Ten community leaders have been elected to serve new three-year terms on United Way of Greenville County’s Board of Directors.
The newest directors on the 37-member nonprofit board are Gary Bernandez, AMECO; Nathan Brown, Kiona Technologies and the Upstate SC LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce; Jessica Donan, EY; Charlie Hall, Upstate Warrior Solution; Moryah Jackson, United Community Bank; Ashton Lawrence, Goldfinch Wealth Management; Joanie Martin, Elliott Davis LLC; Jeff Miller, ITW Hartness; Rhiannon Poore, Forge Search & Consulting; and Donnice Wilkerson, Michelin North America (retired).
“We’re thrilled to welcome this new class of community leaders to an already extraordinary board of directors,” said United Way of Greenville County President and CEO Meghan Barp. “As we continue to unite diverse perspectives with a shared passion to improve our community, we will be better equipped to pursue our vision of a Greenville County where all people have access to the opportunities to achieve their full potential.”
The new year also brings an updated slate of directors to serve on its Executive Committee. Longtime United Way volunteer and current Regional Medical Officer at CareMore Health Dr. Saria Saccocio will serve as the 2023 chair. Saccocio will be joined on the executive committee by Dr. Karen Baynes-Dunning (Vice Chair), Fox Rothschild’s Tami McKnew (Treasurer), Long Branch Baptist Church’s Pastor Sean Dogan (Secretary), United Community Bank’s Moryah Jackson (Community Impact Committee Chair) and Table 301’s Carl Sobocinski (Past Chair).
Gary Bernandez serves as Chief Executive Officer at AMECO, a position he has held since 2021 after previously serving as President of AMECO from 2000 to 2014, followed by Chief Operating Officer at Brundage-Bone Concrete Pumping. Gary has more than 36 years of experience in the industry and has extensive expertise in project execution, construction, risk management, operations, business development, strategy, information technology, acquisitions and corporate administration. Gary is an executive committee member of the board of directors of Junior Achievement of Greater South Carolina and has perviously served with Junior Achievement of Upstate South Carolina District, the Blind Children’s Learning Center and the YMCA. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Bowling Green State University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Clemson University.
Nathan Brown has a passion for transforming businesses and empowering people. He is the founder of Kiona Technologies and is also co-founder and president of the Upstate SC LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce. Nathan has spent the last 20 years working in the world of analytics, strategy, technology and international business, having led award-winning technology teams at DuPont and BlueCross BlueShield. He is a graduate of Duke University Graduate School and the USC School of Business, and is a co-parent of an 11-year-old Greenville County 7th grader. Nathan uses his own experiences as a member of the Upstate LGBTQ+ community to give a voice and strength to folks who may otherwise feel alone.
Jessica Donan serves as EY’s Office Managing Partner for Greenville, SC, where she develops and maintains relationships on behalf of EY across the entire state. During her public accounting career, which has extended over 22 years, Jessica has served as the coordinating partner for public, private and private-equity-backed companies across multiple sectors. Her clients have included Fortune 500, 1000, and Russell 3000 companies. Jessica holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from the University of Memphis, a Master’s in Accountancy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and attended the Harvard Leadership Program. Jessica has received an accreditation in International Financial Reporting Standards and is a Certified Futurist from the Futures School. She is a member of the South Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Greenville Women’s Professional Forum and International Women’s Forum Carolinas Chapter. Jessica is engaged in the community through her work on the Peace Center Board of Trustees, Clemson University’s Advisory Board for the School of Accountancy, the Greenville Racial Equity and Economic Mobility (REEM) Commission, and the Greenville Chamber of Commerce Board.
In addition to his role as President of Upstate Warrior Solution, Charlie Hall continues to serve in the US Marine Corps Reserves. Charlie is a graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point and served on active duty for 10 years in both the Army and Marine Corps. After a combat deployment to Iraq in 2005, Charlie moved to Greenville and began work in the private sector at Harper Corporation – General Contractors and the USMC Reserves. Charlie then served on active duty as the District Injured Support Coordinator for South Carolina and Georgia with the Marine Corps’ Wounded Warrior Regiment from 2009 to 2014. He and his wife Elizabeth live in Greenville and have three children.
