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Children's Trust of South Carolina announces officers and new board members
10/22/2013 11:53:44 AM


Columbia, SC -- Children's Trust of South Carolina announces leadership and board positions for the fiscal year 2013-2014. The following community leaders are serving two-year terms as officers for the board of directors.

Kim Wellman (Lexington) is serving her first year as Chair. Wellman lives in Lexington, South Carolina and is the Assistant Vice President of Corporate Marketing Communications at BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina. She is a past president of the Junior Women's Club of Columbia and a former chairman of the board for Palmetto Place Children's Emergency Shelter. Wellman has a Masters in Mass Communications from the University of South Carolina and is also Accredited in Public Relations (APR).

Brian Craven (Columbia) is the assistant vice president and counsel for Colonial Life and Accident Insurance. Brian Craven has worked with a number of nonprofits focusing on children and family issues. Brian has more than 15 years of experience in the life and health insurance industry. Brian also volunteers as a captain with the S.C. State Guard and is an adjunct professor for Webster University.

Rick Hewitt (Columbia) is a shareholder at Elliott Davis in Columbia. His focus is on transaction advisory services, including merger and acquisition due diligence. Hewitt is a certified public accountant and has a Master of International Business and Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina.

The following are joining the board as first term members:

Jeff Allen (Irmo) is chief fire investigator for the Irmo Fire District. He has served as chairman of the Safe Kids Midlands Coalition for the past 10 years and as a member of the advisory group for Safe Kids South Carolina. Allen has also served 10 years as a child abuse case investigator with Richland County CASA. He is an active member of the Legislative Committee of S.C. Firefighters Association and is well-known throughout the state in the public safety arena. Allen is a graduate of St. George's College, Toronto, CDA.

Valerie Hensley (Murrells Inlet) is a public relations professional with Harrington Construction Company in Myrtle Beach. She has served as the executive director of STEP UP! Volunteer Network and the executive director of CARETEAM, Inc. With her master's degree in social work from the University of South Carolina, she has also worked as a social worker and victim advocate for several non-profit and government agencies.

Ramon Nieves-Lugo (Greenville) is chief marketing officer with UniComm Media Group. He has served as a board member for the S.C. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and on the Human Relations Commission in Greenville County. He is a current board member of A Child's Haven and on the Minority Council of the Greenville Hospital System. Ramon has his Bachelor of Arts in marketing with a minor in Human Relations from Bob Jones University.

These individuals are also continuing terms on the board of directors: Joe Bouknight (Chapin,) Colleen Bozard (Columbia,) Deborah B. DuBose (Seneca,) Elizabeth Gressette (Cayce,) Patricia S. Lawter (Chapin,) Tiffany Provence (Summerville,) Jane Pulling (Pinopolis,) Owen Tyler (Charleston,) Heather Woolwine (Charleston,) and David Yezbak (Columbia).

Kim Wellman, the chair of the board of directors, remarks, "Our board members are talented and dedicated volunteers, representing all areas of South Carolina. Their skills, leadership and passion will be an asset to the organization as we work for a 50 percent reduction in the number of confirmed cases of child abuse, neglect and unintentional injuries in South Carolina by 2023."

Wellman continues, "We recognize the responsibility we have to the children of South Carolina. I am proud of the work Children's Trust does to prevent child abuse and to keep children safe, but we cannot do it alone. We need partners willing to step up to the plate with us who have resources and infrastructure to carry out the programs we fund. We also need caring family members and friends, willing to step in for families. Together, we all must work together to ensure that all our children have the opportunity to thrive."

To learn more about Children's Trust and its work, please visit

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