by Ardie Arvidson
The Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Florence Class of 2019 held its graduation on Wednesday night at Honda of South Carolina Manufacturing Inc. in Timmonsville.
Kristin Nesmith of the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce was presented the Outstanding Participant Award. All graduates received plaques.
The nine-month course began with a trip to Myrtle Beach on Sept. 10 for one of two retreats. The two-day beach retreat was cut short because of the approach of Hurricane Florence. On Nov. 15, the group participated in a team-building attraction called Locked-Inn.
During Wednesday night’s program, four Leadership graduates gave an overview of the “year at a glance.” They talked about the retreat days, the “Ride-a-Mile in My Shoes” Day, Media Day, Legislative Day, Law Enforcement Day and other sessions of the Leadership Class. Each one told how he or she had been affected by the class. They were Deanna Hayne, Jessica Morris, Anita Taylor and Tavorous Collins.
Four members of the class, Brian Davison, Kristin Nesmith, Stephanie Bosch and Ania Dixon talked about the class project and the class plans for the proceeds.
The 36-member graduating class held a ” Poppin’ Shells for A Good Cause” oyster roast in April to raise money for local charities, and on Wednesday night, they presented three nonprofits with $5,873.60 each. Empowered to Heal, Harvest Hope Food Bank and Mercy Medicine were the chosen charities.
About $28,000 was raised through sponsorships, ticket sales to the event and a silent auction.
The keynote speaker was Aaron Robinson of Honda.
The class also heard remarks from Chamber board Chairwoman Mindy Taylor of Duke Energy.
Members of the 2019 Leadership Florence were Allen Abernethy-, MUSC Health Florence Medical Center; Sheri Ard, McLeod Health; Tony Berry, Honda of South Carolina Mfg., Inc.; Stephanie Bosch, Francis Marion University; Ashley W. Bunn, Wilcox Office Mart; Jordan Burns, Pee Dee Nephrology; Michelle Byers, Florence Morning News/SC Now; William Calcutt, Jr., Florence Morning News; Tavorous Collins, Pee Dee Regional Transportation Authority; Brian Davison, Florence Center; Ania Dixon, First Bank; Joette Dukes, Pee Dee Regional Council of Governments; Matthew Ethridge, Hodge Ethridge Agency; Deanna Hayne, Honda of South Carolina Mfg., Inc.; Alger Holloman, Sharonview Federal Credit Union; Rufus Jackson, HopeHealth, Inc.; Brenda Kennedy, Keystone healthcare and Wellness; Thomas Kennedy, Signature Wealth Strategies; Jennifer Massey, Pepsi Cola of Florence; Clint Moore, City of Florence; Jessica Morris, ADP Tax Credits; David Mullins, First Reliance Bank; Steve Mumford, Florence County Sheriff’s Office; Kristin Nesmith, Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce; Cameron Packett, Florence County Economic Development Partnership; Kelley Prevatte, HopeHealth; Sara Ashley Richardson; Jennifer Robinson, Empowered to Heal; Chris Rogers, Florence One Schools; Kyle Srimoungchanh, Duke Energy Progress; Daniel St. Pierre, GE Healthcare; Lauren Stafford, Carolina Bank & Trust; Anita Taylor, Florence County; Caroline Toniolo, Edward Jones; Sarah Travis, The Manor and Maria West, GE Healthcare.
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