50 Most Influential People Of 2018
Jan 16, 2019 11:59AM
● By Kathleen Maris
Charleston Business Magazine celebrates another year of honoring the region’s most influential people. The selection of our 50 individuals is a result of staff research and community nominations. Take a look inside to see who made the list.
Ernest G. Andrade
Charleston Digital Corridor
Founder & Director
Ernest Andrade is the founder and director of the Charleston Digital Corridor, a public-private business development partnership that has successfully diversified Charleston’s economy by nurturing, promoting, and attracting high-wage technology companies.
His accomplishments include positioning Charleston as a premier destination for tech companies by founding and growing the Digital Corridor to over 450 companies since 2001, launching a year-round CODEcamp initiative, developing three tech-focused business incubators in Charleston, a fourth in Beaufort, and a fifth expected to launch in 2020. Andrade is also involved with developing community engagement software products for use by business and economic development agencies.
During his tenure as the director of business development and annexation coordinator for the City of Charleston, Andrade was responsible for growing the city of Charleston from 38 to over 100 square miles, increasing Charleston's tax base by over $2.5 billion and 30,000 residents, and executing a strategic plan to recruit competitive economic development projects with a capital investment of over $500 million.
Ernest was born in Kuwait and lived in India prior to emigrating to the United States in 1981. He became a naturalized citizen in 1996. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the College of Charleston and a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of South Carolina and the College of Charleston.
President & Chief Executive Officer
Ray August is president and chief executive officer of Benefitfocus. He leads a team of over 2,000 Benefitfocus associates who deliver technology innovation to the U.S. healthcare and benefits market.
August joined Benefitfocus in 2014 as chief operating officer, overseeing the company’s operations, customer success, and financial growth. He was promoted to president in April 2015.
With more than 30 years of experience in technology, insurance, and banking, August is passionate about delivering world-class customer service and organizational excellence.
Before joining Benefitfocus, August was president and general manager for the $3 billion financial services division of CSC, a multibillion dollar global IT firm (now DXC Technology). Prior to CSC, he served as the group vice president and chief technology officer of Great Plains Software (later acquired by Microsoft and rebranded as Microsoft Dynamics GP). He previously held a management consulting position at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
August is a member of the AICPA. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina (USC). He is an avid Gamecocks fan.
Baker Motor Co.
Owner & President
Tommy Baker is the owner and president of Baker Motor Company, the largest privately held automobile dealer group in South Carolina. Representing 14 brands and operating four dealership campuses spanning North and South Carolina, the company has earned numerous accolades recognizing its strong sales, service, and customer-centric approach. Of all the awards, Baker is most proud of being named one of Automotive News’ Best Dealerships to Work For.
Baker is a graduate of The Citadel and passionate supporter of business education. The renowned military college recently named their new business school after him and his wife – The Tommy & Victoria Baker School of Business – and inducted him into the school’s Business Hall of Fame.
In January 2018, Tommy Baker also helped found the Beacon Community Bank, the first new community bank in the Tri-County area to open in more than a decade.
Business accomplishments aside, Baker is a strong supporter of the Charleston community. He has donated to and been a strong supporter of organizations that include Medical University of South Carolina Children’s Hospital, the College of Charleston School of Business, and YEScarolina. Baker currently resides on Sullivan’s Island with his wife Vickie of 36 years.
Michael Balke is president & CEO of Mercedes-Benz Vans, LLC in Ladson. MBV is an assembly plant for Sprinter and Metris vans, and is currently undergoing a major expansion to add a body shop and paint shop where, for the first time in Mercedes-Benz Vans history, the next generation Sprinter will be built part-by-part in the United States. Michael is originally from Germany, and has been with Daimler since 1992. Since relocating to Charleston, Michael has also become involved in the local community, serving on both the Board of the College of Charleston and the South Carolina Automotive Council.
Harbor Entrepreneur Center
Founder and Chairman
A serial entrepreneur, Patrick Bryant launched another software company in 2017. The startup, named CODE/+/TRUST, provides software development services to corporations and other entrepreneurial startups.
He’s also a partner in Teamphoria, (employee reviews and recognition software), Bidr (fundraising event software), Citibot (customer service software for cities), Go To Team (video services), and Shine Papers (rolling papers and tobacco brand).
Bryant feels strongly about making Charleston a better place to be an entrepreneur. He is chairman of the Harbor Entrepreneur Center and past chairman of the Charleston Chamber of Commerce. Bryant lives in Isle of Palms with sons Pate and Jack.
Johnny Caldwell and Taneka Reaves are the dynamic duo known around the globe as the Cocktail Bandits. The full-time Charleston ambassadors met as freshmen at the College of Charleston. Now, as the Cocktail Bandits, they promote female empowerment through advocacy for the food and beverage community from a feminine, urban perspective.
Caldwell and Reaves talk cocktails daily, educating and entertaining their growing blog audience by sharing original cocktail recipes, promoting the craftsmanship of other bar professionals, and sharing their experiences at foodie events all around the Holy City and beyond. They recently published “Holy Spirits! Charleston Culture Through Cocktails,” which is based on their blog and includes a variety of original cocktail recipes and an overview of Charleston’s cocktail culture.
Caldwell and Reaves have hosted sold-out events at Charleston Wine + Food, Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, and Euphoria in Greenville. The duo has also been featured on Sirius XM Radio online, NBC BLK online, Metro UK online, Style Me Pretty Online, Cuisine Noir magazine, PBS’s “Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking TV,” and Essence magazine.
The Charleston Music Hall
Charles Carmody was born and raised in Charleston. He has been the executive director of The Charleston Music Hall since 2012. The Charleston Music Hall is a 935-seat music and entertainment venue that holds over 200 events per year.
Carmody also created a promotions company, Murias Entertainment, in 2014 to put on events throughout Charleston in order to introduce smaller artists to the city and scene.
