Monday, February 26, 2018: Rebecca Gunnlaugsson – Economist at Acuitas Economics- Tax Reform in SC

Please join us on Monday, February 26th when we will welcome Dr. Rebecca Gunnlaugsson – Economist at Acuitas Economics  to our podium.

Dr. Rebecca Gunnlaugsson is an economist specializing in public finance and taxation. She formerly served as the Director of the Division of Research and subsequently Chief Economist at the South Carolina Department of Commerce. In these roles she led research teams analyzing economic issues impacting South Carolina and was instrumental in the reorganization of the Department of Employment and Workforce and the redesign of the state’s indebted Unemployment Insurance which is, since 2014, fully solvent.

She has done extensive research on taxation and optimization for long term economic growth, having testified before the 2009 Senate Finance Committee on Unemployment Insurance, the 2010 South Carolina Tax Realignment Commission (TRAC) and the 2017 South Carolina House Tax Policy Review Committee, as well as having served on the 2016 Governor’s Local Government Competitiveness Council.

Her experience also includes that as a senior technology consultant for Accenture where she was involved in firm-wide business and technology implementations. Dr. Gunnlaugsson is currently president of Acuitas Economics, where she specializes in statistical analysis and econometric modeling to develop interactive, visual methods to deliver data-driven insights and recommended policy solutions.

Dr. Gunnlaugsson received her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Michigan.

Monday, February 12, 2018: Lt. General John Rosa – President of The Citadel- 175th Anniversary

Please join us on Monday, February 12th when we will welcome Lt. General John Rosa – President of The Citadel to our podium.

Lieutenant General John W. Rosa became the 19th President of The Citadel on January 3, 2006. He returned to his alma mater after serving as Superintendent of the U.S. Air Force Academy.

An alumnus, highly decorated pilot, three-star general, and parent of a graduate, General Rosa brings extensive experience in leadership, education and public service to The Citadel.

Under Lt Gen Rosa’s leadership, The Citadel remains focused on its mission to educate and develop principled leaders for the military, private enterprise, and public institutions. For the sixth year in a row, U.S. News and World Report ranked The Citadel the #1 College in the South among its peers. The Citadel will also conclude an historic $175 million capital campaign in conjunction with its LEAD 2018 strategic plan in May 2018.

Commissioned in the United States Air Force upon graduation, Lt Gen Rosa is a command-rated fighter pilot with more than 3,600 flying hours, including a tour as an exchange pilot with The Royal Air Force.

Lt Gen Rosa commanded at the squadron, group and wing levels in South Korea, Idaho, South Carolina, New Mexico and Georgia. He served as Inspector General for Pacific Air Forces in Hawaii, and as Commandant of The Air Command and Staff College in Alabama.

As Deputy Director for Operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington, D.C., he led the National Military Command Center at The Pentagon, including during the September 11 attacks, and served as spokesman for the Joint Chiefs as U.S. troops deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq. In July 2003, he was named Superintendent of the U.S. Air Force Academy. He retired from active duty in November 2005.

Lt Gen Rosa holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from Golden Gate University. He is a graduate of the Air Force Command and Staff College, the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and the U.S. Army War College. He has studied at the John F. Kennedy School of Government and the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Lt Gen John W. Rosa, USAF (Ret), President of The Citadel
Bio current as of APRIL 2017

He received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the College of Charleston in 2007.

His military awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, the Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters, the Air Force Commendation Medal and the Combat Readiness Medal with two oak leaf clusters. He has flown the A-7, A-10, Hunter, Jaguar, F-16, F-117A, HH-60G and HC-130 aircraft.

He is married to Donna Kangeter, a Charleston native. They have two sons, Jonathan and Brad (The Citadel Class of 2003), and two grandchildren.

Monday, February 5, 2018: Tommy Stringfellow – President & CEO, Riverbanks Zoo

Please join us on Monday, February 5th when we will welcome Tommy Stringfellow – President & CEO, Riverbanks Zoo to our podium.

With more than 25 years of experience in the zoo and attractions industries, Tommy Stringfellow is the third executive to oversee the Zoo in its 43-year-history. He began his career at the Zoo and Garden in 2002 as director of marketing and was promoted to chief operating officer in 2011.

Prior to joining Riverbanks, Stringfellow was the Director of Sales and Marketing for Six Flags over Georgia Theme Park, Six Flags Whitewater Water Park and American Adventures Family Entertainment Center. There he was responsible for generating over 3 million annual visitors and generating $12 million in admissions and sponsorship revenue annually.

Earlier, Stringfellow was the Director of Sales and Marketing for Six Flags Great Escape and Waterpark in upstate New York. In addition to his theme park responsibilities, he directed the sales and marketing efforts for three hotels and two restaurants that were owned and operated by the Six Flags Company.

Stringfellow laid the foundation for his career working for Paramount Parks, Inc., which owned and operated five major theme parks and several prototype themed attractions. He climbed through the ranks in park operations management positions to Director of Sales during his tenure with Paramount Parks.

