Sustain SC graduates second class of SLI Fellows

April 21, 2023

Sustain SC announced the graduation of the second class of Sustainability Leadership Initiative (SLI) fellows. On Friday, all 25 participants accepted their certificate of completion in Columbia. They were joined by members of the inaugural class of SLI Fellows, Trip Chavis of Milliken Advisors, Julia Dietz with Audubon South Carolina and Susan Johnson with the Medical University of South Carolina, for a special panel conversation to mark the end of the program, which runs from October to April.

“We’re so proud of this class of fellows, they really brought some extra energy to the SLI program,” said Ethel Bunch, Founder and CEO of Sustain SC. “Each fellow brought a unique perspective to the table. We cannot wait to see how these meaningful connections spark newfound opportunities and possibilities centered around sustainability in South Carolina.”

In partnership with Sustain SC, the Furman University Shi Institute for Sustainable Communities, launched the SLI in 2021. The SLI focuses on developing the qualities leaders need to steer South Carolina through unprecedented changes in human and natural communities. Those selected to be part of the exclusive program make up a robust cross-boundary stakeholder network of state leaders with the knowledge, skills, and desire to collaborate and support each other in identifying pathways and executing solutions for a sustainable future.

“This group of SLI Fellows possess the essential qualities of vision, creativity, and determination to steer South Carolina towards a sustainable future,” said Courtney Quinn, Ph.D., Program Director for the Sustainability Leadership Initiative. “Their capacity to fully immerse themselves and work together across various sectors is remarkable. It’s been a joy getting to know each fellow who are the future of sustainability locally and globally.”

“I want to thank each fellow for their time and commitment,” said Andrew Predmore, Executive Director of The Shi Institute for Sustainable Communities at Furman University. “To have such a myriad of sustainability talent embedded in organizations across the state is powerful. I cannot wait to see all the important ways they’ll move our state forward individually and collectively.”

Upon completion of the SLI program, successful participants are certified as Sustainability Leadership Fellows for the next three years and remain part of an active and tight-knit network of sustainability leaders.

The 2022-2023 class included the following SLI Fellows:

● Jackie Baxley, HRP
● Jarrett Branham, Branham Group
● Alex Butler, Office of Resilience
● Andrea Cooper, Upstate Forever
● Lyles Cooper, PeeDee Land Trust
● Anna DeLage, SC Department of Commerce
● April Donnelly, The Nature Conservancy
● Tyrone Ellis, Trane Technologies
● Hope Freeman, BP
● Frank Heap, ZF Transmissions
● Tom Hutto, GEL Engineering, LLC
● Caroline James, Atlantic Packaging
● Brain Ledford, Sage Automotive
● Lindsay Leonard, Boeing
● Ashley McLeod, Heritage Landscape Services, Inc.
● Hassan Pressley, BMW
● Matt Redmann, Ingevity
● Adam Regenthal, Colite
● Joshua Riggs, Milliken & Company
● Kate Schaefer, Beaufort Open Land Trust
● Heather Shirley Smith, Duke Energy
● Kari Snyder, South Carolina Charities, Inc.
● Alex Sturgis, Siemens
● Lauren Trapp, AFL
● Mark Wessen, MNL Land Advisors

Applications for the new SLI class open on May 15.


About Sustain SC

Sustain SC is an economic development-driven organization that connects the sustainability goals of business in South Carolina with local solutions for the benefit of our economy, environment, and people.