Meet Our Team

Meet our current board, community advisors, and staff. Our team is proud to work with community partners and national thought leaders to create a robust future for the communities we serve.

The board and staff at the J. Marion Sims Foundation are committed to the health and wellness of our community. Our grantmaking priorities and community engagement activities are all designed with the well-being and future of our region in mind.

Our Board of Trustees

  • Lisa Bridges

  • Lisa Bridges

    Lisa Bridges is a Mathematics Teacher at Andrew Jackson High School. She holds a degree in Education from the University of South Carolina. Mrs. Bridges has served as Trustee and Chairman of the Lancaster County Board of Education. She has also served on the Springs Close Foundation Advisory Board, United Way Review Board and Lancaster County Health & Wellness Commission and as a Community Advisory Member for the J. Marion Sims Foundation. She currently serves on the USC Palmetto College Board of Visitors and the Lancaster County Commission for Higher Education. She is a resident of Heath Springs for over 36 years and is a member of Salem United Methodist Church. Mrs. Bridges became a trustee of the Foundation in 2017.

  • Michael Clancy

  • Michael Clancy

    Michael Clancy is a 1977 graduate of the University of South Carolina – Columbia. He joined the Air Force in 1979 as a flying Officer. He separated from the service as a Captain after 10 years as a Navigator/Bombardier on B-52s. Michael and his wife and two sons moved to Lancaster to take over operation of the Family business of distribution of Amoco and Texaco products in the tri-county area. While in Lancaster, he has served on the board of the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce, United Way, Red Cross, Lancaster Breakfast Rotary Club and the Community Playhouse of Lancaster. Michael also served for 11 years on the South Carolina Petroleum Marketers board in Columbia during his career in the petroleum business. He is currently serving on the board of HOPE of Lancaster. Mr. Clancy became a trustee of the Foundation in 2017.

  • Robert Folks

  • Robert Folks

    Robert Folks has practiced law in Lancaster since 1973 and is a partner in the firm of Folks & DeVenny, LLC. A graduate of the University of South Carolina, he holds a law degree from the USC School of Law. Mr. Folks has held trusteeships and chair positions with Lancaster County School Board, the Lancaster County Community Foundation, and Thornwell Home for Children. He served as trustee of Presbyterian College. His civic involvement in Lancaster also includes being a member and past president of the Lancaster Breakfast Rotary Club and trustee of the Lancaster County Society for Historical Preservation. Mr. Folks served as the Foundations attorney from 1995 until he became a trustee of the Foundation in 2006 and currently serves as chairman.

  • Don Gardner

  • Don Gardner

    Don Gardner retired from First Citizens Bank as Senior Vice President and Business Relationship Manager after 32 years with the bank and 38 years in banking. Mr. Gardner is the Director of Auxiliary Services at the University of South Carolina – Lancaster. A US Air Force veteran, he holds a degree in Marketing from the University of South Carolina and graduated from the South Carolina Bankers School. Mr. Gardner currently serves as a board member and Treasurer of the Lancaster Children’s Home. He previously served as chairman of the Lancaster County Partners for Youth board, and of the board of the Lancaster Housing Authority, and as president of the Kershaw Chamber of Commerce, and of the Lancaster Rotary Club. Additionally, Mr. Gardner is a former director of the Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce, as well as the Lancaster Community Foundation. Mr. Gardner is also a past board member of Catawba Regional Development Corporation. Mr. Gardner became a trustee of the Foundation in 2016.

  • Vivian Gray

  • Vivian Gray

    A native of Chester, South Carolina, Mrs. Gray holds a bachelor’s degree in Home Economics from South Carolina State University, a Masters degree in Clothing and Textiles from Winthrop University, and a Masters Plus 30 Certification from the University of South Carolina. An educator for 34 years, Mrs. Gray taught for six years in Chester County and 28 years in Lancaster County. She has served on the board of the Lancaster County Council of the Arts, and as a trustee and secretary of the board of the Educational Foundation of the University of South Carolina Lancaster. Mrs. Gray is a member of Alpha Kappa Mu National Honor Society, and of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. Ms. Gray became a trustee of the Foundation in 2016.

  • Sherri Gregory

  • Sherri Gregory

    A native of Lancaster, Sherri Gregory holds a BA from Columbia College (summa cum laude) and an MBA from the University of South Carolina Moore School. Most recently, she was employed by the University of South Carolina Lancaster as liaison to the Educational Foundation and prior to that was a full-time homemaker and mom. Current volunteer service includes board membership with the Lancaster County Community Foundation, Carolina Thread Trail, and Lindsay Pettus Greenway (president). She is also a member of the Founders Federal Credit Union Supervisory Committee. Mrs. Gregory became a trustee of the Foundation in 2016.

