SOUTH CAROLINA FIRST RESPONDERS APPRECIATION DAY
SOUTH CAROLINA FIRST RESPONDERS APPRECIATION DAY

Speakers

We are honored to have the following speakers for this event:

Pastor Greg Formey 

Pastor Formey is the official Pastor of Project Unity USA and the Pastor of The Potters Christian Life Center

Pastor Greg delivers a straightforward, uncomplicated message of help, hope, and restoration, and seeks to love and lead the people with God’s heart, being careful to challenge them to produce fruit in everything they are destined to do.

 

The Lord challenged him years ago not to seek to be profound, but to seek to be simple; that the simplicity of his words would be profound in the ears of those who would be called to hear him.

 

Pastor Greg delivers a straightforward, uncomplicated message of help, hope, and restoration, and seeks to love and lead the people with God’s heart, being careful to challenge them to produce fruit in everything they are destined to do.

The Lord challenged him years ago not to seek to be profound, but to seek to be simple; that the simplicity of his words would be profound in the ears of those who would be called to hear him.

Mayor Steven Benjamin 

Since being elected mayor in a record turnout election in April 2010, Mayor Steve Benjamin has made it his mission to create in Columbia the most talented, educated and entrepreneurial city in the Southeast.

His service in Columbia started back in 1990 when he served as student body president at the University of South Carolina, later becoming the Student Bar Association President at the USC School of Law.

Reelected by a 30 percent margin in November 2013, Mayor Benjamin’s administration has been characterized by his firm belief in Columbia’s potential and intense focus on job creation. In his first term alone, his leadership helped cut unemployment in the metro by roughly half and secured billions of dollars in new regional capital investment in the midst of a national recession.

Sheriff Leon Lott

Born in Aiken, South Carolina, in 1953, Sheriff Leon Lott attended the University of South Carolina - Aiken, earning an Associate Degree in Police Administration. He went on to attend the University of South Carolina - Columbia, earning a Bachelor Degree in Sociology and continued with graduate study for a Masters in Criminal Justice. Later, Sheriff Lott graduated from the FBI National Academy, FBI National Executive Institute, Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, and Furman University's SC Diversity Leadership Academy. Sheriff Lott earned a Masters in Emergency Management from Lander University.

Sheriff Lott came to the Richland County Sheriff's Department in 1975 as a patrol officer. He advanced thereafter to various positions, including Criminal Investigator, Narcotics Agent, Lieutenant and Captain of Narcotics Division, Administrative Captain, Uniform Patrol Captain, and Watch Commander. In 1993, Sheriff Lott took the position of Chief of Police of St. Matthews, SC.

In 1996, he made a successful run for Sheriff of Richland County. Upon taking office, Sheriff Lott turned the direction of the Department to Community Oriented Policing. The success that the Department has had in the community since that time can be measured by the civic and community oriented boards and committees that have asked for Sheriff Lott’s participation.

 

Also concidered TOP COP

Ms. Rose A. Simmons

 

Daughter of the Late Rev. Daniel Simmons, a victim of the Charleston church shooting.

 

Rose Simmons found the words to speak to the shooter, inspired by her father and her faith. “I said this, 'I wanted to extend that very same hand of love and friendship that each of those victims extended to him at that bible study. Pleading the blood of Jesus over him. Who am I not to do that? I forgave him, before I even knew that he had murdered my father.'”

 

Rev. Charles P. Austin, Sr.

Growing up, Austin’s parents were very instrumental in his early development. His father taught him patience and his mother values and positive self-esteem. Austin’s first job was working with John Henry Meekins, who taught him work ethics. Austin worked for a $1 a week emptying trash cans at the local funeral home. He would also accompany Meekins to dig graves. Meekins would lower Austin in the graves and he would measure the depth.

Austin graduated from South Carolina State University and received his master’s degree in criminal justice from the University of South Carolina in 1985. After completing his education,  Austin worked at the State Law Enforcement Division, at South Carolina State University and was Deputy Chief of Police in Chatham County, Georgia. In 1990, he became Columbia’s first African-American chief of police until 2001 when he became its first Assistant City Manager and Commissioner of Public Safety.

Austin served on the Erskine College board of trustees after being elected to that position by the Associated Reformed Presbyterian Church. He later received his Master of Divinity degree in 2001.

 

Mr. Mike Hartel

Alpha Media USA

Vice President of the Mid-Atlantic Region

I have the privilege to lead Alpha Media's dynamic Radio and Interactive properties here in Columbia, SC. I believe as a company, our strength is in how we merge our powerful brand building capabilities with all the interactive tools, creativity, hustle, and energy that you would expect from a start up. I am very biased, but I also believe we have a culture that is second to none. Our goal is to be a very active and productive member of our great community and to provide our clients and non-profit partners with the best results available for their organizations.

We are blessed with very talented Sales and Programming teams, but we are always looking to grow in these two critical departments. If you are looking to further your career in an environment that is built on support, teamwork, growth, and development, please give me a call!

Mr. Marlvis (Butch) Kennedy

Project Unity USA - Charleston

Director

Mr. Kennedy is the Director of Project Unity USA-Charleston.  He created Men Against Domestic Violence in Charleston.  This group has helped victims of domestic violence get their lives back, by assisting with emergency housing, food, and clothing.

Cheif Aubrey D. Jenkins

Fire Chief City of Columbia

 

As the Fire Chief, he has received a variety of honors and awards. He was an inductee of the Columbia Housing Authority Wall of Fame.  He was made the Honorary Chair for the 2015 Walk Like MADD.  He received the Volunteer of the Year Award, Citizen of the Year Award, and Recognition Award for Participation in after school programs to teach first aid and safety to youth and mentoring programs.  His additional honors include being named Columbia Firefighter of the Year, City of Columbia Employee of the month, being presented with a Life Saver Award from the City of Columbia for rescuing a baby from a burning structure.  He was a 2007 recipient of the Columbia Urban League Lincoln C. Jenkins Jr. Award, and received a Certificate of Recognition for Extraordinary Personal Action, and numerous other achievements.  His most significant accomplishment includes achieving a class 1 ISO rating, the highest rating for local fire protection efforts based on ISO’s fire suppression rating schedule.  He is the first and only Fire Chief in the Columbia Fire Department to achieve this milestone.

Chief Jenkins is a member of Progressive Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ where he serves as a deacon and Chairman of the Brotherhood Department.  He is married to Vernell Trapp Jenkins and they have two adult sons, Emanuel and Sheldon.

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Project Unity USA

2401 Haskell Ave

Columbia, SC 29204

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