He is a cheerleader for Charleston’s amazing local bands, especially SUSTO and Babe Club. His goal is to bring people together encouraging community through art, as well as make Charleston the greatest and most sustainable arts and entertainment city in the world.
David J. Cole, M.D., FACS
Medical University of South Carolina
President of the Medical University of South Carolina since July 2014, Dr. Cole has provided dynamic leadership at MUSC for 24 years. A nationally recognized surgical oncologist, his clinical expertise is augmented by solid research with more than 17 years of continuous National Institutes of Health funding.
With the endorsement of the MUSC Board of Trustees, Cole recently embarked on an unprecedented course to transform and grow the enterprise. In November, he announced MUSC’s intent to purchase four community hospitals from Community Health Systems, one of America’s largest publicly traded hospital companies.
In August, Cole launched a first-of-its-kind strategic alliance with Siemens Healthineers, a world leader in engineering, business, and research, with the mutual goal of advancing the quality of healthcare.
With his leadership and support, the new Charleston biotechnology hub, WestEdge, is moving forward with ongoing construction.
Through Business Health, MUSC contracted to deliver health care and wellness services to Volvo Cars employees at its new $1 billion plant and to South Carolina Ports Authority workers.
Supporting the local community, he compelled MUSC to prioritize small, women- and minority-owned business enterprises and, as of June, has awarded $60 million in contracts to them to help build the $385 million MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital.
He is a member of several state and community boards, including the S.C. Chamber of Commerce, Tri-County Cradle to Career, and the Economic Leadership Council.
The Beach Company
President & CEO
John Darby leads The Beach Company, a full-service real estate business with development, brokerage, management, and construction services, ranked among Grant Thornton’s South Carolina Top 100 companies for over 30 years. Darby led the The Beach Company’s expansion to 16 cities across the Southeast region with industrial, multifamily, retail, and office projects.
The 2018 recipient of Charleston Metro Chamber’s “Rockstar” award for its positive impact on the region, The Beach Company is also recognized for its philanthropic endeavors.
Darby is chairman of the 2018 Trident United Way Tocqueville Society, and co-chair of the Mother Emanuel Memorial Foundation Board.
Rev. Joseph Darby
Nichols Chapel AME Church
The Rev. Joseph A. Darby served four congregations in the Midlands and Charleston’s Morris Brown AME Church. He was presiding elder of the Beaufort District of the AME Church and now pastors Charleston’s Nichols Chapel AME Church.
Darby was also a founding co-chairperson of the Charleston Area Justice Ministry, and was president of the S.C. Christian Action Council and the S.C. Civil Liberties Union. He is also a life member of the NAACP and has served and as first vice-president of the S.C. NAACP.
He is a board member for the S.C. Advisory Committee of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, first vice-president of the Charleston Branch NAACP, and is a member of The Citadel’s Diversity Advisory Committee.
His honors and awards include the S.C. Christian Action Council’s Howard G. McClain Christian Action in Public Policy Award and the NAACP Southeast Region Medgar W. Evers Leadership Award. He is recognized in the S.C. Black Hall of Fame, was featured in the AT&T African-American History Calendar, is a member of the Richland County School District One Hall of Fame, and is a recipient of the Charleston YMCA’s Harvey Gantt Freedom Award. He also received the Conference of National Black Churches’ John Hurst Adams Advocacy Award.
Charleston Metro Chamber
President & CEO
Bryan Derreberry is the president and CEO of the Charleston Metro Chamber, a regional membership organization representing approximately 1,500 businesses. Derreberry has led the organization to receiving a 5-Star Accreditation from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce three times, which has been accomplished by less than 0.2 percent of chambers nationally.
The Charleston Metro Chamber was also chosen as the 2018 Chamber of the Year by the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives.
Derreberry is inspired by the incredible members and volunteers who are passionate about their businesses and ensuring that our region excels.
CEO & President
Chad Frampton is president and CEO of Frampton Construction, a regional full-service construction firm offering planning and design support, preconstruction, and construction services. Since taking on an executive role in 2010, he has led the company to a record of consistent and significant growth, with Frampton Construction earning the #267 spot on the 2018 Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies in the nation. Frampton has a hands-on role in every project, providing oversight from start-to-finish. Some notable Charleston-area projects include T-Mobile’s Customer Care Center in North Charleston, the US Foods CHEF’STORE on Meeting Street, and a 234,000 SF Manufacturing & Distribution Center for German automotive supplier, IFA in Summerville’s Charleston Trade Center.
Michael P. Gianoni
President & CEO
Michael P. “Mike” Gianoni has served as president and chief executive officer at Blackbaud, the world’s leading cloud software company powering social good, since January 2014.
An experienced IT services executive, Gianoni’s interest in technology was sparked in high school when he took his first engineering class. Today, with degrees in both engineering and business—as well as an MBA and honorary doctorate from the University of New Haven—Mike has a successful track record of strong operational management of IT businesses that deliver value for customers, shareholders, and employees.
Gianoni joined Blackbaud from Fiserv Inc., a global provider of financial services technology solutions, where he was executive vice president and group president of the Financial Institutions Group. Previously, he was president of Fiserv’s Investment Services division, executive vice president and general manager of CheckFree Investment Services, and the leader of numerous divisions at DST, where he focused on developing new platforms and ensuring stronger operational controls. He currently serves on the board of directors for University of New Haven and Teradata.
A first-generation American with a passion for veterans’ initiatives, animal welfare (especially dogs), and exploring the U.S. coastline either by sailboat or motorcycle, Gianoni is an advocate for corporate cultures that encourage employees to thrive professionally and personally while accomplishing strong top-line growth.
