South Carolina Ports kicked off the 2023-2024 Port Ambassadors program, welcoming its largest class in the program’s six-year history.
Over the next year, 31 professionals from across the state will get a front row seat to the Port’s statewide operations. Monthly educational sessions will feature discussions with port leadership and state legislators, tours of marine and rail-served inland terminals, and an opportunity to visit manufacturing facilities dependent on port infrastructure.
Upon completion of the program, delegates will emerge with a thorough understanding of the Port’s vital role in supporting the Southeast supply chain and driving economic development in South Carolina.
“We are thrilled to have such a large group of leaders in this year’s program,” said Jordi Yarborough, SC Ports’ senior vice president of statewide stakeholders and local government engagement. “For these participants to be able to see firsthand how SC Ports’ operations directly benefit their communities is an invaluable experience.”
The class kicked off with a tour of Wando Welch Terminal in Mount Pleasant. This year’s class will be the first to participate in a session featuring rail-served Inland Port Dillon. Since operations began at the facility more than five years ago, Inland Port Dillon has continued to set new volume records, and now supports an estimated 25,000 jobs in the Pee Dee region.
Port Ambassador Tim Harper, who serves as Dillon County’s Administrator, says he looks forward to having his fellow ambassadors visit the region this year. Participants will also tour Harbor Freight Tools distribution facility and soybean transloading operations at C&M Farms during the visit.
“I’ve seen firsthand the impact SC Ports’ investments have had on the Pee Dee region with Inland Port Dillon,” Harper said. “Connecting Dillon directly to Charleston by rail has brought tremendous economic growth to our region and allows farmers, manufacturers and retailers to reach customers more efficiently. I’m glad my fellow ambassadors will have an opportunity to see these successes for themselves, and I look forward to growing my network with such a tremendous group of leaders from our state.”
To date, approximately 175 participants have been accepted to the program.
- Trent Acker, Duke Energy Carolinas
- Tony Allen, S.C. Department of Commerce
- Quinn Balderson, Choate Construction Company
- Jessica Bright, Emerge South Carolina
- George Druyos, Berkeley Habitat for Humanity
- Barnwell Fishburne, Fishburne & Company Development Corporation, SC Department of Transportation
- Edward Frazier, SC Treasurer’s Office
- Anthony Gibson, Sumter City Council, Grace Cathedral Ministries
- Hamilton Grant, Grant Business Advisors
- Therese Griffin, Dominion Energy South Carolina
- Liz Griffith, International Transportation Innovation Center
- Taylor Grooms, Steinberg Law Firm
- Natalie Ham, Charleston County
- Mark Harmon, Maynard-Nexsen
- Tim Harper, Dillon County
- Rick Havekost, RDBP, Inc., Mickey Finn’s
- Bill Hearn, Dorchester County, William Hearn Law Firm
- Nikki Huber, Greenville Chamber of Commerce
- Kristen Lanier, Terracon Consultants, Inc.
- Rob Lapin, Trinity Partners
- Amanda Loveday, NP Strategy
- Kelly Moore, SC Department of Transportation
- Ken Nagel, Thomas & Hutton
- Mike Nickel, Choate Construction Company
- Dr. Sergey Ponomarov, The Citadel
- Alison Raffety, Mercedes-Benz Vans
- Dawn Robinson, Pinnacle Financial Partners
- Amy Sartain, SC Council for Competitiveness
- Jessica Takach, United Community Bank
- Dillon Swayngim, Colliers International
- Eric Woods, Palmetto Grain Brokerage
About South Carolina Ports
South Carolina Ports owns and operates marine terminals at the Port of Charleston and two rail-served inland ports in Greer and Dillon. As the 8th largest U.S. container port, SC Ports connects port-dependent businesses throughout the Southeast and beyond to global markets. SC Ports proactively invests in infrastructure ahead of demand to provide reliable service, efficient operations, cargo capacity, an expansive rail network and the deepest harbor on the East Coast at 52 feet. SC Ports is a vital economic engine for South Carolina, with port operations supporting 1 in 10 jobs statewide. Learn more: scspa.com.