Mayor Barbara Jo Blain-Bellamy
Holding the office of Mayor of Conway (SC) is among my greatest blessings. I grew up in poverty and with restrictions placed on me in the ‘Jim Crow’, pre-Civil Rights South, so the likelihood of my becoming a professional anything, a community leader or a contributor to my city’s progress was almost nil. But, God gave me strong parents and a grandmother who insisted I be my best self and be an independent thinker. Human angels were placed in my path to teach me crucial life lessons and to encourage and sometimes push me along the way. The plan was not mine, but I somehow always knew to follow the road that required discipline, duty and risk. My undergraduate work was in Sociology and I later earned a graduate degree in Education, entered law school as the least likely student to be admitted or to find success, but I was compelled by barriers to the uneducated and financially challenged in seeking fair relief through the courts. My education was obtained at the University of South Carolina and the USC School of Law. I have grown through a twenty year plus career in social work, eighteen years as a lawyer, and always being acutely aware of the plight of others. I have been a member of the Conway City Council since 1993, and easily accepted responsibility to help make Conway the best it can be for all its people. I am not a saint, but I love the Lord- forever crediting Him with everything that ultimately brought me to be with you today. I love His people, and am proud to describe my life as one of service. I am married to a very handsome, doting man, and through ours and former marriages, claim parenthood of six children and eight grandchildren. The youngest and first to grow up in Conway is four-year-old Kennedy, my mini-me, who holds a large portion of my heart. I love family time, travel, reading, writing, Sudoku puzzles and dancing… and oh yeah, swimming, a skill I gained after my sixtieth birthday. Enough said!
Chad Littlefield, TEDx speaker and author, presents a compelling and thoughtful perspective on how to break down communication barriers and boost connection and engagement. We'll also get a chance to have an experience with Chad's We! Connect Cards which are being used by companies and campuses all over the world to build a culture of connection. The session will highlight tips on how to ask more powerful questions from his #1 Amazon Bestselling book. Chad’s style is lively, highly interactive, and rooted in both research and stories of his practical experiences working with clients. You will walk away from this session with concrete, brain-based tools to ask more powerful questions and to create connections worth remembering.
Dr. Rebecca Battle-Bryant
Dr. Rebecca Battle-Bryant is President and owner of Battle Plan Consulting, LLC which is a full-service human resource, workforce development, and public outreach consulting firm. Prior to her current role, Rebecca was Vice-President of Human Resources and Workforce Development at United Infrastructure Group; Assistant Executive Director, Workforce & Economic Development, at South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce; Vice-President of Corporate Training & Economic Development at Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College, and in progressive management positions at SCANA Corporation in Customer Service, Corporate Training, and Call Center Operations. Battle-Bryant is a graduate of Auburn University where she received her undergraduate degree in Business Administration and Marketing and Sales, and a Master of Business Administration. She received a doctorate degree at the University of South Carolina in Higher Education Administration in 2009.
Julie Chapman leads the Carolinas Chapter of Our Community Listens, a nonprofit that offers fully funded community communication classes. Six years ago, Julie experienced the class and became a facilitator a year later. Her training as a registered nurse gives her the compassion and dedication to help others. Julie wrote a monthly column, Finding God in Travel for the Charleston Mercury for two years and transferred to the Moultrie News where she wrote Charleston Listens, a bimonthly column for a year. She is known for her engaging teaching style and heartfelt stories. Julie lives in Mt. Pleasant, SC.
Hank is the Co-Founder of Birthright of Columbia. He served as an IRS agent for 31 years and has served on various Community Board of Directors. He also was the founder of Home Works of America. Some of his awards were Federal Employee of the Year, Knights of Columbus Catholicity Award, Downtown Optimist Club Volunteer of the Year, Community Service Award, Irmo, SC Chamber of Commerce. South Carolina Housing Hall of Fame Member, Mungo Homes Community Leader and Order of the Palmetto. Hank is married to a loving wife, Sally. They have four daughters, one son and 18 grandchildren.
Taquina “TQ” Davis is currently the health education supervisor for Prisma Health Office of Community Health. Her current responsibility includes the development, implementation, evaluation, and maintenance of comprehensive, evidence-based chronic disease prevention and wellness programs for community members who are underserved and uninsured. TQ oversees the operations of the smoking cessation program, tobacco education and prevention, and hypertension management program. She works closely with local physicians, organizations and community leaders to help address the various health disparities in the community. TQ has her MA in Health & Wellness with a concentration in alternative medicine and is currently obtaining her Ph.D. in Health Education and Promotion.
