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Wife, Blakely Bachelor’s degree in political science and history from USC’s Honors College; law degree from Wake Forest University A member of the Midlands’ Diversity Leaders Initiative class and the LeadershipNextSC advisory committee at the Riley Institute of Government, Politics and Public Leadership, Chikhliker also is active is his neighborhood. He serves on a variety of legal and economic development boards and was a past board member of Workshop Theatre. I decided to become a lawyer upon realizing that this profession provided me with a unique opportunity to assist others, while influencing positive changes in my community. I have represented companies and governmental entities in economic development projects that have resulted in significant job investments in South Carolina. Last year, I was honored to have been elected as a member (partner) at Nexsen Pruet. However, I will always measure professional success by the positive impact my efforts have on my community. “Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.” – Robert F. Kennedy My senior year at USC I was honored to receive the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award. It was the meaningful activities and interactions which led to my receiving the award that have truly shaped me. To this day, I view the award as a fond reminder of lessons learned through collaboration, dedication and service. Almost 40 years ago, in search of better opportunities for the family they hoped to have, my parents came to the U.S. from India with very little money. Through hard work, integrity and perseverance, my parents have personified the American Dream, while providing me with unconditional love, support and guidance. My successes are the direct result of the values my parents have instilled in me and the example they have set. I aspire to lead a life that is both worthy of and a testament to my parents’ sacrifice.

Tushar V. Chikhliker
33 Attorney, Nexsen Pruet

The rest of the world is finally realizing what many of us in South Carolina have long known: The state’s business friendly climate includes a skilled work force, continued development of infrastructure and utilities, a pro-business environment and a good quality of life. South Carolina’s development has taken shape through the efforts of a phenomenal network of government and economic development professionals and is wellpositioned in spite of an increasingly competitive global economy.

THE STATE | thestate.com | Januar y 24, 2011


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Attorney, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough Single Bachelor of arts degree in English and philosophy from Spelman College; juris doctor degree from Duke University School of Law This Women in Philanthropy member is co-founder and chairwoman of the Candace Girls Educational Foundation and a board member of Oliver Gospel Mission and the James R. Clark Memorial Sickle Cell Foundation. She is a member of a variety of groups, including the Phi Beta Kappa Society and Brookland Baptist Church. Upon graduating from law school, I returned home to begin my legal career. After a one-year clerkship, I joined the law firm of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough as an associate, where I primarily practice business litigation, in areas including employment law, consumer finance and toxic tort law. help improve the quality of life for people and raise the trajectories of entire communities. My drive, desire to help others, and leadership abilities grew exponentially over the years and through my time as student body president at A.C. Flora High School. A subsequent education at Spelman College reaffirmed many of the principles on which I was raised, and challenged me to carry on its tradition of local, national and global service. At the age of 9, I decided I wanted to be a lawyer when I grew up. I was initially inspired by my role models and soon developed a passion for the law that has never left. During a 2007 trip to Monrovia, Liberia, I witnessed the brilliance and ambition of many young people who had suffered from disparities in education due to post-war conditions. Girls were distinctively and disproportionately affected. It was obvious that talent or desire was not the barrier to their progression; it was simply a lack of opportunity, good guidance and resources. I partnered with a friend and resident of West Africa to form the foundation, which provides vocational training and the financial means for underprivileged and parentless girls to go to school. We are committed to ensuring that our students advance each year, graduate from high school and college, and go on to fulfill meaningful careers, understanding they can be anything they want to be and that they have much to offer the world.

Candace C. Jackson

No dream is too big to conceive; no goal is too big to achieve; no challenge is too big to overcome. In all things, trust God, follow His teachings, and success is sure to come. While growing up and serving in my family’s church, I saw how leadership in the community, grounded in faith, family and the ideals of personal responsibility and perseverance, could

Congratulations to Candace Jackson and Dan D'Alberto

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough offers the strength and resources of a national law firm with diverse attorneys and professional staff experienced in a broad range of services. With diversified practice areas, Nelson Mullins provides creative solutions to complex legal and business problems while offering valueadded service to clients.

