SC leaders selected as mentors for 10th Class of Liberty Fellowship

February 11, 2014

GREENVILLE, South Carolina (February 11, 2014) – In a state the size of South Carolina, connections go a long way. A cadre of well-networked leaders can make things happen. Mentors for the Liberty Fellowship Class of 2015, announced today, will play a key role in linking the Fellows to other change agents in the state as well as with issues of importance. As seasoned leaders themselves, these 23 individuals share a deep love for South Carolina and willingness to work toward its future.

“The Mentors for Fellows in our 10th class have invested time, energy and expertise in South Carolina,” commented Hayne Hipp, Liberty Fellowship Co-founder. “Part of their role as advisors to the Fellows is to share these experiences, offering insight and a fresh perspective.”

Liberty Fellows are selected, in part, for their potential to make an impact at the state level. Pairing them with a Mentor who has traveled this path – making a mark on the state in his or her own way – is one part of the Liberty Fellowship experience. Fellows also attend four seminars over two years, including the Aspen Institute Globalization Seminar, which places them with Fellows from similar programs around the world. One of the main functions of the mentor relationship is to provide principled guidance to the Fellows in their personal project, the final component of the program.

Executive Director Jennie Johnson added, “Since we started Liberty Fellowship in 2003, we have well over 100 leaders across the state who have partnered with Fellows in this advisor role. Both the Fellows and Mentors are impact makers in South Carolina. With these pairings, we see a way to leverage their individual strengths and create lasting collaborations that will ultimately benefit the state.”

Following are the Mentors for the Liberty Fellowship Class of 2015. To view more details on each Mentor,

Jeffrey B. Archie, S.V.P and Chief Nuclear Officer with SCE&G – mentoring Todd Rutherford, Owner of The Rutherford Law Firm and S.C. House of Representatives Minority Leader

William (Bill) Barnet III, CEO of Barnet Development Company – mentoring Gage Weekes, S.V.P. of Strategic Initiatives with Hollingsworth Funds, Inc.

Suzan D. Boyd, Community Volunteer and former Professor at the University of South Carolina in Public Health – mentoring Beth Bernstein, Attorney/Partner with Bernstein & Bernstein LLC and a member of the S.C. House of Representatives

Craig D. Brown, President and Co-owner of the Greenville Drive Baseball Team and CEO of Keelers Ridge Associates – mentoring Peter Barth, CTO of SinglePoint and Managing Director of The Iron Yard

Michael J. (Mike) Chibbaro, Retired Partner with Ernst & Young LLP – mentoring Ben Wallace, V.P. of Azalea Capital

Derick S. Close, President & CEO of Springs Creative Products Group – mentoring Scott Huffmon, Professor of Political Science & Director of the Social & Behavioral Lab at Winthrop University

W. Scott Cochran, Dean of the Mungo Center at Wofford College and a Liberty Fellow – mentoring Joanie Martin, Financial Director of the Passenger & Light Truck Tire Division at Michelin North America

George Fletcher, Executive Director Emeritus for New Carolina – mentoring Andrew Coburn, Member at Wyche, P.A.

Vincent (Vince) Graham, Founder and President of The I’on Group and a Liberty Fellow – mentoring Mel Pennington, Mayor of Hartsville and V.P. of Brown-Pennington-Atkins Funeral Home

Ann Kulze, Founder & CEO of Just Wellness, LLC and a Liberty Fellow – mentoring Vanessa Diaz, Associate Chair for Clinical Services and Associate Professor at MUSC

Pamela P. Lackey, President of AT&T South Carolina – mentoring Jermaine Husser, State Director of StudentsFirst South Carolina

Pat McKinney, Former Managing Partner of Kiawah Partners – mentoring Weston Newton, Attorney/ Partner with Jones, Simpson & Newton P.A. and a member of the S.C. House of Representatives

James I. (Jim) Newsome III, President & CEO of the South Carolina State Ports Authority – mentoring Michelle Mapp, Executive Director of the South Carolina Community Loan Fund

Tim Reed, Co-founder and past board chair of the Upstate Carolina Angel Network – mentoring K.J. Jacobs, Principal with McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture

Linda B. Salane, CEO of WNN (Why Not Now) Consulting – mentoring DeAndrea Benjamin, Circuit Court Judge for the 5th Judicial Circuit

Diane Smock, Community Volunteer and former Greenville County Probate Judge – mentoring Kerry Sease, Pediatric Residency Program Director at Greenville Health System

William (Bill) Stanfield, Co-founder and CEO of Metanoia Community Development Corporation and a Liberty Fellow – mentoring Clay Middleton, Congressional Affairs Liaison with the U.S. Department of Energy and Officer with the S.C. Army National Guard 

Harold Stowe, Principal of Stowe-Monier Management, LLC – mentoring Amy Armstrong, Executive Director of the South Carolina Environmental Law Project

Laura G. Varn, V.P. of Human Resources Management with Santee Cooper and a Liberty Fellow – mentoring Ashley Holbrook, Director of State & Local Government Operations with The Boeing Company

William (Billy) Webster IV, Board Chair of Greenville Health System – mentoring Geoff Wilson, V.P. of Corporate Strategy & Development at Milliken & Company

David H. Wilkins, Former U.S. Ambassador to Canada and Partner with Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough – mentoring Anna Locke, President & Owner of A.T. LOCKE, PC

G. Larry Wilson, Venture Partner with FirstMark Capital – mentoring Chakisse Newton, Principal with Cardinal Consulting

Tomi G. Youngblood, Former System V.P. for Roper St. Francis Healthcare – mentoring Emily Abedon, journalist, poet and filmmaker

About Liberty Fellowship 

Liberty Fellowship is a statewide leadership initiative founded by Anna Kate and Hayne Hipp, Wofford College and The Aspen Institute. Through the Fellow program, Liberty Fellowship seeks to inspire outstanding leadership in South Carolina, empowering the state’s leaders to realize their full potential. Fostering a values-based approach, Liberty Fellowship exposes rising leaders to diverse perspectives, critical thinking, and intellectual and personal development. For more information, visit