South Carolina leaders graduate from economic development training program

November 30, 2023

The SC Economic Development Institute graduates 62 community leaders

The South Carolina Economic Developers’ Association (SCEDA) and the South Carolina Department of Commerce (SCDOC) announced that 62 state and community leaders have graduated from a statewide economic development training program, The SC Economic Development Institute (The Institute).

The Institute offers participants a highly interactive curriculum, affording them a more immersive “hands-on” economic development learning experience. The Institute, a decades-long partnership between SCEDA and SCDOC, has graduated more than 1,375 participants since its inception.

“The Institute is unlike any other program offered in our state,” said SCEDA Board of Directors President Sandy Steele. “The hands-on training participants receive allows them to go back to their own communities and support economic development at the highest level. The collaboration with the South Carolina Department of Commerce allows SCEDA to work towards the shared goal of advancing industry and creating opportunities for South Carolinians.”

Now in its 33rd year, The Institute consists of quarterly, two-day sessions that are hosted in various locations throughout the state.

The Institute is open to individuals from a wide variety of organizations and entities, including city, town and county councils; local economic development practitioners; county economic development boards; county school boards; regional economic development boards; utility companies; and local and state governments.

2023 South Carolina Economic Development Institute graduates, listed alphabetically by last name:

Tania Appel, Apprenticeship Carolina

Hannah Arndt, SC Department of Agriculture

Lauren Baker, Duke Energy

Gretchen Barron, Richland County Government

Beverly Belton, SC Department of Commerce

Rebecca Bonnette, Calhoun County

Matthew Brittan, Monteith Construction Corp.

Margaret (Ann) Broadwater, Fairfield County Economic Development

David Caddell, Edgefield County

Eddie Cogdill, SC Department of Commerce

Charles “Chuck” Cook, McCormick County

Addyson Cooper, Upstate SC Alliance

Tiffany Dantzler, Lowcountry Council of Governments

Lee Dumas, City of Greer

Emily Eckert, SC Department of Commerce

Carla Edwards, SC Department of Commerce

Matthew Evlington, Dillon County

William Harker, Bridge Commercial

Rhonda Ginn, SC Department of Social Services

Verdine Gleaton, City of Columbia – Columbia Empowerment Zone, Inc.

Angie Godbold, Darlington County Council

D’Asia Green, Williamsburg County Economic Development Board

Kearney Gregory, Santee Cooper

Allison Hinkle, MTC Enterprise Campus Authority

Michael Kelley, Alliance Consulting Engineers, Inc.

Andrena King, SC Department of Commerce

Kassie Kriz, SC Technical College System

Libby Lear, Director of Chesterfield County Economic Development

Lasenta Lewis-Ellis, LLE Construction Group, LLC

Holly McCrary, SC Department of Commerce

Anna McSwain, Dorchester County Economic Development

Frank Mundy, Steward Inc.

Amanda Munyan, Laurens County Chamber of Commerce

Kyle Murrell, Terracon

John O’Toole, Beaufort County Economic Development Corp.

Marilyn Pratt, Community & Economic Development Specialist

Kimberly Proctor, SC Technical College System

Derrek Pugh, Richland County Council

Nilsy Rapalo, Circulos de Bienstar

Shelby Dominick-Reed, SC Department of Commerce

Paige Rice, Kershaw County Economic Development

Yamekia Robinson, City of Lake City

Brittany Salley, SC Technical College System

Mark Sikora, SC Department of Commerce

Ed Simmons, Central Midlands Council of Governments

Shelby Elise Simmons, Office of Statewide Workforce Development

Alyson Slack, MRB

Russel Slatton, City of Fountain Inn

Merry Morgan Smith, City of Darlington

Kara Soles, MB Kahn

Samantha Spratt, Upstate SC Alliance

Anna Strickland, Santee Cooper

Becca Stutzman, Upstate SC Alliance

Alize Thomas, City of Lancaster

Tina Thomas, SC Department of Commerce

Charles Turner, Anderson County Economic Development

Brian Warner, Southern Carolina Regional Development Alliance

Jeff Wicker, City of Newberry

Rob Wiggins, City of Goose Creek

Gregory Williams, City of Columbia – Office of Economic Development

Synithia Williams, Fairfield County

Beyonka Wilson, Williamsburg County Development Board


About S.C. Economic Developers’ Association

Since 1965, the S.C. Economic Developers’ Association has served as the Voice of Economic Development in the Palmetto State. A professional trade association of more than 580 members, with representation from all 46 counties, SCEDA includes local and regional economic developers, as well as officials from municipal, county and state government agencies, construction and engineering firms, utility companies, attorneys, consultants, financial institutions, and higher education. To learn more, visit