Two publishers, one state commissioner receive Senate honors

October 8, 2021

Alan Cooper, Michelle McCollum and Tom Mullikin

By W. Thomas Smith Jr.

Publishers Alan Cooper and Michelle McCollum each received South Carolina Senate commendations and Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Tom Mullikin received a Senate Resolution during ceremonies at the S.C. State House, Tues. Oct. 5.

Receiving a Senate commendation was Alan Cooper, publisher and editor of three online business publications: UpstateBizSC, MidlandsBiz, and LowcountryBizSC.

A portion of Cooper’s commendation reads: “This honor is also indicative of your years of sharing and telling great stories – through both print and broadcast-video media – of successful businesses in S.C., business life, new business and emerging technologies and trends, and S.C.’s business leaders through your platforms and through the many local, state, and national journalists who regularly write for your three online business magazines as well as your recent partnership with LaurensCountyBuzz and your general support of business statewide.”

Cooper’s wife, Cheryl Cooper, serves as editor-in-chief of all three publications.

Also receiving a Senate commendation was Michelle McCollum, president of the S.C. National Heritage Corridor and publisher, CEO, and editor-in-chief of THE SOUTHERN EDGE magazine.

A portion of McCollum’s commendation reads: “This honor is also indicative of your tireless work as project manager of both the South Carolina Seven (SC7) 2020 expedition across the Palmetto State from the mountains to the sea and SC7 2021, as well as your work with various military veterans organizations and so many other state and national projects requiring your leadership, expertise, and guidance often unseen and unsung.”

Attorney, former U.S. Army officer, and retired two-star commanding general of the S.C. State Guard, who today serves as chairman of the S.C. Floodwater Commission; Tom Mullikin was presented a Senate Resolution for POWERPLANTSC. Mullikin’s award specifically referenced his overall leadership conceiving, implementing, planning, and directing POWERPLANTSC, a single-day tree planting effort, Apr. 22, wherein he directed the planting of some 3.4 million loblolly pine-tree seeds in all 46 counties across the Palmetto State.

According to Mullikin’s resolution, “POWERPLANTSC created a greater awareness of South Carolina’s natural beauty and the importance of trees and protecting the environment, all the while setting a record of the most trees planted in a single day across North America.”

Mullikin and his team led more than 125,000 volunteers supported by numerous private sector partners, universities, and state agencies, which accordingly, “might well help mitigate or diminish the impacts of disastrous flooding in years to come.”

The three awards were introduced on the motion of and presented by Sen. Thomas C. Alexander, who presently serves as chairman of the S.C. Senate Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee. Alexander holds the distinction of being the only S.C. legislator to have chaired Labor, Commerce and Industry Committees in both the House and the Senate. He served in the S.C. House of Representatives from 1987 to 1994. He has served in the Senate since 1994.

Cooper’s award was accepted in absentia by Susan Vaughan McPherson, vice president of public policy and military affairs at the Columbia Chamber.

McCollum’s award was accepted in absentia by Dr. Michael W. Langston of Columbia International University.