Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce Announces Leadership Columbia Class of 2014

Leadership Columbia (LC), a program for existing and emerging leaders sponsored by the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce, is pleased to announce the Leadership Columbia Class of 2014. This group of 59 will be the 41st class of the LC program. They will engage in a 10-month curriculum including monthly learning sessions, class retreat, group project and other enrichment activities. Since its inception in 1973, Leadership Columbia has celebrated more than 1,700 graduates.

“We are so excited to welcome this new class,” said Brooke Bailey, Leadership Columbia advisory committee chair. “The members of this group are all driven and motivated individuals who are looking to grow as leaders and make a difference in the community. Leadership Columbia will give them the opportunity to build relationships with current and future leaders and become inspired to focus their talents in a way that will best serve the region.”

Leadership Columbia Class of 2014 includes:
Amy Bosch | Lexington County School District One
Hilary Brannon | University of South Carolina
Jake Broom | City of Forest Acres
Peyton Bryant | BB&T
Katie Bullard | United Way of the Midlands
Cynthia Cameron | BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
Childs Cantey Thrasher | Gallivan, White & Boyd, P.A.
Lauren Chess | Colonial Life
Stephen Creech | BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
Brian D’Amico | Elliott Davis, LLC
J. Michael DeFreese | Consolidated Systems, Inc.
Eric Dickey | Davis & Floyd
Margaret Dieckmann | CBRE-Columbia
Kendra Dove | Richland County
Robin Ebert | Goodwill Industries of Upstate/Midlands of SC
Sarah Ford | First Citizens
Valerie Gardner | BlueCross BlueShield of SC
Ryan Gentry | McNair Law Firm, P.A.
Foster Girard | Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, P.A.
Kiosha Gregg | Digitize Marketing, LLC.
Courtney Gregory | Schmoyer and Company, LLC
Sarah Griese | Providence Hospital System
Mary Hall | Absolute Total Care
Tia Harrid | Manifest Marketing and Consulting Group
Beth Harris | BlueCross BlueShield of SC
Ebonn Hixson | KeenanSuggs
Shireen Holden | BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
Kim Jamieson | Midlands Authority for Conventions, Sports & Tourism
Marilynn Joyner | NAI Avant
April Kelly | South Carolina Electric and Gas Company
Tad Lewis | Ed Robinson Laundry & Dry Cleaning
Lauren Libet | The State Media Company
David Looper | Wells Fargo
Natasha Lorick | Self Employed
Amanda Loveday | South Carolina Democratic Party
Javana Lovett | Eleven 6 Events, LLC
Erica Lybrand | Rogers Townsend & Thomas, PC
John Manning | South Carolina Bar
Benjamin Mustian | Willoughby & Hoefer, P.A.
Matthew Nichols | South Carolina Military Department, Office of the Adjutant General
Glenn Niemiec | BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
Stephanie Nye | South Carolina Judicial Department
Eric Olson | PODS of Columbia
Barbara Oswald | Special Olympics South Carolina
Gary Pope, Jr. | Pope Zeigler
Rachel Popkowski | Livingston Insurance Agency, Inc.
Heather Price | Chernoff Newman
Kirk Randazzo | University of South Carolina
Hope Rivers | SC Technical College System
Preston Sabalis | NBSC, a Division of Synovus Bank
Kristen Searcy | Bauknight Pietras & Stormer, P.A.
Mary Elizabeth Sewell | University of South Carolina-University 101 Programs
John Sherrer | Historic  Columbia Foundation
Heather Siegfried | City Year Columbia
Brian Sopp | Barnes, Alford, Stork & Johnson, LLC
Angela Strickland | Bowman and Brooke LLP
Lori Varnadoe | University of South Carolina – Office of Business & Finance
Kimberly Williams | South Carolina Philharmonic
Bernard Wyatt | Self-Employed

Applications were reviewed and rated by a panel of Leadership Columbia alumni; applicants where then interviewed by a separate alumni panel. The class was chosen from the combined scores of the application review and interview. The selection criteria included civic involvement, leadership potential, diversity of perspective and commitment to the leadership program and the community.

About Leadership Columbia
Leadership Columbia is an educational program offered through the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce. The 10 month program provides existing and emerging leaders in the Midlands area with an opportunity to enhance their civic knowledge and network. For 40 years, Leadership Columbia has helped participants better understand the local community, while building relationships with the region’s current and future leaders. For more information on Leadership Columbia, visit or contact Scott Callison at 803.733.2520.

About the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce
The Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce is a private, non-profit, membership-driven organization comprised of 1,500 business enterprises, civic organizations, educational institutions and individuals in Calhoun, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lexington, Newberry and Richland counties. The Columbia Chamber serves as the voice of its members and the business community at large on matters of economic, educational, cultural and political concern, as well as supports and promotes the success of its members through networking, professional development, advocacy and leadership. The organization has represented the interests of the local business community since 1902.

To become a member or to learn more about the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce, as well as its events, programs and initiatives, visit


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