Welcome From the Board of Directors
Craig Brown is the President and Owner of the Greenville Drive, a Minor League Baseball team; the single A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, and is a founding board member of MiLB Enterprises, which oversees brand marketing for Minor League Baseball. Prior to leading the construction of Fluor Field, the Drive’s award-winning stadium, Brown spent 23 years as a key executive in the globalization of the advertising industry, most recently as president and chief operating officer of the Bcom3 Group.
Brown’s philanthropic endeavors include serving on the Greenville Health System’s Strategic Coordinating Organization Board, chairing the Advisory Board of the Medical Experience Academy and Co-Chairing the ACCELERATE! Greenville Initiative. Brown is also senior vice chairman of the Hydrocephalus Association and serves on several boards at his alma mater, Michigan State University.
Heyward Clarkson was born in Pensacola, Florida on July 27, 1944.
He attended the Citadel, achieving a Bachelor of Science in 1966, and the University of South Carolina, receiving a Juris Doctor degree, cum laude, in 1971. He participated in Phi Delta Phi, was a member of the Order of Wig and Robe, as well as served as president of the International Law Society in 1970 and editor-in-Chief of the South Carolina Law Review in 1971. Additionally, he served as the legislative assistant to Senator Strom Thurmond in July 1971 to August 1972. He was a member of the South Carolina Judicial Grievance and Discipline Commission from 1976 to 1979.
Clarkson was admitted to the bar in 1971, South Carolina; 1972, District of Columbia; 1974, U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit; and 1987, U.S. Supreme Court. The Martindale-Hubbell Directory gave Mr. Clarkson its highest AV rating.
Prior to forming Clarkson, Walsh, Terrell & Coulter, P.A., he was a senior-named partner in the law firm of Gibbes & Clarkson, P.A., in Greenville, South Carolina.
He serves as a member of the Greenville County and American Bar Associations, South Carolina Bar, Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference, South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys Association, and the Defense Research Institute. Clarkson serves as Upstate Warrior Solution’s legal counsel.
[U.S. Army, 1966-1968; COL. JAG, USAR].
He practices in areas of general practice, commercial litigation, professional negligence, environmental and toxic torts, construction law, trucking/transportation defense, products liability, and employment litigation.
Dan Cooper is a former member of the South Carolina House of Representatives, representing District 10 in Anderson County. He served the people of South Carolina from 1990 to 2011 when he was elected to replace his father, M. J. “Dolly” Cooper, who held the same office from 1974 to 1990. Cooper has the distinction of being the first Republican from Anderson County elected to the SC State House. Throughout his time in office, Cooper was recognized as a devoted public servant who shaped public policy based on his dedication to making South Carolina an even better place to live and work.
Cooper was born and raised in the Piedmont community in Anderson County, where he lives today. He graduated from Wren High School in 1979 and from Clemson University in 1984 with a Bachelor of Science in agricultural economics. He received honorary doctorate degrees from the Medical University of South Carolina, Coastal Carolina University, The Citadel, Clemson University, and Anderson University.
He began his career working for state and local governments. In 1987, Cooper embarked on a career in the insurance industry, spanning twenty-five years. He completed programs at several commercial property and casualty insurance schools and became a Certified Insurance Counselor in 2004. He was a partner in Capstone Insurance Services in Greenville from 1999 to 2012 when he sold his interest in the company. He was a principal in Parker Poe Consultants in Columbia, SC from 2001 until October 2014. He joined the administration of Tri-County Technical College as economic development and government relations director in 2014.
Cooper received the Order of the Palmetto from Governor Nikki Haley in 2011 and was named a SC Ambassador for Economic Development by Anderson County in 2012. Cooper is the 2009 recipient of the prestigious Riley Institute at Furman University Wilkins Award and received many other legislative awards over his career.
During his time in the South Carolina House of Representatives, Cooper was an influential voice for his constituents and for all of the people of South Carolina. In 2005, he was elected by his fellow representatives to serve as chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, a position he held until 2011. In that role, Cooper managed the House version of the State budget and served as a member of the State Budget and Control Board. As chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Cooper served on the Joint Bond Review Committee, which reviews and approves permanent State improvement projects. Cooper was a member of the State Agency Restructuring Study Committee, which studied ways to streamline state government in an effort to better utilize taxpayer dollars. Prior to his service on the Ways and Means Committee, he served as a member of the House Medical, Military, and Municipal Affairs Committee and the Education and Public Works Committee.
