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Patrick Patterson, Global Partners for fathers and families,

Patrick J. Patterson, MSW, MPH is President of Global Partners for Fathers and Families Consulting, LLC, an international firm that provides grant writing and fatherhood trainings to government, faith, and community based agencies worldwide.

Over his career, Patrick has effectively delivered more than 700 fatherhood and grant writing trainings, consultations, keynotes & workshops with public/private agencies in 43 states, 5 countries, Puerto Rico, and St. Thomas, USVI.  As a grant writer, Patrick has written and led grant writing efforts that have successfully resulted in more than $51 Million in grant awards from Federal, State, and Private Foundation funding sources, including multi-million dollar Federal grant awards during President George W. Bush, President Barack Obama, and President Donald Trump Administrations.

He earned a Bachelor of Social Work degree from Benedict College (Columbia, SC) and dual Masters degrees in Social Work and Public Health from the University of South Carolina.

He is married to his high school sweetheart, Sherani Ashford Patterson, and they have 2 beautiful daughters, Peyton and Lorin.


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Forrest Alton, 1000 Feathers

Forrest has been in the nonprofit and social service sectors for more than 15 years. For the last decade, he served as the Chief Executive Officer of the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, where his leadership and management resulted in the significant growth of an agency, which is now recognized as a national leader on issues related to adolescent health.  

After spending more than 10 years in the C-suite, Forrest stepped down in 2016 to focus his energy on the launch of 1000 Feathers. In his own words, Forrest is "making this transition to try and do his part to make the nonprofit, social sector, and philanthropic sectors stronger by training and developing leaders, helping organizations to think and act more strategically, posing the difficult questions you may be afraid to ask, and encouraging big, bold, courageous conversations at all levels of organizations and throughout communities." 


Charlie Banks, VentureSouth

Charlie is an experienced serial entrepreneur who has founded, run, and invested in multiple manufacturing, financial services, building science, and real estate companies in South Carolina. 

Prior to co-founding VentureSouth, he served as a Portfolio Manager at a start-up financial institution based in Greenville, SC where he was responsible for developing and implementing many of its entrepreneur engagement strategies. With a B.S. in business administration from Newberry College, he was recently named to the "50 Most Influential People" and "20 under 40" lists in Columbia, SC by two regional business publications.


Stephanie L. Blanton, Bank of america

Stephanie Blanton, Senior Vice President with Bank of America, has over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry specializing in product management, marketing, communications and public relations. In her current role as the Enterprise Business & Community Engagement Manager for South Carolina, Stephanie convenes the company’s local leaders across every business, including Merrill Lynch and US Trust, to integrate the delivery of Bank of America’s resources and expertise to the markets it serves across the state. In this capacity, Stephanie also leads Bank of America’s community engagement work in SC, including sponsorships and philanthropic giving.

Stephanie holds a B.S. in Financial Management from Clemson University. She is actively involved in the community, specifically in education, workforce development and arts outreach. She currently serves on the board of the Urban League in Columbia.

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Holt Chetwood, Wells Fargo

Holt Chetwood is the Midlands market president/business banking manager for Wells Fargo. He successfully helped lead the transition from Wachovia to Wells Fargo in the Midlands region during the 2011 fall conversion. Fresh being named Outstanding Young Banker in 2012, Holt Chetwood took over as chairman of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce in 2013 and has been named to Columbia Business Monthly's 50 Most Influential (2014).

A graduate of Clemson University, Holt holds a bachelor's degree in business management. His community involvement includes United Way of the Midlands, S.C. Higher Education Foundation, EngenuitySC, Junior Achievement, St. Lawrence Place, and Columbia Rotary Club.


Paul Clark, VentureSouth

Prior to co-founding VentureSouth, Paul was Senior Vice President of M&A at a multi-billion dollar bank in South Carolina. He was part of a team responsible for investments in financial services companies and vehicles, including an SBIC fund, and developing junior lending capabilities.

Paul has extensive private equity investment and fund experience as a Principal at BC Partners in New York and London, and earlier M&A advisory experience at NM Rothschild & Sons in London.

Fordham MA Medieval History; Durham (UK) BA History.


Walt Frye, Angel Investor

Walt is a career financial services and technology executive with a passion for driving sustainable growth and operational improvements in financial institutions, technology companies, and non-profit organizations. With over 15 years of executive experience in large financial services and technology companies, Walt currently serves as a director, advisor, mentor, board member, volunteer and angel investor in organizations and companies within Charlotte’s thriving entrepreneurship ecosystem.  Most recently, Walt was appointed executive direction (interim) for the Charlotte Regional Fund for Entrepreneurship (CRFE), which is the public-private partnership established to strengthen the entrepreneurship ecosystem in the Charlotte region.


Hadia Ghandour, Columbia College

A lecturer in Business at Columbia College, Hadia is also an active Angel investor in several Angel groups in SC, nationally and overseas. Her focus is social impact investing. She serves as a mentor and/or judge for several entrepreneurship competitions and incubators including the USC incubator. Prior to that, Hadia founded and ran several non-profit groups raising awareness on culture, human rights and civil rights in the Middle East.

Hadia has an MBA from the Darla Moore School of Business, USC and a BSc honors in Chemistry with Computer Science from Southampton University (UK).

