David E. Dukes


David E. Dukes is a Partner and former Managing Partner with Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough. He serves on the Board of Trustees of Clemson University and has served on the boards of the Foundation for the South Carolina Governor's School for Science and Mathematics and the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities. Previously, David served on the board for the National Foundation for Judicial Excellence and on the Advisory Committee for the Law Firm Pro Bono Project at Georgetown University Law Center. He has also served as President of two national lawyer organizations. A Columbia resident, he received a J.D., from the University of South Carolina School of Law and a B.S. in Financial Management from Clemson University.

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Russell Booker

Vice Chair

Russell Booker served as the Superintendent of Spartanburg County School District Seven for ten years, retiring in 2020. He and his wife are launching One Acorn, an agency that helps organizations, individuals, and communities fulfill the “potential within” through enlightened, authentic, values-based leadership.  He will also serve as the Executive Director of the Spartanburg Academic Movement.  Dr. Booker has served in various leadership roles in education including Superintendent of York School District One and Principal of Landrum High School. He is heavily involved in the Spartanburg community and also serves on the boards of Transform South Carolina and the South Carolina Association of School Administrators. A resident of Spartanburg, Russell received Ph.D., Ed.S., and M.Ed. degrees in Administration from the University of South Carolina and a B.S. degree from Wingate University.

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Michael Allen

Michael offers more than 19 years of successful architectural business development and project management experience, including LEED and Green Globe Sustainability projects. His client relationship development skills and project lead generating suitabilities have helped win numerous projects through his career. His valuable knowledge of project scale and budget stem from opportunities working with a wide range of Higher Education, K-12, Municipal, and Sports & Recreation clients, frequently following projects from conception through completion. A former Clemson Football player, Michael was awarded the 2019 Brian Dawkins Lifetime Achievement Award for excellence in career and community achievements. 

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Elizabeth A. Fleming

Betsy Fleming is an early-stage investor focused on women-led and women-empowering startups and an independent consultant providing strategy, coaching and facilitation services to grow successful, impactful organizations. She has served in various leadership roles including President of Converse College in Spartanburg, SC from 2005 to 2016, and Executive Director of the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, SC. Betsy is on the Board of Directors of Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina and CTE, one of North Carolina’s largest privately held companies. In addition, she is on the boards of Davidson College, Spoleto Festival USA, and the General Alumni Association of Phillips Exeter Academy. Betsy is also an Aspen Global Leadership Network moderator. A resident of Charlotte, NC, she holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, a M.A. from the Royal College of Art in London, and a Ph.D. in the History of Art from Yale University.

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Kerri Forrest

Kerri joined the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation in February 2015 and directs the arts, land conservation and collections programs in the Lowcountry region. Kerri returned to her native Charleston in 2010 after a 16-year career covering politics with national broadcast outlets MSNBC, NBC NEWS and CBS NEWS.  Previously she was the Director of Institutional Advancement with the American College of the Building Arts.  She has served with a number of local and regional organizations including the Friends of the Lowcountry Lowline, TEDxCharleston and the South Carolina Arts Commission Leo Twigg Scholars. In addition, she has been an adjunct professor of professional communications and public speaking at the Art Institute of Charleston and of fundraising at the College of Charleston. Kerri received a Masters of Arts in Interactive Journalism from American University and a B.A. in Biological Sciences from Clemson University.

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Iris Griffin

Iris Griffin is vice president of power generation for Dominion Energy South Carolina. She has responsibility for, with the exception of V.C. Summer, an approximately 5,000-megawatt generating fleet serving more than 760,000 customer accounts principally in South Carolina's Midlands and Lowcountry. Most recently Iris served as the Vice President of Financial Management & Integration for Dominion Energy South Carolina.  Prior to the merger with Dominion Energy, she served as CFO & Treasurer for SCANA Corporation. Prior to joining SCANA, she worked at Scott McElveen in Columbia, South Carolina, and Ernst & Young in Raleigh, North Carolina. Griffin serves the community as Chair of the City Year Advisory Board, Secretary of the Board of Central SC Habitat for Humanity, audit committee chair for the University of South Carolina Business Partnership Foundation, member of the Finance Committee for the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, member of the Executive Committee of the Board for Columbia Museum of Art. She earned a B.A. in Accounting and a Master of Accountancy from the University of South Carolina.

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Mikee Johnson

Mikee Johnson is President of US Brick.  Previously he served as Vice President of Koppers Utility and Industrial Products.  A member of the Young Presidents’ Organization, he chairs The Original Six Foundation and the State Workforce Investment Board and is past chair of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce.  He is Scoutmaster of Troop 45 and a member of the South Carolina Commission on Clean Energy. A resident of Orangeburg, Mikee received an M.F.B.A. from Kennesaw State University, an M.B.A. from the University of South Carolina and a B.A. in English and Political Science from Furman University.

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Faith L. Polkey

Faith L. Polkey is Chief Clinical Officer at Beaufort Jasper Hampton Comprehensive Health Services, Inc. (BJHCHS) and Regional Director of Medical Education with AT Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona – South Carolina campus. She is a trustee with Beaufort Memorial Hospital (BMH) and Co-Chair of the Health Professions Education in Health Centers Task Force for the National Association of Community Health Centers.  She is the former Chief of Pediatrics at BJHCHS and Chair of Pediatrics at BMH.   Faith received an M.P.H from the University of North Carolina School of Public Health, an M.D. from Johns Hopkins University and a B.S. in Biology from the South Carolina Honors College at the University of South Carolina. She lives in Beaufort.

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Geoff Wilson

Geoff is Founder and Principal of Wilson Growth Partners, LLC, a strategic advisory firm with a focus on serving clients on strategic revenue growth, performance improvement, and transformational change initiatives. Prior to founding WGP, Geoff was Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy & Development at Milliken & Company, an innovation-driven diversified manufacturing company. At Milliken, he led corporate strategy, M&A, and special initiatives. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree and his Master of Arts degree from Stanford University. Geoff was a 3-year letter winner and 30-game starter as a football player at Stanford. He subsequently received his MBA degree with high distinction from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.  Geoff lives in Spartanburg.

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Founding Board Members

  • Anna Kate Hipp Philanthropist and Liberty Fellowship Co-founder

  • Hayne Hipp Liberty Fellowship Co-founder and Chair Emeritus

  • Benjamin Dunlap Former President - Wofford College

  • Walter Isaacson Former President and CEO - the Aspen Institute

  • Philip Lader Former United States Ambassador to the Court of St. James and Partner - Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough

  • Anne Graham Masters Former Medical Director and Owner - The Perinatal Center

  • Francis P. Mood Retired from Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, P.A. and SCANA Corporation

  • Michael C. Riordan Retired Co-CEO, Prisma Health

  • William (Billy) Webster IV Director – Co-founder and former CEO, Advance America; Trustee- Washington & Lee University

  • David H. Wilkins Former United States Ambassador to Canada and Partner - Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough