2018 Best and Brightest 35 and Under
Sep 05, 2018 01:00PM ● Published by Emily Stevenson
Judges Dr. Judith Prince, professor emerita at USC Upstate; Wendy Walden, associate vice president of executive affairs at Greenville Technical College; and Mike Posey, vice president of marketing and communications at the United Way of Greenville County, were this year’s judges. They selected this year’s class from among 117 candidates.
The judges say it was a pleasure to learn about the accomplishments of the 37.
“It is always an honor to have the opportunity to learn more about the great young leaders in our community,” Posey says. “This year’s slate of nominees and winners is positive proof that being successful in work and in community service is something that should be admired and celebrated. My sincere congratulations to this year’s nominees and this year’s Best and Brightest winners.”
“Greenville is in good hands with the outstanding young professionals in Greenville Business Magazine’s 2018 Best and Brightest,” Prince says. “I was delighted with the diversity of nominees this year, as they reflected more than ever before the diversity of Greenville! Judging is such a challenge with the outstanding profiles of those nominated. Greenville has so much to be proud of, including the young professionals who are committed to making this community the best possible.”
Walden is equally impressed.
“Each year, the pool of candidates from which to select Greenville’s Best & Brightest is more exceptional than the last,” Walden says. “I’m always astounded by the passion, drive, and commitment of the nominees and look forward to the incredible work that will result from their labor of love to make Greenville a better place.”
I studied building science at Auburn University. On day one of my first building science class, I knew construction was what I was meant to do. I feel at home walking onto a site full of trees and weeds and get excited knowing that, in a matter of months, an owner will have a beautiful facility. Each project has a story, and I pour myself into getting every detail right. As I’ve moved through the ranks within Brasfield & Gorrie during the last 13 years, I have seen the way these projects impact their communities.
Although I’m a busy working mother of two, I find it important to use my skills and passions to give back. I serve on Brasfield & Gorrie’s Women’s Resource Group Steering Committee, which supports women in construction operations positions. In the Greenville community, I am proud to serve on the executive board for CREW Upstate, which advances the achievements of women in the commercial real estate industry. I also serve A Child’s Haven as president of Haven’s Heroes and as a member of the building and grounds committee. My community involvement has helped me grow, and I am so grateful for the opportunities.
My wife Candace and I are expecting our first child in September. With the excitement of expecting, it’s easy to forget personal and long-term goals and get carried away in the excitement.
As a financial advisor for the last 10 years, I remind expecting parents to start or build up their emergency fund and have six months of living expenses set aside to cover additional expenses that come with a newborn. New parents will need money to help subsidize lost income from maternity or paternity leave, purchase expensive baby essentials, and cover medical expenses. I also remind couples to keep funding their retirement at the highest level possible so their children aren’t worried about how to care for them as they age.
Times like these make my job as a financial advisor rewarding, especially when families decide to make smart financial decisions about parenthood before diaper changes and middle-of-the-night feedings start. I’m as ready as I will ever be for this new chapter of my life.
I currently work in Greenville County Long-Range Planning, where I’ve expounded on my neighborhood work and served as a planner, solving problems alongside community groups. I am also the executive director for Keep Greenville County Beautiful, an environmental nonprofit focused on beautification, removing litter, and recycling. I currently serve as the third vice chair for the Greenville County Democratic Party and vice chair for the United Way Young Philanthropist 20s group, as well as on other boards.
In December I will graduate with my master of public administration in community and economic development from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. As a natural extension of my job in planning, I’d like to better inform policy and have dreams of running for office one day.
I have a wonderful and supportive husband, Jacob Pocta, and two dogs, Lily and Ruff, with a little girl on the way.
Robert Half gave me the opportunity to directly impact people’s lives right here in the town where I was putting down roots. I worked almost exclusively with the unemployed population and made a living becoming an expert in partnering with local Upstate clients to find top talent for their organizations. It was more than just staffing—it was matchmaking. And I was hooked.
In the better part of a decade, I have partnered with more than 700 companies staffing 3,000-plus jobs and placing 1,000-plus candidates here in the community that I love.
The best part about that? This job has afforded me the opportunity to network with a very diverse group of people, inadvertently introducing me to the Red Shoe Society, where I spent several years on the board, as both their volunteer chair and, later, president. During my time with RSS, I was able to lead multiple record-breaking fundraising events—most notably, our Plane Pull and #StripesforRMHC campaigns.