David T. Ginn
Charleston Regional Development Alliance
President & CEO
In his leadership role with the CRDA, Ginn works closely with the region's top business, academic, and political leaders to shape and execute a comprehensive regional economic development strategy. He also leads the organization's day-to-day efforts, and is directly involved with global business development and global marketing initiatives.
Ginn has been with the CRDA since its inception, serving as the organization's executive vice president and project director before being named president and CEO in 2000.
A Certified Economic Development professional, he maintains a comprehensive awareness of current issues in economic development, thanks in part to affiliations with the International Economic Development Council and as past president of the S.C. Economic Developers Association. He has also held professional economic development and industrial marketing positions in Atlanta and Savannah.
Ginn grew up in the Atlanta area and holds a degree in economics and international business from the University of Southern Mississippi. He also studied abroad at the London School of Economics. He and his wife Jean live in Mt. Pleasant with their two children.
CEO & Founder
Stanfield Gray is the CEO of DIG SOUTH Tech Media, DIG SOUTH Tech Summit, ETC South, and the co-host of South Pod: Rise of a Region.
Named in 2018 as one of Time magazine’s “31 People Changing the South,” Gray is a Liberty Fellow in the Aspen Global Leadership Network and a sought-after startup ecosystem advisor.
DIG SOUTH is the South’s tech hub and the first and foremost company dedicated to growing the region’s digital economy. Converge with leading global brands and the smartest startups at DIG SOUTH Tech Summit, April 24-26, 2019, at Charleston Gaillard Center.
Bill Hall Sr.
Hall Management Group
Bill Hall Sr. has spent more than 50 years operating hotels and restaurants, starting his hospitality career in San Francisco, his hometown. From there, he moved to Washington D.C., where he met, and then married, Jeanne Lamond, his bride of 44 years. Together they went to Pinehurst, N.C., to run the Carolina Hotel. From there, he made career moves to Hilton Head Island, Napa Valley, Calif., and Pebble Beach, Calif.
Hall has also managed luxurious Ritz-Carlton hotels in Laguna, Calif., Pasadena, Calif., and Naples, Fla. before moving to The Cloister at Sea Island, Ga., and Vail Resorts in Colorado.
The Halls were drawn to the charms of Charleston when their daughter, Stacey, was earning her degree at the College of Charleston. Sons Billy and Tommy joined Bill and Jeanne in Charleston in 2009 to run the family business, Hall Management Group.
Hall Management Group consists of six restaurants in South Carolina: Halls Chophouse (Charleston), Halls Chophouse (Greenville), High Cotton, Old Village Post House Inn, Rita’s Seaside Grille, and Slightly North of Broad. Hall Management Group has also recently acquired the event space Halls Signature Events at 5 Faber.
Councilmember Will Haynie was elected to Council in November 2015. He was elected mayor in November 2017.
Born in Greenville, Haynie moved with his family to Mt. Pleasant in 1966. He attended kindergarten at First Presbyterian Church and spent days playing in the Old Village and walking to Pitt Street Pharmacy for their legendary Cherry Cokes. After his father finished a stint at the Medical University of South Carolina, Haynie’s family moved to Sumter in 1969, where he completed high school.
Haynie graduated from The Citadel in 1983 with a degree in business administration. While a cadet, he rose to the highest cadet rank, regimental commander; was elected by his classmates as commander of the Summerall Guards; and received the highest award for leadership and principle that can be conferred by the college on a cadet, the Palmetto Medal Award.
In his professional life, Mayor Haynie has been CEO of several non-profits, including the Lowcountry Open Land Trust and the S.C. Maritime Foundation. His media experience includes stints as an op-ed newspaper columnist for three newspapers, including The Moultrie News; sailing columnist for The Post and Courier; talk radio show host; and congressional press secretary. His first book was published in 2001.
Haynie currently owns his own media/marketing/PR advisory firm located in Mt. Pleasant. He and his wife, Suzette, a local school teacher, have four children.
Cary Ann Hearst
and Michael Trent
Shovels & Rope
Cary Ann Hearst and her husband Michael Trent are the award-winning Americana duo better known as Shovels & Rope.
A Nashville native, Cary Ann Hearst moved to the Lowcountry in 1997 to study at the College of Charleston but spent more time singing on street corners than studying. After earning her degree and a loyal local following, she released two solo albums before joining forces with Trent to create Shovels & Rope in 2008.
Career highlights include winning Song of the Year and the Emerging Artist at the 2013 Americana Awards, headlining the Spoleto Festival USA Finale in 2014, and playing venues from Austin City Limits to Coachella to the Grand Ole Opry. Their most recent album “Little Seeds” is out now.
In 2017, the band launched the inaugural two-day High Water Music Festival featuring such roots and indie rock luminaries as The Shins and The Avett Brothers. The 2018 festival included Jason Isbell, Brandi Carlile, Jeff Tweedy, and St. Paul and the Broken Bones. Headliners for the 2019 High Water Festival, April 13-14, include Leon Bridges, The Head and the Heart, Jenny Lewis, and Dr. Dog. In addition to the 22 musical acts on two stages, other draws include chef-curated dining experiences, unique cocktails, and numerous food trucks.
Neighborhood Dining Group
President & Owner
It’s easy to understand why David Howard—who was born in the same home as Admiral Lord Nelson in Burnham Thorpe, Norfolk, England—has a thirst for travel and adventure.
His cooking interest began early. At 8 years old, he had already announced his intention to be a chef and frequently locked himself in the kitchen at the family farm in rural England to bake cookies. At 16, Howard followed his creativity and passion for cooking to culinary school. Upon graduation, he received an invitation to serve his culinary apprenticeship at the world-renowned Claridge’s of London. He then worked in Switzerland, Denmark, Ireland, and Bermuda before fulfilling his dream and immigrating to the USA in 1972.
