Ms. Stith has over thirty years experience in designing, directing and delivering results from federal, state and non-profit programs. Her expertise is in producing research that results in new program and policy directions. Ms. Stith earned an undergraduate degree in Humanities/Education from Converse College, and a Masters in Mass Communications and Humanities from Florida State University. She has completed the Economic Development coursework of the American Economic Development Council at the University of Oklahoma and the completed the South Carolina Executive Institute. She has worked primarily, but not solely, in South Carolina in a wide variety of economic development, socio-economic and policy roles. Her responsibilities ranged from managing the strategic restructuring of a major state agency, to overseeing the state’s economic development grants, to representing the Governor in two rounds of military base closure and redevelopment, adult literacy, and entrepreneurship.
Stith’s diverse experience ranges from her six years of providing Economic Impact analyses and program development for the South Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership to her concept and success to swap the Poinsett Weapons Range for Myrtle Beach AFB, to crafted legislation in education, economic development, and governance, to creating new policies, and to managing federal and state grant programs. She served as the Governor’s liaison during Base Realignment and Closure activities from 1990-93. She produced community redevelopment strategies for organizations in New Mexico, New York, North Carolina and South Carolina as a private economic development consultant. Stith has earned the Order of the Palmetto, was recognized as Lexington Woman of the Year and SC Women’s Business Center of the Year in 2009. She has served on boards and task forces at the local, state and national levels.
Ms. Riddle is an experienced grant writer and funding strategist. She is our expert for FEMA Assistance to Firefighters (AFG) grants programs, having written over 40 AFG applications in the last 10 years. Ms. Riddle’s success rate with AFG grants is more than double the national average. In addition to FEMA grants, she has also written and administered federal and state grants, such as Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) and Economic Development Administration (EDA) Grants, in support of infrastructure projects, economic diversification, and growth planning initiatives. Aside from grant writing and administration, Ms. Riddle has diverse experience in local and statewide economic development, including industry recruitment, marketing strategies, existing business services, and Revolving Loan Fund management. Prior positions were as the Economic Development Manager for the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments, Assistant Director of Economic Development for Charleston County, and Marketing Manager and Prospect Research Manager for the South Carolina Department of Commerce. Ms. Riddle earned a BA in Political Science and German from Furman University and a Masters from the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. She is also a graduate of The Economic Development Institute and certified as an Economic Development Finance Professional by The National Development Council.
Mr. Stith has over 45 years of manufacturing and international sales experience in the railway maintenance equipment business. Mr. Stith provides consulting to developing railroads, rail equipment manufacturers, and contractors. He is a manufacturing engineer who began designing machines to build, inspect, and repair railroads. His career led him through production management, R&D, purchasing management, human resources and 20 years in international sales. As manager of Asian markets he generated sales of over $500 million in five years, and in addition to managing development of contract specifications, he was responsible for securing EXIM Bank financing, establishing joint venture manufacturing, product commissioning, and after sales support.
Ms Young is an experienced business consultant, program developer, program manager, data analyst, and scientist. Ms. Young has over 20 years experience assisting businesses to evaluate their current and define their future states, and develop plans to achieve their mission and vision. She has successfully written many grants for public, private and non-profit recipients, including SBIRs. She served as the Assistant Director of the SC Women’s Business Center, was Strategic Programs Manager at the SC Manufacturing Extension Partnership, and Senior Scientist at the Savannah River Site. She graduated from the College of Charleston.
Mr. Blaze offers more than 40 years experience as an economist and operations manager in multimodal and rail transportation. He led a wide range of international assignments in strategic planning, public policy analysis, freight logistics, intermodal competitive analysis, business restructuring, senior management culture change, marketing, and operations analysis. He conducts rail feasibility, cost assessments, and finance plans. Mr. Blaze is author of numerous railway studies and articles. He is a graduate of St. Anselm's College and holds a Masters from the University of Chicago.