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Liberty Fellowship kicks off 20th anniversary year, announces Legacy Partners

CRBJ Biz Wire //May 17, 2024//

Liberty Fellowship kicks off 20th anniversary year, announces Legacy Partners

CRBJ Biz Wire //May 17, 2024//

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Liberty Fellowship, a dynamic and diverse network of 350 leaders across South Carolina, will celebrate its 20th anniversary with special activities and initiatives over the next 12 months that will culminate in a celebration event on April 24 – 27, 2025 in Greenville. To kick off the year, Liberty Fellowship has released a commemorative video and logo mark in addition to a detailed timeline of the organization’s history on their website

“As a member of the first class of Fellows, I have witnessed the incredible growth of Liberty Fellowship since its founding. It is exciting that we are taking the next 12 months to recognize how the Fellowship has shaped South Carolina’s leaders and the positive impact it has created for communities across the state,” said Betsy Fleming, chair of the Liberty Fellowship Board of Directors. “Even more important than a celebration, we see this moment as an inflection point and an opportunity to explore how Liberty Fellowship will continue to evolve and have an impact in the state. We are just getting started.”

BlueCross® BlueShield® of South Carolina, Boeing, and SouthState Bank are supporting the yearlong celebration as 20th Anniversary Legacy Partners in honor of the Fellowship’s impact in South Carolina since its founding.

“We are so grateful to our Legacy Partners for helping to make this milestone year possible,” said Kerri Forrest, vice-chair of the Liberty Fellowship Board of Directors. “Their support is an important recognition of the value of the Fellowship experience and the individual and collective impact Fellows continue to have in communities across the state.”

• Liberty Fellowship was founded by South Carolina businessman Hayne Hipp and his wife Anna Kate in partnership with Aspen Institute and Wofford College to create a better future for all people in South Carolina.
• The first class of Fellows was announced in 2004. The Fellowship has grown into a dynamic and diverse network of 350 leaders.
• Each Liberty Fellow completes a rigorous, 18-month curriculum and an individual impact venture before joining the Liberty Fellowship South Carolina Network.
• Liberty Fellowship is a lifelong commitment. Through the Fellowship’s affiliation with Aspen Institute, all Liberty Fellows are members of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
• 76% of Liberty Fellows are professionally affiliated with the business sector, 12% with the nonprofit sector, and 12% with the public sector.

• “What Liberty does is create an environment in which it is safe to both share and to disagree, which is not something I think we do well in modern American discourse,” said Kacey Eichelberger (’18), chair of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Prisma Health.
• “We need leaders in this country, in this state, and in all of our communities that look at the world differently and understand it’s not just about me today, it’s about a long-term future,” said Sam Erwin (’11), executive vice president and mid-Atlantic regional president for First Horizon.
• “Our moderators have found a way to encourage this type of discussion in this type of controlled environment to be able to have civil discourse and at the end, still find our commonality,” said James Jordon (’23), president of Jordon Construction Company and Jordon Development Company.
• “When I came out of the seminars, I was so confident and I was enthusiastic, and I was ready, because my Fellows had given me that strength to understand that I can tackle problems, and I can resolve conflicts, and I can and be supported as I do that,” said Bridget Laird (’16), chief executive officer of WINGS.
• “It’s given me more courage to make difficult decisions. It’s given me more courage to not always make the decision that makes the most people happy, but the decision that’s the right decision,” said Leighton Lord (’08), and president and chief strategy officer at Maynard Nexsen.
• “You have a brotherhood or sisterhood that is there for you at a moment’s notice. You become a part of this team that wants the best for the state and for the country,” said Seema Shrivastava (’23), chairwoman of the South Carolina Board of Health and Environmental Control.
• “I didn’t expect it. Nobody does, but it’s a really powerful experience, and it’s changed me permanently,” said Jim Stritzinger (’06), director of the South Carolina Broadband Office.
• “No matter what your political background is or no matter what your past life experiences have been, it teaches you how you can use those and move society forward in a positive way,” said J.E.B. Wilson (’20), managing partner of Cotton Hills Farm.

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. Through the Fellowship’s affiliation with Aspen Institute, Liberty Fellows also become members of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. There are 350 Liberty Fellows working individually and collaboratively across South Carolina. Learn more at

The AGLN at Aspen Institute is a growing, worldwide community of nearly 4,000 high-integrity, entrepreneurial leaders from over 60 countries who share a commitment to values-based leadership and to using their creativity, energy and resources to tackle the foremost societal challenges of our times. Because of their demonstrated accomplishment and abilities, they have been selected to join one of 13 geographic or sector-specific AGLN Fellowships around the world. Fellows convene annually at the AGLN’s flagship event, the Resnick Aspen Action Forum. For more information, visit