I have the privilege of serving on the board of PlaySafe, a nonprofit that employs/provides full-time athletic trainers to more than 45 schools in three states to promote safety in high school athletics. I’ve completed the Greenville Chamber’s Opportunity Greenville and year-long Pulse Pacesetters mentorship program.
I reside in the North Main area with my wife and three young daughters. We are members of First Presbyterian Church, where we volunteer with charitable organizations like Feed My Starving Children. I am grateful to live, work, and raise my children in the Greenville community, where generosity, hospitality, and doing the right thing are staples of everyday life. I’m honored to be on Greenville Business Magazine’s Best & Brightest 35 and Under list and intend to continue to invest my time and talents in ways that will help better Greenville.
I grew up in Greenville and attended Auburn University before earning my law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law. I also have an LL.M. in taxation from Georgetown University Law Center. After working for firms in Atlanta and Washington, D.C., my family and I wanted to return home to Greenville, where I could continue to grow professionally and be involved in my hometown.
I serve on the board of directors and as treasurer of the Greenville Bar Pro Bono Foundation and sit on the board of advisors for LAST (Legal Assistance for Survivors of Trafficking), which offers legal representation for victims of sex trafficking. I am also active on the board of SCBIO (South Carolina Biotechnology Innovation Organization). I’ve volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, even co-chairing a build, and have participated in several mission trips to Haiti.
I am honored to have been nominated and selected for Greenville Business Magazine’s Best & Brightest 35 and Under.
However, when part-time graduate school with full-time working became a delicate Tetris of time management, I had to let some of my commitments go. I kept the ones that connected most with my passions, skills, and personal mission, so to speak. Though this was an adjustment that initially made me feel somehow less of a leader, I learned a valuable lesson that informs how I lead today.
Now, I see leadership as a daily practice of continuously making decisions that are sometimes hard—all for the betterment of the people I serve. It is a minute-by-minute choice to do the thing that will take longer to make sure it is right or the conversation that will be uncomfortable but will help others enjoy a happy and harmonious workplace. It is leading by living a life of integrity, diligence, and kindness.
Of course, connecting to organizations beyond my daily work is a vital element of leadership, and I am enjoying those roles more than I ever have. My biggest lesson has been to see it more as a lifestyle and less as a collection of good deeds.
After graduating from Furman University in 2012, I left Greenville to work for Major League Baseball International in Sydney, Australia. There, I benefited from being in a position with more responsibility than I may have been qualified to manage, nurtured by a talented team who empowered me to thrive. Life abroad gave me terrific perspective and life-altering opportunities to grow personally and professionally.
In 2014, I returned to Greenville to join my family’s business, JDPR. At JDPR, we pride ourselves on being strategic communicators for brands of all sizes with consumer-facing goods or services, navigating the evolving communications landscape to give our clients a competitive advantage. In my role, I focus on strategic planning, client management, and new business development.
My fiancé, Maddy Varin, and I are passionate about animal advocacy and are founding board members of Partners in Animal Care. I am honored to be named one of Greenville Business Magazine’s Best & Brightest 35 and Under. I personally know many worthy candidates in our community.
My future aspirations are to become a certified chaplain, both as a civilian and within the military; hold a doctor of divinity degree; and become a philanthropist.
I personally feel that my life experiences and rearing has made me a humble, servant-minded, hard-working, caring, respectful, and optimistic man. I believe all people need are some success stories to motivate them and help them achieve more out of life. I also believe that your blessings come in being a blessing to others. I am here to serve, God, family, country, and community until my time is up.
I’m a proud fifth generation Greenville native who takes personal pride in seeing our local businesses and community thrive. I feel as though I’ve been raised by the Upstate and am thankful for the opportunities this community constantly presents. Who would’ve thought this shy, small-town girl would grow up to be an entrepreneur and a social media influencer with a TV show? Because of this, I take my contributions to Greenville seriously. I’m a graduate of Leadership Greenville Class 43, and I currently serve on boards and committees for The Family Effect, Carolina Ballet Theatre, Safe Harbor, and more. I’m honored to be recognized as one of Greenville Business Magazine’s Best & Brightest 35 and Under, and it’s even more of an honor to use the tools our town gave me to continue to contribute to our city’s success.