In addition to his civil service as a representative in the SC House, Cooper continues to be active in his community and the Upstate. He served on boards for SC Freedom Weekend Aloft, the Small Business Association, Goodwill Industries of the Upstate and Midlands, Boys Home of the South, and was a member of the Legislative Advisory Board of Palmetto Pride, the Anderson University Board of Trustees, Upstate Warrior Solution, and the Hunley Commission. He was an Assistant Cub Master and Cub Scout Den Leader of Pack 13 in Piedmont. He serves as a Sunday school director at Mt. Airy Baptist Church and as president of the Wren Athletic Booster Club. Cooper is the “Voice” of the Wren Golden Hurricanes football and basketball programs.
Cooper lives in Piedmont with his wife, Melissa “Missy,” and their two children, Leanne and Daniel.
Mr. Dalton is the retired president and CEO of Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative. He served on many local boards throughout his career, including Better Business Bureau of the Foothills, Upstate Alliance of South Carolina, Greenville Chamber of Commerce, IPTAY, the Clemson University Foundation, the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, Innovate Anderson, the Peace Center, and the South Carolina Department of Transportation Commission. He is a current member of the Upstate Heart Ball Executive Leadership Team and Chairman of the Upstate Board of Directors for the American Heart Association. Mr. Dalton is a graduate of Clemson University and resides in Greenville with his wife. He has three children and three grandchildren.
DeMint was born James “Jim” Warren DeMint on September 2, 1951, in Greenville, S.C. Raised by a single mother with his three siblings, he was taught the value of hard work and perseverance. He attended public schools in Greenville, graduating from Wade Hampton High School. He married his high school sweetheart, Debbie Henderson, in 1973. That same year, he received a Bachelor of Science degree in communications from the University of Tennessee. Additionally, he holds a master’s degree in business administration from Clemson University.
In 1983, after working ten years in the research, advertising, and marketing business, he started the DeMint Group, a Greenville-based marketing research and strategic planning business. In addition to his family, small business, and local Presbyterian church, he immersed himself in Greenville civic life, volunteering and leading numerous charitable organizations.
He ran the DeMint Group until 1998, when he was elected as a Republican to the first of three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. DeMint kept his promise to serve only three two-year terms in the House. His reputation as one of Washington’s most principled conservative leaders grew after his election to the U.S. Senate in 2004, the 55th to serve from South Carolina.
With more than 39 years of experience in community engagement, public relations, and public speaking in the Upstate of South Carolina, Debbie DuBose gained her background in campaign and annual fundraising. Her most recent achievement is opening her consulting business, which offers expertise in event planning, marketing and fundraising management for numerous nonprofits in the Upstate.
Before she opened her consulting business, Debbie was responsible for all private fundraising efforts for Oconee Medical Center and its community healthcare system, where she helped the OMC Foundation raise more than $15 million in gifts and pledges. In addition to her work with the OMC Foundation, Debbie served as the Executive Director of the Clemson Alumni Association for 15 years, as the Associate Vice President for Development for five of those years, and as the Interim Vice President of Advancement for one year. During her time on the Clemson Alumni Association, she was responsible for all alumni programming, visitor services, alumni annual giving and historic properties. Prior to her position at Clemson, Debbie worked for Duke Energy for 13 years at the Oconee Nuclear Site. She worked in Corporate Communications, Community Relations, Media Relations and Administrative Management.
Over the years, she held many more involvements in the Upstate, including former member of the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy and the South Carolina Hospital Association’s Fund Development Committee. She was a past Alumnae Advisor for Delta Delta Delta Chapter at Clemson University, as well as a past president and a Paul Harris Fellow of the Seneca Rotary Club. She was a former board member of the Children’s Trust of South Carolina, a Sunday School Teacher, and a past chairman of Council of Stewards at Saint Mark United Methodist Church. She served as a member of the Tiger Brotherhood and Blue Key, a past president of the Seneca Chamber of Commerce, past Industrial Division Chairman and General Campaign Manager of Oconee county United Way. She was a previous member and chair of the South Carolina Alumni Association Directors, a previous member of the Council of Alumni Association Executives, and a past commissioner on the Pendleton Historic and Recreation Commission. For her service to South Carolina, she received the Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award.
Debbie is a graduate of Clemson University, where she earned her BA in English with a concentration in Secondary Education. She lives in Seneca, SC with her husband, Bob DuBose. They have two daughters, Anna and Brock.
