Columbia’s EngenuitySC Announces John Lumpkin as 2018 Vision Award Winner Nonprofit Recognizes Decades of Work Toward a More Competitive and Prosperous Midlands

OCTOBER 2, 2018 (COLUMBIA, S.C.): EngenuitySC, the Columbia-based nonprofit focused on enhancing the Midlands’ competitiveness and prosperity, has presented John Lumpkin with its 2018 Vision Award. Lumpkin was presented with the award at a reception at the President’s House at the University of South Carolina on Monday, October 1, 2018.

University of South Carolina president Dr. Harris Pastides and Mayor Steve Benjamin (founding co-chairs of the EngenuitySC board) presided over the ceremony. The Vision Award is given annually by the nonprofit to an individual displaying exceptional drive in elevating the organization’s mission to have a more competitive and prosperous Midlands.

A veteran of commercial real estate and a pillar of Midlands economic development for decades, Lumpkin was a founding board member of EngenuitySC. He recently served as the long-time chair of the Midlands Business Leadership Group (MBLG), including leadership over the launch of its Regional Competitiveness Initiative—an enterprise which brought together more than 120 community members and currently is acting on seven priorities for growing the region’s competitiveness.

“A collaborative, inclusive process leads to more sustainable endeavors,” says Lumpkin, noting, “We can do truly amazing, significant, and sustainable things when no one cares who gets the credit. Be a giver, not a taker.”

“John Lumpkin was part of the original vision that created EngenuitySC,” said Lee Bussell, EngenuitySC board chair. “He has been there every step of the way in the last 14 years. His commitment has ensured that the organization is focused on the true north of our mission. He has always been there, and we know we can always count on John to get the job done.”

Lumpkin’s dedication to collaborative leadership is evidenced by his many roles in the Midlands community. In addition to his roles within EngenuitySC and the MBLG, his work includes service to the boards of the following organizations: The South Carolina Council on Competitiveness, the River Alliance, Central Carolina Community Foundation, Columbia College, United Way of the Midlands, the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce, The Cultural Council of Richland and Lexington Counties, the South Carolina Division of the American Cancer Society, Palmetto Health Foundation, the South Carolina Commission on Aging, the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, the Midlands Technical College Foundation Board and the South Carolina Development Board.

“John Lumpkin is truly one-of-a-kind,” says EngenuitySC Executive Director Meghan Hickman. “He has been a part of the EngenuitySC family since the very beginning, and there is no better advocate of this organization or of the region. John is selfless, tireless and unabashedly optimistic about the potential of Columbia, S.C., and the Midlands. He is an unsung hero, often working behind the scenes to make an impact in ways many never see. Though we can never repay our debt of gratitude for his decades of service to this community, it is an absolute delight to honor someone so worthy of this Vision Award.”

The Vision Award is presented annually by EngenuitySC’s board, many of whom were present for the award ceremony. EngenuitySC board members include the following individuals:
● Dr. Harris Pastides, Founding Co-Chair - President, The University of South Carolina
● Steve Benjamin, Founding Co-Chair - Mayor, City of Columbia
● Lee Bussell, Chair - Chernoff Newman
● Elise Partin, Chair-Elect - Mayor, City of Cayce
● Paul Livingston, Immediate Past-Chair - Councilman, Richland County Council
● Debbie Summers - Chair, Lexington County Council
● Joyce Dickerson - Chair, Richland County Council
● Tameika Isaac Devine - Councilwoman, City of Columbia Council
● Steve Hall - Ovation Partners, LLC
● Scott Graves - BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
● Cheryl Harris - Chair, Richland County School District One Board of Commissioners
● Bill & Lou Kennedy - Nephron Pharmaceuticals
● Bill Kirkland - The University of South Carolina, Office of Economic Engagement
● Lasenta Lewis-Ellis - LLE Construction, LLC
● John Lumpkin
● Dr. Ron Rhames - President, Midlands Technical College
● Dr. Keith Shah - Palmetto Health

Learn more about EngenuitySC and its competitiveness initiatives and project management activities throughout the Midlands at

About EngenuitySC
Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., EngenuitySC is a nonprofit focused on long-term competitiveness and prosperity in the Midlands. EngenuitySC specializes in managing collaborations between business, government, education and community leaders. For more information, visit

Hashtag: #EngenuitySC

SCBIZtv is part of the SC Biz News family, serving 100,000 high-level business execs throughout South Carolina. Click for more from SCBIZtv.