Kelly Golden

Kelly Golden

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WATCH LIVE: first AcelerateSC Task Force meeting here

Organized April 20, 2020, accelerateSC serves as the coordinated COVID-19 advisory team to consider and recommend economic revitalization plans for South Carolina.

The economic revitalization plan consists of five components of analysis and effort: 

Response, Protection, Governance, Resources, and Information. These components will employ maximum communication, collaboration and cooperation among themselves and those assisting to effectively identify issues, solutions, and assets necessary for a phased revitalization path for South Carolina’s economy, guided by healthcare and medical data. The governor will designate a state agency to coordinate each of the revitalization components; other identified state agencies will assist. The accelerateSC participants will make immediate, intermediate and long-term recommendations to the governor for revitalizing and expanding South Carolina’s economy while protecting the health of South Carolina citizens.

RESPONSE: Identify challenges related to workforce capacity, workforce re-entry, critical industries, capital requirements, regulatory issues and supply chain/logistics.

Coordinating Agency: Department of Commerce (Commerce)

This component includes representatives from business, industry, manufacturing, agriculture, tourism, hospitality and service sectors, focusing on small, medium and large business interests. It will also include professional trade associations and medical service providers.

They will target such issues as workforce capacity, workforce re-entry, critical industries, capital requirements, regulatory issues and supply chain/logistics. They will advise the governor on immediate and future actions necessary to accelerate the state’s economy. 

Assisting State Agencies: Department of Parks Recreation and Tourism, Department of Revenue, Department of Insurance, Department of Employment and Workforce, Department of Agriculture, Department of Education, Bureau of Economic Advisors, S.C. Ports Authority and Executive Budget Office.

PROTECTION: Identify protective protocols for practical implementation in workplace and public, testing and contact tracing, supply of personal protective equipment, and long-term mitigation efforts to ensure economic revitalization.  

Coordinating Agency: Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC)

This component includes representatives from medical and healthcare providers, hospitals, health insurers, higher education, and professional associations.

They will identify protective strategies and protocols for practical statewide implementation to address issues associated with COVID-19 in the workplace and social settings, including appropriate supply of personal protective gear and medical equipment, surge capacity for medical treatment facilities, and steps to mitigate/avoid future outbreaks as the state accelerates economic revitalization.

These efforts should prioritize protecting the most vulnerable citizens, including senior adults, residents in rural communities, lower income communities, minority communities, persons with chronic disease and weakened immune systems. Additional efforts should include plans for statewide implementation of increased disease and immunity testing, as well as, contact tracing.

Assisting State Agencies: Department of Health and Health and Human Services, Department of Labor Licensing and Regulation, Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services, Department of Social Services, Department of Disabilities and Special Needs, Department of Mental Health, Emergency Management Division, Commission for Minority Affairs, Human Affairs Commission, Department on Aging, Medical University of South Carolina, South Carolina State University, University of South Carolina, Clemson University, and Francis Marion University.

GOVERNANCE: Identify challenges faced by state and local governments, educational institutions, emergency services and first responders to proceed with economic revitalization.

Coordinating Agency: S.C. Executive Office of the Governor

This component includes representatives from political subdivisions, education, county and city administrators, higher education, technical colleges, school board and administrators, law enforcement and first responders, and special purpose districts.

They will identify challenges to economic revitalization faced by state, county and local governments, school districts, higher education, technical colleges, court systems, first responders, emergency services personnel, and law enforcement.

Assisting State Agencies: Department of Labor Licensing and Regulation, State Law Enforcement Division, Department of Public Safety, Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, and Technical College System.

RESOURCES: Identify process and appropriate metrics for disbursing federal funds and to ensure transparency of all disbursed funds in consultation with appropriate stakeholders.

Coordinating Agency: Department of Administration, Executive Budget Office (EBO)

This component includes representatives from business, industry, higher education and health care.

The EBO in the Department of Administration serves as the coordinating agency for federal and state COVID-19 relief appropriations and disbursements. The office is authorized to receive federal and state relief funding as directed by federal law, and to disburse funds as directed by the governor pursuant to law. The EBO shall participate with, and provide information to, the Response and Governance components for economic revitalization efforts.

They will identify strategies, opportunities and needs to be addressed most efficiently and impactfully through authorized relief funding.

Advisory Entities: Recommendation of three members of the House from the Speaker of the House and recommendation of three members of the Senate from the President of the Senate to consult with this component.

INFORMATION: Create consolidated information portal and associated dissemination methods related to citizens’ inquiries associated with COVID-19.

Coordinating Agency: Department of Administration (Administration)

The Department of Administration will create a one stop “ombudsman” style information portal for the public to utilize in obtaining information and assistance on COVID-19 related issues from state and federal agencies including the four components identified above. This will include providing resource information online and on social media platforms, as well as employing a trained, large-scale call center to provide live response to public inquiries via telephone.

Assisting State Agencies: All

STRUCTURE: accelerateSC shall be conducted and managed by James Burns, Esq. of Nelson Mullins. 

The governor and lieutenant governor shall participate at meetings. Formal activities are expected to continue for no longer than thirty days.

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Sara Hazzard – Hazzard is the President and CEO of the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance. 

Helen Turner Hill – Hill is the CEO of Explore Charleston, the South Carolina membership organization representing all segments of the travel and hospitality industry in the Greater Charleston area. She is currently the Chairman of the Board of the Charleston County Aviation Authority.

