IABC SC announces all-women board for second year in a rowMarch 9, 2023
The South Carolina chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC/SC) announces its new board of directors for 2023. Nine communications professionals from around the Midlands will lead the organization. The Board consists of both returning and new members. The long-standing organization, which provides thousands of business and communication professionals with an international knowledge-sharing community and network, is excited to announce its new leadership.
President | Charnita Mack
Client success manager, Rhodes Branding
Charnita Mack serves as a client success manager at Rhodes Branding in Columbia. In her role at Rhodes, Charnita is responsible for working with clients on a wide array of social media and digital initiatives to enhance their brand to students, parents and community members. Before joining the Rhodes Branding team, she served as the public relations and social media coordinator at Claflin University, the oldest historically black college or university (HBCU) in South Carolina. She also served as the first full-time public relations and social media coordinator for the Alison South Marketing Group, a full-service marketing agency.
A native of Williston, Charnita earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of South Carolina and her master’s degree in organizational communication from Queens University of Charlotte in May 2021. Charnita is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Beta Zeta Omega Chapter, in Orangeburg.
President-Elect | Mary-Kathryn Craft
Director of communications, South Carolina Association of Counties
Mary-Kathryn Craft is the director of communications for the South Carolina Association of Counties (SCAC), where she oversees strategic communications to elevate the message and brand of the organization dedicated to improving county government across the Palmetto State.
Before joining SCAC, she served as communications director for the South Carolina Bar. She has more than 20 years of experience in the communications and media relations field, where she has worked in higher education, public health and public affairs. Mary-Kathryn began her career in communications as a newspaper reporter in North Carolina. She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Past President | Leigh Lowery
Director of membership, Lexington Chamber of Commerce
Leigh is proud to call South Carolina home! Leigh lives in Lexington, where she serves as Membership Director for the Lexington Chamber and Visitors Center.
Leigh has spent her career working with local government agencies, statewide nonprofit and a local business organization. She is a proud graduate of Winthrop University in Rock Hill.
Secretary | Haley Kellner
Web content specialist, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
Haley uses her love of language and eye for detail to manage web content and brand compliance on the Corporate Marketing Communications team at BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina. A writer at heart, she freelances as a copywriter for a marketing agency outside of the office and sometimes writes the occasional poem.
Haley graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2019 with a BA in English and Russian, as well as a minor in advertising and public relations and a concentration in creative writing. She loves getting a coffee, going to the riverwalk and sitting outside with her cats. This is her first year with IABC/SC!
Vice President of Communications & Webmaster | Carolyn Culbertson
Internal communications coordinator, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP
Carolyn is in her second year of serving on the IABC Board of Directors. At Nelson Mullins, Carolyn handles all internal communications for the firm, including the intranet and award-winning internal publication. Carolyn is always interested in new channels, platforms, and media through which to engage attorneys, staff, and other employees.
Carolyn also has experience freelance writing, editing, and tutoring. In 2017, Carolyn earned her BA in English from the University of South Carolina, where she won the J.S. Reynolds Essay Award and was an editor for The Daily Gamecock. In her free time, Carolyn enjoys reading, crocheting, cooking, and being outside.
Vice President of Finance | Alison Shuman
Corporate communications coordinator II, Farm Bureau Insurance
Alison Shuman is a corporate communications coordinator II for Farm Bureau Insurance. Prior to joining Farm Bureau Insurance in 2007, Alison was the scholastic press manager for the S.C. Scholastic Press Association (SCSPA) and the Southern Interscholastic Press Association. She was also the assistant director of the Carolina Journalism Institute.
Alison is an active member of IABC/SC and the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter Society of South Carolina. She has held numerous board positions, including president with IABC/SC and the CPCU Society of South Carolina and currently serves on both boards. She also serves as vice president of conference on the IABC Southern Region Board of Directors and was a previous vice president of awards.
She earned a Bachelor of Arts in advertising and a minor in retail from the University of South Carolina. During college, Alison participated on the third place national J. Carroll Bateman Competition Team known as Palmetto Solutions and the third place national DMEF Echo Competition team for the ING Orange Savings campaign “Green Grass. Blue Sky. Orange Savings.”
A native of Columbia, S.C., she attended Irmo High School and was the editor-in-chief of The Stinger newspaper. In 2000, Alison was recognized as SCSPA’s Journalist of the Year.
Vice President of Membership Development and Retention | Bailey Crafton
Branding and communications manager, Nelson Mullins
A South Carolina native, Bailey joined the IABC/SC board for the first time in 2017 as secretary and served as president in 2020. She was awarded the IABC Southern Region Rising Star award in 2021. Her current role at Nelson Mullins includes managing the creative and branding team, strategizing and creative development for the 1,000+ attorney law firm headquartered in Columbia, S.C. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of South Carolina in journalism and mass communications, majoring in visual communications and minoring in photography.
Her experience includes work with design, illustration, professional photography, videography and specialized branding design. She enjoys spending time doing freelance design with local South Carolina businesses and individuals. When she isn’t working, she is painting, sewing, crocheting, or outside with her husband, son, dog, and chickens enjoying all the beautiful things the Palmetto state has to offer.
Vice President of Professional Development and Programs | Kayla Bailey
Marketing specialist, Nelson Mullins
Kayla works on the events team at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, handling the firm’s signature events, client receptions and outings, seminars, booth displays at sponsored events, and firm retreats. Kayla’s responsibilities include designing and creating invitations, managing RSVPs, event planning and logistics, client gifts and promotional items, marketing budgets and providing internal and on-site technical support for events.
Prior to joining Nelson Mullins, Kayla worked at Robinson Gray Stepp & Laffitte as a legal courier which sparked her passion for legal marketing. Kayla attended undergrad at the University of South Carolina where she was a member of the American Marketing Association and the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority. In her free time, Kayla enjoys reading, listening to music and spending time with her dogs and cat.
Member at Large | Cynthia South
Communications director, Alison South Marketing Group
Cynthia South was elected to the SC IABC Board in 2014, attended the IABC National Leadership Institute, and served as president in 2018. She serves as VP of Chapter Services for IABC’s Southern Region. Cynthia is a co-founder of the Alison South Marketing Group with offices in South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and South Florida. The full-service agency has won international, regional and statewide awards for its work. As a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, South was a reporter, editor and photographer at the Columbia Missourian newspaper and later assumed an editorial position at Bobbin International, publisher of the textile industry’s management magazine, published in English and Spanish. She went on to become the Assistant Director of Media Relations and Spokesperson for the University of South Carolina.
After finishing her master’s degree in Public Administration at USC, specializing in health care, Cynthia became the Director of Public Relations and Marketing for Columbia’s Richland Memorial Hospital, now Prisma. Her healthcare career continued with similar positions at Greenville Hospital System and University of North Carolina Hospitals. With the drive of an entrepreneur, Cynthia later co-founded a statewide radio network followed by establishing an advertising agency.
Member at Large | Emily Eckert
Communication specialist, South Carolina Department of Commerce
Emily Eckert is building her communications career on developing a wide range of marketing and public relations deliverables.
Emily is a communications specialist at the South Carolina Department of Commerce, where her duties include executing both internal and external communications strategies for the state’s leading economic development body. This public sector experience follows a stint of over five years serving clients on the agency side, where she honed her client-first approach.
A Baltimore native, Emily moved 500 miles from home and friends to attend University of South Carolina, where she received her B.A. in Public Relations in 2016. She was introduced to IABC-SC shortly thereafter, where she began volunteering through monthly lunch programming coordination.