22 Influential leaders chosen to mentor Liberty Fellows

February 22, 2011

Liberty Fellowship Announces Senior Advisors for the Class of 2012

GREENVILLE, SC – February 22, 2011 – What do the president of Michelin – North America, the state’s premier wellness guru and Chief Judge of the South Carolina Court of Appeals have in common? Along with 19 other accomplished South Carolinians, they have been named Senior Advisors for the Liberty Fellowship Class of 2012. In this role, they will provide principled guidance to the Liberty Fellows through the two-year seminar experience and will participate as Senior Advisors on the Liberty Fellowship Forums.

“Tapping some of South Carolina’s most successful and community-focused leaders, we find inspiration and expertise that resonates with our Liberty Fellows,” commented Hayne Hipp, founder of the Liberty Fellowship. 

Liberty Fellowship is a life-long commitment on the part of the Fellows. In addition to being matched with a Senior Advisor, Fellows attend four seminars over two years, including one Aspen Institute International Globalization seminar with leaders from around the world. They also commit to a personal project that will have a positive impact on the state. The Senior Advisor relationship is fostered throughout the program components and is beneficial for all involved.

“The value of the relationship is reciprocal,” continued Hipp. “The Liberty Fellows themselves represent a high level of professional achievement and personal investment at the community and state level and have plenty to offer. Paring them with the Senior Advisors, whose experience is a bit more diverse in terms of years or breadth, pays off for both of them.”

Like the Liberty Fellows, the Senior Advisors span broad political, geographic and civic passions. Each has a strong commitment to South Carolina evidenced through community participation and leadership in various areas. 

These are the Senior Advisors for the Liberty Fellowship Class of 2012:



Jimmy Addison

Jimmy Addison, Senior Vice President and CFO of SCANACorporation, will mentor Thad Westbrook, Partner with Nelson MullinsRiley and Scarborough LLP. Addison and Westbrook share a passion for theeconomic prosperity of this state and higher education in SouthCarolina. A member of the inaugural class of Liberty Fellowship, Addisonserves on the boards of the USC Moore School of Business PartnershipFoundation, the South Carolina Higher Education Foundation, SouthCarolina Bank and Trust and the Southeastern Electrical Exchange. 


Russell (Rusty) Bennett

Russell Bennett, previous Managing Partner at Drose, Davidson andBennett, will mentor Blan Holman, Senior Attorney and Co-founder of theSouthern Environmental Law Center’s Charleston office. Both Bennett andHolman use their legal education and expertise to work on environmentalissues in the low country and worldwide. Since retiring from thepractice of law, Bennett has focused on real estate investment anddevelopment. Additionally, he was a founding board member of Darkness toLight and is board chair of Wings for Kids. He also is a board memberof Worldwatch Institute, an international NGO specializing inenvironmental research.

David Black

David Black, recently appointed Director of the South CarolinaDepartment of Insurance, will mentor Gus Suarez, Associate Attorney withOgletree Deakins Law Firm. Both men are active in the Upstate communityand share a legal background. Previously, Black was President and CEOof Liberty Life Insurance Company. Before assuming those duties, heserved as General Counsel. Black is on the executive board for theCollege of Business and Behavioral Sciences at Clemson University, theboard of the Hollings Cancer Center at MUSC and was previous chair ofthe Urban League of the Upstate. 


Terry S. Brown

Terry Brown, CEO of Edens & Avant, will mentor James Smith,Jr., Attorney and South Carolina House Representative. Successfulbusinessmen who carve out time for community and national organizations,Brown and Smith each have a strong, vested interest in economicdevelopment in South Carolina. Brown, a Liberty Fellow and co-chair ofthe Liberty Fellowship Economic Development Forum, is a member of theReal Estate Roundtable and the Urban Land Institute. He serves on theboards of Consolidated Systems Inc., NBSC – a division of Synovus Bank –and the University of Georgia Foundation. Brown was an officer in theU.S. Army, and Smith currently is Captain with the South Carolina ArmyNational Guard. 


Lee Bussell

Lee Bussell, Chernoff Newman Chairman and CEO, will mentor PamelaBaker, Shareholder in the McNair Law Firm.  Bussell and Baker have tiesto the University of South Carolina, and both are active in the SouthCarolina business community. Bussell is president of the University ofSouth Carolina Alumni Association and a member of the USC Board ofTrustees. He previously chaired the South Carolina Chamber of Commerceand is a
former board member of the South Carolina CompetitiveInitiative and the Vision South Carolina Team.  


Harris E. DeLoach, Jr.

