Women We Admire is pleased to announce The Top 50 Women Leaders of South Carolina for 2022. This group of esteemed individuals are experts in their industry, driving the economy forward economically, educationally, socially, and environmentally. Many are leading at well-established organizations while others are focusing their efforts and energy on growing startup companies. South Carolina is a unique state with a rich history and home to many women role models who are inspiring future leaders to come.
Among this year’s awardees is Marjorie Jenkins, Chief Academic Officer of Prisma Health, who uses her expertise in biomedical research, clinical care, and FDA regulatory affairs to lead the health care organization’s academia; Kim O'Quinn, Corporate Vice President of Marketing for Mungo Homes, who responsible for coordinating all marketing, advertising, and public relations activities for the company’s ever growing markets in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia; and Jennifer Bath, President and CEO of ImmunoPrecise Antibodies, who dedicates herself to leading the global technology platform in discovering and developing therapies against any disease.
This year’s awardees span across all industries but remain equally dedicated to the individuals and markets they serve. Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of The Top 50 Women Leaders of South Carolina for 2022.
3. Kim O'Quinn
Corporate VP of Marketing, Mungo Homes
Kim O'Quinn is the Corporate Vice President of Marketing for Mungo Homes. She first joined the company in 2004. In her role, O'Quinn is responsible for coordinating all marketing, advertising, and public relations activities for all markets throughout South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia. O'Quinn has assisted in growing the company from the 131st largest builder in the country with $150M in revenue in 2005, to the 35th largest builder with revenue of more than $600M in 2019. O'Quinn was instrumental in the successful writing of the application that garnered Mungo Homes the National Housing Quality Award in 2008. Similarly, she was successful with the application process when Mungo Homes was honored by Builder magazine as America's Best Builder in 2012.
O'Quinn is involved in not only marketing, but also product development, model home merchandising, realtor relations, and community & industry involvement. She is a member of the Building Industry Association of Central SC, where she was named the 2016 BIA Associate Member of the Year, and previously served as Associates Vice President on the Board of Directors; is a member of and previous Board Chair of the BIA Sales & Marketing Council and was named the 2016 SMC Member of the Year. In addition, O'Quinn is a repeat winner of the SMC Marketing Director of the Year, including for 2016, 2017, and 2018; and serves as secretary on the BIA Charitable Foundation Scholarship Selection Committee. O'Quinn earned an undergraduate degree in English from Converse University.
4. Tracie Broom
Co-Founding Partner & Chief Strategy Officer, Flock and Rally
Tracie Broom began her professional career over 23 years ago. Today, she is the Co-Founding Partner and Chief Strategy Officer of Flock and Rally. Founded in 2010, Flock and Rally is a full-service, women-owned creative agency based in Columbia, South Carolina. The firm integrates branding, public relations, marketing, traditional advertising, digital advertising, social media and more into campaigns for a diverse base of clients, ranging from local nonprofits to large-scale businesses. Serving industry sectors ranging from hospitality, lifestyle and tourism to business, technology, real estate, economic development and more, Flock and Rally’s mission is to rally the community around great ideas. They build new brands from the ground up, take success stories to the next level, and keep clients at top of mind with target audiences, utilizing best practices and data-driven insight across a variety of services.
Prior to co-founding Flock and Rally in 2010, Broom lived and worked in San Francisco as a writer, editor, and event planner for more than a decade, serving clients such as CNET, Toyota, Splendora, Spa Magazine, Hilton, AOL, The Rickshaw Stop, Daily Candy SF, and more. Broom graduated from Wesleyan University with an undergraduate degree in dance choreography and performance.
5. Catherine Black
Partner, Industrial, Consumer and Board Practices, Odgers Berndtson
Catherine Bass Black is a Partner in Odgers Berndtson's Industrial, Consumer, Board, and Leadership Practices. She has combined expertise in business consulting and talent management, recruitment and retention strategy, employee relations, and organizational change management. Black also serves as a core member of the CHRO practice.
