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Check out the February edition of Class Notes below! Please submit your own Class Note via our online form. We’ll feature you in the next email edition, online, in College of Charleston Magazine, and possibly even on our social media channels on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn

February 2019


Skip Baker retired as Director of Marketing and Business Development at Generation Contracting and Emergency Services in Poway, CA. He and his wife, Deborah, are building a home at Hampton Lake in Bluffton, SC.

Daniel Festa is now honorably retired from Missouri Union Presbytery as of December 31, 2018. He most recently served as Pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Marshall, MO.


Brenda Jacobello Ruocco lives in Temecula, CA, where she is the Director of Wholesale for South Coast Winery, an award-winning winery.


Lee Edwards is the Owner of Lee Edwards Entertainment, and will be the DJ for the new Beach Club VIP area at A Charleston Affair in May 2019. He and his wife, Darla Nettles Edwards '87, live in Charleston, SC.


Renee Buyck Romberger was recently honored with the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina’s highest civilian honor, in recognition of her service to Spartanburg and the surrounding area. She retired in August as the Vice President of Community Health Policy and Strategy at Spartanburg Medical Center where she oversaw the implementation of initiatives that improved health issues faced by those in the community. She currently serves on the College’s Board of Trustees, and recently chaired the Presidential Search Committee for CofC’s 23rd president.


Ernest Andrade was selected as one of Charleston Business Magazine's 50 Most Influential People for the second year in a row. Ernest has helped position Charleston as a premier destination for tech companies by founding and growing the Digital Corridor to over 450 companies since 2001. He and his wife, Rovina, reside in Mount Pleasant, SC.


Ginger Dillard Selby is Operations Director at J. Henry Stuhr Funeral Home and Crematory on Calhoun Street in Charleston. Ginger lives with her husband, Edward, on Daniel Island, SC.


Maura Hogan earned two writing awards from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) for her article on Mary Croghan Ramsay ’42. The article was recognized by CASE District III with the Grand Award for Best Articles of the Year and a Special Merit Award for Feature Writing. Maura is Director of Advancement Communications in the Marketing and Communications Division at the College.


Beau Schweikert, of McLean, VA, is a Co-Founder and Director of VisionBank, a new community-based bank that will soon open in the greater Washington, D.C. area.


Byron Gipson, of Columbia, SC, was elected as South Carolina's 5th Circuit Solicitor. He will be the Chief Law Enforcement Officer in Richland and Kershaw counties, tasked with overseeing all criminal prosecutions.

Sibita Harvey Proctor is excited to be with Coldwell Banker Brokerage at 35 Broad Street in Charleston, SC. Sibita is a full-time Realtor with residential and investment experience in the Lowcountry property market.


Chris Lennert is the Chief Operating Officer at Left Hand Brewing Company in Longmont, CO. Since 2008, Left Hand has raised more than $3.5 million for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Chris even brewed a special beer called Wheels Gose 'Round to raise awareness for the Bike MS fundraiser.

John Sarra is the Director of Fine Arts and Chair of Visual Arts at the Westminster Christian Academy in Town and Country, MO. He lives in St. Louis, MO, with his wife, Christine, and their daughter.


Michael Scarafile was selected as one of Charleston Business Magazine's 50 Most Influential People of 2018. He is the President of Carolina One Real Estate Services, the largest real estate company in South Carolina. The company also supports dozens of local charities and nonprofits. Michael lives in Mount Pleasant, SC, with his wife, Julie, and their two boys, Vito and Leo.


Angelina Ahrens is Director of Development at Grinnell Regional Medical Center (GRMC) in Grinnell, Iowa. Angelina will lead the GRMC Foundation and expand upon the development programs currently in place. She lives in Montezuma, IA, with her spouse, Peggy Brown.

Michael Campbell and Carey Ann Daniel Campbell '99 live on Daniel Island, SC, with their daughter, Eleanor, who will attend the College starting in Fall 2019 to play tennis. Michael is the Vice President of Distribution for Quincy Compressor based in Alabama. Carey Ann is a Regional Vice President for Belk.


