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Greenville Chamber Honors Community’s Business Leaders at 135th Annual Meeting

(Greenville, S.C.) The Greenville Chamber held its 135th Annual Meeting on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024, at the Greenville Convention Center. The theme for the event, presented by TD Bank, was “Betting Big for Greenville” and featured the Chamber’s bold vision for the future, recognition of Chamber volunteer leadership, and presentation of annual awards.

Through a panel discussion featuring four of Greenville’s visionary leaders, Greenville Chamber President/CEO Carlos Phillips shared the Greenville Chamber’s plans for the year ahead and urged attendees to work collaboratively to meet the evolving needs of Greenville’s growing community.

The “Legacy and Emerging Greenville Leaders” panel discussion featured Judge Merl Code, Of Counsel at Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.; Minor Shaw, president of MICCO LLC; Carl Sobocinski, president of the Table 301 Restaurant Group; and Ebony Sullivan, chief operating officer of Cassy Electric.

Panelists shared leadership lessons, stories of Greenville’s transformation and called upon attendees to use their own platforms to drive change in Greenville.

Annual awards were presented to the following Upstate leaders:

The Ambassador of the Year Award recognizes an individual for service in her or his role as a Greenville Chamber Ambassador. This year’s award was presented to Ashley Cowper, director of Business Development for Craft Axe Throwing and active Greenville Chamber Ambassador for her service in 2023.

The ATHENA Leadership Award, sponsored by Hughes Agency, honors individuals who assist women in reaching their full leadership potential; demonstrate excellence, creativity and initiative in their business or profession; and provide valuable service by devoting time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community. The 2023 ATHENA Leadership Award was presented to Dr. Marjorie Jenkins for her role as dean of the USC School of Medicine Greenville.

The Buck Mickel Leadership Award, sponsored by Duke Energy, honors those who have impacted the community by playing a leadership role in solving critical community issues, strengthening the community or providing visionary leadership to a major community development project. The 2023 Buck Mickel Leadership Award was awarded to Stewart Spinks for his philanthropic endeavors and professional accomplishments over the past 51 years of The Spinx Company.

The 2023 Chairman’s Award, sponsored by Ogletree Deakins, was presented to Tami Miller, former Leadership Development Director at the Greenville Chamber. Miller was recognized for her 15 years of service in developing Greenville’s current and future leaders.

The F. Ben Haskew Collaboration Award, sponsored by Furman University, recognizes Upstate leaders who display progressive visions and a partnership approach to responsible growth in the Upstate. The 2023 award was presented to Dave Edwards in recognition of his leadership of the Greenville-Spartanburg Airport District and his role in Greenville’s community and economic development.

The Leadership Greenville Distinguished Alumni Award, sponsored by Prisma Health, recognizes a Leadership Greenville Alum who has made civic and community contributions. The 2023 award was presented to Brian Albers and Mario Brown, graduates of Leadership Greenville Class 43 and co-founders of Affordable Upstate. After meeting in Leadership Greenville, Albers and Brown were inspired to create Affordable Upstate to support neighbors in need.

The Max Heller Neighborhood Improvement Award, sponsored by BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, is given annually to an organization or individual that has shown exemplary efforts toward improving the lives of those in Greenville. The award is named in honor of former Greenville Mayor Max Heller, who spearheaded numerous efforts over the years to improve the quality of life for all citizens of Greenville County. The 2023 award was presented to Upstate Circle of Friends in honor of work to enhance the quality of life for Greenville’s at-risk youth and their families.

The Minority Business of the Year Award is presented to a local, independent and minority-owned company that has been in business for a minimum of three years and is a graduate of the Minority Business Accelerator program. The 2023 award was presented to 360clean. Owner Lorenzo Bates has led the organization to become an innovative leader of the janitorial service industry.

The Small Business of the Year Award, sponsored by Greenville Triumph and Greenville Liberty, was presented to Cassy Electric. Under the leadership of Chief Operating Officer Ebony Sullivan, Cassy Electric is a rapidly growing electrical contractor and is unique in the woman-owned, minority-owned and family-owned designations.