I received my master’s in health administration from the Medical University of South Carolina and bachelor’s in finance from Wofford College. Outside of professional obligations, I am the secretary of the S.C. Community Health Worker Association (SCCHWA), a member of the SCCHWA Executive Committee, and the chair of the SCCHWA Education Committee. Also, I am member of the American Heart Association’s Upstate Heart Ball and Go Red for Women Luncheon Silent Auction Committees, and a volunteer with Meals on Wheels. I am a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church and active in the Radiance Bible study group. Thank you for the honor of being named one of Greenville Business Magazine’s Best & Brightest 35 and Under.
I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. I first came to Greenville to attend Furman and play on the baseball team. I relocated to Atlanta after graduation and eventually found my way back when I was afforded the opportunity to join the industrial group at The Furman Co., now CBRE. It’s been a wonderful ride so far being able to directly contribute to the growth of our great city.
At CBRE, I advise clients on a wide scope of industrial real estate transactions. My services range from something as straightforward as finding and leasing warehouse space for automotive suppliers to more complex deals, like repositioning textile mills into mixed-use projects through tax credit utilization. Most recently, I’ve had the pleasure of working with an outstanding team on the redevelopment of Judson Mill.
Outside of the office, I have coached high school baseball, served on the Paladin Club Board at Furman, and volunteered for the First Tee of the Upstate. I live in Overbrook with my wife Ali and son Brooks. I feel honored and extremely grateful to be included amongst this very talented and community-driven group of individuals.
In 2011, I graduated with a master’s in architecture and earned a post-professional degree in architecture and health focusing on evidenced-based design of health care facilities. Working in the field of health care architecture, I have the privilege of designing spaces that support patients, family, and staff during some of the most vulnerable and stressful times in people’s lives and leading the team for McMillan Pazdan Smith that does the planning, design, and construction oversight for our Greenville Health System projects.
I served as a board member for the Medical Benevolence Foundation, helping to build and equipping locals to run hospitals and clinics around the world. Locally, I have served as the coordinator for Interfaith Hospitality Network at our church and now serve as the chairwoman of the Mission Committee, leading the committee in the planning and execution of mission work in our local community and around the world. I have been involved in eight United Way campaigns, serving as McMillan Pazdan Smith’s co-chair for seven of them, and have participated in the School Tools campaign, Hands on Greenville, and Live United Day.
After college, I landed a job at Godshall Professional Recruiting. My role as the recruiting and branding specialist is a great combination, allowing me to use my HR degree and my creative/marketing side as well.
As a single gal, I know I have less time constraints than many. While I enjoy the fun attractions in Greenville, I’ve chosen to spend much of my time volunteering and serving for the greater good. You can find me at my church; serving on Echelon’s board, an auxiliary group of the Salvation Army; and volunteering with other local nonprofits in the area.
Being selected as one of Greenville’s Best and Brightest is truly an honor. I hope to continue to live up to its expectations and look forward to meeting my other fellow honorees.
It is my privilege to lead ARBC’s congregation, ministers, and program staff to achieve the church’s mission through spiritual leadership, preaching, teaching, pastoral care, and administration. Each day, I get to work with passionate people who want to impact the community in which our church is rooted. It is an honor to serve our neighbors through transformative relationships, radical hospitality, engaging worship, and faithful service.
I am humbled by this award. Whether interacting with those on our campus, serving through a local mission effort, or running into someone in the community, I love connecting with people, and I am constantly amazed by the potential of those in our city to create a brighter future. I am confident that Greenville will be a great place for our daughter and the generations who come after her.
In 2012, I moved to South Carolina to pursue a master’s degree in counselor education, student affairs from Clemson University. After graduating, I began working at Clemson as a full-time academic coach and advisor. In November 2017, I transitioned to my current role as associate director of Tiger Alliance. Tiger Alliance is a college-access program designed to assist in building pathways to college and a college-going culture for high school students in the Upstate of South Carolina. Tiger Alliance is specifically for males, and targets young men of color in grades 9-12.
Beyond my professional career, I have had the honor of working with several great nonprofit organizations in Greenville, including the Circle of Hearts, which is a group of young women working together to promote the Julie Valentine Center; the Hope Ball, the premiere fundraising event for the Cancer Society of Greenville; and the Child Life Program at the Children’s Hospital at Greenville Hospital System. Additionally, through my participation in Leadership Greenville Class 44, I’ve had the privilege of volunteering at the Meyer Center for Special Children to help build a sensory garden for its students.
