Columbia Opportunity Resource (COR) welcomed two new board members and elected the 2021-2022 executive committee and committee chairs this summer. The 2020-2021 board diligently navigated Covid-19 and focused on a year of growth for the organization including a full brand refresh with an invigorated mission and vision statement.  

COR continues to grow by leaps and bounds each year. Last year, we completed a successful visual rebrand, refocused our organization’s mission and vision, launched Capture Columbia in partnership with MBLG, and much more,” immediate past Chairperson”, Chase Heatherly said.

COR’s updated vision and mission statements focus on boosting talent retention, fostering local pride and connecting the greater Columbia region. Find more information online at

COR will continue to build off the momentum set from the previous year including fueling its talent retention efforts, Crash Course Columbia and Capture Columbia. COR is also emphasizing a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. The board held a retreat August 29 to gather, reflect, and plan for the upcoming year. The first portion of the retreat was spent in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion training hosted by local DEIA consultant Beth Ruffin followed by team building activities and an afternoon enjoying Lake Murray.  

“It is an exciting time for COR and our region. Columbia continues to grow immensely — even throughout the pandemic — and our board and members are championing this growth,” said Ashley Cady Elsey, COR board chair. “We look forward to the new connections that are made this year through COR, and we welcome all to join us. Especially those who don’t yet feel connected to Columbia — our team is here to help you get plugged in.”

The following community leaders make up COR’s 2021-2022 board of directors. 

Executive Committee:

Chairperson: Ashley Cady Elsey, Flock and Rally

Vice-Chair Strategic Initiatives: Kelsey Carmichael, Experience Columbia SC

Vice-Chair Operations: Carrie Walker, South Carolina Farm Bureau Federation

Treasurer: Anne Langley, South Carolina Education Lottery

Secretary: Ben Culbreth, Culbreth Copywriting

Immediate Past Chairperson and Communications Chair: Chase Heatherly, Free Times

Committee Chairs: 

Membership Chair: Lauren Fleming, PWC

Diversity and Inclusion Chair: Ray Brown, Excel Real Estate

Talent Retention Chair: Khali Gallman, Epitome of Real Estate, Soda City Certified App

Volunteerism Chair: Jack Garrick, Career Concepts

Development Chair: Jared Clary, Splash Omnimedia

Table for Six Chair: Tanvi Patel, Richland County Economic Development

Time to Give Chair: Heather McDonald, LawyerLisa

Additional Board Members:

Briana Batemen, Office of US Senator Tim Scott

David Bornemann, Goodman McGuffey LLP

Lee Goble, Central Carolina Community Foundation

Lindsay Medlin, Bauknight Pietras & Stormer, P.A.

Lindsey Miles, Nephron Pharmaceuticals

Shayla Riley, Coldwell Banker

Aditi Srivastav, Ph.D., Children’s Trust of South Carolina

Meg Southern Syms, Garvin Design Group

Charlotte Knoop, LTC Health Solutions

Ashley Jenkins Wood, City of Columbia

*Fred Jones, Mission Lexington

*Taylor Wilks, Experience Columbia SC

* denotes new board members

Get connected at upcoming COR events 

With a mix of service, leadership development and networking events, COR has a number of events coming up. This Saturday, October 16, volunteer with COR at the YMCA’s annual Pumpkin Run. Volunteer positions include race packet pick up, kids obstacle courses, manning water stations and more. Register to volunteer with COR at

Get to know COR at Activate October 21, at Tiny Alley Concerts in the Vista. Activate is a membership mixer open to anyone who is interested in getting more connected to the community. It is free to attend. This month it will take place at the recurring Tiny Alley Concert series, located in the alley between to Small Sugar and GrillMarks. Find more information at 

COR’s supper series, Table for Six, continues November 4 with Women Driving Philanthropy. The event will take place at Capitol City Club, and tickets include dinner and a drink voucher. Table for Six is a networking dinner that connects aspiring leaders with seasoned executives and influencers in the community. Register for Table for Six at

Crash Course Columbia also returns this fall with a fresh, new itinerary. Targeted towards professionals who are new to the region or new to the working world, the talent retention initiative blends insider knowledge with experiences and professional development opportunities to leave attendees with a greater affinity for the region. Employers are encouraged to register staff for an upcoming tour. More information can be found at

Leave a Reply