Stacie Sanders Evans is the President and CEO of Young Audiences/Arts for Learning. Stacie and her husband, Ben Evans '94, live in Baltimore, MD. April Angel Merritt was featured in Orlando Style Magazine as a Woman of the Year and Most Intriguing Profile in 2018. This year, Dr. Merritt was voted Florida Top Doc by the same magazine. April lives in Orlando, FL, with her husband and their two boys.

Louis Tick is a Financial Advisor with Edward Jones in Charleston, SC. He is an active member of the Jewish Studies Program's Community Advisory Board, where he sits on the Executive Committee. Louis has also taken leadership roles in Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim, the Hebrew Benevolent Society, and the Hebrew Orphan Society.


Deborah Funk is Director of Business Development for Allen Brothers headquartered in Chicago, IL. She and her husband, Randy Rubenstein, live in Atlanta, GA.


Sebastian Zutant is Part Owner of a new restaurant, The Red Hen, in Washington, D.C. He oversees the beverage program at the Italian-inspired restaurant.


Amanda Bunting Comen is the Owner of a new social media management, marketing, and PR company in Charleston, SC, called Social ABC's.

Claudia Seeger Comer joined The Cassina Group as a Realtor at the start of the new year. Claudia and her husband Paul Comer '97 live on Daniel Island, SC.

Cary Ann Hearst and her husband, Michael Trent, of the band Shovels & Rope, were selected as one of Charleston Business Magazine's 50 Most Influential People of 2018. Residents of Johns Island, SC, the duo hosts the two-day High Water Music Festival in North Charleston, SC.

C.D. Rhodes is a Public Finance Attorney with the Pope Flynn law firm in Columbia, SC. He was appointed Chair of the Historic Columbia Foundation Advisory Council in January of 2019. C.D. earned his JD from the University of South Carolina School of Law and his MPA from the University of South Carolina. He is a graduate of both the South Carolina Economic Development Institute and Leadership Columbia.


Bess Brockington Bluestein has joined the College's School of Humanities and Social Sciences Dean's Council. She is the Upper School Learning Specialist at Porter-Gaud School. Bess and her husband, Brett Bluestein '97, have two children and live on Sullivan's Island, SC.

Mindy Valone has launched her own public relations consulting firm in New York City named MVPR Consulting.

Boo Walker is a best-selling Author who just released his fourth and fifth novels: Red Mountain Rising: A Novel and A Marriage Well Done. He lives with his wife, Mikella, and his son, Riggs, in St. Petersburg, FL.


Bruce McDonald, one of the top CofC men’s golfers from 2000 to 2003 and the first player to be named an All-American in program history, was inducted this year to the CofC Athletics Hall of Fame. After setting many records during his time at CofC, he turned pro after graduation and played successfully for many years. He owns BRM Golf and lives on Daniel Island, SC.

Jay Scalzo is the Founder and Executive Director of Boxing is Love, an organization that seeks to use boxing to reach the children in developing countries and share the gift of boxing by starting youth programs, engaging communities, establishing infrastructure, building athletic facilities, and creating new economic opportunities. Jay has been elected as an International Goodwill Ambassador for the Liberian Boxing Association. He and his wife, Celeste, and daughter, Avery, live in Charleston, SC.

Ryan Treat is the Psychology Portfolio Manager for McGraw-Hill Higher Education. He was awarded Portfolio Manager of the Year, Product of the Year, and Team of the Year during McGraw-Hill's annual conference and awards gala.


Robert Legare is Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Ravenel Legare Construction LLC in Mount Pleasant, SC. The company specializes in commercial and residential general contracting.

Andrew Parker started a new job as Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee. Andrew, his wife, Ashley Read Parker '06, and their two children, Allison, 11, and Henry, 3, live in Greeneville, TN.


Matthew Graham is the Assistant Director of Student Affairs for the American University of Afghanistan in the city of Kabul.


Lindy Abrams is the Head Organic Grower at Banner Greenhouses in Nebo, NC. Lindy grows certified organic transplants for farmers and gardens in the eastern US.


Ashley Lewis Ford was selected by the National School Public Relations Association to be part of the 35 Under 35 Program Class of 2018. The program identifies young school professionals across the country who are making a difference for their school districts and represent the next generation of leaders in school communications. Ashley lives in Matthews, NC with her husband, John Ford '08, and their two sons, Noah and Ezra.


