Susie joined the Council from BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, where she served as senior public policy counsel.
She previously worked as Director of Research for Palmetto Institute, an independent research foundation whose recent issues include Teach For America, The Benefit Bank® of South Carolina, tax reform, commercialization, agri-business, entrepreneurship training in rural areas, and workforce quality. She also practiced law for many years in the Columbia office of McNair Law Firm, P.A., in its Administrative-Regulatory section. In 2015, she was appointed by Governor Haley to serve on the Board of Commissioners for the South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority.
She currently serves as board chair of SC Thrive and is a member of the board of directors for Central Carolina Community Foundation. She is a graduate of the Riley Institute Diversity Leaders Initiative, the Nonprofit Leadership Institute of Francis Marion University and is a Liberty Fellow.
Shannon is a native of Loris, a farming community located in Horry County, South Carolina. She served in the U.S. Army Reserves and is a Veteran of Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm. She received her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of South Carolina and has worked as adjunct faculty at Midlands Technical College and University of South Carolina School of Law.
Adrianne joins the Council after serving as the Program Manager for the University of South Carolina McNAIR Center for Aerospace Innovation and Research since 2013. Adrianne was integral part of the strategic design and build out of the McNAIR Center, which focuses on key areas in advanced composite materials and manufacturing to support the aerospace cluster. As program manager, Adrianne also planned and managed aerospace-related educational, research, STEM and economic development programs.
Prior to moving to South Carolina, Adrianne worked for HEICO Corporation in Hollywood, Florida, where she was Marketing Manager for the HEICO Parts Group (HPG). HPG is the world’s largest independent supplier of FAA-PMA approved engine and component parts. In her role at HEICO, Adrianne engaged with customers across airlines, overhaul shops, satellite manufacturers, and commercial and defense equipment producers world-wide.
Adrianne has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Finance from the University of South Carolina Moore School. She is certified by the University of South Carolina in Research Administration. Adrianne lives in Columbia with her husband Jack and their son.
Suzanne Dickerson joins the Council after serving for 8 years as the Director for International Business Development and Marketing at Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR). Suzanne’s experience includes 20 years in the automotive industry: 12 years within BMW working in the fields of corporate sustainability, innovation management and long-term strategic and structural planning.
She began her career with BMW in Munich Germany at corporate headquarters upon completion of the prestigious Bosch Foundation Fellowship Program. Suzanne speaks fluent German and is also a Fellow of the BMW Foundation Young Leaders Forum. Suzanne serves as Vice President of the multi-state Southern Automotive Women’s Forum and is a Board Member of the South Carolina Automotive Council. Locally, Suzanne is a member of the Greenville Professional Women’s Forum and a Fellow of the Riley Institute Diversity Leadership Program. In 2015, Suzanne was awarded the Clemson Women in Leadership Award.
Dr. Peggy Torrey has served as Director of TransformSC since 2014. Peggy began her career in education as a middle school counselor in Richland School District One before obtaining her Ph.D. in Educational Research and Psychology from the University of South Carolina. She then joined the SC Department of Education where she co-managed the development and implementation of a new statewide teacher evaluation system.
When her family relocated to Georgia, Peggy served as the chief executive and operating officer of the Georgia Standards Commission – the cabinet agency responsible for state accreditation of all GA educator preparation programs and educator licensing. When Dr. Torrey’s family returned to South Carolina, she was tapped by the SC Chamber of Commerce to serve as Associate Vice President of Education Policy.
Most recently, Peggy served as the Executive Director of Carolina Children’s Home. She joined the South Carolina Council on Competitiveness as the Director of TransformSC in March and recently became the Director of Education and Workforce Initiatives in June. Her husband, David, is a Presbyterian minister. They have one daughter, Beth, who is a law professor at the University of Georgia.
Wayne joined the Council after retiring in early 2014 from the South Carolina Department of Commerce, where he developed a specialization in the aerospace industry. In his role, he supports the aerospace group by helping to facilitate new domestic and international business opportunities. In addition, he maintains ongoing industry relationships as well as that of the various economic development representatives and organizations in the state. He was the project manager who facilitated the $1 billion investment from Toray Carbon Fibers of America that created 500 new jobs, the single largest new investment in the state. He also facilitated the location of many other aerospace facilities that ultimately chose a South Carolina location.
A native of Charleston, Wayne graduated with a B.A from the University of South Carolina and the University of Oklahoma School for Economic Development. Wayne lives in Columbia and is married with two grown children.
A native of South Carolina and a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Rob Bockman received his bachelor’s degree in English with a focus on British literature and writing for the screen and stage.
With a background in research and marketing, he now supports the Council’s initiatives and assists with communications to implement strategy and convey to the public the message of the Council.
Prior to joining the Council, Bockman served as a marketing coordinator for nonprofits in South Carolina and as the Director of Marketing for Lake City, South Carolina. He has five years of experience as a copyeditor, social media manager, content manager, and marketing professional.
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Kaela joins the Council with nearly fifteen years of experience in marketing, public relations, and strategic communications. Prior to joining the Council, Kaela’s work was centered in the aviation industry where she served as Public Information Specialist for the Austin Bergstrom International Airport in Austin, Texas; airport marketing consultant for the Oregon-based Sixel Consulting Group; and Public Relations and Government Affairs Manager for the Columbia Metropolitan Airport in Columbia, South Carolina.
In 2017, Kaela published a children’s book, Zoey’s First Plane Ride, which offers a colorful, fun to read guidebook for kids preparing for their first airport experience. The book debuted as a bestselling children’s book on Amazon.
A Columbia native, Kaela graduated from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, VA with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and Mass Communications. She is a certified member of the American Association of Airport Executives and has received certificates in crisis communication training from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Kaela has been recognized as Airport Business Magazine’s 40 Under 40, The State Newspaper’s “20 Under 40,” and the SC Black Pages’ list of “40 Under 40”. She is a graduate of Leadership Columbia and has been listed as a Woman of Influence by the Columbia Regional Business Report and by Southeastern Business Magazine.