SC Pride Elects New Faces to Lead in 2016

Photo taken by Frankie Dee Pruitt

Photo taken by Frankie Dee Pruitt

COLUMBIA, SC, November 16, 2015 – South Carolina Pride wrapped up their 2015 Pride season with the annual board meeting and elections on Sunday afternoon at the SC Pride Headquarters, opening the doors for many leaders to step up and play their part in the community.

Over a dozen anxiously excited individuals showed up, locking eyes with each other as the SC Pride board went over the record-breaking experience that occurred on October 24th, which brought over 35,000 attendees to the event that has been a mainstay in the capital city for over 26 years.

For the current board, the experience has been an emotional one to see such a powerful result; to those running for election, their faces beamed with exuberance as they looked forward towards bringing fresh ideas to the table.

Samantha Hayford, a South Carolina native who identifies as bisexual, sees this experience as inspiring. “I have always wanted to play my part in the LGBT community and help make a difference, especially towards educating others about our LGBT youth and things such as mental health, wellness, and so on,” she stated. Hayford was one of the new individuals that was elected onto the 2016 SC Pride board, starting her term in January 2016.

Another new face to the team is Dana Mapson, who volunteers for various organizations such as the Harriet Hancock Center and Garden of Grace, just to name a few. Returning for the second year of their terms are Chad Hamar, Kenny Roberts, and William Kirven.

2015 South Carolina Pride Festival. Photo by: Brian Almond

SC Pride President Jeff March in the 2015 South Carolina Pride Parade. Photo by: Brian Almond

Along with the election of the SC Pride board was the elections for the Executive Board for the 2016 term. Current SC Pride President Jeff March was re-elected for a fifth term, looking forward to bringing more advances and fresh ideas to the upcoming year with the new board.

What followed was a changing of the guard as the board elected an all-new executive board, including Roberts as Secretary, Diarte Jeffcoat as VP of Marketing, Glenn Pipkin as VP of Logistics, and Tiffany Spradley as VP of Sponsorships & Grants.

“My vision for SC Pride to continue to grow as the largest one day event in South Carolina,” Spradley stated. “It truly is a great day in South Carolina when over 35,000 of our friends, loved ones, and allies come together in celebration and support of our community.”

With a board of mostly new individuals come fresh ideas and advances in the organization, including building a sports sector of the organization, Pride in the City Sports, which will help to bring both the LGBT community and friends and allies together and help to build teamwork, tolerance, and unity amongst the community.

“It is exciting, challenging, rewarding, and all at the same time, humbling,” March stated about his feelings on his upcoming fifth term. “But, those faces, well over 35,000 happy faces they say, encourage me to say ‘Let’s do it again!’”

2016 is very promising for the organization and they are looking forward to every moment.

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