THE STATE | thestate.com | Januar y 24, 2011


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Stuart M. Lee
Age: 37 Occupation: Attorney at Rogers Townsend &
Thomas and department head of business, banking and professional practices

kindness and walk humbly with your God.”

Your life changed when: February 18, 1994: The

night I met my wife. She has been a calming, steady influence and a wonderful example of honesty, unquestionable character and grace (all of which I was lacking before we met). I want to live up to the example she sets in her daily life.

Family: Wife, Jennie; daughter, Ann Murphy, 8; sons,
Collins, 4, Campbell, 3 months

What did you want to be when you grew up? I
wanted to be the basketball coach at N.C. State after a successful college basketball career with the Wolfpack and an All Star run with Boston Celtics, but genetics conspired against me. I love what I do. However, one day I would like to coach high school basketball and teacher. I think I’ll know the right time and I’ll simply walk in one day and call it quits. I don’t want to be that old lawyer who dies at his desk while cleaning it out at retirement.

Education: BA in English from the University of
South Carolina; JD from the USC School of Law

Community/professional involvement: This

Leadership Columbia and Leadership Lexington graduate is a board member of the Columbia Green Foundation and chairman of the Corporate, Banking & Securities Section of the S.C. Bar. He has been in a variety of professional and community groups and teaches Sunday school classes and special programs at Eastminster Presbyterian Church.

How has the Great Recession changed residential and commercial development in South Carolina? I like to see the result of the Great Reces-

In his own words: I was very fortunate to have

parents who valued education and were willing to support me both emotionally and financially. My parents always planned and provided for their children before themselves. They also taught us that the sky is the limit if you are willing to put in the hard work and that your attitude and performance at work is a window into your character – especially when the boss is not

watching. Ultimately, I am where I am today because a number of people had faith me, often when I did not, which I believe is a result of God’s love and grace at work.

What saying do you live by? “Do justice, love

sion is in a glass half-full light. We have a lot to offer: a beautiful location, warm and welcoming personalities and a relatively low cost of living. Obviously, development has slowed tremendously. Lack of infrastructure and inexperienced speculators coupled with a lenient lending environment was a recipe for disaster. However, the best lessons are learned from past mistakes. So, I believe the slowdown will enable us to be better prepared for a very exciting future.

