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Meet the Speakers 2014

Speakers

William (Bill) Barnet, III
William (Bill) Barnet, III
CEO, Barnet Development Corporation

Bill Barnet is the former mayor of Spartanburg and is CEO of Barnet Development Corporation. Previously, he acted as the CEO of William Barnet & Son, Inc., a family venture founded in 1898 that manufactures, trades, and processes a wide variety of synthetic products for the fiber, resin, and textile related industries. A write-in candidate for mayor of Spartanburg in 2001, he served as mayor from 2002 – 2009. More. . .

Charles Bolden
The Honorable Charles Bolden, Jr.
Administrator, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Maj. Gen. Charles F. Bolden, Jr. (USMC-Ret.), Administrator of NASA, is a South Carolina native who graduated from C. A. Johnson High School in Columbia in 1964.  A former Marine and astronaut, General Bolden was appointed by President Obama in 2009 to become the 12th Administrator of America's national space agency. More. . .

Russell W. Booker
Russell W. Booker
Superintendent, Spartanburg County School District Seven

As superintendent of School District Seven, Booker has guided the district and community through a bold, comprehensive restructuring and transformation initiative that has positioned the district for future growth and innovation. The district recently launched a technology initiative (7Ignites) that has placed a personal mobile learning device in the hands of every student in grades 3-12.  More. . .

David Brancaccio
David Brancaccio
Reporter, Anchor, Speaker and Storyteller

Specializing in telling stories important to our democracy and our economy through the eyes of the real people who live in the cross hairs of crucial issues, David Brancaccio brings an accessible yet authoritative approach to investigative reporting and in-depth interviewing. He has earned the highest honors in broadcast journalism, including the Peabody, the Columbia-duPont, the Emmy, and the Walter Cronkite awards.  More. . .

Harris E. DeLoach Jr.
Harris E. DeLoach Jr.
Chairman and former CEO, Sonoco

Harris DeLoach, chairman and former CEO of Sonoco, joined Sonoco in 1986 as vice president of administration and general counsel.  In 1990, he was named vice president of Sonoco’s High Density Film Products Division, and in 1993 vice president of Film, Plastics and Special Products before being promoted to group vice president in October of that year.  More. . .

Kerri Forrest
Kerri Forrest
Director of Institutional Advancement with the American College of the Building Arts

Kerri Forrest, Emmy award-winning journalist and Charleston native, covered politics for MSNBC, NBC NEWS and CBS NEWS for 16 years. During that time, she produced for Equal Time, Hardball with Chris Matthews, NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, and CBS The Early Show. Forrest returned to Charleston in 2010 and has become involved in a number of nonprofit and civic endeavors around the city." More. . .

Jonathan Green
Jonathan Green
Artist

Born and raised in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, Jonathan Green is considered by many art critics and reviewers as one of our nation’s most outstanding African-American artists and as a master in the visual capture of Southern culture and traditions. While his work has ranged in styles, his best-known approach to painting may be termed "narrative realism." 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. . .

Rainey Knight
Rainey Knight
Consultant, South Carolina Education Oversight Committee and former Superintendent, Darlington County Schools

Rainey Knight, recently retired as superintendent of Darlington County Schools, has worked in public education for 36 years. She is currently providing professional consulting services to the South Carolina Education Oversight Committee, focusing on dropout recovery and development of district-level reading plans. Knight served as superintendent of Darlington County Schools for fourteen years, where she was responsible for the overall operations and management of the school district. More. . .

Jacki Martin
Jacki Martin
Associate Director, the Riley Institute at Furman

Jacki Martin is the associate director of the Riley Institute, where she assists the executive director in helping set strategic direction and in developing, funding, managing, and supporting staff who are leading programs related to education, diversity leadership, and public policy and politicsMore. . .

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. . .

Linda O'Bryon
Linda O'Bryon
President & Chief Executive Officer, South Carolina ETV

As President and CEO of South Carolina ETV, Emmy-award winner Linda O'Bryon oversees a statewide network of 19 TV and radio stations, with studios and production facilities in Columbia and several regions throughout the state. She also oversees education services reaching schools statewide. More. . .

Jim Reynolds
Jim Reynolds
Chief Executive Officer, Total Comfort Solutions

Jim Reynolds is Chief Executive Officer of Total Comfort Solutions, a leading provider of mechanical services and environmental solutions to commercial, industrial, medical and institutional facilities in South Carolina.  Jim is a graduate of Davidson College and earned an MBA from the University of Virginia.  Following a ten-year career with the Coca-Cola Company in Boston and Atlanta, he returned to Columbia to become a partner in Total Comfort Solutions and Comfort Services.   More. . .

Cate Ryba
Cate Ryba
Executive Director, HUB-BUB

Cate Brandt Ryba is the Executive Director of HUB-BUB, a nonprofit whose mission is to build community through dynamic arts and ideas in downtown Spartanburg. She is also a Spartanburg City Council representative. Cate holds a BA in Studio Art from Wellesley College and a master’s degree in City and Regional Planning and a Certificate in Urban Design from the University of Pennsylvania.  More. . .

Sherrie Snipes-Williams
Sherrie Snipes-Williams
Chief Executive Officer, Charleston Promise Neighborhood

Sherrie Snipes-Williams is CEO of Charleston Promise Neighborhood (CPN), a new and progressive nonprofit organization inspired by the Harlem Children’s Zone. CPN is working to create a seamless continuum of wrap-around prenatal-to-college services, focused on improving parenting, education, employment, housing, healthcare and community engagement in a 5.6 square mile area of Charleston County.  More. . .

Karen Callison Woodward
Karen Callison Woodward
Superintendent, Lexington County School District One

A superintendent for 29 years, Dr. Karen C. Woodward has led Lexington County School District One for the last 13 years. She has been the recipient of numerous local, regional and national honors and awards including National Superintendent of the Year finalist, South Carolina Business Woman of the Year, a national Tech Savvy Superintendent and a 2014 finalist for AASA’s Women in School Leadership Award. Dr. Woodward’s career has focused on advocacy for children and on service to the community.  More. . .

Anita Zucker
Anita Zucker
Chair and CEO, The InterTech Group, Inc.

Anita Zucker, philanthropist and civic leader, is chair and chief executive officer for The InterTech Group, Inc. An elementary school teacher for more than ten years, Zucker is a champion for education. She has served as chair of many education-related boards including the Advisory Board of the Charleston Area HUB for Math, Science, and Technology; the Trident Technical College Foundation Board and Executive Board; the South Carolina Network of Business Partners for Education; and the College of Charleston’s Board of Governors of the School of Business.  More. . .

 

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 . . .

Carl Kohrt
Carl Kohrt
Interim President, Furman University

Serving as Furman University’s interim president since July 1, 2013, Dr. Kohrt is a successful business executive and an accomplished academic with deep Furman ties. He enjoyed a 29-year career at Eastman Kodak Company, joining the company as a scientist and retiring as executive vice president and chief technical officer, where he was responsible for research laboratories on four continents. 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. Quinn worked in television journalism for more than 16 years, 13 of which were spent in Columbia, South Carolina. More . . .