Meet the 2021 IABC/SC Board of Directors


February 2021


COLUMBIA, S.C. – IABC/SC is proud to announce the 2021 Board of Directors. The Board consists of both returning members and new members.

The South Carolina chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC/SC) is starting 2021 with a new board of directors. Ten communications professionals from around the Midlands will lead the organization. The long-standing organization, which provides thousands of business and communication professionals with an international knowledge-sharing community and network, is excited to announce its new leadership.


President | Emily Eckert
project specialist, NP Strategy

Emily EckertEmily Eckert is building her career on developing strong client relationships and executing services that range from building brand awareness, to managing large-scale events, to overseeing ongoing communications campaigns. Emily handles all projects with a thoughtful, client-focused approach.

While Emily has made a knack of communicating in 280 characters or less (thanks in large part to managing client social media accounts), she enjoys working on a wide range of writing projects. Whether it’s a press release for a global corporation, or a local nonprofit’s newsletter, Emily enjoys working closely with NPS+ clients to execute their unique communications directives.

Building relationships is hardwired in Emily’s nature. A Baltimore native, Emily moved 500 miles from home and friends to attend University of South Carolina where she received her B.A. in Public Relations in 2016. She joined NP Strategy shortly after graduation, and her professional career has grown along with NPS+.


President Elect | Leigh Lowery
director of communications, Special Olympics of South Carolina

Leigh LoweryLeigh Lowery joined Special Olympics South Carolina in 2013 as Director of Communications. Lowery is a graduate of Winthrop University with a degree in Mass Communications with a specialty in Broadcast journalism. She began her professional career as assignment editor at WIS News 10 in Columbia, just months after graduation. After two years in Columbia she moved to Charlotte where she was the Assignment Editor at WCCB.

After her stint in local news, she decided to branch out into public relations. She was the Director of Communications for the Richland County Recreation Commission for 7 years and that led her to Special Olympics South Carolina. She loves to tell the world about how amazing Special Olympics athletes are! She manages all social media and media relations and outreach for Special Olympics South Carolina as well as works on special events and assists with competitions. Leigh joined IABC-SC Board in 2019.



Past President | Bailey Crafton
branding and creative supervisor, Nelson Mullins

Bailey CraftonA South Carolina native, Bailey joined the IABC/SC board for the first time in 2017 as secretary. She currently supervises the creative and branding team for Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, an 800+ attorney law firm headquartered in Columbia, S.C. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of South Carolina in journalism and mass communications, majoring in visual communications and minoring in photography.

Prior to joining Nelson Mullins in 2012, Bailey spent two years as the senior graphic artist and advertising coordinator for Ellett Brothers in Chapin, S.C. Her experience includes work with design, illustration, professional photography, videography, and specialized branding design.

She enjoys spending time freelance designing with local South Carolina businesses and individuals. When she isn’t working, odds are she is painting, sewing, gardening or outside on the water with her husband, son, and two dogs, enjoying all that the beautiful Palmetto state has to offer.



Vice President of Communications & Webmaster | Charnita Mack
associate digital director, Rhodes Branding

Charnita Mack is the associate digital director at Rhodes Branding in Columbia. Before joining the Rhodes Branding team, she served as the public relations and social media coordinator at Claflin University, the oldest historically black college or university (HBCU) in South Carolina. She also served as the first full time public relations and social media coordinator for the Alison South Marketing Group, a full-service marketing agency with offices in Aiken, Augusta and Florida.

A native of Williston, SC, Charnita earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of South Carolina and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in communication from Queens University of Charlotte. Charnita is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Beta Zeta Omega Chapter, in Orangeburg, SC.



Secretary | Chris Keefer
co-owner, K2 Communications of South Carolina, LLC

 Chris Keefer has been a member and board secretary for IABC/SC for two years, and was previously a board member of IABC-Pittsburgh before moving to Columbia in 2006. After a long career in technical writing and editing, she is now in the midst of a second career in local government administration. Chris currently works as director of Richland County’s Government & Community Services department, where she uses her communication skills to facilitate community outreach for the County and build partnerships with citizens, nonprofits, and other constituent groups. She is an adult literacy tutor and board president for Turning Pages of SC. Chris and her husband Jay live in Blythewood, SC with their dogs Maisy and Butkus.



Vice President of Finance |Alison Shuman
corporate communications coordinator II, Farm Bureau Insurance

Alison Shuman is a corporate communications coordinator II for Farm Bureau Insurance. Prior to joining Farm Bureau Insurance in 2007, Shuman was the scholastic press manager for the S.C. Scholastic Press Association (SCSPA) and the Southern Interscholastic Press Association. She was also the assistant director of the Carolina Journalism Institute.

