Nominated by President Biden and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in December 2021, Dr. Jennifer Clyburn Reed is the first, Federal Co-Chair of the Southeast Crescent Regional Commission (SCRC). SCRC is a federal-state partnership focused on spurring economic development in 428 counties and county equivalents within seven southeastern states – AL, FL, GA, MS, NC, SC, VA. Dr. Reed was a career educator whose experience spanned 28 years in the South Carolina public school system. She retired from the University of South Carolina, where she was a Center Director and co-founded the Apple Core Initiative (ACI), a teacher recruitment, enrollment and retention scholarship program within the College of Education. Dr. Reed has a doctoral degree in Instructional Leadership and a three-time graduate of the University of South Carolina, earning an Education Specialist (Ed.S.) in 1998, Masters in Arts and Teaching (M.A.T.) in 1992, and in 1991, a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Political Science. Dr. Reed is committed to the betterment of local communities and holds memberships in civic and social organizations. She also serves on the selection committee for the Dr. Emily England Clyburn Endowed Scholarship housed at the Dr. Emily E. Clyburn Honors College on the campus of her parents’ alma mater, South Carolina State University. Married for 30 years to Mississippi native Walter A. Reed, they have two children, Walter A. Clyburn Reed and Sydney Reed Jackson. The Reed family welcomed a son-in-law, Justin Jackson, in December and scheduled to have another addition in the early 2023.
Dr. Tonya M. Matthews is a thought-leader in institutionalized equity and inclusion frameworks, social entrepreneurship, and the intersectionality of formal and informal education. A non-profit executive leadership veteran, Dr. Matthews is currently President and CEO of the International African American Museum (IAAM) located in Charleston, SC. Set to open June 27, 2023, IAAM, funded in part by New Market Tax Credits, is a champion of authentic, empathetic storytelling of American history. The nation’s newest platforms for the disruption of institutionalized racism explores cultures and knowledge systems retained and adapted by Africans in the Americas, the diverse journeys and achievements of these individuals and their descendants.
Prior to joining USDA Rural Development, Karama Neal served as president of Southern Bancorp Community Partners, a nonprofit community development loan fund and financial development organization promoting economic mobility in rural Arkansas and Mississippi. She spent twelve years at Southern and led their small business, consumer and other development lending, consumer and savings focused public policy work, and a variety of financial development services to help low and moderate wealth families and communities build wealth. In 2013, Dr. Neal started a statewide grassroots organization promoting passage of the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act in Arkansas which was passed in 2015. This work was inspired by her family’s ownership of rural heirs property in the state. Before joining Southern, she had a career in the biosciences and worked for a period in biofuels informatics with a focus on feedstocks and balancing food and fuel priorities. For six years, Dr. Neal served on the board of the Little Rock Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
An alumna of Johns Hopkins University and a former foster mom, China Boak Terrell has a blend of community and corporate experience and demonstrated leadership in guiding teams in building thriving communities. Since joining ACT as CEO in 2016, Ms. Boak Terrell has raised $15 million for the Baltimore Pumphouse project and completed Phase 1, which included extensive environmental remediation, site work, and the opening of the first campus building. Under Ms. Boak Terrell’s guidance, ACT has completed pre-development for all phases of the Baltimore Pumphouse; and completed Phase 2 in September 2019, which showcases the campus’s first rehabilitated historic building. Ms. Boak Terrell is guiding the Baltimore Pumphouse through its Phase 3 closing and completing lease-up.
Mayor John Gettys was elected in 2017. Throughout the years John has participated in a number of non-profit groups and community organizations. John served as chairman of the Rock Hill Sports Commission from 2012 to 2017; as a member of the local South State Bank Advisory Board since 2015; and as a board member of the Jeffrey Lee Williams Foundation. Recognized for his leadership, John was a recipient of the Dream Keeper Award from Rock Hill's Martin Luther King Task Force, a recipient of the Deacon Service Award at First ARP Church, and a Paul Harris Fellow by the Rock Hill Rotary Club. He was also a 2017 winner of the Community Service Merit Award from the Come-See-Me Board of Directors. John was honored as a member of the Liberty Fellowship Class of 2009 and a 2017 participant in the Diversity Leadership Initiative of the Riley Institute at Furman University.
Joyner helped to established the Conetoe Family Life Center in 2007. The center’s mission is to improve the health of the community, and particularly children, by providing healthy foods, increasing physical activity and delivering health services. The centerpiece of the program is a 25-acre property with a garden, nature trails, classroom space and a lay health worker on-site. The center supports more than 20 additional small gardens in the community through a youth grant program. Joyner’s transformational work has been recognized nationally. In 2014, he received the Encore Purpose Prize and in 2015 he was named a Top 10 CNN Hero (https://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2015/09/24/cnnheroes-richard-joyner.cnn). In 2018, Joyner joined the City Council of Rocky Mount, North Carolina.