Contributing to the Greenville community is important to me because I believe we all have an obligation to help and promote one another when able. And, in return, each of these opportunities has served me by broadening my perspective and appreciation for Greenville and the great people with whom we share our community.
Thank you to those who nominated me for Greenville Business Magazine’s Best & Brightest 35 and Under. I am grateful and honored to have been chosen.
I also love working closely with Femmeportant (formerly GirlBoss Greenville) and leading MomBoss Greenville, a collaborative that focuses on creating support for local moms and provides tangible ways for women to support each other. I also convene the Upstate Human Trafficking Coalition and serve on the board of directors for Keeping Greenville County Beautiful.
As a recent graduate of the Women’s Leadership Institute of Furman University and Leadership Greenville Class 43, I plan to continue finding new and innovative ways to support the women in our community, as well as continue making Greenville an inclusive, safe, and amazing place to live for all. I am thrilled to be a part of such an esteemed group. Thank you for this honor.
As a Greenville native, I’ve watched this beautiful city transform before my eyes over the last decade or so. I enjoy being active in the community and currently serve on the board of Greenville Women Giving and the Rotary Club of Greenville. In my free time, my husband and I enjoy taking part in everything our city has to offer.
I received my bachelor’s in sociology with a minor in criminal justice from Lander University. Additionally, I received my master’s in criminal justice from Boston University. I am a graduate of Leadership Greenville Class 43—the best class of all time. I have been honored as an Upstate Black History Maker and I have had the pleasure of volunteering at various organizations in the area.
I am a native of Greenville, and giving back to the community that has served me is a great honor. I am humbled to be one of Greenville Business Magazine’s Best & Brightest 35 and Under. Success is never achieved alone, and I am grateful to my family, friends, leadership, and team for supporting, challenging, and inspiring me to best version of myself.
Service to the Greenville community is extremely important to me, and it is truly an honor to serve this community. I am a proud alumnus of the Spring 2018 class of the Diversity Leaders Initiative at the Riley Institute at Furman University. I currently serve as the president of the Greenville Friends of the Library board, a board member of the Upstate Carolina Education Outreach (UCEO), and a member of the Rotary Club of Greenville. Also, I am a member of the Greenville Cancer Institute Advancement Council, which is responsible for raising funds to support the Greenville Health System Cancer Institute.
Being included in Greenville Business Magazine’s Best & Brightest 35 and Under is an incredible honor. I am grateful to be included among some of Greenville’s most influential leaders. and I am excited to connect with my fellow honorees. My family and I love the Greenville community and are proud to call Greenville home.
For 12 years, I stayed true to that mindset. I graduated from Duke and went on a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship to the University of Hong Kong, where I received my master’s in international affairs. After that, it was back to Duke for law school and then to Manhattan to work at a Wall Street law firm. I clerked for judges in Charlotte and Miami.
I had a fantastic time living in different places and meeting different people, but with time came different perspectives, wisdoms, and priorities. The draw back to Greenville and to a community and family I love was strong.
I am now an assistant solicitor for Greenville County. My work at the Solicitor’s Office focuses primarily on child victims, which fills me with passion as a lawyer and a mother. I am thrilled to be back and part of the vibrant, growing Greenville community, both as a Greenville County employee and as an active member of the community through the United Way of Greenville County, the YMCA, the Junior League, and Westminster Presbyterian Church.
I also put my legal training to good use through service on the board of trustees for the Greenville Firefighters’ Pension Fund. Playing a role in helping ensure the financial security of this group of exceptional men and women is an honor.
Growing up in this wonderful community, I witnessed firsthand Greenville’s tradition of service exemplified by my parents, our church, local leaders, and so many others. My wife, Grace, and I are committed to doing our part to continue that tradition. I am honored and humbled to be included among this group of impressive individuals.
This friend and mentor gave me the confidence and determination to get involved. Greenville has countless individuals, agencies, businesses, and churches who are dedicated to making this a community where everyone can thrive. Volunteer opportunities are available to anyone who wants to make a difference. Serving agencies like United Ministries and Greenville Center for Creative Arts has become a passion and allows me an opportunity to help move the ball forward in our community. It is humbling to receive this recognition, as there are countless individuals worthier. As my mentor taught me, find your passion and invite others to be a part of the solution. You will find it is an honor to be a part of the journey.
