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Liberty Fellowship selects new class

Twenty South Carolina leaders have been selected for Liberty Fellowship’s Class of 2023. Following the successful completion of five, multi-day seminars in the U.S. and abroad and individual leadership projects, the new class will join the community of more than 300 Liberty Fellows working collectively across South Carolina.

“Each leader in our new class has demonstrated the courage and ability to confront the big, systemic issues affecting the people in South Carolina now and into the future.” said Ann Marie Stieritz, president and CEO of Liberty Fellowship and a Fellow from the Class of 2016. “By accepting our invitation to become Liberty Fellows, they are challenging themselves to dig even deeper and answer the question ‘How do I lead well and live justly in a good society?’”

The Liberty Fellowship Class of 2023 is:

  • Amy Barch, executive director and founder, Turn90

  • Gary Brewer, vice president, South Atlantic Area Construction Services, HDR, Inc.

  • Chase Glenn, director of LGBTQ+ health services and enterprise resources, Medical University of South Carolina

  • Teresa Goodman, executive director, Community Initiatives, Inc.

  • John Gordon, president & CEO, Leroy Springs & Company, Inc.

  • Shontavia Johnson, associate vice president for entrepreneurship and innovation, Clemson University

  • James Jordon, president, Jordon Construction Company

  • Michael Lalich, president and founder, Lowcountry Labor Company

  • E. Smyth McKissick, IV, president and CEO, Alice Company

  • Dominik Mjartan, CEO, Optus Bank

  • Brooke Mueller, director of government relations and public affairs (VA, NC, SC), Walmart, Inc.

  • Tiffany Pizarro, market vice president – clinic operations, CenterWell Senior Primary Care

  • Aparna Polavarapu, associate professor, University of South Carolina School of Law, and executive director and founder, South Carolina Restorative Justice Initiative

  • Zeb Portanova, CEO, GEM Funds

  • Tommy Preston, Jr., vice president, ethics, The Boeing Company

  • Seema Shrivastava, president, Carolina Convenience Corporation

  • Sarah Simmons, founder and CEO, CITY GRIT Hospitality Group

  • Megan Stifel, chief strategy officer, Institute for Security and Technology

  • Laura Ullrich, senior regional economist, South Carolina and North Carolina, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

  • Rochelle Williams, executive director, South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities Foundation

Learn more about the class at

Liberty Fellowship’s rigorous selection process takes place every two years. Each new Fellow was nominated, interviewed twice, and ultimately selected from a pool of more than 400 nominations.

“We are very intentional in selecting leaders with different perspectives, experiences and professional affiliations to facilitate challenging and meaningful values exploration and dialogue. This is the key to creating trust and lifelong bonds among leaders uniquely positioned to confront the status quo,” said Stieritz.

In addition to joining the Liberty Fellowship community, each new Fellow will also become a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network, a worldwide community of more than 3,000 high-integrity, entrepreneurial leaders from business, government, and the nonprofit sector in more than 50 countries.

About Liberty Fellowship

Liberty Fellowship is the only state-based Fellowship program of its kind in the United States. The Fellowship activates individual leaders through a deeper understanding of a just, free and equitable society; serves as a convener for bringing together diverse perspectives to advance civil discourse; and provides infrastructure for taking action. There are more than 300 Liberty Fellows working collectively across South Carolina. See stories of their impact at


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