  • Tim Hallman

  • Tim Hallman

    Tim Hallman, Manager and Lancaster Market Executive for Comporium Communications, received his B.A. degree from the University of South Carolina. He has served as chairman of the Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce and as President of the Lancaster Breakfast Rotary Club. He serves on the Board of Visitors of the University of South Carolina and the Education Foundation of USC-Lancaster. He previously served on the Palmetto Council Boy Scouts of America Board, and is an Eagle Scout. He also serves as a commissioner for Lancaster County Parks and Recreation, the Catawba Regional Education Center Advisory Board, and the Lancaster Education Assistance Program Board. While attending USC- Lancaster, he was captain of the Lancer Basketball team. Mr. Hallman became a trustee of the Foundation in 2010.

  • Hugh Mobley

  • Hugh Mobley

    Hugh Mobley, R.Ph., is a Pharmacist and Owner of Mobley Drugs, graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Pharmacy. He has practiced Pharmacy in Lancaster for over 30 years and is involved in many community organizations including The Lancaster Breakfast Rotary Club and The Matt Blackwell Foundation. Hugh is also a lifelong member of First United Methodist Church in Lancaster. He also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees at the University of South Carolina and is involved with the SC Board of Pharmacy. Mr. Mobley became a trustee of the Foundation in 2010.

  • Jodie Plyler

  • Jodie Plyler

    Jodie Plyler is Vice President and City Executive for First Palmetto Bank in Lancaster. A Lancaster County native, she is a graduate of the University of South Carolina Honors College. She has served as Chairman of the Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce and the President of the Lancaster Rotary Club, and completed the Chamber’s Leadership Lancaster program. Mrs. Plyler currently serves on the board of directors for the Lancaster County Community Foundation, and she is Chairman of the Scholarship Committee for Seth’s Giving Tree Foundation. She previously served on the board of directors for Lancaster County Partners for Youth, Junior Achievement, and the Learning Institute for Tomorrow. Mrs. Plyler became a trustee of the Foundation in 2015.

  • Marvin Starks

  • Marvin Starks

    Marvin L. Starks is general manager of Nibrol, a manufacturer of cording for the window coverings industry. A graduate of Clemson University, he is a former board member of the Lancaster County Partners for Youth organization. He served as past Chairman of the Catawba Region Workforce Investment Board and HOPE in Lancaster. He is currently a board member of the Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce and serves on the Clinton Full Service Advisory Committee. Mr. Starks completed the 2008 Hull Fellows Program offered by the Southeastern Council of Foundations and in 2012 received a certificate in Non-profit Management from Winthrop University. Mr. Starks’ past community service includes chairmanships of the United Way of Lancaster County, the Healthy Lancaster Project and vice chair of the Lancaster County Partners for Youth. He was recognized in 2005 as the outstanding private sector board member for the Catawba region by the Catawba Workforce Investment Board and was named the outstanding private sector volunteer by the South Carolina State Workforce Investment Board in 2005 and 2008. Mr. Starks became a trustee of the Foundation in 2006.

Our Community Advisors

  • Richard Band

  • Richard Band

    Richard Band is a native of Spartanburg and holds a BA from Furman and an MLS from the University of South Carolina. He is retired as Director of the Lancaster County Library. He is currently Chairman of the Board of HOPE in Lancaster, serves on the Lancaster Community Foundation and is upcoming President of the Lancaster Rotary Club. He is past President of the Association of Public Library Administrators of South Carolina and previously served on the Board of Lancaster County First Steps, the Chamber of Commerce and as Chairman of the Lancaster Literacy Council. Mr. Band joined the Foundation as a Community Advisor in 2015.

  • John Craig

  • John Craig

    John E. Craig, Jr., is co-proprietor of Kilburnie, the Inn at Craig Farm. From 1981 to 2015, John served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of The Commonwealth Fund. Under his leadership, the value the Commonwealth endowment increased from $125 million to almost $800 million. The organization was recognized as one of the top three U.S. foundations seeking to improve the performance of the nation’s health care system. In the 1970s, Craig led the turnaround of the New York-based John A. Hartford Foundation, establishing the first national foundation program devoted to improving the organization and financing of health care. He currently serves on the boards of the International Women’s Health Coalition, TIFF Charitable Foundation, the Davidson College Alumni Council, WDAV, the Lancaster County Society for Historical Preservation, and the Craig Farm Historic Preserve Foundation.
    John is a native of Lancaster, SC and his roots in the community go back to the founding of the county in the 1750s. A graduate of Davidson College and Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs, John began his career as a USAID Foreign Service officer, and served during the Vietnam conflict. For his work in Vietnam, he received from U.S. Ambassador Ellsworth Bunker the Citation for Heroic Service. Mr. Craig joined the Foundation as a Community Advisor in 2017.