The Young Professional of the Year Award, sponsored by Michelin North America, is designed to recognize an individual between the ages of 22 and 39 for his or her involvement in the community. The 2023 award was presented to Jessica McCoy. McCoy serves as client experience manager at Brasfield and Gorrie.

The Greenville Chamber, now in its 135th year of operation, is the largest business organization in Upstate South Carolina with over 1900 Investors supporting the vision of a globally competitive Upstate economy where businesses succeed and people prosper. For information, visit

BASF ECMS groups leads effort to help local Veteran

When a U.S. Army veteran needed help building a ramp for his 80-year-old mother, who is the daughter of a World War II veteran, a group of community veterans answered the call last weekend.

Volunteers led by a team from BASF Environmental Catalyst and Metal Solutions (ECMS) in Seneca spent the past weekend sawing, drilling, and nailing wood to build a wheelchair ramp for a local veteran.

James Brown is a veteran of the U.S. Army as well as a retired security guard who worked at the BASF ECMS plant in Seneca. His mother, Martha, recently left a hospital in Tennessee, and was unable to live on her own. The best decision for them was for her to move into the home he shares with his wife, Debbie, who is an Air Force veteran, in Fair Play.

However, 11 steps leading into the home became a predicament. Brown needed a ramp for his mother, and looked for help on the project.

One of his former coworkers put him in touch with the Seneca Veterans Employee Team (VETS) at BASF ECMS. At BASF ECMS, employee resource groups (ERGs) are created to bring together workers with similar interests and backgrounds. They foster a sense of community and help employees develop personally and professionally. The VETS in Seneca provides a community for employees who share an interest in serving and connecting with veterans, both internally and externally. VETS averages 750 community volunteer hours annually.

“VETS is one of the key groups at our site when it comes to bringing together our employees with the community around us,” said Elba Lizardi, Site Director, in Seneca. “They provide an amazing service.”

The Seneca VETS have done numerous projects in the past few years with the Purple Heart Homes Golden Corner Chapter, which is the local chapter of the National Purple Heart Homes Organization. This organization helps fill the gaps in housing through the Veterans’ Aging In Place and Veterans Home Ownership Programs. In addition, the Lewis G. Watkins Marine Corps League Detachment #1131 stepped forward to pay for materials, which cost $1,550.

“We understand the sacrifice that many men and women from our community made when serving the Armed Forces,” said Larry Druffel, a member of Purple Heart Homes. “With the help of groups such as BASF VETS, we can all make a difference together.”

“We were honored to participate in this build with BASF ECMS VETS and Purple Heart Homes,” said Todd Alexander, Commandant, Lewis G. Watkins Marine Corps League. “Building projects like this aren’t just about accessibility; they’re about showing our gratitude and support in a tangible way.”

McCrory Construction CEO Allen Amsler elected 2024 Board Chair for ABC Carolinas

Allen Amsler, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Columbia-based McCrory Construction, with a regional office in Greenville, has been elected 2024 Board Chair of Associated Builders and Contractors of the Carolinas (ABC Carolinas). ABC Carolinas is a leading construction industry association representing more than 450 member firms in the two-state Carolinas region. Seven of the 20 board members, including Amsler, are based in South Carolina with the remainder located in North Carolina.

Having spent his entire professional career in construction, Amsler is passionate about elevating the construction industry in our region and beyond. On the heels of celebrating ABC Carolinas’ 25th anniversary year, Amsler and his fellow board members are focused on strategically paving the way for the next 25 years through ongoing initiatives with emerging professionals and across all workforce development efforts.

“ABC Carolinas represents many successful member organizations – general contractors, construction management firms, specialty contractors, material and equipment suppliers, and service providers – and it’s clear that developing future leaders is the lifeline to our collective long-term success,” said Amsler. “Of course, we will continue to be champions of safety and workforce development. Equally important, we will continue to be a voice heard nationally and regionally when it comes to shaping policy to further our deeply rooted merit shop philosophy.”

