SCC Foundation Board of Directors Spotlight
- Business and community leaders representing the Spartanburg Community College’s service area: Spartanburg, Union and Cherokee Counties, form the Board of Directors that oversees the work of the SCC Foundation. With representatives from manufacturing to ministry, this diverse group of volunteers offer their expertise in identifying and obtaining funding to help SCC students achieve career success, while meeting the workforce needs of Upstate business and industry.
Heather Philo | January 2021
Heather Philo spent 19 years in public education, winning the Tift County Public Schools Teacher of the Year Award for 2010-2011.
Now a corporate trainer, Heather seeks to make an impact on those looking to grow their careers as leaders in their field. And as a member of the SCC Foundation Board of Directors, she wants to raise the awareness of the work the SCC Foundation does to help its students develop and grow careers.
“As my tenure with the board grows, I hope to be able to impact the awareness to the public for the Foundation and the great things it does to serve the SCC students and staff,” said Heather, a member of the board’s marketing committee.
A native of North Carolina, Heather presently serves as Training Manager at American Credit Acceptance in Spartanburg, an auto financing company that strives to provide the emerging credit consumer with reliable and affordable transportation. ACA has approximately 1,000 associates in Spartanburg, SC, Atlanta, GA, Albuquerque, NM and Boise, ID.
She says her greatest accomplishment personally is raising three daughters to be strong contributing members of the community. Professionally, she points to her ability to successfully shift her career from public education to the corporate world.
Heather says she spends her time away from work keeping up with her children’s activities, namely travel softball with her youngest daughter. Reading and being at the beach – any beach – are her favorite ways to unwind.
Dr. James W. Sanders, Jr | December 2020
Addressing the concerns of his community is a 24/7 job for Dr. James W. Sanders Jr., senior minister of Bethel Baptist Church in Gaffney. And his role as a member of the SCC Foundation Board of Directors gives him a unique perspective on opportunities available to community members at SCC’s Cherokee Campus.
“My involvement with the SCC Foundation allows me to share with others the mission of the foundation and how it greatly benefits students in our community and the community as a whole,” says Dr. Sanders, who is now in his second term as a member of the board.
A native of Gaffney, Dr. Sanders succeeded his father, the late Dr. J.W. Sanders Sr., who served 61 1/2 years as senior minister at Bethel Baptist Church.
Dr. Sanders says his biggest accomplishment is succeeding his father and continuing the work of providing the community with diverse ministries that tackle issues facing the Gaffney area as a whole.
“My duties include caring and loving members of the church and community through Christian Education enhancement, counseling, preaching and visitations,” Dr. Sanders said. “It’s a 24/7 ministry.”
While his ministry is full time. Dr. Sanders also is involved in community service organizations including Cherokee County First Steps and Cherokee County Coalition and serves as chaplain for Gamma Kappa Kappa Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
He is a faculty member for the National Baptist Congress of Christian Education U.S.A., Inc. and Assistant Director General of the South Carolina Baptist Congress of Christian Education. And when time permits, he enjoys watching a variety of sports, learning golf and traveling.
Ottilia Scanlon | November 2020
Ottilia Scanlon knows firsthand how education leads to the growth and success of individuals and communities.
“My educational journey is my biggest accomplishment,” said Scanlon, who is in her second year as a member of the SCC Foundation Board of Directors.
The first person in her family to graduate high school, Scanlon attended a community college in her hometown, then went on to obtain a bachelor’s degree. In August 2019, 20 years after starting her undergraduate studies, Scanlon graduated from Clemson University with a Master’s in Human Resource Development with a 4.0 GPA.
“The SCC Foundation Board is a perfect opportunity for me to give back as their mission aligns to my personal values and the values of the company where I work,” said Scanlon, who is Director of Learning and Development at Milliken & Co.
“Our goal is to empower our employees to unlock their individual potential to fuel our company’s performance.,” she said. “That is exactly what Spartanburg Community College and the Foundation do, and I want to contribute and be a part of that.”
A native of Menasha, WI, Scanlon has lived in Boiling Springs for the past seven years. When not at work, she enjoys exercising, hiking and biking. She also loves to read, relax with family and friends, and spend as much time as possible at the beach.
Scanlon is the proud mom of three children. Her oldest is an elementary school teacher, her middle child graduated from Winthrop University in May, and her youngest is a fifth grader. She is recently engaged and planning a May 2021 wedding.
- Rich Gibson | October 2020
- SCC Foundation Board of Directors
As Director of Corporate Strategy for Milliken & Company, Rich Gibson is responsible for strategy development, strategy execution, competitive & market intelligence, and enterprise risk management for the Spartanburg-based global industrial conglomerate.
He believes his service as a member of the SCC Foundation Board of Directors is a win-win that not only helps SCC students and faculty thrive, but also provides the Upstate with skilled employees ready to meet the challenges of today’s workplace.
Originally from Tennessee, Gibson made his home in Spartanburg after college and has served on the SCC Foundation board for one year. In his time away from work, he enjoys biking, hiking, backpacking, and golf.
Married with two sons, Gibson serves as a committee member with Boy Scouts Troop 2 in Spartanburg and as a committee member at the United Way of the Piedmont.
Andrena Powell-Baker | September 2020
Andrena Powell-Baker understands economic development and the role it plays in education, employment and overall community development.
As Senior Manager for Community Relations and Development at Lockhart Power Company and Ni Pacolet Milliken Utilities, Powell-Baker brings relationships in business, industry, and local and state government to help support the mission of the SCC Foundation
Impressed by the level of financial support that the SCC Foundation provides Spartanburg Community College students, Powell-Baker joined the SCC Foundation board in 2019.
