Leadership South Carolina Opens 40th Anniversary Celebration Projects have raised more than $500,000 statewide

Leadership South Carolina Opens 40th Anniversary Celebration Projects have raised more than $500,000 statewide

Governors, lawmakers, business and civic leaders are among more than 2,000 graduates of the state’s oldest and most-respected leadership organization

Leadership South Carolina projects have raised thousands for everything from senior care and literacy to hunger relief, rural infrastructure and disaster recovery.

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Leadership South Carolina, the state’s oldest and most respected leadership development program, is opening a year-long observance of its 40th anniversary with an April 15 reception at the Lace House on the grounds of the Governor’s Mansion in Columbia.

During the event the non-profit will announce that class projects during the past 15 years have raised more than a half million dollars for crucial needs in South Carolina – thousands more if the labor and talent the state’s next generation of leaders have contributed is computed. Projects have focused on everything from senior care and literacy to hunger relief and rural improvement. Last month members of the Class of 2019 raised money and spent days working with SBP, a nationwide disaster recovery non-profit, to help those suffering from the lingering effects of Hurricane Florence.

Gov. Henry McMaster and former Gov. Jim Hodges are among the distinguished leaders who are graduates of the program in which each year about 50 participants, selected statewide, spend nine months attending sessions across the state learning about challenges facing the Palmetto State. Class members also select a project where they work together to address a critical need.

“It’s the only leadership program focusing on the entire state with a goal of fostering leadership by creating awareness of South Carolina’s most-pressing needs,” said Helen Munnerlyn, executive director of Leadership South Carolina.

Many graduates serve in leadership roles in local and state government as well as business, academia and non-profit and civic groups.

Leadership South Carolina also recognizes South Carolina leaders who have contributed so much. Among those honored in recent years are McMaster and former Gov. Richard Riley, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, then-Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, former Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr., former Clemson University President James Barker, University of South Carolina Athletic Director Ray Tanner and musician and community activist Jim “Soni” Sonefeld of Hootie and the Blowfish.

Gov. Richard Riley created Leadership South Carolina in 1979. It was originally affiliated with the University of South Carolina and later with Clemson University. In 2018, the Leadership South Carolina Board of Trustees voted to become a free-standing leadership organization to continue its mission of fostering new generations of leadership for the state. For more information www.LeadershipSC.com

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