Amsler went on to say, “As I step into my role as 2024 Chair, I am energized by the unprecedented growth potential for our industry in the Carolinas. In keeping with our vision for ‘Building the Next Generation,’ this theme will be evident throughout the year, including our annual Construction Convention in downtown Greenville, South Carolina this August.”

Amsler began his extensive career with McCrory in 1987 following graduation from the University of Florida where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Building Construction. After immersing himself in all aspects of the business through increasingly responsible roles — ranging from Assistant Project Manager to Project Manager, to Vice President of Operations — he assumed the title of President and CEO in 2006. In 2020, Amsler passed the torch to current McCrory President Allen Bridgers, while retaining his role as Chief Executive Officer.

Amsler has held leadership roles in various civic and non-profit organizations over the years, most notably serving seven years as Chairman of the Board of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) after being appointed by then Governor Nikki Haley. He is also past Chairman of the National Kidney Foundation of South Carolina; the Special Olympics South Carolina; and Hootie and the Blowfish Monday After the Masters. In addition, Amsler served on the board for the Humane Society of South Carolina and as a Lexington advisory board member for the National Bank of South Carolina (NBSC).

About ABC Carolinas — Associated Builders and Contractors of the Carolinas (ABC Carolinas) represents general contractors, construction management firms, specialty contractors, various material and equipment suppliers, and service providers all dedicated to the construction industry in North and South Carolina. Based in Charlotte, NC, ABC Carolinas is one of 69 chapters of ABC, a national association representing more than 20,000 members. South Carolina has three regional ABC councils – Midlands, Upstate and Lowcountry. North Carolina has four regional councils – Charlotte, Triad, Triangle and Coastal. For more information and news, visit

About McCrory Construction — McCrory Construction, headquartered in Columbia, S.C., with an additional office in Greenville, S.C., is a full-service general contractor that has operated continuously since 1918. At 106 years old, McCrory is South Carolina’s oldest general contractor. Licensed in 13 states throughout the Southeast, McCrory has served an array of private and public sector clients through more than 3,000 general construction, design-build and construction management projects. Now under fifth generation private ownership, McCrory continues to be a leading force in retail, commercial, industrial, healthcare, and multi-family construction in the Southeast. McCrory is consistently honored by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) as a Top Performer, a prestigious national ranking that recognizes contractors for demonstrating world-class performance in five specific areas: safety, quality, diversity, project excellence and special designations, ranked by work hours. Known for its people-focused culture, McCrory has been named one of the Best Places to Work in South Carolina by SCBiz. To learn more, visit

Private Lending Industry Veteran Stephan Leccese Joins Lima One Capital’s Senior Management Team

GREENVILLE, S.C. – Lima One Capital, the nation’s premier lender for real estate investors, has added Stephan Leccese as Managing Director of Operations.

In this newly created role, Leccese oversees core operational functions including loan production, strategic accounts, lender finance, valuations, and construction management. Leccese brings over two decades of experience in real estate, finance, and technology that will help Lima One drive efficient loan production and a more effective customer experience.

“I’m pleased to welcome Stephan to the Lima One team,” Lima One CEO Jeff Tennyson said. “I have known Stephan for several years in various operational and industry leadership roles and have always respected him and his strong operational skills, insights, ethics, and professionalism. He’s an excellent addition to our senior leadership.”

Rankin Blair, Lima One’s Chief Operating Officer, stated, “As Lima One continues to grow, we are always looking for experienced industry leaders to join our team. We are pleased to have Stephan and his family in Greenville and look forward to the positive impact he will make on our operations and loan closing processes.”

Leccese’s track record features deep experience in business-purpose lending for real estate investors. He has co-founded multiple real estate ventures where he played key roles in generating over $1 billion annually in both loan origination and loan acquisition across multiple companies. He is also a founding member of the National Private Lenders Association (NPLA), having served multiple terms on the Advisory Council and currently serving as the co-chair of the Ethics Committee.

“After serving on the NPLA Advisory Council with Jeff Tennyson for many years, I witnessed firsthand and respected the impressive company culture and values at Lima One. And I was impressed with how they have achieved substantial growth over the last few years in a very challenging industry environment,” Leccese said. “I am thrilled to join Jeff and to work directly with Rankin and his impressive operations team as we continue to deliver operational excellence to our borrowers as the nation’s premier lender for real estate investors.”

