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Mandatory Credit: Photo by Bruce Smith/AP/Shutterstock (5913878b) Gov. Nikki Haley listens while Mike Brenan, the past chairman of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, delivers the chamber's endorsement of the Republican governor during an appearance in Ladson, S.C., on . Four years ago, the chamber endorsed state Sen. Vincent Sheheen, who Haley again faces this year in a rematch of their 2010 gubernatorial race. Brenan said that Haley is right on all the issues important to the chamber Governors Race, Ladson, USA

Mike Brenan, Regional President, Truist, named Columbia Chamber’s 2021 Ambassador of the Year.

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The Columbia Chamber will honor Michael “Mike” Brenan the Chamber’s 118th Annual Gala, presented by BlueCross® BlueShield® of South Carolina, Thursday, October 7, 2021.

The Ambassador of the Year Award, sponsored by Colonial Life, is presented to a member of the community who exemplifies outstanding business ethics and has influenced positive promotion and preservation of the greater Midlands.

“The Annual Gala allows the Chamber to recognize individuals who make a positive impact in the business and local community,” said Carl Blackstone, Columbia Chamber President and CEO. “There are very few that have had as much influence in our area as Mike Brenan. A dedicated steward of the Midlands, Mike recognizes the importance of being a good public servant. Mike makes sure that he, personally and through his work with Truist, tirelessly puts the advancement of the Midlands first.”

With more than 46 years of experience, Mike began his banking career in 1975. In 1994, he became Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of MainStreet Financial Corporation. In 1998 MainStreet was acquired by BB&T Corporation and Mike has been the Regional President in South Carolina since 1999. Mike was named Regional President for the South Carolina Region of the newly formed Truist Financial Corporation in 2019.

An integral part of the betterment of his community, Mike serves in various capacities on numerous boards to include SCBIO, Midlands Business Leadership Group, Palmetto Promise Institute, the Trinity Forum, SC Philharmonic, TransformSC, and the South Carolina Collaborative for Race and Reconciliation. Mike is the Governor’s appointee to the South Carolina State Board of Education and has also received the Business Leader of the Year award from the South Carolina State Chamber of Commerce. In addition, he has received the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the United Way of the Midlands and the Distinguished Service Award from the University of South Carolina.

“Mike’s tireless advocacy for our community and focus on the betterment of the region is tremendous. His passion for our community is evident in his leadership and involvement in so many causes, including education, housing, healthcare and commerce. Colonial Life is honored to support Mike’s recognition as Ambassador of the Year,” said Colonial Life President, Tim Arnold.

Past Ambassador of the Year winners include Pamela Lackey, AT&T; Dawn Staley, University of South Carolina; John W. Folsom, Colliers International; former S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley; Dr. Harris Pastides, University of South Carolina; Bill and Lou Kennedy, Nephron Pharmaceuticals; and Charles D. Beaman Jr., Palmetto Health. Additional 2021 awards include the Young Professional of the Year, Public Servant of the Year, Military Advocate of the Year, and Diplomat of the Year.

For more information about the Gala, please contact Ashleigh Pair Conner, 803.733.1138. To become a Partner or learn more about the Chamber visit

About Columbia Chamber
The Columbia Chamber is a private, nonprofit, Partner-driven organization comprised of 1,200 business enterprises, civic organizations, educational institutions and individuals in Calhoun, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lexington, Newberry and Richland counties. The Columbia Chamber serves as the voice of its Partners and the business community at large on matters of economic, educational, social, cultural and political concern, as well as supports and promotes the success of its Partners through networking, professional development, advocacy, and leadership. The organization has represented the interests of the local business community since 1902.

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