An active member of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums and the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, Stringfellow is a graduate of Winthrop University and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Marketing. He has recently served terms on the Marketing Advisory Committee for AZA and both the Columbia Metropolitan of Conventions and Visitors Bureau and Atlanta Convention and Tourism Board. He is an active member of the community and serves on the Board of Directors for Palmetto Health’s Camp Kemo.

Stringfellow is a native South Carolinian and is married with two sons and one daughter.

Monday, January 29, 2018: Bill McCrary – CEO, Strategic Partner, Inc. a Sandler Training Co.

Please join us on Monday, January 29th when we will welcome Bill McCrary – CEO, Strategic Partner, Inc. a Sandler Training Company.

Bill McCrary, a critically acclaimed coach and trainer, founded Strategic Partner in 1997 after a 20-year corporate career with Fortune 500 companies Georgia-Pacific and Wyeth Labs. Bill is an internationally known speaker haven spoken at destinations as distant as Dubai, UAE. He is also a Vistage International speaker.

Strategic Partner is an authorized licensee of Sandler Training. Sandler was recently named the #1 training company in America by Entrepreneur Magazine. Sandler Training is a world leader in sales and sales management training with a network of 275 Sandler training centers in 31 countries around the world. In 2009, McCrary was awarded the David H. Sandler Award by Sandler Training. The award is the organizations highest honor and is given to one person worldwide annually.

A number of Strategic Partners clients have either been recognized as one of Inc. Magazine’s fastest growing companies in America, referenced in Jim Collin’s book “Good to Great”, or Elliott Davis’ list of South Carolina’s Fastest-Growing Companies.

You can contact Bill at 803-771-0800, or

Monday, January 22, 2018: Tom Ledbetter, fellow Rotarian and Associate VP at Midlands Technical College

Please join us on Monday, January 22nd when we will welcome Tom Ledbetter, a fellow Rotarian and Associate VP at Midlands Technical College, speak about the Center for Entrepreneurial Success.

Tom Ledbetter, Associate Vice President for Entrepreneurial Success and Community Engagement,  said the CES will launch with a heavy focus on serving current students, hoping the college will see an increase in students who desire to run their own businesses.

“Two-thirds of our students come here to get credentials to go to work,” said Ledbetter. “We want to provide an entrepreneurial toolbox for students should they consider starting their own business.”

Midlands Technical College is leveraging space, services, people, programs, and technical capabilities of the college and incorporating these into a strategy that is wide in its approach, but deep in its understanding of small business.

“MTC already has a wealth of resources to offer students who want to be entrepreneurs,” he said. “We can help with blueprints and drawings, prototyping, engineering, and technical reviews. We have all kinds of talent here at MTC that can make students successful business owners and inventors.”

MTC currently offers programs like automotive technology, HVAC, and industrial electricity that enable students to graduate with the technical skills to go into business for themselves. One year from now, Ledbetter hopes these students and others see the CES as the place to go for information on starting a business.

“Most of our students know about (the television show) Shark Tank,” he said. “MTC has the expertise and knowledge in-house to move students through the steps of taking their business or product ideas to market and how to start and sustain a small business.”

Ledbetter has 20 years of experience working with students who have that entrepreneurial spark. He says the pursuit of successful self-employment is rooted in passion.

“Developing a student’s entrepreneurial talent is the next great product for MTC,” he said. “We do some of this now, but we are going to be doing a whole lot more of it. This is essentially a new product launch for MTC.”

The Center for Entrepreneurial Success at Midlands Technical College is located in the Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Skilled Crafts on the college’s Airport Campus.


Monday, January 8, 2018: William Starrett – Artistic and Executive Director, Columbia City Ballet

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Please join us on Monday, January 8th when we will welcome William Starrett – Artistic and Executive Director, Columbia City Ballet to our podium.

Dancer, teacher, choreographer, and community leader, William Starrett, began his career with San Francisco’s Ballet Celeste before joining the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.  Through appearances as a principal dancer for the Joffrey Ballet and as a member of American Ballet Theatre under the direction of both Lucia Chase and Mikhail Baryshnikov, William has danced as a guest artist with more than 40 of the world’s most renowned ballet companies, Mr. Starrett’s talent as a dancer has earned rave reviews from coast to coast as well as a medal at the very first US International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi.

Mr. Starrett is beginning his 31st Season with Columbia City Ballet, South Carolina’s largest performing arts organization. As Executive and Artistic Director, he has staged more than 50 works – including 19 original, full-length ballets, 10 classical full-length ballets and 23 original narrated one-act educational ballets for children.  The Educational Outreach Series, which Mr. Starrett implemented in 1989, has introduced ballet to more than half a million schoolchildren in the Southeast.  Under his direction, Columbia City Ballet is entering its 57th year of continuous performance seasons.

Starrett is also the co-owner of Columbia Conservatory of Dance with Ballet Mistress, Mariclare Miranda. In 2002, Mr. Starrett was honored by South Carolina’s governor with the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Award for achievement in the arts. In addition, Mr. Starrett is the official arts correspondent for WACH Fox News and hosts the weekly Arts WACH with William, a segment of WACH Fox News which provides an in-depth look at unique visual and performing arts events in the Midlands.

