Monday, August 7, 2017: Steven Rodney, Asst. Professor, USC Dept. of Physics and Astronomy and Miriam Atria, President/CEO for the CCLMC

Please join us on Monday, August 7th when we will welcome both Steven Rodney, Asst. Professor, USC Dept. of Physics and Astronomy and Miriam Atria, President/CEO for the CCLMC to our podium.

Dr. Steven Rodney is an assistant professor at the University of South Carolina in the department of physics and astronomy.  Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, he attended Case Western Reserve University, majoring in Physics and Astronomy, and then went on to graduate school at the University of Hawaii.   After completing his PhD he spent 6 years as an postdoctoral researcher at Johns Hopkins University, and joined the faculty at USC in 2015.   His current research interests rely on the Hubble Space Telescope for observations of distant supernova explosions that are magnified by gravitational lensing.  

Miriam Atria is President/CEO for the Capital City / Lake Murray Country Regional Tourism Board (CCLMC).  This organization promotes the tourism region of Lexington, Richland, Newberry, Saluda Counties.  Atria has worked in the tourism industry and served in her position since 1983.  Prior to joining CCLMC, she was the Marketing & Communications Director for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina.  In this position, she designed sales and marketing materials as well as created a formal training program for sales representatives and independent agents for BCBS throughout the state.

Miriam Atria moved to Columbia in 1973 after serving as Director of Communications for Johnson & Higgins in Charlotte, NC.  At the time her cliental included Harris-Teeter Supermarkets, Ruddick Corporation and Prudential Insurance Company.

Atria has also served as the Executive Director and Producer of the Boat Show in Columbia for 20 years and created South Carolina’s RV Show and SC Golfers Showcase.   She continues to serve as a member of the South Carolina Association of Tourism Regions (SCATR), an organization formed in 1989 of all tourism regions in the state.   She also currently serves as an ex-officio member of the Greater Columbia Hotel/Motel Association along with several other tourism and hospitality related organizations.

Atria has been the catalyst for creating such events and programs for the tourism region as Lake Murray’s July 4th Celebration, Taste of Lake Murray and lead the way in securing funding to create and maintain the Reference Light Program on Lake Murray.  She is responsible for bringing national events to this region such as the upcoming Forrest Wood Cup in August 2017. (Forrest Wood Cup fishing event which created a $46.5 million-dollar economic impact for the region in 2008 and returned in 2014).   Atria’s leadership has brought several state awards to the regional tourism program including the 2009 SC Governor’s Cup on Tourism, the 1990 Recipient of SC Most Outstanding Tourist Attraction presented by the SC Chamber of Commerce for her leading role in the relocation and renovation of the Historic Lorick Plantation House.    Also in March 2009, Atria received the Palmetto Patriot Award and in 2016, Atria received the prestigious Rudy Award from the Greater Columbia Hotel & Restaurant Association.

Atria is married to local attorney Nicholas Atria and acknowledges her proudest accomplishment is rising twin sons now 29 as faith based professionals.