Prior to joining Odgers, Black was head of talent acquisition and the director of community affairs at Bass Pro Shops Group, leading national recruitment and corporate affairs for their diversified businesses including retail, e-commerce, manufacturing, and hospitality. Previously, she was a senior associate at Korn Ferry as a member of the Industrial and Technology practices. An avid community participant, she was the recipient of Springfield Business Journal 40 under 40 Award in 2018 and Atlanta’s Power 30 Under 30 Award in 2009. She has served on numerous non-profit boards and in 2021 was honored as Distinguished Young Alumnus by Sewanee. Black earned an MBA with a concentration in management strategy and organizational design from Emory University Goizueta Business School, and a BA from Sewanee, The University of the South, where she graduated cum laude.
7. Channa Williams
Interim Chief Financial Officer, Charleston County School District
Channa Williams is Interim Chief Financial Officer for Charleston County School District. As a successful financial executive with more than 19 years of experience in corporate, nonprofit and government sectors, Williams offers a wealth of knowledge, experience, and financial leadership in the areas of budget, finance, accounting, capital investment, treasury, risk, and audit management.
After receiving her MBA in accounting and international finance, Williams led financial operations across various public, nonprofit, and private entities. Focusing on effective and efficient financial operations and business practices, Williams has managed the $85M financial operations for Baltimore City Community College. She has also managed the $250M financial operations for national charter network, Achievement First, serving as VP and controller. In addition, she has managed the $1.3B budget for Baltimore City Public Schools as director of budget and strategy & performance management. Williams’ management portfolio also includes, directing Baltimore City’s $3B Water, Wastewater and Stormwater capital budgets - accounting for ~80% of the City’s total capital budget. Complementing her work in Baltimore City, she’s also developed automated database solutions and accounting practices for the Department of Homeland Security, focused on financial revenue recovery operations as a management partner at UPS and spearheaded various financial components for the SC&H Group. Williams graduated from Morgan State University with an MBA and an undergraduate degree in political science and finance
8. Vicki Peek
Executive Vice President, Find Great People (FGP)
Vicki Peek is the Executive Vice President of Find Great People (FGP), providing leadership that has been a catalyst in the organization’s sustained growth. FGP’s culture is built on three G’s: Great, Growth, and Gratitude. As a Best Place to Work in South Carolina (11 years), a South Carolina Top Workplace (ranked #9), and one of America’s Best Recruitment Firms (recognized by Forbes 5 consecutive years), FGP has proven success in developing an organization focused on its greatest asset – great people! Peek utilizes her leadership capabilities within the organization and as leader of the Consulting division, externally with clients. She leads various engagements to include executive leadership coaching and development, talent assessment and analysis, HR analytics, and organizational design. Peek partners with organizations of all sizes and industries in solving business problems through the recruitment, development, and retention of great talent.
Prior to joining FGP as their COO, Peek taught business at the college level, with a concentration on human resources and management. Today, she continues to mentor young professionals in their career growth. She has a master’s degree in human resource development from Clemson University and an undergraduate degree in business education from Bob Jones University. Peek is committed to her local community, volunteering her time to help others as well as serving on several nonprofit boards.
11. Marjorie Jenkins
Chief Academic Officer, Prisma Health
Marjorie Jenkins is the Chief Academic Officer of Prisma Health. She first joined the hospital in 2019. Prisma Health is the largest not-for-profit health organization in South Carolina, serving more than 1.2 million patients annually. They are dedicated to improving the health of all South Carolinians through improved clinical quality, access to care and patient experience, while also addressing the rising cost of health care.
In addition to her roles with Prisma Health, Jenkins is an associate provost and dean of the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. She previously served as a professor with Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and as a director of the Scientific and Medical Programs and the FDA. Jenkins also served as the chief scientific officer and executive director for Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health. She graduated from East Tennessee State University with an MD, from Tennessee Technological University with an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering and from Johns Hopkins University with a master’s degree in education in the health professions.
12. Barbara Collins
Co-Founder, Together Women Rise
Barbara Fintel Collins is Co-Founder of Together Women Rise (formerly Dining for Women), the largest giving circle dedicated to advancing gender equality and well-being for women and girls around the world. Since 2003, Together Women Rise has grown from one founding chapter in Greenville, SC, to 400 spread across the country, amassing $10 million in small gifts, and awarding 250 grants to partnering organizations in 60 countries. These grants have impacted the lives of 3 million women and girls and have sent a powerful ripple effect within their families, communities, and countries.
