Columbia Chamber lauds 51 grads for work at autism center

The Columbia Chamber of Commerce recently honored 51 graduates of the Leadership Columbia Class of 2016 at a ceremony in Columbia’s Metropolitan Convention Center, lauding participants’ fieldwork at the Autism Academy of South Carolina (AASC).

Leadership Columbia provides a 10-month skill-building program to nurture community leadership, provide an educational arena and motivate participants to use their skills to resolve challenges facing the Midlands. Overseeing the program with the Leadership Columbia Advisory Board (LCAB), the Chamber praised students for their hard work and application of skills.

“Leadership Columbia provides the Midlands with a group of dedicated and passionate servant leaders,” Carl Blackstone, Columbia Chamber president and CEO, said. “The work the class of 2016 has done for the Autism Academy will greatly affect the lives of many in our community for years to come.”

Graduating were Kevin Allen, Sara Anders, Paul Bryant, Jessica Cabrera, Arica Carter, Melissa Chavis, Jon Chilton, Murray Coleman, Matthew Culler, Lucy Dinkins, Robyn Fisher, Bridget Fisher, Brian Ford, Susan Forrest, Kelly Garrick, Garrett Givens, Kevin Glass, Morgan Harrell, Lisa D. Henry, Kristin Hudson, Brandon Hulko, Joshelyn James, Ashley Jenkins, LaKisha Johnson, Ken Johnson, Leah Johnson, Claire Jones and Patricia Junqueira.

The roster also included Bonnie Levkoff, Clayton Lovelace, Brandon Madden, Tracy McDowell, Bryan McGill, W. Verne McGough Jr., Kerry McIver, John McMillan, Andrea Mensink, Kristin Morris, Ross Oakley, David Polen, Matthew Pollard, Daniel Reynolds, Chloe Rodgers, Jessica Sage, Laura Self, Ross Shealy, Henry Simons, Mills Snell, Joshua Speed, Joshua Standridge and William Umbach.

“The class of 2016 is a group of incredible change agents,” Monique McDaniels, 2015-16 LCAB chair, said. “These trailblazers have truly made a lasting impact on our region.”

Leadership Columbia has graduated over 1,900 leaders across the Midlands since 1972, its founding year.

“Year after year I continue to be impressed with the outstanding group of leaders within the program,” Incoming 2016-17 LCAB Chair Josh Elliott said. “We are proud of the legacy created by the graduates of the class of 2016, and look forward to the upcoming year with the class of 2017.”


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