Member News | October 8-12

King-size quilt displayed at girls conference tells teenage mothers’ stories of pain and progress

COLUMBIA –  Friday, October 5th marks the seventh annual Empowering Girls Symposium, featuring The Honorable Gilda Cobb Hunter, SC House of Representatives – District 66, as keynote speaker on the theme: “Own It: Be What You Want to See in the World.”

The Symposium will be held at the Columbia Conference Center, 169 Laurelhurst Drive, Columbia, SC, with opening sessions begining at 9 a.m., followed by concurrent workshops and a luncheon address by Columbia College’s new President Beth Dinndorf.

On special showcase at the Symposium is a beautiful, king-size, handmade quilt created by teenage mothers in the state’s foster care system. Panels of the quilt reflect images and words that tell these girls’ stories of hardship, pain and hope for the future. (Image attached.)

This year, conference workshops offer a host of South Carolina experts on girls’ issues who will cover topics like father-daughter relationships, emotional health, engaging girls in the political process, media’s portrayal of girls, community involvement, entrepreneurship and personal branding.

Following the success of last year’s addition of a track for girls, the Symposium is proud to again host middle and high school girls from around the state who attend, largely, due to scholarship support from businesses across the state (A list of sponsors is available). A separate conference track offers skills-building for practitioners, parents, faith-leaders and educators who work with girls.

More About Keynote Speaker Rep. Gilda Cobb Hunter

State Representative Gilda Cobb-Hunter is Executive Director of CASA Family Systems, a family violence prevention agency serving Orangeburg, Bamberg and Calhoun counties. She has worked at national, regional and state levels on a variety of progressive issues aimed at making communities a better place for working families to live.

Cobb-Hunter was the first African American woman in Orangeburg County elected to a statewide office. She was elected to the South Carolina State House of Representatives in

1992, where she currently serves. She became the first freshman ever appointed to the House Ways and Means Committee, and is now a ranking member and a member of the Joint Bond Review Committee. Cobb-Hunter became the first person of color to lead a legislative caucus when in 1997 she was elected House Minority Leader, a position she held for three years. Under her leadership, Democrats overcame a 19-seat deficit and came within four seats of taking control of the House.

As Vice-Chair of the African American History Monument Commission, Cobb-Hunter led the historic effort to build the first monument to African Americans on the grounds of any state capitol. She represents South Carolina as the National Committeewoman to the Democratic National Committee, and is Chair of the DNC Southern Regional Caucus (the first person of color to lead that Caucus). She is also Chair for the National Black Caucus of State Legislators Youth Committee and the South Carolina Legislative Black Caucus’ Health Committee. During her legislative career, she has been honored and recognized as legislator of the year by several organizations.

Her long-standing commitment to community service is reflected in her active participation on numerous boards and commissions, including Community Development Advisory Committee for the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Planned Parenthood of South Carolina, South Carolina Fair Share, South Carolina Low Income Housing Coalition, South Carolina SAFEKIDS, and Grassroots Leadership.

Cobb-Hunter holds a B.S. degree in Afro-American History from Florida A&M University, an M.A. degree in American-History from Florida State University and is a Licensed Master Social Worker. She received an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from the Medical University of South Carolina and the David W. Wilkins Legislative Leadership Award from Furman University. She is married to Dr. Terry K. Hunter, Executive Director of FACETS. The couple resides in Orangeburg.

Workshops (Concurrent sessions 10:30 a.m.-11:45 p.m.; repeated 1:30 p.m.- 2:45 p.m.)

            Sessions for Girls:

  • So You Want to Change the World? Well, First, Let’s Get You Elected
  • Media Madness: The Powerful Influence of Media on Women and Girls
  • Girls as Entrepreneurs: Do You Have What It Takes to be Your Own Boss?

 Sessions for Adults:

  • What’s Really Working: Models for Community Outreach
  • The Fatherhood Famine: Are Girls Starving for Their Dads?
  • Managing Your Emotional Soundtrack – The Heart-Brain Connection

Symposium Background

The Symposium is organized and hosted by The Girls Center at Clemson University’s Youth Learning Institute, in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice and Columbia College. The one-day educational forum is designed to address specific gender issues and the most pressing needs of girls in South Carolina.

Clemson University, Columbia College, and DJJ joined forces in 2006 to host the first Empowering Girls Symposium. Now in its seventh year, the conference aims to again call attention to the specific issues and challenges girls face, as well as to identify and prevent the risk factors that contribute to girls failing to succeed in school and in life.

