Port Ambassador Program - SC Ports Authority

Port Ambassador Program

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Nomination Process
The Port Ambassador Program consists of delegates nominated by each of the ten SC Ports Review and Oversight Commission (ROCSPA) members, the nine board members and two ex-officio members of the SC Ports Board of Directors, the Chair of Charleston, Berkeley, Dorchester, Dillon and Spartanburg County Councils, and select members of the SC Ports leadership team. The target class size is thirty individuals from around the state with varying professional backgrounds and community engagement.

The program runs September through May; during that time, delegates are exposed to the port and intermodal industry’s inner workings through a series of full and half-day educational sessions and tours. Further, to foster an atmosphere of networking and industry understanding, special events hosted by SC Ports and port partners will include delegates when appropriate.

Increase public awareness and understanding of SC Ports’ strategic plan, ensuring the Port is the preferred top-ten Port in the nation.

Develop a network of graduates to cultivate goodwill, understanding, acceptance, and advocacy from local, state, and federal leaders and community members.

The Port Ambassador Program seeks to educate community leaders on SC Ports’ inner workings, statewide impacts, and opportunities facing the organization. Emerging from a six-year capital investment plan, SC Ports is bringing to fruition its top infrastructure projects: Phase One of the Hugh Leatherman Terminal, the refurbishment and modernization of the Wando Welch Terminal, expansion of Inland Port Greer, and the Charleston Harbor Deepening Project – achieving 52 feet of depth, the deepest on the east coast.

Graduates of the Port Ambassador Program will be a resource for grassroots community efforts to support SC Ports’ goals and mission.

Target Ambassador Criteria
Port Ambassadors are South Carolinians currently exhibiting leadership and influence within their respective sectors of business, philanthropy, or community service. The ideal Ambassador is a busy, involved person who is already making a difference in the economic, cultural, and social quality of life in South Carolina with enough schedule discretion to devote 4-5 days per year to the Port Ambassador program.

Program Implementation
Jordi Yarborough, VP, Statewide Stakeholder and Local Government Engagement, oversees the program, including coordination of all sessions and activities, communication with participants, integration with staff members, and future alumnae engagement.

2021-22 Port Ambassadors

Juwan Ayers, commercial banker with Synovus Bank, Charleston

Karl Brady, Charleston City Councilmember and director of development at Teach for America- South Carolina, Charleston

LaJoia Broughton, government relations advisor with Adams & Reese, Columbia

Jennifer Brown, director of business development for Charleston County Economic Development, North Charleston

James Brunson, family physician with Orangeburg Medical, Orangeburg

Jody Bryson, president and CEO of SC Technology and Aviation Center, Greenville

Willis Cantey, president and CEO of Cantey Tech Consulting, Charleston

Tushar Chikhliker, attorney with Nexsen Pruet, Columbia

Brian Frerichs, senior vice president and branch manager with Stephens Private Wealth Management, Sumter

Rob Honeycutt, CEO and co-founder of SixAxis, Pawley’s Island

Felicia Howard, vice president of economic development strategy with Dominion Energy, Columbia

Pat Hudson, of counsel with Willoughby & Hoefer, Blythewood

Andrew Lesinski, vice president and general manager of brokerage, Cardinal Logistics, Indian Land

Edward McKelvey, senior vice president of community development banking with South State Bank, North Charleston

Christopher McKinney, CEO & founder at 10X Leadership Consulting, Sumter

Phillip Obie, Berkeley County Councilmember and manager of coal combustion products and Ash Pond closure with Santee Cooper, Goose Creek

Bill Otis, former mayor of Pawley’s Island, Pawley’s Island

Robby Robbins, attorney with Thurmond Kirchner & Timbes, Summerville

Joan Robinson-Berry, former senior vice president and chief engineer with Boeing, Charleston

Will Salters, client development manager with Terracon, Charleston

Heather Simmons-Jones, senior advisor with MRB Group, Charleston

Lynn Stokes-Murray, director of government affairs with Burr Forman, Columbia

Rebecca Vance, president of Vance LLC, Summerville

Jim Wanner, CEO of Keymark, Liberty

Clay Williams, broker with NAI Earle Furman, Greenville

Natalie Zeigler, city administrator for the City of Goose Creek, Goose Creek

2019-20 Port Ambassadors

Franklin Adams, President & CEO, Adams Property Group, LLC

Dan Battista, Senior Vice President and Southeast Regional Leader, LOWE

Richard Blackwell, Vice President of Development, Southeast, Agracel, Inc.

Peggy Boykin, Executive Director, SC Public Employee Benefit Authority

Shannon Bruning, Consultant, Burr Forman McNair

Hugh Buyck, Attorney, Buyck, Sanders & Simmons, LLC

Jonathan Coleman, President/CEO, Laurens County Development Corporation

John Davey

Hunter Dawkins, Director of Development, Natural Resources, Johnson Development Associates

Scott Garcia, Sr. Vice President/Regional Banking Manager, United Community Bank

Ann Grindstaff, Retired CPA, N/A

Srikanth Kodeboyina, Managing Partner, Blue Eye Soft Corp

Virginia Lee, Senior Vice President, First Citizens Bank

John Lummus, President/CEO, Upstate SC Alliance

Derek Mathis, Sr. Vice President, Suncap

Robert Nutley, Director of Employer Broker Relations, HCA – Trident Medical Center, Summerville Medical Center

Anita Patel, International Trade Program Manager, South Carolina Department of Commerce

