Columbia Chamber announces 2021 Leadership Columbia Class

Leadership Columbia has announced the Leadership Columbia Class of 2021. The 39 individuals will be the 48th graduating class since the program was founded in 1972.

“Each year the Chamber’s Leadership Columbia program brings together a diverse group of individuals,” says Columbia Chamber President and CEO, Carl Blackstone. “This year’s class will have the additional opportunity of learning to lead during a pandemic,” continued Blackstone.

This group will engage in a 10-month curriculum including monthly class day sessions, a retreat, a class project, and a variety of enrichment activities around the area. Since its inception, Leadership Columbia has celebrated more than 2,000 graduates.

The Leadership Columbia Class of 2020-2021 Class Roster is:
John Andoh, Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority; Marcia Bacon, Richland First Steps; Michael Barker, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina; Thomas Beard, Colliers International; Kaitlin Beck, Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, P.A.; Jennifer Berryman, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina; Sam Bond, South Carolina Education Lottery; Thomas Bryant, South Carolina Air National Guard; Branden Conrad, First Citizens Bank; Kimberlei Davis, WOLO-TV; Mimi Draft, Columbia Water; Megan Huebner, Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of SC; Rachel John, Boudreaux; Rula Kibler, Colonial Life; Christopher Layton, PriceWaterhouseCoopers; Catie Martin, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina; Hunter McKenzie, Goodwyn Mills Cawood; Andrew McWilliams, Kimley-Horn; Frank Mundy, Stewart Engineering, Inc.; Megan Newbold, Garvin Design Group; Cassandra Paden, South Carolina Federal Credit Union; Rachel Phillips, South Carolina Air National Guard; Rachel Price, Palmetto Conservation Foundation; Catherine Ramirez Chernoff Newman; Brittani Richards, Central SC Habitat for Humanity; Arteya Robinson, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina; Jamesha Shackerford, Central Carolina Community Foundation; Austin Smallwood, South Carolina Realtors; Meredith Smith, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina; Aditi Srivastav, Children’s Trust of South Carolina; Taylor Stanley, Turner Padget Graham & Laney P.A.; Diana Stevenson, Grace Outdoor Advertising; Sara Svedberg, Nexsen Pruet, LLC; Thomas Tafel, Lexington Medical Center; Maya Troy, Colonial Life; Theresa Wallace, South Carolina Humanities; Robert Willm, Nephron Pharmaceuticals; Rachel Young, YMCA of Columbia.

“We are excited to announce the Leadership Columbia Class of 2021, and thank them and their employers for participating this year,” says Patrick Cleary, chair of the Leadership Columbia Advisory Board (LCAB). “This year’s class members welcome the opportunity to learn and contribute to the growth of the Midlands.”

The class was chosen from combined application and interview scores, each marked by separate groups of Leadership Columbia Alumni. The selection criteria included civic involvement, leadership potential, diversity of perspective and commitment to the leadership program and the community. While many of the classes will be virtual this year due to the impact of the coronavirus, the class size was reduced to accommodate in-person sessions at such time as it is deemed appropriate.

Leadership Columbia is an educational program offered through the Columbia Chamber. The 10-month program provides emerging and existing leaders in the Midlands area with an opportunity to enhance their civic knowledge and network. For over 45 years, Leadership Columbia has helped participants better understand the local community, while building relationships with the region’s current and future leaders.

For more information on Leadership Columbia, visit or contact Hilary Bell at 803-733-1115.

Photo: Leadership Columbia Class of 2021 – socially distanced and masks were removed briefly for photo purposes only.

Leave a Reply