More than 200 women were in attendance for the Envision Columbia Women’s Summit hosted by Councilwoman Tameika Isaac Devine at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center on Tuesday, July 25, 2017.
Councilwoman Devine was thrilled with the turnout for the Summit, “It shows me that this was needed and that people are excited about the vision of Columbia and how they can be a part of it.”
When asked about the reason for the Women’s Summit, Councilwoman Devine said, “We look at particularly South Carolina but also nationally, women are not always in the leadership roles that are in the decision making process. The City of Columbia wants that voice to be really prevalent in how we plan for the future and how we implement the projects and services that we have at the City.”
Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin was in attendance to provide a welcome and opening remarks during the Summit.
Councilwoman Devine assembled a panel of women who are leaders in their industries and who are making a difference in the Midlands. The panelists were: COMET Interim Executive Director and CEO Ann Dawson August; United Way of the Midlands Senior Vice President for Community Impact Anita Floyd; Richland County School District One Board Chair Cheryl Hinton Harris; Richland Library Executive Director Melanie Huggins; IT-ology President Tammy Mainwaring; Central Carolina Community Foundation President and CEO JoAnn Turnquist and Columbia City Manager Teresa Wilson. The panel addressed how their roles in the community are aligned with Envision Columbia and answered questions from attendees. The panelists also offered suggestions to attendees on ways to not only improve opportunities for women but also impact the quality of life for everyone.
Councilwoman Devine also thanked the subject matter experts who talked with participants about how they can get involved through the seven focus areas of the Envision Columbia Vision Statement. Subject matter experts included: The Talented Tenth Chair Kara Simmons, The Boudreaux Group Director of Planning Irene Tyson, Palmetto Conservation Foundation Executive Director Natalie Britt, City of Columbia Director of Community Development Gloria Saeed, City of Columbia Executive Director of Office of Business Opportunities Tina Herbert, North Columbia Business Association Executive Director Sabrina Odom, Eau Claire Community Council President Christie Savage, City of Columbia Clerk Erika Moore and City of Columbia Director of Budget and Program Management Office Missy Caughman.
Responses to the Summit have been overwhelming and positive with many attendees asking for a similar event to be held again and specifically requesting an all-day Summit in the future.
If you have questions or would like more information about Envision Columbia, contact the Public and Media Relations at 803-545-3020 and firstname.lastname@example.org. The City Council’s vision statement is on our website and can be found at http://columbiasc.net/city-council/envision-columbia. You can also follow us on all our social media platforms to stay connected about the vision and future Envision Columbia events.