Passing the Baton Rogers and Brown Custom Brokers, Inc
Every successful transition of an organization's management structure requires a great deal of planning, mentoring, and at times very detailed soul searching in choosing an individual or team of successors to not only maintain business but to advance it to the next level. Historically, the individual who starts and builds a privately owned company has a desire for a son or daughter to take the "reigns" and continue to grow and develop the company into something better than it was. Rogers & Brown Custom Brokers, Inc. is in the midst of this type of transition, Effective January 1, 2011, Don (Bo) H. Brown, Jr. will assume the position of President of Rogers & Brown Custom Brokers Inc, a business started by his father Don, Sr. exactly 43 years ago this month. Needless to say, Don senior was very excited to have his son want to be involved in the family business, with the desire to one day run it. Bo has always had an interest in the "family" business. He worked in various areas of the company during the summers and off hours, while attending high school and college, which helped to strengthen his passion toward a career in the business. He graduated from The College of Charleston in 2004 with a BS in Corporate Communications. After graduation, he decided to take a job with one of the largest steamship lines in the world in Charleston, SC so that he could see the logistics industry from a different angle. Bo said, "It provided me with a strong platform to move into the freight forwarding and custom brokerage business as well as helped me better understand how various service elements have an impact on this business. I will be forever grateful to all those individuals who trained me, shared their knowledge with me, and especially for the management that knew my time there was somewhat limited. They worked with me and developed my skills like one of their own." After his tenure in the steamship industry, Bo came to work with Rogers & Brown and began to work through an extensive internal management training program that would introduce him to every aspect of the business. During this training program, he relocated to Greenville, SC for a period of time where he was involved in air freight operations, domestic logistics operations and sales (dealing directly with current and potential customers). Additionally, he has been directly involved with overseas agents, and has made many international trips abroad including: Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, etc... Most recently, Bo has taken the role of Vice President of Administration. According to Bo, "I did not know what I didn't know until recently, and I continue to learn more and more everyday. I now have an even deeper appreciation for our employees. They are the glue that holds this company together. I have been extremely fortunate to have had a number of excellent mentors at all levels of the company, and I cannot tell you how invaluable their help and knowledge has been. Through all of this I have learned that it is a team effort all the way!" He also goes onto explain, " I recall my dad, Pete Smith, Mike Fowler, Raymond Kelley, and others talking about the earlier days and the challenges and opportunities that this business has presented. I have learned so much from them and will continue to lean on them in making decisions down the road. Their diligence, commitment, and hard work are the reason that I am in this position today. I am committed in the same way, and I am excited about having the opportunity to grow the company into the future. Recently we went through a rebranding of our company, which focuses on our outstanding personnel, and I think that it does a pretty good job of summing up what we are all about 'Heroes. Everyday.' This concept is one that recognizes our staff as those normal everyday heroes who in turn make our customers heroes as a result of us providing superior service - as long as we do that, I am convinced that we will continue to grow and be a successful global logistics company." Pete Smith, formerly President of Rogers & Brown Custom Brokers Inc., will continue his tenure as Executive Vice President with direct responsibilities of Brown Distribution Centers and Rogers & Brown North American Logistics. Formerly with Hoechst Celanese Corporation and Spartan Express, Mr. Smith has held various positions with Rogers & Brown during the past thirteen years. As one of Boys mentors, Pete says, "Bo is a very talented professional. He has earned the respect of both internal and external associates, and has gained tremendous hands-on knowledge. When you combine all of these attributes he is positioned extremely well to take Rogers & Brown to the next level. I am excited about him taking the lead role and allowing me to spend a little more time with my family. I intend to be around for a few more years and will continue to lend support in every possible way." Sandra Horan, previously Director of Sales, has been appointed to the position of "Vice President of Administration" and will assume oversight responsibility for Accounting, Drawback and Compliance, Information Systems, and continue to oversee Sales & Marketing. Originally from the Western New York area, Sandra has been a key player at Rogers & Brown. She has held various responsibilities in Sales & Marketing, Operations, and Special Services. Her knowledge of Customs rules and regulations along with her sales and operations background provide a unique and valuable asset to our company. Don H. Brown, Sr. started the business in 1968 on a shoestring budget with a desire to provide superior service in an industry that was not overly attributed with the service asset. With an unstoppable desire and the help of both family and friends, he set up shop on Queen Street in Charleston and spent a tremendous amount of energy fulfilling that dream. The business grew from the small one-room office to a company employing well over 200 employees with offices at times ranging coast-to-coast, including the Midwest. Through the advancement of technology, customs regulations began to change, which eliminated the need for an office in "every or most" ports of entry. According to Mr. Brown, consolidation of offices without any negative impacts on our customers has allowed us to eliminate and contain costs, while still providing impeccable service to our customers. In addition to superior customer service, Mr. Brown explains that we invested early in technology and have continued to do so throughout the years. We now have an information services group that is second to none in our industry. Due to the recessionary downturn, our industry, along with many others, has seen adverse challenges from a business perspective; however, we have managed to take the necessary steps to remain financially strong and continued to set ourselves up for future growth. Don Brown, Sr., who turned seventy-two this year, remains reasonably active in the business, but several years ago he turned over the day-to-day running of the business to his long-time. and trusted executives. He recognizes that the company's success has been a product of the dedication and hard work from the individuals he has continually surrounded himself with. He says "I really am fortunate to have had such a long and successful career and look forward to continuing to participate on the periphery as the business continues to develop and grow. I am a very proud father. I feel very comfortable passing the baton on to my son, and the excellent staff that he has working along side him. I have provided my son with what I think are key lessons to remember when running a business. Probably the most important lesson for him to remember is that he will make mistakes as I did, but the key is to learn from them and continue to push forward."