With her extensive involvement in education, healthcare, and the arts, Marianna Black Habisreutinger enriched her native Spartanburg, as well as the entire Upstate community. As a graduate of Mt. Vernon Junior College and the University of Mississippi, Marianna is a former Spartanburg County public school teacher and serves as an officer of Champion Investment Corporation.
At present, she holds leadership roles with numerous Upstate charitable organizations. She served on the Upstate Forever Board of Directors since 2005, formerly serving as Board Secretary. She serves on the boards of the Charles Lea Foundation, which she founded in 1986; the Cancer Association of Spartanburg and Cherokee Counties, Inc.; Spartanburg Methodist College; Storm Eye Institute of the Medical University of South Carolina; and Mary Black School of Nursing Advisory Board of USC Upstate. In addition, she is a Governor of the Piedmont Club, as well as a founder and co-chair of the Executive Guild of the Hope Center for Children.
For more than twenty years, Marianna served on the boards, including stints as chairman, of Mary Black Memorial Hospital and the Mary Black Foundation, the Spartanburg County Foundation, and the Urban League of the Upstate. She served as the President of the Junior League of Spartanburg, chairman of the Ellen Hines Girls’ Home, on the Boards of the St. Luke’s Free Medical Clinic and the Children’s Advocacy Center, as well as on the Board of Visitors of the Medical University of South Carolina. Additionally, Marianna served on the Boards of the Friends of the Arts as the Founder, the Artist Guild, the Art Association, the Symphony Guild, the Spartanburg Day School and the SDS Parents’ Club.
In 2011, Marianna was named as South Carolina’s Mother of the Year, an affiliate of the American Mothers, Inc. She is blessed by her wonderful family: her husband, Roger; daughter, Anna H. Converse; sons, Paul and Charles; and two grandchildren, all of whom are residing in Spartanburg.
Charlie was born and raised in York, South Carolina and served in the SC Army National Guard during high school. He attended the US Military Academy at West Point and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in environmental science in 2001. He was commissioned into the U.S. Army in June 2001. Then, he completed an inter-service transfer to the U.S. Marine Corps in November 2002. He served as an active duty officer in the USMC, until May 2006, deploying to Iraq in 2004 Reconnaissance Battalion, Camp Lejeune, NC with 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion, Camp Lejeune, NC.
Charlie transitioned home to the Upstate in May 2006 and began work in the civilian sector at Harper Corporation, General contractors, and the USMC Reserves until August 2009. Then, he served on active duty as the District Injured Support Coordinator for the states of South Carolina and Georgia with the Marine Corps’ Wounded Warrior Regiment from 2009 to 2014, while volunteering with Upstate Warrior Solution in its formative years.
In addition to being the President of Upstate Warrior Solution, Charlie continues to serve in the US Marine Corps Reserve. He and his wife Elizabeth live in Travelers Rest and have three children. They are members of Downtown Presbyterian Church and love living in the Upstate!
Tee Hooper, the current board chairman and co-owner of FGP International, Inc., which deals with executive search, staffing, and HR Consulting, serves as a board member of Southern First Bank and Verdae Development, Inc. He has served as board chairman, co-owner, and CEO of Sign Crafters USA, a sign manufacturing and service company, from 2006 to 2016; board chairman, co-owner, and CEO of General Wholesale Distributors, a Trane HVAC distributor of residential and light commercial equipment in South Carolina, from 2006 to 2013; CEO of Profit Lab, a telecom expense management company, sold to Cass Information Systems, from 2002 to 2006; southeast regional president of IKON Office Products, 1993 to 2001; president of Modern Office Machines, MOM, sold to IKON Office Products, from 1983 to 1993; and general partner of Reedy River Ventures, a “Small Business Investment Company,” which made venture capital investments, from 1980 to 1984.
Tee was awarded the Order of the Palmetto, the highest civilian honor given in South Carolina, in 2009 for his efforts in reforming the Department of Transportation, where he was chairman from 2003 to 2008, appointed by Governor Sanford.
He served as chairman of Patriots Point Authority, US Medal of Honor Museum, and the Yorktown Aircraft Carrier Museum in Charleston, from 1998 to 2001, appointed by Governor Hodges. Additionally, he served as chairman of Greenville Urban League, as well as Greenville Chamber, United Way, YMCA, Leadership South Carolina, Camp Greenville, and South Carolina Council of Competitiveness (New Carolina).
Tee earned his MBA at the University of South Carolina in 1971. He served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from 1971 through 1974 and in the U.S. Army Reserves from 1975 through 1976. Additionally, he served on the Citadel Board of Visitors from 2011 from 2017.
