Upstate Leaders Become Riley Fellows, Present Community Action Projects

GREENVILLE, S.C.—Thirty-eight leaders from the Upstate and surrounding area have completed the Riley Institute at Furman’s Diversity Leaders Initiative (DLI).

Over the past five months, participants have examined sensitive issues related to diversity and inclusion, explored “blind spots,” and discussed how to suspend assumptions. Each class is expertly facilitated by Juan Johnson, an independent consultant and former Coca-Cola vice president.

As part of the program, participants have worked in small, cross-sector groups to respond to real issues and opportunities in their communities through service projects. The projects from this class focused on:

Enhancing educational opportunities for local youth through programs that expose students to valuable life lessons and skills including strategies for character-building;
Assisting adult men experiencing homelessness transition to a better situation;
Providing a personal piece of luggage to children in foster care offering them a sense of belonging, continuity, and respect;
Improving safety and accessibility for every rider in the Greenlink transit system; and
Fostering community dialogue around racial terror aimed to raise awareness, build trust, and break down barriers.

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. Each class is crafted to reflect the diverse demographics in South Carolina. In addition to the Upstate, DLI classes are selected annually in the Midlands and Lowcountry.

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.

“We are excited to add this group of thoughtful leaders, unafraid to take on a challenge and passionate about this state, to our alumni list,” said Don Gordon, executive director of the Riley Institute.

The newest Riley Fellows in the Upstate are:

Miranda Asson

Community Relations Director/On-air Personality

Entercom

Greenville

Melissa Bailey-Taylor

Medical Director

Prisma Health

Greenville

Meghan Barp

President and CEO

United Way of Greenville County

Greenville

Gina Blohm

Director of Development

Community Foundation of Greenville

Greenville

Jonathan Cote

Associate

Womble Bond Dickinson, LLP

Greenville

Sally Morris Cote

Director of Planning and Evaluation Capacity Building

The Riley Institute at Furman

Greenville

Gary Daniels

Vice President, Business Development

Wells Fargo

Greenville

Kenneth Dean

Pastor

Mount Zion Baptist Church

Belton

Sophia Dopher

Learning and Development Manager

Milliken

Spartanburg

Mary Garvey

Director of Innovation and Inclusion

Institute for Child Success

Greenville

Yukichi Hagins

Real Estate Professional

Yukichi Hagins Realty

Greenville

Gwen Hall

Director, Talent and Organizational Development | Human Resources

Prisma Health

Greenville

Lakeia Harris

Section Manager, Benefits

BMW

Greer

John Harvey

Executive Vice President, Human Resources

ScanSource

Greenville

Baker Hatcher

Regional Manager

MAU Workforce Solutions

Augusta

Marlon Hunter

Chief Executive Officer

ReGenesis

Spartanburg

Megha Lal

Chair

Greenwood County Community Foundation

Greenwood

John Lattimore

Senior Director of Project Management

Habitat for Humanity of Greenville County

Greenville

Elizabeth Mann

Interim Dean, Public Service, Arts & Sciences

Greenville Technical College

Greenville

Brad Mock

Chief Medical Officer

AnMed Health

Anderson

Judy Pham

Process Engineer

Michelin North America

Greenville

Donnie Porter

Public Affairs Manager

City of Greenville Police Department

Greenville

Dorothy Priester

Executive Director

Cherokee County First Steps

Gaffney

Carlotta Redish

Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources

Spartanburg School District 7

Spartanburg

Shawn Reid

Fiscal and Program Operations Specialist

Duscha Management, LLC

Fountain Inn

Ansel Sanders

President and CEO

Public Education Partners

Greenville

Chris Scalzo

Circuit Public Defender, 13th Judicial Circuit

South Carolina Commission on Indigent Defense

Greenville

Feliccia Smith

Professor of Business

North Greenville University

Tigerville

Katy Pugh Smith

Executive Director

Piedmont Health Foundation & Greenville Partnership for Philanthropy

Greenville

Liz Smith

Professor and Chair, Department of Politics and International Affairs

Furman University

Greenville

Ellen Stevenson

Organizational Consultant

Optimal Performance

Greenville

Scott Strong

Vice President

Snider Fleet Solutions

Anderson

Summer Tebalt

Director of AccessHealth Spartanburg

SRHS

Spartanburg

Troy Terry

Executive Director of Graduate and Evening Studies

Furman University

Greenville

Tiffane Thompson

Director, Consumer Experience

Michelin North America

Greenville

Mike Ungar

Competency Manager

Michelin North America

Greenville

Sally Wills

Executive Director

LiveWell Greenville

Greenville

Lisa Wine

Production Section Manager

BMW Manufacturing

Greer

About the Riley Institute at Furman University

The Riley Institute at Furman University broadens student and community perspectives about issues critical to South Carolina’s progress. It builds and engages present and future leaders, creates and shares data-supported information about the state’s core challenges, and links the leadership body to sustainable solutions. It is committed to nonpartisanship in all it does and to a rhetoric-free, facts-based approach to change. For more information, visit https://riley.furman.edu/.

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