Under her leadership, Together Women Rise has initiated partnerships with the Peace Corps, UNICEF, OXFAM, and Peace is Loud. In 2014, Barb was named an Everyday Freedom Hero by the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, and in 2017, she was named a SHEro Phenomenal Philanthropist by SHEGreenville. Barb is the author of Love, Norm, a book that tells the story of her father, who spent a miraculous nine-month remission crafting a message of hope for the world he was leaving behind. Following in his footsteps, Barb lives to carry on his legacy by inspiring individuals to lead transformational change. Barb and her husband Greg live in Greenville, South Carolina, and have two adult daughters, three grandchildren, and a gentle husky Annie.
View the complete list of awardees.
13. Rachel Cogar Yeakley
Founder, RCY Ventures
Rachel Cogar Yeakley is a global business consultant who guides companies, and the people who power them, through periods of hyper-growth. For the past 20 years, Rachel has helped clients discover their brand’s true story, integrate purpose & impact into their organization’s DNA, and better position their companies for VC funding, mergers, and acquisitions.
With a background in BioMed & FinTech, Rachel discovered her true passion is to deliver profit-driven processes to C-Suites, emerging industry leaders, and international organizations looking to scale. Before launching The Profit Accelerator, a series of sales & marketing courses favored by high-performance teams, Rachel served as CEO of Puma Creative — an award-winning creative agency that specialized in rapidly growing tech companies. Yeakley’s purpose-first methodology has earned her multiple Marketing Excellence Awards from industry peers, platinum partnership levels with SaaS leaders, and billions in additional revenue for her clients. When she’s not in the boardroom, she’s relaxing in nature with her husband, three children, and the world’s best furry boys, Huck & Finn.
15. Michelle Clark
Founder & President, Carolina Premier Window Films
Michelle Clark is the Founder and President of Carolina Premier Window Films. She started in the window film industry in 2005 working for a dealer in the Hilton Head, SC market. In 2008, she made the decision to move to Charlotte, NC so she could follow her dreams of owning her own company. Clark is the driving force at Carolina Premier Window Films. She has diligently worked to take care of the customers and business partners. Her focus is on helping customers find the best solutions to fit their needs, not just making a sale. Clark’s integrity to do what she says, when she says, shows through to Carolina Premier Window Films even when life events happen. She always strives to provide the best products available and has become a leader in a field dominated by men. Her knowledge and understanding of the window film products far outweigh many in the industry.
Clark’s expertise has been sought out by many in the industry. She puts her heart and soul into Carolina Premier Window Films, setting her on a course to overcome any challenges that may come.
16. Amanda Fowler
Chief Executive Officer, Pathway Hospice
Amanda Fowler brings more than 25 years of healthcare experience to the table. As a registered nurse, Fowler has a strong background in the medical sciences and a passion for caring. Her experience in residential care, memory care and hospice drove her to become the CEO of Pathway Hospice, where she believes she can make the biggest impact on a person's life. Fowler promotes education among her team members and provides them with training, enabling them to give the best care possible to their patients. At Pathway Hospice, Fowler ensures that every patient receives the highest quality of care.
Before joining Pathway Hospice, Fowler was a clinical nurse educator at Allied Health Resources and before that an executive director at Schonberg & Associates. Earlier in her career she worked with Greenville Health System as a registered nurse. Fowler graduated from Walden University with an MHA in business administration and management, and from Greenville Technical College with an undergraduate degree in nursing.
17. Lisa Ouellette
President & Co-Founder, JCL Aviation Services
Lisa Ouellette is an experienced aviation insurance specialist who has spent over 25 years designing, placing, and servicing a wide range of insurance programs for general aviation customers throughout the country. She currently holds CAIP Gold Status from the Aviation Insurance Industry (AIA). In January 2008, Ouellette co-founded JCL Aviation Services to bring an even higher level of service to each and every customer. She is a results-oriented professional with excellent communication and organizational skills and strong commitment to customer satisfaction.
Ouellette started her insurance career as an underwriter for Associated Aviation Underwriters, but quickly moved to the brokerage side of the industry preferring to be an advocate for aviation clients. Her focus has always been on customer service and obtaining the best results for clients. Ouellette graduated from Bowling Green State University with an undergraduate degree in aerotechnology.