I am an associate attorney at Truluck Thomason, LLC and focus my practice primarily in the areas of civil business and corporate litigation, personal injury, and family law. I take pride in providing cost-effective, holistic, and result-driven representation with extensive experience in matters involving business formation and structuring, complex civil litigation, contract negotiation, employment and labor law disputes, motor vehicle accidents, and a wide variety of family law issues.
I earned my bachelor of arts degree from King University located in historic Bristol, Tenn., double-majoring in political science and history. I then obtained my juris doctor from the Charleston School of Law.
Raised in the small town of Abingdon, Va., located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, I am a relatively recent transplant to the firm’s Greenville, S.C. office. Outside of work, I enjoy hiking, fishing, and anything that allows me to spend time with family and friends.
I volunteer yearly with the Habitat for Humanity Wills Clinic, which provides those that cannot afford estate planning assistance with the opportunity to have peace of mind knowing they have a will in place.
I am a member of The Kiwanis Club of Greenville and participate in a number of community involvement programs every year. Every three months, I host a special program at Heritage Elementary School called Terrific Kids, which is a student-recognition program that promotes character development and self-esteem.
After graduation from Benedict College in 2004, I ventured to the Upstate to begin teaching. After two years, my colleagues selected me as Teacher of the Year, leading to being named first runner-up as Greenville County Schools’ Teacher of the Year. Earning master’s degrees from Columbia College and Southern Wesleyan University and now with more than a decade of teaching and administrative experience, I am now the proud princial of Monaview Elementary School.
I’ve been extremely blessed to hold numerous national, state, and district leadership roles, which have pointed to exciting opportunities with Oprah Winfrey, Stephen Colbert, and Harvard University’s Principals’ Institute. CK name: I’m finding Principals’ Center.
I believe in the importance of teacher quality and staff morale to promote both student achievement and a positive learning and working environment. With coined hashtags #MonaviewMoments and #loveSCschools, as well as collaborations with DonorsChoose.org, Public Education Partners, and the United Way of Greenville County, community engagement proves to be an essential component to the success of public schools.
As an auditor and CPA with Cherry Bekaert LLP, I serve clients all across the Upstate, primarily in the real estate and construction markets. This led to my involvement in Commercial Real Estate Women (“CREW”) as an executive board member. CREW’s mission is to influence the success of the commercial real estate industry by advancing the achievements of women. I have been, and continue to be, supported by many outstanding men and women in Greenville. My goal is to help provide the same support system to other young people.
I am so honored to receive this award, and it only furthers my excitement for the Greenville community and the small part I have in helping it grow.
I graduated from the University of South Carolina Upstate at the tail end of the recession. I bounced around jobs, from retail to warehouses, looking for my break. I received my opportunity in 2011 at Infinity. I was hired in April, bought my first home in June, and proposed to my wife in December. I am forever grateful for the opportunities that Infinity has provided to me and my family over these past seven years.
I joined Mentor Upstate four years ago and spend time with a young man on a weekly basis. He is now an upcoming fifth grader. I am very proud to have witnessed his growth and thankful for the perspective he provides me.
My beautiful wife and three wonderful children are my world. My daily goal is to make them proud in all that I do. They keep me grounded and are a constant reminder of what truly is important. They motivate and inspire me in so many ways.
Receiving this honor has encouraged me to reflect on the past, celebrate the present, and look towards the future. I believe we can accomplish anything together. Thanks for all the support.
I am fortunate that my talents have afforded me a challenging and rewarding career path, but even more so that I can apply those aptitudes in the local community. I was recently appointed to the Greenville Housing Authority Board, where I intend to apply my residential design insight to aid their efforts to provide affordable and workforce housing opportunities for the city’s residents. I serve on the mobility subcommittee of the Green Ribbon Advisory Committee, which promotes sustainable, accessible modes of transportation in the City of Greenville. And as chairperson for the Custom Residential Architects Network (CRAN), my mission is to foster a collaborative environment for residential architects that will raise the caliber of design in the region. I am committed to employing my passions and skills for the betterment of our community.
Working in health care, I have been touched by many patients’ stories. There is one particular story that characterizes my love for my work. Last December, a team of Interim’s heroes and I planned a wedding for an interim patient whose dying wish was to marry her long-time fiancé. We worked tirelessly as a team to put her wedding together in less than a week. The joy was overwhelming for all involved, and the patient passed peacefully in the arms of her husband two weeks later. This is what health care and serving other is really about.
Aside from my work at Interim, I can be found with my pal and therapy dog Murphy visiting patients in nursing facilities around the Upstate. We get just as much fulfillment as the folks we visit by seeing so many smiles.
