Forty-two leaders from the Lowcountry and surrounding area have been selected to participate in the Riley Institute at Furman’s Diversity Leaders Initiative (DLI) this fall.
“In a time of considerable division both nationally and locally, it is increasingly important to work together to find ways to foster a thriving economy and break down barriers that hinder progress,” said Donald Gordon, executive director of the Riley Institute.
DLI class members are identified through a rigorous process including a nomination, application and interview. Individuals are selected to join the class based on their capacity to impact their organizations and communities.
Over the course of five months, participants will learn about diversity and inclusion “blind spots” and how to suspend assumptions. Participants will also work in small, cross-sector groups to respond to real issues and opportunities in their communities through service projects. The classes are facilitated by Juan Johnson, an independent consultant and former Coca-Cola vice president.
“DLI is unique among South Carolina’s leadership programs. In addition to the opportunity to develop new relationships and take part in positive action in their communities, participants gain deep knowledge of how to effectively manage and lead diverse workers, clients and constituents,” said Johnson.
In addition to the Lowcountry, DLI classes are selected annually in the Upstate and Midlands.
Each class is crafted to reflect the diverse demographics in South Carolina.
“We now have 1,824 Riley Fellows statewide. Each new class further extends the reach and impact of leaders willing to work together to make South Carolina a better place to live and work for all its residents,” said Gordon.
DLI graduates become Riley Fellows, members of a powerful, cross-sector, statewide leadership network that includes CEOs of corporations, mayors, city and county council members, legislators, school superintendents, pastors and rabbis, non-profit heads, chamber of commerce directors, and community leaders.
The full roster of Riley Fellows is available online at riley.furman.edu. These are the leaders selected for the 12th Lowcountry DLI class:
City of Beaufort
Be A Mentor
Chief Development Officer
Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce
Charleston County Public Library
Colleton County School District
Lowcountry Council of Governments
Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer
South Carolina Aquarium
Vice President: Operations Services Mill Division
KapStone Paper and Packaging
Council Member, District Four
Counts & Huger, LLC
Senior Managing Director, Leadership Development
Teach for America
Colleton Consulting Group, LLC
Community Outreach Consultant
Charleston Sticks Together
Vice President: Development and Stewardship
Coastal Community Foundation
Kirby Realty & Construction, Inc.
Vice President, Industrial Strategies
Gibbes Museum of Art
Spring Island Trust
Director of Business Services
City of Charleston
SC Director of Corporate Services
Energy and Climate Program Director
Coastal Conservation League
Operations Manager: Charleston
Chairman, Charleston County Council
Senior Vice President
The InterTech Group
Elliott Davis Decosimo
Robert D. Robbins, Attorney at Law, LLC
Chief Human Resource Officer
South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control
Director of Strategic Recruitment
Charleston School of Law
American Civil Liberties Union
All Children’s Pediatrics
Metanoia Community Development Corporation
Dean, School and Community Initiatives
Trident Technical College
Sharon Clemmons Thomas
Clemmons Thomas Consulting, LLC
Director, District and School Development
New Tech Network
The Washington Law Firm, LLC
Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough
Chair, Entrepreneurship Practice
Charleston School of Law Foundation
For more information about the Riley Institute and its programs, visit riley.furman.edu.