Monday, December 18, 2017: Major General Robert E. Livingston, Jr. – The Adjutant General (TAG) of South Carolina

Please join us on Monday, December 18th when we will welcome Major General Robert E. Livingston, Jr. – The Adjutant General (TAG) of South Carolina to our podium.

Major General Robert E. Livingston, Jr. serves as The Adjutant General (TAG) of South Carolina, the head of the Military Department of the state of South Carolina. He administers the affairs of the South Carolina Army and Air National Guard, the Emergency Management Division, the State Guard, and the Youth Challenge Academy. The Governor, by law, is the Commander-in-Chief. The Adjutant General is a Constitutional Officer and has the rank of Major General.

Livingston’s military service began when he enlisted in the South Carolina Army National Guard in March 1978. He was commissioned through the Palmetto Military Academy, Officer Candidate School in 1980 as the Top Honor Graduate. His military education began with his completion of the U.S. Army Infantry School in 1978 and Airborne School in 1979. General Livingston commanded the Task Force 218th in support of Operation Noble Eagle from June 2004 to January 2005. From May 07 to April 08, he commanded Combined Joint Task Force Phoenix (VI) in Afghanistan where he was responsible for the training and mentoring (advising) of the Afghan National Security Forces. His next assignment was Director for Strategic Plans and Policy (J5), National Guard Bureau, Arlington, Virginia. His last assignment was as Director, J5 Coalition Coordination Center, United States Central Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida where he was responsible for facilitating the exchange between the Command Staff for the United States Central Command and Military Senior National Representatives from over 60 countries. He was also charged with providing deployment support for Coalition Countries within the United States Central Command Area of Responsibility. Since January 2011, MG Livingston has served as The Adjutant General of South Carolina.

Livingston is President, Chief Executive Officer and Owner of Gregory Electric Company, Incorporated, which is headquartered in Columbia, South Carolina. Gregory Electric Company is a provider of complete commercial and industrial electrical, utility and telecommunications services with operations in nine states.

Monday, December 11, 2017: Christy Hall – Secretary, SC Department of Transportation

Please join us on Monday, December 11th when we will welcome Christy Hall – Secretary, SC Department of Transportation to our podium.

Ms. Hall has the honor and privilege as serving as the Secretary of Transportation for the State of South Carolina. In her capacity as the head of the agency, she is responsible for directing and guiding the agency’s planning, financial, legislative, maintenance and operational efforts for the nation’s fourth largest state-owned highway system.

Secretary Hall rose through the ranks of the agency and has served in a variety of roles in both Headquarters and the Field during her twenty-plus-year career with SCDOT. She has just about done it all at the agency from design, to construction, to maintenance to serving in several different leadership positions on the Finance and Engineering sides of the agency. Secretary Hall’s unique experience has served the agency well so far whether it was during the recent natural disasters that struck our state or the $5 Billion financial plan that was crafted last year for our state’s crumbling roads and bridges.

Ms. Hall is a South Carolina native, a graduate of Clemson University, and a registered Professional Engineer.

Monday, December 4, 2017: Joseph “Hilik” Shenkar – Legal Counsel, SC Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services

Please join us on Monday, December 4th when we will welcome Joseph “Hilik” Shenkar – Legal Counsel, SC Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services to our podium.

Mr. Shenkar is the legal counsel for the South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services (DAODAS). Aside from handling the legal needs of the agency, Mr. Shenkar is also heavily involved with addressing the opioids epidemic in South Carolina. Prior to working with DAODAS, Mr. Shenkar was the designated Drug Diversion prosecutor for the Fifth Judicial Circuit, covering Richland and Kershaw counties. His prosecution focused on criminal cases involving the diversion of pharmaceutical drugs to the illicit market. Mr. Shenkar also held a position with the United States Attorney as a Special Assistant US Attorney. In addition to prosecution, Mr. Shenkar spearheaded legislation in the field of drug diversion prosecution and opioids abuse. Mr. Shenkar has also handled various appeals for the Fifth Circuit, including both Magistrate Appeals in Circuit Court and arguments before the South Carolina Supreme Court. Prior to focusing on drug diversion prosecution, Mr. Shenkar prosecuted a variety of crimes, ranging from burglaries to assaults.

Monday, November 27, 2017: Gary Bradham – District Governor, Rotary District 7770

Please join us on Monday, November 27th when we will welcome Gary Bradham – District Governor, Rotary District 7770 to our podium.

Gary Bradham is President of Bradham Services LLC and has an MBA and a BA in Business Administration. A few of the honors he has received as member of the Myrtle Beach Club are as follows: 11 years of Perfect Attendance, Bequest Society, Benefactor, Major Donor, PHS – Paul Harris Society, PHF – Paul Harris Fellow, Past President 2011-12, Club Rotarian of the Year: 2013, Sustaining Member, and New Members Sponsored: 13.