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Icons and Phenoms range from construction pioneers to nonprofit champions

Staff Report //March 4, 2020//

Icons and Phenoms range from construction pioneers to nonprofit champions

Staff Report //March 4, 2020//

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This article was updated on July 14 to reflect changes to the event date and the list of honorees.  

Twenty-eight Midlands-area business leaders — 14 established community stalwarts and 14 hard-charging game-changers — have been selected as members of the Columbia Regional Business Report’s second class of Icons and Phenoms.

The Business Report is honoring a pair of groups making an impact on the area business scene: Icons, the respected pillars who have established standards of business and civic excellence; and Phenoms, the motivated go-getters who are getting things done in new and exciting ways.

This year’s honorees span a wide range of industry, from construction pioneers to city leaders to nonprofit champions.

Award recipients, nominated by Business Report readers and selected by a panel of judges, will be recognized at an online event Aug. 5. A profile of each honoree will be published in the July 20 print edition of the Business Report.

Event tickets are available online.

The 2020 honorees:


  • Julie Ann Avin, executive director/president, Mental Illness Recovery Center Inc.
  • Sharon Bryant, South Carolina regional president, First Citizens Bank
  • Lee Bussell, chairman and CEO, Chernoff Newman
  • Richard Cohn Sr., chairman, Cohn Corp.
  • Reginald Corley, president and managing attorney, Scott & Corley PA
  • Peter Fawcett, CEO, Republic National Distributing Co.
  • Jim Hudson, president and owner, Jim Hudson Automotive Group
  • Karen Jenkins, president and CEO, KRJ Consulting LLC
  • Tom Keith, president and CEO, Sisters of Charity Foundation of S.C.
  • Matt Kennell, president and CEO, City Center Partnership
  • Curtis Loftis, S.C. State Treasurer
  • Nathaniel Spells, president and CEO, Construction Dynamics Inc.  
  • Tommy Suggs, president and CEO, HUB Carolinas


  • Nick Annan, senior manager, Elliott Davis
  • Joshua Bennett, attorney/shareholder, Rogers Townsend LLC
  • Frank Cason, president, Cason Development Group
  • Lisa Ellis, founder, SC for Ed
  • Jean Cecil Frick, senior strategic advisor, NP Strategy
  • Charlie Griffin, senior relationship manager/vice president of business banking, Bank of America
  • Meghan Hickman, executive director, EngenuitySC
  • Amelia Hough-Ross, deputy chief technology officer, Companion Data Services
  • David McNeice, director of structural engineering, Stevens & Wilkinson
  • Lindsey Miles, vice president of operational excellence, Nephron Pharmaceuticals
  • Graeme Moore, president and owner, The Moore Co.
  • Rachel Popkowski, vice president, Livingston Insurance Agency Inc.
  • Ashlye Wilkerson, franchise owner/children’s author, Wine & Design Columbia