Brenan served as chairman, president and chief executive officer of the former MainStreet Financial Corporation of Martinsville, Virginia, from June 1994 to March 1999, when BB&T acquired MainStreet. He served as head of non-bank acquisitions for BB&T from March 1999 to January 2000.
He has a B.A. from Bowling Green State University, Ohio.
His affiliations include University of South Carolina’s Moore School Business Partnership Foundation (past chairman), Claflin University, Midlands Business Leadership Group, Palmetto Business Forum, Invest SC, Palmetto AgriBusiness Council, South Carolina Bankers Association (past chairman), United Way of the Midlands (past chairman), United Way Association of South Carolina (past chairman), South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (Past Chairman), South Carolina Chamber of Commerce (past chairman), Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce (past chairman), Central SC Alliance (chairman), SC Business and Industry Political Education Council (treasurer), Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics Foundation (past chairman), Palmetto Policy Forum, EngenuitySC, TransformSC, Co-Chairman, Trinity Forum and Washington D.C., Governor’s Appointee to the South Carolina Board of Education.
C. W. Garnett, division CEO of Synovus, is a native of Columbia, South Carolina, with more than 31 years of banking experience. Before joining Synovus, Garnett served as president and CEO of the National Bank of South Carolina. He joined NBSC as senior commercial lender in 1993, then as senior vice president, Upstate Regional Executive in 1996. In 1997, he served as executive vice president and his responsibilities were expanded to include Multi-Region Executive. Garnett was named president and CEO of NBSC in December 2003. He began his banking career with the C&S National Bank of South Carolina in 1984, serving in various management positions.
He attended the University of South Carolina before serving in the U.S. Air Force for four years. Garnett earned B.A. and M.B.A. degrees from the University of Puget Sound and is also a graduate of Louisiana State University’s Graduate School of Banking of the South.
Garnett is currently serving on the South Carolina Centers of Economic Excellence Review Board, Central Carolina Economic Development Alliance Board and Executive Committee, Midlands Business Leadership Group Board and Executive Committee, Transitions Board of Directors, South Carolina Business and Industry Political Education Committee Board of Directors, University of South Carolina Board of Visitors, South Carolina Economics Board of Directors, University Associates and Palmetto Business Forum.
Andy Lowrey worked for the Farm Credit System for 38 years, retiring in 2012. In 1998, he became CEO of the AgFirst Farm Credit Bank, a $30 billion financial cooperative serving Agriculture and rural America in 15 states and Puerto Rico. He served in that capacity for 14 years.
He also served for 10 years on the Board of the Federal Farm Credit Banks Funding Corporation, acting as its chairman for five years. This institution is responsible for issuing and marketing debt securities to fund the $217 billion portfolio of the Farm Credit System.
Lowrey is currently serving as a consultant to Cape Fear Farm Credit in North Carolina, a $1 billion lending cooperative. He is also chair of the Business Partnership Foundation of the Darla Moore School of Business and past chairman of the Education Foundation of the University of South Carolina. He serves on the board of the Jobs and Economic Development Association, and is chair of the Audit Committee for the National 4-H Council.
Mike Mizeur serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina (BlueCross). In this capacity three divisions report to Mr. Mizeur: Financial Services, Human Resources, and Facilities. Mike is also the senior officer responsible for our Companion Life Insurance Company and Companion Capital Management subsidiaries.
Mizeur has been with BlueCross since 1998 and has served as Chief Financial Officer since 2011. Prior to joining BlueCross, Mike spent seven years with EY. Mr. Mizeur is a CPA and has an MBA from Duke University, a Master’s in Taxation from DePaul University, and a BBA in Accounting from Western Michigan University.
Board of Trustees
Jimmy Addison, retired CEO of SCANA Corporation, is a native of Lancaster, South Carolina, and has more than 25 years of financial experience. He is a graduate of the University of South Carolina earning a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting, as well as a Master of Accountancy degree. He is also a certified public accountant in South Carolina.
Prior to joining SCANA, Addison spent seven years in public accounting with Deloitte and Touche’s Charlotte, North Carolina, and Columbia, South Carolina, offices and was also a partner in a Columbia CPA practice for approximately one year. As CFO, Addison is responsible for planning, directing and overseeing the organization’s finance functions including accounting, financial planning, investor relations, risk management, treasury and new nuclear finance, along with oversight of information services and technology.
