Columbia Chamber’s 2020 Leadership Columbia Class

August 13, 2019

63 Local Individuals in 47th Class of Chamber’s Leadership Program

Leadership Columbia, a Columbia Chamber program, presented by BlueCross® BlueShield® of South Carolina, for emerging and existing leaders in the Midlands, is pleased to announce the Leadership Columbia Class of 2020. The 63 individuals will be the 47th graduating class since the program was founded in 1972.

“The Chamber’s Leadership Columbia program attracts a more diverse pool of applicants each year,” says Columbia Chamber President and CEO, Carl Blackstone. “The synergy of this year’s class will have a lasting impact on our region,” continued Blackstone.

This group will engage in a 10-month curriculum including monthly class day sessions, a retreat, a class project, and a variety of enrichment activities around the area. Since its inception, Leadership Columbia has celebrated more than 2,000 graduates.

Leadership Columbia Class of 2019-2020 Class Roster: 

Kassy Alia Ray Serve and Connect
Heather Allison Colonial Life
John Andoh Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority
Nick Annan Elliott Davis
Suzanne Apgar BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
Luciana Areheart TD BANK
Chad Bacote Gilbane Building Company
Davis Baxley Rogers Townsend & Thomas, PC
Gary A. Bethea Bethea Family Dentistry
Jennifer Bowen Columbia Skin Clinic
Eleanor Boyd MIdlands Fatherhood Coalition
Sara Brown South Carolina Association of Realtors
John Bruton Nexsen Pruet, LLC
Lisa Burgess Wells Fargo
Marian Burgess South Carolina Air National Guard
Kyle Caldwell SC Department of Corrections
Chase Campolong Landmark Builders
Tony Carimi Synovus Bank
Kelsey Carter The Camp Cole Foundation, Inc.
Trey Cauthen Founders Federal Credit Union
Margaret Clarkson LS3P
Rikki Craven Heathwood Hall Episcopal School
Bryant Davis Richland County Government
Lisa Davis State of SC/ DHEC
Brad Davis McCrory Construction Company
Jarrett Dowling Experience Columbia SC Sports
Melony Drye Colonial Life/Unum
Kenneth Givens Miller-Valentine Construction
Megan Graham Find Great People
Pamela Griffin BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
Amanda Grover Aflac
Marlena Harris Palmetto GBA
Tabitha Heck United Way of the Midlands
Ambra Hiott University of South Carolina, Student Life
Kurt Kuchenbrod Schmoyer and Company, LLC
Anne Langley SC Education Lottery
Vivian Martinez Agape Hospice
John Metts Wilson Kibler
Sara Middleton LTC Health Solutions
Kathleen Muthig Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, PA
Clarke Newton Bluestein Attorneys
Zachary Ogle South Carolina Air National Guard
Brittney Oliver Webster University
Punam Patel LTC Health Solutions
Brooks Patterson Beam and Hinge
Stephanie Pfeiffer BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
Derrek Pugh South Carolina Youth Challenge Academy
Stephanie Reely American Cancer Society
Jonilynn Reyes South Carolina Air National Guard
Andrew Rogerson Garvin Design Group
Rebecca Roodhouse McEntire Joint National Guard Base, SC
Donna Salais Palmetto GBA
Will Schenk Engenuity
Rhonda T Sherman Webster University
Braden Shockley Trinity Partners
Marc H. Shook University of South Carolina
J. Caroline Smith South Carolina State Library
Hunter E. Suggs Colliers International SC, Inc.
Megan Thomas Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of SC
Ann Thomason ERA Wilder Realty
Lizzie Tinker Elliott Davis
Lisle Traywick, III Robinson Gray Stepp & Laffitte, LLC
Karen Wilson Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation


“We are thrilled to introduce the Class of 2020. This year’s class dynamic represents a broad cross section of talent.” says Rachel Popkowski, Chair of the Leadership Columbia Advisory Board (LCAB), “The class exhibits a desire to lead and highlight the positive changes in our community.”

The class was chosen from combined application and interview scores, each marked by separate groups of Leadership Columbia Alumni. 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 Columbia Chamber. The 10-month program provides emerging and existing leaders in the Midlands area with an opportunity to enhance their civic knowledge and network. For over 45 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 Charlotte Bian-Lingle at 803.733.1146.


About the Columbia Chamber

The Columbia Chamber is a private, non-profit, partner-driven organization comprised of 1,200 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 partners and the business community at large on matters of economic, educational, social, cultural and political concern, as well as supports and promotes the success of its partners through networking, professional development, advocacy and leadership. The organization has represented the interests of the local business community since 1902.

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