Leadership Salkehatchie meets with legislators in D.C. 


The 2024 cohort of Leadership Salkehatchie spent its final session meeting with legislators in Washington, D.C.   Shelby Broomfield, director of the USC Salkehatchie Leadership Institute, says the trip provided a chance for participants to reflect on topics discussed and lessons learned throughout the program. 

“The Washington D.C. trip is always exciting and provides an opportunity for the group to share what is happening in the Salkehatchie region,” Broomfield said. “Sharing stories, best practices, the wins, and the challenges with colleagues from various parts of the region brings about a sense of pride, increases knowledge and builds relationships.  The Leadership Salkehatchie class conveyed successes and concerns they have for the region directly with our legislators, while advocating for positive change for the region. I am proud of the members of the class of 2024 for their dedication to the communities they serve and their courage to use their voices for the betterment of the Salkehatchie region.” 

This year, the class met in person with Senator Lindsey Graham and Representative James Clyburn.  The group also met with staff members from Senator Tim Scott’s and Representative Joe Wilson’s offices. 

 “The D.C. trip was a phenomenal way to conclude Leadership Salkehatchie. Being able to speak with representatives about the issues that rural South Carolina faces, and that we assessed throughout our classes, was a step in the right direction as leaders in our communities,” Victoria Rizer said.  “As a group, we were able to begin the process of effecting change, and I know that we are all grateful for this exceptional opportunity to be a positive influence for our communities.” 

Shanda Crawford said she is grateful for the opportunity to work together to bring opportunities to the region. 

“We, as leaders, need to set aside differences and work together to bring opportunities such as quality education, jobs, health care, housing, and economic development to our region,” she said. 

Leadership Salkehatchie is a six-month, intensive leadership program sponsored by the USC Salkehatchie Leadership Institute and SouthernCarolina Alliance. Since its inception, more than 200 participants have completed the program which empowers emerging leaders to improve their communities.  

“Everyone in the class is just as passionate as I am about our communities,” Victoria Gunnells said.   “We all face the same obstacles. I learned what it takes to be a leader, and I look forward to utilizing the skills that I learned in my job and my community.” 

This year’s cohort includes professionals from businesses and organizations within the region. They are: Jennifer Bryant (Colleton), Shanda Crawford (Barnwell), Tricia  Gordon (Barnwell), Victoria Gunnells (Barnwell), Nancy Gutierrez (Jasper), Jodi  Kearse (Allendale & Hampton), Enterick Lee (Barnwell), Stewart McAdoo (Colleton), Alisha Moore (Bamberg), Tammy Rimes (Barnwell), Victoria Rizer (Colleton & Bamberg), Keelie  Robinson (Colleton, Jasper, Beaufort & Hampton), Lish Sabb (Allendale), Monique Smalls (Barnwell), Meagan Stoner (Colleton), Karen Terry (Hampton), Josh Urwick (Barnwell), Melanie Wooten (Hampton), and Meredith Wright (Barnwell). 

If you are interested in participating in Leadership Salkehatchie or nominating someone for the program, please visit uscsalkehatchie.sc.edu or contact Shelby Broomfield at 803-812-7354 or sbroomfield@sc.edu.