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Juliana Iarossi, Angel Investor

Beginning in engineering consulting and with an early stage technology company, Juliana's career includes more than 25 years in commercial banking and wealth management driving capital to businesses, building investment portfolios and turning around troubled businesses. The insight gained from these experiences has allowed her to advise early stage organizations and those in transition as they adapt to a rapidly changing business and economic environment. As a scholar-practitioner, angel investor, board member, lecturer and public speaker her goal is to use her experience, networks and knowledge to further entrepreneurship research, to develop and support aspiring managers, leaders and entrepreneurs as they pursue "new things" and "new ways" and to strengthen the bond between the business and academic community.


Anna LewiN, SC Community Loan Fund

Anna works with the team at the SC Community Loan Fund to ensure highly-productive day to day management of the organization. Her responsibilities include implementing the strategic plan, developing annual work plans, facilitating community education programs, marketing programs and securing funding for operations and financing. Anna is also responsible for SCCLF's healthy food financing program, oversees the Feeding Innovation technical assistance program, and coordinates the activities of the South Carolina Food Access Task Force.

Anna holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the College of Charleston and received her masters degree in social work from the University of South Carolina.


Shaun Owens, University of South Carolina

Shaun Owens, MPH, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the College of Social Work, the Director of the Healthy Aging and Technology (HART) Lab, and the Director for Strategy and Innovation for the University of South Carolina’s SmartHOME Center for Economic Excellence. For the past decade, he has worked on numerous interdisciplinary teams at clinical, academic, and government organizations to develop, implement, and/or evaluate programs and health-related technologies for supporting informed heath decision making. In addition to his efforts as a health scientist, Shaun is also the creator of Think Sustainaible Models for Advancing Research Through Entrepreneurship (ThinkSMART-E), an initiative to provide support for social and health science faculty and students interested in transforming their social innovations into social enterprises. ThinkSMART-E partners currently include the Faber Entrepreneurship Center, SmartHOME Center for Economic Excellence, and College of Social Work at the University of South Carolina. Shaun has a Bachelor’s in English from Case Western Reserve University, a Master’s in Public Health from Emory University and a PhD in Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior from the University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health.


Katherine Swartz Hilton, McNair Center for Entrepreneurism at Columbia College

Katherine Swartz Hilton is a pioneering social entrepreneur. She is passionate about cultivating an entrepreneurial spirit from within organizations – driving change that seeds the growth of the organization’s impact, while supporting long term sustainability. Katherine serves as director of the Center for Leadership and the co-director of the McNair Center for Entrepreneurism, at Columbia College, a nonprofit liberal arts college in Columbia, SC. As a certified Kauffman FastTrac Facilitator and certified trainer with the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, Katherine educates, coaches and connects women entrepreneurs across the state, propelling them from start to sustainability to growth. She has extensive experience working with professional associations and charitable nonprofit organizations in Columbia and Atlanta over the past 17 years – each position threaded by success in redeveloping and launching programs, significantly impacting the organization's mission and revenue fulfillment. A graduate of the University of SC  (BA, Communications) and of Columbia College (MA, Organizational Leadership), Katherine also holds credentials and certificates from regional and national organizations. She serves as Secretary of the Richland Library Board of Trustees and Membership Chair of Women in Philanthropy, an affiliate of the United Way of the Midlands.



Tom joined Bauknight Pietras & Stormer, PA, in 1992 as a shareholder. He is the firm’s director of Accounting and Auditing and is responsible for ensuring that the firm is fully informed of current developments in accounting standards and in compliance with the latest auditing standards.

Since joining BPS, Tom has served as audit engagement partner and as technical review partner for clients in a broad range of industries, including telecommunications, manufacturing, dealerships and distribution, construction, and insurance. He leads the firm’s employee benefit plan practice, which conducts approximately 45 audits annually. Tom also manages the firm's litigation support services. He frequently serves as an expert witness relating to accounting and auditing issues. Tom is fluent in German and currently serves a number of German-owned companies.


Dan Haight, Co-founder, Ranger Investment Group

Dan is co-founder and principal of Ranger Investment Group, Inc. Prior to Ranger Investment Group he held several senior leadership positions with Abitibi-Bowater culminating in the position of Vice President, Business Integration and Operations from 2007 to 2009. Abitibi-Bowater is now known as Resolute Forest Products but during the period 1993 to 2009 was a Fortune 500 company whose common stock was traded on the New York Stock Exchange originally under the symbol BOW and later under the symbol ABH and RFP.

Dan formed Ranger Investment Group, Inc. in 2005. In addition to his for-profit career experience, Dan honed his management and leadership capacities through 17 years of active and reserve service in the U.S. Army, including two Special Operations commands.  Dan received an M.B.A. from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University, and a B.A. degree in Economics from Clemson University.  Dan serves on the Boards of related companies, as well as the Boards of ActivEd, an educational technology company, and Mothering Across Continents, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization with education, nutrition and health projects on four continents.


Jim Stritzinger, Entrepreneur in Residence, USC Arnold School of Public Health

Jim is an experienced serial entrepreneur and software developer and works in the Smartstate Center for Promoting Healthy Lifestyles. In addition, he's in the inaugural class of SC's prestigious Liberty Fellowship.