BBBS Upstate Announces New Leadership To Help More At Risk Kids Reach Their Full Potential

GREENVILLE, S.C. (January 22, 2020) – An Upstate nonprofit that for nearly a half century has matched at-risk youth with mentors announced today that it has named a new CEO, appointed nine new board members and hired three staff members. Big Brothers Big Sisters of America also launched a new rebranding campaign with a new logo, and new mission and vision statements.

Officials from Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Upstate said the new leadership brings a diverse wealth of experience that will help children overcome the odds and become the leaders of tomorrow.

Charlene Cheeks, the nonprofit’s new CEO, said she looks forward to having a greater impact on the Upstate.

“Every child deserves the chance to see their potential realized,” Cheeks said. “By matching adult mentors, one-to-one, with children in our communities, Big Brothers Big Sisters defends that potential. Together, we are creating the leaders of tomorrow and a brighter future for us all.”

Cheeks has over 20 years of experience with BBBS Upstate, previously serving as interim CEO, program director and Spartanburg County director. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Converse College and is active with the Spartanburg Southside Lions Club and The Thomas Hannah YMCA Branch Board where she is the chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

Cheeks graduated from the Spartanburg County Grassroots Leadership Institute and Spartanburg Leadership with the Chamber of Commerce, and she belongs to the Greenville County Mentoring Collaborative Group. Cheeks is from Chesnee and is married to Tensley Cheeks. They have two daughters, Hannah and Bethany.

“Cheeks brings a deep understanding of serving at risk youth and the challenges they face,” says newly elected Board Chair Dr. Roland White. “Her experiences, expertise, and ability to inspire others will lead to longer and stronger relationships between our kids and their mentors.”

The new board members are:
Aaron Adams, DAA Draexlmaier Automotive of America, Head of EHS
Ray Brown, BBBS Upstate board treasurer; Ernst & Young LLP, Senior Manager
Charles Conrad, BBBS Upstate board vice chair; CPA Conrad and Company

Trey Glover, Spartanburg County, Parks Operational Manager
Tashma Glymph, Palmetto Early Beginnings, Speech Therapist
Ben Hall, Big Ben’s Dessert, Owner
Dr. Ohmar T. Land, Sherman College, VP Institutional Advancement and Public Relations
Dr. William C. Logan, Jr., Centene – Absolute Total Care, Interim Chief Medical Doctor
Olivia Sartor, New Day Clubhouse, Social Worker

These new board members join three existing leaders on the board of directors. Horace Butler, Jr., BMW, Manager in Information Tech; Lauren Cramer, JTEKT, Supply Chain & Demand Planning Manager; Sarah Schoonover, BBBS Upstate board secretary, General Electric, Software Program Manager; and Dr. Hubert Roland White II, BBBS Upstate board chair, Urgent Care, MD.

BBBS Upstate has expanded its staff with three new employees. Laura Carlson, program specialist; Tifani Parks, program specialist; and Madeline Roth, fund development. They join the established team of Allison Caulk, BBBS Upstate program director; Terry Hypes, BBBS Upstate project manager; and Kris Alongi, program specialist.

Big Brothers Big Sisters is the oldest, largest, and most effective youth mentoring organization in America. BBBS Upstate provides children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better. Little Brothers and Little Sisters are 52% less likely to skip school, 46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs, and 27% less likely to begin using alcohol.