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Meet the Speakers

We have assembled an impressive roster of state and national speakers who will explore how diverse South Carolinians fare in the critical arenas of healthcare and education, how poverty’s impacts in these arenas hinder South Carolina’s progress, and how can we work together to break down barriers to economic and social progress for all South Carolinians and move toward an inclusive, world-class state. 

Hosts

Richard W. Riley
Richard W. Riley
Former South Carolina Governor and United States Secretary of Education

Often referred to as “one of the great statesmen of education in the century,” Riley has worked throughout his lifetime to bring significant, widespread change to education in South Carolina and the United States. More. . .

 
Juan Johnson
Juan Johnson
President, JDJ Consulting and DLI facilitator

Juan Johnson is President of Juan Johnson Consulting and Facilitation, a firm he launched in 2006 after concluding an extraordinary 21-year career with Coca-Cola Company and is facilitator of the South Carolina Diversity Leaders Initiative. More . . .


Rod Smolla
Rod Smolla
President, Furman University

Rod Smolla is the eleventh President of Furman University. He is nationally recognized as a scholar, teacher, advocate and writer and is one of America's foremost experts on issues relating to freedom of speech, academic freedom and freedom of the press. More. . .


Moderator

Mark Quinn
Mark Quinn
Director of Public and Member Relations, Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina

Mark Quinn is Director of Public and Member Relations at The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina and has had a long career as a professional journalist in South Carolina. More. . .


Speakers and Panelists

John Baldacci
John Baldacci
Former Maine governor and United States congressman

John Baldacci served four terms in the United States House of Representatives and two terms as Maine’s governor, where he won approval for major initiatives related to healthcare, education, and economic development while balancing a budget with a previous $1.2 billion shortfall. More. . .


John T. Edge
John T. Edge
Director, Southern Foodways Alliance

As director of the Southern Foodways Alliance—an institute of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi—John T. Edge dedicates his time to documenting food cultures of the American South. More. . .


Roland Gardner
Roland Gardner
Chief Executive Officer, Beaufort-Jasper-Hampton Comprehensive Health Services

As the CEO of Beaufort-Jasper-Hampton Comprehensive Health Services, Inc. for over thirty years, Roland Gardner is responsible to the Board of Directors for the overall operation of the corporation, including patient care, financial management, personnel management, facilities, long-range planning, public relations, and other matters of importance to the corporation.  More. . .


Don Gordon
Don Gordon
Executive Director, The Riley Institute at Furman

Don Gordon has been the Executive Director of the Riley Institute at Furman since 1999. Prior to that, he served as Chair of the Department of Political Science and Director of Furman’s award-winning study away programs in East and Southern Africa. More. . .


Ray Greenberg
Ray Greenberg
President, Medical University of South Carolina

As president of MUSC Greenberg places a strong emphasis on statewide outreach and collaboration. He championed the formation of Health Sciences South Carolina by uniting the state's three research universities and four largest teaching hospitals, fostering unprecedented collaboration to improve health, advance medical research, and stimulate economic development. More. . .


Ken May
Ken May
Executive Director, South Carolina Arts Commission

A panelist, presenter, consultant, and facilitator for local, state, and national arts organizations, Ken May is Executive Director of the South Carolina Arts Commission, where he has served in several positions since 1985. More. . .

 
Steve Morrison
Steve Morrison
Partner, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough

Steve Morrison, partner at Nelson Mullins, is a highly regarded litigation lawyer whose leadership in the legal profession and in community service has been widely recognized. He serves as co-lead counsel for South Carolina’s poorest and most isolated children in Abbeville et al v. State of South Carolina. More. . .


Terry Peterson
Terry Peterson
Director, Afterschool and Community Learning Network
Chair, Afterschool Alliance

Terry K. Peterson has spent his career advancing public education and afterschool services for children, schools and the communities that benefit.  Currently, he is director of the Afterschool and Community Learning Network, as well as chairperson of the board of directors for the Afterschool Alliance, senior fellow with the Riley Institute at Furman and senior fellow for policy and partnerships at the College of Charleston. More. . .


Gerrita Postlewait
Gerrita Postlewait
Immediate past chair, South Carolina Board of Education

Gerrita Postlewait is a foremost leader in education in South Carolina and nationally.  She recently completed a four-year term on the South Carolina Board of Education and served as president of that body in 2011. More. . .

 
Ed Sellers
Edward Sellers
Chair, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
Ed Sellers has long worked to safeguard healthcare and economic well-being for South Carolinians through both his professional and philanthropic work. He is board chair of BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and the Companion group of companies and also chairs the South Carolina Council on Competitiveness, a non-profit council of leadership in business, academia and government, whose mission is to drive a long-term economic development strategy for South Carolina based on Harvard Professor Michael Porter's concept of industrial clusters. More. . . 

John Simpkins
John Simpkins
Fellow, Charleston School of Law
Of Counsel, Wyche P.A.

John L. S. Simpkins is a Fellow of Comparative Constitutional Law at the Charleston School of Law, where he previously served as Assistant Professor of Law and Director of Diversity Initiatives. He has taught as a visiting professor in Canada, New Zealand, China, and Spain and is of counsel to Wyche, P.A., in Greenville, South Carolina. More. . .


Carolyn Wong Simpkins
Carolyn Wong Simpkins
Clinical Director and General Manager for BMJ (British Medical Journal)
Group in North America

Dr. Simpkins is a board-certified, Duke and Johns Hopkins trained internist who is the Clinical Director and General Manager for BMJ (British Medical Journal) Group in North America. She has considerable experience as a hospitalist in a variety of settings. More. . .


Fred Washington
Fred Washington
Chair, Beaufort County Board of Education
A Beaufort native, Fred S. Washington, Jr. has a long record of effectiveness within the education, social services and economic development communities in the South Carolina lowcountry. More. . . 

Doug Woodward
Doug Woodward
Director, Division of Research and Professor of Economics,
Darla Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina

Dr. Doug Woodward is a nationally and internationally acclaimed economist who has focused his research interests in the areas of regional economic development, entrepreneurial economics, and international economics. More. . .