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Greenville Business Magazine

Phillis Wheatley Association Announces New Leadership

Oct 23, 2018 09:42AM ● By Kathleen Maris
Phyllis Wheatley Association (PWA) is primed for its next 100 years with new leadership, board appointments, and expanded initiatives for Upstate South Carolina’s under-served communities. The nonprofit’s 2019 year-long Centennial Celebration will usher in a new era and renewed focus, building on a legacy of service while offering novel programs to improve education, character building, resource access, and employability in Greenville County.

In addition to new board leadership (listed below), PWA announces the appointment of Dr. Clarence Whittenburg to executive director. Whittenburg has a proven track record with more than 30 years of organizational leadership and strategic planning experience. He is founder and president of the consulting firm, EOD Consultants. Previous roles include director of talent management at Sealed Air Corporation.

Whittenburg’s expertise will have a tremendous impact as PWA continues to challenge boundaries through innovative programs and expanded reach. He will oversee the launch of programs that enhance PWA’s legacy of progress while positioning the organization for current and future community needs.

One signature program will be the new Calder Ehrmann Culinary Program, which will provide professional and entrepreneurial training while producing healthy food for the 250 children who are touched by PWA daily. The culinary program is being developed in partnership with area businesses. Partnerships will also fuel a new incubation space for micro-businesses to reduce startup costs and access business education resources. Building renovations for these programs are underway, funded in part through partnership with Greenville County.
“PWA’s vision of character-building has not changed and will not change. That comes not only from the practical skills we help people build, but from developing mindset that enables people to believe they can go out in the world and have an impact,” said Whittenburg. “Our community partners allow us to maximize the value of our services. We look forward to working together to enrich the lives of residents and represent a pillar of hope within the community. We’re excited about the future.”

PWA board and staff have begun to assess current processes and evaluate organization effectiveness in meeting priorities including fostering self-respect, education, character-building, civic responsibility, and employability. Throughout the fourth quarter of 2018, PWA will hold community forums to hear from residents, gaining important insights into community concerns and needs.

PWA is actively recruiting diverse, highly skilled, forward-looking professionals who align with the strategic direction of the organization. The new executive committee creates greater agility in implementing PWA's new strategy. The new officers are as follows:

Ray Lattimore, Chair
CEO and President of Marketplace Staffing

Debra Rice, Vice Chair
BMW Manufacturing Company LLC

Zack Brewster, Treasurer
The Bridge Builder

Dennis Braasch, Secretary
Industrial Project Innovation

PWA welcomes additional board members, including Dr. H. Paul Thompson, Jr. (North Greenville University); Courtney Clark (Wells Fargo); April Duckett (Michelin); Sheila Bradley (Retired); Margaret McJunkin (Retired); and Joshua Knuckles (Knuckleup Entertainment).