Tee earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the Citadel in 1969, where he was captain of the basketball team and the tennis team. He was inducted into the Citadel Athletic Hall of Fame in 1982.
Tee and his wife, Sherry, have two children and six grandchildren.
Amy Kissam-Sands achieved more than 20 years of senior level management experience, working in global Clinical Research Organizations (CROs), particularly in clinical operations, customer alliances, quality control, clinical process integration and technology platform development. She served on the Clinical Strategy Board for TransCelerate BioPharma INC and as a Co-Chair for the CRO Forum. She stepped down from her position to focus full-time on her philanthropy efforts. She served on the MADD National Board for Victim Services and MADD GA Advisory Board for six years. Her passion is proactively educating and engaging youth in the dangers of underage drinking and drunk and drugged driving. She is an Advisory Board member for the cohesive preventive middle and high school program at The Fontaine Center at the University of Georgia. Ms. Kissam-Sands is on advisory board for The Warrior Alliance to help develop an integrated veteran community model for our veterans and their family members who live in Georgia. She was appointed to the Leukemia Lymphoma Society Board of Trustees to help raise awareness and find a cure for blood cancers. Mrs. Kissam-Sands graduated with high honors from San Diego State University, achieving a B.S. in biochemistry. She and Skip, her husband, reside in Alpharetta and are the parents of five children. She loves to travel, spend time in the outdoors, and cheer on the Clemson Tigers.
John W. Kittredge was born in Greenville, South Carolina on September 28, 1956 and is the son of the late Elwyn Herbert, Jr. and Marian Jeffries Kittredge. John married Lila Graham Hewell on June 20, 1981. John and Lila have three children: Lila Marian, Will, and Zay. The Kittredges are members of First Presbyterian Church in Greenville.
Justice Kittredge graduated from the University of South Carolina, summa cum laude, in 1979. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1982. His academic honors include Phi Beta Kappa, Order of the Coif, and Wig and Robe.
Justice Kittredge began his legal career as a law clerk to The Honorable William W. Wilkins, Jr. He practiced law in the firm of Wilkins, Nelson, and Kittredge. Justice Kittredge was involved in community and state service: Governor’s Committee on Crime and Delinquency, Governor’s Juvenile Justice Task Force; Greenville Technical College Foundation as the vice president; City of Greenville Civil Service Commission as the chairman, Greenville County Crime Stoppers as the president, and the Board of Directors of Child Evangelism Fellowship. In addition to his admission to the South Carolina Bar, Justice Kittredge is admitted to practice before the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, United States Court of Military Appeals, United States District Court for the District of South Carolina, United States Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court.
Justice Kittredge was elected to the South Carolina Family Court Bench in 1991. He was elected to the Circuit Court Bench in 1996, and the Court of Appeals in 2003. Justice Kittredge was elected to the Supreme Court in 2008.
Jan McCrary is a South Carolina businesswoman and philanthropist. She has been a partner and member of the Board of Directors of HMR Veterans Services, a national healthcare management company headquartered in Upstate South Carolina for more than a decade. She was previously the co-owner of a 21-facility nursing home chain, institutional pharmacy, and an owner of a medical supplies business serving healthcare companies across the Eastern United States. In addition to her other responsibilities with HMR Veterans Services, she chairs the Ed Childress Memorial Employee Assistance Fund. The Fund, which honors Jan’s late husband, provides financial support to employees in need.
Philanthropic efforts are of high significance for Jan and her family. Currently, she serves on the Medical University of South Carolina Foundation Board, the Medical University of South Carolina Hollings Cancer Center Advisory Board, the Clemson University IPTAY Board, the Clemson University Board of Visitors, the South Carolina Make-A-Wish Board, the Cancer Society of Greenville County Board, and the Upstate Warrior Solution Board. Previously, she has been a member of the Executive Committee for the Clemson University Will to Lead $1.0 Billion Capital Campaign and served as co-chair of the Barker Scholars Endowment. Additionally, Jan served on the Furman University Advisory Council. In her local community, she is past-chair of Pickens County Meals on Wheels and a member of the Rock Springs Baptist Church. She has one daughter, a son-in-law, and twin grandsons.
Since 1988, E. Smyth McKissick, III served as president and CEO of Alice Manufacturing Company in Easley, SC. For 90 years, four generations of the McKissick family have led Alice Manufacturing Company. Alice is recognized today as a modern and successful textile company, as well as an important part of the Upstate community.
