The Greenville Chamber held its 128th Annual Meeting, presented by TD Bank, on Tuesday, January 31, 2017, at TD Convention Center. The event, emceed by The Honorable Merl Code, featured the presentation of the Chamber’s annual awards, remarks from new Chamber President/CEO Carlos Phillips, and the passing of the gavel from 2016 Board of Directors Chair David Lominack to 2017 Chair Brenda Thames.
The meeting featured the presentation of the following annual awards:
The ATHENA Leadership Award® honors individuals who assist women in reaching their full leadership potential; demonstrate excellence, creativity and initiative in their business or profession; and, provide valuable service by devoting time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community. The 2016 ATHENA Leadership Award®, sponsored by Hughes Agency, was presented to Pamela Evette, founder of Quality Business Solutions, for serving as a leader for women and our community as a whole throughout her career.
The Buck Mickel Leadership Award, sponsored by Clemson University, honors those who have had a dramatic impact on the community by playing a leadership role in solving critical community issues, strengthening the community or providing visionary leadership to a major community development project. The 2016 Buck Mickel Leadership Award was awarded to former United States Secretary of Education and former Governor of South Carolina Dick Riley for his passionate leadership, vision and service.
The Max Heller Neighborhood Improvement Award is given annually to an organization that has shown exemplary efforts toward neighborhood improvement and empowerment. The award is named in honor of former Greenville Mayor Max Heller, who spearheaded numerous efforts over the years to improve the quality of life for all citizens of Greenville County. The 2016 award, sponsored by BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, was presented to Genesis Homes, noting especially their revitalization efforts in low-to–moderate income areas in the Upstate through the development of affordable housing for homeownership or home rental. Executive Director Jim Childress accepted the award.
The Minority Business of the Year Award, sponsored by Bank of America, is presented to a local, independently-, and minority-owned company that has been in business for a minimum of three years. The 2016 award was presented to IG Global Sourcing, LLC. Founded in 2003, IG Global provides manufacturing, precision metal fabrication, CNC machining, plastic injection molding, custom packaging and more to help small to medium sized companies compete in a global market. President Robert Chandler accepted the award.
The 2016 Small Business of the Year Award, sponsored by Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP, was presented to Intellectual Capitol (ICAP). ICAP provides a full range of critical information technology staffing services and solutions to organizations throughout the Southeast. ICAP is a certified, woman-owned business with over 30 employees. This is the 40th year in which the Chamber has recognized the spirit of entrepreneurship by presenting the Small Business of the Year Award. Owners Traci and Barry Newkirk accepted the award.
The 2016 Chairman’s Award, sponsored by Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart, was presented to Wil Brasington, executive director of the Clemson Alumni Association. Under his leadership as Vice-chair of Communications and Community Engagement, Brasington was instrumental in refocusing and rebranding the Chamber. His dedication to bringing together the organization’s volunteer leadership and Staff to help develop a unified vision and mission was critical to the Chamber’s new direction and value proposition.
The Leadership Greenville Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes a Leadership Greenville Alum who has made outstanding civic and community contributions. The 2016 award, sponsored by GSP Airport District, was presented to Bob Howard, a graduate of Leadership Greenville Class 3. Howard became President of the Greenville Tech Foundation in January 2008 and retired at the end of 2016. Previously, he had a 30-year career with Bank of America and served as Executive Director of the Greenville Symphony Association for nine seasons. Howard’s impact on the Upstate is rooted in his passion for creating vibrant opportunities for business success and quality of life.
The Young Professional of the Year Award, sponsored by BB&T, is designed to recognize an individual between the ages of 22 and 39 for his or her involvement in the community. The 2016 award was presented to Kimberly Witherspoon, a shareholder in Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd’s Greenville office where she practices in the public finance area.
The 2016 F. Ben Haskew Collaboration Award, sponsored by Furman University, first presented to former Chamber CEO Ben Haskew in 2016, was presented for its second time to recognize Upstate leaders who display progressive visions and a partnership approach to responsible growth in the Upstate. Hollingsworth Funds seeks to ensure that low-wealth people in Greenville County have the opportunity and pathways to participate in a prosperous society. Hollingsworth Funds’ President and CEO Jim Terry and Senior Vice President Gage Weeks accepted the award.
About the Greenville Chamber’s 128th Annual Meeting
The Chamber’s Annual Meeting is a celebration of the past year’s successes and a look at what’s to come in the year ahead. This event, the largest business meeting in South Carolina, brings together over 1200 business leaders, community leaders and elected officials. This year’s Annual Meeting kicks off the Chamber’s 129th year of operations.