PRESIDENT & CEO  |  (803) 760-1400

  •  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 joined the SC Council on Competitiveness in 2016 after serving for 8 years as the Director for International Business Development 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 Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship Program. Suzanne speaks fluent German and is also a Fellow of the BMW Foundation Responsible Leaders Forum. Suzanne serves as a Founding Board Member of the multi-state Southern Automotive Women’s Forum and is a Board Member of the South Carolina Automotive Council. In her local community of the Upstate of South Carolina, Suzanne is a Board member on the Roper Mountain Science Center and a Fellow of the Furman University Riley Institute Diversity Leadership Program.  The South Carolina Research Authority awarded Suzanne with the Knowledge Economist Award in 2013 and in 2015, Suzanne was the recipient of the Clemson Women in Leadership Award.  In 2018, Suzanne joined the SC Manufacturers Extension Partnership Board. 



  • 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.


DIRECTOR OF TECHSC |  (803) 422-9229



  • 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.



  • Tiffany Jones is the Communications Coordinator for the Council where she works to implement the organization’s communication strategies. Prior to joining the Council, she served as the Public Relations Manager for the City of Columbia. Tiffany received her Bachelor of Arts in African American Studies with a minor in Public Relations and Advertising from the University of South Carolina in 2014.



PROJECT COORDINATOR |  (803) 760-1409

  • Brittany previously worked for the Council from 2014 to 2017. Prior to joining the Council, she worked as a Paralegal, and at the SC Department of Education in the Office of Educator Services.

    Brittany is from Summerville, SC but has lived in Columbia since moving to attend college. She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science, public affairs, and Spanish from Columbia College, and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of South Carolina.

    In her free time, she manages a mobile craft coffee and cocktail bar for weddings and private events.




  • After returning to South Carolina from California Emily joined the council as the Executive Assistant and Office Manager where she has over ten years of experience, including her experience in the SC Law field where she was a paralegal for solo practitioner of Law Office of Willie Bradley Jr. and later a litigation defense firm, Murphy & Grantland P.A. Emily also has experience in the non-profit sector, having worked for Columbia’s local food bank, Harvest Hope Food Bank, as the Executive Assistant to the CEO.  

    In 2014, she earned her Associates Degree in Paralegal Studies from Midlands Technical College, where she completed the ABA (American Bar Association) Paralegal Studies program and later transferred to Columbia College where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Communication and Leadership in 2016.

    Emily is a SC native that loves the many and exciting things that SC has to offer, especially the beaches and beautiful coast line. She is an advocate for child hunger, awareness, and Project ‘Keep SC Beautiful-Don’t Litter’ and enjoys volunteering at Epworth Children’s Home during the summer.