Jeanne is a professor in public policy and business at UNC. She is leading a new initiative, Invest to Sustain, to increase community and business capacity to enact social impact investing and is Co-Director of a Whole Community Health Initiative, focused on community reinvestment using the social determinants of health as a roadmap. Jeanne is a former Mayor, a former leader in Community Development for the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, and has served in executive roles in state government in NC. In addition to chairing the SC Community Capital Alliance, she chairs an affordable housing committee for Wake County, NC. and is on the Board of Advisors for the Kenan Fellows Program at NC State University.
“Leading is what I was called to do, but serving is my passion.” That is the motto that Tadean Page lives out every day. Growing up in the small town of Dillon, South Carolina, Tadean found his passion for public service and community engagement. As an entrepreneur, change agent, and continuous learner, Tadean’s mission is to make the world a better place by providing hope and solutions that create meaningful change. Whether it be through his company, Ascend Solutions, or his work with various organizations, Tadean works with small businesses, organizations, and personal brands to define, deepen, and drive their social impact and community engagement initiatives.
Tadean serves as the chair of engagement for the Black Economic Leadership League of Rock Hill, building capacity as a grassroots organization through effectively engaging community members with their time, talent, and treasure. As the youngest board member in the Rock Hill Schools Education Foundation Board’s history, Tadean assists in promoting a collaborative alliance between the community and the Rock Hill School District Three to provide funding and other resources to support educational initiatives.
Tadean is a 2018 graduate of Winthrop University with a degree in Organizational Leadership with an emphasis on social justice. He is also a 2019 graduate of the Northeastern Graduate School of Education with a Masters of Education, focusing his research on social-emotional learning and the development of young males of color. Tadean has been named an inaugural member of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Foundation Social Justice Fellows Program. Such passions and skill sets have led Tadean to work with the City of Rock Hill’s Department of Economic and Urban Development as a Community Development Coordinator, leading the strategic plan to guide the goals, priorities, and activities of Clinton ConNEXTion Action Plan and additional urban development initiatives. There is much more that could be said about Tadean and the work he has done, but for him, the service is what matters most.
Tara Sherbert is Chief Executive Officer of Moxie Investment Funds, TMS Development, and Sherbert Consulting, Inc. Mrs. Sherbert has been working on tax credit projects for over 23 years. She has structured, developed, and invested in real estate projects valued in excess of $3 billion; she also represents investors and developers on nationwide transactions which include historic tax credits, low income tax credits, and new market tax credits. Mrs. Sherbert recently completed the development and construction management of Drayton Mills Lofts in Spartanburg, SC, a $65 million historic rehabilitation resulting in luxury apartments and 60,000 SF of retail space, and she is currently developing and investing into University Center at Knowledge Park in Rock Hill, SC, a $200 million project bringing Class A office spaces, a food hall, the largest indoor Arena in the Carolinas, and more. Mrs. Sherbert has been voted top 25 Women in Business by the Charlotte Business Journal, chosen as Woman of Distinction by Elysian magazine, nominated and accepted into the premier Zenith Group of the Women Presidents’ Organization, and recipient of the coveted Historic Non-Residential Development that Best Exemplifies Major Community Impact Award. Prior to starting her own companies in 2006, Mrs. Sherbert was a principal with the Reznick Group where she headed up the real estate consulting practice.
Justin completed his undergraduate studies at Clemson University in 2002 and began working in the residential design field. After graduating with his Bachelor of Architecture from UNC Charlotte in 2009, he formed Vin-Yet Designs and soon thereafter Vinyet Architecture as a response to the need for quality residential and commercial design in the Rock Hill and coastal regions of North and South Carolina. Today he serves as one of three principals of VYA, and heads up the Rock Hill studio, still focusing his time primarily on designing high-end custom homes throughout the Carolinas.
Gary Williams grew up in Charlotte and moved to Rock Hill in 1975, where he built and operated the Putt Putt Golf Course. In 1986, he founded Williams & Fudge, Inc, which assists over 1500 higher education institutions nationwide in collecting past-due loans. He currently serves on the Winthrop University Board of Trustees; in 2011, he received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Winthrop. In 2007, he redeveloped the old Cotton Factory, built in Rock Hill in 1881. Currently, he is working with partners to redevelop the old Bleachery site, now University Center, for offices, retail, housing, and an athletic facility.