Contact: Pam Bryant; 803-553-7705 or


Cheryl R. Holland, CFP® named to’s list of the Top 25 Women Registered Investment Advisors in the country

Sep. 28, 2012  –

Cheryl R. Holland, CFP®   President of Abacus Planning Group located in Columbia SC has been named to’s list of The Top 25 Women Registered Investment Advisors in the Country. In an industry still largely dominated by men, the 25 women on this list are trailblazers. They are owners of some of the largest RIA firms in the country, making them not only top wealth managers but also savvy entrepreneurs.  According to recent data from Cerulli Associates, females account for only 11.6 percent of RIAs in 2012.

Ms. Holland’s company, Abacus Planning Group, is a fee-only financial planning and investment counsel firm managing over $650,000,000 for 183 clients.   Abacus is located at 2500 Devine Street in Columbia, South Carolina and can be reached by phone at (803) 933- 0054 or via the website


Scott and Company LLC Announces Donald J. Mobley, CPA Named Managing Member

Columbia, SC, October 2012Scott and Company LLC has announced that Donald J. Mobley, CPA has been named managing member of the firm.  Don’s primary responsibility in his new role will be to oversee the strategic direction and management of the firm while continuing to develop the firm’s practice and provide client service for some of the firm’s largest audit clients.  John M. Price, Jr., CPA will serve as the firm’s Chief Financial Officer.  John will also continue to head the firm’s tax practice.

Having spent several years with two international accounting firms, Don joined Scott and Company in 2002 and has served major clients in real estate, hospitality, government, manufacturing, contracting, not-for-profit, and other industries.

Don will continue in his role to serve as a member in the firm’s assurance and advisory services practice, where he will lead and develop the firm’s audit practice, advising clients on financial and business matters, and recruiting, counseling, managing and developing professional staff.  Don is succeeding the late Randy Scott, the firm’s founding partner.  “Scott and Company will continue with Randy’s vision, leaving the name of the firm as Scott and Company as Randy wanted,” says Don. “Part of Randy’s vision was to start a high quality CPA firm that would become so established in Columbia and South Carolina that the firm and its name would be synonymous with high quality services with reasonable billing rates.  That’s what the firm is now and will continue to be.”

Don earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of South Carolina (USC) in 1982 and received his Masters of Accountancy from USC in 1983.

A member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the South Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants (SCACPA), Don is a certified public accountant in South Carolina, North Carolina, New York and Florida. He has served on a number of boards of directors in Columbia and Greenville.

Scott and Company LLC is a full-service certified public accounting and business consulting firm with offices in Columbia and Greenville, South Carolina and is an independent member of the BDO Seidman Alliance.  To learn more, visit


Debbie Cohn Joins Katie & Irwin Kahn Jewish Community Center (JCC) as Marketing and Membership Director

Northeast Columbia, SC- Katie & Irwin Kahn JCC, a cultural community center located in Northeast Columbia, promoting unity through social, recreational, athletic, educational, and cultural programs, is pleased to announce Debbie Cohn, newly appointed Marketing and Membership Director. In this role, she will be responsible for marketing the many facets of the JCC, to members and to the wider Midlands community.

Debbie Cohn, a 30-year veteran in the marketing, advertising, and fundraising sectors, joins the JCC after successfully running her own independent marketing and communications consulting firm, Unlimited Marketing Solutions located in downtown Columbia.

 “We are extremely lucky to have such a talented and experienced person like Debbie join our team,” said Howard Weiss, JCC Interim Executive Director. “Through her knowledge and skills we are confident she will lead us to new and better ways of communicating with our members.  In addition, her ability to reach out to the greater Columbia community will enable us to spread the word about our organization, the Jewish Community Center and our mission,” he said.

“I’m very excited to bring my wealth of broad and varied marketing and advertising knowledge, and experience to the JCC and its work”, said Debbie. “I think it offers a lot of scope to promote this great facility and organization, and all it has to offer to the community. In addition, I hope through the JCC to help increase the rich cultural diversity of Columbia overall.”

Debbie has created and run numerous, highly successful fundraising events and initiatives such as the “Victory Over Violence” event and public service campaign, celebrating 30 years of advocacy for SCCADVASA (South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault) where she enlisted the help of the top South Carolina coaches: Spurrier, Pough, and Swinney to raise awareness and funds for the vital non-profit organization. She also coined The Big Nosh, Tree of Life Jewish Cultural Festival, now in its fourth year, and implemented and developed branding for the event that has now become a staple of the annual local community calendar. Debbie was also instrumental in developing the inaugural Famously Hot New Year’s Eve celebration with Rock & Roll Hall of Famer George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelic, held on Downtown Columbia’s Main Street that attracted more than 20,000 attendees and was featured in the Wall Street Journal as one of seven celebrations around the country to go on NYE 2012.”