Tiffany Blum-Knezevic was inducted as a member of the 2019 CofC Athletics Hall of Fame Class. A standout on the volleyball team from 2004-2007, she still holds many school records. After graduation, she played professionally overseas until recently retiring. She lives in Croatia where she teaches English.

Johnny Caldwell and Taneka Reaves '11 are Co-Founders of the Holy City-based blog Cocktail Bandits. They were selected as one of Charleston Business Magazine's 50 Most Influential People of 2018. The Cocktail Bandits promote female empowerment through advocacy for the food and beverage community from a feminine, urban perspective.

Harriett Lee moved from Charleston to Denver in November 2017. She was named the Corporate Account Executive at Convergent for the third quarter of 2018, and was recently promoted to Senior Corporate Account Executive.

Keith Meany is the President of Skubot, a 3D-scanning device designed for hardware stores. Skubot recently won an innovation award for 3D scanning at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, NV. Keith lives in Charleston, SC, where he has two Skubot offices.


Steffi Kirchmayr, who played golf for the College from 2006-2009, was inducted into the CofC Athletics Hall of Fame for the Class of 2019. Twice named Southern Conference Player of the Year, she is the only women’s golfer in program history to be named a Golfweek All-American Honorable Mention. She made many records during her school career and many still stand. Upon graduation, she played professionally on the Ladies European Tour until 2015 and now lives in her native Germany.

Alexandra Robinson Pierson and her husband, Scott, announce the birth of their second child, Savannah Scott Pierson, born November 2, 2018. The Pierson family lives in Aliso Viejo, CA.

Katherine Weatherly and Frank Alverson were married on August 26, 2017, in Cashiers, NC. Katherine is the Marketing Director for Handsome Properties in Charleston, SC.


GP McLeer, Jr. married Taylor Adams on November 2, 2018. They reside in Fountain Inn, SC, where GP is an active community volunteer and the Executive Director of the South Carolina Arts Alliance.


Charles Carmody was selected as one of Charleston Business Magazine's 50 Most Influential People of 2018. He has been the Executive Director of The Charleston Music Hall since 2012.

Benjamin Genn is an Associate Attorney for Holland & Knight in Washington, D.C.

Tessie McCoy is the Marketing Campaign Manager for Gap, Inc. She lives in Walnut Creek, CA.

Leah Nadeau married Justin Ross '07 on October 20, 2018, in Charleston, SC. The couple resides in Charleston.

Chelsea Hylton married Chandler Nutik at Popp Fountain in New Orleans, LA. Chelsea is the Founder of Project Peaceful Warriors which offers trauma-aware yoga and mindfulness-based classes as behavioral intervention for elementary through high school students. The couple lives in New Orleans.

Jessica Ballentine (MEd) married Jamie Ramm on December 31, 2018, in Greenwood, SC. Jessica is a Teacher at Westwood Elementary School in Abbeville District 60. The couple lives in Greenwood, SC.

Taneka Reaves and Johnny Caldwell '08 are Co-Founders of the Holy City-based blog Cocktail Bandits. Johnny and Taneka were selected as one of Charleston Business Magazine's 50 Most Influential People of 2018. The Cocktail Bandits promote female empowerment through advocacy for the food and beverage community from a feminine, urban perspective.


Perry Emsiek Bissell is a Personal Chef for D'Anjou Services in Newport Beach, CA. She and her husband, Brian, were married on May 16, 2015.


Luke Allen is an Associate for Adams and Reese in Columbia, SC. Luke received his JD from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 2016. He focuses his practice on litigation. Caitlin Carey is the Founder of Popavent, a club of planners representing tech startups, non-traditional venues, and unexpected experiences with offices in Boston and New York.

Ellyn Lurey married Alex Gasque on November 3, 2018, at Chestnut Ridge in Canton, NC.

Austin Johnson married Samantha Maddox '15 on November 23, 2018, in Palm Beach, FL. Austin is the caddy for his brother, Dustin Johnson, a PGA golfer. Samantha was on the tennis team at CofC. Austin and Samantha reside in Jupiter, FL.

