M. Edward Sellers is Chairman of BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and the Companion group of companies. The Corporation’s businesses include health insurance, administrative services contracting, Medicare intermediary functions, Department of Defense TRICARE intermediary functions, a life insurance company, a property and casualty insurance company, computer technology businesses and an HMO.
Mr. Sellers joined BlueCross as President and Chief Operating Officer in September 1987. He was elected to the board of directors in 1989, became Chief Executive Officer in 1992 and was named Chairman in 2001. Today, BlueCross and BlueShield of South Carolina has over $2.9 billion in annual revenue and 13,000 employees located in sixteen states.
In prior assignments, Mr. Sellers worked for Westinghouse Electric Corporation (Pittsburgh), the Boston Consulting Group (Boston), and the BlueCross and BlueShield Association (Chicago).
A native of Kentucky, Mr. Sellers is a graduate of Vanderbilt University with a B.A. in Physics, and he has an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
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.
Summer has served as the Communications Director for the South Carolina Council on Competitiveness since 2013. During her tenure, she has executed several strategic communications initiatives, including a re-branding of the organization and a targeted expansion of the organization’s media outreach and monitoring. Summer’s efforts have generated coverage in regional, national and international media outlets. During the planning and launch of the Council’s aerospace cluster (SC Aerospace) and logistics cluster (SC Logistics), Summer was responsible for the branding, strategic messaging and marketing for the initiatives.
Summer assists the Council’s CEO with building and maintaining stakeholder relationships. She has planned and executed a variety of events, including conferences with more than 700 attendees. She has managed the development of three websites and guides all marketing activities for the Council and its initiatives.
Summer worked as a paralegal before obtaining her master’s degree in political management from George Washington University in 2011. Following her graduation, she managed a political campaign. Summer is a native of Manning, South Carolina, and a graduate of St. Francis Xavier High School in Sumter. She earned her bachelor’s degree in political science and philosophy from the University of South Carolina. She and her son currently reside in Greenville.
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.
Since joining the organization in 2014, Brittany has assisted in managing the Council’s business-led education initiative, TransformSC. She serves as the point of contact with all TransformSC schools and districts and guides interested schools and districts through the application process to join the network. She routinely convenes stakeholders in business and industry, K-12 education, higher education, government, and other community organizations and provides support to TransformSC’s Steering Committee. She has planned several annual conferences and events, and conducts research and writes content as needed to assist the Communications Director.
Brittany also assists with two other Council initiatives, SC Aerospace and the logistics industry initiative. She works with the SC Aerospace Education Work Group tasked with identifying gaps in the aerospace talent pipeline to ensure current offerings are aligned and future programs are developed to meet emerging needs, and provides support to the logistics industry initiative to strengthen and develop the logistics industry cluster in South Carolina.
Brittany earned her master’s degree in public administration from the University of South Carolina, in which she focused much of her research on education policy. She attended Columbia College on a softball scholarship and received her bachelor’s degree in political science, public affairs, and Spanish. Her previous roles include working at the SC Department of Education in the Office of Educator Services, and as a paralegal for a law firm in Charleston, SC.
Robyn is the Council’s go-to content creator and social media strategist. Since joining the Council’s team, Robyn has worked to give the Council and its initiatives a consistent voice and brand across all platforms and to coordinate all marketing efforts. She supports the Council’s Communications Director with creating strategy and executing public-facing communications.
Prior to moving to South Carolina, Robyn worked as a marketing and PR professional in Pittsburgh, Penn. She brings five years of writing, marketing and public relations experience to the Council and is a member of the Public Relations Society of America, where she serves on the organization’s New Professionals Section executive committee. Robyn is a native of Southern New Jersey and attended Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations and a master’s degree in Media Arts and Technology.
Tina provides central support for the Council’s team and manages day-to-day operations of the organization. She serves as the point of contact for industry clusters, project managers and vendors and ensures the continual improvement of organizational operations. Tina monitors and coordinates accounting activities for the Council and participates in budget planning and management. She also supports the CEO’s work with the Executive Committee and Full Council.
Before joining the Council’s team, Tina served as a Business Manager and Executive Assistant for the University of South Carolina. She brings many years of management and office administration experience, including working with research grants, managing multiple large and small scale budgets, and assisting Chairs and Committees with various university processes.