Twenty Midlands Residents Graduates of Leadership South Carolina Class of 2020

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Twenty Midlands residents are among the newest graduates of Leadership South Carolina, the state’s oldest and most-respected leadership development organization. The 44 members of the organization’s 40th anniversary class were honored at a Sept. 9 ceremony at The Lace House on the Governor’s Mansion complex. Graduation, usually held in April, was postponed when activities were suspended because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Class of 2020 graduates from the Midlands include Juwan Ayers, a field credit analyst at Synovus Bank; Dare Bailey, counsel for litigation at the South Carolina Department of Revenue; Maj. David Baxley, Deputy Chief of Staff for the South Carolina Army National Guard; Jenny Boulware, manager of the Main Street South Carolina program of the South Carolina Municipal Association; Billy Boylston, vice president of public affairs for the Carolinas Credit Union League and Robert Burton, the all-hazards planning manager for the South Carolina Department of Emergency Management. Other graduates include Jarrett Coco, a partner with the Nelson, Mullins, Riley and Scarborough law firm; South Carolina Deputy State Treasurer Cynthia Dannels; Col. Tim Dotson, director of mission support for the South Carolina Air National Guard; Bennett Gore, a law professor and director of the Veterans Legal Clinic at the University of South Carolina School of Law; Lt. Col. Jeff Heaton, the commander of recruiting and retention for the South Carolina Army National Guard and Krista Hinson, director of state and federal government relations for the South Carolina Hospital Association.

The other Midlands graduates are Col. Chris Hyman, the director of Plans, Operations and Training for the South Carolina Army National Guard; Joey Jaco, Director of Utility Operations for the City of Columbia; South Carolina 2020 Teacher of the Year Chanda Jefferson; Bob Livingston, general manager of Gregory Electric Co. based in West Columbia; Rob Reibold, a shareholder in the Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd law firm; Hope Rivers, executive vice president of the South Carolina Technical College System; Kathleen Shealy, Director of Information Technology for the South Carolina Retirement System Investment Commission; Kelly Shockley, Director of Development for Wellvista, a Columbia-based nonprofit working to provide health services for uninsured and underserved South Carolinians and Jonathan Yarborough, Director of Government Affairs and Economic Development for Dominion Energy in South Carolina.

For four decades Leadership South Carolina has inspired new generations of leaders in the only leadership program dealing with issues facing the entire state. Candidates demonstrating exceptional commitment to their communities are selected yearly from more than 300 applicants for the eight-month program. Participants attend three-day sessions throughout the state exploring issues including economic development, education, natural resources and social issues. They also attend the group’s annual legislative day each spring at the Statehouse. Leadership South Carolina’s almost 2,000 graduates include former governors and statewide and local elected officials as well as leaders in business, education and of non-profits. In recent years class projects have raised more than a half-million dollars for everything from drop-out prevention and senior care to fostering literacy and combating hunger.

The 2020 class project raised more than $11,000 to improve the dental health of underserved students in rural South Carolina. Kits containing toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss and oral health brochures are being distributed to 10,000 students in 24 schools n Allendale, Hampton, Summerton, Dillon and Manning in the economically challenged area of the state known as the Corridor of Shame.
Find out more about Leadership South Carolina at

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