About Lima One Capital: Since its inception in 2010, Lima One Capital has been recognized as the nation’s premier lender for real estate investors and has funded over $9 billion in business purpose real estate loans. With a reach across 46 states, Lima One operates as a capital partner for real estate investors who are building, improving, and stabilizing neighborhoods. Lima One’s core loan products are Fix and Flip loans, New Construction loans, Rental Property and Portfolio loans, and Multifamily Bridge loans. Lima One works directly with customers and also offers business-to-business partnership platforms for Brokers, Wholesale, and Lender Finance table funding. For more information, visit

BlueCross® BlueShield® of South Carolina Foundation Grants Funds to The Greenville Tech Foundation for The Dental Hygiene Program

The Greenville Tech Foundation is pleased to announce that the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation has awarded grants to support the Dental Hygiene program and its clinic at Greenville Technical College.

To enhance student learning and prepare them for successful careers in the dental profession, the Dental Hygiene program has utilized these gifts to acquire state-of-the-art equipment and supplies. This includes several DXTTR III X-ray Trainers, which enable students to gain firsthand experience in dental anatomy, positioning, and interpretation during X-ray procedures as well as an additional Nomad handheld X-ray system for X-ray training, remediation, and patient treatment. Furthermore, these grants have enabled them to purchase multiple innovative lasers, replace their low-speed handpieces, and buy various consumable supplies essential for the delivery of high-quality care in the clinic.

This collaboration between the Greenville Tech Foundation and the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation not only ensures continued exceptional care at the Greenville Tech Dental Clinic but also empowers the next generation of dental hygienists with the skills and expertise necessary for a successful career.

As the sole Dental Hygiene associate degree program in the Upstate region, Greenville Technical College plays a vital role in training future dental hygienists and meeting the preventative dental care needs of the community. Through the dental clinic, which serves as a public clinic, students receive direct training while providing essential oral healthcare services to low and moderate-income individuals. For the 2023-2024 academic year, the clinic aims to provide dental care to approximately 780 unique patients.

“The Greenville Technical College Dental Hygiene Program is very grateful for the funding provided by the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation to purchase equipment and supplies. We have been given the opportunity, with this funding, to purchase equipment to train, certify, and empower dental hygiene students with the most current and relevant technologies to provide the highest quality preventative and therapeutic dental care to their patients. The use of this technology and the certification of our future dental hygienists will benefit the college, the patients we serve, the dental hygiene profession, and the state,” said Traci Willimon, CDA, RDH, EdD; Academic Program Director, Dental Hygiene DEN.

The Greenville Tech Foundation extends its appreciation to the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation for their invaluable support. This grant will have a lasting impact on the dental hygiene program at Greenville Technical College and the overall health of the community. Together, we will continue to provide efficient, high-quality care and cultivate the next generation of skilled dental hygienists.

Fireforge Wins Gold at World Beer Championships

Fireforge Co-Founders Brian and Nicole Cendrowski

Fireforge Crafted Beer has earned three medals in the 2024 World Beer Championships® (WBC), a global competition recognizing exceptional taste and quality.

Founded in 1994 by the Beverage Testing Institute (BevTest) as the first international beer competition in the United States, the WBC sees hundreds of submissions from talented brewers around the world each year. Using a blind tasting methodology, an expert industry panel evaluates beers in 125 different categories and awards rankings on a 100-point rating scale.

Fireforge snagged gold medals for Best Flavored Ale and Best Hefeweizen with both brews receiving a gold “exceptional” distinction by scoring over 90 in BevTest’s rating system. Pecan Artist, a 5.5% ABV English Style Brown Ale, scored an impressive 93 in the world-renowned competition winning a gold medal for 2024 Best Flavored Ale. Brimming with roasted pecans, this seasonal nut brown has a mild malty character like an amber with the chocolatey roast of a porter.