THE STATE | thestate.com | Januar y 24, 2011

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Sherry S. Norris
39 Owner of Alala, a post-surgical medical retail business Husband, Ron; son, Michael, 16, and daughter, Emily, 13 This nationally certified fitter, specializing in mastectomy, is co-chairwoman for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life in Columbia and a fundraiser for Chemo with Style. She is involved in a variety of cancer support organizations and community groups. She also is a Dutch Fork High School ice hockey and softball mom. I’ve always enjoyed being involved and giving back. For 11 years I was lucky enough to be a stay-at-home mom and volunteer. After hearing the words, “I have cancer,” from my mother, aunt and cousin, I was never the same again. I have always wondered what I can do to help. The answer came at Girl Scout Day Camp when fellow leader, Kim Neel, talked about her poor experience with simple things like trying to buy a bra after her partial mastectomy. It reminded me of the experience my Aunt Kay talked about after her diagnosis with stage 4 breast cancer. She was a very private person and I could not imagine

agreed there has to be a better way for post-surgical patients to get the products and services they need in a warm and inviting environment. I knew we would have a successful business when one of our customers took the time to stop by and tell us how much we have helped them get their life back. Alala LLC incorporated in February 2006 and was admitted into the USC/Columbia Technology Incubator program soon after. We have now graduated and are expanding into a 5,000-square-foot standalone facility at 3400 Harden St. Extension across from Palmetto Health Richland hospital. The name "Alala" comes from Greek mythology and is the female personification of the war cry. “Make the World a Better Place.” To be a great role model for my children and for them to always give back to the things they hold dear to their hearts. Our biggest success story is what our business means to people who have been through a very traumatic experience like cancer. Our mission is to help our customers get back to a normal life no matter their ability to pay. We take the time to get to know our customers and help with insurance, grants or donations. If a customer is willing to work with us, we make sure they get the products and services they need.

her going to look for a breast prosthesis, mastectomy bra, and wig at a place where you would go to get a hospital bed, wheelchair, or bedside commode. My business partner, Kim Neel, and I started Alala in 2005. We both

THE STATE | thestate.com | Januar y 24, 2011


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Asheley C. Scott
30 Architect, Studio 2LR Architect + Interiors Single Bachelor of arts in design from Clemson University, master of architecture from Georgia Institute of Technology This Columbia Development Corp. board member also serves as president of the American Institute of Architects in Greater Columbia and on the board of the Columbia Museum of Art Contemporaries. The 2009 Leadership Columbia graduate is a member of the Historic Columbia Foundation’s Preservation Committee and on the board of the Columbia Museum of Art. I was raised in Columbia and graduated from Heathwood Hall Episcopal School. I attended Clemson University and interned with The Boudreaux Group. I attended Georgia Tech to work on my master’s degree and took a job there after graduation. I returned home in 2006 and became a registered architect in 2008. I remember cutting a quote by Abraham Lincoln out of the newspaper when I was in elementary school and pinning it to my wall: “Things may come to those who wait ... but only the things left by those who hustle.” When I was 4, my favorite thing to do after preschool was sit on the couch and

watch Sesame Street and Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. My mom enrolled me in gymnastics. I fell in love and didn’t stop until I graduated from high school. Although I never made my goal at age 4 of becoming the next Mary Lou Retton, the commitment to the sport at a high level for 14 years taught me lessons in everything from setting goals to time management to responding to success and failures. As an adult, I studied abroad. Being able to live in foreign places made the time about much more than just buildings. As a young adult, the experiences gave me another way to think about just about everything I thought I knew. I wanted to be just about everything: a coach, a teacher, a doctor and the list goes on. Although I became an architect, in many ways this profession allows me to see into all types of professions by learning about and designing the spaces in which these people work.

In many ways, especially in South Carolina, we are still figuring this out. Many aspects of green building are not radical in nature; they have existed in design and construction for centuries. We simply got away from some of the things that made sense from an environmental standpoint and looked only at cost and immediate need. In 10 years, it will just be how we build — and we will be amazed that we ever did it differently.

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THE STATE | thestate.com | Januar y 24, 2011 15

Congratulations to the honorees for their selection as the brightest young professionals in the Midlands

Announcing major renovations to our Governor’s Ballroom coming this February, 2011

A great new look for a new year!
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