Addison also serves as president of SCANA Energy Georgia, which provides retail natural gas, and as president of SCANA Energy Marketing, which provides wholesale and large retail natural gas sales across the Southeast.
Peter J. Brews is the dean of the Darla Moore School of Business. Brews, a native of South Africa, brings more than 25 years of international business education experience to the position having taught at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business before UNC. At UNC Kenan-Flagler, Brews taught global context to full-time and executive MBA students and global strategy to students in the OneMBA, a program he suggested to the school soon after joining in 2000. In 2006, he was named associate dean of OneMBA and served in this capacity for seven years. Prior to UNC he was assistant professor at Duke University for six years, teaching strategic management and global business strategy in Fuqua’s full-time and executive MBA programs.
Brews started his career in banking and finance before charting a course in academia. He started as lecturer at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, and was visiting professor at various U.S. universities before serving as an assistant professor at Babson College for a year prior to Duke. Brews earned his undergraduate degree in business and an LL.B and higher diploma in corporate law from the University of Witwatersrand. He went on to earn a master’s degree in industrial administration from Purdue University and two doctorates in business administration from the University of Witwatersrand and the University of Pittsburgh.
He has written extensively about strategic management for internet-generation companies and over the past decade has developed a deep understanding of the struggle for productivity worldwide, focusing on how nations, firms and individuals are coping with the fast-changing, complex, highly competitive global environment of the early 21st century. Companies often invite Brews to share his views on the structure and evolution of the global economy and how globalization and the internet and information technology are altering business practice and corporate competitiveness. The companies span industries and include The Boeing Company, Eastman Chemical Company, Caterpillar, Inc., Progress Energy, Siemens AG, Lucent Technologies Asia/Pacific, The Mandarin Hotel Group of Hong Kong, Ford Motor Company, LG of South Korea and Barclays Bank PLC. He is an editorial board member for the Journal of Asia-Pacific Business and has earned numerous teaching awards for his graduate level instruction.
Bob Caslen, the University of South Carolina’s 29th president, is a retired Army lieutenant general and former superintendent and president of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
During his time at West Point, the academy was recognized as the nation’s No. 1 public college by U.S. News and World Report and Forbes magazine. After retiring from the Army in 2018, Caslen became the senior counsel to the president at the University of Central Florida and served as interim chief financial officer.
Caslen grew up in Vermont, where he worked in his family’s ski lodge business and was on the high school ski and football teams. From there, he was recruited to play football at West Point. Along with his bachelor’s degree from West Point, Caslen holds an MBA in finance from Long Island University and a master’s in industrial engineering from Kansas State University. He and his wife, Shelly, have been married for 42 years and have three sons and four grandchildren.
Walter L. Davis is a founding member and Principal of Peachtree Providence Partners Holding Company, LLC. Peachtree Providence Partners is a holding company with full or partial ownership in companies in key business sectors which include energy, financial services, health care, technology, manufacturing/ distribution and consulting.
Davis is the former vice chairman, chief executive officer and a founding member of CertusBank, N.A. In his role, he developed the strategic direction, capital formation and investor interaction that helped grow the organization into a $1.9 billion company organically and through acquisition.
Prior to Certus, Davis was an executive vice president of Retail Credit and Mortgage Direct Lending with Wachovia Corporation while it was the fourth largest bank in the country with more than $800 billion in assets. During his tenure at Wachovia, he was responsible for leading Wachovia’s nationwide originations, underwriting, servicing, settlement services and default management functions for the Bank’s $70 billion Retail Credit and Small Business portfolio.
A. C. "Bubba" Fennell is a Certified Public Accountant and was a shareholder in the Greenwood office of Elliott Davis, LLC, a regional C.P.A. firm. He retired from the company on June 30, 2012. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the University of South Carolina and has served as president of the UofSC Alumni Association Board of Regents. He is also past chairman of the UofSC Board of Visitors.
Fennell also currently serves on the following Boards: Deacon and past chairman of the Board of Deacons at Greenwood First Baptist Church; treasurer and past chairman of The Greenwood First Baptist Church Foundation Board; Greenwood County Community Foundation; is an Eagle Scout and sits on the Executive Board of the Blue Ridge Council of the Boy Scouts of America, who recently presented him with the Boy Scouts of America Silver Beaver Award. Fennell has previously served and held offices on many state and community boards including the following: chairman of the South Carolina Festival of Flowers; lieutenant governor of the Carolinas District of Kiwanis; treasurer of the South Carolina United Way Board of Directors; chairman of the Self Regional Healthcare Board of Trustees; president of the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce; president of the Greenwood Kiwanis Club; and was the initial chairman of the Bowers-Rodgers Home for Abused, Neglected and Abandoned Children.