Kate Majike is the Brand and Advertising Manager for Monster in Weston, MA. She received her MA in art business from the Sotheby's Institute of Art.

Alicia Raimann moved to Longmont, CO in the summer of 2018 to begin the graduate program at Southwest Acupuncture College. Alicia is studying Oriental medicine and plans to graduate in 2022.

Mallie Salerno is the Communications Coordinator for the Philadelphia Department of Prisons in Philadelphia, PA.


Amy LaFontaine married Zachary Dunahoe on November 24, 2018, in Charleston, SC. Amy is the Regional Sales Director of Orangetheory Fitness in Atlanta, GA.

Catherine Gunnells was selected as a Super Bowl LIII volunteer in Atlanta, GA, working with Super Bowl LIVE! throughout the weekend. Catherine lives in Kennesaw, GA, and works as an MBA Recruiting Analyst for Accenture.

Chris Piedmont is a Communications Lead & Senior Analyst for Hot Paper Lantern a where he manages marketing and communication accounts along with analytics programs. Chris lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Savannah Scardo has accepted a one-year pharmaceutical industry fellowship with Eli Lilly after she earns her PharmD from the Medical University of South Carolina in May 2019. The Visiting Scientist Fellowship program at Eli Lilly will allow her to gain experience in the pharmaceutical industry while working within oncology medical affairs. Savannah and her husband, Ben Mann, live in Mount Pleasant, SC.

Alexandra Bishop Watkins and her husband, John, welcomed their first child, Maxwell, on December 19, 2018. The Watkins family lives in Greenville, SC.


Chase Berry is the Staff Accountant for Jarrard, Nowell & Russell in their downtown Charleston office. Chase is a member of the American Institute of CPAs and resides in Charleston, SC.

Cacie Fehrmann, of Charleston, SC, is currently enrolled in The Citadel's school psychology program. Cacie will receive her MEd in May 2020.

Trish Rein is pursuing a PhD in Neuroscience from Boston University in Boston, MA. Her research interests have included neural development, and the role of different neural precursor cells in the developing brain. Trish is in the fourth year of the PhD program and will graduate in 2020.

Chase Shaw earned a master's in maritime administration and logistics, as well as a third mate unlimited license, from Texas A&M in September 2018. Chase lives in Boston, MA.


Emily Feeney (MBA) was appointed Manager of Capital Markets and Investments by Noble Investment Group in Atlanta, GA. 

Taylor Klimeck is pursuing his MBA in supply chain at William & Mary in Williamsburg, VA, and plans to graduate in May 2019.

Lauren Manos works for Blackboard in their Inside Sales department. Lauren lives in Greenville, SC.

Pat Mitchell has relocated to Falls Church, VA, where he works as an Account Executive for Hilton Hotels in McLean, VA.

Emily Morgan married Andrew Nesselroade in Mount Pleasant, SC on November 11, 2017. Emily and Andrew live in Charleston, SC.

Charlotte Saxe is an Analyst at Apollo Global Management in New York City.

Emmy Stuart has been promoted to Associate Strategist for Crosby Marketing Communications. She will guide a wide variety of communications programs for the Military OneSource program, the Department of Defense's flagship digital services platform supporting service members and their families. Emmy's Annapolis-based sailing team brought home the 2018 gold medal in the J22 World Championship. Emmy lives in Maryland.

Katie Freitas married David Thirkell on December 30, 2017 in Katie's hometown of North Augusta, SC.


Gabby Mace is a student in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at High Point University in High Point, NC.

Candice O'Connor lives in Brooklyn, NY, and is a Client Service Representative for Viacom - MTV in New York City.


Mollia Brown married Jordan Eberle on August 11, 2018, at The Grove on Augusta in Gilbert, SC. Mollia and Jordan reside in Irmo, SC.

Hannah Gagnon is studying at Bentley University to obtain her MBA. Hannah currently lives outside of Boston in Somerville, MA.

Brittany Marino relocated to New York City after earning her degree in art history from the College in May. She is now the Business Administrator for Christie's in New York, NY.

Daniel Miles moved to Mexico City, Mexico and is teaching English as a Second Language at The Anglo, a renowned language school.