Harris DeLoach, Jr., Chairman, President and CEO of SonocoProducts Company, will mentor Michael Johnson, who is CEO and Presidentof Cox Industries.  Leading home-grown, highly successful businessesthat have global impacts is the connection between these two.  DeLoachalso serves on the boards of Sonoco, Goodrich Corporation and ProgressEnergy, Inc. and has chaired the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce andthe Palmetto Business Forum. 


John Cannon Few

John Few, Chief Judge of the South Carolina Court of Appeals,will mentor Scott Porter, MD, Section Chief of the Division ofOrthopaedic Oncology, Greenville Hospital System.  Both men callGreenville home and, using their legal and medical backgrounds, arefocused on justice for the underserved and underrepresented. Few, aLiberty Fellow, is a faculty member with the National Judicial Collegeand serves as visiting professor at the Charleston School of Law. 


John Hill

Marilynn Wood Hill and John Hill will mentor Laura Varn, VicePresident of Corporate Communications and Media Relations, SanteeCooper. Varn and the Hills share a love for the Lowcountry and communityinvolvement that reinforces that zeal. Marilynn is an author, historianand community volunteer. She is on the boards of the National Trust forHistoric Preservation, the Schlesinger Library at Harvard, theFoundation for the National Archives and the School of the Arts of theCollege of Charleston. John is Founder and Vice-chairman of FirstReserve Corporation and Director of Devon Energy Corporation and variousprivate companies owned by First Reserve. He is board chair for PutnamMutual Funds and Sarah Lawrence College and is on the board of theMillstein Center for Corporate Governance at Yale. They both are on theNational Advisory Council of Historic Charleston. 


Anna Kate Hipp

Anna Kate Hipp, seasoned philanthropist and community volunteer,will mentor Patricia Ravenhorst, Director and Immigration Attorney,South Carolina Immigrant Victim Network.  Hipp and Ravenhorst areenthusiastic supporters of nonprofit organizations and have both seensignificant results for their efforts. Hipp is on the boards of theSouthern Environmental Law Center, The Community Foundation ofGreenville, TreesGreenville and SlowFood Upstate and is past board chairof Mary Baldwin College. She received the YWCA Women of AchievementAward and the Garden Club of American Civic Improvement Award for herfundraising efforts to endow the future of Falls Park in Greenville. 


SuSu Johnson

Susu Johnson will mentor Mary Hipp. Both are community advocateswith extensive track records in service to the Upstate as a well as thestate of South Carolina. Previously, Johnson was a faculty member atCentral Piedmont Community College and served on the Spartanburg CityCouncil. She is past chair of the Converse College Board of Trustees, amember of the PRIDE Task Force and served as board chair of United Wayof the Piedmont. She is on the board of Brookgreen Gardens and is afounding member of Girl Scouts Emerald Circle and WINGS. 


Ann Kulze

Ann Kulze, Founder and CEO of the wellness education firm Dr. Annand Just Wellness LLC, will mentor Susan Newman, Assistant Professor inthe College of Nursing and College of Graduate Studies at MUSC.  Kulzeand Newman share a background in healthcare and are in roles that blendtheir professional expertise with personal passions. Prior to hercommitment to wellness education, Kulze worked for 14 years as a familyphysician. A Liberty Fellow and co-chair of the Health Forum, she hasauthored two books and is a highly sought motivational speaker. Kulzeserves on the boards of the Prevent Cancer Foundation and the MedicalAdvisory Board for the Wellness Council of America.


Pamela P. Lackey

Pamela Lackey, State President, AT&T South Carolina, willmentor Tanya Gee, Clerk of Court for the South Carolina Court ofAppeals. Both Lackey and Gee are driven to learn more, do more and bemore.  Lackey’s background includes serving as Senior ExecutiveAssistant to the State Superintendent of Education in addition to herroles with AT&T.  She has been involved with the ETV Endowment ofSouth Carolina and the Palmetto Center for Women’s Business AdvisoryCommittee. She is on the boards of the Central SC Alliance, the SCChamber of Commerce, SC Centers of Economic Excellence Review Board andthe Governor’s School for the Arts. Lackey recently served on GovernorNikki Haley’s Transition Team. 


W. Leighton Lord III

Leighton Lord, Partner with Nexsen Pruet, LLC, will mentor AmyLove, Deputy Executive Director of New Carolina. Lord and Love are bothtireless champions for economic development in South Carolina, devotingmuch of their professions toward this end.  Lord is a Liberty Fellow andis co-chair of the Environment Forum. He serves on the boards of SanteeCooper and the Healthy Learners Program of Providence Hospital and isan executive committee member of the Urban Land Institute. He is formerchair of the Board of Trustees for Heathwood Hall Episcopal School, andhe recently served on Governor Nikki Haley’s Transition Team. 


