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.

Monday, July 31, 2017: Shawn Stinson-Blue Cross Blue Shield of SC

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Please join us on Monday, July 31st when we will welcome Shawn Stinson of Blue Cross Blue Shield of SC to our podium.

Shawn Stinson serves as Senior Vice President of Managed Care & Population Health at BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina.  In 2014, Dr. Stinson came to BlueCross to serve as the Chief Medical Officer and Vice President for Clinical Innovation.  Prior to that he was the Chief Quality & Patient Safety Officer of Palmetto Health.

A native of Greensboro, NC, Dr. Stinson earned his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro.  He attended medical school at Duke University and completed his internship and residency training Johns Hopkins Hospital in Internal Medicine.  He began his career as Assistant Chief of the Medical Service at Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1991 and advanced to Assistant Professor of Medicine before coming to the University of South Carolina School Of Medicine in 1995.

Dr. Stinson serves on the Quality Advisory Council of the South Carolina Hospital Association.  He is a Fellow in the American College of Physicians and is board-certified in Internal Medicine.  Of many notable career highlights, he is a recipient of The Lewis W. Blackman Award for a SC Healthcare Executive as well as multiple O’Neill Barrett Teaching Excellence Awards and Faculty Member of the Year Awards from the USC School of Medicine.  Since coming to BlueCross in 2014, Dr. Stinson has been working on efforts to further the Quadruple Aim in healthcare: initiatives that Improve the Quality of Care; Lower Costs; and Improve Patient and Provider Satisfaction.     

Monday, July 17, 2017: Michael Hitchcock, The RSIC Chief Executive Officer

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Please join us on Monday, July 17th when we will welcome Michael Hitchcock to our podium.

Michael Hitchcock is the RSIC Chief Executive Officer.  The RSIC manages and invests the assets for the South Carolina Retirement System, a $29 billion defined benefit pension plan serving approximately 500,000 participants.

Prior to joining the RSIC, Mr. Hitchcock served as Chief Counsel and Assistant Clerk of the South Carolina Senate.  In this role, he served as Deputy Administrator of the agency and also directed the Office of Senate Research which provides legislative drafting, research, and legal services to all forty-six members of the State Senate.

Mr. Hitchcock earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of South Carolina and his Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina, School of Law.  He has served in the South Carolina National Guard since 2000, earning the rank of Major in the Judge Advocate General Corps.

Monday, July 10, 2017: Dr. Ernest McNealey, Ph.D.

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Please join us on Monday, July 10th when we will welcome Dr. Ernest McNealy, President of Allen University to our podium.

Dr. Ernest McNealey was named Interim President of Allen University in the Fall of 2016, and President in the Spring of 2017.  Prior to coming to Allen he was the principal officer in the McNealey Group, an Atlanta-based consulting firm.  He is a seasoned executive with demonstrated success in diverse educational settings, evidenced by his advancement at each professional level: from Instructor of Art at a four-year state university to VP for Academic Affairs at a regional college; and from Associate Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Academic Affairs at a Carnegie I institution, to selection as the President and Chief Executive Officer of a comprehensive college.  Though a prodigal artist, his interests and expertise are in accreditation, financial modeling, and retention. Dr. McNealey has also served as a director/chair of key policy groups – such as the ETS-HBCU Advisory Board, academic groups – such as the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, athletics groups – such as the NCAA D-II Presidents Council, and community groups – such as the Board of the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra.  He is married to Dr. Earnestine Green McNealey, an author, and he has two adult sons.