Skip to Content

OneSouthCarolina 2016 Hosts and Moderators contd

Richard W. Riley
Former S.C. Governor and Former U.S. 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. In 2009, he was named one of the top ten cabinet members of the 20th century by Time magazine, and he was inducted into the South Carolina Hall of Fame in 2010. Riley, for whom the Riley Institute at Furman is named, is the former U. S. Secretary of Education (1993–2001) and former two-term governor of South Carolina (1979–1987). He is now senior partner in the law firm of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough and its affiliate, EducationCounsel. He works on complex business, governance, financial, legal, education, government process and advocacy matters for local, state, national, and international clients. With the full support of the firm, Riley remains an ambassador for improving education in the United States and abroad. He chairs the Board of Trustees at Furman and serves as advisory board chair of the Richard W. Riley Institute of Government, Politics and Public Leadership. Riley has been named distinguished professor at the University of South Carolina, and the College of Education at Winthrop University bears his name, as does the College of Education and Leadership at Walden University. Riley earned his bachelor’s degree, cum laude, in political science from Furman in 1954 and received a J.D. from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1959. He is the recipient of numerous education and other public service awards, including Leadership South Carolina’s inaugural Dick and Tunky Riley Legacy of Leadership Award, and of honorary degrees from universities and colleges in the United States and abroad.

Elizabeth Davis
President, Furman University

Dr. Elizabeth Davis became Furman University’s 12th President on July 1, 2014. Before coming to Furman, she spent 22 years at Baylor University in Texas, where she most recently held the position of executive vice president and provost. In addition to being a member of the accounting faculty at Baylor, she also served as vice provost for Financial and Academic Administration, associate dean for Undergraduate Business Programs, and acting chair of the Department of Accounting and Business Law. Before beginning her higher education career, she spent three years at Arthur Andersen & Co. in New Orleans. Davis is a member of the Council of Presidents, an advisory group of college and university chief executives who provide guidance to the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges on issues of governance in higher education. She serves on the board of directors of the Greenville Chamber of Commerce, and is an honorary member of the board of governors of the Commerce Club. She is also a member of the board of directors of Comstock Resources, Inc., an energy company based in Texas. She was recently named to Greenville Business Magazine’s “50 Most Influential People.” Davis has addressed numerous organizations in the Upstate since arriving at Furman, and she has also spoken throughout the U.S. on issues involving higher education, university leadership and financial management. She has written op-eds for The Greenville News, and has done numerous radio and television interviews on the subject of higher education. Davis received her undergraduate degree in business administration from Baylor in 1984 and earned her Ph.D. from Duke University in 1992.

Juan Johnson
President, Diversity Leadership in Action; DLI Creator and Facilitator

Juan Johnson is president of Diversity Leadership in Action, a firm he launched in 2006 after concluding an extraordinary 21-year career with Coca-Cola Company. Johnson is creator and facilitator of the South Carolina Diversity Leaders Initiative (DLI). He has led every session of each of the 38 DLI classes to date and worked with more than 1600 DLI participants. In 2001, he partnered with Dr. R. Roosevelt Thomas to create the Diversity Leadership Academy, a leadership development program for executive level business and community leaders. After a successful launch in Atlanta, the program expanded under Johnson's leadership to numerous other markets around the country. Through the Academy, Johnson facilitated sessions with hundreds of leaders across a multitude of industries, in the process building a wealth of knowledge which he applies in his consulting and facilitation practice. Prior to joining Coca-Cola, Johnson worked in a number of industries and companies over the course of his career, including utilities, technology, transportation, and retail. He has served on many local and national boards and has been an adjunct professor of strategic diversity management at Penn State University. Johnson holds an M.B.A. from Atlanta University, a B.S. in accounting from Southern University in Baton Rouge, and has achieved certifications as both a CPA and CMA. Johnson is a trustee of Furman University and received an honorary Doctor of Humanities Degree from Furman in 2010.

Mark Quinn
Director of Public and Member Relations, The 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. A graduate of the Riley Institute’s Diversity Leaders Initiative, Mark has served as moderator of the OneSouthCarolina event since its inception in 2012. Quinn worked in television journalism for more than 16 years, 13 of which were spent in Columbia, South Carolina. For 11 years, he worked in various on-air capacities for one of the most successful NBC affiliates in the country, WIS-TV. In 2007 he began work with South Carolina ETV and is the former host of ETV and ETV Radio’s weekly news and public affairs program, The Big Picture and The Big Picture on the Radio. Among the highlights of his tenure with SCETV was his on-site coverage of both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions of 2008 and the statewide gubernatorial, congressional, and constitutional officer debates in 2010.

Linda O'Bryon (guest moderator)
President and 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. O'Bryon joined SCETV in 2010. Under her leadership the network has opened a new state-of-the art radio production facility and a television newsfeed studio, and has launched several national programs including A Chef’s Life (PBS); 180 Days: Hartsville (PBS); Song Travels with Michael Feinstein (NPR); and The Education of Harvey Gantt (APT). O'Bryon is founding executive editor of Nightly Business Report, (NBR) which has been a mainstay on national public television for more than 30 years. O'Bryon spearheaded the creation of NBR while serving as the news director for WPBT. As general manager of NBR Enterprises in Miami, she orchestrated international co-production partnerships, managed editorial and business operations and developed digital and educational initiatives associated with the series. She was principal co-anchor for the program for 12 years and frequently appeared on the program throughout her tenure with NBR. Before joining SCETV, O'Bryon was chief content officer for Northern California Public Broadcasting/KQED, where she oversaw radio, TV, interactive, education network, technology and engineering. In 2009, O'Bryon received a national Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award in Business and Financial Reporting from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. She has received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers and was named as one of the most influential women in the Bay Area by SF Business Times. Currently she serves on the boards of American Public Television (APR) and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and the Central Carolina Community Foundation. She is a graduate of the Midlands Diversity Leaders Initiative of the Riley Institute at Furman. Born and raised in Washington, D.C., O'Bryon graduated cum laude from the University of Miami with a major in communications and a minor in economics.