Gov. Nikki Haley was honored Thursday night as the Columbia Chamber’s Ambassador of the Year at the organization’s 113th annual gala.
“Governor Haley’s leadership this past year has opened multiple doors for South Carolina,” Carl Blackstone, Columbia Chamber president and chief executive officer, said in July when Haley’s selection was announced. “Most recently, her unwavering stance on the removal of the Confederate Flag created a healthy business environment and new economic development opportunities throughout the region.”
The chamber said in a news release that Haley’s determination to be a change agent for South Carolina both socially and economically has been a major component of the state’s recent growth.
Past winners of the Columbia Chamber’s Ambassador of the Year honor include University of South Carolina President Harris Pastides; Bill and Lou Kennedy, strategic consultant and president and chief executive officer of Nephron Pharmaceuticals; and Charles D. Beaman, Jr., chief executive officer of Palmetto Health.
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Other award winners honored Thursday night were:
▪ Louis Lynn of Enviro AgScience, the Small and Minority Business Advocate of the Year
▪ Tommy Preston of the Nexsen Pruet law firm, Young Professional of the Year
▪ Bill Bethea, chairman the S.C. Military Base Task Force, and retired Major Gen. George Goldsmith, Military Advocates of the Year
▪ Mike Weaver of the Weaver Agency, Diplomat of the Year