Sue-Ann (“Susie”) Gerald Shannon serves as the President & CEO of the South Carolina Council on Competitiveness, a nonpartisan, business-led, nonprofit organization that drives South Carolina’s long-term economic growth through managing select industry clusters and providing the research, network, and resources that clusters require to thrive. Industry clusters are concentrations of interdependent firms related through their industrial activities and includes both competitors and collaborators. The resulting inter-cluster business environment fosters innovation. Innovation, in turn, spurs new business ventures.
The initiatives and industry clusters directly managed by the Council include SC Aerospace, SC Logistics, SC Tech, SC Cyber, TransformSC, and SC Fraunhofer USA Alliance. The Council also provides resources and support to other clusters and initiatives across the state. The formation of the Council in 2004 marked the first time South Carolina’s business, government, and academic leadership came together to address long-term competitiveness factors.
Since taking on the role of President & CEO of the Council, Susie has been consecutively recognized as being one of Columbia Business Monthly’s 50 Most Influential People in Business (2017-2019). She was also the subject of a feature CEO article in SC Manufacturing Journal.
Susie has an extensive history leading innovative, forward-looking organizations and initiatives throughout South Carolina. For 13 years, she served on a senior strategic team overseeing the work of a network of organizations seeking to transform local areas into economically-vibrant communities. She also worked as Director of Research for Palmetto Institute, an independent research foundation whose issues included Teach For America, The Benefit Bank® of South Carolina, tax reform, commercialization, agribusiness, entrepreneurship training, and workforce quality. Susie practiced for many years in the Columbia office of McNair Law Firm, P.A. (now Burr Forman McNair), in its Admin.-Reg. section. She also served in the US Army Reserves and is a Veteran of the Gulf War.
In 2015, she was appointed by then-Governor Haley to serve on the Board of Commissioners for the South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority (Vice-Chair). Susie also serves on the EPSCOR State Advisory Committee, i4Series Advisory Board, SC Automotive Council, South Carolina Research Authority Board of Trustees (Chair, Program Committee), NIST/NICE Working Group (cybersecurity), and Strategic Partners Group for SC Dep’t of Commerce Coordinating Council for Workforce Development. She has also served on the SC Apprenticeship Taskforce and Workforce Innovation Network Team, a US Chamber of Commerce-led initiative of select states to foster cutting-edge workforce development.
Susie’s community service activities have included TogetherSC (fka SCANPO), Jefferson Awards Fnd-Midlands (chair), Lake City Housing Foundation, SC Housing Trust Fund, United Way of Midlands’ Public Policy Cmtee and Young Leaders Soc’y, Darla Moore & Richard Rainwater Foundation, Prevent Child Abuse-SC, SC Thrive (Chair Emeritus), and Central Carolina Community Foundation.
Susie is a graduate of Riley Institute Diversity Leaders Initiative and Nonprofit Leadership Institute of Francis Marion University and is a member of Liberty Fellowship (Aspen Global Leadership Network).