Other honors he has received include: the American Institute and South Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants Distinguished Public Service Awards; UofSC Friends of Accounting Alumni Service Award; Greenville WYFF Jefferson Award; and the Sertoma Service to Mankind Award.
Iris Griffin is vice president of financial management and integration for Dominion Energy. She is responsible for planning, directing and overseeing the finance functions for the organization’s operations in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Additionally, she has responsibility for the integration of the Southeast Energy Group into the Dominion Energy structure.
Prior to the merger with Dominion Energy, Griffin served as chief financial officer and treasurer for SCANA Corporation. During her time with SCANA, she also was vice president of finance and held leadership roles in audit services, privacy, corporate compliance, investor relations, and rate and regulatory affairs. Prior to joining SCANA, she worked at Scott McElveen in Columbia, South Carolina, and Ernst & Young in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Griffin serves the community on the finance committee for the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce and as a member of the Board for Central SC Habitat for Humanity. She also previously served in leadership roles on boards for Senior Resources and Columbia City Ballet.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master of accountancy from the University of South Carolina. She is also a certified public accountant in South Carolina.
Steve Grimshaw is chief executive officer of Caliber Collision Centers, the largest collision repair company in the U.S.
Since Grimshaw joined in 2009, Caliber Collision has grown from 68 locations in two states to 651 locations in 19 states across the U.S. Concurrently, Caliber’s revenue has increased from $284 million to more than $2.4 billion.
Prior to joining Caliber, Grimshaw served as executive vice president and general manager at Safety‐Kleen Systems, one of the nation’s largest environmental services companies.
Under Steve’s inspirational leadership, Caliber Collision’s philanthropic efforts are tightly woven into the fabric of the Caliber culture including the annual Rhythm Restoration Food Drive with more than 10 million meals collected for children in need of nutritious meals and the Caliber Recycled Rides program which has donated more than 150 vehicles to military and first responder families in need of reliable transportation.
Grimshaw is a board member of the Dallas Division of the American Heart Association and chaired the 2016 Côtes du Coeur event raising a record $4 million to fight heart disease and stroke.
He also sits on the board for 22Kill, an organization dedicated to ending military veteran suicide.
Grimshaw and Caliber also received the 2016 Ernst & Young Southwest Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the services category and were a national finalist.
Grimshaw is a graduate of the University of South Carolina. He has been married to his wife Melissa for 23 years and they have three children: Brittany, Henry and Steven.
Gov. James Hodges is a partner with McGuireWoods LLP and is the president and CEO with McGuireWoods Consulting LLC. He advises clients on energy, health care, education, economic development and other issues, dividing his time between Washington, D.C., and Columbia, S.C.
Hodges provides strategic and policy advice to a wide range of clients dealing with issues with the nation's governors and state level cabinet agencies. He has assisted clients on matters in all fifty states, and regularly works with clients having matters at the National Governor's Association, Democratic Governors Association, Democratic Attorney Generals Association, and National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
Hodges served as a national co-chair of the Obama for President Campaign in 2008, and regularly advises political and business leaders on a wide range of state, regional and national policy issues.
As governor of South Carolina, he led efforts to improve the state's education system, including establishing the education lottery that is credited with providing more than 100,000 scholarships. He is also responsible for funding "First Steps," a public-private preschool readiness program. Under his leadership, the South Carolina Department of Commerce achieved record breaking economic development results. Since 2003, he has been the CEO of Hodges Consulting, a business, government relations, and economic development consulting firm.
Hodges received an honorary doctorate degree from the University of South Carolina, South Carolina State University, the Citadel, Winthrop University and Francis Marion University. While earning his law degree at the University of South Carolina, he was a member of the mock trial team and received the Compleat Lawyer Silver Medallion. As an undergraduate, he was named Outstanding Senior in Economics.
Pamela P. Lackey, retired president of AT&T South Carolina was responsible for the company’s regulatory, economic development, legislative and community affairs activities in the state. She worked closely with state and community leaders to bring new technology and jobs to the state and improve the quality of life for all South Carolinians. Before being named to the president position in 2007, she was director of government relations and, previously, the company’s primary interface with education and government customers.
