Diplomats act as an extension of the Chamber staff throughout the community, adding support and lines of communication to our Partnership. A Diplomat’s first and most important objective is to provide outreach and assistance to Partner businesses throughout the year. Connections may be in-person, by phone, or via email. As Diplomats give generously of their time, they may drop by your business hoping to catch you for a short meeting or reach out to you to determine your connection preference. When reaching out to you, give them a few minutes of your time and you will be glad you did. Diplomats will not ask you for contributions or sponsorships. Their goal is strictly to provide you with the information and resources you need to utilize your Chamber Partnership in the most beneficial way to support your own business.
Diplomats also serve the Chamber through volunteer roles and through active participation in the Chamber’s program of work. It’s their in-depth knowledge and hands on experience with Chamber products and services that make them so valuable to our business Partners.
The Leadership Columbia Advisory Board is responsible for maintaining the rich legacy of the Columbia Chamber’s Leadership Columbia program. The Advisory Board shapes and implements the curriculum for the year, including the orientation, retreat, class days, and project process. The Advisory Board is also responsible for selecting candidates for each incoming class.
- Maggie Dittmar, Thompson Turner Construction
- Dana Austin, SC Forestry Commission
- Jennifer Blackhurst, Synovus
- Eleanor Dreher Boyd, Midlands Fatherhood Coalition
- Fran Boyd
- Daniel Branham, W.O. Blackstone
- Murray Coleman, United Way of the Midlands
- Nic Collins, Wolseley Industrial Group
- Tammie C. Epps, Prisma Health
- Jennifer Fallow, South Carolina Federal Credit Union
- Kenneth Givens II, Miller-Valentine Construction
- Ashley Graham, Dominion Energy
- Kayla Gupton, Colonial Life
- Lisa Henry, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
- Todd Hudak, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
- Kristin Hudson, Prisma Health Midlands Foundation
- Leah G. Johnson, CAE, Association Consultant
- Chandler Jordan, SC Economics
- David Looper, FSI Rentals
- Bryanta “Bre” Maxwell, Indigo Consulting, LLC
- Courtney Melendez, Riggs Partners
- Shayla Merritt, Cyberwoven
- Megan Newbold, Garvin Design Group
- David Palkovitz, Apollon Wealth Management
- Punam Patel, Scout Motors
- Kassy Alia Ray, Serve & Connect
- Kara Simmons, KP Connects
- Charles Stuart, Hood Construction
- Brian Taylor, Miller Valentine Construction
- Sara Vernon, McGuireWoods Consulting
- Chuck Whipple, ECS Southeast
For more information about the Leadership Columbia Advisory Board or meetings, please call (803) 733-1146 or email Leah Kelly.
The Leadership Columbia Alumni Association (LCAA) Advisory Board is tasked with creating programming for the Alumni Association, a program serving over 46 years of graduates and 2,000 alumni of the Leadership Columbia program. The mission of LCAA is to develop skills introduced during the program, while connecting alumni from over four decades of graduates.
- Frank Mundy, Stewart Engineering, Inc.
- DeAnna Bookert, National Youth Advocate Program
- President Chisolm, Palmetto GBA
- Jarrett Dowling, Riddle and Bloom
- Maureen Grewe, University of South Carolina
- Elizabeth Hutton, Dominion Energy
- Ashley Jenkins Woods, City of Columbia
- Ebony Kelly, City of Columbia
- Emilie Lewis, First Citizens Bank
- David Looper, Furniture Services Inc.
- Amanda Loveday, NP Strategy
- Kim McMahon, University of South Carolina
- Henry Simmons, City of Columbia
- Elizabeth Wynn, Chernoff Newman
For more information about the Leadership Columbia Alumni Association Advisory Board or meetings, please call (803) 733-1146 or email Leah Kelly.
The Midlands Minority Business Accelerator (MMBA) is a program of the Columbia Chamber in partnership with the South Carolina Minority Business Accelerator. The South Carolina Minority Business Accelerator is a statewide initiative formed by Greenville Chamber, Charleston Metro Chamber and the Columbia Chamber.
Funded with a seed grant from Bank of America, the initiative was designed to advance economic inclusion across the state of South Carolina by helping to reduce the economic disparities experienced by minority owned businesses. The initiative provides opportunities for economic growth and prosperity for high-potential minority owned firms. MMBA is a major economic development tool of the Columbia Chamber and is designed to make minority businesses more competitive.
- Ron Harvey, Global Core Strategies & Consulting
- Sonja Barkley, SC Commerce
- Ti Barnes, Allen University
- John Cadena, Dominion Energy
- Charles Griffin, Bank of America
- Lynn Hutto, LIH Consulting, LLC
- Karen Jenkins, KRJ Consulting
- Lasenta Lewis-Ellis, LLE Construction Group, LLC
- Dominik Mjartan, Optus Bank
- Michael Murphy, Synovus
- Bob Quinn, SCRA
- Diana Stevenson, Grace Outdoor Advertising
For more information about the Midlands Minority Accelerator program, please call (803) 733-1113 or email Naomi Walton.
This Columbia Chamber Military Affairs Group promotes, enhances and strengthens the relationships between the Midlands and our military community. The Columbia Chamber holds Welcome Receptions for Soldier Support Institute, Chaplain School and National Center for Credibility Assessment students and their families to introduce them the Midlands and help them adjust to the community. The group also works to promote the Midlands as an ideal community for military retirees, partners with the Friends of Forces program and produces a biannual Welcome Guide.
- Brian Taylor, Miller-Valentine Construction
To learn more about the Military Affairs Group or its meetings, please call (803) 733-1148 or email Susan McPherson.