Jefferson Awards Foundation names 2018 Change Makers

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Blair Knobel, editor-in-chief, TOWN magazine

The Jefferson Awards Foundation recently announced its 2018 class of Change Makers.

The Jefferson Awards Foundation recognizes national public figures for their significant contributions to the country and its communities. Nationally, the Jefferson Award is the country’s highest honor for service and volunteerism, and past honorees include former First Lady Barbara Bush, Oprah Winfrey, and Bill and Melinda Gates.

The Jefferson Awards Foundation in South Carolina has selected its first class of Change Makers, 10 individuals in the Upstate ages 40 and under who have demonstrated a commitment to service and the potential to help move the region forward. The honorees are Ansel Sanders, president and CEO, Public Education Partners; Blair Dobson Miller, Realtor, Wilson Associates; Blair Knobel, editor-in-chief, TOWN magazine; Brad Cline, global leadership program, Michelin North America; Ebony Austin, events and special programs director, Greenville Chamber of Commerce; Jason Richards, COO and shareholder, NAI Earle Furman; Laura Bauld Turner, Upstate director, United States Senate; Lindsey McMillion Stemann, owner and principal, McMillion Consulting; Reid Sherard, partner, Nelson Mullins; and Yasha Patel, owner, the Rutherford Event Venue.

A reception and networking event for the 10 honorees and their guests will be held later this month to kick off the 2018 Change Makers program. This spring, the Change Makers will work to raise financial support for Students In Action, the Jefferson Awards Foundation’s leadership development program that uses service-learning to help high schoolers develop the life skills needed to be successful in college and the workforce. The Change Makers will also engage in various volunteer, community, and networking events.

In May, there will be a celebration event to recognize the work each Change Maker has done throughout the duration of the program. –Robert Hull

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