43 Lowcountry leaders selected to become Riley Fellows

Lowcountry DLI participants meet for the first time in their project teams.

GREENVILLE, S.C. — Forty-three leaders from across the Lowcountry will have new tools and perspectives to leverage diversity to improve organizational outcomes and drive social and economic progress in South Carolina, gained through their participation in the Riley Institute’s Diversity Leaders Initiative (DLI).

These leaders, who are members of DLI’s 16th Lowcountry class, were selected through a rigorous application and interview process after being nominated by DLI alumni. They are uniquely positioned to create impact within their organizations and communities. Each class is crafted to reflect the diverse demographics in South Carolina.

Participants get to know one another during a break in the Lowcountry DLI orientation.

“In a time of significant social strife, leaders must come together to identify ways to unite communities to improve outcomes for all,” said Dr. Don Gordon, executive director of the Riley Institute. “The DLI experience will help them as they lead South Carolina toward a better tomorrow.”

DLI classes are facilitated by expert Juan Johnson, an independent consultant who was The Coca-Cola Company’s first-ever vice president for diversity strategy.

Over five months, the class will engage in intensive discussions and scenario analyses that allow them to openly examine sensitive issues related to diversity and inclusion with fellow leaders, explore “blind spots,” and gain tools to develop strategies within their own organizations.

Class members also work together to develop capstone projects, partnering with nonprofit organizations to respond to real challenges and opportunities in their communities.

Graduates of DLI become Riley Fellows, members of a powerful cross-sector network of South Carolinians that includes corporate CEOs, legislators, superintendents, religious and nonprofit heads, and business and community leaders.

Dr. Mary Thornley, president of Trident Technical College and Riley Fellow, speaks to the Lowcountry DLI class at orientation.

“With more than 2,500 Riley Fellows statewide, the impact these tight-knit leaders have is amplified with the addition of every new class,” Gordon said. “It’s a special thing to witness them coming together to make South Carolina a better place to live and work for all its residents.”

Listed below are the participants of the fall 2022 Lowcountry DLI class. The full roster of program graduates can be found online at furman.edu/riley.

Fall 2022 Lowcountry class participants:

Robert Behre
Editorial Writer
The Post and Courier

Evan Bromley
Bromley Law Firm LLC

Monique Brown
Senior Corporate Counsel & Privacy Officer

Mike Carter
Mt. Pleasant

Sarah Castle
Director, Amazon Technical Academy

Melanie Colclough
Executive Director
South Carolina Arts Alliance

Ana Corson
Contracts Administrator
Advanced Technology International

Beverly Cowart
SVP Talent Solutions
South Carolina Ports Authority
Mt. Pleasant

Jamie DeMent
Talent and Strategic Initiatives
North Charleston

Grayson Dorr
Investment Finance Manager
South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA)

Oscar Douglas
Director of General Counsel Investigations
Charleston County School Distrct

Gina Ellis-Strother
Chief Administration Officer
Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission

Jerry Evans
Rogers, Patrick, Westbrook & Brickman, LLC
Mt. Pleasant

Phil Ford
Public Relations and Proposal Development Officer
The Regional Medical Center

Karel Givens
DBE Liaison Officer
Charleston County Aviation Authority
North Charleston

Emily Guerrero
Pro Bono Coordinator
Nelson Mullins

Chris Harvey
Corporate Director of Operations
Charlestowne Hotels
Mt. Pleasant

Veronica Hemmingway
Southern Lowcountry Program Director, Grantmaking & Community Leadership
Coastal Community Foundation
North Charleston

Anita Huggins
Chief Academic Officer
Charleston County School Distrct

Matt Johnson
Center Director, Beidler Forest Audubon Center
National Audubon Society

Blaik Keppler
Deputy Director, Marine Resources
SC Department of Natural Resources

Kristen Lanier
Berkeley County Economic Development
Moncks Corner

Lindsay Leonard
Senior Director, Government Operations
North Charleston

J. Malik Lightbourne
Manager, Talent Management
Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, LLC

Tonya Matthews
President and CEO
International African American Museum

Cindi May
Professor of Psychology
College of Charleston
Mt. Pleasant

Kylon Middleton
Mount Zion AME Church

Mitch Mitchell
City of Beaufort

Kyra Morris
Morris Financial Concepts
Mt. Pleasant

Evelyn Oliveira
Associate Pastor
Circular Church

Jennifer Owens
Associate General Counsel

Beth Patrick
Vice Chancellor for Operations, Finance and IT
University of South Carolina Beaufort

Debbie Rice
Senior Philanthropic Specialist
Wells Fargo

Mikell Richards
Regional Sales Manager
United Community Bank
Mt. Pleasant

Chris Richardson
General Counsel and COO
BDV Solutions, LLC

Reeves Skeen
Area Executive
First Citizens Bank

Dale Threatt-Taylor
Executive Director
The Nature Conservancy South Carolina
Mt. Pleasant

Julie Walker
J.H. Walker Legacy Foundation
Mt. Pleasant

Richard Waring
Attorney at law
Law Office of Richard Waring, LLC

Richard Waring
Vice President and Executive Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Charleston Chamber Foundation
North Charleston

SCBIZtv is part of the SC Biz News family, serving 100,000 high-level business execs throughout South Carolina. Click for more from SCBIZtv.

Marty Watson
Chief Power Supply Officer
Santee Cooper
Moncks Corner

Holly Whitfield
Executive Director
Alliance for Full Acceptance
North Charleston

Karen Wrighten
Assistant Vice President/Campus Dean
Trident Technical College
Moncks Corner