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Board of Directors Nomination Confirmation

Each year, Upstate Forever members have the opportunity to vote in favor of or against nominations for Upstate Forever's Board of Directors at our Annual Meeting. This year, we are asking you to cast your vote online.

Please click here to cast your virtual vote by December 31: Vote now

To read a brief bio about each nomination to our Board of Directors, please see below.
To view a complete list and bio for each of our currently serving Board members, please click here.


2020 Board of Director Nominations

The Nominating Committee of Upstate Forever nominates the following persons to serve three-year terms on the Board: 

Mike Baur

Since 2000, Mike Baur has served as Chief Executive Officer of ScanSource, Inc., which he co-founded in 1992 with six employees. Today, the company posts annual sales of approximately $3 billion, has 43 locations across North America, Latin America and Europe, and employs approximately 2,100 people. Mike has more than 30 years of experience in the IT industry, having served in various leadership and senior management roles in the technology and distribution industries before joining ScanSource, Inc.

Sam Erwin

Sam Erwin serves as Regional President - Carolinas for IBERIABANK, a regional bank that entered South Carolina in 2016 andNorth Carolina in 2017. In this role he leads IBERIABANK's efforts as it seeks to build out a retail and commercial banking presence in the Carolinas.

Sam is a Greenwood County native and a cum laude graduate of Clemson University. He is involved in a wide variety of civic and professional organizations, including The South Carolina Bankers Association where he serves on the Board of Directors and Vice Chair, Greenville Tech Foundation where he serves as Immediate Past Board Chair, and the Business Development Corporation of South Carolina where he is a Board Member. He is a Liberty Fellowship graduate, Class of 2011, and currently serves on the Liberty Fellowship Board. He serves Clemson University through his participation on the Board of the Rutland Ethics Institute.

Sam and his wife, Meg, reside in Greenville and have two grown sons, Sam and Patrick. He enjoys traveling with his family, hunting, fishing and playing golf.

Mary Taylor Haque

Mary Taylor Haque is a landscape architect and Professor of Horticulture Emerita at Clemson University. She has authored several books with colleagues including Landscape Design for Energy Efficiency, Designing Outdoor Environments for Children, and The Nature of Clemson: A Field Guide to the Natural History of Clemson University. A native of Columbia, SC, she grew up in a family of advocates for conservation whose current projects include the Taylor Stream Restoration Project and putting conservation easements on family land to protect the riparian areas and wildlife habitat along Congaree Creek in Lexington County.

She has lived in the upstate for 35 years and has served on the board of the Center for Visual Arts and the Emeritus College at Clemson University.  She is currently program chair for the Foothills Group of the Sierra Club, a volunteer with the Master Naturalist program, and a member of several USTA tennis teams. She enjoys hiking, birding, gardening, and spending time outdoors with her husband, Imtiaz, and their three children and two grandchildren.  

Glenn Hilliard

Glenn Hilliard has led, as CEO and chairman, Liberty Life Insurance Co., ING Americas; and as chairman, CNO Financial, Inc. He continues to serve as CEO of Hilliard Group LLC, an investment and advisory firm based in Greenville, and as a director of Columbia Funds Trust and as Chairman of the board of Bank of America Funds Series Trust.

A native of Anderson, Glenn graduated from Clemson University in 1965 with a bachelor’s degree in English and earned a law degree at George Washington University.

A dedicated environmentalist, Glenn founded the Foothills Trail Conference in 1974 and served as the first chairman. He currently serves on the board of Brookgreen Gardens. Glenn and his wife Heather have endowed a Professorship in Environmental Sustainability at Clemson. In his spare time, Glenn enjoys spending time with his family, biking, running, hiking, kayaking, and skiing.

Allen Jacoby

Allen is Vice President responsible for Milliken’s Plastics Additives Business.  He joined Milliken in 2002 in the Performance Products Division and was promoted to Business Manager for Advanced Reinforcements in 2009. He assumed responsibility for Milliken’s Plastics Additives Business in May 2013. In his role at Milliken, Jacoby works to make plastics more sustainable.

Allen earned his BS in Chemical Engineering at Purdue; and MBA in Finance & Entrepreneurial Management at Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania.  

Prior to joining Milliken, Allen worked as a process engineer at Eli Lilly, sales associate at Heinkel Filtering Systems, and Strategy Consultant at Arthur D. Little and Scient Corporation.

Allen and his wife, Andrea, have two children, Andrew and Kaia.

Tom Kester

A CPA Emeritus, Tom spent 28 years with KPMG in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Dublin, Ireland; and Greenville, South Carolina. Prior to his retirement in 2002, he was the managing partner of KPMG’s Greenville office. In addition, he served on the boards of the Greenville Literacy Association and the United Way of Greenville County Palmetto Society.

A 1968 graduate of Cornell University, Tom holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering. In 1974, he received an MBA from Harvard University.  He served as an officer on active duty in the US Navy from 1969 to 1972.

In addition to his strong interest in conservation and environmental issues, Tom also enjoys skiing, woodworking, and traveling. Tom and his wife Sandy have two adult sons, Ross and Lee, and the family has called the Upstate home for over 25 years.

Tom currently serves as Chairman of the Board of The Conestee Foundation, Inc. and was a board member of Orthofix International, N.V. from 2004 to 2010. Tom is also the Chief Financial Officer of Kester Search Group, LLC, an executive recruiting firm that specializes in the permanent placement of senior-level management positions as well as field-based sales reps into medical device, diagnostic, and dental companies throughout the United States.

Chris Richardson

Christopher Richardson is a former U.S. diplomat, immigration attorney, and currently the General Counsel and Chief Operating Officer (COO) for BDV Solutions, LLC. In this role, Richardson provides strategic counsel on a number of immigration-related matters. He also works on pro bono immigration cases including asylum for unaccompanied minors and advised non-profit groups in relation to their visits to ICE detention centers. 

Prior to his time as an attorney, he was a Foreign Service officer for 7 years. He served as various roles including Deputy Consular Section Chief, American Citizens Services Chief, Immigrant Visa Chief, and Nonimmigrant Visa Chief with assignments in Nigeria, Nicaragua, Pakistan, and Spain. He won numerous State Department awards including Superior and Meritorious Honor Awards.  

Since then, Richardson wrote an affidavit regarding the waiver process for the Travel ban and Justice Stephen Breyer cited that affidavit in his dissent in Trump v. Hawaii. Richardson has been interviewed by Slate Magazine, Reuters, NPR, CBS, BBC, Georgia Public Radio, The Intercept, and the Atlanta Journal Constitution. He has also written op-eds for the Washington PostLos Angeles TimesSlate Magazine and the Nation.  

Richardson serves on the advisory board of the Center for Victims of Torture and advises both Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Chris Van Hollen of Maryland on a wide range of immigration issues. Richardson also serves as an advisor for the Muslim Advocates, a legal nonprofit that is challenging the waiver process. Finally, Richardson provided strategic advice to the mayor of Atlanta on her decision to end the city’s contract with ICE. Prior to his Foreign Service career, Richardson was an immigration attorney, graduated from Duke University School of Law, and graduated summa cum laude from Emory University. He is also the co-author of the Historical Dictionary of the Civil Rights Movement (2014). 

Mark Taylor

A registered professional geologist, Mark is employed with Synterra, an environmental consulting firm in Greenville. Mark was the chairman of the successful Sustainable Development Conference that was recently held in Greenville. He holds a bachelor’s degree in geology from Harvard University and a master’s degree in geology from the University of Michigan.


Please click here to cast your virtual vote to confirm these members of Upstate Forever's Board of Directors by December 31: Vote now

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