Beth is a SC native and is excited to be a SC Thrive team member. Beth received her BA from Presbyterian College, and her MA from Columbia College. Her entire career has been in human services, with focuses on adolescent health, civic education, family planning, and now Long-Term Care. Beth is also an accomplished grant writer and project manager. In her free time she enjoys painting, drumming, acting and beekeeping.
Marisette Hasan, RN, BSN, President/CEO, The Carolinas Center, began her role with TCC in 2014, following a career in healthcare and hospice that began as an oncology nurse in 1981. She soon discovered a love for caring for her patients in a holistic manner throughout the continuum of their illness. Her experience ranges from hospital care to hospice and palliative care. Her hospice experience began in 1985 and she has served in various roles, from nurse to administrator, with hospital programs and independent community programs. In 2015 she became an ELNEC-Core trainer. Marisette works hand in hand with hospice and palliative care providers, helping them maintain relevance in a changing environment and engage in collaborative partnerships to advance hospice and palliative care throughout the Carolinas.
As an award-winning professional photographer, TJP President Patrick Jinks (Columbia, SC) has learned the value of viewing leadership challenges through the right “lenses.” Changing perspective can make all the difference when faced with the latest challenge. Following over two decades of nonprofit executive success, Patrick “changed lenses” and now serves leaders from a different perspective. His accomplished experience as a nonprofit CEO gives him unique insight into the challenges and opportunities nonprofit leaders face. Patrick is a certified leadership coach, professional speaker, facilitator, planner, and trainer with a proven 25-year track record in organizational leadership. Patrick is the best-selling author of Strategic Fail: Why Nonprofit Strategic Planning Fails, and How to Fix It. He also co-authored another best seller, Success Starts Today with Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup for the Soul author), and Taking the Leap: How to Build a World-Class Coaching Business, with Canfield, and World #1 executive coach and best-selling author, Marshall Goldsmith. His unique combination of strategic planning and leadership coaching was featured on Success Today, which aired on CBS, NBC, ABC, and FOX affiliates across the country.
Joselyn Johnson is a Charleston native with a passion for serving her community. She holds a BS in Entertainment Business from Full Sail University. Johnson started her career in human services as an AmeriCorps member serving in Trident United Way's Financial Stability Project. Her service term opened the doors for various opportunities within Trident United Way that prepared her for her current role as the AmeriCorps Program Manager for the organization. She serves as the President of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network, an organization geared toward the advancement and professional development of nonprofit professionals.
Kathryn Johnson is an alumna of the University of South Carolina, having received her Masters of Public Health in Health Services Policy and Management from the Arnold School of Public Health. Kathryn has completed the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s, Improvement Coach Professional Development Program and has undergone facilitation training. She currently serves as the Director of the LiveWell Kershaw Coalition in Kershaw County, South Carolina, a Duke Endowment supported, Healthy People, Healthy Carolina’s grantee. Prior to this role, Kathryn worked in healthcare evaluation at the University of South Carolina.
Brian is the President of America’s Kids Belong – a nonprofit that exists to empower leaders in government, faith-based, business, and creative sectors to end the crisis for kids in foster care – state by state. Brian challenges leaders to solve big problems and encourages Christians to live a better expression of their faith. Brian helped build and led SermonCentral.com in its early years. He has written curriculum and sermons for national campaigns including Bono’s “One Sabbath Campaign,” Gibson’s “Passion of the Christ,” and World Vision’s “Faith in Action,” and “The Hole in Our Gospel.”
Kat Morgan, Founder of ChangeAbility Solutions, has decades of experience in the nonprofit sector. She’s served in direct service, program and executive leadership positions, and continues to serve as a volunteer. She is an expert in positive psychology, intercultural communication, diversity, and inclusion. As a consultant, she facilitates organization change and provides training, management consulting, and coaching services. She’s trains and coaches on organizational resilience, burnout prevention, habit formation, and effective communication. She was cited by Beth Kanter and Aliza Sherman in their unique groundbreaking book The Happy, Healthy Nonprofit: Strategies for Impact Without Burnout.
Dawn Mullin is a reference librarian at the South Carolina State Library. She received a Masters of Library & Information Science from USC in 1989, and a MBA from Kennesaw State University in 1994. She became the manager of the Grants Research Collection at the State Library in 2003. She is the editor of the South Carolina Foundation Directory. Much of her work centers on assisting libraries, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies learn how to find private foundation funding for their community projects.