In addition to his business, Mr. McKissick currently serves as a trustee of Clemson University. He served as chairman of the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance, chairman of the National Council of Textile Organizations, co-chair of the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition, and an independent director of the Peoples Bancorp Inc.
He is a graduate of Clemson University and has an MBA from the University of South Carolina. He and his wife, Martha, reside in Greenville, SC and have three children.
Co-CEO of Prisma Health Michael C. Riordan is responsible for providing the strategic direction and financial oversight for Prisma Health. Prisma is a not-for-profit system, created in 2017 when Greenville Health System and Palmetto Health came together to improve the healthcare for the citizens of South Carolina. Prisma Health is the largest system in South Carolina with 13 hospitals, hundreds of physician practices and ambulatory centers, more than 28,000 employees and 2,800 physicians employed and affiliated, and generates almost $4 billion annual net revenue.
Prior to joining Prisma Health in 2006, he served as president and CEO of the University of Chicago Hospitals and Health System and as senior associate hospital administrator for Emory University Hospital and Crawford Long Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. Additionally, he served three years in the United States Marine Corps as a lieutenant.
Riordan earned a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts/English and a master’s degree in education/psychology from Columbia University in New York, as well as a master’s degree in health systems from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Currently, Riordan serves on the governing boards of the Association of American Medical Colleges Council of Teaching Hospitals and Health Systems.
Mastin Robeson retired from the U.S. Marine Corps in 2010 after 34 years of active service, during which time he served in more than 60 countries. He saw combat in Liberia, Desert Storm, Somalia, Bosnia, Horn of Africa, Southern Philippines, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He commanded an infantry battalion, an infantry regiment, a Counter Terrorism Task Force in the Horn of Africa, two Marine Expeditionary Brigades, two Marine Divisions, and the Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command. Mastin served in Iraq as General Dave Petraeus’ Director of Strategy, Plans, and Assessments, where he was responsible for writing and assessing the Crocker/Petraeus surge campaign plan. Additionally, he served as military assistant to Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen.
Since 2010, Mastin has been president and CEO of TRGSolutions, a consulting ﬁrm that has assisted more than 20 companies in business development, marketing strategy, strategic planning, executive leadership, and crisis management. Mastin put his consulting business on hold in March 2013 to serve as president and CEO of Imperatis Corp in Arlington, VA.
In addition to his service in the military and with UWS, he is a member of the Prisma Health’s Operations Council. He has served as faculty at the U.S. Strategic Leadership Center, on three Boards of Directors, on two Boards of Advisors, and on a College Board of Trustees. Mastin is a husband of 38 years, father of four, and grandfather of ﬁve.
Major General Darwin H. Simpson began his 39-year military career in the Arkansas Army National Guard in 1964 as a private E-1. In 1967, Simpson graduated from the Army’s OCS program and was commissioned as a second lieutenant. Throughout his career, Major General Simpson held numerous staff and command assignments, including commanding general of the 228th Signal Brigade and commanding general of the 263rd Army Air and Missile Defense Command. He is a graduate of the Command and General Staff College and the US Army War College. His awards include the Legion of Merit, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal, South Carolina’s Order of the Palmetto. Major General Simpson is a Veteran of the War on Global Terrorism and was inducted into the OCS Hall of Fame in 2007.
As a civilian, Darwin H. Simpson is the retired president and CEO of Univar Corporation, a global chemical distribution company. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and an master’s of business administration from Pepperdine University. Simpson is active in our community and serves on a number of not-for-profit boards. He is an elder and former deacon at Spartanburg’s First Presbyterian Church, chairman of the Board for the Spartanburg Humane Society, chairman of Spartanburg Regional Hospice, past chair of St. Luke’s Free Medical Clinic, past Board Member Patriots Point and Healthy Smiles, past president of Palmetto Council Boy Scouts of America, past president of Spartanburg Downtown Rotary, chairman of Board of SC Military Family Care Association, and chairman of the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation. In addition to his community and governance board service, Simpson was awarded the Kiwanis Club of Spartanburg 2011 Citizen of The Year, 2012 Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award for Excellence of Character and Service to Humanity from Wofford College, 2012 Recipient of the Alan Willis Society Service Award from the Upstate Employers Association, 2016 Recipient of the Neville Holcombe Distinguished Citizen Award from the Spartanburg Chamber of Commerce, and the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award from the FAA for over 50 years of flight service. He is a past Trustee of Wofford College. As a volunteer, he serves as the director of the Spartanburg Downtown Memorial Airport. He is married to Bonnie Simpson, and they have two children, Melissa and Brad, and three grandchildren, Page, Mac, and Clive.
