Ralph U. Thomas, president of the South Carolina Power Team, has been awarded the Order of the Palmetto. The state’s highest civilian honor, which recognizes a person for extraordinary lifetime achievement and service to the state and nation, is given by Gov. Nikki Haley. As the only president in the history of the South Carolina Power Team’s organization, Thomas has been instrumental in more than 600 economic development location and expansion projects. Those projects resulted in $9.3 billion in capital investments for South Carolina and created 52,400 new jobs. Thomas plans to retire from the South Carolina Power Team later this year after 25 years of service.