Riley Institute announces award winners

NOVEMBER 15, 2012
by Vince Moore, Director of News and Media Relations

GREENVILLE, S.C.—The Riley Institute at Furman University has announced that South Carolina Representative James Harrison and Charleston businesswoman Anita G. Zucker are the recipients of this year’s David Wilkins awards recognizing outstanding legislative and civic leadership in the state.

James Harrison

Anita Zucker

Harrison is the winner of the Wilkins Award for Excellence in Legislative Leadership, while Zucker will receive the Wilkins Award for Excellence in Civic Leadership.

The two will be honored in Columbia Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013 at the eighth annual David H. Wilkins awards dinner, which takes place at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.  The evening begins with a reception at 6 p.m., and the dinner and awards presentation will follow at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $125 each and can be purchased by calling 864-235-8330 or visiting the Riley Institute website. Table sponsorships are also available.

A Republican representing Richland County District 75, Harrison was elected to the South Carolina House in 1989 and has served as chair of the House Judiciary Committee since 1994. A native of Greenwood, he is a graduate of The Citadel and the University of South Carolina. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Army War College and a retired Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve, where he served in Operation Desert Storm (Saudi Arabia), Operation Uphold Democracy (Haiti), and Operation Joint Endeavor, Bosnia (1996).

Zucker is Chair and Chief Executive Officer of The InterTech Group in North Charleston.  She is a past president of the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, and one of the founders of the Chamber’s Education Foundation.  She is also immediate past chair of the Medical University of South Carolina Foundation.  In addition to receiving the Order of the Palmetto, she has been awarded honorary degrees from The Citadel, College of Charleston, Johnson and Wales University, and Medical University of South Carolina.  She is a graduate of the University of Florida, and received a Master of Education degree from the University of North Florida.

Previous winners of the Wilkins Award for Excellence in Legislative Leadership are James Smith (2011), Wes Hayes (2010), Dan Cooper (2009), Gilda Cobb-Hunter (2008), Hugh K. Leatherman (2007), Bobby Harrell (2006) and John Drummond (2005).

The Excellence in Civic Leadership Award, which was established in 2010, has gone to Ed Sellers (2011) and Minor Mickel Shaw (2010).

The Riley Institute is named for Furman graduate and former South Carolina Governor and U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley. It offers a broad array of programs designed to engage students and citizens across South Carolina in the various arenas of politics, public policy and public leadership.

The Institute created the David H. Wilkins Legislative Leadership Program in honor of the South Carolina politician who served as Speaker of the South Carolina House of Representatives and as U.S. Ambassador to Canada.

For more information, contact the Riley Institute at 864-294-3546 or e-mail ashley.delahoussaye@furman.edu.