Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce Announces 2013 Leadership Columbia Class

August 20, 2012

COLUMBIA, SC – August 20, 2012 – Leadership Columbia (LC), a program for existing and emerging leaders sponsored by the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce, announces the Leadership Columbia Class of 2013. This group of 58 will be the 40th 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 close to 1,700 graduates. 

We are so excited to welcome this new class, said Neil Jones, CPA, 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 2013 includes:

  • Justin Abrams | Quackenbush Architects + Planners
  • Thomas Anderson | First Palmetto Bank
  • Joshua (Josh) Bennett | Rogers Townsend & Thomas, PC
  • Kenneth (Ken) Blackstone | Richland School District II
  • Matt Bogan | Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP
  • Ray Borders Gray | City of Columbia
  • John Boyd | Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, PA
  • Jenna Bridgers | Northwestern Mutual Financial Network- Columbia
  • Franklin Buchanan | Sagacious Partners
  • Tamara Burk | Columbia College
  • Demetrius Chatman | South Carolina State University
  • Lonnie Chestnut, III | TD Bank, N.A.
  • Tonia Cochran | Central Carolina Community Foundation
  • Jacob Cook | Sun Printing
  • Sandra (Sandi) Daly | South Carolina Hospital Association
  • Stephanie DeFreese | BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
  • Craig Dunlavy | Total Comfort Solutions
  • Joshua (Josh) Elliott | Long’s Home Medical
  • Raven Gambrell | Florence & Hutcheson, Inc.
  • Jared Garraux | Richardson, Plowden & Robinson, P.A.
  • Mandi Gilbert | WLTX
  • Michael Goodwin | Heathwood Hall Episcopal School
  • Anna Gray Fender | 1×1 Design, Inc.
  • Kaela Harmon | Columbia Metropolitan Airport
  • Melanie Harmon | Elliott Davis, LLC
  • Bernie Heller | The State Media Company
  • John Hilton III | Southeastern Land Brokerage, LLC
  • Meredith Horton | Marilyn Wilson – State Farm Agent
  • Elizabeth Hubbard | BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
  • Melinda Huggins | BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
  • Shannon Johnson | Long’s Drugstores of South Carolina, Inc.
  • Azad Khan | Central SC Alliance
  • William (Billy) Koehler | Rogers Townsend & Thomas, PC
  • Jason Langdale | Security Federal Bank
  • Anna Lange | Richland County
  • Scott Lindenberg | University of South Carolina
  • Alexis Lindsay | Sowell Gray Stepp and Laffitte, LLC
  • Andrew Lucas | Inn at USC
  • Jennifer MacLeod | Ellis, Lawhorne and Sims, PA
  • Angel Marvin | Abacus Planning Group, Inc.
  • Taylor Miller | Columbia Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB)
  • Robert (Mark) Nevils | BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
  • Margaret (Peg) Nichols | United Way of the Midlands
  • Eric Olson | PODS of Columbia
  • Patricia (Tricia) Phillips | Palmetto GBA (subsidiary BCBSSC)
  • Katherine (Kati) Price | South Carolina Department of Transportation
  • William (Russell) Quattlebaum | J. W. Hunt and Co., LLP
  • Callison Rawl | Central SC Alliance
  • Tylor Rhoads | Miller-Valentine Group
  • Marvin Robinson | Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
  • Ashlye Rumph-Geddis | University of South Carolina & Midlands Technical College
  • Robert (Bob) Schneider | VEOLIA Transportation (for Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority)
  • Will Stevens | The Hobbs Group, PA
  • Kelli Sullivan | McKay, Cauthen, Settana & Stubley, P.A.
  • Allison Sullivan | Bluestein, Nichols, Thompson & Delgado, LLC
  • Alice Curtin Thaxton | City Year Columbia
  • Marshall Tinsley | South Carolina Department of Revenue
  • Priscilla Young | Palmetto Health Foundation

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 Katherine Swartz at 803.733.1123.
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, social, 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