Co-Founder and Managing Partner of RealOp Investments Paul Sparks is responsible for the Greenville-based firm’s overall management and performance. He serves on the Investment Committee and is directly involved in setting the firm’s investment management, development, financial operations, and risk management strategies. Leveraging more than 25 years of private equity investing experience, Mr. Sparks completed transactions with an aggregate value in excess of $3.0 billion. Prior to joining RealOp Investments, he was Executive Vice President, Senior Credit Executive, of a multi-billion-dollar commercial bank based in South Carolina. Mr. Sparks received an MBA from Louisiana State University, Graduate School of Banking; a BS in Finance, from the University of Alabama; and a Certificate in Private Equity Management from Harvard Business School. Currently, he serves on the boards of The Children’s Museum of the Upstate, Venture Carolina, and SouthernTrust Bancshares. Mr. Sparks is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and an active member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). He lives in Greenville, SC with his wife and daughter. When he is not working, he enjoys playing golf, watching his daughter ride horses, and relaxing at the lake.
Tracy Swinney served as a police officer for the state of Alabama for 25 years. He retired in May of 2012, and currently, he serves as director of Football Security and Community Liaison for the Clemson Football program.
Tracy was a S.W.A.T. Officer for ten years then promoted to sergeant, where he was assigned to the detective unit, investigating homicides, thefts, and juvenile crimes. Tracy was a certified hostage negotiator, where he negotiated high level incidents. Tracy was promoted to supervisor of the hostage negotiation team, where he remained until his retirement.
Since June of 2012, Tracy has been responsible for the safety of the football facility, players, and coaches. He is the liaison to law enforcement in other states while the team travels. His responsibilities include coordinating logistics and safety procedures at the hotel, stadium, airport, and security at the practice facility while the team is at home.
Tracy serves on Dabo’s All In Team Foundation, which was founded by his brother Dabo Swinney. Dabo’s Foundation focuses on breast cancer awareness, along with other local charities.
Besides serving on the Upstate Warrior Solution board, he is also a board member for the Upstate Heart Association, as well as a board member for The Family Effect and The Foothills Area Y.M.C.A.
Tracy was born in Birmingham, Alabama. He is a graduate of Pelham High School and Samford University in Birmingham. Tracy is married to Tammy Swinney, and they have four children and one grandchild.
William M. Webster, IV is the co-founder and chairman of the Board for Advance America, Cash Advance Centers, Inc. and served in the White House.
He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1983 and a Bachelor of Arts in English and German from Washington & Lee University in 1979, where he graduated summa cum laude. He attended Germany’s University of Regensburg on a Fulbright Scholarship.
Mr. Webster served multiple roles in the White House, including assistant to the president and director of scheduling and advance, where he was responsible for the coordination and planning of all presidential events with management responsibility for a staff of 25 full-time and 300 part-time employees. Also, he served as chief of staff to U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley and chief of staff for the presidential transition, where he was responsible for coordination and administration of sub-Cabinet appointments in the Clinton Administration. Previously, he was the President of Greenville-based Carabo, Inc., which at that time operated 27 Bojangles’ Chicken ‘n Biscuit restaurants in S.C.
His community activities include service as chairman of the Board of Trustees for Converse College and on the Washington and Lee University Board of Trustees, the M.D. Anderson Medical Center Board of Visitors, the Spartanburg Day School Board of Trustees, and the Liberty Fellows Board of Directors.
Ambassador David Wilkins is a partner at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP and chairs the Public Policy and International Law practice group, which focuses on representing businesses on both sides of the US-Canadian border and offers experience on a wide range of strategic bilateral issues.
In 1980, Wilkins was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives and served for 25 years. He served six years as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and two years as speaker pro tem before being elected speaker of the House. He was the first Republican elected speaker of any legislative body in the South since the 1880s. After eleven years of service, he retired as one of the longest serving speakers in the country.
Nominated by President George W. Bush, he became the United States Ambassador to Canada. He began his service on June 29, 2005 and served until January 20, 2009. As an ambassador, Wilkins helped resolve issues between Canada and the United States, including the decades-old softwood lumber trade dispute. His efforts focused on issues surrounding energy, national security, environment, trade, and travel. Prior to assuming ambassadorship, Wilkins practiced law for 34 years in Greenville, South Carolina. He has experience in civil litigation and appellate law.