18. Meghan Rowe
Co-Owner, Co-Founder & CEO, White Leaf Provisions
Meghan Rowe is the Co-Owner, Co-Founder and CEO of White Leaf Provisions. The daughter of serial entrepreneurs, Rowe grew up surrounded by and working for her family's businesses, assisting and interning wherever she could, including notably a snack foods company that her parents created and sold to Pepperidge Farm. While living abroad for many years for her education and career in photography, Rowe became very aware of the high standards that the European Union holds for food, products, and their ingredients. The birth of her son Keegan inspired her and her husband, Keith to help bring the Regenerative Organic, and Biodynamic® CPG space into the mainstream in the US. She began White Leaf Provisions due to her love of Biodynamic and Organic products and their impact on human and planet health. She is driven every day to share the regenerative difference with others, especially parents and growing families like her own.
Rowe graduated from the University of Vermont with an undergraduate degree in fine arts and art history.
19. Wendy York
Dean of Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business, Clemson University
Wendy York is the first female to serve as Dean of the newly named Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business at Clemson University. She is responsible for creating the innovative strategic vision that is propelling the university upward in national academic prominence and unprecedented philanthropic support. York oversees all academic, administrative, fundraising, and financial management functions for the college’s 6,000 undergraduate and graduate students and 300 faculty and staff. Clemson University is a tier-one Carnegie R1 research institution in South Carolina committed to graduating the purpose-driven leaders of tomorrow.
Prior to her current role, York served at Stanford Business School as associate dean and executive director of Centers & Initiatives, Research, Curriculum and Learning Experiences (CIRCLE) supporting innovative research and curriculum. Prior to that, she had a successful business career as a serial entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and leader for profit and nonprofit organizations. York holds an undergraduate degree from Stanford University with honors in international relations, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
20. Darnell Lattal
CEO & President, ABA Technologies
Darnell Lattal currently serves as Chief Executive Officer and President of ABA Technologies, a company dedicated to disseminating online learning through the content and courses of behavior analysis. The company is always seeking new ways to reach people around the world through strategies of change designed from a behavior-based foundation. She also owns Context Management, providing private consulting and coaching, including strategy implementation, behavioral systems redesign, and leadership development.
Lattal ’s professional contributions have included public school and university teaching, rural mental health practice, clinical private practice, and working for the provost and President of a higher education institution. She has written several books on ethics and issues of management inside companies. She has served on the executive boards of two national groups dedicated to reducing violence in America. She continues to serve on numerous boards including The Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies. In 2017, collaborating with Aubrey Daniels, they finished a book through Sloan Publishing titled Life's a PIC/NIC ... when you understand behavior. They have revised that book through Performance Management Publications in 2019, now called Live a Better Life to achieve personal and social change. She is currently interested in advancing learning architecture to corporations and online learning internationally. Lattal received her PhD in clinical psychology and behavioral systems from West Virginia University.
View the complete list of awardees.
23. Rhem Galloway
Owner & Chief Brand Leader, TŌDEM
Rhem Galloway is the Owner and Chief Brand Leader of TŌDEM. As Chief Brand Leader, Galloway has her hands in nearly every aspect of TŌDEM. At TŌDEM, they provide an inside-out transformative approach to branding with a focus on purpose, people, and beautiful design. Their passion, curiosity, and commitment to inside-out branding ignites positive change in organizations that is meaningful, impactful, and long-lasting. Galloway’s favorite part of the job is one-on-one time with clients and seeing hard work pay off when a project comes to life.
Previously, Galloway was an adjunct professor for Furman University and a designer for Brains on Fire. She graduated from the University of South Carolina with an undergraduate degree in graphic design.
25. Saundra Kandler
Chief Operating Officer & Chief Financial Officer, Keller Williams Realty
Saundra Kandler began her professional career 21 years ago. Today, she is the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Keller Williams Connected. Keller Williams Realty is the world’s largest real estate franchise by agent count and largest in the U.S. by units sold and sales volume, with over 1,000 offices in 52 regions globally.
Kandler first got her start in 2000 as a bookkeeper at Legal Assistants and Land Title Services. From there, she went on to SAEDACCO where she served as an accounting assistant. She has held multiple positions within sales operations and accounting with companies like Time Warner Cable, Combined Insurance and Web Analytics Central. She has been coaching real estate professionals and brokerage leaders to build profitable businesses and legacies for 6.5 years with MAPS Coaching and most recently, Forward Coaching. She’s worked with over 4,200 Real Estate agents as a speaker, leader, and coach over the past 8 years resulting in several Million Dollar+ Revenue Real Estate businesses being grown and hundreds of thousands of dollars being donated back to communities all over the world. Kandler graduated from Limestone University with an undergraduate degree in accounting.