Moryah Jackson is the Vice President, Director of Community Development and Engagement at United Community Bank, where she is responsible for oversight of the bank’s community impact initiatives along with serving as a key decision maker of the recently established United Community Bank Foundation. Prior to United Community Bank, Moryah served as Director of Diversity Education at Clemson University. Earlier in her career, she worked to launch TransformSC, a public-private partnership focused on transforming the public education system in South Carolina. She has also held roles with the University of South Carolina and the South Carolina Technical College System. Moryah earned her bachelor’s degree in Public Affairs from Columbia College and her master’s in Public Administration from the University of South Carolina. She is also a graduate of the South Carolina Economic Development Institute, the Riley Institute Diversity Leaders Initiative, and the South Carolina Education Policy Fellowship Program. Moryah has been recognized as a “20 under 40” leader by The State newspaper and a “40 under 40” leader by the South Carolina Black Pages. She serves on the South Carolina Women in Leadership Consulting Council and volunteers with Midlands Technical College’s Upward Bound Program.
Ashton Lawrence is a Financial Advisor and Partner at Goldfinch Wealth Management, where he offers personalized client care and proactive expertise while covering a multitude of topics throughout the financial planning process. A Greenville native, Ashton began his career working for a national firm in 2010, and has been featured and quoted in several national publications, including Forbes, CNBC, Fortune and Bloomberg. Ashton has served on the boards of the Eastside YMCA and Fall for Greenville. In his free time, you can find him spending time with friends and family, playing basketball and golf.
Joanie Martin is a finance and strategic planning executive, currently serving as Chief Transformation Officer for Elliott Davis LLC. She has previously held several roles at Michelin North America, including Chief Administrative Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Finance Director for the passenger tire division. Joanie is an active community volunteer and has served on a number of boards, including the Community Foundation of Greenville, Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital, TBC Corporation, and Michelin Tire Corporation Federal Credit Union. She is a Fellow of the tenth class of the Liberty Fellowship and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership network. Joanie is a certified Public Accountant, earned her MBA at Georgia Tech and an undergraduate degree in economics from Furman University where she played on the women’s tennis team. She is also currently serving on United Way of Greenville County’s Women United council.
Jeff Miller is Vice President and General Manager for ITW Hartness, a division of Illinois Tool Works Inc. (ITW). Jeff has held several roles of increasing responsibilities across ITW Appliance Components and Construction Products segments, where he helped grow the division revenue by more than 20 percent. Now responsible for leading ITW Hartness, Jeff brings his diverse commercial and engineering background and passion for manufacturing to a growing division. Prior to his tenure at ITW, Jeff spent the first 20 years of his career at Whirlpool, where he worked into leadership roles in product development in North America, Europe and globally. Jeff holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue University, as well as an MS in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Recently relocated to the Greenville area, Jeff and his wife Misty are foodies and enjoy hiking and traveling in their spare time.
Rhiannon Poore is the Founder and CEO of Forge Search + Consulting, a boutique professional recruiting firm headquartered in Greenville. She has over 15 years of experience in talent acquisition, business development, marketing and talent development. Rhiannon previously led talent acquisition at Elliott Davis, where she created and scaled the first experienced recruiting department for the 800-person Southeastern public accounting firm. She also spent nearly 10 years in external recruiting at Find Great People (FGP). Entrepreneurial at heart, Rhiannon has been recognized as Greenville’s “Best and Brightest” and FGP’s “Top Biller of the Year.” Rhiannon graduated with honors from Bob Jones University with a B.A. in English & Communications and a M.A. in English. She is deeply involved in the community, having served with United Way of Greenville County’s Young Leaders Society, the Center for Developmental Services and other area charities. When she’s not at work, you can find Rhiannon in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes, running on the Swamp Rabbit Trail or playing with her two children.
Donnice Wilkerson is a Greenville native. In her 31-year career at Michelin North America, she held positions of responsibility in customer service, supply chain, B2B distribution, project management and change management. She retired in 2021 to pursue her passion for helping others. Donnice has served 300for Humanity board and chairs its Internal Monitoring Committee. She is also a sustainer in the Junior League. During her Michelin career, she served many years as a United Way campaign coordinator and currently serves on the United Way of Greenville County Alexis de Tocqueville Society committee, where she has been instrumental in fundraising. Donnice is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Southern Wesleyan University. She and her husband Dick have a daughter, Ericka.
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