Shuman is an active member of IABC/SC, AAF of the Midlands and the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter Society of South Carolina. She has held numerous board positions including president with IABC/SC and the CPCU Society of South Carolina and currently serves on both boards. She also serves as vice president of awards on the IABC Southern Region Board of Directors.

She earned a Bachelor of Arts in advertising and a minor in retail from the University of South Carolina. During college, Shuman participated on the third place national J. Carroll Bateman Competition Team known as Palmetto Solutions and the third place national DMEF Echo Competition team for the ING Orange Savings campaign “Green Grass. Blue Sky. Orange Savings.”
A native of Columbia, S.C., she attended Irmo High School and was the editor-in -chief of The Stinger newspaper. In 2000, Shuman was recognized as SCSPA’s Journalist of the Year.



Vice President of Membership | Haley Bourne
communications specialist, Nelson Mullins

Haley Bourne is a communications specialist at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP, an 800+ attorney law firm headquartered in Columbia, S.C. She contributes her skills to the Nelson Mullins marketing department by drafting, designing, and editing a range of internal and external content.

Haley earned her BA in 2014 from the University of South Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communications, where she majored in print journalism and minored in English. Prior to joining Nelson Mullins, Haley spent three years as marketing coordinator at Mashburn Construction in Columbia. She has significant experience with technical, business, and feature writing, and enjoys design, photography, fiction writing, and gardening.



Vice President of Professional Development and Programs | Jill Baker
project coordinator | NP Strategy

Jill BakerJill Baker is a project coordinator at NP Strategy in Columbia, SC. She contributes her expertise through internal and external communications, social media, and media relations.

A Pennsylvania native, Jill received her B.A. in professional writing with a dual minor in public relations and digital communications and new media from Kutztown University. Her desire to continue learning led her to the University of South Carolina where she recently earned a master of mass communications degree with a focus in strategic communications management.


Member at Large | Michael Ettlemyer
associate director of integrated communications, University of South Carolina

Michael EttlemyerMichael was elected to the IABC/SC board in 2017 and became president in 2019. A New York native, he brings more than 20 years of marketing communications experience to the University of South Carolina. Michael has served in several corporate, agency and higher education roles, most recently as a senior manager in digital campaigns and social media strategy at LG Electronics’ internal ad agency. Michael also worked in senior communications positions for GE’s consumer finance arm, Virgin Atlantic Airways and MakerBot. He started his career in higher education marketing and communications at schools in New England and NY. Michael joined the NY IABC Westfair chapter in 2012 and became that organization’s vice president. He is pleased to be working among great professionals at the university and through the IABC board and membership. Michael holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania.

Member at Large | Cynthia South
president, Alison South Marketing Group

Cynthia South was elected to the SC IABC Board in 2014, attended the IABC National Leadership Institute, and served as president in 2018. South is president of the Alison South Marketing Group with offices in Aiken, Augusta and South Florida. The full-service agency has won international, regional and statewide awards for its work. As a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, South was a reporter, editor and photographer at the Columbia Missourian newspaper and later assumed an editorial position at Bobbin International, publisher of the textile industry’s management magazine, published in English and Spanish. She went on to become the Assistant Director of Media Relations and Spokesperson for the University of South Carolina. After finishing her Master’s Degree in Public Administration at USC, specializing in health care, Cynthia became the Director of Public Relations and Marketing for Columbia’s Richland Memorial Hospital, now Prisma. Her healthcare career continued with similar positions at Greenville Hospital System and University of North Carolina Hospitals. With the drive of an entrepreneur, Cynthia later co-founded a statewide radio network followed by establishing an advertising agency.




IABC/SC links organizational, business communicators to a global network of communication professionals who develop, establish and adhere to the highest professional standards of quality and innovation in organizational/business communication. IABC/SC members gain access to a diverse network of 15,000 communication professionals in more than 80 countries worldwide, for unmatched networking and knowledge-sharing opportunities at events and online.






Secrets of Videography 


Videography on any budget


In case you missed it! Enjoy this live stream of our April 3, 2018 panel discussion on videography.



Peer behind the lens caps of videographers Keith Bogart (Zero Gravity), Jeremy Lethco (dustoftheground), Meaghan Norman (NP Strategy) and Andrew Smith (BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina) as they discuss videography on multiple budgets. Learn about their strategies, execution, tips and tricks. Get ready to take notes, as they’ll be introducing you to videography that can be done from a cell phone all the way to full production, plus how to best work with videographers, straight from their own points of view.