26. Stephanie Yarbrough
Partner, Womble Bond Dickinson
Stephanie Yarbrough is a Partner at Womble Bond Dickinson. Investigate South Carolina’s largest economic development deals of the past 20 years, and chances are Yarbrough played a role in making them happen. One of the biggest assets she brings to clients is her familiarity with local and state decision-makers throughout the Southeast, and particularly in South Carolina, where she has previously served as the City of Charleston’s Director of Economic Development. In fact, when the New York Times profiled Charleston’s economic development boom in 2017, Yarbrough was one of the local leaders the Times turned to for insight.
Yarbrough works closely with domestic and international companies seeking to expand or relocate operations to the Carolinas and the Southeastern United States. Her philosophy is to invest in her clients from the outset in order to build long-term partnerships for the future. She has extensive experience advising companies across a wide range of industries, including life sciences, retail & consumer, manufacturing, and software/technology. Her efforts on behalf of clients have led to the creation of thousands of new jobs and billions of dollars in new investments. During the recent COVID-19 economic downturn, she worked to help clients stabilize their businesses. Yarbrough works with new and expanding businesses in identifying and negotiating all aspects of a complete incentive package, advocating before the proper entities during all phases of the incentive approval process, and drafting all related documentation for Fee-in-Lieu of Tax Agreements, state grants, job tax credits, job development credits, utility grants and many other economic development incentives and grants. She also advises clients in general tax and corporate matters. Additionally, Yarbrough works side by side with leading consulting firms and large law firms as local counsel on economic development deals where her local knowledge and tenacity can be critical to getting deals done. As a recognized thought leader in the economic development space, she is frequently sought after to speak at local and national industry conferences and regularly publishes articles and insights for her clients and the community.
28. Laura Patrick
Co-Owner & Chief Marketing Officer, Bay Street Biergarten
Laura Patrick is an attorney, entrepreneur, producer, and marketing specialist who has held a life-long interest in the arts, journalism, and hospitality. A native of Charleston, SC, Patrick grew up surrounded by her family’s conservation efforts and contributions to the local art scene, where she built a passion for philanthropy, her community, and supporting creative endeavors. After receiving a degree in mass media and marketing from College of Charleston, Patrick graduated from the University of San Diego School of Law with a concentration in intellectual property.
Today, Patrick is Co-Owner and the Chief Marketing Officer of Bay Street Biergarten, a restaurant she opened with two partners in Charleston, SC 8 years ago. She is also an Operating Partner of Patrick Properties Hospitality Group (PPHG), Charleston's premier event company, and an Executive Producer and In-House Counsel for 4Corners Productions. Patrick is also the creator and co-host of "Next Page," a podcast produced by 4Corners about overcoming trauma. She is also involved with a variety of local charities but is particularly passionate about the South Carolina American Lung Association and will be competing as a dancer in their annual "Oxygen Ball - Dancing with the Stars" fundraising event this summer and has raised over $30,000 (and counting!) for the ALA this year.
34. Susan Kammeraad-Campbell
Publisher & Editor in Chief, Joggling Board Press
Susan Kammeraad-Campbell is the Publisher and Editor in Chief of Joggling Board Press (JBP), an independent press dedicated to the publication of books in the spirit of the south. Under her leadership, JBP has become a critically acclaimed publisher of books of history, photography, nature and memoir, and titles that consistently earn top national awards.