Jeff was born in Kansas City, MO and spent much of his young life in the Midwest. Jeff then attended Appalachian State University where he attained a BSBA (‘93). He earned a Master of Divinity (’97) degree and subsequently a Doctor of Ministry (‘07) degree. Jeff has 2 children, Callie and Tyler. Jeff & Michelle were part of a team that started Sandhills Community Church in 1998. Jeff continues his role today as senior leader and teaching pastor. When there’s time, Jeff enjoys spending time with his family, playing golf, and watching sports. (He has a peculiar proclivity toward Kansas City teams, which has born him some degree of shame over the years.) While he is hesitant to acknowledge a “life verse,” he claims 2 Timothy 2:2 as a verse that he feels God has placed on his heart from his earliest days of faith in Christ. “…and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”
Kristin brings nearly 15 years of cross-sector experience in operations management, planning, and client services to her role at the Taproot Foundation. As Vice President, Program Operations, she oversees the technology infrastructure needed to effectively deliver programming— including Taproot Plus—and fosters a culture of continuous improvement to enable growth and maximize efficiency and impact across the organization as a whole. Prior to taking on this role, Kristin held the position of Director of Program Development. Previously, Kristin was a Program and Evaluation Manager at Leeza's Place in Los Angeles where she tested program concepts and performed crisis intervention with caregivers. She has also worked as a compliance officer for a Los Angeles-based hedge fund and for the American Bar Association: Death Penalty Representation Project in Washington, D.C. Kristin holds an MSW from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor’s in Justice and Psychology from American University.
As Warden at Manning Reentry, Ms. Staley changed the culture of the institution by instilling HOPE to a population that felt they had no hope. She pulled in resources from the community to the inside of the facility to ensure that the Returning Citizens leaving the Pre-Release Programs had every opportunity available to add in them being successful once released. Because of Ms. Staley’s success as Warden, she was recently promoted to the Agency’s Assistant Deputy Director of Programs and Services and was given a new Division, which is developing Statewide Reentry programs. Ms. Staley earned a B.A. from Limestone College, and she is a member of the following professional organizations: The American Correctional Association, President of the South Carolina Correctional Association, the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Association, and the Correctional Peace Officer's Association. Ms. Staley has a passion for helping and inspiring others and seizes every opportunity to affect positive change in the lives of others.
Malcolm C. Walls Jr., originally from Greenville, MS, graduated from North Carolina A&T State University with a degree in Marketing. He then went on to work for Sears Corporation, Citibank, and General Electric. After earning his Master of Divinity in 2006 he married his wife Tiffanie and started serving as a youth pastor and working at Biblical Seminary as a recruiter in 2007. In 2014 he earned a Doctorate of Ministry in Urban Missiology degree from Biblical Seminary, served as the Director of Recruiting and served as an interim lead pastor in West Philadelphia. In 2016 he served as the Executive Pastor at Living Waters Ministries. He and his family later relocated to Austin, TX where he served at Goodwill Central Texas helping individuals find employment that would transform their lives. With a desire to go back into ministry, Malcolm and his family felt called to relocate to Columbia, SC and serve at Sandhills. Malcolm and his wife have three children, Imani, Malcolm III and Alexander. Malcolm loves connecting people to Christ, helping them understand their identity and helping them grow in their service in the church and in the community.
Susan Witkowski is The CEO of the Community Medical Clinic of Kershaw County (CMC). She has managed the operations of this free clinic, for twenty years, which includes churches and school based health centers. She also oversees two initiatives in Kershaw County; Access Kershaw and Healthy People Healthy Carolinas.
Kelly Wuest is the Community Outreach Manager for Sexual Trauma Services where she works with her team to create meaningful relationships between the agency and the community through volunteer opportunities. Before coming to STSM in 2016, she worked with college students at Florida State University and the University of South Carolina engaging them in out-of-the classroom experiences, serving their communities, and developing leadership skills. Kelly earned a bachelor’s in Psychology from Columbia College in 2006 and a master’s of education in Higher Education and Student Affairs from the University of South Carolina in 2008.
Anil Yallapragada, MD
Dr Yallapragada is the Medical Director of the Comprehensive Stroke Center at PRISMA Richland Hospital. He currently serves as the Chairman of the DHEC Stroke Advisory Council, President of the American Heart Association Midlands Board, and is a member of the World Stroke Organization Global Guidelines And Policy Board. He has received numerous awards and recognitions and most recently Was selected by the Carolina Center of Medical excellence as the 2017 recipient of the annual Timothy S. Llewelyn, MD, Memorial Award recognizing outstanding achievements in the improvement of health care quality and service to the medical community.
Originally from California, Mike Young received a Master's degree in 2013 from University of South Carolina in Cultural Anthropology. While pursuing his doctorate degree Mike taught anthropology as an adjunct professor at USC. At PASOs, Mike is the Director of Capacity Building where he provides technical service and support for partners and local/statewide organizations to increase their capacity to better address the needs and strengths of the Latino populations in SC. Mike is also a beekeeper, singer of a rock band, and was the Okra Eating Champion of Irmo, SC for 6 years in a row from 2011-2016.