I hold in high regards the value of individual choice. After my beautiful daughter, Avalyn, was born, I knew it was time to finish my degree from Clemson—a short-term sacrifice for long-term gain. This taught me to never give up, and that dedication pays off.
Drive, amazing mentors, and a dose of divine intervention led me to my position with Ranger Aerospace. I wear a lot of hats at Ranger, which I love. I’m constantly challenged and growing in my self-awareness along the way. I thrive in the midst of chaos, and my passion translates to all of my duties at Ranger Aerospace.
I’m a Southern girl in every sense of the name, and I’m an avid Clemson fan--Go Tigers. I’m active at Grace Church and other local organizations. I highly value service as part of my life mission.
It’s an understatement to say I’m honored to be featured in Greenville Business Magazine’s Best & Brightest 35 and Under.
Within my industry, I have a passion for empowering women. I’m a member of the Accounting and Financial Women’s Alliance (AFWA), an organization that helps women in these fields achieve their full potential. For the past four years, I have served as president of the Greenville chapter.
Outside of my profession, my husband Jon, our two young daughters, and I serve as a family at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Carolinas, where I hold the position of treasurer. We want our community involvement to be a family affair, a commitment that will grow when our third child arrives around Christmas.
I’m honored to be selected as one of the Greenville Business Magazine’s Best and Brightest 35 and Under. It fuels my desire to be an inspiration to those around me and to invest in others the same way many have done for me.
After graduating in 2011, I accepted a position at Global Location Strategies, a site selection firm specializing in location advisory services for industrial manufacturers. Working closely with companies and government officials all over the world can be challenging, but extremely rewarding, knowing I have a hand in bringing thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of capital investment to deserving communities.
I met my wife in Greenville, and in December, we welcomed our first child. Having worked in every market in the U.S., I can say with all personal bias aside that Greenville’s leadership has done a superb job shaping the trajectory of the city. We could live anywhere in the world, but we choose Greenville. Greenville has given me a family, a world-class education, a job that makes a difference, and an opportunity to improve the community around me.
In May of 2012, I graduated from Mercer University’s School of Law. That same year, I found my way back to Greenville, where I established a new office for my firm. Since then, I have served as the managing attorney for our Greenville office, where I represent immigrants from all over the world. I handle a wide range of visa matters, and I represent clients in complex deportation cases in immigration court.
Outside of the office, I am a zealous advocate for the immigrant community. I was recently voted “pro bono champion” for the American Immigration Lawyers Association Carolinas Chapter. I am also the chair of the Hispanic Alliance’s Legal Team, where we aim to improve access to legal services for the immigrant population in the Upstate.
I have been a litigation attorney with the Clardy Law Firm, P.A. for four years, and I consider the attorneys and staff my second family. The clients we serve around the Upstate are an extension of our work family; work here feels less like work, and more of an opportunity to fight for the rights of others. I am supporter of MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), and I particularly enjoy helping families and clients injured by drunk drivers. When I’m not working, I enjoy volunteering for local programs—I am currently the Junior League of Greenville’s chairman for the Home Run for Healthy Kids event, and I am also serving on the board of the Metropolitan Arts Council.
One benefit of my job is that it has taken me to a diverse group of communities across the country. I enjoy learning about new places and the people in these communities that, without my job, I would not have otherwise known about.
When I am not chasing down industrial sites, I enjoy chasing around my three-year-old son and five-month-old daughter with my husband, David. I am forever grateful for my family’s support that has allowed me to continue to grow professionally and personally.
Six years ago, I moved to South Carolina to become the director of development at Clemson University. I found a gem in Greenville and fell in love with the people who are aggressively working to improve our community for everyone who lives here.
My first experience with the passion of the Upstate was as part of the YWCA’s Junior Board, with a mission to empower women and eliminate racism in our community. When the YWCA closed, a small group of us sat around my kitchen table trying to figure out what came next. We determined that there was too much value in the work to be done and decided to create something new in LeadHER Greenville. LeadHER is now in its fifth year, striving to empower professional women in the Upstate and raising thousands of dollars for charity each year.
I am honored to be chosen for this award, but more so to live among people who don’t take our community for granted and actively engage to make it better. I am inspired by the countless individuals collaborating to serve children and families and provide better transportation, affordable housing, and stronger schools. I look forward to what else we can accomplish together.