Kammeraad-Campbell has mentored more than 40 interns and apprentices in the literary arts and taught hundreds through workshops and master classes in writing and creative thinking, using innovative methods that bypass the usual approaches to teaching writing. Her work as a medical journalist at the Medical University of South Carolina sparked her interest in neurology, a pursuit that gave her insight into how the brain works, specifically how we tap our most creative thoughts and what triggers memory and gives us pause to recalibrate a memory through the portal of reflection. Her techniques have proven to work again and again to spirit writers to delve into the deepest crevices of their creative minds. Kammeraad-Campbell has been a community organizer, Main Street manager, and a researcher and analyst working with the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Oakridge National Lab, the Riley Center for Livable Communities, the Community and Regional Resilience Institute and local and county governments. She was a key player in the case study evaluating the resilience of Charleston, SC, and a member of the core writing team developing a national framework for community resilience. She worked as a newspaper reporter for United Press International and for newspapers in the Midwest, New England, and the South. Her book Doc: Dennis Littky's Fight for a Better School became an NBC movie called A Town Torn Apart. Kammeraad-Campbell is the co-author of Edisto River: Black Water Crown Jewel, winner of seven national awards including the best nonfiction book of the year by Foreword Reviews.
35. Sheryl McAlister
Senior Director of Community Development, USTA South Carolina
Sheryl McAlister has extensive experience in corporate communications, journalism, advocacy and in the non-profit arena. She is an Adjunct Professor at Columbia College, a blogger and is the Senior Director of Community Development & Advocacy at the U.S. Tennis Association in South Carolina. Her blog, Old Broad & New Trix, features personal essays and musings of a 60-something in a digital world.
She served as an SVP and a corporate PR executive for Bank of America and was based in Charlotte. In addition, she was an SVP in global compliance with the bank for 2 additional years. Throughout her nearly 20-year career at Bank of America, she was involved in many of the company’s brand-defining events. She has held leadership positions throughout her career and has experience in C-suite executive relations, brand development, media relations, crisis communications, advocacy, strategic planning, internal communications, team building, management, writing and editing. McAlister served on Bank of America’s Corporate Diversity Executive Council and co-chaired the committee which redefined diversity beyond race and gender. She also served on the company's Business Continuity Executive Team, which developed and coordinated the company's response to natural and man-made disasters. A former sportswriter and editor, she was also executive director of The Alliance for Women. McAlister holds a master’s degree in organizational change and leadership and an undergraduate degree in communications with a minor in physical education. She has extensive civic, board, and volunteer experience in both SC and NC. McAlister is a graduate of Leadership Charlotte, the Women’s Campaign School at Yale, and USC's Culinary Institute. She holds a Six Sigma Green Belt and 3 National Restaurant Association certifications. Her essay "The Ultimate Selfie" was selected for inclusion in the chapbook The Collective I, published by Gallery West.
37. Christine Greenleaf
Director of Underwriting Analytics, Brighthouse Financial
Chris Greenleaf leads the underwriting data analytics function at Brighthouse Financial. Chris’s team is committed to advancing data-driven digital underwriting, enhancing the customer experience, and refining mortality and risk insights. Beyond underwriting analytics, Chris is passionate about shifting business culture and mindset to be data-driven and considers herself to be a “data evangelist.”
Over the course of her career in insurance, Chris has served numerous roles of increasing responsibility related to analytics and product management, previously with MassMutual and Guardian Life. Chris earned her MBA from Duke University and her undergraduate degree in mathematics and economics from Smith College. She also holds an executive certificate in Embedding Strategic Excellence from Columbia University. She is an active volunteer with Heart Math Tutoring.
View the complete list of awardees.
38. Cristina Reyes Smith
Assistant Professor & Director of Admissions, Medical University of South Carolina
Cristina Reyes Smith is an Assistant Professor and Director of Admissions in the MUSC College of Health Professions Division of Occupational Therapy. She has over 15 years of experience and has expertise in community health promotion, program development, and leadership development with a focus on access to care for underserved communities. Smith has conducted presentations and published manuscripts locally, nationally, and internationally for topics including holistic admissions, workforce diversity, cultural competence and sensitivity, and related themes.
In addition to her roles with MUSC, Smith serves as a director on the American Occupational Therapy Association Board of Directors and on the editorial board of the Journal of Occupational Therapy Education, and recently joined the Standing for Research Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Committee of the American Occupational Therapy Foundation. She serves as the chair of the MUSC Faculty Senate Institutional Advancement Committee. She also coordinates multiple annual events through the Medical University of South Carolina including the MUSC Culturally Sensitive Care Program and the Septima P. Clark Poetry Contest for children and youth across the state of South Carolina. Smith is a graduate of the Occupational Therapy Doctorate program at Thomas Jefferson University and the Masters in Occupational Therapy program at the Medical University of South Carolina.