“I was inspired by the level of financial support through scholarships that the Foundation provides for students attending SCC,” Powell-Baker says. “The Economic Visionaries awards was also something that I felt was an important component of the Foundation’s function, highlighting companies in SCC’s three-county service area who have made an impact on their communities.”
Lockhart Power, which provides electric service for Union, Cherokee, Chester, Spartanburg and York counties, was recognized as an SCC Economic Visionary in 2019 for its contributions to the community, as Powell-Baker was leading the charge as chair of the Union County Development Board and president of the South Carolina Economic Developers Association.
“I’m proud to have led Union County’s economic development team for seven years,” Powell-Baker said. “During that time, successful planning and negotiating led to the recruitment of five new industrial companies; five existing industry expansions; one industrial machining services expansion; completion of water and sewer infrastructure serving Trakas Industrial Park; extension of the access road in Midway Green Industrial Park; and awards of nearly $3 million dollars in grant funds for economic development.”
When not working to attract new investment to the Upstate, Powell-Baker enjoys gardening, traveling with friends, winery hopping, and most of all spending time with her parents, her husband, Joseph., and daughter, Taylor Marie.
John Robbins | August 2020
- John N. Robbins, Board Member
A native and resident of Union County, John N. Robbins plays an advocacy role on the Spartanburg Community College Foundation Board of Directors.
Service on the SCC Foundation board is an opportunity to represent and support an area of the Upstate where SCC operates a campus offering technical training for many of SCC’s certificate, diploma and degree programs.
“Serving on the SCC Foundation board allows me to provide feedback and input for Union County,” he says.
Robbins is Human Resources Manager at The Timken Company’s Tyger River Plant, which employs 300 Union County workers. He says his biggest accomplishment was his participation in Tyger River’s restructuring project that helped the Upstate SC plant achieve efficiency and cost competitiveness in a global market.
A global industrial leader with a growing portfolio of engineered bearings and power transmission product brands, The Timken Company employs 18,000 worldwide.
When not working, Robbins enjoys time with his family, hunting and classic automobiles. He also volunteers his time with United Way and the Boy Scouts.
Kathy Sinclair | July 2020
As Vice President, Human Resources at Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, Kathy Sinclair sees the value of Spartanburg Community College Foundation up close.
“My organization has always had a strong relationship with SCC as students join the hospital after attaining education and certifications,” Sinclair says. “I realized the value that the Foundation provides to support the College and I wanted to participate in those efforts.”
Now in her sixth year as a member of the SCC Foundation Board of Directors and recently voted Board Chair, Sinclair has been involved in strategic and financial planning, as well as improved marketing of the Foundation and its major events.
Supporting the SCC Foundation mission of generating resources to assist SCC students, faculty and staff is something Sinclair takes earnestly and enthusiastically. With more than 9,500 associates across Spartanburg, Union and Cherokee counties, Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System looks to SCC and its programs of study to help staff four hospitals, post-acute services, nursing home facilities and more than 100 physician practices.
“The key is to raise funding to support student education,” says Sinclair, a Spartanburg native.
With responsibility for employee recruitment and relations, organization development and education, compensation and benefits, employee diversity and inclusion and the system’s child development center, Sinclair sees her biggest accomplishment as taking an active role in implementing myriad projects to improve and maintain the culture of Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System.
When not at work, Sinclair enjoys gardening, camping and boating with friends. She is married with two sons.
Grant Burns | June 2020
As Vice President and General Council at AFL, a global fiber optics manufacturer employing more than 1,000 people in Spartanburg County, Grant Burns knows firsthand the value of Spartanburg Community College and its Foundation.
“As state budgets come and go each year, the trend has been for higher education institutions to look increasingly to private support to continue to grow and prosper,” Burns said. “A strong foundation is crucial to developing such support.”
At AFL, Burns’ responsibilities include legal, compliance, international trade, government relations and human resources. His company’s reliance on area workforce development led him to join the SCC Foundation board in 2015.
“I had previous experience in higher education boards and with my company’s dependence on SCC for a strong workforce, I was excited to get involved,” he said.
Since joining the SCC Foundation board, Burns has been involved in recruiting board members and staff for the foundation and recently served on the search committee for SCC’s next president.
Away from work, Burns is a casual golfer and enjoys reading and writing. He has authored two local history books. He is married to Julia Leonard Burns and the couple have two grown sons.
Linda Hannon | May 2020
Chair, SCC Foundation Board of Directors
As district manager for one of the Upstate’s major employers, Linda Hannon gets a firsthand look at the workforce gaps in our community. That’s why she wanted to serve on the Spartanburg Community College Foundation Board of Directors.
“Spartanburg Community College plays a vital role in working closely with businesses and industry to determine workforce needs and works to help fill those gaps,” said Hannon, who oversees government and community relations for Spartanburg and Greenville counties as district manager for Duke Energy.
The SCC Foundation’s mission to secure innovative funding opportunities and other significant gifts to support the goals of the college is one that Hannon embraces.
“I hope my involvement supports and bolsters opportunities for students to complete their education and provide support in times of need,” she says.
A native of Greer, Hannon wanted to get more involved in the community after returning to the Upstate from the Charlotte NC area about six years ago. Now serving her fifth year on the SCC Foundation Board, Hannon presently is board chair.
Despite a considerable resume and an extensive list of community and civic involvement, Hannon cites her personal life rather than her professional one when asked about her greatest accomplishment.
“My greatest accomplishment is my family,” she says. “My husband and I have two sons that we are most proud of; Luke and Reese.”