Once in the United States, Howard worked in Virginia, Florida, Georgia, Colorado, New Jersey, and South Carolina. In 1991, he opened his first restaurant, Chicago’s Steak and Seafood, in Roswell, Ga.
In 2001 Howard founded the Neighborhood Dining Group (NDG), a restaurant management company in Charleston, and partnered with a group of local investors. That successful partnership has blossomed into restaurants in three states.
NDG’s restaurant portfolio includes Husk (Charleston; Nashville, Tenn.; Greenville; and Savannah, Ga.), McCrady’s and McCrady’s Tavern (Charleston), and Minero (Charleston and Atlanta.)
In 2017, Howard was named a James Beard Award semifinalist for Outstanding Restaurateur, and McCrady’s was awarded the AAA 5-diamond restaurant status in 2018, the only restaurant in South Carolina with this distinction.
Fresh Future Farm Inc.
Co-founder & CFO
Germaine Jenkins is co-founder and CFO (chief farm officer) at Fresh Future Farm in North Charleston.
After graduating from culinary school, Jenkins spent years working in the nonprofit arena and then committed herself to the revitalization of marginalized communities. She went on to earn certification in Commercial Urban Agriculture from Growing Power Inc. in 2014.
That same year, she won the inaugural Feeding Innovation Competition sponsored by S.C. Community Loan Fund and seed capital to start an urban farm and grocery store in the middle of a residential neighborhood, Chicora-Cherokee. The neighborhood is one of 11 food deserts in North Charleston and one of 34 in Charleston County.
Since 2014, Fresh Future Farm (FFF) has transformed a vacant city lot into a working urban farm and with an onsite grocery store opening in 2016. The FFF team had sold or distributed over 12 tons of basic and specialty groceries, including at least three tons of chemical-free produce grown onsite.
In addition to those efforts, Jenkins has hosted over 200 North Charleston students for STEAM (STEM + Art) farm camps and trained over 100 adults in organic gardening practices. Most importantly, FFF has kept $300,000 in the community as compensation to underemployed North Charleston residents who were hired and then trained to manage the operation.
Lorraine L. Lutton
Roper St. Francis Healthcare
President & CEO
Lorraine Lutton serves as president and chief executive officer of Roper St. Francis Healthcare, a 657-bed healthcare system with three flagship hospitals and a fourth under construction, as well as more than 110 facilities and doctors’ offices.
During Lutton’s tenure, Roper St. Francis Healthcare and its hospitals have earned numerous national honors. In 2018, the healthcare system was ranked as a Top 15 Health System for the sixth consecutive year by IBM Watson Health, formerly Truven Health Analytics. Roper St. Francis Healthcare has also been awarded five-star ratings from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to all three of its hospitals—in West Ashley, on the peninsula, and in Mt. Pleasant.
Lutton has focused her attention on executing a new strategic plan involving quality, access, and affordability that will ensure the 160-year legacy of the healthcare system is strengthened and sustained for the future.
Lutton is married and has three children. In her spare time, she loves being outdoors, especially in our national parks, and enjoys running, hiking, and boating.
Evening Post Industries
As chairman of the Evening Post Industries, which publishes the Charleston Post and Courier, Manigault oversees dissemination of the area news. He co-founded and is an owner of the popular magazine Garden and Gun, launched in 2007. In addition to his corporate work, Manigault is also involved in several nonprofits. He is also a founding trustee and chairman of the Board of Trustees of the American College of the Building Arts. He is also a member of the College of Charleston's School of Business Board of Governors, a trustee of the Middleton Place Foundation and a trustee of Magnolia Cemetery.
Rough House Pictures
Actor, Writer & Producer
Like many people who visit Charleston, Danny McBride came to the city for work and didn’t want to leave. In 2017, he told Charleston native Stephen Colbert that he bought a house in the Holy City after a scouting trip for his HBO show “Vice Principals.” He was also encouraged by Bill Murray, a resident and part owner of the RiverDogs.
McBride made the move from Hollywood in July 2017, according to Rolling Stone magazine, along with his wife, two young children, and various friends and colleagues, including writer-director David Gordon Green. McBride and Green run Rough House Pictures, along with writer-director Jody Hill, and opened an office in Charleston. “We came here and just dug it,” McBride told Rolling Stone. “We’re like pioneers in reverse. We came back from the West.”
McBride recently earned accolades as co-writer and executive producer of Halloween, a 2018 sequel to the John Carpenter original, that was filmed in Charleston and made $253.5 million at the box office. In addition to writing and starring in “Vice Principals,” the Georgia native is also known for his HBO show “Eastbound & Down” and roles in movies such as “Pineapple Express,” “Tropic Thunder,” and “This Is The End.” Up next is “Righteous Gemstones,” an HBO show starring McBride along with John Goodman as his father.
International African American Museum
CEO & President
Michael Moore is the president and CEO of the International African American Museum (IAAM). The IAAM will celebrate African American history on the site that was the most important North American entry port for enslaved Africans throughout the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
In August, the museum met its $75 million fundraising goal, though inflation and tariffs led to the need for $10 million in additional fundraising. Despite this challenge, the museum is on track to open in the summer of 2021.
Moore received a bachelor of arts and an MBA from Syracuse and Duke universities, respectively. His career has focused on consumer brand marketing, with leadership experience in both Fortune 500 and entrepreneurial companies.
In 2019, Moore plans to present a construction contract to Charleston City Council and break ground by May.
David L. Morrow
President & CEO
David L. Morrow is the president and CEO of CresCom Bank. He received a bachelor of science degree from Clemson University and has more than 46 years of experience in banking and financial institution management in South Carolina. Prior to founding Crescent Bank, a predecessor to CresCom Bank, he served as president of Carolina First Savings Bank and as an executive vice president/member of the board of directors of Carolina First Bank.