He Ain’t Hefe, He’s My Brother, a 5% ABV German-Style Hefeweizen, also snagged a gold medal, scoring a 91 in the Hefeweizen category. Brewed with Southeastern-grown Riverbend Chesapeake Pilsner, this light and effervescent brew has hints of banana, lemon, and clove.

Fireforge’s Oktoberfest, a 5.5% ABV German-Style Lager, rounded out the brewery’s recognition, earning a silver medal in the Märzen/Octoberfest category with a score of 88. Full-bodied, malty and slightly bitter on the finish, this seasonal festbier heralds the brewery’s annual Oktoberfest celebration!

Launched in 2018 by Co-Founders Brian and Nicole Cendrowski, Fireforge Crafted Beer is a small-batch brewery, taproom, kitchen and biergarden in downtown Greenville, SC.

“Having our brews awarded globally for their quality reflects our commitment to creating an exceptional beer drinking experience for our guests,” said Brian.

Adds Nicole, “Our passionately-crafted beers are often at the center of memorable gatherings of friends and family. We are honored to have them also recognized by BevTest’s beer industry experts.”

With 20+ in-house brewed beers on draft, along with other craft beverages, and a locally-inspired taproom menu of shareable snacks, sandwiches and sides, guests can explore the culinary world of flavors through beer and food together.

Fireforge was named Best Brewpub/Brewery and Best Bar in the Greenville News’ 2023 Best of the Upstate awards and voted Best Local Brewery in the inaugural Post & Courier Greenville Readers’ Choice awards. Our top-selling Reuben Sammie is featured in VisitGreenvilleSC’s Eugenia Duke’s Unofficial Mayo Guide – a self-guided trail celebrating the legendary condiment!

Visit to learn more or find Fireforge on Instagram or Facebook.

Wagner Wealth Management’s Turlington named to Forty Under 40

GREENVILLE, SC – Hayden Turlington, a wealth advisor with Wagner Wealth Management, has been named to GSA Business Reports Forty Under 40 list for 2024.

GSA Business Report’s Forty Under 40 celebrates the success and community involvement of 40 professionals under age 40 who are making their mark on the Upstate from a mix of industry, professional and community sectors.

Nominations for the award are submitted annually by businesses, organizations and individuals. Judges independently score the nominations, and 40 emerge from the pool of candidates for the final list of honorees.

A Greenville native, Turlington majored in music and was on the pre-med track at Furman before deciding that medicine was not the right fit for her. Turlington realized she still wanted a career that allowed her to help people solve problems and meet goals, so she looked into wealth management. After graduating in 2018, Turlington earned her financial licenses as well as the Accredited Asset Management Specialist designation in 2019.

Turlington joined Wagner Wealth Management in 2022 and has enjoyed serving clients across the Upstate. In the community, she was a founding member of Young Greenville – A Republican Club, and served as its president in 2023; she is a violinist with the Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra; she spent three years as marketing chair for the Greenville’s Chamber’s Young Professionals Advisory Council; and was a founding member of Christian Learning Center’s Charisma Young Professionals Club.

“We are extremely proud of Hayden,” said Dan Wagner, founder and CEO of Wagner Wealth Management. “She has helped many people accomplish their life goals and we’re glad to see her recognized for achievements.”

About Wagner Wealth Management:

Wagner Wealth Management specializes in helping individuals and companies reach their personal and professional goals. Wagner Wealth Management currently advises on more than $1.5 billion in client assets; their experience is diverse, exceptional, and ready to work. The firm has offices in Anderson, Greenville, and Seneca. Learn more at

Securities offered through Arkadios Capital. Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services through Wealth Management Advisors, LLC. Arkadios Capital and Wealth Management Advisors, LLC, are not affiliated through any ownership.

Robert Wilson Awarded the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award

Robert Wilson with his family, Amanda, Merritt, and Creighton, upon being presented with the award.

Robert Wilson, Senior Leadership Advisor & Community Advocate for Spero Financial, is awarded The Lifetime Achievement Award by the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation. The Lifetime Achievement Award honors an individual who has made a significant and lasting impact in the credit union industry. Robert was recognized at the Foundation’s Awards Gala in Charlotte, North Carolina on February 7, 2024.

