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Greenville Business Magazine

The Jefferson Awards Foundation Announces The 2019 Class Of ChangeMakers

Mar 06, 2019 01:01PM ● By Kathleen Maris

Since 1972, the Jefferson Awards Foundation (JAF) has recognized a host of national public figures for their outstanding contributions to our country and its communities. Nationally, the Jefferson Award is the country's highest honor for service and volunteerism, and honorees—individuals including such notable figures as Barbara Bush, Oprah Winfrey, and Bill and Melinda Gates—make up a storied group of American heroes whose dedication to service has inspired others to lead.

JAF’s goal in S.C. is to cultivate the next generation of our state’s servant leaders. With that goal in mind, the organization has selected the 2019 class of ChangeMakers—15 individuals in the Upstate age 40 and under—who have demonstrated a commitment to service and the potential to truly move the Upstate forward.

The 2019 ChangeMakers class kicked off earlier this month with a reception and networking event for the 15 honorees and their guests. Throughout the spring, these ChangeMakers will work both individually and as a cohort to raise financial support for Students In Action, JAF’s youth leadership development program, which uses service-learning as the vehicle for arming high schoolers with the life skills they need to be successful in college and the workforce. These 15 ChangeMakers will also participate in volunteer, community, and other networking activities each month with the goal of raising awareness and inspiring even more young leaders to do their part. The program will culminate in May 2019 with a celebration event, recognizing each of the 15 honorees with a Jefferson Award and celebrating all they have accomplished to make a difference in the Upstate.

JAF is proud to announce the 2019 class of ChangeMakers:

Angela Rodriguez Sawyer


Wilson Associates

Dan Weidenbenner

Executive Director

Mill Community Ministries

David Sigmon, CCIM

Sales Associate

Coldwell Banker Commercial Caine

Doug Webb

General Counsel

The School District of Greenville County

Jada Magiera

HR Business Partner

Propel HR

Jessica Sharp

Capacity Building Specialist

SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy

Kimbrell Hughes


Hughes Investments, Inc.

Marianne Shaddrix

Grant Funding Manager

Goodwill Industries

Matthew Foster

Managing Partner

Carolina Moves

Paola Gutierrez

Rural Health Action Plan Lead Strategist

South Carolina Office of Rural Health

Ramon Nieves-Lugo


Unicomm Media Group

Shaniece Criss

Health Science Faculty; City Council

Furman University; City of Travelers Rest

Stephen Pelcher

Senior Manager

Elliott Davis, LLC

Tavares Durrah

Investor Development Manager

Greenville Chamber of Commerce

Winston Irwin Marosek

Of Counsel, Attorney

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP