CHARLESTON, SC — JUNE 7, 2022 — South Carolina Ports celebrates the graduation of its 2021-2022 Port Ambassador Class, with each delegate having gained a deep understanding of how SC Ports connects to South Carolina’s economy.
The SC Ports’ Port Ambassador Program is a yearlong curriculum that provides an in-depth look into port operations. Ambassadors see firsthand how SC Ports works every day to handle goods for businesses, advanced manufacturers, mega retailers and agricultural producers.
“Ambassadors learn the importance of having a world-class port in South Carolina and the need to invest wisely in infrastructure to keep the supply chain fluid, especially given today’s supply chain challenges,” SC Ports CEO Jim Newsome said.
This year’s class consisted of 26 delegates from around the state, hailing from a variety of industries. Throughout the year, ambassadors heard from SC Ports’ teammates, legislators and business leaders. They toured port-dependent businesses, inland ports and port terminals, including Leatherman Terminal, the country’s newest container terminal.
“The ability to see port operations up close — and knowing that each container filled with goods represents an economic opportunity — was very impactful,” said Jody Bryson, president and CEO of S.C. Technology and Aviation Center in Greenville. “We were able to see the connection between the goods moving through Port of Charleston and the jobs being created at port-dependent businesses throughout the state.”
The Port Ambassador Program is designed to increase public awareness and understanding of SC Ports’ strategic initiatives and infrastructure projects. Since the program’s inception in 2016, more than 100 ambassadors have graduated.
“Our Port Ambassador Program provides an opportunity to see how the supply chain works, and it highlights the significant impact SC Ports makes on our state’s economy,” said Jordi Yarborough, SC Ports’ senior vice president of community engagement. “We were thrilled to have such a diverse and esteemed group of professionals for our fifth class of port ambassadors.”
2021-2022 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 and founder of 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
About South Carolina Ports Authority
South Carolina Ports Authority, established by the state’s General Assembly in 1942, owns and operates public seaport and intermodal facilities in Charleston, Dillon, Georgetown and Greer. As an economic development engine for the state, Port operations facilitate 225,000 statewide jobs and generate nearly $63.4 billion in annual economic activity. SC Ports is soon to be home to the deepest harbor on the U.S. East Coast at 52 feet. SC Ports is an industry leader in delivering speed-to-market, seamless processes and flexibility to ensure reliable operations, big ship handling, efficient market reach and environmental responsibility. Please visit www.scspa.com to learn more about SC Ports.