Shaquite Pegues, Director of Ella Baker Leadership Development and Senior Program Associate at the Children’s Defense Fund

Susie Shannon, President & CEO, SC Council on Competitiveness

Emma Shillman, Catering Sales Manager, Hyatt Place + Hyatt House Downtown Charleston

Katherine Sosebee, Business Development, Turner Agency Insurance

Dalton Tresvant, Deputy District Director, Office of Congressman James E. Clyburnn

Cecil Williams, CEO, Cecil Williams Civil Rights Museum

Sherrie Snipes-Williams, CEO, Charleston Promise Neighborhood

Will Williams, President & CEO, Economic Development Partnership

2018-19 Port Ambassadors

Ann Angermeier, Executive Director, Upstate Workforce Board

Frank “John” Brand, Financial Advisor, Stifel

Van Cato, State Director, Office of Senator Lindsey Graham

Andrew Cook, Financial Advisor, Vice President, Morgan Stanley

Christine Crawford

Johnny Cribb, County Supervisor and Council Chairman, Berkeley County Government

Suzanne Dickerson, Director of SC Fraunhofer USA Alliance, SC Council on Competitiveness

Alexander Fournil, Principal, Vista Insurance Group & iVista Group

Jamey Goldin, Energy Regulatory Counsel, Global Energy Markets and Policy, Google

Sara Hazzard, President and CEO, SC Manufacturers Alliance

Angie Leidinger, VP, External Affairs & Executive Secretary to the Board of Trustees, Clemson University

Thomas Lorenzo, International Transportation Manager, Domtar

Bill McCarthy, General Manager, Charleston Gate Company

Sunny Philips, Executive Vice President of Investor Relations, SC Chamber of Commerce

Tony Pope, Agent, State Farm Insurance

Buddy Pough, Head Football Coach, South Carolina State University

Brian Rauschenbach, Economic Development Project Manager, Sumter Economic Development/TheLINK

Anne Smith Reid, Director of Development, Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired Charleston

Tiffany Santagati, Senior Vice President, Retail Banking Executive, Community First Bank

Mark Schmidt, Director Term Lease Operations, Direct ChassisLink Inc. (DCLI)

Steve Sydow

Tom Trouche, Regional Pres. and CEO, ServisFirst Bank of SC

Marlon Walters, PhD, Vice President I Process Design & Customer Segment Consultant, Bank of America

Tom Winslow, Attorney at Law, Goldfinch Winslow, LLC

Jason Zacher, Senior Vice President of Business Advocacy, Greenville Chamber

2017-18 Port Ambassadors

Bob Barrineau, Partner, CBRE

Mac Bennett, Senior Counsel, Capital Development Services

Danny Black, President and CEO, Southern Carolina Regional Development Alliance

Doug Boston, Deputy Director and CFO, Charleston International Airport

James Burns, Partner, Nelson Mullins

Susanne Buck Cantey, Vice President, Jupiter Holdings

Sky Foster, Manager, Corporate Community Relations, BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC

Tavia Gaddy, Project Manager, Greenville Area Development Corp.

Tommy Hall, Proprietor, Hall Management Group

Brad Henry, CEO, Henrico Holdings

Elizabeth Hills, Corporate Affairs Manager, Charleston Branch Pilots Association

Grayson Kelly, Vice President, Institutional Advancement & Business Relations, Tri-County Technical College

Craig Kinley, Founder/Owner, Growler Haus Holdings LLC

Mark Lattanzio, Market President, Commercial Banking Manager, SunTrust now Truist

Christin Mack, Manager, Non-Profit & Government Executive Search and Talent Consultant, Find Great People, LLC

Bill Medich, South Carolina Coastal Division President, South State Bank

Leah Moody, Principal, L. Bess Moody Consulting, LLC

Chakisse Newton, Principal, Cardinal Consulting, LLC

Kenneth Nix, Site Director, Broker, Acquisitions, Land South of Charleston

Lowndes Pope, Partner, Riley Pope & Laney, LLC

Keith Rourk, Manager Customs & Trade Compliance, Michelin North America

Jamie Scott, President, Jamie Scott Fitness, Inc.

Walt Tobin, President and Chief Executive Officer, Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College

2016-17 Port Ambassadors

Mary Barrineau, Co-Owner, Spherion Recruiting & Staffing

Will Beecher, Senior Vice President & Senior Regional Wealth Advisor, South State Private Wealth

Gary Brewer, South Atlantic Area Construction Services Leader, HDR

Heather Holmquest, Director of Transformation, Clear Impact LLC

Mikee Johnson, Board Chair and Co-President, Carolina Ceramics Brick Company

Peter LaMotte, SVP, Chernoff Newman

Jil Littlejohn, Director of Inclusion and Diversity, Hubbell Incorporated

Otha Meadows, President & CEO of the Charleston Trident Urban League

Mitchell Metts, Infrastructure Consulting and Engineering (ICE), Vice President of Special Projects

Terri Heard, Manager, Business Incentives, Michelin

Barbara Ryan, Office Managing Partner, Grant Thornton, LLP

Jay Schwedler, President and CEO, TheLink and Sumter Economic Development

Brian Tucker, Director Economic Develpoment for Georgetown County

John Winarchick, Retired CFO, Zeus Industries


Jordi R. Yarborough | Vice President, Statewide Stakeholder and Local Government Engagement
Telephone: (843) 579-4468 | JYarborough@scspa.com