Morrow currently serves on the 2018/2019 South Carolina Bankers Association Board (chairman), the Clemson University Foundation Board, the Hollings Cancer Center Advisory Board, and the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce Board.
He has previously served on a variety of boards and councils, including the Federal Reserve Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council, American Bankers Association Community Bankers Council, Storm Eye Institute at Medical University of South Carolina Board, Leadership South Carolina Board, S.C. Museum Foundation Board, and United Way Campaign Board.
James I. "Jim" Newsome III
S.C. Ports Authority
President & CEO
Jim Newsome is the president and CEO of the S.C. Ports Authority in Charleston. He assumed that role in September 2009 and is currently the longest serving leader of a major container port in the U.S.
Newsome received a bachelors of science and masters of business administration in transportation and logistics from the University of Tennessee in 1976 and 1977. Awards and honors include University of Tennessee (UT) Alumni Professional Achievement Award (2018); Agriculture Transportation Coalition, Person of the Year (2016); S.C. Public Servant of the Year, S.C. Chamber of Commerce (2014); Doctor of Humane Letters, the College of Charleston (2014); and Connie Award, the Containerization and Intermodal Institute, for significant influence in containerization in worldwide trade (2010).
He is involved in numerous organizations, including the dean’s advisory council at the UT College of Business Administration, the executive advisory board of the UT Global Supply Chain Institute, the board of governors at the College of Charleston School of Business, the Children’s Hospital Fund Advisory Board at the Medical University of South Carolina, the board of directors of the Marine Division of the Intermodal Association of North America, and the board of directors of the Coalition for Responsible Transportation. He also serves on the Mid-Atlantic board for the American Heart Association and is on the executive leadership team for the Lowcountry Heart Walk.
Harbor Entrepreneur Center
John Osborne is passionate about entrepreneurship, which is exhibited by his roles as executive administrator of Charleston Angel Partners, director and co-founder of The Harbor Entrepreneur Center, managing partner of Good Growth Capital, founder of Charleston Angel Conference, and founder and CEO of Funding Charleston.
He is a graduate of Leadership Columbia (2008) and has been named one of Charleston’s “40 Under 40” by Charleston Regional Business Journal (2013), “Visionary of the Year” by Azalea Magazine (2013), “50 Most Progressive” by Charlie magazine, and “50 Most Influential People” by Charleston Business Magazine (2017).
Osborne has served as chairman for Charleston Young Professionals and the Roper Foundation Fellows Program, as well as on the board of directors for Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, the Education Foundation, the Charleston International Film Festival, and the Harbor Entrepreneur Center. He currently serves on the West Ashley Revitalization Commission and the S.C. Innovation Advisory Council.
Steve Palmer is the managing partner of the hospitality and consulting company, The Indigo Road Hospitality Group. Founded in 2009 in Charleston, S.C., The Indigo Road now owns and operates more than 20 restaurants throughout the Southeast.
Palmer is recognized not only for his growing presence in the hospitality business, but also for his charitable and community efforts. He is on the Board of Governors for Explore Charleston and The Charleston Wine + Food Festival, a leader with Charleston’s Feed the Need coalition, and supports Habitat for Humanity’s Builder’s Bash and Impact360. Additionally, Palmer co-founded Ben’s Friends, a hospitality industry support group offering hope, fellowship, and a path forward to professionals who struggle with substance abuse and addiction. He has been recognized by The New York Times, NPR, and Southern Living for his work and has presented at TedX Charleston.
Thompson E. Penney
Chairman, President, & CEO
Thompson E. Penney, FAIA, is chairman, president, and CEO of LS3P, a national architecture, interiors, and planning firm founded in Charleston in 1963. Penney, a Charleston native who joined the firm in 1974, currently serves on the Boards of Directors of CARO (NASDAQ), CresCom Bank, and the S.C. Aquarium.
Penney has also served as vice chair of the Trident CEO Council, co-chair of the national American Institute of Architects-Associated General Contractors Committee, and chair of the AIA Large Firm Roundtable’s “Managing Expectations and Uncertainty in Design and Construction” Initiative. He was president of the National AIA in 2003 and will be inducted into the Clemson University College of Architecture, Arts, and Humanities Hall of Fame in 2019.
Under Penney’s leadership, LS3P has consistently been recognized as one of the “Top 50 Architecture Firms in the U.S.”
As executive director of the S.C. Research Authority, Bob Quinn leads an organization that fuels South Carolina’s innovation economy by accelerating technology-enabled growth in research, academia, entrepreneurship, and industry.
Prior to joining SCRA, he worked in various executive roles for 26 years with Battelle Memorial Institute and affiliated companies. Previous assignments included vice president of technology commercialization and vice president of environmental science and technology at Battelle, as well as director of technology commercialization at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
His current board participation includes Central S.C. Alliance, Charleston Regional Development Alliance, S.C. Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), S.C. Economics, and S.C. Research Foundation.
Quinn holds a bachelor of arts (Phi Beta Kappa) from Rutgers University and an master of arts (Exxon Graduate Fellow) from George Washington University. He also completed the Executive Management Program at Stanford School of Business/National University of Singapore. He is a Certified Licensing Professional.
Nigel Redden is the general director of Spoleto Festival USA. He rejoined the festival in October 1995 after having previously served as the festival’s general manager from 1986 to 1991. Redden also served as director of the Lincoln Center Festival from 1998 to September 2017. Between 1991 and 1995, he served as executive director of the Santa Fe Opera.
As general director of Spoleto Festival USA, Redden is responsible for all aspects of the festival, including programming, fund-raising, financial administration, marketing, union negotiations, artists’ contracts, board development, and community relations.
He has also served as artistic consultant to Philadelphia’s American Music Theater Festival (1992-1994) and consultant to the chairperson of the New York International Festival of the Arts (1991-1992). He was director of the National Endowment for the Arts’ Dance Program from 1981 to 1986 and has served on various NEA panels over the years.
