June 18, 2024
class photo

On Tuesday, June 4, 2024, at the Columbia Museum of Art, the Columbia Chamber and the Leadership Columbia Advisory Board (LCAB) honored 62 graduates of the Leadership Columbia program. The Class of 2024 completed an orientation, a retreat, 10 class days and a class project with Serve & Connect. Since its inception in 1972, Leadership Columbia has graduated over 2,000 leaders across the Midlands. 

“For over 50 years, the Columbia Chamber has developed the leaders of our community,” said Carl Blackstone, President and CEO of the Columbia Chamber. “The class of 2024’s work with Serve & Connect helped to create a safe landing space for the community for years to come.”

In addition to presenting each graduate with a commemorative plaque, the Columbia Chamber and Leadership Columbia Advisory Board honored Emily James, Find Great People, and Anna Peterson, Columbia Chamber, with the Glenn Jacobus award, an award given each year to class member(s) who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to the class project and truly embody the role of a servant leader. 

The Leadership Columbia Class of 2024:

Sara GraceBaileyBlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
RachelBashorRiverbanks Zoo and Garden
TravisBasnettHussey Gay Bell
KellyBrownBlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
TyraBurchPalmetto Citizens Federal Credit Union
JessicaBurtonFriendly Atmosphere Mentoring
CourtneyBuzanUniversity of South Carolina
SydneyByrdSouth Carolina Air National Guard
MichelleChapmanMauldin & Jenkins
John PatrickConnellFirst Citizens Bank
AneesahDeen-CarlosLexington Medical Center
JenniferDowellPalmetto GBA/BCBS SC
TanikaEppsCity Year Columbia
AshleyGeeSafe Federal Credit Union
JordanGoetzmanQueensborough National Bank & Trust Co
Katie WelbornHaganConservation Voters of South Carolina
Rachel HairFirst Community Bank
AudraHawisherPost & Courier/ Free Times
Emily JamesFind Great People
PatriceJenkinsKRJ Consulting
RahkeemJenkinsSouth Carolina Air National Guard
JayLittleForward Counseling
Eli LongMark Anthony Brewing
ErinMcBrideChernoff Newman
MonicaMcCoyMonica Motivates
KourtneyMoodyITG Brands
Dr. Kim MooreRichland County School District Two
AndreasMosbyFisher & Phillips
AmandaMyersRichland Library
AshleyNielsenColonial Life
RyanPataneD'Alberto, Graham & Grimsley, LLC
AngelPayneSouth Carolina Federal Credit Union
AndreaPetermanAgFirst Farm Credit Bank
AnnaPetersonColumbia Chamber
RaymondPrinceNelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP
StigRasmussenFact Forward
KathrynRossBlanchard Machinery
HaleySaxbyRobinson Gray Stepp & Laffitte, LLC
Angela YongSellersFIT Columbia
EssieSellersBenedict College
WadeSellersCoal Powered Film Works
JennaShraderBlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
AaronSimmonsFirst Heritage Mortgage
Dr. EdSimmonsCentral Midlands Council of Governments
ToddSimonSimon Wray Lending Team
DariusSmithWestinghouse Electric Company
HunterSoxFirst Tuesday Strategies
EricaStaleyServe & Connect
JohnStrongPulliam Restoration
AlexisTerry-MouzonJohnson & Wilson Real Estate Company
AshleyThomasThe Hive Community Circle
BobbyThompsonFirst Citizens Bank
AdrienneTurnerColonial Life
DejaVaughnUnited Way of the Midlands
Erin WatkinsBank of America
JenniferWebbSafe Federal Credit Union
AlexisWoodCentral Carolina Community Foundation
NicoleHendricks WoodsEncompass Rehab Hospital Columbia
BrooksWrightRogers Townsend, LLC

“Leadership Columbia is the region’s signature leadership program, and this year is another example of why” said Maggie Dittmar, 2023-2024 Leadership Columbia Advisory Board Chair. “Each class hears from experts in their perspective fields, takes part in valuable program opportunities, and partners with a non-profit to make a positive, lasting impact on the community. They’re able to walk away with a wealth of knowledge and insight on why Columbia is a great place to live and work. This year’s class had the opportunity to make an incredible impact partnering with Serve & Connect to further their mission of police and community partnership. To see how this class has been dedicated to the program, built relationships, and partnered with the community has made for a successful year. As we look forward to the new year, the board hopes to continue developing great leadership in the Columbia area.”

Leadership Columbia would not be possible without the support of the generous 23/24 sponsors. 

Leadership Columbia Presenting Sponsor: 
BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina

In-kind Sponsors: 

PepsiCo, Inc., Sound and Images

Class Day Sponsors: 
Aflac, Hood Construction, McGuire Woods Consulting, Thompson Turner Construction, M.B. Kahn Construction, Richland County Public Library, Cyberwoven, Bauknight Pietras & Stormer, P.A., ESGR, Jones, McAden & Associates, ECS Southeast, Columbia Metropolitan Airport, The Columbia Museum of Art, South Carolina Federal Credit Union, The COMET, SSOE Group

In August, the Columbia Chamber will announce the Leadership Columbia Class of 2025, which will be the 52nd class in the program’s history. 

About Leadership Columbia
Founded by the Columbia Chamber in 1972, Leadership Columbia strives to provide the community with an enduring source of diverse leaders who are prepared to serve their region. The 10-month skills-building program, aims to identify and motivate emerging community leaders; provide an educational experience with a strong emphasis on social and community awareness; and challenge participants to apply their talents within their community while providing an opportunity to become involved. The program focuses on showing the candidates an in-depth look at critical issues facing the Midlands. 

For more information on Leadership Columbia, visit www.columbiachamber.com or contact Mary Beth Sanderson at leadershipcolumbia@columbiachamber.com or (803) 733-1124

About Columbia Chamber
The Columbia Chamber is a private, non-profit, Partner-driven organization comprised of 1,200 business enterprises, civic organizations, educational institutions and individuals in Calhoun, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lexington, Newberry and Richland counties. The Columbia Chamber serves as the voice of its Partners and the business community at large on matters of economic, educational, social, cultural and political concern, as well as supports and promotes the success of its Partners through networking, professional development, advocacy and leadership. The organization has represented the interests of the local business community since 1902. 

To become a Partner or to learn more about the Columbia Chamber, as well as its events, programs and initiatives, visit www.columbiachamber.com