Columbia, SC, (February 1, 2021) – The South Carolina Planned Giving Council recently announced the addition of three new board members as well as a new slate of officers.

Michelle Hardy, Benita Hopkins and Daniel Prohaska were elected during a special council meeting in January.

Michelle Hardy is currently the Vice President for Advancement at the Central Carolina Community Foundation. Prior to her work with CCCF, Hardy worked at the University of South Carolina in a variety of roles including Interim Chief Development Officer and Senior Associate Vice President in the Office of Development. She received her undergraduate degree from The Pennsylvania State University and her law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law.

Benita Hopkins is the Associate Vice Chancellor for Development and Alumni Relations at the University of South Carolina Upstate. Before relocating to South Carolina, Hopkins served as the major gifts officer for the University of Alabama in Huntsville and as the Mountain Lakes Division Director for the March of Dimes Foundation. She received her undergraduate degree from Athens State University and a Master of Public Administration from Troy University.

Daniel Prohaska, MA, CFRE works with Lions Vision Services. Initially hired as the Director of Development he was recently promoted to President & CEO. Prior to working with Lions, Prohaska was the Director of Development for the Avian Conservation Center.

He received his undergraduate degree from Erskine College and his Master of Arts in Philanthropy and Development from LeGrange College.

In addition to the new board members, the following officers will serve the Council:
Immediate Past President | Sam Head, Carolinas Wealth Management
President | Bill Yaeger, Citadel Foundation
President-Elect | Peggy Cieslikowski, College of Charleston
Secretary | Lisa DeFreitas, Wofford College
Treasurer | Francis Schodwoski, Columbia College
Vice President for Programs | Dana Taylor, Clemson University
Vice President for Membership | Gina De La Cruz Turcotte, Spartanburg Regional Hospital System
Clay Grayson, Grayson Law Firm
Melissa Levesque, Coastal Community Foundation of SC
Lauren Ward, A Business Law Firm
Wes Daniels, University of South Carolina

The South Carolina Planned Giving Council exists to unite the planned giving community in best serving the charitable planning needs of donors and clients. Our goal is to facilitate, coordinate, and encourage the education and training of the planned giving community, and to promote a collaborative effort among members of the legal, financial, and development communities in serving the charitable, financial, and estate planning needs of donors and clients. For more information contact

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