  • Malcolm Edwards

  • Malcolm Edwards

    Malcolm Edwards, M.D., an ophthalmologist with The Eye and Laser Center, graduated from the University of South Carolina and the University of South Carolina School of Medicine (magna cum laude). He completed his ophthalmology residency training at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. He has served as chief of staff and chief of surgery at Springs Memorial Hospital. He is also a past president of the Lancaster Rotary Club and has served in volunteer leadership capacities with CareNet and the Women’s Enrichment Center in Lancaster. Dr. Edwards served as a trustee of the Foundation from 2003 – 2016. Dr. Edwards was appointed as a Community Advisor in 2017.

  • Stan Johnson

  • Stan Johnson

    Stanley D. Johnson, retired Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Kanawha Insurance Company, is a graduate of the University of Denver, Colorado and is a Certified Public Accountant (inactive status). He is a retired member of the South Carolina Higher Education Committee and served as trustee of the J. Marion Sims Foundation from 2004 – 2015. He is currently a member of the Lancaster Rotary Club. Mr. Johnson joined the Foundation as a Community Advisor in 2015.

  • Ashley Shannon

  • Ashley Shannon

    Ashley Shannon is the director of Marketing and Community Relations at Springs Memorial, where she has been employed for over 23 years and is a member of the Executive Leadership Team. Ashley is a native of Lancaster, SC, and has been active in community efforts from a young age. She is a graduate of Winthrop University with a degree in Communications. Past community involvement includes serving on the Board of Directors of The United Way of Lancaster County, HOPE in Lancaster and the Lancaster County Council of the Arts. She has also played an active role in the School Improvement Councils of Discovery Elementary and Lancaster High School and she enjoys working with the students of Lancaster High School’s LearnTV. She also serves on the Leadership Lancaster planning committee of the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce. She is an active member at Mount Nebo Missionary Baptist Church in Lancaster and is the mother of Ryleigh Waiters, who is a student at The University of South Carolina. Ms. Shannon joined the Foundation as a Community Advisor in 2017.

  • Kathy Sistare

  • Kathy Sistare

    Kathy Sistare is the Practice Administrator for Palmetto Tri-County Primary Care, an affiliate of Springs Memorial Hospital, in Lancaster, SC. She attended the University of SC at Lancaster and Wingate University and received her nursing degree in 1979. After receiving her education she began her career as a Registered Nurse with Springs Memorial Hospital where she held positions as Clinical Nurse Manager, Infection Control Coordinator and Director of Quality Management and Improvement. Kathy joined Palmetto Tri-County Internal Medicine in 2001. She has also worked as an Independent Consultant developing nurse recruitment and retention plans, staffing grids, and facility preparation for regulatory site visits. She was elected to the Lancaster County Council in 2009-2012 and served as Chairwoman during her term. She has served as past presidents to the HOPE of Lancaster Board and Lancaster County Red Cross and is presently serving on the board of the Lancaster County Council for the Arts. Kathy enjoys reading, gardening, traveling and family time. Mrs. Sistare joined the Foundation as a Community Advisor in 2017.

Our Staff

  • SusanDevenny2016

    Susan DeVenny

    — President & CEO
    email: sdevenny@jmsims.org
    • Joined in 2016
    • 25+ years leadership experience in the public and private sectors
    • Past Secretary for the National Association for the Education of Young Children

    Susan DeVenny leads the Foundation’s day-to-day vision and operations together with the board, community advisors, and staff. Susan brings over 30 years of experience in the public, private, and non-profit sector, most recently serving as the state director for SC First Steps to School Readiness, South Carolina’s early childhood agency. She has served on numerous national, state and local boards, was elected as Secretary of the National Association for the Education of Young Children in 2009, and currently serves on the Waterford Institute Advisory Board, the Southeastern Council on Foundations Public Policy Committee, Winthrop University’s Graduate School Advisory Board, and the SC ETV Advisory Board. She serves as a Senior Fellow with the American Leadership Forum Charlotte Region and as a Fellow with The Riley Institute’s Diversity Leadership Initiative at Furman University. Susan holds degrees from Furman University and the University of Georgia, and has lived in Lancaster with her family since 1988.

  • LCCC9

    Holly Furr

    — Program Officer
    email: hfurr@jmsims.org
    • Joined in 2009
    • A 2012 Hull Fellow with the Southeastern Council of Foundations
    • Vice Chair of SC Grantmakers steering committee

    Holly Furr analyzes and makes recommendations on proposals, monitors grantees’ progress, provides technical assistance to grantees, and is responsible for data management for the Foundation’s grantmaking. Holly enjoys working with the not-for-profits in the Foundation’s giving area, as well as other community engagement organizations and committees. She has spearheaded the Give Local campaign to our area. She is the 2017 President of the South Carolina Grantmakers Network and is a 2012 Hull Fellow with the Southeastern Council of Foundations. She is a board member of the Lancaster Community Foundation, an affiliate of The Foundation of the Carolinas, Bethelwoods Camp and Conference Center in York, SC, and The Community Playhouse of Lancaster County. She has spent over 20 years working in the not-for-profit arena. She holds a BA degree from Columbia College in Columbia, SC, and is a native of Lancaster.

