Riley Institute At Furman Selects 24th Class Of Upstate Diversity Leaders

GREENVILLE, S.C.—Forty-three leaders from the Upstate 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 Upstate, DLI classes are selected annually in the Midlands and Lowcountry. 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. The fellows selected for the 24th Upstate DLI class:

Melanie Armstrong
Director, Emerging Public Leaders
The Riley Institute at Furman University
Greenville

Matt Bitner
Vice Chair, Emergency Medicine
Greenville Health System
Greenville

Alecia Brewster
GoodGuides Program Manager
Goodwill Industries of the Upstate/Midlands
Greenville

Kevin Brown
Director of Information Technology
Spartanburg Water
Spartanburg

Amy Canosa
Manager of Clinical Pastoral Education Program
Greenville Health System
Greenville

Ken Cummings
Vice President/Senior Commercial Relationship Manager
SunTrust Bank
Greenville

Jim Dant
Senior Minister
First Baptist Church
Greenville

Marcus Davenport
Major
Greenville County Sheriff's Office
Greenville

Anthony Dicks
Senior Pastor
Mt. Zion Church
Greenville

Yvonne Duckett
Executive Director
Greenville County Human Relations Commission
Greenville

Tom Evelyn
Vice President, University Communications
Furman University
Greenville

Jennifer Faner
Director of Homeowner and Community Engagement
Habitat for Humanity of Greenville County
Greenville

Karen Fradua
Director, Community Health Improvement
Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System
Spartanburg

Tracie Frese
Executive Director
Upstate International
Greenville

Ed Good
President
Hampton Development Co., Inc.
Greenville

Constance Gray
Consultant
Winston-Salem, NC

Walt Gregory
Department Manager Paint/Quality and Technical Planning
BMW Manufacturing, LLC
Greer

Rodrigo Gutierrez
VP Logistics and Customer Service
Michelin North America
Greenville

Rich Hagins
CEO/President
US&S, Inc.
Greenville

Katrice Hardy
Executive Editor for the Greenville News and USAT Regional Southeast Editor
Gannett
Greenville

CoCo Harris
Writer, Publisher, Photographer
Telling Our Stories Press
Greenville

Ricaye Harris
Talent Acquisition Specialist
Milliken & Company
Spartanburg

Kathy Keiser
Section Manager Compensation/Organization Management
BMW Manufacturing, LLC
Greer

Nancy Kennedy
Director, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
Furman University
Greenville

Jeri Kleckley
Director of Volunteer Engagement
United Way of Greenville County
Greenville

Derek Lewis
Executive Director
Greenville First Steps
Greenville

William McMillian
Director: Commercial Business, SE Zone
Michelin North America
Matthews, NC

Amy Mundt
OE Development Leader
Michelin North America
Greenville

Stacey Owens
Investigations Captain
Greenville Police Department
Greenville

Scott Porter
Vice President: Equity and Inclusivity
Greenville Health System
Greenville

Altheia Richardson
Executive Director
Clemson University Gantt Multicultural Center
Clemson

Bill Roach
Superintendent
Union County Schools
Union

Rick Roberts
President
KMC Benefits Inc.
Greer

Ann Robinson
Market President
HomeTrust Bank
Greenville

Burke Royster
Superintendent
Greenville County Schools
Greenville

Carol Samofal
Empowerment Leader, North America
Michelin North America
Greenville

Gary Scheide
Industrial Director MAT/SF
Michelin North America
Greenville

Kirsten Small
Member
Nexsen Pruet, LLC
Greenville

Lee Tennent
Chief Information Officer
Greenville Technical College
Greenville

Vanessa Thompson
Director: Behavioral Health Services
Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System
Spartanburg

Rob Torres
Vice President, Corporate Responsibility Officer
Bon Secours St. Francis Healthcare System
Greenville

Jeff Walker
Shareholder
Elliott Davis
Greenville

Lud Weaver
Pastor
Westminster Presbyterian Church
Greenville

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