Sustain SC, Furman University Shi Institute for Sustainable Communities Announce Inaugural Class for Sustainability Leadership Initiative (SLI)

COLUMBIA, S.C. – (September 29, 2021) Sustain SC and the Furman University Shi Institute for Sustainable Communities has selected a group of professionals across various sectors to join the inaugural class of the Sustainability Leadership Initiative (SLI).

The exclusive Sustainability Leadership Initiative program represents a robust cross-boundary stakeholder network of South Carolina leaders with the knowledge, skills, and desire to collaborate and support each other in identifying pathways and executing solutions for a sustainable future.

“We are excited to partner with Sustain SC on the state’s first leadership development program focused on sustainability,” said Courtney Quinn, Ph.D., director of Sustainability Leadership Initiative. “We are hopeful that bringing together representatives from industry, government, and NGOs for engaging discussions will help drive smart, sustainable growth in our state.”

The six-month innovative leadership program will feature six sessions at Furman University beginning in October 2021 and commencing in April 2022. Topics include: What is Sustainability; Systems Thinking; Boundary-Spanning Leadership; Futures Thinking, and Sustainability Storytelling. Sessions will be led by Courtney Quinn, Ph.D., director of Sustainability Leadership Initiative, Weston Dripps, executive director of the Shi Institute for Sustainable Communities, Kelly Grant Purvis, associate director of sustainability programs at The Shi Institute for Sustainable Communities, Grady Powell, founder and CEO of OpenFields, and Ethel Bunch, president and CEO of Sustain SC.

“A leadership program focused on sustainability has been a dream for many in our state,” said Ethel Bunch, president and CEO of Sustain SC. “The launch of our inaugural class for the Sustainability Leadership Initiative will be a game-changer for South Carolina as our state’s leaders find new ways to think about sustainability from a business and economic development perspective.”

The inaugural class will include the following South Carolinians:
o Blair Belk, Coca-Cola Consolidated
o Jennifer Calabria, Pacolet Milliken
o Trip Chavis, Milliken Advisors
o Ashley Demosthenes, Lowcountry Land Trust
o Julia Dietz, Audubon
o Kristy Ellenberg, SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC)
o Stinson Woodward Ferguson, Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, P.A.
o Chantal Fryer, SC Department of Commerce
o Lilyn Hester, Google
o Rob Howell, Avison Young
o Susan Johnson, The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC)
o Danny Kassis, Dominion Energy
o Maurie Lawrence, Milliken & Company
o Jennifer Mapes, Sage Automotive
o Mark Messersmith, SC Ports Authority
o Anne-Marie Moehering, Harper Construction
o Cassidy Murphy, SC Farm Bureau
o Jim Posda, GEL Engineering
o Elizabeth Rhue, Sonoco
o Susie Shannon, SC Council on Competitiveness
o Travis Tarbet, BMW
o Dale Threatt-Taylor, The Nature Conservancy - South Carolina
o Pam Vaughn, FujiFilm Manufacturing

For more information, visit sustainsouthcarolina.org/sli.

About The Shi Institute for Sustainable Communities at Furman University
Launched in 2020, the Shi Institute for Sustainable Communities is a regionally focused institute promoting sustainable human flourishing through education, research, and leadership. The institute builds on over a decade of proven success and national renown of the David E. Shi Center for Sustainability and connects campus and community around developing sustainable communities.

About Sustain SC
Sustain SC is an economic development driven organization that sets the table for conversations between businesses and local stakeholders so that Corporate Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) investments stay in South Carolina – benefiting both our economic and natural resource infrastructures.


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