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Published on July 1st, 2015 | by Millennium Magazine Staff


City Manager Teresa Wilson Selected for Liberty Fellowship’s 12th Class

A fighter pilot, an award winning novelist and a state attorney general. These are a few of the “firsts” represented by the newest class of Liberty Fellows. Dynamic and diverse, these 22 Fellows are standout leaders in the business, government and nonprofit sectors.

“When I consider these Fellows individually, I see women and men who know what they want and deliberately go after it. There’s no sitting on the sidelines, waiting on someone to lead,” said Hayne Hipp, who co-founded Liberty Fellowship with his wife, Anna Kate. “While this propensity to make things happen has served them well in their careers and community engagement, imagine the potential for South Carolina as they work collectively for the good of the state.”

For the lifelong experience, Liberty Fellowship recruits diverse leaders and immerses them in four seminars over a two-year period. Challenge of Leadership, the first seminar, sets the stage for Fellows to consider not only how they lead, but why they lead. Through Socratic, round table discussions, Fellows reflect on what makes a just society, thereby deepening knowledge, broadening perspectives and enhancing their ability to tackle issues. A highlight of the program, the Globalization Seminar has Liberty Fellows interacting with Fellows from the Aspen Global Leadership Network in locations such as Jordan, India and China. Other key components for each Fellow are being paired with a mentor and committing to a leadership project focused on South Carolina.

“Our never-ending pursuit of growing the leadership capacity in South Carolina to benefit South Carolina takes huge strides with this group,” commented Luanne Runge, Associate Executive Director.  “Fellows in this 12th class are passionate about South Carolina and intent on discovering their place in solving the pressing challenges facing the state.”

“I am honored to be selected as a Liberty Fellow along with such an esteemed group of individuals,” stated City Manager Teresa Wilson, “It is a privilege to serve the City of Columbia and I look forward to the wealth of knowledge that the Liberty Fellowship will provide in order to further my professional growth and development.”

These are the Liberty Fellows for the Class of 2017:

Tally Parham Casey, Shareholder – Wyche, P.A./Lt. Col. – U.S. Air Force Reserves; Columbia

Christine Crawford, Owner/Operator – D&G Management; North Augusta

Nate DaPore, President, CEO & Founder – PeopleMatter; Charleston

Sean Dogan, Pastor – Long Branch Baptist Church; Greenville

Stanfield Gray, Founder & CEO – DIG SOUTH Interactive Festival; Charleston

Brice Hipp, Board Chair – Upstate Forever/ Yoga Instructor – Southern Om; Greenville

Melanie Huggins, Executive Director – Richland Library; Columbia

George C. Johnson, Partner – Johnson, Toal & Battiste, P.A.; General Counsel & Licensed Funeral Director – Leevy’s Funeral Home; Columbia

Wim Kellett, Co-owner – Piedmont Hospice/ Partner – The Conservation Process; Mt. Pleasant

Heather Mitchell, President/Architect – The Boudreaux Group; Columbia

John D. Montgomery, V.P. of Real Estate – Pacolet Milliken Enterprises, Inc.; Spartanburg

Rose Buyck Newton, Executive Officer, Vice Chair of the Board & V.P./Marketing Officer – Bank of Clarendon; Bluffton

Mandy Powers Norrell, Attorney & Partner – Norrell & Powers Norrell, LLC; Member, S.C. House of Representatives; Lancaster

Ted Pitts, CEO & President – S.C. Chamber of Commerce/Major – S.C. Army National Guard; Columbia

Ben Rex, CEO – Cyberwoven; Columbia

Cheryl Stanton, Executive Director – S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce; Columbia

Michel Stone, Author/Fiction Writer; Spartanburg

Matthew Van Patton, President & CEO – Levity, LLC; Greenville

Letitia Verdin, Circuit Court Judge – 13th Judicial Circuit; Greenville

Alan Wilson, Attorney General – State of South Carolina; Columbia

Teresa Wilson, City Manager – City of Columbia; Columbia

Stephen J. Wukela, Attorney – Wukela Law Firm/Mayor of Florence; Florence

View details here.

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:



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