Lou Kennedy – Kennedy is CEO and owner of Nephron Pharmaceuticals in West Columbia. Nephron is on the frontlines of the nationwide response to COVID-19, manufacturing more than half of the respiratory solutions used to treat symptoms associated with the virus. Kennedy is chairman of S.C. BIO, the largest advocacy group for the life sciences industry in the state, and the immediate past chairman of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce.

Keith Mackey – Mackey serves as the Vice President of Purchasing at Schaeffler Group, a worldwide automotive and industrial manufacturer with its North American headquarters in Fort Mill, S.C.

Chris Patterson – Patterson is the owner of Summit Filtration LLC in Spartanburg, S.C., has 26 years of experience in industrial filtration sales, and is a member of the National Federation of Independent Businesses.

Ted Pitts – Pitts has served as the President and CEO of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce since 2015. He previously served as Governor Nikki Haley’s Chief of Staff and served in the South Carolina House of Representatives from 2003 to 2010.

Henry Swink - Swink is the co-owner of McCall Farms in Effingham, S.C.

Greg Thompson – Thompson is the president and CEO of Thompson Construction Group, Inc. and Chairman of Thompson Industrial Services, LLC, both headquartered in Sumter, S.C.

Bobby Williams, Jr. – Williams is the CEO of Lizard’s Thicket Restaurants and serves as the chairman of the South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association.

John Winarchick – Winarchick serves as an executive officer of Zeus Industrial Products, a worldwide leader in polymer manufacturing headquartered in Orangeburg, S.C.


Dr. David Cole - Cole currently serves as President of the Medical University of South Carolina, a position he has held since 2014.

Tiffany Freeman – Freeman currently serves as Senior Public Counsel for Government Affairs with BlueCross BlueShield South Carolina. Her legal career includes positions as Staff Attorney for the South Carolina Senate Judiciary Committee, Associate with Sowell Gray Stepp & Laffitte, now Robinson Gray, and Assistant Solicitor for the Seventh Judicial Circuit of South Carolina. 

Dr. Mike Hamlet – Hamlet is the Senior Pastor at First Baptist North Spartanburg and has served at the church since 1985.

Dr. Harris Pastides – Pastides served as president of the University of South Carolina from 2008 until 2019. Prior to being elected president of the university, Dr. Pastides served as vice president for research and health sciences and Dean of the Arnold School of Public Health. Dr. Pastides was a professor of epidemiology and chairman of the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and received his master’s of public health and Ph.D. in epidemiology from Yale University.

Christian L. Soura – Soura currently serves as the Vice President of Policy and Finance at the South Carolina Hospital Association. He previously served as Director of the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and was President of the National Association of Medicaid Directors.


Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis– Dr. Artis, a graduate of Vanderbilt University and West Virginia University College of Law, is the first female president of Benedict College and has served in that capacity since 2017.

Dr. Fred Carter - Dr. Carter has served as the president of Francis Marion University since 1999 and currently chairs the Governor’s Medical Education Council. Dr. Carter previously served as Chief of Staff to Governor Mark Sanford and senior executive assistant to Governor Carroll Campbell.

North Myrtle Beach Mayor Marilyn Hatley– Mayor Hatley is serving her fifth term as mayor of North Myrtle Beach.

Pam Lackey – Lackey served as President of AT&T South Carolina from 2007 through 2018 and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the South Carolina Ports Authority. Prior to her business career Lackey spent 22 years in education, most recently serving as South Carolina Deputy Superintendent for Policy.

Sheriff Leon Lott - Sheriff Lott was first elected Richland County Sheriff in 1996 and has served in that capacity ever since.

Dr. Akil Ross - Dr. Ross was named the 2017 South Carolina Secondary Principal of the Year and the 2018 NASSP National Principal of the Year. Dr. Ross is currently a professor of Educational Leadership at the University of South Carolina, an author, and owner of HeartEd LLC, an educational services company.

Councilman Tyler Servant – Servant has served on the Horry County Council since 2014 and is the Chief Operating Officer of Surfside Realty Company.

Dr. Mary Thornley – Dr. Thornley is the president ofTrident Technical College.

Mayor Knox White - Mayor White is currently the mayor of the city of Greenville, a position he was elected to in 1995 after serving on Greenville City Council since 1983.


James Bennett - Bennett is the Mid-South Area Executive Vice President for First Citizen’s Bank and currently serves on the board of directors for Prisma Health.

Bob Hughes – Hughes is the chairman of Hughes Development Corporation, a Greenville, S.C. based firm widely recognized as one of the leading development firms in South Carolina.

Nicky McCarter – McCarter is the president and CEO of Hopkins, S.C.-based Defender Services and serves on the Clemson University Board of Trustees.   

Chris Randolph – Randolph is a Partner with South Street Partners, the largest developer of vacation home communities in the state including the Cliffs Communities in the Upstate and Kiawah Island in the Lowcountry. Randolph previously served on the Board of Visitors of MUSC Health and currently serves on the Advisory Board of MUSC Children’s Hospital.

Greg Ryberg - Greg Ryberg is a businessman and former South Carolina State Senator who served Aiken county for 20 years before retiring in 2012. Ryberg started an oil distributorship and convenience store business, growing it to 53 stores before its sale, and is a former board member of the National Association of Convenience Stores and member of the Petroleum Marketers of America.

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