40. Kristi Alu
Director of Early Career Talent & University Programs, Blackbaud
Kristi Alu is the Director of Early Career Talent & University Programs at Blackbaud. In this role, she aims to further build Blackbaud’s diverse pipeline of future leaders and lead dynamic early career talent programs that align with the company’s strategic goals in powering social good.
Outside of her work in Talent Acquisition, Kristi currently serves as Executive Sponsor of the Social Impact Champions affinity group at Blackbaud. She is also the Co-Chair of DEI at NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers), and volunteers her time at the Charleston Mental Health Center. Kristi obtained a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from UNCA, and most recently completed her master’s in HR Development and Organizational Psychology from Villanova University.
41. Kate Buckholz
Director of Program Management, BillGO
Kate Buckholz is the Director of Program Management for BillGO. She first joined the company in 2021. BillGO’s award-winning bill management and payments platform enables individuals to fully manage their day-to-day bills and subscriptions all in one place while offering a more efficient way to send and receive payments. By combining the power of speed, choice, and intelligence, BillGO empowers consumers and the financial institutions, fintechs, and billers that serve them. In her role, Buckholz leads the Program Management Office for mid-sized startups where she is responsible for creating standards in areas like internal and external facing program management, tools, playbooks, ceremonies, intake, hypercare, and more.
Previously, Buckholz was a senior manager of payment services at Blackbaud and before that, a VP of advancement at Carolina Youth Development Center. Earlier in her career she worked with New York University as an assistant director of recruiting and employer services. Buckholz earned an MA in international education from New York University and an undergraduate degree in psychology and philosophy from Seattle University.
42. Chantel Greenfield
System Director of Talent Acquisition, Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System
Chantel Greenfield is a Green Belt and a leader in healthcare talent acquisition with proven recruitment strategies that accelerate hiring processes for large healthcare systems with regional and nation-wide footprints.
After obtaining an undergraduate degree in communication and political science with Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, VA, Greenfield started her career in sales and communications but recruitment has been a part of her job for 20 years. By 2008, she was established on an elite recruiting team training teams and training-the-trainers on the best practices of elite recruiting strategies. Starting in 2012, she held various HR/recruiting leadership positions for nation-wide healthcare companies across various markets until she was hired in 2019 as the System Director of Talent Acquisition for Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System reporting to the Senior VP of HR. She currently directs a team of 28 healthcare recruiting professionals that have increased hires and overall productivity by 200% under her leadership. Her strategic vision not only includes predictive hiring/analytics across the organization but has led to the creation of scalable processes that will position the nonprofit healthcare system to be regionally competitive in the market. Greenfield changed the face of how her organization approached recruitment, increasing their out-of-state hires by more than 100%. While Greenfield is known for her influence and thoughtful leadership, she will not hesitate to roll up her sleeves and work alongside her teams to get the job done.
43. Kathy Lewis
Director of Strategic Impact, Berenyi Incorporated
Kathy Lewis is the Director of Strategic Impact for Berenyi Incorporated. Berenyi Incorporated has expanded continuously since 1989 to become a leading structural, architectural, industrial design, and construction management firm. Relying upon a diverse staff of talented engineers and architects, Berenyi continues to produce successful projects through exceptional teamwork, thoughtful design, and responsible project management. In addition to her roles with Berenyi Incorporated, Lewis is the CEO of The Promise Group Consulting and the Founder and Leader of Why Not Charleston.
In her roles, Lewis provides a range of consultation services to executive leaders and senior management on the development and implementation of key strategies and training for creating and sustaining a high performing organization. She works collaboratively at organization and division levels to ensure continuous improvement of performance. Lewis also creates and implements staff development programs that support the organization’s succession planning objectives and foster a highly effective management and leadership structure. She graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with an undergraduate degree in education and from the College of Charleston with a master’s degree in behavioral sciences.
44. Meg Wynne
Marketing Director & Luxury Collection Specialist, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Bay Street Realty Group
Meg Wynne is a Marketing Director and Luxury Collection Specialist with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Bay Street Realty Group, a real estate firm located in Beaufort, SC. Being a Real Estate Expert comes naturally for Wynne. She brings her knowledge of design and the building industry to the table when helping her clients buy or sell in the lowcountry. Wynne uses the most innovative tools and stays up to date with the latest technology in the industry.
