantey of Cantey Tech Consulting, North Charleston
- Laura Cantral of Coastal Conservation League, Charleston
- Genevieve Caplette, Jill Goulette, Amy Mirabelli and Francisco Cardona Mena of Michelin, Greenville
- Mary Caskey of Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd PA, Columbia
- Jeremy Cass and Michael Jennings of Furman University, Greenville
- Dan Claas of Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina, Columbia
- Galen DeHay of Tri-County Technical College, Pendleton
- Wolfgang Dieminger and Kenya Ford of BMW
- Kacey Eichelberger and Jonathan Markowitz of University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville | Prisma Health Upstate
- Adrienne Fairwell of South Carolina ETV, Columbia
- Matthew Ferguson of Education Oversight Committee, Columbia
- Elizabeth Fletcher of Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System
- Sh’Kur Francis of New Hope United Methodist Church, Anderson
- Herb Frazier of Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission, Charleston
- Ryan Gilchrest of The Post and Courier Greenville
- Kayla Green of The Sumter Item
- Julio Hernandez of Clemson University
- Wanda Cheeks Holmes of TK Gregg Community Center, Spartanburg
- Tammie Hoy-Hawkins of Community Works, Greenville
- Mark Humphrey of Prisma Health Midlands, Columbia
- Danny Kassis of Dominion Energy South Carolina, North Charleston
- Jesica Mackey of NP Strategy, Columbia
- Andy Miles of Companion Data Services | BlueCross BlueShield of SC, Columbia
- Jay Norman of Whiting-Turner, Charleston
- Jeff Payne of AgFirst Farm Credit Bank, Columbia
- Heather Pierce of LS3P, Charleston
- Katie Quine of The Riley Institute at Furman University, Greenville
- Mike Seemuller of AnMed Health, Piedmont
- Sue Shugart of KershawHealth, Camden
- Jasmine Smith of Robinson Gray Stepp Laffitte LLC, Columbia
- Steve Spinks of Spinx Company, Greenville
- Tammy Stephens of BCBS of SC, Camden
- Greg Whittaker of South Carolina Dept. Probation, Parole and Pardons, Orangeburg
- Matt Williams of KnowledgeWorks
Since its inception 17 years ago, DLI has had 2,300 graduates.
A second statewide class will take place in spring 2021. For more information, visit riley.furman.edu.