Redden is president of the Spaulding-Paolozzi Foundation and serves on the board of Druid Theatre. He was awarded the Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters in 2001.
The son of an American diplomat, Redden was born in Nicosia, Cyprus. He graduated from Yale University in 1972 with a degree in Art History. He is married to Arlene Shuler, and they have two adult children.
Motley Rice LLC
Motley Rice co-founder and University of South Carolina School of Law alumnus Joe Rice has served as lead negotiator in the largest civil actions our courts have seen in the last 30 years, including asbestos, tobacco, BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and Volkswagen Diesel Emissions Fraud.
He was recently recognized as one of South Carolina’s most significant senior lawyers by S.C. Lawyers Weekly and included in the legal publication’s inaugural 2018 Hall of Fame.
Rice currently serves as co-lead counsel for the National Prescription Opiate Litigation MDL, targeting the opioid crisis.
National defense counsel and legal scholars have commended Rice for his skill as a negotiator of complex settlements, and he has been described as being at the top of the nation's “five most feared and respected plaintiffs’ lawyers in corporate America” (Corporate Legal Times).
Outside of the courtroom, Rice and his family have made numerous philanthropic contributions to his community, including significant support for the Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center and the USC School of Law.
Joseph P. Riley, Jr.
City of Charleston
Professor of American
Government and Public Policy
Joe Riley is widely considered one of the most visionary and highly effective governmental leaders in America. He served 10 terms as mayor of the City of Charleston from 1975 to 2016.
Riley has devoted much time to and has raised more than $75 million for the development of the International African American Museum at Gadsden’s Wharf in Charleston, where more than 40 percent of enslaved Africans were brought to North America before the transatlantic slave trade was abolished. Construction is planned to begin in May of 2019.
Riley is professor of American Government and Public Policy at The Citadel. He is also the executive in residence at the Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Center for Livable Communities at the College of Charleston.
He is a distinguished fellow of the Pew Charitable Trusts, working on smart solutions for flood-prone communities and the national government, and the first distinguished visiting fellow at the Urban Land Institute.
Musician & Philanthropist
Darius Rucker first attained multi-platinum status in the music industry as the lead singer and rhythm guitarist of Grammy award-winning band Hootie & the Blowfish.
In 2000, the band established the Hootie & the Blowfish Foundation to support numerous charities. Among a multitude of philanthropy efforts, they focused on public education issues in South Carolina. The band has donated more than $2.9 million to more than 200 charitable causes, and the fund has an endowed balance of more than $4.7 million. The majority of funding comes from the annual fundraising event Hootie & the Blowfish’s Monday after the Masters.
Rucker has also hosted the annual Darius & Friends benefit concert and golf tournament for the past nine years in support of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Since releasing his first country album in 2008, Rucker has celebrated four summits to the top of the Billboard Country albums chart. He recently wrapped a sold-out headlining U.K. run and will hit the road with his Hootie & the Blowfish bandmates for the Group Therapy Tour in 2019.
Andrew John Savage, III
Savage Law Firm
Founder & Attorney
Andrew Savage entered private practice in 1981. He represents clients in the criminal courts and before professional licensing boards. He also handles select civil cases.
Savage was the first criminal defense attorney in South Carolina to be Board Certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. He is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and is a fellow of the American Board of Criminal Lawyers. In 2018, the American College of Trial Lawyers presented Savage with its highest individual award, the Griffin Bell Award for Courageous Advocacy.
Savage is a frequent lecturer at continuing legal education programs for both lawyers and judges and speaks at schools, civic organizations, and professional groups. He is currently working with City of Charleston Police Chief Luther Reynolds and S.C. Rep. Peter McCoy on a legislative initiative to expand and improve training opportunities for Lowcountry law enforcement officers.
Carolina One Real Estate
Michael Scarafile graduated from the College of Charleston in 1995 and from the South Carolina School of Law in 1998. Scarafile clerked for the Honorable A. Victor Rawl in the S.C. Circuit Court before joining the McNair Law Firm, where he spent six and a half years as a litigation associate. In 2005, he joined Carolina One Real Estate Services, the market leader and largest real estate company in South Carolina, as general counsel. He took over as president in 2011.
In 2017, Scarafile was ranked #144 in the Swanepoel Power 200, recognizing the most powerful leaders in residential real estate.
Carolina One’s Charitable Contributions Committee meets quarterly to support dozens of local charities and nonprofits. The company is also a big supporter of the March of Dimes and the Charleston Basket Brigade, a project which feeds more than 120,000 people at Thanksgiving each year.
Scarafile currently lives in Mt. Pleasant with his wife, Julie, and their two boys, Vito and Leo.
Dorothy “Dot” S. Scott
Charleston Branch NAACP
Dot Scott is serving her ninth consecutive two-year term as president of the Charleston Branch NAACP, the oldest NAACP Branch in the State of South Carolina.
Scott has served on the Medical University of South Carolina’s Community Diversity Committee and the Charleston Police/Community Illumination Project Initiative and was appointed by the mayor of the City of North Charleston to the North Charleston Police/ Community Relations Reform Commission. She currently serves as a community representative of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee of the Charleston Police Department. Critical issues that Scott is laser focused on are criminal justice reform, equity in public education, and accessibility to affordable housing.
Scott’s honors and awards include the Charleston YWCA Harvey Gantt Award, the Sister Summit Social Justice Legacy Award, the Lupus Foundation Service Award, and the S.C. National Black Teamsters Community Service Award. She was the first recipient of the National NAACP’s Rupert T. Richardson National Award for Outstanding NAACP Branch President Leadership.