Brian McKay, President and CEO of Spero Financial, shared, “This is a tremendous honor, and one that Robert has earned through his years of work in the credit union industry and the Upstate community. Robert was one of the first leaders I met in my credit union career 20 years ago, and I’ve been blessed to work beside him, and even more so, blessed to call him a friend.”

As he accepted the award, Robert stated, “If I could summarize my career in one word, it would be serving. Serving is my ‘why’.”

It’s exactly this drive to serve that sets Robert apart and has marked not only his career but his entire life — in service to his family, to his credit union members, and to his community.

Robert’s career within the credit union industry spans over 30 years with much of that time spent as the President and CEO of Anderson Federal Credit Union (AFCU) — a position he held until 2021 with the merger of AFCU and SC Telco Federal Credit Union becoming Spero Financial. In his role as CEO, he led AFCU in expanding the Credit Union’s charter to underserved communities in South Carolina and Georgia and grew assets from $49 million to over $107 million. At Spero Financial, Robert has served as the Senior Vice President, Lending and Sales before transitioning to the Senior Leadership Advisor and Community Advocate.

Beyond these accomplishments, Robert spearheaded countless initiatives directly impacting the betterment of the community. Many of these efforts still live on today, such as Spero Financial’s joint efforts with AnMed Health in powering the Mobile Mammograph Bus – a first-of-a-kind in the nation that Robert, alongside AnMed, pioneered many years ago to ensure affordable and accessible breast image screenings to individuals across the Upstate of South Carolina.

Within his community, Robert has volunteered with Anderson Interfaith Ministries, March of Dimes, Susan G. Komen Foundation, Upstate Homeless Coalition, Meals on Wheels, Foothills Alliance, Haven of Rest Ministries, American Cancer Society, Alzheimer’s Association, Children’s Miracle Network, and more. He has also been devoted to coaching high school basketball— a role he held for over 35 years.

In his tenure, he also has served in volunteer advisory roles for numerous organizations including the Hospice of the Upstate (Board Chairman), Anderson University Board of Visitors, Anderson University Athletic Advisor Board, Innovate Anderson (Executive Committee), South Carolina Credit Union League (Board), South Carolina Credit Union Management Associate (Treasurer), First Carolina Corporate Credit Union (Board), Piedmont Chapter Credit Union (Board).

Robert’s impact on the credit union industry and the Upstate of South Carolina is immeasurable. For those that have had the great pleasure of knowing him throughout his career, it is evident that he embodies the “people helping people” philosophy that defines the cooperative spirit. His genuine spirit is contagious, and his passion to serve is an inspiration to us all.

On behalf of Team Spero, we congratulate Robert Wilson on being recognized with this distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award.

About Spero Financial
Spero Financial Federal Credit Union was chartered in 1935 as a not-for-profit financial cooperative with one mission: to improve financial lives. As one of the Palmetto State’s largest credit unions, today, it has more than 50,000 members and $705 million in assets. Headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina, the credit union’s footprint spans the Upstate and Midlands with branches in Anderson, Easley, Greenville, Simpsonville, Spartanburg, Taylors, and Columbia. Learn more at

Glassdoor Names South Carolina Federal a Best Place to Work in 2024

N. Charleston, S.C. – South Carolina Federal Credit Union has been named one of the Best Places to Work by Glassdoor, ranking No.13 out of 50 among organizations with fewer than 1,000 employees.

The 2024 Best Places to Work were determined by reviews employees posted on Glassdoor over the past year, where they provided anonymous feedback about their job, work environment, and employer. Employees who choose to share a review are also asked to rate their employer on its compensation and benefits, leadership team, and diversity and inclusion practices, all of which Glassdoor analyzes to determine the top workplaces.

“Earning this recognition for the sixth year in a row reinforces our belief that a thriving workplace culture is one built on trust, respect, and opportunities for personal and professional advancement, and this is the cornerstone of our success,” said Leslie Norris, Chief Human Resources Officer at South Carolina Federal. “We’re elated that our employees love where they work and refer others who share the same passion and excitement!”