Prior to her telecommunications career, Lackey served as the senior executive assistant to the sate superintendent of education. Her numerous honors include being named the 2011 Business Leader of the Year by the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, the highest award bestowed by the state’s largest statewide broad-based business and industry trade association. Lackey is currently a co-chair of the Transform SC education initiative, the immediate past chair of the South Carolina State Chamber Of Commerce, and a member of the SC Ports Authority Board. She previously served four years on the Research Centers of Excellence Review Board, including as chair.
Lackey has earned a Bachelor’s in Education, a Master of Library Science and an Ed.S in school media supervision from the University Alabama.
Across 15 years as a lawyer and strategic advisor to a variety of multinational corporations, McKnight has been at the forefront of solving a range of complex public policy, legal, and crisis communications issues. McKnight is currently chief of state public policy and government affairs at Google's self-driving car business Waymo. In this role, he is responsible for helping lead the company's state legislative, policy and political priorities throughout the United States.
Prior to joining Waymo, McKnight was the head of U.S. Economic Development at Facebook. He led state-level public policy initiatives and was the face of the company to the nation's governors, mayors, and other elected officials across the country. McKnight was also in-house counsel at BP, where he was a key strategist on the company’s government affairs and communications response to the Gulf oil spill, and a litigator at both WilmerHale and Dickstein Shapiro in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining WilmerHale, he served as a federal law clerk to the Honorable Karen J. Williams, former chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
McKnight is a leader in the community and serves on numerous boards, including the Mother Emanuel Memorial Foundation Board and the International African American Museum Board, and he is a former member of the Duke University School of Law Alumni Board. McKnight has been named a “Rising Star” by The Washington Post Magazine and recognized as a top lawyer under 40 by the National Bar Association.
McKnight received his law degree from Duke University School of Law, which he attend on a full-tuition scholarship. He received his bachelor's degree, cum laude, from the University of Notre Dame, where he was a decorated student-athlete on the men’s soccer team and Notre Dame’s first African American athlete to be named a Rhodes Scholar finalist.
McKnight is a native of Greenville, South Carolina.
Roger Nanney serves as vice Chairman of Deloitte LLP, one of the nation's leading professional services organizations and the national leader of Deloitte Growth Enterprise Services, responsible for the delivery of services to the firm’s mid-market and privately held clients. He joined Deloitte in 1982 and served as Regional Managing Partner for Deloitte's Mid-America region, among the fastest growing of the organization's seven U.S. regions. Throughout his career, he has worked with clients across a number of industries and geographies. His extensive experience serving both mid-size and private companies and multinational public organizations has provided him with a broad and in-depth understanding of the challenges clients face in today’s ever-changing business environment.
Nanney is active in his community and serves a number of civic organizations. He is the Immediate Past Chair of the AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas, Texas and an Executive Board Member of the Edwin L. Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University. He also is a trustee of the PGA of America Foundation and served as a Vice Chair of Carolina’s Promise Campaign in support of the University of South Carolina.
A CPA and CMA, he received a bachelor of business administration and master of accountancy from the University of South Carolina, Darla Moore School of Business. Nanney is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the Institute of Management Accountants.
Mack Whittle served as chairman, president and chief executive officer of South Financial Group, a bank holding company, he founded in 1986. He retired from the company at the end of 2008, and is now an investor and adviser for several entrepreneurial ventures.
Whittle has served as chairman of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce and the chairman of the Board of Trustees for the University of South Carolina, where he remains on the board. Other affiliations include the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts at the JFK Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, and many state and community boards including the South Carolina Arts Foundation, the Palmetto Business Forum, South Carolina State Museum Foundation, the Greenville County Art Museum, Midlands Business Leadership Group, The Palmetto Institute, the SC Council on Competitiveness, the Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation and the Greenville Symphony Advisory Board.
Whittle is a past president of the South Carolina Bankers Association and was named that organization's "Outstanding Young Banker." Other honors include the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina, the Whitney Young Humanitarian Award from the Greenville Urban League, and Entrepreneur of the Year Award from Ernst & Young. In addition, Whittle created the Carolina First Bank Foundation in 1999 to demonstrate Carolina First Bank’s commitment to elevate the quality of education in South Carolina and other markets served by the company.