As a leader on tax reform, education, job training, and innovative ideas to reinvest in our nation’s most overlooked communities, Sen. Tim Scott brings a unique perspective to the U.S. Senate.
Scott’s Investing in Opportunity Act, signed into law as part of the 2017 tax reform package, is one of the pillars of his opportunity agenda, designed to transform distressed communities across the country. After the passage of his landmark legislation, Scott began his National Opportunity Tour, visiting underserved communities across several states with their elected officials.
In addition to tax reform, Scott has worked on other policies including criminal justice reform, strengthening protections for children and families in the fight against identity theft, providing more access for low-income and minority communities that often do not have access to credit and banking, and ensuring educational and job training opportunities are available for more families. He has made efforts to continue his public service in the community by hosting events for South Carolina veterans, visiting our students, and meeting with constituents.
Michael S. Seekings
City of Charleston
Mike Seekings is serving a third term as Charleston City Councilman representing District 8. He is chairman of CARTA, the Sustainability Advisory Committee, and the Traffic and Transportation Committee; he is also on the board of the Charleston Area Convention and Visitor Bureau, the Gibbes Museum, and the Cooper River Bridge Run.
Following law school, he clerked for former S.C. Gov. Donald S. Russell on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and thereafter worked for Latham & Watkins in its Washington, D.C. office. He now runs his own firm, representing owners in complex construction defect litigation.
He is a member of the South Carolina, New York, and District of Columbia bar associations and is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the District of South Carolina. He is an adjunct professor at the Charleston School of Law and the College of Charleston.
DI Development Company
Matt Sloan was part of the team that created the visionary master plan for Daniel Island in 1991. Formerly a project manager representing the Guggenheim family during the island’s previous ownership, he went on to maintain overall responsibility for development, marketing and sales activities within the developing community. In 1997, he and partner Frank Brumley formed the Daniel Island Company and purchased the island, becoming the community’s master developer.
As president of the DI Development Company, he continues to retain responsibility for managing day-to-day development and sales activities on Daniel Island and development and marketing activities at its sister community, Carnes Crossroads, located in Summerville. He and his team are also responsible for development activities on the Guggenheim's 9,000 acre Cainhoy property, the last developable major greenfield site in the City of Charleston.
Prior to his current position, he worked in real estate consulting and in acquisitions and financing for a major life insurance company. In total, he has almost 30 years experience managing real estate and community development projects. He also is extremely active in community service, with past and current non-profit board service for the YMCA of Greater Charleston, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, Berkeley County Chamber of Commerce, Lowcountry Housing Trust, Porter Gaud School, Junior Achievement, Daniel Island Community Fund, Charleston Regional Development Alliance, Roper Saint Francis Foundation and Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative.
Town of Mt. Pleasant
Thomasena Stokes-Marshall served as Mt. Pleasant council mayor pro tem from 2011-2015.
To address the needs of the town's aging population and higher education, she became the driving force in establishing the Mt. Pleasant Senior Service Center, which celebrated 10 years in 2018, as well as Trident Technical College-Mt. Pleasant Campus.
In 2016, Stokes-Marshall formed the African American Settlement Communities Historical Commission to preserve the history, culture, and traditions of the African American communities within Mt. Pleasant and surrounding communities. In 2018, Stokes-Marshall joined the effort to relocate and preserve Long Point Road School, a historic African American schoolhouse that operated during segregation.
Stokes-Marshall currently serves on the TSM Senior Center Association Board and East Cooper Medical Center’s Women’s Advisory Board and is involved with the Mt. Pleasant Comprehensive Planning Update Committee, Mt. Pleasant Affordable Housing’s Advisory Committee, and Boeing Thought Leaders.
Summey Real Estate Advisors
Elliott Summey is a development officer/partner in SensusOne, a real estate development firm specializing in financing and construction of healthcare facilities. He is also the president of Summey Real Estate Advisors.
Summey has been a member of Charleston County Council since 2009. He served as chairman in 2015 and 2016 and as vice chairman from 2010-2015. He currently serves as chair of the Economic Development and Public Safety committees. He is leading the effort for the completion of the Mark Clark Expressway (I-526), championing new and improved drainage and infrastructure, and raising pay for first responders in Charleston County.
Summey serves on the Charleston Museum Board, Charleston Area Transportation Study Committee, Charleston Area Regional Transit Authority, and the American Flood Coalition. He is a former member of the Medical University of South Carolina Board of Visitors.
City of North Charleston
An improved quality of life, enhanced city services, and economic advancement for the residents of North Charleston have marked Mayor Keith Summey's tenure. Known for listening to the issues and concerns of citizens, his administration has been hallmarked by his community guidance.
A firm proponent of public education, Summey has stepped in when others fell short, leading efforts to improve educational opportunities while holding the school district accountable. Investments in the city’s youth have been essential to the city's success, building better communities for future generations.
A small businessman at heart and a good steward of the city's tax dollars, Summey takes pride in operating the city like a business. A deep understanding and care of public finances have been critical in maintaining transparency, while making smart investments into the ever-increasing livability of the city of North Charleston.
City of Charleston
Since becoming mayor, Mayor John Tecklenburg has been committed to improving citizens’ quality of life and making Charleston a city of opportunity for all.
In December Tecklenburg and City Council voted to create a new office, the Stormwater Department, specifically tasked with addressing the increasingly crippling issue of peninsula flooding.
Following an official apology last year for its role in supporting the institution of slavery, the city will be hiring a manager of diversity, racial reconciliation, and tolerance who will address complaints involving racial discrimination.
Tecklenburg has also led initiatives to address housing affordability and traffic congestion in Charleston. In addition, he has championed Plan West Ashley, the largest, most comprehensive renewal and revitalization effort in the city’s history, which will guide the area’s development for years to come.