Debbie is the former Development Director of Family Shelter, a private Columbia non-profit organization that provides emergency food and shelter for families with children who are facing homelessness. Debbie also served as Development Director for the South Carolina Philharmonic, for two years and was involved in the search to appoint a new music director for the orchestra, as well as establishing the “Conductors Cabinet” for symphony supporters and donors.

In 2007, Debbie went on to found her own independent consultancy, Unlimited Marketing Solutions, a unique marketing firm focusing on originating advertising, branding, public relations and communications campaigns for a wide variety of for-profit and non-profit businesses and organizations.

Debbie, a native of South Florida, is a graduate of Rollins College where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and English Literature. After later settling in the U.K. she earned a Master’s Degree in Psychology from Birkbeck College, University of London, before returning to her southern roots and settling in Columbia in 2005. Debbie began her early marketing career in London, England where she worked at Kingsland, Lloyd and Peterson (KLP) an internationally recognized, British marketing and communications agency, as Associate Director.

In addition to her professional accomplishments and experience, Debbie is also an active and visible local community leader, volunteer, art collector and donor. She has served as Public Relations Board Chair for Women in Philanthropy, United Way of the Midlands; National Philanthropy Day Board Chair for the Association of Fund Raising Professionals; Marketing Chair for ‘Living With The Enemy’ Donna Ferrato photography exhibition at City Art for SCCADVASA; Marketing Chair for The Big Nosh, Tree of Life Jewish Cultural Festival; Board Member for the Cultural Council of Richland and Lexington Counties; Board Member for Trustus Theatre and Docent for the Columbia Museum of Art. She is a member of the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists, American Group Psychotherapy Association, American Advertising Federation of the Midlands, and Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce. Debbie has also won numerous coveted ADDY awards for local advertising and fund raising campaigns from the American Advertising Federation.

For more information please contact Debbie Cohn, Katie & Irwin Kahn JCC, on 803.787.2023 (ext. 203), email, or visit online at

About  Katie & Irwin Kahn Jewish Community Center

Katie & Irwin Kahn JCC, established in 1956,  is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization and beneficiary of the Columbia Jewish Federation as well as a member of the Jewish Community Centers Association. The mission of the JCC is to enhance quality of life by providing comprehensive programs based on Jewish values, traditions, heritage and culture. The JCC aims to promote unity through social, recreational, athletic, educational and cultural programs. The JCC strives to meet individual and communal needs in a way that promotes Jewish values and in turn nurtures, strengthens, enriches and unites the Jewish community and the wider community as a whole.



Charleston, SC (October 11, 2012) Silvana Oaks, a Class A multi-family apartment community in North Charleston, SC sold for $21,500,000. Rivers and Donald Evans of Evans, Rivers and Company represented the seller, Palmetto Park Apartment Associates, LLC. Dexter Rumsey, Senior Broker with NAI Avant, represented the purchaser, Silvana Oaks, LLC.

Completed in 2010 and located adjacent to the Publix Palmetto Pavilion Shopping Center on Dorchester Road at Ashley Phosphate Avenue, the property is convenient to employment centers, medical and retail amenities, and is the most proximate Class A apartment community to Boeing’s new North Charleston manufacturing and assembly plant.

The purchaser is a joint venture of BRT Realty Trust, The Kalikow Group and Canongate Real Estate. Along with a change in management, an amenity upgrade program will begin at Silvana Oaks immediately to reposition the property within the market. Aaron Siegel of The Kalikow Group, Walker Brock of Canongate and Lonnie Halpern of BRT Realty Trust worked together to secure, structure and close on the acquisition. Brock is actively seeking value-add opportunities in the Charleston market and across the southeast.

About NAI Avant

NAI Avant’s commercial real estate business is one of the largest in the Southeast.  With over 65 professionals, the firm provides comprehensive brokerage, leasing, development, property and project management services.  For nearly three consecutive decades, the group has had more of its brokerage professionals recognized as top producers or recipients of the top awards than any other firm in South Carolina. As a member of the NAI Global Network, NAI Avant is affiliated with over 350 offices and 5,000 professionals in 55 countries across the globe. NAI Global is the largest independent commercial real estate service provider worldwide and a wholly owned subsidiary of C-III Capital Partners. NAI Avant’s Property and Project Management Group currently manages a multi-million square foot portfolio of properties across South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia. Through its Avant Healthcare Division, the firm provides comprehensive services to hospitals, clinics, and physician groups. NAI Avant, founded in 1966, is headquartered in Columbia, SC with an office in Charleston, SC. Find out more about NAI Avant and its services at Be sure to follow us on Twitter @NAI Avant and like us on Facebook.

Contact: David Grubbs, Managing Principal, Charleston Office, 843-814-6111, or


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