South Carolina Federal offers employees a range of best-in-class benefits, including a free health insurance option, rate discounts on mortgage and auto loans, and a generous 401(k) employer match. The credit union also makes it easy for employees to support the causes and organizations they’re passionate about by offering time off for volunteering and connecting them with opportunities to serve a variety of local nonprofits.

If you would like to work for a company that is continuously named a Best Place to Work, visit to browse current opportunities.

About South Carolina Federal
Connect with South Carolina Federal Credit Union for products, services, and financial literacy. With more than 175,000 members and $2.5 billion in assets, the member-owned financial institution operates 29 offices and serves seven major markets including Charleston, Columbia, Georgetown, Greenville, Florence, Myrtle Beach, and Spartanburg. Over 55,000 surcharge-free ATMs are available worldwide through the Allpoint Network. More information about South Carolina Federal can be found at

United Community Selects Nominees for 2024 Leadership Academy

United Community 2024 Leadership Academy Class

GREENVILLE, S.C. – United Community has selected 25 emerging team members to participate in its 2024 Leadership Academy class, a nine-month internal professional development program aimed at strengthening participants’ leadership skills and understanding of United’s core values.

“At United Community, we want to be a great place for great people to work,” said Moryah Jackson, SVP, community development and engagement. “Leadership Academy helps develop promising talent of all levels, enabling them to better deliver on our promise to strengthen the financial health and well-being of the communities we serve.”

Throughout the program, participants will join key meetings and leadership roundtables with United’s executive management. Upon completion of Leadership Academy, candidates graduate with Clemson University’s miniMBA certificate and will have completed a strategic business recommendation project and a community impact project. More than 90 bankers have completed the program since it was launched in 2016.

United bankers selected for the eighth-year class are:

• Amber Holden (Blairsville, Ga.)
• Andrew Shull (Greenville, S.C.)
• April Irwin (Laurens, S.C.)
• April James (Canton, Ga.)
• Brice Sprayberry (Mount Pleasant, S.C.)
• Caleb Patteson (Greenville, S.C.)
• Chris Klein (Fuquay-Varina, N.C.)
• Chris Shinpaugh (Blue Ridge, Ga.)
• Christopher Huey (Greenville, S.C.)
• Darren West (Elijay, Ga.)
• David Glenn (Columbia, S.C.)
• Elizabeth Boggess (Greenville, S.C.)
• Hannah Coffey (Blairsville, Ga.)
• Jacob Partin (Springfield, Tenn.)
• Jami Bucy (Ponte Vedra, Fla.)
• Jason Boskey (Sarasota, Fla.)
• Jeff Waddail (Huntsville, Ala.)
• Kristin N. Couch (Greenville, S.C.)
• Lauren Dubois (Elijay, Ga.)
• Lauren McElveen (Greenville, S.C.)
• Lane Redding (Inlet Beach, Fla.)
• Michele Roark (Anderson, S.C.)
• Scott Toth (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
• Stephanie Sharp (Bufford, Ga.)
• Steve Borecky (Embry Hills, Ga.)

About United Community Banks, Inc.
United Community Banks, Inc. (NASDAQ: UCBI) is the financial holding company for United Community, a top 100 US financial institution that is committed to improving the financial health and well-being of its customers and ultimately the communities it serves. United Community provides a full range of banking, wealth management, and mortgage services. As of December 31, 2023, United Community has $27.2 billion in assets and 207 offices across Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee, as well as a national SBA lending franchise and a national equipment financing subsidiary. United Community has been recognized nationally as a leader in customer service, financial performance, and workplace environment. Among the accolades, United Community is a nine-time winner of the J.D. Power award that ranked the bank #1 in customer satisfaction with consumer banking in the Southeast and was recognized in 2023 by Forbes as one of the World’s Best Banks and one of America’s Best Banks. United Community was also recognized by Newsweek in 2023 as one of the Most Trusted Companies in America, is a multi-award recipient of the Greenwich Excellence Awards and was named by American Banker as one of the “Best Banks to Work For” in 2023 for the seventh consecutive year. Additional information about United Community can be found at