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Midlands leaders selected to become Riley Diversity Fellows

DLI classes are facilitated by independent consultant and former Coca-Cola vice president Juan Johnson.

Forty-two leaders from the Midlands and surrounding area have been selected to participate in the Riley Institute at Furman’s Diversity Leaders Initiative (DLI) this spring.

“Though we are a diverse population, discovering ways in which differences can be a strength in our organizations is of utmost importance as we seek to grow and support a thriving economy and rich culture,” 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 Midlands, DLI classes are selected annually in the Upstate and Lowcountry. Each class is crafted to reflect the diverse demographics in South Carolina.

“We now have more than 1,900 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. The leaders selected for the 11th Midlands DLI class are:

Graham Adams
CEO
SC Office of Rural Health
Lexington

April Allen
Director, State Government Relations
Continental
Sumter

LaJoia Broughton
Director of External Communications
Retirement System Investment Commission
Columbia

Chris Burkett
Director, Office of Clinical Experiences
University of South Carolina
College of Education
Columbia

Lisa Cotten
Attorney/Partner
Mike Kelly Law Group, LLC
Columbia

Christine Crawford
Owner/Operator
D&G Management
North Augusta

Beth De Santis
CEO
SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy
Columbia

Mildred Douglas
Community Leader
Rock Hill

Debbie Elmore
Governmental Relations and Communications Director
South Carolina School Boards Association
Columbia

William Freeman
Attorney
Duff & Childs, LLC
Columbia

Randall Gary
Superintendent
Lexington School District Three
Batesburg-Leesville

Tijuana Hudson
Vice President for Fiscal Affairs
Claflin University
Orangeburg

Melanie Huggins
Executive Director
Richland Library
Columbia

Cathy Jamieson
Columbia District Superintendent
SC Conference of the United Methodist Church
Columbia

Melron Kelly
Deputy Chief of Police
Columbia Police Department
Columbia

Bobbi Kennedy
Special Projects Director, Office of the President
SCETV
Columbia

John Lane
Director of Academic Affairs
South Carolina Commission on Higher Education
Columbia

Naomi Lett
Senior Director, Public Policy
United Way Association of South Carolina
Columbia

John Loveday
Principal
SC Whitmore School
Columbia

Mitch Lucas
Town Administrator
Town of Kershaw
Kershaw

Virgil Miller
President, Aflac Group Insurance, EVP-COO Aflac US
Aflac
Columbia

Eric Mollo
Rabbi
Tree of Life Congregation
Columbia

Katarina Moyon
Co-Director; Director
John C. West Forum; The Human Experience
Rock Hill

Karen Nichols
Executive Director
Upper Midlands Rural Health Network
Chester

Steve Parham
Vice President
BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
Columbia

Kevin Patten
Vice President for Finance and Administration
Central Carolina Community Foundation
Columbia

Kelly Pew
Superintendent
Rock Hill Schools
Rock Hill

Mike Reichenbach
Owner and President
Mike Reichenbach Ford Lincoln, Volkswagen and Chevrolet
Okatie

Beth Ruffin
D&I Consultant
Colonial Life
Columbia

Lila Anna Sauls
President/CEO; Commissioner
Homeless No More; Richland School District One
Columbia

Jim Shank
Shop Manager: Preparation
Michelin
Lexington

Heather Sherwin
Vice President for Advancement
Central Carolina Community Foundation
Columbia

Byron Snellgrove
Director of Public Safety
City of Cayce
Cayce

Dave Solano
Vice President/General Manager
Enterprise Holdings
Columbia

Stephen Suggs
Associate
Stewart Law Firm
Columbia

Lynn Teague
Vice President for Issues and Action
League of Women Voters of South Carolina
Columbia

Robert Thomas
Executive Director
SC Regional Housing Authority #3
Barnwell

Bhavna Maker Vasudeva
Realtor
United Realty
Columbia

Tim Veeck
Executive Director
Habitat for Humanity of York County
Rock Hill

Ann Warner
CEO
Women’s Rights and Empowerment Network
Columbia

Dan Wuori
Deputy Director
SC First Steps to School Readiness
Columbia

Dana Yow
Director of Public Education and Communications
SC Education Oversight Committee
Columbia

For more information about the Riley Institute and its programs, visit riley.furman.edu.

Last updated .

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