William (Bill) T. Mahoney

Bill Mahoney, CEO of the South Carolina Research Authority(SCRA), will mentor Rich Gaton, Co-founder and President of BDI Pharma,Inc. Gaton is known as an emerging entrepreneur while Mahoney has aresume testifying to his leadership in emerging technologies, givingthis pair much in common professionally. Prior to joining SCRA, Mahoneyled companies which commercialized “first-of-a-kind” solutions intelecommunications, electronic publishing, and other emerging appliedsystems markets.  He serves on the boards of the National EnergyMarketers Association, Midlands Technical College Foundation, theInternational Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association, SC Economicsand the SC Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Alliance. 


Steve Owings

Steve Owings, Partner with Osprey-Lanett, LLC, will mentor PeterWaldschmidt, Founder and CEO of Gnoso, Inc. Flying below the radar butwith results that reverberate well beyond South Carolina, Owings andWaldschmidt are both entrepreneurs. Prior to joining Osprey-Lanett,Owings spent the majority of his career in the supply chain side of thetechnology industry. He was CEO of Gates/FA Distributing and laterCo-founder, Chairman and CEO of ScanSource, Inc. 


David Pankau

David Pankau, President and CEO of BlueCross BlueShield of SouthCarolina, will mentor Dan Ballou, Partner with Hamilton Martens &Ballou, LLC. Both Pankau and Ballou are strong, articulate leaders with adesire for meaningful progress in South Carolina.  Pankau serves on theboards of Junior Achievement, Midlands Business Leadership Group,Palmetto Business Forum, South Carolina State Chamber of Commerce andthe National Institute for Health Care Management.  


Christian E.G. Przirembel

Chris Przirembel, who recently retired as Vice President forResearch and Economic Development at Clemson University, will mentorRobin Stilwell, State Circuit Court Judge and Lieutenant Colonel withthe South Carolina Army National Guard. Przirembel and Stilwell arefocused and driven, both professionally and in service to theircommunities. Przirembel championed the Clemson University InternationalCenter for Automotive Research – ICAR – and currently is on the boardsof AnMed Health and Greater Greenville Chamber of Commerce. He chairsthe American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Innovation Committeeand the ASME Engineering for Global Development Steering Committee.  


Joseph (Joe) M. Salley

Joe Salley, President and CEO of Milliken & Co., will mentorJamie Fulmer, Vice President of Public Affairs, Advance America.Business acumen and expertise in their respective fields are commonthreads for these Spartanburg businessmen.  A Liberty Fellow, Salleyserves on the board of the Citadel Foundation, Society of ChemicalIndustry Executive Committee and the Palmetto Business Forum.  Hepreviously was chair of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce andcurrently serves on the Executive Committee. 


F. Bogue Wallin

Bogue Wallin, Senior Vice President and Director of Real Estate –Pacolet Milliken Enterprises, will mentor Russell Booker,Superintendent for Spartanburg School District 7. Wallin and Booker aremovers and shakers, with a shared drive that pushes them to excelprofessionally and in their individual communities. Prior to Pacolet,Wallin was Vice President at Liberty Property Trust. He is a member ofthe Urban Land Institute and has served on the boards of Dream BigGreenville, Ten at the Top, Furman University and the GreenvilleVisitors Bureau and is past chair of the Upstate History Museum. 


Richard (Dick) Wilkerson

Dick Wilkerson, Chairman and President of Michelin North America,will mentor John Castile, Greenville City Manager. Wilkerson andCastile care deeply about Greenville and find the time to stay involvedin a number of organizations that enrich the quality of life in theUpstate.  Wilkerson is chair of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerceand the United Way of Greenville County Board of Trustees. He has servedon the boards of the Greenville Urban League, the Greenville Chamber ofCommerce, the University Center and the Greenville Symphony. 


David H. Wilkins

Ambassador David Wilkins, Partner at Nelson Mullins Riley &Scarborough LLP, will mentor Nick Muzin, Chief of Staff for CongressmanTim Scott. Whether in politics, the legal field or higher education,this pair has a number of commonalities that play out in theirprofessional and personal interests. Former Ambassador to Canada,Wilkins also served in the South Carolina House of Representatives wherehe was speaker for 11 years. Most recently he was tapped as chair ofthe Governor Nikki Haley Transition Team. He is chair of the ClemsonUniversity Board of Trustees and serves on the boards of AbitibiBowater, Porter Airlines, the Royal Bank of Canada – North America, theGreenville Chamber of Commerce and the Greenville Area DevelopmentCorporation.