  • Jared Hayes

    Jared Hayes

    — Research Associate
    email: jhayes@jmsims.org

    Jared Hayes is a resident of Kershaw, SC and a 2014 graduate of Andrew Jackson High School. He is currently a junior nursing major at the University of South Carolina Lancaster where he has served as Vice President of the research club, a member of the BSN Research team, and a peer tutor. He volunteers some of his time to coaching church basketball and with Meals on Wheels. He was a member of the 2016 inaugural class of interns at the foundation where his main focus was research and analysis of the foundation’s community engagement efforts. He currently serves as a Research Associate at the foundation researching grants and partnership opportunities.

  • Elizabeth Howe

    Elizabeth Howe

    — Communications Associate
    email: ehowe@jmsims.org

    Elizabeth Howe, a native of Great Falls, is a recent graduate from Columbia College and majored in Communication Studies with a minor in Public Relations. While in college, Elizabeth served as President of the Omicron Delta Kappa, President of the Student Alumnae Ambassadors and a member of Lamda Pi Eta Honor society. Elizabeth also worked for the Office of Alumnae Relations as a student worker and was an intern at the Congaree Vista Guild in Columbia. In the summer of 2016, Elizabeth was a member of the inaugural class of Simterns and worked on a variety of communication and outreach projects such as focus groups and events to promote the Give Local Lancaster initiative. Elizabeth now serves the Foundation as a Communications Associate.

  • KarenOrmand2016

    Karen Ormand

    — Executive Assistant
    email:kormand@jmsims.org
    • Joined in 2004
    • Member of the International Association of Advanced Professionals
    • Lancaster Native

    Karen Ormand provides administrative and coordination support to the Foundation team. Her duties also include maintaining grants-related information, overseeing the financial administration duties, supporting the day-to-day operations of the Foundation, and designing the Foundation newsletter. Karen holds a degree from the University of South Carolina at Lancaster, as well as continuing education credits from the University of South Carolina and the University of Phoenix. Ms. Ormand brings over 14 years of experience in sales and marketing, financial, and human resources experience from previous employment in the chemical manufacturing area, where she received numerous awards. She has previously served on the local board for Parents for Public Schools, has served as Parliamentarian for the Lancaster Women’s Club, and Secretary for the Lancaster SPCA.

  • Pam Temple

    Pam Temple

    — Interim Program Director
    email: ptemple@jmsims.org
    • Joined in 2016
    • 25 years healthcare and administrative experience in non-profits and private sectors
    • Served on various committees in Chester and Lancaster Counties advocating healthy communities

    Pam Temple provides leadership for the organization’s grantmaking and program areas. With over 25 years in the health field, she brings expertise and a systems perspective to the Foundation’s broader community work. A native and current resident of Great Falls, South Carolina, she graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. Employed with Springs Memorial Hospital for 19 years, she worked in various positions, including Director of Home Care and Hospice, and Director of Quality and Risk Management. Recently, she has worked on the administrative team at XL Mediaworks, Inc. She served on the Lancaster County Health and Wellness Commission from 1993-2001 and Catawba Area Council on Aging’s Advisory Council from 1998-2001. She has actively volunteered for the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Chester County School District and Team 4:12 Youth Group at Mt. Zion Baptist Church. Pam served as a trustee of the Foundation from 2005-2016.

  • Lauren Thomas

    Lauren Thomas

    — Project Director, Community Indicators & Collaborative Learning
    email: lthomas@jmsims.org
    • Joined in 2016
    • Adjunct Health Promotion Professor at USC-Lancaster

    Lauren Thomas supports the Foundation’s strategic planning to strengthen health outcomes in Lancaster and Chester County by working with partner organizations to deepen awareness of community health indicators data. Lauren is piloting a health promotion education course at USC-Lancaster that emphasizes the implementation of collaborative strategies that build a culture of health. She is an active volunteer with the Lindsay Pettus Greenway and a Board member for the Lancaster County Council on Aging. Lauren holds a bachelors degree in public relations, a masters in public health, and a graduate certificate in health communications from the University of South Carolina. Lauren has strong maternal and paternal family ties to Lancaster County.

The team at the J. Marion Sims Foundation is committed to the health and wellness of our community. Our grantmaking priorities, leadership and engagement activities are all designed with the well-being and future of our region in mind.