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SC Association for Community Economic Development announces John Simpkins, President of MDC, as a keynote speaker at 24th Annual Conference

CRBJ Biz Wire //October 4, 2023//

SC Association for Community Economic Development announces John Simpkins, President of MDC, as a keynote speaker at 24th Annual Conference

CRBJ Biz Wire //October 4, 2023//

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CHARLESTON, S.C. — South Carolina Association for Community Economic Development (SCACED) is proud to announce John Simpkins, President of MDC, as a keynote speaker for its annual conference, Opportunity SC: 2023. The 24th annual conference is the largest comprehensive community development convention and forum in South Carolina.

Simpkins works with the entire MDC team to set strategy, shape their portfolio of work, and engage with partners and the public around the urgent challenge of eliminating disparities to build a South where all people can thrive. Prior to joining MDC in 2020, Simpkins held various leadership roles in efforts to promote equity, access, and inclusion at the state, national, and international level. A constitutional scholar and practicing attorney, Simpkins served in the Obama Administration as deputy general counsel for the White House Office of Management and Budget and general counsel for the U.S. Agency for International Development. After leaving government service, Simpkins served in leadership roles at Prisma Health and the Aspen Global Leadership Network at the Aspen Institute, where he mobilized the more than 3,000 Fellows around the world to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and its attendant economic effects.

Simpkins received his Bachelor’s of Art degree in government from Harvard College and his Juris Doctor and Masters of Laws degrees in international and comparative law from Duke University School of Law. He is a Senior Lecturer at Duke Law School and is a member of the Liberty Fellowship, a program in the Aspen Global Leadership Network dedicated to moving South Carolina forward.

“I am excited to participate in SCACED’s Opportunity SC: 2023 Conference and look forward to delivering insights on advancing equity in South Carolina,” said Simpkins. “Thank you to SCACED for hosting this important forum of community development leaders from across South Carolina.”

The conference, which will take place from October 4 to 6 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, will expose attendees to integrated, innovative and sustainable solutions for low‐wealth communities across the state and region. Over the past 20 years, the Opportunity SC Conference has welcomed more than 5,000 attendees, representing almost every county in the state.

“We are honored to feature John Simpkins as a keynote speaker at our annual conference,” said Bernie Mazyck, President & CEO of SCACED. “As a leader with a depth of experience in advancing equity in South Carolina, his insights and expertise will inspire conference attendees to transform the communities they serve.”
Opportunity SC: 2023 is open to anyone interested in community development, including nonprofit leaders, government officials, bankers, developers, foundations and community leaders.

About SCACED (
SCACED is a coalition of more than 200 partners and organizations who support the development of healthy and economically sustainable communities throughout South Carolina. For over 25 years, SCACED and its members have worked collaboratively to build wealth and create economic opportunity for all SC residents including a focus on minority communities and other groups who have been left out of the economic mainstream.