Bertram Rantin

August 28, 2014

Mentoring group gets new leader

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Columbia has a new president and chief executive officer.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Columbia has a new president and chief executive officer.

Victor McGuire assumed the helm of the mentoring organization earlier this month.

“I am enthused to have the opportunity to join Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Columbia,” McGuire said. “As a world educator, I recognize the need for our youth to have mentoring opportunities.”

McGuire received his doctorate from Colorado State University. He was a university professor for 20 years before serving as president and founder of the National Association For Beginning Teachers in Columbia.

Most recently, he served as director of the ESL program of the Shanghai Oriental Ladder Bilingual School in Shanghai, China.

Big Brothers Big Sisters provides children facing adversity one-to-one relationships to help change their lives for the better by partnering with parents/guardians, schools, corporations and others in the community. The organzation pairs children (“Littles”) with screened volunteer mentors (“Bigs”), monitoring and supporting them in one-to-one mentoring relationships.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Columbia is an affiliate of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, the nation’s largest donor- and volunteer-supported mentoring network. Last year, the local group served 226 children in Richland and Lexington counties.

“I look forward to working with the staff, our board, dedicated volunteers and residents to serve the children and families of our community,” McGuire said.

For more information on the organization, visit

Lourie Center names new board members

The Lourie Center board recently elected a new chairman and three new members.

John Hutto, the former vice chair, was elected chairman for the 2014-15 term. Hutto has served on the board four years as part of the programs committee and as chair of the development committee. He retired from the S.C. Department of Mental Health as public information director and is on the board of the Columbia Area Mental Health Center.

The center’s new board members include Russ Bell, executive director of Finlay House; Charles Brown, owner of Right at Home; and Karen Coker, nurse executive at Palmetto Health Baptist.

The Lourie Center, formerly the Capital Senior Advocacy Center, provides opportunities for adults age 50 and older to remain physically fit, socially engaged, intellectually stimulated and independent.

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