Wynne first got her start in 2014 as a teacher at Charleston County School District. In addition to her roles in real estate, she dedicates her time volunteering with Historic Beaufort Foundation, Junior Service League of Beaufort, and CAPA. Wynne is a graduate of the University of South Carolina where she received an undergraduate degree in education.
45. Melissa Broom
Director of Marketing & Public Relations, PassiveInvesting.com
Melissa Broom is the Director of Marketing and Public Relations for PassiveInvesting.com. Broom’s role with the company is to direct all marketing and public relations strategies, manage the promotion of the brand to engage new investors and to work alongside the team to distribute property proposals and updates for current investors. She also evaluates property marketing materials to determine if a different marketing strategy should be implemented. Broom first joined the company in 2019.
Prior to joining PassiveInvesting.com, Broom was the director of communication at Consolidated Multiple Listing Service and a marketing and public relations director at NAI Columbia. She earned an undergraduate degree in design and visual.
46. Janet Niekamp
Director of Information Technology, Motley Rice
Janet Niekamp is the Director of Information Technology for Motley Rice, one of the nation's largest plaintiffs' litigation firms. She is consistently recognized as an excellent resource to improve organizational effectiveness and efficiency through personal and team contributions. She brings focus to aligning business processes and IT to realize cost savings, accelerated performance, and a competitive advantage. Niekamp is recognized as a leader, coach, and facilitator in a wide variety of business critical, high-performance roles. She has a reputation with her customers as a highly motivated, results oriented leader, focused on delivering outstanding client service while driving continuous business process improvement and cost reductions.
Niekamp has an extensive background in manufacturing, health care, and legal verticals. Prior to joining Motley Rice, she served as the system director of IS infrastructure for Memorial Medical Center. Earlier in her career she held the role of director of global IT infrastructure for PPG Industries. Niekamp earned an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh.
View the complete list of awardees.
47. Pelin Pekgun
Associate Professor & Faculty Director, University of South Carolina
Pelin Pekgun is an Associate Professor of Management Science in the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina. She also serves as the Faculty Director of the Master of Science in Business Analytics program at the Darla Moore School of Business. She was formerly a visiting assistant professor in the Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering at Georgia Tech. She received MS. and PhD degrees in industrial and systems engineering from Georgia Tech, and BS and MS degrees in industrial engineering from Bogazici University.
Prior to joining academia, Dr. Pekgun led the operations research team in North America at JDA Software’s Pricing and Revenue Management Group, where she worked on a variety of projects. Her work with the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group on stay night price optimization was a finalist for the 2012 INFORMS Franz Edelman Award and the 2013 INFORMS Revenue Management and Pricing Section Practice Award. Dr. Pekgun’s research interests include applications of management science and operations research in supply chain management, pricing and revenue management, marketing/operations interface, and humanitarian operations. Her research has appeared in Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, Production and Operations Management, Journal of Operations Management, Decision Sciences, INFORMS Journal on Applied Analytics and IIE Transactions. Additionally, Dr. Pekgun currently serves as an Associate Editor for Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, Decision Sciences and INFORMS Journal on Applied Analytics (IJAA), and the Editor of the annual IJAA Special Issue for the Edelman Award finalist papers. She also serves as the VP of Membership and Professional Recognition in the INFORMS Board of Directors, and a Board member for the INFORMS Section on Practice.
48. Kaia Vaughn
Senior Director of Web Development, RingoFire
Kaia Vaughn has over 10 years of web development and design experience with specialization in WordPress and Elementor. She began her career before graduating cum laude at ECPI University in 2012. She started as a graphic designer at a software development company and moved up to web developer before joining the marketing world in 2018.
50. Nika White
President & CEO, Nika White Consulting
Dr. Nika White is a national authority and fearless advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion. As an award-winning management and leadership consultant, keynote speaker, published author, and executive practitioner for DEI efforts across business, government, non-profit and education, Dr. White helps organizations break barriers and integrate diversity into their business frameworks. Her work has led to designation by Forbes as a Top10 D&I Trailblazer.
White is a graduate of the University of Phoenix where she earned a doctorate in management in organizational leadership and a master’s degree in education and adult learning. She earned an undergraduate degree in journalism & mass communications and advertising & public relations from the University of South Carolina.
View the complete list of awardees.