Trident Technical College
Dr. Mary Thornley has been president of Trident Technical College since 1991. She believes in the transformational power of education and is passionate about the community college’s role in making our communities and our nation stronger, more adaptable, and better able to face the challenges of the future.
Thornley has received numerous awards and recognitions including the Joseph P. Riley Leadership Award from the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, the Southeast Region Chief Executive Officer Award from the Association of Community College Trustees, Martha Kime Piper Female Executive Award, Trident United Way Women’s Leadership Award, Special Award Recognizing 10 Years of Economic Development Leadership from the Charleston Regional Development Alliance, the Service and Leadership Award for Promoting Access and Equity in Higher Education from the S.C. Commission on Higher Education, the Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Vision Award, the Septima P. Clark Charleston Branch NAACP Education Award, Association of Community College Trustees Charles Kennedy National Equity Award, and Trident Literacy Association Founder’s Day Award.
Fun Is Good
Mike Veeck has spent his career on the principles of “doing the right thing” and “having fun” in the process. Whether through his employment engagement firm, Fun Is Good, or through his co-ownership of multiple minor-league baseball clubs and Charleston restaurants, Veeck shares the lessons of joy, passion, creativity, and fun everywhere.
Inclusiveness is a key pillar of Fun Is Good. So, when Melvin Brown was denied membership at the Charleston Rifle Club, Veeck and his fellow co-owners of Harold’s Cabin decided to temporarily change the restaurant name to “Mel’s Cabin” with an accompanying message of “Where All Are Welcome.”
Similar to what Harold’s Cabin does for the Hampton Park neighborhood, Veeck and his colleagues continue to renovate three businesses on Reynolds Avenue in North Charleston, helping support the rejuvenation of a strong community.
Veeck is also an author, taught at The Citadel, supports multiple charities, and is a really fun guy who cares deeply about people.
President & CEO
Michael Wilson is president and CEO of Ingevity Corporation, the largest publicly traded company headquartered in the region. Wilson joined Ingevity in 2015 to lead a global team of nearly 1,600 employees, 500 of whom are local to the Lowcountry.
Within the past year, Wilson has overseen the $300 million acquisition of the pine chemicals division of Georgia-Pacific, providing a platform for accelerating profitable growth. In December, the company announced its agreement to acquire a division of Swedish company Perstorp for $675 million, which is expected to close in early 2019.
In 2018, the company sponsored the Respond Gallery at the S.C. Aquarium and held its fifth consecutive $1 million campaign for Trident United Way. Ingevity has also sponsored monthly “Fresh for All” events through the Lowcountry Food Bank since late 2017. Wilson serves on the boards of directors for Trident United Way and the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, where he is first vice chairman.
Solicitor Scarlett A. Wilson was confirmed by the South Carolina State Senate on August 3, 2007 to become the first woman to hold the office of Solicitor for the Ninth Judicial Circuit. She was elected to hold the position in 2008 and re-elected her in 2012 and 2016. Governors Sanford, Haley, and McMaster each have appointed Wilson to serve as a commissioner on the South Carolina Commission for Prosecution Coordination. In addition, Governors Haley and McMaster appointed Wilson to serve as a member of the State Child Fatality Advisory Committee.
Wilson has played an integral role in the implementation of Charleston County's Safety & Justice Challenge grant awarded by the John D. and Catherine MacArthur Foundation. The goal of the grant was to keep dangerous people behind bars and to provide law enforcement and the court more options when dealing with lower-risk, non-violent offenders. Work begun by the grant is ongoing and shepherded by Wilson and other members of the Charleston County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council.
Raven Cliff Co.
Founder & CEO
In 2006, Stephen J. Zoukis founded Raven Cliff Co., which redevelops industrial property on Charleston’s Upper Peninsula above the Crosstown, primarily for office use, but also for food and beverage use.
In 2017, Zoukis and his firm completed Pacific Box & Crate Company, a 130,000-square-foot space for office, multifamily, and food and beverage areas. The year before, they completed an eight-acre space called Half Mile North that reused old buildings and focused on supporting restaurants and tech offices.
The firm is continuing to develop Charleston’s Upper Peninsula with the vision of a mixed-use development able to support anchor tenants while drawing visitors in from other parts of the city. The planning and design process for the development engages a number of different designers and other entities.
The InterTech Group, Inc.
Chair & CEO
Education advocate and South Carolina philanthropist Anita Zucker currently serves as chair and CEO of The InterTech Group, Inc.
Zucker has served on and led boards throughout South Carolina and beyond. Her work includes the University of Florida, College of Charleston, University of South Carolina, Clemson University, Medical University of South Carolina, Coastal Community Foundation, and numerous other companies and organizations around the country. Currently, Zucker serves as a trustee at the University of Florida and University of Florida Foundations’ executive board as current chair of the capital campaign.
Zucker earned a bachelor of arts in education from the University of Florida and a master of education from the University of North Florida. She also holds honorary doctorates from MUSC, Clemson University, The Citadel, College of Charleston, USC, Johnson and Wales University, and Yeshiva University.
Jonathan M. Zucker
The InterTech Group, Inc.
Jonathan Zucker is the president at The InterTech Group, Inc., which is a diversified holding company with operations and portfolio investments in multiple sectors. He is also the chairman of Z-Man Fishing Products, Inc., the world’s premier fishing products manufacturer.
Zucker received his master of business administration with highest honors from The Citadel and his bachelor of science in management and information systems with high honors from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is a member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi and the Beta Gamma Sigma International Business Honor Society and received an honorary doctor of commerce degree from his alma mater, The Citadel.
Zucker is the chairman of the S.C. Aquarium, the Roper-St. Francis Healthcare Research Innovation Center, and the Global Alliance for South Carolina. He is also advisor to the Zucker Institute for Applied Neurosciences and is a member of the executive committee for the S.C. Research Authority.